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Shopping trolley book scoops oddest title gong April 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Books.

A guide to the different types of abandoned shopping trolleys has won the Diagram Prize for oddest book title of the year, following an online vote in an industry publication.

The book, The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification by Julian Montague, secured 1,866 out of a total of more than 5,500 votes from a six-strong short-list.

In second place was Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan with 1,365 votes; third was Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence with 685 votes.

In a statement announcing the winner, industry publication The Bookseller said the winner “joins a noble pantheon of Diagram winners, perhaps closest in spirit to those rural guides How To Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art (1989) and Weeds in a Changing World (1999)”.

“In the fine tradition of the prize ‘going on title alone’ I have not yet read my copy of Montague’s tome,” Horace Bent said, diarist at The Bookseller. But he says his appetite has been whetted by a review on online retailer Amazon that described it as “one of the most complete and well thought-out works I have ever encountered”.

Montague himself says he is surprised to have won the accolade. “I was so deeply into the project that I was a little number to the fact that the title could surprise other people,” he was quoted by Britain’s The Independent newspaper as saying.

Last year’s winner was People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves To Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About it.

The competition has been running since 1978, when the winner was Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice. The nominations are made by publishers, booksellers and librarians from around the world.

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