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  • Tara Sonin 2:00 pm on 2019/09/23 Permalink
    Tags: , fake like me, , , , , necessary people, page to screen, , straight man, temper, , very nice, white tears,   

    12 Books to Read Before Binge-Watching Netflix’s The Politician 

    Picture this: a high-stakes election, a pathologically-ambitious politician, sex, scandal, violence, and social media…and no, I’m not talking about our IRL political climate. I’m talking about Ryan Murphy’s Netflix show, The Politician, airing September 27th and starring Ben Platt (of Dear Evan Hansen fame) with a star-studded cast including Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange, Zoey Deutsch, and many more. If the trailer is any indication, it promises to be high-stakes, horrific, and even a bit hilarious. Until all the episodes drop, here’s a list of thrilling reads—political, psychological, domestic, and criminal— to keep your darker impulses at bay.

    Election, by Tom Perrotta
    It may be the most linear comparison to the upcoming Netflix show, but this novel about a (female) pathologically ambitious high-school politician willing to do whatever it takes to win inspired the movie of the same name starring Reese Witherspoon. Tracy Flick is unlikeable but seemingly unstoppable in her pursuit of power over the student body until a teacher intervenes and convinces a student to run against her. The book may be over twenty years old now, but it may ring more true today than ever before in this age of competition, social media comparison, and the cut-throat college application process.

    Fake Like Me, by Barbara Bourland
    Fraud. Sounds fun, right? Not to the protagonist of this art-themed thriller in which an up-and-coming artist has a terrible decision to make when her studio burns down with the majority of her next gallery collection within it. With only three months until the opening and her entire career (not to mention a lot of money) on the line, she decides to conceal the truth of what was damaged in the fire and re-create the ruined pieces without anyone finding out. That involves a trip to an exclusive and secretive artist’s commune where one of her artistic idols—who died of suicide—created her work. That’s as much as I can say about the plot without spoiling the twists I never saw coming. It is a fascinating commentary on the value of art, and the dangers of it.

    Necessary People, by Anna Pitoniak
    The line between best friends and enemies is a just-sharpened blade, and this novel cuts deep. When two girls from different backgrounds collide, their friendship is so propulsive that even Stephen King blurbed this book, saying he “couldn’t stop reading.” Stella is the heiress who has everything she wants; Violet is used to cleaning up everyone’s messes, especially Stella’s. Until now, when Stella starts to infringe on the purposefully separate career Violet has cultivated for herself. Now, Violet wants her “friend” to stop taking credit for the work she’s done behind the scenes, and realizes it might be necessary to bring the privileged down a peg in order to truly shine on her own.

    Very Nice, by Marcy Dermansky
    The scenario of this novel is my personal nightmare in book form: a creative writing student, her professor, and her mother engage in a twisted love triangle. Here is how it happens: Rachel seduces her creative writing professor, who also happens to be a well-known author. When he goes home to visit a relative, she takes care of his dog at her own childhood home…where her mother, a beautiful woman mourning her marriage, takes to it. So when Zahid, the professor, shows up and finds himself falling for Rachel’s mother instead…chaos ensues. A book that examines wealth, privilege, and creativity, Very Nice seems to be about what happens when “nice” people take off their veneer and reveal their true selves.

    Macbeth, by Jo Nesbo
    Shakespeare’s Macbeth is one of the original political thrillers, about a man who kills his king in order to ascend to power. In this retelling by one of the preeminent Scandinavian crime noir writers, the 1970’s get the Shakespearean treatment when Duncan, the chief of police, believes he can rid a small town of its unshakeable drug problem. Macbeth leads SWAT, and through a manipulation by one of the town’s own drug lords, finds himself sinking to the lowest of possible lows in order to establish himself. If the Bard himself has always felt intimidating but you want to give Macbeth a try, this is the retelling to start with.

    Furious Hours, by Casey Cep
    My one nonfiction pick for this list, Furious Hours tells the story of a vigilante murderer who was acquitted for killing a preacher accused of killing his own family. If that weren’t fascinating enough, add this to the mix: Harper Lee, the celebrated author of To Kill a Mockingbird, was researching the murders. The intersections of fiction, revenge, drama, celebrity, and truth all make for a deeply-researched and narratively compelling tale that asks as many questions about humanity as it answers.

    White Tears, by Hari Kunzru
    When Seth records a musician in the park, and Carter puts it online, they never expect a response. After all, they claim the recording is ancient, and sung by a musician who doesn’t exist, whose name they just made up. Except, according to a music collector, he does exist. The two white boys are plunged headfirst into what is either a ghost story, a crime, or both—and raises questions about race, identity, and who music actually belongs to; those who make it, or those who consume it?

