SALT LAKE CITY — With the release this week of "Crazy Rich Asians," the film adaptation of Kevin Kwan's best-selling 2013 novel of the same name, we decided to look ahead and see what other books are finding their way to our screens this year. 2018 has already had its fair share of blockbuster films that started as books — "Wrinkle in Time" and "Ready Player One" are two of the year's most notable — so if you're the type that likes to read the book before you see the movie, here are six books slated for 2018 film releases and one to look forward to in 2019.
"THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY," by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer, Dial Press, 290 pages
A story for letter writers, book lovers and anyone who loves an old fashion romance with a good helping of mystery, "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" surpasses its unwieldy name to actually live up to the hype. This book club favorite got a feature release in the U.K., with the effervescent Lily James (but really, who is more charming on-screen?) playing the heroine Juliet Ashton, an author who visits the English Channel island of Guernsey and discovers friends, love and a good plot for her next book. James' "Downton Abby" cousin, Jessica Brown Findlay, plays an important, if enigmatic character and in fact, "Downton Abby" fans will find plenty of familiar faces in this screen adaptation. Netflix purchased the film, which retained its lengthy name, and subscribers can now see it on the small screen.
Content advisory: "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" contains romance and war, but neither are portrayed graphically.
Release date: Aug. 10 on Netflix
"TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE," by Jenny Han, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 368 pages (12 and up)
This teen novel about 16-year-old Lara Jean Song Covey and her tangled web of romances is perfect for anyone missing their years of high school drama (we know you must be out there; the book was a best-seller). When a group of letters she wrote over the years to her many crushes somehow get mailed off, Laura Jean finds herself in enough awkward situations to, well, fill a book. The novel spent 40 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list and has been made into a Netflix film starring Lana Condor.
Content advisory: "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" includes plenty of high school drama, some of which may make you cringe, but nothing of a graphic nature.
Release date: Aug. 17 on Netflix
"BEL CANTO," by Ann Patchett, Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 352 pages
Author Ann Patchett is one of those rare writers who knows how to tell compelling, addictively readable stories in beautifully written language, with "Bel Canto" being one of her best. Inspired by the 1996-97 Japanese embassy hostage crisis in Lima, Peru, Patchett's fourth novel and winner of 2002's PEN/Faulkner Award, follows the changing relationships of a small group of hostages and their terrorist captors in an unnamed South American country. In the big screen adaptation, Oscar-winner Julianne Moore plays Roxane Coss, a famous American opera singer — with real-life opera diva Renee Fleming standing in for her singing voice — while Ken Watanabe plays her love interest, Katsumi Hosokawa, a wealthy Japanese businessman and Tenoch Huerta as General Benjamin, the terrorist group's leader.
Content advisory: "Bel Canto" contains some swear words, violence, although not of a graphic nature, and references to sex.
Release date: Sept. 14
"The House with a Clock in its Walls," by John Bellairs, Puffin Books, 186 pages
If your kids — or you — haven't read anything by fantasy and Gothic novelist John Bellairs, get thee to a library. Bellairs (1938-1991) is something of a cult figure these days, although his fans during his lifetime, including Edward Gorey (who illustrated a number of his books) and Ursula Le Guin, are still well-known names. And while his 1969 fantasy novel "The Face in the Frost" is perhaps his most famous, it's his 1973 children's horror book "The House with a Clock in its Walls" that is getting the big screen treatment this year — and the movie looks like it may live up to the joy of the book, albeit with a little more camp. Telling the story of a young orphan (played by Owen Vaccaro) who must try to find a magical and potentially destructive clock hidden inside the walls of his warlock uncle's (Jack Black in a fez) house, the movie also stars Cate Blanchett and "Hamilton's" own Renée Elise Goldsberry.
Content Advisory: "The House with a Clock in its Walls" has some spooky and scary moments, but nothing of a graphic nature.
Release date: Sept. 21
"FIRST MAN: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong," by James Hansen, Simon & Schuster, 464 pages
We know his words, even if we may not know much about the man himself. When a 38-year-old Neil Armstrong stepped off Apollo 11 on July 21, 1969, forever (we assume) leaving his boot print on the moon's surface and uttering that now-famous line, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," he secured his place in history. James Hansen's authorized biography casts a bright light on the essence of this larger-than-life historical figure, fleshing out the man whose name is now synonymous with U.S. triumph. The film version, "First Man," is directed by wunderkind and Oscar winner Damien Chazelle (for his almost-Oscar winning best picture "La La Land") with Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong and the queen herself, Claire Foy, playing Janet Shearon, Armstrong's first wife.
Content advisory: "First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong" contain mild swearing and no graphic violence.
Release date: Oct. 12
"QUEEN OF SCOTS: The True Life of Mary Stuart," by John Guy, Mariner Books, 640 pages
The life of Mary Stuart or Mary, Queen of Scots, as we like to call her, is ready-made for a cinematic treatment. Six days old when she inherited the throne from her father (the nephew of Henry VIII, he of wife killing fame), she married the French dauphin as a teenager and had a very brief stint as queen consort of France before her young husband died. When she returned to Scotland, she married again, only to have her husband killed, very likely, by the man who next became her husband. Things got worse for the young queen when the country's nobles forced her to abdicate and her cousin, Elizabeth I of England, put her under various house arrests, confining her for roughly 18 years until Elizabeth's spies uncovered a plot to put the deposed Scottish queen on the English throne and Elizabeth had her cousin executed. John Guy's biography gives all the dishy details, providing the source material for this year's big screen adaptation, with an all-star cast led by the fabulous Saoirse Ronan. (Never mind that she's Irish — she'll be excellent.)
Content advisory: Guy's biography doesn't shy away from the gruesome details of Mary's life, but the book isn't overly graphic.
Release date: Nov. 2
"THE JUNGLE BOOK," by Rudyard Kipling, Harper Design, 256 pages2 comments on this story
Kipling's collection of jungle animal — and "man-cub" — tales, first published in 1894, is no stranger to screen adaptations. Disney gave it a jazzy, hip, animated treatment in the late '60s, with all that great music by the Sherman Brothers, the songwriting team behind, among others, "Mary Poppins." And then, of course, there was the live-action/CGI remake in 2016, featuring the voices of Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson and Ben Kingsley which raked in over $966 million worldwide for Disney, according to Box Office Mojo. With numbers like that, it's no surprise that Warner Bros. filmed their own "Jungle Book," this one called "Mowgli" and featuring motion capture performances from Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett, directed by the king of motion capture, Andy Serkis. But in a surprise move, Netflix swooped in and purchased "Mowgli," pushing its release back to 2019. Wherever the film ends up, the book holds up on its own; the stories are beautifully written and surprisingly poignant and engaging — a good book for parents to read to kids. (and you can do the voices!)Content advisory: "The Jungle Book" is free from sex, swears and graphic violence.
Release date: 2019 on Netflix
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Warner Bros. would release "Mowgli" to theaters on Oct. 19, 2018. Netflix has purchased the film and will release it in 2019.