Top 10 Tuesday - Top Ten Books I'd like to see on screen
I posted my first 'Top Ten Tuesday' two weeks ago - and I think I'm already addicted. TTT is a meme over at The Broke and the Bookish where readers share their bookish lists. This week's topic seemed particularly apt for this blog, so I thought I'd give it a go (although my next post'll be a 'costume stuff' - I promise I haven't given up on variety!) I spend a stupid amount of time in my daily life contemplating what books I'd love to see on screen (or even adapt myself) and my inspirations change all the time. But below are my current favourites:
1. The Luxe Series - Anna Godberson
Four great (if a little trashy) reads, the Luxe series would be a TV hit, I'm sure. The story of upper-East side New Yorkers in the 1890's, this is basically Gossip Girl for period drama fans. It'd have to be big budget - with gorgeous costumes and attractive leads - but there'd also be plenty of juicy story-lines to get our teeth into. If you haven't read the books I'd recommend.
2. The Horse and his Boy - C.S Lewis
The assumption is that this could never be filmed, as it would offend racial sensibilities - the Middle-Eastern style Calormenes are often painted as the bad guys. But Aravis is a Calormene - wouldn't it be nice to see a children's film with a strong, middle-eastern heroine?
And the Pevensie children from the earlier films are now probably about the right age to be playing their older selves...
3. The Mediator Series - Meg Cabot
The Princess Diaries) and one miss (Avalon High). Not that Avalon High isn't a great book, but the film... not so much. But I think The Mediator could take off.
The big hook is of course Suze's ability to talk to the dead (and her blase attitude to the whole thing) but my main motivation for this one is wanting to see the characters on screen: Jesse (the hot, hispanic ghostly love interest) Paul (the evil but attractive fellow mediator) and Father Dominic, (Suze's headteacher and Mediator mentor - because when was the last time we met a Catholic TV character who wasn't a complete nut?)
4. How Green Was my Valley - Richard Llewllyn
This has been adapted before, both for film and TV, but I think it's due a re-make. The story of the loves and lives of a Welsh mining family in the Victorian era, this is a huge book (but a fast read!) with loads of great characters and story threads enough to fill a drama intensive series. And they could use actual Welsh people this time, unlike the film. I've already started casting it in my head - Ioan Gruffudd for Mr. Grufudd (not just because of the name!) Ruth Jones for the mother, Luke Evans, Aneurin Barnard, Taron Egerton as Huw - someone needs to get this made!
5. Noughts and Crosses - Malorie Blackman
It's depressing but dramatic - and TV loves that. Also it worked really well as play (the RSC did it in 2008).
6. My Lady of Cleeves - Margaret Campbell Barnes
Tudor fiction, but Margaret Campbell Barnes gives us an Anne who is sensible, human and loveable. The best thing about this book is the way the relationships are depicted - between Anne and Henry, his children and Hans Holbein - who painted the infamous portrait and here is cast the love interest. Can definitely see this as a mini-series one day!
7. The Mel Beeby (Agent Angel) Series - Annie Dalton
I started reading the Agent Angel series (formally 'Angels Unlimited') back in my tween years and they still make great comfort reading. The premise concerns an ordinary urban thirteen year old, killed in a hit and run accident, who wins a 'scholarship' to Angel school. The genius lies in Mel's 'history' classes - aka guardian angel style missions, taken with the obligatory friends ('soul mate' Lola, sweet Reuben and ex- 'cosmic outlaw' Brice) that allow our characters to adventure in different time periods as undercover 'agents'. My personal favourite missions involve Gladiators in ancient Rome, a teenaged Shakespeare and a detour to the 21st century to see how Mel's 'earth' friends are coping after her death. Can't you see it in the 'after-school' TV slot? With 'Wild Thornberries' style titles involving a Mel voice-over and shots of her death and arrival at the school? No? Just me then.
8. The Admirable Crichton - J.M Barrie
9. Sword at Sunset - Rosemary Sutcliffe
Arthurian novel and one of the few adult books written by Sutcliffe, this is the legend told a little differently. 'Artos' is a Celtic war chief, holding the Saxons at bay in a Britain recently abandoned by Rome. There's loads of great story strands (I particularly love the meeting with Guinevere and the following battle on the beach) and twists on the legend - and the Arthur story always has the best ingredients for drama anyway: war, passion, betrayal...
10. The Starlight Barking - Dodie Smith
Smith's sequel to the beloved 101 Dalmatians sees all our favourite dogs wake up one morning to a world where every non-canine creature is fast asleep and dogs have somehow discovered the ability to hover or 'swoosh' above the floor. They all fly down from the Dalmatian plantation to Downing street (where Pongo's daughter now lives with the Prime Minister) to discover the cause. I won't tell you the ending (because I want you to read it for yourself!) but it is literally barking mad. The author was definitely on something when she wrote this book - the original is quite normal.