Books to read now before they hit the big screen

Reading a book

I’m sure, like myself, your time spent online and on your phone in the past couple of weeks has skyrocketed. Last week, embarrassingly, my daily screen time was at seven and a half hours!

With all this time we’re spending online the majority of that is spent scrolling through social media which has now become the battleground for some kind of odd productivity contest with everyone trying to show off how much they're managing to achieve with all this ‘free time’. Rather than getting sucked into the competition, I’m using any time I have, to get ahead in a much more relaxing way.

Last year we saw some incredible book to screen adaptations including my personal favourite – Little Women, and this year we have even more amazing stories being brought to life in both film and TV. So why not take the pressure off yourself, give yourself a break from social media and try getting ahead by reading some of the original novels before their big-screen release?

Here’s what we can look forward too;

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

This was hands down my favourite book I read last year so I was so excited to hear that it was being adapted for TV. This miniseries, which has already been released in the US on Hulu, is produced by and starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. If you were a fan of Big Little Lies you’re going to love this. The story is based around the lives of two mothers (Witherspoon and Washington) and how their lives and families intercept, despite coming from very different backgrounds. There is a lot of drama and a great twist, plus it’s set in the late ’90s with a lot of 80’s flashbacks so expect some real nostalgic moments. This is rumoured to be broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK but TBC.

You can watch the official trailer here.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

If you haven’t already read this, push it to the top of your list. It’s the perfect read for this ‘downtime’ – it’s got a bit of mystery and it’s incredibly heart-warming. The story is based on Mary, a rich entitled orphan who’s sent to live with her uncle on his Yorkshire estate. She hears rumours of a secret walled garden within the grounds and becomes obsessed with finding her way in. Along the way she recruits a team of friends and a cousin she never knew she had. I know that might not sound like the most adventurous story, but I don’t want to give anything away! This is actually the 3rd adaptation of the book and features Colin Firth and Julie Walters, set for cinema release in August 2020.

You can watch the official trailer here.

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

This is a relatively new book release (2018), so the fact it’s been adapted already can only suggest that we’re in for an exciting story. Anna (Amy Adams) is an agoraphobe, who spends her days drinking and watching old movies from the comfort of her home, but when I new family moves in across the street, she becomes obsessed with watching them instead and as a result, witnesses something she shouldn’t. The story is categorized as a psychological thriller, so I’m sure there will be plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes. If you enjoyed Gone Girl and The Woman on the Train then this is perfect for you. The film also features Julianne Moore and Gary Oldman. This was scheduled for cinema release in May 2020, dependant on circumstances.

You can watch the official trailer here.

The Witches by Roald Dahl

I’m sure everyone has read this classic from Roald Dahl. It’s a dark fantasy novel, written for children, where child-hating Witches live hidden in plain sight, undetectable, amongst everyday people. They’re ruled over by a Grand High Witch who’s plotting something truly wicked, however, her plan is set to be interrupted by a seven-year-old boy and his granny. This will be the second film adaptation – I’m sure plenty of you have also been terrified by the original which featured Angelica Houston as the Grand High Witch. This version features Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer and is scheduled for cinema release in October 2020.

No trailer released yet.

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

This classic was so popular that not only has is already had a film adaptation, it’s also been transformed into a Broadway musical and now a mini-series switching the main protagonist from male to female and starring Zoe Kravitz. This is a light-hearted comedy about a guy who owns a record store in London and spends his days compiling ‘top five’ lists of vinyl with his colleagues to prove who knows their music best. He then decides that he should do the same thing with his ex’s and gets back in touch with his five most memorable breakups. This has also already been released in the States on Hulu but is still awaiting a release date and broadcaster for UK TV.

You can watch the official trailer here.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

This book got a lot of hype after it was released in 2018 so I’m sure a lot of people will be happy to see it’s made its way to TV. The story is set in Ireland and starts with two teenagers who meet in high school, it then follows their story as their lives drift apart and come back together through university and beyond. This is a 12-part series starring Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal which started last night with a double bill on BBC3.

You can watch the official trailer here.

These are just the releases I’m most excited for, but of course, there are already a tonne of adaptations out there. I’ve also been using this time to reread the Harry Potter series and then re-watch the films which has been amazing taking myself back to my childhood and managing to forget a bit about what’s going on in the world. I’m so jealous of anyone getting to experience the series for the first time and this would be my number one recommendation for anyone looking for a bit escapism right now.

Hopefully, I’ve given you a few reasons to give your head a break and go a bit easier on yourself. Remember this isn’t a competition and there are no winners so please be kind to yourself.

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