Well, what else would I call it?

If you're keeping score at home, we have a winner in the 29th annual sweepstakes for the oddest title of a new book. It was announced in London last Friday, and the author says he welcomes the distinction, even though "it's a sort of strange honor to have." The Diagram Prize went to Julian Montague's "The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification." The tome received the most votes – 1,866 of more than 5,000 cast – by surfers on the website of The Bookseller, a trade magazine. According to reports, it "offers a mock-scientific taxonomy of the varieties of lost shopping carts, from the simply discarded" to the mangled (such as in being rammed by plows into snowbanks in supermarket parking lots). "It's nice that people are finding out my book exists," Montague added, although "I was so deeply into the project that I was a little numbed by the fact that the title could surprise [anybody]." "Stray Shopping Carts" is published by Harry N. Abrams Inc. of New York, which has issued such other titles as "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" and "Chez Jacques: Traditions and Rituals of a Cook." The winner was up against some stiff competition. In second place, 501 votes off the pace, was "Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan." One of the other finalists was "Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Seaweed Symposium."

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