All products and services featured by Variety are independently selected by Variety editors. However, Variety may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.
Book lovers are in for a treat this year, with a jam-packed slate of upcoming movies and T.V. series based on best-selling books.
Transport yourself to the underground silos of Hugh Hawley’s “Wool,” whose adaptation for Apple will star Tim Robbins and Recceca Ferguson; Dig into the acclaimed Middle English romance novel “Green Knight” after watching the A24 film, released out last month; and immerse yourself in the dense pages of Frank Herbert’s iconic “Dune,” which is getting a Timothée Chalamet-helmed adaptation come Oct. 1.
Some stories are getting more room to breathe in the span of entire T.V series. Following the success of “Normal People,” adapted from Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel, Hulu is in the process of developing a mini-series inspired by Rooney’s companion book, “Conversations with Friends,” while HBO is capitalizing on the success of more recent buzzy books, with an adaptation of Brit Bennett’s “The Vanishing Half” already in the works.
Here are the best books to dig into this summer before they hit the theaters.
‘Wool’ by Hugh Howey
Rebecca Ferguson and Tim Robbins are set to star in Apple’s adaptation of Hugh Howey’s beloved sci-fi trilogy. In “Wool,” all of humanity (the remnants that exist of it anyway) lives underground in a single silo. The story follows Juliette, a woman from the underground who struggles with her newfound power after being inexplicably promoted to the head of law enforcement.
‘The Green Knight’ by Anonymous
The historic “Green Knight” is the inspiration behind the highly anticipated A24 film of the same name, starring Dev Patel and Alicia Vikander, and out July 30. Composed during the 14th century, the Middle English poem tells the story of a knight who presents an unprecedented challenge to King Arthur’s court, which after being taken up on, catalyzes an adventurous turn of events for everyone involved.
‘The Last Letter from Your Lover’ by Jojo Moyes
Jojo Moyes’s 2008 romance novel follows a driven journalist named Ellie on a quest to piece together the story of Jennifer Stirling’s love story of an earlier generation when she finds a mysterious letter in her newspaper archives. Directed by Augustine Frizzell, the upcoming Netflix film is set to come out July 31 and stars Felicity Jones, Shailene Woodley, Callum Turner and Joe Alwyn.
‘The Reincarnationist Papers’ by D. Eric Maikranz
“The Reincarnationist Papers” refer to three sets of notebooks found in an antique store in Rome, offering eerie glimpses into a secret society of people who have total memory of their past lives. The story follows the protagonist Evan Michaels as he struggles with his confusing abilities until he meets Poppy who introduces him to the secretive world of Cognomina and is the first to tell him that he’s also immortal. The Maikranz book is the basis of the upcoming film “Infinite,” which comes out Sept. 10 and stars Mark Wahlberg, Dylan O’ Brien and Sophie Cookson.
‘American Rust’ by Philipp Meyer
Meyer takes readers into the contemporary heartland of America, in an economically devastated Pennsylvania steel town, in his acclaimed first novel. The story follows the irritable chief of police Del Harris, played by Jeff Daniels, as he’s forced into a sticky situation when his girlfriend’s son is accused of murder. The drama premieres Sept. 12 on Showtime and also stars Bill Camp, David Alvarez, Alex Neustaedter and Rob Yang.
‘Dune’ by Frank Herbert
Starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming adaptation of Frank Herbert’s iconic “Dune” series is one of the most anticipated films of 2021. The six-book series sees the protagonist Paul Atredies, played by Chalamet, lead nomadic tribes on a distant planet in the future as he takes over his family’s business empire. Instead of cramming the epic into one movie, the story will span through two feature-length films and a companion series on HBO called “Dune: The Sisterhood.” The film is set to release on Oct. 1 and also stars Jason Momoa, Rebecca Ferguson, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgärd and Oscar Isaac.
‘The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France’ by Eric Jager
Set in medieval France, the Eric Jager novel tells the gripping true story of one of the most infamous duels to occur during The Hundred Years’ War, during which a resolute knight defends his wife’s honor when she accuses a squire of committing a crime against her. The Scott Ridley adaptation is set to come out Oct. 15 and stars Jodie Comer, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Adam Driver.
‘The House of Gucci’ by Sara Gay Forden
If Bradley Cooper’s Jackson Maine and Lady Gaga’s Ally of “A Star is Born” still takes up space in your head rent-free, then you’ll likely be a fan of Lady Gaga’s portrayal of Patrizia Reggiani Martinelli, the ex-wife of Gucci heir Maurizio Gucci, in Scott Ridley’s upcoming adaptation. The film, based off the original book by Sara Forden, tells the true story of when Patrizia was tried and convicted for orchestrating the murder of her husband, played by Driver, in 1995. The film, also starring Jared Leto and Al Pacino, comes out Nov. 24. And if the costumes on Gaga and Driver are any indication for what this film has in store, we are simply not ready.
