Books to Read Before They're Movies 2016

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The book is always better than the movie, right? Our latest book list features bestselling memoirs, YA science fiction, historical non-fiction, and mysterious thrillers being made into movies this year...catch up on your reading before they come out!

The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story

Diane Ackerman


Naturalist details the efforts of Warsaw zookeeper Jan Zabinski and his wife Antonina to hide Jewish citizens during the Holocaust. Discusses the 1939 bombing of the city, the couple's alignment with the Polish underground, and their commitment that saved more than three hundred lives. 2007.

Bestseller, Non Fiction, Jewish Interest, History, War


Dan Brown

DB076805, DB076978 (Spanish)

Symbology expert Robert Langdon, from The Da Vinci Code (DB 055735), awakens in an Italian hospital suffering from a gunshot wound and horrible hallucinations. When an assassin comes after Langdon, a doctor rescues him--and shows him the unusual biohazard canister she found hidden in his jacket. 2013.

Bestseller, Mystery, Adventure

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

Susannah Cahalan


New York Post reporter's account of the mysterious disease that mimicked mental illness and almost killed her in 2009, when she was twenty-four years old. Describes her eventual diagnosis--NMDA-receptor autoimmune encephalitis, a rare brain infection that causes seizures and paranoia--and her successful treatment and recovery. 2012.

Autobiography, Psychology, Medicine and Health

Ready Player One

Ernest Cline


2045. Multibillionaire James Halliday dies, leaving his last will and testament online for the world to see. His massively multiplayer online game OASIS has a hidden feature--an Easter egg--and the person who finds the egg first wins Halliday's fortune. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2011.

Bestseller, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Adventure


Roald Dahl


Sophie is taken from her orphanage by a big friendly giant ("BFG") who enjoys "dream blowing"-- sending happy dreams to children with his magical trumpet. Together they devise a plan to save the world from nine people-eating "cannybull" giants. 1982.

Grades 3-6, Fantasy, Download Only

The Circle

Dave Eggers


Mae begins work at the Circle--a company that reinvented the Internet by creating one transparent identity for each user. Although enthralled by her increasingly powerful online role, Mae is troubled to learn that the company may have a dark side. 2013.

Bestseller, Mystery, Humor

A Hologram for the King

Dave Eggers


Bankrupt, middle-aged American consultant Alan Clay visits Saudi Arabia to sell technology to King Abdullah. While they wait to meet with the king, three young techies set up a holographic teleconference system in the desert and Alan contemplates his shortcomings. 2012.

Bestseller, Modern Fiction, Foreign Setting

Thank You for Your Service

David Finkel


Journalist who was embedded with the U.S. Army in Iraq describes what life was like for some of the veterans from The Good Soldiers (DB 70623) after they returned stateside. Portrays issues the men and their families dealt with, including suicide, PTSD, and financial strains. 2013.

Non Fiction, War, Military, Sociology

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon

David Grann


An investigative reporter examines the strange disappearance in 1925 of fifty-seven-year-old explorer Percy Fawcett and his team, who were searching for the ruins of a mysterious lost civilization in the Amazon Basin. Grann's research takes him on his own adventures into the jungle. 2009.

Bestseller, Non Fiction, Travel, History, Mystery

Looking for Alaska

John Green


Entering boarding school in Alabama, sixteen-year-old Miles "Pudge" Halter encounters new experiences: challenging classes, extreme pranks, and Alaska Young, a moody, sexy girl whose death in a car crash might be a suicide. Printz Award. 2005.

Young Adult, Award Winner, Download Only

The Girl on the Train

Paula Hawkins


Rachel's train commute to London passes her former house--now inhabited by her ex-husband and his new family. She also observes a happy young neighboring couple--but then the wife goes missing. Rachel believes she witnessed a critical clue, but her alcoholic blackouts make her an unreliable witness. 2015.

Bestseller, Psychological Fiction, Mystery, Unrated Commercial Audiobook

Live by Night

Dennis Lehane


Joe Coughlin's dad is a Boston cop, but Prohibition turns Joe into a small-time hood. He survives prison and becomes a crime boss in Florida and Cuba--but his fate is shaped by his choice in women. 2012.

