Elizabeth Entenman
November 01, 2018 7:00 am
Focus Features

The closer we get to December, the bigger the Oscar buzz becomes. Many of November’s new movie releases are already generating awards show season chatter. (That’s pretty much what happens when Barry Jenkins is behind the camera or when you cast Nicole Kidman.) And many of this month’s new releases are based on or inspired by books. In fact, there are seven books becoming movies this November.

So before you hit the cinema, take some time to read the texts that inspired the films. Reading the book first adds extra layers and dimension to the story, and can provide you context and details that will inevitably be cut from the script. (Why can’t movies just be page-for-page remakes of the books on which they’re based? I’m just saying, I think every Harry Potter fan would pay good money to watch 15-hour film versions of each book. But I digress.) Plus, reading the book first gives you the age-old opportunity to point out what the movie changed, added, and omitted.

Here are seven books you should read before they become movies in November.

1Boy Erased by Garrard Conley, in theaters November 2nd

Garrad Conley, the son of a Baptist pastor, was born and raised in a small town in Arkansas. He was outed at age 19 and attended conversion therapy supported by the church. In the process, he found the strength to embrace his true self and turn his pain into a memoir about his experiences. Now, his story will come to life on the big screen with Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Lucas Hedges, Joe Alwyn, and Troye Sivan.

2The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffman, in theaters November 2nd

There are many retellings of The Nutcracker, but this one promises to be the most whimsical yet. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, which stars Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, Misty Copeland, and Helen Mirren, will instantly put you in the holiday spirit.

3A Private War by Marie Brenner, in theaters November 2nd

We almost didn’t recognize Rosamund Pike in the poster for A Private War. But that’s her as Marie Colvin, a journalist and war correspondent who famously covered the Syrian civil war. Rounding out the cast are Jamie Dornan and Stanley Tucci, so you know it’s going to be good.

4How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss, in theaters November 9th

Step aside, Jim Carrey, because there’s a new Grinch in town. Benedict Cumberbatch voices everyone’s favorite Christmas villain in The Grinch, and it’s already an instant holiday classic.

5The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz, in theaters November 9th

Lisbeth Salander, our favorite vigilante, is back, and she’s exactly the voice we need in this political climate. We can’t wait to see Claire Foy step into Lisbeth’s shoes and make bad men pay for their actions.

6Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling, in theaters November 16th

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is finally (almost) here. And by that we mean: Jude Law’s young, hot Dumbledore is finally (almost) here. You know you’re excited for it.

7If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin, in theaters November 30th

Director Barry Jenkins is back with his first big project since 2016’s Moonlight. If Beale Street Could Talk, based on James Baldwin’s novel of the same name, tells the story of a woman trying to clear her wrongly convicted husband’s name before their child is born.

Happy reading!

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