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How Tea Cosies Changed the World and Was Hitler Ill? up for oddest book title of the year prize

22nd February 2013

Studies of Adolf Hitler's health, pigeon housing and the aesthetic value of tea cosies are among the titles chosen for the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year.

The six-strong shortlist, published today, is a celebration of the quirkiest and most unexpected book titles from the last year.

Was Hitler Ill? by Hans-Joachim Neumann and Henrik Eberle sits alongside Lofts of North America: Pigeon Lofts by Jerry Gagne and God's Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis by Tom Hickman.

Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop by Reginald Bakeley, How Tea Cosies Changed the World by Loani Prior and David Rees' How to Sharpen Pencils complete the shortlist.

All six books will now compete for the annual award, which is run by the Bookseller, voted for by the public and celebrates its 35th birthday this year.

Previous winners of the award include Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers, How to Avoid Huge Ships, Living with Crazy Buttocks and Cooking with Poo.

Many of the nominated books have gone on to enjoy significant commercial success, the most notable being Marina Lewkyca's A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, which has sold almost one million copies to date.

Philip Stone, the Diagram Prize co-ordinator, said: 'People might think this prize is just a bit of fun, but I think it draws welcome attention to an undervalued art.

'Publishers and booksellers know only too well that a title can make all the difference to the sales of a book.'

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