7 Books To Read Before The Academy Awards, From 'Call Me By Your Name' To 'Molly's Game'
This Sunday, March 4, marks one of the biggest nights in Hollywood: the 2018 Academy Awards. For movie-lovers, it's a fun night celebrating all things cinema, but for readers, it's the perfect excuse to read the books that inspired this year's Oscar-nominated films.
Since the very first ceremony in 1929, book-to-film adaptations have been a staple at the Academy Awards. In fact, throughout the award show's 90 year history, over 60 Best Picture winners were inspired by literature, including six in the last decade alone. With several big adaptations up for awards this year, it seems like 2018 is continuing that trend.
According to Paste, book-to-film adaptations were nominated in 15 of the 24 Oscar categories, including three of the Big Five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay. From picture books and middle grade novels, to memoirs and science fiction stories, literature has a serious showing at the 2018 Academy Awards. The only question is, which film will take home the coveted golden statue at the end of the night, and which ones remind us that the book is always better than the movie?
Get your popcorn popped, your champagne poured, and your reading lamp ready, because the 90th Academy Awards are here, and you're going to want to make sure you read one of these seven books before the Oscars Sunday night.
'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' by Philip K. Dick
Blade Runner 2049 might not be the night's most talked about film — its only nominations are in Cinematography, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects — but the original Philip K. Dick's novel that inspired it is a must-read in 2018. In its dystopian future, millions of people and thousands of animal species are dead as a result of the World War, and humankind is in the process of fleeing the planet to live off-world. Immigrants to Mars are given androids to help them adjust to their new lives, but the artificial humans are banned from Earth. Rick Deckard, the story's protagonist, is a bounty hunter charged with "retiring" those who have gone rogue, until an interaction with a particular android changes everything. Chilling and thought-provoking, this sci-fi classic just might change the way you think about our technology-reliant world.
'The Breadwinner' by Deborah Ellis
Nominated for Best Animated Feature Film, The Breadwinner is a heartbreaking yet inspiring movie that follows Parvana, a young girl living under Taliban rule in Kabul. A timely story based on an bestselling book series for young readers by Deborah Ellis, its nomination is actually pretty groundbreaking. Not only does it confront often overlooked real-world issues, but The Breadwinner is one of this year's only two Oscar-nominated screenplays written by a woman that is based on a book by a woman. It is also one of only three 2018 Oscar-nominated movies with a female director. Fingers crossed this empowering and bookish film takes home a wine.
'Call Me By Your Name' by André Aciman
If a fear of crying in public has kept you from seeing Best Picture nominee Call Me by Your Name in theaters, don't worry, because you can read André Aciman's original story in the privacy of your own home. Originally published in 2007, this touching coming-of-age story follows the gay romance of 17-year-old Elio and his family's summer guest, the older professor Oliver. A frank and touching portrayal of attraction, passion, and true love, this touching novel should be on everyone's reading list, whether they've seen its story played out on screen or not.
'Molly's Game: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World' by Molly Bloom
If you were fascinated by Jessica Chastain's portrayal "Hollywood's poker princess" in Aaron Sorkin's Molly's Game, then you're going to want to make sure the true story behind the movie is on your TBR list. In her captivating memoir by the same name, Molly Bloom takes readers behind the scenes of the high-stakes world of underground poker. A fast-paced and fascinating read, this is one true story you have to read (or see) to believe.
'Mudbound' by Hillary Jordan
Nominated in four categories — Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Mary J. Blige), Cinematography, Music (Original Song), and Writing (Adapted Screenplay) — Mudbound is one the year's most talked about films, and for good reason. Set in 1940s Mississippi, the Hillary Jordan novel the film is based on follows the lives of two families who struggle to survive in the Jim Crow South. Tragic and utterly moving, this international bestseller is the perfect read for Americans who are still so clearly struggling with the legacy of racism and slavery in this country. Not to mention, it is the only other Oscar-nominated screenplay written by a woman based on a book by a woman, and one of the three films directed by a woman. In other words: read the book, watch the movie, and support the incredible women who poured their hearts and souls into creating it.
'All the Money in the World' by John Pearson
They say truth is stranger than fiction, and the real story behind Ridley Scott's All the Money in the World proves it. Like the 2011 book by John Pearson it is based on — previously titled Famously Rich — the film adaptation follows the many ups and downs in the lives of the Getty family, namely, the kidnapping of 16-year-old Paul Getty. A riveting tale of absurd wealth, family, loyalty, and betrayal, All the Money in the World is an enthralling read you won't soon forget, whether you see the movie or not.
'Wonder' by R.J. Palacio
R.J. Palacio's Wonder may have been written for young readers, but the story is one readers of all ages can appreciate. An utterly inspiring narrative, Wonder follows the adventures of Auggie Pullman, a young boy with a facial deformity, as he embarks on his first year at a mainstream school. While the film adaptation may have only been nominated in one small category — Makeup and Hairstyling — Palacio's bestselling, award-winning book about compassion, empathy, and acceptance deserves a spot on every bookshelf.