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Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop hailed oddest book title

Anti-fairy guide wins prestigious literary award

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The splendidly titled Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop has won The Bookseller's Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year.

Reginald Bakeley's winning tome, which also offers "Other Practical Advice In Our Campaign Against The Fairy Kingdom", took 38 per cent of an online public vote. Loani Prior's How Tea Cosies Changed the World was second with 31 per cent, while God's Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis earned author Tom Hickman third place, with 14 per cent

The also-rans in this year's odd title showdown were How to Sharpen Pencils, Was Hitler Ill? and Lofts of North America: Pigeon Lofts.

Clint Marsh, the US editor of Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop, said: "On behalf of Reginald Bakeley and Conari Press, I am honoured to accept this award. The Diagram Prize celebrates the playfulness that is at the heart of much of the world's best book publishing. Thank you to everyone who voted and allowed Goblinproofing to join the distinguished list of Diagram winners. Reginald and I take this as a clear sign that people have had enough of goblins in their chicken coops. Our campaign against the fairy kingdom continues."

In the 35 years since "first being founded as a way to avoid boredom at the annual Frankfurt Book Fair", the Diagram Prize's list of distinguished winners has included Highlights in the History of Concrete, Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers and Bombproof Your Horse.

The honour's administrator, Philip Stone, noted: "People might think the Diagram Prize is just a bit of fun, but it spotlights an undervalued art that can make or break a work of literature. Books such as A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time all owe a sizeable part of their huge successes to their odd monikers." ®

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