In this multi-media world we live in, it is highly likely that the roster at the movie theater is full of films that are adaptations of books. Of course, we love the experience of watching our favorite book scenes played out on film before our eyes. Still, people usually say that the book version is better.


Why not read the book, and then watch the film to do the comparison? These are five of the books that are coming to theatres near you in the next several months.



“Hidden Figures” by Margo Lee Shetterly | “Hidden Figures” focuses on the contributions of black female mathematicians at National Aeronautics and Space Administration during the period between World War I and World War II. These women who were always called “girls” by their male peers at work ended up playing a pivotal role in history and in space. They performed calculations which helped launch successful space missions and were highly capable black women mathematicians. The film by the same name opens January 6 nationwide and stars Taraji Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae.


“Fifty Shades Darker” by E.L. James | “Fifty Shades Darker” is the sequel to “Fifty Shades of Grey.” The story follows lovers Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele’s tumultuous relationship as he reveals even more of himself to her, and gives her the chance to see even more sides or “shades” of his personality. The much-anticipated film introduces new characters and welcomes back stars Jamie Dornan (Christian) and Dakota Johnson (Anastasia). It is due to open nationwide on February 10.  


“The Zookeeper’s Wife” by Diane Ackerman | “The Zookeeper’s Wife” tells the true story of the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo during the World War II. The book focuses on the couple who ran the Warsaw Zoo, Jan Zabinski, and his wife Antonina. When war breaks out, killing most of their zoo animals, they decide to use their now empty cages to harbor Jewish refugees, saving hundreds from certain death. The movie stars Jessica Chastain and David Bruhl and premieres nationwide on March 31.


“Wonder” by R.J. Palacio | “Wonder” is the story of a home-schooled boy who will enter the mainstream to attend school in fifth grade. The story focuses on Auggie, who is just an ordinary kid but has a face that is anything but ordinary. Due to facial abnormalities at birth, he struggles to fit in with other kids. The story is a journey of Auggie’s discovery about himself and is really a journey of discovery for all of us. It confronts the issue of how we treat people who look differently than we do. The film stars Jacob Tremblay and Julia Roberts, and is set to be released April 7.


“The Lost City of Z” by David Grann | “The Lost City of Z” is based on the true story of Col. Percival (Percy) Fawcett, a British explorer. Fawcett disappeared on his quest to locate a mysterious city he believed to be located in the Amazon back in the 1920’s. The film will star Charlie Hunnam as Fawcett, as well as Robert Pattinson and Sienna Miller, and is set for release on April 21.


This isn’t even the full list of book-to-film adaptations this year! It is a good idea to read the book first, as it gives you a deeper understanding of the characters, their feelings, and mindset. The movie will “move” very quickly. You will find that after reading the book, little nuances in movie scenes are better explained because you have read the backstory. Happy reading and by the way, get extra butter on the popcorn.


Are these books you can curl up with? Which do you plan to read this year? Let’s discuss here, or on Twitter: @lcarterwriter.