Summer Reading List–Books to Read Before the Movie Hits Theatres

Promotional artwork for It Chapter Two (2019) featuring Bill Hader, James McAvoy and other cast members

We all have that friend or family member that will, without fail, complain about a movie not living up to the standards of the book; or maybe you are that friend or family member. Either way, one cannot deny that if a book gets the Hollywood treatment, it must be a pretty great story. 

So to get ahead of the crowd, we’ve compiled a list of books to read this summer before the movie adaptation hits the big screen this year! 

Release Date: August 16, 2019

Cate Blanchett (Bernadette) in Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2019)

Sick and tired of everyone, an anxiety-prone mother packs up and disappears the day before her family was supposed to head out on a trip to Antarctica, leaving them (especially her 15-year-old daughter) to try and track her down. The remainder of the book follows the wild road trip that ensues, as well as her daughter’s journey to find her mother while finding a little bit more about herself along the way. Featuring Cate Blanchett and Kristen Wiig, this 2019 movie adaptation is bound to be a dark comedy for the books.
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, Troian Bellisario

Regal sits down with the stars of Where'd You Go, Bernadette

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Release Date: September 6, 2019

It Chapter Two
Bill Skarsgård (Pennywise) in IT (2017)

The (not-so) long-awaited sequel to Stephen King’s It (2017) is finally about to hit the big screen! But if you’re like us and can’t wait until September, grab a copy of the classic psychological horror novel this summer! The “Losers Club,” who are now grown up, head back to their hometown in Maine to destroy Pennywise once and for all. Though the protagonists have grown stronger over the years, so has Pennywise, and we can undoubtedly expect a violent and psychologically strenuous battle on-screen. Plus, there are tons of easter eggs to be found in the movie that gives a subtle nod to all fans of the books.
Cast: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Bill Skarsgård

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Release Date: September 13, 2019

Nicole Kidman (Mrs. Barbour) and Ansel Elgort (Theodore Decker) in The Goldfinch (2019)

The Goldfinch is based on the novel by Donna Tartt, following the life of a young man and the turbulence of his life. After losing his mother in a terrorist attack at an art museum, the chain of events that follow define the very nature of his existence. From an abusive relationship with his alcoholic father to making a living in the sleazy community of art forgery, The Goldfinch tells an incredible story of trial and resilience. Oh, and Nicole Kidman is in it, so you won’t want to miss. 
Cast: Ansel Elgort, Nicole Kidman, Luke Wilson

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Release Date: November 22, 2019

Rhythm Section
Blake Lively (Stephanie Patrick) in The Rhythm Section (2019)

Following the aftermath of losing her entire family in a plane crash, a woman uncovers that this crash was no accident, but the outcome of a calculated terrorist attack. In a plan to avenge the death of her family, she leaves behind her life as a prostitute to join an intelligence agency to equip herself with the skills to take down every last person responsible. Though no trailer has been released, you can get the full story before it hits the big screen by picking up a copy of the novel by Mark Burnell.
Cast: Blake Lively, Jude Law


Release Date: December 20, 2019

Taylor Swift (Bombalurina) in Cats (2019)

Ok, so technically Cats is is based on a Broadway play, but the Broadway play was based on the book Old Possum’s Books of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot, so here we go. Cats is sort of a strange story: essentially a group of cats known as the “Jellicles” chose one of their members to ascend to a heavenly realm and be reborn to a new life. But there is a lot of singing, dancing, and Taylor Swift will be dressed like a cat, so we’re not complaining. If you want to prep for the movie's release, pick up a copy of T.S. Eliot’s poems, or go hit your local production of Cats the musical!
Cast: Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden 

Learn more about recent and upcoming musicals.


Release Date: December 25, 2019

Little Women
(left to right) Emma Watson (Meg March), Florence Pugh (Amy March), Saoirse Ronan (Jo March), and Eliza Scanlen (Beth March) in Little Women (2019)

Getting its eighth movie adaptation, Little Women follows the classic story of the iconic sister quartet as they come of age in the mid-19th century. With a star-studded cast, we can assume that Greta Gerwig’s take on the novel will be the best version yet. Though no trailer has emerged so far, pick up a copy of Louisa May Alcott’s book to prepare for the movie release!
Cast: Meryl Streep, Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern


Release Date: February 21, 2020

Call of the Wild
Harrison Ford (John Thornnton) for Call of the Wild (2020)

2019 has been quite the year for dog movies, but this movie adaptation of the iconic novel The Call of the Wild may take the cake; not to mention having John Thornton portrayed by legendary actor Harrison Ford. Following the heart-wrenching story of the life of a sled dog in Alaska, this movie is sure to be a tear-jerker. Because the movie isn’t slated for release until February of 2020, you’ll have plenty of time to pick up Jack London’s book to get ahead of the premiere. 
Cast: Harrison Ford, Dan Stevens, Karen Gillan