Book to movie adaptations always leave me a little trepidatious. I’m excited by the idea of a favourite book (YAY!) and possibly a favourite actor (DOUBLE YAY!) coming together on the big screen—but will the director stay true to the story, or will their interpretation (GASP!) somehow ruin it?
There are a lot of books being adapted into movies this year across a range of genres. Whatever you like to read, there’s something for everyone, so check out these books to read before they become movies.
Kids Books Becoming Movies
1. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
How many of us remember the small, white-covered books from our childhood? The beautiful illustrations by Beatrix Potter of anthropomorphic bunnies in coats and hats? This enduring classic—which tells the story of the rascally rabbit’s (no, not that wascally wabbit) daring attempts on Mr. McGregor’s vegetable garden—lands on the big screen in February. Our favourite Carpool Karaoke host, James Corden, voices the cheeky rabbit, Peter.
2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
It’s been over 55 years since Madeleine L’Engle first published A Wrinkle in Time. Since then, generations of readers have fallen in love with Meg, a misfit teen, as she travels through space and time in an attempt to rescue her father, whose mysterious research on tesseracts may have led to his disappearance. With Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pine and Mindy Kaling headlining, this film has star power that’s out of this world. It’s due for release in March.
A Wrinkle in Time is available from the Edmonton Public Library as a book, 50th anniversary edition book, movie tie-in edition book, eBook, 50th anniversary edition eBook, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook, graphic novel and graphic novel on eBook.
3. The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs
This is a gothic horror for the younger crowd, with original illustrations by Edward Gorey. Orphaned Lewis goes to live with his Uncle Jonathan—who turns out to be a warlock—in a creepy old house with a clock in the walls, ticking, ticking off the minutes until doomsday. Can Lewis and his uncle foil a dead magician's evil plot to end the world? Jack Black is the well-intentioned but not so powerful Uncle Jonathan facing off against the epically evil Isaac Izard played by Kyle MacLachlan. See the sorcery on the screen in September.
Young Adult Books Becoming Movies
4. Ophelia by Lisa Klein
What if Ophelia didn’t die? In this re-imagining of Hamlet narrated by Ophelia, we learn more about the back story of the doomed lovers and see a strong female protagonist who decides that, contrary to what the men in her life say, a convent or death are not her only options. This girl power flick is timely. And what’s a film season without a new take on Shakespeare? Daisy Ridley and George MacKay star as the star-crossed lovers in Ophelia, due for release in January.
5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
In 2044 the virtual society created by the massively multiplayer online role-playing game, The Oasis, is both a reprieve from the dystopia the world has become and the location of a hidden treasure. Pop culture from the 1980s holds the clues to finding this bounty, so buckle up as Wade Watts, a teenager from the trailer park, plays the game of a lifetime. Whether you’re a gamer, a geek or you’re all about nostalgia, the original book is worth reading. Ready Player One joins our reality in March.
6. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
In The Darkest Minds, Ruby is one of the lucky 2 per cent to survive the IAAN virus… if by lucky you mean she’s developed psychic abilities that landed her in a government-controlled internment camp. Now a powerful psychic who can control the minds of others, Ruby discovers her newfound powers mean the government wants to control her. Amandla Stenberg and Harris Dickinson star as Ruby and Liam, on the run for their lives—encountering Mandy Moore and Gwendoline Christie as friend and foe along the way. The Darkest Minds hits theatres in September.
Adult Fiction Books Becoming Movies
7. Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews
Who says the Cold War is over? It’s spy vs. spy in this thriller which pits Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova, a Red Sparrow seductress, against newbie CIA officer Nathaniel Nash. Author Jason Matthews is a former CIA operative and his insider knowledge of espionage and counterintelligence will have you on the edge of your seat. Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton steam up the screen with forbidden passion in March.
8. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Cate Blanchett stars as agoraphobic, misanthropic architect Bernadette who disappears the day before a family trip to Antarctica. To find her mother, 15-year-old Bee gathers invoices, e-mails, official documents and secret correspondence. Then she sets off on a caper to not only locate Bernadette, but also discover who she really is. Kristen Wiig joins Cate Blanchett as over the top feuding neighbours in the movie version, out in May.
Where’d you Go, Bernadette is available from the Edmonton Public Library as a book, eBook, large print edition, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook and as a book club kit if you want to read as a group.
9. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
When a book she once owned turns up in the hands of Dawsey Adams—a member of the very unusual book club, the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—writer Juliet Ashton begins a correspondence with the society's members. Enthralled by their stories, she travels to Guernsey, where the small island ends having a huge impact on her life. Delivered to the screen in April, Lily James and Michiel Huisman star as the pen pals at the centre of the story.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is available from the Edmonton Public Library as a book, eBook, large print edition, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook and as a book club kit if you want to read as a group.
Adult Nonfiction Books Becoming Movies
10. Boy Erased: A Memoir by Garrard Conley
When Garrard, the son of a small-town America Baptist pastor, is outed to his parents as gay, he is given a choice: attend a gay conversion therapy program or else be shunned by his family, friends and church. Lucas Hedges stars as Garrard, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe play his parents and Joel Edgerton takes on the role of the head therapist. Boy Erased is in theatres in September.
This blog post has recommendations that are a perfect fit for the first challenge in the 2018 EPL Reading Challenge: read a book that’s set to become a movie in 2018. The Reading Challenge is a fun way to dare yourself to read outside your comfort zone. Learn more and start today!