The Bookseller has just released its shortlist for this year’s Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year (previously on JRE). Previous winners have included How to Avoid Huge Ships and People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It.
This year, Strip and Knit with Style and Curbside Consultation of the Colon are fighting it out with Baboon Metaphysics for the coveted prize.
But there’s a ringer in the mix.
Philip M. Parker is renowned (and occasionally reviled) for his little print-on-demand book empire. He uses a computer program to automatically write books with titles like The 2007-2012 Outlook for Tufted Washable Scatter Rugs, Bathmats, and Sets That Measure 6-Feet by 9-Feet or Smaller in India (just $495!). Now, one of his books has wormed its way into the Diagram prize: The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais.
Now, granted, this is slightly odd, given that the outlook for 60-milligram containers of fromage frais would be pretty grim. (60-gram containers, on the other hand, might have some chance of success.) But with eighty thousand automatically generated titles on the market, surely this guy is trying to overwhelm the Diagram prize with quantity, rather than quality.
If we’re going to keep the Diagram ranks populated with classics like The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification, rather than mass-produced garbage like The 2009-2014 world outlook for affiliate marketing services and The 2007-2012 World Outlook for Hermetic-Type Motor Compressors with 60 Hp and All Refrigerants Excluding Ammonia, then it’s time to make a stand.
Go to TheBookseller.com, and vote against mass-produced computer-generated oddness. Vote against 60-milligram containers of fromage frais.
Curbside Consultation of the Colon seems to be winning, so if we’re going to stack the vote, we might as well stack the vote for that. Go forth and fight the good fight, fearless readers.
(Also, one of his 2008 releases was Webster’s Latin American-English Thesaurus Dictionary. I didn’t know there was a language called “Latin American”.)