2018 Golden Globes Nominees Are Chock-Full of Literary Adaptations

From left to right: Elisabeth Moss in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ © 2016 Hulu; Claire Foy in ‘The Crown’ © 2016 Netflix; Judi Dench in ‘Victoria & Abdul’ © Focus Features; Timothée Chalamet in ‘Call Me by Your Name’ © 2017 Sony Pictures Classics; Reese Witherspoon in ‘Big Little Lies’/Hilary Bronwyn Gayle © 2017 HBO

It is officially that time of the year – awards season is upon us.  As usual, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has kicked things off with the announcement of the 2018 Golden Globe Awards nominees. The literary world is represented in this year’s lineup with a smattering of great adaptations leading the charge in both film and TV. While the slate of nominees is populated with a few of the marquee titles you’d expect – “Game of Thrones” got it’s annual nod, for instance – a few surprises cracked the surface as well. It looks to be another interesting year at the Golden Globes. Let’s have a look.

Starting with the Best Motion Picture Categories – “Drama” and “Musical or Comedy” – “Call Me By Your Name,” based on the 2007 novel by Andre Aciman, joins a field arguably led by Christopher Nolan’s historical epic “Dunkirk,” although “The Post” feels purely calibrated to make some awards season noise. On the “Musical or Comedy” side of the aisle, “The Disaster Artist,” based on the memoir by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell, will be contending with likely favorite “Ladybird” for the top spot. In perhaps the oddest bit of news to come out of the nominations, “Get Out” did indeed garner a Best Motion Picture nomination…as a “Musical or Comedy”. While the film did sport a handful of excellent jokes, we find it a bit hard to categorize its depiction of racism – no matter how Jordan Peele presented it – as “Comedy.” Here’s what Peele himself had to say.

The acting categories for a motion picture were anchored by a number of strong performances from adaptations. On the women’s side of the aisle, Michelle Williams picked up her fifth Golden Globe nomination for her performance in “All the Money in the World,” based on the book Painfully Rich by John Pearson. She’s joined by fellow five-timer Jessica Chastain for “Molly’s Game” which is based on the memoir of the same name by Molly Bloom. Dames Helen Mirren and Judi Dench each picked up nominations for their respective performances in “Leisure Seeker” and “Victoria and Abdul” – each film was based on a novel of the same name. Mary J. Blige also snagged a nomination for her supporting performance in “Mudbound,” an adaptation of the novel by Hillary Jordan.

The gentlemen had an equally strong showing on the literary front with Timothee Chalamet snagging a nomination for his role in “Call me By Your Name.” Chalamet, however, will be up against a host of awards season heavyweights with Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, and Daniel Day-Lewis rounding out the best actor in a drama category. Day-Lewis is an obvious favorite for the acting categories anytime he deigns to grace us mere mortals with a performance, and Gary Oldman is said to have turned in a career best performance in “Darkest Hour,” so it will likely be tough going for Chalamet in a particularly crowded slate.

In the “Musical or Comedy” category, James Franco’s performance as Tommy Wiseau in the “Disaster Artist” has finally – if a bit circuitously – given the the bizarre Wiseau the recognition he craves. The Supporting Actor category featured one of the biggest surprises of the morning as Christopher Plummer picked up a nomination for his role in “All the Money in the World.” The role had originally been filmed by Kevin Spacey. Following the myriad allegations of sexual misconduct against Spacey, he was dropped from the role and Plummer stepped in at the literal last minute. All of Spacey’s scenes were refilmed with Plummer. This nomination situates Plummer as perhaps a pinch hitter in film history. Plummer will be up against Armie Hammer’s performance in “Call me by Your Name.”

Now for the Television categories. HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” already a big winner at the Emmy’s, also dominated the Golden Globes nods. The adaptation of the novel by Liane Moriarty picked up nominations for Best Limited Series, Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series (Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon), Best Performance by a Supporting Actress (Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley), and Best Performance by a Supporting Actor (Alexander Skaarsgard). “Big Little Lies” will duke it out with “The Sinner,” based on the novel by Petra Hammesfahr, in the Limited Series category. “The Sinner” star Jessica Biel also picked up a nomination in the best actress category.

