> Chapter1-Take1: May 2018

Timothee Chalamet to take on Laurence Olivier's Henry V in The King: Based on the plays by William Shakespeare

Timothee Chalamet to star as Henry V

“Once more unto the breach.’’ Indeed, another Shakespearian adaptation is getting underway in Britain with Timothee Chalamet in the storied role of Henry V—a role made famous to cinematic audiences by Laurence Olivier, with Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hiddleston already following in his footprints—in a film they’re calling simply The King

Basically, a major role for the young actor who got our attention with his Oscar-nominated work in Call Me By Your Name. While there is nothing new under the sun this latest iteration is headed, not for the movie theater, but your home screen via Netflix. The film starts shooting in the UK on June 1st  and also stars Joel Edgerton—who co-wrote and produces— as Falstaff.

Joel Edgerton will play Falstaff

According to Deadline, “The King is based on is based on classic Shakespeare plays Henry The IV [Parts 1 and 2] and Henry V, in which a young disgraced prince Hal inherits the crown at a particularly turbulent time in English history and must learn what it means to be a king, guided by his one true friend, Falstaff. The plays take place before, during and after England’s military conflict with France at the famous Battle Of Agincourt in 1415, part of the ‘Hundred Years’ War’ between the two nations.’’

The cast includes Robert Pattinson as the French prince The Dauphin 

Ben Mendelsohn will play King Henry IV

Lily-Rose Depp is the French Princess Catherine, who goes on to marry Henry V 

Yes, Depp is the daughter of Johnny and French singing star Vanessa Paradis and yes, she’s gorgeous.

The cast of The King also includes Sean Harris (Lucifer) as William, Tom Glynn-Carney (Dunkirk) as Hotspur and Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie (Leave No Trace) as Henry V’s younger sister Philippa.

Joel Edgerton and director David Michod wrote the script.
With a little help, one supposes from the bard. Time to brush up your Shakespeare? Plenty of time. Plenty of time for us to ponder how true to the bard’s own words the script will be. The King won’t hit Netflix until sometime in 2019. What do you think of that casting?! Pretty spectacular in my opinion.

I’m 99% sure there that outside of Shakespeare himself, there is not an Englishman—or woman—in the bunch, but Shakespearean drama will always be British by default. Hence, I’m connecting with Joy Weese Moll’s British Isles Friday.

Dietland starring Joy Nash & Julianna Margulies debuts June 4th: Watch the first 15 minutes! #book2movie

Joy Nash stars as Plum Kettle in Dietland 

Dietland, starring Joy Nash and Julianna Margulies, is both scripted and directed by Marti Noxon—the woman behind the upcoming adaptation of Sharp Objects starring Amy Adams—makes its debut June 4th. Here’s how AMC describes the series based on the bestseller by Sarai Walker.
Dietland is a wickedly funny and extraordinarily timed satire about Plum Kettle, a ghostwriter for the editor of one of New York’s hottest fashion magazines. Struggling with self-image and fed up with how she’s treated by her boss and society, Plum sets out on a wildly complicated road to self-awakening. At the same time, everyone is buzzing over news reports about men, accused of sexual abuse and assault, who are disappearing and meeting untimely, violent deaths.

 Julianna Margulies is Plum’s skinny bitch of a boss

Plum also finds herself in the middle of two factions – one sisterhood who may be responsible for the attacks on male harassers, and the other which preaches female empowerment. She straddles these two groups, trying to make sense of the changing world and her part in it.

 Joy Nash as Plum with Will Seefried as Ben

Equal parts revenge fantasy and heartfelt journey to self-acceptance, Dietland, which is based on Sarai Walker’s 2015 best-selling critically acclaimed novel of the same name, is a darkly comedic story that explores a multitude of issues faced by women today – including patriarchy, misogyny, rape culture, and unrealistic beauty standards.

