From historical dramas to science fiction fantasies to real life adventures, Hollywood continues to dazzle movie audiences with films based on books. Three of this year’s nine Best Picture nominees, Arrival, Lion, and Hidden Figures, were adapted from recently published books. Overall, books-to-films received nominations in 20 of the 24 Oscar award categories this year. Books-to-films including 13 Hours: The inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, by Michell Zuckoff, A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling. Hollywood is smart to recognize the dramatic and commercial value of the printed page. A good story is a good story, especially if it lends itself to strong, sympathetic characters, interesting story lines, lush landscapes and lots of dramatic tension.
Every year there are dozens of films based on books new and old. Some of the greatest movies in the history of film were adapted from books. Think of Gone with the Wind, the Grapes of Wrath, Pride and Prejudice and To Kill a Mockingbird to name only a few. Children’s books are particularly suited for film adaptation- from the Harry Potter series to Charlotte’s Web, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, and The Jungle Book. Hollywood gets ideas from books, and since we love books as much as we love movies here at the library, a movie with a book tie-in is something that we look forward to. And there is much to look forward to this coming year.
Which begs the question – do you read the book first and then watch the movie? Or watch the movie and then read the book? Personally, I prefer to read the book. I like reading first, because I like to go into the movie with some idea of the plot. Although, I confess that I’ve done it the other way round.
If you want to get a jump on films due to be released this year, here is a list of books you’ll want to read: Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver, a high-school-set thriller, The Zookeeper’s Wife, by Diane Ackerman, a true story of the Warsaw Zoo in World War II, Wonder by R. J. Palacio, the story of a disfigured boy’s struggle to fit in at a new school, The Lost City of Z by David Grann, the true story of the search for an ancient civilization in the Amazon in 1925, The Circle by Dave Eggers, the story of a young woman as she climbs the corporate ladder, My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier, a classic novel of suspense and intrigue, and two books by Stephen King, The Dark Tower, and It.
All books are available for you at the Raynham Public Library.