Cooking With Poo

Thai charity cookbook wins The Bookseller's coveted prize for strangest name of the year
A THAI cookbook called Cooking With Poo has won an annual prize for the oddest publishing title of the year. The alluringly-named tome was announced as the winner of The Bookseller's Diagram Prize today.

According to The Guardian: "The 114-page cookbook derives its unsanitary title from author Saiyuud Diwong's nickname, Poo, which is Thai for crab. Diwong lives in Bangkok's Klong Toey slum, where she runs a community cookery school."

The book, published by the Urban Neighbours of Hope programme, fought off competition from rivals including Mr Andoh's Pennine Diary: Memoirs of a Japanese Chicken Sexer in 1935 Hebden Bridge and The Great Singapore Penis Panic and the Future of American Mass Hysteria.

Other, more prosaic, challengers for the title included Estonian Sock Patterns All Around the World and The Mushroom in Christian Art.

The annual award normally wins the "spotter" a bottle of "fairly passable plonk", as The Bookseller puts it. But because Cooking with Poo was unearthed "indirectly" via Twitter, The Bookseller has instead made a donation to Urban Neighbours of Hope.

The charity said it was delighted to win the prize. "Poo has sold 6,000 books and her classes are fully booked out. She is not just helping to raise her own family out of poverty, but is employing 20 other poor slum residents," said a spokesman.

Horace Bent, The Bookseller's diarist, who also curates the award, told The Daily Telegraph: "Given that this year the three most voted-for works contain the words 'poo', 'sexer' and 'penis' in the title, it appears that this year's prize will go down in history as a blue year. But there is nothing wrong with that."

The Diagram Prize has been running since 1978 and previous winners include Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality, Highlights in the History of Concrete and the unmissable How to Avoid Huge Ships. ·

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