6 Books to Read Before You See the Movies This Summer
What do Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson and Rosamund Pike have in common? Aside from being our girl crushes, they’re all starring in film adaptations of books in the next few months. But before you buy your tickets and popcorn, read the source texts first.
'We Have Always Lived in the Castle' (In Theaters Now)
In Shirley Jackson’s lauded 1962 novel, 18-year-old Merricat Blackwood lives in isolation on the family estate with her older sister, Constance, and their ailing uncle. Constance hasn’t left the house in six years, and Merricat ventures out only when necessary. Then, a mysterious cousin arrives and threatens the claustrophobic and isolated world of the sisters and their uncle. The book is notable for its depiction of Merricat (who’s been named to a number of “best fictional characters” lists, and the movie has been praised for the performances of leads like Taissa Farmiga, Sebastian Stan and Crispin Glover.
'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark' (August 9)
Based on the ‘80s and ‘90s children’s book series of the same name by Alvin Schwartz, this horror flick is set in the small town of Mill Valley in the late ‘60s. There, a group of teenagers come across an abandoned house where they find a book that’s full of twisted and scary stories. Fine, until the gruesome monsters within the book start to come to life. Read the book to be reminded of how creepy it was when you were a kid, then see the movie because, if producer and co-writer Guillermo del Toro’s previous films (like Pan’s Labyrinth and The Orphanage) are any indication, it’ll be surreal and scary.
'Where'd You Go, Bernadette' (August 16)
After getting pushed back what seems like 25 times, this Richard Linklater-directed adaptation of Maria Semple’s 2012 smash-hit is finally coming to theaters this August. It’s about Bernadette Fox (Cate Blanchett), a world-renowned architect who, after 20 years of retirement, is finally ready for her second act…which brings her to the ends of the earth after disappearing from her home to rediscover her passion for her work and life. After she goes missing, it’s up to her husband, played by Billy Crudup, and daughter, played by Emma Nelson, to find her and figure out what she’s hiding. Kristen Wiig, James Urbaniak, Judy Greer and more round out the all-star cast.
'The Informer' (August 16)
Swedish crime duo Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom’s best-selling 2009 novel Three Seconds is the source material for this upcoming action crime thriller. The novel deals with Swedish criminals, the police and probation officials and the government who wants to use them as undercover operatives. The book is one of the genre’s tentpoles (it won best Swedish crime novel), while the film adaption—starring Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike, Clive Owen and more—promises to be juicy as hell. Think: Corrupt cops, steamy hookups and drug deals gone wrong.
'It Chapter Two' (September 6)
In the first It movie, a group of children are terrorized by Pennywise, a psycho clown who exploits their fears and phobias, based on Stephen King’s terrifying 1986 novel. Cool cool. This sequel—also based on the 1986 book—is set decades later, as the characters come back together when Pennywise returns to their hometown in Maine. Read the book first, if only to have some idea of what happens before you spill your popcorn all over yourself in the theater.
'The Goldfinch' (September 13)
Donna Tartt’s 2013 masterpiece is a Dickensian novel about Theo Decker, a young orphan struggling to make his way in a cruel world when he gets involved in the world of art forgery. Read the book because it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and see the movie to watch Ansel Elgort, Nicole Kidman, Sarah Paulson and more bring Tartt’s vividly-drawn characters to life on the big screen.