This list of books being made into movies 2019 version began when I went on a book buying binge to fill my nightstand for the new year. I went a little crazy, and many of these titles are stacked in a pile, ready and waiting for me to dive into them.
I hope you find some reading inspiration for this year’s book to movie adaptations!
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A Dog’s Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron (Release date January 11)
This remarkable story of one endearing dog’s journey home after she is separated from her beloved human is directed by Charles Martin Smith and stars Ashley Judd, Edward James Olmos, Wes Studi, Alexandra Shipp, and Jonah Hauer-King.
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (Film title Ashes in the Snow. Release date January 11)
Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life — until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father’s prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive?
The Aspern Papers by Henry James (Release date January 11. Starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Joely Richardson and Vanessa Redgrave)
The Aspern Papers tells the story of a poetry enthusiast and aspiring biographer driven to desperate lengths to procure the last letters of a recently passed American poet, Jeffrey Aspern. Reflecting many of James’ own reservations about publicity and biographical exploitation, The Aspern Papers remains a powerful defense of the dignity and privacy that should be afforded all authors in life and in death.
The Rhythm Section by Mark Burnell (Release date February 22)
Mark Burnell’s riveting thriller The Rhythm Section begins with the crash of flight NEO027. The crash destroys Stephanie Patrick’s life: her family was on board and there were no survivors. Devastated, she drops out of college and her life spins out of control as she enters a world of drugs and prostitution–until a journalist discovers that the crash wasn’t an accident. There was a bomb planted on the plane. Filled with rage, and with nothing left to lose, she focuses on one goal: revenge.
The Turning of the Screw by Henry Janes (Film will be titled The Turning with a release date of February 22)
Henry Jane’s chilling ghost story begins when a governess arrives at an English country estate to look two young children, Miles and Flora. At first, everything appears normal then one night a ghost appears before the governess. It is the dead lover of Miss Jessel, the former governess. Later, the ghost of Miss Jessel herself appears before the governess and the little girl. The children, however, adamantly refuse to acknowledge the presence of the two spirits, although there are indications that there is some evil communication between the children and the ghosts.
Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.
The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook (Release date March 15)
Set in post-war Germany, the international bestseller The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook is a stunning emotional thriller about our fiercest loyalties and our deepest desires. In the bitter winter of 1946, Rachael Morgan arrives with her only remaining son Edmund in the ruins of Hamburg. Here she is reunited with her husband Lewis, a British colonel charged with rebuilding the shattered city. But as they set off for their new home, Rachael is stunned to discover that Lewis has made an extraordinary decision: they will be sharing the grand house with its previous owners, a German widower and his troubled daughter. In this charged atmosphere, enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple (Release date March 22. Starring Cate Blanchette. )
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.
Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle–and people in general–has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence–creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.
Three Seconds by Roslund & Hellstrom (Film will be titled The Informer . Release date released March 22. Starring Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike and Common)
Piet Hoffmann is the Swedish police force’s best undercover operative. Not even his family know of his double identity. But when a drug deal with the Polish mafia goes fatally wrong, his secret life begins to crumble around him.
Detective Inspector Ewert Grens is assigned to investigate the drug-related killing. Unaware of Hoffmann’s true identity, he believes himself to be on the trail of a dangerous psychopath.
Hoffmann must desperately maintain his cover, or else he is a dead man walking. But in the doggedly perceptive Ewert Grens, he has just made the most relentless of enemies.
Pet Sematary by Stephen King (Release date April 5)
When Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job and moves his family to the idyllic rural town of Ludlow, Maine, this new beginning seems too good to be true. Despite Ludlow’s tranquility, an undercurrent of danger exists here. Those trucks on the road outside the Creed’s beautiful old home travel by just a little too quickly, for one thing…as is evidenced by the makeshift graveyard in the nearby woods where generations of children have buried their beloved pets. Then there are the warnings to Louis both real and from the depths of his nightmares that he should not venture beyond the borders of this little graveyard where another burial ground lures with seductive promises and ungodly temptations. A blood-chilling truth is hidden there—one more terrifying than death itself, and hideously more powerful. As Louis is about to discover for himself sometimes, dead is better…
After by Anna Todd (Release date April 12)
There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER… Life will never be the same. #Hessa
Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.
But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, and tattoos, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.
But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.
He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.
Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?
Unless…could this be love?
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (Release date August 9)
Twelve-year-old Artemis is a millionaire, a genius-and above all, a criminal mastermind. But Artemis doesn’t know what he’s taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren’t the fairies of the bedtime stories-they’re dangerous!
It by Stephen King (Film to be titled It: Chapter Two. Release date September 6.)
Stephen King’s terrifying, classic #1 New York Times bestseller, “a landmark in American literature” (Chicago Sun-Times)—about seven adults who return to their hometown to confront a nightmare they had first stumbled on as teenagers…an evil without a name: It.
The Kitchen by Ollie Masters (Release date September 20. Starring Melissa McCarthy.)
In Hell’s Kitchen in the 1970s, married women have their place—and it isn’t out on the streets collecting loan shark payments for the Irish mob. But when their gangster husbands get sent up the river, prison widows Kath, Raven and Angie can’t see any other way to make a living—and, as it turns out, they’re pretty damned good at the job.
So good, in fact, that they start attracting attention from the big leagues. As the trio expands their operation and consolidates their grip on Manhattan’s west side, a sit-down with the mafia higher-ups is inevitable. If they play their cards right, the city could be their oyster—as long as all the bodies they’ve left in their wake stay buried.
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (Release date October 4. Starring Amy Adams, Gary Oldman.)
