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Those Hollywood types. They always seem to have their finger on the pulse. Maybe it’s because they’re actually total bookworms. Or maybe they just know a good plot line when they see one. Either way, Oscar season is drawing near and we’re willing to bet that these 12 books-turned-movies will be serious contenders.

Read ’em before they hit the big screen.


“A Walk in the Woods” (in theaters)

Robert Redford and Nick Nolte take on the Appalachian Trail (and a pair of bears) in this movie based on Bill Bryson’s hilarious 1998 memoir. But to get a sense of what it’s really like to huff and puff your way through the woods with your best friend, spend a weekend reading the book.

Watch the trailer


“Everest” (September 18)

Speaking of nature, you’ll definitely want to check out Beck Weathers’s memoir about the 1996 Mount Everest disaster in which a group of hikers was hit with one of the fiercest snowstorms of all time. Read it before the film adaptation starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Keira Knightley hits theaters.

Watch the trailer


“Black Mass” (September 18)

This gritty mobster movie--featuring Johnny Depp in crazy disguise--is actually based on the true-crime book about Whitey Bulger, the head of Boston’s Irish mob in the 1970s.

Watch the trailer


“Brooklyn” (November 6)

Before there were hipsters, there was Colm Tóibín’s historical novel about a young girl torn between life and love in her native Ireland and her new home in 1950s New York City. Nick Hornby penned the screenplay, so we’ve got high hopes that this movie will be as good as the (amazingly awesome, read-it-now) book.

Watch the trailer


“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” (November 20)

You guys, this is it: the final installment of the Hunger Games film series starring the one and only J.Law. It’s also your last chance to marathon the books by Suzanne Collins so that you’re fully up to speed before the last hurrah.

Watch the trailer


“Carol” (November 20)

And back to 1950s New York we go--this time in the buzzy new film based on the 1952 Patricia Highsmith novel The Price of Salt, about two women who strike up a lesbian relationship, which back then was a total no-no. The movie is already getting rave reviews, but read the book first and applaud it for being so ahead of its time.

Watch the trailer


“Victor Frankenstein” (November 25)

Yep, the classic Mary Shelley tale about Dr. Frankenstein’s botched efforts to create human life is being reincarnated once again. The good news: Daniel Radcliffe will play Igor to James McAvoy’s Dr. Frankenstein. We can’t think of a better reason to revisit the classic.

Watch the trailer


“The Martian” (November 25)

Matt Damon struggles to survive alone on Mars after NASA is forced to evacuate and leaves him behind. Intense. Read the best-selling sci-fi novel first, which was originally self-published to mass success and critical acclaim. 

Watch the trailer


“The Danish Girl” (November 27)

Sure, you know about Caitlyn Jenner, but before reality TV, there was Einar Wegener, a real-life artist and one of the first people in the world to have transgender surgery. Read all about her experience in David Ebershoff’s fantastic novel--then watch the uber-talented Eddie Redmayne bring it to life onscreen.

Watch the trailer


“In the Heart of the Sea” (December 11)

This long-awaited seafaring epic pits the ever-dashing Chris Hemsworth against an angry sperm whale. It’s also based on the terrifying true story of the 1820 sinking of the whaleship Essex--one you’ll definitely want to read before seeing the Ron Howard-directed film.

Watch the trailer


“Concussion” (December 25)

Will Smith takes on the NFL in this thriller based on the real-life story of Bennet Omalu, a Pittsburgh-based neuropathologist who made the first discovery of CTE, a football-related brain trauma. Read the book before you weigh in on what’s sure to spark a national debate.

Watch the trailer


“The Revenant” (December 25)

Last but not least, more bears. This time, Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the adaptation of the Michael Punke novel set in 1823 about a fur trapper who is mauled by a bear and left for dead by thieves. The film--directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu (the man behind Birdman)--tracks his revenge. Trust us, read the book.

Watch the trailer

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