26 Books that have Been Adapted into Movies Releasing in 2013 [Part Two]

26 Books to Read in Preparation for the Movies of 2013 [Part Two]

Yesterday we took a look at the comic books, graphic novels, plays and news articles that were being adapted into films set for release in 2013 (find that article here) and today we dig a little deeper and take a look at over 25 books that will make the leap from page to screen in the new year and it is a list with some titles you are surely going to want to add to your reading list over the coming months.

The list is filled with recognizable authors such as Stephen King, Cormac McCarthy, Orson Scott Card, Suzanne Collins, Tom Clancy, Stephenie Meyer, Nicholas Sparks and F. Scott Fitzgerald. After that you have J.R.R. Tolkien, L. Frank Baum, Hans Christian Andersen and even Stanislaw Lem.

Cassandra Clare, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Joseph Delaney, Rick Riordan and Isaac Marion deliver some young adult flavor while Ron Rash and Jordan Belfort deliver the two titles that look as if they are the must reads of the bunch.

The films we're talking about include directors such as Martin Scorsese, Susanne Bier, Marc Forster, Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson, Ari Folman, Kimberly Peirce, Baz Luhrmann and even James Franco. The films range from animation to fantasy to drama to horror and I've done my best to leave no stone unturned.

By the time you're done here, if you haven't found something to read then I really don't know what to say. I've included all the purchasing links necessary and noted a couple of deals if you own a Kindle. Hopefully you find something to check out... I know I did.

Beautiful Creatures

by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful CreaturesKami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's popular young adult novel is coming to the big screen this year. Beautiful Creatures stars Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum and Emma Thompson and hits theaters on February 13.

Here's the synopsis for the book it is based on.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.



by Stephen King

You all know about Stephen King's "Carrie" and I suspect many of you have already read it and/or seen Brian De Palma's 1976 adaptation of the film about a young girl with telekinetic powers. Well, this time around Chloe Moretz is stepping into the shoes of the powerful 17-year-old and why not revisit the novel that got it all started and put Stephen King on the map.


Child of God

by Cormac McCarthy

Child of GodI'm going to bet not many of you even knew James Franco was directing an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God" in which Franco stars alongside Tim Blake Nelson, Jim Parrack, Fallon Goodson and Elena McGhee. There's no guarantee the film will hit theaters this year, but a McCarthy novel is always worth a read.

Here's the book synopsis:

In this taut, chilling novel, Lester Ballard--a violent, dispossessed man falsely accused of rape--haunts the hill country of East Tennessee when he is released from jail. While telling his story, Cormac McCarthy depicts the most sordid aspects of life with dignity, humor, and characteristic lyrical brilliance.


FRANCO BONUS: Franco is also directing and adaptation of William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying" (buy it here), but while I'm not quite sure Child of God will hit theaters this year, I'm even more in doubt As I Lay Dying will, but if you need another novel to read, you can't go wrong with Faulkner.

The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy

by Stanislaw Lem

Ari Folman made a lot of noise a couple years back with Waltz with Bashir, but his follow-up, The Congress, has taken some time to get the animation just right and it's looking like 2013 may finally be the year it hits screens, most likely beginning with the festival circuit.

The story is a loose adaptation of Stanislaw Lem's "The Futurological Congress," a 1971 black humour science fiction detailing the exploits of the hero of a number of his books, Ijon Tichy, as he visits the Eighth World Futurological Congress at the Costa Rica Hilton. The book is Lem's take on the common sci-fi trope of an apparently Utopian future that turns out to be an illusion.


Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three

by Mara Leveritt

We've had three Paradise Lost films and 2012 saw the release of the West Memphis Three documentary and now Mara Leveritt's "Devil's Knot" is getting a feature film adaptation with Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Mireille Enos and Alessandro Nivola starring and Atom Egoyan directing.

If you haven't yet watched any of the documentaries then Leveritt's book may be a good place to start, but if you've been paying any kind of attention, this story may have already worn itself out.


Ender's Game (Ender, Book 1)

by Orson Scott Card

Ender's GameOrson Scott Card's "Ender's Game" is the winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards and, from what I have heard, is one hell of a book series. The film adaptation of the first book doesn't hit theaters until November 1 so you have more than enough time to start reading not one, but maybe several of the installments.

