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2017 Oscars Reading List

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Pop your popcorn.  It is Oscar time again.

Hollywood movie directors and producers have long found inspiration in literature and this year’s list of Academy Award nominees is no exception. In 2017, 18 of the nominated films were adapted from books, including four in the Best Picture category.  Below is a list of some of those literary based nominated Oscar movie titles.

Who will be awarded Hollywood’s biggest prize? Which actor will give the most tearful acceptance speech? Or, the most political one? And, more importantly, which of the adapted books should I read first? Here now is your annual book-to-film reading/viewing list. All of the books are available within the Mid-Hudson Library System and some of the films are already in too.

As a sidebar,  I  will be cheering for a movie which does not have roots in published literature,  but in fact, has roots within my family and my hometown of Cornwall, Ontario.  Fingers crossed for our Ryan Gosling and  La La Land.  Our Mickey Mouse Club cousin has done well in his career. Bravo.  Let’s bring home an Oscar!

And the nominees are…drum roll, please……


FILM SYNOPSIS: When 12 mysterious spacecraft appear around the world, linguistics professor Louise Banks is tasked with interpreting the language of the apparent alien visitors.

NOMINATED FOR: Best Picture, Cinematography, Directing, Film Editing, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Writing (Adapted Screenplay).

ADAPTED FROM: The award-winning short story “Story of Your Life” from Stories of Your Life and Others by American science fiction writer, Ted Chiang.

Stories of Your Life book cover


FILM SYNOPSIS: A former neurosurgeon embarks on a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts.

NOMINATED FOR: Visual Effects.

ADAPTED FROM: Doctor Strange, the Marvel comic book character created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, the two American comic book legends who also created Spiderman. If you haven’t read these comics before, start with Doctor Strange Vol. 1, The Way of the Weird, a recent re-boot by Jason Aaron.

Dr Strange book cover


FILM SYNOPSIS: The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards 70 years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

NOMINATED FOR: Costume Design, Production Design.

ADAPTED FROM: The children’s fantasy novel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by British national treasure J. K. Rowling, best known for her Harry Potter series.

Fantastic Beasts book cover


FILM SYNOPSIS: A working-class African-American father tries to raise his family in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life.

NOMINATED FOR: Actor in a Leading Role, Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Picture, Writing (Adapted Screenplay).

ADAPTED FROM: The play Fences by Pulitzer Award-winning playwright August Wilson.

Fences book cover



FILM SYNOPSIS: The story of a team of African-American female mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the US space program.

NOMINATED FOR: Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Picture, Writing (Adapted Screenplay).

ADAPTED FROM: The inspiring true story told in Hidden Figures, the first book by American entrepreneur Margot Lee Shetterly.

Hidden Figures book cover


FILM SYNOPSIS: After a threat from the tiger Shere Khan forces him to flee the jungle, a man-cub named Mowgli embarks on a journey of self discovery with the help of panther, Bagheera, and free-spirited bear, Baloo.

NOMINATED FOR: Visual Effects.

ADAPTED FROM: The Jungle Book, a classic collection of children’s fables by English writer and renowned British Imperialist Rudyard Kipling.

The Jungle Book book cover



FILM SYNOPSIS: A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometres from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.

NOMINATED FOR: Actor in a Supporting Role, Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Picture, Cinematography, Music (Original Score), Writing (Adapted Screenplay).

ADAPTED FROM: The incredible memoir A Long Way Home by Indian-born Australian businessman Saroo Brierley.

A Long Way Home book cover



FILM SYNOPSIS: Ove, an ill-tempered, isolated retiree who spends his days enforcing block association rules and visiting his wife’s grave, has finally given up on life just as an unlikely friendship develops with his boisterous new neighbors.

NOMINATED FOR:  Foreign Language Film, Makeup and Hairstyling.

ADAPTED FROM: Popular Swedish writer Fredrik Backman‘s novel A Man Called Ove.




FILM SYNOPSIS: A wealthy art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a symbolic revenge tale.

NOMINATED FOR: Actor in a Supporting Role.

ADAPTED FROM: American writer and professor Austin Wright‘s novel Tony and Susan(also published as Nocturnal Animals).



FILM SYNOPSIS: A secret government agency recruits some of the most dangerous incarcerated super-villains to form a defensive task force. Their first mission: save the world from the apocalypse.

NOMINATED FOR: Makeup and Hairstyling.

ADAPTED FROM: A group of DC comic book villains, Suicide Squad, who first appeared in 1959.

Suicide Squad novelization book cover

Book | eBook || DVD


FILM SYNOPSIS: The story of Chesley Sullenberger, an American pilot who became a hero after landing his damaged plane on the Hudson River in order to save the flight’s passengers and crew.

NOMINATED FOR: Sound Editing.

ADAPTED FROM: Chesley Sullenberger‘s memoir Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters (also published as Sully: My Search for What Really Matters).

Highest Duty book cover


FILM SYNOPSIS: During an attack on a US compound in Libya, a security team struggles to make sense out of the chaos.

NOMINATED FOR: Sound Mixing.

ADAPTED FROM: 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi by American journalism professor Mitchell Zuckoff.

13 Hours book cover

All film synopses are from Internet Movie Database.


Author: spotwin

While I am a librarian , I am a reading cheerleader. The purpose of this library blog is to better promote reading and information literacy to my community. I love books, reading with my son, properly placed apostrophes, canoeing, locating the nearest Starbucks, cheering the Montreal Canadians, and Cherry Garcia ice cream.

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