It's a no-brainer really – so many brilliant books have inspired great (and some not so great, let's face it) TV and film productions so here are some of the books behind the latest film and TV favourites. Click here to get the latest and most up to date release dates for UK films.
This definitive retrospective of Friends incorporates interviews, history and behind-the-scenes anecdotes to offer a critical analysis of how a sitcom about six 20-somethings changed television forever. When Friends debuted in 1994, no one expected it to become a mainstay of NBC's 'Must See TV' lineup, let alone a global phenomenon. In the years since, Friends has gone through many phases of cultural relevancy, from prime-time hit to '90s novelty item to certified classic. Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe have entered the pantheon of great television characters, and millions of people around the globe continue to tune in or stream their stories every day. I'll Be There for You is the definitive retrospective of Friends, exploring all aspects of the show, from its unlikely origins to the elusive reasons why we still watch it. Journalist and pop culture expert Kelsey Miller relives the show's most iconic moments, analyses the ways in which Friends is occasionally problematic and examines the many trends it inspired, from the rise of coffee-shop culture to 'Friendsgivings' to the ultimate '90s haircut, The Rachel. Weaving incisive commentary, revelatory interviews and behind-the-scenes anecdotes involving high-profile guest stars, I'll Be There for You is the most comprehensive take on Friends and the ultimate book for fans everywhere.
Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection . . . but can you pay the price? Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there - and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma's past and Jane's present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession. Following in the footsteps of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, The Girl Before is being brought to the big screen by Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard.
A special hardback 10th anniversary edition of the first in Cassandra Clare's internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series about the Shadowhunters. A thrilling urban fantasy of vampires, warlocks and shapeshifters that fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer will love to get their teeth into. Clary is your typical girl next door character that everyone wants to like and with whom young teenage girls in particular will instantly relate. Until her mother's disappearance life is very ordinary and normal but then everything changes. The author's descriptions of an alternate, parallel world are so cleverly drawn that you feel right there within the story. We haven't read such a brilliant mixture of razor-sharp wit and humour and spine tingling fear but above all a terrific page-turning read that will have you saying just one more page, then one more chapter and suddenly you've finished it, for quite a while.
November 2017 Book of the Month As so often happens when a book is filmed as this is, there is far greater detail on the page than on the screen, here perhaps more than most. In its recently written prequel, The Rules of Magic, which follows the lives of the wacky aunts Jet and Fran, we are only introduced to these sisters who dominate this story, Gillian and Sally, towards the end of that book. Here, in this original classic published in 1995, we get their story. Unlike the film (which is wonderful) the troubles Sally has bringing up her teenage daughters as a single mum, is extensively handled. Sadly the aunts are rather in the background and Gillian’s love interest comes in late too. If you have not read this and only seen the film then I urge you to do so but read The Rules of Magic first since you now can. Both books and the film are enchanting, highly recommended. Sarah Broadhurst
A very special book indeed, magical in all its senses, which won the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award for best book. Slow to get into and long, it is written in the style of the period in which it is set, Regency, which I felt added to its charm. It’s about magicians, different strands of magic, highly imaginative with many layers and intricate sub-plots and, despite the dusty language, is totally compelling. A highly intelligent alternative history which I urge you to read and become totally hooked. ~ Sarah Broadhurst The Bloomsbury Modern Classic Series Restless by William Boyd Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
When Henry McAllan moves his city-bred wife, Laura, to a cotton farm in the Mississippi Delta in 1946, she finds herself in a place both foreign and frightening. Henry's love of rural life is not shared by Laura, who struggles to raise their two young children in an isolated shotgun shack under the eye of her hateful, racist father-in-law. When it rains, the waters rise up and swallow the bridge to town, stranding the family in a sea of mud. As the Second World War shudders to an end, two young men return from Europe to help work the farm. Jamie McAllan is everything his older brother Henry is not and is sensitive to Laura's plight, but also haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the farm, comes home from war with the shine of a hero, only to face far more dangerous battles against the ingrained bigotry of his own countrymen. These two unlikely friends become players in a tragedy on the grandest scale.
