Turning Books Into Movies

This evening, while I was ignoring the dirty dishes and waiting for the seventh load of laundry to finish, I stumbled across a list of books that are being made into movies. Now, I know that I spend more time reading blogs and homeschooling books than actual novels, but this is a LONG list and I don’t recognize even half of them. Surely I’m not THAT out of touch with the literary pulse of our society.

As a comparative literature major, that is a wee bit embarrassing. Well, it would be if I wasn’t so busy with the aforementioned laundry and dirty dishes. And if I were a little more confident in the caliber of books being published these days.

Sarah's not sure

Mom, I’m not sure about these books.

Look it over and tell me if these are books you have read and loved (or hated). I should also mention, I am in no way recommending these books (or the potential movies). If they are wildly inappropriate, I apologize! As I said earlier, I have not read (or even heard) of most of these titles.

A Great and Terrible Beauty
The A-List
I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You
Teen Idol
Maximum Ride
The Clique
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 — August 2008
City of Ember
A Yellow Raft In Blue Water
Wolf Brother
Lovely Bones
On the Road
Where the Wild Things Are
The Looking Glass Wars
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Historian
City of Beasts
My Sister’s Keeper
The Ruins
Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging
Marley and Me
The Tale of Despereaux – December 2008
The Other Boleyn Girl — already out in the theaters
The Kite Runner — already completed
Love in the Time of Cholera — out in theaters
The Lightning Thief
Emily the Strange (comic)
The Giver
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Narnia: Prince Caspian — May 2008
The Hobbit
Memory Keeper’s Daughter – on Lifetime TV
The Life Before Her Eyes – September 2008
Then She Found Me – May 2008
Nim’s Island – out in theaters

I am still surprised at the length of this collection. The real question, however, is not:

Have you read these books? But…

What book would YOU see made into a movie?

I love the Jane Austen flicks – wonderful! Joshua is crazy about the Lord of the Ring trilogy. We have several movie literary adaptations in our DVD library. After looking at this extensive list, I’ve started thinking about what other books just cry out to be made into movies. Three that came to mind while blogging late at night:

Prince of Foxes - this historical romance would be an amazing period piece with the right (dashing) cast
Ender’s Game – sci-fi author, Orson Scott Card, has been working for years on the movie version
Nearly anything by juvenile author Gordon Korman – love his kids books as they are clever, hysterical but clean and not filled with over the top obnoxious children.

give me a sword

David appreciates movies with sword fighting.

Leave a comment and tell me what titles I’ve overlooked. Oh, and did I mention we’re on a Budget (with a capital B) and don’t get to the movies much these days? Probably cheaper to just read the books from the library. :)


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14 thoughts on “Turning Books Into Movies”

  1. Ooh . . . bookses. I’ve read and loved “Inkheart” and highly recommend that you read it your family. Just be aware it has some mild language and therefore needs “editing” as you read. But Joshua would devour it. Samuel’s read (and is badgering me to read) “The Tale of Despereaux”–it’s a good one by all counts. As for the rest, I’ve heard of about half of them (can’t wait for “The Hobbit”!), but haven’t read many of the base books. “The Giver” sounds extremely good and interesting, but I haven’t actually read it. And rumor has it “Artemis Fowl” is being made, too. And y’know Masterpiece Theatre’s been re-doing most of the Jane Austen books this year?

    I badly, badly want to see a quality production of “Les Mis” come out in my lifetime. One with the Broadway score and a faithful screenplay. I’d also like a good production of “Silas Marner.” And maybe some of Robert Jordan’s book, though I’m still just reading those.

  2. Great list. One of my all time favorite books, The PrizeWinner of Defiance, Ohio, was made into a movie. LOVED IT!! It was so well done and very much like how I had pictured it in my mind when I read the book.

    You really should see it. Only a mom of many children could truly appreciate the heroine- even more so now that you are on a budget.

    Do you have NetFlix? They have nearly everything you’d ever want, no late fees (we need this) and under $10 a month.

  3. The Hobbit is due in December of 2010. That’s too long to wait. But it’ll be amazing.

    Prince Caspian, while it looks OK, is not top on my movies to watch list.

    I haven’t heard of or read most of those, and most don’t look that intriguing anyway. Ah, for the days when movies were actually good.

