Books I’d Like to See On the Screen

By Jeff Salter

In these recent five years of networking with numerous authors, I’ve read more books – and a greater variety of types – than at any time in my past… with the possible exception of three years I served on a literary award committee of the Louisiana Library Association (early 1990s). In fact, there have been so many titles in this recent period that I struggle to remember them unless someone could show me a list. [Wish I’d kept a list.]

A good many of these would easily make very nice movies, if properly adapted. I had to add that caveat because so few good books ARE properly adapted by the folks who make movies. Don’t get me started.

Walker Percy’s novels

I’ve been waiting several decades for someone to make a film adaptation of one of Walker Percy’s eight best-selling and widely acclaimed novels. His is not a household name, unfortunately, but I knew him from my hometown of Covington LA, where he was a friend of my parents’. I’ve read all of his novels, some twice, and have enjoyed every one. My least favorite was Lancelot, but even that one would make a good movie. My favorites would likely be Thanatos Syndrome (his last), The Moviegoer (his first), and perhaps The Last Gentleman and Love in the Ruins.


Many years ago, I read that actress Karen Black had purchased the film rights to The Moviegoer, but as far as I know, no project has been undertaken. I’d love to see it. Certainly, I’m influenced by knowing the man (and some of his family) personally when I was a youngster, having corresponded with him when I was grown-up, and having reviewed his final novel for the LLA Bulletin. But there was something about the depth and complexity of his characters (and the dilemmas they faced) that captured my imagination. On one hand, I could often “see” Walker Percy in some of those protagonists… but on another hand, I could sometimes see myself.

Mysterious Murder

I stumbled across this book in the $1 rack at a discount store and bought it only because I needed something to read during a long wait for an appointment. Wow, what a fascinating story. It’s Daniel Stashower’s “The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder.”


Folks, this would make a terrific movie. If I were filming it, I’d probably have to choose whether to focus on the sensational 1841 Manhattan murder case itself – of the popular cigar girl, Mary Rogers – or if I’d focus on Stashower’s fascinating biographical development of Edgar Allan Poe, a writer whose work I admire. Not sure a movie could do justice to both… within a typical two hour timeframe. A third approach, one taken by Stashower in the book, would be to show how this actual murder (and bungled, sensationalized investigation) influenced Poe’s development of the modern day murder/detective mystery tale. Perhaps it could work as a mini-series.

Brain Freeze

This week’s topic is one of those which can make your brain freeze. You might have 360 days a year in which you think, “Gosh, that would make a cool movie!” But when there are five days you really need to pick one or two of those titles, suddenly your brain goes blank and none come to mind.

I’ll be kicking myself the rest of the year for not remembering those worthy titles for this blog, but another author I DO recall is Duffy Brown, whose books set in Savannah are really excellent. I read the second one (Killer in Crinolines) first and it’s my slight favorite over the first (Iced Chiffon), though either would do very well on the screen. There are at least two others in that Savannah-set Consignment Shop series I haven’t had a chance to read yet, but I’m betting they’re as good as the first two. Duffy also has a new series (The Cycle Path Mysteries) set on Macinac Island (MI) which I’m eager to read.

My Wife’s Picks

Just to offer another POV, I asked my wife this question. Denise would like to see movies made of the early Mitford Series books (by Jan Karon) and the Miss Julia Series (by Ann Ross).


What about you? Which books (that you’ve read) would YOU like to see on the silver screen?


About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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10 Responses to Books I’d Like to See On the Screen

  1. jeff7salter says:

    One of several things I neglected to mention about Stashower’s book is how much I learned about Poe — not only biographically, but his approach to (& development of) the detective story. Even though I liked Poe’s work and read the usual school requirements (plus a few on the side), I’d never gotten much sense of the man… other than he was troubled, drank a lot, married a cousin, and died young (in debt). If you want to know a LOT more about Edgar the person, read this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve not heard of any of these books but now I want to read them. I know what sort of movies you watch and seem to enjoy from your posts on Facebook. I tend to agree with you a lot on movies so I am thinking these books will be wonderful reads.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      thanks, Angie. A title I forgot to mention is “Pegasus Bridge” by Stephen Ambrose. It’s an account of the training and preparation of the British unit which went in by glider early on D-Day to capture and hold an important bridge. He later wrote Band of Brothers, which most people are familiar with.


  3. Goodness, Jeff..what fun I could have in winning BIG in the lottery. I’d indulge making a movie of a Walker Percy story with YOU in the lead!
    You have had my curiosity piqued for some time.I will have to look into his books, as well as the others.
    (Where has everyone been lately?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      Great idea, except I couldn’t play the lead anymore. Need to get a youngster.
      As far as blog traffic — mystery. It’s been way down in the past two years, period. I know a lot of authors are at a bit conference called RT in TX.


  4. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I hope Walker Percy’s books eventually make it to the screen. It would be exciting to be able to say you knew the original author! I haven’t read any of the books you mention, but since you and Tonette are the movie experts I’m sure they’d be wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      can’t claim to be a movie expert, but I do love watching them. One of the things I miss about my retirement years is that I’ve so consciously stayed away from the TV (in order to be able to produce).


  5. duffybrown says:

    Wow, Jeff, you sure made my day! Your lips to Hollywood’s ears. LOL. Thanks so much for thinking of Reagan, Walker, Auntie KiKi and the Savannah gang, I truly appreciate it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Who Would I Like to Spend Two Weeks With | Four Foxes, One Hound

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