If you are writing a book and want it to stand out amongst the stiff competition, you could do worse than give it a really bizarre title.
The Diagram Prize is an annual literary award which recognises and rewards unusual book titles. It started originally as a sideshow at the 1978 Frankfurt Book Fair, and is now a much-anticipated competition, decided by public vote. Occasionally there have been years when no winner has been announced, due to the entries not being ‘odd enough’!
Past winners include:
Strangers have the Best Candy by Margaret Meps Shulte (2015)
Managing a Dental Practise: The Genghis Khan Way by Michael Young (2010)
The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America by Julian Montague (2006)
Bombproof your Horse by Rick Pelicano (2004)
How to Avoid Huge Ships by John W. Trimmer (1992)
But my personal favourite has to be Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop by Reginald Bakeley (2013)
from the Amazon description:
Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop is the only complete manual on how to identify, track, defend, and destroy those bothersome brownies, goblins, dwarves, scheming flower-fairies, and other nasty members of the fairy realm.
The Editor said of the triumphant win: “Reginald and I take this as a clear sign that people have had enough of goblins in their chicken coops. Our campaign against the fairy kingdom continues.”
A very deserving (and useful) winner! 🙂
At the risk of being disrespectful to ‘The King’…
If there was a guy who, according to his doctor, suffered from arthritis, gout, a fatty liver, an enlarged heart, migraines, constipation and a colon swollen to twice its normal size, would you seriously consider buying his recipe book? It might make me think twice.
Flicking through Elvis’s favourite recipes you can see why he might have had a health problem or two. There are a few questionable entries, like the Fried Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich, and Biscuits with something called Red Eye Gravy – essentially bacon dripping mixed with a cup of coffee.
But at least the Elvis fans are happy with the recipe book, judging by the reviews:
- “If Elvis thought it was good that’s all I need to know.”
- “I love having it and used it on the altar honoring Elvis last year for my Day of the Dead party.”
- “I‘ve tried several recipes and they are great, just like the King!“
Are you hungry tonight? Errmmm… salad anyone?
I’m breaking the chain of ‘Odd Writers’ to bring you the first ‘Odd Book’. In this series, I’ll be looking at bizarre book covers and attempting to find out if the inside is just as bizarre, or if there’s a healthy explanation for the madness on the outside!
The cover of ‘Everything I Want to Do is Illegal’ (picture found on Bored Panda) features a cartoon farmer who appears to be ranting at an array of surprised farm animals on a sunny day. It immediately made me worry about what he had planned for them, and I set out to track the book down on Goodreads and find out the real story. Continue reading
Margaret Daly was seventeen herself when she started writing ‘Seventeenth Summer’. Written by a young adult specifically for the newly-recognised ‘teenager’ audience, this is widely recognised as the first real YA book.
Romance being timeless, the book was last reissued in 2010. It’s available, with a whopping 4.3 star rating, on Amazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk too.
Here’s the blurb:
A summer to remember…
Angie always thought high school romances were just silly infatuations that come and go. She certainly never thought she would fall in love over one short summer. But when she meets Jack, their connection is beyond any childish crush. Suddenly, Angie and Jack are filling their summer with stolen moments and romantic nights. But as fall grows closer, they must figure out if their love is forever, or just a summer they’ll never forget.
While the romance is pretty chaste and pure, the book was tutted at for portraying teenage desire, smoking and underage drinking and smoking! Tut-tut, indeed. You won’t find any of that in my books (she says with her fingers crossed under the table).
And here’s the new cover:
There’s just something about that old cover though… Which one do you prefer?