"Yeah, but it wasn't as good as the book."
You hear that about movies all the time pretty much no matter what, whether it's a spin on a huge best-selling series like Harry Potter or an intimate adaptation of a highbrow novel like Jane Eyre. We love movies here are much as anybody, but we also know there's nothing quite like the experience of reading book, feeling like you're living with these characters in your head for weeks and days on end, and imagining them in a way that's totally specific to you.
But even if you're setting yourself up for disappointment, you can't help but look forward to an adaptation of a book you love, out of curiosity if nothing else. And even though we'll be spending plenty of time at the movies this summer, we're also in need of a few good books, whether for reading on the beach or in a dark air-conditioned room somewhere. So we've put our heads together and come up with 16 books we all love that are on their way to becoming movies, whether set for release later this year or in development at a studio somewhere. Not only do you get to add some great titles to your summer reading list, but you'll be totally prepared to be that guy complaining the movie isn't as good as the book when it finally comes out.
Dive into our Summer Reading List below, and let us know in the comments what you're thinking of picking up. Clicking on the title of each book will take you to the Amazon listing for that book, and you can also check at the bottom of each entry for links to more information on each film adaptation. We're here to help!
Status: In development, but has a projected release date of 2012. 2013 is more likely.
Who's Involved: The Kids Are All Right writer-director Lisa Cholodenko has recently revealed she's taken over the reins of adapting and directing from Little Miss Sunshine's Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton.
Why you should read the book first: Simply because it's a fascinating read. Perrotta's penned a couple of novels that have become incredible movies (Election, Little Children), and I think Cholodenko is a brilliant fit for this book's blend of taboo, humor and humanity. Nonetheless, this story of opposites attract is so funny, provocative and moving that it's a perfect for summer travel. The story centers on the troublesome attraction that sparks between a liberal-minded sex ed. teacher, and one of the born-again Christians responsible for making her change her long-held sex-positive curriculum to an abstinence-only agenda. Perrotta paints his characters with a delicate hand, giving them layers and dimension beyond the labels they initially apply to each other. The results are insightful, hysterical, and breathtakingly poignant as they build to a climax that plays out at a nail-biting pace that won't allow you to set it down, and will leave you feeling ragged but satisfied. More on the film adaptation of The Abstinence teacher