About the book 

The diet revolution is here. And it’s armed. Plum Kettle does her best not to be noticed, because when you’re fat, to be noticed is to be judged. With her job answering fan mail for a teen magazine, she is biding her time until her weight-loss surgery. But when a mysterious woman in colorful tights and combat boots begins following her, Plum falls down a rabbit hole into the world of Calliope House — an underground community of women who reject society’s rules — and is forced to confront the real costs of becoming “beautiful.” At the same time, a guerilla group begins terrorizing a world that mistreats women, and Plum becomes entangled in a sinister plot. The consequences are explosive.
“A giddy revenge fantasy that will shake up your thinking and burrow under your skin” (Entertainment Weekly), Dietland takes on the beauty industry, gender inequality, and our weight-loss obsession — with fists flying.
Watch the trailer 

Hooked? Watch the first 15 minutes!

Times up for fat-shaming! And about time too.
Have you read the book? Will you be watching the show?

Disobedience starring Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz: Anatomy of a Scene #book2movie

I’m so intrigued to see Disobedience, the new film starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams, set primarily in the Jewish Orthodox community in London. 

The film is based on the book by Naomi Alderman which deals with two young women, former lovers, one who stayed in the community and repressed her sexuality, the other who walked away and left it behind. In the New York Times Anatomy of a Scene below, the film’s director talks about that dichotomy, that he sees the two women as two parts of the same person. Take a look and see what you think. Following that is the trailer. 

Have you read the book, do you plan on seeing the film?

Disobedience trailer

Sharp Objects starring Amy Adams: Poster welcomes you home #book2movie

HBO just dropped the poster for our next big binge. Sharp Objects debuts on July 8th. Time to get your hands on a copy of Sharp Objects and read it first.

Based on the book of the same name by The New York Times bestselling author Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl, Dark Places), this eight-episode series tells the story of reporter Camille Preaker (Amy Adams) who returns to her small hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. Trying to put together a psychological puzzle from her past, she finds herself identifying with the young victims a bit too closely.

Amy Adams stars, along with co-stars Patricia Clarkson, Chris Messina, Eliza Scanlen, Elizabeth Perkins and Matt Craven.

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée from scripts by Marti Noxon and Gillian Flynn.

Sharp Objects premieres July 8 at 9 pm.

On Chesil Beach starring Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle: My Take on the Movie [review] #book2movie #bookvsmovie

Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle star in On Chesil Beach

Sometimes—okay, often—the books we love just don’t make very good movies. As lovers of books, every time we walk into a theater to watch a screen adaptation we hold our breath. Please let it be as good as the book, we murmur. Please let it do the book justice. 

On Chesil Beach had much to live up to. I love the novel by Ian McEwan. Its melancholy ache, the infinite sadness of this honeymoon couple gone awry, their connection lost, speaks deeply to me at my core. The kind of novel it’s so hard to get right. I’m thinking of Nick Hornby’s A Long Way Down another brilliant book that lost its way in translation.

On Chesil Beach isn’t that. On Chesil Beach is a big, beautiful, mesmerizing success. Not big in a splashy way, but big in that it has realized its potential. It’s glorious. Of course, the movie has the benefit of being scripted by McEwan who knows the heart of the story at his core. So much so that while you could say he changed the ending, the truth is he didn’t so much as change it, as he extended it. His added scenes brought the story of Florence and Edward, not only to a new place but to their rightful conclusion.

While Florence (Saoirse Ronan) falls in love with Edward (Billy Howle) with every fiber of her being, immersing herself in his world, learning to love what he loves—the birds, the trees, even his taste in music, so diametrically opposed to her own—the classical music she loves means everything to her. Edward learns to see the beauty in the classical music that is Florence’s lifeblood. They light up around each other, love each other.

But somewhere along the line, Florence has been damaged. Whether by an actual incident with her father or an awareness and fear of what he represents, Florence has an aversion to sexual touch. Handholding with Edward is fine, more than fine, as they go on hikes and have picnics by the river, they are happy and affectionate. 

On the other hand, Edward’s hands going up her skirt to touch her thighs, slipping beneath her clothing to touch her breasts, is not. She is simply so afraid, she can’t give herself over to him, and to the pleasures, she would likely come to know in time.

The marriage bed scene shows Florence, knowing it’s time to submit, gripping the skirt of her dress tightly to each side. She is all but holding her knees together.

