13 books you need to read before they become TV series and movies in 2019

From Good Omens to The Goldfinch, His Dark Materials to Catch-22, here are the biggest book adaptations coming in 2019

Good Omens

2019 is set to be the year of the adaptation, if this list is anything to go by.

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From classics like Little Women to modern-day bestsellers like Pulitzer winner The Goldfinch, there are plenty of upcoming dramas to choose from.

Fantasy fans are in for a treat too, with Amazon’s Good Omens and the BBC’s His Dark Materials both out this year.

So whether you’re in the market for your next bedtime read, or you just want to make sure you’ve read the book before the screen adaptation, you’ve got your work cut out.

Here’s our rundown of the books you need to read in 2019 ahead of the film or TV adaptations…

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Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Good Omens

Neil Gaiman and the late, great Terry Pratchett struck gold back in 1990 with their collaborative fantasy novel Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, which follows an angel and a devil who strike an uneasy alliance in order to save the planet they’ve both come to call home.

Now Amazon Prime Video and the BBC are bringing the book to life, with the dream casting of Michael Sheen and David Tennant as the two celestial buddies.

When is Good Omens on TV? All six hour-long episodes of the series are on Amazon Prime Video (31st May 2019), before they air about six months later on BBC2.

What’s the book? Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman is available in paperback as well as Kindle and audio book.


The Expatriates by Janice Y K Lee

Nicole Kidman (Getty, EH)

Janice Y K Lee’s book follows a close-knit group of women expats in Hong Kong, and is set to be adapted into an Amazon series, with Nicole Kidman acting as executive producer. That might explain why the series is already being compared to Big Little Lies

When is The Expatriates on TV? The series will air on Amazon at some point during 2019.

What’s the book? The book has the same name, The Expatriates, and is available to buy in paperback, kindle and audiobook.


Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

George Clooney (Getty, EH)

Joseph Heller’s classic novel follows the increasingly outlandish and bizarre exploits of US Air Force pilots during the Second World War. George Clooney is bringing the book to TV, acting as series’ producer and director while also starring in a minor role alongside Hugh Laurie.

When is Catch-22 on TV? Catch-22 will air on Channel 4 in 2019

What’s the book? Joseph Heller’s book Catch-22 has a special 50th anniversary edition as well as the normal paperback.


Death Comes As the End by Agatha Christie

If you’re a fan of Agatha Christie, add Death Comes As the End to the top of your bedside pile now. Vanity Fair screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes is writing an adaptation of Death Comes As the End for Christmas 2019, following Sarah Phelps’ The ABC Murders.

The tale is an historical novel set in Ancient Egypt around 2000 BC.

When is Death Comes As the End on TV? The adaptation will air Christmas 2019 on the BBC.

What’s the book? Of course, this is one of many in the Agatha Christie collection. You can buy just Death Comes As the End though the book does come in some of the Christie collections.


The Goldfinch — Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch film set (Getty)

Donna Tartt’s third novel took the literary world by storm back in 2013, when her epic novel about a boy who steals a 17th century painting won the Pulitzer Prize.

Nicole Kidman, Ansel Elgort and Luke Wilson are all starring in the upcoming film adaptation directed by Brooklyn’s John Crowley.

When is The Goldfinch released in cinemas? The film will be released during 2019.

What’s the book? We already know the film will change the book’s structure, but you can swot up on the original story with the book The Goldfinch.


His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

His Dark Materials

Although the release date for the BBC’s adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is roughly pencilled in for 2019, it’s still all rather up in the air. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as you’ll have time to read (or re-read) Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, which follow orphan Lyra, who has a talent for lying and who lives in a parallel universe.

When is His Dark Materials on TV? The series is pencilled in for a 2019 release date on the BBC.

What’s the book? There’s the gift edition of His Dark Materials trilogy, but you can also pick up The Subtle Knife, Northern Lights and The Amber Spyglass separately if you have a gap in your collection.


Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey

Emma Healey’s novel, about a woman’s search for a missing friend in the face of encroaching dementia, is set be adapted into a 90-minute BBC1 drama. What better time to read the novelist’s bestselling debut?

When is Elizabeth Is Missing on TV? The film will air on BBC1 in 2019.

What’s the book? Emma Healey’s 2014 book Elizabeth Is Missing is available to buy as a paperback and Kindle edition.


Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Cate Blanchett at the InStyle Awards (Getty, EH)

Bernadette is a divisive figure, particularly amongst the other mothers at daughter Bee’s school. So when Bernadette goes missing, it’s Bee who sets out exactly what happened to her.

The bestselling novel will be adapted for the cinema by Before Sunrise’s Richard Linklater, starring Cate Blanchett in the title role.

When is Where’d You Go, Bernadette released in cinemas? The film scheduled for released in March 2019.

What’s the book? The bestselling Where’d You Go, Bernadette is available as paperback and Kindle.


Pet Sematary by Stephen King

It’s a good time for Stephen King fans, and the trend continues with the upcoming film adaptation of Pet Sematary. The 1983 novel (said to be the  book that scared the author the most) follows a family who find that their new home is close to a local pet cemetery — and an ancient burial ground…

When is Pet Sematary released in cinemas? The film is set for release in April 2019.

What’s the book? It’s no secret that the latest movie changes a major plot point so you’re not spoiling too much but reading the Pet Sematary book before – or after – you’ve seen the Stephen King adaptation.


The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn

AMY ADAMS (GETTY)

Amy Adams and Gary Oldman will star in the film adaptation of AJ Finn’s thriller about a child psychologist who witnesses a crime while spying on her neighbours — and must decide whether or not to inform the police.

When is The Woman in the Window released in cinemas? The film will premiere 4th October 2019.

What’s the book? A.J. Finn’s debut book The Woman in the Window became an instant hit making it a must read before you go and see the film.


Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by  TS Elliot

(Getty)

OK, OK, we’ll admit it, this isn’t technically a book, but the classic poetry collection following a ragtag band of cats has already inspired the hit musical Cats. The musical is now set to receive the silver screen treatment later in 2019, with James Corden, Taylor Swift and Jennifer Hudson starring.

When is Cats in cinemas? The film is scheduled for release on 20th December 2019.

What’s the book? You’ll have to look for the less catchy title of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats if you want to read up before this movie adaptation. Of course, you could also opt for the Cats musical


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Emma Watson (Getty/FC)

The classic coming-of-age story of four sisters growing up in Massachusetts during the American Civil War has been adapted various times (including the 1994 version starring Winona Ryder), but Greta Gerwig seems to have a hit on her hands with her upcoming version starring Emma Watson as Meg.

When is Little Women released in cinemas? The film is due to be released on Christmas Day (25th December) 2019.

What’s the book? Doesn’t everyone own a copy of Little Women already? If you don’t there’s a 150th anniversary edition with illustrations that was released last year.


All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Elle Fanning (Getty)

Calling all Young Adult fans. Jennifer Nivon’s All the Bright Places tells the story of two teenagers, Theodore Finch and Violet Markey, living in a small Indiana town.

Netflix is adapting the novel: Elle Fanning will star as the popular ex-cheerleader Violet, while Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s Justice Smith plays Finch.

When is All the Bright Places released on Netflix? The Netflix movie adaptation will air in 2019.

What’s the book? All the Bright Places is still on the bestseller list on Amazon and it’s well worth a read before watching the Netflix adaptation.


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It may be a season down, but there’s also the return of Big Little Lies based off the book of the same name written by Liane Moriarty.