Monday, September 23, 2013

Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop by Dawn Lairamore

Recently I ordered a copy of Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop: And Other Practical Advice in Our Campaign Against the Fairy Kingdom. The book is written by "fairy hunter" Reginald Bakeley. According to its Amazon listing, it is "the only complete manual on how to identify, track, defend, and destory those bothersome brownies, goblins, dwarves, scheming flower-fairies, and other nasty members of the fairy realm."

Well, how can I possibly pass that up? As a lover of both fairy tales and traditional fairy lore, I'm always up for a good read about the Fair Folk--and most importantly, if I ever own a chicken coop I'll be well-prepared to defend it against goblins and buggaboos. Sounds like a good deal to me.

I first heard of Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop because it was the 2013 winner of the Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year. If you read my post about the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, you know I have a certain fondness for quirky literary contests. And if you don't know about the Diagram Prize, it's pretty self-explanatory: it seeks to reward the published book with the oddest title of the year. The first winner back in 1978 was Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice. Other notable winners have been: The Joy of Chickens; The Book of Marmalade: Its Antecedents, Its History, and Its Role in the World Today; Highlights in the History of Concrete (yes, apparently there are highlights); Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers; Bombproof Your Horse; The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification; as well as some other titles I won't post here as we prefer Project Mayhem to remain a family-friendly site.

But you can visit the Bookseller/Diagram Prize's website to learn more about the award and view a list of previous winners.

And if you could really, really use a laugh this Monday morning, pop by the page of the 1992 winner of the Diagram Prize, How to Avoid Huge Ships, to read the customer reviews. Sadly, this fine tome is no longer in print, but judging by the 550+ reviews on Amazon, it has a lot of fans. (Or a lot of folks who need an exercise in creative writing have found reviewing a book called How to Avoid Huge Ships fits the bill perfectly.)

Happy Monday!


  1. Sounds like a good deal of fun!

  2. What a cool award! There are recognitions for nearly everything these days. I love an interesting title, so I'm definitely going to check out that site. How fun to be the judges on that panel!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  3. My goodness, some of these titles sound like they come from a spoof in The Onion. I parfticularly like the one about Greek Rural Postmen!

  4. And I like my new word, "parfticularly."


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!