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MJ’s Top 9 Novels Made into a TV Series or Mini-Series

Time for another list blog. This time let’s share our favourite mini-series or TV series that are based on books or short stories. My list is not complete and there are many other miniseries that I have enjoyed both the books and the TV adaptations for, such as Outlander and Alias Grace, but I wouldn’t rank them as the best. There are also many out there that I haven’t seen, and/or haven’t read the book for, and it isn’t fair to rank them, such as Thorn Birds and One Flew of the Cuckoo’s Nest. Though I have boldly put two Jane Austen adaptations on the list when I haven’t read the books; I’m basing my opinion on my husband’s reliable interpretation. Finally, some I just didn’t enjoy either the book or the miniseries, such as Normal People. I wanted to like it, I just didn’t.

For a full novel, I think miniseries are easier to do than a movie. I am loving the way creating miniseries of books is becoming so popular and is being done so well.

1. Anne of Green Gables, the 1985 miniseries

Yes, it was also on my Christmas movies list, but it tops almost all lists when it comes to the screen.

2. Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan with John Krasinski

The first season was amazing, and the second one was also good. I wish they could get back to filming for season three!

3. Pride and Prejudice, the 1995 version with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth

It’s Jane Austen, with Colin Firth. What more is there to say? To be fair, I haven’t read the book but now that I’ve seen this I will always see Jennifer and Colin as Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy and I’m not sure I can read the book.

4. Big Little Lies

A friend gave me her copy of the book to read and I had never heard of Liane Moriarty (I know, surprising, eh?), I really enjoyed it. When the miniseries came out, I had to watch it and even my husband liked it. Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films are doing some amazing productions these days.

5. Little Fires Everywhere

Again, Hello Sunshine is involved. Though I have heard lots of complaints about it not being true to the book. All I remembered from the book was that I loved it, so I really can’t compare the two except to say I know I enjoyed both of them.

6. The Stand the 1994 version

The casting for this one was well done. I loved Gary Sinise as Stu and Laura San Giacomo played a great Nadine.

7. Pillars of the Earth

I read this book in 1994 and I do not remember it too well to compare it to the miniseries, but I loved both.

8. Sense and Sensibility the 1995 version with Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant

Again, it’s Jane Austen with some amazing actors and actresses, so it was destined to be good. Once again, I haven’t read the book. One of my 2022 goals is to read one Jane Austen book I haven’t seen a movie or miniseries of. Any suggestions?

9. The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen 83 ¼ Years Old, in Dutch, Het geheime dagboek van Hendrik Groen

The miniseries is in Dutch so I probably only understood about 60% to 70% of it, however; it was adapted so well. I wish they would put English subtitles on it so I could share it with friends who don’t speak Dutch. However, the book is available in English and I highly recommend it.

Now that you have read through my favourites, I’d love to hear from all of you what your favourites are.

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