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Read it first: Books on the big screen in 2019
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CHARLESTON, S.C. – There’s no denying Hollywood loves a good book. From The Hunger Games series to the Harry Potter Franchise, the Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park, Jaws, and pretty much everything Stephen King has ever written, movie producers on the Left Coast know where to find source material for their next blockbuster.
You can bet 2019 will be no exception! We found 17 books currently in the stacks at our branches slated for theatrical release in the coming year. Dog lovers and Stephen King fans have plenty of reasons to preorder tickets, but this quick list has a little something for everyone.
Let’s run down the books by their movie release dates so you can read it before you watch it.
A Dog’s Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron (Premiere Date: Jan. 11)
It’s the story of a pit bull puppy named Bella on an adventure to make her way home and back into her person’s arms. The movie stars Ashley Judd and Bryce Dallas Howard.
Book description: Lucas Ray is shocked when an adorable puppy jumps out of an abandoned building and into his arms. Though the apartment he shares with his mother, a disabled veteran, doesn't allow dogs, Lucas can't resist taking Bella home. Bella is inexplicably drawn to Lucas, even if she doesn't understand the necessity of games like No Barks. As it becomes more difficult to hide her from the neighbors, Lucas begins to sneak Bella into the VA where he works. There, Bella brings joy and comfort where it is needed most. After Bella is picked up by Animal Control because pit bulls are banned in Denver, Lucas has no choice but to send her to a foster home until he can figure out what to do. But Bella, distraught at the separation, doesn't plan to wait. With four hundred miles of dangerous Colorado wilderness between her and her person, Bella sets off on a seemingly impossible and completely unforgettable adventure home.
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell (Premiere Date: Feb. 22)
Book description: This popular children’s series chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon.
The 2019 release, the third in the movie franchise, is titled How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, and stars America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, and Jonah Hill.
The Rhythm Section: A Stephanie Patrick Thriller by Mark Burnell (Premiere Date: Feb. 22)
Blake Lively stars as the title character in this story of a woman who goes undercover to seek revenge on the people who used a plane crash to kill her family. The movie also stars Jude Law and Sterling K. Brown.
Book description: Stephanie Patrick's life is destroyed by the crash of flight NEO027. Her family was on board and there were no survivors. Devastated, she drops out of college and her life spins out of control as she enters a world of drugs and prostitution--until a journalist discovers that the crash wasn't an accident. There was a bomb planted on the plane. Filled with rage, and with nothing left to loose, she focuses on revenge. The opportunity to obtain it arrives when Stephanie is recruited by an extremely covert intelligence organization. She is young, smart, and beautiful – and has no family, making her the perfect candidate. The organization offers her a deal. She must undergo rigorous training; assume a new identity and commit acts of terrorism on behalf of the organization. When she completes these assignments successfully – and proves her loyalty – she will be offered the opportunity to take out the terrorists who brought down flight NEO027.
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Premiere Date: March 1)
Tom Holland, Nick Jonas, and Cynthia Erivo star in this movie based on the first book in the Chaos Walking trilogy. Todd Hewitt, a boy who grows up in a town of only men, is at the center of this dystopian story, and discovers that despite everyone's shared ability to read minds, his peers keep him from a terrible secret.
Book description: Pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron, young Todd and Viola set out across New World searching for answers about his colony's true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing hopeful settlers from Old World.
Three Seconds by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom (Premiere Date: March 22)
Pete Koslow (Joel Kinnaman), a reformed criminal and former special operations soldier, is working undercover for crooked FBI handlers to infiltrate the Polish mob's drug trade in New York. In a final step toward freedom, Koslow must return to the one place he's fought so hard to leave, Bale Hill Prison, where his mission becomes a race against time when a drug deal goes wrong and threatens to identify him as a mole. The movie also stars Clive Owen, Rosamund Pike, and Common.
Book description: Ex-convict Piet Hoffman--a family man, a rising member of Stockholm's Polish mafia, and an undercover police informant--is sent to a maximum security prison to make himself the boss of the amphetamine trade so the police can shut it down.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple (Premiere Date: March 22)
Told through the lens of the titular character's 15-year-old daughter Bee, this novel chronicles the tale of Bernadette Fox, an agoraphobic architect who disappears right before a family trip to Antarctica. It stars Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, Laurence Fishburne, and Troian Bellisario.
Book Description: When her notorious, hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled, and agoraphobic mother goes missing, teenage Bee begins a trip that takes her to the ends of the earth to find her.
The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South by Osha Gray Davidson (Premiere Date: April 5)
Learn about the true history of the unlikely friendship between a member of the KKK, played by Sam Rockwell, and a civil rights activist, played by Taraji P. Henson, in 1960s Durham, North Carolina.
Book description: C. P. Ellis grew up in the poor white section of Durham, North Carolina, and as a young man joined the Ku Klux Klan. Ann Atwater, a single mother from the poor black part of town, quit her job as a household domestic to join the civil rights fight. During the 1960s, as the country struggled with the explosive issue of race, Atwater and Ellis met on opposite sides of the public school integration issue. Their encounters were charged with hatred and suspicion. In an amazing set of transformations, however, each of them came to see how the other had been exploited by the South's rigid power structure, and they forged a friendship that flourished against a backdrop of unrelenting bigotry.
After by Anna Todd (Premiere Date: April 12)
Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes-Tiffin star in this adaptation of a book series based on Harry Styles fan fiction on Wattpad. Try not to let the 50 Shades franchise, and its Twilight fan-fic beginnings, temper your view of After. The first installment in the series is led by Tessa, a stereotypical good girl who falls for Hardin, the bad boy. OK, so maybe keep 50 Shades in mind as you set your expectations.
Book description: Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way. But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, and tattoos, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to. But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before. He'll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.
