Book first or movie first? Which is your preference? Here at Readerly, we’re generally book-first kind of people. If you are too—and we bet you are—there is still plenty of time to read the following six books before their film versions appear on the silver screen. Just in case you want to skip straight to the theater, we’ve given you all the details so you can be an informed movie-goer. Whichever way you choose to enjoy these captivating stories, you won’t want to miss any of them.
The Martian based on the book by Andy Weir (Broadway Books) What would you do if you were left behind on Mars, presumed dead, with limited supplies to stay alive and with little chance to contact Earth? This not-so-futuristic scenario will capture your imagination, as you root for astronaut Mark Watney and hope for his rescue. Commenting on the book, our reviewer called The Martian “an intense and riveting story of endurance.”
Opens October 2. Starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, and Kristen Wiig. Directed by Ridley Scott / Screenplay by Drew Goddard.
Black Mass based on the book by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill (PublicAffairs) In the late 1970s, James “Whitey” Bulger, a South Boston native, was one of the most powerful godfathers in the Irish mob. Teaming up with childhood friend FBI agent John Connolly, Bulger set out to take down the city’s Italian mafia. This gritty true story doesn’t shy away from the violence of organized crime or the dirty deals made on both sides of the law. Be prepared to see Boston in a new light.
Opens September 18. Starring Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Dakota Johnson. Directed by Scott Cooper/ Screenplay by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth
Big Stone Gap based on the book by Adriana Trigiani (Ballantine Books) Just when 35-year-old Ave Maria Mulligan accepts that she will never find romance, she uncovers a family secret that has rippling effects. Suddenly faced with two possible suitors and a new self-identity, will Ave Maria find happiness in her small Blue Ridge Mountain hometown? Big Stone Gap is overflowing with charming, quirky characters and feel-good emotions.
Opens October 9. Starring Ashley Judd, Patrick Wilson, and Whoopi Goldberg, opens at a theater near you. Directed and written by Adriana Trigiani / Screenplay by Adriana Trigiani
A Walk in the Woods based on the book by Bill Bryson (Broadway Books) What happens when two middle-aged men decide to walk the length of the Appalachian Trail? Blisters, interesting fellow hikers, mishaps, and plenty of laughs color Bill Bryson’s real-life 2,200-mile walk in the eastern woods. More than a true outdoor adventure story, A Walk in the Woods is a tale of friendship, self-discovery, and—yes—survival. Stunning cinematography and a star-studded cast, headlined by Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, and Emma Thompson, bring this beloved memoir alive.
Opens on September 2. Starring Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, and Emma Thompson. Directed by Ken Swapis / Screenplay by Bill Holderman and Rick Kerb.
Brooklyn based on the book by Colm Tóibín (Scribner) Given a chance to find a better life, Eilis Lacey leaves her native Ireland to settle in Brooklyn, New York. In the 1950s, moving across the ocean usually meant severing ties to the homeland, but when opportunities change, Eilis is forced to choose between two countries and two men. Brooklyn moves beyond the typical immigration story, highlighting Eilis’s growing self-confidence and the realization that place can have a magic all its own.
Opens November 6. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, and Michael Zegen. Directed by John Crowley / Screenplay by Nick Hornby.
Steve Jobs based on the book by Walter Isaacson (Simon & Schuster) Is there anyone who hasn’t heard of and is fascinated by the visionary entrepreneur Steve Jobs? This well-researched (and Jobs-approved) biography pushes back the curtains of myth and glamor to show a man who was driven to define the future. Jobs was not always liked or was even likeable, but he always put his heart and soul into everything he did. The late CEO of Apple Inc. made many personal sacrifices, including, perhaps, his own health, to see his ideas come to fruition.
Opens October 9. Starring Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, and Seth Rogen. Directed by Danny Boyle / Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin.