Top Ten Tuesday (4): Top Ten Books I’d Love To See As Movies / TV Shows

June 1, 2015 Layla, Top Ten Tuesday 76

Top Ten Tuesday banner


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, we’re happy to be talking about books we’d most like to see as movies / TV shows.


divider vine cropped

I’m going to try really hard not to cheat and choose things that have already been made into TV shows or movies, but I make no promises! I will also say that all of this is obviously influenced by the kind of TV and movies I like to watch: I like sci-fi and fantasy, I like story-lines that are focused on ladies, and I like LGBTQ characters and content. So!


1. Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas

Maybe this is not a super unexpected choice, but man, these books would make for great movies. When was the last time you saw a high fantasy film about a kickass teenage assassin? Wouldn’t you like to do that? Wouldn’t you like to swoon over a certain captain of the guard or wyvern-riding witch on the big screen? I would, I would! Also, uncharacteristically (for me), when I was reading Heir of Fire, I couldn’t stop thinking about what a wonderful movie that book in particular would make. There’s something almost cinematic about it. Also … wyverns. I want to see them sky-ponies.

2. Temeraire series – Naomi Novik

Dragons + the Napoleonic Wars! A tale of a beautiful love story between a man and his dragon! How dragons might differently shape the face of history! They’re super interesting – the dragons are great characters, and the world-building is pretty awesome. These books would make for a great TV show in my mind, and um, I think Peter Jackson might actually be working on it as mini-series? Additionally, there are at least eight of these books so far, so there’s a ton of material. Please make this happen soon, world.

3. Kushiel series – Jacqueline Carey

Another lengthy series that I think would translate well into a television show. The books are set in the courts of a fantasy world that’s a little bit like medieval France and follow the adventures of Phèdre nó Delaunay, an intelligent, perceptive, and resourceful young woman, as she navigates that world. (She is kind of like a courtesan-spy.) The books are really sex-positive and feminist and queer friendly, and Carey builds a detailed and intricate alternative history of medieval Europe, and they’re wonderful. Still: how much would you love an epic fantasy series like this?

4. His Fair Assassin series – Robin LaFevers

I want to see this as a TV series for similar-ish reasons: it too is set in fantasy medieval France and puts women front-and-center, though in this case, they’re assassin-nuns. I don’t know, I guess I think anything that involves court intrigue and romance and ladies being badasses against a historical backdrop is my jam. Can you not imagine how wonderful it would be? So much pageantry! So much poison! I can see it in my brain already. And hmm, this is probably why I like Reign so much, since it too is in many ways a fantasy version of early modern Europe, replete with clothing by Free People.

5. Quest for a Maid – Frances Mary Hendry

Did anyone ever read this young adult historical novel? I haven’t read it since I was in junior high school, but have had very fond memories of it. It’s set in medieval Scotland (if you’re noticing a theme, that theme is that I like things on the spectrum of historical fiction) and is about a young Scottish girl who becomes involved in intrigue with regards to the rightful heir of the Scottish throne. (She overhears her sister plot to kill the king, and our protagonist Meg tries to set things to rights by protecting the next in line, the Maid of Norway. Whether any of this is right or historically accurate is beyond me; like I said, I haven’t re-read it in years.) But I remember this being a wonderful book about Adventures in History, and um, I think it’d be great. Made-for-TV movie, please!


6. Small Change series – Jo Walton

Jo Walton’s Small Change series – Farthing, Ha’penny, and Half a Crown – are set in an alternate timeline where the United Kingdom chooses to appease Hitler because the United States withdraws support. I haven’t read these books in a few years, but the first is sort of a murder mystery against the backdrop of an alternate version of the 1940s. The books are really great, very political intrigue-y, and take things like race, religion, gender, and sexuality into account in considering what this particular world would look like. I’d love to see them as a mini-series. I’m kind of surprised this hasn’t already happened.

