“I’m glad I read the book first,” is a phrase I often hear people say after seeing a film based off a book. Books as inspiration for movies are more popular than ever, and 2014 is set to be a good one if you enjoy literary films.
BuzzFeed recently posted a list of “16 Books to Read Before They Hit Theaters This Year.” Here are a few that can be found at Sewickley Public Library. Click the titles to request them through the library catalog:
LABOR DAY by Joyce Maynard – Booklist Review: Stranger danger is a concept unfamiliar to 13-year-old Henry, who befriends an injured man during one of his and his agoraphobic mother’s rare shopping excursions in town with disastrous results for all. To be fair, neither mother nor son have much worldly experience, thanks to Adele’s emotional fragility following her divorce. Yet their willingness to assist a strange man has less to do with their collective lack of judgment than it does with Frank’s infectious charm, a quality that will escalate over the coming days as the escaped convict and murderer holds the pair hostage in their own home. With remarkable ease, Adele falls in love with Frank. As she helps him plan a second escape to Canada, Henry fears losing the little stability he has ever known. Told from Henry’s point of view, Maynard’s inventive coming-of-age tale indelibly captures the anxiety and confusion inherent in adolescence, while the addition of a menacing element of suspense makes this emotionally fraught journey that much more harrowing.–Haggas, Carol Copyright 2009 Booklist
THE MONUMENTS MEN: ALLIED HEROES, NAZI THIEVES, AND THE GREATEST TREASURE HUNT IN HISTORY by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter – Booklist Review: This is a chronicle of an unusual and largely unknown aspect of World War II. The heroes here aren’t flamboyant generals or grizzled GIs in combat. In civilian life these men and women had been architects, museum directors, sculptors, and patrons of the arts. They were drawn from thirteen nations, although most were American or British citizens. Beginning in 1943, they were recruited into a special unit formed to protect and recover cultural treasure that had been looted by top Nazis, especially Hitler and Goring. As Allied armies liberated areas of northern Europe after D-Day, these monuments men moved into the front lines. Since they had little advance knowledge of the location of the looted art, their efforts often resembled treasure hunts. In addition to recovering stolen art, they worked tirelessly, often at personal risk, to protect and restore art damaged by the ravages of war. Edsel describes the exploits of these men and women in a fast-moving narrative that effectively captures the excitement and dangers of their mission.–Freeman, Jay Copyright 2009 Booklist
A LONG WAY DOWN by Nick Hornby – Booklist Review: In his trademark warm and witty prose, Hornby follows four depressed people from their aborted suicide attempts on New Years Eve through the surprising developments that occur over the following three months. Middle-aged Maureen has been caring for her profoundly disabled son for decades; Martin is a celebrity-turned-has-been after sleeping with a 15-year-old girl; teenage Jess, trash-talker extraordinaire, is still haunted by the mysterious disappearance of her older sister years before; and JJ is upset by the collapse of his band and his breakup with his longtime girlfriend. The four meet while scoping out a tower rooftop looking for the best exit point. Inhibited by the idea of having an audience, they agree instead to form a support group of sorts. But rather than indulging in sappy therapy-speak, they frequently direct lacerating, bitingly funny comments at each other–and the bracing mix of complete candor and endless complaining seems to work as a kind of tonic. Hornby funnels the perceptive music and cultural references he is known for through the character of JJ, but he also expands far beyond his usual territory, exploring the changes in perspective that can suddenly make a life seem worth living and adroitly shifting the tone from sad to happy and back again. The true revelation of this funny and moving novel is its realistic, all-too-human characters, who stumble frequently, moving along their redemptive path only by increments. –Joanne Wilkinson Copyright 2005 Booklist
THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU by Jonathan Tropper – Booklist Review: Judd Foxman is in his late thirties when he finds himself living in a damp, moldy basement apartment, without a job and separated from his wife, who is having an affair with his now ex-boss. To make matters worse, Judd finds out his wife is pregnant with his child and that his father has just died, leaving a dying wish to have all four of his children sit shivah for seven days. What transpires over the course of that week is a Foxman family reunion like no other; filled with fistfights, arguments, sex, and a parade of characters offering their sympathies and copious amounts of food. This is a story that could be told by your best guy friend: laugh-out-loud funny, intimate, honest, raunchy, and thoroughly enjoyable. Tropper is spot-on with his observations of family relationships as each member deals with new grief, old resentments, and life’s funny twists of fate. Tropper’s characters are real, flawed, and very likable, making for a great summer read.–Kubisz, Carolyn Copyright 2009 Booklist
Happy New Year! We hope you enjoy reading and watching along with us here at Do Something @ Sewickley Public Library!