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5 Book-to-Screen Adaptations on My Summer Watch List

Image of a backyard movie screen and text 5 Book-to-Screen Adaptations on My Summer Watch List

by Jen Moyers (@jen.loves.books)

Last week, we released our episode about the movie adaptation of Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows's The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society ( | (you can listen here). In that same vein, I thought I'd share some other adaptations I'm looking forward to watching this summer!

Shining Girls

I read Lauren Beukes's The Shining Girls ( | back in 2015, so some of the details are fuzzy. But I was captivated by the compelling novel, centered on a time traveling serial killer and the potential victim who vows to stop him. When I saw that Elisabeth Moss would be starring in this eight-episode adaptation (you can watch on AppleTV), I knew I'd have to watch: I'm all-in on anything with Moss, and I think she'll be perfect in the starring role.

The Essex Serpent

This is another book I read a while back (in 2017, before I started writing regular reviews), so again . . . there's some fuzziness. But Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent ( | was a five-star read for me, and I remember being blown away by the way the novel illuminated the tenuous line between science and myth and evoked its 19th-century setting. Also, this six-episode AppleTV adaptation has two more actors I love: Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston.

Conversations with Friends

I adored the adaptation of Normal People ( |, so I'm hoping for big things from the Hulu adaptation of Sally Rooney's Conversations with Friends ( | (This one has 12 episodes.) Here's my review from 2020:

I absolutely LOVED Sally Rooney's Normal People (and the television adaptation only made me love it more), so I went in to Conversations with Friends with SUPER-high expectations. I wouldn't say that I loved Rooney's debut more than Normal People, but it definitely reinforced my opinion about the author's talent. We see the stories through the eyes of Frances, an intelligent and talented young writer in Dublin. She performs poetry with her best friend, Bobbi (also her former lover), and their relationship is one of the strong hearts of the book. At one of their performances, they meet a couple, a photographer and her husband, Nick, and the four become embroiled in a tangled relationship with sex and dependence at the center. Rooney confronts here the difficulty with communicating who we are and how we feel to other people, how to do so honestly and clearly, and how to deal with the disconnect we so often feel between others' reactions to us and what we meant. I found it to be a deeply moving book.

The Summer I Turned Pretty

I know that so many of us are fans of the adaptations of Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before ( |, and so I'm guessing that we're all excited about the seven-episode, Amazon Prime adaptation. While I didn't love The Summer I Turned Pretty ( | books quite as much as the other trilogy (and I haven't read it since 2010), I remember being so happy with the depth of the character development in the books. (Here's a link to the boxed set:

Fire Island

So, I had NO idea, until I listened to this episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour, that Fire Island is based on Pride and Prejudice ( | That makes me extremely happy. The Hulu film features Bowen Yang, one of my favorites from Saturday Night Live, along with Conrad Ricamora (from How to Get Away with Murder!). I'm SO looking forward to this new adaptation to add to my #readausten22 slate.

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