The 2009 Diagram Prize: A Prequel

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<p><i>Advances in Potato Chemistry and Technology</i>, <i>Collectible Spoons of the Third Reich </i>and <i>An Intellectual History of Cannibalism</i> are just three of&nbsp;the record-breaking number of submissions for the<b> 2009 Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year</b>.</p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">And we have <b><a href="http://twitter.com/HoraceBent">Twitter</a> </b>to thank for that.</p>
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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">In total, I received 90 submissions &mdash; almost three times as many as I received last year (32) &mdash; and 50 of the 90 submissions came via Twitter.</p>
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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">However, the correlation between number of submissions and number of submissions of an inferior quality proved to be a strong one, as my incredibly scientifiv graph below shows:</p>
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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><img src="" style="width: 203px; height: 190px;" alt="" /></p>
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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">Numerous submissions, somewhat unfortunately, had to be excluded, including: <i>Sketches of a Few Jellyfish </i>(1880), <i>On Sledge and Horseback to Outcast Siberian Lepers </i>(1895), and <i>The Sacrosanct Foreskin of Christ in the Cult and Theology of the Papish Church of Berlin</i> (1907), for being too old, while <i>Motorcycles, Rare Frogs and Water Shrew Habitat of Kanaka Creek </i>and <i>The Religious Psycho Killer&rsquo;s Shit List</i>, were excluded for falling foul of the prize&rsquo;s harsh-but-fair &ldquo;properly published&rdquo; criteria &ndash; we don&rsquo;t want someone uploading an oddly-titled few pages of illiterate ramblings to AuthorHouse and then running away with the world&rsquo;s most prestigious literary award, after all.</p>
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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">But after much research into publication dates and publishing houses, I have finally managed to whittle down the 90 submissions into an incredibly-long list of 49 titles.</p>
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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">What happens now is that I and a panel of the UK book trade&rsquo;s brightest minds will attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff and, over the coming days, come up with a much shorter list of oddly-titled world literature. Call it a shortlist, if you insist.</p>
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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">The three titles mentioned at the beginning of this blog are all in with a strong chance of making the shortlist, as is <i>The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin</i>, <i>Dental Management of Sleep Disorders</i> and<i> Mickey Mouse, Hitler and Nazi Germany</i>.</p>
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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">I am delighted to report that SLACK Inc have received two nominations this year: <i>The Changing World of Inflammatory Bowel Disease </i>and <i>Curbside Consultation in Cornea and External Disease </i>&ndash; an eye-poppingly good companion to last year&rsquo;s laugh-riot, <i>Curbside Consultation of the Colon</i>.</p>
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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><img alt="" style="width: 128px; height: 180px;" src="" /></p>
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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">VDM (Verlag Dr M&uuml;ller), the academic research publisher, has also received two submissions: <i>Food Digestion and Thermal Preference of Toad </i>and <i>Map-based Comparative Genomics in Legumes </i>&ndash; both of which are available at under &pound;75 a pop. Super.</p>
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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">The public penchant for the profane remains. How else to explain the appearance of <i>The Origin of Faeces</i>, <i>Peek-a-poo: What&rsquo;s in Your Diaper?</i>, <i>Venus Does Adonis While Apollo Shags a Tree</i>, <i>Father Christmas Needs a Wee</i>, and<i> Is the Rectum a Grave</i>? on the Very Longlist?</p>
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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">One day I foresee a great tragedy when the ONLY submissions are books with titles that can be read as double-entendres for the male organ. Or contain the word &ldquo;poo&rdquo;. Don&rsquo;t make me cancel the prize again, dear readers!</p>
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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">Anyway . . .</p>
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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">Tune in on Friday 19<sup>th</sup> February for the announcement of the shortlist for&nbsp;<b>The&nbsp;Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year</b>. Until then, happy <s>recession</s> economic recovery!</p>
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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><a href="http://twitter.com/HoraceBent"><b>Follow me on Twitter if, you&nbsp;know, you&nbsp;want to and stuff</b></a>.</p>