We searched high and low to bring you the best Netflix book adaptations for 2023.
Netflix book adaptations have been popping up left and right and with good reason. Book adaptations are all the rage across the big and small screen.
But which Netflix book adaptations are worth reading in their original form? Check out the list below for some of our favorite books that have been recently adapted, divided by genre.
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Best Netflix Book Adaptations: Historical Fiction
This story about the island of Guernsey’s occupation during WWII features a book club that started to deceive the German soldiers. The members of the book club quickly become friends. Can you think of a better book for book clubs than one about a book club?
When a young novelist finds out about their society, she beings a correspondence and eventually visits them to learn more.
In this pick from the list of secret society books, the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society must remain secret for their safety rather than by choice. The story is told entirely in letters and was recently turned into a Netflix movie! We both love this novel from books about WWII because, at its heart, it is a powerful book about friendship.
The OG psychological thriller, Rebecca is a book set in Cornwall that will leave you checking behind you when you walk down a dark hallway. As unreliable narrator books go, this one is a must-read.
The new Mrs. de Winter is haunted by her husband’s first wife, Rebecca. The deceit will have you second-guessing everything you read while you yell at the pages.
One of the most acclaimed psychological thriller authors, this novel is Daphne Du Maurier at her best. It is a chilling novel about a naive second wife discovering the truth behind the wife who came before her.
The Netflix book adaptation stars Lily James – and it reignited this popular thriller book’s success. If you have not read this book, it is a perfect book for fall. We also needed to include it in our list of best mystery novels.
I watched the show and LOVED it so much. I previously read some of the others in the series but I really wanted to read this first book in the Bridgerton book series and I have to say, it was my favorite.
There is something about Daphne and Simon that I adore. This book is a perfect historical romance. The Netflix book adaption smashed records and caused a boom in book sales.
Daphne Bridgerton is the fourth of eight children and is beginning her first season in the ton. As young women of marrying age search for a husband, Daphne is not quite like other girls.
When the eligible Simon Bassett suggests they begin fake dating to allow them both a chance to breathe. However, things do not always go as planned. To make matters more complicated, Lady Whistledown always seems to know the truth and the information ready for everyone to read. This is one of our fake dating books of all time.
Are you a fan of Bridgerton? We’ve got a list of books like Bridgerton you will love! And if you love romance books, we have Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton Books in Order: Complete Guide to 20 Books.
I will admit when I saw the description of this coming-of-age book, I was not sold. A trusted individual, who has never steered me wrong in the past, gave me an advanced copy so, I took the leap. And wow, am I glad I did. I read this book and then recommended it to everyone I knew. It is one of the best mystery novels I have ever read.
This 70s book has that spark, that special something, that makes it extra. The book begins when a body is found in a North Carolina marsh and is identified as Chase Andrews. The story moves between the past and the present to tell the story of Kya Clark, The Marsh Girl, who is a suspect in the murder. The Netflix movie is fantastic too.
We have an entire post dedicated to this book and how to host a book club around it which makes it a perfect book for book clubs! If you love this book, check out our list of 13 books like Where the Crawdads Sing.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (Outlander #1)
How do we love Outlander? We cannot count the ways. There is a reason this is one of my favorite books of all time.
This epic story begins in 1945 when Claire Randall and her husband take a second honeymoon to the Scottish Highlands to celebrate being reunited after the war. When Claire touches one of the standing stones, she is transported to 1743.
This is when the real story begins. In order to stay safe as an English woman in Scotland, she must depend on Jamie Frasier for protection. This book is definitely at the top of our list of best romance novels of all time but you will love it equally if you love historical fiction, magical realism, romance, or witches. This is one of the iconic and epic time travel romance books that has it all and is perfect for a list of books like A Discovery of Witches. It was easy to include this on the best fantasy books for adults as well.
Best Netflix Book Adaptations: Fiction
Fredrik Backman is a master storyteller and he does it again with this book. He somehow manages to tackle difficult subjects without trivializing them but still allowing them to be humorous. This is a locked room mystery that is unlike any other.
This book is a story of a bank robbery gone very wrong and the idiots in the story (his word, not mine) who are taken hostage after the failed robbery. It is also a story about compassion, human relationships, and the daily struggles that we all have.
I love how Fredrik Backman’s books show the good in people despite the flaws that make them human. Backman is such a talented writer and is able to vary his style to best tell the story. I loved this book that takes place the day before New Year’s Eve! It is a favorite from our New Year’s books
The themes that Backman weaves throughout all his books of love, friendship, and compassion make all his books perfect for a list of books like A Man Called Ove. It is also a perfect book for book clubs.
This hit book series is now a motion picture series starring Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin! Todd’s smash hit is set in college when bookworm Tessa meets bad boy Hardin.
