The Totally Should’ve Book Tag

I saw this book tag at Nut Free Nerd and decided to have a go at it (I changed slightly the original tag). I am not nominating specific people for this tag and anyone who wishes to participate is free to do so.

jonathan strange & mr norrell book coverI. Totally should’ve gotten a sequel

This is easy – Susanna Clarke’s amazing fantasy book Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell should get a sequel. There are still some questions that remain about the story and the story finished in such a way as to hint that there may be a continuation. 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets CoverII. Totally should’ve had a spin-off series

The Harry Potter book series. Ok, I know what everybody is thinking, but, please, hear me out. We had Harry’s story in seven books; we had additional books published by Rowling on quidditch and fantastic beasts; and we had screenplays that showed the magical world of America in the eighteenth century. But, I think it would be a great idea to have a spin-off series where we can see the magical world in a historical context. Hogwarts was founded in 990 A.D., and it will be interesting to see students studying at some historical point in time, such as maybe in the middle ages and to see how fashion changed and what spells were in fashion – to see the magical world as a historical fiction with new characters. Perhaps, references can be made to magical schools in Latin America or Africa, etc. The great thing about this is that the Harry Potter events would not be muddled with or changed since the action in any spin-off can take place centuries before Harry Potter. 

III. An author who should totally write more books

I will read anything that either Eleanor Catton (The Luminaries), Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life, The People in the Trees) or Donna Tartt will produce in future and they should definitely write more books.

IV. Totally should’ve ended differently

John Grisham should really get an award for some of the most disappointing endings in fiction. He got better with his endings in time, but his earlier books just had some of the most underwhelming endings imaginable. It has been a very long time since I picked up any John Grisham book, but I think I remember that his book The Chamber [1994] had a pretty “bad” ending.

The Hunchback of Notre-DameV. Totally should’ve made into a movie

My followers perhaps already know that I adore Victor Hugo’s book The Hunchback of Notre-Dame [1831], and I am disappointed that there is still no “modern” movie based on this story. We had silent movies of 1911 and 1923, and then sound movies of 1939 and 1956, and it is really the time to film the movie. With all the technically advanced special effects now available, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame can become one of the greatest fantasy film ever made with all the superb, bird-eye’ shots of Paris and the Cathedral inside, and vivid characters, such as a computer-generated Quasimodo. And yet, Disney continues to remake his other animations, including The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast.

Philip K Dick Book CoverVI. Totally should’ve had a TV series

Ok, there was a TV series of 2017 based on the work of Philip K. Dick, but I think everyone just keeps ignoring some of his more thought-provoking books which could be merged together to produce something special, with A-list stars attached and maybe David Lynch directing (especially since Philip K. Dick’s books share the same universe). For example, a TV series (8-10 episodes) can be made based on The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch [1964], Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said [1974] and A Scanner Darkly [1977] (there was a movie A Scanner Darkly, but still). This is especially so since these books are very fast-paced and “cinematic”.

Dinka BookVII. Totally should have been translated into English

I do not think there is a translation of the Russian-language book by Valentina Oseeva – Dinka. This book, which captures the joys of childhood, should be considered a classic – it details a touching friendship which develops between a tomboy, free-spirited girl Dina (or Dinka), aged eight, and an orphaned cabin boy Lenka (Leonid), aged eleven, in the times of hardship and need in the revolutionary Russia in the 1910s. The unforgettable story is set on the picturesque river Volga, and is about the power of friendship and family ties.

The Little Friend Book CoverVIII. Totally should’ve had a cover change

I am not sure what was the precise thought behind this cover of Donna Tartt’s The Little Friend [2002], but I think the cover does not do justice to the amazing story. I understand that the cover wanted to convey the eeriness, the deception involved and maybe the fragility of childhood, but the story is so much more than just a quest of a young girl Harriet to find the murderers of her brother. The novel is a curious interplay between the two worlds – the world of childhood imagination and adult criminal network, but it is also a story of a family impacted negatively by changing times.

IX. Totally should’ve kept the original covers

I am not a fan of “cinematic” book covers, especially when films are much worse than their respective books. It may be ok to replace a book cover of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind with the shot of Vivien Leigh, but when we see The Great Gatsby having the cover of a crazy movie adaptation by Baz Luhrmann or Anna Karenina having the cover of a badly cast movie by Joe Wright, we just need to revolt! 🙂 

X. Sukkwan Island Book CoverA book cover that totally should get more attention 

I recently came across this French book cover of a novella Sukkwan Island (Legend of a Suicide) [2010] by David Vann. I love thought-provoking book covers and this one tells a story. I love its creativity. 


16 thoughts on “The Totally Should’ve Book Tag

    1. Clarke was supposed to work on a sequel to Jonathan Strange even as far back as 2004 and 2007, but then there were no further news. I hope there will be a sequel one day!


    1. Thanks for the comment and agreeing! There is a Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell miniseries aired on BBC in 2015, but I have to admit I did not watch it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem, yes. Perhaps, one of the reasons I have not watched it yet is that I imagined Mr Norrell and Jonathan Strange differently (physically) from what the series offers.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yanagihara is very controversial, but this story is still interesting and the writing is beautiful. I will be very interested to know what you think about the book! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Completely agree with you on replacing original covers with movie stills. Books and movies are two different interpretations of the story, and sometimes the new cover doesn’t really reflect the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for agreeing! Yes, I understand all the marketing and how they want to sell to us both the book AND movie at the same time, but there is still something very wrong with this tactic especially when the book is much better than the movie.

      Liked by 1 person

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