Book to Movie - Hits and Misses

So out of recent and upcoming movies that are based on books - what do you think will be good? I can think of the following:

The Da Vinci Code
Bridget Jones
Memoirs of a Geisha (excellent book - the movie has big shoes to fill)
Cold Mountain
A Civil Action (I was disappointed)

I mean there are soooo many more - but these are some recent ones or ones that are about to come out or will be soon - thoughts? Are you someone who likes to read the book before the movie or no?

And…what book are you reading/have you read do you think might make a good movie? Ones that come to my mind are:

The Traveler (just finished - would be a kickin movie IMO)
The Life of Pi (in production I think actually)
The Kite Runner (also being made?)
something based on a David Sedaris novel


I never read A Civil Action, but/so I liked the movie. Same with Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Sometimes I love the book and am disappointed with the movie (Dune), but sometimes I’m happy with the movie (LOTR).

I think I should read some more recent novels. “Cold Mountain” is the only one you list that I had read (facinating reworking of The Odyssey but I didn’t think the lyricism came across on screen) although all three women in the house have read “Memoirs of a Geisha.”

Is 1996 recent? Because I really think Striptease was a shameful use of Hiaasen’s fun novel.

The only book named by the OP which I’ve read is Shopgirl. I wan to see it because I liked the book and I’m a fan of Steve Martin’s screenwriting (Roxanne, Bowfinger,etc).

I read this a couple months ago. I think it will be very difficult to translate to the screen but I’ll probably see it out of curiousity.

Dr. Rieux - LOTR is a great example of a success I think (obviously) but I mean in the sense of book to movie. Sensational.

Shopgirl’s cast makes it look like it might be really good - plus Steve Martin was involved with the film as well so I’m sure the screenplay is to his satisfaction.

Casting is important I think - because sometimes the casting choice just does not at all match up with who I had pictured in my head. For the book I just finished - The Traveler - I think the casting will be important - especially for Maya. I can’t put my finger on who should play her but we’ll see. For Cold Mountain, the choice of Renee Zellweger bugged me - she just didn’t fit the character of Ruby as I had imagined her. The screenplay overall was okay though.

Other thoughts?