Oddest Book Title prize draws record number of submissions

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The Independent Culture

The Bookseller's annual Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year has drawn a record number of submissions for the 2009 award, announced prize organizer Horace Best on February 2. The UK trade magazine will announce a shortlist on February 19, followed by a public vote to determine the winner.

In allowing submissions to be made via Twitter, The Bookseller received 90 submissions for the 2009 award - up from 32 in 2008 - although various disqualifications bring the total number of eligible titles is 49.

Those that stand a good chance of making the shortlist, according to Best, include Advances in Potato Chemistry and Technology, Collectible Spoons of the Third Reich, and An Intellectual History of Cannibalism. Other top titles so far: The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin, Dental Management of Sleep Disorders and Mickey Mouse, Hitler and Nazi Germany.

A number of scientific and academic titles will be considered, including The Changing World of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Curbside Consultation in Cornea and External Disease, Food Digestion and Thermal Preference of Toad, and Map-based Comparative Genomics in Legumes.

Among the more profane submissions are The Origin of Faeces, Peek-a-poo: What's in Your Diaper?, Venus Does Adonis While Apollo Shags a Tree, Father Christmas Needs a Wee, and Is the Rectum a Grave?.

Originally created to provide entertainment at the 1978 Frankfurt Book Fair, the Bookseller/Diagram Prize has since been awarded every year and is now organised by the magazine's diarist Horace Bent.

Submissions will be whittled down by a panel of UK book trade professionals; the resulting shortlist will be announced February 19 at www.thebookerseller.com.