Great Literary Titles

Jason English

Here was the shortlist:

  • How Green Were the Nazis?
  • Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Seaweed Symposium
  • Better Never To Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence
  • D. Di Mascio's Delicious Ice Cream: D. Di Mascio of Coventry: An Ice Cream Company of Repute, with an Interesting and Varied Fleet of Ice Cream Vans
  • The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification
  • Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan

The prize, of course, was The Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year, awarded annually since 1978 by British magazine The Bookseller. Past winners include Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice (1978), How to Sh*t in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art (1989), How to Avoid Huge Ships (1992), and People Who Don't Know They're Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It (2005).

As you may have guessed from the photo, The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America brought home the statue last month.

Now is the part where I ask you to leave a comment with the most obscure, hilarious, awful or brilliant book title you've ever seen. Make us proud; make us laugh.