In the Best Television series – Drama category, perennial nominee “Game of Thrones” will be up against likely favorite “The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on the novel by Margaret Atwood. However, “The Crown” and “This is Us” are each poised for an upset here. Interestingly, “Game of Thrones” was shut out of each of the possible acting categories despite a couple of strong performances from Lena Headey and Kit Harrington.

To round out the acting nominations for adaptations not called “Big Little Lies,” Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer each pulled nominations in their respective categories for their roles in “The Wizard of Lies” based on the book by Diana B. Henriques. De Niro will vie for best actor against Geoffrey Rush for his performance in “Genius,” an adaptation of Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson. Ann Dowd picked up a nod for her supporting role in “The Handmaid’s Tale.” In the best actress category, Elisabeth Moss is the odds-on favorite for her brilliant turn in “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Caitriona Balfe picked up a best actress nod for “Outlander” – based on the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon – and Katherine Langford rounds out the nominations with her performance in “13 Reasons Why,” an adaptation of the novel of the same name.

As is becoming the norm, streaming services and premium networks once again dominated the Television categories. HBO made its usual big showing and Netflix’s latest critical darlings – “Stranger Things” and “The Crown” – appear to have replaced former awards favorites “Orange is the New Black” and “House of Cards.” The question is whether Hulu will beat its streaming service brethren to the punch and pick up that coveted Best Drama statue as it did at the Emmy’s this year? We’ll have to wait for the January 7th broadcast to find out. Will you be tuning in?

Advertisements

‘Ferdinand’ The Peaceful Bull Gets His First Full-Length Film

In the late 1930s, The Story of Ferdinand briefly out sold Gone With the Wind. Penguin Young Readers

Millions of people have read Munro Leaf’s The Story of Ferdinand since it was first published in 1936. Two years later, Disney turned it into it an Oscar-winning short film. Now, the peaceful bull who prefers sniffing flowers to bullfighting is getting an update from 20th Century Fox. And that bull has been on quite a journey to get here.

John Cena, the actor who voices Ferdinand in the new movie, recently read the original story to hundreds of DC public school kids at the Library of Congress. On a table next to him were two early editions of the book from the library’s collection. One was from 1938, the other from 1936.

“We’re going to look at the 1936 edition but not touch it,” Cena told the students. “It’s very delicate and very important, and the people from the Library of Congress were very thorough in saying like, ‘Hey, don’t touch the first book.'”

Precious Ferdinand, even when he grows to be bigger than all the other bulls, still doesn’t want to fight. He just wants to sit under the cork tree and smell flowers. But when he sits on a bumblebee, he goes berserk, puffing and kicking. The matadors watching are ecstatic.

The Story of Ferdinand is one of Time magazine’s “100 Best Children’s Books of All Time.” At one point in the late 1930s, it was outselling Gone With The Wind, which is pretty astonishing for something that was written in less than an hour.

NPR interviewed Munro Leaf’s widow, Margaret, in 1986, ten years after her husband’s death. “The depression was nearly over,” she recalled. “We were very poor.” One Sunday afternoon, she was reading a manuscript for a publisher to make some extra money.

“I was going to get $25 for reading it, so it was very important, and he kept bothering me, trying to interrupt me. So I finally said to him, ‘Get lost, go and amuse yourself. Do something.’ About 35 to 40 minutes later, he said ‘Listen to this,’ and he read me Ferdinand. And there it was in pencil on six sheets of yellow legal pad.”

Leaf gave the story to his friend, illustrator Robert Lawson, who brought it to life with detailed, whimsical, pen and ink drawings. The book took off.

There was the Disney short, Ferdinand merchandise, a balloon at the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, songs and author interviews.

In 1948, Leaf talked to the Chicago radio show, The Hobby Horse Presents. Children on the show asked him what books he read when he was ten and a half.

“Oh gee, I read everything I could get my hands on really,” he said. “Couple of them I know that I read about that time that stand out as vividly today, and that’s Treasure Island was one, and The Wizard Of Oz to me was one of the nicest books I ever found.”

