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Movie Adaptation

Read a book that has been—or will be—made into a movie.

June 1, 2021

Many fantastic (and not-so-fantastic) movies started out as novels—or even biographies!

Of course, the book is always better.

This list is part of the 2021 Adult Summer Reading program. To complete this challenge, you only need to read the book, but we encourage you to watch the movie, too!

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in audience eating popcorn
American Sniper

American Sniper

Chris Kyle

A member of Navy SEAL Team 3 describes his life as a father and husband, and as the serviceman with the most confirmed sniper kills in the U.S. military’s history, in a memorial edition filled with remembrances from family and friends.

The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Garth Stein

Nearing the end of his life, Enzo, a dog with a philosopher’s soul, tries to bring together the family, pulled apart by a three year custody battle between daughter Zoe’s maternal grandparents and her father Denny, a race car driver.

Atonement

Atonement

Ian McEwan

In 1935 England, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses an event involving her sister Cecilia and her childhood friend Robbie Turner, and she becomes the victim of her own imagination, which leads her on a lifelong search for truth and absolution.

Beloved

Beloved

Toni Morrison

Sethe, an escaped slave living in post-Civil War Ohio with her daughter and mother-in-law, is persistantly haunted by the ghost of her dead baby girl.

Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain

Annie Proulx

The friendship between Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, two cowboys, evolves into an intimate relationship while they are working together as a herder and camp tender, sharing a bond that spans many years and frequent separations.

Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians

Kevin Kwan

Envisioning a summer vacation in the humble Singapore home of a boy she hopes to marry, Chinese American Rachel Chu is unexpectedly introduced to a rich and scheming clan that strongly opposes their son’s relationship with an American girl.

Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love

Elizabeth Gilbert

Traces the author’s decision to quit her job and travel the world for a year after suffering a midlife crisis and divorce, a journey that took her to three places in her quest to explore her own nature and learn the art of spiritual balance.

Emma

Emma

Jane Austen

Depicts a rich and beautiful heiress whose matchmaking schemes cause many complications.

The English Patient

The English Patient

Michael Ondaatje

At the end of World War II, the lives of four people–a young American nurse; her dying English patient; a handless American thief; and an Indian soldier in the British army–intertwine in a deserted Italian villa.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Jonathan Safran Foer

Oskar Schell, the nine-year-old son of a man killed in the World Trade Center attacks, searches the five boroughs of New York City for a lock that fits a black key his father left behind.

Gone Girl

Gone Girl

Gillian Flynn

When a beautiful woman goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary, her diary reveals hidden turmoil in her marriage and a mysterious illness; while her husband, desperate to clear himself of suspicion, realizes that something more disturbing than murder may have occurred.

The Help

The Help

Kathryn Stockett

In Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962, there are lines that are not crossed. With the civil rights movement exploding all around them, three women start a movement of their own, forever changing a town and the way women–black and white, mothers and daughters–view one another.

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures

The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

Margot Lee Shetterly

An account of the previously unheralded but pivotal contributions of NASA’s African-American women mathematicians to America’s space program describes how they were segregated from their white counterparts by Jim Crow laws in spite of their groundbreaking successes.

The Hours

The Hours

Michael Cunningham

In a novel of love, family inheritance, and desperation, the author offers a fictional account of Virginia Woolf’s last days and her friendship with a poet living in his mother’s shadow.

In the heart of the sea

In the Heart of the Sea

The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

Nathaniel Philbrick

Recounts the story of the 1820 wreck of the whaleship Essex, which in its time was as mythic as the sinking of the Titanic and which inspired Melville’s classic Moby Dick, and recounts its doomed crew’s ninety-day attempt to survive whale attacks and the elements on three tiny lifeboats.

Interview with the vampire

Interview With the Vampire

Anne Rice

A vampire recounts his tragic two-century life, marked by an endless thirst for human blood.

The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man

H. G Wells

One of the most famous scientific fantasies ever written, this highly imaginative tale focuses on a scientist, capable of making himself invisible, who unleashes a bizarre streak of terror on the inhabitants of an English village.

The Joy luck Club

The Joy Luck Club

Amy Tan

Encompassing two generations and a rich blend of Chinese and American history, the story of four struggling, strong women also reveals their daughter’s memories and feelings.

Julie and Julia

Julie and Julia

Julie Powell

Recounts how the author escaped the doldrums of an unpromising career and lackluster Queens apartment by mastering every recipe in Julia Child’s 1961 classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, a year-long endeavor of humor and accomplishment that transformed her life.

Just Mercy

Just Mercy

Bryan Stevenson

The executive director of a social advocacy group that has helped relieve condemned prisoners explains why justice and mercy must go hand-in-hand through the story of Walter McMillian, a man condemned to death row for a murder he didn’t commit.

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner

Khaled Hosseini

Traces the unlikely friendship of a wealthy Afghan youth and a servant’s son, in a tale that spans the final days of Afghanistan’s monarchy through the atrocities of the present day.

Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor

The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of Seal Team 10

Marcus Luttrell

The leader, and only survivor, of a team of U.S. Navy SEALs sent to northern Afghanistan to capture a well-known al Qaeda leader chronicles the events of the battle that killed his teammates and offers insight into the training of this elite group of warriors.

The Lost City of Z

The Lost City of Z

A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon

David Grann

Interweaves the story of British explorer Percy Fawcett, who vanished during a 1925 expedition into the Amazon to find an ancient civilization, with the author’s own adventure-filled quest into the uncharted wilderness to uncover the mysteries surrounding Fawcett’s final journey and the secrets of what really lies deep in the Amazon jungle.

