It’s only halfway through 2018 but it has already been a great year for book-to-film adaptations. With the amount of adaptations still coming this year, read on for a list of books that every book and film lover must catch up on before seeing them onscreen.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Set in post-World War II London in 1946, this epistolary novel follows author Julie Ashton as she corresponds with the members of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club hastily created by its members as an alibi for breaking curfew during the German occupation. Mike Newell’s film adaptation is currently available on Netflix and stars Lily James as Juliet Ashton.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. The author, who graced last year’s Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) for a book-signing event, was inspired to write To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before from her teenage habit of writing letters to her crushes. The novel tells the story of 16-year-old Lara Jean Covey, whose life spirals out of control when her letters are secretly mailed out. Susan Johnson directs the Netflix film based on the novel, released on August 17, starring X-Men: Apocalypse’s Lana Condor.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. This breakout debut novel pulls readers into the whirlwind that is the lives of, well, crazy rich Asians. Directed by Jon M. Chu, the film adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians is the first Hollywood film since The Joy Luck Club in 1993 to feature an all-Asian cast. It’s now in theaters everywhere. (Tip: Keep your eyes peeled for Kris Aquino’s cameo.)
First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen. This official biography gives an in-depth account of astronaut Neil Armstrong’s life and career, and the journey leading to the momentous Apollo 11 mission. First Man, the film based on the biography, stars Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong and Claire Foy as Janet Shearon, Neil Armstrong’s first wife. The movie is set for a theatrical release in October.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz. In The Girl in the Spider’s Web, David Lagercrantz continues the late Stieg Larsson’s gripping Millennium series that began with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The sequel sees hacker Lisbeth Salander assist journalist Mikael Blomkvist in investigating an organization named the Spider Society. Taking the place of Rooney Mara, Claire Foy plays Lisbeth Salander in the November film sequel directed by Fedé Alvarez, also known as director of acclaimed thriller Don’t Breathe.
Boy Erased: A Memoir by Garrard Conley. In his memoir, Garrard Conley recounts his childhood as the son of devout Baptist parents who was made to undergo conversion therapy after being outed at 19 years old. Boy Erased: A Memoir includes detailing of Conley’s, as well as other participants’ experiences in the program. Joel Edgerton directs and stars in Boy Erased, also starring Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe as the parents of Jared Eamons, played by Lucas Hedges. The film is set to be released in November.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling. Potterheads, time to dive back into the wizarding world. The sequel to the 2016 adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a textbook on the universe’s magical creatures, is coming out this November. Eddie Redmayne reprises his role as Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, accompanied by Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore and Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald. David Yates returns to direct the sequel with a screenplay again by Rowling.
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. This book imagines a post-apocalyptic world in which London has been transformed into a “Traction City” that moves on wheels and consumes other cities to obtain resources. The first novel in the tetralogy, Mortal Engines follows Tom Natsworthy and Hester Shaw as they find themselves stranded outside of London. Cowritten and coproduced by Peter Jackson, Christian Rivers’s film adaptation comes out in December, starring Hugo Weaving and Hera Hilmar as Tom Natsworthy and Hester Shaw, respectively.
My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots by John Guy. In this biography, Guy examines the archives and reanalyzes the life of Mary Stuart, opening room for new interpretations to the queen’s tragedy-laden life. Saoirse Ronan stars as Mary Stuart opposite Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth I in the historical drama directed by Josie Rourke. The film is set for a December release.
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers. It’s only been a 54-year-long wait, but finally, the sequel to the classic film starring Julie Andrews is coming in December. Mary Poppins Returns will see Emily Blunt starring as the titular character, with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Julie Walters, Colin Firth and Meryl Streep joining her in the cast. In the meantime, revisit her magical adventures with the Bankses through P.L. Travers’s Mary Poppins series—there are eight books in total, so it’ll keep you well-occupied until Mary Poppins’s return.
Grab all of these books and more at the 39th MIBF, set from September 12 to 16 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. The MIBF is organized by Primetrade Asia Inc., in partnership with Asian Catholic Communicators Inc., Book Development Association of the Philippines, Philippine Booksellers Association Inc. and the Overseas Publishers Representatives’ Association of the Philippines. For details, call 896-0661 or 896-0682, e-mail [email protected], or follow @ManilaBookFair on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.