An agoraphobic woman living alone in New York begins spying on her new neighbors only to witness a disturbing act of violence.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Release date October 11. Starring Nicole Kidman, Ansel Elgort and Luke Wilson.)
Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love–and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
The Call of the Wild by Jack London (Release date December 25. Starring Karen Gillan, Dan Stevens, Harrison Ford)
The Call of the Wild, considered by many London’s greatest novel, is a gripping tale of a heroic dog that, thrust into the brutal life of the Alaska Gold Rush, ultimately faces a choice between living in man’s world and returning to nature.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Release date December 25)
Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. Alcott wrote the books rapidly over several months at the request of her publisher. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood, and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters.
The Black Hand by Stephan Talty
Beginning in the summer of 1903, an insidious crime wave stirred New York City, then the entire country, into panic. The children of Italian immigrants were being kidnapped and dozens of innocent victims gunned down. Bombs tore apart tenement buildings. Judges, senators, Rockefellers, and society matrons were threatened with gruesome deaths. The perpetrators’ only calling card: the symbol of a black hand.
The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee (Coming to Amazon Prime and produced by Nicole Kidman)
Janice Y. K. Lee explores with devastating poignancy the emotions, identities, and relationships of three very different American women living in the same small expat community in Hong Kong.
A twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
The art of love is never a science: Meet Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially inept professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.
Rosie Jarman possesses all these qualities. Don easily disqualifies her as a candidate for The Wife Project (even if she is “quite intelligent for a barmaid”). But Don is intrigued by Rosie’s own quest to identify her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on The Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie―and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you.
If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
In this honest and stunning novel, soon to be a major motion picture directed by Barry Jenkins, James Baldwin has given America a moving story of love in the face of injustice.
Told through the eyes of Tish, a nineteen-year-old girl, in love with Fonny, a young sculptor who is the father of her child, Baldwin’s story mixes the sweet and the sad. Tish and Fonny have pledged to get married, but Fonny is falsely accused of a terrible crime and imprisoned. Their families set out to clear his name, and as they face an uncertain future, the young lovers experience a kaleidoscope of emotions–affection, despair, and hope. In a love story that evokes the blues, where passion and sadness are inevitably intertwined, Baldwin has created two characters so alive and profoundly realized that they are unforgettably ingrained in the American psyche.
Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
Brooklyn’s very own self-appointed Human Freakshow, Lionel Essrog is an orphan whose Tourettic impulses drive him to bark, count, and rip apart our language in startling and original ways. Together with three veterans of the St. Vincent’s Home for Boys, he works for small-time mobster Frank Minna’s limo service cum detective agency. Life without Frank Minna, the charismatic King of Brooklyn, would be unimaginable, so who cares if the tasks he sets them are, well, not exactly legal. But when Frank is fatally stabbed, one of Lionel’s colleagues lands in jail, the other two vie for his position, and the victim’s widow skips town. Lionel’s world is suddenly topsy-turvy, and this outcast who has trouble even conversing attempts to untangle the threads of the case while trying to keep the words straight in his head. Motherless Brooklyn is a brilliantly original, captivating homage to the classic detective novel by one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
With courage, grace, and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of World War II and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France―a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women.
The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud
When Will discovers a cell phone after a violent brawl his life descends into a nightmare. Affable, charismatic and a little shallow, he’s been skating across the surface of life in a state of carefully maintained contentment. He decides to keep the cell phone just until the owner returns and everything changes. Then the messages begin. Will’s discovered something unspeakable and it’s crawling slowly into the light.
I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt (Coming to Netflix as The Irishman directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel)
“I heard you paint houses” are he first words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank “the Irishman” Sheeran. To paint a house is to kill a man. The paint is the blood that splatters on the walls and floors. In the course of nearly five years of recorded interviews Frank Sheeran confessed to Charles Brandt that he handled more than twenty-five hits for the mob, and for his friend Hoffa.
Sheeran learned to kill in the U.S. Army, where he saw an astonishing 411 days of active combat duty in Italy during World War II. After returning home he became a hustler and hit man, working for legendary crime boss Russell Bufalino. Eventually Sheeran would rise to a position of such prominence that in a RICO suit then-U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani would name him as one of only two non-Italians on a list of 26 top mob figures.
When Bufalino ordered Sheeran to kill Hoffa, the Irishman did the deed, knowing that if he had refused he would have been killed himself.
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (Limited series on Hulu starring Christopher Abbott, Kyle Chandler, George Clooney)
Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy—it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.
Native Son by Richard Wright
Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright’s powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.
Heaven by V.C. Andrews
Of all the folks on the mountain, the Casteel children are the lowest.
Even the families that buy them think so.
Heaven Leigh Casteel may be the prettiest, smartest girl in the backwoods, but her cruel father and weary stepmother work her like a mule. For the sake of her brother Tom and the other little ones, Heaven clings to the hope that someday she can show the world that they are worthy of love and respect.
But when the children’s stepmother can’t take it anymore and abandons the family, Heaven’s father hatches a scheme that will alter her young life forever. Being sold to a strange couple is just the beginning; ripping away the thin veneer of civilization and learning the adult secrets of the world around her means Heaven must abandon someone, too—the child she was, to become the woman her mother never had the chance to be.
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (Coming to Netflix. Starring Elle Fanning, Justice Smith)
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death. Every day he thinks of ways he might kill himself, but every day he also searches for—and manages to find—something to keep him here, and alive, and awake.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her small Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school—six stories above the ground— it’s unclear who saves whom. Soon it’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink…
In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson (Starring Tom Hanks, Natalie Portman)
The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Nazi Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.
A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels.
But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance—and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.
What do you prefer more: reading the book first or seeing the movie first? Which of these books being made into movies are you most excited to read and see?