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What do soldiers, detectives and killer clowns have in common? They all come courtesy of some of the most anticipated fall movies, of course. But before you head to the theater, it's worth reading the books on which these flicks were based (just maybe not the clown one right before bedtime).

RELATED: Quiz: What New Book Should You Read This Fall?

’It’ (In theaters now)

A group of children are terrorized by a psycho clown who exploits their fears and phobias in Stephen King’s terrifying 1986 novel. Read the book first, if only to have some idea of what happens before you spill your popcorn all over yourself in the theater. 

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’The Mountain Between Us’ (Oct. 20) 

Charles Martin’s 2011 novel is about a man and a woman who, after being stranded at an airport, decide to charter a plane to get to their destinations. Then, mid-flight, their pilot has a heart attack and the plane crashes. What follows is a suspenseful, emotional and cold fight to stay alive. The book is a total page-turner, but the movie stars Kate Winslet (swoon) and Idris Elba (double swoon), so you’ll probably want to see that too. 

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’Thank You For Your Service’ (Oct. 27)

Based on the true stories of soldiers struggling to return to civilian life after serving in Iraq, David Finkel’s 2013 book is a bracingly honest, often hard to read account of the psychological effects of war. It’s heartbreaking, harrowing and—less frequently—hopeful; you’ll want to keep a box of tissues close whether you’re reading the book or watching the Miles Teller-lead film. 

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’Murder on the Orient Express’ (Nov. 10) 

First published in 1934, Agatha Christie’s detective novel tells the story of—you guessed it—someone getting killed on a train and the subsequent investigation into the murder. The book is a total classic (it’ll keep you guessing until the very end), but don’t sleep on the movie either, which boasts an all-star ensemble featuring Kenneth Branagh, Penélope Cruz, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and a bunch of other famous people. 

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’Wonder’ (Nov. 17) 

Auggie is a ten-year-old with a rare facial deformity in R.J. Palacio’s hit 2012 novel. After being homeschooled for much of his life, he enrolls in a fancy private middle school, and lessons—namely about acceptance and bullying—are learned by all involved. Read the book (it’s meant for kids, so it shouldn’t take too long), then see the film, starring the adorable and super-talented Jacob Tremblay as Auggie (with an assist from an up-and-comer named Julia Roberts). 

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’Call Me By YOUR NAME’ (NOV. 24)

André Aciman’s 2007 novel about the love affair between a precocious 17-year-old and 24-year-old in the ’80s is an intense coming-of-age story about the unlikeliness of love. The movie, starring Armie Hammer, is absolutely gorgeous (think sprawling shots of the Italian countryside) and has a to-die-for soundtrack featuring Debussy, Sufjan Stevens and The Psychedelic Furs. 

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RELATED: The 8 Hardest Books We’ve Ever Read (That Were Actually Worth It)

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