This year there have been a lot of fantastic books adapted to the big screen: Twelve Years a Slave, Catching Fire (The Hunger Games trilogy), The Great Gatsby, Warm Bodies, Admission, World War Z and The Book Thief  — just to name a few!  Right before an adapted movie comes out, many scramble to read the book first. In that rush it becomes difficult to find a copy that isn’t checked out.  To prepare for the new year and start planning your reading, here are some of the books that you may want to read before you watch (who doesn’t want to get to yell, “The book was better!” in a crowded theater?)

Following successful film adaptations of Twilight and The Hunger Games series, movie studios are continuing to bank on YA dystopian sci-fi and paranormal romance series. With planned releases of  Divergent by Veronica Roth, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, The Giver by Lois Lowry (finally!),  and The Maze Runner by James Dashner (the first part of the third book in The Hunger Games series, Mockingjay is also due to be released in November) fans of speculative teen fiction have plenty to read in preparation.

Realistic fiction and a stand alone, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars is another popular YA book set to debut next year (if you want updates, John Green has been pretty open about the process on twitter), and will star Shailene Woodley  (who is also staring in Divergent).

Not all of the books adapted for the big screen next year will be targeted at young adults. In August, Helen Mirren is set to star in what has been described in the New York Times as Slumdog Millionaire meets Ratatouille, The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard Morais.  Gillian Flynn’s massively popular Gone Girl  is due for an October release, starring Ben Affleck and directed by David Fincher (The Social Network, Fight Club).  And if you really want to get a head start, the release of Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James is planned for February of 2015.

APRIL 16

djarangoDjango Unchained – Jamie Foxx, Leonardo Dicaprio

Django, a former slave turned hired gun, heads back to the plantation to free his wife, Broomhilda, from the tyrannical plantation owner Calvin Candie, with the help of a German bounty hunter, Dr. King Shultz Rated R.

 

APRIL 19

this is 40This Is 40 – Paul Rudd,  Leslie Mann

A look at the lives of Pete and Debbie a few years after the events of Knocked Up, the 2007 comedy. After years of marriage, Pete and Debbie are approaching a milestone meltdown. As they try to balance romance, careers, parents and children in their own hilarious ways, they must also figure out how to enjoy the rest of their lives. This Is 40 is a candid and heartwarming comedy about the challenges and rewards of marriage and parenthood in the modern age. Rated R.

les miserablesLes Miserables – Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway

In early 19th century France the paroled prisoner Jean Valjean seeks redemption, regains his social standing, and rises to the rank of mayor. He encounters a beautiful but desperately ill woman named Fantine and cares for her daughter, Cosette, after her death. All the while he is obsessively pursued by the policeman Javert, who vows to make him pay for the crimes of his past Rated PG-13.

APRIL 23

impossibleThe Impossible – Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts

Based on a true story of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time. But the true-life terror is tempered by the unexpected displays of compassion, courage, and simple kindness that Maria and her family encounter during the darkest hours of their lives. Rated PG-13.

gansterGangster Squad – Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn

Los Angeles, 1949. Ruthless mob king Mickey Cohen runs the show in this town, reaping the ill-gotten gains from the drugs, guns, and if he has his way, every wire bet placed west of Chicago. And he does it all with the protection of not only his own paid goons, but also the police and the politicians who are under his control. It’s enough to intimidate even the bravest, street-hardened cop, except for the small, secret crew of LAPD outsiders who come together to try and tear Cohen’s world apart.  Rated R.

 

APRIL 30

guilt tripThe Guilt Trip – Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogen

The plan for a quick stop at Mom’s takes a turn when an impulse compels Andy to invite his mother, Joyce, on a three-thousand mile cross-country journey. But the further they go, the closer they get, and Andy realizes that they have more in common than he ever imagined. Rated PG-13.

silverSilver Linings Playbook – Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence

Based on the bestselling book by Matthew Quick, the riotous and poignant story of how a man who has lost everything, his house, his job, his wife, reconnects with himself and creates his own silver linings from the bonds he forms with his family and friends. Rated R.

