Never ones to concede the limelight to Hollywood’s Academy Awards, the readers of The Bookseller magazine have been indulging themselves with their annual vote for “oddest book title of the year”.
This year’s #1 is “People Who Don't Know They're Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It” – surely a deserving winner, even if it is also a strong contender for “Premise most transparently ripped off from a movie”. It is after all quite possible that the unworldly souls who spend their lives breathing the dry dust of the nation’s bookshelves have never even heard of M Night Shyamalan.
In victory this tome joins such timeless classics as “How to Bombproof Your Horse” and “How to Avoid Huge Ships” - a pair that neatly summates all we need to know about the common sense and intelligence of their target audiences.
Michael Karber, president of its American publisher, Red Wheel, said yesterday: "With the notoriety that comes with this award we're now considering making this book part of a series.
"Future titles under consideration include “People Who Don't Know They're Stupid”, “People Who Don't Know They're Fat” and “People Who Don't Know They Don't Know How to Read”.
Unfortunately, “People who Don’t Know that they’re Shameless Embarrassments to the Publishing Profession” does not appear to be under consideration.
What’s your choice for oddest book title?
“How to Avoid Huge Ships”, yesterday. “Lacks criteria for discerning between huge ships and merely really big ships… Some well-designed lists, charts or colorful pop-up sections would have been nice for readers who were unsure what size of ship they were avoiding” says Terry of Wisconsin. You can’t please some people…