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Reading Westeros: Jumping on the Next Bandwagon

Post by Cathleen Keyser
Posted June 17, 2013 in NoveList Plus, NoveList Select, Readers' Advisory News

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Here it is, day 5 of 5 of our Game of Thrones read-alikes! What is it about reading the book before the movie/television show that is so luxurious? Is it our inner hipster that craves the notion of being a trendsetter? Is it our secret desire to set ourselves apart from the masses?  A large part of the online GoT dialogue has an ever-waging war between those who read the books and those who didn’t. It has been kind of a mixture of rage, impatience, taunting (“just wait for the Red Wedding… you’ll see!”), and playful name-calling. 

I’ll be the first to admit that when I originally picked Game of Thrones up after a recommendation from a friend, I couldn’t get past the first two chapters. It wasn’t until later, after I saw season 1, that I picked up the first book again and read through it -- and the rest of the series quickly thereafter. So, yes, I jumped on the bandwagon.  In fact, I’ve jumped on many bandwagons. I read The Lord of the Rings after Viggo Mortensen stole my heart. I read Jaws after seeing Robert Shaw become fish food. But it would be nice for once to be on the cutting edge, right? Well, my fellow Johnny-come latelys, that starts now. Go get your reading pants on… here is a list of upcoming TV and movies that are based on the book.

  • World War Z, to be released in theaters June 21 -- that’s less than a week! (Based on:  World War Z / Max Brooks, 2006)

Produced and starring Brad Pitt, World War Z is this summer’s zombie blockbuster. The big difference between the book and the film is that this will not be told in a round-robin oral history style, but instead just focus on one character. Director Marc Foster has talked about turning it into a trilogy, but let’s be honest -- the box office will decide that. In case you’re more auditory-inclined, the movie tie-in audiobook has an all-star cast including Martin Scorsese, Paul Sorvino, Simon Pegg, and Star Trek alums Denise Crosby and Jeri Ryan.  Check out the movie’s website (and trailers!). 

  • Under the Dome, premieres Monday, June 24 on CBS (Based on: Under the Dome / Stephen King, 2009)

Touted as the new “Twin Peaks,” this book adaptation stars Dean Norris (Hank from Breaking Bad). Heads up -- the book takes place over a short amount of time but the TV show will be much more drawn out, featuring a different “Stephen King -approved” ending. Did I mention it’s being produced by Steven Spielberg? Check out the season previews.

  • Orange is the New Black, premieres July 11 on Netflix (Based on: Orange is the New Black: My Year in Women’s Prison / Piper Kerman, 2010)

The latest in Netflix’s original programming is a comedy-drama based on Kerman’s memoir of a year in the slammer/big house/pokey/minimum security prison. View the trailers for the new series. 

  • The White Queen, 10 part miniseries, starting August 10 on STARZ (Based on:The White Queen, 2009, The Red Queen, 2010, and Lady of the Rivers, 2011 / Philippa Gregory). 

Because we all enjoy a period piece every once in a while, especially one with good costumes… The basis for this miniseries is the first 3 books in Gregory’s hugely popular Cousins’ War series. Ambition. Power. Betrayal. 15th century -- the fifth book in the series is coming out next month if you want to read ahead. Check out the official website for this STARZ production.

  • Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, in theaters August 23 (Based on City of Bones / Cassandra Clare, 2007)

You know how all your friends told you about Twilight and The Hunger Games way back when? This is that other YA fantasy book they read in 2007. They are all going to see it opening night. They are all going to talk about it the Monday after it. Trust me. Added bonus: Lena Headey (Queen Cersei) is playing the role of Jocelyn Fray. For all the trailers and up-to-date movie info, visit the official website.

  • Horns, in theaters October 11 (Based on: Horns / Joe Hill, 2010)

Critically acclaimed, this novel helped push Joe Hill into the upper echelon of horror writers (alongside Pops, Stephen King). With Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter himself) starring as the lead character and Alexandre Aja directing (Haute/High Tension), there will be much buzz around this movie in the fall. For a full cast listing and more info, visit the movie’s page on IMDB.

  • Ender’s game, in theaters November 1 (Based on Ender’s Game / Orson Scott Card, 1985)

The Hugo and Nebula award-winning YA science fiction book FINALLY makes it to the big screen, with a notable cast including Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley. Expect lots of hashtagging on Facebook in early November. The teaser trailer is out !

Well, that concludes our 5-part series of watch/read-alikes for Game of Thrones. Season 3 may have ended, but at least we have a healthy list of books, movies, and TV shows to keep us occupied until season 4. 

Cathleen is Collection Development Coordinator at NoveList.