Thursday, February 11, 2010

"Map-Based Comparative Genomics in Legumes"

No, you have not suddenly found yourself at a blog dealing with the outer fringes of scientific research. The title above is one of this year's entrants in an eagerly awaited contest in bookworld: "The Bookseller/Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year." Administered by the remarkable Horace Bent, a columnist/blogger with the British publication, The Bookseller, this annual award has, since 1978, brought to international attention publications which have taught us such things as How to Avoid Huge Ships and Bombproof Your Horse, as well as the finer points of Living With Crazy Buttocks. As usual, the competition this year is fierce and unrelenting, with choices such as Bondage for Beginners, Collectible Spoons of the Third Reich, Dental Management of Sleep Disorders and Father Christmas Needs a Wee. And unlike many other hoity-toity literary prizes, with this one the public is invited -- nay, encouraged -- to help pick the winner. All you have to do is click on the ballot, check off as many or as few choices as you want and click on "done." It's your chance to help confer a unique and -- judging by the number of weird book titles out there -- highly coveted honor.

By the way, the Diagram Prize has now itself become the subject of a book which is titled, Do-It-Yourself Brain Surgery and Other Implausibly Titled Books. It's available at Accent on Books.

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