Movies and Books

People love to talk about movies that are poor adaptations of beloved books. But there are many times when the movies, good or bad, lead us to read the books that they were based on. That’s a good thing. And let’s be honest—sometimes the book isn’t as good as the movie!

Here is a list of books that I read because of their movies.

  1. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. I might have ended up reading this anyway, because it is a favorite of one of my dearest friends, but I was also influenced by seeing parts of the mini-series on PBS.
  2. Austenland by Shannon Hale. I went on to read the sequel, Midnight in Austenland.
  3. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding, plus the sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, which was also made into a movie.
  4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. The film adaptation starring Gene Wilder (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory) is a favorite movie, and it definitely got me interested in Roald Dahl’s work.
  5. Dune by Frank Herbert
  6. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. I only read the book because I heard that it was being made into a movie.
  7. Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie. There were several factors that contributed to my becoming an Agatha Christie fan, and this movie, which I saw many time as a kid, is definitely one of them.
  8. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by R.A. Dick. I was so in love with the movie that I tried hard to keep my expectations low when reading the book. The book surprised me by also being good.
  9. Gremlins by George Gipe. This is a rare case of the book being based on the movie, rather than the other way around.
  10. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  11. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, plus both sequels.
  12. The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. I went on to read at least one other book by the same author.
  13. Millennium by John Varley
  14. The Neverending Story by Michel Ende. I also read Momo by the same author, who I never would have heard of if it hadn’t been for this movie.
  15. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. I still occasionally get songs from Oliver! stuck in my head.
  16. Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle. The movie was much better than the book!
  17. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  18. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. I went on to read many of the sequels.
  19. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  20. The Shining by Stephen King
  21. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
  22. The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
  23. Watership Down by Richard Adams. I went on to read Tales from Watership Down.
  24. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. I haven’t read any of the sequels yet, but they’re all on my Kindle, so I probably will someday.

Are there any books that you read because the movies piqued your interest?

This entry was posted in Reading and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Movies and Books

  1. sprite says:

    Didn’t you also read Swiss Family Robinson? I’ve read books from several mystery series because of their adaptations — Christie’s Miss Marple, Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher, and Donna Leon’s Inspector Brunetti (an interesting tv series because it’s written by an American expat, filmed in Italy (where it’s set), and acted in German) come to mind. And I hope to read more (G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown series and maybe Ann Cleeves’ Shetland series, for instance).

  2. chick says:

    Yes! I did read The Swiss Family Robinson, but it must have been before 2007, because it’s not listed on my blog. Thank you for pointing it out. It evens up my list nicely. I’ve seen a lot of the Marple adaptations, but none of the others that you’ve listed. Shetland sounds interesting.

  3. sprite says:

    Wait! You haven’t seen Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries?!?!?!!? Fix that ASAP on Netflix!!! It’s so much fun!

    Shetland is good and I think you’d like it. (I like detective shows where the detectives manage to have some semblance of a healthy non-work life; a lot of shows portray detectives as broken people (which I’m sure some are), incapable of having a non-murder-investigation-themed interaction). Hinterland is similar, but set in Wales and darker (both in terms of the murders and in the mental health of its main character).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *