That Ought to be a Book

Have you ever thought about writing a book? Maybe you browse the shelves of the library or your local bookstore and you think, “I would love to write a novel, but when will I find the time to do it?” And the amount of time it takes to do it hits home every time you remember that Donna Tartt spent ten years writing “The Goldfinch”—and that’s a book you wouldn’t have half-minded writing. So, maybe you do what I do: come up with ideas for books that ought to be written, only they ought to be written by someone who is not you.images

[Disclaimer I actually have written a book—it’s a collection of poems, though, and not a 700-page novel. But I do like to tell people that I spent 40 years writing it.]

What follows are a few of my ideas for books that (might, possibly) need to be written:

  • The Zombie Professors of NBU. A corps of Behavioral Economics professors at a small, Midwestern university band together to find a cure for zombiism, or, to at least find a way to curb further production of post-apocalyptic/dystopian novels & cable network TV shows in the western world. There will be NO sequels, prequels, side-projects or franchises planned or allowed (I’m looking at you, George Romero).
  • Girl and Snake on a Plane. A retelling of the Old Testament story of Adam and Eve. In this romantic travelogue, Eva, a beautiful flight attendant, gets more than she bargained for in the shape of an unruly reptilian passenger. Several inevitable film and merchandising deals will ensue.
  • Sweet Dreams Diet. Tired of those I-can’t-believe-I-ate-a-pastrami-sandwich-before-bedtime nightmares? Control your dreams by utilizing the pointers in this how-to on what to put in your stomach before bedtime. Learn to eat the right combination of foods in order to produce the kinds of dreams you want every night. Truly the optimal book at bedtime.
  • A Field Guide to the Wimples of the Roman Catholic Nuns of North America. A guide to nun identification by headgear design & color.
  • Soylent Clear. Another corps of professors (this time, ALL DOGS) at another small, Midwestern university (this time, located in New England), secretly plan the hostile takeover of a local factory, rumored to be processing animals in order to feed human beings. The owner of the plant—a cat—is a proponent of Scientology, & fights back by summoning Xenu, the ruler of a Galactic Confederacy, to assist in the battle to keep the control of the plant away from the canine professors. There will be LOTS of sequels, prequels, etc., etc., etc. Do not fight this.

I’ll stop here. Why don’t you come up with your own list?images

About Richard Fox

Richard Fox has contributed work to many literary journals. “Swagger & Remorse,” his first book of poetry, was published in December, 2007. He recently completed a recording of his work. Give it a listen here: He was the recipient of a full poetry fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council. He holds a BFA in Photography from Temple University, Philadelphia, and lives in Chicago.
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