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

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s prompt is Ten Books I’d Love to See as Movies/TV Shows. Here’s what I came up with (in no particular order):

1) The Vampirates series – Justin Somper

I’m picturing this as a movie that eventually leads into a television series (kinda like what happened with Buffy the Vampire Slayer). From what I remember, the world is really well described, and it would be a perfect follow-up to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise (are they ever going to stop making those movies??).

2) Every Breath – Ellie Marney

It’s the gritty YA book version of Sherlock, so it could just as easily be the gritty, YA movie version of Sherlock. The only problem is, I think a lot of Ellie Marney fans have their own perfect mental image of Mycroft, and I’m not sure any real life version would be able to compare.

3) The Artemis Fowl series – Eoin Colfer

There have been rumours of a movie adaptation since the first book came out (14 years ago!!). So far, that has not happened. I still remain hopeful that one day I’ll see Artemis, Holly, Butler, et al., on the big screen. And with all the special CGI effects they’re capable of these days, the underground world of the fair-folk would be glorious.

4) The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

Frankly, I’m surprised there isn’t already a movie. I think it might be in development, but no one’s been cast. I haven’t listened to the audio book version yet, but Andrew Scott (Moriarty from Sherlock) does the voice of The Man Jack, and now I can’t picture anyone else in the role.

5) The Marlowe School series – Daniel & Dina Nayeri

While I didn’t love the last book of the trilogy, and, frankly, all of the characters in the first book were terrible people, this could make a fascinating Supernatural-esque TV show. Sure, it would have to move away from the source material after a certain point, but don’t they always?

6) Masque of the Red Death – Bethany Griffin

After I read this, Vikki Van Sickle (who is an author and a very cool person in general) mentioned that she thought the setting would make a great amusement park. I completely agree, and I think it was atmospheric enough that it would make a creepy-cool movie (maybe combine it with the sequel?).

7) Johannes Cabal: The Necromancer – Jonathan L. Howard

Deals with the devil, charismatic vampires, a road show/circus – this book was so good, I’d love to see it as a movie! Plus, if it did well, there are currently three sequels to adapt!

8) The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

I don’t know how much of the novel would be lost in a movie adaptation, but it’s so beautifully described, set designers and special effects people would have a field day! I’m thinking Tim Burton as a director, but that’s just me.

9) Children of the Red King – Jenny Nimmo

Obviously this would be a children’s series, but how much fun would it be to follow Charlie on his adventures? I’m picturing an animated show, sort of similar to the weird Jacob Two-Two cartoon they made a few years ago.

10) Magonia – Maria Dahvana Headley

I want a movie just so I could see the costumes. Again, gorgeous descriptions would make it relatively easy to adapt, and it would be a refreshing change from all the John Green adaptations that are happening (not that I have anything against John Green, but still. Give the rest of the YA world a chance!).

That was hard work! Let me know in the comments any books you immediately thought of for this topic.

A Bookish Alphabet

If there’s one thing I like, it’s answering questionnaire-type things, especially when it has to do with books!

I stole this from The Hidden Staircase who in turn was inspired by Just My Humble Books. Go check out their posts and thanks for the great idea, ladies!

A. Author You’ve Read The Most Books From

Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket. I’ve read all of A Series of Unfortunate Events (13 in total), plus the “extra books” (The Beatrice LettersHorseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid, and The Unauthorized Autobiography – which is hilarious, if a little nonsensical, by the way) AND the first three books of All The Wrong Questions (just waiting for book four to be released this fall), AND his YA novel, Why We Broke Up.

I also think I have one of his adult books on my shelf (haven’t read it yet), and I’d like to read his latest, We Are Pirates.

B. Best Sequel Ever

That’s like asking parents of multiple children which kid they like the most. I could write an entire post about the sequels (and series) I love.

C. Currently Reading

It’s on hold right now, but I’m re-reading A Great and Terrible Beauty (Libba Bray). I’m also reading I am Half-Sick of Shadows (Alan Bradley), two manuscripts for work, and I’ve just started When Everything Feels Like the Movies (Raziel Reid).

D. Drink of Choice While Reading

I don’t often drink while reading, but tea is my go-to drink.

tea

E. E-Reader or Physical Books

Physical books!! I’ve recently been using a Kindle (it’s actually my dad’s but he doesn’t use it, so I “stole” it) for all my NetGalley ARCs, but I do miss the feel of a physical book (even if the Kindle IS lighter than a 300+ page novel).

F. Fictional Character You Would Have Dated In High School

James from Audrey, Wait! (Robin Benway). He’s a big music nerd and is genuinely sweet (plus at the start of the book, he was working at an ice cream store, so I would just eat ice cream ALL THE TIME. And then at the end of the book, he was working at a music store, so then I would buy CDs ALL THE TIME!).

G. Glad You Gave This Book A Chance

I picked up The Beautiful and the Cursed (Page Morgan) on a whim because I liked that there was a character named Grayson (my current work-in-progress main character is named Grayson). SO GLAD I READ IT, IT WAS AMAZING, DEFINITELY ONE OF MY FAVOURITE TRILOGIES NOW.