In the late 1930s, The Story of Ferdinand briefly outsoldGone With The Wind.
Penguin Young Readers

The book’s popularity coincided with the Spanish Civil War. In 1937, Leaf told an audience he received letters complaining that “Ferdinand was red propaganda,” others that “it was fascist propaganda.” A woman’s club said it was “unworthy satire of the peace movement.” It was banned in Spain; Hitler burned it.

But Margaret Leaf told NPR that Munro wasn’t trying to be political. “He wasn’t a pacifist, but he was a peaceful man,” she said.

Director Carlos Saldanha is the latest to interpret Ferdinand, in the new feature film adaptation. “I think Ferdinand is this misinterpreted, misjudged character,” he says.

Munro Leaf’s story is only about 800 words, so with the Leaf family’s permission, Saldanha did some fleshing out. The director created new characters, like a goat who lives in Ferdinand’s stall, and he gave voices to the other bulls in Munro Leaf’s story. When they’re young, they make fun of Ferdinand’s refusal to butt heads. And then Ferdinand outgrows them.

“He is trying to show them a different side of life, a different understanding of life,” Saldanha says. “And for him, you don’t really need to fight to be a fighter.”

For the voice of Ferdinand, Saldanha picked someone who fights for a living, a 6’1, 251 pound wrestler with the WWE — John Cena.

“He almost represents, visually, Ferdinand,” Saldanha tells NPR. “Like he’s so big and massive and people interpret him as this massive guy that picks fights and all this stuff but actually he’s not at all. And he’s super gentle.”

Cena confirmed that he’s misjudged for his size. He says it’s a universal feeling. “There isn’t a human walking the earth that [can] say ‘Everybody gets me all the time.’ That’s why I think, another reason the book is timeless. We’re all misunderstood.”

Munro Leaf died in 1976. He wrote other books, but none that had the global success of Ferdinand. His son, Andy Leaf, says his father was amused by all of the different interpretations. “He was very smart that way. He just let people interpret it as they wished.”

In the end, Ferdinand stays true to himself, sitting under his favorite cork tree, smelling the flowers quietly. Ferdinand, the movie version, comes out later this week, but the book will likely be around forever.

Books to Film: January Releases

The Hostage (Book #1 of the Stratton series) by Duncan Falconer

Image result144738Movie: Stratton
When it comes out: January 5
What the book is about: When an undercover operation monitoring the Real IRA goes horrifically wrong, British Intelligence turns to the one man who can get their agent out: Stratton, an SBS operative with a lethal reputation. It’s a dangerous race against time: if the Real IRA get to the Republic before Stratton gets to the Real IRA, his colleague is as good as dead.

Freak Show by James St. James

Image result434631Movie: Freak Show
When it comes out: January 12
What the book is about: Billy Bloom is gay, but it’s mostly theoretical, as he hasn’t had much experience. When he has to move to Florida, he can’t believe his bad luck. His new school is a mix of bible belles, amberzombies, and football heroes — none of which are exactly his type.

Rehepapp ehk november by Andrus Kivirähk

Image result6347735Movie: November
When it comes out: January 12
What the book is about: The story is set in a pagan Estonian village where werewolves, the plague, and spirits roam, but the villagers’ main problem is how to survive the cold, dark winter. And, to that aim, nothing is taboo. People steal from each other, from their German manor lords, and from spirits, the devil, and Christ. They steal even if their barns are already overflowing. To guard their souls, they’ll give them away to thieving creatures made of wood and metal called kratts but their greed makes the villagers more and more like the soulless creatures they command.

Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton

Image result4645750Movie: 12 Strong
When it comes out: January 19
What the book is about: Horse Soldiers is the dramatic account of a small band of Special Forces soldiers who secretly entered Afghanistan following 9/11 and rode to war on horses against the Taliban. Outnumbered forty to one, they pursued the enemy army across the mountainous Afghanistan terrain and, after a series of intense battles, captured the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, which was strategically essential to defeat their opponent throughout the country.

The Liesure Seeker by Micahel Zadoorian

Image result3431124Movie: The Liesure Seeker
When it comes out: January 19
What the book is about: The Robinas have shared a wonderful life for more than sixty years. Now in their eighties, Ella suffers from cancer and John has Alzheimer’s. Yearning for one last adventure, the self-proclaimed “down-on-their-luck geezers” kidnap themselves from the adult children and doctors who seem to run their lives and steal away from their home in suburban Detroit on a forbidden vacation of rediscovery.

