Monday, February 27, 2012

The Oscars: Book Edition Part I

Did you know that many of the films that received Oscar nods were based on books? Yes, it's true: when Hollywood wants the very best writing, they turn to a book. Check out these titles:

The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors who came to the islands were financially and culturally progressive--one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state's largest landowners. But now his luck has changed. His two daughters are out of control--10-year-old Scottie has a smart-ass attitude and a desperate need for attention and 17-year-old Alex, a former model, is a recovering drug addict. His thrill-seeking and high-maintenance wife, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat racing accident, and will soon be taken off life support. The King family can hardly picture life without their charismatic mother, but as they come to terms with this tragedy, their sadness is mixed with a sense of freedom that shames them--and spurs them into surprising actions.

Moneyball by Michael Lewis

Moneyball is a roller coaster ride: before the 2002 season opens, Oakland must relinquish its three most prominent (and expensive) players, is written off by just about everyone, and then comes roaring back to challenge the American League record for consecutive wins. Following the low-budget Oakland Athletics, their larger-than-life general manger, Billy Beane, and the strange brotherhood of amateur baseball enthusiasts, creating the most funny, smart, and most contrary of books. In a narrative full of fabulous characters and brilliant excursions into the unexpected, Michael Lewis shows us how and why the new baseball knowledge works. He also sets up a sly and hilarious morality tale.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Be prepared to meet three unforgettable women: Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken. Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

1 comment:

Italia said...

I loved "The Descendants" . It looks at loss, forgiveness, and family in a way that was very real to me. I liked that it was set in Hawaii; I got a perspective of the islands that I didn't get as a tourist. The story really drew me in. Once I started reading, I didn't want to put this down. I was shocked at two things: this author is a woman (and I thought she really captured the perspective of a man so well) and, this is one of her first books. I'm looking forward to her next book!