Proof that Great Books Can Make Great Movies

As we enter the season of the summer blockbuster I thought it would be fun to reflect on how many of the books that have been featured on my blog have also been made into movies. It seems that movie and TV show adaptations of books are becoming increasingly popular.

Some of these movies and TV shows listed below have been ones that I have seen and enjoyed; in some cases, seeing the movie first has prompted me to read the book just for comparison’s sake.

Have you seen or read any of the movies or books from my list? I’d love to hear your thoughts but I also want to know which ones I’m missing or you think I should read. What’s your favorite movie adaptation of a book?

Fiction

Non-Fiction

Kid Lit/YA Fiction

Graphic Novels

Psst- wanna see which books have previously graced my bookshelves? Click here. Want even more fun reading recommendations? I’ve got some for you here. Don’t forget to find me on Goodreads so we can snoop each other’s bookshelves and dish about our favourites.

Read at Your Own Risk

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I’m not really a scary movie person; around this time of year when people invite me to re-watch some of the classics with them my response is usually, “I’m fine, thanks. My imagination scares me enough as it is.”

It’s not a line- this is 100% absolutely, totally true. As a kid I was plagued by crazy, reoccurring nightmares and as I grew older and learned about the horrific historical events that paved the way to our modern society- wars, genocides, holocausts, disease. These things almost scared me more than the ghosts and demons I conjured up in my imagination,

Hearing and watching these stories always shook me to the core- to this day, I still can’t stand watching people torture and kill each other, even if it’s imaginary. War movies are out. I was a mess at the end of Game of Thrones’ sixth season. No, really.

It seems silly to accumulate a list of scary books when the things that frighten me seem like no big deal to other people. “Read at your own risk” is more of a warning then to those of us softies who find this sensitive reading material. Even if you have seen your fair share of blood and guts, I hope my selections are still enough to disturb (if in a quieter, more subversive way).

Patrick Suskind’s novel Perfume is subtitled “The Story of a Murderer” but really should have read “The Story of a Sick, Sick Man That Will Make You Shudder in Equal Parts Horror and Disgust”. It makes you wonder what kind of guy Suskind is in real life, although I’m sure he’s very, very nice.

So Much for That by Lionel Shriver is kind of the modern-day horror story that’s uncomfortable to read because at the back of your mind you know that every procedure that she details, and all of the suffering she describes is actually real, but it’s worth the read for the light it sheds on the frightening reality we live in.

You have to have lived under a rock if you haven’t heard of Room yet. Canadian author Emma Donaghue’s novel was a smash hit that got turned into an award-winning movie and it’s easy to see why- it’s both gripping and tender, funny and frightening. Even so, it was still a tense read for a sensitive soul like myself.

I read The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne when I was baby-sitting one night. (It’s so engrossing and short that I’m sure you could, too.) As it happened I reached the end just before the parents came home, so when they walked through the door they found me sobbing hysterically. Needless to say, I had to include this book for the shock it gave my system. The ending was like a sucker-punch.

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell sounded like the kind of quirky, fun read that was right up my alley and at first it was. Russell’s writing makes the heat of the swamp shimmer off of the page; it’s so easy to get caught up in the heady landscape that when things start to get sinister it feels like the slither of an alligator inside you. I ended up being so disturbed.

Honorable Mentions

I couldn’t talk about creepy reads without listing a few of the books that have made my blog before. They’re worth a second mention for the chills they gave me.

  • Even if you’ve seen the movie Gone Girl, the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn is worth the read so you can see just how psychotic her characters were intended to be.
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is the classic unreliable narrator mystery, and it feels particularly disturbing reading it as a woman watching the main character submit over and over again to addiction, and leaving herself vulnerable and exposed. It’s a reminder that women’s safety continues to be an issue.
  • I have to include the novel Blindness by José Saramago as the premise alone is enough to give me the chills.
  • The Clothes They Stood Up In by Alan Bennett is a short, yet devastating read.
  • If it’s magic and things that go bump in the night that you want, then Andrew Pyper’s The Demonologist is for you.

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I love to read and I love sharing my favorite books with you. (For more reading inspiration click here or here.) Don’t forget to friend me on Goodreads either! Btw: These lists are totally my own creation and I was not paid or perked to share my opinions with you by any author or publishing company.

Spring 2015 Reading List

Spring 2015 Reading ListOver the winter a lot of my friends and neighbors go into hiding but as soon as that sun starts peaking out from behind those wintry clouds, we do whatever it takes to get out there and absorb the outdoors as soon as humanly possible.

Getting reacquainted with the people in my neighborhood has given me more incentive to try and finish up my reading list from this winter (let’s not even talk about how far behind I am on that one) because I’m getting so many good book recommendations! My lovely dad, purveyor of all things witty has donated his copy of A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson to my bookshelves. I’m looking forward to having a good laugh. You Suck by Christopher Moore promises to put a smile on my face as well- I’m a sucker for unlikely love stories. (Too much?)

I have to confess that I’ve already started Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I wanted to read the book before I watched the movie, but I got out-voted one movie night and had to skip some of the titles still on my winter reading list to make sure I could compare notes while the movie was still fresh in my mind.

It’s a good thing the weather is getting nicer every day. It’ll be perfect for getting through some of the last titles from the giant stack of books my sister loaned me this past winter. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova and The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. by Sandra Gulland are oldies but supposedly goodies, and The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper is all the rage right now. (I always like jumping on the bandwagon, even if its only to see what all the fuss is about.) All of three of them look like they could be kind of dark though, so sunny afternoons here I come! You’ll find me sitting outside reading and working on my T-shirt tan.

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Psst- wanna see which books have previously graced my bookshelves? Click here. Want even more fun reading recommendations? I’ve got some for you here. Don’t forget to find me on Goodreads so we can snoop each other’s bookshelves and dish about our favourites.