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Diagram Prize shortlist announced

A Mills & Boon bonkbuster, an examination of the ongoing debate surrounding organ procurement, and a guide to managing a dental practice in a Mongol warlord kind of way, are among the titles vying for the Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of 2010.

The latest instalment of the prestigious literary award, conceived in 1978 as a way to avoid boredom at the annual Frankfurt Book Fair, received a total of 66 submissions, whittled down to a shortlist of six by The Bookseller's diarist and custodian of the prize, Horace Bent.

Bent said: "Compiling a six-strong shortlist from the 66 eccentric entries proved a colossal task. The debate within the panel of judges often turned heated, especially when considering whether a nominee's title was intentionally odd or accidentally odd (which we prefer).

"However, I believe the final six are a formidable six and I very much look forward to discovering which book the public will crown the 31st winner of the Odd Title prize".

The Bookseller's Philip Stone, the Diagram Prize administrator, said: "The award, which celebrates the incredible diversity and richness of the world of publishing, is timely given that hundreds of UK public libraries that loan out some 310m books a year face closure due to the current Government's spending cuts.

"I am appalled at the possibility I may no longer be able to enlighten my mind by nipping down to my local library and leafing through copies of previous Diagram Prize winners such as American Bottom Archaeology, and Highlights in the History of Concrete."

Although no prize is awarded to the author of the winning book, Bent said that last year's winner, Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes, received a big sales boost thanks to the widespread, international coverage of the award: "Before the prize was awarded, Dr Taimina's book was selling just half a dozen copies per week in the US. A week after she picked up my prestigious gong, her book sold an incredible 95 copies in just seven days at $35 a pop. You can't buy that kind of publicity".

Voting will open at www.thebookseller.com later today (18th February 2011) and the winner of the public vote will be announced on Friday, 25th March.

The Shortlist:

8th International Friction Stir Welding Symposium Proceedings
Various authors (TWI)

The Generosity of the Dead
Graciela Nowenstein (Ashgate)

The Italian's One-night Love Child
Cathy Williams (Mills & Boon)

Managing a Dental Practice the Genghis Khan Way
Michael R Young (Radcliffe)

Myth of the Social Volcano
Martin King Whyte (Stanford University Press)

What Color Is Your Dog?
Joel Silverman (Kennel Club)

Comments: Scroll down for the latest comments and to have your say

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Genghis Khan and dentistry might on the face of it appear to be very strange bedfellows. However, as the author states in the Preface, Genghis Khan is one of history's more charismatic and dynamic leaders. It is these self-same qualities that dentists and practice owners in particular need to tap into and acquire if they are to be successful dentists. Everyone of us wants, in fact expects, our dental practice to be well-run, and this is what this book aims to show dentists. As Stephen Hancocks OBE says in his Foreword,'...the reader...will gradually realise as the guidance unfolds, that it is precisely the effectiveness of managing the business of dentistry that then allows it to provide healthcare, oral healthcare, in a considerate, ethical and beneficial way.' Surely everyone of us would vote for that!

Next time you visit your dentist ask them if they are managing their practice the Genghis Khan way.

Vote for 'Managing a Dental Practice - the Genghis Khan way.

Dentistry and Genghis Khan are bedfellows in this neck of the woods.

Some years ago, I went for a simple checkup with a Ms X, who proceeded to attack my mouth with such piledriver ferocity that she knocked out 40 minutes or so of my short-term memory.

I left the surgery in a daze, couldn't find my car, was convinced it had been stolen, called the police...

... at which point, recall kicked in, I found the car, and realised what the ghastly creature had done to me!

As an American, I've always relied upon the English to provide the kind of endearingly eccentric humor so sorely lacking on this side of the pond. Certainly the Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title fits the bill.

But I'm sorry, What Color Is Your Dog? doesn't strike me as terribly odd. Perhaps if it had been What Sign Is Your Dog? or What Religion Is Your Dog? I'd have accepted this submission wholeheartedly, but it simply isn't in the same league as Managing a Dental Practice the Genghis Khan Way or Myth of the Social Volcano.

I don't find The Generosity of the Dead all that odd, either.

Would it be appropriate to close with "Crumbs!"? I'm never sure about these endearingly eccentric English colloquialisms.

Worst shortlist I can remember. The Genghis Khan one wins by default, being the only one on the list that is even remotely odd or amusing.

Agree with Kriss - shortlist is DULL DULL DULL - feel the need to go console myself with some lesbian horse stories

Maybe with all of the texting and twittering hoopla of recent years, people tend to forget the meaningfulness of titles. It seems to me everything gets muddled away - whatever happened to titles like "How to Make Love While Conscious" or "Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers"?

Shame it's too late to enter. I've just been sent an email to advertise "Estonian sock patterns all around the world".

I love 'What Colour Is Your Dog?'. I mean, don't you know already? I suppose it could be aimed at blind people.

Genghis Khan and dentistry might on the face of it appear to be very strange bedfellows. However, as the author states in the Preface, Genghis Khan is one of history's more charismatic and dynamic leaders. It is these self-same qualities that dentists and practice owners in particular need to tap into and acquire if they are to be successful dentists. Everyone of us wants, in fact expects, our dental practice to be well-run, and this is what this book aims to show dentists. As Stephen Hancocks OBE says in his Foreword,'...the reader...will gradually realise as the guidance unfolds, that it is precisely the effectiveness of managing the business of dentistry that then allows it to provide healthcare, oral healthcare, in a considerate, ethical and beneficial way.' Surely everyone of us would vote for that!

Next time you visit your dentist ask them if they are managing their practice the Genghis Khan way.

Vote for 'Managing a Dental Practice - the Genghis Khan way.

Dentistry and Genghis Khan are bedfellows in this neck of the woods.

Some years ago, I went for a simple checkup with a Ms X, who proceeded to attack my mouth with such piledriver ferocity that she knocked out 40 minutes or so of my short-term memory.

I left the surgery in a daze, couldn't find my car, was convinced it had been stolen, called the police...

... at which point, recall kicked in, I found the car, and realised what the ghastly creature had done to me!

As an American, I've always relied upon the English to provide the kind of endearingly eccentric humor so sorely lacking on this side of the pond. Certainly the Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title fits the bill.

But I'm sorry, What Color Is Your Dog? doesn't strike me as terribly odd. Perhaps if it had been What Sign Is Your Dog? or What Religion Is Your Dog? I'd have accepted this submission wholeheartedly, but it simply isn't in the same league as Managing a Dental Practice the Genghis Khan Way or Myth of the Social Volcano.

I don't find The Generosity of the Dead all that odd, either.

Would it be appropriate to close with "Crumbs!"? I'm never sure about these endearingly eccentric English colloquialisms.

Worst shortlist I can remember. The Genghis Khan one wins by default, being the only one on the list that is even remotely odd or amusing.

Agree with Kriss - shortlist is DULL DULL DULL - feel the need to go console myself with some lesbian horse stories

Maybe with all of the texting and twittering hoopla of recent years, people tend to forget the meaningfulness of titles. It seems to me everything gets muddled away - whatever happened to titles like "How to Make Love While Conscious" or "Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers"?

Shame it's too late to enter. I've just been sent an email to advertise "Estonian sock patterns all around the world".

I love 'What Colour Is Your Dog?'. I mean, don't you know already? I suppose it could be aimed at blind people.