Hardin and Tessa’s push-and-pull is at times frustrating but their chemistry is so good! Just make sure you have the second book in the series ready to go. This one ends on a cliffhanger. Not as popular with the US market, the Netflix book adaption was a smash over seas.
Fantasy Netflix Book Adaptations
I was so excited when I learned that Netflix was making this into a series. I think it will be amazing on screen and I am so curious to see if they keep to the book or change things, which is so often the case.
Alina Starkov is an orphan who has never excelled in anything. When her regiment is sent into the fold and her best friend is in danger of being killed, she unleashes a power, unlike anything anyone has seen. It may be the answer to the wars that have ravaged her nation.
If you love this book, be sure to check out our post Books Like Shadow and Bone or Leigh Bardugo Books in Order: Complete Guide to 18 Amazing Books. It’s one of the most popular Netflix book adaptations.
Quentin Coldwater is a high school student obsessed with the made up world of Fillory. He finds himself admitted to a magical college that is both secret and elite. If you are looking for books set in college, this one has an almost cult-like following.
The best way I can describe this series is if Harry Potter was admitted to Hogwarts in College. It has a different, darker feel but it is fun, imaginative, and entertaining. The magic in this school is definitely a little bit dark and steamy and for this reason, is perfect for a list of dark academia novels. If you love urban fantasy books, you must read this series of books like Harry Potter. This is a witch book unlike any other.
This is the book that started it all. Jonathan Harker is a young English solicitor who finds himself in Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania. Count Dracula has strange customs and mannerisms and things go from strange to scary to completely horrifying.
The story of Dracula is timeless and has been remade into countless movies. But, in my opinion, none have been able to capture the truly terrifying essence of this book. It is truly a disturbing thriller horror book. If you love vampire books and have not read this one, it is a must-read that will scare the pants off you and is a perfect book for fall!
Mystery and Thriller Netflix Book Adaptations
If you love old movies, you will adore this book. It is a spin on Hitchcock’s Rear Window and features an agoraphobic narrator who is often unreliable.
Anna Fox lives alone in her house. She is agoraphobic and cannot leave, so she sits at her window and watches everyone in the neighborhood.
When she sees something across the street, she is sure there has been a crime but, what is real and what is imagined? Amy Adams stars in the Netflix adaptation of this unreliable narrator book.
I could not put this story down when I first read it. It takes place in a suburban suburb of Philly and explores the vicious habits of the old money elite.
There are so many big reveals in this book but beware – there is a trigger-inducing rape scene in the story that is difficult to read. The author drew from her own experience when writing it so proceed with caution if that’s a trigger for you. The Netflix book adaptation stars Mila Kunis and was produced by Reese Witherspoon.
The story is one that could have been plucked from the headline in any major city’s newspaper. James, a young, good-looking politician who is married with two young children has been caught having an affair. What he claims was one last consensual tryst, which she claims is rape.
The story slowly unfolds from the point of view of both the wife and the lawyer who is trying the case. The premise of this book is very relevant. It is well-written and well-researched. I think I expected the story to be more fast-paced and at times I felt like it was a little bit too long.
There were some definite surprises along the way; however, I don’t think I felt connected enough to the characters to be shocked. Sienna Miller stars in the Netflix book adaptation.
Dan Brown found a way to incorporate symbolism and brilliant riddles into this modern-day mystery. The plot does not slow for a minute from the first page to the last. This is one of our favorite mystery books.
It is the first in the Robert Langdon series and my favorite as well. This story revolves around an Illuminati plot against the Catholic Church. The Tom Hanks-led Netflix book adaptation is worth a watch!
Netflix Book Adaptations For Teens
Imagine if all your past crushes found out you liked them all at once. EEK! That’s what happens to the heroine, Lara Jean Covey when the love letters she wrote get mailed! While this is a romance novel, the series works for our books about sisters post too!
I love Lara Jean – she is quirky, cute, and totally reminds me of me in high school – except she gets to date the most popular boy at school. But their relationship is fake —- or is it? This is a great YA fake dating book and while not necessarily enemies by the strict meaning of the word, we wanted to include this in our enemies-to-lovers books. And you can check out Best YA Romance Books to Indulge in Now for more books like it.
When it comes to books set in Italy that are escapist reads, this one is tops! In addition to offering a perfect description of all things food-related (yum), there was a sweet romance included.
It was like a double scoop of happiness. There are two more ya romance books in the series and I think I would like to indulge in both! The Netflix book adaption is a charming one.
You might want to bump this series to the top of your reading pile because it’s becoming a movie starring some big-name actors.
Sophie thinks her history makes her a good fit for the School of Good like Cinderella and Snow White before her. Agatha is thinking the School of Evil is a better fit for her. But when the opposite schools are assigned to each girl, they need to figure out who they really are and where they belong.
This is one of the books similar to Percy Jackson we recommend for kids who love Camp Half-Blood. And, this middle-grade fantasy was just made into a movie as well! It was recently turned into a Netflix book adaptation starring Kerry Washington.
