1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Come on, what else was I going to start this list with? There are obvious flaws with the film adaptation (‘HARRY, DID YOU PUT YER NAME IN THE GOBLET OF FIRE?!’) but overall I think a fantastic job was done turning these books into a visual medium. The atmosphere, the sense of magic, the great cast of British actors, and not to mention the music (who doesn’t get chills when they hear Hedwig’s Theme, seriously?). The films were never going to have as much depth and detail as the books, but that’s how adaptations work. I would highly recommend both the books and the films – and if you love the films, definitely visit the studio tour in London.

2. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Another obvious one, I know, but there’s no denying the fantastic work the writers did compressing the books into three films without losing much of the important stuff. The films managed to replicate what Tolkien did best: creating war on a huge scale whilst never losing sight of the people at the core of the story. If you’re a fan of the books but have yet to see the films, put aside your doubts and strap yourself in (for about 12 hours) for one hell of a ride. (As much as I loved Martin Freeman as Bilbo, The Hobbit definitely does NOT makes its way onto this list).

3. Atonement by Ian McEwan

Maybe a slightly less obvious one? I wasn’t actually that fond of this book; I enjoyed the story, I just don’t get on all that well with McEwan’s writing. The film, however, is great Sunday afternoon viewing. Sun-drenched manor house grounds give way to sandy beaches covered in WWII soldiers like crawling ants. The cinematography is beautiful, the acting is great (yes, even Kiera Knightley) and the story is haunting.

4. Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

It took me a moment to decide between Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes and the BBC Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch. In the end, I had to go with the BBC version. What can I say? It’s perfection. It captures everything essential about the Victorian short stories written by Conan Doyle and transports it brilliantly into the modern day. Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman make a great double act, and I absolutely love Andrew Scott as Moriarty. The series has humour, drama and everything in between. There are a couple of weak episodes (cough cough, The Blind Banker, cough) which is a shame seeing as there aren’t that many of them. But the writing is fantastic and I can’t wait to see what the next series will bring (and the Christmas special!!)

5. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

And another obvious one to finish. The TV series has definitely gone downhill in the last two series, which is a huge shame, but the glory of the first few series can never be forgotten. They managed to take the sprawling world of Martin’s imagination, filled with hundreds of different characters, and portray it brilliantly on screen. Yes there are massive discrepancies between book and TV show, but that is bound to happen. Backstabbing politics, murder and sex – what more can you ask for?