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Monday, September 26, 2016

Books to Film

The current period has been called the pinnacle of television. So many amazing shows have been created in the past few years, while it seems like it has been harder and harder to find a decent movie in the theaters to watch. I am guessing that the screenplay writers are flocking to television, leaving very few good or original stories for the movies.

Since the recent rise of stellar television writing, there has been an explosion of novels being made into movies. Making novels into movies isn’t new, of course, but it certainly wasn’t as popular as it is now. Before, if the library did a current “Book to Movie” display, we’d have a handful of books to put out. Now, I just finished an article that listed almost 100 books currently being adapted to film! Many of those books are older book club classics. No, the movie is NOT going to be as good as the movie, but we love it because it brings readers back to read the original book. Here are some of upcoming films:

·        The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers - Two soldiers are taken under the wing of an experienced sergeant in Iraq. Stars Benedict Cumberbatch.

·        The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski – A mute young man runs off with his dog to try to cope with his father’s death. Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks are producing this classic “Oprah Book Club” pick.

·        The Devil in the White City by Eric Larson – The true story of the 1893 World’s Fair, its architect and the serial killer who used the fair to kill. Leonardo DiCaprio stars and Scorsese directs.

·        The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls – The memoir of Wall’s life and her strange upbringing and family. Brie Larson from “The Room,” stars.

·        Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter – Follows a 1960s Hollywood love affair.

·        The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman (partial book club kit) – The true story of the keepers at a Polish zoo who used the zoo to help save people from the Nazis. Jessica Chastain stars.

·        The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – An English writer is drawn to small island and the islanders life under Nazi occupation. Kate Winslet likely stars.

·        The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – Two magicians compete against each other in a mysterious circus while also falling in love.

·        The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud (partial book club kit) – Follows three college friends after 9/11.

Be ready to see what will likely be “okay” movies, but then hurry into the library so you can read the amazing books or book club kits.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Looking for a few good reads

Just a week until the booksale! Once again, the Friends of the Library will have THOUSANDS of books to purchase for just .25 to $1!  And it’s all sales tax free!

The sale begins with the "Members Only Preview" on Thursday, Sept. 22, from 5 to 8 p.m. The sale continues Friday, noon-8 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. We end on Sunday with the $1 per bag sale. You don’t want to miss it!

And speaking of really good books (which I was, because the book sale has tons of really awesome books), I have encountered several recently that I thought I’d share.

·         “Behind Closed Doors” by B.A. Paris. Jack and Grace seem like the perfect couple. He is rich and successful and she is the perfect housekeeper and entertainer. Very quickly the reader sees that something is very wrong. Jack is an absolute monster, and a few other characters start to see red flags as well.  Does Grace stay with him and will she ever get away? The first third of this book is really very average. It sort of drags and sets up a bunch of impossible scenarios. However, if you will just let yourself go along with the story, then your patience pays off. The last half of the book zooms and is filled with heart pounding tension.

If you’ve read this book and are shopping the book sale for similar stories, choose books like any early titles from Mary Higgins Clark, “Good Girl” by Mary Kubica or “Before I go to Sleep” by S.J. Watson.

·         “Be Frank with Me” by Julia Johnson. Alice is called from New York to California to be the personal assist to Mimi, a middle aged writer who wrote one hit classic and hasn’t been able to produce anything since. Alice is put in charge of Mimi’s adolescent son Frank, who is exceptionally precocious and odd. The story is fine, but the reason to read this book is Frank. He is one of the most interesting and endearing characters to come along in a very long time.

If you’ve read this book and are shopping the book sale for similar stories, choose books like “A Man Called Ove” and “Britt Marie was Here” by Fredrik Backman, The Mitford series by Jan Karon or “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon

·         “Watching Edie” by Camilla Way. Single and lonely Edie has just had a baby that she can’t care for. Heather is a best friend from Edie’s past who comes along just at the right time to help her. You’ll think this is just another rehashing of “Single White Female,” but you’d be wrong. Like “Behind Closed Doors,” this story of psychological suspense has rewards its readers with a great ending.

For a similar book, look for “In the Blood” by Lisa Unger or “Jack of Spades” by Joyce Carol Oates.