Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

7 Books that Need Their Own Illustrated Editions

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Amanda Kay Oaks

Staff Writer

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Amanda Kay Oaks has a BFA in Creative Writing and Literature from The University of Evansville and is a current creative nonfiction MFA student at Chatham University. An AmeriCorps alum, online tutor, and literary journal editor, Amanda considers herself a professional wearer of many hats and isn't sure what she'll do if she ever actually has only one job at a time. When she isn't working, reading, writing, or pretending to be a practiced yogi, Amanda can most likely be found snuggled up on the couch with her cat, Artemis, and a plate of cookies. She tweets T.S. Eliot quotes a little too often and tries to keep up with her personal book blog, I Write Things. Twitter: @I_Write_Things

Recently, Subterranean Press announced a fully illustrated special edition of the fantasy Kushiel’s Dart , and it is seriously stunning.

Naturally, this got us thinking about some of the other books that would be gorgeous in illustrated versions. Here’s a short list of things I’d love to see given the artistic treatment:

1. The Circle of Magic series by Tamora Pierce

The fantasy universe created in these books is lush with imagery of magic and battle that would translate beautifully into artwork.

hawksong2. The Kiesha’ra series by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

I’m delving deep into my childhood for this one, but these books are an amazing and imaginative fantasy series. The variety of shape-shifters and the cultural differences between them are just begging for images. The cover art alone gives a good idea of how stunning these books would be with illustrations alongside the text.

3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

From my shame corner, I have to admit I haven’t actually read this one yet. Everything I’ve heard about it suggests that it 100% needs to be translated into illustrations, though.

4. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray

These books involve journey between an “ordinary” boarding school and a secret world that Gemma and her friends discover. I’m sure artists could do interesting things with contrast between the real world and the mystical parallel one.

akata-witch5. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

This book’s cover makes me want to see more  artist renderings of this coming of age story about an albino girl raised in America, who returns to Nigera to discover she has magical powers.

6. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

If Harry Potter gets the artistic treatment, why not this fantastic book that spawned from the thinly-veiled Harry Potter fanfic in Fangirl to become this amazing thing all its own?

7. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa.

Vampires and pilgrims? This I have to see with my own eyes.

Honestly, I could keep going. There are so many great options for books that would spawn beautiful illustrations! After writing this list, I’ve decided this is a thing I for sure want to see happening more often.