Adapting a novel for the big screen can be a tricky business, but novels adapted for small screen are expanding in popularity. Game of Thrones has been wildly successful at it. So has Outlander. No longer confined to a two-hour movie-length, popular books can be adapted more faithfully as a television series, without the best bits getting cut for time.
2017 is seeing a boom in book-to-television adaptations, and we can’t wait to see some of our favorites brought to life on the small screen. If you’re a read-it-before-you-watch-it person, add these to your TBR list:
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (Netflix)
After the sudden death of their parents, the three Baudelaire children must depend on each other and their wits when it turns out that a distant relative is determined to use any means necessary to get their fortune.
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Netflix)
When Clay Jenkins receives a box containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends the night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah’s voice recounting the events leading up to her death.
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (Netflix)
Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Hulu)
In a dystopian future, women are no longer allowed to read and are valued only as long as they are viable for reproduction.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Starz)
Just released from prison, Shadow encounters Mr. Wednesday, an enigmatic stranger who seems to know a lot about him, and when Mr. Wednesday offers him a job as his bodyguard, Shadow accepts and is plunged into a dark and perilous world.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (HBO)
An annual school Trivia Night ends in a disastrous riot leaving one parent dead in what appears to be a tragic accident, but evidence shows it might have been premeditated.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (HBO)
Returning to her hometown after a long absence to investigate the murders of two girls, reporter Camille Preaker is reunited with her neurotic mother and enigmatic, thirteen-year-old half-sister as she works to uncover the truth about the killings.
The Cormoran Strike series by J.K. Rowling, writing as Robert Galbraith (BBC/HBO)
This three part series follows Cormoran Strike, a wounded war veteran-turned-private detective struggling to get by in Central London.
The Midnight, Texas series by Charlaine Harris (NBC)
Midnight, Texas, a dried-up, one traffic light town, gets shook up when a mysterious new resident, Manfred Bernardo, moves in.
The Terror by Dan Simmons (AMC)
Captain Crozier must find a way for his crew to survive the deadly attacks of a sea monster, in this novel loosely based on the mid-nineteenth-century Arctic expedition led by Sir John Franklin.