Saturday, March 29, 2008

Oddest book title of 2007 chosen

Self-help manual "If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs" won this year's oddest book title competition.

The book took an impressive one-third of the 8,500 votes cast online in The Bookseller trade magazine's 30th annual competition.

Runner up "I was Tortured By the Pygmy Love Queen", the story of a fictitious World War Two pilot forced to bale out over the jungle, polled a distant 20 per cent.

"'If You Want Closure', makes redundant an entire genre of self-help tomes. So effective is the title that you don't even need to read the book itself," said the magazine's deputy editor Joel Rickett.

The winner beat stiff competition from other shortlisted titles including the somewhat niche "Cheese Problems Solved" and "How to Write a How to Write Book" and the rather provocative "Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues."

The annual competition was launched in 1978 at the Frankfurt Book Fair when it was won by the memorably titled "Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice."

Since then, with the exceptions of 1987 and 1991 when no award was granted due, according to Rickett, to a lack of oddness, the weird and wonderful titles have flowed thick and fast with some eyebrow raising winners.

Joy of Chickens took the 1980 title, with "The Theory of Lengthwise Rolling" in 1983, "Lesbian Sadomasochism Safety Manual" in 1990, "Living with Crazy Buttocks" in 2002 and "Bombproof Your Horse" in 2004 are but a sample.

However, the 1997 winner "Joy of Sex: Pocket Edition" does stand out among the glittering array, and in September this year the public will be asked to vote for the oddest of all the winners.

"That and 'Nude Mice' probably remain among the weirdest, but it is a strong competition," said Rickett.

"And the quality of weirdness does seem to be improving in part as technology allows greater access to publishing. Certainly we are getting more titles coming forward," he added.


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