‘Nightmare Alley’ by William Lindsay Gresham
The psychological thriller is set in the 1940s as a con-man finds his home on carnival stages, finding victims in the voyeuristic crowd. Guillermo del Toro is the perfect person to helm the upcoming adaptation, which stars Bradley Cooper as the cunning protagonist Stan Carlisle and Rooney Mara as the female psychiatrist that he teams up with to trick people out of their money. “Nightmare Alley,” which follows a haunting noir adaptation that came out in 1947, is set to release Dec. 3 and also stars Paul Anderson, Ron Perlman, Cate Blantchett and William Dafoe.
‘The Nightingale’ by Kristin Hannah
“The Nightingale” is the second epic by Kristin Hannah to be adapted to the screen in 2021. The story follows two sisters, played by real-life sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning, during the German occupation of France in WWII. Directed by Melanie Laurent, it’s set to release Dec. 22, 2021.
‘There’s Someone Inside Your House’ by Stephanie Perkins
Stephanie Perkins’ 2017 novel is basically if “Gossip Girl” met slasher-horror. A mystery murderer is preying upon the graduating class of Nebraska High School, all while exposing their innermost secrets. Director Patrick Kack-Brice is at the helm of the upcoming slasher flick based on Perkins’ book, set to come out sometime in 2021.
‘Fear Street’ by R.L. Stine
Fans of the Goosebumps series will be happy to hear that Netflix is releasing an entire trilogy of movies based on R.L. Stine’s iconic series. The first movie in the horror series came out July 2, with more installments set to come out throughout the summer. The stor follows a group of teenagers in the 1990s as they work to uncover the riddled history of their Ohio hometown. Cast members include Gillian Jacobs, Sadie Sink, Kiana Madeira, Olivia Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Ashley Zukerman, Fred Hechinger, Julia Rehwald and Jeremy Ford.
‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ by Sarah Vaughan
“Big Little Lies” creator David E. Kelley and “House of Cards” showrunner Melissa James Gibson are the brains behind the Netflix anthology series based on Sarah Vaughan’s original novel. The best-seller spotlights Sophie Whitehouse, the housewife with the “picture-perfect” life whose world is turned upside down when her husband is accused of sexual assault. The upcoming series is set to come out in 2021, and stars Sienna Miller, Rupert Friend and Michelle Dockery.
‘The Power of the Dog’ by Thomas Savage
Set in 1920s Montana, Thomas Savage’s Western story tells the tale of a tenuous relationship between two brothers, whose bond becomes even more strained when one marries a young widow and the other hatches a plan to ruin his life. The upcoming Netflix adaptation stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Kristen Dunst and Jesse Plemons and is set to release on the streamer at some point in 2021.
‘Blonde’ by Joyce Carol Oates
Ana de Armas stars as Marilyn Monroe in this powerful tale that offers a tantalizing glimpse into the life of one of pop-culture’s most renowned icons. Andrew Dominik is adapting Joyce Carol Oate’s fictionalized story to Netflix, slated for a 2021 release, with Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale and Julianne Nicholson also starring.
‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ by Liane Moriarty
Settle in for this captivating thriller by “Big Little Lies” author Liane Moriarty, in which nine strangers gather at a health and wellness resort whose existential questions are answered by the others they meet. The upcoming Hulu series (debuting Aug. 18) will star Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy and Luke Evans, among others.
‘Deep Water’ by Patricia Highsmith
This erotic thriller follows a couple, Melinda and Vic Van Allen, whose marriage is being held together by one precarious agreement: Melinda can take on as many lovers as she pleases as long as she agrees not to leave the family. The arrangement goes well until her lovers begin to mysteriously disappear, planting Vic as the prime suspects of their deaths. The silver screen adaptation, starring Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas, was originally slated for a 2020 release but is now set for a premiere in January 2022. The film also stars Jacob Elordi and Finn Witrock.
‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens
Based on Delia Owens’ best-selling novel, Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine-produced adaptation is set for a June 24, 2022 release. The crime drama follows the wild and unkempt Kye, suspected of a mysterious murder in a quiet fishing village. Daisy Edgar-Jones stars as Kye, alongside Taylor John Smith and Harris Dickinson.
‘The Stars at Noon’ by Denis Johnson
Set in Nicaragua in 1984 during the revolution, Denis Johnson’s “The Stars at Noon” entangles the reader in increasingly sinister plots as a woman travels through Central America on a mysterious mission. After she finds herself in a relationship with a quirky English businessman, she attempts to flee the country. The anticipated A24 thriller, the release date of which was postponed until 2022, boasts Robert Pattinson and Margaret Qualley as leads.