Eddie Krumble Is the Clapper by Dito Montiel

The Clapper Poster852316Movie: The Clapper
When it comes out: January 26
What the book is about: Meet Eddie Krumble. He’s a relatively happy guy. Content-ish. Fresh to Los Angeles, Eddie and his friend Chris Plork land their first gig: clapping as paid audience members for infomercials and sitcoms so heinous that tourists won’t even attend. Eddie spends long days clapping, laughing, and hissing — on cue, of course — and his life slowly begins to take shape as a relationship with Judy, a gas station attendant, begins to brew. Suddenly his life is turned on its head. In one of his nightly rants, Jay Leno scrutinizes the state of late night TV and ends up unveiling two stills of Eddie as audience members for two different infomercials. Eddie is singled out as clapper-for-hire, Eddie’s career comes to a halt, and Leno turns his discovery into a segment on his show: “Who is THE CLAPPER?”

Speaking of books that were made into movies…

The 12 Best Stephen King Adaptations, Ranked

King Films

Movie posters from Stephen King adaptations

Stephen King might likely be our most adapted living American author. His “writer” credit at IMDB is sitting at a staggering 242 credits. Given the renewed interest in all things Stephen King of late, driven in part by the runaway box office success of “It,” it’s a safe bet that more King-inspired projects are on the not-too-distant horizon. The bounty and overall quality of Stephen King adaptations that have made their way to screens large and small lately make now the perfect time to count down our picks for the twelve best. Though the reputation of King adaptations overall can be a bit lacking, there were quite a few gems – “Christine” (1983), “Salem’s Lot” (1979), “11.22.63” (2016) – that had to be cut. When the figurative dust settled, here are the twelve we’re committing to. Have at it.

12. “Creepshow” (1982)
This 1982 collaboration between Stephen King and legendary director George Romero is a love letter to the classic EC-style horror anthology comics (titles like House of Secrets, Haunt of Fear, and Tales from the Crypt), from the framing narrative right down to the camera angles. It’s over the top and plays like a B-movie – and that’s the point. “Creepshow” was King’s first and arguably his best foray into screenwriting and featured largely original material. However, two of the vignettes (“Weeds” and “The Crate”) were based on short stories by King.

The cover of the book The Green Mile

11. “The Green Mile” (1999)
Based on the 1996 serial novel of the same name, “The Green Mile” was written and directed by Frank Darabont, a director who seems to have a particularly steady hand with Stephen King adaptations. The film, which received an Academy Award nomination for best picture, featured the talents of Tom Hanks and the late Michael Clarke Duncan, who earned an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of John Coffey, a man with supernatural gifts wrongfully convicted of murder.

 

The cover of the book Dolores Claiborne

10. “Dolores Claiborne” (1995)
Featuring a predictably brilliant performance from Kathy Bates in the title role, “Dolores Claiborne,” based on the novel of the same name, is an example of the breadth of Stephen King’s talent. This Taylor Hackford-directed adaptation eschews King’s normal horror trappings for a patient, affecting thriller that takes its times as it moves toward its shattering climax.

 

The cover of the book Mr. Mercedes

9. “Mr. Mercedes” (2017)
“Mr. Mercedes” got off to a great start over its first four episodes. I had the opportunity to screen the remaining six episodes and can thankfully say it proved a worthy adaptation of Stephen King’s Edgar Award-winning 2014 mystery novel. Anchored by a talented cast – particularly series leads Brendan Gleeson and Harry Treadaway – “Mr. Mercedes” is nearly as quick-witted and engrossing as its source material.

 

The cover of the book The Dead Zone

8. “The Dead Zone” (1983)
“The Dead Zone” is one of the most underrated of Stephen King’s adaptations and Christopher Walken’s performance as Johnny Smith, a teacher who gains the ability to glimpse the future after awaking from a coma, is one of the actor’s best. Thanks in large part to David Cronenberg’s masterful direction, “The Dead Zone” is a taut and powerful thriller that holds up remarkably well.

