Saturday, February 22, 2014

Cats, poo, trout, pies and God battle for the oddest book title of the year

A book about working-class cats will compete with a guide about toilet etiquette during a date for one of the most sought-after prizes in this year’s literary calendar.

As the shortlist of the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year was unveiled, its organiser said 2014 was one of the strongest vintages in the award’s 35-year history. Horace Bent, custodian of the prize, said: “It is a truly inspiring list celebrating the art of title-making that goes from the sublime to the fantastic.

"It runs the gamut from a book with a Darwinian pun and a very liberal sprinkling of the S-bomb within its pages, to a title that hints at the heretofore unreported class struggle amongst the moggies of the Big Apple.” Working Class Cats: The Bodega Cats of New York City by Chris Balsiger and Erin Canning will vie with another animal-based work entitled Are Trout South African? by Duncan Brown.

There are two toilet-themed books on the shortlist, Origin Of Feces [sic] by David Walter-Toews and How To Poo On A Date by Mats and Enzo. Jo Packham examines how pies can capture the story of a life in Pie-ography: Where Pie Meets Biography, exploring "the biography of a woman's life told through the ingredients that create a slice – a taste – of her life in a pie". The final work on the six-strong shortlist is Ian Punnett’s How To Pray When You’re Pissed At God. The winner will be chosen by a public vote and announced on 21 March.

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