Saturday, 23 March 2013

Australian author comes second in prestigious book prize

Queensland author Loani Prior has narrowly missed out on giving Australia its second successive victory in The Bookseller publishing trade journal's prestigious Diagram Prize. Ms Prior's How Tea Cosies Changed the World received 31% of the votes cast in the competition to choose the Oddest Book Title of the year just behind the winning Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop with 38%. Last year the Australian published Cooking with Poo was a clear-cut winner.


Horace Bent, The Bookseller's diarist and custodian of the prize, said: "In Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop the public have chosen a hugely important work regarding the best way to protect one's fowl from the fairy realm's most bothersome creatures. Everyone knows well the hazards cats, dogs and foxes hold for owners of chickens, not to mention red mite, but the public has recognised the need to illuminate this hitherto under-reported nuisance."

Bent added: "It is perhaps no coincidence in these austere times that a book aimed to assist members of the public frugally farming their own produce proved the most popular title on our six-strong shortlist. It also illustrates that the public at large is afflicted by an incredible amount of paranoia regarding the threat foreign invaders pose to their property."

The book, published by Conari Press, was written by Reginald Bakeley, with a foreword by its US editor Clint Marsh.

Marsh 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."

The full shortlist of this year's entries and their share of the vote:

1) Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop by Reginald Bakeley (Conari Press) 38%

2) How Tea Cosies Changed the World by Loani Prior (Murdoch Books) 31%

3) God's Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis by Tom Hickman (Square
Peg) 14%

4) How to Sharpen Pencils by David Rees (Melville House) 13%

5) Was Hitler Ill? by Hans-Joachim Neumann and Henrik Eberle (Polity Press)
3%

6) Lofts of North America: Pigeon Lofts by Jerry Gagne (Foy's Pet Supplies)
1%

Winners of the prize in previous years include Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers, Highlights in the History of Concrete, Bombproof Your Horse and A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian.
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