Time to Pick the Oddest Book Title of the Year


It’s time for the annual Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year.  First conceived at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 1978 in order to “stave off boredom”. The inaugural prize was awarded to Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice (University of Tokyo Press). Other notable winners include: How to Avoid Huge Ships (1992), Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers (1996), Managing a Dental Practice: The Genghis Khan Way (2010) and Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop (2012). Last year’s winner was The Commuter Pig Keeper.  

Here are your 2018 finalists: 

Joy of Water Boiling, by Christina Scheffenacker


Jesus on Gardening, by David Muskett


Are Gay Men More Accurate in Detecting Deceits? by Hoe-Chi Angel Au


Call of Nature: The Secret Life of Dung, by Richard Jones


Equine Dry Needling, by Cornelia Klarholz and Andrea Schachinger


Vote here for your favorite . Voting ends on November 16th.

Pictured above Why Sell Tacos in Africa? by Paul Oberschneider

Billy Collins’ book stolen, shot up, then returned

Somebody in Asheville, North Carolina doesn’t think too kindly of two-time U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins.

According to the proprietors of The Captain’s Bookshelf someone took a copy of Nine Horses by Collins from the shelf, brought it home, then proceeded to shoot more than 20 shotgun pellets from close range through the book. And if that wasn’t enough the book crook also “meticulously defaced in ink” the author’s portrait by adding a devil’s beard and mustache and blacking out the eyes before returning it to the shelf.

The bookshop owners believe “the culprit is not just an irate reader, but a disgruntled poet who may have been turned down in one of the many contests that Collins has judged.”

Book thief vents rage on laureate’s poetry with shotgun | Asheville Citizen-Times

Plan to have poets at Farmers Market in Atlantic City deemed waste of money by some lawmakers


farmers market poetry

Update: The CRDA has bowed to the pressure and has pulled the plug on the planned poetry readings

Atlantic City is having some trouble.

The little Las Vegas of New Jersey has seen better days. In the last year alone four of its casinos have closed and 8,000 folks lost their jobs.

Clearly that puts pressure on The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), an organization funded by a tax on casino revenue and tasked with  running Atlantic City’s Tourism District and promoting economic development.

One idea they had to liven things up a bit was to hire some poets to read at the local Farmer’s Market. The readings will supplement the scheduled entertainment and will take place when the musicians take their break.

Sounds pretty harmless and, if anything, provides a setting to potentially expose countless market-goers to the power of poetry.

farmers market poetry a

But alas, three Atlantic City lawmakers are up in arms about the proposed plan. Calling the idea “the absolute height of absurdity” and a complete waste of money the lawmakers have issued a statement calling for a halt to the program.

“As the saying goes, Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Only in the case of Atlantic City, poetry will be read in the midst of a different kind of crisis — a fiscal and economic crisis,” says the statement.

And just what do these lawmakers want to do with the money slated for the poets?  Well, they want to build some roads. ” Unquestionably, constructing a full interchange at Exit 40 is a far more effective use of limited resources than poetry readings, pirate art or language classes,”


Lawmakers slam CRDA plan for summer poetry readings  |  Press of AtlanticCity.com

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