The oddest book of the year

March 27th, 2009 - 12:07 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

The year’s oddest book title, after a heavyweight study of the future of soft cheese has won Britain’s annual competition.

‘The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais,’ by Philip M. Parker won the Diagram Prize, awarded Friday by trade magazine The Bookseller.

The runner-up was primate study ‘Baboon Metaphysics,’ by Dorothy L. Cheney and Robert M. Seyfarth.

Horace Bent, who runs the award, said Parker’s volume was a surprise winner given the competition from racier-sounding finalists like ‘Curbside Consultation of the Colon’ - a medical manual - and hobby handbook ‘Strip and Knit With Style.’

Mr Bent said ‘Fromage Frais’ was a worthy winner that had ‘turned the supermarket chiller into the petri dish of literary innovation.’ Fromage frais - literally ‘fresh cheese’ - is a dairy product that originated in France and has a similar consistency to sour cream. The book is a 188-page study of the global retail market for the product.

Parker’s book is published by Icon Group and sells for US$795.

This year’s other finalists were ‘The Large Sieve and its Applications’ and ‘Techniques for Corrosion Monitoring.’ Previous winners include ‘Bombproof Your Horse,’ ‘Living With Crazy Buttocks’ and ‘People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It.’

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