‘Nightbooks’ by J.A White
The upcoming horror fantasy film, based off J.A White’s 2019 novel of the same name, follows a young boy named Alex who is obsessed with scary stories, until he becomes trapped in the pages of one of the most terrifying tales he’s read. The Netflix adaptation is set to come out in 2021, and stars Krysten Ritter and Lydia Jewett.
‘The Lord of the Rings’ by J.R.R Tolkein
Amazon Prime’s upcoming television adaptation of J.R.R Tolkein’s epic series is being developed by J.D Payne and Parick McCay, and will be set in the Second Age of Middle-earth as a prequel to the events in the original novels and films. The series, which stars Morfydd Clark, Robert Aramayo and Joseph Mawle, is set to air at some point in 2021
‘Conversations with Friends’ by Sally Rooney
Hulu’s adaptation of Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel “Conversations with Friends” follows the ultra-successful Hulu miniseries of Rooney’s companion book “Normal People.” The story follows two university students in Dublin, best friends and former lovers, who perform poetry together. Their bond is strained when they form a relationship with an older married couple. Much of the team behind “Normal People” will return for “Conversations,” such as Oscar-nominated director Lenny Abrahamson, writer Alice Birch and Rooney herself. The 12-episode series, set to release sometime in 2022, stars newcomer Alison Oliver, Joe Alwyn, Sasha Lane and Jemima Kirke.
‘Daisy Jones & The Six’
The New York Times bestseller offers irresistible authenticity to a fictional tale about the rise of an iconic 1970s rock band called the Six and a young girl named Daisy who finds herself at the center of their world. Reid chronicles the band’s success as a riveting oral history, adapted into a 13-episode miniseries for Amazon Prime Video by Reese Witherspoon’s production company Hello Sunshine.
‘Wool’ by Hugh Howey
“Wool,” the first novel in Hugh Howey’s acclaimed Silo series, is set in a toxic dystopia in the future where a community lives in a giant silo hundreds of stories underground. There, men and women are forced to follow strict regulations that they’re told are enforced to protect them. Following an unsuccessful adaptation first attempted by AMC in 2018, Graham Yost is now helming its adaptation for Apple Plus starring Rebecca Ferguson.
‘The Wheel of Time’ by Robert Jordan
The beloved fantasy series transports readers to an unnamed world that simultaneously takes place both in the past and future. Drawing on elements from both European and Asian mythology, Jordan creates one a detailed imaginary world and well-developed magic system that spans across his 14-books. The TV version, adapted for Amazon and Sony by showrunner Rafe Judkins, is set to premiere at some point in 2021 and stars Rosamund Pike, Josha Stradowski, Marcus Rutherford and Zoë Robins.
‘The Vanishing Half’ by Brit Bennett
Brit Bennett’s “The Vanishing Half” was one of the biggest books of 2020, and is now coming to the screen with Aziza Barnes and Jeremy O. Harris set to write and produce the HBO adaptation. It tells the story of two identical twin sisters growing up in the Jim Crow South before escaping at 16 and pursuing divergent life paths. There have been no casting announcements for the highly-anticipated series yet.
‘Dopesick’ by Beth Macy
The upcoming drama series adapted by Danny Strong is slated to be released on Hulu in 2021. The dramatized tale is based off of Beth Macy’s acclaimed non-fiction book, in which she paints a comprehensive and captivating glimpse into the epicenter of America’s opioid crisis. The series stars Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, Kaitlyn Dever and Will Poulter.
‘Paper Girls’ by Brian K. Vaughan
“Paper Girls” centers around four young girls who, while out delivering papers on the morning after Halloween in 1988, become unwittingly caught in a conflict between warring factions of time-travelers, sending them on an adventure through time that will save the world. “Toy Story 4” writer Stephany Folsom adapted the popular sci-fi comic book series as an Amazon original series and is expected to stream in 2021 or 2022.
‘Roar’ by Cecelia Ahern
The upcoming anthology series from “Glow” creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch is based on Ahern’s 2018 short story collection of the same name. Each of the eight episodes tell a darkly comical and feminist fable, following a diverse range of women with their own tribulations. Nicole Kidman executive produces and stars alongside Cynthia Erivo, Merritt Wever and Allison Brie.
‘The Power’ by Naomi Alderman
Leslie Mann will star in the 10-episode series for Amazon. The adaptation, created by Alderman and directed by “The Handmaid’s Tale’s” Reed Moreno, imagines a world in which women are physically stronger than men, by way of a magical electric current that rises through their body.
‘Malibu Rising’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Taylor Jenkins Reid’s recently released novel is being developed as TV series for Hulu, helmed by “Little Fires Everywhere” creator, show runner and executive producer Liz Tigelaar. The best-selling novel, which follows Reid’s first successful book “Daisy Jones & the Six,” centers on the famous Rivas siblings whose lives take a dramatic turn after their annual end-of-summer blowout in 1983.