When I was writing my review of Rivers of London yesterday, I noticed that an earlier edition went by a different title – Midnight Riot. To me, a book about a policeman in London called Midnight Riot sounds completely different to a book about a London policeman called Rivers of London. I might not have picked up the version titled Midnight Riot, which highlights the power of first impressions, and the power of the title of a book. You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, so the saying goes, but that can sometimes be quite difficult.
The nominees for the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year naturally all have titles that are very intriguing. I hadn’t heard of the winning book before reading this article, but the power of its unusual title makes me want to go straight out there, find a copy of Goblinproofing Ones Chicken Coop and start reading it immediately. It might turn out to not be very good, but I have already been drawn to it by my first impression. I also like this quote from the author on accepting this award:
“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.”