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I’m sure without any more suggestions, you have plenty to read already. But just in case you’re one of those who likes to read the book before watching its movie adaptation, here’s a list to add to your 2014 reading:

A Most Wated ManA Most Wanted Man by John Le Carré

The most recent John Le Carré novel to be adapted into a movie. He has eight so far. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdam, Robin Wright, Daniel Brühl star. Directed by Anton Corbijn whose last film was the thoughtful The American (2010), a film adaptation I found to be much better than the book. A Most Wanted Man is to be premiered at Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 16-26, 2014, in Park City, Utah.

The DoubleThe Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky 

A government clerk after seeing his own double–but a completely opposite personality from his introverted and unsure self–ultimately goes down a path of madness. Should be one captivating psychological thriller, but interestingly according to IMDb, it’s a comedy. Jesse Eisenberg stars (I can see the casting is spot on). At TIFF last year. To be screened at Sundance this January.

EVERY-SECRET-THING-199x300Every Secret Thing by Laura Lippman

Acclaimed psychological thriller about missing children and their abductors now turned into suspense drama by director Amy Berg, known for her riveting documentary West of Memphis (2012) about the ‘West Memphis Three’. Adapted screenplay by Nicole Holofcener, who wrote and directed the recent, award winning indie film Enough Said (2013). Dakota Fanning, Diane Lane.


Far from the Madding Crowd

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Carey Mulligan stars as Bathsheba Everdene, screenplay adaptation by David Nicholls, who has written other classics adaptations such as Great Expectations (2012), Tess of the D’Urberville (2008). But my personal favourite of his works is the gem When Did You Last See Your Father? (2007) And if you’ve seen the intense Danish film The Hunt (just nom for an Oscar), you’d be curious to see its director Thomas Vinterberg at the helm of this latest Hardy adaptation.


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

A woman mysteriously disappears on the day of her wedding anniversary. A NYT bestseller, the thriller will be directed by David Fincher, two-time Oscar nominee for The Social Network (2010) and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). Ben Affleck, Roasmund Pike, and Neil Patrick Harris star.


Hector and teh Search for HappinessHector and the Search For Happiness by François Lelord

Psychiatrist turned writer Lelord’s internationally popular book about a psychiatrist’s globe-trotting search for happiness. Sounds like a delightful read and an original movie idea. Intriguing cast includes Rosamund Pike, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Simon Pegg, Stellan Skarsgård. If I’m attracted by the cover to read the book, it will be this one.

Labor-DayLabour Day by Joyce Maynard

From the POV of a 13 year-old boy, how his labour day weekend changes his life as an escaped convict (Josh Brolin) asks him and his mother (Kate Winslet) for a temporarily shelter. Mother and son soon find that he could well be the husband and father they respectively need. But of course, there are twists and turns. Jason Reitman (Up In The Air, 2009) writes the screenplay and directs. Winslet got a Golden Globe nom for Best Actress for her role.

Life Itself A Memoir Book CoverLife Itself by Roger Ebert

Ebert’s memoir is adapted into a documentary by Steve James, whose film ‘Hoop Dreams’ was greatly supported by Ebert twenty years ago. Life Itself the book is an eyewitness history of film criticism in America, on top of a moving personal memoir. The doc will premiere in Sundance beginning today Jan. 16 – 26. Click here to read my personal encounter with the legend.

Madame BovaryMadame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

A quick jump for Mia Wasikowska from Jane Eyre to Emma Bovary. Of course, she’s also Alice in Wonderland, and a sequel of that will be coming out in 2016. Paul Giamatti co-stars. I’m delighted to see all these classics being adapted into modern movies, raising awareness for a new generation of readers. Let’s just hope the film does justice to the literary source.


The Monuments MenThe Monuments Men by Robert Edsel

I’ve mentioned this before. The true but untold story of how a group of rescuers called ‘The Monuments Men’ in war-torn Europe saved art and artifacts from the Nazi’s. In the introduction of the book, the author writes: “Hitler and the Nazis pulled off the ‘greatest theft in history’, seizing and transporting more than five million cultural objects to the Third Reich.” Star George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Hugh Bonneville (so Lord Grantham finally gets the chance to go into the battlefield).

The BibleNoah

Read the Bible. This epic adaptation is based on the Biblical account of Noah and the Great Flood. Helmed by Darren Aronofsky, Oscar nominee for Best Director for Black Swan (2010). Russell Crowe is Noah, and Anthony Hopkins is … uh… Methuselah. Others include Emma Watson, Logan Lerman (as Ham), Douglas Booth (Shem), Nick Nolte (?) Interesting postmodern interpretation I suspect.

Winter's TaleWinter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

All ye Downton Abbey and Lady Sybil fans, this is the first movie Jessica Brown Findlay made after Downton, with co-stars Colin Farrell, Jennifer Connelly, Will Smth. Directed by Akiva Goldsman, Oscar winner of Best Adapted Screenplay for A Beautiful Mind (2001). The setting is interesting as it depicts the story from both the beginning and the end of the 20th C. Another time warp fantasy. Click here to the book’s webpage.


More titles mentioned by commenters (A sequel list will come at a later date):

Serena by Ron Rash (Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper)

Suite Français by Irène Némirovsky (Michelle Williams, Kristin Scott Thomas)

Son of God based on The Bible