8 books to read before the movie comes out

Cristina Springfield, Librarian

Why read the book before the movie comes out?

Well for one, the plot is richer. A movie doesn’t usually run much more than two hours long. How long would it take you to finish a really good book? If you are like me, then two hours would only get me a few chapters in. Adapting a book to a movie means leaving out a bunch of plot details that make the story that much richer. Watching a movie with those plot details not left out can give you a better understanding of the characters’ motives.

Two, the characters are usually much more developed in the book. Characters from the book often appear in film as paltry versions of their richer, more complex book selves. Take “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” by Cheryl Strayed which was published in 2012 and came out as a movie featuring Reese Witherspoon in 2014. I cried reading that book, and the main character’s struggle with drugs and feelings of self-destruction along with the death of her mother were complex and subtly developed. While I enjoyed the film version, the nuance just didn’t translate completely to film.

Three, you know the real ending of the book. “Jurassic Park,” “Fight Club,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” and “I Am Legend” – all of these movies created a completely different ending than the original book versions. Sometimes the ending is changed to appeal to audiences, the screenwriter or producer’s vision, or to get audiences prepped for a sequel. Knowing the real ending can mean you can interpret the movie and its characters in different ways than your fellow movie-goers.

Wanting to catch up on some books that are set to release as big-screen adaptions in 2016? Check out this list, all available at a Madison College library. Ask a librarian about checking one out today!

  • “Through the Looking Glass,” by Lewis Carroll – a childhood tale reimaged by the creepy Tim Burton.
  • “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” by Ben Fountain – set during the Iraq War.
  • “The Girl on the Train,” by Paula Hawkins – if you liked “Gone Girl,” then check this novel out.
  • “A Hologram for the King,” by Dave Eggers – Tom Hanks will star in this personal take on changes in the global economy.
  • “Inferno,” by Dan Brown – the final installment of this heart-racing series that started with the “Da Vinci Code.”
  • “Me Before You.” by Jojo Moyes – “Game of Thrones” fans take note with Emilia Clarke set to play the lead actress.
  • “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” by Ransom Riggs – the first movie adaption of this much-loved young adult paranormal series, expect more Miss Peregrine movies in the future.
  • “American Pastoral,” by Philip Roth – an all-star cast is set to play this Pulitzer Prize-winning crime-drama.