So who watched the Academy Awards Sunday night? I watched the red carpet for a little while, then decided to catch up on The Big Bang Theory, Hawaii Five-0, and The Walking Dead. Then I just checked online later to see who won.
Did you know that out of the nine movies nominated for Best Picture, six were based on books? Well now you do. Including all categories, eleven of the films nominated came from books. So let's learn more about them.
The Descendants: A Novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings - This is George Clooney's latest movie. The book is about a father trying his best to take care of his children after his wife ends up in a coma. His two daughters are a mess (even before the wife's accident) and it turns out that his wife was having an affair. The father ends up taking his daughters on a journey to find the man with whom the wife was having the affair. It is set in Hawaii and the main character is a descendant (hence the title) of Hawaiian royalty. I haven't read this one, but it sounds really good. It has almost a 4 star rating on goodreads and the author is a goodreads' author which is pretty cool. I'm also a sucker for a nice cover and this cover is pretty cool looking.
Moneyball : The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis - Not going to lie, this one goes completely over my head. It is about baseball and from what I gather the Oakland A's general manager and his unorthodox hiring practices. Not really my thing, but this might a good book for the sport's lover in your life. The author, Michael Lewis, is also the author of the Blind Side. If you've seen that movie (which you should) or read that book, he is the dad.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick - The movie is simply called Hugo. It is the story of a boy who lives in a Paris train station. I actually won this one a while ago and it has been staring at me from the bookshelves begging to be read ever since. It is literally staring at me as the spine is Hugo's face. I don't much about the book other than that it is a grand adventure with some sort of clock timey-wimey robot looking things. The book itself has won many awards and Brian Selznick is considered one of the most promising new authors for children.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer - This has been on my to-read list forever. I have no idea why I haven't picked it up. I think it is because I am afraid it will be depressing. It concerns a 9-year-old boy whose father died in the World Trade Center. He is on a mission to find the lock that fits a key that was his father's. Along the way he meets a crazy cast of New York characters. It has a 4.11 rating on goodreads which is really high for goodreads. I have heard nothing but good things about it and I'm sure that I'll love it once I get around to it. I do have to admit that I hate the cover. I don't know why but it just irritates me. I'm weird, I know.
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo - This book is actually based on a middle grade novel about a horse named Joey. He starts his life off on the farm with his owner Albert. When war breaks out, he is sent to be a war horse. Like Black Beauty, the book is narrated by the horse. You read as he fights in the trenches, gets to know and love his fellow soldiers, and dreams of getting back to his true master, Albert. Honestly, I'm getting teary-eyed just writing the description. It has gone to the top of my to-read list. From what I can tell, it is a really quick read at only 165 pages. Probably a great book for all the young history buffs and horse lovers in your life.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett - This was one of my favorite reads of 2011. I absolutely loved this book. It is set in 1960's Mississippi and tells the story of a group of upper class white women and "the help". The help being the maids who basically are raising their children for them. One woman, Skeeter, wants to be a real writer some day, and decides to write a book about the maids. She sets into motion a lot of craziness, a TON of obnoxious racism that made me want to punch some white women in the face, and learns a lot about who she is. This is a really great book that I highly recommend.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carre - This is actually a series about George Smiley, a British spy. John Le Carre is one of the foremost spy authors out there. He also wrote The Constant Gardener, which I loved. The plot centers on the spy George who must discover who the mole is in British Intelligence. The mole has been in British Intelligence for so long that they may very well be at the very top. This sounds really good, and Le Carre's books always have great ratings. You've probably heard of his most famous novel, also about George Smiley, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.
Tintin in the Land of the Soviets (The Adventures of Tintin: Original Classic) by Herge - If you don't know who TinTin is, I am sorry for your childhood. I used to love the TinTin books. The book I linked to is a reprint of the original TinTin book. TinTin is a Belgian reporter sent all over the world on assignment with his dog Snowy. Along the way he gets into tons of adventures. If you have a child, they need these books. If you want to re-capture your adventurous side, you need these books.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson - I'm not even going to describe this book. If you haven't heard of it, you might have been living under a rock for the last 2 years. This trilogy is hugely popular. I tried to get into the first one, but I just couldn't do it. I have since heard that once you get past the beginning, the book is amazing. I might re-try to read it at a later date, but maybe not.
My Week with Marilyn by Colin Clark - I really want to read this book. The book is the diaries of an assistant on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl, starring Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier. He is assigned to take care of Marilyn. They end up traveling all over the the English countryside and of course Colin falls just a little bit in love with her as she falls into more and more pills. I can't wait to read this. I love books that are diaries and of course Marilyn is just, well, Marilyn.
In addition to these books, both Puss-In-Boots and Albert Nobbs, are based on short stories.
I hope that you find some new books to read. Remember, take the pledge and always read the book first!