Top 10 Books I Would Like to See Adapted for the Screen

Welcome beloved Bookbaggers to the second part of my book-to-screen-adaptations Top 10s! This list was really fun to compile because it involved me imagining how some of my favourite books could be made into films or tv shows, and while I was researching I actually found out that a lot of them are in development, or there is at least other fans out there that want to see them, so that’s pretty cool :).

Hopefully聽this list聽will interest you all and make you聽think: what books would you love to see turned into a film or show and how would you like it to look? Feel free to comment below and otherwise enjoy the post 馃檪

1. Mister God This is Anna by Fynn

It won’t be a surprise to most of you that this book is top of the list of books I’d like to see adapted, as I have fully expressed my love for it several times. I think this would make a really sweet, uplifting, and thoughtful movie BUT it would have to be done just right. In my opinion this book could only be adapted into two kinds of film for it to really capture the spirit of the story. The first option would be an animated film based on the original illustrations. I imagine it as a rough and somewhat sketchy animation which incorporates stills and slight animated movements – a bit like the tv adaptations of Watchmen聽– with all the shots being black and white but with a bright swatch of colour for Anna’s red hair. The other option I would enjoy is a live action movie that is shot like an old movie from the 30s (which is when the book is set), so either in black and white, or that new-to-colour look. I also think it would be best if it followed the plot quite closely, but focused on the beautifully tender relationship, and philosophical discussions between Anna and Fynn.

A different cover than I have shown before, and one that beautifully illustrates the bond between Anna and Fynn

2.聽Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

This video trailer聽is what made me think that Jasper Jones is perfectly suited as a film. The story, the setting, the characters – they all could work very well adapted into a movie or a miniseries, so much so that I’m kinda surprised no one has thought of it before. So, I did some digging and found this: the website of one Rebecca O’Brien, a filmmaker who has started work on a screenplay for聽Jasper Jones聽as her first feature film! The video from above is the only information provided on the site in regards to Jasper Jones and it is unclear if its her work or is just there to illustrate what the book is about, or what the film will be like, but if it’s like this little snippet I will be very pleased as it certainly has the kind of style that would match the book. I will keep posted on her developments and can’t wait til Jasper Jones the movie is a reality 馃檪

A nice creepy cover that is kinda film-like

3. The Book Thief by聽Markus Zusak聽

From the moment I finished this book I thought it would make a great movie, and I thought that some film-maker out there would have done so by now. But it turns out that I聽just聽have to be聽a bit聽patient, as there is a lot of buzz online about a movie being made. A quick web search will give you many fan-made video trailers for a film based on The Book Thief and there was some news saying 20th Century Fox聽was going to produce it….but the release date was 2010 so I don’t know whats happening there. All I know is it would make an excellent movie as long as it was done right. I’m not too fussed about some of the finer details but it would need to accurately illustrate Nazi聽Germany聽without sugar-coating; it would need some form of narration by Death; it would need to demonstrate the different sky colours Death references in the book; and the casting for the characters (especially Liesel and Max) would have to be just right.

A theatrical book cover

4. The聽Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zaf贸n

I think it would be hard to adapt this book into a movie because it is quite long and involved, so in my opinion it would be better as an epic film, or a miniseries. I would love to see a film/miniseries filmed in Barcelona which has a really historical feel with a different film effect to illustrate flash-backs and content from books and letters. I think it would also be best if it was made by Spanish film-makers with a Spanish cast – I don’t care about reading subtitles if it feels more authentic, but I would be disappointed if it was americanized. But most of all I would love to see an adaptation of this book because seeing a recreation of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books would be amazing! Just like The Book Thief there is fan demand for a film to be made, so maybe one day my dream will be realised 馃檪

A cover that I have never seen before, but I really like it!

5. The Giver by Lois Lowry聽

This is one of the best books I read as a child and would make a unique and poignant movie. I imagine it as a simply shot movie, where everything is very clean and ordered, and in black and white because in the book the setting is a world where people only see in black, white and shades of gray and everything is highly controlled. I then imagine colour leaking into the shots as Jonas finds out about聽colour. I think if done well a movie of this book would be a gem to so many adults who read it when they were kids, and would present some important messages to today’s youth, as well as hopefully leading them to the book. If done wrong it would disappoint a lot of people. After a little bit of research I found out that an adaptation has been talked about for years but has never come to fruition. According to IMDb聽a movie is in production and is due to come out in 2013, but the details are a bit sketchy. Lets hope its taking such a long time because they want it to be right 馃槢

I think this is the same cover the book that was read to my year 7 class had 馃檪

6. Skulduggery Pleasant Series by Derek Landy

This is another one which the ‘net says is in development and is due to be released in 2013, and if this is true I know at least two people who will be there with bells on when It debuts: me and my bro! This is a series that is destined to be a movie series, just like The Lord of the Rings; The Narnia Chronicles and Harry Potter. Reading the books is already a cinema-like experience with action-packed “scenes”, snappy dialogue, special effects and awesome costumes. I would love to see a movie made for each of the 6 books in the series, and as long as they remained as awesome as the books then I’ll be happy 馃檪

Another cover I've never seen before!

7. Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood聽

Ever since I read the first of this series I thought it would make a great tv series or series of movies. So, I was thrilled when I heard that聽Every Cloud Productions聽plan to bring the sassy 20’s detective to the small screen! The series is being filmed in Melbourne at the moment and is due to screen on ABC1, Australia’s top non-commercial station, and from what I’ve heard/seen so far its gonna be a ripper 馃檪 It ticked all the boxes of what this series should have: its set/shot in Melbourne like the books, stars Australian actors and will be aired on a quality Australian channel. I also think the actress chosen to play Phryne, Essie Davis聽is a good fit. She has strong facial features and is thin and graceful like Phryne聽and I think with a black cap wig (or actual haircut perhaps?) and a gorgeous Phryne-esque gown she’ll look the part.

