The Last Thing He Wanted
While Joan Didion is best known for the incisive, penetrating qualities of her nonfiction, her occasional forays into the world of fiction are equally as captivating—and now, one of her finest novels is on its way to Netflix. The story centers around a reporter who finds herself thrust into a world of chilling conspiracies, shadowy figures, and deadly stakes of the highest order.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Mary Ann Shaffer
In January 1946, a young writer named Juliet Ashton is searching for a subject for her next book when she stumbles onto a letter from a man on the small German-occupied island of Guernsey. What she discovers is a fascinating group of Guernsey natives who gather for a book club beneath the watchful eye of German soldiers and in doing so, gain a reprieve from the fear of their day-to-day lives. Fortunately, the Netflix adaptation is every bit as charming as the novel itself.
Crisis in the Red Zone
The 2013–2014 Ebola epidemic was a devastating and terrifying international crisis. This meticulously researched account of the outbreak and the struggle to contain it reads like a medical thriller and follows a number of nurses, doctors, and others in the field as they attempt to save lives and contain the spread of a deadly virus. When it makes its way to Netflix later this year, expect another addition to your binge list.
Alias Grace tells the story of one of the most notorious women—and murder cases—of the 19th century as only Margaret Atwood could. With the pacing of a tightly wrought thriller and the extraordinary human insight that defines Atwood’s work, Alias Grace is the sort of read you can’t put down. Unsurprisingly, the six-part Netflix adaptation is as bingeable as the novel itself.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
While marketed for a younger audience, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a powerful memoir of survival and ingenuity. It tells the story of William Kamkwamba, a boy in a small African village who uses scrap metal and bicycle parts to create a windmill to provide electricity for his family and help them pump in water during a catastrophic drought.
Anne of Green Gables
L. M. Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables is an oft-adapted classic, and Netflix’s Anne with an E is the latest take on the beloved characters. While it’s an occasionally darker and more grounded take on Anne’s escapades, it’s no less an enjoyable find for those looking to make a trip to Avonlea.
This stunning companion book to Netflix’s Our Planet documentary is a must-read for not only fans of the series but anyone with an interest on the extraordinary natural wonder of planet Earth. Featuring never-before-seen photos of some of the most remote places on the planet and animals in action, Our Planet is a beautiful addition to any bookshelf.
It’s hard to top Sophia Amoruso’s story. In the span of a few years, the high school dropout went from hitchhiking and petty theft to opening a vintage clothing shop on eBay that would quickly become a multimillion-dollar phenomenon. It’s the sort of thing great TV is made of—a realization that was not lost on the folks over at Netflix.
Our Souls at Night
Our Souls at Night is a poignant exploration of the lives of two widowers navigating loneliness and grief. What begins as a friendship and a means to alleviate their feelings of isolation slowly blossoms into a second chance at romance. Reuniting Hollywood icons Jane Fonda and Robert Redford for the adaptation certainly didn’t hurt the novel’s transition to the screen.
Call the Midwife
Adapted from Jennifer Worth’s memoir of her time as a midwife in post-war London, Call the Midwife is an equal parts heartwarming, hilarious, and fascinating look at a city attempting to recover from the devastation of World War II. If you’re looking for something to fill a certain Downton Abbey–sized hole in your life, this might just be the ticket.
There’s one thing we can say about the advent of streaming TV: It’s been a boon for fans of book-to-film adaptations. The two series that arguably gave streaming networks their current air of prestige respectability—House of Cards and Orange is the New Black—were both adaptations. In fact, since those early days of original streaming programming, Netflix has churned out a steady diet of top-notch fare for us bibliophiles who feel the allure of a small-screen binge. Whether you’re looking for a fun date night movie, a guilty pleasure to unwind with after a long day, or your next great binge, we’ve got you covered with this list of Netflix adaptations.
Featured Image: @wildfernstudio/Twenty20