Books Read the Movie: Your Spring 2017 Movie Guide


It’s spring time and that means spring blockbusters on the big screens. Get the jump on some of the films hitting theaters in the near future by adding these to you reading list.


The Lost City of Z by David Grann
The Lost City of Z tells the incredible true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett, played by Charlie Hunnam, who journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Also starring Robert Pattinson and Sienna Miller. Look for The Lost City of Z in theaters April 14.

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Read the Movie: Your Spring Guide to Movies Based on Books


It’s time to give you a heads up if you want to get ahead of your movie watching by reading the novel. First off, a couple of movies on our last list have been pushed back and are now opening the first quarter of this year. August Osage County now has a release date of January 10, and Monuments Men will hit the screens February 7. The holiday movie season is past us and it is time to get the new year started. There are quite a few movies coming out based on popular books. Grab a copy and get a jump on this new year’s movies by reading the book first.

Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 1 by Marcus Luttrell

Based on the failed mission “Operation Red Wings” which tasked four members of SEAL Team 10 on June 28, 2005 to kill Taliban leader Ahmad Shah. They were quickly compromised and under attack. Lone Survivor stars Mark Wahlberg and Emile Hirsch. Movie will be released in theaters January 10.

Labor Day by Joyce Maynard

Depressed single mom Adele (Kate Winslet) and her son Henry offer a wounded, fearsome man (Josh Brolin) a ride. As police search town for the escaped convict, the mother and son gradually learn his true story as their options become increasingly limited. Movie will be released in theaters January 31.

Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

Burglar Peter Lake, played by Colin Farrell, falls for an heiress as she dies in his arms. When he learns that he has the gift of reincarnation, he sets out to save her. Will Smith, Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe also star in this all star cast love story. Movie will be released in theaters February 14.

Endless Love by Scott Spencer

Many of you might remember this story in the 1980s, film that starred Brooke Shields. I guess it is time to have a remake for the new generation with Gabriella Wilde and Alex Pettyfer. The story of a privileged girl and a charismatic boy whose instant desire sparks a love affair made only more reckless by parents trying to keep them apart. Movie will be released in theaters February 14.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, half human/vampire, guardians of the Moroi, peaceful, mortal vampires living discretely within our world. Her legacy is to protect the Moroi from bloodthirsty, immortal Vampires, the Strigoi. This is her story. Directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls and Freaky Friday). Movie will be released in theaters February 14.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Beatrice Prior, a teenager with a special mind, finds her life threatened when an authoritarian leader seeks to exterminate her kind in her effort to seize control of their divided society. Stars Shailene Woodley (The Descendants), Theo James and Kate Winslet (The Reader and Titanic). Movie will be released in theaters March 21.

What book will you read first before you see the movie?

Jim is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate.

Read the Movie: Your Fall Guide to Movies Based on Books

Want to get a jump on some great movies this fall? The fall movie line-up is chalked full of top-notch movies based on some bestselling books. Maybe you want to “read it first,” or maybe you want to impress your friends by saying “that isn’t how it happened in the book” — either way, you are in for some entertaining reading. Here are some books whose film adaptations will hit theaters this fall.

Carrie by Stephen King. Everyone is familiar with the famous shot of Sissy Spacek standing wide-eyed on stage covered in blood. I am not sure how a remake is going to top that, but with Chloe Grace Moretz teamed up with Julianne Moore, this has the potential to be a decent remake of a classic horror movie. Carrie will be released in theaters October 18.

Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup. This is one of the most anticipated films this fall. A stellar cast is on board with Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti and Quevenzhane Wallis, who you’ll remember from Beasts of the Southern Wild. Look for this one to be in the Oscar mix for Best Picture. Twelve Years a Slave will be released in theaters October 18.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. 70 years after a horrific alien war, an unusually gifted child is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future invasion. Staring Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley and Viola Davis. Ender’s Game hits theaters November 1.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Liesel Meminger, a young girl living with her foster parents in Germany during WWII, finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. Staring Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson. The Book Thief film opens on November 15.

