From the bookstore to the silver screen: 12 not-to-be-missed movies based on books

From the bookstore to the silver screen: 12 not-to-be-missed movies based on books
From left: Forrest Goodluck, Sasha Lane and Chloe Grace Moretz in "The Miseducation of Cameron Post." (Jeong Park/ FilmRise)

It sounds like blasphemy, but even the most dedicated lover of literature has to put down their book once in a while. (Please. Your optometrist is begging you.)

But that doesn't mean you have to forsake all things literary. Books have always been reliable source material for Hollywood filmmakers, and this year is no exception. Take advantage of your local air-conditioned movie theater while still getting your read on with these 12 upcoming films based on books.


“The Miseducation of Cameron Post” (out now): The title character of Emily M. Danforth's 2012 novel is a 12-year-old girl in Montana who moves in with her grandmother and aunt after her parents are killed in a car crash. When they discover that Cameron is a lesbian, she's sent to a conversion camp to be “cured” of her homosexuality. Desiree Akhavan's film adaptation stars Chloë Grace Moretz as Cameron and Quinn Shephard as the girl on whom she develops a crush.

"BlacKkKlansman" (opens Aug. 10): The highly anticipated film by Spike Lee is based on the memoir by Ron Stallworth, an African American police detective in Colorado who manages to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan, with the help of his white partner. The movie stars John David Washington (“Ballers”) as Stallworth, as well as Adam Driver, Harry Belafonte and Topher Grace of “That ’70s Show” fame as former KKK leader David Duke.

"Crazy Rich Asians" (Aug. 15): Kevin Kwan's bestselling comic novel immersed readers in the world of upper-class Singapore, following an American woman surprised to learn her fiancé is the scion of a famously jet-setting family. Directed by Jon M. Chu and starring Constance Wu and Henry Golding, it's the first major American movie in 25 years to feature all actors of Asian descent — the last was also a literary adaptation, Amy Tan’s “The Joy Luck Club.”

Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and popular jock Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) in "To All the Boys I've Loved Before."
Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and popular jock Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) in "To All the Boys I've Loved Before." (Awesomeness Films / Netflix)

"To All the Boys I've Loved Before" (Aug. 17): Jenny Han's 2014 young-adult novel follows Lara Jean, a 16-year-old girl who writes letters to boys she has crushes on but never sends them. When she finds out the boys have somehow received the letters, her life at school and home gets complicated quickly. Susan Johnson directed the movie version for Netflix, with Lana Condor ("X-Men: Apocalypse") in the starring role.

“The Wife” (Aug. 17): The 2003 novel by Meg Wolitzer (“The Interestings,” "The Female Persuasion") tells the story of an acclaimed novelist whose wife of four decades breaks up with him, sick of being expected to support his literary career at the cost of her own. Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce star as the couple in the film adaptation helmed by Swedish director Björn Runge.

“We the Animals” (Aug. 17): Justin Torres' 2011 coming-of-age literary debut about three biracial brothers growing up poor in upstate New York delighted critics and readers. The film adaptation,directed by Jeremiah Zagar, won the NEXT Innovator Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

“The Little Stranger” (Aug. 31): Sarah Waters' 2009 novel was horror master Stephen King’s favorite book of the year. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the book follows an English country doctor treating a patient at what might be a haunted house. The movie version of the novel is directed by Lenny Abrahamson and stars Domnhall Gleason, Ruth Wilson and Charlotte Rampling.

Anna Kendrick stars as Stephanie in "A Simple Favor."
Anna Kendrick stars as Stephanie in "A Simple Favor." (Peter Iovino / Lionsgate)

“A Simple Favor” (Sept. 14): Director Paul Feig is mostly known for comedy films like “Bridesmaids,” “Spy” and “Ghostbusters,” but his latest movie, starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively, is a thriller that forgoes the laughs. It's based on Darcey Bell’s 2017 novel about a single mother in small-town Connecticut whose best friend suddenly goes missing.

“Beautiful Boy” (Oct. 12): Oscar nominees Steve Carell (“Foxcatcher”) and Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name”) star in what looks to be a tearjerker of epic proportions, the story of a father who tries to help his young son kick his meth addiction. Two memoirs formed the basis of the movie, directed by Belgian filmmaker Felix Van Groeningen: David Sheff's “Beautiful Boy” and his son Nic Sheff's “Tweak.”

“The Hate U Give” (Oct. 19): Angie Thomas’ novel quickly became a bestseller as well as the most talked-about young-adult book of 2017. The story is about an African American teenage girl who moves between two worlds in her community, whose best friend is shot and killed by a police officer. The novel made the longlist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.The film adaptation, directed by George Tillman Jr., boasts an impressive cast, including Amandla Stenberg (“The Hunger Games”), Anthony Mackie, Issa Rae and Common.

“Wildlife” (Oct. 19): Actor Paul Dano (“There Will Be Blood”) makes his directorial debut in this adaptation of Richard Ford’s 1990 novel about a teenage boy whose parents move to Great Falls, Montana, only to have their marriage start to fall apart. Carrie Mulligan and Jake Gylllenhaal star in the film, which was written by Dano and actress Zoe Kazan.

“Boy Erased” (Nov. 2): Garrard Conley's acclaimed 2016 memoir dealt with his experiences as a young gay man in Arkansas, forced by his parents to attend gay conversion “therapy.” Lucas Hedges stars in the film adaptation along with Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe; it was written for the screen and directed by actor Joel Edgerton, who stars as the head conversion "therapist."