They say the book is always better than the movie, but you should find out for yourself. These eleven books are all becoming movies by the end of the year, so stop by the West Bend Library and check them out before they hit the big screen. Click any book's cover to place a hold!
1. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz. Since these three children’s books were published in the early 80’s, they've topped the list of banned books compiled by the American Library Association. They were pulled off shelves for being too violent and frightening for their target audience-so clearly, they will make an awesome horror movie. On August 9th, a film adaptation of the cult classic will be released. However, it will differ from the books significantly; while the original series was a collection of unrelated short stories, the film will take a small handful of these stories and tie them together into one.
2. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Throughout this New York Times best-selling novel, the narrator makes stirring observations about the human condition, despite the fact that he is not a human himself. The entire book is written in the perspective of a family dog named Enzo. In both the novel and the movie, the intuitive golden retriever watches as his owner falls in love, starts a family, and endures the uniquely human struggles that often come next. Though the novel was written for adults, the movie, which premieres on August 9th, will be suitable for all ages.
3. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. This inspirational comedy follows the story of Bernadette, an architect with debilitating agoraphobia. Her fear is so extreme that she can scarcely leave the house-so naturally, it comes as a shock to everyone when she goes missing. The book’s unique format may have been what landed it on the New York Times bestseller list; rather than being arranged in narrative chapters, it is comprised of a series of documents such as memos, emails, and transcripts. The movie’s format will be more typical, flashing between scenes of Bernadette and clips of her family trying to find her. Starring Cate Blanchett and Kristen Wiig, the film is set to come out on August 16th.
4. It by Stephen King. The ‘king’ of horror novels is famous for being long-winded, so it is no wonder that the producers of It decided to split the 1,138-page book into two movies. This lengthy read follows a group of friends as they fight a monster that takes the form of their greatest fears. In the book, the narration alternates between two time periods, repeatedly switching from the characters’ childhoods to their adulthoods. In the films, however, the two time periods will be split into two separate movies, with the second film set 27 years after the first. The terrifying sequel will premiere on September 6th, 2019.
5. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. In this heartbreaking coming-of-age novel, a young man resorts to a life of crime after his mother is killed in a terrorist attack. The book received the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for its gorgeous, emotive prose. The movie is sure to be just as captivating; after all, it boasts a critically acclaimed cast and a director lauded for his beautiful cinematography. The film adaptation will be released on September 13th.
6. The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn. Both a gripping thriller and an introspective drama, this novel follows the story of a homebound woman with agoraphobia. After she witnesses a crime through her neighbor’s window, she struggles to decide how to proceed. Shockingly, this complex, well-received book was the author’s first and only published work. While you wait for a second book from Finn, you can enjoy the film adaptation of his first, which will be released on October 4th.
7. Caging Skies by Christine Leunens. In this twisted romance, a naive Hitler Youth, Johannes, discovers that his parents are hiding a Jewish girl in their home. Gradually, his initial hate for her morphs into interest, and then obsession. In the transition from book to movie, the overall tone of the work will shift dramatically. While the book is an unsettling, introspective drama, the movie will be a dark, comedic satire, featuring Hitler as Johannes’s imaginary friend. Even the title will be changed; the movie, premiering on October 18th, will be called Jojo Rabbit, not Caging Skies. To request this book, call the library at 262-335-5151.
8. Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathon Lethem. In this mystery novel, a lonely detective investigates the murder of his best (and only) friend. Though this may seem like a typical detective story, the protagonist must face a unique obstacle as he struggles to find the murderer: he has Tourette’s syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary tics. Lauded with multiple awards, as well as praise from the Tourette’s community, this book is set to become a movie on November 1st. Its acclaimed cast will include Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, and Willem Dafoe.
9. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. Another iconic horror novel is hitting the big screen this year. A sequel to The Shining, this book follows a now-adult Danny Torrance as he attempts to recover from the traumatizing events that took place at the Overlook Hotel. His struggles only increase when he meets a teenage girl with the same psychic abilities as his. Mere months after this novel was published, Warner Brothers began developing the film adaptation. According to producers, it has been a struggle to keep the film congruent with the novel, as well as the book and movie versions of its prequel. Nonetheless, producers say they are trying to keep the movie as close to the book as possible. See if they succeed on November 8th.
10. The Rhythm Section by Mark Burnell. After her family dies during a terrorist attack, an average, mild-mannered woman becomes a spy in attempt to find the person responsible for their deaths. Once she does so, she becomes an assassin, realizing that mere knowledge is not enough to satisfy her thirst for revenge. This internationally commended thriller, featuring Blake Lively and Jude Law, will hit theaters on November 22nd.
11. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. At the end of the year, this classic coming-of-age novel will receive a modern makeover. Originally published in 1868, the book follows the lives of the four March sisters as they grow up during the Civil War. Though over 150 years old, many important themes in the book (such as work, family, poverty, sacrifice, and women’s rights) are still pertinent today. The movie adaptation, starring Meryl Streep and Emma Stone, will come out on Christmas day.