    The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
    What are the consequences of excellence? That’s one of the main questions in this part murder-mystery, part coming-of-age novel in which a group of college students are influenced by a Classics professor. From the very beginning, you know one of them ends up dead, but the who, how, and why of it all is told through the eyes of Richard, a blue-collar West Coast transplant to the college who wants to fit in. As part of their curriculum, they enmesh themselves in the rituals of the ancient Greeks, which is all well and good in theory, until an accidental death becomes an actual murder. How they process what they’ve done and why leads for a shivering tale of friendship.

    Luckiest Girl Alive, by Jessica Knoll
    Ani has rid herself of the past: her reputation, her insecurities, and even her old name, TifAni. Now a successful writer at a magazine with a powerful, rich fiancé, she believes she’s armored herself with everything she needs to get through her upcoming wedding—and a documentary around her scandalous past—unscathed. But Ani, while ambitious, cut-throat, and determined, has forgotten one thing: that while she can coat the past in candy, biting into it will break her teeth. The truth will out in this non-linear New York Times bestselling psychological suspense in which the reader races towards the truth Tif/Ani has tried so hard to bury, especially as her need to control the narrative (like, some might say, a politician) threatens to destroy her present. My favorite thing about this thriller? That by the end, we completely understand why Ani did what she did—and maybe, in fact, wish she’d gone even further in her cold-blooded pursuit of power.

    Temper, by Layne Fargo
    What is politics if not theater on a grander scale? That’s why I’m recommending this thriller that takes place in the Chicago theater scene. An ambitious actress meets her match in a controlling theater executive director as they both vie for the affection and approval of the mercurial lead actor. Tension lingers on every page as the characters propel themselves into passionate, and sometimes violent, circumstances, all the while justifying their falls from grace as being necessary for the success of their upcoming performance.

    Wonder Boys, by Michael Chabon
    They were once the “wonder boys”; full of potential and certain to live up to it. Now, Grady is a professor who can’t seem to finish his novel the way he’s finished three of his marriages, and Terry is an editor with a bit of a #MeToo problem. The possibility and promise that was once theirs has descended to a new generation. What is there to do with all that wasted time but find yourself implicated in a crime? A celebrated writer explores what happens when your youth was spent being celebrated, and your adulthood is spent making more mistakes than you ever thought you’d be capable of.

    Straight Man, by Richard Russo
    Witness the unraveling of a man in this impossible to put down novel about an English Department chair who loses everything—including it—in the span of a single week. Like The Politician’s trailer, with its dark humor interspersed with moments of character catastrophe, this novel tackles one man’s undoing with equal amounts slapstick and suspense.

    Are you excited for The Politician?

    The post 12 Books to Read Before Binge-Watching Netflix’s <i>The Politician</i> appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Brian Boone 3:00 pm on 2019/03/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , , jack sparrow: the coming storm, james kirkwood j.m. barrie, , page to screen, peter and wendy, ps your cat is dead, , rob kidd, , the wild things   

    5 Notable Novels That Are Adaptations of Movies and Plays 

    Movies are magical and wonderful of course, presenting us with eye-popping, realistically-rendered scenarios of adventure, action, romance, and intrigue. But where do the screenwriters behind those movies get their ideas? Well, sometimes they make them up, because writers are wired that way. But frequently, a movie is an adaptation of a work from another medium, like, say, a book, stage play, or TV series.

    Oddly enough, it goes both ways. Some of the most beloved and/or notable novels in the Western literary canon are actually based on pre-existing material. These are some books that were adapted from other media…and not the other way around.

    Peter and Wendy, by J.M. Barrie
    Few childhood stories are as enduringly popular and universally beloved—and well-known—than the saga of Peter Pan. He’s the boy who would never grow up, living on and around Neverland (because he could fly), with London girl Wendy and cantankerous fairy Tinkerbell around to help him defeat nefarious pirate Captain Hook. Peter Pan, or Peter and Wendy as the first book by Barrie is more properly known, is the perfect book to read with your kids (or for kids to read themselves) at bedtime, because it’s got everything a bedtime story needs—pirates, fairies, rebellion, romance, and flying. J.M. Barrie created the Paniverse with the tastes of some children he knew in mind, except he didn’t write it as a novel or collection of stories. The first iteration of Peter Pan was a stage play. While Barrie mentioned baby Peter in his 1902 book The Little White Bird, the permanent-child Pan became the main character in his smash hit 1904 play Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.

     

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
    Perhaps the greatest sci-fi saga ever written—and certainly the funniest—it’s hard to believe that The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy didn’t initially pour forth from Adams’ witty mind into prose-filled pages. There’s just so much exposition, omniscient narration, and wry comment as the reader plows through the adventures of Arthur Dent, forced to traipse around the known universe after the Earth is destroyed, along with his best friend/spaceman Ford Prefect, unhinged galaxy president Zaphoid Beeblebrox, sad robot Marvin the Paranoid Android, and all manner of exceptionally bureaucratic and hostile creatures from other words. While THGTHG has been a British TV show, a video game, and a feature film in addition to a novel series, the first time the world experienced this unique comic universe was as a radio play, broadcast on BBC 4 in 1978.