Promotional picture for the series - "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries" 馃檪

8. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman聽

If this fantastic fantasy/apocalypse parody was made into a movie or show its my prediction that it would quickly gain cult status – that is if its done well! There is a loyal fan base online who already have created a plethora of fan art, fan fiction and other Good Omens themed goodies and they would be geared up to embrace a wonderfully made adaptation, or tear apart a disappointing one. For me any adaptation of this book would need to be a little strange, a little crazy and a lot hilarious and not many film-makers could bring it alive. I was therefore聽thrilled when I found out that a tv show is in the works, and that Terry Jones of Monty Python fame is rumoured to be involved! I can definitely see a wacky Python-esque tv series working for Good Omens and I can’t wait til it comes out (apparently also in 2013!).

An example of Good Omens fan art by kbakonyi found on DeviantArt

9. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda聽Ngozi聽Adichie

This is a beautiful and powerful book that I realise I have never discussed in a post before, which is rare for me! But when I was making my list of books I’d like to see adapted, this popped into my head because it would make a very touching and strong movie. The story is set in Nigeria and revolves around Kambili, a fifteen year old girl who lives with her brother and overbearing father in an elaborate family compound. When a military coup erupts and entangles her father, Kambili and her brother are sent away to live with their Aunt, a University professor, whose house is a breath of fresh air and freedom for the abused children. This could easily be a new tear-jerker/oscar nominee in the film world as it explores some big issues, while showing two sides of the complicated coin that is Africa: a juxtaposition of fierce politics and beautiful scenery. Unlike many of the others in this list, there is no news about an upcoming Purple Hibiscus聽movie, but like many of the others there is fan demand in the form of homemade video pitches.

But who would they cast?

10. Abarat by Clive Barker

Out of all the Clive Barker books I have read this is the only one that would be suitable as a film without having a R rating…or worse. Clive Baker has already been involved in several film projects, including Hellraiser (and sequels) Candyman (and sequels) and The Midnight Meat Train, but I haven’t read any of the books these films were based on (except the short story of The Midnight Meat Train). Even not taking the ratings and stuff into account, Abarat聽(or the Abarat series) is the Clive Barker book (or books) that I would most like to see on the big screen. Since the books are peppered with Barker’s own artworks I have amassed quite a visual accompaniment to the story and I would really like those visuals to come to life. There is a lot of buzz over the ‘net about a possible movie and if this article can be believed then Clive Barker himself has even hinted at the possibility. I just hope that it is true because It would be awesome, especially if Barker is involved as he has been in most of his film adaptations.

An example of the awesome art found in Abarat - a map of some of the islands that make up Abarat - Wouldn't you love to see them in a film?!

So there you go guys – the end of my Book-to-Screen-Adaptations theme 馃檪 I really had a ball with this one and can’t wait to see what you vote in next. I’ll put the poll up straight after this, so get voting!

And, as always: Happy Reading! 馃榾

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Top 10 Books that made me Cry

Before I start I should tell you all that I am a giant softie. I cry at聽movies (both sad ones and happy ones, even cartoons),聽TV shows (including the Simpsons a couple of times) and of course, books. I guess I’m just a sensitive soul 馃檪 So, while these 10 books are ones that made me cry (amongst others) that doesn’t mean that any of my loyal Bookbaggers would tear up. Also, the reason these books have made me cry is normally some shockingly sad event which would be a huge spoiler, so while I will try not to mention the event, sometimes it will be vital to do so. So, just in case *Spoiler alert!*

1. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zaf贸n

I touched on how much this book affected me in my Top 10 Books of All Time post, and how it made me cry and gasp many times because I became so involved in the characters’ stories. What I didn’t say was that at a certain point near the end of the book (in fact over the last couple of chapters) I didn’t just cry a couple of elegant tears but did what Oprah calls “the ugly cry” (I’m not a huge Oprah fan but I love that description!). I spluttered, I made little gulping noises, there was some snot action, the whole ugly cry show was in full effect. The reason I cried that much was that聽there was a聽very traumatic event that involved the main character, and while I had been warned that it was coming (at the end of a chapter when I was meeting people for lunch and so couldn’t read on!) it was still a big shock. The tears then turned to those of relief and happiness when the following chapters turned the event into a satisfying and happy conclusion. I won’t say anymore, but if you want a read that really connects you to the characters and draws you in to a beautiful world of its own then I’d recommend The Shadow of the Wind. it would also make a great Book Club book 馃檪

Winner of the Ugliest Cry award

2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

It’s easily to see that a book set in Nazi Germany whose main character is a little orphaned girl would be a sad one, but it was not so much the subject matter that made me cry during this book but the way this subject matter was conveyed. As I have said previously聽the narrator of this book is Death and it is a very fitting voice for that time and place in history. At many points during the book I found myself close to tears because of the fear and death that hung over the small village that the story is set in, but it wasn’t til the end, when there was a series of dramatic and sad events that I actually burst into tears. A beautiful book that made me grateful to be alive and that I didn’t live through World War II.

Because Nazi Germany is so damn cheery!

3. Mister God This is Anna by Fynn

I praised this book in a review a while back and most likely it will pop up again as it is one of my favourite books, but it was one of the first books that came to mind when compiling this list, coz oh boy did I cry! This was another one that warned me about the sad ending – in the first paragraph and all! – but it was still such a shock that I started to sob on the train (how embarrassing :S). Possibly it could’ve been that I was already going through a hard time, or possibly it was the way the ending happened, but either way it was like a floodgate had opened, and at the time I didn’t even care that I was on the train (tho I was in an almost empty car so it wasn’t that bad). If the possibility of crying puts you off a book I can assure you that even ‘tho Mister God This is Anna does have a heartbreaking ending, it is also very hopeful and uplifting throughout and does end ultimately in that way.

4. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

I only read and reviewed this book recently, so it was fresh in my mind when I started to make this list. I won’t go into it that much because I have already reviewed it, but I will just say that this was another time I cried on the train but I was much more restrained as there was more people. Even with restraint a few tears did manage to escape as I read the end of this book that was a complete surprise and was one of those endings where you keep thinking “no no! It’ll change at the last moment right?…..right?”. I won’t spoil it, but even ‘tho It was a sad and tragic ending, it did wrap up the story in a more natural and poignant way so in the end I was glad for it to finish that way, even if it did make me the crying chick on the train again!

5. Charlotte’s Web聽by E B White

We’re now getting into the tear-jerkers from my childhood, when I was a fledgling softie 馃檪 I read Charlotte’s Web when I was in Year 3 as part of a school project we were doing. The project involved reading excerpts from the book (which I then found and read completely); doing activities based on the book; watching the movie (the original not the one with Dakota Fanning); and then putting on a聽play/musical number based on a scene from the movie for the school assembly. If you haven’t read this children’s classic then be warned, I am going to spoil the ending because It’s too tricky to explain otherwise. I cried twice during this book. First when Wilbur had to be given to the Zuckerman farm, because as an animal loving kid it broke my heart to think of having to give away聽a beloved pet. And then at the end when聽Charlotte died 馃槬
Even ‘tho this book made me cry (and probably still would now) I still think it聽is such a beautiful little book that teaches kids about life and death and the truth behind farm animals, as well as teaching them to be whatever they want to be and follow their dreams.

6.聽聽Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr

This is another book that we read at primary school and them performed at assembly, but it is about a much sadder subject – the bombing in Hiroshima. The basic plot of the book is based on a true story of a young girl called Sadako聽who develops leukemia after the bombings. She is hospitalised and spends her time folding origami paper cranes because it is said that if you聽fold a thousand cranes you are granted a wish. Unfortunately, after folding 644 cranes Sadako becomes too weak and dies shortly after. Her friends and family fold the remaining cranes and Sadako is buried with the full thousand, and a statue of her is erected in Hiroshima Peace Park. Understandably this story brought tears to the eyes of most of the children in class and the teacher when she read it to us, and I also struggled to maintain composure when we performed it at assembly because I was one of the kids that narrated Sadako’s tragic tale. Even ‘tho it’s so sad聽 it is a wonderful book for kids to read, especially for聽new聽generations that may not know much about Hiroshima or the effect of nuclear bombs.

I like to think that since Sadako was buried with a thousand cranes she still got her wish and is having a beautiful afterlife 馃檪

7. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

This book had many moments that had me close to tears because it is told through the eyes of a teenage girl who was brutally raped and murdered and is watching her friends and family from “heaven” as they聽deal with their grief. This makes for a very contemplative and melancholy story, but it was the scene where the main character is killed (which happens quite early on) that really made me cry, mostly out of shock and anger. Despite making me cry and get pretty angry, The Lovely Bones was a great book, and I also keep meaning to see the movie聽(which I’ve heard mixed reviews about).

8. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J K Rowling

Yes, I cried at a Harry Potter book – I told you I cry at everything! – and actually I cried at the last one as well, but this one made me cry more and the reason….Dumbledore 馃槮 I’m not going to beat around the bush with this one because聽this spoiler has been spreading around since before the book came out, and now that the books and movies are finished I think its well and truly out there. However, If you somehow have missed the spoiler and you plan to read the book or see the movie in the future, then just close your eyes and scroll down for a few lines and everything will be fine. So…Dumbledore dies. In fact Dumbledore doesn’t just die but is murdered right in front of Harry. So yeah, I聽shed a couple of tears, and yeah, I sat there for a while in shock convincing myself that in the next book it would turn out ok and he wouldn’t be dead. Don’t judge me 馃槢

NO!! Not Dumbledore!!!!

9. The Shadow in the North by Philip Pullman

This was another one that involved a shocking event at the end, and it was so upsetting (especially because it was right after everything coming together really nicely, as all the tricksty writers/moviemakers love to do!) that I laid awake for a couple of hours, not sleeping and feeling a tad maudlin and I have yet to read the next book in the series because I’m afraid that it’ll be too sad. However, the event would not have been so聽upsetting if Philip Pullman hadn’t聽developed the characters and setting so well so you care about their well-being, so props to him….even tho at聽the time I wasn’t聽so understanding.

Damn you Philip Pullman for writing such likable characters!

10.聽Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Oh my gosh! I had forgotten how sad this book was and how much it made me cry when I was little, until my brother gave me the movie on DVD for Christmas a few years ago. My brother hadn’t seen it before or read the book, and I had forgotten the plot so at a certain point (which I won’t say) we both blubbered away like little girls. Bridge to Terabithia is a lovely tale of friendship and childhood imagination, but be warned if you want to give it to your kids – at some point near the end they will probably come to you crying or looking shocked and ask some awkward questions. Just so you know.

There you go folks, the Top 10 books that really made me blubber. Sorry it wasn’t up right after the Top 10 Books that made me Laugh as planned, my Internet cut out halfway through writing it and I was only able to get it back today :/ Join me next month for聽my Top 10 Book to Screen Adaptations聽and the Top 10 Books I would like to see Adapted for the Screen, and in the meantime I will review The Secrets of the Chess Machine and probably lots of other Book Polygamist stuff 馃檪

Happy Reading!

