Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Hello! I hope everyone had a nice weekend and a good start to the week! I really like this weeks theme because when reading a book, I quite often think ‘this would make such a good film or tv series’! There are so many books that would make fantastic adaptations so I went for books I’ve read this year that I really think would work on screen!
1. Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton
In rural Somerset in the middle of a blizzard, the unthinkable happens: a school is under siege. Children and teachers barricade themselves into classrooms, the library, the theatre. The headmaster lies wounded in the library, unable to help his trapped students and staff. Outside, a police psychiatrist must identify the gunmen, while parents gather desperate for news. In three intense hours, all must find the courage to stand up to evil and save the people they love.
I read this way back at the start of this very strange year and I’m still thinking about it. I think it would make an incredible and incredibly tense Netflix series. It plays out practically in real time but there is so much to work with which could very easily generate 10 heart-stopping episodes.
2. The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Winter, 1617. The sea around the remote Norwegian island of Vardø is thrown into a reckless storm. A young woman, Maren, watches as the men of the island, out fishing, perish in an instant. Vardø is now a place of women.
Eighteen months later, a sinister figure arrives. Summoned from Scotland to take control of a place at the edge of the civilized world, Absalom Cornet knows what he needs to do to bring the women of the island to heel. With him travels his young wife, Ursa. In her new home, and in Maren, Ursa finds something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place flooded with a terrible evil, one he must root out at all costs . . .
This book is so gorgeously atmospheric and would make a fantastic movie. The setting would be so striking on film and the characters and relationships are so compelling. Plus, I love a good historical movie!
3. The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne
You have been cut off from society for fifteen years, shut away in a mental hospital in self-imposed exile as punishment for the terrible thing you did when you were a child.
But what if nothing about your past is as it seems?
And if you didn’t accidentally shoot and kill your mother, then whoever did is still out there. Waiting for you.
For a decade and a half, Rachel Cunningham has chosen to lock herself away in a psychiatric facility, tortured by gaps in her memory and the certainty that she is responsible for her parents’ deaths. But when she learns new details about their murders, Rachel returns, in a quest for answers, to the place where she once felt safest: her family’s sprawling log cabin in the remote forests of Michigan.
As Rachel begins to uncover what really happened on the day her parents were murdered, she learns – as her mother did years earlier – that home can be a place of unspeakable evil, and that the bond she shares with her sister might be the most poisonous of all.
I read this one quite recently and I think it would make for a genuinely gripping Netflix show. The story jumps between the present day and flashbacks and I can totally see how an hour could be spent in the present only to jump into the past for the next episode. It is a thrilling book with an awesomely cinematic setting – please, Netflix, make this a reality!
4. What’s Left of Me is Yours by Stephanie Scott
In Japan, a covert industry has grown up around the wakaresaseya (literally “breaker-upper”), a person hired by one spouse to seduce the other in order to gain the advantage in divorce proceedings.
When Sato hires Kaitaro, a wakaresaseya agent, to have an affair with his wife, Rina, he assumes it will be an easy case. But Sato has never truly understood Rina or her desires and Kaitaro’s job is to do exactly that – until he does it too well.
While Rina remains ignorant of the circumstances that brought them together, she and Kaitaro fall in a desperate, singular love, setting in motion a series of violent acts that will forever haunt her daughter Sumiko’s life.
This book is beautifully written and one of the most elegant debuts I have read in recent years. I think it would make a stunning Netflix series as there is so much to work with in these pages. It shines a light on a very strange industry and also on Japan as a country, both it’s culture and it’s fascinating and unusual legal system.
5. The Miseducation of Evie Epworth by Matson Taylor
Sixteen year-old Evie Epworth stands on the cusp of womanhood. But what kind of a woman will she become?
The fastest milk bottle-delivery girl in East Yorkshire, Evie is tall as a tree and hot as the desert sand. She dreams of an independent life lived under the bright lights of London (or Leeds). The two posters of Adam Faith on her bedroom wall (‘brooding Adam’ and ‘sophisticated Adam’) offer wise counsel about a future beyond rural East Yorkshire. Her role models are Charlotte Bronte, Shirley MacLaine and the Queen. But, before she can decide on a career, she must first deal with the malign presence of her future step-mother, the manipulative and money-grubbing Christine.
If Evie can rescue her bereaved father, Arthur, from Christine’s pink and over-perfumed clutches, and save the farmhouse from being sold off then maybe she can move on with her own life and finally work out exactly who it is she is meant to be.
I honestly think this could make such a fun Netflix movie. It is a pure joy of a book and if that could be recreated on screen with the same spirit, it would be amazing! I’d love to see Evie and the brilliant cast of characters brought to life.
