Coming soon to a theater near you ~your favorite book! Every summer it seems like there are a whole lot of great blockbuster movies hitting the big screen. What a golden opportunity for reading. At least a few of these movies were probably books first! So, if reading more is a goal for either yourself or your kids, this is a great way to make it happen.
This summer is certainly no exception for big movies coming out that were books first. And, in our house we live by the golden rule of read the book first (mostly enforced by my daughter). So, it seems we are always racing to finish books before we head to the theater to see the movie.
Why Read the Book First Works
Here are a few reasons I love this strategy:
If you’re reading a book before you go to see the movie, you’ve got a built in deadline of when you need to finish the book! Sometimes this will motivate me to get it done a little quicker!
Book Choices Narrowed
When you focus your reading list on what movies you want to see, your choices of what to read are narrowed down to what is coming to the theater! I don’t know about you, but my reading list is always a mile long. So, I really like sometimes that I don’t have to think about what to read. My choice is dependent on what movie I want to see.
Make it a family affair! Have everyone read the same book and then go see the movie together. Or, if it’s an older book/movie, then plan a movie night when you know everyone will be able to be finished with the book. Make sure the book/movie are age and reading level appropriate for your children. It would stink to read the book and then find out the movie is too old for them 🙁
This is one of my favorite reasons for reading the books before seeing the movie as a family. Before the movie, you can discuss what the book was about and what you think the movie will be about. This is a great follow up opportunity when you’ve read the book and then watched the movie. Compare with your child(ren) which was better – the book or the movie. Which did you like better? Why? What was different? What was the same? Did the characters look like what you thought they would? Get your kids thinking a little more critically about the book. It’s a great way to check their comprehension and build on it!
Movies Coming this Summer
The Lost City of Z by David Grann (April 14)
In 1925, the legendary British explorer Percy Fawcett ventured into the Amazon jungle, in search of a fabled civilization. He never returned. Over the years countless perished trying to find evidence of his party and the place he called “The Lost City of Z.” In this masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, journalist David Grann interweaves the spellbinding stories of Fawcett’s quest for “Z” and his own journey into the deadly jungle, as he unravels the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century.
The Circle by Dave Eggers (April 28, 2017)
When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO.
Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.
The Dinner by Herman Koch (May 5, 2017)
It’s a summer’s evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse — the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened.
Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.
Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey (June 2, 2017)
Two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold, hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne duMarier (July 14, 2017)
Philip Ashley’s older cousin Ambrose, who raised the orphaned Philip as his own son, has died in Rome. Philip, the heir to Ambrose’s beautiful English estate, is crushed that the man he loved died far from home. He is also suspicious. While in Italy, Ambrose fell in love with Rachel, a beautiful English and Italian woman. But the final, brief letters Ambrose wrote hint that his love had turned to paranoia and fear.
Now Rachel has arrived at Philip’s newly inherited estate. Could this exquisite woman, who seems to genuinely share Philip’s grief at Ambrose’s death, really be as cruel as Philip imagined? Or is she the kind, passionate woman with whom Ambrose fell in love? Philip struggles to answer this question, knowing Ambrose’s estate, and his own future, will be destroyed if his answer is wrong.
The Dark Tower by Stephen King (August 4, 2017)
Roland of Gilead: The Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. In his desolate world, which mirrors our own in frightening ways, Roland tracks The Man in Black, encounters an enticing woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the boy from New York named Jake.
The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin (October 20, 2017)
On a stormy winter night, two strangers wait for a flight at the Salt Lake City airport. Ashley Knox is an attractive, successful writer, who is flying East for her much anticipated wedding. Dr. Ben Payne has just wrapped up a medical conference and is also eager to get back East for a slate of surgeries he has scheduled for the following day. When the last outgoing flight is cancelled due to a broken de-icer and a forthcoming storm, Ben finds a charter plane that can take him around the storm and drop him in Denver to catch a connection. And when the pilot says the single engine prop plane can fit one more, if barely, Ben offers the seat to Ashley knowing that she needs to get back just as urgently.
And then the unthinkable happens. The pilot has a heart attack mid-flight and the plane crashes into the High Uintas Wilderness– one of the largest stretches of harsh and remote land in the United States. As the days on the mountains become weeks, their survival become increasingly perilous. How will they make it out of the wilderness and if they do, how will this experience change them forever?
Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews (November 10, 2017)
State intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the cast-iron bureaucracy of post-Soviet intelligence. Drafted against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress in the service, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a first-tour CIA officer who handles the CIA’s most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers, trained in their respective spy schools, collide in a charged atmosphere of trade craft, deception, and, inevitably, a forbidden spiral of carnal attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America’s most valuable mole in Moscow.
Seeking revenge against her soulless masters, Dominika begins a fateful double life, recruited by the CIA to ferret out a high-level traitor in Washington; hunt down a Russian illegal buried deep in the US military and, against all odds, to return to Moscow as the new-generation penetration of Putin’s intelligence service. Dominika and Nathaniel’s impossible love affair and twisted spy game come to a deadly conclusion in the shocking climax of this electrifying, up-to-the minute spy thriller.
Wonder by RJ Palacio (November 17, 2017)
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.
Older Books/Movies You Might Enjoy
Don’t limit your family to books that are coming out this year. There are scads of books that have been made into movies that you could read and then have a movie night at home. Here’s a list of some books that have previously been made into movies:
- The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
- Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
- Holes by Louis Sachar
- Coraline by Neil Gaiman
- Matilda by Roald Dahl (there are several by Roald Dahl)
- A Bad Beginning by Lemony Snickett
- The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
- Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
- Judy Moody by Megan McDonald
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
As you can see, there are lots of great reasons to enjoy the book before you head out to the theater. If you have a family, it’s a great way to enjoy a book together. But, it can also make for a great girls night out! Reading the book first is great because it’s always interesting to see how closely the movie mirrors the book. Sometimes, they run pretty true. But other times, the movie can be completely different. But, if you haven’t read the book first, you’d never even realize that!
So, of the list of movies coming out this summer, what looks interesting to you? Have I missed any book/movies that are coming out?? Probably, so let me know and I’ll add them to my list! And, let me know what you think of the book and the movie when you’re done! Happy reading and happy movie watching!
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Becki is the author and founder of A Book Lover’s Adventures. She has a degree in elementary education, has worked and volunteered in libraries for years, and spent several years in the travel industry. All of this has led to a love of books and travel. Becki loves to share her love by finding literary escapes to share!