Strangest Book Title

The Diagram Prize was founded by Trevor Bounford and Bruce Robertson to avoid boredom at the Frankfurt Book Fair, in 1978. The first winner was ‘Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice’. since then there have been such gems as in 2003 ‘The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories’ and in 2012 ‘Cooking with Poo’. Sadly, the shortage of odd titles meant there were no awards in 1987 and 1991. I think there was on on Knitting with Dog Fur, which I did see in the shops a few times, so it must have sold a few copies.

But this year’s winner is ‘Too Naked for the Nazis’, after what the organisers described as the closest contest “of all time”. The book is by Alan Stafford, won 24.8% of the public vote, is a biography of a music hall act. But it just scraped past Dr Jonathan Allan’s examination of “the grand narrative” of the anus, at 24.3%, ‘Reading from Behind: A cultural History of the Anus’. Third place, at 20.7% was Mark Kirwan-Hayhoe’s ‘Biker Nuns from Outer Space: A consideration of Cult Film.

So now you have a few ideas for presents for people who are difficult to buy for. Or perhaps just for people who are difficult.

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