Ten Things That Should Be Written About

This post is scheduled a few weeks in advance as I am currently on a rural rotation without decent internet access. Responses to comments will thus be slower than usual. This week with The Broke and The Bookish we discuss our “reading wishlist” – in other words, things we wish authors would write about. Guys, this one was HARD! Obviously I did not want to give away anything that I might be working on (sorry)… I finally came up with some. They’re not all super unique, but I would like these books anyway. So if you want to write them, go for it!


I very specifically want these to be written as fiction 


I’ve read a bunch of non-fiction about HIV (28 Stories of AIDS in Africa, Whisper Not, Three Letter Plague) and I thought fiction about HIV was more rare and might be pretty depressing. It’s not all that rare: There’s Two Boys Kissing, which I’m still getting to, and Tell the Wolves I’m Home, which is fantastic. But I think more fiction is needed to break down stigma.

2. Muti Noir

More books like Zoo City and Akata Witch. We need more African magic, less African darkness. Admittedly, Zoo City is pretty dark, but I love the magical, mythical element to it. Fish Notes and Star Songs by Diane Hofmeyr is also a really sweet example of this.


3. Female doctors in history

There was Kronkelpad by Irma Joubert a while ago, which was about a South African female doctor in the 1950s that I was so excited for, but it ended up being so full of romance stuff that I couldn’t reach the medical-polio-stuff that is (apparently) somewhere in there. I want to read about how they fought stereotypes, and battled to get viewing space in Anatomy lab, and so on. Because I KNOW these things happened. NOT about how hard it is for them to find a boyfriend… seriously. (This could make a good non-fiction too… but I want well-researched fiction right now.)

4. Disabled main characters

When I was younger, I read some really good books about disabled kids. I know there are a few out there now (e.g. Five Flavors of Dumb), but their storylines have not really appealed to me yet.

5. Southern Hemisphere Christmas stories

Because… we need something to relate to too?

6. A nerdy girl who really IS a nerdy girl

… and who doesn’t fall in love or feel miserable about not having a boyfriend or suddenly “turn pretty”. Something else happens to her and it must be a great story (sorry, I don’t have any crib notes on that). I feel like you’re a really good author if you can write an entertaining story and manage not to feature romance in it. I’m not a grinch, I don’t really have anything big against romance, just sometimes I don’t want to read it.

7. African Dystopian YA 

Somebody told me the other day that the reason these don’t exist is because these countries are already dystopias. MEAN! And also not true. Not entirely. Sigh. At least give me a dystopian YA novel where we see more than just a single used-to-be-first-world country. Like, the world is suffering from a lack of oxygen? Show me some viewpoints from how Africa and Asia are handling it (please).


8. A collection of stories where the social worker is not the bad guy

I don’t like that this profession gets so much bad press, and you can call me biased if you want. My mom is a social worker and she is fantastic and so compassionate. But none of them will really have stories written about their experiences, because they are incredibly professional – seriously, my mother is more professional than most doctors I know.

9. Driving School Babylon

(Like Hospital Babylon) I had so many interesting discussions with my driving instructor, and I told him he should write a book about it. I don’t know if he will though. Maybe I should ghost-write for him.

10. A refugee who flees to someplace other than the USA or the UK

South Africa gets a lot of refugees and so do a lot of European countries. I want to read about them.


  1. I’d love to read a book about a nerdy girl who really is nerdy. When I see books about nerdy girls they’re normally about the nerdy girl hiding who she is because she’s pretty or turning pretty. And while those stories aren’t bad, I’d really love to see a book where the nerdy girl stays nerdy…and proud. 🙂 My TTT list: http://aliceinreaderland.com/2014/01/20/wishlist/

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

    1. Exactly! I wonder if there isn’t a book like that out there… somewhere…

  2. chanzies says:

    Lol I love #7 since I live in South Africa. Most people think we have elephants and lions roaming the streets and don’t have electricity… this is not true but it makes me laugh as most people really don’t know much outside their own country. I was once asked is South Africa was near Europe… *shakes head*

    On a different note, I love it when I read about a character who loves books as much as I do, like Tessa and Will from The Infernal devices *happy sigh*

    Great List!! Here is my Top Ten Tuesday list if you want to check it out!

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

    1. chanzies says:

      PS you live in SA?? I am so stoked to see another Blogger from here!!

      1. Awww, it’s so great to meet you too! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. readerbuzz says:

    Yes, all great ideas! Thank you.

    I tweaked the prompt and a book-ish wishlist of book-ish things I wish I had. Hope you’ll stop by!

  4. peace says:

    I couldn’t agree more on the fiction section. Reading your blog changed my dark picture of Africa and now I am trying to do an elective there next July. Fingers crossed.
    By the way there is an app called wattpad, have you heard of it? I can’t access book easily and this app is my heaven.

    1. Oh that’s exciting! Any idea where and in which discipline you want to do your elective? Good luck!
      Never heard of wattpad, but I will look into it!

  5. Tiffany says:

    I totally agree about a nerdy girl who doesn’t need to find love to be “pretty”. In fact I just had this conversation with my sister. “Why are characters always sad and miserable and a romance changes everything and makes them happy about everything. That’s not true in reality. Why not have characters who are strong on their own first?

    1. Agree completely! Many subliminal messages we’re sending to young girls…

  6. Nancy Ackelson says:

    Great list Mariechen, makes me think. My to read list is sooooooo long, it had never occurred to me…think think think!

    1. Thanks Nancy, I’m glad you liked it!

  7. TrishaDM says:

    Yes to all of these especially #1, 3, 4 and 6.
    I just plain want to read more about South Africa. I feel like I know so little about the the beautiful country in which you live.

    1. Let me know if you read more about it! I have some recommendations lying around here, somewhere…

  8. Allie says:

    These are excellent ideas!! I’d love to read/see books about all of these things… (Maybe we should start writing our own. 😉 )

    1. Maybe we should… but with that time?! Hah. I still want to write a book one day. One day.

  9. Lisa Jay says:

    I love the idea of a dystopian set in Africa. There are a few interesting ideas there, but that one really stands out.

    1. I hope someone will write it soon!

  10. ayam91 says:

    I definitely agree with your #6. I want to read more about nerdy girls! I consider myself a nerd. So that’d be perfect. I also think #4 would be interesting as well. There are a lot of cancer stories out there, but nothing really about disabilities. That’d be an interesting topic to read about.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked the ideas!

  11. Tegan says:


    You should read ‘The Happiest Refugee’ – it’s the autobiography of Ahn Do, an Australian comedian who came to Australia from Vietnam as a refugee with his parents in 1980.

    1. Thanks, I will look it up!

  12. Cait says:

    I read a lot of books about refugees fleeing to Australia. I caaan’t remember the titles though. I read them for school and they were super good. But I guess Australia is probably too much like USA/UK?
    And yes. I am so so so tired of dystopians acting like they’re the whole world. I do NOT mean to diss America or anything, but I honestly am sick of it when their sci-fi or apocalyptic or dystopic books just act like there is no other country out there. -_- As an Australia, it makes me super mad.
    I want to read about Africa and Asia and some more of the smaller European countries. I WANT TO READ ABOUT THE ISLANDS TOO!! Whyyyy aren’t there books of them out there?!

    1. barefootmegz says:

      I’m glad you like it 😀
      No, I don’t think Australia is too much like USA/UK 🙂 I’ll look out for some of those titles!
      Let’s write those books, Cait 😀

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