Top Ten Tuesday: Books to read if you liked the movie


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is my top nine books you must read if you loved the movie or TV show (and one you shouldn’t if you loved the play). In some ways, it’s probably redundant, because I can’t imagine I have too many readers of this blog who wouldn’t have read the books first anyway. But I guess you never know when someone might wander in from the untamed wilds of the internet, looking for ideas.

Disclaimer: These images are all stills from the various movies and TV shows. I make no claims to ownership…although I wouldn’t mind owning Richard Castle. Just saying.

Harry PotterHarry Potter. Given how fabulously popular — and justifiably so — this series was, it’s hard to imagine there’s anyone left who loved the movies and hasn’t bothered with the books. But if you’re one of those, GO READ THE BOOKS. The richness of Rowling’s world is masterfully executed, and there are little moments in the books that never made it to the movies.

Lord of the Rings. As with Harry Potter, there are plenty of moments in Tolkien’s world that didn’t make it to the movies. Walk with the hobbits; you won’t regret it.

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games. I loved the first two Hunger Games books (and liked the third). The movies really did them justice. I’m actually hoping the Mockingjay movie/s make me love the story more than the book did, which is a little peculiar, I admit. But regardless, read the first two books in the series at least. You won’t regret it.

Sookie Stackhouse. The True Blood TV show took some fairly hefty liberties with the plot and characters, for example letting some survive that died in the books. While that doesn’t bother me — I’m not a purist about these things — the books are fun stories in their own right.


Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. A lot of my friends, who fondly recall the original dodgy BBC TV series of these books, really didn’t like the movie. I enjoyed it — I can still burst into a rendition of So Long and Thanks For All The Fish — but the Hitchhikers books were my first experience of comedic fiction. It was a revelation. Read it and laugh: it’s good for the soul.

The Mortal Instruments. As a disclaimer, I haven’t seen the movie yet. But I really liked this trilogy (with a slight qualifier on the last book in that I wish Clare had resolved one plot element sooner than she did).

Richard Castle

Castle.  This is a weird one on my list, because the TV show came first. Now there are ghost-written books by “Richard Castle” that parallel the books the character writes on TV. Maybe it’s my giant crush on Nathan Fillion, but I really liked them too — and I don’t usually read crime fiction.

Divergent. I haven’t seen this movie either, but I loved the first two books in the trilogy. I’ve held off reading the third, given the reaction it provoked among fans…


Eragon. The Eragon movie was, let’s be honest, a stinker. I wanted to like it, given I enjoyed the series (and it has ANIMATED DRAGONS!), but I just couldn’t. If you’re the same, loving stories about dragons and wanting another one, these books could be for you.

Wicked. Ok, this is an anti-recommendation. A warning, if you will. I’ve been obsessing on the Wicked musical lately, and I’ve also read the book. If you love the musical and want to follow Elphaba’s story in more depth, don’t get too excited or it may leave you wanting. When the musical was written they took elements of the book and then strung them into a coherent story, whereas the book is disjointed. I’ve been really wishing someone would write a book based on the play’s version instead, but I guess that’s never going to happen!

What books would you recommend to others?

6 Comments on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books to read if you liked the movie”

  1. Harliqueen says:

    A great list. I tried to read the Lord of the Rings after the movies, and I didn’t get on so well with the books, I don’t know why!

  2. Karen says:

    A great list! The Hitchhiker’s Guide is a must read/laugh.

  3. Admittedly, I am of those few that started reading the HP series but stopped halfway in favour of laziness and the movies (though I don’t imagine I should be blurting all this out on a book blog haha). I love the Wicked musical–but I’ve heard that the novel is a lot more darker than what they made the broadway to be.

    joey via. thoughts and afterthoughts

  4. Kate Sparkes says:

    Agreed on Mockingjay. This might be the only time I’ve ever hoped they make significant changes from book to movie. I enjoyed the book (though not as much as the first two), but I can see it being upsetting for movie fans.

    And you’re not alone in not finishing the Divergent series. I only read the first one and thought it was OK, but wasn’t in any rush to continue. After finding out how it all ends I’m not going to bother finishing. I don’t mind a downer ending if it’s handled well, but it sounds like this one wasn’t. Might see the movies instead if I hear they’re good (first time I’ve said that, too! WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?).

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