11 Books to Read Before the 2018 Screen Adaptation
We all know that the book is usually better than the adaptation.
Despite this, some of the best films and TV shows are based on books. From Pride and Prejudice to The Handmaid’s Tale, books can be a great source of inspiration. There are some amazing adaptations due to be released this year! Whether you like fantasy, historical fiction, true crime or period drama, there’s sure to be one for you. So check out this list of books to read before the 2018 screen adaptation is released. And don’t forget – reading includes audiobooks too!
A Wrinkle in Time: Madeline L’Engle
A Wrinkle in Time was first published in 1962, and since then has gone on to become a classic children’s science-fiction book. It begins with the line ‘It was a dark and stormy night’, which is so good we hope it stays in the film! However, there are some major things that the film has changed from the book. Instead of Charlie searching for his Dad, it is his sister Meg (Storm Reid) who sets out to find him. As well as featuring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling the film is directed by Ava DuVernay, who previously directed the Oscar-nominated Selma, so this is sure to be a great adaptation!
A Wrinkle in Time is released in the UK on March 23rd 2018.
Listening Books members can download and stream A Wrinkle in Time from our library.
Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
One of the most anticipated 2018 screen adaptations has to be Ready Player One. Although set in the year 2044, most of the book concerns OASIS, a sprawling virtual reality where you can be anything you want to be. Wade Watts is obsessed with finding the ultimate lottery ticket at the heart of OASIS – control of the online simulation game, and inheritance of the massive fortune of its creator. It’s hidden somewhere in the simulation, available to anyone to can solve the riddles. Like millions of others, Wade has spent years looking for it, and never found it. That is, until he stumbles across the first clue.
The Ready Player One audiobook is read by Wil Wheaton, so it’s a great listen before the film is released!
Ready Player One is released in the UK on March 30th 2018.
Listening Books members can download and stream Ready Player One from our library.
Between Shades of Gray – Ruta Sepetys
Ashes in the Snow is the title of the 2018 screen adaptation of Ruta Sepetys’ debut novel Between Shades of Gray. The book features fifteen-year-old Lina, a Lithuanian girl who is separated from her family when Soviet officers invade her home. Lina, her mother and her brother are taken to a Siberian work camp, where they might fight for their lives. She attempts to find her father by leaving clues in her drawings and hoping that they will make their way to his prison camp.
Between Shades of Gray won the Audiofile Earphones Award in 2011, making it a great choice for a 2018 listen!
Ashes in the Snow will be released in the UK in 2018.
Listening Books members can download and stream Between Shades of Gray from our library.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han
Lara Jean Song has written a love letter to every boy she’s ever loved. The letters are only meant to be read by her, so she pours out every thought and feeling she’s ever had. She keeps them safely locked in a hatbox her mother gave her. That is, until her secret letters are suddenly gone. They’ve been mailed out. And suddenly, everyone knows all her secrets, and the boys she’s loved suddenly found out how she feels about them. Lara Jean’s love life goes from totally imaginary to out of control.
This is the first book by Jenny Han to be turned into a film and it’s sure to be a huge hit!
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is released in the UK in 2018.
Listening Books members can download or stream the audiobook from our libary.
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
I absolutely love a classic period drama, and Vanity Fair looks like the next great one to hit our TV screens! It is set in Regency England during the Napoleonic wars, but concerns two women who could not be more different. The first, Becky Sharp, is an orphan with no money, who relies on her wit and sexuality to climb to the top of society. The second, her former classmate, Amelia Sedley, a naive and pampered daughter of a wealthy family. 170 years since the book was first published, it still has relevance today.
We don’t know the exact date for when Vanity Fair will air yet, but the seven part series will be on ITV this year.
