Saturday, February 23, 2008


Your Cheese Problems Have Been Solved!


Yes, it's that time again: the Bookseller has its annual competition for the oddest book title of 2007. Though I have to say, I actually preferred the also-rans to their shortlist. Judge for yourself:

I Was Tortured By the Pygmy Love Queen
How to Write a How to Write Book
Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues
Cheese Problems Solved
If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs
People who Mattered in Southend and Beyond: From King Canute to Dr Feelgood

Horace Bent, The Bookseller diarist and custodian of the Diagram Prize, said... "I must pay homage to those books that narrowly missed out on a shortlist place. These were, in no particular order: Drawing and Painting the Undead; Stafford Pageant: The Exciting Innovative Years 1901–1952; and Tiles of the Unexpected: A Study of Six Miles of Geometric Tile Patterns on the London Underground. All sound like they are positively thrilling reads, and I do hope that the authors will try again next year. Honourable mention should also go to two titles that were ruled out because they were published too long ago: an unlikely-sounding HR manual called Squid Recruitment Dynamics, and the fascinating anthropological tome Glory Remembered: Wooden Headgear of Alaska Sea Hunters.

I love the sheer anorak-acity of Tiles of the Unexpected, and was rewarded with finding precisely one Amazon UK review on it -- five stars -- which notes: "This is without question the definitive book on the subject of the Edwardian tile designs of London's Underground."

I'm sure it is.

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