10 Books You Need to Read Before They Become Movies This Year
Listen up, bibliophiles! These books are becoming movies in 2022, so now is the time to read them.
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The book is always better
The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Life of Pi. Fight Club. What do these fan favorites all have in common? They’re all beloved book-to-movie adaptations, of course. Some of the best books also make the best movies and TV series. These stories are already infused with thoughtful dialogue, robust character development and the kind of plot that keeps pages turning. Add in a little “lights, camera, action!” and they’re bound to be blockbusters. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best books becoming movies in 2022.
Ready for a great read in preparation for a fresh addition to the streaming queue? Whether you’re a fan of thriller novels, romance, true crime or the classics, you’ll find great nonfiction and fiction books in these script-to-screen picks.
1. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
Release date: Sept. 30, 2022, in select theaters and Oct. 7 on Netflix
Movie details: Starring Mila Kunis, Finn Wittrock, Scoot McNairy, Chiara Aurelia and Thomas Barbusca
Jessica Knoll’s 2016 page-turner gripped mystery fans with its bold, dark plot. Prep school graduate Ani FaNelli is obsessed with living the perfect life. She has curated her clothes, snagged a glitzy job and even procured a fiance whose good looks and deep pockets make her the envy of passersby. But of course, Ani harbors a secret. Something dark and dangerous haunts her and tempts her to bare it all despite the potentially deadly consequences. You’ll love this mystery book and upcoming movie adaptation if you enjoy twisty plots and thrillers.
2. My Policeman by Bethan Roberts
Release date: Oct. 21, 2022, in select theaters and Nov. 4 on Amazon Prime Video
Movie details: Starring Harry Styles, David Dawson and Emma Corrin
This is no ho-hum historical fiction story. In My Policeman, 1950s married couple Marion and Tom are at odds. Marion is head-over-heels in love with her husband, but Tom’s heart belongs to a cosmopolitan art lover named Patrick. Can the three keep their complicated feelings and relations under wraps, or will one of them shatter under the pressure? If you loved him in Dunkirk and Eternals, you’re bound to enjoy seeing Harry Styles steal the show again in one of the most-anticipated LGBTQ+ books becoming movies in 2022.
3. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Release date: Dec. 23, 2022, in theaters
Movie details: Starring Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning
Yes, after two years of delays, the Fanning sisters’ adaptation of The Nightingale is set to hit theaters in time for Christmas. This sweeping World War II historical novel weaves together the tales of two sisters—one who chooses to sacrifice love and life to the resistance movements and the other who must learn to live with enemy occupants in her own home. Unlike war stories that take place on the battleground, Kristin Hannah’s book focuses on the untold stories of everyday women who displayed extraordinary strength and courage.
4. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Release date: Oct. 7, 2022, in theaters
Movie details: Starring Lucy Hale, Kunal Nayyar, Christina Hendricks, Scott Foley and David Arquette
It is a truth universally acknowledged that book lovers are suckers for novels set in bookshops. After all, the only thing better than reading is reading about bookish characters. That’s one reason readers consider Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry such a delight. That, and the lovable curmudgeon that is A.J. Fikry, who’s having a tough go of it lately. But the arrival of a mysterious package gives him a chance to transform his life. This is a great pick for book clubs, and there’s plenty of time for the group to discuss the story before the film adaptation hits theaters.
5. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
Release date: Oct. 21, 2022, on Netflix
Movie details: Starring Sofia Wylie, Sophia Anne Caruso, Jamie Flatters and Charlize Theron
Despite their differences, Sophie and Agatha are best friends. Sophie turns heads with good looks and charm, while Agatha often shrinks into the background. After disappearing into the Endless Woods, they’re whisked away into two opposing boarding schools: The School for Good and The School for Evil. (Hence the book title, The School for Good and Evil.) This middle-grade romp through friendship, identity and coming-of-age themes is good fun for kids and adults alike.
6. The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
Release date: Sept. 2, 2022, on Netflix
Movie details: Starring Florence Pugh, Niamh Algar, Ciarán Hinds and Toby Jones
In 1859 in Ireland, a nurse named Lib travels to the dreary countryside to evaluate an 11-year-old girl who seems to have survived for months without food. Religious fanatics call it a miracle. Tourists swarm to observe. Even a journalist has arrived on the scene to record the so-called marvel. But Lib is not convinced. In The Wonder, Emma Donoghue presents an atmospheric Gothic tale of faith and science, belief and unbelief.
7. She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey
Release date: Nov. 18, 2022, in theaters
Movie details: Starring Zoe Kazan, Carrie Mulligan and Samantha Morton
The full title of Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s tell-all is She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement. Quite simply, this is the inside story of the spark of the #MeToo movement. Written by two whip-smart reporters, this is an important nonfiction book—and one to absorb fully before watching the movie.
8. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Release date: Dec. 14, 2022, in theaters
Movie details: Starring Tom Hanks, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Rachel Keller
Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove was adapted for the screen in 2015 by Swedish filmmakers and went on to earn a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination. The American adaptation, A Man Called Otto, will star Hollywood giant Tom Hanks. So, what happens in the critically acclaimed feel-good book? The story is about a man named Ove, of course. He’s an old curmudgeon, but he also has his reasons to be sad. When a young couple moves next door and accidentally destroys Ove’s mailbox with a truck, the man is forced to come out of his shell and interact with the world. Of course, that’s when the awkward fun begins.
9. Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates
Release date: Sept. 28, 2022, on Netflix
Movie details: Starring Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale and Jessica Chastain
No list of books becoming movies in 2022 would be complete without a nod to Joyce Carol Oates’s scintillating book about Marilyn Monroe, Blonde. But beware, biography fans: This is a work of fiction. The author takes liberties with the inner thoughts and feelings of the famed blonde bombshell. But if you enjoy embellished history, you’ll love this novel.
10. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
Release date: Oct. 28, 2022, on Netflix
Movie details: Felix Kammerer, Daniel Brühl and Albrecht Schuch
There aren’t many military books becoming movies in 2022, but this is one you won’t want to miss. Considered by some to be one of the greatest war stories of all time, All Quiet on the Western Front has made hearts race for generations. It’s the story of Paul Bäumer, a German teen who lies about his age so that he can join his friends in fighting for his country. But World War I is no picnic, and Paul is about to come face to face with death and deep despair. It’s a heavy story (you might need to follow it up with a lighthearted beach read) but one worth the investment.
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Coming in 2023
Your reading doesn’t have to end here. Yes, there are plenty of books becoming movies in 2022, but there’s also a whole slew of adaptations in the works for 2023. Be sure to read these novels before the films come out next year.
- The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins: Releasing November 2023 in theaters
- Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann: Releasing 2023 on Apple TV+
- Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston: Releasing early 2023 on Amazon Prime Video
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker: Releasing Dec. 20, 2023 in theaters