10 Books You Need to Read in 2014 Before the Movie Ruins Them

If you’re one of those god-awful people who need to tell everyone how much better the book was than the movie, you’d better get started on this lot quickly.

the book thief

1. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

Print Length: 560 pages
Publisher: Transworld Digital (September 2008)
USA release: 3 October 2013
UK release: 26 February 2014

Nine-year-old Liesel lives with her foster parents on Himmel Street, having lost both parents to a Nazi concentration camp. She discovers the power of words from a stolen gravediggers’ instruction manual, just as the Nazis begin to crack down on ‘inflammatory’ literature.

Gone Girl 2. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

 Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Phoenix (3 Jan 2013)
USA release: 3 October 2014
UK release: 3 October 2014

Amy (played by Rosamund Pike) mysteriously disappears, on the day of her wedding anniversary. Her husband Nick (Ben Affleck), is distraught. In the hunt for her, all sorts of skeletons come out of her proverbial closet, and Nick begins to wonder how well he really knows her.

The Fault in Our Stars, John Green 3. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green

Print Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Penguin (3 May 2012)
USA release : 6 June 2014
UK release: 20 June 2014

Two teenage patients meet at a cancer support meeting, and fall in love.

The title is inspired by a line from Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Ceasar’: ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.’

Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins 4. Mockingjay – Part 1, Suzanne Collins

Print Length: 448 pages
Publisher: Scholastic (25 Aug 2010)
UK & US release: 21 November 2014

The third and final book in The Hunger Games’ franchise will be dragged out over 2 films, much like the final Twilight installment. In Mockingjay, Katniss faces the Capitol and the consequences of the uprising she sparked. Movie stars the usual cast of Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson & co.

Hundred-Foot 5. The Hundred-Foot Journey, Richard C. Morais

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Alma Books Ltd (16 May 2011)
USA release: 8 August 2014
UK release: 12 September 2014

The Hundred-Foot Journey is about an Indian family who move to France and open a restaurant opposite a Michelin-starred French restaurant.  The title refers to the hundred-foot distance between Indian and French kitchens, cultural and otherwise.

The film is produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg and stars Helen Mirren.

Giver 6. The Giver, Louis Lowry

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books (5 May 2008)
USA release: 15 August 2014

In a futuristic world, Jonas’ community seems to have solved the problems of war, pain and hunger. Every member of the community has their profession selected for them, and Jonas is chosen as the Receiver of Memory.

What he learns in his new role changes everything, and he sets out on a mission to set things right.


7. Serena, Ron Rash

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (1 July 2010)
USA release date: September 2014

In the mountains of North Carolina during the Depression, newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton arrive to establish their timber empire. Serena takes surprisingly well to rural working life, but the Pemberton’s marriage begins to unravel when she learns she can’t bear a child. Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper as the Pembertons.

Dark Places 8. Dark Places, Gillian Flynn

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (10 Jun 2010)
USA Release: 1 September, 2014

As a seven-year-old, Libby Day witnessed her brother massacre the rest of her family, while she hid in a cupboard. Many years on, a society of crime-obsessives called The Kill Club ask her to unearth those memories, and to question whether her brother was really guilty.

Starring Nicholas Hoult and Charlize Theron.

A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby 9. A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Penguin; (5 May 2005)
UK release: 21 March 2014

It’s New Year’s Eve, and an eclectic group gather on the same rooftop to end it all. Instead, the disgraced TV presenter, disillusioned single mum, angsty eighteen-year-old and American rock-god find friendship, and a reason to live.

The film stars Pierce Brosnan and Rosamund Pike, and the book was shortlisted for the 2005 Whitbread Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize.

The Monuments Men 10. The Monuments Men, Robert M. Edsel

Print Length: 496 pages
Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (1 July 2013)
USA: 7 February 2014
UK: 14 February 2014

The Monuments Men were a platoon of unlikely heroes. Their task was to restore Europe’s plundered cultural heritage, in the wake of World War II. It resulted in one of history’s greatest art heists.

Stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray and John Goodman.

5 responses to “10 Books You Need to Read in 2014 Before the Movie Ruins Them

    • I’d say The Fault in Our Stars and Gone Girl 🙂 Gone Girl’s a bit of a slow starter, but it gets much better. The Fault in Our Stars is just amazing – it does a great job of showing that sick people aren’t as ‘other’ as we often think.

  1. Thanks. We tend to be several years late getting around to the film version, but I have to admit that we may get to The Book Thief film first. Thanks for the heads up on Gone Girl and The Fault in Our Stars.

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