January 24, 2012

Oscar-nominated Books 2012

The 2012 Academy Award nominations were announced this morning. As far as movies based on books go, the Best Picture race looks a lot like that of this year’s Golden Globes. Just replace Ides of March with Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. (There are also three movies not based on books, but who cares about those?)

Click a poster below to learn about the book your favorite film in this year’s Oscar race is based on.

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Golden Globe best picture nominee The Ides of March is nominated for a best adapted screenplay Academy Award. Alongside it are best picture nominees The Descendants, Hugo, and Moneyball, as well as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

And the rest…

Rooney Mara received a Best Actress nomination for playing Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Glenn Close also received a Best Actress nom for her role as a woman pretending to be a man in Albert Nobbs.

Michelle Williams and Kenneth Brannagh were both nominated for their roles in My Week with Marilyn.

Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin, based on the comics by Herge, was not nominated for Best Animated Feature!

Learn about these books (and a couple more you might enjoy) on our previous post on this year’s Golden Globe awards.

Advertisements
March 6, 2012

Matched by Ally Condie

Matched  by Ally Condie.

Matched Trilogy, book 1, c2010

Unabridged audio available – Read by Kate Simses.

In Matched, Cassia, our narrator, lives in a highly structured society (imaginatively called The Society) that controls everything.  Those in power have made a formal procedure of the marriage process.  When children are 17 years old, they attend a matching banquet at their City Hall.  (Cassia hasn’t set foot in City Hall until her matching banquet and she’s been looking forward to this night for what seems like forever.)  It is one of the only times in their lives where those being matched are allowed to wear fun, colorful dress clothing and eat rich and extravagant food.  Normally everyone eats bland but nutritionally appropriate foods.  There is such a level of control over their lives, that the government monitors each person’s caloric needs and delivers food to meet those individual needs.  They don’t even cook for themselves.

At the banquet, Cassia finds out she has been matched with her best friend Xander. It seems like the perfect fit and she is very lucky and appreciative.  Most people are not usually matched with someone they know and like.  In fact, most of the time matches take one person or the other far from their homes and families forever. Unique as it is to find her optimal match in her childhood friend, even more strange is the fact that her match disk also “accidentally” contains another match for her.  She can’t help but wonder how and why this could’ve happened and what it means.

When the book opens, we see an idyllic community.  Life is good.  The Society has given them the ultimate gift–time.  People live longer and better than any other people in the history of the world, in large part because of the matching process and the physically and mentally healthy offspring it produces.  Yes, things are a lot more structured than we are used to, in our country full of personal choice. But so what if people are exposed to a very restricted amount of information? (Years before the book begins, The Society appointed commissions to choose the 100 best of everything; songs, paintings, stories, poems, etc. The rest were eliminated.) Is it really such a big deal that you are only allowed to own one artifact from the past?  That there’s a curfew?  That you aren’t allowed to learn handwriting?  That jobs are determined through assessment and assigned by The Society? That your dreams are periodically monitored and you are never truly alone in your homes?   Everyone seems to have what they need to live a comfortable and stress free life. Their basic needs are provided for.  Is lack of choice really all that important when everyone has food, shelter and work? When everyone has enough?

That is a question readers will have to answer for themselves.  “I wish you optimal results.”

I look forward to reading the next book in the trilogy—Crossed.  This book also reminds me of Divergent by Veronica Roth and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

Learn more about the Matched trilogy at Ally Condie’s website.

January 31, 2012

World Book Night 2012

Sign up by February 6th!

World Book Night 2012We have some excellent news!

The Book Cellar has been chosen to be an official store for World Book Night 2012. They are looking for 50,000 volunteers to hand out 20 copies each of their favorite books. That’s one million books!

What? You haven’t heard of World Book Night? Here’s the scoop from their website:

World Book Night is an annual celebration designed to spread a love of reading and books. To be held in the U.S. as well as the U.K. and Ireland on April 23, 2012. It will see tens of thousands of people go out into their communities to spread the joy and love of reading by giving out free World Book Night paperbacks.
World Book Night, through social media and traditional publicity, will also promote the value of reading, of printed books, and of bookstores and libraries to everyone year-round.
Successfully launched in the U.K. in 2011, World Book Night will also be celebrated in the U.S. in 2012, with news of more countries to come in future years. Please join our mailing list for regular World Book Night U.S. news. And thank you to our U.K. friends for such a wonderful idea!
Additionally, April 23 is UNESCO’s World Book Day, chosen due to the anniversary of Cervantes’ death, as well as Shakespeare’s birth and death.