7. Red Rising – Pierce Brown

I think Kim’s review described this best as “dystopian, eugenic, Capture-the-Flag on Mars” and um, that is precisely why I would like to see this as a movie. I know that it’s supposed to happen, but since it isn’t out yet (and there really aren’t many details about its production) I feel mostly safe including it here. Capture-the-Flag on Mars: The Movie.

8. Aud Torvingen series – Nicola Griffith

So, I do want this to happen, but I’m also not sure that it wouldn’t be totally counter to the nature of the books to do this. The Aud Torvingen books – The Blue Place, Stay, and Always – follow a Norwegian ex-cop who is pretty great at violence and also super emotionally damaged. They’re crime thrillers? Noir-ish? Gay as hell? And very, very good. But, um, I would love for Aud Torvingen to be brought to life.

9. Patience and Sarah – Isabel Miller

Because I want more films about ladies falling in love in history. Patience and Sarah is set in the early nineteenth-century; a single lady and a farmer’s daughter find love and basically try to establish a shared life together. It’s a kind of quiet book – although they do have to fight family members and religious figures – and has a happy ending (huzzah, no one dies or ends up alone forever). I like period pieces for films, and while this book isn’t my favorite, I think it’d make a great movie.

10. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

It is a sweet high-school love story between two boys, involves Oreos, and takes place primarily over the internet. Come on, world, we need an updated You’ve Got Mail! In my mind, this could be an incredibly adorable rom-com, and let’s be real, there aren’t enough of those for gay teens as it is. THINK OF HOW CUTE IT COULD BE. Simon + Blue 4eva!

PS. My heart still cries that the world never got to see Pullman’s The Subtle Knife as a movie. Yeah, I know the first one wasn’t great (although it has many great moments), but I really wanted to see the creepiness of Cittàgazze on the big screen.



So, what books would you love to see as TV or movies? What’d I miss?

layla signature teal

76 Responses to “Top Ten Tuesday (4): Top Ten Books I’d Love To See As Movies / TV Shows”

  1. Run Q

    I barely know half of them but I read Throne of glass series and LOVE it. I totally sees it as a movie!

  2. E

    Great list – but I haven’t read half of them! I really, really REALLY want to read ‘Simon vs…’ Need to get hold of it. But I’ve given myself a (ridiculous) rule of not buying books until I’ve read all the ones I’ve got. I’m such a flighty reader at the moment – but isn’t it hard when there are so many shiny new books out there??
    E recently posted…Book Review: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngoze Adichie

  3. Thomas

    Really great list! I observe the trend of more fantasy/sci-fi reads on here; I feel that a contemporary/realistic read would have to be pretty stellar to translate to the screen, just because of how character-driven they are as opposed to relying on big visuals and action sequences and stories with out-of-this-world settings. For some reason I feel like Courtney Summers’ books would make great movies, like This is Not a Test or Some Girls Are. While I appreciated Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, I feel that the middle of the book might be difficult to translate into a movie because of how it kind of just focuses on Simon proceeding about his day to day while thinking about Blue… but we also need more LGBTQ representation in the YA industry both book-wise and movie-wise, so perhaps. Either way, thank you for this wonderful post :)
    Thomas recently posted…Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide by Kay Redfield Jamison

  4. BSheff

    I agree wholeheartedly that his fair assassins should be made visual. A mini series on HBO? Yes. I would also love to see Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha series on some screen or other. Could be good!

  5. BSheff

    I agree wholeheartedly that his fair assassins should be made visual. A mini series on HBO? Yes. I would also love to see Leigh Bardugo’s Geisha series on some screen or other. Could be good!

  6. Kyla McCallum

    I would love to see Throne of Glass as a TV show! I can’t think of anyone to play Celeana though… maybe Amber Heard?

  7. Harrison

    I completely second Throne of Glass. I’m just trying to imagine all of the men and outfits…. oh dear.

  8. Carina Olsen

    Yaaay :D Stunning list Layla. <3 So happy you want so many books as movies or shows :) I want so many too, lol. Though from your list I have only read Grave Mercy.. but looved that book :) Thank you for sharing sweet girl. <3
    Carina Olsen recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #190

    • Layla

      Oh man, yeah you do! Get on that when you can. My personal favorite is the third book, and that is the one that I am most excited to see become a movie. Or the prequels, though those would be heartbreaking.

