Friday, 22 March 2013

Tea cosies, goblins and pencils - this year's Diagram Prize Winners

This year's Diagram Prize for most unusual book title has a worthy winner:

Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop by Reginald Bakeley.

Bakely beat off a strong shortlist of six titles that included Was Hitler Ill? by Henrik Eberle and Hans-Joachim Neumann (Polity), Lofts of North America: Pigeon Lofts by Jerry Gagne (Foy’s Pet Supplies), How to Sharpen Pencils by David Rees (Melville House), God’s Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis by Tom Hickman (Square Peg), and How Tea Cosies Changed the World by Loani Prior (Murdoch).

Philip Stone, the Diagram Prize's co-ordinator, said: "People might think this prize is just a bit of fun, but I think it draws welcome attention to an undervalued art. Publishers and booksellers know only too well that a title can make all the difference to the sales of a book. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian has sold almost a million copies to date, while books such as Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared perhaps all owe some of their success to their unusual monikers.”

The Diagram Prize was conceived at Frankfurt Book Fair by Diagram Group founder Bruce Robertson. It was first awarded in 1978 to Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice. I've written about it previously here, here, here and here if you want to read about some previous winners.

Congratulations Reginald!

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