One of the best parts about going on vacation is getting to catch up on reading. With so many books to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow down your selection. Not to worry! These 6 novels are all being released as movies later in the year, so they’re perfect to read (or re-read) this summer. Plus, you'll get to utter these infamous words: "The book was better than the movie."
The Kitchen by Ollie Masters (August 9)
This 2014 graphic novel from DC Comics may not be your usual fare, but this summer, why not try something new? Set in 1970s New York, the graphic novel features Raven, Kathy, and Angie, three women whose husbands run the Irish gangs of Hell’s Kitchen. When their husbands are locked up, the women must take over the gangs. Since men continue to dominate mob dramas, this novel is a rare look at what happens when women are in charge. The upcoming film adaptation stars Elisabeth Moss, Melissa McCarthy, and Tiffany Haddish, so it promises to be as humorous as it is intense.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (August 16)
This highly anticipated film adaptation comes out next month, so be sure to read this novel soon! Maria Semple’s acclaimed 2012 novel follows Bernadette Fox, a housebound mother and former architect who disappears before a scheduled trip to Antarctica. Her 15-year-old daughter Bee tries to track her down through emails, invoices, and memos that she finds. This darkly funny novel rings true for anyone who’s ever struggled with mental health or trauma. Originally scheduled to be released in March but pushed back to August, the film stars Cate Blanchett as Bernadette and Emma Nelson as Bee in her film debut. We adore female-driven cinema.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (September 13)
Considered to be Tartt’s masterpiece, this novel takes place over the course of a decade. It follows Theo Decker, a teenage boy whose mother is killed in a terrorist attack, who then descends into the world of art forgery. Though it won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the novel received mixed reviews and remains a controversial choice. The star-studded upcoming film features Ansel Elgort as Theo and Sarah Paulson as his stepmother, among others. Directed by John Crowley, who directed the Oscar-nominated Brooklyn, early buzz on the film has been mostly positive. A work of genius or overrated? You decide.
The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle (November 15)
This surprising hit from Nicholas Searle is about an aging con man named Roy Courtnay who meets wealthy widow Betty McLeish online and decides to steal her savings for his last con. In the process, however, he begins to fall in love with her, even as Betty is revealed to not be who she seems. Veritable film legends Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren star in the film adaptation, so this movie is sure to be far from the usual con film. The star power of the film is backed up by stunning scenes of London and the English countryside. You’ll definitely want to see this movie, so be sure to read the novel first.
The Rhythm Section by Mark Burnell (November 22)
This 2018 thriller follows Stephanie, a woman who lost her entire family in a plane crash. Learning that the crash wasn’t an accident, but an act of terror, Stephanie trains to become a spy and enacts revenge on the people who destroyed her life. The novel is the latest in a series of spy thrillers with female antiheroes (think Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), but the emotionally tortured Stephanie provides a compelling protagonist that makes the novel stand out. The upcoming film adaptation stars Blake Lively, whose past roles in A Simple Favor and The Age of Adaline have prepared her well for Stephanie’s emotional turmoil. Jude Law and Sterling K. Brown also star in this movie, so be prepared for a scary thrill ride.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (December 25)
Maybe you read this classic when you were young, but ahead of Greta Gerwig’s newest adaptation, you need to read it again. Little Women tells the story of 4 sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, who are growing up in relative poverty in Civil War-era Massachusetts. Loosely based on Alcott’s own upbringing, the novel is one of the most popular American novels of all time and has never been out of print since its first publication in 1868. Dealing with universal themes of love, loss, gender, and class, there’s something in Little Women for everyone. This newest adaptation features a stacked cast, with Saoirse Ronan as tomboy Jo and Emma Watson as Meg, the eldest sister. Timothée Chalamet and Meryl Streep round out the all-star roster.