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.