Top 10 Animal Characters

1. Cloot

Trinity series聽 by Fiona McIntosh聽

I bought the first book in the Trinity series, Betrayal,聽randomly at an op-shop years ago, because I thought it looked and sounded interesting. Once I started it I was totally hooked, but couldn’t find the second book, Revenge no matter how hard I looked and had actually read Betrayal several times before I finally found聽Revenge in a second-hand bookstore. The third book, Destiny, was even more of a battle and there was actually a gap of a couple of years聽between reading Revenge and Destiny, which is very confusing with a fantasy trilogy! One of the reasons I persevered was the quality of characters such as Cloot. Cloot聽was originally a crippled man who the hero of the books, Torkyn聽Gynt,聽rescues from a pack of men torturing him. When Tor and Cloot聽travel to the Heartwood, Tor finds out his true destiny and the significance of Cloot聽appearing in his life, and 聽Cloot聽is transformed into a Peregrine Falcon. Cloot is a great character both as a man and as a falcon (tho he’s much more majestic as a falcon). He’s like Tor’s conscience because he’s always at his side giving advice and stopping him from getting a big head or loosing his temper, especially because he can only talk inside Tor’s head. He also has some of the best one-liners!

Cloot in the flesh 馃檪

2. Fiver

Watership Down 聽by Richard Adams

The character of Fiver was what drew me into Watership Down at the beginning. As a weird little kid I loved that he was the runt (the fifth in the litter) and that he ‘knew’ things that the other didn’t. I rooted for the little guy all the way through, and was thrilled whenever Hazel (the main character in the book and Fiver’s brother) stood up for Fiver or helped him go on and he grew stronger as the tale went on. Also to this day whenever I think of Watership Down I see Fiver’s poor little face from the very dramatic (and at the age I was, traumatic!) scene in the movie when he has a violent prophetic episode 馃槮 poor Fiver!

Oh Fiver, you adorable little weirdo 馃檪

3.聽Warren

Rhubarb and The聽World According to Warren聽by Craig Silvey

Warren the golden lab聽provides a healthy dose of humour in Rhubarb, a book that could easily become depressing, and he must have been universally popular because shortly after Rhubarb Craig Silvey’s publishers produced a picture book all his own 馃檪 I haven’t found The World According to Warren yet, but I’m sure it is very cute because Warren is such a unique character. For a guide-dog he’s kind of lazy and easily distracted, but his devotion and love for Eleanor is so clear from the start and he has a definite pride in his work.

I would love to see the world through his eyes

4. Horatio

Corinna Chapman聽series by Kerry Greenwood聽

It was hard to pick a singular pet from this series as the books are filled with a host of colourful cat characters, from Belladonna the elegant companion to resident witch Meroe; to the insane ginger kitten, Lucifer who is quickly running out of nine lives; to the Mouse Police, Heckle and Jeckle who diligently catch vermin in the bakery in exchange for noms. But I just couldn’t go past Corinna’s tabby and white tom, Horatio, who quietly rules the whole lot of them, including all humans 馃檪 Horatio is the quintessential princely cat. His perfect day would consist of waking to a dish of milk lovingly poured by his mistress, followed by a leisurely morning of snoozing and fur maintenance until his adoring public started to flow through the bakery, at which point he takes his place by the cash register to receive sufficient worship, and then ending by retiring to the roof as his mistress sips a G & T and strokes him to blissful slumber. Oh! and exquisite fish for dinner of course!

I imagine Horatio to look something like this 馃檪

5. Hedwig

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Weirdly enough it wasn’t all the cool magic and flying on broomsticks and stuff I envied in the Harry Potter books or movies it was the fact that owls brought their mail!! If I was going to Hogwarts I totally would’ve gotten an owl rather than a toad or rat (didn’t work out so well for Ron!) or cat (even tho I love cats) because, come on, when else can you have an owl except when you’re a witch/wizard?! Hedwig is (was :() such a beautiful owl and even tho she couldn’t speak and wasn’t involved in much action, she played a very important part and is one of the most memorable parts of the books to me.

I want a goddamn owl!

6. Maruman

Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle聽Carmody聽

Maruman is the grumpy,聽one-eyed and somewhat insane feline companion of Elspeth Gordie, the main character in the fabulous Obernewtyn Chronicles. From the first book (Obernewtyn) Maruman聽is by Elspeth’s side communicating with her telepathically聽and cryptically predicting her future.聽As the books go on it is聽also revealed that Maruman is the Moonwatcher聽and as such is destined to protect Elspeth on the dreamtrails. Maruman is a very ancient, often cantankerous and quite loony cat, and that is why I like him 馃檪 I don’t think the Obernewtyn Chronicles would be the same without him. I am still waiting for the聽next聽 book in the series – The Sending – whose release keeps being delayed 馃槮 The latest date that has been announced is聽November 2011, but I’m not holding out hope that this is correct as there has been many dates announced before, but even still I will be waiting with bated breath until it is released.

Come on already!

7. The Doorman

The Messenger by Markus Zusak聽

The Doorman is the faithful companion of Ed, the protagonist in The Messenger. He is a huge, old and smelly Rottweiler, German Shepard cross that enjoys a good long snooze and sharing a coffee with his master. The Doorman is the comic relief in The Messenger, providing Ed with perspective as he lives through some very strange happenings. He is non-judgemental and almost immobile most of the time but he has a quiet, unashamed dignity. He doesn’t care that he stinks to high heavens and is surprisingly unfazed when Ed’s mate has to kiss him after loosing a bet. But most of all he is a loving, loyal dog – the classic man’s best friend 馃檪

A fine likeness of The Doorman

8. The Librarian

Discworld series by Terry Pratchett聽

The Librarian is an interesting character to be on this list as when he is introduced in the first Discworld novel – The Colour of Magic – he is human, and only becomes an Orang Utan in the second book – The Light Fantastic – when the powerful magical book, the Octavo, erupted with a beam of magic. Despite being an Orang Utan聽the Librarian remains at his post caring for the unpredictable and sometimes volatile spell books at the Unseen University and actually finds that his new form is perfectly suited to climbing the high shelves. The Librarian’s vocabulary consists of the single syllable – Ook – (with the occasional Eek! at times of panic or anger) but it is amazing how many emotions or phrases can be conveyed in that syllable and most of the wizards at the University have no problem understanding him or are phased but the fact that an ape is running the library.

