"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

‘Tis the Season: for Oscar Buzz Books

by Christina K Holmes 

In my family Christmas season means Oscar season.  We’re not big on presents. Eggnog, take it or leave it. And being East Coasters, we are over cold weather the minute plows are out hacking through dirt inlaid snow trenches. But on Christmas day point us to the nearest movie theater playing this year’s critically acclaimed drama and we’re like kids in a candy store, or kids in a movie theater with candy more accurately.

Now that I’m in the book business (not to mention out in Los Angeles), I’m more aware of just how many movies are adaptations. Walking through Book Soup the other day, I saw so many covers with the bold print disclaimer “Now a Major Motion Picture”, just in case bibliophiles need that extra push to buy a copy.

Some I admittedly had no idea were penned as books before they were movies, like Silver Linings Playbook. Other stories I was happy to see play out in both mediums like Me and Earl and the Dying GirlAnd some are great works of written word that Hollywood couldn't quite translate for the big screen (see: The Great Gatsby, On The Road, The Age of Innocence and so many others it’s probably worth writing another blog post).

All this inspired me to put together a list of this year’s Oscar season buzz books. I’ll be stacking them up for a compare and contrast on my Holiday break. I’m even thinking of bundling them up with movie tickets as an extra treat for my family this year. Or not - I am in the book business after all. Santas everywhere take note.   

  1. Room A true life story inspires a book inspires a movie. What would Oscar Wilde say today?
  2. Brooklyn  A tale set in not modern day Brooklyn? Yes please.
  3. The Big Short  A very necessary education for the American people, which was turned into an impactful narrative with lots of laughs.
  4. Carol  Originally published as The Price of Salt, Patricia Highsmith assumed a pseudonym to write this novel due to its lesbian love story. Thankfully Cate Blanchett need not hide.
  5. The Martian  From a self-published serial to a Ridley Scott film starring Matt Damon. The dream is real.
  6. Dalton Trumbo  A book about a screenwriter that’s now a movie. Meta.
  7. Steve Jobs  The man, the myth, the legend.
  8. The Revenant  One of our book buyer Sherri’s favorite re-releases of 2015. But does Leo have her Oscar vote? Maybe 2016 is the year.
  9. Beast of No Nation  A debut novel turned Netflix Oscar contender.
  10. Danish Girl  A fictionalized account of one of the first people to undergo sex reassignment surgery. Perfect movie fodder.