Judging a book only by its cover

Peope_who_dont_know_theyre_deadA book’s cover is often the only advertising it gets. Thus, at least from a marketing perspective, you’d have to applaud Gary Leon Hill’s self-help book for haunted people. It’s called People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It, and it’s just won Bookseller magazine’s award for oddest book title of the year. According to Reuters, it narrowly beat out the somewhat less fascinating sounding Rhino Horn Stockpile Management: Minimum Standards and Best Practices from East and Southern Africa. Here’s part of Amazon.com’s editorial review of People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: “When people die by accident, in violence, or maybe they’re drunk, stoned or angry, they get freeze-framed. Even if they die naturally but have no clue what to expect, they might not notice they’re dead. It’s frustrating to see and not be seen. It’s frustrating to not know what you’re supposed to do next. It’s especially frustrating to be in someone else’s body and think it’s your own. That’s if you’re dead. If you’re alive and that spirit has attached itself to you, well that’s a whole other set of frustrations.” Previous winners of the Bookseller oddest-title prize have included such classics as Bombproof Your Horse and Greek Rural Postmen and their Cancellation Numbers.

—Posted by Tim Nudd