Books Gone Hollywood

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Article in Adult Fiction, Adult Nonfiction, , and Movies categories.

There are some movies that everybody knows come from a book-- The Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings, the comic books turned movies like Superman, Spiderman, and Fantastic Four, and many classic novels. But there are a wealth of others that have flown slightly under the radar.

Take a look at some of these book titles that are available at our library that have been turned into movies or television series.

If you like this list, and want to see some adult and teen book titles that have been made into movies, check out this list of children's books that have been made into movies in Books Gone Hollywood: Children's Edition

Feel free to add to this list by creating an account and editing this page.

*Because so many classic novels have been turned into movies (and so many versions of each have been done), they are generally not included in this list. Also not included are the very popular superhero comic books that have been made into films in recent years. This list is intended to help readers find that many popular movies were actually books first, and since these are well-known adaptations, have been excluded from this list.

*Please note that JMRL does not own all of the corresponding movies or TV shows.

The Short List

A great list of titles to start with, and annotations to them.


About a Boy by Nick Hornby After Will tries to pick up women at a single parents’ support group, he is befriended by an odd boy named Marcus, who latches onto him as a father-figure.

Film: 2002 with Hugh Grant & Nicholas Hoult. TV show: 2014 with David Walton, Minnie Driver, & Benjamin Stockham

Forrest Gump by Winston Groom Join Forrest Gump’s odyssey through, and his involvement in, three decades of American culture all while remaining true to his one love, Jenny.

Film: 1994 with Tom Hanks and Robin Wright

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern When Holly’s husband Gerry dies of a terminal illness, she is torn apart with grief. But through a series of letters Gerry wrote for her before he died, Holly might learn how to put herself back together again.

Film: 2007 with Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler

Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde A 12-year-old boy accepts his teacher’s challenge to change the world for the better by doing good deeds and paying it forward. Film: 2000 with Kevin Spacey and Haley Joel Osment

Push by Sapphire 16-year-old Precious Jones is pregnant with her father’s child when she meets a teacher who will change her life.

Film title: PRECIOUS: 2009 with Gabourey Sadibe and Mo’Nique

Q & A by Vikas Swarup In a Mumbai jail cell, a poor uneducated orphan explains through a series of painful tales how he could answer all the questions correctly on India’s biggest quiz show.

Film title: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE: 2008 with Dev Patel and Freida Pinto

Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella The mysterious words, “If you build it, he will come,” lead Ray to create a cornfield baseball field in honor of Shoeless Joe Jackson, his hero, in this story about baseball, and the power of dreams. 

Film title: FIELD OF DREAMS: 1989 with Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones   What's Eating Gilbert Grape by Peter Hedges 24-year-old Gilbert Grape wants nothing more than to leave his tiny Iowa town to escape his family troubles, until a mysterious girl comes to town and helps him see things in a different light.

Film: 1993 with Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio


The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich When two Harvard undergrads create the first social network in an attempt to join an elite Harvard society, their differences in the future of Facebook along with corporate greed tear their friendship apart.

Film title: THE SOCIAL NETWORK: 2010 with Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield

Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose Watch the battles of World War II Europe come to life with interviews, journals, and letters from survivors of the Easy Company, 506th Airborne Division, U.S. Army, who were involved in some of the war’s most dangerous missions.

HBO TV Series: 2001 with Scott Grimes and Matthew Leitch

A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar The author takes a look at the brilliant mathematician John Nash who shared the Nobel Prize in economics for his work on game theory, and who suffered dramatically from schizophrenia in the 1950s.

Film: 2001 with Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, and Jennifer Connelly

Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston When hiker Aron Ralston’s arm gets pinned by a boulder in a canyon eight miles from his truck, he finds the courage to do the one thing that will save his life.

Film title: 127 HOURS with James Franco and Amber Tamblyn

Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale, Jr. The true story of a Frank Abagnale, Jr., a scammer, forger, and escape artist, told by himself, tells of his many riotous ruses and adventures before the law catches onto him.

Film: 2002 with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman Sneak a peek into the life of late-18th century British aristocracy with the story of Lady Georgiana Spencer, who became an instant celebrity of her time as a friend of Marie Antoinette, and a politician in her own right, all while hiding struggles in her personal life.