I wonder how younger people will see this scene? Will they understand Florence’s resistance at all? Will they get it that there was a time when sex was a very big deal? That while plenty of women didn’t, plenty of women waited for marriage? 

The aftermath of the honeymoon is where the tears came for me in the movie, just as they did in the book. 

On Chesil Beach is a story of If Only’s ...
If only the couple had met a little later in life when both were more experienced
If only Florence hadn’t been so afraid of sex
If only Edward was able to see through her fear and give her space
If only they could have been more patient and persistent with each other
If only ...

Instead, they are left to go their separate ways, live their separate lives. The portrayal of those two lives, and the final scene—not unlike that final scene in La La Land where Sebastian and Mia see each other years later at a musical venue, and the depth of their feelings, all the regrets, all the understanding is contained in a moment—tore me in two. 
In addition to McEwan’s perfect script, a solid supporting cast that includes Emily Watson as Florence’s mother, Samuel West as her father and a sublime performance by AnneMarie Duff as Edward’s brain-addled mother, the score by Dan Jones is tantamount to the film’s success, since Florence is a gifted violinist. Her parts were actually played by the accomplished musician Esther Yoo, you can learn more about that process here

On Chesil Beach costumes designed by Dan Jones at the Landmark theater in LA (via Instagram)

Directed by Dominic Cooke (The Hollow Crown) with production design by Suzie Davis—likely dictating the shades of blue visible in the costumes designed by Keith Maddon—his work can currently be seen in Patrick Melrose starring Benedict Cumberbatch—On Chesil Beach is a poignant, painful film will put Saoirse Ronan back in the Oscar conversation next year. She may just pull Billy Howle along with her.

Connecting to Joy’s British Isles Friday

First trailer for Wildlife starring Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal: Based on the book by Richard Ford #book2movie

Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal star in Wildlife

I read the book Wildlife by Richard Ford a couple of weeks back and shared my review here. Now there’s a trailer for the film starring Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal and from my pov, the tone is an exact match for the book: dark and disturbing, haunted with sadness. 

Wildlife by Richard Ford (from ChapterOneTakeOne Instagram)

Put Wildlife—a short and powerful 177 pages—on your TBR pile. Like On Chesil BeachWildlife, written in 1990, has much to say about our relationships today.

Directed by actor/writer Paul Dano, Wildlife is set for release on October 19th. The young man playing the couple’s son is Ed Oxenbould, an Australian actor you may have seen in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day as well as Comedy Bang Bang. Bill Camp has the thankless task of taking on the role of the unlikeable Warren Miller.

Are you as excited to see this as I am?
Do you plan to read the book? Let me know down below in the comments section.

The Great American Read: #Book2Movie

Have you heard about the Great American Read? It’s a TV series making its debut tonight, winnowing down the following100 novels to the one, greatest book, according to American readers.

I told you in a previous post (where I ranted and raved a bit about the books that made the cut and those that didn’t)  eighty-five of the Top 100 Novels (selected by a poll of American readers) had been adapted into films or television shows. 

Here is the list of those books again, this time the screen adaptations are marked with  🎥 and the fifteen remaining books with 📘. Of those fifteen, by the way, five are in various stages of development. I’ve marked those with a ⌛because it’s just a matter of time before they make it to a screen as well.

The point of the Great American Read series is to vote for your favorite book. The point of this post is to ask you which is your favorite screen adaptation. Or your least favorite. Go ahead, let me know how you feel in the comments section. I’m all ears.

