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Tag: Oscars (1-6 of 6)

'12 Years a Slave' book sales up after Oscars

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12 Years a Slave is getting a post-Oscar bump — for the book it was based on.

The 19th-century memoir by ex-slave Solomon Northup jumped from No. 326 on Amazon.com before Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony to No. 19 on Monday afternoon.

The film was directed by Steve McQueen and stars Chiwetel Ejiofor. It was among last year’s most highly praised releases and won the Oscar for Best Picture. It was the first film directed by a black person to win for Best Picture.

The book and the movie tell of how the free-born black Northup was kidnapped and forced into slavery. Thanks to the movie’s success, interest in the book has been revived and public high schools are starting to add it to course lists.

Celebrate the Oscars with Mad Libs -- EXCLUSIVE

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You’ve already stocked up on food for your Oscar watch party this weekend. And now that that’s out of the way, you can stock up on your favorite parts of speech. Why, you ask? The writers at Mad Libs created an Oscar-inspired game, sure to fill any missing blanks on Oscar night. Check it out after the jump. READ FULL STORY

Reading the Oscars: 'Hugo' the book vs. the movie

Six out of the nine Best Picture Academy Award nominees this year were based on books: Hugo, War Horse, Moneyball, The Descendants, The Help, and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Prior to the ceremony on Feb. 26, Shelf Life will read or re-read each of these books, in addition to a few others that inspired nominees in different categories, and do a side-by-side with the film version. Today, we’ll take a look at Hugo, which is nominated for 11 Oscars, including Best Adapted Screenplay. Spoilers ahead. READ FULL STORY

'My Week with Marilyn': How the book stacks up to the movie

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Marilyn Monroe was such a big star at her height that one young man’s brief encounters with her spawned not one but two memoirs, which in turn inspired a feature film that’s currently generating Oscar buzz. The two books by the late Colin Clark both document the author’s experiences at the age of 23 as the third assistant director — or really, as an errand boy — on the conflict-ridden, six-month-long shoot of The Prince and the Showgirl starring Monroe and Laurence Olivier. His first book about the shoot, The Prince, the Showgirl, and Me (1995), consists of his day-to-day, fly-on-the-wall journals of his on-set observations. The second book, My Week With Marilyn (2000), takes a deeper look at a magical nine-day period (mentioned just briefly in the first book) in the middle of that six months in which Monroe lured Clark into a semi-romantic affair. While the two books — published only five years apart — take a markedly different stance on Monroe as a person and an actress, My Week With Marilyn the movie, as the title would suggest, adheres very closely to the book of the same name, although it draws some expository details from the first book as well. Weinstein Books, the publishing arm of the studio that produced the film, has released the two books in one volume for the first time. Whether you have or haven’t seen the movie, is the book worth reading? (Minor spoilers ahead). READ FULL STORY

Diane Keaton delves into Woody Allen romance in her new memoir, 'Then Again'

She would know: Going out with Woody Allen was like being in a Woody Allen movie, Diane Keaton writes in an upcoming memoir. The Academy Award-winning actress starred with Allen in such favorites as Sleeper and Love and Death and got an Oscar for Annie Hall, in which her baggy-panted WASP meshed unforgettably with Allen’s patented schlemiel. Allen and Keaton dated for a few years and remain close.

“I was his endearing oaf. I had him pegged as a cross between a ‘White Thing’ and the cockroach you couldn’t kill,” Keaton, 65, writes in Then Again, which comes out next month and is excerpted in the November issue of Vogue, arriving at newsstands Oct 25. “We shared a love of torturing each other with our failures. His insights into my character were dead-on and hilarious. This bond remains the core of our friendship and, for me, love.” READ FULL STORY

Reading the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar category: The book isn't always better

Winters-BoneImage Credit: Sebastian MlynarskiAs a huge nerd, the Oscar category I anticipate most each year is Best Adapted Screenplay. There’s something uniquely creative and scholarly about deconstructing a book line-by-line, condensing several scenes into one, inventing devices to lend greater truth to the narrative, and building with images the unspoken words that authors have the luxury of telling readers outright. I like imagining how beaten, dog-eared, and annotated the screenwriter’s copy of the source material must be, and the adapter’s inevitable hours of turmoil of having to sacrifice beautiful scenes for the ruthless economy required of a good film.

It bothers me when people say, “The book is always better than the movie.” It’s a blanket statement I think people say to sound smart, but it’s simply not true (unless you’re talking about Harry Potter). The Devil Wears Prada the movie was leagues better than the charmless book by Lauren Weisberger. The Godfather films will long outlast Mario Puzo’s pulpy potboiler. In the hands of screenwriters and directors who aren’t afraid to take risks, a film adaptation can elevate the source material into a new stratosphere. READ FULL STORY

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