I would certainly welcome an Orang Utan Librarian 馃檪

9. Gylfie

The Guardians of Ga’Hoole series by Kathryn Lasky聽

Gylfie聽was one of my favourite characters in book one of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole series – The Capture – and in the movie. She has so much spunk and bravery for such a small and young owl and she always seems to know how to put the main character, Soren, in his place. She is very sharp and intelligent in both the books and movie聽as well as having聽a dry sense of humour, but she is not tolerant to jokes about her size and can be quite self-conscious. Plus, being an Elf Owl聽she is very adorable!

Gylfie in the movie - Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole

10. The Great A’Tuin

Discworld 聽series by Terry Pratchett

The Great A’Tuin, Sky Turtle, is much more than an animal character as she carries the whole Discworld聽(perched on four elephants) through space on the back of her shell. When the series begins it is made clear that the sex of the Great A’Tuin is not known but many adventurers and scientists have tried to discover it by venturing over the edge of the Disc, with unsuccessful results. However it is discovered that the Sky Turtle is female (or at least assumed so)聽at the end of The Light Fantastic when A’Tuin聽travels to the hatching site of her eggs which all contain little Sky Turtles with their own elephants and Disc. I personally think that having a Disc-shaped world on the back of four giant elephants who in turn stand on the shell of a gigantic turtle swimming through space, is one of the most unusual and creative ideas in literature and is a real testament to Terry Pratchett’s imagination.

"Great A'Tuin the turtle comes, swimming slowly through the interstellar gulf, hydrogen frost on his ponderous limbs, his huge and ancient shell pocked with meteor craters."

Top 10 Non-Human Characters

I decided to make this Top 10 because as I was compiling the Top 10 Male Characters聽I noticed that the majority of them were dead or other-worldly creatures. So, I edited that list and created a whole new one 馃檪 Suffice to say all the characters on this Top 10 are either male or at least it can be assumed that they are or once were male. *Note: the list does not include animal characters as they are another Top 10 I will do soon :)*

1. Skulduggery Pleasant

Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy

The Skulduggery聽Pleasant series wouldn’t be half as funny if it weren’t for its wise-cracking fedora-wearing skeleton detective. Skulduggery聽is an Elemental (which is a kind of sorcerer who can control the elements) and is technically dead but was brought back to life by magic. But being a walking skeleton聽doesn’t stop him from kicking supernatural-badguy ass and looking awesome (while a bit thin) while doing it.

The coolest detective that happens to be a skeleton

2. Aziraphale

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

One of the best things about this hilarious book, co-written by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, is the relationship between Aziraphale聽the angel and Crowley the demon who are chosen by their respective sides to watch over and guide the anti-christ. Aziraphale聽is adorably聽wholesome, nerdy and a little queer and yet he’s not the typical angel. There are points in the book where its obvious that he’s聽just doing the good thing because its expected which is a funny contrast to Crowley who doesn’t really put much effort into being evil. I also really liked that Aziraphale’s cover while on Earth is the owner of a dusty little聽bookshop 馃檪

Just as I would imagine an angel 馃檪

3. Crowley

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

I couldn’t have Aziraphale聽without his “evil” counterpart Crowley. Crowley was originally the serpent in the Garden of Eden (and called Crawly) and聽then “an Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards”. In contrast to Aziraphale聽he lives in a very nice apartment, has a gorgeous 1926 black Bentley聽(that he’s聽had since it was new) and always looks cool. He also is unusual for a demon as he doesn’t really have the stomach for cruelty and of course, he’s quite fond on Aziraphale聽(‘tho he wouldn’t admit it) when he should be his enemy.

That's one chilled out demon

4. Calcifer

Howl’s Castle Series by Diana Wynne Jones

Another demon, but聽of a very different sort. Calcifer is a fire demon and in Howl’s Moving Castle he is bound to Wizard Howl and聽forced聽to heat the castle and perform various magics to keep it going. He was my favourite character in the animated movie based on the book, because of his grumpiness and adorable facial expressions (he’s a very expressive fire!). In the book he’s a little more sinister rather than cute, but he’s still very funny and quite likeable for a demon – I love him 馃檪

I NEED MORE LOGS!!!!

5. Death

Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

Death is one of (if not THE) best thing about the Discworld聽books. He is sufficiently聽creepy and mysterious but with a dry wit, curiosity聽for humans and a love of cats that makes him very endearing and likeable. I loved him in the three books that deal with Rincewind the wizard (The Colour of Magic; The Light Fantastic and聽聽Sourcery) as he pops聽up whenever Ricewind is in a “near-death” experience (which is often!) but especially in Mort where he is one of the main characters and has to teach his apprentice, Mort, how to be Death. When I die I hope that Death is like the one in Discworld 馃檪

Death in Hogfather

6. Death

The Book Thief 聽by Markus Zusak

Another personification of Death, but one that is a little different. Death isn’t exactly a character in this book because he’s the narrator, but he does sort-of interact with the main character so he isn’t a traditional narrator. This Death is quite sensitive to the suffering of mankind and doesn’t like war. He also badly wants a vacation but can’t take one as he has no replacement. I especially like how he remembers each time he takes a soul by the colour the sky was. A beautiful book, and Death as a narrator makes it that much better.

