Book lovers, get ready: Some of the biggest movies heading to the screen in 2019 will be literary adaptations, drawn from popular novels, works of non-fiction, and classic spooky stories. While a handful have already been released, start reading now to be prepared for when films like Doctor Sleep and Little Women arrive in theaters.
A Dog’s Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron (January 11)
$11.31 (25% off)
What’s it about? Cameron’s follow-up to A Dog’s Purpose, this family-friendly novel follows a cute pup named Bella who has to travel 400 miles to be reunited with her owner. Told from the perspective of the dog herself, this heart-wrenching tale has been popular with kids and adults alike. Expect the movie to be even more adorable.
Who’s in it? Bryce Dallas Howard, Ashley Judd, Edward James Olmos
If you like this, try: A Dog’s Purpose, Marley & Me, Old Yeller
How to Train Your Dragon (February 22)
$49.91 (48% off)
What’s it about? How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is the final movie in the film’s trilogy, based on the book series of the same name. This time around, Hiccup is on a quest to find a dragon utopia called “The Hidden World.”
Who’s in it? Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, F. Murray Abraham, Cate Blanchett
If you like this, try: The entire How to Train Your Dragon series
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope (March 1)
What’s it about? Based on the memoir The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, the film tells the story of William Kamkwamba, a boy from Malawi, whose village suffers when drought leads to a horrible famine. In order to help his family and neighbors, Kamkwamba figures out how to build a wind turbine to irrigate crops.
Who’s in it? Maxwell Simba, Chiwetel Ejiofor
If you like this, try: Monique and the Mango Rains
Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott (March 15)
$9.69 (49% off)
What’s it about? Lippincott’s YA novel was adapted for the screen before even arriving in bookstores. Much like The Fault in Our Stars, the story follows a sick teen named Stella who is forced to remain six feet away from everything in order to prevent infections ahead of a lung transplant. Of course, she meets Will, another sick teen, and the pair fall in love, potentially putting Stella’s health at risk. Be ready for an emotional rollercoaster.
Who’s in it? Cole Sprouse, Haley Lu Richardson, Claire Forlani
If you like this, try: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns
The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band (March 22)
$12.63 (37% off)
What’s it about? The Dirt is the tell-all autobiography of infamous rock group Mötley Crüe, written by band members Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx, Vince Neil, Mick Mars, and journalist Neil Strauss. The film, based on the book of the same name, chronicles the rise of the band, including the sex, drugs, and crimes that followed.
Who’s in it? Machine Gun Kelly, Douglas Booth, Daniel Webber, Iwan Rheon, Pete Davidson
If you like this, try: This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx, The Heroin Diaries
The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook (March 19)
$12.24 (23% off)
What’s it about? Set in Hamburg shortly after the end of World War II, The Aftermath follows Colonel Lewis Morgan and his wife Rachel as they are forced to share a house with a German widower and his daughter. Drama ensues, of course, and Rachel finds herself caught between the two men. It’s a work of historical fiction, but also a deeply compelling love story.
Who’s in it? Keira Knightley, Alexander Skarsgärd, Jason Clarke
If you like this, try: A Gentleman in Moscow, After the Party, All the Light We Cannot See
The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud (March 29)
What’s it about? Be warned that this one is for horror buffs only. The terrifying story follows a man named Will, who finds a cell phone that begins to receive strange messages. He discovers horrific videos and images on the phone, and it all leads to a very grim conclusion. Ballingrud’s realistic style makes the effect all the more impactful.
Who’s in it? Dakota Johnson, Armie Hammer, Zazie Beetz
If you like this, try: A House at the Bottom of a Lake, Hex, The Changeling
The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South by Osha Gray Davidson (April 5)
What’s it about? This non-fiction work looks at Durham, North Carolina during the 1960s as race relations in the city become deeply strained. Davidson follows two people, one a white member of the KKK and one a black single mother, as they meet and deal with the town’s bigotry and power dynamics.
Who’s in it? Taraji P. Henson, Sam Rockwell
If you like this, try: Hidden Figures, Broken Heartland, Under Fire
Pet Sematary by Stephen King (April 5)
What’s it about? King’s horrifying novel about a cat that comes back to life with malicious intent was made into a film in 1989 and is getting a second adaptation now. The story focuses on Louis Creed and his family, who bury their recently deceased cat in an old pet cemetery after they move to Maine. When Louis’s son tragically dies, he is also buried in the haunted grounds—with malevolent results. Read this one with the lights on…
Who’s in it? Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, Amy Seimetz
If you like this, try: Cujo, The Sun Dog, Little Girls
Native Son by Richard Wright (April 6)
$13.98 (18% off)
What’s it about? Bigger Thomas, a black man living in Chicago’s South Side in 1930s, becomes involved with a white woman’s death. Wright’s novel, released in 1940, tackles race and poverty and the systemic injustices of America during the era. It’s since become essential reading and the movie, which will premiere at Sundance, is likely to be just as impactful.
