Often I fawn in abject admiration at a very good publishing idea. Sometimes I own up to it. This is one. I am normally allergic to awards (horrible food in underground ballrooms, frocks like tents, Spitting Image old newsreaders making rentaspeeches etc.) and would normally only put on a dinner jacket for an East End boxing night, but the Bookseller’s Diagram Award for Oddest Book Title of the Year more than merits a trip to Moss Bros.
The shortlist includes such gems as ‘I was Tortured by the Pygmy Love Queen,’ ‘People who Mattered in Southend and Beyond: from King Canute to Dr. Feelgood,’ ‘How to Write a How to Write Book,’ ‘Cheese Problems Solved’ and ‘Are Women Human?’ Regrettably, none of these titles were offered to Prospect to review. ‘If You Want Closure in your Relationship, Start With Your Legs,’ the last title on the shortlist, would certainly appeal to the sensible bluestockings who own up to reading our magazine and we often debate cheese problems, so publicists are clearly missing a trick. You can vote online for this joyous initiative and I urge you to do so.
Perhaps we can start an award for the oddest named shops that could equally be book titles. My favourites, seen on a recent trip oop north, are ‘The World of Living Fires,’ ‘The House of Shoes’ and ‘The Booze Nest.’ ‘Wig World’ on Stroud Green Road would encourage me to ‘live a little’ with its permanent 3 wigs for a tenner special offer. I can feel an Odd Book coming on . . . ‘The Folk Art of Ice Cream Vans cries out to be published’ . . .Stop me before I go to lulu.com.