Historical Fiction, Mystery

Me Before You

JoJo Moyes


Working-class English girl Louisa "Lou" Clark is hired as an aide to wealthy Will Traynor, a former mogul who has been paralyzed since a road accident. Lou tries to keep the embittered Will engaged with the world, while Will encourages Lou to expand her horizons. 2012.

Bestseller, Disability Interest, Romance

A Monster Calls: Inspired by an Idea from Siobhan Dowd

Patrick Ness


Thirteen-year-old Conor is tormented by his mother's impending death, a school bully, and recurring nightmares. But one night a monster comes to Conor, tells him three tales, and instructs Conor to tell the fourth--and scariest--of all the tales. For junior and senior high and older readers. Commercial audiobook. 2011.

Young Adult, Supernatural, Psychological Fiction

The Great Gilly Hopkins

Katherine Paterson

DB051866, BR009968

Eleven-year-old Gilly has developed a prickly exterior to deal with being a foster child. But when she moves in with big-hearted Maime Trotter and foster brother William Ernest and meets blind Mr. Randolph, the next-door neighbor, Gilly learns to care about others. Newbery Honor. 1978.

Grades 5-8, Family Story, Download Only

Love May Fail

Matthew Quick


After again discovering her pornographer husband in bed with a barely-legal young woman, forty-year-old Portia Kane leaves him and returns home to South Jersey. She decides to search out the one teacher who ever had faith in her and to write a novel. 2015.

Psychological Fiction, Romance

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Ransom Riggs


A family tragedy sends sixteen-year-old American Jacob on a journey to a remote island off the coast of Wales. There he discovers the ruins of an old orphanage that was home to peculiar--and possibly dangerous--children. 2011.

Bestseller, Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery

American Pastoral

Philip Roth


After military service in World War II, handsome, athletic "Swede" Levov weds Miss New Jersey, takes over the family business, and moves to the posh suburbs. His dream life unravels in the late 1960s, when daughter Meredith joins an antiwar terrorist group bent on undermining all that Swede lives for. 1997.

Bestseller, Modern Fiction, Family Saga, Download Only

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

J.K. Rowling

DB052451, BR013499

Special edition of an approved textbook used by Harry Potter at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An A-to-Z listing of magical beasts, it briefly describes such creatures as the centaur, hippogriff, troll, unicorn, and ten breeds of dragon. 2001.

Bestseller, Grades 4-7, Fantasy

Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

Maria Semple


Seattle. Eighth-grader Bee's request for a family trip to Antarctica is the last straw for her mother Bernadette, who has become so socially inept that she hired a virtual assistant in India to handle her life. Just before the trip, Bernadette vanishes. Heartbroken Bee investigates. 2012.

Bestseller, Family, Mystery

The Light between Oceans

M.L. Stedman


Western Australia, 1926. On an island one hundred miles from the mainland, lighthouse keepers Isabel and Tom Sherbourne discover a boat carrying a dead man and a crying baby. The decisions they make that day come back to haunt them several years later. 2012.

Bestseller, Historical Fiction, Family Saga

How to Be Single

Liz Tuccillo


When Georgia's husband leaves her, she demands that her friend Julie take her and her other thirtysomething single friends out to meet men. Depressed with all of their lifestyles, Julie decides to interview women worldwide for a book about being single. 2008.


The Glass Castle: A Memoir

Jeannette Walls


Reporter for looks back on her unsettled life. Describes growing up in a dysfunctional family, which was always on the move. She recalls her father's dream of building a "glass castle," and relates how she and her siblings escaped to make lives of their own. 2005.

Bestseller, Biography, Family, Sociology

The 5th Wave

Rick Yancey


Few survivors remain on Earth after an alien invasion, and it's hard to know who is human. Determined to fight extinction, Cassie joins Evan and together they search for a group of captured children that includes her little brother. 2013.

Young Adult, Science Fiction, Adventure