"The last time I saw her was red. The sky was like soup, boiling and stirring. In some places it was burned. There were black crumbs and pepper, streaked across the redness."

7. Malingo

The Books of Abarat by 聽Clive Barker

Malingo聽is a Geshrat聽which is a humanoid creature in the world of Abarat. The main character of the books, Candy, meets Malingo in the first book (Abarat) in the house of Kaspar Wolfswinkel, a nasty magician. Malingo聽is his down-trodden servant聽and gets beaten regularly until Candy saves him and he joins her on her journeys. Malingo was one of my fave characters in Abarat. He’s just so sweet and innocent and you want to give him a big hug! The book is accompanied by Clive Barker’s vibrant paintings, so you get a good picture of what Malingo looks like rather than just relying on the descriptions.

One of Clive Barker's painting that appears in Abarat

8. The Luggage

The Colour of Magic; The Light Fantastic聽and聽Sourcery聽by Terry Pratchett

Lots of Pratchett characters in this list! The Luggage is possible the strangest character on this list because it is in no way human-like. The Luggage is basically a sentient chest made from sapient pearwood聽(which is a rare magical plant in Discworld) that runs around on hundreds of legs, has a gaping mouth with huge square teeth, and follows it’s owner EVERYWHERE (which includes off the Rim and Deaths domain). He (It?) also has the habit of eating people who聽endanger it’s owner in any way, as well as bits of the scenery, but the next time it’s opened all that’s聽in there is the owners laundry, “freshly pressed and smelling of lavender”. The owner of the Luggage is originally Twoflower, a tourist in Ankh-Morpork but in The Light Fantastic he gives it to Rincewind the wizard.

Nom nom nom

9. Matt Richter

Nekropolis by 聽Tim Waggoner

Matt Richter is a detective in the realm of Nekropolis聽which houses vampires, demons, witches and other supernatural beings. The thing that makes Matt unusual is he’s a zombie, sustained by voodoo charms. To pay for these life-sustaining charms Matt takes on cases, which in Nekropolis聽usually means danger. Matt is just like an old聽pulp-fiction聽detective with his long trench-coat and hat pulled down over his face, but he can’t drink like one because he has to vomit it up before it decays in his stomach. His wise-cracking, self-deprecating humor聽is hilarious and also the fact that he’s聽a zombie but yet is just like a classy detective of聽yesteryear. A very fun book, and I’m glad that there is two sequels – Dead Streets and Dark War.

A very unique detective

10. Mr Tumnus

The Chronicles of Narnia by聽C. S. Lewis

I’ve loved the adorably nervous faun Mr Tumnus since I first read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe when I was a kid. Me and my best friend also listened to the audiobook of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe countless times, and I thought the actor that played Tumnus in the movie adaptation聽(James McAvoy) was really good too 馃檪

Love the scarf 馃檪

This was a bit of a one-off post because I ment to do all three Top 10’s the other day, but found that three is a bit much. So, from now on I will do two Top 10’s at the end of each month on the same theme聽馃檪

Happy reading Bookbaggers!

Top 10 Books of All Time

Yes, I left the best for last 馃檪 For those of you who haven’t been reading over the last few days, I’ve been writing a series of “Top 10” lists. First my “Top 10 authors” , then my “Top 10 Books from Childhood” and now my last “Top 10” (perhaps :P) – my “Top 10 Books of All Time”! This was surprisingly the easiest to come up with, because the really good ones stick in your head. It would take a lot for a new novel to knock any of these off their pedestal!

1. Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

If you read聽 my previous post about Craig Silveythis won’t be a big surprise as I waxed lyrical about both his books – and for good reason! I can’t recommend this book enough, and If you don’t like it…well frankly, we can’t be friends anymore 馃槢

The sweetest peach

2. Rhubarb by Craig Silvey

Like Jasper Jones this is a book I wax lyrical about, but unlike Jasper Jones I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. Rhubarb is a very unusual and poetic book, so If you’re willing to read something a bit different then it’s perfect, but If you like traditional writing styles then It’s probably not your cup of tea.
*If you want to read more about Rhubarb or Jasper Jones then check out my post on Craig Silvey and his work: Craig Silvey: Jewel of the West*

Winner of the most non-sensical title award

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

A beautiful book set in Nazi Germany with a unique narrator – Death (or the Grim Reaper). I love an anthropomorphised Death (like the one in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series) so that point initially drew me in, but it’s when you get into the meat of the story that it really shines. It’s hard to explain how much I loved this book when I read it – I laughed, I cried – read it! Also this聽interview with Markus Zusak about writing the book is really enlightening.

Ironically I had to re-purchase this book because my first copy went missing...stolen perhaps?

聽4. The Messenger by Markus Zusak

Hmmm I seem to be going in twos don’t I? The Messenger is a very different book to The Book Thief (a bit like Jasper Jones is a very different book to Rhubarb…is anyone else seeing a pattern here?) but made as much of an impact on me, if not more because its more relatable. The book is set in Australia (where Markus Zusak is from) and is broken up into four parts named after the four suits in a deck of cards (Clubs, Diamonds, Spades, Hearts). I won’t give away why the parts revolve around the suits, but Its a really interesting and unique story idea. Like any good book (in my opinion) this made me feel sick to my stomach in parts, but also unwilling to stop reading, and then pages later I would find myself bursting into fits of laughter.

