I Wish I May, I Wish I Might

If I Could’ve Been the Original Author,

This is the Book I Wish I’d Written

By Jeff Salter

Tough topic this week. And, as I often do, I’m going to skitter around the strict question and answer, instead, the BOOKS (plural) that I wish I’d written… if I’d been the original author.

One of the problems this topic presents is that I’ve read so many terrific books in my life, so far. How can I narrow that down to a single title that I wish I’d written?

Moreover, do I wish I’d actually WRITTEN that book? Or merely that I had the honor, the fame, the recognition of having written it? [There’s a subtle difference… think about it.]

“Wish upon a shooting star”


After struggling for a response to this topic, I finally came upon a title that would serve me well, if I’d been its original author: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. I’ve dealt with that title in a previous blog, which you can find here:

Why Bryson’s title? Because I love the way he entertains the reader even as he educates us, often (at times) with microscopic detail.


Then I began thinking about books that were “deeper” (than humor and education) — in the sense of their “importance.” That led me to remembering Stephen Ambrose… and (in particular), Band of Brothers. The HBO mini-series is considerably more wide-ranging than Ambrose’s book, but both have the same spirit.

Why Ambrose’s title? Because it helped open the collective memories of a generation of ex-soldiers… to share with their off-spring what they went through (and why).


I was familiar with Ernie Pyle from my own youth, when his “biography” was one of the titles I read in the Bobbs-Merrill Childhood of Famous Americans Series. Plus, I had seen him depicted by actor Burgess Meredith in the excellent film, The Story of G.I. Joe. As an adult I’d read a few of his war-time columns here and there, and finally read his 1943 book, Here Is Your War.

Why Pyle’s title? Because it – and the many dispatches / columns the Pulitzer Prize winner filed in 700 subscribing newspapers – really changed the way people learned about war, wrote about war, and felt about war.

Change of Pace

Just in case I’ve totally gone off the rails in my responses to this week’s topic, I asked my wife to answer the same question. Her selections were Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, Fifteen by the late Beverly Cleary, and (basically) all of the books by Elizabeth Peters (AKA Barbara Mertz).


What about YOU? Are there any books that have so impressed you that you wish you’d written them yourself?

For other blogs about other favorite authors or titles, have a look at these:

[JLS # 535]

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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7 Responses to I Wish I May, I Wish I Might

  1. This week’s topic has really been a head-scratcher for me,Jeff. All of your sound like interesting books, but I am truly hard-pressed. hope my post makes sense tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jbrayweber says:

    I think this is a tough multi-faceted question. Like you and others, there can not be only one author, one book for me to choose from. One book might be chosen for its style, another for its lasting impression, and still another for the success it has brought. Therefore I don’t know that I could pinpoint a single book. I will say that I wish I could write with comedic ease like Janet Evanovich, with the dark genius of Anne Rice, have the success of J.K. Rowling, or the fan base of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s world. I could go on…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Earlier in the week on Angela’s day, I answered this question. But having read your blog today, Jeff,…I still wish I had written The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Not because of all the money it’s made over the years for his estate, although that would be nice, but because he’s such a wonderful writer. Every time I’ve read those books, even though I already know what’s coming up, I get lost in the words and story. What writer wouldn’t want a reader to do that?

    Same with Jane Austen. And I’ll also add Shakespeare’s works to the list.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I’m not familiar with your choices, but I totally agree with your wife’s. And I agree with Jen – it would be awesome to have Janet Evanovich’s wit.


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