There are so many books out there to choose from, and the same can be said about movies – sometimes you’re lucky and your favorite books get made into movies! 2017 seems to be turning into a good year for book-to-movie adaptations, so in honor of World Book Day here are 5 books you need to read before seeing their cinematographic counterparts.
Young adult novels – no matter how old you are – are great because they present us with a different perspective of the world than that of adults. This particular book is about a young girl with “bubble baby” disease, who has never been outside of her LA home and ends up making friends with the new boy who lives next door. It’s the heartwarming, first-time road trip story you’ve always wanted to read, tinged with sadness. I dare you not to identify with the main character’s wish to see everything the world can offer her.
4. A Dog’s Purpose, W. Bruce Cameron
This book is for all you dog lovers out there, and maybe even for those who prefer cats. Ignoring the fantastical element of a dog being able to reincarnate, this is a sometimes happy, sometimes really sad book about a dog discovering the meaning of life through his various lives and owners. There are some moments that may prove upsetting, particularly the endings of each of Toby’s lives, but if you”ve ever wanted to know how dogs view humans, then this is one for the bookshelves.
3. My Cousin Rachel, Daphne du Maurier
This book has kind of a strange premise, which we might say is typical for a Daphne du Maurier novel. The protagonist is a young man, who may seem naive to some readers and yet determined to others, who falls in love with his mysterious cousin Rachel. The story therefore plots the pitfalls they face with this relationship. If you can get past the pseudo-incest and the weirdness it invokes in its readers, this has all of the makings of du Maurier, and one wonders why it hasn’t been as recognized as Rebecca. It’s also set in Cornwall, so you may even know some of the places mentioned.
2. Tulip Fever, Deborah Moggach
This may seem like an odd choice, but if you’re a history buff like myself you’ll adore it. The Netherlands blue tulips have always been beautiful and expensive: this book takes place in the 16th century, when these tulips were taking the Dutch world by storm and prompting all sorts of investments. A young married woman is having her portrait painted, and it wouldn’t be historical fiction proper without a bit of romance, right? She and the painter begin an affair and invest in the ever-growing tulip business to be able to start a life together. This book is sublime for its character depictions, romantic and tragic storyline, and also for the window it offers us into a little-known (or little-talked about) period of history.
1. The Circle, Dave Eggers
If you haven’t heard of the movie of this book starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, then where have you been? It’s a demonstration of how media and technology can control, manipulate and take over individual lives, and how your “online identity” can become more important than reality itself. A very pertinent work for today’s world, it’s filled with suspense and meaningful explorations of the limits of human knowledge and privacy. The main character Mae is offered a job at the prestigious corporation “The Circle”, the ultimate media presence in the novel’s world, and soon discovers that the organization is a lot more involved in people’s own lives than she thinks. A deep, thoughtful book, this will have you questioning the presence and use (either for good or bad) of technology in our own contemporary world.