Everyone knows you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but what about its title? Even if you were tempted to pick up Afterthoughts of a Worm Hunter, or Collectible Spoons of the Third Reich, you probably wouldn't feel comfortable reading them on the metro. A shortlist of the six silliest names to appear in print during 2009 has been released by the publishing magazine The Bookseller. Each will vie for the coveted Diagram Prize, awarded to the year's oddest book title.
As well as the aforementioned musings of an invertebrate specialist and a study of Hitler's cutlery, the list includes Crocheting Adventures With Hyperbolic Planes, Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots, The Changing World of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and What Kind of Bean Is This Chihuahua? The six were whittled down from a list of 90 submissions, more than three times the number received the previous year.
"The vast sum of submissions has ... created one of the most competitive shortlists in the 32 years of the prize," said Horace Bent, custodian of the Diagram Prize. The 2008 Diagram Prize was won by Professor Philip M Parker's The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60mg Containers of Fromage Frais. Now there's a mouthful. The nominees can be voted for at www.thebookseller.com and the winner will be announced on March 26.