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Books To Read Before They Hit The Screens

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Read before you watch

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The books are always better than the film, right? At least, that’s what people say. Before they hit the screens, many of our favourite films and shows started out as a little novel in the corner of a bookshop. You can’t quite beat a good book, and with so many of them being adapted for new audiences across the globe, it’s safe to say the excitement for fresh stories – to read and to watch – never died down. Here’s our list of books to read before they hit the screens. 

Best Books for Hopeless Romantics

Books To Read Before They Hit The Screens

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Book cover featuring models in period costume

Romancing Mr Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Dear reader, have you not yet delved into Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton novels? For lovers of period romance and a good ol’ bit of sexual tension, Romancing Mr Bridgerton delivers a witty story packed with brilliant characters and a page-turning plot. Time to revisit the ton, methinks.

Netflix has yet to confirm a release date for the third instalment of its smash-hit series, Bridgerton, but the platform recently shared some behind-the-scenes filming moments here.

Bridgerton Season Three: Everything We Know So Far

Favourite Quote: ‘Colin decided then and there that the female mind was a strange and incomprehensible organ – one which no man should even attempt to understand. There wasn’t a woman alive who could go from point A to B without stopping at C, D, X, and 12 along the way.’

Piatkus, £6.29, amazon.co.uk

The Nightingale Book Cover (Books To Read Before They Hit The Screens)

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Despite their differences, sisters Viann and Isabelle have always been close. While the outgoing Isabelle leads a life in the bustling city of Paris, Viann is content with family life in the French countryside. The start of the Second World War, however, quickly shatters their previous lifestyles. Viann’s husband is sent to fight in the war, leaving Viann isolated at home. Isabelle is soon sent by their father to help her, and the sisters’ relationship and strength is tested as the war rages on.

A film version of The Nightingale, starring sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning, is set to hit theatres on 23 December 2022.

Favourite Quote: ‘Wounds heal. Love lasts. We remain.’

Pan, £6.99, amazon.co.uk

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue’s The Wonder follows a phenomena in 1862 Ireland, where a young girl who stops eating but remains alive and well. An English nurse, Lib Wright, is sent to the girl’s village to observe her health – and encounters the masses of tourists and pilgrims who stop by to see the live-action miracle. But the question remains: is this really a Heaven-sent wonder or something more ominous?

A Neltfix film adaptation of The Wonder is currently in post-production, so a 2022 release seems likely. It will star the likes of Florence Pugh, Ciarán Hinds, Niamh Algar and Toby Jones.

Favourite Quote: ‘A strident female voice causes men’s ears to close.’

Picador, £8.39, amazon.co.uk

One Day book cover

One Day by David Nicholls

Set over 20 years, One Day follows the relationship of Emma and Dexter as they meet each year on 15 July. Meeting for the first time on the night of their graduation, the following years map out a story of highs, lows, romances and heartbreaks. You might need the tissues to hand when you read this one.

Netflix recently announced that it would be adapting Nicholls’s novel into a tv series, so keep an eye out for any upcoming updates. In terms of casting, we so far know that Ambika Mod (This is Going to Hurt) is set to play Emma and Leo Woodall has been cast as Dexter, while Poldark’s Emma Tomlinson will be stepping into the role of Sylvie.

Favourite Quote: ‘He wanted to live life to the extreme, but without any mess or complications.’

Hodder Paperbacks, £9.10, amazon.co.uk

Lady Chatterley's Lover

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence

Once the most controversial stories to hit UK bookshelves, Lady Chatterley’s Lover is the final novel from D.H. Lawrence. This is a tense tale centring on Lady Chatterley’s adulterous liaison with gamekeeper Oliver Mellors, as she discovers that life should be experienced through both mind and body. Infused with commentary on social class, sexuality, and psychology, Lady Chatterley’s Lover is a classic through and through.

Netflix has announced it is working on a new adaptation of Lady Chatterley’s Loverstarring Emma Corrin, Jack O’Connell, and Matthew Duckett. It’s currently in post-production, so we’re hoping to hear about a potential release date soon.

Favourite Quote: ‘We’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.’

Alma Classics, £5.59, almabooks.com

Exciting Times

Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan

After leaving Dublin in search of happiness, Ava finds herself in Hong Kong teaching English. It’s not the life she envisioned for herself, nor is it the best financial option. But things start to look up when she meets Julien. His wealth provides the comfort and stability Ava always wanted for herself, and she soon jumps into a relationship with him. Things don’t always go to plan though, and soon Edith enters the picture. She’s striking and ambitious – and Ava wants her more than she’s ever wanted anyone else. But Ava must choose: settle into a comfortable life with Julien or take a leap of faith with Edith?

Bridgerton star Phoebe Dynevor was recently cast as the lead in the upcoming television adaptation by Amazon.

Favourite Quote: ‘Sometimes I love you and sometimes I think it would be best if a plane flew into your office and you were on the plane or in the building.’

HarperCollins, £10.74, amazon.co.uk

Anansi Boys

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

A companion to the popular American Gods novel, Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys delves back into the world of modern mythology with a new set of characters and stories to unravel. The plot follows Charlie Nancy, a young man who is confronted with multiple secrets after the untimely death of his father – the most startling being that he wasn’t who he said he was. Now, with a half-brother he never knew of on his doorstep, Charlie’s world is about to get a whole lot more interesting (and dangerous).

Amazon recently announced they would be adapting Gaiman’s novel into a six-part series, with filming starting later this year in Scotland. Notable cast members include Malachi Kirby, Delroy Lindo and Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn.

Favourite Quote: ‘Let’s start a new tomorrow, today.’

Headline Review, £6.29, amazon.co.uk

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Gabrielle Zevin’s 2014 novel had been called ‘a love letter to the world of books’, and for good reason too. The story follows grumpy bookseller, A.J. Fikry, as he comes to terms with a rapidly changing world. The arrival of an unexpected package turns everything A.J. once knew on its head – is this the opportunity he needed to make his life over?

The upcoming film adaptation is currently being filmed, with Kunal Nayyar, Christina Henricks, and Lucy Hale all confirmed on the cast list.

Favourite Quote: ‘We read to know we’re not alone. We read because we are alone. We read and we are not alone. We are not alone.’

Penguin Books Ltd, £2.59, amazon.co.uk

Blonde

Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates

Not to be confused with a biography, Joyce Carol Oates’ bestselling fiction novel chronicles the life of Hollywood megastar Marilyn Monroe. Many notable names are changed within the story but are still guessable by initials or nicknames. At over 700 pages, Blonde isn’t a light read, but it’s certainly worth it.

With Blonde now in post-production, Oates’ novel is expected to hit Netflix’s screens sometime next year. No Time To Die’s Ana de Armas plays the iconic blonde actress.

Blonde: Everything You Need To Know About the New Marilyn Monroe Film

Favourite Quote: ‘An actress wants to be seen. An actress wants to be loved. By multitudes of people, not just one lone man.’

Fourth Estate, £9.34, amazon.co.uk

Daisy Jones & The Six

Daisy Jones & The Six by Jenkins Reid

Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll – that about sums up Jenkins Reid’s best-selling novel. Set during the age of liberation in 1970s Los Angeles, Daisy Jones & The Six follows a young girl’s rise to rockstar fame and worldwide icon status.

Look out for the upcoming TV miniseries on Amazon Prime Video. Filming is said to have wrapped up in May 2022, so we’re looking at a late 2022 or early-mid 2023 release.

Favourite Quote: ‘Men often think they deserve a sticker for treating women like people.’

Ballantine Books, £12.23, amazon.co.uk

Featured image: Priscilla du Perez, Unsplash

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