 

broken cityBroken City – Donnie Wahlberg, Russell Crowe

Seven years after being forced to resign as a New York city police officer, private detective Billy Taggart takes on his toughest case yet when he’s hired to follow the mayor’s wife. By the time the mayor reveals his true intentions, Taggart’s already in too deep, with his freedom and possibly his life, on the line. Taggart will risk it all in a desperate bid to expose the truth and seek redemption in a city where second chances don’t come cheap. Rated R.

Did you rush out to the theaters to see Beautiful Creatures, Warm Bodies, and Safe Haven after reading the novels?  Here are even more upcoming films based on books.  Visit the library to check them out before seeing the movies!

admissionAdmission by Jean Hanff Korelitz – “Thirty-eight-year old Portia Nathan, a Princeton University admissions officer, must decide whether or not to confront the truth when a life-altering decision from her past resurfaces.”  The movie stars Tina Fey and Paul Rudd and hits theaters on March 13th.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer – “A member of a species that takes over the minds of human bodies, Wanderer is unable to disregard his host’s love for a man in hiding, a situation that forces both possessor and host to become unwilling allies.”  The bestselling follow-up to Twilight stars Saoirse Ronan and is in theaters March 29th.

greatgatsbyThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – “Jay Gatsby had once loved beautiful, spoiled Daisy Buchanan, then lost her to a rich boy. Now, mysteriously wealthy, he is ready to risk everything to woo her back.”  The film, directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey Maguire, is in theaters May 10th.

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz – “‘The dead don’t talk. I don’t know why.’ But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant.”  Starring Willem Dafoe and Anton Yelchin.  In theaters April 5th.

all book descriptions from publishers

January 8

frankenweenieFrankenweenie – Winona Ryder, Martin Short

Young Victor conducts a science experiment that will bring his dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous consequences. Rated PG

houseattheendofthestreetHouse at the End of the Street – Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Shue

Newly divorced Sarah and her teenage daughter Elissa have just moved to the suburbs for a fresh start. But their hopes quickly shatter as they learn that, years earlier, a grisly murder took place next door when a deranged girl killed her parents and disappeared. The girl’s older brother Ryan still occupies the house, and when he befriends Elissa, his secretive past could become her worst nightmare. Rated PG

January 15

possessionThe Possession – Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgewick

Clyde and Stephanie Brenek see little cause for alarm when their youngest daughter Em becomes oddly obsessed with an antique wooden box she purchased at a yard sale. But as Em’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, the couple fears the presence of a malevolent force in their midst, only to discover that the box was built to contain a Dibbuk, a dislocated spirit that inhabits and ultimately devours its human host. Rated PG-13

to rome with loveTo Rome With Love – Woody Allen, Penelope Cruz, Alex Baldwin

Clyde and Stephanie Brenek see little cause for alarm when their youngest daughter Em becomes oddly obsessed with an antique wooden box she purchased at a yard sale. But as Em’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, the couple fears the presence of a malevolent force in their midst, only to discover that the box was built to contain a Dibbuk, a dislocated spirit that inhabits and ultimately devours its human host. Rated R

taken 2Taken 2 – Liam Neeson, Famka Janssen, Maggie Grace

Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, an ex-CIA operative who finds himself taken hostage along with his wife. To survive, Bryan must enlist the help of an unlikely ally and use his brutally efficient skills to take out his kidnappers. Rated PG-13

January 29

cold light of dayCold Light of Day – Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis

Will Shaw arrives in Spain for a weeklong sailing vacation with his family. The situation takes an unexpected turn when his family is kidnapped and Will gets tangled in an intergovernmental web of lies and secrets, with a briefcase in the center of the mystery. Will finds himself on the run and realizes that he must recover the briefcase and take down secret agents in order to get his family back alive. Rated PG-13

hotel transylvaniaHotel Transylvania – Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Molly Shannon

The Hotel Transylvania, run by Dracula, is a unique, high-end resort catering only to the finest monsters and their families. Dracula is preparing for an extra special weekend – his daughter Mavis’s 118th birthday – when trouble arises: a human has stumbled upon the resort for the first time ever! Even worse: the human has taken a liking to Mavis! Rated PG

More novels will be making their way to the big screen this holiday season!  Before you head to the theater, pick up the book version from the library.

