Every year, the Diagram Prize is awarded for the published book with the oddest title for that year. The shortlist of 2012 finalists for the dubious honor has been announced, and while we have a soft spot for the first serious scholarly study of pencil sharpening technique in recent memory, we can’t say enough good things about a guide to preventing goblins from messing with your chicken coop, which represents the far and away most pragmatic entry. Get a look at all six finalists in the gallery below, and find out how to cast your vote for the oddest book title of the year.
No. 1 | Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop
Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop offers practical advice on keeping goblins, fairies, brownies, dwarves, and fey folk in general from wreaking havoc on your home and garden. This is great news, because I've had kobold in my kitchen for weeks and it is driving me up a wall.
No. 2 | God's Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis
Have you been searching far and wide for a cultural history of the penis? Well, on the off chance that you have, look no further -- your search ends with God's Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis.
No. 3 | How Tea Cosies Changed The World
Fact: I don't know anyone who needs or wants to knit a tea cosy with devil horns. Further fact: someone out there must want to knit that very thing. Whoever they are, they're in luck, because that's just one of the 24 tea cosy designs contained in How Tea Cosies Changed The World.
No. 4 | How To Sharpen Pencils
Up until discovering this book, I thought sharpening a pencil was a fairly simple matter. What a fool I was. As it happens, sharpening a pencil is an art form -- one you can find detailed quite exhaustively in the aptly named compendium How To Sharpen Pencils
No. 5 | Lofts of North America: Pigeon Lofts
There are niche publications, and then there are niche publications, and this detailed account of the different types of pigeon lofts -- because apparently there is more than one kind -- is definitely the latter. If you're looking to build a new home for your treasured racing pigeons, though, Lofts of North America: Pigeon Lofts will guide you through the process with a hand more expert and careful than the subject may warrant. There's little doubt that your pigeons will thank you.
No. 6 | Was Hitler Ill?
We hope you're not too overly concerned with the physical health of the leader of the Third Reich and history's greatest monster. If you are, though, then Was Hitler Ill? may be the book for you. The book offers a detailed account of the Fuhrer's physical and mental state in the last few months of his life. For whatever it's worth, let's hope both of those states were terrible.
Whether you’re a fan of goblin resistant chicken coops or the latest issues in pigeon loft architecture, you can weigh in on the oddest title at WeLoveThisBook.com.
(via The Guardian)
- We don’t approve of cutting up books — except for these amazing sculptures
- I guess we’re not counting reprints, otherwise you have to assume Fiend Folio would have made it
- Get a book with your Happy Meal? Ok, McDonald’s, sounds like a plan