15 books to read before the TV adaptations air in 2018

Because for some the book is ALWAYS better

Books becoming TV shows in 2018

Some of the best TV shows of 2017 were based on books and as the New Year rolls around we can look forward to a whole host of new adaptations.

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Whether you’re absolutely fascinated by true life stories, delight in taking a trip back in time with a period classic, love to lose yourself in science fiction, fall head over heels for fantasy stories, or much prefer a modern-day tale, you’re bound to find a book that’s right up your alley hitting your TV screen in the not too distant future.

And if you’re the kind of person who prefers to read the story first we’ve got just the thing for you – a list of the best books you need to read in 2018 before they become TV series…

1. McMafia: Seriously Organised CrimeMisha Glenny

James Norton and Maria Shukshina in new BBC1 drama McMafia (BBC, JG)
James Norton and Maria Shukshina in new BBC1 drama McMafia (BBC, JG)

Misha Glenny’s non-fiction book takes the reader on a journey through the world of international organised crime “from gunrunners in Ukraine to money launderers in Dubai, by way of drug syndicates in Canada and cyber criminals in Brazil”. And it also provided the inspiration for the BBC’s big New Year drama, McMafia.

James Norton stars as Alex Godman, a man who has spent his entire life trying to escape his family’s ties to organised crime. When personal tragedy strikes, Alex is forced to act and finds himself drawn into the family business. He must confront the Russian mob, Balkan smugglers, Mexican cartels and Pakistani drug lords, and risk everything to keep those he loves safe once more. Some of the real-life events depicted in Glenny’s book have been adapted for the series, but the majority of the main story is fictional.

McMafia airs on BBC1 in January 2018

2. The Patrick Melrose NovelsEdward St Aubyn

Melrose publicity pic, Sky, BD
Benedict Cumberbatch as Patrick Melrose (Sky)

Benedict Cumberbatch takes the lead as Patrick Melrose in Sky Atlantic’s adaptation of Edward St Aubyn’s classic series of Melrose novels, which include the Man Booker Prize-winning Mother’s Milk.

Each episode of the five-part series will be based on a different book and will take place over a few intense days in Melrose’s life, from the South of France in the 60s via 80s New York to early-2000s Britain. And they’ve all been adapted by another rather famous author – One Day writer David Nicholls.

Melrose will air on Sky Atlantic in 2018


3. Vanity FairWilliam Makepeace Thackeray

Vanity Fair main pic

Everyone loves a classic period drama so it’s little wonder Mammoth Screen (who bring us both Poldark and Victoria) jumped at the chance to bring Thackeray’s 1848 novel Vanity Fair to life. The story follows the lives of two young women – Becky Sharp and Emmy Sedley – and their friends and families during and after the Napoleonic Wars.

Becky is a strong-willed, clever and penniless young woman, who is utterly determined to make her way in society. She quickly befriends the wealthy, good-natured Emmy and moves in with her family in London, where she begins her climb to the top.

Olivia Cooke – the 23 year old star of Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming film Ready Player One – plays Thackeray’s timeless heroine Becky Sharp in the seven part series, which will be adapted by Dark Angel screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes.

Suranne Jones, Michael Palin and Martin Clunes are among the show’s star studded cast, while Broadchurch and Liar director, James Strong, is on board behind the camera.

Vanity Fair is currently due to air on Amazon Prime Video and ITV in 2018


4. Career of EvilRobert Galbraith (JK Rowling)

13855976-low_res-strike-the-silkworm

They’ve already solved the murders of model Lula Landry and author Owen Quine but Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacot’s sleuthing days are far from over.

Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger return to our screens in Career of Evil, their third outing as Robert Galbraith’s (aka JK Rowling’s) crime-solving – and very nice coat-wearing – duo.

A dismembered leg is sent to Strike’s office, causing absolute chaos for Cormoran and Robin, as they’re forced to confront ghosts from their pasts. Their partnership reaches breaking point as Robin’s wedding approaches and they disagree about how to ensnare a man who abuses children.

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Career of Evil is due to air on the BBC in 2018