Who’s in it? Nick Robinson, Ashton Sanders, KiKi Layne, Margaret Qualley
If you like this, try: Invisible Man, Their Eyes Were Watching God, If Beale Street Could Talk
After by Anna Todd (April 12)
$8.65 (52% off)
What’s it about? If you’re romance-ready, here’s one to look forward to. When Tessa arrives at college she meets a renegade named Hardin. Although Tessa has a boyfriend back home, she gets a little obsessed with Hardin. This is the first in a series of novels—the story began as One Direction fan fiction—so if you like the back and forth drama of this maybe couple you’ll be in for a long, emotional ride.
Who’s in it? Josephine Langford, Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, Selma Blair, Peter Gallagher
If you like this, try: After We Collided, After We Fell, The Distance Between Us
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (May 17)
$8.20 (57% off)
What’s it about? Yoon is also the author of Everything, Everything, and this YA novel follows a similar storyline of a young couple whose romance may be doomed. It alternates between the perspectives of its two main characters, Natasha and Daniel, who fall in love in NYC right before Natasha’s family is set to be deported. The themes are poignant, especially in today’s political climate.
Who’s in it? Charles Melton, Yara Shahidi, Gbenga Akinnagbe
If you like this, try: Turtles All the Way Down, Beautiful Broken Things, Holding Up the Universe
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (August 2)
$9.00 (50% off)
What’s it about? This World War II novel about two sisters, each of whom finds a different way of surviving the war, is being adapted for the screen by Michelle MacLaren. The powerful, emotional tale is the sort you’ll want to read in one sitting, and it’s ideal for the big screen.
Who’s in it? Aisling Franciosi, Sam Claflin, Baykali Ganambarr
If you like this, try: The Great Alone, Firefly Lane, Oranges For Christmas
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz (August 9)
What’s it about? Based on the iconic book series, the film adaptation Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark follows a girl named Stella and her friends as they find a book of scary stories in a haunted house in their town. The catch: They soon realize the stories in the book are coming true.
Who’s in it? Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush
If you like this, try: More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Scary Stories 3
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (August 9)
$10.19 (40% off)
What’s it about? Told partially from the perspective of a very adorable dog, The Art of Racing in the Rain is about one special golden retriever who belongs to a race car driver (played by Milo Ventimiglia in the movie). The story follows the driver as he falls in love, starts a family, and eventually must confront illness and an intense legal battle. Did I mention it’s partially narrated by a very adorable dog?
Who’s in it? Milo Ventimiglia, Amanda Seyfried, Kevin Costner
If you like this, try: A Dog’s Purpose, Marley and Me
The Kitchen by Ollie Masters (August 9)
$9.79 (42% off)
What’s it about? In The Kitchen, originally based off a comic book, three mob wives living in 1970s New York decide to take up criminal work in order to support themselves after their husbands are sent to prison.
Who’s in it? Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss
If you like this, try: Snow Blind, Sons of Anarchy
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (August 16)
$11.24 (34% off)
What’s it about? This comedic novel is narrated by 15-year-old Bee, whose mother, Bernadette Fox, goes missing right before a planned family trip to Antarctica. The novel is told through emails and memos, as well as Bee’s thoughts, so it will be interesting to see how the movie version, helmed by Richard Linklater, adapts the format. The story is ostensibly a mystery, although it’s also about family and connection.
Who’s in it? Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, Billy Crudup, Judy Greer
If you like this, try: Little Fires Everywhere, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, Leaving Time
The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War: Katharine Gun and the Secret Plot to Sanction the Iraq Invasion by Marcia and Thomas Mitchell (August 30)
What’s it about? This reported book about the trial of a British whistleblower has been turned into a film titled Official Secrets. It tells the story of Katharine Gun, who leaked information to the media about an illegal operation that was meant to influence the start of the Iraq war.
Who’s in it? Keira Knightley, Matt Smith, Matthew Goode
If you like this, try: Madame Fourcade’s Secret War, D-Day Girls
It by Stephen King (September 6)
What’s it about? Technically this film is the second half of King’s seminal novel, about an evil clown named Pennywise who terrorizes a group of children. It will recount the events 27 years after, as the grown-up Losers Club takes down the terrifying, shape-shifting Pennywise. The novel is over 1,000 pages, but you have plenty of time to tackle it before September.
