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Posts Tagged ‘Gone With The Wind’

Looking at all the PR leading up to this weekend’s Oscars ceremony, we started thinking about all the books that have inspired award-winning films. To Kill a Mockingbird, Gone with the WindThe Help and The Godfather just begin this list. Then, we started thinking about what we have read lately that could inspire the next round of directors and screen writers. And, of course, we found a few books to recommend. Even if these books never become movies, we hope you enjoy them in their prose form.

Pick #1The UnAmericans by Molly Antopol (Feb. 2014) – What would make a better movie than a collection of short stories about people who made movies in the mid-20th century, and were persecuted as a result of their beliefs? The UnAmericans is this book, and wow would it provide great characters for Hollywood’s current best to make their own.  But, while you wait for its screen debut, please read this great collection of fiction.  Now, the envelope please –oops we meant now, our review:

To start, I HATE short stories. They leave me bereft because just as I am starting to care so much about their characters, they are over.  So the fact I am recommending a collection of short stories is rare and special. This collection is amazing. Each story has unforgettable characters. Each is well written by one of Stanford’s Wallace Stegner Fellows (a sign for the Book Jam of an author who can write – hello Bo Caldwell).  Yes, I was a bit sad at the end of each one because it was over.  How did I survive?  I chose to concentrate on the overarching theme, and look at it as a strangely constructed novel about a variety of interesting “communists”/immigrants to America from the various countries that were once known as those behind the Iron Curtain. ~ Lisa Christie

Pick #2 — The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson (Dec. 2013) – Yes, someone has already made Schindler’s List. However, we truly believe the true story of one of the young boys he saved would make a great leap to the big screen. But, until Mr. Spielberg hears our advice, please read this true story of one of the young Jewish boys saved during WWII by Herr Schindler.  In this book, the boy reflects, as an older man, how chance, kindness, luck, intelligence, but most importantly Mr. Schindler, saved his life.  This book for young people outlines important themes, brings life to unsung people that we should know about, uses care and candor throughout, and is well-written.  ~ Lisa Christie  

Pick #3Ripper by Isabel Allende (Feb. 2014) – What could be a more sure-fire hit than a movie: 1) filmed in San Francisco, 2) with a Latino lead who is not the stereotypical drug dealer, but is instead a police detective, and 3) that at its core is actually about a bunch of wicked-smart teen gamers who help solve the mystery of a serial killer? Well If Ripper ever becomes a movie, that is what you would see.  In the meantime, enjoy Ms. Allende’s first mystery that combines murder, San Francisco and gaming.  In it,, the teen daughter of a SF detective teams with misfit teens in an online game where players attempt to solve the identity of Jack the Ripper.  The game becomes real when a grouping of murders in SF looks like the work of a serial killer.  With access to her father’s files, the unintentional involvement of her rather unique mother and grandfather, the girl and her gaming friends prove instrumental in figuring things out. We predict a sequel featuring these teens, and at least a movie or two.  ~ Lisa Christie

BONUS PickUnder the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald (March 2014) – Just before posting today’s reviews, our town’s lovely children’s librarian put a great middle grades novel in our hands.  And, since the author herself credits the book Monuments Men as essential to her story, it seems timely to include a review of this superb book in an Oscars post.

Publishers Weekly says “Fans of From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler will find this another delightful lesson in art history.” That fan base includes us; so, we were thrilled to read this.  What would the movie look like?  Well, it would follow Theodora Tenpenny around Manhattan as she tries to solve the mystery of a painting she uncovers (literally) once her grandfather dies. It would include her eccentric mother who has spent at least fifteen years doing nothing but completing her mathematical dissertation and consuming very expensive tea (certainly not providing for Theodora).  It would show how two amazing, but lonely, girls can make great friends.  And, it would introduce viewers to both the world of amazing art, and the importance of asking for help when you need it.  Not bad for an author’s first children’s book! ~ Lisa Cadow and Lisa Christie

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As part of our mission to promote authors, the joy of reading, and to better understand the craft of writing, we’ve paired with the The Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vermont to present an ongoing series entitled “Three Questions”.  In it, we pose three questions to authors with upcoming visits to the bookstore. Their responses are posted on The Book Jam in the week leading up to their engagement. Our hope is that this exchange will offer insight into their work and will encourage readers to attend these special author events.

We’re thrilled to welcome New York Times Best Selling Author Jodi Picoult, author of the new novel Lone Wolf , to the Book Jam’s “Three Questions”.

As part of the Norwich Bookstore’s author visits, Jodi will kick off her latest book tour at Simon Pierce in Quechee, Vermont  on February 28th at 9 am.  She will read from and discuss her newest book, Lone Wolf, a story about an estranged brother and a sister who must decide the fate of their father -a wildlife biologist famous for living with a pack of wolves – who lies in a coma in a New Hampshire hospital. This book explores the bonds of family love, the protection and strength they are meant to offer, and the intersection between medicine and moral choices.

For more information about the bookstore, upcoming speaker engagements or to reserve a seat, simply click on the following link for The Norwich Bookstore. But hurry because seats for this event are almost full! And this one’s a little different than usual: the $36.00 fee includes entry to the event, a signed copy of Lone Wolf, and light refreshments. We hope many of you are able to make it to this exciting book launch party!

Now, Jodi’s responses to our three questions.

 

 

1. What three books have helped shape you into the author you are today, and why?

Gone with the Wind– made me want to be a writer and create a world out of words;  The Great Gatsby – my first experience with an unreliable narrator, and ever since then, I’ve loved exploring the discrepancy between what the reader knows and what the narrator knows; The Sun Also Rises – the parity of language that is Hemingway’s hallmark always reminds me that less is more; and that there are times words fail us when we try to describe moments of great emotion.

 

 

2. What author (living or dead) would you most like to have a cup of coffee with and why?

Shakespeare.  I swear, I sometimes think that man created all the stories in the world.  We just recycle them.  Plus – getting Romeo and Juliet to speak for the first time in a sonnet…?  BRILLIANT.

 

 

 

 

3. What books are currently on your bedside table?

The Good Father by Noah Hawley (an advance reader’s copy as the book is due in March 2012), and Amy Hatvany’s Outside the Lines.

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