Here's the synopsis for the first book:

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut--young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers, Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If the world survives, that is.


  • Con

    Liam Neeson is starring in an adaptation of Lawrence Block's, A Walk Among the Tombstones

  • Jake17

    Interesting list. I've only read The Great Gatsby, which is my favorite book, and Catching Fire, a book I was rather disappointed with when I read it. I'll be sure to check out Serena, The Wolf On Wall Street, and Warm Bodies, as all three sound excellent. By the way, Brad, when can we expect your most anticipated of 2013 list?

    • Jake17

      Brad, I also agree that the second half of Catching Fire is far too much like The Hunger Games. It's one of the reasons I didn't care for that book.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

    I'm most excited about The Wolf of Wall Street.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/MrPA/ Mr. P.A.


    John Dies At the End is an interesting novel and very different from the movie, which I caught at SIFF this year, excited as could be. As it is one of my favorite books, for reasons I cannot comprehend (In line with 1984, Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, As I Lay Dying...), I was greatly disappointed by the movie that turned it into some obscure slapstick mess.

    There isn't a ton of depth to the novel, but it packs in a lot more psychological horror than expected and the movie glosses over that aspect entirely. It was the first story of any kind in maybe ten years that genuinely frightened me. The movie also combines two female leads, Jennifer and Amy, into one undeveloped character who fails to resonate within the film.

    One of the main problems with the film, however, is that there are three separate narrative plots in David Wong's book, and while including all of them might make for a complicated film, or a poorly written one in many people's eyes, the last of the three is definitely climatic and superior to the other two, but the movie only covers the first. The second "Act" is short and doesn't add a ton to the story, except to develop some villains/beings more thoroughly, but the third changes basically everything about the first two. I believe they combined the final climatic elements of the third into the plot of the movie (but May was a long time ago), versus having the true end of the first act, but it still lacks the explanation of creatures and events that the book covers.

    There is a growth in the book from being these two guys who stumble upon "Soy Sauce" to two men who, after years of dealing with these side effects, embrace their roles and fight these beings regularly and willingly. They become the go-to experts in the field, which is why Arnie is interviewing David and why they are able to face the challenges in the end, but they appear to be novices throughout the plot of the film, characters who just stumble into the right answer or are saved by magical guys who know what they are doing and just happen to show up at the right moment. This makes for a poorly written tale about things you just don't care about, with tons of jokes and ridiculous events.

    Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go to work, haha.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Thanks for that Mr. P.A., I may have to check that book out one of these days.

      • http://www.twitter.com/GregDinskisk GregDinskisk

        It's an incredible book, one of my favorites. I'd vouch for it, but that probably doesn't mean anything... You never reviewed the film, did you?

  • The Moth

    I really liked "World War Z" (the audio book is also very good) but after the trailer it seems as if they were trying to make the film as different as possible to the book.

    A good way would have been an HBO-mini series/"documentary".

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Exxdee/ Geoffrey De Leon

    What about Jason Reitman's adaptation (Juno, Up in the Air) of Joyce Maynard's Labor Day? It starts Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet. It seems intriguing to me.

  • Harrison

    I'm disappointed that Winter's Tale was not included in this list. Because the story is so sprawling and derives most of its strength from its prose, the film could very well collapse under first-time director Akiva Goldsman. But it's a great book, and I'm very curious to see how it is adapted.

  • Dale

    "The Great Gatsby" is one of my favorite books and I'm very concerned about the eccentric Baz Luhrman getting his hands on it. I've read that he's using a rock score. Please, God!

    • Jake17

      Even better: Jay-Z is scoring it. Prepare for the utter destruction of a timeless classic.

  • adu

    I am originally from the city of Lahore, and not to be biased or anything but I seriously recommend The Reluctant Fundamentalist. It is a great story indeed and breezy read from what I remember.

  • Joe Shefte

    Action-thriller and New York Times bestseller "Falcon Seven" by James W. Huston is also being adapted by Craig Fronk and Jim Edwards. A great story especially relevant based on our current military engagements.