Diagram Prize for the oddest book title

The Diagram Prize is awarded each year for the oddest book title. Almost all the winning titles prompt universal amazement that the reading public would want to buy such a book. Amongst the titles that didn’t win are some other stunning candidates: The Aesthetics of the Japanese Lunchbox, Best Bike Rides in the Mid-Atlantic, Bird Watching for Cats, and Children are Wet Cement. Below is the list of winning titles – with added notes of explanation if required.

1978       Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice

Medical studies done using laboratory mice with inhibited immune systems

1979       The Madam as Entrepreneur: Career management in house prostitution

1980       The Joy of Chickens

1981       Last Chance at Love – Terminal Romances

1982       Population and Other Problems: Family planning, housing 1,000 million, labour employment

About the demographics of the People’s Republic of China

1983       Unsolved Problems of Modern Theory of Lengthwise Rolling

About rolling as a metalworking technique

1984       The Book of Marmalade: Its antecedents, its history, and its role in the world today

1985       Natural Bust Enlargement with Total Power: How to increase the other 90% of your mind to Increase the size of your breasts

Bust enlargement through positive thinking

1986       Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality

Humour and parody about psychiatry

1987       No Award

No title was deemed odd enough

1988       Versailles: The view from Sweden

Catalogue of an exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum on the influence of French Baroque and Classicism on design in contemporary Sweden

1989       How to Shit in the Woods: An environmentally sound approach to a lost art

Responsible treatment of human waste in wilderness areas

1990       Lesbian Sadomasochism Safety Manual

1991       No Award

No title was odd enough

1992       How to Avoid Huge Ships

Advice to pleasure boat sailors

1993       American Bottom Archaeology

Full title: American Bottom Archaeology: A Summary of the FAI-270 Project Contribution to the Culture History of the Mississippi River Valley

1994       Highlights in the History of Concrete

1995       Reusing Old Graves: A report on popular British attitudes

1996       Greek Rural Postmen and their Cancellation Numbers

1997       The Joy of Sex: Pocket edition

1998       Developments in Dairy Cow Breeding: New opportunities to widen the use of straw

1999       Weeds in a Changing World: British Crop Protection Council symposium proceedings No. 64

An early favourite, Male Genitalia of Butterflies of the Balkan Peninsula, was rejected for being deliberately odd

2000       Designing High Performance Stiffened Structures

Stiffness in engineering

2001       Butterworths Corporate Manslaughter Service

Corporate liability for manslaughter

2002       Living with Crazy Buttocks

Humorous essays on contemporary culture

2003       The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories

2004       Bombproof Your Horse

Full title: Bombproof Your Horse: Teach your horse to be confident, obedient, and safe, no matter what you encounter

2005       People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How they attach themselves to unsuspecting bystanders and what to do about it

Dead spirits who take up residence in bodies that do not belong to them

2006       The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A guide to field identification

How to identify abandoned shopping carts

2007       If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start with Your Legs

Self-help book written by a man for the benefit of women

2008       The 2009–2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais

Computer-generated combination of boilerplate text and public-domain data

2009       Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes

Mathematical book featuring crocheted hyperbolic planes

2010       Managing a Dental Practice: The Genghis Khan way

How-to guide on managing a dental practice

2011       Cooking with Poo

Thai cookbook

2012        Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop

‘The essential primer for banishing the dark fairy creatures that are lurking in the dark corners and crevices of your life.’

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