 

The cover of the book Gerald's Game

7. “Gerald’s Game” (2017)
Gerald’s Game has long been thought of as one of the more difficult Stephen King tales to bring to the screen. Its premise – a woman is handcuffed to a bed and stranded alone in a cabin after a bit of bondage gone bad – doesn’t necessarily lend itself to cinematic treatment. Fortunately, the talented direction and writing of Mike Flanagan and what may be a career best performance from the underrated Carla Gugino make this one of the finest Stephen King adaptations in recent memory.

The cover of the book It

6. “It” (2017)
The most recent adaptation of Stephen King’s sprawling novel is shattering box office records and with good reason. It is one of Stephen King’s most iconic novels and the culmination of much of his early writing. While this adaptation, which will unfold in two parts, takes more than a few liberties with the underlying narrative including updating the time period, director Andy Muschietti manages to faithfully capture the spirit and tone of the book. To quote myself: “The result is a film that couches its scares in a sepia-toned haze of summer breaks, adolescent friendships, and the secret places of childhood. This more than anything else is the key to why ‘It’ largely works.”

The cover of the book Different Seasons

5. “Stand By Me” (1986)
There’s often a hint of autobiography in Stephen King’s work; it’s clear he draws heavily on his own experiences, whether working in a textile mill or being a writer or just plain, old childhood. It is that autobiographical note that lends “Stand By Me” its potent authenticity and magic. Based on a King novella called The Body and directed by Rob Reiner, “Stand by Me” is ostensibly a coming-of-age tale; it is also a poignant examination of friendship and the bittersweet loss that often accompanies growing up. The Body was featured in King’s 1982 collection Different Seasons.

The cover of the book Misery

4. “Misery” (1990)
Kathy Bates took home an Oscar for her iconic turn as Annie Wilkes. Bates proved absolutely captivating in her ability to switch from adulation to savagery to overwhelming depression in the space of a moment. Thanks to her performance, her chemistry with James Caan, and the steady direction of Rob Reiner – who clearly knows a thing or two about adapting Stephen King – “Misery” is a taut, economical thriller that more than does justice to the source material.

 

The cover of the book The Shining

3. “The Shining” (1980)
Stanley Kubrick’s take on Stephen King’s novel – the author’s first hardback bestseller – is a masterful descent into pure madness anchored by an unforgettable performance from Jack Nicholson. The film hums with tension and unease. While it may be a stark departure from Stephen King’s novel, everything from Nicholson’s performance to the hotel’s bizarre geography and the unrelenting sense of dread that settles over the entire proceeding simply works.

The cover of the book Carrie

2. “Carrie” (1976)
With superb and Oscar nominated performances from Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie as Carrie and Margaret White, as well as the skillful direction of Brian De Palma, “Carrie” remains one of the best adaptations of a Stephen King novel. De Palma wisely stripped King’s novel, already one of his leaner works, to its essence and this tale of a bullied and ostracized teenage girl builds with remarkable tension toward its shocking conclusion.

1. “Shawshank Redemption” (1994)
Choosing the top spot here was no easy task; indeed, I could quite possibly make a solid argument for any of the top five to claim this spot. However, at the end of the day Frank Darabont – I told you that name would come up again – captured lightning in a bottle with this adaptation of the novella Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. From the director’s near-flawless direction to the performances of Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman (not to mention Freeman’s iconic narration) and Thomas Newman’s rarely mentioned pitch-perfect score, everything comes together for a deeply satisfying and moving cinematic experience. The short story is featured alongside The Body in the collection Different Seasons.

Books to Film: December Releases

The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero & Tom Bissell

The Disaster ArtistThe Disaster Artist_filmMovie: The Disaster Artist
When it comes out: December 1 (Limited); December 8 (Expanded)
What the book is about: In 2003, an independent film called The Room—written, produced, directed, and starring a very rich social misfit of indeterminate age and origin named Tommy Wiseau—made its disastrous debut in Los Angeles. Described by one reviewer as “like getting stabbed in the head,” the $6 million film earned a grand total of $1,800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. Now in its tenth anniversary year, The Room is an international phenomenon to rival The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Thousands of fans wait in line for hours to attend screenings complete with costumes, audience rituals, merchandising, and thousands of plastic spoons, but readers need not have seen The Room to appreciate its costar Greg Sestero’s account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and interpersonal relationships to achieve the dream only he could love.

