Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is top ten books I’d like to see as movies or TV shows.
I actually don’t watch many movies or TV shows. I’m embarrassed to admit that the only TV shows I watch regularly are Survivor and The Amazing Race. Some of these books may already be movies or shows that I don’t know about. Let me know if they are so I can watch them. I tried to pick books for this list that are very theatrical and have action-packed plots, fast pacing, unique characters, or vivid settings.
Ten Books That Should Be Movies
1. A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab
Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.
Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.
Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure.'
But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.
Movie Awesomeness Potential: Parallel universes, a wild ending, and characters with terrific fashion sense.
2. Not a Drop to Drink – Mindy McGinnis
Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.
Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.
But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it . . . .
With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.
Movie Awesomeness Potential: Dystopian world with badass characters.
3. Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood
The main character of Atwood's riveting novel calls himself Snowman. When the story opens, he is sleeping in a tree, wearing an old bed sheet, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. He searches for supplies in a wasteland where insects proliferate and pigoons and wolvogs ravage the pleeblands, where ordinary people once lived, and the Compounds that sheltered the extraordinary. As he tries to piece together what has taken place, the narrative shifts to decades earlier. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, who think of him as a kind of monster, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes—into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradise Project unfolded and the world came to grief.
With breathtaking command of her shocking material, and with her customary sharp wit and dark humor, Atwood projects us into an outlandish yet wholly believable realm populated by characters who will continue to inhabit our dreams long after the last chapter. This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers.
Movie Awesomeness Potential: Complex characters, dystopian society, and super-intelligent pigs.
4. Survivor – Chuck Palahniuk
Tender Branson—last surviving member of the Creedish Death Cult—is dictating his life story into Flight 2039’s recorder. He is all alone in the airplane, which will crash shortly into the vast Australian outback. But before it does, he will unfold the tale of his journey from an obedient Creedish child to an ultra-buffed, steroid- and collagen-packed media messiah. Unpredictable and unforgettable, Survivor is Chuck Palahniuk at his deadpan peak: a mesmerizing, unnerving, and hilarious satire on the wages of fame and the bedrock lunacy of the modern world.
Movie Awesomeness Potential: A hilarious story about death cults, plane crashes, and the apocalypse. What’s not to love?
5. Vicious – V.E. Schwab
A masterful, twisted tale of ambition, jealousy, betrayal, and superpowers, set in a near-future world.
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?
In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.
Movie Awesomeness Potential: Supervillains. Enough said.
6. Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green and David Levithan
Will Grayson meets Will Grayson. One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two strangers are about to cross paths. From that moment on, their worlds will collide and lives intertwine.
It's not that far from Evanston to Naperville, but Chicago suburbanites Will Grayson and Will Grayson might as well live on different planets. When fate delivers them both to the same surprising crossroads, the Will Graysons find their lives overlapping and hurtling in new and unexpected directions. With a push from friends new and old—including the massive, and massively fabulous, Tiny Cooper, offensive lineman and musical theater auteur extraordinaire—Will and Will begin building toward respective romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history's most awesome high school musical.
Movie Awesomeness Potential: Great main characters and a storyline relevant to modern times.
7. St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves – Karen Russell
A pack of wild young wolfgirls are taught to be proper young ladies by the nuns of St. Lucy’s Home.
Movie Awesomeness Potential: This is actually a short story, but those can be movies, right? Rebellious wolfgirls + nuns = hilarity. One of my favorite short stories ever. Go read it.
8. The Long Walk – Richard Bachman (Stephen King)
On the first day of May, 100 teenage boys meet for a race known as The Long Walk. If you break the rules, you get three warnings. If you exceed your limit, what happens is absolutely terrifying . . .
Movie Awesomeness Potential: It’s like The Hunger Games, but with less hope.
9. Gathering Blue – Lois Lowry
In her strongest work to date, Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world. It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost-magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.
As she did in The Giver, Lowry challenges readers to imagine what our world could become, and what will be considered valuable. Every reader will be taken by Kira's plight and will long ponder her haunting world and the hope for the future.
Movie Awesomeness Potential: Cool dystopia with unique characters.
10. Room – Emma Donoghue
To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough . . . not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.
Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.
Movie Awesomeness Potential: Lots of action and a protagonist you can really root for.