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

Are they ever going to get around to this one? This is my favourite of the Narnia Chronicles, but I'm not biased when I say it would make the best film. It's a good old-fashioned adventure story with a well-rounded plot and an atmospheric, 'Arabian Nights' style setting. Set during the reign of the Pevensie children, but in the adjoining country of Calormen, this is the story of a young boy who escapes his cruel father with the help of a talking Narnian horse. Joining forces with Aravis - a Calormenian Princess (or Tarkheena) on a similar mission, they make for Narnia and the North.

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

When it comes to adaptations, Meg Cabot has had one hit (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

I can't understand why this hasn't been made yet, either as a film or a gritty teen mini-series - again maybe it's due to the race thing. But it's such a good book. Noughts and Crosses is a young adult novel set in a world where the black 'Crosses' are the ruling class and the white 'Noughts' are seen as second class citizens. Sephy and Callum are the young lovers either side of the social divide, who are continually driven apart by tragedy and circumstance. It's a lot darker than the stuff I usually like to read (don't get me started on the sequels) and the characters continually do things that make you hate them, but the story pulls you in and the world is so cleverly constructed that you really feel the hopelessness of Sephy and Callum's situation.

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

One of my favourite books, My Lady of Cleeves is a historical novel centring around Henry VII's 'ugly' wife. Anne has been mostly overlooked in the world of  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

Okay, so this one's been done too. When I watched the film I wasn't too amazed, but when I heard the premise of this story, I thought it sounded great: Downton Abbey style family are stranded on a desert Island in a storm (and Julian Fellowes definitely did some borrowing from this play, by the way). When money no longer matters as much as wits and leadership, the strongest characters come to the fore. In this case Crichton the butler, the eldest daughter of the family (who happens to be called Lady Mary...) and the 'tweeny' maid . There's even a bit of a love triangle. Flesh out the characters a bit - it's quite a short play - and this would make a great series.

9. Sword at Sunset - Rosemary Sutcliffe

A hugely atmospheric (if overly descriptive) 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

I would love to see an adaptation of this, not because it'd be good (there's a reason it's never been made) but because it would be hilarious.

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.


  1. The Horse and His Boy is my favorite too! They really do need to make a movie of it. :) I've heard the same thing that it would offend racial insensitivities.
    I am reading How Green was My Valley this year. I know my mom has seen a film version she likes.

    1. I like the old black and white film, but the weird mix of accents makes me laugh - they're all English and Irish. Thanks for the comment :)

  2. I loved The Horse and His Boy as a kid- it might be time for me to revisit. And The Admirable- I'm a sucker for desert island stories . I had not heard of that one, very curious. :)

    1. Thanks for the comment, The admirable's a bit old fashioned and corny but I just think it's a great idea - the film's fun too :)

  3. I love Noughts and Crosses, I had it on my list this week, it's such a brilliant book that I can't believe it hasn't been picked up for film or TV yet.
    My TTT:

    1. I know they really need to get it made! Don't know if I could cope with an adaptation of knife edge though... :)

  4. I haven't read My Lady of Cleves but I need to! I am obsessed with the Tudors and I feel like there is a lot less around about Anne of Cleves compares to the other wives. I will add this to my list and I'd definitely watch it!

    My TTT!

    1. I know, it all seems to be Anne Boleyn - who I do like, but Anne of Cleeves is the favourite since this book! Thanks, will have a read of yours now :)

  5. I love the Mediator! I completely agree with wanting to see what Jesse looks like. There are so many books on here that I'll have to add to my TBR. :)

    1. I love Jesse, haha - I read somewhere that Meg Cabot almost let them make a film a few years ago and then changed her mind! Thanks :)


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