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Weird book titles

1 October, 2009

Trying to get your manuscript published? You may laugh—or crywhen you read what has made it into print.

Some  titles below are from the annual Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year. This competition selects entries solely on their titles. A title may make perfect sense if you know the book’s subject matter.

Book Titlcs

  • 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-Milligram Containers of Fromage Frais
  • Curbside Consultation of the Colon
  • Strip and Knit with Style
  • 50 New Poodle Grooming Styles
  • Paint It Black: A guide to Gothic homemaking
  • Reusing Old Graves
  • Ductigami: The art of the tape
  • A Pictorial Book of Tongue Coatings
  • Sex After Death
  • Waterproofing Your Child
  • People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How they attach themselves to unsuspecting bystanders and what to do about it
  • Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers
  • How to Avoid Huge Ships
  • Natural Bust Enlargement with Total Power: How to increase the other 90 per cent of your mind to Increase the size of your breasts
  • How Green Were the Nazis
  • The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A guide to field identification
  • Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan
  • One Wheel—Many Spokes: USA by unicycle
  • The Bible Cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Better Never to Have Been: The harm of coming into existence
  • Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality
  • The People’s Business: A guidebook to 87 company & industrial tours in & near Ohio
  • Flattened Fauna
  • Lesbian Sadomasochism Safety Manual
  • Up Sh*t Creek: A collection of horrifyingly true wilderness toilet misadventures
  • Cooking in the Nude
  • Living with Crazy Buttocks
  • Bombproof Your Horse
  • Manifold Destiny: The one, the only guide to cooking on your car engine
  • How to Avoid Huge Ships
  • Scouts in Bondage
  • Fancy Coffins to Make Yourself
  • Be Bold with Bananas
  • The Flat-Footed Flies of Europe
  • Across Europe by Kangaroo
  • 101 Super Uses for Tampon Applicators
  • How to Make Love While Conscious
  • Old Tractors and the Men Who Love Them
  • Doga: Yoga for dogs
  • Nuclear War: What’s in it for you?
  • The Pop-Up Book of Phobias
  • How to Defend Yourself Against Alien Abduction
  • A Stress Analysis of a Strapless Evening Gown
  • Is Your Dog Gay?
  • How to Be a Pope: What to do and where to go once you’re in the Vatican
  • The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories
  • The Great Pantyhose Crafts Book
  • The Lost Art of Towel Origami
  • An Incomplete History of the Art of the Funerary Violins
  • The Theory of Lengthwise Rolling
  • Highlights in the History of Concrete
  • The Thermodynamics of Pizza
  • History of Shit
  • The Haunted Vagina
  • The Sex Life of the Foot and Shoe
  • The Madam as Entrepreneur: Career management in house prostitution
  • The Joy of Chickens
  • Last Chance at Love: Terminal romances
  • High Performance Stiffened Structures
  • Christian Texts for Aztecs
  • Insects Are Just Like You and Me Except Some of Them Have Wings
  • The Emotional Life of Contemporary Public Memorials
  • The Large Sieve and its Applications
  • If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs
  • I Was Tortured by the Pygmy Love Queen
  • How to Write a How to Write Book
  • Cheese Problems Solved
  • Introduction to Adult Swallowing
  • Knitting with Dog Hair
  • Queen Victoria and Ping Pong
  • Soil Nailing: Best practice guidance
  • The Aesthetics of the Japanese Lunchbox
  • 227 Secrets Your Snake Wants You to Know
  • The Voodoo Revenge Book: An anger management program you can really stick with
  • Design for Impact: 50 Years of airline safety cards
  • The Do-It-Yourself Lobotomy: Open your mind to greater creative thinking
  • First You Take a Leek
  • Forensic Examination of Rubber Stamps
  • Melons for the Passionate Grower
  • Postmortem Collectibles
  • Second-hand Parrots: A complete owner’s manual
  • Without Regret: A handbook for owners of canine amputees
  • Tea Bag Folding
  • The Art and Craft of Pounding Flowers: No paint, no ink, just a hammer!
  • Whose Bottom? A lift-the-flap book
  • Psoriasis at Your Fingertips
  • Male Genitalia of Butterflies of the Balkan Peninsula with a Checklist
  • Guide to Eskimo Rolling
  • A Method for Calculating the Size of Stone Needed for Closing End-Tipped Rubble Banks in Rivers
  • Stick Making: A complete course
  • Build Your Own Hindenburg
  • Explosive Spiders and How to Make Them
  • Heave Ho: My little green book of seasickness
  • More Balls Than Hands (It’s about juggling.)
  • On Sledge and Horseback to Outcast Siberian Lepers
  • The Romance of Proctology
  • So Your Wife Came Home Speaking in Tongues! So Did Mine!
  • Who’s Who in Barbed Wire
  • The 2007-2012 Outlook for Tufted Washable Scatter Rugs, Bathmats and Sets That Measure 6-Feet by 9-Feet or Smaller in India
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10 Comments leave one →
  1. 15 October, 2010 5:26 am

    How to Avoid Large Ships…. That has to be a useful book. Awesome list!

    Like

  2. 16 October, 2009 3:43 am

    Marsha,
    Thanks for the laugh -I love “Bombproofing your Horse!” It must be a typo! I hope.
    Your site is lovely – I just came across it as I was searching for “place” writing prompts. I will be back for sure – and thank you for allowing us to borrow your writing prompts. I have you and the site fully credited for my handout for the creative writing class I lead in Vancouver, Canada.
    Cheers,
    Elee

    Like

    • 17 October, 2009 8:56 am

      Yes, that title offers some rich imagery, doesn’t it. Thanks for your kind words about my site. I hope you and your students enjoy the prompts. Your ‘Thursday’ site gives a great sense of writing being alive and well in Vancouver.

      Like

  3. 9 October, 2009 7:25 am

    This is hilarious, though obviously for some of them context is everything,

    Like

    • 9 October, 2009 12:43 pm

      Yes, true. Unless an odd title has a cover photo or a synopsis with it, it may be misleading or unintentionally comical. I imagine there’s a swag of odd or crazy movie titles as well, but I haven’t looked. Would be interesting to use some of these titles as writing starters.

      Like

  4. Arlene permalink
    7 October, 2009 1:41 am

    I wouldn’t know where to start. Very funny! And wierd!

    Like

    • 7 October, 2009 9:12 am

      I think some of the titles would make sense if you know the subject matter. But others–subject AND title–are definitely unusual.

      Like

      • Arlene permalink
        9 October, 2009 7:01 pm

        I think most of the titles are pretty self-explanatory! Though I wouldn’t have thought there would be many people wanting to read about Male Genitalia of Butterflies of the Balkan Peninsula with a Checklist! Ha!

        Like

        • 10 October, 2009 11:13 am

          Some how-to-write books suggest finding a niche market, but yes, some writers get TOO nichey. An academic specialising in some kind of bird told me proudly that only 6 people in the world would understand what his papers. Most of us aspire to more of an audience than that.

          Like

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