5 books you should read before they become movies and TV shows in May

There are no two ways about it: We’re book people. Yes, we’re movie people, and yes, we can marathon a TV show on Netflix or Hulu like nobody’s business. But when it comes down to it, we just love books. So when we hear about books becoming movies, we’re excited that we can celebrate the best of both worlds. What is it about movies based on books that make them somehow better than other movies? It’s one of life’s greatest mysteries, but hey, we’re not complaining.

There are so many great books becoming movies this May. From Starz’s gritty coming-of-age series Sweetbitter to HBO’s fiery movie Fahrenheit 451, it’s going to be a great month for books on both the big and small screen. So if you want to get a head start on the stories, pick up the text that inspired them. There’s still plenty of time to do a binge-read.

Here are five books you should read before they become movies and TV shows in May.

1Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler, on Starz May 6th


The moment we made it to the last page of Sweetbitter, we were already drawing up a petition to have the book made into a movie or a TV show. Which is why we’re so excited that the Starz series is finally almost here. But before you get to know Ella Purnell’s Tess, Caitlin FitzGerald’s Simone, and Tom Sturridge’s Jake, get acquainted with the characters on paper. Trust us: They make for delicious reading.

2The Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St Aubyn, on Showtime May 12th


Edward St Aubyn wrote five Patrick Melrose books. And we’ll admit, packing in all five titles before May 12th is pretty ambitious. So as you watch Benedict Cumberbatch (!) in this five-part limited series, just know that each part is based on one of the books. It’s dark, funny, British, and stars The Cumberbatch. Need we say more?

3Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, on Netflix May 18th

Even though Jay Asher didn’t write a sequel to his YA novel Thirteen Reasons Why, Netflix is delivering us one in the form of a second season. So if you’ve been meaning to read the original text, now is the perfect time to do it. Just make sure you’re emotionally prepared to dive in.

4On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan, in theaters May 18th


On Chesil Beach is a romantic drama that will sweep you off your feet and break your heart all at once. At just 166 pages long, you’ll devour Ian McEwan’s novella in just one sitting. Then, prepare to be amazed at the greatness that is Saoirse Ronan.

5Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, on HBO May 19th

We know what you’re thinking: Isn’t Fahrenheit 451 that book I had to read in high school? And yes, yes it is. But HBO’s remake of the classic dystopian novel is about to make required reading a lot better. First of all, it stars Michael B. Jordan as Guy Montag. And do you really need a second of all?

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