    • Layla

      I am so bummed we didn’t get to see you at BEA, Pili!!

      Red Rising the movie is going to be terrifying but awesome. I’m not super good at visualizing things when I read, so, like, while I KNOW that there’s violence in the books, I expect I’ll be confronted with it in a totally different way when the movie happens. (i.e. it will be total nightmare fuel.)

      Everyone had Throne of Glass on their lists. So Throne of Glass should happen, stat.

  9. Anne @ Lovely Literature

    Make that Kushiel’s Dart an HBO show and we good to go. Seriously, that series would be my top pick for a television show. It has it all! I casted this on the blog at one point, and picked Camilla Bell for Phedre, Wilson Bethel (Hart of Dixie) for Joscelin and Eva Green (oohhh yea) for Melisande.

    Come on universe, I’m not asking for anything too hard. Make this happen!
    Anne @ Lovely Literature recently posted…Books we’d love to see as a TV series or movie!

    • Layla

      I am very satisfied with your casting choices. (I’m horrible at casting things! I don’t have mental images of characters so when it comes down to casting, there’s no picture in my head to begin with.) But would 100% be down with Eva Green as Melisande. Anyway, it’d be a great HBO show – and the books are all done, too – and maybe this is blasphemy, but I’d rather watch that than Game of Thrones. :)

    • Layla

      HMMMM. I mean, I guess I mostly feel ok about it, although I feel like you should read these if you’re interested at some point in your life. I really, really enjoyed the hell out of them when I binge-read them all a few years ago! BUT I know that there are also real problems with them.

      Haha, <3 <3 <3 <3 <3.

      I will have to think of some really good things to make you read. ::tents fingers like Mr. Burns:: Exceeeelllent.
      Layla recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (4): Top Ten Books I’d Love To See As Movies / TV Shows

  10. Valerie

    I think Red Rising has a movie deal! Which would be super epic because I LOVED THE BOOK and I would love to see it all take place! And I would also kill for a Throne of Glass adaptation :)
    Valerie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #57

      • Erin

        Ooh, bromance, eh? Those are always great. In YA it is way to difficult to find a good, solid friendship that isn’t romantically inclined. I’m thinking of reading Heir of Fire this month, if not this week! I need to find out exactly what these wyverns are!
        Erin recently posted…Paper Towns by John Green

  11. J. Oh

    Ooh, I definitely agree with Throne of Glass and His Fair Assassin (which are the books on this list I’ve read). I think they’d be pretty scary for me, since both of their fare amount of gore at times, and yet I love the characters so much that I’d want to watch them, even if I had to cover my eyes for long sequences due to my squeamishness.

    It’s still fairly novel for me (and so exciting) to have Asian main characters, so, with that bias in mind, I’d definitely love to see Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices trilogy as movies/a TV series. I actually don’t watch a lot of TV or movies (there’s only so much room for media in my life, and for me, it’s books!), so this question is actually kind of hard! But I think I’d also enjoy: the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and the Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski (though the second one would be torture).

    • J. Oh

      Whoa, I don’t know if I was sleeping when I typed that, but I meant “both of them have their fair amount of gore”.

    • Layla

      Yeah, I’m definitely not a visual reader at all, so I suspect I’d be in for a surprise if any of these were made into films. (I know violence is happening, but I’m not actively picturing it! So I think it’s very possible that when confronted with it visually I would be like “WOAH WOAH, WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE.”) Whatever, give me some assassin nuns on my TV, it sounds fun in theory.

      Oh FOR SURE. It would be wonderful to have more Asian main characters on TV, so that is an excellent bias to have in mind. I haven’t read Jenny Han’s books, but I’d love to see Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices trilogy – would watch! Show me that clockwork angel! Make some awesome opening graphics with those clockwork gears shifting!

