Books

The Dirt Hole and Its Variations by Charles L. Dobbins wins prize for oddest book title of 2019

The Diagram Prize has recognized weird and wonderful book titles since 1978.
The Dirt Hole and Its Variations is a guide to trapping. (DakotaLine/Amazon, Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

The Dirt Hole and Its Variations by Charles L. Dobbins has won the Diagram Prize for oddest book title of the year.

The Dirt Hole and Its Variations is a 72-page self-published guide to dirt holes, traps and equipment for wild game trappers. The 2019 edition was a re-release of the guide.

It was nominated for the prize by Dennis Drayna, a geneticist in California, according to U.K. magazine The Bookseller, which administers the prize. 

Dobbins was an American trapping expert. He died in 1997.

According to an obituary on nationaltrappers.com, Dobbins enjoyed sharing his expertise. "Charlie was never unwilling to share his secrets of trapping with anyone," wrote Craig H.J. Williams on the site. "Any trapper that met Charlie at any of the thousands of trapping conventions that he attended all over the country, learned something to improve their catch."

The Diagram Prize was first given out in 1978 as part of the Frankfurt Book Fair. The winner has been determined by public vote since 2000.

The other 2019 finalists were Ending the War on Artisan Cheese by Dr. Catherine Donnelly, Noah Gets Naked by Xanna Eve Chown, How to Drink Without Drinking by Fiona Beckett, Viking Encounters: Proceedings of the 18th Viking Congress by Anne Pederson's and Søren Sandbaek and Noah Gets Naked and Hitler's Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich by Eric Kurlander.

Last year's winner was The Joy of Waterboiling by Thomas Götz von Aust.

Other past winners include Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop by Reginald Bakeley, People Who Don't Know They're Dead by Gary Leon Hill and How to Avoid Huge Ships by John W. Trimmer.

 

 

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