GIMME FIVE: Books to Read this Summer

BY ASHLEY KOWALEWSKI

Summer is the perfect time to catch up on some reading–and what better books to choose than ones tying to upcoming movie releases in 2013? Since Hollywood is fresh out of movie-making ideas, you know that at least a handful of the releases for this year are going to be based on books. If you’re a devout reader and movie-watcher, you probably subscribe to the whole “the book will be better than the movie” mantra, but how can you compare unless you’ve actually read the book? And we all know it’s better to give the books a scan before you see the movies.

5) Child of God, Cormac McCarthy
child of god

Cormac McCarthy really is the master of writing stories about isolation and desperation, and somehow always manages to make dystopic fiction beautiful (not to mention his lack of proper punctuation just makes him a trip to read). This will be no different. Child of God tells the story of Lester Ballad, a recluse who shows what it’s like to live outside the walls of social order. His self-inflicted (or maybe not-so-much) isolation, both literally and figuratively, allows the reader to really delve into his own psychiatric issues, as well as issues dealing with society and perception of social norms. This flick is rumoured to hit theatres late this fall and is written, directed by and starring James Franco.

4) Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
catching fire

Jennifer Lawrence is back on the silver screen this fall in the second instalment of The Hunger Games trilogy. Catch up on your dystopic fiction this summer by grabbing the trilogy so you can be ready to see what Katniss, Peeta, et. al are going to be up to this time. In Catching Fire, we find Katniss and Peeta back at District 12 getting ready to compete in the Hunger Games for a second time. This sequel is action-packed and will no doubt leave readers and viewers hungry for the third installment of the movie to come out just a little bit faster. While you’ll have to wait until November for the movie’s release, you’ll have a solid three months to read and re-read the books all over again.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyPnQw_Lqds]
3) Carrie, Stephen King

carrie

An oldie but a goodie for sure. If you haven’t read this book before, you need to ask yourself why because this book is one of a long list of publications released in King’s heyday of horror/thriller books. The sheltered, bullied and seriously misunderstood Carrie discovers she has telekinetic powers and, well, there’s a reason why they say to be nice to everyone. (You don’t want to be the target of her wrath.) This cult classic gets a modern spin but is reportedly going to be truer to the novel than the 1976 adaptation with Sissy Spacek and John Travolta. The upcoming October release stars Chloë Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore as Carrie and Margaret White, which makes it even more intriguing than the sole prospect of a remake.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-VcPDkTySQ]
2) Twelve Years a Slave, Solomon Northup
twelve-years-a-slave

Based on the the author’s memoir, Solomon Northup was once a free man, but was deceived, kidnapped and sold into slavery before the Civil War until he was rescued and escaped in 1853, when his chronicle was released. Another compelling tale of the horrors slaves had to endure during the War, it was of course adapted for screen. Given the time the book was published, it sold an astounding 30,000 copies and was considered a bestseller for its time. It seems surprising that it has taken so long to produce it into a movie (though perhaps they’re just riding the wave of success from similar period piece Django Unchained). This flick has quite a cast (Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, just to name a few of the top billed) and will no doubt bring in some nominations given the content.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUQNjfhlREk]
1) The Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort
the_wolf_of_wall_street_jordan_belfort_book_cover.jpg

Most anticipated flick of the year (at least to this particular fille), The Wolf of Wall Street pairs Martin Scorcese and Leondardo DiCaprio together once again. This tells the true story of Jordan Belfort (the book was actually Belfort’s memoir), convicted of money laundering, securities fraud and running a “boiler room” operation (selling less-than-legal investments over the phone), not to mention parlaying in a lavish lifestyle and managing a drug addiction. The trailer makes this flick look phenomenal; think Catch Me If You Can meets The Great Gatsby. All I can say is if Leo doesn’t actually get an award for this, I’m boycotting the Oscars.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iszwuX1AK6A]
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