On the 8th day of reading…

On the 8th day of reading my library gave to me:
eight films for reading.

Film adaptations of books are always a great source of debate for avid readers, so let’s take a look at some of the books that were winners with our library staff this year, either because of, or despite, their film adaptations.

That’s another eight books to add to your summer reading, and then, because you can’t have too many books, we’ll list eight more to get you read for next year’s films.

Sam, at Helensvale Branch Library, recommends The Martian by Andy Weir. It’s the story of a man “left behind on Mars which follows his triumphs, failures and personal struggles as he fights to survive and make contact with his team and with people on earth. The heart of the story is the human aspect, the astronaut’s emotional journey and also his mental intelligence. The real entertainment factor for me comes from his irreverent sense of humour. The Martian is a great book that has been successful adapted into an equally great movie. The movie was directed by Ridley Scott and stars Matt Damon. It comes across as quite compelling, with an up-lifting message and the perfect level of drama and action. The movie helped me visualise what I had read in the book. I totally recommend reading Andy Weir’s book and then watching the movie to get the full impact of the story.”

Our online branch librarian, Karen, said “the movie Everest is primarily based on Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, amongst other accounts. It tells the story of the 1996 Everest disaster in which eight people died after being caught in a storm on Everest. It’s a very well-written and controversial book that explores the dangers of commercialisation in mountain climbing. (And, if you’re interested in Everest, don’t miss Karen’s Armchair Travel session on Thursday 17 March, at Elanora Branch Library, where she will talk about climbing to Base Camp.)

Ronnie at Upper Coomera Branch Library beat me to the punch with her recommendation of The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham. She said, “the movie keeps the witty social commentary from the book and takes the audience on a rollercoaster of emotions that go from angry and vengeful to compassionate, loving and laugh out loud hilarity. I found the film a surprise with a mixture of home-grown talent and Hollywood stars keeping the essence of Australia. No topic is off limits and the characters are as strong on screen as they are on the page. Read the book or go see the movie. You will not be disappointed.”

Lisa, at Elanora Branch Library,  hated the film Serena, but “could not stop reading the book (by Ron Rash) once I started.”

Janine at Upper Coomera Branch Library recommended Far From the Madding Crowd. While Thomas Hardy’s dense, dated prose is not to everyone’s taste, the latest  film adaptation of this dramatic, Victorian era, love quadrangle is a visual feast starring Carey Mulligan as the headstrong Bathsheba Everdene.

Timothy, at Nerang Branch Library, had recommended Paper Towns by John Green before the release of the film adaptation this year. Read it now and then watch the  movie and make up your own mind as to whether the film understands that Green has stated that his intention was to subvert the trope of the manic pixie dream girl – “I do not know how I could have been less ambiguous about this without calling the novel The Patriarchal Lie of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl Must Be Stabbed in the Heart and Killed.” Catchy title.

Kerry-Lee, at Burleigh Waters Branch Library,  reviewed Still Alice by Lisa Genova back in 2011, and wrote our book discussion questions for it.  Julianne Moore won an Oscar, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and many more awards for her portrayal of Alice Howland.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson has scenes that are guaranteed to make me laugh when I re-read them. I haven’t yet seen the Robert Redford film adaptation, partly because I just can’t imagine how you would translate Bryson’s hilarious inner voice onto the screen. It’s on my to be watched list, though, and meanwhile, I really recommend the book.

 

What can we look forward to in 2016? Here are eight books for which the film adaptation will be released next year – you know you want to read them before you see the movies:

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes

Inferno by Dan Brown

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

The BFG by Roald Dahl

 

If you love old sentimental Christmas movies, don’t miss the Nerang Branch Library Film Club this week – on Thursday 10 December, they’ll be discussing Christmas favourites, Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life.

What were your favourite book to film adaptations for 2015?

And what are you looking forward to in 2016? Tell us in the comments.