If you pay close attention to words and love clever word play, you’ll enjoy The Bookseller, a British trade magazine, and its quirky “oddest book title” contest. I first ran across this contest in 2008 and have looked forward to reading about it ever since.

The shortlist of books (hilarious itself for the content descriptions) vying for the latest Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year was just announced last week. The contestants are:

  • The Changing World of Inflammatory Bowel Disease by Ellen Scherl and Marla Dubinsky (who made it to third place last year with Curbside Consultation of the Colon)
  • Collectible Spoons of the 3rd Reich by James A. Yannes
  • Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes by Daina Taimina
  • Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots by Ronald C. Arkin
  • What Kind of Bean is this Chihuahua? by Tara Jansen-Meyer
  • Afterthoughts of a Worm Hunter by David Crompton.

Horace Bent, custodian of the prestigious prize, says he received a record number of entries this year, many via Twitter (find him at @HoraceBent). I don’t find the entries are nearly as funny as in previous years, but maybe that’s just me.

Vote for your favourite title (scroll down to the poll on the left side), and watch for news of the winning title on Friday, March 26.