By JAKE SEXTON
Remember going to the movies? You and your family could go out for a night of romance, explosions and overpriced snacks, and enjoy yourselves in a room packed full of strangers, mask-free. Good times. While it’s true that a lot of this entertainment has moved to home video or streaming services, many upcoming films are on hold until both theater and production conditions are safer. So how about getting the jump on these postponed movies by reading the books that they’re based on!
“Death on the Nile” is an Agatha Christie mystery in which her popular Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is faced with the murder of a wealthy heiress while he is on a vacation cruise in Egypt. Suspects, motives and alibis abound, while Poirot must use his keen mind and ridiculous mustache to find the culprit(s). This new movie version of the story is serving as a sequel to 2017’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” also directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh. And like that film, our gaggle of suspects is played by an all-star cast: Gal Godot, Annette Bening, Armie Hammer, Letitia Wright, Russell Brand and more. The film is currently scheduled to come out in theaters in October, but the book is available at the library (as are the book and movie versions of “Orient Express”).
Frank Herbert’s sci-fi epic “Dune” was published in 1965, and is one of the highest-selling science fiction novels of all time. In the distant future, the planets of an intergalactic empire are held together by a drug called melange (or “the spice”), which allows swift travel through space. The spice is only found on the desert planet of Arrakis, and as our story begins, the family of House Atreides is entrusted to oversee this planet for the emperor. The family is betrayed and massacred, and our protagonist Paul Atreides must flee for his life. Paul joins with the native inhabitants of Arrakis, becomes a trusted leader in the group, and they begin a rebellion against imperial rule to control the spice themselves. The story involves sci-fi weapons, court intrigue/backstabbing, mystical powers, and giant alien beasts. The novel was turned into a confusing movie in the 1980s, and is being remade as a pair of films with popular actors Timothée Chalamet, Josh Brolin, Zendaya and Jason Momoa.
“The Nightingale” is Kristin Hannah’s 2015 novel about the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. It’s the fictional story of two estranged sisters and the ways in which they resist. Older sister Viviane struggles to raise her daughter and survive difficult economic times while also trying to rescue Jewish children. Isabelle begins working with the French resistance to find Allied airmen who’ve been shot down and helping them to escape and return to the fight. A movie version is scheduled for release in late 2021, starring actresses who are real life sisters, Elle and Dakota Fanning.
Have you missed the library? You are now able to visit us in person on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Our hours will be 10 a.m.–12:30 pm and 1:30–4 p.m. The midday closure allows for thorough cleaning of public spaces within the buildings. And walk-up door-side service, where you can pick up items that you have requested online, will happen on Mondays and Fridays, 10 a.m.-4p.m.
— Jake Sexton is a librarian at the La Branch of the San Diego County Library. Visit the library at 8074 Allison Ave., or online at www.sdcl.org.