After seeing the film The Golden Compass a few weeks back I decided to get the books and have a read. The film is based on the book Northern Lights by Philip Pullman.
Normally you expect some differences from the book to the film but in this case it's a whole different story. The story has a completely different point. It's up there with the Bourne Trilogy for films having little relation to the books.
If you liked the film, read the book, it's better, it's edgier and it's more rewarding.