Books with the Oddest Titles

I’d never hard of The Diagram Prize. Turns out, it celebrates the very best in books with odd titles published around the world. Judges from both The Bookseller and its sister consumer magazine, We Love This Book, whittled down the original submissions to a shortlist of seven. And it is spectacular:

A Century of Sand Dredging in the Bristol Channel: Volume Two by Peter Gosson (Amberley). A book that documents the sand trade from its inception in 1912 to the present day, focusing on the Welsh coast.

Cooking with Poo by Saiyuud Diwong (Urban Neighbours of Hope). Thai cookbook. “Poo” is Thai for “crab” and is Diwong’s nickname.

Estonian Sock Patterns All Around the World by Aino Praakli (Kirjastus Elmatar). Covers styles of socks and stockings found in Estonian knitting.

The Great Singapore Penis Panic: And the Future of American Mass Hysteria by Scott D Mendelson (Createspace). An analysis of the “Koro” psychiatric epidemic that hit the island of Singapore in 1967.

Mr Andoh’s Pennine Diary: Memoirs of a Japanese Chicken Sexer in 1935 Hebden Bridge by Stephen Curry and Takayoshi Andoh (Royd Press). The story of Koichi Andoh, who travelled from Japan to Yorkshire in the 1930s to train workers at a hatchery business the art of determining the sex of one-day-old chicks.

A Taxonomy of Office Chairs by Jonathan Olivares (Phaidon). Exhaustive overview of the evolution of the modern office chair.

The Mushroom in Christian Art by John A. Rush (North Atlantic Books). In which the author reveals that Jesus is a personification of the Holy Mushroom, Amanita Muscaria.


(hat tip: Tyler Cowen)

3 thoughts on “Books with the Oddest Titles

  1. The Penis Panic one is probably the funniest, but it wants to be. The Mushroom wins the day for me because it wants to be taken seriously. And I thought The Director of Happiness (my debut novel title) was odd! ;-D

      • Wow. Thanks for asking. As a matter of fact, yes. Not quite yet, but by the end of this month it’s going to be released in serialized form (a couple of chapters at a time) through Atticus Books. Still hashing out the details, but I’ll be drumming up as much interest as I can. Be on the lookout? Thanks for asking!

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