This is one of those books like The Slap and We Need to Talk About Kevin where no one is likeable and the outcome difficult to predict. Here the family drama is related during a posh restaurant dinner as brothers and their wives partake of the sort of pretentious meal that the rich and famous revel in, only throughout this one there is a family crisis. Both couples have teenage boys who have been involved in a violent crime caught on CCTV but in such a way as to make it almost impossible to identify the boys. Their parents know who they are and now each is out to protect their own. This is shocking, with a stunning conclusion. A very clever book - dark, satirical and interestingly structured, made more complicated by an unreliable narrator. Personally I could have done with less food. Fascinating stuff. The Lovereading view... This contentious tour de force of middle class morality in the face of family disaster has, like The Slap, become a real talking point. A seemingly polite dinner in Amsterdam between friends spirals out of control as the horrors of what needs to be discussed, and what they will do to protect themselves, unfolds. Uncomfortable to read but searingly well observed. Find out what all the fuss is about - it will be worth it. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Dinner, a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'The Dinner is full of suspense and kept me gasping all of the way through' - Michelle Russ. Scroll down to read more reviews.
This is the funniest book of the year. It is the new Bridget Jones novel. 8.45 P.M. Realise there have been so many times in my life when have fantasised about going to a scan with Mark or Daniel: just not both at the same time. 9.45 P.M. It's like they're two halves of the perfect man, who'll spend the rest of their lives each wanting to outdo the other one. And now it's all enacting itself in my stomach. In this gloriously funny, touching story of baby-deadline panic, maternal bliss, and social, professional, technological, culinary and childbirth chaos, Bridget Jones - global phenomenon and the world's favourite Singleton - is back with a bump.
WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION FROM MARGARET ATWOOD. The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs. Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful vision of the future gives full rein to Margaret Atwood's irony, wit and astute perception.
Charming, atmospheric, and compellingly crafted, The Grantchester Mysteries are the very epitome of cosy crime, with a quintessential English detective for a hero. No wonder, then, that this is the sleuthing Archdeacon’s sixth literary outing, and that the TV adaptation is such an enormous hit. It’s 1971 and Sidney Chambers is enjoying a walk in a chocolate-box beautiful bluebell wood when he and his young daughter happen upon the body of Lenny Goddard, a local “folk-singer and a bit of hippy”, and a basket of poisonous wild flowers. While Lenny’s widow explains that they used such plants as recreational stimulants, the post-mortem reveals that he was killed by a strong dose of a neurotoxin found in monkshood. So, was it an accidental overdose, suicide, or murder? But this isn’t the only mystery that needs solving in Sidney’s apparently idyllic diocese. There’s also the matter of an invaluable text going missing from a Cambridge college, the disappearance of his nephew, and much more besides.As always, this is highly readable stuff and makes an entertaining accompaniment to an afternoon in the garden. Alongside the finely plotted drama and sense of social change, the descriptions of landscape are a joy to read, as are Sidney’s musings. ~ Joanne Owen
Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in making Philip his heir, knowing he will treasure his beautiful Cornish estate. But Philip's world is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries - and then dies suddenly in suspicious circumstances. Before long, the new widow - Philip's cousin Rachel - arrives in England. Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, mysterious woman. But could she have caused Ambrose's death?
THE GRIPPING NEW DRAMA AS SEEN ON NETFLIX. A passionate opponent of the death penalty, John discovers that young Leon worked on death row in the nation's most notorious prison, under traumatic conditions: befriending the inmates over the years while having to assist their eventual execution. As the court hearings progress, the case offers John the opportunity to put the entire system of legally sanctioned murder on trial. How can one man take such a dual role of friend and executioner, becoming both shepherd and butcher?
The Books Behind the Film & TV
According to book trade figures the relationship between the book, TV and film industries has never been stronger, with new, hungry players such as Netflix and Amazon Prime spurring on the number of dramatic rights deals being struck.
So, we thought it would be great idea to put all these books in one place so you can easily find and read the 'book behind the film' - which we, of course, think is always better.
Do come back every month and keep up on the books that are inspiring the small and large screens.
CLICK HERE to see our infographic showing how critics viewed the book vs the film for some classics going back 22 years!