Book-to-film adaptations are taking over, and every decent human being knows the novel is always better than the movie. We’ve put together our top 10 list of books you need to read before you watch their adaptations.

‘The Book Thief’

Why You Should Read It:

Written by Markus Zusak, The Book Thief follows the story of a young girl who resides in Nazi Germany. Her foster father teaches her how to read and opens a whole new world to her. The Book Thief is a highly-praised novel and has spent over 230 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Why You Should Watch It:

From the trailer alone, it’s obvious that this movie is going to be beautiful, and with source material such as this, no doubt the screenplay will follow in those footsteps. While Geoffrey Rush is enough of a reason to go see The Book Thief, it looks like Sophie Nélisse, who will be portraying our heroine Liesel Meminger, is going to be the real star. Just from the trailer alone we’re impressed by the young starlet.

Release Date: November 8, 2013

‘Catching Fire’

Why You Should Read It:

More than likely you’ve already read the Hungers Games trilogy, but just in case you haven’t gotten to Catching Fire yet, let’s just say we highly recommend it. It’s the second book in Suzanne Collins’ three-book series, so it has the benefit of an already established world and cast of characters. The great thing about Catching Fire is that it gives you everything you loved about the first book, but with an added twist.

Why You Should Watch It:

The Hunger Games did well with critics and fans alike, and even though Catching Fire will have a different director, a fresh take may be just the thing to take the second installment above and beyond the first. With a great story, fantastic actors, and wonderful CGI, a movie like this has a little bit of something for everyone.

Release Date: November 22, 2013

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’

Why You Should Read It:

The Hobbit is one of those books that should be read by children and adults everywhere. It’s lasting influence on literature is apparent, and it certainly deserves all the credit it is given. The story follows Bilbo Baggins before the time of Frodo, but there is just as much adventure to be had in this story as there is in The Lord of the Rings.

Why You Should Watch It:

The Desolation of Smaug is the second of three movies to be made from the novel by J. R. R. Tolkein, and while there were certain issues some fans had with the first film, we can’t see anyone boycotting this one because of them. Filled with humor and terror in equal measures, the second Hobbit promises to bring us more of what we love about this whole world. Which, if you’re like us, is basically Orlando Bloom in a blond wig and Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice.

Release Date: December 13, 2013

‘Saving Mr. Banks’

Why You Should Read It:

Mary Poppins, written by P.L. Travers, was published in 1934 and still stands the tests of time. A classic in literature, this is actually a series of eight books that star the magical nanny in many exciting adventures. And though many of us are familiar with the film starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, far fewer have experienced the story in its original form.

Why You Should Watch It:

Tom Hanks stars as Walt Disney, and Emma Thompson plays author P.L. Travers. You’d be hardpressed to find two actors more worthy of their roles, and from the trailer above, we think this is going to be an excellent film. It tells the story behind the story, so to speak. In a world where remakes are inundating movie-goers, it’s nice to get another Mary Poppins movie that explores the meaning of the tale from another angle.

Release Date: December 20, 2013

‘Vampire Academy’

Why You Should Read It:

The Vampire Academy series has been getting a lot of hype for a while. While many people might be steering clear of vampire books now that the marketplace is flooded with them, we would still recommend you pick up the first book in this series by Richelle Mead. With a mythology different than your typical vampire story, a novel this sexy and dark is definitely worth your time.

Why You Should Watch It:

Much like the book, the movie has gotten a lot of hype. It seems to have captured the sexy and dark vibe of the novel, and the casting has given fans a lot to look forward to. This series has the potential to join the big leagues with the likes of The Hunger Games and Divergent in terms of fan expectations, and our hopes are already high.

Release Date: February 14, 2014

Continue reading for ‘Divergent,’ ‘The Fault in our Stars,’ and more!

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