H. Hidden Gem Book

Middle Grade: The Children of the Red King series by Jenny Nimmo. I don’t know anyone else who’s ever read them – they’re excellent for (younger) Harry Potter fans.

Young Adult: People are all about Gena Showalter’s White Rabbit Chronicles for some reason (I read the first one and thought it was awful), but her first YA series – Intertwined – was fantastic.

Adult: My sister, Ro, has a knack for finding excellent books that no one else has heard of. If I had had a rating system when I started talking about books on this blog, these would have gotten five interrobang hearts: Mathilda SavitchGods Behaving BadlyJohannes Cabal: The NecromancerProspero Lost.

I. Important Moments of Your Reading Life

I chose three big moments:

-my oldest sister (Vanessa) handing me Ella Enchanted for the first time when I was 8. It remains one of my favourite books of all time and it got me interested in the idea of re-tellings and fractured fairy tales.

-my other sister (Roanna) starting to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to me around the same time and eventually just handing it over so I could finish it myself.

-reading The Sweet Far Thing (Libba Bray) at 17 and realizing that books don’t always have to have happy endings.

J. Just Finished

The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath (Ishbelle Bee) and A Red Herring Without Mustard (Alan Bradley). Both reviews will be up this Friday!

K. Kinds of Books You Won’t Read

Satire type things and/or stuff by Chuck Palahniuk (sorry if any of you are fans). I read Invisible Monsters in high school (because Panic! at the Disco‘s song “Time to Dance” is based on it), and while I appreciated how well the song retold the story, I didn’t actually enjoy the book.

L. Longest Book You’ve Read

That I’ve finished? Probably Inheritance (Christopher Paolini) – 860 pages. It took me several months because I was bored to tears by it (and was also in my last year of university). I was just so unimpressed with that entire series.

Long books I haven’t finished: in third year university, I started both Our Mutual Friend (Charles Dickens – 880 pages) and Ulysses (James Joyce – 1056 pages), but didn’t finish either of them because my professor spoiled the ending of Our Mutual Friend and Ulysses was daunting, plus I had 5 other books to read that week (yay for being an English major!)

M. Major Book Hangover Because Of

This happens on a constant basis, but after crying my way through the end of The Wondrous and the Wicked a couple of weeks ago, I had a hard time functioning for about an hour after finishing it.

N. Number of Bookcases You Own

Three – two of them are double stacked (the third is too short and stout otherwise it would be too), plus there are four individual shelves on my walls that are packed with books.

O. One Book That You Have Read Multiple Times

There are so many, but I’m going to go with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares) because I was just talking about it on the weekend and it made me want to re-read the series.

P. Preferred Place to Read

My room (i.e. my bed), or the living room.

Q. Quote From A Book That Inspires You/Gives You Feels

Just last week, I talked about my top ten favourite book quotes, but I’m really tied between the first two:

“Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.” – Instructions (Neil Gaiman)

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (spoken by Dumbledore)

R. Reading Regret

I regret buying all of the Cassandra Clare books in hardcover. Yes, they are gorgeous, but they take up SO MUCH ROOM and, as I’ve grown out of her, I cringe at the thought of how much I spent on them (thankfully, I bought them all at Costco, so at least my parents saved some money).

S. Series You Started and Need to Finish

I’m steadily working my way through Alan Bradley‘s Flavia de Luce series, and I’ve only read The Fellowship of the Ring (many years ago), so I should probably read the rest of those at some point.

T. Three Of Your All-Time Favorite Books

  1. Ella Enchanted
  2. Audrey, Wait!
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban/Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

U. Unapologetic Fangirl For

Harry Potter!!!!!!! #always

hogwarts

W. Worst Bookish Habit

Buying books because they’re pretty/look interesting and then not reading them for several years.

V. Very Excited For This Release More Than Any Other

Calvin – Martine Leavitt

I’m a huge Calvin & Hobbes fan and this book will either be the greatest thing to happen to me or the worst. Either way, I’m intrigued!

X. Marks The Spot (Start On Your Bookshelf And Count to the 27th Book)

I chose my biggest bookshelf because the selection is much more varied: The Boleyn Inheritance (Philippa Gregory).

Y. Your Latest Book Purchase

I haven’t bought a book in a while (one of the perks of working in publishing!!), but the last book I picked up was Vanessa and Her Sister (Priya Parmar).

Z. ZZZ-Snatcher (last book that kept you up WAY late)

Every Word – Ellie Marney (which I haven’t written a review for yet because it doesn’t come out until September!).

Johannes Cabal: The Detective – Jonathan L. Howard

Last month, I read the fantastic first Johannes Cabal book, The Necromancer, and yesterday I finished the sequel, The Detective.

https://i0.wp.com/d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327931539l/7675981.jpg

“Johannes Cabal returns in this fearfully funny and terrifically twisted tale of murder and international intrigue . . . five thousand feet off the ground.
 