🎥1984/ George Orwell
📘A Confederacy of Dunces/ John Kennedy Toole
🎥A Prayer For Owen Meany/ John Irving
🎥A Separate Peace/ John Knowles
🎥 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn/ Betty Smith
🎥The Adventures of Tom Sawyer/ Mark Twain
📘 The Alchemist/ Paulo Coelho ⌛
🎥Alex Cross Mysteries (series) James Patterson
🎥Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland/ Lewis Carroll
📘Americanah/ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ⌛
🎥And Then There Were None/ Agatha Christie
🎥Anne of Green Gables/ Lucy Maud Montgomery
🎥 Another Country/ James Baldwin
🎥Atlas Shrugged/ Ayn Rand
🎥Beloved/ Toni Morrison
🎥Bless Me/ Ultima Rudolfo Anaya
🎥The Book Thief/ Markus Zusak
📘The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao/ Junot Díaz
🎥The Call Of The Wild/ Jack London
🎥Catch-22/ Joseph Heller
📘The Catcher in the Rye/ J.D. Salinger
🎥Charlotte's Web/ E. B. White
🎥The Chronicles of Narnia (series) C.S. Lewis
🎥Clan of the Cave Bear/ Jean M. Auel
📘Coldest Winter Ever/ Sister Souljah
🎥The Color Purple/ Alice Walker
🎥The Count of Monte Cristo/ Alexandre Dumas
🎥Crime and Punishment/ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
📘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time/ Mark Haddon
🎥The Da Vinci Code/ Dan Brown
🎥Don Quixote/ Miguel de Cervantes
🎥Doña Bárbára/ Rómulo Gallegos
🎥Dune/ Frank Herbert
🎥Fifty Shades Of Grey (series) E. L. James
🎥 Flowers In The Attic/ V.C. Andrews
📘Foundation (series) Isaac Asimov
🎥Frankenstein/ Mary Shelley
🎥Game of Thrones (series) George R. R. Martin
🎥Ghost/ Jason Reynolds
📘Gilead/ Marilynne Robinson
🎥The Giver/ Lois Lowry
🎥The Godfather/ Mario Puzo
🎥Gone Girl/ Gillian Flynn
🎥Gone with the Wind/ Margaret Mitchell
🎥 The Grapes of Wrath/ John Steinbeck
🎥Great Expectations/ Charles Dickens
🎥The Great Gatsby/ F. Scott Fitzgerald
🎥Gulliver's Travels/ Jonathan Swift
🎥 The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood
🎥Harry Potter (series) J.K. Rowling
📘Hatchet (series) Gary Paulsen
🎥Heart Of Darkness/ Joseph Conrad
🎥The Help/ Kathryn Stockett
🎥The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy/ Douglas Adams
🎥The Hunger Games (series) Suzanne Collins
🎥The Hunt For Red October/ Tom Clancy
📘The Intuitionist/ Colson Whitehead
🎥 Invisible Man/ Ralph Ellison
🎥Jane Eyre/ Charlotte Brontë
🎥The Joy Luck Club/ Amy Tan
🎥Jurassic Park/ Michael Crichton
🎥Left Behind (series) Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
🎥The Little Prince/ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
🎥Little Women/ Louisa May Alcott
🎥Lonesome Dove/ Larry McMurtry
📘Looking for Alaska/ John Green ⌛
🎥The Lord of the Rings (series) J.R.R. Tolkien
🎥 The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold
🎥 The Martian/ Andy Weir
🎥Memoirs of a Geisha/ Arthur Golden
📘Mind Invaders/ Dave Hunt
🎥Moby-Dick/ Herman Melville
🎥The Notebook/ Nicholas Sparks
🎥One Hundred Years of Solitude/ Gabriel García Márquez
🎥Outlander (series) Diana Gabaldon
🎥The Outsiders/ S. E. Hinton
🎥The Picture of Dorian Gray/ Oscar Wilde
🎥The Pilgrim's Progress/ John Bunyan
🎥The Pillars of The Earth/ Ken Follett
🎥Pride and Prejudice/ Jane Austen
🎥Ready Player One/ Ernest Cline
🎥Rebecca/ Daphne du Maurier
🎥The Shack/ William P. Young
🎥Siddhartha/ Hermann Hesse
📘 The Sirens Of Titan/ Kurt Vonnegut ⌛
🎥The Stand/ Stephen King
🎥The Sun Also Rises/ Ernest Hemingway
📘Swan Song/ Robert R. McCammon
🎥Tales of The City (series) Armistead Maupin
🎥Their Eyes Were Watching God/ Zora Neale Hurston
🎥Things Fall Apart /Chinua Achebe
🎥This Present Darkness/ Frank. E. Peretti
🎥To Kill a Mockingbird/ Harper Lee
🎥The Twilight Saga (series) Stephenie Meyer
🎥War and Peace/ Leo Tolstoy
🎥Watchers/ Dean Koontz
🎥The Wheel of Time (series) Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson 
🎥Where the Red Fern Grows/ Wilson Rawls
🎥White Teeth/ Zadie Smith
🎥Wuthering Heights/ Emily Brontë

