Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’d Love To See As Movies or TV Shows

fireworks2Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week.

This week’s theme is Top Ten Books I’d Love To See As a Movie or TV Show (set in a perfect world… in which movies don’t butcher the books we love). It seems that every book gets gobbled up by Hollywood these days, so it’s a challenge to come up with ten that aren’t movies and most likely never will be movies… but heck yeah, I’d love to see a really wonderful and faithful movie adaptation of each one! Of course, as one of the pins I keep seeing on Pinterest says, in order to please me, the movie version would have to be 17 hours long and not leave out a single detail.

My top 10 choices for books that I’d love to see made into movies (but it’ll probably never happen) are:

1) The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell: This book makes just about every one of my top 10 lists for one reason or another — and that’s because I love it so. I know it’s been optioned for film many a time (including a pick-up by Brad Pitt years ago), but it’s just never worked out. I think the author has now regained the movie rights and has worked on a screenplay, but it does seem unlikely that this beautiful book will ever make it to the big screen.

2) The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan: The writing in this gory, violent book is intense and highly literate, and the entire book is at once a bloodfest and a cerebral, existential examination of life. I can’t imagine all of that translating well into a 2-hour movie and retaining any of its truly unique flavor.

3) Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. This book just cracked me up, and I think it would make an awesome movie! Teen beauty queens stranded on a desert island and having to figure out how to survive — while keeping their talent sharp just in case? Fantastic.

4) Codex Alera by Jim Butcher. The Codex Alera series is high fantasy with big splashes of humor, political infighting, and even some good love stories. I think it would make an epic TV series à la Games of Thrones.

5) A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I’m not sure that a movie could truly capture the significance of the ancient documents and secret alchemical manuscripts — but I am sure that with the right casting, Matthew’s hotness would at least be true to the books.

6) The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger. Wouldn’t you just love to see the dirigibles, the lethal parasols, and the hats? I think this series would be amazing as either a series of movies or as an ongoing TV show. The costumes alone would make it spectacular!

7) The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. This young adult masterpiece feels so cinematic to me, with dramatic sand dunes, horse chases, sword fights, and plenty of swoony love scenes as well. Please?

8) The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. Hoffman’s retelling of the Masada story focuses on the women, and I could see it as a stunning showcase for four strong, talented actresses. Plus, beautiful scenery and tons of action sequences!

9) Breathers by S. G. Browne. Yes, I know zombies are everywhere these days, but this book manages to make zombies funny, sympathetic, and touching. I could see it working as a movie, provided that audiences aren’t completely burned out on the subject by now.

10) The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. Okay, technically speaking, this one shouldn’t count, as there’s already been a movie. But what I want is a GOOD version of this book, one that really captures all the dynamics and nuances, not just a surface-level treatment that tries too hard to be accessible to children. Perhaps a six-part BBC mini-series that includes all three books? One can only hope.

Of course, if I really get going with books that need BETTER movie versions, there’d be no stopping me. And I suppose that would make its own great top 10 topic: the top 10 books that already have movie versions — but which deserve better!

What’s on your list this week?

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33 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’d Love To See As Movies or TV Shows

  1. Okay, technically speaking, this one shouldn’t count, as there’s already been a movie. But what I want is a GOOD version of this book… I have 2 books on my list (should be posted later. I scheduled it) that have that criteria. Not my fault that their movies were bad…

    • Exactly! The only thing worse than wishing for a movie version of a book that never gets made is seeing the movie version of something you love… and having it suck.

  2. I considered adding A Discovery of Witches on my list but I agree with what you said, I don’t think a movie or television show could capture the awesome details that makes this novel so wonderful ❤

    I said in another blog that I actually don't remember much about the movie version of The Golden Compass (except that Daniel Craig looked good in suits…and I think he was sporting a beard in that movie? =D and that Nicole Kidman and Eva Green were in it) so I actually wouldn’t mind seeing a re-make done for it.

    Great list! 🙂 My TTT

    • Hmm, yes, Daniel Craig with a beard was my main takeaway… and the armored bears looked pretty good. But the relationships were awful, and it just was baaaaad.

  3. They are making A Discovery of Witches into a movie. The last book signing I attended, Harkness said the studio was waiting for her to finish book 3 and then they’d focus on the screenplays, etc.

    • Interesting! I just hope they don’t dumb it down and make it just a witch and vampire story. I loved all the academic atmosphere and content — I hope that translates to the screen.

  4. Yes Matthew’s hotness. I was thinking who could play him but could not come up with a guy and than I was thinking I did not even want to see the suggestions because it would most likely ruin the picture of him in my head.

    I was wondering on the Dovekeepers but decided not to put it on my list, nice to see your motivation on this story.

    • LOL, you’re right, I have my own image of Matthew — maybe it’s better to keep that one in my head than have it potentially ruined! I’m glad you like The Dovekeepers too! I haven’t discussed that book with many people, but I did find it so moving and powerful. (Plus, one of my very favorite book covers…)

  5. Great list! I think The Discovery of Witches could be an excellent TV show if done well. I haven’t read Libba Bray’s Beauty Queena but from your description it sounds like a fun read that would translate into an awesome comedy 🙂

    • Oh, I hope you give those two a chance! Both are amazing writers — and have a real flair for mixing in humor even in really dramatic situations. Love ’em!

  6. I absolutely agree with you on the Parasol Protectorate series… that would be so much fun! If done right of course. I have purposely avoided watching The Golden Compass movie because I’ve heard it’s so terrible. Which is a shame! It could have been fantastic.

    • Definitely – it made me kind of mad and sad at the same time to think about all the ways the GC movie could have been better… and of course, they totally screwed up the end! Argh.

  7. Ooooh, now these were some unique picks!

    As much as I loved Duncan’s The Last Werewolf, I think what made it so original was Jake’s inner narrative which would be hard to do on-screen. But if they could find a way to pull it off, I think it would be FANTASTIC to watch. Unfortunately, they’d probably just keep it a total gorefest and not that I mind those types of movies, but it would seriously detract from the bookish version.

    Now Breathers I’d LOVE to see on screen, especially because I wasn’t the biggest fan of the book. Don’t get me wrong, I adored the concept and message, but something just turned me off about it. I think this would be one of those cases where I’d enjoy the movie/show more than the book.

        • I really only picked it up because of Jim Butcher — and a friend had to practically force me even then. My very favorite character was Araris Valerian — can’t believe I forgot about him for a minute!

          • Yes! He’s an awesome character!

            Did you read Dresden first, then? I picked up Dresden after finishing Codex.

            Have you read the Riyria books by Michael J. Sullivan? If you loved Codex as much as I did, you’ve got to read those!

          • Yes, Dresden came first for me. It worked out well — by the time I read Codex Alera, the whole series had been published, so I could just read the entire thing straight through. Intense, but awesome. I’m not familiar with the Riyria books at all — but I think I’d better check them out. Thanks for the recommendation!

  8. Couldn’t agree more about there needing to be a different version of The Golden Compass. I’m not adverse to some changes in movie adaptations, but GC completely butchered the source material. How can you turn something so magical into something so boring and soulless?! How, I ask?!

    On a happier note (*puts angry eyes away*), Parasol Protectorate would make an amazing series! I think an Irish company has the rights/may have started to development, so we may get a movie/series in the future! I’d love to see what kind of hats they could come up with for Ivy!

  9. Sorry to get back to you so late! I’d love a Parasol Protectorate movie – it would be so awesome visually 😀 And I also think it would be hard to make Discovery of Wtiches into a movie, although it would be great 🙂

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