Fake Books in BoJack Horseman

Posted by Rose Moore

Bojack Horseman returns to Netflix for a fifth season, and fans can’t wait to dive back into a world where animals wear clothes, walk upright, and have existential crises…just like the rest of us! Bojack Horseman is an animation that is also a gut punch of a series, managing to balance the absurd with the kind of moments that get us right in the feels as the washed-up Bojack tries to find a little happiness in Hollywoo. It’s also a surprisingly bookish show (especially for one so doused in sex, drugs, and despair), in no small part because it begins with Bojack attempting to write his memoirs. However, this is far from the only book that pops up in the series…or that we would like to see as part of season five!


One Trick Pony

One Trick Pony is the book that started it all — the Bojack Horseman story, as written by Diane Nguyen. The book takes the entire first season for Diane to write, not least because Bojack doesn’t make it easy for her to get it finished, and she struggles with her own issues as a writer (don’t we all?). Originally planned as a glowing memoir, the book became a damning biography and a huge smash hit.


Secretariat: A Life

Before she wrote about Bojack, Diane Nguyen wrote a book about the life of a very different famous horse: Secretariat. Diane’s take on the thoroughbred’s life includes interviews with friends, family, agents and lovers, and focuses as much on his personal life as his professional achievements — and while there are real books written about the actual Secretariat, the Bojack version is certainly one of pure fiction!


The Swamp Monsters of Malibu

Diane and Bojack were brought together by Pinky Penguin, the hapless owner of Penguin Publishing. As well as failing to get Bojack to write his own memoir (and almost failing to get Diane to ghostwrite it, as well), Pinky managed to sink his publishing company entirely…and a lot of that was because he spent twenty million dollars in marketing a YA series called The Swamp Monsters of Malibu. Clearly a play on popular monster-love-triangle series, the Swamp Monsters Of Malibu failed to reach Twilight heights, and took down Penguin Publishing with it.


Suffragette City

According to Bojack Horseman, Cate Blanchette’s favorite book is Suffragette City, which is shown in the series to be "a coming of age story about rock music, being a teenager in the ‘80s, and buying zoos." Which sounds like a phenomenal book — and the fact that the title is based on a David Bowie song doesn’t hurt, either. (Side note: there is a real life book called Suffragette City by Kate Muir, but the Bojack book cover reveals that this author is Jim Shelby.)


101 Butt Jokes

Okay, so there is probably a real life book out there somewhere called 101 Butt Jokes, but this particular story arc isn’t referencing anything specific! Instead, when Todd becomes obsessed with his new improv group, it’s revealed that the leader (Copernicus) is actually not improvising anything! He’s getting rich off of stolen jokes from this very book.


Good Boy

Diane’s take on Bojack’s life was a fantastic hit, but this is far from the only character that we would love to see get a memoir on the show. Mr Peanutbutter is the polar opposite of Bojack — healthy, happy, enthusiastic and successful — and we’d love to see his biography as an inspiring story of positivity becoming the key to getting the life you want (and the license plate you deserve!). 


Catch That Red Dot!

Somehow, it seems likely that Princess Carolyn is the type to read a whole lot of self-help books as she tries to balance out her career and her relationships (or lack therof)… and she could probably write one, too! Princess Carolyn has had more than her fair share of ups and downs, but she keeps on chasing after her dreams (like her smaller, real world counterparts chase laser pointers), and we’d love to see her capitalize on her failures by writing a book.


For The Betterment Of No-One

Diane Nguyen nearly wrote another biography after she was done with Bojack’s, that of the rich, charming philanthropist Sebastian St. Clair. However, after following him around the world on his "charitable" missions with the Foundation For The Betterment Of Peoples In Distressed Nations Needing Aid, Help, Assistance, And Caring By Communities Established By Sebastian St. Clair… she learned that he was more interested in publicity than actual aid. Time to write an expose about it!


Yes, Butt: A History Of Plagarism In Improv

Todd Chavez might be seen as too much of a lazy slob to actually write a book, but despite his couch surfing ways, he does occasionally become passionate about a subject, and then he dedicates his all to it. He may be done with improv thanks to his bad experience with Copernicus, but that doesn’t mean he can’t teach people a think or two about improv and the ways in which it isn’t always so improvised.


What’s The Big "D" ?

In one of the many sly digs in Bojack Horseman, this version of the film industry isn’t in Hollywood, but Hollywoo — which used to be Hollywoodland, before the land was removed and then the D was stolen! Of course, it turns out that Bojack is the thief, having drunkenly stolen the letter to prove his love to Diane…but "What’s The Big D" looks at the history of the sign, the day that it was stolen, and all the people in Hollywoo who were affected by the loss of the iconic letter (and who helped to find it again).


Which are you favorite fictional books in Bojack? Tweet to us @quirkbooks let us know!