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10 Books You Need to Read Before They Become Movies This Year

Listen up, bibliophiles! These books are being made into movies in 2023, 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 plots 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 being made into movies this year.

Ready for a great read in preparation for a fresh addition to the streaming queue? Whether you’re a fan of thriller novels, romance books, true crime or classic novels, you’ll find outstanding nonfiction and fiction books in these script-to-screen picks. Keep reading to learn about the most exciting books becoming movies in 2023.

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Are You There God Its Me Margaret Book
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1. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

Release date: April 28, 2023

Starring: Abby Ryder Fortson, Benny Safdie, Rachel McAdams and Kathy Bates

Where to watch: Theaters

Considering streaming services’ love affair with children’s and YA literature (it’s the source material for a big chunk of teen-targeted TV and films), it’s no surprise this children’s book is getting the Hollywood treatment. The real wonder is why it didn’t happen sooner. Judy Blume’s beloved 1970 coming-of-age story has buoyed tweens for generations. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is the tale of 11-year-old Margaret Simon, who has just moved from New York City to a school in New Jersey. In both the book and the movie, our likable protagonist navigates everything from periods and peers to romance (or the wish for it!) and religion. Check out these Judy Blume books that are perfect for all stages of life.

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The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes Book
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2. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Release date: Nov. 17, 2023

Starring: Hunter Schafer, Rachel Zegler, Viola Davis and Peter Dinklage

Where to watch: Theaters

Three cheers for yet another Hunger Games film! Widely considered one of the best book series for teens, Suzanne Collins’s dystopian novels feature brave teens and tweens who must put their lives on the line for their communities. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, released in 2020, is a prequel to the original series, taking place years before Katniss, Peeta and Gale were a glimmer in the Capitol’s eye. Read this for the villain backstory you didn’t know you needed: It’s the rich and riveting tale of Coriolanus Snow—the future sinister President Snow.

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Killers Of The Flower Moon Ud Book
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3. Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Release date: May 2023 (tentatively)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brendan Fraser, Lily Gladstone and Robert De Niro

Where to watch: Apple TV+ and theaters

A popular book club pick in 2017, Killers of the Flower Moon is now one of the most-anticipated books being made into movies in 2023. The dark mystery is based on hair-raising true crimes committed in the 1920s. When a serial murderer begins picking off members of the Osage tribe in Oklahoma, an FBI investigator steps in. He discovers a systematic and brutal culture of crime that will leave your heart racing until the last page.

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Red White And Royal Blue Book
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4. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Release date: 2023 (exact date TBA)

Starring: Nicholas Galitzine, Taylor Zakhar Perez and Uma Thurman

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

Not all books being made into movies this year will premiere in theaters. You can stream this delightful rom-com, inspired by Casey McQuiston’s LGBTQ page-turner, from any device. You’ll fall head over heels for this love story between the president’s son and the Prince of Wales. It’s got classic tropes like enemies-to-lovers and twists on favorites (forget fake dating—this includes a fake friendship), but Red, White & Royal Blue really stands apart for its themes of self-acceptance and loyalty.

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The Color Purple Ud Book
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5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Release date: Dec. 20, 2023

Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Halle Bailey and Elizabeth Marvel

Where to watch: Theaters

Wait, wasn’t this one of the great film adaptations when it premiered back in 1985? Well, yes. But The Color Purple is poised to come back in 2023, and in spectacular musical form. Though the musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize–winning classic novel won’t hit theaters until December, there’s already plenty of buzz for this coming-of-age masterpiece about love, family and the ways both can help you make it through trauma. The story follows Celie, a Southern Black woman in the early 20th century whose faith in God and humanity is tested repeatedly by the poverty and abuse around her.

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The Cabin At The End Of The World Book
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6. The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

Release date: Feb. 3, 2023

Starring: Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Rupert Grint and Ben Aldridge

Where to watch: Theaters

M. Night Shyamalan’s adaptation of Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World will debut on screen as Knock at the Cabin. In the book, 7-year-old Wen and her dads, Andrew and Eric, head to a remote New Hampshire cabin for vacation. It’s the perfect setting for a terrifying horror novel, and Tremblay goes at full throttle. There’s a mysterious character appearing seemingly out of nowhere, a hostage situation and, ultimately, a demand that the trio choose someone to sacrifice.

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7. Dune by Frank Herbert

Release date: Nov. 3, 2023

Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya and Austin Butler

Where to watch: Theaters

Last year, Dune was one of the top books becoming movies. Here we are again with the next installment of this incredible science fiction series. In Dune: Part Two, Paul comes back with a vengeance to hunt down those who destroyed his loved ones. The plot thickens as he is forced to choose between someone he loves and the future of the universe itself. If you saw Dune last year, you already have a good idea of what’s in store: action and adventure, mind-blowing world building and themes of man versus nature. But since the book is always better, why not give yourself a sneak peek of the film by immersing yourself in the sci-fi book series before hitting the theater in November?

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Text For You Book
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8. Text for You by Sofie Cramer

Release date: May 12, 2023

Starring: Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Sam Heughan and Celine Dion

Where to watch: Theaters

Meet Clara. Her fiancé was killed in an accident two years ago, but she can’t shake the feeling that things were left unsaid. Lately, texting his old phone number seems to help. Of course, sometimes numbers get reassigned. Now meet Sven. He lives across town and—yes, you guessed it!—has started receiving text messages from a mysterious stranger. When he decides to track down the sender, a sweet story of serendipity and new beginnings starts to unfold. Like so many other book-to-movie adaptations, Text for You will debut under a different name for the big screen. Look for Love Again, the romantic comedy starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas opposite Sam Heughan (calling all Outlander fans!).

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Halowe En Party Book
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9. Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie

Release date: Sept. 15, 2023

Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Jamie Dornan, Michelle Yeoh and Tina Fey

Where to watch: Disney+ and theaters

Fans of last year’s white-hot murder mystery Death on the Nile will love the next big-screen Agatha Christie flick: A Haunting in Venice, based on her 1969 mystery book titled Hallowe’en Party. A 13-year-old girl found dead at a Halloween party seems frightful enough, but then Hercule Poirot learns that the girl had recently claimed she witnessed a murder. So was the poor girl a liar, as some of the other partygoers suggest? Or has a killer returned to quiet a bystander?

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10. American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin

Release date: July 21, 2023

Starring: Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh and Jack Quaid

Where to watch: Theaters

During World War II, physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer led the team responsible for building the atomic bomb. He was brilliant. He was successful. Later, he was plagued by the moral murkiness and emotional fallout of his efforts. In American Prometheus, Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin present decades of research on this iconic man. They detail his career throughout the 20th century, through World War II and the Cold War. It’s a riveting, thought-provoking biography that will debut in theaters under a one-word title: Oppenheimer.

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Leandra Beabout
Leandra Beabout writes for Reader's Digest and a variety of national lifestyle, wellness and travel publications and brand websites. She covers all things books and words for Reader's Digest, and when she's not on deadline, you can find her curled up with a new novel or planning her next trip.