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Photo by Nadia Hatoum

Summers at the movies evoke images of action flicks with lots of explosions.  But bookworms like me won’t feel left out as they retreat to the cool air conditioning of the theater.  Here are four summer blockbusters you won’t want to miss.  And I won’t even make you read the book first.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Now Playing) Seth Grahame-Smith adapted his novel of the same name for this movie that imagines our 16th President’s secret vampire hunter identity.  The majority of the film takes place in the Civil War era, where another war wages - this one against the race of vampires. 

Both the film and the novel seek to explain the early death of William Wallace Lincoln as an attack from the undead.  The film’s star Benjamin Walker seems to be making a career of portraying presidents.  Walker played Andrew Jackson in the Broadway musical “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” last season. 

What to Expect When You’re Expecting (Now Playing) Based on the popular pregnancy book of the same name, What to Expect When You’re Expecting follows five couples at various stages in their pregnancies.  This comedy offers a lighthearted take on the joys and pains of pregnancy, using acquaintances and associations to weave together the various story lines of these five couples. 

Screenwriter Heather Hach is no stranger to adaptations.  Hach wrote the script for the 2003 remake of Freaky Friday and the book for the Broadway musical “Legally Blonde.” 

The Bourne Legacy (August 10th) Based on the suspense novel of the same name, The Bourne Legacy is the first film in the Bourne franchise that doesn’t feature hero Jason Bourne.  A departure from the other three films, screenwriter Tony Gilroy directs this installment of the series.  This isn’t Gilroy’s first credit as writer/director -- the filmmaker filled both roles on Duplicity and Michael Clayton.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (August 3rd) Based on the third and fourth books of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series (The Last Straw and Dog Days), this family film follows “wimpy kid” Greg as he is faced with embarrassing mishaps at the local country club, the public pool, and his scouts’ camping trip. 

Director David Bowers tried his hand at live action with last year’s Wimpy Kid installment, temporarily breaking from his animation background.  (Bowers was an animator on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, FernGully, and The Prince of Egypt.)  

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Danielle Mohlman's picture

Danielle Mohlman

Danielle Mohlman is a playwright, bookworm, and library connoisseur. You can find her on Twitter and Tumblr. (She has a lot to say.) And on Instagram. (She never foodstagrams.) When she grows up, she wants to be Leslie Knope.