Book Adaptations

book to television, book to movie

Satisfy your inner bookworm by watching the adaptations gracing both the small and big screen. From highly anticipated films to binge-worthy television adaptations, we’ve got your definitive list for what to see now and in the coming months, complete with publishers’ descriptions.

Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews

In present-day Russia, ruled by blue-eyed, unblinking President Vladimir Putin, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the post-Soviet intelligence jungle. Ordered against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a young CIA officer who handles the Agency’s most important Russian mole.

Spies have long relied on the “honey trap,” whereby vulnerable men and women are intimately compromised. Dominika learns these techniques of “sexpionage” in Russia’s secret “Sparrow School,” hidden outside of Moscow. As the action careens between Russia, Finland, Greece, Italy, and the United States, Dominika and Nate soon collide in a duel of wills, tradecraft, and inevitably, forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but those of others as well. As secret allegiances are made and broken, Dominika and Nate’s game reaches a deadly crossroads. Soon one of them begins a dangerous double existence in a life-and-death operation that consumes intelligence agencies from Moscow to Washington, DC.

Page by page, veteran CIA officer Jason Matthews’s Red Sparrow delights and terrifies and fascinates, all while delivering an unforgettable cast. Packed with insider detail and written with brio, this tour-de-force novel brims with Matthews’s life experience, including his knowledge of espionage, counterintelligence, surveillance tradecraft, spy recruitment, cyber-warfare, the Russian use of “spy dust” and covert communications. Brilliantly composed and elegantly constructed, Red Sparrow is a masterful spy tale lifted from the dossiers of intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic. Authentic, tense, and entertaining, this novel introduces Jason Matthews as a major new American talent. Release date: Out now

Instinct based on Murder Games by James Patterson

Dr. Dylan Reinhart wrote the book on criminal behavior. Literally — he’s a renowned, bestselling Ivy League expert on the subject. In the first episode that aired last Sunday, a copy of his book turns up at a gruesome murder scene, along with a threatening message from the killer, it looks like someone has been taking notes.

Elizabeth Needham is the headstrong and brilliant NYPD Detective in charge of the case who recruits Dylan to help investigate another souvenir left at the scene — a playing card. Another murder, another card, and now Dylan suspects that the cards aren’t a signature, they’re a deadly hint pointing directly toward the next victim.

As tabloid headlines about the killer known as “The Dealer” scream from newstands, New York City descends into panic. With the cops at a loss, it’s up to Dylan to hunt down a serial killer unlike any the city has ever seen. Only someone with Dylan’s expertise can hope to go inside the mind of a criminal and convince The Dealer to lay down his cards. But after thinking like a criminal, could Dylan become one?

A heart-pounding novel of suspense more shocking than any tabloid true crime story, Murder Games introduces the next unforgettable character from the imagination of James Patterson, the world’s #1 bestselling author. Network: CBS   Premiere date: Airing now

Rise based on Drama High by Michael Sokolove

Why would the multimillionaire producer of CatsThe Phantom of the Opera, and Miss Saigon take his limo from Manhattan to the struggling former steel town of Levittown, Pennsylvania, to see a high school production of Les Misérables?

To see the show performed by the astoundingly successful theater company at Harry S. Truman High School, run by its legendary director, Lou Volpe. Broadway turns to Truman High when trying out controversial shows such as Rent and  Spring Awakening before they move on to high school theater programs across the nation. Volpe’s students from this blue-collar town go on to become Emmy-winning producers, entertainment executives, newscasters, and community theater founders.

Michael Sokolove, a Levittown native and former student of Volpe’s, chronicles the drama director’s last school years and follows a group of student actors as they work through riveting dramas both on and off the stage. This is a story of an economically depressed but proud town finding hope in a gifted teacher and the magic of theater. Network: NBC   Premiere date: Airing now

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines: puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape. Release date: March 29

The Child in Time by Ian McEwan

The Child in Time shows us just how quickly life can change in an instant. Stephen Lewis is a successful author of children’s books. It is a routine Saturday morning and while on a trip to the supermarket, Stephen gets distracted. Within moments, his daughter is kidnapped and his life is forever changed. From that moment, Lewis spirals into bereavement that has effects on his relationship with his wife, his psyche and with time itself: “It was a wonder there could be so much movement, so much purpose, all the time. He himself had none.” Network: PBS   Premiere date: April 1

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

“Let’s say I was born when I came over the George Washington Bridge…” This is how we meet unforgettable Tess, the twenty-two-year-old at the heart of this stunning first novel. Shot from a mundane, provincial past, she’s come to New York to look for a life she can’t define, except as a burning drive to become someone, to belong somewhere. After she stumbles into a coveted job at a renowned Union Square restaurant, we spend the year with her as she learns the chaotic, punishing, privileged life of a “backwaiter,” on duty and off. Her appetites for food, wine, knowledge and every kind of experience are awakened. And she’s pulled into the magnetic thrall of two other servers: a handsome bartender she falls hard for, and an older woman she latches onto with an orphan’s ardor. These two and their enigmatic connection to each other will prove to be Tess’s hardest lesson of all. Sweetbitter is a story of discovery, enchantment and the power of what remains after disillusionment. Network: Starz   Premiere date: May 6

The Seagull by Anton Chekhov

The Seagull is a slice-of-life drama set in the Russian countryside at the end of the 19th century. The cast of characters is dissatisfied with their lives. Some desire love. Some desire success. Some desire artistic genius. No one, however, ever seems to attain happiness. The story centers on the unsuccessful playwright Konstantin and his actress girlfriend Nina. When Nina falls in love with the successful novelist Trigorin, Konstantin kills a seagull and places it at her feet. Some critics view The Seagull as a tragic play about eternally unhappy people. Most see it as a humorous albeit bitter satire, poking fun at human folly.Release date: May 11

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The four March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, live in Concord, Massachussetts, with their mother while their father is stationed far away as an army chaplain. Although not well off financially, they are well known in the neighborhood for their charitable work. The girls amuse themselves at home with imaginative fun and games, including performing plays and writing sketches. They are the picture of a loving family and each daughter has her own part to play in it. The March girls are so deftly and vividly drawn that everyone who reads this book will identify with one sister in the story, whether they are reading Little Women for the first time as a child or rereading it for the 100th time as an adult. Network: PBS   Premiere date: May 13

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

The bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of Atonement brilliantly illuminates the collision of sexual longing, deep-seated fears and romantic fantasy on a young couple’s wedding night. It is 1962, and Florence and Edward are celebrating their wedding in a hotel on the Dorset coast. Yet as they dine, the expectation of their marital duties become overwhelming. Unbeknownst to them both, the decisions they make this night will resonate throughout their lives. With exquisite prose, Ian McEwan creates in On Chesil Beach a story of lives transformed by a gesture not made or a word not spoken. Release date: May 18

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television. Network: HBO   Premiere date: May 19

Dietland by Sarai Walker

Plum Kettle does her best not to be noticed, because when you’re fat, to be noticed is to be judged. Or mocked. Or worse. With her job answering fan mail for a popular teen girls’ magazine, she is biding her time until her weight-loss surgery. Only then can her true life as a thin person finally begin. Then, when a mysterious woman starts following her, Plum finds herself falling down a rabbit hole and into an underground community of women who live life on their own terms. There Plum agrees to a series of challenges that force her to deal with her past, her doubts and the real costs of becoming “beautiful.” Network: AMC   Premiere date: June 4