Hugh Grant Stars in A Very English Scandal: Watch the trailer #basedonabook

Hugh Grant stars as Jeremy Thorpe

Good lord! When is the world really going to be the global village we like to call it? If it were, those of us in the new world would be able to enjoy the best of British telly at the same time as our friends across the pond. Instead, we watch from a distance, our faces pressed against the glass, waiting for our turn. Having just seen a tweet from my British librarian friend Irene saying “Hugh Grant is smashing in A Very English Scandal” I immediately watched the trailer for the BBC mini-series. The program looks fantastic. Irene went on to say she thought it was Grant’s best work yet! Including Love Actually, Notting Hill, Four Weddings and A Funeral, and About A Boy!? Although, A Very English Scandal featuring what used to be called a homosexual love affair, is also about a boy. Irene also went on to say she hoped I’d have a chance to see it. Me too, Irene. Me too.

The logline

British Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe is accused of conspiracy to murder his gay ex-lover and is forced to stand trial in 1979.

But of course, not only is the movie based on historical fact, there’s a book. 

About the book

Soon to be a TV drama series starring Hugh Grant and Ben Wishaw, a behind-the-scenes look at the desperate, scandalous private life of a British MP and champion manipulator, and the history-making trial that exposed his dirty secrets While Jeremy Thorpe served as a Member of Parliament and Leader of the Liberal Party in the 1960s and 70s, his bad behavior went under the radar for years. Police and politicians alike colluded to protect one of their own. In 1970, Thorpe was the most popular and charismatic politician in the country, poised to hold the balance of power in a coalition government. But Jeremy Thorpe was a man with a secret. His homosexual affairs and harassment of past partners, along with his propensity for lying and embezzlement, only escalated as he evaded punishment. Until a dark night on the moor with an ex-lover, a dog and a hired gun led to consequences that even his charm and power couldn’t help him escape. Dubbed the “Trial of the Century,” Thorpe’s climactic case at the Old Bailey in London was the first time that a leading British politician had stood trial on a murder charge, the first time that a murder plot had been hatched in the House of Commons. And it was the first time that a prominent public figure had been exposed as a philandering gay man, in an era when homosexuality had only just become legal. With the pace and drama of a thriller, A Very English Scandal is an extraordinary story of hypocrisy, deceit and betrayal at the heart of the British Establishment.

I’ve done some digging and discovered that Amazon has picked up the rights to the three-episode BBC mini-series. A Very English Scandal also stars Ben Whishaw as one of Thorpe’s young lovers with Patricia Hodge as his wife. Check out the trailer below. Are you watching in Britain? Can my fellow Americans wait? 

The Great American Read: Is Your Favorite Book on the List? Can you guess how many have been adapted for the screen?*

One of my favorite books by an American writer

It’s the dream of many a writer to pen THE Great American Novel. Many say Fitzgerald did it with The Great Gatsby, others ascribe the honor to Moby Dick, or To Kill a Mockingbird. Obviously, as the world turns and tumbles, what amounts to the Great American Novel changes. 

One of my all-time favorite books, period.

What’s even more difficult though, is to narrow down, not just the greatest American book, but the greatest novel according to Americans! Either way, it’s an absurd notion—my favorite book may not be my husband’s—that’s for certain—or yours—or the majority of the book reading and voting public but what a delicious argument, outside of politics, to consume and divide us. There’s a new PBS series coming on May 22 at 8pm that will do just that: attempt to narrow down, not just the Great American Novel—difficult enough—but America’s best-loved book! 

Called The Great American Read, the weekly show features Meredith Vieira traveling the country in an effort to narrow down the list from the top 100 books. (Listed below in alphabetical order.) How did they come up with the top 100? A national survey. Personally, I didn’t participate in or have any knowledge of any such survey and I quibble with any list that pits Fifty Shades of Grey against Pride and Prejudice, but be that as it may! 

