My post about The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down reminded me of my shelf of books I wish I'd written. They aren't really books I wish I'd written, because that would have required an extremely large amount of enthusiasm for topics that I really only want to read one book about. But they are the kind of narrative nonfiction I can almost imagine myself someday writing, if I find a long attention span in one of my boxes.
So, on the shelf:
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down - (Already discussed).
Seabiscuit - Horses! The author had chronic fatigue syndrome and terrible vertigo the whole time she was writing it. She wrote a New Yorker article about her experience and I had to take several breaks from reading it, I felt so sick for her. This would not be on my list of experiences to have while writing my Great American Work of Narrative Non-Fiction.
The Cult At the End of the World - It's all about Aum Shinrikyou! And Japan! It rocks! In a horrifying way!
In Cold Blood - Totally gripping. Go Capote go.
The Perfect Storm - I haven't seen the movie, but the book, lemme tell ya - you get new appreciation for fishermen and what they do.
The Devil in the White City - For some reason, I associate this book with Grrrbear. I don't know if he told me to read it or if it's just the setting, but, in any case, I'm pretty sure it's not because he's a serial killer.
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers - Because Mary Roach is hilarious. This is less hilarious than some of her magazine articles, and I had to skip much of the cannibalism chapter, but it's still an awesome book. She came to talk to one of my classes once in grad school, and I was like, hi, I want to be you.
Hm. As I study the list, I notice two things: they're mostly about murders, death, and serious illness, and Stiff is the only one about science. So does this mean my book should be about murder? Because that stuff makes me really uncomfortable. I think it's more likely my book will be about...uh...I have no idea. At one point it was going to be about hot air ballooning, but that's been about three years and has gone nowhere.
What's your book going to be about - or if you don't have a topic, what genre?