Top Ten Tuesday – Book-to-film adaptations I’m curious about….

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme from the awesome team at The Broke and The Bookish. 

toptentuesdayOK, here they are, a handful of book-to-film adaptations that have caught my eye. Some of my favourite books are getting the big screen treatment or have recently made their Hollywood debut, and while I am hopeful that the directors and writers will do justice to these stories, I find myself waiting with baited breath….

In no particular order….

1. In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick


One of my favourite nonfiction titles,  In the Heart of the Sea recounts the story of the whaling ship Essex, which was sunk by a whale, leaving the crew stranded in the middle of the ocean for several months. A harrowing tale, wonderfully written and carefully researched, I fear that this will be yet another “inspired by actual events” kind of film that sacrifices history for entertainment. Still, it’s directed by Ron Howard, so I am cautiously optimistic.

2. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson


I love Bill Bryson. He’s a fiercely intelligent comedic writer, with a sometimes acerbic sense of humour.  I’m really hopeful that this adaptation won’t just devolve into a generic buddy/road trip comedy. Still, Robert Redford as Bill Bryson?! Not sure I can picture that one.

3. Left For Dead by Beck Weathers


Renamed Everest and featuring the all-star cast of Jake Gyllenhall, Keira Knightley, Josh Brolin, and Sam Worthington, this adapted account of an ill-fated mountain expedition looks promising.  I didn’t find the book as gripping as the classic Into Thin Air, but I still think it would make for an exciting film.

4. The Lost City of Z by David Grann


I’m always delighted to see nonfiction titles adapted for the big screen, but all too often the film becomes but a shadow of the original true story. Still, this is a gripping tale of exploration and madness in the mysterious jungle, so I think it would make for a pretty exciting film even with a bit of Hollywood fact-fudging.

5. The BFG by Roald Dahl


This is one for my inner child – I loved this story growing up. Steven Spielberg will hopefully do my childhood memories justice.

6. Console Wars: SEGA, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation by Blake J. Harris


This book pretty much sums up my childhood. Growing up, the battle between Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog was EPIC, with kids divided between the console camps. I’m really hoping this is made into a documentary, rather than a feature film, as there are a lot of personalities I would love to see interviewed.

7. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness


I’m really looking forward to seeing Liam Neeson in a film that doesn’t have the word “Taken” in it. I highly respect and admire Patrick Ness, and I’m hopeful that the adaptation of this powerful story will be done with care.

So, have you seen any of these adaptations, or read any of the books I’ve mentioned? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

What I’ve Been Reading Lately

Still sick but slowly on the mend…this has been one doozy of a month, complete with missing a heart-breaking amount of work. No story times = very unhappy Jane. But at this point there’s nothing I can do but rest, take my medicine, and focus on getting better.

While I love Netflix as much as the next housebound invalid, reading has been what’s truly kept me from losing my mind these past few weeks. Here’s another short list of a few of the books I’ve been devouring on the couch.

52 Loaves / William Alexander


I have a soft spot for people who dedicate themselves whole-heartedly to inconsequential quests, particularly when those quests are just a little bit ridiculous. In 52 Loaves, William Alexander commits himself to the task of baking the perfect loaf of bread. Much to the bemusement of his family, he decides to bake a loaf of peasant bread every week for an entire yea, hence the 52 loaves. In between baking experiments, Alexander travels to Morocco to bake his dough in a traditional communal oven, makes his own starter using wild yeast, teaches the monks of a French monastery how to bake peasant bread, attends cooking school in Paris, builds his own backyard brick oven, and more, all in the pursuit of perfection. Madcap, hilarious and more than a little bit zany, this light-hearted romp really picked me up when I was feeling pretty sorry for myself sitting in a hospital bed.

The King of Vodka / Linda Himelstein


Worthy of a film adaptation, this sweeping saga tells the larger-than-life story of Piotr Smirnov, founder of the Smirnov vodka dynasty. Rising from the humblest of origins as a serf in the Russian countryside, Smirnov built an empire in a true rags-to-riches epic. Interspersed with some of the most famous names in Russian history, from Lenin to Tolstoy to Chekhov, and ranging in period from the 1860s to the 20th century, The King of Vodka reveals the incredible story behind this household name.

A Walk in the Woods / Bill Bryson


There are times, when you’re wallowing in self-pity and blankets, when all you want to do is escape. Somewhere. Anywhere. And ideally have a good laugh while you’re at it. At those times, few authors will serve you better than Bill Bryson. Not only will you get to vicariously travel somewhere new, you’ll have a hilarious time doing so, and you’ll learn a thing or too as well, and feel smarter for having had the experience. In this madcap yet thoughtful memoir, Bryson decides to tackle the 2,000+ mile (estimates vary, as you’ll see in the book) Appalachian Trail, running from Georgia to Maine. Out of shape, middle-aged and neurotic (in the best possible way), Bryson isn’t exactly hiking material, which makes him just the sort of guide most of us can readily relate to. Bryson’s feelings about bears in particular made me laugh out loud, having had a similar close encounter of my own in Yellowstone National Park. Escapist literature at its very best.