Monday, October 12, 2015

Ten Author Duos Who Should Write a Book Together

I'm linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for another Top Ten Tuesday.

This week's topic asks us to imagine which pairs of authors we'd love to see write a book together. I thought this was going to be challenging until I realized I could include some of my favorite nonfiction authors, and then it didn't take me too long. I chose to use only authors currently living so that it's theoretically possible these coauthored books could someday exist.

1. Martha N. Beck & Laura Vanderkam
Vanderkam's 168 Hours is all about reframing and reallotting your time so you spend it on what's most important to you. Beck's Finding Your Own North Star helps you identify and dismantle obstacles to pursuing your dreams and push past the difficult parts of a life change. Together they could write the ultimate self-help, identify-and-follow-your-passion book.

2. Nadia Bolz-Weber & Rachel Held Evans
These two spiritual writers and speakers just jointly created and hosted the first-ever "Why Christian?" conference (read Held Evans' recap here) so they already work well together. They both have powerful messages about authentic faith and women's empowerment, and their different styles (profanity-laced, heartfelt, brutal honesty and gentle, Southern, searing truth) would balance each other out well. (See: Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber and Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans)

3. Allie Brosh & Jenny Lawson
This seemed obvious as soon as I thought of it. Both have struggles with mental health and both are side-splittingly funny. Brosh has already drawn on (no pun intended) a wide variety of stories in her own life for her comics; she could illustrate some of Lawson's bizarre and hilarious adventures. (See: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh and Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson)

4. Vanessa Diffenbaugh & Liane Moriarty
I did include some fiction authors! I love both of these authors' works immensely, and they both tend to focus on female characters dealing with some heavy, true-to-life issues. With their expertise and research skills combined, they could create even more authentic, nuanced characters and stories. (See: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh and Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty)

5. Jeffrey Eugenides & Barbara Kingsolver
These authors have both written sprawling family dramas that have larger messages about relationships and society, such as Eugenides' Middlesex and Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible. They each have quite a collection of bestselling novels to their name and are getting into their 60s; working on a collaborative novel would be a new and fresh challenge for each.

6. Tina Fey & Amy Poehler
Ever since Tina Fey's Bossypants it seems like celebrity memoirs have been trying to mimic her blend of humor, memoir, and advice, and Amy Poehler's Yes Please is the only one I've seen that comes close. Obviously the two already work well together and like each other, and they've written (comedy sketches) together. Both memoirs touched on their time at Saturday Night Live, but together I'm sure they could fill a whole book with stories about their experiences there.

7. Neil Gaiman & J.K. Rowling
These two authors could be called the king and queen of modern fantasy, and Gaiman already has experience with collaborative writing (see the excellent Good Omens, which he co-wrote with Terry Pratchett). Both have veered away from traditional high fantasy to create their own intricate fantasy worlds that live within the "real" world, whether at Hogwarts or in a land of American Gods. I can't even imagine what kind of world they'd come up together.

8. Malcolm Gladwell & Mary Roach
These two journalists both have readable styles as well as similarly named books (Blink and Bonk, anyone?), though Roach tends to focus on a specific topic (death, sex, the supernatural) while Gladwell chooses an unifying theme and shares a wide range of stories about it. I'd be interested to learn something from their combined research prowess and theory brainstorming.

9. Jonathan Haidt & Brian Wansink
Both authors are professors who have done some fascinating and creative research, Haidt on morality (The Righteous Mind) and Wansink on eating (Mindless Eating). I also recently realized that Wansink is a coauthor on the best survey design book I've read, Asking Questions. I'm sure any kind of joint project these two did would be intriguing, and a coauthored book would break down their ideas into easy-to-follow concepts.

10. A.J. Jacobs & Ramit Sethi
Sethi loves telling other people what to do (as in I Will Teach You to Be Rich) and Jacobs loves trying out other people's ideas of what one should do (as in The Year of Living Biblically). Jacobs would be Sethi's ideal case study, as he would be sure to follow everything to the letter and would show exactly just how well (or not) Sethi's advice worked.

Which authors would you like to see write a book together?

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