Book adaptations to watch on TV
Because if you read and then watch them you’ll be educated as well as entertained!
As Australians come to terms with new social distancing restrictions amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, many are left searching for ways to fill their spare time.
Aside from gardening, exercising and reading most people are asking what to watch on Netflix, what movies are on Stan and what movies to buy and rent. Why not read the book before watching the adaptations of these incredible works of fiction?
If you want to stay educated as well as entertained, here’s a list of engrossing books to read before you watch the screen adaptation!
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Liane Moriarty’s suburban thriller is a tale of love, family and the lies we tell ourselves as well as others. Follow the intertwined personal lives of three mothers, Celeste, Madeline and Jane all of whom tell lies. Only some of the lies end fatally.
The HBO adaptation of this modern classic of the same name is Emmy Award-Winning and stars Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley as the three complex protagonists. You can watch Big Little Lies on Foxtel and buy the book here.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery.
Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
The Tomorrow series is a young adult Australian classic that is the perfect way to keep your teens and pre-teens occupied! Follow a group of young Australians who accidentally miss the start of a war in their small harbour town of Kirawee while in the deep bush on a camping trip.
The television series by the ABC stars an impressive cast of young Aussie actors and will keep you on the edge of your seat! Watch Tomorrow, When the War Began on Stan now. And get all of John Marsden’s books here.
Arrival by Ted Chiang
With a film adaptation starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, this science fiction anthology is perfect escapist reading! Go on a journey of science and emotion with award-winning author Ted Chiang. Finish the experience with the incredible, out of this world film adaptation.
A Simple Favour by Darcy Bell
A mismatched friendship between mothers Stephanie and Emily goes wrong after one friend does the other a simple favour. A thrilling suburban thriller that questions just how well you can ever really know someone. Including your best friend.
Room by Emma Donoghue
Jack is five. He lives in Room with Ma. Room has a locked door and a skylight and a TV.
Told from Jack’s point of view as he and Ma try to escape the impossible, this is a harrowing tale of love and survival. Read this before you watch Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay bring Ma and Jack to life in the film adaptation of the same name. You can watch Room on Netflix and buy the book here.
Brooklyn by Colm Tobin
Follow young Eilis Lacey, a girl from a tiny rural Irish town as she starts a new life in 1950’s Brooklyn. As she settles into the cultural melting pot of a big new city she finds love, friendship and purpose. But fate intervenes when a family tragedy takes her home again. Now she must decide where her heart lies, in her old world or her new one.
The Good Cop by Justine Ford
In an incredible twenty-five year career as a homicide detective, Ron Iddles’ conviction rate was 99%. Yet that only partly explains why Iddles is known to cops and crims alike as ‘The Great Man’. Ron Iddles never gave up on a ‘lost’ cause. He became a regular on the nightly news, he became the dogged face of Australian justice, and to families of victims, Ron was both a shoulder to cry on and an avenging angel.
Me by Elton John
Not strictly an adaptation, but Elton John’s first and only official autobiography is essential reading before or after watching Rocketman! Music icon Elton John reveals the truth about his extraordinary life, which is also the subject of the smash-hit film Rocketman. The result is Me – the joyously funny, honest and moving story of the most enduringly successful singer/songwriter of all time.
Joe Cinque’s Consolation by Helen Garner
In 1997 a young law student at ANU made a bizarre plan to murder her boyfriend after a dinner party at their house. He died one Sunday, in his own bed, of a massive dose of rohypnol and heroin. His girlfriend and her best friend were charged with murder.
Read the true Australian story that inspired the incredible film. Watch Joe Cinque’s Consolation for free at SBS On Demand. You can get Helen Garner’s book here.
The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham
Tilly Dunnage has come home to care for her mad old mother. She left the small Victorian town of Dungatar years before, and became an accomplished couturier in Paris. Now she earns her living making exquisite frocks for the people who drove her away when she was ten.