Sometimes the movies and TV adaptations are just as good as the books. 

By Madeline Raynor, Isabella Biedenharn, Nivea Serrao, Christina Ciammaichelli, Christian Holub
Updated February 02, 2017
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Adapted Entertainment
Credit: MARK ROGERS; MERRICK MORTON; BYRON COHEN /FX; HELEN SLOAN/HBO; HOPPER STONE

This article originally appeared on Entertainment Weekly.

In 2016, dozens of nonfiction page turners, thrilling novels, and electric short stories were turned into films and TV shows that delighted audiences around the world. In the midst of an award season that's honoring work like Hidden Figures and American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson, EW revisits 13 pieces of literature that are excelling on the screen.

Adapted Entertainment
Credit: MARK ROGERS; MERRICK MORTON; BYRON COHEN /FX; HELEN SLOAN/HBO; HOPPER STONE

1
Lion based on A Long Way Home: A Memoir by Saroo Brierley

Having been adopted as a child by an Australian couple, Saroo Brierley documents not just his childhood, but also his search for his Indian roots, the family he doesn’t remember, and his success finding them—all with the help of Google Earth. Order it here!

2
Silence based on Shusaku Endo’s Silence

It took him almost 30 years, but Martin Scorsese finally adapted Shusaku Endo’s acclaimed 1966 novel about Jesuit missionaries sent to feudal Japan. There, anti-Catholic persecution makes the missionaries (including Andrew Garfield's Father Rodrigues) question their faith. Order it here!

3
Nocturnal Animals based on Tony and Susan by Austin Wright

Tom Ford wrote and directed this glamorous but gruesome adaptation of Wright’s novel, in which a woman’s (Amy Adams) estranged ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal) sends her his latest manuscript — a disturbing story that seems to be about them. Order it here!

4
American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson based on The Run of His Life by Jeffrey Toobin

Ryan Murphy’s limited series, star of the 2016 Emmy Awards, was inspired by Toobin’s 1997 account of the O.J. Simpson trial and its compelling characters, from prosecutor Marcia Clark (Sarah Paulson) to Simpson himself (played by Cuba Gooding, Jr.). Order it here!

5
Arrival based on Ted Chaing’s “The Story Of Your Life”

The original source material for Arrivallanded back in 2002 in the form of Ted Chiang’s award-winning science fiction short story. The tale of a race of aliens making contact with humankind and the linguistic professor who is roped into interpreting their attempts at communication is no easy read. Chiang uses different tenses—future, past, and present—to construct the complex and tangled narrative. Order it here!

6
Elle based on Oh… by Philippe Dijan

This psychological thriller based on the novel Oh…. by Phillipe Dijan stars Isabelle Huppert as a businesswoman who plots revenge against the unknown, masked man who raped her. Huppert's performance was already recognized with a Best Actress Golden Globe and an Oscar nod. Order it here!

7
Hidden Figures based on Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

Shetterly tells the stories of the four “human computers” responsible for some of scientific breakthroughs that led to NASA’s greatest achievements, including astronaut John Glenn’s orbit around the Earth, while also framing the four black women’s (Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Christine Darden) lives against both the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War. Order it here!

8
Game of Thrones based on A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

The Wars of the Roses with dragons, Game of Thrones is a medieval fantasy/political drama hybrid that has captivated pop culture for the past few years thanks to its deep, vibrant cast of characters and seemingly endless supply of insane plot twists. Order it here!

9
The Night Manager based on The Night Manager by John le Carré

In the BBC One adaptation of Le Carré’s The Night Manager, the titular hotel manager (and former soldier; played by Tom Hiddleston) faces off against a billionaire arms dealer (Hugh Laurie). The miniseries aired stateside on AMC. Order it here!

10
Fences based on Fences by August Wilson

The most famous entry in August Wilson’s award-winning “Pittsburgh cycle” of plays tells the story of the Maxsons, a working-class African-American family struggling with secrets in 1950s Pittsburgh. The patriarch, Troy, is a former star athlete who never broke through the still-segregated MLB. He takes out his lingering resentments on his son and wife, who fire back in their own ways to create a beautiful, honest, three-dimensional portrait of American family life and the tolls of racism. Order it here!

11
Hacksaw Ridge based on Redemption at Hacksaw Ridge by Booton Herdon

Booton Herdon’s biography of World War II conscientious objector Desmond Doss inspired Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson’s return to directing and a contender for Best Picture at the Oscars. Andrew Garfield stars as Doss, a war hero and the first person to win the Medal of Honor without ever firing a gun. Order it here!

12
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The 2015 best-seller that swept the globe (and keeps on sweeping), Paula Hawkins’s thriller follows an alcoholic divorcee (Emily Blunt) who thinks she may have witnessed a crime from the window of her commuter train. But as she entangles herself in the police investigation, she becomes a suspect herself. Blunt received a SAG nomination for her portrayal of Rachel Watson in the 2016 film, which moved the action from London, in the book, to suburban New York. Order it here!