Recently, we learned that Judy Blume finally agreed to sell the movie rights to Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret? Likewise, Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Goldfinch, makes its big screen debut this October. But what about Tartt’s It’s Not the End of the World and The Secret History? Where are those films? With page-to-screen stars in our eyes, these are the incredible books that have us staging fantasy casting calls in our heads.
Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
Westover lived an isolated life with her survivalist parents in Idaho—so secluded that she didn’t go to school until she was seventeen years old. When her older brother finds his way to college, Westover follows, beginning an educational adventure that took her around the world and down the halls of Harvard and Cambridge. Her achievements are emotional, as much as intellectual, and could easily be the feel-good, true-story movie of the year.
The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict
Hollywood, The Only Woman in the Room is practically begging to be a movie. It’s the incredible story of one of your own—Hedy Lamarr. Known as a beautiful actress, this novelization of her life focuses on her pre-starlet days, her marriage to an Austrian arms dealer, and her fight to flee the Nazis. Adding to the intrigue, her work as a scientist could hold the secret to defeating them. It’s the type of silver screen backstory everyone loves.
Read more: Oscar-nominated Movies Based on Books
Death Is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa
Timely and beautiful, Death Is Hard Work is about one family’s improbable trip across war-torn Syria. When Abdel Latif dies, his final wish is for his three children to bury him in Damascus. The only problem: Damascus is two hours away, which may as well be two hundred hours away. Traveling through a war zone is an incredibly dangerous pursuit, which would make a road trip movie like no other.
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
Ada, a young Nigerian girl, develops multiple personalities as she grows older. By the time she moves from Nigeria to America for college, her disorder takes a more serious turn. A brutal attack solidifies two personalities—one weak, one strong—and pushes Ada’s true self to the background where she becomes a mere observer of her life as it spins out of control. It’s exactly the psychological thriller that sells tickets.
The Test by Sylvain Neuvel
In the future, Britain enacts a citizenship test which determines who can stay, and who will be forced to leave. It’s a scant collection of 25 multiple-choice questions, but they have the ability to destroy the very fabric of the nation. The edge-of-your-seat drama in this dystopian novel is incredible.