"Fresh Cheese" Wins Award

The Man Booker Prize for fiction, first awarded in 1969, “promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year.”

Aravind Adiga won the 2008 Booker Prize for his debut novel, “The White Tiger”. Everyone knows about this prize for literature.

I recently learnt that there is another literary award, not so well known, and not even concerned with what is actually written in the book itself. It is awarded for the title of the book. And the weirder the title- the better!

The prize for oddest book title of 2008 was declared last week. It was awarded to “The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais,” It is written by Philip M. Parker. ‘Fromage Frais’ literally means ‘fresh cheese’.

The cheese book defeated other off beat titles such as “Baboon Metaphysics” and “Techniques for Corrosion Monitoring.” Parker’s book claimed first place with 32 percent of the 5,034 votes cast on theBookseller.com.

The Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year is sponsored by The Bookseller magazine. It began in 1978 “as a way for Bruce Robertson, co-founder of the Diagram Group, an information and graphics company based in London, to combat his ennui at the Frankfurt Book Fair.”

“It is hardly the Nobel Prize in Literature. But following well-established awards practice, Philip Stone, the magazine’s charts editor and “awards administrator,” released a congratulatory statement on Thursday.”

Last year, there was a poll to decide the weirdest-ever winner of Britain’s Diagram Prize. The oddest book title of the past 30 years was “Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers.”

A book titled “People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead” was the runner-up. “How To Avoid Huge Ships” was placed third.

Rules for the prize, launched in 1978, say the books must be serious and their titles not merely a gimmick. “Greek Rural Postmen” was published in 1994 by a British stamp-collecting organisation.

Its co-author, Derek Willan, said he didn’t consider the title odd.



  1. I’ve learnt something new today…I knew there was an award for the worst sex scene/description but the award for oddest title seems more interesting…


  2. Vinodji, Bones,- There were some really odd titles listed such as- “Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice” and “How Green Were the Nazis”!


  3. Mavin- I was thinking of writing a serious post because I had heard that a few Indian writers had been nominated for the International Booker Prize. I googled “literary awards” and found this. 🙂


  4. well guess what? I voted for techniques of corrosion monitoring but in the cateogry of Diagram prize! [did not look at result actually!]afterall I am a corrosion engineer 😛


  5. didnt know about lot of this:)thanks for sharing:)I was also like ”where did you get these info from?”such off beat ones:)and great new info:)


  6. Solilo- Are those the awards for “worst actor”, etc?Sahaja- A corrosion engineer, eh? I would never had thought so. I always imagine you as being in an artistic profession! :)Indyeah- This is the first I’ve read about these awards, too!


  7. The Wheelchair Kamikaze- Hi Marc! Of course this is completely useless information, but you have to admit it’s interesting! :)Gopinathji- Thank you! Some of the titles are creative, aren’t they?


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