The criteria for inclusion was that the books be novels (hence The Diary of Ann Frank is not on the list) published in English and that an author could only be represented once—John Green’s Looking for Alaska but not The Fault in Our Stars while The Stand has to stand in for Stephen King’s complete oeuvre. Series too, like JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series or the Twilight books, can only be counted once. There are glaring omissions—Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle—and unbelievable IMHO inclusions, ie The Shack by William P. Young. I suspect there’s plenty to argue about what didn’t make the list. As well as what did!

Anyway, the idea is to celebrate and encourage reading. There are local events and an interactive website where we can voice our opinions and cast our votes with as much vociferousness as we do for The Voice. 

Many key authors, celebrities and notable figures in the entertainment, sports, news and literary worlds will join Vieira in lending their voices and passion to THE GREAT AMERICAN READ. Margaret Atwood, Jenna and Barbara Bush, Chelsea Clinton, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham, John Green, Gayle King, George R. R. Martin, Shaquille O’Neal, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jason Reynolds, Gabrielle Union, Ming-Na Wen and many others will share their personal stories and connections to their favorite titles throughout the series.
Following the two-hour launch event of THE GREAT AMERICAN READ, and throughout the summer, viewers will be encouraged to read and engage in the conversation by participating in local events, and by visiting the interactive website & voting for their favoriteat pbs.org/greatamericanread.

The series will return in September with a recap and additional themed episodes exploring the nominated books, leading up to the reveal of “America’s Best-Loved Novel” on Tuesday, October 23.

 1984 George Orwell
 A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole
 A Prayer For Owen Meany John Irving
 A Separate Peace John Knowles
 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Betty Smith
 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Mark Twain
 The Alchemist Paulo Coelho
 Alex Cross Mysteries (series) James Patterson
 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll
 Americanah Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
 And Then There Were None Agatha Christie
 Anne of Green Gables Lucy Maud Montgomery
 Another Country James Baldwin
 Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand
 Beloved Toni Morrison
 Bless Me, Ultima Rudolfo Anaya
 The Book Thief Markus Zusak
 The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao Junot Díaz
 The Call Of The Wild Jack London
 Catch-22 Joseph Heller
 The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger
 Charlotte's Web E. B. White
 The Chronicles of Narnia (series) C.S. Lewis
 Clan of the Cave Bear Jean M. Auel
 Coldest Winter Ever Sister Souljah
 The Color Purple Alice Walker
 The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas
 Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky
 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
 Mark Haddon
 The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown
 Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes
 Doña Bárbára Rómulo Gallegos
 Dune Frank Herbert
 Fifty Shades Of Grey (series) E. L. James
 Flowers In The Attic V.C. Andrews
 Foundation (series) Isaac Asimov
 Frankenstein Mary Shelley
 Game of Thrones (series) George R. R. Martin
 Ghost Jason Reynolds
 Gilead Marilynne Robinson
 The Giver Lois Lowry
 The Godfather Mario Puzo
 Gone Girl Gillian Flynn
 Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell
 The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck
 Great Expectations Charles Dickens
 The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
 Gulliver's Travels Jonathan Swift
 The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood
 Harry Potter (series) J.K. Rowling
 Hatchet (series) Gary Paulsen
 Heart Of Darkness Joseph Conrad
 The Help Kathryn Stockett
 The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy
 Douglas Adams
 The Hunger Games (series) Suzanne Collins
 The Hunt For Red October Tom Clancy
 The Intuitionist Colson Whitehead
 Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
 Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë
 The Joy Luck Club Amy Tan
 Jurassic Park Michael Crichton
 Left Behind (series) Tim LaHaye and
 Jerry B. Jenkins
 The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 Little Women Louisa May Alcott
 Lonesome Dove Larry McMurtry
 Looking for Alaska John Green
 The Lord of the Rings (series) J.R.R. Tolkien
 The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold
 The Martian Andy Weir
 Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden
 Mind Invaders Dave Hunt
 Moby-Dick Herman Melville
 The Notebook Nicholas Sparks
 One Hundred Years of Solitude
 Gabriel García Márquez
 Outlander (series) Diana Gabaldon
 The Outsiders S. E. Hinton
 The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde
 The Pilgrim's Progress John Bunyan
 The Pillars of The Earth Ken Follett
 Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
 Ready Player One Ernest Cline
 Rebecca Daphne du Maurier
 The Shack William P. Young
 Siddhartha Hermann Hesse
 The Sirens Of Titan Kurt Vonnegut
 The Stand Stephen King
 The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway
 Swan Song Robert R. McCammon
 Tales of The City (series) Armistead Maupin
 Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston
 Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe
 This Present Darkness Frank. E. Peretti
 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
 The Twilight Saga (series) Stephenie Meyer
 War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
 Watchers Dean Koontz
 The Wheel of Time (series) Robert Jordan and
 Brandon Sanderson
 Where the Red Fern Grows Wilson Rawls
 White Teeth Zadie Smith
 Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë

What’s your favorite book? Is it on the list? What didn’t make the cut but should have?

*The answer is 85. And of the fifteen remaining books, five are listed as being in development. 

Put Sharp Objects in Your Beach Bag: The Series Starring Amy Adams Premieres on July 8th #book2movie

Amy Adams in Sharp Objects

It’s official. Sharp Objects will be your summer binge. HBO just announced the series starring Amy Adams will make its debut on July 8th at 9pm.

Based on the book by Gone Girl author, Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects is the story of reporter Camille Preaker (Adams) who goes back to her hometown to report on the murders of two young girls. Camille, as though of you who’ve read the novel, is quite a flawed main character.

I took a quick look back at my review from 9/6/2016 where I noted she makes a lot of “self-sabotaging choices that mess up her head and her life.’’

And, this ...
“Again, as in Gone Girl, the ending wasn’t what I was expecting or wanting. I finished the book feeling slightly unsatisfied but you know what they “you don't always get what you want but if you try sometimes you might find, you get what you need.’’

The 8-episode series also stars Chris Messina, Eliza Scanlen, Patricia Clarkson, Elizabeth Perkins, Matt Craven, Henry Czerny, Taylor John Smith, Sophia Lillis and Madison Davenport. 

Directed by Big Little Lie’s Jean-Marc Vallée from scripts by Marti Noxon and Gillian Flynn, I’m looking forward to it. I may have to give the novel a quick re-read. Have you read Sharp Objects? With summer around the corner, I’m predicting it will be making its appearance in a lot of beach bags.

The Bookshop by Penolope Fitzgerald: My take on the book [review] #book2movie

The Book Shop by Penelope Fitzgerald is a surprisingly affecting little book. At just 118 pages, the novel was shortlisted for the Booker Prize when it was published in 1978. The story of two women, one who wants to turn a crumbling, damp old house into a bookshop, the other who wants to use the home for an art center, it’s a strange and unexpected battle. Especially unexpected, that such a small bookish book would be adapted for the screen. There is very little action, and the battle isn’t likely to compete with the Marvel universe for viewers.

It is in fact, a battle in name only. In the tradition of best British manners, no one gets into a huge shouting match. It’s more of a stand-off, the fighting taking place in the stubbornness and resolve of the two women. At first, Florence (played by Emily Mortimer in the film) is resolute, she buys the property despite knowing there are some in the village whispering against the idea. Ignoring them, she goes about preparing to fulfill her own dream of opening a bookshop, the details of which, from stocking shelves to receiving shipments from publishers, Fitzgerald shares in passages that will delight any book lover’s heart—and for a time, the store seems to be a success.

Success, until her nemesis, quietly, behind the scenes, using her powerful clout, sets some gears into motion that ultimately changes things. That's when this small and charming book packs a powerful little gut punch. 

Because we are readers and lovers of books, you and I, we root for Florence even while a tiny part of us wishes something could be done to accommodate the art center as well. Art is noble too, yes? Except, of course, the other woman, Mrs. Gamart (Patricia Clarkson), is a bit of a snooty upper-crusty bitch while Florence is a lovely Every Woman. Meaning every woman (or man) who has ever harbored the dream of opening a small bookshop ... which may be every reader ever! I know I’m not the only one who has a fond fantasy of opening a bookstore cafe! 

Take a gander at how this plays out on film. 
In the movie, Bill Nighy takes the part of Edmund Brundish, a reclusive local who reaches out to Florence with a letter of support. In the novel, Florence sends Mr. Brundish a copy of Nabokov’s then-new book Lolita, asking whether he thinks it advisable to order the book. He responds that she should order it, despite the fact that none of the villagers will understand it, because it will be good for them.  

Taking a look at the clip below, it appears because of the controversial nature of the novel, that the filmmakers have changed the novel in question to Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles

For a lovely and comprehensive review of Penelope Fitzgerald’s novel take a look at RohanMaitzen.com  Ms. Maitzen calls it “a gem of a book: spare but revealing, quirky but unsentimental.’’

The movie looks to be exactly that, “quirky but unsentimental.’’ While our friends around the world are beginning to see the film in throughout May and June, here in the US we’ll have to wait until August 24th. 

Benedict Cumberbatch on Patrick Melrose [featurette] #book2movie

Benedict Cumberbatch is Patrick Melrose

“A man on the brink of collapsing into himself in an episode of drug-fueled schizophrenia.’’

Patrick Melrose is a five-episode event on Showtime. Episode One aired this Saturday and is now available On Demand, so if you haven’t started watching, you can still catch up. You may want to because Benedict Cumberbatch is almost certainly going to be the front-runner for next year’s Best Actor Emmy award for his portrayal of the drug-addled Melrose. 

Watching the episode about Melrose traveling to New York to retrieve his father’s ashes (Hugo Weaving) I was both repulsed and fascinated by his wild swings between going straight and doing what he needed to get his fix. As anyone who has friends or family with addiction issues, whether it’s cocaine, heroin or the more commonplace alcohol, those wild swings are what drive you crazy. You get to a place where you know they’ll never get sober, never get straight, but the frenzy they create in your life goes on. The fear that one more fix, one more snort, one more drink is the one that kills them. 

It’s exhausting. It was exhausting to watch Cumberbatch too, on the verge, as he says in the quote above, of collapsing into himself. He got every tick, every crazy-eyed, every slow slur of speech—you should see him after he dropped a quaalude when the muscles of his body are so relaxed, he oozes to and along the floor—exactly right. 

Patrick Melrose, based on the books by Edward St. Aubyn was scripted by David Nicholls (One Day). The cast includes Hugo Weaving, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife). A highlight of episode one was Allison Williams in a surprisingly mature role for the actor who played Marnie in Girls. 

Are you watching Patrick Melrose? Let me know what you think in the comment section below. I’m all ears.

Connect with Joy Weese Moll’s British Isles Friday

Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams Star in Disobedience: Based on the book by Naomi Alderman #book2movie

Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz star in Disobedience

Why so secretive? Did Disobedience slip through the cracks because it features a lesbian love affair? Based on the book by Naomi Alderman, Disobedience stars Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz and is in theaters now!

The logline

A woman returns to the community that shunned her for her attraction to a childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality.

About the book

When a young photographer living in New York learns that her estranged father, a well-respected rabbi, has died, she can no longer run away from the truth, and soon sets out for the Orthodox Jewish community in London where she grew up.

Back for the first time in years, Ronit can feel the disapproving eyes of the community. Especially those of her beloved cousin, Dovid, her father’s favorite student and now an admired rabbi himself, and Esti, who was once her only ally in youthful rebelliousness. Now Esti is married to Dovid, and Ronit is shocked by how different they both seem, and how much greater the gulf between them is.
But when old flames reignite and the shocking truth about Ronit and Esti’s relationship is revealed, the past and present converge in this award-winning and critically acclaimed novel about the universality of love and faith, and the strength and sacrifice it takes to fight for what you believe in—even when it means disobedience.
Clearly, this is an intriguing and powerful story about faith and forbidden love, one rarely told. Have you read the book? Is the movie on your list? 

Let’s check out the trailer.

Tell me what you think in the comment section below. I’m all ears!
Connecting with Joy Weese Moll’s British Isles Friday where others may share my interest in seeing London’s Jewish Orthodox community. I imagine this film is the closest  I'll get. 
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