Volunteer to give books out in your community. Maybe at a food pantry or shelter. The organizers of World Book Night will provide the books–free of charge–and you can pick them up here in April.

They have chosen 30 amazing books across all genres to represent World Book Night, including Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones, Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible, and Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games.

The Book Cellar book club has had fascinating discussions about many of the books on the list. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks looks at the early days of medical ethics (or the lack thereof). We unanimously enjoyed Stephen King’s The Stand even though it took us almost two months to finish. And The Glass Castle and Bel Canto both provoked vigorous debate.

You can sign up to be a volunteer for World Book Night. Go to their official page to sign up. We’d love to see you for the World Book Night reception on April 16th.

Let’s share. What book–it doesn’t have to be on the World Book Night list–has moved you so much you wish you could give out a million copies, and why?

January 24, 2012

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy has received Academy Award nominations for Best Actor, Gary Oldman, and Best Adapted Screenplay, Bridget O’ Connor and Peter Straughan.

O’Connor and Straughan adapted their screenplay from John le Carre’s thriller of the same name. O’Connor also adapted The Men Who Stare at Goats from the book by Jon Ronson. That 2009 movie starred George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Ewan McGregor, and some goats.

Many of le Carre’s books have been adapted into film. Most recently 2005’s The Constant Gardner, for which Rachel Weisz won an Oscar. Tinker Tailor… was even a 1979 mini-series produced by the BBC.

If you’re local, the Wilton Town Hall Theater is scheduled to start playing Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy on Friday, January 27. If you’re not local, it’s worth the trip!

January 24, 2012

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Support Actor (Max von Sydow). The film also stars Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, and Thomas Horn as Oskal Schell. (Fun fact: Horn was discovered after appearing on Jeopardy! Kids Week.)

The book, by Jonathan Safran Foer, was published in 2005. The book has returned to the New York Times’ bestseller list after the release of the movie.

The movie wasn’t nominated for any Golden Globe or SAG awards. Are you surprised in its inclusion in the Oscars? If you’ve seen the movie, let us know how it compares to the book!

Another of Foer’s books, Everything is Illuminated, was adapted into a movie starring Elijah Wood.

January 24, 2012

Bookbyte: The Future of Us

What would you do if you could see your future? How would you try to change it? The Future of Us is about the journey from adolescence to adulthood, and learning that you can, in fact, control your own future.

Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler (authors of Thirteen Reasons Why and The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, respectively) have co-written a book with a unique premise. It’s 1996, and two friends, Josh and Emma, are dialing up to the Internet for the first time. Cue bloorpy 56k modem noises… now. Josh has given one of those ubiquitous AOL CDs to Emma. (Remember those? We never lacked for a coaster in the 90s.) When Emma signs up for AOL, she gets more than “You’ve Got Mail” and the world’s worst customer service; she gets access to her Facebook page 15 years in the future.

What would you do if you could see your future? How would you try to change it? Josh likes his future–married, with children, to one of the most popular girls in high school. Emma doesn’t like hers–she’s unhappily married, and not happy with where she lives or her career. (She’s also one of the most annoying people on Facebook. You know, the kind who whine & complain All. The. Time. But that’s beside the point.) They learn that the smallest of decisions can affect their own futures, and the futures of their friends.

The Future of Us has appeal for two generations–today’s teens and those who grew up in the 90s. The 90s references are sprinkled throughout. They’re used for fun, nostalgic moments, and not really critical to the plot. The time-traveling conceit is never fully explained, but it doesn’t need to be. The Future of Us is about the journey from adolescence to adulthood, and learning that you can, in fact, control your own future.

Learn more about The Future of Us at Jay Asher’s and Carolyn Macker’s websites.

January 17, 2012

Review – Divergent by Veronica Roth

“Divergent is about making choices, learning about and depending on yourself, and doing the right thing in the face of insurmountable odds.”

Divergent’s story takes place in Chicago, sometime in the future. Society has been restructured. It’s been long enough since whatever great cataclysm happened (probably war), that the younger generation has no idea what is beyond the city limits.  Within the city, people live very structured lives in accordance to the faction they belong to.  Factions are defined by the personality traits the people in the faction value.  The five factions are Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent).   Each faction believes their way of life is best. When people turn sixteen, they are given an aptitude test to determine what faction they belong in. This one test determines the path for the rest of each person’s life.

It’s Beatrice “Tris” Prior’s turn to choose.  But she feels like she doesn’t fit in.  Is there something wrong with her?  Should she stay where she doesn’t belong, living a life of meek selflessness in order to be with her family?  Or should she leave them behind forever and face a harrowing and violent initiation, in order to be true to herself?  What if she fails?  Failure to successfully complete the initiation is a real possibility and means being factionless.  The factionless live on the streets, with no way to support themselves.  They have to depend on the kindness of the Abnegation faction. No one wants to live a factionless life.  As if contemplating all of that isn’t scary enough, her decision is further complicated when she learns she has a secret that could mean her death if she reveals it.  But it looks to her like she isn’t the only one hiding something….

Divergent is about making choices, learning about and depending on yourself, and doing the right thing in the face of insurmountable odds. Oh, and there’s a bit of romance as well.  I enjoyed the book because the characters are well drawn. The plot is compelling, believable and thought provoking.  People who like strong female characters will love the book.

Divergent reminded me of Matched by Ally Condie.  (In Matched, Cassia lives in a highly structured Society that makes a ritual of the marriage process.  But her unusual experience with the process makes her believe maybe the Society isn’t as perfect as she thought.)  It also reminded me of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  (The Hunger Games is  character-driven and tells the story of a post-apocalyptic government that forces representatives of each of the 12 Districts to fight to the death in an arena every year.  But what kind of sadistic government would force this penance on teenagers?  Can Katniss Everdeen survive the ordeal?)

Veronica Roth has done a wonderful job with this, her first novel.  I’m looking forward to the second in the trilogy, Insurgent, due out in May of 2012.

Fun Fact: Divergent has been optioned for a feature film. Who would your ideal cast be?

You can learn more about Divergent and the rest of the trilogy at the books’ fansite. The unabridged audiobook is read by Emma Galvin.

– Heidi

January 15, 2012

The Books Behind This Year’s Golden Globe Nominated Films

The Golden Globe awards are tonight. All six of this year’s Golden Globe-nominated Best Dramas are based on books (well, one is a play, but it’s available in print). A couple are based on literary titans that are hard to miss–namely The Help and Hugo, based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Others you might not know they were based on books unless you do a little research. If you liked the movie, you’ll probably like the book–maybe like it more than the film.

Let’s explore this year’s Golden Globe nominated films and the books they are based on. Click a poster to learn more.

...and the rest

January 14, 2012

And the rest…

*This post updated January 24, 2012 to reflect the morning’s Academy Award nominations. Read the updates in bold.

There are numerous films, TV shows, and mini series nominated for Golden Globes this year. Check out our other posts for the best picture nominees (Academy Awards & Golden Globes): The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, The Ides of March, Moneyball, and War Horse. Here are the other nominated films based on books.

Steven Spielberg’s Golden Globe winning Best Animated Feature, The Adventures of Tintin, is based on a series of comic books following young Belgian reporter Tintin and his dog, Snowy. A series of 24 titles were published between 1929 and 1976 by Georges Remi, who wrote under the penname Hergé. The film is based on three titles: The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn, and Red Rackham’s Treasure. Check out our collection of Tintin comics and many other graphic novels we have in stock. Tintin was not nominated for an Academy Award. Are you shocked at the snub?

Glenn Close is nominated for Best Actress for her portrayal of Albert Nobbs, a woman passing as a man in 19th-century Ireland. In 1918, Irish author George Moore published “The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs” as part of his short-story collection A Story-Teller’s Holiday. The story was long out of print until the movie brought it back into public awareness. Close also receive a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for the role.

