So, in no particular order...
Probably a pretty obvious choice. I admit, I was a late adopter of Harry Potter - the fifth book had been released before I picked any of them up, but when I did I was immediately hooked. Watching the films was a must, and I've enjoyed most of them. They've done an absolutely brilliant job of turning some pretty complex books into engaging films. Granted, they couldn't follow the books to the letter because otherwise the films would have been hours and hours long, but they were as faithful as they could be... with the exception of Deathly Hallows Part One, which may as well have been called "Harry, Hermione and Ron Go Camping" - don't get me wrong, the scenery was gorgeous and parts were needed to further the plot, but if much of that had been cut out, they could have gotten the final book into one film.
The Lord of the Rings
I never read these books at school, like many people did. In fact, I was pretty oblivious to them until the first film came out at the cinema, and I was dragged along to see it. I was astonished to find I absolutely adored it, and saw The Fellowship of the Ring two or three more times at the cinema, and immediately went out and bought all three books, as well as The Hobbit. I was totally and utterly hooked, and have lots of memorabilia, figurines, film cells, etc. I admit, I haven't read the books for a while, but I re-watched the extended editions of all three films before the first part of The Hobbit came out at the cinema and still think they're masterpieces. It's clear to me that making those films wasn't just a job, it was a labour of love. And for that reason I adore them and despite the fact they're pretty damn long, I'll watch them again and again.
A show to keep you on the edge of your seat. It's gone a long, long way away from the books, and I don't think that's a bad thing. I've read nearly all of the books and got pretty fed up, I must admit. I think they're now just being churned out by the ghostwriters in order to make more money. There's no love. The show, on the other hand, is dark, sexy, occasionally funny, emotional, well-casted and continually surprising. It makes me cry on a regular basis, makes me gasp and, of course, makes me drool. What can I say, I'm a sucker (no pun intended) for Damon Salvatore. This is definitely one of my favourite shows and I'll be a fan until the bitter end.
This is more adult than The Vampire Diaries, with lots more gore and blood, which I would say is pretty true to the books. I've read all the books currently available and think they're brilliant, if a little formulaic. There have been quite a few changes between the books and the films, but I can see why they've been made. However, I would say that as the seasons have gone on, the show has fallen a tad flat. Granted, it's still action-packed and full of sexy men, which keeps me watching, but I did (spoiler alert!) get fed up of the whole vampire council thing, where they were worshipping Lillith - or thought they were. Hopefully, though, it'll pick back up and maybe go back to some of the stronger plotting from the books. We shall see.
Wow - a contemporary in this list! Yes, I know this is totally different to all the others I've mentioned, but I just can't help it. I'm a huge Bridget fan - both of the books and the films. I love the humour, the realism, Bridget's self-deprecation, and the two films out so far I can pretty much quote line for line, and yet I watch them over, and over, and over... they're not fantasy, they're not magical, there are no vampires, but I still adore Bridget, her men and her world.
So, what are your favourite book adaptations? I may well revisit this topic in future, when I've had chance to devour more books :)
Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over seventy publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include Best Bondage Erotica 2012 and 2013, and Best Women's Erotica 2013. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies. She owns Erotica For All, and is book editor for Cliterati. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9