"A word after a word after a word is power" - Margaret Atwood


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A blog about the stories we tell each other and how we tell them...

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Vote for the Oddest

It's not the kind of literary award that makes an author's heart beat faster but last year's winner of The Diagram Prize (otherwise known as the odd book title competition) received a big sales boost because of the international attention.
For some reason, Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes, was selling only half a dozen copies a week in America before the award. Afterward it peaked at just under 100 copies in seven days (although I suspect sales have been a little uneven since then).

Now you have a chance to give another author the kind of publicity that money can't buy.  This is the shortlist for the 31st annual award and if you click on the title of this post you will be taken to The Bookseller's website where you can cast your vote.
The Shortlist:
8th International Friction Stir Welding Symposium Proceedings
Various authors (TWI)

The Generosity of the Dead
Graciela Nowenstein (Ashgate)

The Italian's One-night Love Child
Cathy Williams (Mills & Boon)

Managing a Dental Practice the Genghis Khan Way
Michael R Young (Radcliffe)

Myth of the Social Volcano
Martin King Whyte (Stanford University Press)

What Color Is Your Dog?
Joel Silverman (Kennel Club)

I don't see how the Dental Practice one can win - it's far too good and this is a competition for UNintentional odd titles. Mr Young knew exactly what he was doing when he linked the Mongolian Emperor with mouth washes and root canal work. I don't think the Mills and Boon entry is odd enough: I am sure I read Bedded by the Italian Stallion when I was judging The Love Story of 2010 and surely that has far stronger claims...
I wondered if The Generosity of the Dead was another vampire romance but it turns out to be about organ donations in France. The Social Volcano is the idea that popular anger about inequality in China will erupt and topple the Communist Party. Mr King Whyte obviously doesn't think it will.
The dog book seemed the least promising until I found out it was about teaching readers to train their dog according to its  "colour" personality.
Dogs apparently come in five colors. RED is "off the wall".... ORANGE is "high strung".....  YELLOW is "mellow yellow".... GREEN is "apprehensive".... BLUE is "skittish and very afraid". Actually it probably contains a lot of commonsense and is a just a new way of re-packaging the idea that one size does not fit all and training that suits one dog won't work for another.
I haven't the heart to find out what Friction Stir really is. (I'm ignoring the welding element.) I'm hoping it might be fiction with attitude...what do you think?

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