    The Wild Things, by Dave Eggers
    In 2009, the classic children’s book, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, finally got the big-screen adaptation it deserved after more than 45 years in print as one of the most memorably illustrated and written kid titles of all time. But like other slim children’s books turned long feature films (The Cat in the Hat, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day), screenwriters had to significantly bulk up the story’s plot, themes, and characters to fill in all that extra time. The result was not a bright and happy kids movie, but a sad, melancholy story for adults about the pain of growing up and being different. It so wildly veered from Sendak’s source material that co-screenwriter Dave Eggers, known for genre-defying works like A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, adapted the screenplay into a pensive, downbeat novel called The Wild Things.

    Jack Sparrow: The Coming Storm, by Rob Kidd
    Here’s the rare case in which a book series was based on a movie…which in turn was based on an amusement park ride. Back in 2003, Disney took a chance when it made a pirate movie—the form hadn’t been popular for decades—and gave it a title taken from one of the most popular attractions at Disneyland, Pirates of the Carribbean. Thanks to Johnny Depp’s bonkers portrayal of unrepentant antihero pirate Captain Jack Sparrow, the film is now a five-film strong, billions-earning blockbuster juggernaut. People love Jack Sparrow, and Disney, which has a books division, gave the people what they want, or rather the young readers, with a prequel series of adventure novels about a not-yet-captain Jack Sparrow, a teenage adventurer engaging in thrilling adventures on the high seas.

    PS Your Cat is Dead, by James Kirkwood
    Hitting shelves in 1972, P.S. Your Cat is Dead was pretty provocative for the time, what with its plot points about depressed actor Jimmy who, coming across a burglar in his not-great apartment, beats him within an inch of his life and then ties him up…before befriending him, and then falling in love with him. Then the two sell some drugs and live happily ever. (Oh, and also—spoiler alert—Jimmy’s cat dies.) Kirkwood’s darkly comic novel is so brash and zany, and takes place in so few locations, that of course it was based on a play, although it didn’t see broad success until it was staged after the novel version caused a stir.

    What is your favorite novel that was actually an adaptation of a play?

    The post 5 Notable Novels That Are Adaptations of Movies and Plays appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 6:00 pm on 2019/01/03 Permalink
    Tags: page to screen   

    25 Books Hitting the Screen in 2019 

    As the year winds down, it’s natural to turn your thoughts toward the truly important issues, specifically what your screen-watching schedule is going to be in 2019. Hollywood, as usual, is turning to our favorite books, graphic novels, and other stories to get our butts into movie theater seats. We’ll allow it. Here are some of the highlights to watch out for.

    Battle Angel: Alita, by Yukito Kishiro (February)
    If you’re unfamiliar with the source manga, you might know this upcoming film as “the movie with the big-eyed girl who kicks all kinds of butt.” The story centers on a cyborg found in a garbage dump and revived by a scientist; she has no memory of her existence, but is revealed to be a deadly and skilled warrior gifted with lots of technologically advanced weaponry. The film was originally scheduled for release in summer of 2018, but additional effects work (if you’ve seen the trailer, you know it wasn’t wasted) pushed it back to February.

    The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness (March 1)
    Retitled Chaos Walking, the film version of Ness’s YA sci-fi story is set in a world where all living things experience each other’s thoughts and feelings in a phenomenon known as “noise,” and stars Tom “Spider Man Himself” Holland and Daisy “Rey from Star Wars” Ridley. The adaptation has been in development since 2011; filming wrapped in 2017 but reshoots pushed the release date back. The themes of information overload and lack of privacy that the books explore are sure to be carried over to the film, and here’s hoping it’s one of the series adaptations that results in filmed sequels.

    Captain Marvel, by Kelly Sue Deconnick (March 8)
    You already knew the Captain would be on this list, as new records for hype are being set by the film on an hourly basis. Portrayed by Oscar winner Brie Larson, Carol Danvers is the first female superhero in the current Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to get her own movie (just beating out Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, whose film is now in production). Borrowing storylines from several of the print comics, the film will be set in the 1990s and will definitely tie into the larger Avengers 4 plot (once that film’s arrival determines whether Thanos murdering half the population of the universe is going to stick).

    Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, by Maria Semple (March 22)
    If you’ve read this brilliant novel you’ll agree Cate Blanchett is the perfect choice for Bernadette, the smart, agoraphobic, and manic woman who abruptly abandons her family in a swirl of often hilarious chaos. The film was originally scheduled to be released in May 2018, a date that got pushed twice, but now its release is finally nigh. In addition to Blanchett, the brilliant cast includes Kristen Wiig, Laurence Fishburne, and Billy Crudup, among other, and we’re psyched to see Semple’s vision given new life on the silver screen.