Film title: THE DUCHESS: 2008 with Keira Knightly and Ralph Fiennes

Lost Moon by Jim Lovell The story of Commander Jim Lovell and his crew’s incredible near-tragic moon shot comes to life through the words of Lovell himself, and puts readers inside the spacecraft during this disaster.

Film title: APOLLO 13: 1995 with Tom Hanks and Bill Paxton

Playing the Enemy by John Carlin Nelson Mandela is freed, wins the presidency in South Africa, and unites the still-segregated and war-torn nation through the national rugby team as the country hosts the World Cup in 1995.

Film title: INVICTUS: 2009 with Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon

We Bought a Zoo by Benjamin Mee When author Benjamin Mee buys a dilapidated zoo in England, he learns the power of family and unlocks secrets of the animal world, even as he overcomes personal loss.

Film: 2011 with Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson

Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family by Nicholas Pileggi Henry Hill’s insider’s look at a mafia life in the late 20th century.

Film title: GOODFELLAS: 1990 with Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, and Joe Pesci

The Extended List: Adult Fiction

This list includes adult and young adult titles because many movies crossover into both age groups.


  • 24 Hours by Greg Iles (Film title: Trapped [2002])
  • 3:10 to Yuma by Elmore Leonard (Film title: 3:10 to Yuma [2007])

A through D

  • Be Cool by Elmore Leonard (Film: 2005)
  • Beastly by Alex Flinn (Film: 2010)
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison (Film: 1998)
  • Big Fish by Daniel Wallace (Film: 2003)
  • Bourne Series by Robert Ludlum (Film titles: Bourne Identity [2002], Bourne Supremacy [2004], and Bourne Ultimatum [2007])
  • Chocolat by Joanne Harris (Film: 2000)
  • Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernières (Film title: Captain Corelli's Mandolin [2001])
  • Deadwood by Pete Dexter (Film Title: Wild Bill [1995])

E through H

  • Emma by Jane Austen (Film Title: Clueless [1995])
  • Hannibal by Thomas Harris (Film: 2001)
  • Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris (Film: 2007)
    • See also: Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Film: 2011)
  • Holes by Louis Sachar (Film: 2003)
  • Hoot by Carl Hiaasen (Film: 2006)
  • The Hours by Michael Cunningham (Film: 2002)

I through L

  • Jaws by Peter Benchley
  • Jumper by Steven Gould (Film: 2008)
  • Killshot by Elmore Leonard (Film: 2009)
  • Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

M through O

  • Misery by Stephen King (Film: 1990)
  • Oil! by Upton Sinclair (Film title: There Will Be Blood [2007])

P through R

  • Push by Sapphire (Film title: Precious [2009])
  • Q & A by Vikas Swarup (Film Title: Slumdog Millionaire (2008))
  • Relic by Douglas Preston (Film: 1997)

S through T

  • Sahara by Clive Cussler (Film: 2005)
  • Sabrina Fair by Samuel Albert Taylor [Film Titles: Sabrina (1954) and (1995)]
  • Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella [Film Title: Field of Dreams (1989)]
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (Film: 2004)
  • Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz (Film title: Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker [2006])
  • Strip Tease by Carl Hiaasen [Film Title: Striptease (1996)]
  • The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare [Film Titles: 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) and Kiss Me, Kate (1953)]
  • The Tempest by William Shakespeare [Film Titles: Forbidden Planet (1956) and The Yellow Sky (1948) and The Tempest (2010)]
  • Timeline by Michael Crichton (Film: 2003)
  • True Grit by Charles Portis (Films: 1969 and 2010)
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare [Film Title: She's the Man (2006)]
  • The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer
Twilight (Film: 2008)
New Moon (Film: 2009)
Eclipse (Film: 2010)
Breaking Dawn (Films: Part 1 - 2011, Part 2 - 2012)

U through Z

The Extended List: Adult Nonfiction

  • Capote by Gerald Clarke (Film: 2005)
  • Finding Fish by Antwone Fisher (Film title: Antwone Fisher [2002])
  • Jarhead by Anthony Swofford (Film: 2005)
  • Lost Moon by Jim Lovell (Film title: Apollo 13 [1995])
  • Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam (Film title: October Sky [1999])