Best books to read before the film is released

Big screen adaptations of bestsellers are all the rage in Hollywood at the moment - here's a reading list to help get you up to speed before hitting the cinema


Is the book better than the film, the film better than the book… Well you’ll never know if you’ve not spent some time turning those pages. So before these literary wonders make their way to the cinema, it’s time to get reading… 


Gone Girl

You’ve probably seen countless people reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn on your commute to work. If you’ve let it pass you by it’s time to get reading – before you accidentally find out what the big middle-of-the-book twist is. The film will see Rosamund Pike star opposite Ben Affleck. (Release date TBC) 

Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The first Hunger Games film may have come and gone, but there’s still time to catch up on the trilogy before Hunger Games: Catching Fire lands in cinemas. The novels are such fast-paced page-turners, they can be read in just a couple of sittings. The third book, Mockingjay, will also crop up on the silver screen in 2014, so make a start before Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutchinson and Liam Hemsworth return to the franchise. (In cinemas Thursday 21 November 2013)


Divergent by Veronica Roth has been hailed as the new Hunger Games. The story centres on a dystopian society split into five factions, each represented by a different human virtue. Citizens must decide whether to be part of Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless or Erudite. We’re on board! As are Kate Winslet and Shailene Woodley, who are set to star in the film. (In cinemas Friday March 21 2014) 


Romcom Admission (based on the book by Jean Hanff Korelitz) sees straitlaced Princeton admissions officer Tina Fey reunited with former college classmate Paul Rudd, who now runs an alternative high school and believes a gifted student may be the son she gave up for adoption years previously. (In cinemas from Friday 14 June 2013) 


Ready for some high-powered expensive-suit-wearing drama? Then Paranoia is for you. An entry level employee is tasked with spying on his boss’s old mentor to secure a million-dollar advantage. A stellar cast is linked to the film, based on the book by Joseph Finder, including Harrison Ford, Liam Hemsworth, Amber Heard and Gary Oldman. (No confirmed release date) 

Ender’s Game

Ender’s Game is a beloved sci-fi novel by Orson Scott Card in which the world’s most talented children are sent to Battle School to prepare for a third alien invasion. Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley are set to star. While we predict a ticket sale riot, we think the book deserves a read first. (In cinemas Friday October 25 2013)

The Monuments Men

Landing in cinemas early next year, The Monuments Men is based on the novel by Robert M Edsel. To give it its full credit, Edsel entitled it: The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History. Which, as you may have guessed, follows the challenge to keep important works of art and history out of the hands of the Nazis. An A-list Hollywood mash-up sees George Clooney, Matt Damon, Daniel Craig, Bill Murray and Cate Blanchett star. A modern classic? We’re certainly intrigued. (In cinemas Thursday 9 January 2014)

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

James Thurber’s short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is getting a second silver screen makeover, after the 1947 version, with Ben Stiller at the helm. Stiller will bring to life the story of the magazine photo manager who finds himself on a journey of discovery after a photo negative goes missing. A jolly little read and shorter than most books, so lots of time to squeeze this one in. (In cinemas Thursday 26 December)

The Wolf of Wall Street

Thank goodness for Jordan Belfort and The Wolf of Wall Street. Not only is it a fantastic story, it means we get to see Leonardo DiCaprio back at his drink-guzzling, money-splashing best. A fight from the bottom after an epic fall from the top it’s an over-indulgent feast that will be enjoyed from paper to screen. (In cinemas Friday January 17 2014) 


It’s North Carolina, it’s 1929 and it’s the Great Depression. It can only be the dramatic tale that is Serena by Ron Rash. It’s a story that seems simple enough. The Pembertons (George and Serena) want to cut down every tree in the world as they clamour to become the richest of the rich. But it’ll catch you from the get go with some unexpected violence. Silver Linings co-stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper will reunite to play the brutish couple when it reaches cinemas. (No confirmed release date) 


Austenland by Shannon Hale is to leap from its pages with The American’s Keri Russell portraying Pride & Prejudice-obsessed Jane Hayes. A delightful twist on the Jane Austen classic that’ll have you insisting everyone calls you ‘Miss’. A perfect summer holiday indulgence. (In cinemas Friday 27 September 2013) 

The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch

There’s been much talk of The Seventh Son, which is to star Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore. But head for the bookshelf first. The film is actually based on The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney – a novel which explores the journey of the seventh son as he trains to be an exorcist. (In cinemas Friday 25 October 2013) 

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner, by James Dashner has been steadily growing in popularity as summer holidays allow us some dedicated reading time. It follows the story of a group of teenage boys trapped in what appears to be an inescapable maze. Great poolside reading, right? The movie adaptation will star Teen Wolf and The Internship’s Dylan O’Brien. (In cinemas Friday 14 February 2014).  


Ready to see Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe back on the big screen? Well he’ll be easy to spot – he’ll be the one with the huge horns sticking out of his forehead. Based on the novel by Joe Hill, Radcliffe’s character Ig Perrish is caught in the aftermath of the mysterious death of his girlfriend. Want to know what on earth those horns mean? Get reading! (No confirmed release date) 


You can buy all these books from RT Bookshop