    But I digress. There are lots of good movies out there, but one must be quite determined to find them.

    A side note for my good Uncle: they made The Light Fantastic and The Colour of Magic into a movie and aired it on Sky One on Easter. This is by the same people who did Hogfather a few years back. I highly recommend Hogfather, if you can either find an American DVD of it, or a DVD player that plays British DVDs. It was excellent. They haven’t made the new one into a DVD yet, but they will, and I can’t wait.

  4. We own and have read;
    Tale of Despereaux
    The Hobbit
    Prince Caspien.
    I wouldn’t care to see any of them on DVD except Prince Caspien because they all have some unsettling things in them.

  5. I absolutely LOVE the Tale of Despereaux. It’s a children’s book, therefore appropriate for the whole family. My husband and I used it for a read-aloud between the two of us (he’s an elementary school teacher). If your kids are ever going to watch the movie (which I’m thrilled they’re making! I didn’t even know!), they must read the book first. It is so cleverly written!

  6. I love the book “The Giver.” I taught it to seventh graders when I taught English (Language Arts) at a public school. I was able to discuss with the kids how important human life is and how we have no right to throw it away. It was really amazing because THEY were the ones who came up with that statement, not I. This book opened thier eyes to many, many things and caused them to question.

  7. I’ve only heard of 11 of those. I’m with you on trying the book first. Then one can criticize the movie with such self-righteous confidence! (I’ve never heard of Prince of Foxes, by the way.)

  8. I love the first Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie, but I’m not excited about the second one. I felt like the first movie hit just the right spot. I’ve also read all 4 of the books, which are okay. I didn’t feel like they were appropriate for teenagers, or at least younger ones.

    I’ve heard of quite a few, but have read very few of the books. I’ve wanted to see the Kite Runner for awhile, though I know it will be SAD like the book. The one I am excited about is Prince Caspian. Can’t wait!

    I agree with you about the Jane Austen books and movies. Wonderful. I can’t think of any book right off hand that should be a movie that isn’t. Most of my favorites are classics and were made into movies long ago, though maybe they should be redone.

  9. I haven’t heard of more than a small handful of books on that list … I guess my reading list is somewhat narrow. We’ve read City of Ember (thanks, Tina!) and the kids have spoken well of Despereaux.

    Liz, Prince of Foxes is Samuel Shellabarger’s best effort, not unlike a Sabatini novel. Kathy thought you had read it … ?

    I’m looking forward to Prince Caspian, although I have to brace myself for fear they will botch it. The most recent The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe movie was pretty good, I thought.

    Traditionally, I’ve been very disappointed with books made into movies — so often it seems that the screen writer misses the major themes of the book, or decides they aren’t relevant (or cool enough).

    I would really love to see a good version of the book of Acts in movie form. The Visual Bible folks, who did such a great job on Matthew, seem to have gone for a low-budget effort on Acts, narrating much of it when they could have shown a lot of the action instead.

  10. We are soooo excited to know Ember is being made into a movie! After we finished it, we all thought we would like to see it as a movie.
    And Leah and I both thought the Giver was an excellent book and would make a great movie.

    Leah was terribly disappointed in the movie made from the book Eragon, but we are hopeful for these two.

    Certainly you know Where the Wild Things Are? Classic children’s book, in fact, I may be able to recite most of it still. :)

    I have seen the book The Memory Keeper’s Daughter. Read a quick blurb on the back and would like to read it. Before seeing any movie.

    Have you seen Betsy and the Emperor? I think it was a Sonlight book for one of the cores. Good book, would make an interesting movie, giving a different slant on Napoleon too.

    Hope the ones we are waiting for come to Chiang Mai. :)

  11. I have not heard of most of the books.

    One book that is an all time favorite and I think would make a great family movie is Understood Betsy. Bessie and I read it years ago and Gabe and I just finished. I cry everytime…love it.

    It is often so disappointing to me how the mess up good books, so maybe I hope they don’t.

  12. The Secret Life of Bees – great book and it is coming out sometime soon with Dakota Fanning as the star. Great casting call I believe. Read the book first, I think that should always be the case.

  13. I saw Prince Caspian, it was good but alot different from the book. basically in the book its a long walk and a short battle and in the movie its a short walk and a long battle. so if you don’t think about all the things they changed it was really good! :]

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