It’s no secret that Netflix loves to adapt a book into a film or bingeable TV series. We’ve seen it happen a hundred times over, from Virgin River to Bridgerton. But how many of you reading this can honestly say you’ve read the book to every Netflix original? Yeah, we thought just as much and so did Netflix, which is why they’ve just announced that they are launching a book club!
Last Wednesday saw Netflix announce that they would be setting up a book club to encourage book lovers and film fanatics alike to come together through the power of storytelling.
Want in? Read on to find out more about the streaming giant’s new book club…
What’s it all about then?
Honestly, where would we be without Netflix? Since launching in the early 2010s, it’s gone on to provide us with endless hours of laughter, escapism and gritty crime documentaries that you can’t help but binge through. We’ve fallen in love with characters like Lara Jean from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, uncovered the mysterious works of A Series of Unfortunate Events and learnt far too much about serial killers. Whether you have an account or you pinch your boyfriend’s aunts account, we’re all addicted.
And now the streaming service is taking us on a new adventure, through the form of a virtual book club, where we learn about the original stories that inspired so many of our favourite Netflix shows and films.
The Netflix Book Club will see bookworms and avid film watchers join together through a shared love for the characters. In partnership with Starbucks, they want us to see how the latest book-to-screen adaptations work, so they’ll encourage us to read the novels and watch the film or series adaptations, and then the host (more on who it is later…) will sit down with the stars and storytellers behind the adaptations over a cup or two of coffee. Expect to get a deep dive into the topics, themes, characters and stories that have been brought to life through paper and screen.
The underlying hope is to champion curiosity and the art of storytelling through a combined love of books and films (or TV series).
Who’ll be hosting?
If you haven’t already clocked who it is on the Netflix promo poster, then listen up… Uzo Aduba will be leading the way by hosting the new book club. You might recognise her from role as Suzanne ‘Crazy Eyes’ in Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black, which also just so happens to be a book-to-series adaptation (yep, we’re only just finding this out too).
“As someone who has starred in a successful book adaptation on Netflix, I know there is a lot that happens between the page and screen. Now, as the host of this brand new club, I’m so excited to bring you an ever-evolving, curated collection of newly adapted books that you will then get to watch on Netflix soon after,” she wrote, when commenting on the new book club.
Just from watching the trailer, we can already tell she’s going to be full of passion from the outset. Over on the Netflix Book Club website, she’s eager to stress that “This is not your average book club”. So if you’re sitting there scratching your head wondering if it’ll be like doing an English Literature degree at uni, thankfully it won’t be. Uzo said, “Where you’ve already finished the book or are waiting to read it once you’ve watched it first, that’s up to you!” which is super reassuring. We can’t wait to see what inquisitive questions she’ll be asking the authors and stars.
What’s the first book to read?
There was a lot of speculation over what the first book-to-adaptation would be, whether it would be one we’ve already seen like Bridgerton or Netflix’s latest drama Maid, but it was announced on Thursday that the first Netflix Book Club novel would in fact be Nella Larsen’s Passing.
As Netflix describes, Passing follows ‘two black women (Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga) who are white-passing. However, in spite of their shared foundation, each woman chooses to live on the opposite side of the color line in 1929 New York’.
When will it kick off?
Powerful and thought-provoking, Passing will be available to stream from 10th November so you’d best get cracking on Nella’s novel if you’re planning to read it before the film lands on the streaming site.
Uzo’s first episode of But Have you Read the Book? Will air on 16th November. She’ll sit down with Rebecca Hall, Ruth Negga and André Holland to explore how the story was brought to life on screen.