of terrible titles, and hockey

INTERN is too depressed after belatedly hearing the results of the Canada/US Olympic men's hockey game on Sunday to write an actual post today, so instead please find below the shortlist for the Bookseller/Diagram Prize in recognition of the worst book title. (via The Bookseller)

INTERN's vote is for number 5 in the list!

• David Crompton's Afterthoughts of a Worm Hunter

• James A Yannes' Collectible Spoons of the Third Reich

• Daina Taimina's Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes

• Ronald C Arkin's Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots

• Ellen Scherl and Maria Dubinsky's The Changing World of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

• Tara Jansen-Meyer's What Kind of Bean is This Chihuahua?


The Diagram Prize was established in 1978 to provide entertainment at the Frankfurt Book Fair (thanks Wikipedia!) and the first (and possibly the best) winner was an attractive little volume entitled Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice. Results of this year's prize are announced on March 26!

Comments

  1. I actually like 'Afterthoughts of a Worm Hunter', it is intriguing.

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  2. Oh, Intern is Canadian! Tonight is going MUCH better though, isn't it? 6-1 so far!

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  3. What's wrong with "Collectible Spoons of the Third Reich"? It has history, it has a hook, it has collectible spoons... I'm sold.

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  4. Inflammatory Bowel Disease??? Hope that wins! :D

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  5. I attended a writer intensive this past weekend. One of the speakers stated: "Publishers really don't have a clue what makes a best seller. The just throw 100 books against the wall. If one title sticks, bonus. If not, they throw the next 100."

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  6. It may not be a catchy title, but 'Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots' scares the bejeezus out of me. I half want to read it, half want to start bowing to our potential robot overlords.

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  7. Feel free to laugh, but I'm so glad this post brought Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes to my attention! I went through a whole period of experimenting with that after seeing an Interweave Crochet article and then the Crochet Coral Reef project on exhibit. (Every kind of geekery finds its niche in the ecosystem somewhere.)

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  8. Taimina's work has appeared in museum exhibits and was featured in an article in Discover magazine a couple of years back. My husband's doctoral thesis involved hyperbolic space, and this is a wonderful way of representing it, where equations literally do not do it justice.

    In a separate note, given the trope of a robot uprising, I think governing their lethal behavior is probably an excellent idea.

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  9. Afterthoughts of a Worm Hunter: I should've brought a bigger gun.

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  10. Fear not, dear INTERN! Crosby & Co. shall overcome!

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  11. I'm American, but I was depressed, too :(. That sucks for Canada that their dream of 30 home medals has been crushed. Also, that's like us getting beaten in baseball... or some kind of obesity contest. Tragic!

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  12. I put the words "Inflammatory Bowel Disease" into my novel's title just to give it that special... something. Good to know I'm on the right track!

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  13. If 1 & 2 were fiction, I think they'd be pretty cool - I'd want to pick them up just to find out what on earth they were about. Sort of like "how to eat fried worms".

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  14. Well, since I have colitis I'm gonna have to second you on number 5. Though Collectible Spoons of the Third Reich was a hoot.

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  15. Abebooks has its Weird Book Room (http://www.abebooks.com/books/weird/index.shtml)...right now they're featuring a title called "Love and Sex with Robots", which kind of goes well with #4.

    My vote's on Collectible Spoons, too. Now we know why they had all those scrap metal drives for the war effort.

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  16. Actually, INTERN is Canucko-Yankee hybrid, but when it comes to hockey she is solidly on Team Canada! It upsets the natural order of things when Canada loses at hockey...like the strange weather in Macbeth.

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  17. My favourite from my last job was 'Getting rid of Gout'

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  18. Yay Canada!
    Yay Worm-hunters!
    Yay hybrids!
    Yay Canada vs. Russia so far!
    Yay!

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  19. I really want to read that robot book.

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  20. Canada has as many gold medals as USA and Germany!?! wah-hoo!

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  21. Daina Taimina's 'Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes' perfectly describes what the book is about.

    Her work has been featured in numerous craft and mathematics magazines and journals.

    Far from being a bad title, it's a great title.

    I also don't see what's wrong with 'Changing World of Inflammatory Bowel Disease,' unless this list was made up by 14-year-old boys who find the very existence of bowels to be hilarious.

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  22. Take heart, Intern dear. Who cares what a bunch of overpaid NHLers do when the gold medals have so rightfully been hung about the necks of the Canadian women?

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  23. INTERN must be happy that the natural order has been restored this afternoon :-)

    Trouble is, I guess this would not be a good week for a Canadian author to be querying U.S. agents...

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  24. What the Frak! Are you... me?

    Canadian intern trying to do the publishing thing. Goes from internship to internship with nary a publisher willing to pay for services. Worries about finding a visa to work legally in New York. Fears having to move to Toronto. Neglects to read manuscripts due to various causes of depression over US/Canada hockey match, and patriotic frenzy due to US/Canada hockey match.

    Sweet teacups. You even look like me. I'm actually frightened.

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  25. I think Afterthoughts of a Worm hunter should win - but I did suggest the title for the prize so I might be bias!

    I really enjoy reading your blog :)

    Jessica

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  26. You mean to say you AREN'T an Autonomous Robot? Canadian-Yankee-Robot Hybrid?

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