For as long as the Covid-19 pandemic lasts, there will be certain things we can’t do. Our favorite restaurants may be closed, our vacations might have been cancelled, and we may not be able to throw dinner parties for a crowd anytime soon. But there are still plenty of things to enjoy, and three of our most-cherished pastimes — reading, watching TV, and shopping online — all come together with some standout recent book-to-movie adaptations streaming on HBO and Hulu (subscriptions starting at $5.99/month).
The five blockbusters below are some of our current obsessions (plus one that’s coming in the fall) — and all of them inspired us to indulge in a little retail therapy. Buy the books, watch the shows, and shop the products they made us covet!
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My Brilliant Friend: Marcato Pasta Machine
Marcato Atlas 150 Pasta Machine: $99.95, Walmart
The best-selling Neapolitan series, by Elena Ferrante, is made up of four novels: My Brilliant Friend; The Story of a New Name; Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay; and The Story of the Lost Child. HBO’s beautifully filmed adaptation, now in its second season, follows the characters of Elena and Lila around the sun-soaked Italian countryside, through the many ups and downs of their friendship, and various romantic entanglements. Watching it made us want nothing more than to be in Italy ourselves — but second best to that, we can make our own pasta to enjoy while we rewatch the first season, catch up on the second, and reread the entire book series.
Normal People: Eternal Sunshine Black Midi Dress
Eternal Sunshine Black Midi Dress: $56, Red Dress Boutique
Sally Rooney’s acclaimed second novel, Normal People, made us remember the aching vulnerability of first love, as Connell and Marianne navigate a relationship strained by class differences, family drama, and ambition. The Hulu series — 12 episodes available to stream now — is just as good as the book, and maybe even better, because we get to see Marianne’s fashion choices impeccably brought to life by costume designer Lorna Marie Mugan. We wanted every dress she wore, but one in particular, the black spaghetti-strapped sundress she sported in episode eight, sent us searching for a similar style, which we found at Red Dress Boutique!
I Know This Much Is True: Luna Weighted Blanket
Luna Weighted Blanket: $136.99, Amazon
We’re not going to lie: this powerful Wally Lamb best-seller about identical twins — one of whom suffers from schizophrenia — is a painful read. The HBO series, starring Mark Ruffalo in an extraordinary performance as both twins, is just as rough. It’s also masterfully written and acted, and worth the emotional roller coaster. We suggest reading and watching it while cuddled under this weighted blanket to soothe your anxiety. (Don’t forget the tissues!)
Little Fires Everywhere: Black Swan Wine Glasses
Black Swan Crystal Stemless Wineglasses: $73.99 for a set of 4, Wayfair
If you liked Big Little Lies (the show or the book!), you’ll love Little Fires Everywhere, written by Celeste Ng and adapted for Hulu by Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, who also star in the series. You’ll want a glass of wine in your hand as you soak up the drama of single mom Mia and her daughter Pearl, who move to the picture-perfect town of Shaker Heights, Ohio, where their lives become fatefully intertwined with the wealthy Richardson family. These stemless crystal wineglasses are the perfect companion for this story of motherhood, class, identity, and secrets that come back to haunt you from the past.
The Undoing: Mighty Bright Book Light
Mighty Bright WonderFlex Rechargeable Book Light: $31.99, Amazon
This psychological thriller from HBO starring Nicole Kidman is based on the unputdownable book You Should Have Known, by Jean Hanff Korelitz, and was due to debut in May. However, due to Covid-19, the premiere has been delayed until the fall of 2020. That’s okay though, because that gives us plenty of time to devour the book. It’s about a successful New York City therapist and mother who moves in elite circles, and whose life falls apart just before the publication of her first book. The description promises “a violent death, a missing husband … [and] a chain of terrible revelations.” You’ll want to stay up all night finishing this one, and that calls for a rechargeable book light!