5 Must-see movies from books

There are a lot of movies based on books but very few good movies based on those books. Here is a list of great adaptations to watch.

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

The book: If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin

James Baldwin’s 1974 novel If Beale Street Could Talk, about a young woman trying to clear the name of her boyfriend after he was wrongfully accused of a crime in New York, is an incredible read. Barry Jenkins wrote and directed this 2018 movie adaptation. The Oscar-nominated film received numerous awards, including a best supporting actress win for Regina King’s performance.

Gone Girl (2014)

The book: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

The book and the movie Gone Girl tackles complicated issues and keeps you guessing. David Fincher directed this thriller about a husband who becomes a suspect in his wife’s disappearance. While we see the story from both perspectives, we are still asking a lot of questions. Who is the victim and who is the perpetrator? Who is in control and what is their goal?

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

The book: The Devil Wears Prada: A Novel by Lauren Weisberger

Meryl Streep plays the coldest, scariest, most intimidating boss at the fictional fashion magazine Runway. Anne Hathaway plays Andrea a clueless and unfashionable young woman who sees herself a serious journalist. The focus of the story is Andrea’s transformation in a hostile and pretentious work environment. In addition to Streep and Hathaway the cast includes Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci and Simon Baker.

Hidden Figures (2016)

The book: Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

This is a feel-good true story about the three Black women who worked at NASA during the early years of the space program. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and Katherine Johnson crossed gender, race and professional lines to be an integral part of launching astronaut John Glenn into orbit. This story, which was missing from most of our history lessons, really brings history to life. The film stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The book: Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King

Andy is falsely convicted of his wife’s murder and sentenced to the toughest prison in the Northeast. Long-time inmate Red helps Andy navigate prison life. Based on a short story by Stephen King this prison drama is full of heart and hope. This film was nominated for 7 Academy Awards and is the highest-rated movie on IMDb as a favorite of audiences and critics. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman shine in this movie.

I’m the library’s fiction selector and I’ve been suggesting new books to library and bookmobile customers for over 17 years. I keep up on all the new book reviews, and my favorite question is “What are you reading?” I love to talk about books and to read books. I like to tell library customers, “Try something new. If you don’t like it, at least the price is right!”

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