How many times have you heard, “but the book is so much better than the movie!” Well, be the smug one who can say that with our guide to the best book-to-film adaptations due to hit the big screen. From this month’s hugely praised The Irishman, starring and directed by triple threat De Niro/Al Pacino/Scorsese to the hotly anticipated Greta Gerwig remake of Little Women, here are nine books you need to read now before the film comes out.

Little Women

by Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott’s coming of age tale about the March sisters holds a soft spot in many a woman’s heart, as well as its 1994 adaptation starring a young Winona Ryder and Kirsten Dunst. But with darling of the indie film scene Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) in the director’s chair and a stellar cast including Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet, Meryl Streep and Saoirse Ronan, we can’t wait to see what the new one has to offer.

Release date: December 2019

Amazon.co.uk Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The Goldfinch

by Donna Tartt

The Pulitzer Prize winning novel has already hit the big screen so order a copy pronto. The film boasts an A-list cast of Nicole Kidman, Sarah Paulson and Luke Wilson and follows a young man whose life is transformed after his mother dies in a terrorist attack at a museum. In the aftermath he takes a famous painting from the museum, which gives the book it’s now cult name. A heartfelt and intelligent novel, there’s no wonder it’s become many people’s favourite book.

In cinemas now

Amazon.co.uk The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Good Liar

by Nicholas Searle

Do casts come more stellar than Dame Helen and Sir Ian? The Nicholas Searle adaptation boasts the two national treasures as well as the likes of Russell Tovey (Years and Years, The History Boys) and Jim Carter (Downtown Abbey). One for those that love a pychological thriller, The Good Liar is about a man who meets a wealthy widow online and tries to woo her by spinning a web of lies.

Release date: November 2019

Amazon.co.uk The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle

Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem

by Jonathan Lethem

Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Leslie Mann and Willem Dafoe make up an impressive line up in the adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s novel. Lionel Essrog, an orphan with Tourettes Syndrome works for a limo service which just so happens to moonlight as a detective agency. It’s owned by Frank Minna, a mobster who rules Brooklyn, but when he’s killed, Lionel vies to takeover Minna’s power. One to read and then watch if you love NY gangsta flicks.

Release date: November 2019

Amazon.co.uk Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem

The Woman In The Window

by A. J. Finn

With Amy Adams in the lead role this thriller has been pushed back from a 2019 release until next year due to test audiences finding it confusing. The story centres around a reclusive woman who believes she sees a crime being committed through a window across the street – think Girl on the Train meets Rear Window. We’re on tenterhooks to see if the movie fills the book’s big boots.

Release date: May 2020

Amazon.co.uk The Woman In The Window by A. J. Finn

The Rhythm Section

by Mark Burnell

Jude Law and Blake Lively join forces in this spy thriller about a woman who joins a covert intelligence agency. Lively takes up a new identity – pap shots of her in a red wig have been seen – to seek revenge after her family dies in a plane crash.

Release date: November 2019

Amazon.co.uk The Rhythm Section by Mark Burnell

The Irishman

by Charles Brandt

Book adaptations don’t get much better than leads by Robert De Niro and Al Pacino and direction by Martin Scorsese. The true crime book is called I Heard You Paint Houses, which are the first words mobster Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank ‘the Irishman’ Sheeran. ‘To paint houses’ means to kill a man, referring to the blood that splatters on the walls and floors. Nice. If there was a trio more suited to the film rights it was only ever going to be De Niro, Pacino and Scorsese. And even better, it will be released in cinemas this autumn before conveniently heading onto Netflix.

Release date: November 2019

Amazon.co.uk I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt

Doctor Sleep

by Stephen King

If your idea of cinema date night is scaring yourself senseless, be sure to bookmark Stephen King’s sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep. Picking up many years after the first book, a now adult Dan Torrence (read: creepy boy on the tricycle) meets a young girl with similar powers as his and tries to protect her from a cult known as The True Knot who prey on children with said powers. The cast boasts Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson and Brit Ewan McGregor, but we doubt it will ever beat Jack Nicholson’s “Here’s Johnny!”

Release date: November 2019

Amazon.co.uk Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Death On The Nile

by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express, which grossed over $250m globally, starred the likes of Johnny Depp, Dame Judi Dench and Kenneth Branagh, had killer cinematography but the reviews weren’t great. The follow up sees Branagh reprise his role of the world’s most famous moustached detective, Poirot – let’s hope number two will have substance, stars and style in equal measure. It’s not out until late next year so you’ve plenty of time to reacquaint yourself with Agatha Christie’s back catalogue.

Release date: October 2020

Amazon.co.uk Death On The Nile by Agatha Christie

In need of more book recommendations? Check out our round-up of the best new October releases, here.