Sand by Manfred Morgner

Find your friends talking about how the book was better than the film? About the bits they just can’t believe the director skipped? The completely different ending? Well it’s time to get clued up – and summer’s the perfect time to do so! Grab the sun screen (or perhaps a brolly is more appropriate), nip to your nearest book shop and swot up. Here’s our list of key reads this summer…

Sand by Manfred Morgner

10. The Host

Stephenie Meyer is one of the most bankable authors in Hollywood at the moment. Having penned the hugely successful Twilight series (from which there will be five movie adaptations when the final instalment is released in November 2012), Meyer is hot property. Her non-Twilight novel The Host is currently in production and is set to star Saoirse Ronan. The story sees Earth being inhabited by an alien race who pose as humans. The aliens take over their host’s body to experience being human. Enter Melanie, a victim to the aliens’ forced soul transplant… only this time her brain isn’t making way for her new alien room mate.

Release date: 29th March 2013

9. We Can Remember It For You Wholesale

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1990 movie Total Recall Colin FarrellTotal Recall has a legion of fans. Based on Philip K. Dick’s story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, the film is being re-imagined this year. Taking the lead role is Colin Farrell who last year appeared in the remake of classic 1980’s horror Fright Night. Exploring the link between imagination and reality, the story sees Douglas Quail attempting to fulfil his dreams of visiting Mars. Prepare for unexpected twists!

Release date: 29th August 2012

8. Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas is set for release October 2012 and boasts an all-star cast. Penned by author David Mitchell (no, not the comedian of Peep Show fame), the book explores six different stories, each taking place in a different place and time. The stories gradually begin to become entwined in this intelligent tapestry. The film stars, amongst others, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Hugo Weaving Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant and Jim Sturgess.

Release date: October 2012

7. Carrie

Stephen King first made his name with debut novel Carrie. Successfully adapted to screen by Brian De Palma two years later in 1976,the book tells the story of Carrie, a socially secluded teenage girl who uses her new-found telekenetic powers to seek vengeance against her classmates. The story is set for revival in 2013 with Julianne Moore playing Carrie’s devout mother whilst Chloe Grace Moretz is due to play the titular character.

Release date: 12th April 2013

6. Warm Bodies

Zombies are a firm favourite both in the literary and cinematic worlds. Isaac Marion’s novel Warm Bodies follows the exploits of R. R’s a guy who falls in love with the lovely Julie… the only trouble is R’s a zombie and he falls for her after eating her boyfriend’s brain. Two worlds collide in this quirky tale of love and zombies. Prepare for scary skeletal zombies in 2013’s movie adaptation of the book. Directed by Jonathan Levine, the film stars Nicholas Hoult, Ron Coddry, Dave Franco and Teresa Palmer.

Release date: 8th February 2013

5. Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Having Daughters of Smoke and Bonebeen snapped up by Universal, Laini Taylor’s Daughters of Smoke and Bone has been touted as being a mixture of Pan’s Labyrinth and Phillip Pullman’s Northern Lights trilogy. Following the story of Karou, the book tells the stories of two different worlds, and nobody knows the pictures Karou draws are of real things…

Release date: As yet unknown.

4. World War Z

The second zombie book to make the list, Max Brooks’s World War Z tells the story of the attempts to stop a zombie epidemic. Based on a series of interviews with survivors, the book has already got a firm legion of fans – most notably including Shaun of the Dead star Simon Pegg. The film is set to star former Lost star Matthew Fox alongside Hollywood A lister Brad Pitt.

Release Date: 21st June 2013

3. The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is being remade once again, this time with Baz Luhrmann taking up residence in the director’s chair. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton, the film will tell the story of Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio) via Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire)’s interest in his life. Set in the 1920’s jazz age, the story is about money, greed and ambition, with the film set to feature sets oozing with authenticity and beauty.

Release date: 26th December 2012

2. Les Misérables

First it was a hugely successful musical, now Victor Hugo’s famous Les Misérables is getting the Hollywood treatment. Set in 19th Century France, it follows the story of a paroled prisoner as he searches for redemption. Tom Hooper directs an all-star cast, including Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter.

Release date: 11th January 2013

1. The Hobbit

Perhaps the most talked about film of the year, The Hobbit is set to feature a much younger Bilbo Baggins as we learn how he came into contact with the infamous ring of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Peter Jackson returns to Middle Earth after Guillermo del Toro was forced to drop out and many fan favourites will venture back there with him to tell J.R.R Tolkien’s famous story. This is the book in which we first meet Gollum. Although it takes a lighter tone than that of the Lord of the Rings books, the tale is still filled with mystery and intrigue. Read it now before the film is released – remember the book has been cut into two films!

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey release date: 12th December 2012
The Hobbit: There and Back Again release date: 13th December 2013

What will you be reading this summer? Let us know below!

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