As a self-proclaimed bibliophile, I both love and hate when books are made into movies.
I love it, because I’m excited to see a story I’ve enjoyed come alive in movie form—and I hate it, because so often, the movies just don’t live up to the books, which leaves me feeling let down.
The Phantom of the Opera was one example: I adored the book, and I could not have hated the movie more than I did. I love the play, but I really couldn’t get into the movie version. However, there are a few movies that are as good (well, maybe almost as good) as the books.
So, here’s my list of 15 fall-themed books to read—and pair with the movie:
1. Coraline, by Neil Gaiman. Yes, I get it—it’s a children’s story and a cartoon. But, I’m in my 30s, and I’m here to say that it’s equally good for adults. Read the book, and enjoy this creepy story of the girl and “the Other Mother”—and then, enjoy the movie version.
2. The Cider House Rules, by John Irving. Okay, I’ll admit it—I’ve seen the movie and enjoyed it, but I’ve not yet read the book. And, yes, I’m adding it to my list right now.
3. Practical Magic, by Alice Hoffman. Enjoy the book, and then curl up to the movie!
4. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. Pair this page-turning mystery with a follow up of the film.
5. It, by Stephen King. If creepy clowns don’t send you running out of the theater (or local carnival or children’s birthday party), then read It, and pair it with both movies—the original and the remake now out in theaters. The only horror I enjoy is the classic variety (say, 1940s), so I’ll be skipping this one!
6. Dead Poets Society, by N. H. Kleinbaum. Read this inspirational tale, and pair it with the stunning performance by Robin Williams.
7. Hamlet, by William Shakespeare. I remember reading this in English class, and then my teacher paired it with what we termed as “Hot Hamlet,” the Mel Gibson movie version of this classic tale.
8. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. I don’t always go in for the hyped-up books. Try not to judge me, but I passed on reading Twilight after turning just a few pages of it and losing interest. But The Hunger Games definitely lived up to its reputation, and the four movies made from the three-book series are worth watching too!
9. Christine, by Stephen King. Okay, if you think a creepy car doesn’t sound all that creepy, you’ve got to read this book and pair it with the film. Sure, the film is a little older, but it’s definitely worth watching. The best part of the movie for me? All the music that the car plays when it’s being murderous and insane! It all just goes to show that it is possible to have an unhealthy relationship with an automobile.
10. A Walk to Remember, by Nicholas Sparks. The book is sweet, and the movie is charming. This is a great one to watch in the fall for a romantic night in—after reading the book, of course!
11. The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd. It’s an amazing book made into an amazing movie about family, love, race relations in the South, and a young girl’s coming of age.
12. The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. Many of us have seen the movie, but the book it’s based on is fantastic. This was a book-club read for me before the movie came out, and it’s definitely worth a book/movie double feature!
13. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger. I found this love story enchanting, and the movie didn’t disappoint. If you enjoy love stories and time travel, this is the pairing for you!
14. Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen. This is a great fall read for a number of reasons, but there’s just something about the circus that reminds me of fall.
15. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson. I’m not sure why this one strikes me as a fall pairing, except it does have plenty of atmosphere and mystery.
For those of us whose watch lists are steadily shrinking, these are a few movies to add to the list. This also gives us plenty of reading material, and we can support our libraries by requesting these from inter-library loan if they’re not currently available in our communities.
Fall weather is great for reading and for cozy movie nights in. May this list be of benefit for your fall reading and viewing pleasure!
Author: Crystal Jackson
Image: Unsplash/Alisa Anton
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron
Social Editor: Catherine Monkman