The Tribes of Palos Verdes by Joy Nicholson

Tribes of Palos VerdesTribes of Palos Verdes_filmMovie: The Tribes of Palos Verdes
When it comes out: December 1
What the book is about: Medina Mason is a defiant, awkward newcomer to the affluent beach community of Palos Verdes, California. As her parents’ marriage disintegrates and her beloved brother falls prey to the temptations of drugs and the lunacy of their mother, Medina surfs to survive, finding a bitter solace in the rough comfort of the waves. This is the moving story of growing up “different,” of the love between siblings, and of one girl’s power to save herself.

The November Criminals by Sam Munson

November CriminalsNovember Criminals_filmMovie: The November Criminals
When it comes out: December 8
What the book is about: For a high school senior, Addison Schacht has a lot of preoccupations. Like getting into college. Selling drugs to his classmates. His complicated relationship with his best friend (NOT his girlfriend) Digger. And he’s just added another to the list: the murder of his classmate Kevin Broadus, and his own absurd, obsessive plan to investigate the death. When presented with an essay question on his application to the University of Chicago—What are your best and worst qualities?—Addison finds himself provoked into giving his final, unapologetic say about all of the above and more.

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf & Robert Lawson

FerdinandFerdinand_film.jpgMovie: Ferdinand
When it comes out: December 15
What the book is about: All the other bulls would run and jump and butt their heads together. But Ferdinand would rather sit and smell the flowers. And he does just that, until the day a bumblebee and some men from the Madrid bullfights give gentle Ferdinand a chance to be the most ferocious star of the corrida—and the most unexpected comic hero.

Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom

Mollys GameMollys Game_filmMovie: Molly’s Game
When it comes out: December 25
What the book is about: In Molly’s Game, Molly Bloom takes the reader through her adventures running an exclusive high-stakes private poker game. Her clients ranged from iconic stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck to politicians and financial titans so powerful they moved markets and changed the course of history. With rich detail, Molly describes a world that until now has been shrouded in glamour, privilege, and secrecy, one where she fearlessly took on the Russian and Italian mobs—until she met the one adversary she could not outsmart, even though she had justice on her side: the United States government.

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool by Peter Turner

Films Stars Don'tFilms Stars Don't_filmMovie: Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool 
When it comes out: December 29
What the book is about: On 29 September 1981, Peter Turner received a phone call that would change his life. His former lover, Hollywood actress Gloria Grahame, had collapsed in a Lancaster hotel and was refusing medical attention. He had no choice but to take her into his chaotic and often eccentric family’s home in Liverpool. Turner had first set eyes on Grahame when he was a young actor, living in London. Best known for her portrayal of irresistible femme fatales in films such as The Big HeatOklahoma and The Bad and the Beautiful, for which she won an Oscar, Grahame electrified audiences with her steely expressions and heavy lidded eyes and the heroines she bought to life were often dark and dangerous. Turner and Grahame became firm friends and remained so ever after their love affair had ended. And it was to him she turned in her final hour of need.

 

Books to Film: November Releases

Blade of the Immortal by Hiroaki Samura

Blade of the ImmortalBlade of the Immortal_filmMovie: Blade of the Immortal
When it comes out: November 3
What the book is about: Set in feudal Japan, this is the story of Manji, a wandering samurai cursed with immortality. Manji must travel the land until he kills 1,000 evil men in battle, only then may he be allowed to die with honor and rest. On his travels he meets Rin, a girl who is looking to avenge the murder of her family, and the two decided that they might be able to help one another achieve their goals.

