Every English class has read F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," and the slim novella has been made into a movie more than once. In 1974, Robert Redford and Mia Farrow played star-crossed lovers Gatsby and Daisy, and in 2013, Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan gave the roles a go -- in 3-D.
Ian Fleming created James Bond in 1953, taking his name from the author of a book about birds of the West Indies. Fleming told the New Yorker that he wanted an uninteresting name to make it clear Bond was a neutral figure whom exciting things happened to, and said James Bond was "the dullest name I ever heard." Seven actors have played the spy in 25 films, but Sean Connery, seen here in 1964's "Goldfinger," is a favorite of many moviegoers.
Readers loved Margaret Mitchell's 1936 bestselling Civil War saga "Gone With the Wind" so much that they took a deep interest in the casting of Rhett and Scarlett. Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh ended up with the iconic roles. Producer David O. Selznick pursued Gable for the part for two years, and more than 1,400 women were considered for the role of Scarlett.
J.K. Rowling went from rags to riches with her book series about young wizazd Harry Potter. Once a struggling single mother, she's now one of the world's richest women. Her seven novels about Harry discovering his magic and enrolling at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry have sold more than 400 million copies. The ensuing movies were just as popular, and made stars of young actors Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, who grew up with the roles.
Like J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer was unheard of before a dream of a girl and a vampire set her to create the "Twilight" books. The four books took human Bella and vampire Edward through school, graduation, and a most unusual parenthood, with plenty of vampire battles along the way. The movies cast Kristen Stewart as Bella, Robert Pattinson as Edward, and Taylor Lautner as hunky shape-shifting wolf Jacob, sparking endless preteen battles over which supernatural male reigned supreme. Pattinson and Stewart's offscreen relationship only fanned the flames of interest.
Yann Martel's 2001 novel "Life of Pi" was a bestseller and a book club favorite, but many thought it was so fantastical as to be unfilmable. Director Ang Lee proved them wrong, and the 2012 film won four Oscars, including best director for Lee.
The Watergate scandal captivated the nation in the early 1970s, and Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward's reporting led the way. Robert Redford played Woodward and Dustin Hoffman played Bernstein in the 1976 film based on the reporters' own 1974 book.
J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" has been a favorite of fantasy fans for decades, and has inspired numerous adaptations. But none has been as praised as the recent film trilogy, co-written and directed by Peter Jackson and starring Elijah Wood as hobbit Frodo Baggins.
Readers ate up Suzanne Collins' "Hunger Games" book trilogy, and a movie series was the natural next step. Jennifer Lawrence took on the role of heroine Katniss Everdeen, who takes her young sister's place in a tournament where children fight to the death.
Plenty of Stephen King's horror novels have been adapted into movies, but the 1977 book "The Shining," which became a film in 1980, might be the most critically acclaimed. Jack Nicholson took on the role of writer Jack Torrance, who finds himself slowly going insane while trapped in an isolated hotel with his family. Stanley Kubrick directed the horror classic.
In 2003, it seemed everyone at airports and bus stops was clutching a copy of Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code." The bestseller became a film in 2006, with Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou in starring roles.
Before Dan Brown's books were the classic airport read, it was John Grisham who ruled the terminal bookstore with his law thrillers. Grisham's 1991 bestseller "The Firm" became a 1993 film starring Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman.
Robert Benchley's 1974 novel "Jaws" scared some people out of the water, but it was the 1975 movie, starring Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw, that really kept Americans on the beach.
Michael Crichton's 1990 novel "Jurassic Park" created an unforgettable theme park with real dinosaurs. Disaster inevitably ensued, as did the hit movie in 1993. Laura Dern and Sam Neill's characters tried to warn park owner John Hammond (Sir Richard Attenborough) that his park was doomed, but if he'd listened, there woudln't have been a movie.
Tom Clancy's military thrillers are almost always bestsellers. Submarine drama "The Hunt for Red October" was a book in 1984 and a hit thriller starring Sean Connerty in 1990.
Novelist Robert Ludlum created Jason Bourne in the 1980 spy thrilled "The Bourne Identity," and Matt Damon played him in the 2002 movie. Damon played Bourne in two more movies but the fourth film, "The Bourne Legacy," shifted focus off Bourne and starred Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross instead.
Ken Kesey wrote "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" in 1962 and Jack Nicholson starred in the 1975 film, which won all five major Oscars. It won for best picture, actor for Nicholson, actress for Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched, director for Milos Forman, and best adapted screenplay for Laurence Hauben and Bo Goldman's version of Kesey's novel.