      I still haven’t read either of those series although I have at least the first book in each. And I want to read them! They’re both on my Kindle. I haven’t gotten around to either though. I suspect I’ll be in agreement once I read them, though, from what I’ve heard of them.
      Layla recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (4): Top Ten Books I’d Love To See As Movies / TV Shows

  12. Laura Lawbaugh

    omg Temeraire would be so good! I haven’t read a few of these, so thank you for helping me add to my tbr!

    • Layla

      I know. I feel like ToG is definitely one of the ones I’ve seen around the most – along with The Night Circus, which I haven’t read! (Though I did play some sort of computer game associated with it very early on, before the book actually came out.) Anyway, I hope folks who actually do movies and TV shows are taking note of this week’s TTT, because holy cow, would I love a ToG movie.

      Yes to His Fair Assassin! I smile gladly at the thought of all those would-be assassin nuns, assassining their little hearts out.
      Layla recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (4): Top Ten Books I’d Love To See As Movies / TV Shows

  13. JJ

    I had Throne of Glass on my list too, it would make an epic movie and you’re right, there’s something almost cinematic about the way Sarah J Maas writes particularly in Heir of Fire.
    JJ recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #7

    • Layla

      I mean, I’d be pretty unhappy if His Fair Assassin ended up like Reign, but only because those books are not nearly campy enough. Not because I don’t like Reign, because as per my post, I love that crazysauce fake historical drama about Mary, Queen of Scots. (I want Megan Follows to never be anything else ever again.)

      TEMERAIRE WOULD BE SO GREAT. Think of how fantastic the dragons would be. We’re gonna need some good CGI for this, Peter Jackson.
      Layla recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (4): Top Ten Books I’d Love To See As Movies / TV Shows

  14. Stacie

    The Witch of Blackbird Pond! How this was not made into a cheesy (in the best way possible) TV movie in the 80s escapes me.

          • Stacie

            Peacock blue! In the beginning of the book, she tries to give it to Judith, her cousin, but her Uncle refuses, saying “No one in my family has any use for such frippery… Nor are we beholden on anyone’s charity for our clothing.” By the end of the book, everyone has grown, learned a little about each other, and the last comment about the dress is this: “These two [dresses] she would take directly to Uncle Matthew, and this time she felt sure he would let his daughters accept them, because he would know now that she offered the gifts with love instead of pride.”

            I don’t have the book memorized! Just a copy handy. :)

            • Layla

              YES, sinful peacock blue dress! Ahh, that book. I wonder if my copy is still in my parents’ house somewhere. I kind of doubt it; they made me cull the herd when I left for graduate school. But I do want to re-read this, so to the library I shall go.

    • Layla

      I think ToG could be really, really good. Action, excitement, Celaena kicking ass! I want it to happen.

      And I think Simon would be wonderful, too. It’s sometimes hard to translate epistolary novels to the screen (watching someone typey-type on their computer isn’t always good action), but I really think it could work. And it would be super sweet. And we would maybe get to see a depiction of a Shoreo, which I would really enjoy too.
      Layla recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (4): Top Ten Books I’d Love To See As Movies / TV Shows

    • Layla

      Right? I think it would be incredibly adorable. And I love You’ve Got Mail, but who’s to say that we couldn’t get a queer angle on the story? High school You’ve Got Mail! I don’t know, I think it has all the makings of a good rom-com, and it’s also serious in the right places when it needs to be (stuff around Simon’s family and friends and coming out – all done really well!).
      Layla recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (4): Top Ten Books I’d Love To See As Movies / TV Shows

    • Layla

      It’s at the top of my list for a reason. There are thousands of pages to draw from! And like, in my mind, it’s full of the stuff that makes high fantasy TV shows a lot of fun – intrigue, strong world-building, daring exploits, seduction – but it’s also queer friendly and sex-positive and has an awesome female protagonist?

      Her other books – especially Santa Olivia – could also be really great if adapted well. (Please show me a movie about a girl who boxes and is also maybe part wolf and I am down.)
      Layla recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (4): Top Ten Books I’d Love To See As Movies / TV Shows