Protect the Diamonds, Survive the Clubs, Dig deep through Spades, Feel the Hearts

5. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

I borrowed this book off a friend of the family and read it while I was studying Art and Written/Oral Communication at TAFE. For one of my Written/Oral Communication assessments I had to write a review and I wrote a glowing review of The Red Tent which the lecturer commented on, saying It was obvious I greatly enjoyed the book. That is an understatement. I LOVED The Red Tent. That love was even more pronounced because before I started it, I didn’t think I’d like it at all! The book is set in biblical times and tells the story of Dinah, daughter of Jacob, and deals with many traditions of women in that time. The “Red Tent” refers to a tent where all the woman of the household would retire to during menstruation. At that time in my life I had very little interest in books based on Bible stories (being a newly devout Pagan) and anything that I perceived as feminism was a pet hate. But I was forced to re-evaluate a few beliefs with this book, because it was such an engaging story. I now am drawn to “religious” fiction and am slower to judge something as a feminist work.

Proved me wrong

6. The Passion by Jeanette Winterson

If you read my first Top 10 post you would know about my mixed feeling for Jeanette Winterson’s books, but there is no mixed feelings about The Passion, just passionate ones. The Passion is set in France and revolves around two young people – a young man who is sent to fight in the Napoleonic wars and a young woman in Venice who dresses as a man. It’s an amazing little book – strange and evocative like a fairy tale, but unlike any fairy tale ever written. If you are going to read just one book by Jeanette Winterson, read The Passionbecause it’s truly a brilliant story.

Everyone wears a mask

7. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zaf贸n

Carlos Ruiz Zaf贸n is truly a master to have created a world as rich as the Barcelona in The Shadow of the Wind. This is a novel that is fully immersive – when you love the characters you truly love them, when you hate them you truly hate them, and most of all you want to know what happens to them. I cried and gasped far too much while reading this book – If it was all documented I’m sure I would’ve looked like a nutcase – and that’s what really makes a book great. I have heard that the sort-of sequel The Angel’s Game is not as good, and I can see why it wouldn’t be – it would be very hard to recreate the magic of The Shadow of the Wind. Hopefully one day Carlos Ruiz Zaf贸n will recreate that magic and then he too will get a double spot on my Top 10 馃檪

A world all its own

8. Mister God this is Anna by Fynn

I could go on and on about this book, but since I happened to write a review聽about it this month, I would just be repeating myself 馃槢 So go read the post to see why I love this book so much 馃檪

A lot of food for thought

聽9. Watership Down by Richard Adams

This is the only book that is on the Top 10 Books from Childhoodas well as the Top 10 Books of All Time, because, well it’s wonderful 馃檪 Check out the Top 10 Books from Childhood to read why it has remained a fave of mine, or go read it – and remember, bunnies can be exciting!

Bright eyes, burning like fire...Oh stop it you'll make me cry!

聽10. Cloudstreet by Tim Winton

Cloudstreet is one of those intricate family sagas that appears once in a blue moon, written by an equally rare and precious author. It revolves around two working class families (the Pickles and the Lambs) who move from rural Western Australia into “the city” (Perth) and live in two halves of a giant old house – No.1 Cloud Street. It spans the 1940’s and 50’s as it traces the many ups and downs of the two families and how they are both affected by an old run-down home. The book has recently been turned into a mini-seriesthat played on Showcase, and was also adapted for the stage and toured in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, London, Dublin, New York and Washington DC.

I can't wait til the miniseries is released on DVD 馃檪

So there you have it, my last “Top 10”, I’ve written exactly 10 posts a month again and all is right in the world 馃檪
So far I haven’t had any comments saying I should make this a regular feature but I’ll give you all a bit more time, just in case 馃槈 if there is still no feedback proclaiming yay by the end of June, I’ll take it as a collective nay and it will only be reviews, new books and other random crazy from now on 馃槢

Top 10 Authors

Last month I noticed that I had written exactly 10 posts in April and 10 posts in March. which I thought was pretty neat 馃檪 and then the other day I noticed that it’s coming up to the end of May and I have only written 7! This can not do! Anyone who knows me knows that I’m just a tad obsessed with order (cue for all my friends to say “just a tad?”) so, to rectify this situation I will be writing a special “Top 10” post each day on the three last days of May. The first post will be my Top 10 Authors.

In no particular order (besides the order in which they came to me :P) here are my Top 10:

1. Craig Silvey

If you read my post聽from a few days ago you’ll know that Craig Silvey is my favourite author, mainly because his two novels – Rhubarb and Jasper Jones – are two of my fave books. He’s a wonderful local author and I can’t wait til he writes another book :).

Remember this guy? 馃檪

2. Markus Zusak

Markus Zusak is the author of another couple of my fave books – The Book Thief and The Messenger – as well as a bunch of聽YA books (The Underdog; Fighting Ruben Wolfe; Getting the Girl) and an upcoming novel The Bridge of Clay, which I’m really looking forward to :). He’s another wonderful Australian author and I would recommend The Book Thief and The Messenger to anyone who wants to read a very inspirational and insightful book with a clear, simple premise.

Another handsome devil 馃檪

3. Joanne Harris

I have read all of Joanne Harris’ books, from the famous Chocolat; it’s sequel, The Lollipop Shoes; and others in the same vein of food and magic (Blackberry Wine; Five Quarters of the Orange) ; to her darker early work (The Evil Seed; Sleep, Pale Sister) ; to her YA fantasy (and first in a series) Runemarks. Her other works are: The Coastliners; Holy Fools; Gentlemen and Players; a collection of short stories called Jigs and Reels; and her newest triumph blueeyedboy. She also has released two cooking books (which I haven’t read) with Fran Warde called The French Kitchen : a Cook Book and The French Market.