6. We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker
‘You can’t save someone that doesn’t want to be saved . . .’
Thirty years ago, Vincent King became a killer.
Now, he’s been released from prison and is back in his hometown of Cape Haven, California. Not everyone is pleased to see him. Like Star Radley, his ex-girlfriend, and sister of the girl he killed.
Duchess Radley, Star’s thirteen-year-old daughter, is part-carer, part-protector to her younger brother, Robin – and to her deeply troubled mother. But in trying to protect Star, Duchess inadvertently sets off a chain of events that will have tragic consequences not only for her family, but also the whole town.
Murder, revenge, retribution.
How far can we run from the past when the past seems doomed to repeat itself?
I love everything Chris Whitaker writes, so I would love (and also be slightly nervous) about a movie or tv series adaptation. He imbues his books with so much heart and emotion that it is impossible not to be completely engrossed. If a Netflix series or film could capture that it would be phenomenal.
7. Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis
Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker – she thinks nothing can scare her. But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot.
The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map – and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.
And there’s someone – or something – stalking Lola’s every move.
The more she discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her…
Harrow Lake is probably the most cinematic of the books on this list and all the time I was reading it I was thinking this would make an amazing movie. The author created such a vivid setting that would work brilliantly on screen. I definitely think this is one that is, hopefully, likely to become a reality at some point.
8. Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter (Grant County 1)
The sleepy town of Heartsdale, Georgia, is jolted into panic when Sara Linton, paediatrician and medical examiner, finds a woman dead in the local diner.
She has been cut: two deep knife wounds form a lethal cross over her stomach. But it’s only once Sara starts to perform the post-mortem that the full extent of the killer’s brutality becomes clear.
Police chief Jeffrey Tolliver – Sara’s ex-husband – is in charge of the investigation, and when a second victim is found, crucified, only a few days later, both Jeffrey and Sara have to face the fact that themurder wasn’t a one-off attack. What they’re dealing with is a seasoned sexual predator. A violent serial killer…
This isn’t a recent read but I have always thought Karin Slaughter’s Grant County Series would make an incredible Netflix series! There is plenty of material for multiple seasons and whilst it would be a brutal and pretty violent watch at times, I also think it would be totally gripping and unmissable.
8. Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten
Spring 1699: Illegitimate, destitute and strikingly beautiful, Marta has survived the brutal Russian winter in her remote Baltic village. Sold by her family into household labour at the age of fifteen, Marta survives by committing a crime that will force her to go on the run.
A world away, Russia’s young ruler, Tsar Peter I, passionate and iron-willed, has a vision for transforming the traditionalist Tsardom of Russia into a modern, Western empire. Countless lives will be lost in the process.
Falling prey to the Great Northern War, Marta cheats death at every turn, finding work as a washerwoman at a battle camp. One night at a celebration, she encounters Peter the Great. Relying on her wits and her formidable courage, and fuelled by ambition, desire and the sheer will to live, Marta will become Catherine I of Russia. But her rise to the top is ridden with peril; how long will she survive the machinations of Peter’s court, and more importantly, Peter himself?
I’m a huge fan of a costume drama (being a student of Costume Design) so I had to have at least one on my list! Tsarina would make an amazingly opulent Netflix series (which would require a very big budget) and I am praying this will become a reality. It is an unbelievable story and full of drama, passion and intrigue.
10. Belladonna by Anbara Salam
It is summer, 1956, when fifteen-year-old Bridget first meets Isabella. In their conservative Connecticut town, Isabella is a breath of fresh air. She is worldly, alluring and brazen: an enigma.
When they receive an offer to study at the Academy in Italy, Bridget is thrilled. This is her ticket to Europe and – better still – a chance to spend nine whole months with her glamorous and unpredictable best friend.
There, lodged in a convent of nuns who have taken a vow of silence, the two girls move towards a passionate but fragile intimacy. As the year rolls on, Bridget grows increasingly fearful that she will lose Isabella’s affections – and the more desperate she gets, the greater the lengths she will go to keep her.
I think this would make a seriously gorgeous Netflix movie! It would definitely need to be shot on location in Italy to get the atmosphere right and would be such a great story to see on screen – especially if they managed to get the casting just right.
So that’s it for today! Ten books I think would make great Netflix movies or TV series – I am seriously hoping that some of these wishes come true because I would just love to see them on screen (provided they are true to the book of course!). I would love to know what you think of my list so please let’s chat in the comments and I can’t wait to read all of your amazing lists too!