Study of soft cheese wins oddest book title award

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Friday, March 27, 2009

The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais has won the Diagram Prize, the British award for the year's oddest book title.

The Philip M. Parker study about the future of soft cheese beat out the runner-up, Baboon Metaphysics, for the annual humorous literary award.

Other contestants this year included the medical manual Curbside Consultation of the Colon and the hobby handbook Strip and Knit With Style.

The Parker book was an 188-page study of the global retail market for fromage frais, which literally means "fresh cheese". Fromage Frais got 32 percent of the 5,034 votes cast by the public for the award. Baboon Metaphysics received 22 percent.

Horace Bent, who runs the competition, said he thought one of the more risque titles would win because four of the last seven winners had vulgar titles: High Performance Stiffened Structures, Living with Crazy Buttocks, The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories and If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs.

"But I'm thrilled that the public steered clear of smut and bestowed the 'odd title' crown on Prof Parker's worthy winner, and turned the supermarket chiller into the Petri dish of literary innovation," Bent said in a statement.

The Diagram Prize was first awarded in 1978, and has been voted on by the public since 2000. Previous winners include People Who Don't Know They're Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It; Bombproof Your Horse; and How to Shit In The Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art.