Can you recommend me something to read
November 25, 2016 5:45 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking to get immersed in a really great book... or audiobook? What book is everyone reading right now that's going to get made into a mini-series in about 18 months and everyone will say "The book was so much better!"

My current top 3 favorite books are:
The Elegance of the Hedgehog - just an amazing book
The Martian - when I was reading this (on audiobook) I would start thinking at random points "I hope Mark is OK!"
His Dark Materials series - the audiobook for this was particularly good because it had a full cast.

I would like to get fully sunk into something really great, pls help.
posted by bleep to Media & Arts (29 answers total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
I am currently down the rabbit hole in Iain Banks' Culture series. It revolves around a post-scarcity humanoid Culture spread across the galaxy. In the tradition of the very best science fiction, many of the stories and plots are as philosophical as they are technological. I'm skeptical that they'll ever be successfully adapted to the screen, though.

Also, you will understand a TON of inside jokes and usernames on MetaFilter after reading them.
posted by workerant at 6:25 PM on November 25, 2016 [5 favorites]

I know some people are down on it but have you read Ready Player One yet?
posted by dgeiser13 at 6:44 PM on November 25, 2016

Well, they already did Wolf Hall/Bring Up The Bodies, and they got nominated for some Emmys. But the books are still good (and she's not done yet).
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:56 PM on November 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm listening to the collected George Smiley novels by BBC via For one credit it's one hell of a deal.
posted by My Dad at 6:57 PM on November 25, 2016

Oh, rats, that won't get made into a miniseries. Sorry about that.
posted by My Dad at 6:58 PM on November 25, 2016

Response by poster: Well yknow to be fair none of us really knows what's going to be made into what in the future, that's not a hard and fast criteria.
posted by bleep at 7:07 PM on November 25, 2016

A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara.
posted by barnoley at 7:31 PM on November 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

György Spiró’s Captivity. Five years in the translating so it may take a few years to get mini-seried.
posted by BWA at 7:41 PM on November 25, 2016

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner. I couldn't put it down!

I also couldn't put down The Last Policeman trilogy by Ben Winters. It's been optioned for a TV series but nothing solid.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:45 PM on November 25, 2016 [3 favorites]

Here's a variety, all with an audio option ; some maybe movie(?)...

The Wee Free Men, by Terry Pratchett, first in Discworld's Tiffany Aching sub-series. The audiobook's narrator, Stephen Briggs, is amazingly great. Literally laugh-out-loud funny fantasy. Movie being produced by the Jim Henson Company.

The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein. A dog's perspective on its life. Funny/moving. Audio available, but I read it. Movie "in development."

Feed, by Mira Grant. More about politics and journalism than zombies. Exciting, but thoughtful too. Very good audio narrators. Movie option, but several years ago, so unlikely?

Kitchens of the Great Midwest, by J. Ryan Stradal. Characters interconnected with each other and the chef-protagonist as she matures. Well done audio. No movie.
posted by ClingClang at 7:56 PM on November 25, 2016

The Rosie Project - the Amazon description is shit, but the book is great! Had me cackling all day.

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. Hilarious, with a sprinkling of mental illness and a whole lot of WTF.
posted by Neekee at 8:39 PM on November 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" is going to be a series on Starz in 2017. I never listened to the audiobook version, but I think I remember hearing it was done well. And the sort-of-sequel "Anansi Boys" I believe had the audiobook voiced by Lenny Henry.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:48 PM on November 25, 2016 [4 favorites]

It's a good time to get familiar with the world of MaddAddam. HBO dropped it recently but Darren Aronofsky says it's mostly written and just needs a home. The books are fantastic.

The George Smiley books are a great suggestion. They're not going to be made into a miniseries because they already were made into one of the greatest miniseries ever. Just beware that there are two different cuts of each of the two miniseries (Tinker, Tailor... and Smiley's People) and the BBC version is far superior to the PBS re-cut both times. Most of the streaming services have the inferior PBS cut. I found the BBC DVDs cheap online and they work in my region-free player.
posted by carsonb at 9:49 PM on November 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

The Three Body Problem trilogy by Cixin Liu is a mesmerizing page-turner while also being some of the best new SciFi on the planet. It tooks America & China by storm too, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if (especially post-Arrival) there isn't a huge budget, beautiful adaptation
posted by Chipmazing at 2:15 AM on November 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

