From Page to Screen with Susan

It’s the age-old question: is the book better or is the movie better? Some people swear the book is ALWAYS better, while others think that it depends on whether you see the movie first. “I find that I’m more likely to enjoy BOTH the movie and the book if I see the movie first,” explains library director Mary Martin. “That way, I can enjoy the movie and the book will then fill in more of the details for me.”

You may have noticed that the last few years have seen a huge increase in the number of books that have been turned into movies, TV series or miniseries. Our own Susan has created this list for us of current books and their journey from page to screen. Enjoy!

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood–and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster. Available on Overdrive/Libby as a downloadable e-book or audiobook. (Soon to be HULU limited series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington)

Defending Jacob by William Landy
Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.   Available on Overdrive/Libby as a downloadable e-book or audiobook, this page-turner is soon to be released as an Apple TV mini-series starring Chris Evans (aka Captain America) and Michelle Dockery (aka Lady Mary from Downton Abbey).

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A new movie version of this classic children’s book is soon to be released, starring – among others – Colin Firth. The Secret Garden appeals to both young and old alike. It has wonderful elements of mystery, spirituality, charming characters and an authentic rendering of childhood emotions and experiences. Commonsense, truth and kindness, compassion and a belief in the essential goodness of human beings lie at the heart of this unforgettable story. It is the best known of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s works, though most of us have definitely heard of, if not read, her other novels Little Lord Fauntleroy and A Little Princess. Available on Overdrive/Libby or on Hoopla as a downloadable e-book and audiobook. The 2017 Dreamscape version of The Secret Garden is also available for streaming via Hoopla.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…  Available on Overdrive/Libby as a downloadable e-book or audiobook.. A movie version of this novel was released in 1990, starring Elizabeth McGovern (Cora Crawley from Downton Abbey and it’s also a current TV series available on Hulu.

The Crown by Robert Lacey
This book is a companion to the series currently running on Netflix. Written by bestselling historical biographer Robert Lacey, who also serves as the show’s historical consultant, this official companion provides an in-depth exploration from behind the palace gates. Relive the majesty of the first season of the hit show, with behind-the-scenes photos, meticulously researched images from the time, and more. Available on Overdrive/Libby as a downloadable e-book.

Are you a fan of The Crown? You might also like:

Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconnor.
An extraordinary memoir of drama, tragedy, and royal secrets. Anne Glenconner has been at the center of the royal circle from childhood, when she met and befriended the future Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, the Princess Margaret. Though the firstborn child of the 5th Earl of Leicester, who controlled one of the largest estates in England, as a daughter she was deemed “the greatest disappointment” and unable to inherit. Since then she has needed all her resilience. Available on Overdrive/Libby as a downloadable e-book or audiobook


Need help getting started with Overdrive/Libby or Hoopla? All you need is your library card. Here’s how to do it.