The Martian

The Martian

Andy Weir

Stranded on Mars by a duststorm that compromised his space suit and forced his crew to leave him behind, astronaut Mark Watney struggles to survive in spite of minimal supplies and harsh environmental challenges that test his ingenuity in unique ways.

Me Before You

Me Before You

Jojo Moyes

Taking a job as an assistant to extreme sports enthusiast Will, who is wheelchair bound after a motorcycle accident, Louisa struggles with her employer’s acerbic moods and learns of his shocking plans before demonstrating to him that life is still worth living

My Sister's Keeper

My Sister’s Keeper

Jodi Picoult

Conceived to provide a bone marrow match for her leukemia-stricken sister, teenage Kate begins to question her moral obligations in light of countless medical procedures and decides to fight for the right to make decisions about her own body.

News of the World

News of the World

Paulette Jiles

In the aftermath of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an elderly widower and itinerant news reader, is offered fifty dollars to bring an orphan girl, who was kidnapped and raised by Kiowa raiders, from Wichita Falls back to her family in San Antonio.

The Nightingale

The Nightingale

Kristin Hannah

Reunited when the elder’s husband is sent to fight in World War II, French sisters Vianne and Isabelle find their bond as well as their respective beliefs tested by a world that changes in horrific ways.

Nomadland

Nomadland

Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Jessica Bruder

The author chronicles her time embedded in a pool of transient older Americans who have taken to the road in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads, migrant laborers who call themselves “workampers.”

One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Ken Kesey

McMurphy, a criminal who feigns insanity, is admitted to a mental hospital where he challenges the autocratic authority of the head nurse.

Practical Magic

Practical Magic

Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic is a tale of two sisters, Gillian and Sally Owens, brought up by their two elderly guardian aunts in a world of spells and exotica from which they eventually escape—one by running away, the other by marrying—but which never escapes from them.

The Pursuit of Happyness

The Pursuit of Happyness

Chris Gardner

In a candid, intensely personal memoir, a successful entrepreneur traces his journey from growing up with an abusive stepfather, to life on the streets as a homeless man with a small toddler in tow, to his triumphant battle to the top as a self-made millionaire.

Room

Room

Emma Donoghue

A 5-year-old narrates a riveting story about his life growing up in a single room where his mother aims to protect him from the man who has held her prisoner for seven years since she was a teenager.

Roots

Roots

The Saga of an American Family

Alex Haley

After eleven years of research to uncover the facts of his heritage, Haley shares the saga of an American black family that extends from his ancestor Kunta Kinte, an African brought to mid-eighteenth-century America as a slave, to himself.

Serena

Serena

Ron Rash

Traveling to the mountains of 1929 North Carolina to forge a timber business with her new husband, Serena Pemberton champions her mastery of harsh natural and working conditions but turns murderous when she learns she cannot bear children.

The Shining

The Shining

Stephen King

Jack Torrance sees his stint as winter caretaker of a Colorado hotel as a way back from failure, his wife sees it as a chance to preserve their family, and their five-year-old son sees the evil waiting just for them.

The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs

Thomas Harris

FBI Academy trainee Clarice Starling hopes that Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a criminally insane psychiatrist imprisoned in a Boston hospital, can lead her to the serial killer known only as Buffalo Bill.

The Silver Linings Playbook

The Silver Linings Playbook

Matthew Quick

Embracing a philosophy that life is a movie produced by God, neural health patient Pat Peoples endeavors to win back his estranged wife by making strategic sacrifices and coordinating their communications through a depressed widow.

Still Alice

Still Alice

Lisa Genova

In Lisa Genova’s extraordinary New York Times bestselling novel, an accomplished woman slowly loses her thoughts and memories to Alzheimer’s disease—only to discover that each day brings a new way of living and loving.

The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler’s Wife

Audrey Niffenegger

Passionately in love, Clare and Henry vow to hold onto each other and their marriage as they struggle with the effects of Chrono-Displacement Disorder, a condition that casts Henry involuntarily into the world of time travel.

Twelve Years a Slave

Twelve Years a Slave

Solomon Northup

Describes the life of Solomon Northup, a free Black man from Saratoga, N.Y., who was kidnapped in 1841 and forced into slavery in Louisiana for twelve years.

Unbroken

Unbroken

Laura Hillenbrand

The story of a U.S. airman who survived when his bomber crashed into the sea during World War II, spent forty-seven days adrift in the ocean before being rescued by the Japanese Navy, and was held as a prisoner until the end of the war.

Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants

Sara Gruen

Ninety-something-year-old Jacob Jankowski remembers his time in the circus as a young man during the Great Depression, and his friendship with Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, and Rosie, the elephant, who gave them hope.

Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing

Delia Owens

Viewed with suspicion in the aftermath of a tragedy, a beautiful hermit who has survived for years in a marsh becomes targeted by unthinkable forces.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

Where’D You Go, Bernadette?

Maria Semple

When her talented, troubled, and agoraphobic mother goes missing, teenage Bee begins a trip that takes her to the ends of the earth to find her.

Wild

Wild

From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Cheryl Strayed

Traces the personal crisis the author endured after the death of her mother and a painful divorce, which prompted her ambition to undertake a dangerous 1,100-mile solo hike that both drove her to rock bottom and helped her to heal.

The Woman in the Window

The Woman in the Window

A.J. Finn

An agoraphobic recluse languishes in her New York City home, drinking wine and spying on her neighbors, before witnessing a terrible crime through her window that exposes her secrets and raises questions about her perceptions of reality.