8 Books to Read Before Seeing the Movie
Novel Ideas1 of 9
By Katherine Berg
Hollywood has always looked to popular books for film ideas—after all, hits like Gone With the Wind, The Shining and The Godfather were all adapted from novels. But this year in particular seems to be a big one for films based on best-sellers. Get ready for the inevitable debate over which was better by reading these eight books before the movie versions hit theaters.
Family Matters2 of 9
This Is Where I Leave You; September 12 release
A Jewish father's dying wish is that his dysfunctional children sit shiva together for a whole week in observance of his death—and as a means of facing their own problems and the tensions between them.
Movie Scoop: In spite of the fact that Jonathan Troppers's novel happens over a week of mourning dad's death, it's laugh-out-loud hilarious. To bring the funny to the big screen, the film enlists an eclectic team of comedic talent, including Tina Fey, Jason Bateman and Jane Fonda.
Grab the Tissues3 of 9
The Fault in Our Stars; June 6 release
When 16-year-old cancer patient Hazel Grace Lancaster is forced by her parents to attend a support group, she reluctantly falls deeply in love with another patient and finds herself pulled back into the richness of life.
Movie Scoop: Shailene Woodley stars as Hazel and Ansel Elgort plays Augustus Waters, her love interest. Oddly enough, Woodley and Elgort very recently played brother and sister in Divergent, the film adaptation of Veronica Roth's popular YA trilogy.
Survival Story4 of 9
Unbroken; December 25 release
Author Lauren Hildebrand tells the amazing true story of Louis Zamperini, a troubled kid who competed in the Olympics and then served in World War II. In a life already full of triumphs over huge obstacles, Zamperini became a war hero when he survived his bomber's crash into the Pacific and then years of torture in a Japanese prison camp.
Movie Scoop: In an exciting and intriguing partnership, director Angelina Jolie has enlisted Joel and Ethan Coen to rework the original script.
Action Packed5 of 9
All You Need Is Kill; June 6 release
In this illustrated Japanese sci-fi novel, Keiji Kiriya is a new recruit in an army fighting an alien invasion. He's killed during his first mission, but inexplicably finds himself reborn over and over again.
Movie Scoop: Though it's been retitled The Edge of Tomorrow, the rumor is that the plot of the film is pretty faithful to the book. But there are some significant deviations, too—like the fact that the protagonist is no longer a Japanese teenage underdog; he's Tom Cruise.
Food for Thought6 of 9
The Hundred Foot Journey; August 8 release
After fleeing India for France, Hassan Haji's family settles in a remote village where they open a cheap Indian restaurant near a celebrated French one. As Hassan's popularity grows, tensions rise between him and the chef across the street.
Movie Scoop: With Lasse Hallstrom directing and Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey producing, the book's in good hands. Helen Mirren stars as the renowned chef Madame Mallory, and newcomer Manish Dayal stars as Hassan.
Ready for Romance7 of 9
The Best of Me; October 17 release
In this novel, the author of The Notebook (and so many other best-selling love stories) tells the tale of Amanda and Dawson, high-school sweethearts reunited after 25 years when both return to their hometown for a funeral.
Movie Scoop: Paul Walker was originally cast to play Dawson in what would have potentially been a breakout part for him—shifting into a role more smooth and romantic than fast and furious. After his tragic death, James Marsden was offered the part.
Mystery Theater8 of 9
Dark Places; September 1 release
In this page-turner by the author of Gone Girl (also on this list), Libby Day is the sole survivor of a massacre during her childhood that left her mother and two sisters dead. Years later, Libby is called to reconsider her version of what happened that terrible day.
Movie Scoop: Charlize Theron, who has taken on darker characters in the past, should have no problem slipping into the role of emotionally scarred Libby Day.
Twists & Turns9 of 9
Gone Girl; October 3 release
In this wildly popular page-turner, Nick and Amy take turns narrating the story beneath their seemingly perfect marriage after Amy mysteriously disappears.
Movie Scoop: In the hands of David Fincher, the movie promises to bring all of the suspense of Nick and Amy's crazy marriage to the screen. All the more so because Fincher has dramatically changed the ending, so fans will have the pleasure of not knowing what happens to Amy and Nick all over again.