The City & The City – China Miéville
The City & The City was originally written as a gift for Miéville’s terminally ill mother, who was a great fan of the police procedural novel. However, The City & The City can hardly be described as a classic of the genre. Inspector Tyador Borlú finds a dead body in his city of Beszél and the murder appears to have occured in the other city, Ul Qoma. This presents him with a serious problem: the relationship between the two cities defies comprehension. Rabid nationalists are intent on destroying their neighboring city, and unificationists dream of dissolving the two into one. How will he solve it?
The City & The City stars David Morrisey as Inspector Tyador Borlú and will air on BBC Two in 2018.
Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter
Peter Rabbit is based on the classic stories by Beatrix Potter. The character first appeared in the 1902 story The Tale of Peter Rabbit. In it, the young rabbit sneaks into Mr. McGregor’s garden and eats a lot of the farmer’s vegetables. Unfortunately, he is spotted by Mr. McGregor, who chases him away. Peter also later appears in The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, and The Tale of Mr Tod, as well as making a cameo appearance in The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. Listen to all these classic stories before the film comes out!
Peter Rabbit is released in the UK on the 16th March 2018.
Listening Books members can download and stream The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter audiobook from our library.
A Series of Unfortunate Events – Lemony Snicket
The first season of A Series of Unfortunate Events was released on Netflix in 2017 and was almost immediately renewed for a second season. Like the show, the books are full of strange, sarcastic humour, but also deal well with the themes of loss and grief. The three Baudelaire children – Violet, Klaus and Sunny – become orphans after a fire burns down their house with their parents inside. After this, they are passed from place to place while Count Olaf pursues them with the intent to take their vast inherited fortune. There are thirteen books in the full series, and the second season will reportedly adapt books five to nine, so now is the perfect time to listen to them!
A Series of Unfortunate Events: Season 2 will be released worldwide on Netflix on 30th March 2018.
Listening Books members can download and stream the first four books of A Series of Unfortunate Events from our library.
The Little Stranger – Sarah Waters
The Little Stranger was Sarah Waters’ third novel to be nominated for the Man Booker Prize. Unlike some of her famous novels, The Little Stranger is set in the postwar Britain and features a male narrator. In Warwickshire, a country doctor called Faraday is called to Hundreds Hall to treat a young maid. The Hall, once a grand 18th century home, is now crumbling and dilapidated. It is home to the Ayres family, who are haunted by more than a declining way of life.
The audiobook is narrated by Simon Vance, who has been nominated for an Audie award for his narration every year since 2002. It’s sure to be a treat for the ears!
The Little Stranger is released in the UK in Autumn 2018.
Watership Down – Richard Adams
Although originally due to be released in 2017, Watership Down has been pushed back to 2018. The classic novel by Richard Adams features a group of rabbits seeking to escape their doomed warren and find a new home. Despite being a children’s book, don’t be fooled: this story is full of difficult choices, loss and violence. Fiver and Hazel must choose between staying in their home and leaving for the unknown, while other rabbits must choose between balancing the riches gained from being kept by humans with the possibility of being killed and eaten by them. It is a wonderful story that transcends its subject material.
Watership Down will be released by Netflix and the BBC in 2018.
Listening Books members can download and stream Watership Down from our library, or borrow it on MP3 CD number 05002.
A Very English Scandal – John Preston
A Very English Scandal is the true story of Jeremy Thorpe, former Liberal Party leader, who was tried and acquitted in 1979 on the charge of attempting to murder his alleged former lover, Norman Scott. This book starts in the late 1960s, when homosexuality had only just been legalised. Thorpe, desperate to keep his affair with Scott quiet, sees only one way to silence him for good. The Thorpe affair revealed the level of corruption and deceit present in the English establishment and was one of the greatest scandals in parliamentary history. It remains the most serious criminal charge ever leveled against an MP.
The BBC miniseries stars Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe, and Ben Whishaw as Norman Scott.
A Very English Scandal will air on BBC One in 2018.
Listening Books members can download and stream A Very English Scandal from our library now.
What 2018 screen adaptation are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments!
This post was written by Abigail Jaggers.