Last Flag Flying by Darryl Ponicsan

Last Flag FlyingLast Flag Flying_filmMovie: Last Flag Flying
When it comes out: November 3
What the book is about: Two Navy lifers and the hapless sailor they escorted to prison reunite nearly 35 years later in this sequel to the underground classic The Last Detail. The last time Billy “Bad-Ass” Buddusky saw his old mate Mule Mulhall, they were showing their young charge, Larry Meadows, an unforgettable time on the government’s dime in protest of his unfairly long sentence. Now, three decades later, they embark on a road trip of a different kind. Larry has come to Billy’s bar in Norfolk, VA, to round up him and Mule so they can complete one final mission; to help Larry bury his son, a marine killed in Iraq under dubious circumstances.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient ExpressMurder on the Orient Express-filmMovie: Murder on the Orient Express
When it comes out: November 10
What the book is about: Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer. Isolated by the storm and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer amongst a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

WonderWonder_filmMovie: Wonder
When it comes out: November 17
What the book is about: Auggie Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis

The BreadwinnerThe Breadwinner_filmMovie: The Breadwinner
When it comes out: November 17
What the book is about: Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, 11-year-old Parvana has rarely been outdoors. Barred from attending school, shopping at the market, or even playing in the streets of Kabul, she is trapped inside her family’s one-room home. That is, until the Taliban hauls away her father and Parvana realizes that it’s up to her to become the “breadwinner” and disguise herself as a boy to support her mother, two sisters, and baby brother. Set in the early years of the Taliban regime, this topical novel for middle readers explores the harsh realities of life for girls and women in modern-day Afghanistan.

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

MudboundMudbound_filmMovie: Mudbound
When it comes out: November 17
What the book is about: It is 1946, and city-bred Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband’s Mississippi Delta farm – a place she finds foreign and frightening. In the midst of the family’s struggles, two young men return from the war to work the land. Jamie McAllan, Laura’s brother-in-law, is everything her husband is not – charming, handsome, and haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, has come home with the shine of a war hero. But no matter his bravery in defense of his country, he is still considered less than a man in the Jim Crow South. It is the unlikely friendship of these brothers-in-arms that drives this powerful novel to its inexorable conclusion.

Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman

Call Me by Your NameCall Me by Your Name_filmMovie: Call Me by Your Name
When it comes out: November 24
What the book is about: This story is about the sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliff-side mansion on the Italian Riviera. Unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, at first each feigns indifference. But during the restless summer weeks that follow, unrelenting buried currents of obsession and fear, fascination and desire, intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them. What grows from the depths of their spirits is a romance that marks them for a lifetime.

Books to Film – October Releases

The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin

The Mountain Between Us

The Mountain Between Us filmMovie: The Mountain Between Us
When it comes out: October 6
What the book is about: On a stormy winter night, two strangers wait for a flight at the Salt Lake City airport. Ashley Knox is an attractive, successful writer, who is flying East for her much anticipated wedding. Dr. Ben Payne has just wrapped up a medical conference and is also eager to get back East for a slate of surgeries he has scheduled for the following day. When the last outgoing flight is cancelled due to a broken de-icer and a forthcoming storm, Ben finds a charter plane that can take him around the storm and drop him in Denver to catch a connection. And when the pilot says the single engine prop plane can fit one more, if barely, Ben offers the seat to Ashley knowing that she needs to get back just as urgently. And then the unthinkable happens. The pilot has a heart attack mid-flight and the plane crashes into the High Uintas Wilderness– one of the largest stretches of harsh and remote land in the United States.

So B. It by Sarah Weeks

So b itSo B It filmMovie: So B. It
When it comes out: October 6
What the book is about: She doesn’t know when her birthday is or who her father is. In fact, everything about Heidi and her mentally disabled mother’s past is a mystery. When a strange word in her mother’s vocabulary begins to haunt her, Heidi sets out on a cross-country journey in search of the secrets of her past. Far away from home, pieces of her puzzling history come together. But it isn’t until she learns to accept not knowing that Heidi truly arrives.

The Chinaman by Stephen Leather

The ChinamanThe Foreigner filmMovie: The Foreigner
When it comes out: October 13
What the book is about: Jungle-skilled, silent and lethal, he had killed for the Viet Cong and then for the Americans. Now all that was behind him. Quiet, hard-working and unassuming, he was building up his South London take-away business. Until the day his wife and youngest daughter were destroyed by an IRA bomb in a Knightsbridge department store. Then, simply but persistently, he began to ask the authorities who were the men responsible, what was being done. And was turned away, fobbed off, treated as a nuisance. Which was when the Chinaman, denied justice, decided on revenge. And went back to war.

