This week with #bookishbloggersunite we're talking favorite adaptations. I'm sticking to cases where I've both read the book and seen the movie/show. I'll start out with a recent fave: Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf, and the Netflix adaptation starring none other than Jane Fonda and Robert Redford.
Our Souls at Night was Kent Haruf's last book, published posthumously. Set in the fictional town of Holt, Colorado (like all of his novels), it evokes a clear sense of place so striking that I was nearly convinced to pick up and move. Small town Colorado seems difficult but charming. In Our Souls at Night, Addie, a widow, asks her neighbor Louis, a widower, if he would come over to sleep with her, simply to keep her company at night. She is lonely and nights are the hardest to get through. He accepts and it's the start of a sweet relationship, but not one without its challenges due to entire lives spent without one another. The characters often reflect back on what went wrong and what went right in their lives. The tone is both hopeful and melancholy, and I really loved this short book that packs a punch.
The Netflix movie adaptation of this book came out shortly after I read it. It was cute enough that even Josh was sucked in, and stayed relatively true to the book. Jane and Robert are perfectly cast as Addie and Louis. It's just overall really great and sweet. Highly recommend both the book and the movie.
Next up: the most basic answer of all time, Harry Potter! Duh. I grew up with these books - started reading them in third grade, and the last book came out my senior year of high school. I was the perfect age for them and I LOVED them so much. I can still remember sitting in the blue pit of my elementary school hearing the first book described and knowing immediately what I would spend my money on at the Scholastic Book Fair. Being forced to wait between books and being the perfect age for HP was an experience that definitly shaped my childhood, and one that I'm eternally grateful for.
The movies have their own unique magic. The books are better (obvi I'm going to say that) but the movies are their own thing. For some reason I associate watching the first two movies with being sick or cold, cuddled up on my parents' couch and eating chicken noodle soup. I need to go back and rewatch them all... I feel an HP weekend coming on!
I don't have book pictures for my next favorite adaptations because I read them before I took book pictures and I also don't have physical copies of the books - just ebooks. Yes, there was a time in my life when I read ebooks! It was when the B&N Nook was newish and I got one for Christmas. I still have that first generation Nook! I just don't use it anymore, really. Anyway, the adaptations are Game of Thrones and Gone Girl. GoT is epic. The books, the show, everything, and I'm a super fan. I'm also bitter that the last season is taking so long, and that George will likely die before he finishes the series. Like why is he off writing random side stories? Finish the damn series George! Prioritize!
Gone Girl makes the list because, well, it is the original. It is the unreliable narrator thriller that showed us all what thrillers could be. I feel like so many thrillers these days want to be the next Gone Girl but that ship has sailed. There can only be one. You did it, Gillian Flynn. And the adaptation was perfect with perfect casting.
There have been quite a few adaptations I've enjoyed without reading the books. Recently those include To All the Boys I've Loved Before, which was so stinking cute, and Crazy Rich Asians, which was extravagant and mostly wonderful (but a bit tropey - the down-to-earth girl who is above caring about money - meh about that). I went ahead and watched these without reading the books, because I knew the books weren't for me (not a big reader of YA in general, and attempted Crazy Rich Asians but couldn't get into it) and I have a higher tolerance for sappy in movies. However, I do try to read the book first when I can.
I'd love to hear about your favorite adaptations! Let me know if I'm missing out on any of your favorites, and if I need to read the books in order to watch the movies.