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick: “Embracing a philosophy that life is a movie produced by God, neural health patient Pat Peoples endeavors to win back his estranged wife by making strategic sacrifices and coordinating their communications through a depressed widow.”  The film version starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence is now in theaters.

Team of Rivals: The Poilitical Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin: “An analysis of Abraham Lincoln’s political talents identifies the character strengths and abilities that enabled his successful election above three accomplished candidates, in an account that also describes how he used the same abilities to rally former opponents in forming his cabinet and winning the Civil War.”  The film Lincoln, which stars Daniel Day-Lewis and covers part of this book, is now in theaters.

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien: “Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well-to-do hobbit, lives comfortably in his hobbit-hole until the day the wandering wizard Gandalf chooses him to take part in an adventure from which he may never return.” The film, which stars Martin Freeman as well as many returning cast members from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is in theaters on December 14th.

One Shot by Lee Child: “Ex-military investigator Jack Reacher is called in by James Barr, a man accused of a lethal sniper attack that leaves five people dead, and teams up with a young defense attorney to find an unseen enemy who is manipulating events.”  The film adaptation, titled Jack Reacher, stars Tom Cruise and is in theaters on December 21.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo: “Trying to forget his past and live an honest life, escaped convict Jean Valjean risks his freedom to take care of a motherless young girl during a period of political unrest in Paris.”  The film stars Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, and Russell Crowe and will be in theaters Christmas Day.

On The Road by Jack Kerouac: “This counterculture classic records the escapades of members of the beat generation as they seek pleasure and meaning while traveling coast to coast.”  Starring Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, and Kristen Stewart, the film can be seen in theaters on December 21st.

*all book descriptions are from the publishers

November 6

Arthur Christmas

On Christmas night at the North Pole, Santa’s youngest son looks to use his father’s high-tech operation for an urgent mission. Rated PG

 

 

Your Sister’s Sister – Emily Blunt, Mark Duplass

A year after the death of his brother Tom, Jack is having trouble coming to terms with his loss and has hit a wall. An intervention in the guise of his best friend Iris results in a planned week of solitude in the country at her family’s cabin. Iris’s sister Hannah has the same idea, and she and Jack inadvertently have a night of drunken confessions and shared experiences. Rated R

Rock of Ages – Tom Cruise, Alex Baldwin

Drew and Sherrie meet in LA while pursuing their dream of life in the big city. Will their love survive the challenges the city throws their way? This musical features songs by Journey, Twisted Sister, Starship, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, and many more. PG-13

 

November 9

Amazing Spider-Man – Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone

Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father’s former partner.PG-13

 

November 13

Chernobyl Diaries – Devin Kelley,

Six tourists hire an extreme tour guide who takes them to the abandoned city of Pripyat, the former home to the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. During their exploration, they soon discover they are not alone. Posted R

 

Savages – Taylor Kitsch, John Travolta

Laguna Beach entrepreneurs Ben, a peaceful and charitable Buddhist, and his closest friend Chon, a former Navy SEAL and ex-mercenary, run a lucrative, homegrown industry, raising some of the best marijuana ever developed. They also share a one-of-a-kind love with the extraordinary beauty Ophelia. Life is idyllic in their Southern California town, until the Mexican Baja Cartel decides to move in and demands that the trio partners with them. Unrated.

Brave – Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson

Princess Merida, an archer and self-reliant young woman, makes a decision which defies custom and brings chaos to her kingdom. To restore her kingdom, she must rely on her bravery and archery skills. Rated PG

 

The Watch – Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn

There’s trouble brewing in peaceful Glenview, Ohio. That’s why four civic-minded citizens, armed with flashlights, walkie-talkies, and spiffy new jackets, have teamed up to safeguard their community. But the guys find more than they bargained for when they uncover an alien plot to destroy Earth, and now these bumbling heroes are Glenview’s only chance to save the neighborhood and the world from annihilation. Rated R

November 20

Magic Mike – Matthew McConaughey, Joe Mangteaniello

Mike, an experienced stripper, takes a younger performer called The Kid under his wing and schools him in the arts of partying, picking up women, and making easy money. Rated R

 

Expendables 2 – Sylvester Stallone, Liam Helmworth

When Mr. Church decides to reunite the Expendables, and one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat.Rated R