Crystal Clear by Eric Le Marque

Crystal Clear6 Below filmMovie: 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain
When it comes out: October 13
What the book is about: In this gripping first-person account, former Olympian Eric LeMarque recounts a harrowing tale of survival—of eight days in the frozen wilderness, of losing his legs to frostbite, and coming face-to-face with death. But Eric’s ordeal on the mountain was only part of his struggle for survival—as he reveals, with startling candor, an even more harrowing and inspiring tale of fame and addiction, healing and triumph.

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

The SnowmanThe Snowman filmMovie: The Snowman
When it comes out: October 20
What the book is about: Antihero police investigator, Harry Hole, is back: in a bone-chilling thriller that will take Hole to the brink of insanity. Oslo in November. The first snow of the season has fallen. A boy named Jonas wakes in the night to find his mother gone. Out his window, in the cold moonlight, he sees the snowman that inexplicably appeared in the yard earlier in the day. Around its neck is his mother’s pink scarf. Hole suspects a link between a menacing letter he’s received and the disappearance of Jonas’s mother—and of perhaps a dozen other women, all of whom went missing on the day of a first snowfall. As his investigation deepens, something else emerges: he is becoming a pawn in an increasingly terrifying game whose rules are devised—and constantly revised—by the killer.

Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall

Same Kind of Different as MeSame Kind of Different as Me filmMovie: Same Kind of Different as Me
When it comes out: October 20
What the book is about: Meet Denver, a man raised under plantation-style slavery in Louisiana in the 1960s; a man who escaped, hopping a train to wander, homeless, for eighteen years on the streets of Dallas, Texas. No longer a slave, Denver’s life was still hopeless—until God moved. First came a godly woman who prayed, listened, and obeyed. And then came her husband, Ron, an international arts dealer at home in a world of Armani-suited millionaires. And then they all came together. But slavery takes many forms. Deborah discovers that she has cancer. In the face of possible death, she charges her husband to rescue Denver. Who will be saved, and who will be lost? What is the future for these unlikely three? What is God doing? Same Kind of Different As Me is the emotional tale of their story: a telling of pain and laughter, doubt and tears, dug out between the bondages of this earth and the free possibility of heaven. No reader or listener will ever forget it.

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

WonderstruckWonderstruck filmMovie: Wonderstruck
When it comes out: October 20
What the book is about: Ben and Rose secretly wish for better lives. Ben longs for his unknown father. Rose scrapbooks a famous silent actress. When Ben finds clues and Rose reads enticing news, the children independently run to New York for what they are missing. Ben’s story in words, Rose’s in pictures, come together in deafness.

Jungle by Yossi Ghinsberg

JungleJungle filmMovie: Jungle
When it comes out: October 20
What the book is about: What begins as a dream adventure for four amicable, if hastily met, muchileros (backpackers) quickly becomes a struggle for survival as they unravel under the duress of the jungle. They are an odd mix to be sure: Marcus, the Swiss mystic; Karl, the shady Austrian geologist; Kevin, the well-intentioned American photographer; and Yossi, the Israeli adventurer. “Jungle” is the incredible true story of Yossi Ghinsberg’s triumph over the most adverse and frightening of circumstances. It is a tale of survival and human fortitude against the wildest backdrop on the planet.

1922 (Full Dark, No Stars) by Stephen King

19221922 filmMovie: 1922
When it comes out: October 20
What the book is about: 1922 is a novella by Stephen King, published in his collection Full Dark, No Stars. The story opens with the confession of Wilfred James to the murder of his wife, Arlette, following their move to Hemingford, Nebraska onto land willed to Arlette by her father.

Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel

Thank You for Your ServiceThank You for Your Service filmMovie: Thank You for Your Service
When it comes out: October 27
What the book is about:  In the ironically titled Thank You for Your Service, Finkel writes with tremendous compassion not just about the soldiers but about their wives and children. Where do soldiers belong after their homecoming? Is it reasonable, or even possible, to expect them to rejoin their communities as if nothing has happened? And in moments of hardship, who can soldiers turn to if they feel alienated by the world they once lived in? These are the questions Finkel faces as he revisits the brave but shaken men of the US 2-16 Infantry Battalion.