Rooney Mara steps into Swedish actress Noomi Rapace’s piercings to play Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Mara is nominated for Best Actress. We have all three novels in Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy in stock. Mara has also received a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for the role, where she will again complete with Close, as well as The Help‘s Viola Davis, Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher (this year’s Globe winner), and Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe (keep reading!).

Tilda Swinton is nominated for Best Actress for her role as the mother of a murderer in We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. The novel won the prestigious Orange Prize in 2005. Currently in-stock. Swinton was not nominated for an acting prize in this year’s Academy Awards. Are you disappointed she was overlooked? She won an Oscar for her intense performance in 2007’s Michael Clayton.

One of the nominees for Best Motion Picture – Comedy, My Week with Marilyn, is also based on a book. Colin Clark wrote about nine days he spent with Marilyn Monroe when he was a 23-year-old production assistant on Sir Laurence Olivier’s production of “The Prince and the Showgirl.” Read his diaries in the recently re-published book, in-stock this week. Plus, what do you think of Michelle Williams in her nominated performance as the titular bombshell? Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh are both nominated for Oscars for their role in this movie.

Read on for more info on Golden Globe-nominated TV shows and mini series based on books:

In TV land, more and more novels are being picked up for mini-series adaptations. Kate Winslet played Mildred Pierce on HBO this year, and it has earned her a Golden Globe nomination. The novel, and the HBO adaptation, are dramatically different from the Joan Crawford version. Read the book and find out. In-stock.

Another HBO production, Game of Thrones received multiple Globe nominations. Game of Thrones is based on the ongoing A Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin. Martin recently released A Dance with Dragons, the fifth book in the series, after a six-year wait. Fans are eagerly awaiting The Winds of Winter, scheduled to be published this year, although Martin’s frequent delays leave fans reluctant to hold their breath. You can read a sample of Winds on Martin’s website. We have all the books in the A Song of Ice and Fire saga in-stock.

So now you know about the books that inspired this year’s award-nominated movies. Which ones have you read? Tell us what you think in the comments!

January 14, 2012

Farragut North

The Ides of March received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Beau Willimon, the original playwright. Ides is based on the play Farragut North by Beau Willimon. Farragut North is loosely based on Howard Dean‘s 2004 primary campaign. The original production starred Chris Noth and Chris Pine, among others.

There’s a Redbox outside the Nashua Book Cellar. Rent The Ides of March before award night! And pick up a copy of the play here to compare.

The Ides of March, a George Clooney-directed picture, also stars Ryan Gosling, who was nominated for a Best Actor Golden Globe

Check out our other blog posts to learn more about The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Moneyball, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, War Horse, and the rest!

January 14, 2012

The Descendants

The Descendants is nominated for Best Picture in this year’s Academy Awards. It has also received Oscar nods for Best Actor, George Clooney; Best Director, Alexander Payne (who also directed Sideways, based on the book by Rex Pickett); and Best Adapated Screenplay, Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (who plays the hilarious Dean Pelton on NBC’s Community).

The Descendants  has won the Golden Globes’ top honor, Best Motion Picture – Drama as well as an acting win for George Clooney.

It was also nominated for Best Support Actress, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.

Watch the trailer and learn more about the movie at the website for The Descendants.

The nominated screenplay was adapted from first novel of the same name by Kaui Hart Hemmings. Have you read the book? How does it compare to the award-winning film?

If you’re interested in learning more about Hawaiian history and culture, we also recommend Sarah Vowell’s Unfamiliar Fishes.

We have Unfamiliar Fishes and The Descendants in stock.

Check out our other blog posts to learn more about Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, The Ides of March, Moneyball, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, War Horse, and the rest!

January 14, 2012

War Horse

War Horse is nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards. You may know that Steven Spielberg’s picture was also a play, currently playing on Broadway. The theatrical production of War Horse won 5 Tony Awards, including Best Play. But before the book, there was the 1982 novel by Michael Morpurgo. The book is recommended for grades 5-8, so it is an excellent story for readers of all ages.

War Horse was also nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama at this year’s Golden Globes.

We currently have War Horse in stock.

Check out our other blog posts to learn more about The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, The Ides of March, Moneyball, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and the rest!