We continue our “Books Authors Read” series with Sophie Kinsella. Sophie is the best-selling author of the Shopaholic series. Her latest novel, Shopaholic to the Stars, is available at your local HPB today in the new arrivals section. Sophie loves a good book that make for a great film. Enjoy some of her favorite reads! – Emily
Hollywood and the publishing world are irrevocably intertwined these days. After all, a book and a film are just two ways of telling a story; two forms of entertainment; two ways to connect with an audience. But they are very different forms. A novel is essentially one single person’s creation with one name on the cover, whereas a film is the ultimate example of team-work, with about 6,000 people named in the credits. (OK, I exaggerate!) A lot can fall through the gaps as books move from the page to screen. So to find novels that you loved – AND loved the movie version – this can be rare. But here are five that worked for me…
1. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
I am a huge Dickens fan. His storytelling takes your breath away – and the characters! The names! There is such comedy and drama and pace in any Dickens novel that you wonder how any film can do justice to the original. And then you see David Lean’s Great Expectations, and you sink back and wallow.
2. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
This book is very, very funny. It made me laugh out loud on many occasions when I read it – and it does so again whenever I subsequently read it. The main character, Rob, is so hopeless and honest, you can’t help rooting for him and his friends. He’s a bit stuck in life, trying to work out what it’s all about and defining his life through lists. Mainly lists of songs. I worried again that no film would be able to bring his idiosyncratic character to life, but John Cusack was perfect and the whole movie felt true.
3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
This was the first Harry Potter book I read. I absolutely loved it, immediately read the previous books and became an avid fan, waiting for new releases as eagerly as my children. I hoped and prayed that the films would be wonderful, and I really think they are. They are so faithful to both the detail and spirit of the books. I particularly like this one because of the neatness of the plot.
4. Atonement by Ian McEwan
This is such a powerful, atmospheric book, full of big ideas and a riveting plot. There is everything in this book, from love to class to war, and of course, guilt as a driving emotion. I lapped it up as soon as it came out, and went to see the movie too, which I thought was quite brilliant.
5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
What can one say? It’s a classic tale which moves and charms and inspires new thoughts every time you read it. I now enjoy it through my children reading it and discussing it. And when they ask, “Is there a movie?” I don’t frown and say “Read the book!” but instead: “Yes there is, and that’s a classic, too.”
Sophie Kinsella is an English novelist known for her Shopaholic series. Her two best-selling novels, The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic and Shopaholic Abroad were adapted into a film in 2009 entitled Confessions of a Shopaholic. Visit her online or follow her on Twitter @KinsellaSophie.