Many eagerly anticipate the arrival of their favorite grand novel turned into a screenplay, while others prefer to let their imaginations take the director role. Either way, these great novels listed below tell enticing and exciting tales you wont be able to put down. Find out what all the hype is surrounding these novels that have laid the foundation for films that have recently been released or will be this year, many of which are already garnering Oscar buzz. First, be delighted by the novel, then decide if you want to see what all the fuss is about and join the line at the local theatre.

“In the Heart of the Sea”
by Nathaniel Philbrick
Based on the harrowing true story that inspired Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick,” this novel describes the events of the sailors on board the whaling ship the Essex, when they were attacked by a whale and stranded at sea for more than 90 days. The film stars Chris Hemsworth and Cillian Murphy and is getting some attention for great dramatic performances.

“The Martian” by Andy Weir
This is a sci-fri novel about Mark Watney, an astronaut that is one of the first to land on Mars. Presumed dead and left behind by his crew, he must use all he has to survive in space while NASA tries to rescue him and make it back to Earth. Matt Damon stars alongside Jessica Chastain, Donald Glover, Kristen Wiig and Sean Bean in the film.

“Far from the Madding Crowd”
by Thomas Hardy
This is a love story that follows the gorgeous Bathsheba as she attracts three suitors – a shepherd, a wealthy bachelor and a military man. The story dives into the nature of relationships and how those choices can have lasting and heart-breaking effects. The film is directed by Thomas Vinterberg and stars Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge and Matthias Schoenaerts.

“Serena” by Ron Rash
Newlyweds Serena and George Pemberton struggle to create an empire in the 1930’s North Carolina mountains timber trade. Their passionate marriage involves illegitimate children, murder and desperate behavior, which will leave your jaw dropped. Award-winning duo Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper star in the film adaptation.

“The Light Between Oceans”
by M.L. Stedman
(Film Release in 2016)
The keeper of a lighthouse and his wife rescue a baby girl found in a rowboat near their home off the coast of Australia. They claim the child as their own, but their certainty in making that choice wavers as this moral dilemma plays out. The film stars Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander.

“The Jungle Book”
(The Jungle Books 1-2)
by Rudyard Kipling
(Film Release in April 2016)
The Jungle Books are regarded as classic stories about the philosophy of life. If you haven’t had a chance to read the classics in print, make a point to do so this year as it will be a hot topic of conversation with the release of the latest version of the film. The stories are best known for the “Mowgli” stories; the tale of a baby abandoned and brought up by wolves, learning the ways and secrets of the jungle by Baloo the bear, Kaa the python, and Bagheera the black panther. The stories, a mixture of fantasy, magic and myth, are blended with the theme of self-discovery, and the nature of the “Law.” The new feature film stars the voices of Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, Neel Sethi, Christopher Walken and more, directed by Jon Favreau.