Couch Potato, Librocubicularist

From Book to Screen (a top ten list)

June 2, 2015 | One comment


I’m almost as crazy about movies (and tv) as I am about books, but as many other bookworms, I sometimes have a difficult time with movies and tv shows based on books. Especially when they are based on books I love. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been upset that they left out a minor detail/scene that I was particularly fond of or when the actor/actress does not look the way I envisioned a character in my head. My top ten (as hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) favourite book to screen adaptions are in order:


1. Män som hatar kvinnor | movie series based on the Millennium books by Stieg Larsson
The original Swedish movies, not the US copy. For me, no one but Noomi Rapace can be Lisbeth Salander. The rest of the cast (Michael Nyqvist, Lena Endre, Sven-Bertil Taube, Peter Haber and Marika Lagercrantz to mention a few) is absolute perfection. The movies themselves envoke the same feelings as reading the books.

2. Sherlock | tv show based on the Sherlock Holmes books by Arthur Conan Doyle
BBC knows how to make spectacular, well-produced shows and the cast (all of them but especially Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman) is absolutely perfect. This is possibly one of the best book to screen adaptions ever (not to be confused with the movie Sherlock Holmes from 2009 starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law which was the opposite of how I want Sherlock to be).

3. Harry Potter | movie franchise based on the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling
I love the books, and I think the movies are just as great with a splendid cast.

4. The Lord of the Rings | movie franchise based on The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
The books are so (so) long, and can get quite overwhelming (and slow going), but the movies are magical.

5. The Hunger Games | movie franchise based on The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
I wasn’t very impressed by the books, and I thought the story worked much better as movies.

6. Stardust | movie based on the book Stardust by Neil Gaiman
I think Neil Gaiman is a fantastic writer and I think Stardust is one of his best novels. The movie has a very different feel to the book, and maybe I’m more forgiving because I saw the movie before I had read the book (or had read any other of Gaiman’s books) but I love it.

7. Outlander | tv show based on the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
I was both thrilled and worried when Starz announced that they were making a show based on Outlander, which is one of my all-time favourite love stories. For one thing, the books are very long (with so many details to everything) that I was sure they would completely ruin it. I think the show is doing a good job of capturing the essence of the love story between Jamie and Claire, and it definitely won me over.

8. True Blood | tv show based on the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris
This series is one of my sister’s favourites. I think she’s read all the books, whereas I barely made it through the first one. I prefer the tv show (mostly because Eric is played by Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård).

9. Julie & Julia | movie based on Julie Powell’s autobiography Julie & Julia
I thought the book Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living was a nice read, but nothing special. The movie adaption, starring Amy Adams as Julie Powell and Meryl Streep as Julia Childs, is great. Adams and Streep are two of my favourite actresses and the two of them together in a character driven movie is such a treat.

10. Dear John | movie based on the novel Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
Most of Nicholas Sparks’ books have been made into movies (and most of them work very well as movies). Dear John always stand out to me, not necessarily because it is the best movie (it isn’t), but because I liked the movie so much better than the book. The movie version is a great portrayal of Savannah and John’s love story, the book is just boring and did absolutely nothing to make me care whether the two would live happily ever after or not.

What are your favourite movies or tv shows based on books?

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