Nine (more) working titles for ill-advised books I’ve thought of writing recently

Almost a year ago, I jotted down few working titles for some books I’d thought of writing at some time in the future.  Despite the fact that as of May, 2015 I had written a total of zero books, and also despite the fact that my output of books has increased not at all in the past twelve months, I will nevertheless dare to propose a few more possible titles for the consideration of the universe.


But first, I wish to note that I have in fact written one or two fragments that could actually fit into at least a few of my proposed titles of a year ago.  For example, I did a rather minor amount of autobiographical writing, most of it while at least mildly intoxicated, which could later be folded into The Gayest Stork, my proposed honest-to-the-point-of-brutality portrait of myself as a seventeen year old.  Likewise a certain amount of what one might charitably call my journaling could be imagined between the covers of Pickled, a chemical history of my extended family.  Little writing, but much practical research has been conducted for the Sub-Herbia project, my proposed collection of interviews with nontraditional marijuana users and on WordPress: a History.  I regret to being able to announce almost no progress on Consolidated Diversified (my imagined manual for organizational development), Borked (my graphic novel about web security) nor any of my other titles, whose names escape me, along with the tab on my web browser containing them, which must be around here somewhere.

But I digress … on to this year’s titles, all of which I have — with varying degrees of seriousness — contemplated writing in the past twelve months:

Saying no to God, Saying yes to Dog
How to lose your religion while gaining a pet.

Mennonite Rampage
A killer is loose among the Amish

A Bomb in the Pram
Religious radicalization leads to sectarian violence among a group of bored upper-middle-class supermoms in suburban London.

Founding Sisters
In which — armed with no good evidence — I document the secret gay lives of several American Founding Fathers, interspersed with my own present-day quest to obtain membership in the Sons of the American Revolution.

Freedom in the Hundred Decibel Bedroom
A practical guide for those who sleep with heavy snorers.  Contains many tips, sleeping positions, psychological pressure techniques.

Classic Diseases
A book about all of those diseases you used to hear about all the time but JUST DON’T HEAR ABOUT ANY MORE

More than Hoodies: a guide to nerd chic
Geek approaches to clothes: algorithmic wardrobes, randomness and function as form.

If it’s not Too Much Trouble
A manual of Lutheran “etiquette”

My Six Deaths
A natural history of the six times I would have likely died had I been born in the world before modern medicine.  To wit:  an infected wound, complications from Crohn’s Disease, childhood epilepsy (would have lead accusations of demon possession and ritual death), pneumonia, a severe throat and sinus infection and a bicycle accident and subsequent skin infection.

Nine (more) working titles for ill-advised books I’ve thought of writing recently

A few words about each person in this cafe right now

Edward Hopper Nighthawks — not the cafe in question, this one’s more crowded

studying awkward part black hair
looking toward friend straw suck
speaking Korean animatedly, still boring
young fella leans sideways at girl
girl crosses arms defensive posture
awkward asian guy displays girlfriend
girlfriend puffy jacket makes decision
tight bun noise cancelling headphones
petite barette handbag over-gesture
solid Korean guy full smile
androgynous spindly woman academic scoliosis
fish mouth man eats soup
grad student 1: blonde, quiet
grad student 2: NEW YORK
grad student 3: verbal backpedal
obease hypertensive L. Ron Hubbard
hippie husband formal lumberjack shirt
hippie wife intense organic shampoo
silent boy book, pizza slice
student reading plays with hair
large depressed bowl-cut face in iPad
pensive girl reads squishes mouth
long beautiful hair dark skin
short shorts distracts herself stares
nursing student salmon pullover stuck
tall thin leading discussion boy
small Chinese girl flops on tabletop
attentive woman stares at know-it-all
unseasonable sweater gamer eats pie
large skirted girlfriend can’t decide

A few words about each person in this cafe right now

Ginsberg: don’t smoke


When I was 19 or so, I remember watching Allen Ginsberg in his corduroy jacket on the Today Show promoting his book Cosmopolitan Greetings which had just come out.  I had just come out too — at least to a few people — and had taken to wearing second-hand army jackets and carrying around a shoulder bag with a big pink triangle on it, at least while I was away at college.  Ginsberg just sat there, somewhat wild-eyed, cornered on the gaudy set, grandfatherly-but-suspicious, suffering through an interview with Bryant Gumbel or someone like that.  The distain and incomprehension on the interviewer’s face were lacquered over by politeness and a kind of forced reverence, but I knew as if by a sixth queer sense that the reason why this old dude was making Gumbel nervous was that at any minute he might rip off his frumpy jacket and the collared shirt underneath and run in madness and ecstasy around the studio banging together his wisdom sticks.  This began a so-far-lifelong affinity for the man, the beats, and all of that. Here he is banging those sticks, with maybe the most famous poem from his last collection… Put Down Your Cigarette Rag 

Ginsberg: don’t smoke