Books, Beans & Brews: Book-to-Screen Adaptions

By Samantha JacquestKENOSHA.COM

Samantha Jacquest is the owner of Blue House Books, Kenosha's full-service independent bookstore in Downtown Kenosha. Sam loves sharing her love of books with the community and bringing in popular and local authors for events. When not at her shop, Sam enjoys traveling and spending time Downtown with her friends, family, and rescue dog Flash.

Hello, Readers! This week I’m excited to talk about a popular topic at Blue House Books: book-to-screen adaptations! Listed below are a few of our favorite and bestselling titles that have adaptations coming this year. Some titles are more well known while some flew under the radar, but an independent bookstore is the perfect place to discover these hidden gems before they are discovered by the bigger world of Hollywood. Of course, I will try to convince you to read the books first, because the book is always better!

As I’m typing this article and doing my research, I’m enjoying an AMAZING Honey Rose Latte from The Buzz! Since I’m recommending a ton of great books, I wanted to pair with something that would be a crowd pleaser for any mood, and this latte with hints of sweetness while still maintaining a mellow taste is the perfect pair for any book. 

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter – This historical fiction novel opens with rumors of an anti semitic leader gaining power in Germany, and a Jewish family that spreads across the world at the start of World War II. Based on a true story, the book follows the Kurc family as one is forced into exile, one flees the continent, while others lie, hide, and do anything they can to escape certain death. We read this beautiful story for book club long before a movie adaptation was in the works, and everyone absolutely loved it. It’s a story of hope and the strong bonds of family. Read this one if you’re in need of a good tearjerker!

The mini series We Were the Lucky Ones is currently streaming on Hulu starring Joey King, Logan Lerman, and Hadas Yaron.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – The story of a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life in a luxury hotel is a consistent bestseller at Blue House Books! This novel set in 1922 follows an aristocrat forced out of his life of luxury and into an attic apartment. As historical events unfold, he is forced to watch from his window, and in his little room above the streets of Russia, he soon finds himself in a new world of emotional discovery. Amor Towles is one of the greatest writers of his generation, and his readers can’t wait to see his world come to life on the screen! 

A Gentleman in Moscow is available streaming now as a mini series on Paramount+ starring Ewan McGregor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Leah Harvey.

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen – This debut novel was received to incredible high praise when it came out in 2016. Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize, The Sympathizer features one of the most remarkable narrators of recent fiction: a conflicted subversive and idealist working as a double agent in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Both a gripping espionage novel and a powerful story of love and friendship, this is the book to read if you’re in the mood for something heavy and beautiful.

The Sympathizer will release as a limited series from A24 on HBO Max on April 14th, starring Robert Downy Jr. and Hoa Xuande.

Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn – Also known as Bridgerton Season 3, this installment of the regency romance drama series follows Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington as their friends-to-lovers story finally comes to its climax. We can expect all the standard drama, swooning, and spice that we have come to know and love from a Julia Quinn novel, but  with so much more passion because readers have been waiting for this moment for four books and three seasons! The first book, The Duke and I, began with Daphne’s story, the eldest of the Bridgerton daughters, and you do want to read these in order. 

Bridgerton Season 3 releases on Netflix on May 16th.

Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder – A novel that blurs the line between psychological and supernatural, Nightbitch follows a suburban stay-at-home mom who slowly realizes that something is changing–her canines are sharper, patches of hair are growing in odd places, and new instincts are taking over. As the changes intensify and the mother tries to find an explanation, she comes across an ancient tome that may offer an explanation, and she finds a group of women who may be more than just neighborhood mothers involved in the same multi-level-marketing scheme.  This is an outrageously original novel of ideas about art, power, and womanhood wrapped in a satirical fairy tale. It will make you laugh–or howl–out loud!

Nightbitch is currently scheduled to release in theaters on December 6th starring Amy Adams and Scott McNairy.

More books on our radar with adaptations in the works include Trust, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel from Hernan Diaz slated to release in 2024 on HBO. Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune, which will be Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first feature film under their production company Archewell Productions. It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover was supposed to release in early 2024, but the writer’s strike in Hollywood delayed production, and a new release date has not been announced. The adaptation of the bestselling novel by the BokTok sensation Colleen Hoover stars Blake Lively and Justin Baldoni, and follows the story of a young woman who grew up witnessing the abuse of her mother, and must learn to break the cycle in her own life. 

These are just a few of the upcoming adaptations we are most excited about, but there are so many more! Be sure to stop in to Blue House Books and check out our book-to-screen display to make sure you read it before you watch it!