    Pet Sematary, by Stephen King (April 5)
    We’re in the Age of Reboots, so it isn’t terribly surprising that thirty years after the first adaptation someone is taking another crack at one of Stephen King’s best. Whether they can improve on the creepy vibe of the first film remains to be seen, but you can’t go far wrong with a story this disturbing and unsettling; let’s face it, any horror story involving a resurrected cat that “comes back wrong” is going to be terrifying.

    After, by Anna Todd (April 12)
    If you haven’t heard of After, cast your mind back to 2013, when the band One Direction ruled the earth as our benevolent overlords. Anna Todd began writing Harry Styles fan fiction on her phone for fun, and posted the chapters to Wattpad, where it became the most read work on that site by a lot. A lot. A book deal followed, sequels came, and now there’s a film adaptation of the first book, wherein virginal nice girl Tessa goes off to college and meets ultimate British Bad Boy Harry in a story often described as a toned-down Fifty Shades. Discovering whether and how the film captures the delirious pleasures of the books is going to be very, very fun.

    Hellboy, by Mike Mignola (April 12)
    Mignola’s reboot of the film series is going to be a lot darker and more violent than the original films starring Ron Perlman. The titular demon working for a government agency will be portrayed this time around by Stranger Things‘ Sheriff Hopper himself, David Harbour, who has gotten seriously ripped for the role. Although Mignola was very involved with the proposed third Hellboy film being developed by original director Guillermo del Toro, he stepped back when the intention to reboot the series was announced—but the storyline is drawn from three of his comic storylines, so fans are sure to be satisfied with the new direction, and even casual fans should be excited that the filmmakers intend to embark on a deeper psychological exploration of Hellboy and the violent struggle he’s engaged in.

    Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer (August 9)
    Artemis Fowl, teenage genius, surly antihero, and criminal mastermind, is just the kind of literary character movies were invented to bring to vibrant life. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the film adapts the first book in the series, in which Fowl seeks to restore his family’s dimming fortunes by kidnapping a fairy and holding her for ransom, bringing the wrath of the Lower Elements Police Recon (LEPrecon) down on his head. This is exactly the sort of live-action films Disney should be making, in our opinion, and the long wait to see one of the most interesting young characters of recent vintage finally hit the big screen is finally almost over. We can’t wait—at least there’s a trailer.

    It, by Stephen King (September 6)
    No surprises here: After the smash success of Part 1 in 2017, which covered the first half of King’s classic chiller, set during the Losers Club’s childhood, we all knew they were going to finish the story of Pennywise. The now-grown Losers realize they didn’t quite destroy Pennywise decades ago, and return to the town of Derry to finish the job or die trying. With a cast that includes Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and, of course, Bill Skarsgård as everyone’s least favorite clown, this is as close to a sure thing as you’re going to get at the movies in 2019.

    The Woman in the Window, by A.J. Finn (October 4)
    Finn’s fantastic Hitchcockian thriller is about a housebound agoraphobic dealing with her own loss who suspects she has witnessed something terrible in the house across the way. But to say she’s an unreliable narrator is the understatement of the year. As the twists come fast and furious, the sense of tension over what’s actually going on approaches epic levels. Will the film be able to capture that wonderful, heart-pounding excitement? Let’s hope so. With Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, Anthony Mackie, and Gary Oldman working from a script by Tracy Letts, we gotta say we like the odds.

    The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt (October 11)
    Tartt’s 2014 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel cemented her legacy as one of the smartest writers of the 21st century. The story of a young boy who survives a bomb explosion in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and impulsively steals the priceless titular painting in the aftermath is an emotionally complex life story with the bones of a mystery, and the film has its work cut out for it in re-creating the brainy, tragic mood of the book. The casting of Ansel Elgort as Theo guarantees the movie will get some heat, and will hopefully inspire a lot of people to check out what is truly a fantastic novel—but it’s Aneurin Barnard, cast as Boris, who has the biggest challenge. Boris was by far the runaway favorite character in the story, and the success or failure of the film may come down to whether we love him as much onscreen as we did on the page.

    Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, by T.S. Eliot (December 20)
    You might be more familiar with the much more efficient and pithy title of the Broadway adaptation of this book: Cats. A collection of poems exploring the world and lives of cats might not seem to jibe with the author who also wrote the dour, devastating The Wasteland or the gloomy, psychedelic The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, but these delightful poems inspired one of the longest-running musicals of all time, and now sports a powerhouse cast including Idris Elba, Rebel Wilson, Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, James Corden, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, and even Jason Derulo. If only to solve the riddle of whether actors like Dench and McKellan are actually going to be wearing those full-body catsuits on screen, it’s a must-see.

    Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott (December 25)
    Little Women is one of those books that can be adapted over and over again, endlessly, no matter how good past versions have been. That’s because it’s also one of the most re-readable books of all time. You can pick up Little Women any time and enjoy the heck out of it, so why not see a few different film and TV versions? This one stars Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, and Meryl Streep (among a stacked cast) and has the big budget of a prestige operation—and, perhaps most importantly, it’s directed by Greta Gerwig, fresh off Lady Bird and one of the hottest directors in Hollywood right now. Put it all together and we’re in for another charming few hours with the Ladies March.

    The Call of the Wild, by Jack London (December 25)
    This is an ambitious live-action/CGI mix, with Harrison Ford, Dan Stevens, and Karen Gillan heading up the cast. London’s classic story of a domesticated dog that finds itself kidnapped and then abandoned, slowly losing his civilized ways and becoming a dominant animal in the wilderness, is touching and packs a surprising emotional wallop—but has always posed obvious difficulties in adapting it to a visual medium. The cast and the technology available today give us hope that this adaptation will do the story justice—and hey, any story about dogs rising above challenges is by definition a good story.

    No Release Date Yet

    These three projects are definitely coming out in 2019, we’re just not 100% sure of the exact date.

    Catch-22, by Joseph Heller (2019)
    In a way, George Clooney was born to adapt Joseph Heller’s classic novel about the absurdity of war and military life. You’ve got to give credit to Clooney, who could have given himself any role he wished but chose to play the minor role of Scheisskopf, a parade-obsessed officer who rises inexplicably through the ranks, and whose name translates to something very unflattering in German. This ambitious miniseries is going to be on Hulu, and it’s one of those novels that likely needs to be a miniseries as opposed to a film, because it’s dense with subplots, details, and subtle jokes that will require hours to tease out.

    Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (2019)
    The second you hear that David “Doctor Who” Tennant and Michael Sheen will be playing Crowley the demon and Aziraphale the angel, teaming up to prevent Armageddon so they can keep enjoying the comforts of Earth, you’re in. When you hear that Gaiman wrote the role of Gabriel for Jon Hamm based on the never-finished sequel to the novel, you’re double in. When you realize the Angel Gabriel is probably the role Hamm was born to play, you’re triple in. And the fact that the series is written by Neil Himself? What we’re saying is, you’re in.

    Motherless Brooklyn, by Jonathan Lethem (2019)
    This is Edward Norton’s baby—he writes, directs, and stars in this adaptation of Lethem’s 1999 novel. He brings along Willem Dafoe, Bruce Willis, Cherry Jones, and Leslie Mann among many others to tell the story of a private detective chasing down clues to the murder of his boss and mentor while trying to control his Tourette Syndrome outbursts. The novel layered a detective story with an exploration of the human condition, which seems like an ideal space for a filmmaker like Norton to explore.

    The Rook, by Daniel O’Malley (2019)
    O’Malley’s fun, inventive thriller about a woman who wakes up without any memory, surrounded by dead bodies, and discovers that she was once a member of the Checquy, an organization that fights supernatural threats that afflict London and the wider world, holding the elevated rank of Rook. Starring Emma Greenwell and Olivia Munn, this USA Network series should be a highlight of the year for urban fantasy fans—assuming they ever get around to officially announcing the release date.

    The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco (2019)
    Yes, the 1986 Sean Connery version holds up well, but this Sundance TV series starring John Turturro is a welcome addition to 2019’s TV viewing schedule. The novel somehow manages to combine erudite philosophical, historical, and literary allusions and investigation with a surprisingly gripping mystery, and is widely considered one of the greatest books of all time. That means that even if the series is only half as good, it will still be pretty darn awesome. And more Turturro is always welcome.

    No Guarantees

    These projects are all supposed to be out this year, but there’s reason to believe it might be 2020. (Or beyond.)

    Dune, by Frank Herbert (December 31, 2019)
    Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Arrival) isn’t even starting filming on this project until January, so we’re dubious about the release date. Still, it would be a great way to end the year for sci-fi fans, who love David Lynch’s iconic (if incomprehensible) 1984 version but long to see an updated attempt at adapting Frank Herbert’s all-time great novel. We don’t know much about the production right now, but we’ve got our fingers crossed that Villeneuve pulls it off.

    The Professor and the Madman, by Simon Winchester (2019)
    A film adaptation of a novel about the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary seems unlikely. A film adaptation about the OED starring Mel Gibson and Sean Penn seems like a set up—but it’s happening. Gibson will play Sir James Murray, assigned the incredible task of creating the dictionary, and Penn will play W.C. Minor, who did a great deal of work for Murray while confined to an asylum.

    Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann (December 31)
    The moment you hear that Scorsese is adapting Grann’s book about the murders of wealthy Osage people following the discovery of oil on their land in Oklahoma, and how the investigation led to the formation of what is today the FBI, you know it’s going to be great. It’s exactly the kind of historical material Scorsese excels at bringing to life, combining the gritty violence and cerebral character work that the director has made his specialty. His most recent muse, Leonardo DiCaprio, is involved, and Robert DeNiro is rumored to be on board as well. Whether this is really coming out next year remains to be seen.

    The Silver Chair, by C.S. Lewis (December 31)
    After the first three books in Lewis’ Narnia series were adapted with decreasing budgets and ticket sales, all seemed lost, and an argument over filming the fourth book or jumping to the sixth book, The Magician’s Nephew, seemed to stall everything. New producers came into the picture, and The Silver Chair became a soft reboot of the series, with a whole new cast of actors. The fourth book was the last to follow the early pattern of the series that had the Pevensie children—and later, Eustace Scrubb, here with friend Jill Pole—transported to Narnia, and is the first that features no Pevensies at all, which means it’s probably ideal for a reboot.

    The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss (2019)
    With Lin-Manuel Miranda working on a prequel series set in Rothfuss’ epic fantasy world, Sam Raimi is supposedly working on getting a film adaptation of the first book in the Kingkiller Chronicle into theaters in 2019, which would be huge news for the fans. This is a pretty big ask, though, as the book is long, complex, and well-loved. A lot of things could go wrong, and if things fall apart and the center cannot hold, it’s likely the project involving the red-hot Miranda is the one that would survive.

    1984, by George Orwell (2019)
    Grim, nightmarish, and still terrifyingly applicable, 1984 suddenly became hot again after the 2016 presidential election, for no reason whatsoever. Outside of an announced 2019 release, there’s precious little information about this project, so we suspect it’s going to turn out to be a 2020 project—if it ever happens at all.

    The post 25 Books Hitting the Screen in 2019 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 6:00 pm on 2018/06/24 Permalink
    Tags: page to screen   

    6 Books to Read Before They Hit Theaters This Summer 

    Summer is finally upon us, and that means family trips, cookouts—and hiding from the heat in an air-conditioned movie theater. There’s a special book nerd joy in seeing how your favorite books translate to film, which is why we’re especially looking forward to the ones based on these seven great books.

    Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan

    Movie Release Date: August 17th

    Kwan’s hilarious novel is one of the most flat-out entertaining things we’ve read in years, and has been crying out for a film adaptation since the day it hit shelves. The story of an “ABC” (American-born Chinese) woman named Rachel who travels to China to meet her boyfriend’s family and is shocked to discover that they’re not simply wealthy, they are mind-bogglingly wealthy—among the richest families in China, and deeply hooked into a skein of gossip, position, and fashion largely invisible to the West. Rachel’s whirling adventure through the decadent and often mean-spirited world of obscene decadence is pure popcorn, and the movie should follow suit.

    Three Seconds, by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom

    Movie Release Date: August 17th

    In recent years, Roslund and Hellstrom have been cranking out tense and meticulously-plotted thrillers under the radar, but hopefully this summer’s adaptation of one of their best will change all that. Piet Hoffman has been living a double life—devoted, peaceable family man on one side, and dedicated, long-term snitch for the police on the other, moonlighting as a criminal in order to infiltrate the underworld. His newest assignment is to go to prison, take control of a methamphetamine operation, and help the police dismantle it—easy! The film stars Rosamund Pike, Clive Owen, and Joel Kinnaman.

     

    The Little Stranger, by Sarah Waters

    Movie Release Date: August 31st

    This terrifying novel, set in a crumbling estate in Warwickshire after World War II, should be absolutely terrifying on the big screen. With the perfect mix of Gothic ingredients—a once-great house and family in dire straits, inexplicable illnesses, haunting spirits, encroaching madness—it is the sort of book that cries out to be made into a film. What’s great about the way Waters sets out the story is that you aren’t just in it for the scares—you’ll also really like the characters, from the brilliant doctor who has fond memories of Hundreds Hall from his childhood, to the stalwart young daughter of the ruined family he falls in love with.

    The Meg, by Steve Alten

    Release Date: August 10th

    Alten’s hit series of killer shark books finally gets the big screen treatment, with a cast including Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, and Rainn Wilson. The story revolves around carcharodon megalodon (known affectionately as Meg), an extinct species of shark that was once one of the largest and most deadly predators in the world. Jonas Taylor, former Navy deep-sea pilot and current marine paleontologist, suspects the Megs aren’t as extinct as we might think, and is given the chance to head into the Mariana Trench, the deepest spot in the ocean, to find out. Unfortunately for Taylor (and the rest of the human race), his actions unleash a terror that soon threatens all life on earth (or at least all life in proximity to an ocean). This is a book that moves fast and plays loose with science—but all in the service of a rollicking good time.

    The Wife, by Meg Wolitzer

    Release Date: August 17th.

