Join 3,418 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The Joy of Chickens?
August 29, 2008 6:37 PM   Subscribe

The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories needs your vote.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year, The Bookseller is pleased to announce the "Diagram of Diagrams" – a public vote to find the oddest book title of the past 30 years.
Direct link to poll page is here. There are only a few days left to do your part for world-wide (literary) democracy!
posted by yhbc (40 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sorry, I had to vote for How To Avoid Huge Ships.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:44 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was just coming here to report what lentrohamsanin said.
posted by ORthey at 6:46 PM on August 29, 2008


Yeah, me too. Wow!
posted by lampoil at 6:52 PM on August 29, 2008


Is this where we talk about the joys and sorrows of living with crazy buttocks? Because I'm ready to testify!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:54 PM on August 29, 2008


I don't want to (totally) spoil it for any non-voters, but as of right now, none of the titles mentioned so far are actually leading the polling ...
posted by yhbc at 6:59 PM on August 29, 2008


I was very disappointed, though it seems obvious in retrospect, that Bombproof Your Horse has nothing at all to do with explosives. I was forced to vote for my second choice, How To Avoid Huge Ships (which seems to deliver exactly what it promises).
posted by ssg at 7:09 PM on August 29, 2008


How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art

I own that book!
posted by jessamyn at 7:12 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


I own that book!

God, do I ever wish I owned How to Avoid Huge Ships.
posted by ORthey at 7:19 PM on August 29, 2008


The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories

Me vote for Lesbian horse stories? I don't think so. No Mr. Hands story no vote!
posted by MikeMc at 7:21 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the big grin yhbc. Wonderfully ridiculous.

My vote goes for
People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It
posted by nickyskye at 7:31 PM on August 29, 2008


Fraud! Fraud, I say!

I was going to vote for, and possibly buy, Bombproof Your Horse. However, the full title turns out to be Bombproof Your Horse: Teach Your Horse to Be Confident, Obedient, and Safe, No Matter What You Encounter.
posted by CKmtl at 7:37 PM on August 29, 2008


How to Avoid Huge Ships is my winner, but followed in a close second by Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality. Third place: Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers . Some of these I would disqualify because they're obviously tongue in cheek, or obviously using inside-baseball jargon regarding a particular field.
posted by zardoz at 7:43 PM on August 29, 2008


Anyone have a copy of The Theory of Lengthwise Rolling?
posted by Songdog at 7:46 PM on August 29, 2008


I was reading the list out loud to my otherh alf, and found that I couldn't read "The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification" without laughing too hard to speak. I think it took me five times to finally get it all out.
posted by evilangela at 7:50 PM on August 29, 2008


How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art

I own that book!
posted by jessamyn at 7:12 PM on August 29 [1 favorite +] [!]


saw that in a catalog a few years ago and almost bought it, just so I could leave it on the table when my mother in law came by
posted by timsteil at 8:02 PM on August 29, 2008


It's interesting that we all (well, mostly) went for the Huge Ships one, crazy without trying too hard. To me, the other titles were like Dane Cook and Carlos Mencia, whereas How to Avoid Huge Ships is the Mitch Hedberg of strange book titles.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 8:09 PM on August 29, 2008


Anyone have a copy of The Theory of Lengthwise Rolling?

Seems to be related to industrial processes rather than any form of lengthwise rolling most on Metafilter would care about.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:11 PM on August 29, 2008


"How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art "

I can't bear the thought.
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 8:53 PM on August 29, 2008


According to Amazon, customers who bought How To Avoid Huge Ships also bought The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide To Field Identification, which is, I think, a much more interesting read.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:02 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I had to listen to my conscience, and went with Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality. I also voted for the title.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:18 PM on August 29, 2008


I am shocked, shocked, at the glaring omission of 2000's How to Good-Bye Depression: If You Constrict Anus 100 Times Everyday. Malarkey? or Effective Way? Seriously, this lost out to High Performance Stiffened Structures?
posted by darksasami at 9:34 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Dude, chill out. Relax, have a beer, constrict anus 100 times, and you won't feel so upset.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:47 PM on August 29, 2008


I'm trying, but I think there's a high performance stiffened structure in the way.
posted by darksasami at 10:00 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Butterworths Corporate Manslaughter Service" would be a great title for a for-real thriller novel.
posted by The Shiny Thing at 10:37 PM on August 29, 2008


