Thursday 30 March 2017

Eight great books to read before the films come out

Ireland will get to bask in the glorious weather this week. Photo: Getty
Ireland will get to bask in the glorious weather this week. Photo: Getty
Nerve by Jeanne Ryan
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The Queen of Katwe by Tim Crothers
The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
American Pastoral by Philip Roth
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling
Silence by Shusaku Endo
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Meadhbh McGrath

With temperatures set to top 27C this weekend, many of us will be heading to the beach (or the back garden) to bask in the glorious weather.

There’s nothing better than lying out in a sun lounger with a good book, so we’ve compiled a list of titles to throw in your tote bag alongside your SPF and your straw hat.

We’ve already seen a heap of big-screen adaptations of best-selling novels this year and there are plenty more books about to get the movie treatment, so whether it’s a moving nonfiction work or a high-tension thriller you’re after, check out our list of all the books to read before they hit the big screen.

Nerve by Jeanne Ryan


This high-octane thriller, starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco, is based on Jeanne Ryan’s young adult novel about a website where “watchers” assign increasingly dangerous challenges to “players”, who then livestream footage of themselves performing the tasks to win cash prizes.

Roberts plays Vee, a shy young woman who accepts a dare from her outgoing best friend to submit a video to the site, and gets partnered with the mysterious Ian, played by Franco in the film, to compete in a series of ever more sinister games.

Although the book was published in 2012, the film has been praised for its digital fluency, making it feel slick and relevant for a young modern audience.

Release date: August 11

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins


Hawkins’ debut novel was the runaway literary success of 2015, meeting the demand for bleak domestic novels created by Gone Girl.

The hit thriller follows Rachel Watson, an alcoholic who becomes fixated on a couple she sees everyday on her commute. When Rachel notices something that could be potentially life-threatening, she sets out to uncover the truth about the seemingly happy couple.

The film adaptation starring Emily Blunt is one of the most anticipated films of the year.

Release date: October 7

The Queen of Katwe by Tim Crothers


The true account of Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan teenager who went from poverty to become one of the world’s top chess players.

The poignant nonfiction work was beloved by critics, and Disney’s adaptation is set to offer a moving portrayal of the story.

Selma’s David Oyelowo will play the man who mentors Phiona (newcomer Madina Nalwanga), while Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o stars as the chess prodigy’s mother.

Release date: October 21

The Light Between Two Oceans by ML Stedman


Real-life couple Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander will star in the adaptation of the Australian writer’s novel about a couple who find a baby washed up on the shore outside the lighthouse they live in.

After suffering through two miscarriages and a stillbirth, they decide to keep the infant as their own, but must decide what to do with the lifeless father accompanying the newborn.

The Australian author’s first novel was met with critical acclaim, and received several awards.

Early buzz for the film is strong, and it looks set to be another contender for two-time nominee Fassbender and last year’s winner Vikander.

Release date: November 4

American Pastoral by Philip Roth


The legendary American writer’s 1997 novel tells the story of Seymour “Swede” Levov, a gifted Jewish high school athlete in 1960s New Jersey who grows up to be a successful businessman, before meeting tragedy in his later life.

The dark family drama won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998, and has been heralded as one of the great masterpieces of Roth’s career and of American literature as a whole.

Ewan McGregor has signed on to play the lead character, in what will also be his directorial debut.

Release date: November 11

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling


With a new book about the Harry Potter universe soaring up the bestseller charts and a new film due out this winter, Pottermania is taking over once again.

The 2001 story, written under the pseudonym of fictitious author Newt Scamander, takes the form of a textbook detailing the history of magizoology and magical creatures.

The Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell-starring adaptation– also written by JK Rowling in what will be her screenwriting debut - will expand the ideas into a narrative about Scamander’s adventures.

Release date: November 18

Silence by Shusaku Endo


With Martin Scorcese directing, we can already sense some Oscar buzz developing around the adaptation of this classic novel.

Set in 17th century Japan, it follows a group of Jesuits who are trying to bring Christianity into Japan.

Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver will play the priests.

Release date: December 22

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness


Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona is taking on the adaptation of this acclaimed children’s novel, in which a young boy struggling to cope with his mother’s terminal cancer suffers constant nightmares.

One night, he receives a visit from a monster eager to tell him stories –so long as the boy shares one of his own.

Liam Neeson is set to star as the monster.

Release date: December 23

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