Diagram Prize of the Oddest Book Title of the Year

This really is one of my favourite literary prizes and it just so happens I am the proud owner of at least one of these titles – more about that later.

The Diagram Prize is run by Horace Bent of The Bookseller who said, “It remains a great honour to represent a prize that draws attention to authors not called Hilary Mantel.” 

Fighting it out for a bottle of claret is the shortlist of six titles for 2013 :


Was Hitler Ill? by Hans-Joachim Neumann and Henrik Eberle – ?Apologists for Hitler. The authors speculate on whether Hitler was  fully responsible for his crimes. We’ve got it on order, you can place a Hold on it.


Lofts of North America: Pigeon Lofts by Jerry Gagne. For hard-core pigeon fanciers only.


God’s Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis by Tom Hickman. One to get the book banners out in force. We don’t have this one in the library, but we do have Dick : a guide to the penis for men and women.

Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop by Reginald Bakeley. My friend Catherine has enough trouble keeping foxes and quolls out of her chook house, never mind having to worry about Goblins. One’s author seem to be a cultivated type.


How Tea Cosies Changed the World by Loani Prior. This is a comprehensive and inspirational guide to the humble tea cosy.

The Library’s copy can be found on the Adult Non Fiction shelves at 746.43 PRI. You could also give Really wild tea cosies and Wild tea cosies : 24 patterns with step-by-step instructions a go.

I love Loani’s work. I am the proud creator of the tea cosie you see there on the cover of How Tea Cosies Changed the World, knitted by me. I learned all sorts of new tricks, including knitting with two round needles. I now own all three of Loani’s books and in this, my 50th year, I am busy knitting mad tea cosies for my friends who are also hitting the big 5-0. I am working on a Carmen Miranda inspired confection with fruit and feathers at the moment. Well, what else do you give women who have everything?


How to Sharpen Pencils by David Rees. Absolutely essential reading if you intend to go off-piste and don’t know where your next pencil sharpener might be.

The winner will be announced on 22 March but in the meantine you can vote for your favourite shortlisted title here.

A list of previous winners can be seen here.

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