Watching the big-screen adaptation of one of your favorite books can elicit mixed feelings. Even if the movie is great, readers with a strong emotional connection to the source material won't be able to recapture the magic they felt reading the novel, which can leave moviegoers feeling disappointed. There's just something about reading a book you love that can't be translated to the big screen, even if the movie itself is good in its own right. While their film counterparts were perfectly good (we swear!), this is our selection of books that were so moving, so pitch-perfect, so original, they were bound to be turned into movies.
This will probably be the most emotional and beautifully worded story about a raging zombie apocalypse you’ll ever read. The plot revolves around a mentally astute zombie named R who can experience people’s memories when he eats their brains. R falls in love with a human, and becomes more human himself in the process. We guarantee you’ll fall in love with his dry sense of humor and quirky perspective on life.
This gripping mystery/thriller will have you mesmerized for all of its 432 pages. Its protagonist is a man who may or may not have killed his missing wife. While the two seemed like a happy couple on the outside, flashbacks and revealing snippets throughout the story gradually make clear that all is not what it seems in this troubled marriage.
This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is told through a 13-year-old’s POV. When a boy survives a terrorist bombing at an art museum that kills his mom, he takes a small Dutch Golden Age painting called The Goldfinch that he spots in the debris. Things escalate very quickly as he becomes heavily entangled in the art underworld. Meanwhile, the painting remains a singular source of hope for him that connects him to his departed mother.
Can’t unsee Jack Nicholson’s face sticking out from behind a door? The sequel to The Shining is equally good at conjuring up the creepiest of images—so much so, you might want to sleep with your lights on. The book hones in on Danny Torrance, a little boy who once discovered the Overlook Hotel’s demonic secrets but is now a recovering alcoholic who is known as Doctor Sleep due to his psychic abilities. When Danny finds a young girl who shares his “shining” powers, he’s forced to return to the hotel and face the demons he’d locked away.
The movie version of this 1815 classic by Jane Austen will be released in February of 2020, but until then you can read all about the controversial character of Emma Woodhouse, a girl who likes to meddle in her friends’ romantic affairs. The problem? Her matchmaking is atrocious. Emma comes off as juvenile and self-absorbed, but very human and relatable nonetheless.
Who doesn’t love a good whodunnit? The undisputed master of mystery can do no wrong, but this tale ofa group of strangers who are invited to partake in an elusive dinner on an island is one of her best. The book is short and addictive, so you’re likely going to want to read (or re-read) it all in one sitting.
Frank Herbert's seminal sci-fi masterpiece is getting a screen adaptation in 2020, so you might want to get a head start by reading the book version. It takes place in an interplanetary society where various noble houses control different planets. The first installment in the series focuses on planet Arrakis, a deserted planet that is home to a spice that extends life and enhances mental abilities. The story touches on themes like politics, religion, and technology as people from different empires fight for control over the coveted drug.
Lois Lowry’s 1994 Newberry Medal-winning novel is set in a society which at first appears to be utopian—the futuristic society has eliminated all pain, fear, war, and hatred—but is revealed to be dystopian as the story progresses. The main protagonist, Jonas, is assigned the job of the “giver,” which means he gets to see memories from a long time ago. As he learns more about the world that once was, he realizes that his “perfect” world might not be so flawless after all.
You’ve probably seen the cinematic masterpiece that is The Devil Wears Prada, but we bet you haven’t read the original version written by Lauren Weisberger. The book lets you get deeper into Andi’s mind as she traverses the rocky fashion mag industry. And, yes, Andi is just as ignorant and Miranda Priestly is just as cold-blooded (and legendary).
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a can’t-miss memoir by journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby, who suffered a massive stroke that left him with locked-in syndrome. Here's the even crazier part: The only movement he could make was blinking his left eyelid, which is how he wrote the book. It’s said that the book took about 200,000 blinks to write, and its average word took about two minutes.
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