• Natasha Hart

8 Amazing Book-to-Film Adaptations You Might Have Missed

It’s the ultimate debate amongst booklovers: what’s better, the film or the book?

Well, I think you, I and many bookworms will agree that the book is always better than any adaptation.

However, there are going to be a few exceptions to the rule, and I think we’ve found them.

There are some truly amazing book-to-film adaptations that you need to watch right now that’ll satisfy your bookish needs over this weekend, without having to, you know, read an actual book.

There’s something so magical about seeing your favourite story brought to life on the big screen. Do you remember the first time you saw Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone at the cinema? Mesmerizing, wasn’t it? Now, wouldn’t it be amazing to recreate that in the comfort of your own home?

It seems that many streaming sites and TV channels realise this is what we want, too. Thanks to the recent rise in popularity of book-to-film adaptations, there’s a lot of choice out there now for us, the book-loving community.

What’s great about book-to-film adaptations is that they make great stories accessible to everyone, so even if you don’t like to read, or just don’t feel like reading at that very moment, you can still enjoy the wonderful work of an amazing author.

And what’s even better is that sometimes the film or TV adaptations will introduce you to new books that you didn’t even know were books before. You’ll be able to discover the inspiration behind the captivating shows and enjoy books you never knew existed, thanks to book-to-film adaptations.

So, if you’d rather watch a show tonight than read, put down your book, switch on the TV, and brace yourself to fall in love with these 8 amazing book-to-film adaptations you might have missed.

1. The Luminaries

This is currently airing on BBC 1 on Sunday nights at 9pm, with 3 episodes left of the current series. It’s based on the book by Eleanor Catton. Set in New Zealand in 1866 at the height of New Zealand’s gold rush, we follow the protagonist Walter Moody as he arrives in New Zealand in search of a fortune. However, one night he happens to stumble into a room of men, men discussing dark deeds. Moody is drawn into the discussion and becomes entwined in a complex mystery with sinister crimes. If you loved the book, you’ll love this TV adaptation, and you can watch all the episodes on BBC iPlayer now.

2. My Brilliant Friend

This 2nd series is currently airing on Sky Atlantic and is based on Elena Ferrante's 2nd book in her 4-part series, originally titled ‘The Story of a New Name’. The first season aired in 2018, however you’ll still be able to watch the first season on Amazon Prime. It’s an amazing Italian-and Neapolitan-language adaptation of a coming-of-age story of two girls, Elena and Raffaella. Elena Ferrante notes that each book should be seen as part of one larger text, as we follow the lives of Elena and Raffaella through childhood, adulthood, and eventually old age. This is where the series takes hold, with Elena writing the story of her friendship with Raffaella. If you love coming-of-age stories, you’ll love this.

3. To All the Boys PS I Still Love You

Based on the book ‘P.S. I still Love You’ by Jenny Han, this is a sequel to ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ that originally aired in 2018. ‘To All the Boys PS I Still Love You’ aired in February of this year and you can still catch it on Netflix. In ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ we follow Lara Jean Covey as her love letters to past boyfriends (that were meant for her eyes only) are mysteriously sent to her ex-boyfriends without Lara’s knowledge. This of course wreaks havoc in her life. In the sequel, we continue to follow Lara and see how her relationships develop, thanks to these letters.

4. Dolittle

Everyone loves the 1998 classic film with Eddie Murphy, so you’ll equally love the new adaptation of Hugh Lofting’s classic that can now be watched on Sky on demand. Starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Tom Holland, little ones are sure to enjoy this book-to-film adaptation. I didn’t even realise this was a book! It’s actually a series of books by Hugh Lofting about the adventures of a doctor who learns to speak to animals. The perfect Saturday morning film.

5. The Personal History of David Copperfield

This is the perfect film for Dickens lovers; it’s hilarious. You can currently watch it on Sky on demand. It’s based on Dicken’s Victorian era novel ‘David Copperfield’. It follows the life of David Copperfield from childhood all the way to adulthood and all the adventures he has along the way. Starring Dev Patel, Peter Capaldi, and many more this is truly the historical feel-good film of 2019.

6. Artemis Fowl

Based on the fantasy kid’s book by Eoin Colfer, this is a 2020 film adaptation of the epic tales. Follow Artemis Fowl, a 12-year old boy genius, as he tries to unravel the mystery of his father’s disappearance. You can find this on the Disney+ now.

7. The Secret Garden

If you loved the original ‘The Secret Garden’ adaptation way back in 1993, then you’re definitely going to enjoy this 2020 one. Based on the book by the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett, we follow the story of Mary Lennox as she comes to terms with her parents’ deaths and has to move to the Yorkshire countryside to live with her reclusive uncle. This truly is an adaptation you have to see. You can currently catch the new 2020 one on Netflix.

8. Normal People

Based on Sally Rooney’s novel by the same name, ‘Normal People’ was a huge hit when it was aired earlier this year on BBC. It’s the story of the complicated relationship between Marianne and Connell through their teenage years and how they deal with their social and socio-economic differences growing-up in Ireland. You can still catch this too on BBC iPlayer.

What did you think of our suggestions? Do you have any others? We’d love to hear what book-to-film adaptations you’ve enjoyed most this year as we too love to binge as many as we can!

If any of the above caught your interest and you’d like to read the original books the films/shows are based on, you can contact us at The Book Nook and we’ll be able to order this in for you. Happy readings/watching!

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