7 Books I Wish I Had Written


During a writing workshop I took some time ago, we undertook an exercise where we made a list of books we wished we had written, that have influenced our storytelling and/or are similar to the books we write. Hmm … not an easy task, right? Because in most cases my favourite books don’t have much in common with the stories that I like to write. For instance, I love mystery and suspense, although I mostly write comedies with touches of romance and drama. Taking a closer look at my stories, however, it seems that I do sometimes include some hints of mystery. At the request of my teacher, and without much thought, I put together the following list of books that have marked me, changed the way I see the world, and helped me to develop my style, and are also the kind of stories that I enjoy writing …

Sex and The City candace bushnell

Making a living out of telling everyone about your failed love life! Where do I sign up? This is Carrie Bradshaw’s life, and every single person’s dream. Not only does she write about the interesting men she dates and her fabulous friends, but she can also afford an amazing apartment in the centre of Manhattan. Goals. No wonder I opened a blogspot (blogspot!) in my early 20s when I moved to the big city, trying to replicate her amazing lifestyle. But it’s not only the TV series that influenced me so much in becoming a writer; the original book by the iconic Candace Bushnell is a collection of witty stories and funny reflections about being single, looking for love in the wrong places, and living in the big city. Basically, my life.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s truman capote

This is probably one of my top three favourite books ever. Truman Capote is always delightful to read, but in this short yet powerful novel, he reaches his peak. This story has it all: mind-blowing prose, a fascinating protagonist (the mother of all chick lit heroines, IMO), the most charming setting (New York in the 1940s), and an unusual love story that leaves you wanting more. But not everything is glamour in this novel; there are also heartfelt and tender moments, which I love to read with the melody of Moon River playing in my head. I can certainly identify with Holly Golightly: the country girl who leaves her past on a farm behind, looking for a new life full of exciting adventures in the big city (not that I’ve lived on a farm, but I am a small-town boy myself). Truman Capote is an absolute master with words, and this book is the best proof of his legacy. I reread it every time I need to feel inspired.

Slaves of New York tama janowitz

More New York. (You’ve noticed I have a crush on this city!) This novel is referred to as one of the main works of the literary “Brat Pack”, a group of writers in the 1980s that also includes two of my favourite American authors, Bret Easton Ellis and Jay McInerney. Slaves of New York chronicles the ups and downs of Eleanor, a young hat designer waiting for her big break in New York, and her love issues with her boyfriend, also an artist. Eleanor’s adventures are intertwined with first-person narratives of other characters that also tell their stories, as sizzling, bizarre, and zesty as Eleanor’s. Tama’s style is raw, effortlessly funny, direct, and witty: qualities that I also wish to replicate in my writing.

Remember Me sophie kinsella

By now, you probably know that Sophie Kinsella is one of my all-time favourite authors. Sophie’s novels always leave you with a feel-good, warm-hearted sensation, even a long time after you finish them, which is also one of my goals. All her works are marvellous, but I feel a special connection with Remember Me, one of her lesser-known stories, in which Sophie explores a situation everybody has thought about, especially when things don’t go well: imagine you fall sleep and wake up some years later to find out that you have missed the worst years of your life, and now you resume it at its best moment! Of course, there are a lot of secrets that Lexi, the protagonist, needs to unravel, leading to a series of hilarious and unexpected situations. The also-fantastic Liane Moriarty uses this argument in her novel What Alice Forgot, also one of my favourites of hers. This is a premise that leaves room for so many interesting situations and such drama that I am seriously thinking of following in the footsteps of these two amazing writers and creating my own take on the story. With a gay character, of course.

To Hell with the Ugly boris vian

Boris Vian is so underrated. This multifaceted French writer is more known for his surrealistic novels, especially the classic Foam of the Days; however, it’s his noir trilogy under the name of Vernon Sullivan that blows my mind. You’ve probably heard about the shocking I Shall Spit on Your Graves, but it’s his two other works in this trilogy that I absolutely find captivating: The Dead All Have the Same Skin and, especially, To Hell with the Ugly, a fascinating mix of classic noir with sci-fi fantasy full of sex, dark (very dark) humour, and bizarre situations. This touch of craziness and over-the-top-ness is what I aim to add to my stories (just a touch) to make them more unique and special.

Laws of Attraction breat easton ellis

As previously mentioned, I am enthralled by Bret Easton Ellis. If you’ve read any of his novels, you will have found yourself immersed in his provocative and, at times, disturbing stories, especially in his earlier works, in which he portrays a lost generation hungry to push themselves to the limit. Although Less Than Zero is probably my favourite book from this author, it is Laws of Attraction, a tale full of ambiguous sex, dark humour, and intriguing characters, the book that I wish had come from my own imagination. His style is instant, fresh and cool, and this coolness is definitely something that I want to bring to my own stories.

The Picture of Dorian Gray oscar wilde

I read this novel when I was a kid, and it literally changed the way I saw the world. I fell in love with the luscious, hedonistic Dorian Gray, a man I imagined to be the most beautiful creature in the world, obsessed with his own beauty and scared of the decline of his most precious attribute. This is a fear many of us have: of time passing and changing us, of becoming someone else less full of life than we used to be. This novel always reminds me of my love of an important, relevant, and conflicted character, and the power of a story that touches universal topics that affect human nature. An absolute classic to always go back to.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my list of some of my favourites books, and that it helps you to understand a little bit more about my influences and what kind of stories inspire me. Which books do you wish you had written? What stories have changed your life? Let me know in the comments below.

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