Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.
Okay, this is my first Top Ten Tuesday and I got waaaaaaay too into it. I’m going to have to write a tonne of crossover fanfiction to get all these mash-up ideas out of my system. Anyway, without further ado, here are my top ten…
Books You’d Mash Together
1) Northanger Abbey + Dracula
In “Northanger Abbey”, Catherine Morland is seventeen years old and obsessed with Gothic novels. She goes to stay at Northanger Abbey with the mysterious Tilney family, and becomes convinced that something horrendous happened to the lady of the house. Spoiler alert – it didn’t. I always felt like Catherine was cheated out of an adventure. Instead, she gets married at eighteen to Henry Tilney, who seems like a good bloke (he has a sense of humour, and understands muslin) but commits the cardinal sin of telling Catherine off for reading too many novels. Given the chance, I would introduce Catherine to the world of “Dracula” and she would, of course, become a badass vampire hunter.
2) Wuthering Heights + Cold Comfort Farm
I wish I liked “Wuthering Heights”. I love Emily Bronte’s poetry, and I love wiley, windy moors as much as the next woman. But then I read it and found myself very put-off by how f*cking nasty it is. People keep strangling each other’s dogs and such – how is this a love story? However, I have a solution! Introduce the thoroughly modern Flora Poste from “Cold Comfort Farm” to the moor’s inhabitants. Flora Poste loves nothing more than to fix people’s lives, and she does this very successfully with her relatives at Cold Comfort. With her influence, Heathcliff and Catherine and everyone else would probably end up comfortable, happy and well-dressed.
3) The Darling Buds of May + American Psycho
My reasoning for this is pretty much the opposite to the previous one. The Larkin family in “The Darling Buds of May” have it all figured out. They live in a rural idyll, always eat well and never worry too much about trivial things like unplanned pregnancies. So I’d like to drop an actual psychopath, like Patrick Bateman from “American Psycho” into their world, just to see what happens. Actually, they would probably just take him strawberry picking and mix him delicious cocktails and he would fall in love with the eldest daughter and stop being a psycho.
4) The Naughtiest Girl in the School + the Harry Potter books
This one is pure, nostalgic wish-fulfilment. These two were my favourite boarding school series (boarding schools are, or at least they were, practically their own genre in British kids’ books) and I’d love to see them mixed together. I doubt Elizabeth Allen’s attempts to be the naughtiest girl in the school would match Fred and George Weasley’s pranks, but maybe they could teach her a thing or two.
5) Pippi Longstocking + Just William
For very similar reasons. As a kid, Pippi and William were my two favourite troublemakers. William had his gang of “Outlaws”, and Pippi had a horse and a monkey. If they joined forces, they would cause so much chaos and have so much fun.
6) The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes + Anything with actual ghosts and ghoulies
I’d like to see how such a fiercely logical character would react to the paranormal. In the Sherlock Holmes canon, he’s a total skeptic – memorably demonstrated in “The Hound of the Baskervilles”, when he refuses to believe there is anything otherworldly about the giant, glowing dog. But what if he were placed in a world where the paranormal does exist? Maybe he’d have a nervous breakdown. Or maybe he’d accept it coolly and rationally, remembering that “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”
7) Preacher comics + George’s Marvellous Medicine
This one is cheating slightly, since the “Preacher” comics aren’t actually books, but I have good reason for bending the rules. There’s not a single literary villain who scares me like Jesse Custer’s ridiculously evil grandma, and she deserves to get got. Perhaps the adorable, granny-poisoning George could mix up a special batch of medicine for her, and then she’ll stop haunting my nightmares.
8) The Chronicles of Narnia + His Dark Materials
Two completely different interpretations of Christian mythology, and maybe an awesome fight between Aslan the lion and Iorek Byrnison the armoured bear.
9) The Notebook + The Time Machine
A sure-fire way of tricking me into reading a big, swoony romance is to put time travel in it. I adore “The Time Traveller’s Wife”, for example, and the “Outlander” series. The whole “having to choose between two lovers” thing carries a lot more weight when it’s a choice between two different lives in different centuries, rather than a choice between the blonde dude and the dark-haired dude. So I think I would enjoy “The Notebook” a lot more if it was mashed up with H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine”. Hey, maybe the time machine itself could be the MacGuffin that the story centres around, instead of a boring old notebook.
10) The Catcher in the Rye + The Horse Whisperer
Oh wait, somebody already wrote that. It’s called “The God of Animals” – the debut novel of Aryn Kyle. It’s an underrated gem, and if you’ve ever been an angsty twelve-year-old, ridden a horse, or endured a long, hot summer where nothing much happens but everything changes, I would thoroughly recommend it.