 

November 27

Lawless – Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy

The true story of the infamous Bondurant brothers: bootlegging siblings who made a run for the American Dream in Prohibition-era Virginia. In this epic outlaw tale, inspired by true-life tales of author Matt Bondurant’s family in his novel The Wettest County in the World, the loyalty of three brothers is put to the test against the backdrop of the nation’s most notorious crime wave. Rated R

Step up : Revolution – Kathryn McCormick

Emily arrives in Miami with aspirations of becoming a professional dancer and soon falls in love with Sean, a young man who leads a dance crew called ‘The Mob’. When a wealthy business man threatens to develop The Mob’s historic neighborhood and displace thousands-of people, they all work together to turn their performance art into protest art, and risk losing their dreams to fight for a greater cause. Rated PG-13

The Campaign – Will Ferrell, Zach GalifianaKIS

In order to gain influence over their North Carolina district, two CEOs seize an opportunity to oust long-term congressman Cam Brady by putting up a rival candidate. Their man, naive Marty Huggins, is director of the local Tourism Center. Rated R

 

November 30

Men in Black 3 – Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith

Agent J must travel back in time to MIB’s early years in the 1960s and save his partner, Agent K, from being assassinated by an alien. Along the way, Agent J teams up with young Agent K and learns that there are secrets to the universe that Agent K never told him. Rated PG-13

Sparkle – Whitney Houston, Jordan Sparks

Set in the 1960s, Sparkle and her two sisters form a singing group and dream of becoming stars beyond the affluent Detroit suburb where they come from, and where they are already well-known. But as the sisters become more famous, the close-knit nature of their family begins to fall apart. Features the late Whitney Houston’s final screen performance. Rated PG-13

If you adore Harry Potter, do yourself a favor and check out Harry Potter: Page to Screen, the Complete Filmmaking Journey. It’s a big, heavy, hardcover behemoth absolutely stuffed with photographs and text from all 8 Harry Potter films. Interviews with the cast and crew give insider information, and viewpoints from the set designers, costume designers, directors and actors show how meticulously the details of these movies were planned. From the small things – Hermione doesn’t wear red or green, as “those are Ron colors,” the story behind Harry’s blue eyes (a controversial change from the books’ oft-referenced bottle green), and the talon design of Bellatrix’s wand – to the big things: hours of makeup for dozens of actors cast as goblins; the complex design of the set for Snape’s final scene; the massive miniatures built to stand in for Hogwarts castle, and the equally massive undertaking of covering those miniatures with “snow” for the winter scenes (and then meticulously brushing and cleaning that “snow” away before the salt it was made of could corrode the material beneath).

Whether you’re into the boy wizard or just into movie magic, you’ll adore this book. It inspired me to re-read the novels and re-watch the movies, which of course launched a relapse of full-on Potter mania at my house! These are some of the other library items I’ve been checking out:

Adam Sorkin’s new HBO series, Newsroom, brings to mind 1987’s Broadcast News starring Holly Hunter and William Hurt. Reading reviews of the show, it sounds as if the themes of this show are reminiscent of other great “news” movies.

Like Newsroom, the focus of Broadcast News is the integrity of the news anchors and producers. And, like Jeff Daniel’s anchorman, the William Hurt character yearns for the spotlight and big ratings, yet has his conscience  pricked by a woman with whom he has a quasi-romantic relationship with.

Network and Good Night, and Good Luck are much edgier films about television news, while Morning Glory  is on the other end of the continuum. Journalistic ethics are discussed, but the real fun of the movie are the sparring amongst Diane Keaton, Harrison Ford and Rachel McAdams.

Take a history ride through tv news – the more things change, the more they stay the same.

