This week’s TTT, hosted as alway by The Broke and The Bookish, concerns the features we’d like to see more of in books. Here’s what I demand from the authors of today:
I assume European writers outside of the UK write YA, but it doesn’t seem to be translated or widely available. I actually REALLY LOVE EUROPE (cries for five hours about stupid politics and how much everyone hates us now) and would love to read about teens in Germany, France, Spain and basically everywhere. Specifically, I want these to be by writers from those countries, not English people who once went to Barcelona on holiday. Aside from anything else, I’ve been to Barcelona 4 times so I could write that myself. I recently read a YA novel set in Sweden, by a Swedish writer and it made me greedy.
A book about Hole
I have Courtney Love’s Dirty Blonde, and have read some books that include mentions of Hole, but can’t find a book about them entirely. The closest I’ve come is Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth’s book, Girl in a Band, which contained about 60,000 unflattering references to Courtney that really weren’t necessary.
Very specifically, I want a Penguin History of Africa. I have the equivalent for Latin America, which, yes, I realise involves far fewer countries, but I really want to know a lot about Africa and this would be a very helpful way for me to start. Penguin, are you listening?
Books set in Yorkshire
Because I live there and I like it when books mention places I know. One of Matt Haig’s books mentioned The Cockpit in Leeds, a sadly now-defunct music venue which I used to love, and this namecheck made me extremely happy.
More Very Specific Historical Periods
Specifically, I want a novel about the Suffragettes, some YA about colonialism, the American Civil War, Spain in the Early Modern period and a book about Picasso. I feel like all of this is very reasonable.
Supercool Feminist Heaven
I feel like it would be great if someone wrote a novel or a play about all the cool, dead feminists meeting up in a kind of feminist heaven and bitching about certain politicians and Piers Morgan. Hang on, this is actually a good idea. NOBODY STEAL IT.
Indie Music 2001-2006
Again, perhaps something I should just write myself, but I would very much like to read a book about the explosion of garage bands, particularly in New York, that began with The Strokes in 2001 with the release of Is This It. I would like a chapter on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and one on Interpol please, as well as a justification for why Black Rebel Motorcycle Club aren’t incredibly famous.
The Valois Kings
Another random historical thing here, but I studied the Valois Kings in A-level history and they were, to use academic terms, proper good. I would like to read some variation of the 800 page epic about them. Yes, I could have just put this in my hastily constructed point about Random Historical periods, but then how will I get this list to 10?
I have read a book with a dog as the narrator (The Last Family in England) and, in case I haven’t mentioned it a bazillion times yet, a porcupine (Memoirs of a Porcupine by Alain Mabanckou). I have read a book in which a painting was a narrator (The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild). I would like more weird narrators, please. A cat, definitely. Maybe a shed or something. Clouds? Look, I don’t know – I’m not a writer. But you see where I’m going with this.
Time Travel That Makes Sense
Clearly this one is a joke as this will literally never happen.
What do you want to see more of in books? Perhaps you’ve written a YA novel about obscure French monarchs narrated by a wheelie bin and translated by Courtney Love which you’d like to send me a copy of. I am all ears.