Bessie Sullivan, County Librarian: Hello, I’m Bessie Sullivan from the Haliburton County Public Library and this is Library Moments. Once a week some of us from the library will come and talk about books, upcoming events, or the services we offer at the library.
Movie production has often relied on the plot of books for an endless source of ideas for feature length films and the upcoming season is no exception. The common question, was the book better than the movie or vice versa can only be answered if you have consumed both. Personal preference dictate whether it is better to read the book first or see the movie first. If you fall into the former camp, then this is the episode for you.
Today on Library Moments Sherrill Sherwood, Erin Kernohan-Berning and I will each talk about a book that will come out as a movie this year so that you can be sure to read the book first.
Sherrill Sherwood, Collections Development: Room tells the extraordinary story of Jack, a spirited 5-year-old who is looked after by his loving and devoted mother. Like any good mother, Ma dedicates herself to keeping Jack happy and safe, nurturing him with warmth and love and doing typical things like playing games and telling stories. Their life, however, is anything but typical–they are trapped–confined to a windowless, 10-by-10-foot space that Ma has named Room. Ma has created a whole universe for Jack within Room, and she will stop at nothing to ensure that, even in this treacherous environment, Jack is able to live a complete and fulfilling life. But as Jack’s curiosity about their situation grows, and Ma’s resilience reaches its breaking point, they enact a risky plan to escape, ultimately bringing them face-to-face with what may turn out to be the scariest thing yet: the real world. The novel Room was published in 2010 and won, among many other honors, the 2011 Evergreen Award. I loved the book and am looking forward to the dvd release of the highly acclaimed screen adaptation, which has been nominated for several Academy Awards this year. I believe the dvd will be out on March 1st but don’t hold me to that.
Erin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: Sophie lives in an orphanage run by the cantankerous Mrs. Clonkers. One night, when she can’t sleep but everyone else is dreaming, she peers out the orphanage window and sees a giant. Then, the giant sees her. The giant who eschews eating humans like his bigger bullying neighbours the Bloodbottler, Fleshlumpeater, and Bonecruncher, is the BFG, short for Big Friendly Giant, and he catches dreams and delivers them to children every night. He’s taken Sophie because he does not want to wind up in a zoo, and Sophie doesn’t want to go back to the orphanage and Mrs. Clonkers – though she’s not sure she wants to have to live off disgusting snozzcumbers – the only vegetable found in giant land. But when Sophie realizes just how many children the BFG’s scary neighbours are eating, she’s determined to put a stop to it… somehow. The BFG was written in 1982 by Roald Dahl, and is among 4 of his books on the School Library Journal’s Top 100 children’s books of all time. Steven Spielberg will be bringing the BFG to the big screen on July 1st with 10 year old Ruby Barnhill as Sophie, and Mark Rylance as the Big Friendly Giant. So you have plenty of time to read the book before the movie comes out, just reserve it at the Haliburton County Public Library.
Bessie Sullivan, County Librarian: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain was a finalist for the National Book Award in the U.S. The Bush administration needs public support for the war in Iraq so when a ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents at “the battle of Al-Ansakar Canal” is caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew – the eight surviving men of Bravo Squad are turned into America’s most sought-after heroes. For the past two weeks, they have been sent on a media-intensive nationwide Victory Tour. Now, on this chilly and rainy Thanksgiving, the Bravos are guests of America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys, slated to be part of the halftime show alongside the superstar pop group Destiny’s Child. Over the course of this day, Billy will begin to understand difficult truths about himself, his country, his struggling family, and his brothers-in-arms–soldiers both dead and alive. In the final few hours before returning to Iraq, and yes, the Victory Tour ends in the soldiers return to Iraq, Billy will drink and brawl, yearn for home and mourn those missing, face a heart-wrenching decision, and discover pure love and a bitter wisdom far beyond his years. Fittingly this movie comes out on November 11th of this year, so you have a bit of time to read it if that is how you are inclined.
Only you can answer the question as to whether the book was better than the movie, but we will do our best to make sure both choices are at the library so you can make an informed decision.
That’s it for this week’s episode of Library Moments, thanks for listening here on 100.9 Canoe FM.
*Originally aired on 100.9 CANOE FM January 31st – February 6th, 2016.