    Wolitzer’s story of a woman in her 60s who decides the time has come to end her marriage while flying first class to an awards ceremony in honor of her older husband is witty and sharply observed, and we can’t wait to see what stars like Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce can do in the lead roles. Flipping back and forth between the present day and her college years, when she fell under the sway of her charismatic creative writing teacher and chose to give up her own literary dreams in order to help build his career, this story of pent-up resentment, male privilege, and a smart woman who decides not to take life’s humiliations anymore sounds like ideal superhero counter-programming, especially if it lives up to Wolitzer’s book, in which her characters emerge as living, fire-breathing people.

    Far From the Tree, by Andrew Solomon

    Release Date: July 20th.

    Solomon’s book, which explores the marginalized children of our society—those born with supposed ‛defects’ ranging from the physical and the apparent to the invisible and the heartbreaking—and how their parents’ lives were changed, enriched, and deepened by their care for them, is almost overpowering in its emotional potency. It really isn’t surprising that it’s been adapted into what promises to be one of the most powerful documentary experiences of the year. This is a case where the book should be required reading before seeing the film, as the former can only deepen and enrich the emotional experience of the latter. The combined power of reading and watching this powerful story may change the way you view life.

    What books are you looking forward to seeing on the screen?

    The post 6 Books to Read Before They Hit Theaters This Summer appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Tara Sonin 4:00 pm on 2018/03/16 Permalink
    Tags: , , anthony mccarten, , brave, , coco, daniel ellsberg, daniel kraus, darkest hour, darryl ponicsan, david finkel, deborah heiligman, diana lopez, first they killed my father, , greg sestero, , , in my own words, jeff bauman, john pearson, , last flag flying, loung ung, martin mcdonogh, molly bloom, molly's game, , munro leaf, nancy kerrigan, our souls at night, page to screen, painfully rich, r.j. palacio, reni eddo-lodge, rose mcgowan, , secrets: a memoir of vietnam and the pentagon papers, , stronger, thank you for your service, , the miracle of dunkirk, the shape of water, the story of ferdinand, three billboards outside ebbing missouri, vincent and theo, , why i'm no longer talking to white people about race,   

    24 Books to Soothe Your Post Awards-Season Letdown 

    And the award goes to…books! At least, it does in our world. But if you’re a film fan and looking to broaden your literary horizons, here are two dozen books to read now that awards season is over (and you’re probably tired of movies).

    Call Me By Your Name, by Andre Aciman
    The most buzzed-about book-turned-into-a-movie this season is definitely worth a read! A sensual, emotional tale of two young men tempted by lust, love, and passion for one another (despite neither of them being openly gay).

    Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge
    Get Out isn’t based on a book, but that doesn’t mean one of the most important movies of this awards season (and all of film history) shouldn’t be talked about. This book is a great starting point for discussing the complicated intersections of black history, white supremacy, racism, gender, and much more.

    In My Own Words, by Nancy Kerrigan
    I, Tonya tells the story of the infamous rivalry between Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding as a larger-than-life portrait based on real interviews. What happened between Nancy and Tonya, two skating phenoms, who were once colleagues on ice…that led to Nancy’s skating career being derailed by a bludgeoned knee? Read her own words to find out the other side of the story.

    The Shape of Water, by Guillermo Del Toro and Daniel Kraus
    Normally, book people advocate seeing the movie after reading the book, but since this adaptation of the award-nominated movie doesn’t come out until the end of the month, we’ll forgive you for doing the opposite. This ethereal, beautiful romance between a mute woman and a mysterious sea creature kept as a science experiment is set against the backdrop of the conflict between the US and Russia, and is as high-stakes as it is romantic.

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, by Martin McDonogh
    A grieving mother sets herself on the path of justice, violence, and retribution when she puts up three public billboards accusing the police department—and their beloved chief of police—of neglect after they fail to catch her daughter’s murderer. Brutal, emotional, and as impactful as the performances in the movie, this story is not to be missed.

    The Miracle of Dunkirk, by Walter Lord
    It’s 1940, and the allied forces have been forced to retreat after a terrible ai assult from Hitler. Over 300,000 men were stranded on Dunkirk until an evacuation was attempted…in which in which nearly the entire army was saved. This film is a riveting portrait of survival in war and the strength of the human spirit—and the book is just as fascinating.

    Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here, by Anna Breslaw
    Lady-Bird fans, this is the book for you! If you loved the honest voice, snark, and pop-culture references in the movie, you will love Scarlett. Her favorite TV show was just cancelled, so she resorts to writing online fanfiction of what could-have-been…but the problem is, it’s starring real people. When her secret gets out, Scarlett has to reckon with the relationships she has IRL, including a tense one with her Dad, as a result of her parents’ split.