When an attempt to steal a rare book turns sour, Johannes Cabal, a necromancer of some little infamy, finds himself in a foreign prison awaiting execution. A crafty plan — as horrific as it is cunning — allows him to steal the identity of a government official and make his escape aboard a luxurious aeroship heading out of the country. But what should be a perfect getaway rapidly becomes complicated by the bizarre disappearance of a passenger, an attempt on Cabal’s life, and an unwelcome face from the past. Trapped aboard with a killer, can even Cabal’s open-razor of a mind save him?
 
Full of twists, turns, sword fights, archenemies, newfangled flying machines, narrow escapes, and, of course, resurrected dead, Johannes Cabal’s latest eldritch escapade is a Ruritanian romp from first to last.”

While I enjoyed this book, it fell into that sequel-trap where, upon finishing, I thought: “it was good, but not as good as the first one”. I definitely liked the plot of the first one more (who doesn’t love a good old fashioned carnival of damned souls?), which is not to say that I didn’t like this one. I just didn’t like it as much.

One of the highlights of the series is the writing style. Howard impressively balances humour and seriousness, inserting jokes and quips in between mysterious cases of probable suicide and attempted murders. There are times when a joke would seem misplaced or ill-timed, but Howard seamlessly makes it work (dry British wit at its absolute best).

I did feel like it was harder to get into: not hard, so much as it didn’t catch me quite as quickly as the first one did, particulary when I realized that the plot was driven by foreign politics (I barely understand real life politics, you want me to figure out what’s going on in made-up countries?). With the first one, I knew within two pages that it was going to be GRRREAT, but with this one…well, I had high expectations and I was a little concerned that they wouldn’t be met.

I liked the steampunk edge, yet – despite the endlessly helpful diagrams of the two aircrafts – I was still a little confused with some of the technological jargon (I don’t think I’ve ever read anything “steampunk” before, though the subgenre fascinates me).

And, while I appreciated the larger role the returning character played (it was unexpected but well-done) – MINOR SPOILER – I was a little disappointed at the lack of Horst, Johannes’ brother, who was one of my favourites in The Necromancer. Plus Horst still had so much backstory left to discover, I’d have liked to see him again (I’m hoping he’s in the third one).

It’s definitely worth the read, especially if you read – and loved – the first one like I did. Even though the middle seemed to drag for a while (I found myself thinking “SOLVE THE MURDER ALREADY” a couple of times, but that could just be because I’m impatient), the unique narrative voice is enough to keep you reading all the way through. Especially that doozy of a last chapter! I may have started work 20 minutes late because I couldn’t close the book without finding out how it ended so take it from me: once you hit the 3/4 mark of the novel, don’t commit to reading if you’re planning on going somewhere soon.

Johannes Cabal: The Necromancer – Jonathan L. Howard

Johannes Cabal: The Necromancer

“A charmingly gothic, fiendishly funny Faustian tale about a brilliant scientist who makes a deal with the Devil, twice.  
 
Johannes Cabal sold his soul years ago in order to learn the laws of necromancy. Now he wants it back. Amused and slightly bored, Satan proposes a little wager: Johannes has to persuade one hundred people to sign over their souls or he will be damned forever. This time for real. Accepting the bargain, Jonathan is given one calendar year and a traveling carnival to complete his task. With little time to waste, Johannes raises a motley crew from the dead and enlists his brother, Horst, a charismatic vampire to help him run his nefarious road show, resulting in mayhem at every turn.”

You know when you start a book and two pages in, you stop and think “this is going to be AMAZING”? Yeah, that’s what happened with Johannes Cabal. Honestly, who doesn’t love a good tale of Faustian bargains?

I knew it was going to be fantastic as soon as I saw the table of contents which includes chapter titles such as “in which a scientist visits hell and a deal is struck” (chapter 1) and – my personal favourite – chapter 8: “in which Cabal is educated in business affairs and undertakings are undertook”.

From Cabal’s first meeting with Satan to his follow-up appointment in Hell a year later (not really a  spoiler, how else did you expect Satan to know that Cabal kept his end of the deal?), the writing is witty, descriptive, eloquent (I occasionally needed a dictionary – yay for building vocabularies!), and compelling. I had a hard time putting it down when reading before work.

There were so many sarcastic and well-crafted lines, I can’t really pick a “favourite” moment (I laughed out loud a couple of times), but here is just one example of the charming humour you’ll find:

“Despite there not being another vehicle on the road for as far as the eye could see, the postman slowed, checked both ways, and signalled before joining the main road. A place where bicyclists – postmen to boot – obeyed the laws of the road. Cabal had seen many strange things in his life, of which the walking dead were the least. He’d run for his life from the guardians of Solomon’s Key, avoided the attentions of the gargoyle Bok, and studied, although been careful not to blow, a bronze whistle upon which the words ‘QUIS EST ISTE QUI VENIT’ were deeply inscribed. None of these, however, had filled him with such a sense of hidden threat and foreboding as this polite and cheerful postman”(p199).

(I googled the Latin phrase – allusions galore!).

In short: it was fabulous. Please read it as soon as possible. Also, I just learned there are two sequels, so colour me stoked!