Forget the National Book Awards, the Pulitzer Prizes, and the National Book Critics Circle Awards. I am anxiously awaiting the winner of the annual Diagram Prize, whose shortlist was announced today. Never heard of the Diagram Prize? Sponsored by the British trade magazine, the Bookseller, the award goes to the oddest book title spotted by booksellers, librarians, and publishers around the globe. Despite fears of increased homogenization as publishers become more corporate, Horace Bent, the prize’s custodian, found to his relief that "oddity lives on."
Here are the 2007 nominees:
I Was Tortured By the Pygmy Love Queen
How to Write a How to Write Book
Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues
Cheese Problems Solved
If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs
People who Mattered in Southend and Beyond: From King Canute to Dr Feelgood
Now it is up to the public, who can go to the Bookseller website to vote for their favorite. The winner will be announced March 28. I’m a bit torn between Jason McCutcheon’s tender romance, I Was Tortured by the Pygmy Love Queen, Brian Piddick’s practical How to Write a How to Write Book, and, as a die-hard
Wallace & Gromit fan (cheese!), Cheese Problems Solved, which answers 200 of the most frequently asked questions about cheese and the cheese-making process. Leading the pack so far in the poll is Big Boom’s If You Want Closure, Start With Your Legs: A Guide to Understanding Men.
In other news, New York City is today enjoying its first serious snow storm of the season, and our famous Times Square street musician, The Naked Cowboy, has filed suit against Mars Inc., the makers of M&Ms, for trademark infringment by creating its own Naked Blue M&M Cowboy. I do hope the boys soon come to an agreement. I think both are delicious!