Read a book that has been—or will be—made into a movie.
June 1, 2021
Many fantastic (and not-so-fantastic) movies started out as novels—or even biographies!
Of course, the book is always better.
This list is part of the 2021 Adult Summer Reading program. To complete this challenge, you only need to read the book, but we encourage you to watch the movie, too!
A member of Navy SEAL Team 3 describes his life as a father and husband, and as the serviceman with the most confirmed sniper kills in the U.S. military’s history, in a memorial edition filled with remembrances from family and friends.
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Nearing the end of his life, Enzo, a dog with a philosopher’s soul, tries to bring together the family, pulled apart by a three year custody battle between daughter Zoe’s maternal grandparents and her father Denny, a race car driver.
In 1935 England, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses an event involving her sister Cecilia and her childhood friend Robbie Turner, and she becomes the victim of her own imagination, which leads her on a lifelong search for truth and absolution.
Crazy Rich Asians
Envisioning a summer vacation in the humble Singapore home of a boy she hopes to marry, Chinese American Rachel Chu is unexpectedly introduced to a rich and scheming clan that strongly opposes their son’s relationship with an American girl.
Eat Pray Love
Traces the author’s decision to quit her job and travel the world for a year after suffering a midlife crisis and divorce, a journey that took her to three places in her quest to explore her own nature and learn the art of spiritual balance.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Jonathan Safran Foer
Oskar Schell, the nine-year-old son of a man killed in the World Trade Center attacks, searches the five boroughs of New York City for a lock that fits a black key his father left behind.
When a beautiful woman goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary, her diary reveals hidden turmoil in her marriage and a mysterious illness; while her husband, desperate to clear himself of suspicion, realizes that something more disturbing than murder may have occurred.
In Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962, there are lines that are not crossed. With the civil rights movement exploding all around them, three women start a movement of their own, forever changing a town and the way women–black and white, mothers and daughters–view one another.
The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
Margot Lee Shetterly
An account of the previously unheralded but pivotal contributions of NASA’s African-American women mathematicians to America’s space program describes how they were segregated from their white counterparts by Jim Crow laws in spite of their groundbreaking successes.
In a novel of love, family inheritance, and desperation, the author offers a fictional account of Virginia Woolf’s last days and her friendship with a poet living in his mother’s shadow.
In the Heart of the Sea
The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
Recounts the story of the 1820 wreck of the whaleship Essex, which in its time was as mythic as the sinking of the Titanic and which inspired Melville’s classic Moby Dick, and recounts its doomed crew’s ninety-day attempt to survive whale attacks and the elements on three tiny lifeboats.
Interview With the Vampire
A vampire recounts his tragic two-century life, marked by an endless thirst for human blood.
The Invisible Man
H. G Wells
One of the most famous scientific fantasies ever written, this highly imaginative tale focuses on a scientist, capable of making himself invisible, who unleashes a bizarre streak of terror on the inhabitants of an English village.
Julie and Julia
Recounts how the author escaped the doldrums of an unpromising career and lackluster Queens apartment by mastering every recipe in Julia Child’s 1961 classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, a year-long endeavor of humor and accomplishment that transformed her life.
The executive director of a social advocacy group that has helped relieve condemned prisoners explains why justice and mercy must go hand-in-hand through the story of Walter McMillian, a man condemned to death row for a murder he didn’t commit.
The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of Seal Team 10
The leader, and only survivor, of a team of U.S. Navy SEALs sent to northern Afghanistan to capture a well-known al Qaeda leader chronicles the events of the battle that killed his teammates and offers insight into the training of this elite group of warriors.
The Lost City of Z
A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
Interweaves the story of British explorer Percy Fawcett, who vanished during a 1925 expedition into the Amazon to find an ancient civilization, with the author’s own adventure-filled quest into the uncharted wilderness to uncover the mysteries surrounding Fawcett’s final journey and the secrets of what really lies deep in the Amazon jungle.
Stranded on Mars by a duststorm that compromised his space suit and forced his crew to leave him behind, astronaut Mark Watney struggles to survive in spite of minimal supplies and harsh environmental challenges that test his ingenuity in unique ways.
Me Before You
Taking a job as an assistant to extreme sports enthusiast Will, who is wheelchair bound after a motorcycle accident, Louisa struggles with her employer’s acerbic moods and learns of his shocking plans before demonstrating to him that life is still worth living
My Sister’s Keeper
Conceived to provide a bone marrow match for her leukemia-stricken sister, teenage Kate begins to question her moral obligations in light of countless medical procedures and decides to fight for the right to make decisions about her own body.
News of the World
In the aftermath of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an elderly widower and itinerant news reader, is offered fifty dollars to bring an orphan girl, who was kidnapped and raised by Kiowa raiders, from Wichita Falls back to her family in San Antonio.
Reunited when the elder’s husband is sent to fight in World War II, French sisters Vianne and Isabelle find their bond as well as their respective beliefs tested by a world that changes in horrific ways.
Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century
The author chronicles her time embedded in a pool of transient older Americans who have taken to the road in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads, migrant laborers who call themselves “workampers.”
Practical Magic is a tale of two sisters, Gillian and Sally Owens, brought up by their two elderly guardian aunts in a world of spells and exotica from which they eventually escape—one by running away, the other by marrying—but which never escapes from them.
The Pursuit of Happyness
In a candid, intensely personal memoir, a successful entrepreneur traces his journey from growing up with an abusive stepfather, to life on the streets as a homeless man with a small toddler in tow, to his triumphant battle to the top as a self-made millionaire.
The Saga of an American Family
After eleven years of research to uncover the facts of his heritage, Haley shares the saga of an American black family that extends from his ancestor Kunta Kinte, an African brought to mid-eighteenth-century America as a slave, to himself.
The Silver Linings Playbook
Embracing a philosophy that life is a movie produced by God, neural health patient Pat Peoples endeavors to win back his estranged wife by making strategic sacrifices and coordinating their communications through a depressed widow.
The Time Traveler’s Wife
Passionately in love, Clare and Henry vow to hold onto each other and their marriage as they struggle with the effects of Chrono-Displacement Disorder, a condition that casts Henry involuntarily into the world of time travel.
The story of a U.S. airman who survived when his bomber crashed into the sea during World War II, spent forty-seven days adrift in the ocean before being rescued by the Japanese Navy, and was held as a prisoner until the end of the war.
Water for Elephants
Ninety-something-year-old Jacob Jankowski remembers his time in the circus as a young man during the Great Depression, and his friendship with Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, and Rosie, the elephant, who gave them hope.
From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Traces the personal crisis the author endured after the death of her mother and a painful divorce, which prompted her ambition to undertake a dangerous 1,100-mile solo hike that both drove her to rock bottom and helped her to heal.
The Woman in the Window
An agoraphobic recluse languishes in her New York City home, drinking wine and spying on her neighbors, before witnessing a terrible crime through her window that exposes her secrets and raises questions about her perceptions of reality.