Books That Would Make Great Films

Get on it, please, Hollywood (y’know, when that’s possible again)

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Photo by Nathan DeFiesta on Unsplash

Um, mine?

It’s called Unscripted and was published last year. Slightly meta: it’s actually (among other things) about a girl trying to turn her book into a movie.

Tiny Pretty Things

About mean girls at a ballet school, this book by Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charapoitra has been described as Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars. Such a good read and would make a great film, especially if they used real dancers like they did with Center Stage.

The Versions of Us

Laura Barnett’s parallel narrative love story would make an interesting, Sliding Doors style film (though there are three alternate timelines, so not sure how it’d be done, but I’ll leave that to brighter minds to figure out). The characters meet at Cambridge and it always warms my heart to see my University on the big screen, too.

Astonish Me

Yes, another ballet novel. I can’t get enough of reading about and seeing ballet, and this novel may have been my original gateway drug. Usually, when I’ve *really* loved a novel, I don’t want to see it on the screen, because I fear they’ll ruin it. But I think beautiful things could be done with this book by Maggie Shipstead — especially with the dance and the Paris locations. I’d love to revisit this story in a different form.

The List

Back in the more innocent, pre-2016 times, I used to love a good fictional DC scandal — both in novels and on screen, and Karin Tanabe’s book was a fun read. I’ll probably never get over the thrill of seeing places I know and love in films, either.


Let’s have a new one of this Jane Austen novel! Long ago-lost-love-returning is a trope I can’t resist. And I know this is controversial, but I loved the latest Pride and Prejudice and I would love a film that does a similar thing for Persuasion.

The Actress

Hollywood loves a self referential movie and Amy Sohn’s novel was a good beach read and I imagine would make for a fun girls’ night with some popcorn and wine…

You Had Me At Hello

I really enjoyed Mhairi MacFarlane’s novel of uni friends will-they-won’t-they — and her characters are about the same age as me so it would be fun to revisit the late 90s British uni scene…

Editor of WALK WITH US: How the West Wing Changed Our Lives; author of the novel UNSCRIPTED and of CONQUERING BABEL: a Practical Guide to Learning a Language.

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