Books to Blockbusters: Best 2015/2016 Movies Based on Books

Dear BookBrowsers,

'Tis the season — for movies. The holidays are a time for heavy-hitting blockbusters and films of all stripes.

As avid readers, we're almost always partial toward books over movies. After all, we know they get to the heart of things much better than movies do. But if your trip to the matinee involves revisiting your favorite novel through the big screen (even if it is to shake your head disapprovingly at everything the movie got wrong), we run down a list of potential nominees, some already released and the rest to show soon. So visit the concession stand, pick up that bucket of popcorn and you're good to go.

Brooklyn Brooklyn: A Novel by Colm Toibin

272 pages. Published by Scribner

Colm Tóibín's sixth novel follows Eilis Lacey as she leaves Ireland in the early 1950s to take a shot at reinvention in the new world. Even as she makes a new life in Brooklyn and falls in love with a handsome young Italian, Eilis feels the irresistible pull of the mother country leading her to evaluate the meaning of "home." Nick Hornby has written the screenplay for a movie that The New York Times calls "a lovely film based on the even lovelier novel" praising its star actor, Saoirse Ronan as a "screen performer of remarkable force and sensitivity."
Release Date: November 4

More about the book at BookBrowse


Room Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue

352 pages. Published by Back Bay Books

The novel continues to be a reliable book club choice and was voted as a BookBrowse favorite when it was released five years ago. Emma Donoghue has written the adapted screenplay for the movie which stars Jacob Tremblay as five-year-old Jack, whose entire life is spent in the room until he finally gets a taste of the outside world. Richard Roeper of The Chicago Sun Times has called the movie "the most impressive piece of filmmaking I've seen in 2015 and one of the best movies of the decade." Recommended for parents everywhere.
Release Date: November 6

More about the book at BookBrowse


Mockingjay Mockingjay: The final book of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

400 pages. Published by Scholastic

It might have been only a year since the release of Mockingjay part 1, but fans of the wildly popular Hunger Games series probably feel they have been waiting for on-screen resolution for much longer. The movie franchise which catapulted its star Jennifer Lawrence to fame and made Katniss Everdeen a recognizable name in pop culture, promises to end with a spectacular bang.
Release Date: November 20

More about the book at BookBrowse


The Martian The Martian by Andy Weir

384 pages. Published by Broadway Books

The popular science-fiction novel was ripe with potential for a runaway blockbuster and by all indications the box office numbers have proven this right. Directed by Ridley Scott, of Alien and Blade Runner fame, the movie stars Matt Damon as the lonely outcast on the Red Planet who uses every ounce of his wits to survive and make it back. NASA found evidence of water on Mars at just about the same time the movie was released making its premise an even juicer one.
Release Date: October 2

More about the book at BookBrowse


A Walk In The Woods A Walk In The Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson

255 pages. Published by Broadway Books

Fans of the Sundance Kid, rejoice! Robert Redford is back along with Nick Nolte in this classic travel adventure adapted for the big screen. The old friends hike the Appalachian Trail as a way of connecting both with the land and with each other. Trouble comes when the two have a completely different definition of the word "adventure."
Release Date: September 2

More about the book at BookBrowse


The Secret in Their Eyes The Secret in Their Eyes by Eduardo Sacheri

400 Pages. Published by Other Press

A group of detectives faces the worst kind of terror when one of their own teenage daughters is murdered. The deeply layered thriller explores the murky boundaries between justice and revenge and the movie adaptation features a star-studded, Academy Award-winning lead cast featuring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, and Julia Roberts.
Release Date: November 20

More about the book at the publisher's website


The Price of Salt, or Carol The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith (Film name: Carol)

304 pages. Published by W.W. Norton

The queen of the psychological thriller, Patricia Highsmith, of The Talented Mr. Ripley fame delivers a cult classic (said to be the inspiration for Nabokov's Lolita) in which a young department store clerk, Therese, falls in love with an older married woman, Carol. The two try to forge a life together until circumstances lead Carol to choose between her lover and her child. The movie by the same name features Cate Blanchett as Carol and Rooney Mara as Therese.
Release Date: November 20

More about the book at the publisher's website


The Danish Girl The Danish Girl: A Novel by David Ebershoff

304 pages. Published by Penguin

Winner of the 2000 Lambda Literary Award for best transgender fiction, this novel, loosely based on real life, asks what you do when the person you love has to change. Eddie Redmayne who won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in The Theory of Everything stars as the transgender pioneer Lili Elbe, in a role that promises to net him more brownie points at the Oscars.
Release Date: November 27

More about the book at the author's website


In the Heart of the Sea In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick

302 pages. Published by Penguin

One of Hollywood's top and most enduring directors, Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind), oversees this ambitious on-screen adaptation of a real-life high-seas tragedy that took place in 1820 when the Essex was attacked by a sperm whale, stranding its crew at sea for 90 days, thousands of miles from home. A story that feels tailor-made for the big screen.
Release Date: December 11

More about the book at BookBrowse


The Revenant The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke

272 pages. Published by Picador

You may remember Alejandro González Iñárritu as the Academy award-winning director of the surprise 2014 hit, Birdman. He's back at the helm with this tale, set in the 1820s, of a frontiersman, Hugh Glass, who sets out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling. A heads up: The movie borrows two stars, Tom Hardy and Leonardo DiCaprio, from the sci-fi classic, Inception.
Release Date: January 8, 2016

More about the book at the publisher's website


The 5th Wave The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

480 Pages. Published by Putnam Juvenile

In the first part of Yancey's post-apocalyptic trilogy, four waves of alien invasion have left the earth decimated and only the unlucky are still alive, including Cassie and her younger brother. Cassie (played by Chloe Grace Moretz who was Mia in If I Stay) believes the only way to stay alive is to stay alone - until she meets the mysterious Evan Walker. Will she choose trust or despair, life or death? No doubt we'll find out in the first of what are sure to be at least three movies based on the trilogy.
Release Date: January 15, 2016

More about the book at BookBrowse

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