5 Binge-worthy Book to Netflix Adaptations
How to Netflix + Chill as a Brookie?
The answer to that is to curl up with a good book adaptation and snacks, lots of snacks. This list includes 5 binge-worthy book to Netflix adaptations I have seen recently. While watching book adaptations is a love or hate argument for most book lovers, I think these movies and series inspire love rather than hate. I hope some of you will agree…
- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before & To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You based on Jenny Han’s Young Adult romance novels of the same name. (2018 & 2020)
The first film from 2018 was widely loved because, just as in the books, you first fall in love with Lara Jean (Lara Condor) and then with the story of all the boys she loves and has loved.
In the follow up to the first film, the sequel released this year brings you back into Lara Jean’s teenage world. You are just settling into the comfort of knowing she found love when suddenly you are drawn into a teenage love triangle. You won’t be able to take a break between one and two, I promise you.
Why Watch It
Jenny Han, as with her books, has made diversity a cornerstone of this adaptation. It is amazing and also a love letter to love letters!
2. Unorthodox based on Deborah Feldman’s novel of the same name. (2020)
This new miniseries follows the storyline of Deborah Feldman’s novel of the same name, but there are some differences that may make those who loved the book confused and/or irritated. It is still a dramatic recount of Feldman’s memoir, where she leaves the strict religious society in which she grew up. She leaves the Orthodox Jewish community in New York City to live a secular life in Berlin and it is an emotional journey.
Why Watch It
Whether you have read her memoir or not, this is a must-see. It is so emotive due to the fantastic acting.
3. The Stranger based on Harlan Coben’s novel of the same name. (2020)
The opening scenes of this series will have you rewinding to see what you missed. Like Coben’s writing, this series keeps you on the edge of your seat. Under the definition of “psychological thriller” should be the title of this series. What does one unknown woman, a secret about a man’s wife and children, and a llama have in common? The Stranger.
Why Watch It
If my riddle above didn’t make you want to watch it, nothing will. But, one last thing, there is also a secret baby!
4. Alias Grace based on Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name. (2017)
If you’ve read the book, you know that this is a true crime drama. Atwood brings to life Grace Marks, a poor, disenfranchised, long-suffering Irish-Canadian immigrant and maid who was found guilty of murder in 1843. The television series, written by Canadian Sarah Polley, is twenty years in the making — and it shows. There is the underpinning of a great story via Atwood and you can see it come alive on screen due to Polley’s adaptation writing. It tells a story far greater than finding out who did it — it spotlights the female narrative and how we see the effects of trauma.
Why Watch It
This is basically the Making a Murderer of its day.
5. Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker based on A’Lelia Bundles On Her Own Ground (Released 2020)
Adapted from a biography, this series is part entrepreneurial tutorial and part biopic. Relaying the story of Sarah Breedlove who becomes Madam C.J. Walker, the first self-made female millionaire. How you may ask? By becoming a beauty mogul after creating a line of hair products for Black women in 1905. She created a dynasty and this series follows her through the ups and downs, showing you how much of a powerhouse she was.
Why Watch It
It is an uplifting piece of work, like watching Homecoming by Beyoncé but with historical stuff.
What do all these binge-worthy book adaptations have in common? A female lead followed by great reviews… (mine included)
During this time of social distancing, we are all watching a little more Netflix. Whether you have read the book or not, book adaptations are great because if you love it, you can always follow up with a read to see how they fared. If you are anything like me, you have lists of things to watch, but once faced with making a choice, you are scrolling for seconds, minutes, or hours. Anyone else? I hope these 5 binge-worthy book to Netflix adaptations help with that!
A great thing to try is a Netflix viewing party; maybe get your book club together for a fun book adaptation screen party? Let us know if you do! Happy Netflixing!
Tina Riffat is a writer and book club leader who likely owns more books than you can re-read in a lifetime. She is committed to living life gracefully and gratefully along with her tribe; she finds it helps with keeping track of the big things: community, equality and authentic connections. She has a soft spot for emerging writers and appreciates books that shine a spotlight on unexplored perspectives. She deeply values the sharing and honouring of our collective stories and will look to highlight that as much as she can.
Top Three Favourite Books are:
1984 by George Orwell
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
Favourite Brunch Venue in Toronto is:
Mildred’s Temple Kitchen