I’ve been poking myself to do blog entries, but  Anne’s been picking up the slack whilst I fret about a certain other conference (for which I’ve also been remiss at blogging–double shame on me!). So, just a quick, gratuitous post. The Guardian is covering this year’s Diagram prize for the year’s oddest book titles. This year’s shortlist:

  • Baboon Metaphysics by Dorothy Dorothy L Cheney and Robert M Seyfarth (University of Chicago Press)
  • Curbside Consultation of the Colon by Brooks D Cash (SLACK Incorporated)
  • The Large Sieve and its Applications by Emmanuel Kowalski (Cambridge University Press)
  • Strip and Knit with Style by Mark Hordyszynski (C&T)
  • Techniques for Corrosion Monitoring by Lietai Yang (Woodhead)
  • The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais by Professor Philip M Parker (Icon Group International)

(Is it just because I’m Chinese that I don’t understand what’s so funny about “Techniques for Corrosion Monitoring”?)

So–what are your nominations for the oddest book titles written in or on the long 19th century? My fave is Peter Lund Simmonds’ Waste Products and Undeveloped Substances: Or, Hints for Enterprise in Neglected Fields (1862). Elaine Freedgood brought a copy into class, and pointed out that there’s an index entry on “Bile, economic use of.” It’s on Google Books, and the book adverts at the back are well worth perusing for other nominees.