A delicious author

4. Tracy Chevalier

Tracy Chevalier is another author whose work I devour. There is only one novel I have yet to read, Remarkable Creatures, and that is on my “to read” pile, so hopefully I’ll聽get to it soon :). Her work is mostly historical fiction and based around a famous artist or art in general. Her most famous work, The Girl with the Pearl Earring is about the Dutch painter Vermeer and his painting of the same name; her first book The Virgin Blue references many paintings of the Virgin Mary; The Lady and the Unicorn is about the creation of medieval tapestries with the same name; and Burning Bright is about a couple of children that befriend their neighbour, writer and poet, William Blake. Tracy Chevalier has also written Falling Angels, a beautiful little book set right afer the death of Queen Victoria. She has also written several non-fiction books: Twentieth-Century Children’s Writers; Contemporary Poets; Contemporary World Writers; Encyclopedia of the Essay and Concise Encyclopedia of the Essay.

Lady Historical of Fiction

5. Terry Pratchett

Sir Terence David John “Terry” Pratchett is a fairly recent favourite author of mine. I loved the Discworld cartoons, Wyrd Sisters and Soul Music when I was a kid, and later on the movie Hogfather, but it was only a couple of years ago that I got around to reading the books, and I have since read the first 6 Discworld聽novels. He has written far聽too much聽to list here, but if you want to know all the titles follow the link (click on Terry Pratchett) and see them all on his Fantasticfiction聽page. The books are fab – very good for random bouts of giggling on the bus – and If you’re a fan of fantasy, but think sometimes it’s a genre that takes it’s self too seriously, then the Discworld books are for you.

A wizard of humourous fantasy

6. Jeanette Winterson

I’ve had an interesting聽reader/author relationship with Jeanette Winterson. When I was younger I loved her early works: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit; Sexing the Cherry; and most of all The Passion. I also enjoyed some of her later books, like Lighthousekeeping and her sort-of YA fantasy novel, Tanglewreck. However, I had mixed emotions about her sci-fi love story聽The Stone Gods聽, which had great elements but was confusing and not as….engaging as the other books I had read. And Gut Symmetries really wasn’t my cup of tea. Because of this somewhat mixed experience I am nervous about reading the remaining novels: Written on the Body; Art and Lies; The Powerbook; and The Battle of the Sun, but I will carry on because when she writes a good one, it’s amazing.

No ordinary fruit

7. Isobelle聽Carmody

I have loved Isobelle聽Carmody’s聽fantasy books since a friend of the family gave me Scatterlings. I am a fan of the Obernewtyn聽Cronicles聽(聽Obernewtyn; The Farseekers; Ashling; The Keeping Place; The Stone Key) and have been hanging out for the next book, The Sending to come out. Besides the Obernewtyn聽series she has written the Ledgendsong聽Saga, the Gateway Trilogy and The Legend of Little Fur series. She has also written 7 stand-alone novels, a collection of short stories called Green Monkey Dreams, and a few picture books: Wildheart; The Wrong Thing ( or Magic Night), Night School and Journey From the Centre of the Earth. I still have to read the Ledgendsong聽series, and聽3 of her stand-alones:聽The Landlord, Dreamwalker, and 聽Firecat’s Dream.

Queen of trilogies (and beyond)

8. Charlaine Harris

My love for Charlaine聽Harris is a new one, and thanks mainly to a Southern belle with an聽unique ability: Sookie聽Stackhouse. Since I saw True Blood early last year I have been reading the Sookie聽Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Mysteries聽series and now I’m 8 books in and completly聽addicted :). Besides the Sookie聽series, Charlaine Harris has written the Aurora Teagarden mystery series (which has 8 books), the Lily Bard mystery series (which has 5) and the Harper Connelly聽series (which has 4), as well as two stand-alones, Sweet and Deadly, and A Secret Rage,聽so she’s quite an ambitious lady. I own the first Harper Connelly: Grave Sight, and a Lily Bard聽omnibus and they’re on my “to read” pile, so hopefully they’re just as fun as the Sookie books :).

An author with bite

9. Kerry Greenwood

Ahhhh聽Kerry Greenwood, the author behind two of my favourite female characters from the last two years – the hon. Phryne聽Fisher, and baker turned detective, Corinna Chapman. Thanks go to my friend Sarah for lending me the first Phryne book (or the first 3) in the form of an omnibus containing: Cocaine Blues (aka Death by Misadventure), Flying Too High, and Murder on a Ballarat Train. Since then I’ve read 5 more Phryne books and the first two Corinna Chapman books: Earthly Delights聽and Heavenly聽Pleasures. And, lucky me, I still have 10 Phryne聽books; 3 Corinna books, plus two other series’: the Delphic Women series and the Stormbringer聽series to read (plus if I’m really keen she’s written 13 stand-alones!).

A book writing machine

10. Clive Barker

If you’re keeping up-to-date with what I’m currently reading聽you wouldn’t be surprised that Clive Barker is one of my fave authors – since I’m reading two of his books at the mo’. I’ve loved his work since my friend (Sarah again) lent me a great fantasy epic of his, Abarat which is filled with Clive Barker’s colourful and twisted paintings. She then gave me Sacrament聽for a christmas present, and I’ve been into his bizarre, often fucked-up style of writing聽ever since :P. Beside Abarat (and the second Abarat book, Days of Magic, Nights of War) and Sacrament I have read (and own) The Great and Secret Show and Imajica.

Master of Mindfuck

So there you have it, my first top 10 :). We have a good mix of male and female authors, and authors from Australia (Craig Silvey, Markus Zusak, Isobelle聽Carmody, Kerry Greenwood) the UK (Joanne Harris, Terry Pratchett, Jeanette Winterson, Clive Barker) and the US of A (Tracy Chevalier, Charlaine Harris), plus a mix of genres (Literary, Historical, Fantasy, YA, Mystery, Horror) which gives you all an insight into my reading patterns :).

Stay tuned tomorrow for the next “Top 10” –聽the Top 10 books from my childhood, and let me know in the comments if you think the “Top 10” should be a regular feature 馃檪