Films You Didn’t Know Were Books First

Looking for new books to add to your book list? Browse your library of streaming movies. You read that right. Bookstores are great for discovering new titles but sometimes it’s the silver screen that introduces you to stories worth reading. Check out this list of lesser-known books that are movies.


The Rules of Attraction

The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis

Plenty of dystopian college kids identified with this 2002 film about disengaged intellectuals smoking too many cigarettes. TRoA was Ellis’ second book (after his breakout novel Less Than Zero) and it continued his brand of nihilistic characters talking about indie bands and philosophers. If you enjoyed the antipathy in the movie, there are many more paragraphs of it in the book.



Madame Doubtfire

Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine

OK, maybe there can be no Mrs. Doubtfire without Robin Williams, but the lovable trans-manny character was actually the brainchild of Anne Fine and her British novel of a slightly different name published in 1987. When your streaming services run out of good movies about creative childcare, delve into the pages of this delightful novel.




Jaws by Peter Benchley

This is one of those movies that’s a great teaser for an even better book. Benchley’s terrifying tome was based on a real-life series of shark attacks on the Jersey shore. If you enjoyed the adventure of the film, the book has even more vivid character development and, believe it or not, heightened tension.



He's Just Not That Into You

He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo

This movie was a book. A self-help book. Originally meant to be a real talk dating advice manual, it took its title from an episode of Sex and the City where Behrendt was a script consultant. The movie took a humorous approach with cutting loose the players, but the book offers specific advice on finding (and holding onto) love.



Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Here’s a film adaptation with a unique twist: casting actual people from the 1994 non-fiction book. Berendt’s riveting New York Times bestseller chronicles the stories of the eccentric people he met during a stay in Savannah, Georgia. Reading like the best crime fiction, it’s one of those stories that’ll have you espousing “truth is stranger than fiction.”