The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort is based on the true story of Belfort’s tall from a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to one involving crime, corruption and the federal government. Martin Scorsese teams up again with Leonardo DiCaprio in what is sure to be another Scorsese classic. The film also stars Matthew McConaughey, Jonah Hill and Jon Favreau. The Wolf of Wall Street film opens November 15.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. The victors of the 74th Hunger Games are now targets of the capitol, which sparks a rebellion in the District of Panem. Jennifer Lawrence, last year’s Oscar winner for Best Actress, reprises her role as Katniss Everdeen in what will be a certain blockbuster this fall. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire hits the big screen November 22.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Although there was no need to stretch the book out to 3 three hour movies, the holidays wouldn’t be right without a Peter Jackson fantasy movie. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens December 13.

The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel. In a race against time, a crew of art historians and museum curators unite to recover renowned works of art stolen by Nazis before Hitler destroys them. Coming off their oscars for Best Picture (with last year’s Argo), George Clooney and Grant Heslov bring along a top notch cast in what is sure to be on many critics’ Top Ten list. The Monuments Men opens December 18.

August: Osage County by Tacy Letts. A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional women who raised them. Academy Award winners Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep star alongside one another and look to have their names on the Oscar list again this year. August:Osage County opens Christmas Day.

What book will you read first before you see the movie?

Jim is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate.

21 Books that Inspired Oscar-Winning Movies

“Secret’s in the sauce,” Sipsey said.

One of my favorite movies inspired by a book is Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) starring Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy and Mary-Louise Parker, based on the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (1987) by Fannie Flag. Even recent box office mega-hits like the Twilight saga and Harry Potter series first captured an audience of readers before they ever landed on the big screen. Some of the silver screen’s most loved and heroic characters were born in books – alongside the “boy who lived” are men like MI6’s “007” based on the James Bond series by Ian Fleming. Bond films began with Dr. No in 1962 and continue to thrive today with the 23rd film in the franchise, Skyfall (2012).

There are so many gifted screenwriters who have taken fantastic stories and characters from the pages of books and adapted them for film. And often those films are hailed as the “Best Picture” and “Best Screenplay” at the Academy Awards. Here’s a round-up of 21 books that inspired Oscar-winning movies. Have you read them all?


1. Gone with the Wind (1940) based on Gone with the Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell • 2. The Sound of Music (1965) based on The Story of the Trapp Family Singers (1949) by Maria Augusta Trapp • 3. The Godfather (1972) based on The Godfather (1969) by Mario Puzo • 4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) based on One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) by Ken Kesey • 5. Somewhere in Time (1980) based on Bid Time Return (1979) by Richard Matheson • 6. Terms of Endearment (1983) based on the novel Terms of Endearment (1975) by Larry McMurtry • 7. Scarface (1983) remake film based on Scarface (1929) by Armitage Trail • 8. Dances with Wolves (1990) based on Dances with Wolves (1988) by Michael Blake • 9. Schindler’s List (1993) based on Schindler’s List (1982) by Thomas Keneally • 10. Forrest Gump (1994) based on Forrest Gump (1986) by Winston Groom • 11. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) based on novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, from the collection Different Seasons (1982) by Stephen King • 12. Sense and Sensibility (1995) based on Sense and Sensibility (1811) by Jane Austen • 13. Cider House Rules (1999) based on The Cider House Rules (1985) by John Irving • 14. A Beautiful Mind (2001) based on A Beautiful Mind (1998) by Sylvia Nasar • 15. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) based on the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy (1954-55) by J.R.R. Tolkien • 16. Atonement (2007) based on Atonement: A Novel (2001) by Ian McEwan • 17. There Will Be Blood (2007) based on Oil! (1927) by Upton Sinclair • 18. The Blind Side (2009) based on The Blind Side: The Evolution of a Game (2006) by Michael Lewis • 19. Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009) based on Push (1996) by Sapphire • 20. 127 Hours (2010) based on the memior Between a Rock and a Hard Place (2004) by Aron Ralston • 21. Hugo (2011) based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret: A Novel in Words and Pictures (2007) by Brian Selznick.

