'Was Hitler Ill' up for quirkiest book title of the year prize

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 22, 2013 08:20 hrs

Was Hitler Ill, How Tea Cosies Changed the World, and Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop, are being short-listed for the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year.

These books will compete Lofts of North America: Pigeon Lofts, God's Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis, and How to Sharpen Pencils, for the annual award, run by trade magazine The Bookseller and voted for by the public.

The shortlist is traditionally a celebration of the quirkiest, most unexpected book titles published in the last year, the Telegraph reported.

The award, now in its 35th year, is aimed at giving much-needed publicity to obscure titles and the "undervalued art" of writing them.

Horace Bent, The Bookseller's diarist responsible for the prize, said the shortlist was "the cream of the curiously-titled crop".

"It remains a great honour of mine to represent a prize that draws attention to authors not called Hilary Mantel that may need a little help in gaining column inches and subsequently entering public consciousness and bookshop bestseller bays," the paper quoted him as saying.

Philip Stone, the Diagram Prize co-ordinator, said he hoped to see the titles in independent bookshops across the country, alongside the "pornographic literature that appears to be keeping the entire book industry in rude health."

"People might think this prize is just a bit of fun, but I think it draws welcome attention to an undervalued art," he said.

The winner will be announced on March 22, with the reader who nominated them receiving a bottle of "fairly passable" claret as a reward. (ANI)

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