Art of Adaptation

This series ended December 2021.

A Unique Book/Film Series

The series explores movie adaptations of books.  Each month, participants read a designated book.  On the second Wednesday evening of the month at 7:00 p.m., we gather at the library to watch the movie adaptation, followed by an informal discussion exploring how the adaptation stacked up, and the strengths and weaknesses of different storytelling media. 

NOTE: The series began during the COVID pandemic as a totally online experience, with the discussion occurring on Zoom.  Starting with the October 2021 selection (Girl with a Pearl Earring), we will be watching the movie together in the library Meeting Room, followed by a discussion.  If you’d like to watch the movie beforehand, please feel free.

The books and movies are available to borrow free from Gates Public Library, or to download/stream from the library’s OverDrive and Hoopla services (details below).


Starting in October 2021, all screenings will start at 7:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month in the library Meeting Room. 

October 13: (Signup)
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier (book 1999, film 2003).
Chevalier’s historical novel was inspired by Johannes Vermeer’s celebrated 17th- century painting of the same name, and presents a fictionalized account of the relationship between artist and model.  The screen adaptation stars Scarlett Johansson as the model, Griet, with Coin Forth as Vermeer.  Nominated for many awards, the film deservedly won several for its luminous cinematography.

[ Check out ebook or e-audiobook on OverDrive | Stream Movie on Hoopla ]


November 10: (Signup)
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (book 1989, film 1993).
Tan’s bestselling novel focuses on four Chinese-American families living in San Francisco, exploring the conflicting expectations of the China-born mothers and their assimilated American daughters.  Tan adapted her own novel (with Ronald Bass) for the film version, which was later selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

[ Check out ebook or e-audiobook on OverDrive | Stream Movie on Hoopla ]

December 15: (Signup)
A Christmas Carol
 by Charles Dickens (book 1843, film 1951).

(Please note that this program is the 3rd Wednesday of the month rather than the usual 2nd Wednesday)

Celebrate the holiday with the 1951 British adaptation of Dickens’ classic, starring the wonderful Alastair Sim as Scrooge.  There have been numerous adaptations of Christmas Carol through the years, but this is arguably the best.

[ Multiple ebook and e-audiobook copies are available on OverDrive ]


Copies of the books will be available for checkout at Gates Public Library one month prior to the discussion date.  To borrow, you’ll need a library card from Gates or another public library in Monroe County (how to get a card).  Most titles (as indicated above) are available in e-book and e-audiobook formats from OverDrive, though the number of e-copies is generally low.

The movies can be watched either by streaming them from Hoopla using the links above, or borrowing DVD and/or Blu-ray copies from Gates Public Library.  To use Hoopla, you must have a Gates Public Library card, or a card from another subscribing MCLS library (Chili, Fairport, Greece, Irondequoit, Pittsford, Rochester Public Library).