Tuesday, May 1, 2012

ttt: books that should be made into movies

Although I loved last week's question (favorite book characters) on Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish), this week is a close second.

So often movie adaptations fail to capture even half the essence of a good book, but if any of these ten are made into film, I think they could be Oscar-worthy great (fingers crossed!).

Top Ten Books That Should Be Made Into Movies

1. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Imagine the scenes running around post-war Barcelona. The flash-backs. The mystery. This could be brilliant.

2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I had some problems with the romance in this book, but I think on-screen it would actually work much better. Plus, just picture the circus! For those who haven't read the book, this circus is unlike anything you've ever seen because it's made with real magic. The rights for the movie have been bought, so I wouldn't be surprised if this came to screen in a few years.

3. Geek Love by Katharine Dunn. Man, would it be disturbing. But highly entertaining and thought-provoking too. I found an article saying that Dunn received interest in adapting it from such celebrities as Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. The rights were bought by Warner Brothers, but no adaptation is scheduled yet. 

4. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. I might be wrong, but I think Salinger refused to sell the rights to any of his work. I don't blame him, but it would be cool to see Holden on the big screen.

5. How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely. This book is a hilarious look at literature and the publishing industry. I thought I should include at least one comedy on here, since comedies are usually my favorite! And for readers, this could make a laugh-out-loud movie. 

6. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Apparently it was adapted in 1990, but I'd never heard of it before now. Anyone seen it? Is it any good?

7. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I really would just love to see more historical fiction movies. This mystery/drama would make a fantastic movie.

8. The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. Kid thieves running around Venice? This needs to be made! UPDATE: Okay, I just learned that it has been made. Anyone seen it?

9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I've already seen this on a few other partipants' lists, but I thought I'd add it too. Honestly I didn't love The Book Thief (mostly I just felt like it had a big old chip on its shoulder), but as a movie, it could really work and again, I love historical movies so it'd be great to see an interpretation. 

10. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. So I looked it up and apparently this was adapted in 1970. But who really cares about that movie? With our technology today, this could be an amazing film. Imagine the orchestra creating colors scene, the boy who grows down scene, the word market! It would be such a lavish, colorful feast for the eyes and Juster's writing could be swiped right off the page into a fantastic script.


I didn't want to include these two because they've already been adapted (UPDATE: When I began writing this, I had no idea so many of my other picks have been too!), but I would love to see someone remake Gone with the Wind (by Margaret Mitchell) and Fingersmith (by Sarah Waters). The first is the classic film with Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, the second was made by for TV by the BBC (or ITV? I can't remember). Both books are favorites of mine, but I wasn't completely satisfied with their adaptations. 

Honestly, I really disliked Gone with the Wind the first time I saw it. I'd read the book and LOVED it without ever seeing the movie, so that first time was awful. The quality felt dated, the writing and acting sub-par, Rhett was ugly, Scarlett was annoying, Ashley just wasn't likable at all. Over the years, I've come to enjoy it in a "Well, it's a classic, I'll forgive its faults," kind of way, but really I just want to see a remake. Why hasn't this happened yet?! It would bring in tons of money, they could make it lavish in a way they weren't able to originally, they could get Rhett and Scarlett right. I really hope this happens someday.

And Fingersmith really wasn't bad at all. For the most part, the actors all looked how I imagined and it didn't stray too far from the book. I really enjoyed it and had no big complaints. I just wish they would make a real movie version. This book is so great and it deserves a bigger audience. A film would definitely achieve that.

UPDATE: Also, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. I haven't seen it yet, but I've heard all about its sappiness and the absence of the Dresden backstory. It's a little soon for a remake, I know . . . :) But it's one of my favorite books and I just think it deserves more than a lackluster, tear-jerker movie adaptation.

UPDATE: No more updates from here on out. 


  1. I didn't even think of The Night Circus when I was making my list, but that would make a great movie! I could see that circus translating so well on screen. Like you, I had a few issues with the romance in the book, but I agree that it might seem more genuine in a movie.

    And I'd love to see an adaptation of The Book Thief. I'd be so curious as to how they'd turn it into a movie and portray Death. That would be so interesting!

    I included Gone with the Wind on my list, too, because I'd love to see a newer version of it. While I liked the Leigh/Gable version, I think it's due for an update.

    1. Definitely! I imagine Death would be something like the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in "A Christmas Carol" . . . But who knows! Especially since he's got such a strong voice in the novel.

  2. I remember seeing the film adaptation of The Phantom Tollbooth. Fifth grade, maybe? I liked it because the animations were exactly like they were in the book, but I don't remember much else about it. I agree with you, if you're going to tackle a film adaptation of a beloved book, you'd better get it right! *cough* ELIC *cough*

    1. That's cool! The book did have good animations.

      I still haven't seen ELIC. I've kinda been dreading it . . . :P

  3. I have 'Geek Love' sitting on my bookshelf being neglected- I really need to read that! Looks fantastic!

    I reckon no remake of Gone With the Wind has been made cause the first is such a classic...I reckon now would be a good time to do it though x

    1. "Geek Love" is fantastic! In a really disturbing, freaky way though, just to warn you. I'd never read anything like it and probably never will again! (because it's so unique)


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