Speaking as someone who owns at least ten books about manhole covers, I fail to see what's so odd about The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide To Field Identification. Which I also have a copy of. *cough*

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go order a copy of that Greek Rural Postmen book and start a new hobby...
posted by hades at 10:39 PM on August 29, 2008


I had to go with How to Avoid Large Ships. A lot of them (particularly the more recent ones) sounded like they were trying to have odd titles, which invalidates them, IMO.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:41 PM on August 29, 2008


I don't know why, but Versailles: The View From Sweden is really calling to me.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:00 AM on August 30, 2008


I have to go w How to Avoid Large Ships as well. The Lesbian Horse Stories book is too obvious - and too deliberate. How to Avoid Large Ships sounds like a Monty Python sketch.

"This icebreaker is quite large. Avoiding it will be difficult. But see how Mr. R. Haggis of Brimley carries it off."
posted by Naberius at 12:23 AM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I tried to buy Ships for a friend a few years ago, but it was out of print *sniff*
posted by Iteki at 2:58 AM on August 30, 2008


You could always get your friend a used copy for the low low price of $87.95.

The question is whether this was always a hugely expensive book —as many specialist titles are— or if it became expensive because of the ridiculous title and the fact that Diagram actually used it for the title of their compilation of implausible titles.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:59 AM on August 30, 2008


According to Amazon, customers who bought How To Avoid Huge Ships also bought The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide To Field Identification, which is, I think, a much more interesting read.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:02 AM on August 30


Wow. that is brilliant
posted by photomusic86 at 6:01 AM on August 30, 2008


The question is whether this was always a hugely expensive book —as many specialist titles are— or if it became expensive because of the ridiculous title and the fact that Diagram actually used it for the title of their compilation of implausible titles.

I don't think this tells you much, as many used books on Amazon are ridiculously priced. It doesn't really look like a specialist title though. Container ships do hit small craft from time to time and I'm sure more than a few people would buy a book that tells them how to avoid this (written by a large ship captain, no less).
posted by ssg at 7:10 AM on August 30, 2008


"This book lacks criteria for discerning between huge ships and merely really big ships":

Reviews for How to Avoid Huge Ships.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:17 PM on August 30, 2008


Another Huge Ships vote here. I tried to avoid it, I really did, I almost went with Greek Postmen, and I was tempted by Reusing Old Graves, but I got sucked in by that mighty wake.
posted by languagehat at 1:39 PM on August 30, 2008


And then there's (no kidding, really), Raymond Dull's Mathematics for Engineers, which I have seen in two editions, one with a spine that read "Dull Mathematics for Engineers" and the other which read "Mathematics for Engineers R. Dull".
posted by ubiquity at 4:11 PM on August 30, 2008


See also wendell's FPP from 18 months ago. Reading is fundamental.
posted by not_on_display (in the since-deleted double-post thread) at 4:05 PM on August 30


Thank you not_on. (I can call you that, can't I, Mr. display?)

And if you'd been paying attention back then, you could've bought "Huge Ships" when it was still in print (and a lot less than $87.95, if I recall correctly).
posted by wendell at 9:09 PM on August 30, 2008


^ wendell: Thank you not_on. (I can call you that, can't I, Mr. display?)

Sure you can; all's well that ends well! (speaking of strange book titles.)
posted by not_on_display at 11:10 PM on August 30, 2008


I own a novel by German author Christine Westermann entitled Ich glaube, er hat Schluss gemacht; literally, this is I Believe He Has Reached A Conclusion. I am not sure if this is the oddest book title of any book I own, but it is somehow the most Teutonic.

The oddest thing on my shelf (for me, at least) might be Robert Dery's Business Welsh. Try as I might, I cannot construct a scenario for my future wherein I will have to know the Welsh terms for "amortization rates" or "key performance indicators."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:20 PM on August 31, 2008


wendell, I apologize; I'm surprised that my post wasn't identified (or called out) as a double based on your previous post.
posted by yhbc at 6:08 PM on August 31, 2008


Update: Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers won. What seems to be at a cursory glance the Metafilter favorite, How to Avoid Huge Ships, came in third.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:10 PM on September 7, 2008


« Older [slyt] Hug a developer today....  |  London from above, at night.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments