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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

Top Ten Tuesday – Nonfiction for People Who (Think They) Don’t Enjoy Nonfiction

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

toptentuesday

love nonfiction. As a former history student I know that truth is all too often stranger than fiction. Unfortunately the genre is sometimes seen as boring and dry. This is a real shame, because in the hands of a skilled writer, nonfiction can be as thrilling, exciting and rewarding as any novel.

Here are my picks for 10 nonfiction titles that are perfect entries into this fascinating genre. I’ve tried to include a variety of different styles and subject matters – there truly is a nonfiction title out there for everyone.

1. In the Heart of the Sea / Nathaniel Philbrick : Rampaging whales hellbent on revenge, shipwrecks, cannibalism, madness, survival, and adventure – this gripping account of the event that inspired Moby Dick is history at its most intense. It’s about to be released as a movie, too, so make sure to read the book before heading to the theaters.

2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks / Rebecca Skloot : A skillful, sensitive study of the complicated intersections between science, ethics, race, economics, family relationships, and politics in recent American history, focusing on the story of Henrietta Lacks and her unique cells.

3. 52 Loaves / William Alexander : The humorous, eye-opening and at times quite touching account of one man’s obsessive quest to bake the perfect loaf of bread.

4. Into Thin Air / Jon Krakauer: This personal account of an ill-fated Everest expedition is nonfiction at its most gripping. Hold on, because things are about to get intense.

5. Thunderstruck / Erik Larson: Larson is one of the true masters of narrative nonfiction, creating thrilling, awe-inspiring works that skillfully weave multiple story lines together that build to a satisfying conclusion. Any of his recent works would be fine choices, but Thunderstruck is particularly engaging – a cops-and-robbers story of detectives, scientists and murderers caught up in a desperate race to the finish.

6. One Summer / Bill Bryson: Bryson is another established nonfiction master who likely needs little introduction, and whose signature style blends quality research, witty writing and wry humour. Selecting just one of Bryson’s many excellent titles is a challenge, but I have to recommend this brilliant account of a pivotal year in American history. This is history as it should be written – engaging, inspiring, thought-provoking, and absolutely fascinating.

7. The Disappearing Spoon / Sam Kean : Passion, obsession, betrayal, adventure, murder and madness abound in this study of the history behind the development of the periodic table. Think science is boring? Think again.

8. Still Life / Melissa Milgrom : Ready for something a bit off the beaten track? Take a peak inside the weird, wacky and wonderful world of taxidermy.

9. Packing for Mars / Mary Roach : So….how does one use the toilet in space? The wonderfully irreverent Mary Roach tackles this and other fascinating, if not entirely polite, questions about space travel in this hilarious yet informative account. Definitely not for the faint of heart.

10.What If? / Randall Munroe : Brought to you by the mind behind the nerd-favourite web comic XKCD, this collection of short essays uses hard science and a bit of imagination to tackle outlandish theoretical questions, like : what would happen if every human on Earth jumped at the same time? Real science, real humour, real entertainment.

And there you have it – ten nonfiction titles that prove that this genre is anything but boring. Let me know what you think! Did I miss any of your favourites?