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Did you know that there’s a book on how Tea Cosies Changed The World? Or that someone decided to write about how to Goblinproof One’s Chicken Coop? And that if you wanted to know what if Hitler was sick during World War II, you can pick up Was Hitler Ill? While these books probably aren’t going to be on any top seller’s list, they will compete for the Oddest Book Title award in the U.K.
The Diagram Prize, as it is called, has been around for 35 years and this year, the Bookseller’s Horace Bent is picking the competitors for this year’s award. He told The BBC that he’s happy “to represent a prize that draws attention to authors not called Hilary Mantel.”
The Bookseller’s Phillip Stone told The Guardian that he’s pulling for How To Sharpen Pencils. He explained, “Not only because of its oddity, but because I find something beautiful in the fact a publisher has been brave enough to publish a book concerning a centuries-old implement in hardback in the digital age.”
Stone takes it very seriously, though, adding, “People might think this prize is just a bit of fun, but I think it draws welcome attention to an undervalued art.”
Here are the contenders:
Was Hitler Ill? by Hans-Joachim Neumann and Henrik Eberle
Lofts of North America: Pigeon Lofts by Jerry Gagne
God's Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis by Tom Hickman
Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop by Reginald Bakeley
How Tea Cosies Changed the World by Loani Prior
How to Sharpen Pencils by David Rees
Last year, Cooking With Poo by Saiyuud Dwong won. Past winners include Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers, How to Avoid Huge Ships and Living with Crazy Buttocks.