Upcoming Books-to-Movies

Not every book becomes a movie; not every movie started out as a book, but the two feed off each other like peanut butter and chocolate. Many of the top Oscar-winning films started out as books (The Godfather, Lord of the Rings, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, No Country for Old Men, Schindler’s List, and more). Some movies were better films than their book (in my opinion, Planet of the Apes, Poseidon Adventure, and Casino Royale are three). Some people want to read a book before they see a film adaption, while others see a great film and want to read the book to see if any good bits were left out.

If you’re of the group that prefers to read the book first, better get started! A whole new wave of book adaptions is readying for the coming year. Here’s a peek at some of them:

Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats – that’s the collection of T.S. Elliott’s poem collection that became the musical CATS. Whether this is a filmed “stage” production or a cohesive musical film remains to be seen, but it stars Judi Dench and Ian McKellan, no theater slouches. Look for it at Christmas.

Death on the Nile – Kenneth Brannaugh’s second attempt to capture Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot in a mystery due out in October of 2020. It also stars Gal Godot of Wonder Woman fame.

Doctor Sleep – Stephen King’s sequel to The Shining stars Ewan McGregor as the adult Danny Torrence, due out in November 2019.

Dune – Yet another attempt to harness Frank Herbert’s cornerstone classic, most assuredly without the winged underwear. Although it bears an all-star cast, I loved the deep details of the novel, and I have a special affinity for the admitted mess of the 1984 Lynch adaption. Like Batman, all the reboots get tedious after a while. Sometimes you can’t capture greatness.

The Goldfinch Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer-Prize winning novel hits theaters in September of 2019. It has promised to be faithful to the book, a coming of age story of a boy whose life changes in an instant.

The Turning – A modern adaption of Henry James’s Turn of the Screw, it’s produced by Stephen Spielberg. Spielberg’s track record isn’t perfect, but still one of the best in Hollywood. The story is the one of the classic horrors of literature. Due out in January of 2020.

Little Women – The long-time classic of girl literature by Louisa May Alcott, it was first adapted for film in 1933, and most recently in 1994. A very strong cast (Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep, the list goes on) has given this move a lot of buzz. Now’s the time to catch up on the classic story you may have missed (it’s not as bad as you fear). Look for it at Christmas, 2019.

 

The Good Liar – Nicholas Searle’s novel will star Helen Mirren and Ian McKellan as a con man trying to steal from a widow who has more than one trick up her sleeve. Look for it in November of 2019.

The Woman in the Window – A.J. Finn’s #1 thriller of a woman who witnesses a crime will star Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, and Gary Oldman. Since Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, it’s technically a Disney film (with no princesses, no mermaids, and no singing), due out in October of 2019.

Bond 25: Ian Fleming wrote only 12 Bond novels, and two collections of short stories. The films have now exceeded the original material. The movie has been through a long list of issues from a revolving door of writers and directors to explosions on set, and the working title of Bond 25 gives away no details about the story, but you can get your fill on the original novels. The movie, purportedly the last for Daniel Craig, is set for April of 2020.

Deadpool 3, Black Panther 2, Black Widow, Wonder Woman 1984 : 2020’s crop of Comic-book Hero films, from Marvel and DC. Most of them still have current story lines, or track down the older versions online or in graphic novel compilations.

Motherless Brooklyn – Jonathan Lethem’s novel of a detective with Tourette’s Syndrome searching for the killer of his best friend won multiple awards for fiction and crime fiction. The all-star cast is headed by Ed Norton, who stars, directed, produced, and wrote the script. During filming, a set caught fire and a fireman died during the response, fueling accusations and lawsuits. It’s due out in November of 2019.

Why Does My Cat Do That?

Why is the cat doing that?

Jacket.aspxWe ask this question all the time in my house. We have two cats. One is a calm, loving lap cat. The other is a manic, race-around-the-house blur of fur who swings from the drapes, knocks over lamps, and creates general havoc. The funny thing is, these cats, both female, are litter mates,  adopted together at 5 weeks old.

We were stumped, so we hit the books at the library to discover how to deal with our Tasmanian devil of a cat.

We found Cats Behaving Badly by Celia Haddon and learned some good tricks for dealing with a crazy cat. Turns out, most cats are simply responding to their environment. Indoor cats, which our two are, need to be kept busy. They are dependent on their human pets… um, owners, for all their activities.  Some cats respond to a lack of stimulation by eating and sleeping and, consequently, gaining too much weight. Others misbehave in an attempt to break the boredom void. We have one of each.

The solutions? Provide vertical spaces such as tall cat condos or shelves for your cat to climb and perch on. Hide catnip mice (or just a little catnip) around the house and let your cat discover it. Cats love to hunt and their sense of smell is very keen. And the best thing? A good, old fashioned cardboard box. Cats LOVE boxes. Change the location and size occasionally and your cat will play happily for days.

Above all else, play with your cat. Cats need a toy that moves to engage their hunting instinct and that involves you. Throw that toy mouse. Dangle that string. Shoot nerf discs down the hall. (Yes, we do this.)

Need some more keep-the-cat-happy ideas? Try these titles:

cat1The Secret Life of Your Cat: Unlock the Mysteries of Your Pet’s Behavior by Vicky Halls

Starting from Scratch : How to Correct Behavior Problems in Your Adult Cat by Pam Johnson-Bennett

Cat Sense : How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet by John Bradshaw

Linda reads: Cowboy Take Me Away by Jane Graves

After surviving a horrific childhood, Luke Dawson leaves Rainbow Valley, Texas determined to forget the past, including a childhood friend, Shannon North.  Luke becomes a bull rider and is destined for the world championship.  He decides to come back to town for the funeral of his father and maybe some closure on his past.

Shannon North left a high power, high paying job as a CPA to return to her roots in Rainbow Valley and take over the Rainbow Valley Animal Shelter.  She worked there during her teens and it holds a special place in her heart.  The shelter is now run down, overcrowded and dependent on donations.  Shannon is hoping her experience in the finance world will help pull her beloved shelter from ruin.  She and Luke have a past that ended badly, and she avoids his father’s funeral.

Luke’s plans are to leave town as soon as the funeral is over, but decides to take a look at the property and home his father left behind.  Maybe if he goes into the house, he can erase some of the demons plaguing him.  But as he tries to take that first step onto the worn porch, he crashes through and injures his knee.  Luckily, Shannon drives by and suddenly they are thrown together whether they like it or not.

What follows is a painful, inspiring, hopeful journey where both Luke and Shannon have to overcome obstacles from their past and try to build on the feelings they reluctantly still feel for one another.   Luke grows from an obstinate, juvenile delinquent to a charismatic, caring adult.  He’s determined to show everyone in town that he is not his father’s son.  Shannon struggles with her perception of him (helped along by an overbearing mother) and some of her own issues from her past.  You can really feel this couple’s pain and will find yourself holding your breath for a happy outcome.

This story also includes some wonderful secondary characters in the towns’ people, an interesting legend, and the animals that are housed at the animal shelter bring an added extra dimension to the story.

This book fits in perfectly with the popularity of small town romances.  It is heartwarming, inspiring and very entertaining.