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Picture of Books Becoming Movies Crazy Rich Asians
Credit: Sanja Bucko / Warner Bros.

Raise your hand if you agree that movies and television series based on books are somehow better than others. Well, you’re in luck: August is a big month at the box office (and on your favorite streaming services) for books becoming movies and TV shows.

It’s a somewhat darker month for literary content on the big and small screens. Of the eight titles getting the movie and TV show treatment in August, more than half of them are thrillers, horror novels, crime novels, or sci-fi novels. But if being spooked isn’t your cup of tea, fear not. There’s comedy and romance on the list as well. There are also quite a few books that have trilogies or larger series behind them, meaning if you fall in love with the characters, you can move right on to the next book and the next book.

Here are eight books you should read before they become movies and TV shows in August.

1The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, in theaters August 3rd

The Darkest Minds is a timely dystopian read about a group of teens on the run from the government. The film, which stars Amandla Stenberg, Mandy Moore, and Gwendoline Christie, will be equally as affecting.

2Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten, in theaters August 10th

Shark Week may be over on the Discovery Channel, but it’s just getting started in movie theaters. The Meg is a science fiction horror film about a prehistoric shark thought to be extinct. But spoiler alert: It isn’t.

3Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, in theaters August 15th

Once you finish Crazy Rich Asians, and if you’re dying for more of Rachel and Nick, you’re in luck. You can immediately dive into the next two books in the series: China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems.

4We the Animals by Justin Torres, in theaters August 17th

The early praise for We the Animals has been nothing short of phenomenal. IndieWire pronounced it “this year’s Moonlight,” which is the highest praise we can possibly think of.

5To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, on Netflix August 17th

Once you meet Lara Jean, a teenager whose love letters to her past crushes were accidentally mailed to them, you won’t be ready to say goodbye after you turn the last page. Fortunately, you can immediately start the other two books in the trilogy: P.S. I Still Love You and Always and Forever, Lara Jean.

6Three Seconds by Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström, in theaters August 17th

Calling all Scandinavian crime lovers. Three Seconds was named Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year in 2009 by the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers. So you know the film, starring Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike, Common, and Clive Owen, is going to be excellent.

7The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, in theaters August 31st

No lie, this movie looks straight terrifying. (We can barely sit through the trailer.) But if scary movies are your thing, and if you want to prepare yourself for this supernatural gothic drama horror film, read Sarah Waters’ thriller of the same name first.

8The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy, on Amazon August 31st

Technically, the character Jack Ryan has appeared in over 20 novels. But he made his first appearance in The Hunt for Red October, so that seems like a good place to start. Or you can just wait for the Amazon series, simply titled Jack Ryan, starring John Krasinski.

Happy reading!