I can confirm that the audiobook of american gods is really great, and the sequel Anansi Boys is possibly my favourite audiobook ever. Lenny Henry doing the voices for a bunch of little old ladies is hilarious!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:19 AM on November 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

They are a fun read in text form but it's even better to have Kobna Holdbrook-Smith read you the books in Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series. I would listen to him read the phone book.
posted by rtha at 10:40 AM on November 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Try Justin Cronin's Passage trilogy. Unusual vampires (no sparkles, not handsome or angsty), end of the world, prophesies... good stuff (didn't listen to the audiobooks).
posted by lhauser at 12:41 PM on November 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

His Bloody Project has been optioned, I think. It keeps getting called a historical crime thriller, but it's far more interesting than that - one of the best books I've read this year.
posted by parm at 1:33 PM on November 26, 2016

Not a specific recommendation, but pretty much all of the "the book was better" movies were once on the Indie Next List.
posted by moons in june at 2:54 PM on November 26, 2016

oh! Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels.

"Elena Ferrante and the Force of Female Friendships" (New Yorker piece about the books, friendship and 'human heat').
posted by standardasparagus at 3:05 PM on November 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

One of my favorite books is "A High Wind In Jamaica" by Richard Hughes. Written in 1929 it gets into the interior life of children like no other book I've ever read. It's not 'light' reading. In other words it's not really a 'children's book'. It's beautifully written. I reread it ever two years or so.
posted by FlipDezz at 5:07 PM on November 26, 2016

I also really love A High Wind in Jamaica.

My favorite novel is A Month in the Country by JL Carr. It's a quiet book, but very absorbing. It's about a church art restorer working in a small town in England just after WWI. It's short, so give it a try. It was made into a movie in the UK, but I've never watched it because I like the novel too well.

[Both High Wind and Month are published in the NY Review Classics series. It's a very good series. I've never read anything published by them that I did not like.]
posted by OmieWise at 5:25 PM on November 26, 2016

I was going to mention The Passage trilogy. Truly epic, and being developed for a series. By Fox, so the books will certainly be better. I still think about the characters sometimes.
posted by lunasol at 6:13 PM on November 26, 2016

Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch series (starting with Ancillary Justice) got optioned for tv recently. Those books are fantastic in several different directions, and (to avoid spoileriness) do space opera from the point of view of a character who isn't impressed by the whiz-bang awesomeness of space things, and so the story doesn't rely on that kind of spectacle to do what it does.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 7:08 PM on November 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Wool trilogy by Hugh Howey is really gripping. I did end up buying the books because I can read faster than I can listen.
posted by poxandplague at 11:58 PM on November 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Seconding American Gods, whole cast recording. Just re-listened. So good.

Dunno how likely movies/series are but the Mistborn trilogy (and all his others) by Brandon Sanderson.

Miniseries already done, and awful, but I really liked the audiobooks of Lev Grossman, The Magicians.
posted by greermahoney at 12:45 AM on November 27, 2016

Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrell The mini series was quite good. I haven't read the book but it gets good reviews on meta filter.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 7:23 AM on November 27, 2016

American Gods is indeed excellent, and the audiobook version is pretty special and has multiple male and a female reader; looking forward to the TV adaptation currently in the works.

Terry Pratchett's Discworld audiobooks, especially the later ones, all have very high production values. I particularly like novels that feature 'The Watch'/Sam Vimes; there's a supposed extended adaptation TV series in the works, but ... in limbo? Regardless, 'Night Watch' and 'Thud' are particularly good.

"SA Corey"'s 'The Expanse' is good, lots of orbital mechanics and 'just this side of plausible' realism. They're quick reads and new ones come out regularly. Professional writers. TV adaptation renewed for a second season.

If I had to guess the next big series/TV adaptation, I'd hazard the Hyperion Cantos. It's long, very long, but complete and the plot is tight and wraps up very satisfyingly. I haven't heard the audiobook version in a very long time but it was probably good/great.
posted by porpoise at 1:45 PM on November 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

I can't believe it took me so long to discover Titus Groan. Such a weird, deep, interesting book. I still haven't gotten around to reading the second and third books in the trilogy, but they look equally delightful.
posted by orange_square at 7:35 PM on November 29, 2016

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