Guess What’s New in Reading?

Movie theaters have been hit hard by the pandemic as consumer demands have diminished and studios have limited the release of films. It’s unclear how many consumers will go back to the movie theaters after the pandemic is under control. Hollywood has also moved quickly for movie content directly to streaming services. That doesn’t mean movies are dormant. From what I’ve seen they are gearing up for a lot of blockbusters in 2021. Since many folks like to read the books before they go to the movies, let me give you a taste of five excellent novels that will hit the screens this year.

The Lord of the Rings: This is the production of Amazon’s long-awaited, multi-screen television adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s series which will take place in New Zealand. In the first part of The Lord of the Rings, a shy, young hobbit named Frodo Baggins inherits a simple gold ring that holds the secret survival of the entire world. This extended version is incredibly worth it if you read the books. The film is in production but unclear if the COVID related production difficulties will impact the release date. So, stay tuned because this version should be incredibly worth it.

All Creatures Great and Small: Get ready for a classic that has sold 80 million copies worldwide. For over forty years generations of readers have been thrilled to James Herriot’s marvelous tales as he roamed the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. He treats every patient from the smallest to largest while observing animals and humans alike. Herriot is the pen name of James Alford Wright, an English veterinary surgeon and writer. The PBS Masterpiece series recently finished six episodes to delight and entertain people of all ages. More might be on the horizon.

Where the Crawdads Sing: If you’re looking for an absorbing tale about a lonely girl coming-of-age in the marshes of North Carolina, this is it. The book has sold more than four and a half million copies. Author Delia Owens created a heroine whose strength, perseverance and courage embodies the female. It centers on a young woman named Kya. Abandoned by her family, she raises herself all alone in the marshes outside her small town. Her boyfriend is found dead and finds she is the prime suspect for his murder. Actress Reese Witherspoon selected “Crawdads” for her book club and plans to produce a feature film adaptation of the novel. The release date is set for October 21, 2021. Don’t you dare miss this one!

The Last Duel: Here you have a true story of trial by combat in Medieval France. American author Eric Jager has written the last officially recognized duel fought in France. It tells the story of the December 29, 1386 duel between Norman knight Jean de Carrouges and the Squire Jacques Le Gris accused of violating the knight’s young wife. It is reported that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon would star, co-write and produce the film with Ridley Scott set to direct. The film was scheduled for release this January but has been pushed back to October 15, 2021. It is a moving human drama, a captivating detective story and an engrossing work of historical intrigue.

The Underground Railroad: This story is told in the third person focusing mainly on Cora, a slave on a plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially for Cora, an outcast even among her fellow Africans. The novel is about an adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage. Author Colson Whitehead has written a critical and commercial success, hitting the bestseller lists and winning several notable prizes. Amazon Video is ready to premier the series but the date is not set yet.

As you can see, the movies, TV shows and streaming content will be ready in 2021. As I have said before, when you read a book you can relate and understand each character. Then, what could be more exciting than to watch these characters come to life on whatever screen you choose. Get your popcorn ready. Happy movie going and reading, everyone!