Pet Sematary by Stephen King (Premiere Date: April 21)
One of King's most iconic novels, Pet Sematary delves into the story of Dr. Louis Creed, who moves his family to the seemingly perfect small town of Ludlow, Maine. Of course, what lurks beneath the town's beauty is something much more sinister. This movie adaptation stars Dale Midkiff and Stephen King, naturally.
Book description: When Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job and moves his family to the idyllic rural town of Ludlow, Maine, this new beginning seems too good to be true. Despite Ludlow’s tranquility, an undercurrent of danger exists here. Those trucks on the road outside the Creed’s beautiful old home travel by just a little too quickly, for one thing… as is evidenced by the makeshift graveyard in the nearby woods where generations of children have buried their beloved pets. Then there are the warnings to Louis both real and from the depths of his nightmares that he should not venture beyond the borders of this little graveyard where another burial ground lures with seductive promises and ungodly temptations.
The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook (Premiere Date: April 26)
In this historical thriller set in '40s post-war Germany, starring Kiera Knightley, Alexander Skarsgard, and Roman Reigns, a woman reunited with her husband learns she'll have to share a home with a mysterious widower and his troubled daughter.
Book description: Set in post-war Germany, the international bestseller The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook is a stunning emotional thriller about our fiercest loyalties and our deepest desires. In the bitter winter of 1946, Rachael Morgan arrives with her only remaining son Edmund in the ruins of Hamburg. Here she is reunited with her husband Lewis, a British colonel charged with rebuilding the shattered city. But as they set off for their new home, Rachael is stunned to discover that Lewis has made an extraordinary decision: they will be sharing the grand house with its previous owners, a German widower and his troubled daughter. In this charged atmosphere, enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal.
A Dog’s Journey by W. Bruce Cameron (Premiere Date: May 17)
The second installment in Cameron's popular A Dog's Purpose series sees Buddy the dog desperately try to find his Clarity, a troubled teenage girl. The movie stars Dennis Quaid and Josh Gad.
Book description: After searching for his purpose through several eventful lives, Buddy is sure that he has found and fulfilled it. Yet as he watches curious baby Clarity get into dangerous mischief, he is certain that this little girl is very much in need of a dog of her own. When Buddy is reborn, he realizes that he has a new destiny. He's overjoyed when he is adopted by Clarity, now a vibrant but troubled teenager. When they are suddenly separated, Buddy despairs―who will take care of his girl?
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (Premiere Date: Aug. 5)
With eight books in total, the first in the popular series follows the title character—a millionaire and criminal genius—as he deals with the aftermath of Captain Holly Short's kidnapping. She, by the way, is a fairy. The movie stars Dame Judi Dench and Josh Gad.
Book description: Twelve-year-old criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl has discovered a world below ground of armed and dangerous--and extremely high-tech--fairies. He kidnaps one of them, Holly Short, and holds her for ransom in an effort to restore his family's fortune. But he may have underestimated the fairies' powers. Is he about to trigger a cross-species war?
It by Stephen King (Premiere Date: Sept. 6)
The 2017 adaptation of this horror novel was so successful it called for a sequel, dubbed It: Chapter Two and starring Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, James McAvoy, Bill Skarsgård. In the book, seven friends reunite in their hometown of Derry, Maine to fight an evil, clown-like creature that murders children nearby.
Book description: They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But the promise they made twenty-eight years ago calls them reunite in the same place where, as teenagers, they battled an evil creature that preyed on the city’s children. Now, children are being murdered again and their repressed memories of that terrifying summer return as they prepare to once again battle the monster lurking in Derry’s sewers.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Premiere Date: Oct. 11)
Nicole Kidman, Sarah Paulson, Ansel Elgort star in Tartt's Pulitzer Prize-winning work about a man named Theo Decker who adapts to his new Park Avenue surroundings with the help of an unassuming yet captivating painting.
Book description: A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by a friend's family and struggles to make sense of his new life. In the years that follow, he becomes entranced by one of the few things that reminds him of his mother: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the art underworld. Composed with the skills of a master, The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America, and a drama of almost unbearable acuity and power. It is a story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the enormous power of art.
The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle (Premiere Date: Nov. 15)
Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen are cast in this story about a man who successfully deceives a wealthy widow he meets online, and uncovers long-held secrets at every turn.
Book description: Veteran con artist Roy spots an obvious easy mark when he meets Betty, a wealthy widow, online. In no time at all, he's moved into Betty's lovely cottage and is preparing to accompany her on a romantic trip to Europe. Betty's grandson disapproves of their blossoming relationship, but Roy is sure this scheme will be a success. He knows what he's doing.
The Call of the Wild by Jack London (Premiere Date: Dec. 25)
In the third movie of the year featuring dogs, Harrison Ford, Karen Gillan, Dan Stevens star in the story of a dog named Buck who learns to trust his instincts as he discovers a new, harsh life in the Alaskan wilderness.
Book description: The Call of the Wild, considered by many London's greatest novel, is a gripping tale of a heroic dog that, thrust into the brutal life of the Alaska Gold Rush, ultimately faces a choice between living in man's world and returning to nature. Adventure and dog-story enthusiasts as well as students and devotees of American literature will find this classic work a thrilling, memorable reading experience.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Premiere Date: Dec. 25)
Meryl Streep, Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan star in this classic tale of sisterhood as it follows the four March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—as they grow from girls to young women and learn about love, loss, and motherhood.
Book description: Grown-up Meg, tomboyish Jo, timid Beth, and precocious Amy. The four March sisters couldn't be more different. But with their father away at war, and their mother working to support the family, they have to rely on one another. Whether they're putting on a play, forming a secret society, or celebrating Christmas, there's one thing they can't help wondering: Will Father return home safely?