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Westerly Sun Column

Books Hitting the Big Screen

2018 has been a huge year for book-to-film adaptations. From well-known titles such as Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, to movies you didn’t know were inspired by books, such as Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews – the adaptations are many, and they aren’t slowing down any time soon!

Every time one of these movies is released, its hardback counterpart here at the library sees a surge in popularity as droves of people scramble to read it before seeing the film. This sometimes results in a lengthy holds list. One of the most recent examples of this is Crazy Rich Asians, which, despite being 5 years old, suddenly has 111 people eagerly awaiting copies. There are plenty of other books hitting the big screen this year, so beat the crowds and get your copy now!

Bel Canto, a hostage drama based on the novel by Ann Patchett, will be released in theatres on September 14th. With a great cast, including Ken Watanabe and the wonderful Julianne Moore, I can see it being a huge hit. While I haven’t read that title, I really enjoyed Patchett’s bestseller Commonwealth, which is also rumored to have a movie in the works! Next month will also see a modern retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women – great timing, as it is also the 150th anniversary of the books’ original publication.

In October, Ryan Gosling will star in the movie version of First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James Hansen, an authorized biography of the intensely private man known for walking on the moon. David Lagercrantz’s bestseller The Girl in the Spider’s Web, a continuation of the Millennium series by the late Stieg Larsson, will also hit the silver screen.

November and December are generally big months for movie releases, and this year is no exception. The whole family will enjoy the newest remake of The Grinch (starring Benedict Cumberbatch), as well as Mary Poppins Returns (with Emily Blunt); they will also probably appreciate the original books by Dr. Seuss and P. L. Travers, respectively.

For history buffs: check out John Guy’s biography My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots whose film counterpart is scheduled to be released in December. The film will star Saoirse Ronan as the titular character, who is also known for her role in the critically acclaimed Lady Bird.

Not all books become full-length feature films, though…some of them are made into fantastic television series! American Gods, a book by the great Neil Gaiman, became a hugely successful Starz Original Series in 2017. Another one of Gaiman’s books, which he wrote with the late Terry Pratchett, will soon become a TV mini-series: Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies by Agnes Nutter, Witch. It also happens to be one of my personal favorites, so I highly recommend you check it out, whether or not you’re interested in the TV remake!

By Cassie Skobrak, Reference Librarian