Happy New Year! Let's take a look at coming films based on books so we can decide whether or not to read the books first. That way, we can sit smugly in the theater lamenting the ways in which the film has ruined the book. Or, as rarely happens, sit enraptured at the way in which filmmakers have taken a mediocre book and turned into story brilliance!
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Todd Hewitt, a boy who grows up in a town of only men, discovers that despite everyone's shared ability to read minds, his peers keep him from a terrible secret. How are they going to pull that off?
Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
Bernadette Fox, an agoraphobic architect, disappears before a family trip to Antarctica. Her daughter, Bee, compiles email messages, official documents, and secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world. Messages, documents, and correspondence overwhelming a narrative aren't my thing. I'll see the film.
The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook
In this historical thriller set in '40s post-war Germany, a woman reunited with her husband learns she'll have to share a home with a mysterious widower and his troubled daughter. Mystery and trouble. I'll take it.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
"Theo Decker moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love--and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle." The book had mixed reviews. The film should tighten it up a bit.
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
"Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?" This looks like a definite "read before the movie" book.
Get your new-year brain in gear with these titles.
Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America's Heartland by Jonathan M. Metzl
No Visible Bruises: What We Don't Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us by Rachel Louise Snyder
Why Young Men: Rage, Race and the Crisis of Identity by Jamil Jivani
Confirmation Bias: Inside Washington's War Over the Supreme Court by Carl Hulse
The Witches are Coming by Lindy West
This one requires some text: "One of our foremost thinkers on gender unveils her unifying theory of America: that our steady diet of pop culture created by and for embittered, entitled white men has stoked our sociopolitical moment."
Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
Like war itself...longer and more tedious than we expected.
My Goodreads Rating: 3 stars
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
War in fiction done right.
My Goodreads Rating: 4 stars
The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir by Ruth Wariner
My Goodreads Rating: 4 stars
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt
Highly engaging and fascinating. It'll rock your world!
My Goodreads Rating: 5 stars
Okay, time for the shameless plug. Scroll on by for more on words...