If You Liked The 2015 Oscars Best Picture Nominees, You'll Love These 16 Books
Maybe you've seen all of them, read the books they were based on, and loved them. Maybe you're way behind in the movie world, and just want the highlights. Some of us are just in it for the red carpet and the dresses, and that's also good. (Make sure you have some solid snacks at your party, too, because plenty of people just pop by for the quirky treats that you'll inevitably be serving at the best bash on the block.)
Whatever your reason, the Oscars are a fun night for everyone. But once the biggest award show of the season is over, then what? The weather is still cold, spring is another six weeks away, and now awards season is wrapping up, too. If you're not ready to let the season (and eight great movies) go just yet, here are 16 book recommendations based on this year's Best Picture nominees.
If you liked American Sniper, read...
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
If you enjoyed American Sniper and its depiction of the realities and horrors of war, Laura Hillenbrand's best seller turned movie Unbroken is the one for you. A close look at World War II through the eyes of Louis Zamperini, Unbroken does for WWII what American Sniper is doing for the war in Iraq.
Redeployment by Phil Klay
Phil Klay's National Book Award-winning collection of short stories gives readers an inside look at what it was like on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. It transports them to the homes of a soldier as he arrives home from duty, and like American Sniper, is already predicted to become a classic in the war genre.
If you liked The Theory of Everything, read...
What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
One thing Stephen Hawking never stopped doing was questioning everything around him. Literally, the theories behind everything. Randall Munroe's book of crazy questions given scientific answers is the perfect read for anyone who can't stop asking, "What if?"
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
Hawking had to come to terms with the fact that one day, much sooner than he thought, he might not be around to continue his scientific explorations. Randy Pausch gives us an incredibly emotional look at another smart man, struck by disease in the prime of his life.
If you liked The Imitation Game, read...
The Secret Lives of Code Breakers: The Men and Women Who Cracked the Enigma Code at Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay
Alan Touring might be the focus of The Imitation Game, but he was hardly alone in his efforts of cracking The Enigma. Sinclair McKay gives a detailed look at the many men and women who worked tirelessly behind the scenes at Bletchley Park, perfect for all Imitation Game fans who can't get enough of the time period, and of course, the code cracking.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre
A modern classic in which there is believed to be a Soviet mole within the "Circus" of British Intelligence, readers will quickly notice and love the similarities between the code cracking of The Imitation Game, and Le Carre's fantastic, fictional portrayal of George Smiley.
If you liked Birdman, read...
Tunneling to the Center of the Earth: Stories by Kevin Wilson
Kevin Wilson creates a collection of stories surrounding regular people, and the ways in which their lives border on the mundane and the surreal. Riggan Thomson knows this feeling all too well, as he teeters on the edge of sanity in the wake of his career as an actor famous for his portrayal of the superhero: Birdman.
Actors Anonymous by James Franco
If anyone knows the inner workings of an actor's mind, it's James Franco. In his debut novel, Franco explores the struggles actors face as they try to make it big. Hilarious and heart breaking in the way Birdman itself was, Actors Anonymous is a perfect read for fans of the critically acclaimed film.
If you liked Whiplash, read...
2 a.m. at the Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino
Marie Helene Bertino brings to life the story of Madeleine Altimari, a young girl who will stop at nothing to become a famous jazz singer. Like Whiplash, the novel delves into the life of someone full of passion for something they love, and who will stop at nothing until they can free the music inside them.
The Beat of My Own Drum: A Memoir by Sheila E.
Whiplash is the story of one young man trying to make his way in the music world. The Beat of My Own Drum is the true story of Sheila E. as she forged her own path in that same difficult world until she finally made it. Now a Grammy award-winning drummer, Sheila E. shows the real side of going after your dreams no matter what people say.
If you loved Selma, read...
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Martin Luther King Jr. is brought to life once again in Selma, reminding us of how far we've come, without letting us forget how much there is still to be done. With a sequel on the way in July 2015 called Go Set a Watchman, To Kill a Mockingbird is a timeless novel of equality and innocence that pairs perfectly with Selma.
A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. edited by Clayborne Carson and Kris Shepard
If Selma left you wanting to know more about Martin Luther King and all of the work he did, Carson and Shepard's collection of all of his major speeches is a great way to start. A reminder of what a powerful speaker and motivator he was, A Call to Conscience is an important and moving collection from Dr. King.
If you liked The Grand Budapest Hotel, read...
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
With art theft at the heart of both The Grand Budapest Hotel and Donna Tartt's 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Goldfinch is perfect for anyone who loved the European setting and quirky characters of Grand Budapest.
The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel
A nonfiction take on a similar time period in Europe, The Monuments Men shows just how far some extremely dedicated soldiers were willing to go to protect iconic works of art. The Grand Budapest Hotel, meanwhile, is a similar exploration of what art means to us and how far we are willing to go to protect it.
If you liked Boyhood, read...
Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
Boyhood is unique in that it is an incredibly detailed coming of age story. Black Swan Green is a similarly close look at growing up. Told over the course of the year, David Mitchell creates a collage of "firsts" in the life of 13-year-old Jason Taylor.
This Boy's Life: A Memoir by Tobias Wolff
With similar themes of divorce, loneliness, and family, This Boy's Life is a coming of age story for anyone looking for another look into the difficulties of growing up. Told with an honesty and vulnerability similar to Boyhood, Wolff's personal account of his travels with his mother during his parents divorce reads like a novel with a personal touch.