Friday, February 05, 2010
Okay, I am going to say it. The Diagram/Bookseller prize for oddest book title of the year annoys me. I think odd books titles are interesting. But they generally pick a lot of plain descriptive titles for niche books. So they are actually laughing at the book, its topic and/or its readership.
This year's long list, for example includes: Budgeting for Infertility. People can't have kids. Fertility treatments cost a fortune and your insurance company probably won't pay for it. The adoption process isn't free either and there are dozens of scams aiming to fleece would be parents. Isn't it odd some people can't have kids and don't have huge stacks of money to throw around.
There is also Dental Management of Sleep Disorders. What is odd here? Is it that people have sleep disorders that can ruin their health? Is it that dentists are real medical professions who have a crucial role in diagnosing and treating these disorders--sometimes even saving someone's life?
Oh and The Changing World of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Is it just considered odd to mention bowels, because we are all too immature to accept that anyone, anywhere can have a serious conversation about the latter portion of the digestive tract? Why on earth should anyone write a book about ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. The half million people in the US suffering from these painful and debilitating conditions should just stay quiet about it rather than do odd things like publish books with the word "bowel" in them, or just accept that their condition--which often causes deep depression, is never going to change?
The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin? Um, they do make cheese in Wisconsin, damn good cheese. Bondage for Beginners? Not everyone gets started by being abducted by a passing sheik. The True History of Tea. Um, I am sure it has one. Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes, so a lot of crafters know geometry--why shouldn't they? Advances in Potato Chemistry and Technology... need I go on?
Really, Booksellers, make a bit more of an effort to find some truly odd names. Not just point and laugh at any title that makes a passing reference to poop or potatoes.