JULY 3

Journey 2 – Mysterious Island – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Josh Hutcherson, Vanessa Hudgens

The new journey begins when young adventurer Sean receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island where no island should exist, a place of strange life forms, mountains of gold, deadly volcanoes, and more than one astonishing secret. Unable to stop him from going, Sean’s new stepfather joins the quest. Together with a helicopter pilot and his beautiful, strong-willed daughter, they set out to find the island. PG

JULY 10

Sherlock Holmes – Game of Shadows – Robert Downey Jr., Noomi Rapace, Jude Law

Sherlock Holmes has always been the smartest man in the room, until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large, Professor James Moriarty, and not only is he Holmes’s intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may give him an advantage over the renowned detective. Holmes’s investigation into Moriarty’s plot becomes more dangerous as it leads him and Watson out of London to France, Germany, and finally Switzerland. PG

American Reunion – Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Eugene Levy

The whole American Pie gang returns to East Great Falls for the first time since their legendary senior year to turn their reunion into the most unforgettable weekend since high school. Old friends will reconnect, old flames will reignite, and everyone will rediscover just how much fun you can pack into one outrageous reunion. Unrated.

JULY 17

Salmon Fishing in Yemen – Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, Amr Waked

A fisheries expert is approached by a consultant to help realize a sheik’s vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert and embarks on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible possible.PG – 13

Friends with Kids – Jon Hamm, Kristin Wiig, Chris O’Dowd,

A daring and hilarious ensemble comedy about a close-knit circle of friends whose lives change once they have kids. The last two singles in the group observe the effect that kids have had on their friends’ relationships and wonder if there’s a better way to make it work. When they decide to have a child together, and date other people, their unconventional ‘experiment’ leads everyone in the group to question the nature of friendship, family, and, above all, true love. R.

Three Stooges – Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos, Will Sasso

The Three Stooges (Moe, Larry, Curly) are on a mission. Left on the doorstep of an orphanage run by nuns, the young trio grows up finger-poking, nyuk-nyuking, and woo-woo-wooing their way into trouble. Now years later, with the orphanage forced to close its doors, the Three Stooges embark on a wacky mission to save it. Hilarious mischief and mayhem ensue.PG 13

JULY 24

Wrath of the Titans – Liam Neeson, Sam Worthington

Perseus braves the treacherous underworld to rescue his father, Zeus, captured by his son, Ares, and brother Hades who unleash the ancient Titans upon the world. PG 13

 

 

 

 

Popular books being made into movies is nothing new, but it seems like there are a lot of them to get excited about this year.  Here are a few that have already seen theatrical release in 2012 and some more that will be coming soon to a theater near you!

Read these and then check out the new DVD from the library:

One For the Money by Janet Evanovich: A New Jersey bounty hunter with attitude, bail-bonds apprehension agent Stephanie Plum pursues a former vice cop, now on the run, with whom she shares a sordid history and a powerful chemistry.  Now available on DVD.

The Vow  by Kim Carpenter: Presents the true story of a couple who fell in love again after the wife, Krickitt, suffered a traumatic brain injury in an automobile crash and lost all memory of her previous life.  Now available on DVD.

John Carter (based on John Carter of Mars) by Edgar Rice Burroughs:  Presents the adventures of John Carter, a Civil War veteran who is mysteriously transported to Mars, where he fights a variety of enemies with the aid of the lovely Martian princess Dejah Thoris.  Coming soon to DVD.

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill: Arthur Kipps, a young solicitor, travels to the north of England to settle the estate of Alice Drablow, but unexpectedly encounters a series of sinster events.  Now available on DVD.

 

Read these before they hit the big screen this summer:

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith: Reveals the hidden life of the 16th U.S. president, who was actually a vampire hunter, obsessed with the complete elimination of the undead, and uncovers the role vampires played in the birth, growth and near-death of the nation.  In theaters June 22.

The Bourne Legacy by Eric Lustbader:  Former CIA agent David Webb leads a quiet life as a university professor until he becomes a target of an assassin and is framed for the murders of two close friends, and as he fights for his life, he finds himself under the control of his alternate personality–Jason Bourne.  In theaters August 3.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney:  In the latest diary of middle-schooler Greg Heffley, he records his attempts to spend his summer vacation sensibly indoors playing video games and watching television, despite his mother’s other ideas.  In theaters August 3.

Dorothy of Oz by Roger S. Baum:  With the aid of Lion, Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and Tugg the talking boat, Dorothy battles Jester, who is using the dead Wicked Witch’s magic wand to turn the citizens of Oz into porcelain dolls.  In theaters August 3.

(all descriptions from publishers)