Royal vampires and their bodyguards train at the famed Vampire Academy where this book is set. Lissa is a princess and her best friend, Rose, is preparing to be her protector. This is a ya fantasy that is not to be missed.
When a series of crazy events threaten Lissa’s safety, Rose is on a mission to figure out who is behind the threats….. if she doesn’t get distracted while lusting over her teacher first. If you like the Zodiac Academy books, we think you will love this pick from fantasy romance books for teens!
Violet and Finch meet unexpectedly on the top of the bell tower at school. She is counting the days until graduation will take her away and he is finding reasons to keep on going.
This is a love story that you will not forget. This one deals with depression and teen suicide, so be aware of that if those are potential triggers.
Best Netflix Book Adaptations: Children’s Books
My mother was the first person to read this middle grade book to me and I was immediately drawn to Anne. She was smart, precocious, and has a way of making everyone love her while simultaneously finding new ways to get into trouble.
I read this coming-of-age book again when I was a teenager and then again as an adult. I will be reading this to my daughter next. Every time I read it, I am able to capture more of the nuances that are hidden within the pages. This is a beautiful book about friendship and found family.
I am not sure if this realistic fiction book is more popular in Canada but, one day I hope to visit Prince Edward Island. This is one of my (Jackie) all-time favorite books.
This pick from our list of mystery books for tweens is another middle-grade story that adults will enjoy too. Mr. Lemoncello’s library is one of a kind. It’s full of holograms, logic puzzles, and hidden games.
To officially open the new library, a few lucky kids get to spend the night inside as they try to win Mr. Lemoncello’s game and be the first team to escape. If you are looking for great bedtime stories for kids, this series will hit the mark. This is also a great read-aloud book for you and your child to enjoy together.
Matilda is a magical little girl who loves books. Stuck in a family that doesn’t value education, her life is changed when she meets Ms. Honey at her new school.
But the principal, Miss Trunchbull hates children. When she terrorizes the kids at her new school, Matilda finds the power to fight back. The Netflix book adaption of this one is a musical!
The babysitters are back and updated for a new generation! I love that the stories in this series have been adapted into graphic novels.
The very first one, Kristy’s Great Idea, is about the formation of the Baby-Sitters Club and how the friends of the sitters developed. If you have middle schoolers, they should check out the Netflix book adaptation of this realistic fiction series.
Ada is a thinker whose questions often lead to disasters in the house but, as a parent, how do you encourage your child’s outside-the-box thinking?
It’s Llama Llama’s first day of preschool and he is overwhelmed with feelings. He is trying to get used to the new toys and new surroundings but he just misses his mama.
Soon he learns that it’s OK to love mama and have fun at school too. This was recently turned into a Netflix book adaptation starring Jennifer Garner.
Beatrix Potter’s Tales of Peter Rabbit are some of the most beloved stories in children’s literature. Her fantastic illustrations and Peter’s engrossing escapades have stood the test of time.
I was so pleased when I learned there would be a movie adaptation of the series. This book is one that should be on every kid’s bookshelf! And don’t forget to watch the netflix book adaptation!
Best Netflix Book Adaptations: Non-Fiction
There is no surprise that this feel-good nonfiction book was made into a movie. The story is just so compelling. When the Nazis invade Poland, the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo have their animal collection ransacked. They decide to hide fleeing Jewish people in the now empty animal homes.
I loved this book and I am so glad that I listened to this one. Suzanne Toren reads it beautifully. Her wonderful accents and pronunciation of the words I surely would have butchered with my attempts added to the book. And if you love novels about animals, this is a wonderful choice.
May 2019 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick
I knew what this book was about before reading it and I was still not prepared for the heartbreak and beauty within the pages. This memoir is truly a love letter to Tembi’s husband who died from cancer. This is an incredibly sad book that had me in tears.
The descriptions of the food, the people, and the love she had for her husband are unlike anything that I have read before. This is a five-star book about grief if you can read through heartache. It’s one of the Netflix book adaptations I’m planning on watching.
Netflix book adaptations are not just for stories! This cleaning method was also recently adapted and for good reason.
The method is extreme but effective. You basically have to get messy to get clean. Her method calls for collecting every item of a specific category and putting it in the middle of the room. You then touch every item and decided if it makes you happy and/or serves a purpose. You discard what doesn’t make you happy and keep what does. It’s intense and time-consuming, but it really does work.
The only missing area from the book is the kids’ spaces. I used the basics of this method and applied it to declutter my kids’ rooms. Did you see those results?
I originally read this for a book club and was one of my favorite non-fiction books. I don’t love the now-famous Netflix series of the same name, but I did love the book. A suburban mother goes to prison for a crime she committed a decade before. Her inside look at the American prison system is fascinating. This is one of the OG Netflix book adaptations.