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We would never say that Hollywood doesn’t have an original bone in its body, but c’mon, you can’t deny the fact that the best movies almost always start out as books. The next few months will bring adaptations from Jonathan Tropper, Judith Viorst and even the great Gillian Flynn. Here, our primer on what to read before you hit the theater.


"Gone Girl" (October 3)

OK, we have really high expectations for this one. (It better be, like, the best movie ever.) Luckily, Gillian Flynn penned the script, so it can’t be too off base. If you’re one of the four people on earth who haven’t read the book, for the love of God, put it on your list.


"This Is Where I Leave You" (In theaters)

Jonathan Tropper is one of the sharpest and funniest writers of our time. His best-selling This Is Where I Leave You--about four siblings who come together in the wake of their father’s death--is 100 percent worth a read, particularly before seeing the Tina Fey/Jason Bateman flick.


"The Maze Runner" (In theaters)

So you’re into dystopian young-adult novels about rowdy teenaged boys penned in claustrophobic mazes? (Who isn’t?) You should probably read this 2009 novel, which is the first in a best-selling trilogy. The movie is already garnering pretty positive reviews.


"The Hunger Games": Mockingjay (November 21)

Speaking of dystopian novels, maybe you’ve heard of this one? The third installment in the J.Law franchise hits in November--and if you haven’t yet read the Suzanne Collins series, you can totally plow through it in a long weekend.


"Men, Women & Children" (October 17)

We can all agree that the Internet is full of creepers, but Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air) renders it particularly terrifying in his new film about teenagers and parents (Jennifer Garner, Adam Sandler) glued to their screens while navigating the pressures of suburbia. Read the Chad Kultgen book first for ultimate effect.


"The Best of Me" (October 17)

Pass the tissues: A new Nicholas Sparks movie is coming out. The Best of Me stars Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden as high school sweethearts forced to confront their tragic pasts. Yes, we know: It’s schmaltzy. But sometimes you need schmaltzy.


"Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" (October 10)

We love you, Judith Viorst, for teaching us that sometimes life Reread the 1972 classic before taking the fam to see Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner play frazzled parents to the ill-fated Alexander.


"The Theory of Everything" (November 7)

While there is a Stephen Hawking book called The Theory of Everything, the film of the same name is actually based on Jane Hawking’s memoir, Travelling to Infinity. Both the book and the movie explore the tumultuous relationship between the brilliant physicist and his first wife.


"Wild" (December 5)

Reese Witherspoon hiking the Pacific Crest Trail while kicking ass? Sounds great, right? Do yourself a favor by first reading the Cheryl Strayed memoir, which gives you a better sense of the character and her plight. Or better yet, get your book club to do a movie/book combo!

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