Books to Read Before the Movie Comes Out

9781594633669_p0_v4_s192x300 After a fun discussion of Paula Hawkins’ wild mystery The Girl on the Train today at one of my book clubs, we all wondered how Emily Blunt would portray the voyeur Rachel as an ex-pat in New York City riding the train in her old neighborhood.  Many of us agreed this Hitchcockian thriller was a book made for playing on the big screen. The movie comes out in October.  If you haven’t yet read the book, the surprise ending will really be a treat for you.

Other books to movies to watch for:

JoJo Moyes’ tear jerker Me Before You comes to life in June.

Roald Dahl’s The BFG (as in the big friendly giant who eats leftover oatmeal from your dirty dishes) is in theaters on July 1st.

M.L. Stedman’s  Light Between Oceans  emerges in September.

Tom Hanks is back in another Dan Brown book to movie – The Inferno – in October.

If you can’t bear to muddle through Philip Roth, you can catch his 1998 Pulitzer prize winning American Pastoral on the screen in October.

9781594746031_p0_v2_s192x300   Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a spooky gift on Christmas.

And look for two more with 2016 release dates but no months yet:

  • Diane Ackerman’s true story of saving the animals in Warsaw – The Zookeeper’s Wife.
  • John Green’s Looking for Alaska

Click on the red titles to read my reviews.

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Grandpa Portman’s stories of war monsters and his childhood escape from Poland to a safe haven at a Welsh orphanage were magical to young Jake.  But as he grew older, Jake thought of them as concocted tales with fantastic doctored pictures that his grandfather used to entertain – until his grandfather’s brutal death, and the cryptic message in his dieing words.  In Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs creates a world of fantasy mixed with history of World War II and a cast of strange characters.

In an effort to cure his nightmares and to uncover his grandfather’s secrets, teenager Jake and his father travel to the Welsh island to revisit the bombed orphanage.  Jake discovers a trunk full of old photographs, some copies of those his grandfather used in telling his stories.  Was there really a boy whose body was full of bees that escaped when he opened his mouth, a girl who could levitate, another girl with a mouth in the back of her head?
As Jake continues to pursue the mystery of his  Grandpa Portman’s past, Gothic elements seep into the narrative: a 2700 year old body of a sixteen year old preserved in the bog, hearts pickled in jars, a peregrine falcon who appears at Jake’s bedside.  Riggs also borrows from several familiar characters – Edward Scissorhands, Harry Potter and friends, Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck family; he even throws in time travel.  Be prepared to suspend belief and enjoy yourself.

Jake accidentally solves his grandfather’s directive and finds the “peculiar children,” each with particular powers – think X men in training. Every adventure must have villains, and when they appear, the action gets scary with the battle of good vs evil.

But the adventure is just beginning for Jake, and the next book in the series is due out in the Spring of 2013.

Riggs conveniently includes real old black and white photographs reprinted throughout the story – one of the best parts of the book. The eerie pictures from vintage collections or garage sales – all credited at the end of the book – bring life to the action: a little boy in a bunny suit, planes in the air, a lighted tunnel, and all those “peculiar” children.