Who’s in it? Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, James McAvoy, Isaiah Mustafa
If you like this, try: Carrie, The Shining, Firestarter
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (September 13)
$11.41 (43% off)
What’s it about? First published in 2013, Tartt’s acclaimed novel is about a teen boy named Theo Decker who is sent to live with a rich family after the death of his mother. As he grows up, Theo is haunted by the loss of his mom and can’t let go of a painting that reminds him of her. The painting eventually draws him in to the criminal underworld of New York.
Who’s in it? Nicole Kidman, Ansel Elgort, Sarah Paulson
If you like this, try: The Secret History, A Little Life, Life After Life
Caging Skies by Christine Leunens (October 18)
$20.84 (20% off)
What’s it about? Caging Skies, which will be transformed into a satirical film titled JoJo Rabbit this October, is about a young boy who’s part of the Hitler Youth in Europe (and, in the movie, whose imaginary friend appears in the form of Adolf Hitler). He then comes to finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.
Who’s in it? Roman Griffin Davis, Scarlett Johansson, Thomasin McKenzie, Taika Waititi
If you like this, try: The Last Hundred Days
Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault (October 18)
What’s it about? Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, the sequel to the 2014 movie Maleficent, will be released this October. The film, which is inspired by the original fairytale and the animated Sleeping Beauty movie from the ’50s, explores the story of the titular villain, played by Angelina Jolie. Elle Fanning joins her, playing Princess Aurora.
Who’s in it? Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning
If you like this, try: Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella
Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem (November 1)
$12.02 (29% off)
What’s it about? This crime drama set in 1950s New York follows a private investigator who has Tourette’s syndrome as he tries to solve his friend and mentor’s murder.
Who’s in it? Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Bruce Willis
If you like this, try: The Feral Detective, Chronic City
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (November 8)
$20.93 (30% off)
What’s it about? As the sequel to King’s classic The Shining, Doctor Sleep takes place years in the future with an adult Dan Torrance. After meeting a young girl who has similar powers to his, he tries to protect her from an evil tribe. While the new film will be based on the book, it will also exist within the same universe as the original movie.
Who’s in it? Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran
If you like this, try: The Shining, obviously
The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle (November 15)
What’s it about? An elderly English con man named Roy decides to steal the life savings of a woman named Betty, who may or may not be as innocent as she seems. The novel moves backwards in time, revealing new facets of Roy’s life throughout the chapters, all leading to a surprising conclusion. The upcoming film, directed by Bill Condon, has shifted some of the action, so the book won’t be a total spoiler.
Who’s in it? Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, Jim Carter
If you like this, try: A Traitor In the Family, The Couple Next Door, The Perfect Wife
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey (December 6)
$10.98 (35% off)
What’s it about? A Million Little Pieces will be based on the controversial book about a young man’s time spent in rehab, recovering from a drug and alcohol addiction. While it was originally billed as a memoir, it was later found out that the author fabricated parts of the book.
Who’s in it? Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Billy Bob Thorton
If you like this, try: My Friend Leonard, A Piece of Cake
Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot (December 20)
What’s it about? The Broadway musical Cats is actually based on a collection of T.S. Eliot poems that centers on a tribe of cats called the Jellicles. The bizarre tale is essentially about which cat will ascend to the “Heaviside Layer” and begin a new life. The film version is an adaptation of the musical, but fans may want to check out the original source material as well.
Who’s in it? Taylor Swift, James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba
If you like this, try: Puss in Boots, The Owl and the Pussycat, The Waste Land
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (December 25)
$11.95 (25% off)
What’s it about? Four very different sisters are raised by their mother in Massachusetts as they come into womanhood and find their way in the world. The March sisters have become classic characters, appearing in several film and TV adaptations, but this forthcoming movie by Greta Gerwig is sure to capture the novel’s poignancy and wit.
Who’s in it? Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan, Laura Dern
If you like this, try: Anne of Green Gables, Pride and Prejudice, A Little Princess
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (TBA)
$7.69 (30% off)
What’s it about? Two teens, Theodore Finch and Violet Markey, find themselves thrown together after they both plan to jump off the school bell tower at the same time. Drawn together in this intimate way, they start to help each other heal—but it’s not easy going. This is another book that will require a box of tissues on hand.
Who’s in it? Elle Fanning, Justice Smith, Alexandra Shipp
If you like this, try: Everything, Everything, Holding Up the Universe, The Hate U Give