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Watched it? Now Read It!

The great books behind 26 adaptations streaming now on Netflix

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • December 14, 2023

There are a lot of exciting book adaptations available to watch on Netflix right now. But as we all know, the book is (almost) always better. So even if you've already watched the movie or series, it's not too late to read the book. Here are the excellent books behind 26 adaptations currently streaming on Netflix.

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

The film based on this intense thriller stars Mila Kunis as Ani, a glamorous and successful magazine editor with a handsome, wealthy fiancé. When she agrees to participate in a documentary about a school shooting she survived as a teenager, it brings up dark memories she'd hoped to leave in the past.

Passing by Nella Larsen

This gorgeous novel tells the story of two childhood friends—both light-skinned Black women—who meet by chance as adults in 1920s New York City. The excellent film stars Tessa Thompson as Irene, living in Harlem when she runs into Clare (Ruth Negga), her old friend who's passing as white. 

I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt

"I heard you paint houses" are the first words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank "the Irishman" Sheeran. To paint a house is to kill a man. The Irishman directed by Martin Scorsese, stars Robert De Niro as the titular mafia hitman. The impressive cast is bolstered by Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, and Anna Paquin

To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them . . . all at once? Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean's love life gets complicated in this lovely lighthearted romance, the first in a trilogy. Book #2, P.S. I Still Love You and #3, Always and Forever, have also gotten the film treatment.

I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

The kaleidoscopic film based on this edgy haunting debut novel was adapted and directed by Charlie Kaufman and stars Jesse Plemons, Jessie Buckley, Toni Collette, and David Thewlis. The story explores the depths of the human psyche, consciousness, free will, fear, and the impact of solitude.

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

A family's getaway to a luxurious rental home takes an ominous turn when two strangers appear at their door. Sam Esmail wrote and directed the adaptation of this provocative, suspenseful novel, which stars Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, and Kevin Bacon.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Love at First Sight, the movie adaptation of this bestselling rom-com stars Haley Lu Richardson as Hadley, a young American woman who meets the guy of her dreams while traveling to London for her father's wedding. In the chaos of arrival, they are separated and finding each other again may take some luck. 

Enola Holmes by Nancy Springer

This series of mystery novels is itself adapted from the Sherlock Holmes franchise and the fun movies star Millie Bobby Brown as the intrepid teenage sister of the famous Victorian-era detective. In the first installment of the series, The Case of the Missing Marquess, Enola searches for her missing mother.

Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala

This short, but enormously powerful, debut novel is told in the voice of Agu, a young boy in an unnamed West African nation, who becomes a child soldier as his country descends into a horrific civil war. The award-winning film stars Idris Elba. The story is harrowing, inventive, and deeply affecting.

The Power of the Dog by Thomas Savage

This novel tells the story of two brothers running a ranch in 1920s Montana. When one brother marries and his wife and her son come to live on the ranch, it shatters an already tenuous peace. The award-winning film was directed by Jane Campion and stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, and Jesse Plemons.

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

This Booker Prize-winning 2008 crime drama tells the story of Balram, a poor Indian villager who uses his wit and cunning to escape from poverty. The film, which stars Priyanka Chopra Jonas, received an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

The Road meets Stephen King in this propulsive, edge-of-your seat thriller set in an apocalyptic near-future world threatened by a mysterious, deadly entity. The film stars Sandra Bullock as Malorie, one of a handful of scattered survivors. With her two young children, she embarks on a harrowing quest for safety.

The Lost Daughter by Elena Ferrante

This edgy novel inspired the celebrated film directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal. It is the story of Leda, a middle-aged divorcée (Olivia Colman), taking a solo vacation on the Ionian coast. When she strikes up a conversation with Nina (Dakota Johnson), a young mother on the beach, dark secrets begin to emerge.

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

Each book in the original eight-volume series centers on one of the Bridgerton children. The steamy series, created by Shonda Rhimes, adapts each novel into a season, the first of which tells the story of Daphne, well-liked for her kindness and wit, but too honest to play the games of courtship.

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

This heartwarming book depicts the budding romance between two teenagers at a British high school. Sweet, shy Charlie and popular rugby player Nick pose an unlikely pair, but love is love. The live-action show does a wonderful job of bringing the delightful graphic novel series to life.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This Pulitzer-winning novel interweaves the stories of Marie-Laure, a blind French girl and Werner, an orphaned German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of WWII. The series features Mark Ruffalo and Hugh Laurie.

Maid by Stephanie Land

Stephanie Land's dreams of attending a university and becoming a writer quickly dissolved when a summer fling turned into an unplanned pregnancy. Before long, she found herself a single mother, scraping by as a housekeeper to make ends meet. The series adaptation of her memoir stars Margaret Qualley.

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly

The new show based on this classic legal thriller was adapted for TV by David E. Kelley. It centers on Mickey Haller, a defense attorney in Los Angeles who often works out of a chauffeur-driven Lincoln Navigator. The first season is actually based on The Brass Verdict, Book #2 in Connelly's bestselling series.

Trinkets by Kirsten Smith

The Breakfast Club meets Leah on the Offbeat in this story of female friendships that break all the rules. Tabitha, Elodie, and Moe don't have much in common, other than a yen for stealing. When the three girls meet at a Shoplifter's Anonymous meeting, they forge a strange alliance.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Orphaned and expendable, Alina is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold—a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when Alina unleashes dormant magic she never knew she had, she is ushered into the elite world of the Grisha.

Mindhunter by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker

John Douglas served 25 years with the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit. In chilling detail, this true crime account takes readers behind the scenes of some of his most gruesome, fascinating, and challenging cases—and into the darkest recesses of our worst nightmares. The series stars Jonathan Groff.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

The first in a trilogy, this modern, urban fantasy introduces Quentin, a brilliant but miserable high school student. When he is suddenly, and unexpectedly, admitted to an elite, secret college of magic, everything changes. The adapted series got high marks for special effects and creative storytelling.

Virgin River by Robyn Carr

When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees a job posting for a midwife/nurse practitioner in the remote mountain town of Virgin River, she decides that this might be the perfect place to escape her heartache. So begins the bestselling romance series that inspired the hit show.

The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis

This gripping coming-of-age novel about a young orphan who climbs the ranks of the world of competitive chess while struggling with drug and alcohol dependency. The story explores themes of adoption, feminism, and addiction. The award-winning series stars Anya Taylor-Joy.

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

In the middle years of the ninth century, the fierce Danes stormed onto British soil, hungry for spoils and conquest. Kingdom after kingdom fell to the ruthless invaders until but one realm remained. And suddenly the fate of all England—and the course of history—depended upon one man, one king.

The 100 by Kass Morgan

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth's radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents—considered expendable—are being sent on a dangerous mission to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life . . . or it could be a suicide mission.

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