From the Beacon: Books provide movie-worthy stories

Pay attention to the opening credits the next time you visit a movie theater or rent a DVD at home and you'll notice you're seeing the phrase "based on the book by" more often than not.

Book lovers have always known the best stories are discovered one author at a time, but lately Hollywood is catching the book bug. While the onscreen portrayal of a favorite novel may not equal the way the reader imagined it, bringing books to the silver screen is all the rage.

IN THEATERS

  • "Shutter Island" has all the qualities of a guy movie. Nothing is as it seems when U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels visits Shutter Island, home of a mental hospital, to locate a famous murderess. This psychological thriller gets its story line from Dennis Lehane's novel by the same name.
  • Perfect for date night, "The Last Song," based on the Nicholas Sparks book by the same name, is a coming-of-age story with a musical flavor as a father takes a chance at reconnecting with his estranged 17-year-old daughter. Don't forget the tissues -- remember that Nicholas Sparks is the guy who brought us "The Notebook," "A Walk to Remember," "Message in a Bottle" and "Dear John."
  • If you have the kids in tow, try "How to Train Your Dragon," based on Cressida Cowell's "How to Train Your Dragon; Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III." With Vikings, dragons and an underdog to root for, "Dragon" is fun reading and viewing for the whole family.
  • Also currently in theaters is the movie version of Jeff Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series for middle-schoolers. The laugh-out-loud adventures of a junior high student are sure to leave you in stitches.

COMING SOON

  • "The Runaways" (April 2010): Joan Jett's unmistakable "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" cemented her status as a hip rocker chick, but the upcoming biopic "The Runaways," describes her early beginnings with bandmates Cherrie Currie and Lita Ford. Based on the book "Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway" by Currie, this movie stars two of Hollywood's youngest leading ladies, Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning. 
  • "Eat Pray Love" (August 2010): Julia Roberts stars in the movie adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling midlife memoir, "Eat, Pray Love." The novel chronicles a year in Gilbert's life in which she traveled to India, Italy and Indonesia to reclaim her life in the aftermath of divorce.

MOVIES AT THE LIBRARY

Did you know you can use your library card to rent movies from all five Beaufort County Public Library locations and our online catalog? Browse our expanding DVD section of feature films, documentary and "how-to" videos online or during your next library visit. You will find listings for some of the previous book-to-box office favorites new to DVD such as "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire," "Invictus," "The Blind Side," "Twilight" and more. Our libraries also regularly schedule free movie showings in surround sound on our big screens.