7 Books You Need to Binge-Read During Awards Season
Awards season is in full swing, with the Golden Globes leading the charge this weekend. As usual, there's a slew of enticing films starring big-name Hollywood players—and just like years past, the bulk of them are taking on roles that have already been rendered in literature. From Brooklyn to The Big Short, here are seven book-to-movie adaptations we recommend reading before hitting the theater.
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
Set in the 1950s, this moving tale of a young Irish immigrant in Brooklyn centers around Eilis Lacey (impeccably played by Saoirse Ronan in the film adaptation), who decides to flee her native country—and mother and sister—when a local priest offers to sponsor her in America. Despite the culture shock, she manages the acclimate quickly, finding work in a department store, and the affection of a warm-hearted Italian man named Tony.
The Price of Salt, or Carol by Patricia Highsmith
Originally penned under the pseudonym Claire Morgan, this lascivious story initially gained notoriety for its unfiltered lesbian content—considered controversial when it was published in 1952—but is now heralded as a cult classic among the LGBT community. It involves a young sales clerk named Therese (played by Rooney Mara in the film) and a housewife named Carol (played by Cate Blanchett), and their quest to make their relationship work in the face of, quite literally, all odds.
The Martian by Andy Weir
By now, you're well-acquainted with the hype over the big-screen version starring Matt Damon, but Andy Weir's gripping account of Mark Watney, the astronaut who becomes one of the first people to walk on Mars (and potentially, one of the first to die there), will keep your eyes equally glued to the page.
Room by Emma Donoghue
Few book club picks in recent years have incited chills quite like Emma Donoghue's shocking, enthralling story about a mother and son who are held captive by a man named Old Nick in an eleven-by-eleven-foot space, referred to as "room." While five-year-old-Jack considers room to be the entire world, his Ma knows that there's more out there waiting for them. As the days slowly pass, she learns of her captor's unemployment, and, realizing they could die there, recruits her son and chief companion to help plot their escape.
The Big Short by Michael Lewis
We all lived through it, but in case you need a refresher on the subtle intricacies that made the credit and housing bubble collapse in an epic fashion, try paging through Michael Lewis's detailed narrative of the whole ordeal, tinged with humor and the appropriate amount of umbrage. Then go see Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, and Brad Pitt crush their respective roles in the movie.
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Enthusiastic techies may have already breezed through Walter Isaacson's bestselling biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, but if you're seeking a comprehensive, entertaining rundown of the iconic inventor's life, from his humble beginnings as an adopted child in Silicon Valley to launching the first Macintosh computer, before seeing Aaron Sorkin's fast-talking synopsis, we advise that you drop this one in your shopping cart ASAP.
The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff
Thanks to trailblazers like Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner, 2015 was a big year for the transgender community, and we have a feeling that the good momentum will continue in the new year with the book-to-movie adaptation of David Ebershoff's The Danish Girl, which stars Eddie Redmayne in the title role alongside on-screen wife Alicia Vikander. Loosely inspired by the lives of Danish partners Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener, the book tells the remarkable story of a woman finding her true self, and being forced to compromise it with her marriage. The prose is deeply moving, and the film is acting at its finest.