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You know those people who are all “You have to read the book first--you can’t just see the movie”? They get a bad rap, but they’re really not that bad.

We know because we are those people. And that’s OK. There’s nothing wrong with feeling a little insider-y for understanding how great No Country for Old Men was before seeing Javier Bardem’s weird haircut.

That’s why we’re proposing you join us by reading these seven excellent books before the film adaptations are released in theaters.


“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” (February 5)

A parody of Jane Austen’s classic 1813 novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features the characters you know and (maybe) love in somewhat different situations. By which we mean Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters are trained zombie fighters. After reading the slightly ridiculous but very entertaining novel, catch the film and expect a very un-Keira-Knightley-like evening.

Watch the trailer.


“How to Be Single” (February 12)

The coauthor of He’s Just Not That Into You and a former story editor for Sex and the City, Liz Tuccillo seems to have the whole single-girl-navigating-the-dating-world thing figured out. Before seeing the Rebel Wilson and Dakota Johnson-fronted movie next month, read the easy, breezy novel of the same name.

Watch the trailer.


“The Great Gilly Hopkins” (February 19)

Though technically a children’s book (albeit a National Book Award-winning one), Katherine Paterson’s 1978 novel tackles some pretty heady topics. Namely, the incessant shuffling of the title character between foster homes. In case you didn’t read the super-short book in school, pick it up before watching the film starring Kathy Bates--and be sure to have a pack of tissues on hand.

Watch the trailer.


“Allegiant” (March 18)

The third and final installment of Veronica Roth’s YA sci-fi Divergent series, 2013’s Allegiant is being split into two movies, the first of which comes out in March. Read the book first for a sneak peek at what might happen inAscendant, which will be released in the summer of 2017.

Watch the trailer.


“The Jungle Book” (April 15)

Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 collection of stories is an absolute classic. If you haven’t already, thumb through the adventures of Mowgli before seeing the star-studded film version featuring Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba and Bill Murray.

Watch the trailer.


“The Adderall Diaries” (April 16)

Based on Stephen Elliott’s 2009 true-crime memoir, The Adderall Diaries follows a journalist as embedded in a grisly murder case as he is in his own addiction. Read the book first, because Elliott’s text has way too many riveting moving parts that couldn’t possibly have made it into the movie.

Watch the trailer.


“Alice Through the Looking Glass” (May 27)

They’re ba-ack. Johnny Depp and the crew (Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, et al) return in this version of Lewis Carroll’s 1871 follow-up to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Pick up the book to read “Jabberwocky”(considered one of the greatest nonsense poems of all time) and watch the movie to feel like you’re tripping on acid.

Watch the trailer.

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