Good Book Club Selections that Have Been Made into Movies
Completely by accident, my book club has selected a lot of books that have been (or are presently being) made into movies. We’ve found that it adds a lot to our discussions when we see the movie after we read the book, or when we speculate on what the upcoming movie is going to be like. Plus, it’s just fun – and our book and movie combination has attracted a few new members.
Book club selections are usually books that are popular – and some of the most popular books almost inevitably get made into movies. Sometimes, the movies add an exciting new visual dimension to the book. Other times, we’ve found ourselves increasingly dismayed by movie adaptations, as our favorite subtleties are passed over or whole sections are omitted. Either way, there’s plenty of fodder for discussion over a glass of wine or with some brownies and coffee.
Here are some of the most successful book/movie choices we’ve discovered in our book club. Most of these movies are available on dvd; a few are still in theaters – and if your book club has already read the book, why not schedule an outing to see the movie together?
The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini is an intense book that has been already been read by a great many people, both in and out of book club, and it engenders a lot of good discussion. We thought the movie followed the book remarkably well.
Girl with a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier is interesting historical fiction, and a lot of our book club members like Colin Firth movies. You could practically spend a year reading good (or at least entertaining) books and then seeing movie adaptations starring Colin Firth. There’s Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (though the six hour movie might be difficult to schedule for a book club session), The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde; Bridget Jones’s Diary, by Helen Fielding; and Fever Pitch, by Nick Hornby.
Nick Hornby actually has several other books that have been made into better than average movies, including High Fidelity and About a Boy.
Little Children, by Tom Perrotta is a somewhat disturbing book and an interesting movie. It has a lot of good topics for discussion for stay-at-home parents of both sexes.
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley is a classic that bears re-reading (especially if you haven’t looked at it since college), or reading for the first time if you’ve never had the pleasure. We followed it up with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (the 1994 movie), though there are certainly a lot of other movie versions worth watching.
The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova is a lengthy but suspenseful book. The movie won’t be out until 2010 – which should give everyone plenty of time to finish the book.
The Color Purple, by Alice Walker is an important book and a powerful movie. Some of us liked the book a lot more than the movie, but others thought it followed the spirit of the story pretty faithfully.
The Cider House Rules, by John Irving (and The World According to Garp) are older books that many members hadn’t read. Many of us were surprised by how good the books were, and how much we enjoyed them, even though we’d already seen the movie.
Kabul Beauty School, by Debbie Rodriguez is an interesting (and timely) memoir that is also being made into a movie in 2010. We couldn’t help wondering how the author’s personal problems and her relationships will translate to the silver screen.