    Darkest Hour, by Anthony McCarten
    If you’re making your way down this list, you will have read about Dunkirk…but who was the man who saved England’s army, and in history’s eyes, the world? Winston Churchill became Prime Minister right at the start of the war, and guided the allies through the most difficult fight of their lives.

    Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, by Daniel Ellsberg
    The Post is one of the most talked-about movies this season, starring an incredibly prestigious cast. But I knew very little about the Pentagon Papers, and that’s where this book comes in! Daniel Ellsberg was the man behind the release of this Vietnam-war-era document, and risked his life to expose the truth.

    Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn
    The Phantom Thread is an incredibly unique movie with lots of twists and turns about a couple in the fashion world of the 1950’s who manipulate one another. Without giving too much away about the plot of the movie to those who haven’t seen it, I think fans will love Sharp Objects! It’s about a murder, a complicated mother, a beguiling sister, and a town that hides lots of secrets.

    Coco, by Diana Lopez
    A fave animated movie of 2017 about a boy who wants to be a musician despite his family having outlawed music for reasons he doesn’t understand is now in book form!

    Painfully Rich, by John Pearson
    This movie starring Christopher Plummer, Michelle Williams, and Mark Wahlberg is based on who made himself very very rich…but ruined his family in the process. Drugs, suicide, a kidnapping, and much more feature in this saga that is as strange as it is true.

    The Disaster Artist, by Greg Sestero
    Have you seen The Room? It’s a cult movie written by a man named Tommy Wiseau which never earned any money and was panned by critics. And yet it’s had an enduring life among cult fans, and this book brings that story hilariously to life (the story you can also see in the movie starring James Franco!).

    First They Killed My Father, by Loung Ung
    Now a movie from Angelina Jolie, this story about a young girl who had to flee her home and train as a child soldier in Cambodia is heart-wrenching, but true. Reading the book will help give you an appreciation for the struggles of others, for family, for home, and for freedom many people have lost their lives for.

    Molly’s Game, by Molly Bloom
    Gambling’s never been my game, but fascinating women who infiltrate exclusive, underground societies totally are. This movie of the same name stars Jessica Chastain as the young girl running an elite poker ring in Hollywood, until the house of cards came crumbling down.

    Our Souls at Night, by Kent Haruf
    Jane Fonda and Robert Redford are a star pair in this movie of the same name about a widow and a widower who have been neighbors for years…until one day they take the risk and decide to become something more. A story of second chances, love at all ages, and chosen happiness.

    Stronger, by Jeff Bauman
    The Boston Marathon Bombing was a horrible moment in history, and no one knows that better than Jeff Bauman, one of the survivors. He lost both his legs that day, and wrote a bestselling book about his journey following the terror attack, and it was adapted into a movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

    The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf
    A children’s book that will make you laugh and cry! Ferdinand the bull is sweet as can be. He has no interest in doing the things other bulls do. Fans of the movie, about a bull taken from his home after being mistaken for a violent creature, will love this heartwarming tale.

    Thank you For Your Service, by David Finkel
    Another movie about heroes and survivors that has a connected book. David Finkel was a different kind of hero; a journalist on the front lines of Afghanistan who documented the soldiers as they ended their tours of duty and started another war…the battle to rejoin civilian life.

    Wonder, by R. J. Palacio
    We could all use more kindness in our lives. That’s what the book—and movie—Wonder is all about. It tells the story of a young boy with a facial disfigurement who is afraid to let kids see what he really looks like, because he worries he’ll be bullied. This is the perfect gift for the sensitive kid in your life (after you watch the movie with them of course!).

    Brave, by Rose McGowan
    The harrowing story of one actress’ rise to activism through trauma is more than just a book; it’s the start of a movement. There’s no movie tie-in to this story, but we’d be remiss not to acknowledge the elephant in awards season…the systemic sexism and misogyny in Hollywood, now laid bare in part by Rose’s story.

    Last Flag Flying, by Darryl Ponicsan
    To truly understand Last Flag Flying, you should also read The Last Detail, the story of two soldiers escorting a man to a naval prison (which was also made into a movie.) This book, set over three decades after the events of the first, about three men escorting a young, deceased soldier home against the orders of their command.

    Mudbound, by Hillary Jordan
    In 1964, a woman from the city is trying to raise a family in the Mississippi Delta when two soldiers return from war and help out on the farm. One of them is black. In the Jim Crow South, bonds between family, between brothers, and friends, are all tested by the realities of the harsh world they live in.

    Vincent and Theo, by Deborah Heiligman
    There’s a non-fiction movie about Vincent Van Gogh and his brother, Theo, nominated for an award this year! I knew very little about them (other than the famous ear story) and so for those who, like me, are interested in learning about the brother who supported the genius artist—and 658 letters he wrote him over the course of their lives—this is the book for you!

    What books are helping you recover from awards season?

    The post 24 Books to Soothe Your Post Awards-Season Letdown appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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