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The Best Books to Read to Prepare for 2019 TV

Your TBR pile just got thicc

Amanda Bell

If book-to-TV adaptations are your thing, then 2019 is gonna be a banner year for you. Not only will we see the return of some friendly favorites, like Big Little Lies and more of The Magicians, but there'll be some new material making its way from the page to the screen as well.

Prepare to thicken up that TBR pile quite a bit ahead of the new year because these are the books you won't want to miss reading before their adaptations air.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng


Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington will star in and executive-produce the small screen adaptation of this 2017 novel for Hulu. Little Fires Everywhere centers on the otherwise idyllic community of Shaker Heights, Ohio as it becomes rocked by a scandal centering on the hidden history of one family's adopted child. As hurt feelings and betrayals abound between the characters, even more devastating secrets about the many characters are uncovered, and, as the title here indicates, things get pretty heated.

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin


Since The Winds of Winter probably won't hit shelves before Game of Thrones' eighth and final season arrives on HBO in April, now's as good a time as any to revisit A Song of Ice and Fire's most recent installment to see what clues, if any, it might hold for the big finale. (Or you can just enjoy Martin's newest companion book, Fire and Blood, and learn more about the history of those crazy Targaryens before Daenerys makes her inevitable play for the Iron Throne.)

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett


This apocalyptic comedy novel is finally getting the small screen mini-series treatment on Amazon next year, and for those who've not yet been initiated, you're in for a heavenly (or hellish, depending) treat as you take in the story of the earthly angel and demon frenemies -- played by Michael Sheen and David Tennant respectively -- who join forces to stop the rise of the Antichrist while he's still just a boy. With such serious subject matter, you might not expect to laugh, but you will.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller


This classic satire novel centers on a World War II soldier who continues to be sent out on new air missions, despite completing the previously assigned number. He is desperate to finally go home but can't request exclusion because a pesky bureaucratic rule holds that it would prove he's sane enough to keep fighting, even though the only way to be successful in battle is to be insane. In other words, there's no way out, and that's exactly why the title has gained so much traction as an everyday adjective for no-win situations. The Hulu mini-series adaptation of the book will feature Christopher Abbott as the well-worn soldier, with George Clooney, Kyle Chandler, and Hugh Laurie also starring.

The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard


This Pretty Little Liars spin-off moves the action to a new sleepy town called Beacon Heights, wherein the same kind of murder mysteries arise as we saw back in Rosewood. The Freeform series will feature a couple of familiar faces -- namely, Sasha Pieterse as Alison and Janel Parrish as Mona -- so fans of the original suspense series won't want to miss out on all the new pressures the girls will face in these new digs.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill


This supernatural horror story centers on the semi-immortal Charles Manx, who feeds on the souls of children by taking them for a fateful ride -- in a car with the titular homonym as its license plate -- to his terrible hideaway called Christmasland wherein they become his all-too-happy pet vampires. Only one of his captives has ever escaped, and he intends to serve her payback... by going after her own son. The AMC series adaptation will feature Zachary Quinto and Ashleigh Cummings as the leads.

Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons


Damon Lindelof (of Lost and The Leftovers fame) will offer up a new adaptation of this graphic novel for HBO. The story centers on a group of superheroes who have fallen from grace, so don't expect this to be another run of the mill "good guy saves the day and gets the girl" narrative. The series has also already lined up a great cast, including Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Tom Mison and Jean Smart.

The Roswell High Series by Melinda Metz


The CW will breathe new life into the story of teen aliens living among us with its new adaptation of The Roswell High Series, titled Roswell, New Mexico. For those who didn't catch the original WB series based on the books, here's a change to binge-read the books and one heckuva fun series before jumping into the upcoming reboot, which will follow the characters 10 years after they graduated.

Deadly Class by Rick Remender


Forget ordinary high school dramas and distractions, this story centers on a kid who's sent to an institution that's basically a miniature crime syndicate. Junior assassins run rampant throughout the student body of Kings Dominion, so that ordinary call to stay out of trouble doesn't really apply to these kids. In fact, the more murderous mess they make, the better... as long as they don't get caught. Syfy's adaptation of the comic book series will feature Benjamin Wadsworth as the teen troublemaker who's invited to join ranks with all of these elite baddies-in-the-making.

One Day She'll Darken by Fauna Hodel with J.R. Briamonte


TNT's I Am the Night adapts this fascinating non-fiction work about a girl who suffered tremendously as a result of being cast away by her biological family but aims to discover the truth of her past -- even if it does land her in the thick of the infamous Black Dahlia murder. Patty Jenkins serves as an executive producer of the six-episode series, with Chris Pine and India Eisley starring.

The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way


This comic book series introduces a family of several gifted children who are adopted by a millionaire. They're but a fraction of the dozens of spontaneous children born to women who were previously not pregnant, but through their benefactor they've been bonded forevermore and must re-team as adults to save the world as the apocalypse looms. The story of Umbrella Academy will be adapted for Netflix, with Ellen Page, Mary J. Blige, Tom Hopper, Robert Sheehan, Emmy Raver-Lampman, David Castañeda, Aidan Gallagher, and Cameron Britton all starring in the series.