Passing Book Judgements
Don’t get me wrong, I have some wonderful books on my bedside bookshelf, recent tomes with great and intriguing titles like The Illegal by Lawrence Hill, Avenue Of Mysteries by John Irving and The Road To Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson.
But seriously ... The Joy Of Uncircumcising! Books are supposed to be written to enlighten and entertain. They are not designed to make men cross their legs until the sympathetic pain goes away. A title like that makes a man want to put that book back on the shelf and quickly replace it with CASTRATION - The Advantages and Disadvantages. I had no idea the market for male mutilation books was so popular. (Believe it or not, Goodbye Testicles is an illustrated children’s book that explains why Sparky wasn’t feeling so hot the day he got back from the vet’s.)
Great books like A Fine Balance, Barney’s Version and Larry’s Party have challenged for the Giller Prize. On the other hand, the Diagram Prize in Britain attracts the real odd ducks like Dandelions, Cream Sickles And Dope. Also How To Poo On A Date. That last title can be taken two ways, both gross but one being way worse than the other. The Diagram Prize for book titles was founded in 1978 at the Frankfurt Book Fair with the winner being Proceedings Of The Second International Workshop On Nude Mice.
How about I Was Tortured By The Pygmy Love Queen, which I can only guess is something Keith Richards pays $200 for every Thursday afternoon. You don’t have to read Cheese Problems Solved. Assuming it’s true, you can sleep better knowing that the curds and whey are getting along like two coagulating proteins on a warm Petri dish. Bottom line? Odd and convoluted book titles now have their own award shows.
Strange book titles seem to come in themes with Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop going up against Pigeon Lofts Of North America in the same year. Also putting a lot of pressure on the judges were Male Genitalia Of Butterflies Of The Balkan Peninsula, The Life And Times Of The Penis and The Joy Of Sex: Pocket Edition with the last one begging the age-old question “...or are you just happy to see me?”
How Tea Cozies Changed The World would likely attract the same strange but small audience as Squid Recruitment Dynamics and How To Sharpen Pencils. Greek Rural Postmen And Their Cancellation NumbersGhas no appeal whatsoever except to my brother-in-law Danny who has requested a signed copy inscribed “To a fellow postie who also hates it when they change the damn numbers.”
In the publishing house of hobbies and crafts you really need to be an avid gardener to appreciate the composted guide titled The Humanure Handbook. (This is where the horse follows you around with a shovel.) Knitting Historical Figures sounds boring while Still Stripping really is boring because it’s a ‘how to’ book about quilting.
I imagine the reader who would buy What’s Wrong With My Snake might also purchase How To Make Your own Shoes. And Ragnar’s Guide To Home And Recreational Use Of High Explosives should never be given to your out-of-work brother-in-law who drinks a bit, and might have something to celebrate.
The Stray Shopping Carts Of Eastern North America may not get your attention but Fart Proudly - Writings Of Benjamin Franklin You Never Read In School is turning a few heads. And it’s safe to say that You Are Worthless was not written by motivational guru Tony Robbins. Sorry, but some books should be definitely judged by their covers. And not read.
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