In celebration of the 85th Academy Awards this weekend (Sunday, February 24), I give a big shout-out to all the screenwriters behind-the-scenes of each Oscar-worthy picture.

Meredith is Associate Creative Director at Half Price Books Corporate.
You can follow her on Twitter at @msquare21.

Bourne Legacy: Book vs. Movie Showdown

Editor’s Note: Read on as Jim, movie buff, and Julie, fiction fanatic, duke it out over which Bourne experience is better: Book, or Movie? WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.

JIM: I am going to get tickets to The Bourne Legacy on my lunch hour. I can grab one for you if you are interested in going?

JULIE: I don’t know.  I’m in the middle of reading The Bourne Legacy, and I already know the movie is going to be nothing like the book.  So I’m not sure I want to watch it. Not that any of the other Bourne movies were anything like the books.

JIM: OK, I am going to be honest with you, I have never read the books. But how can you not want to see it after the three blockbusters, Identity (2002), Supremacy (2004) and Ultimatum (2007)? I know you’ll miss looking at Matt Damon this time since the new storyline stars Jeremy Renner, but Renner is a top notch performer who is really hitting his stride in his acting career. Plus it features A-list Academy Award nominee co-stars Ed Norton, Rachel Weisz, David Stratharin and Albert Finney. This film is going to be pure summer excitement! You have to go.

JULIE: Well, you hit the nail on the head with the Matt Damon comment, and not just because he is sooooooo cute.  The book The Bourne Legacy is about Jason Bourne.  How can you have a movie called The Bourne Legacy without Jason Bourne?

As for the other movies… Jim, the books are so much better.  

I mean in The Bourne Identity, the story does follow a man who has lost his memory and is fished out of the sea, his body riddled with bullets just like in the movie, But the book is all about Jason staying one step ahead of the infamous terrorist Carlos the Jackal and the CIA; as he races through France, Switzerland and New York with the Canadian Dr. Marie St. Jacques (whom he kidnapped from an Economics Conference in Zurich), he tries to discover who he is, and why he has had plastic surgery, including some microfilm implanted beneath the skin of his hip. Now, that’s exciting! Why would the movie need to change any of that?

JIM: Carlos who? Ok, obviously his character was omitted from the movie. I will admit you have me a little curious about the book now. But as far as excitement goes, I don’t see how a book could compare to the movie’s ability to make you jump out of your seat or hold your breath as Jason Bourne is hanging off the side of the U.S. Embassy. Not to mention the top notch car chases through the narrow streets in France. The scenes make you gasp in anticipation and cringe at every turn. The Bourne movies to me are like the Bond films on speed!

JULIE: Okay, I’ll admit those car chases are better than anything I could have imagined — they are so good. And there are a lot of car chases throughout all three of the previous Bourne movies, like the first car chase in The Bourne Supremacy where Marie dies, which is very disappointing, if you ask me –because in the book The Bourne Supremacy, Marie doesn’t die at all.  In fact, she is a main character throughout the book, and the one who brings Jason back from the edge after he attacks the house on Victoria Peak, where unbeknownst to him Marie (who he has been told is dead) is being held in order to bring Jason back in.  The book The Bourne Supremacy (my favorite of the Bourne books, by the way) is about Jason chasing a man who is claiming to be him, and it comes down to the question: Who is the better Bourne? 

JIM: I guess this “Who is the better Bourne” question works as well for this upcoming movie, with Matt Damon stepping away from the series. If Damon had starred in it, it would have been as Jason Bourne. So in a way you can ask, “Does Renner or Damon make a better Bourne?” You do have my curiosity peaked about the books though. You might have inspired me to actually read them. Especially hearing that Marie lives. To me, I know the movies will be tops. To watch a story play out on the big screen with such intrigue and excitement- nothing gets the adrenaline going faster!

JULIE: Okay, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll go see The Bourne Legacy movie in theaters and give Jeremy Renner a chance, if you read one of the books.  I have them all which you may borrow, or you can find them in the Suspense/Thriller section at any Half Price Books.

So which do you think is the better Bourne experience — book or movie?

— Jim (and Julie)