Library Moments: Books to Movies and TV

filmSherrill Sherwood, Collection Development Coordinator: Hello, I’m Sherrill Sherwood 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.

When there is a film adaptation for a book, there is talk in the library world. For one thing,the book may have been sitting on the shelf for six months and all of a sudden it enjoys increased circulation and perhaps we will need to purchase more copies. And, of course, there is always the “is the movie as good as the book” conversation. 2017 will be a great year for many authors – I found a website marketing “19 Books To Read Before They Hit Theaters In 2017”. The big screen is not the only place to find the created visual to a well-loved book – that same website lists no less than 11 TV shows premiering in 2017 that are based on books. Today on Library Moments Erin Kernohan-Berning and I will each talk about an adaptation that we are looking forward to this year.

little big liesErin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: Lauded by Stephen King as “A hell of a good book.” Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty focuses on the story of three women in the same small beachside town in Australia – a world of mommy wars, kindergarten politics, and who’s throwing the best birthday party. But underneath it all runs a dark current of trauma and domestic violence. Oh, and there’s a murder too. HBO’s adaptation of Big Little Lies stays close to the book – transplanting the story to California and fleshing out some characters – keeping the before-it-happened/after-it-happened back and forth stringing us along wondering whodunit and why. At first the show was passed off by some reviewers as just a sudsy soap opera with big name stars Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley there to give it some oomph. However, many critics – who hadn’t read the book – changed their tune as the story trades shallow cliches for a frightening reflection and social commentary on domestic violence and trauma. Both the book and the television series walk the line between fluff and substance, and humour and horror – laughs are often followed sharply by a queasy feeling as the action grows dark and uncomfortable. While we don’t carry television series at the library we still like to let you know when books are adapted to the small screen. So, check out Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty in print at HCPL, and then track down the tv series through the television provider of your choice.

wonderSherrill Sherwood, Collection Development Coordinator: While I don’t often read juvenile fiction, I picked up the chapter book Wonder by R.J. Palacio in 2014 and it turned out to be one of my top ten favorite reads that year. Palacio started writing Wonder, her first book, after an incident at an ice cream shop. She was sitting on a bench outside the shop next to a little girl with craniofacial difference and was trying very hard to ensure that her two sons did not react adversely to the girl. Despite her good intentions, efforts to keep her three year-old from seeing the girl led to spilled milkshakes and quite a scene. The girl’s mom said simply, “It’s time to go.” Palacio said that the incident was not what she wanted to happen, and she knew it wasn’t right. Eventually she realized that she reacted out of fear, of both her son’s reaction and the girl’s feelings, and instead she should have acted out of kindness. The book she wrote is about August Pullman, born with a facial difference that up until now has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past August’s extraordinary face. Wonder begins from August’s point of view but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. The movie release date is November 17 this year. Filmed in British Columbia, August is played by Jacob Tremblay, the Canadian child actor whose breakout performance was as Jack in Room, for which he received critical acclaim. August’s parents will be played by Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson. With months to go before the movie comes out, I highly recommend reading the book first.

Books have been adapted to the screen since silent films in the late 1800’s. People who lack the time or interest to read books are given the opportunity to enjoy a good story in a few hours and people who love to read can experience a tale in a new way. That’s it for this week’s edition of Library Moments, thanks for listening here on 100.9 Canoe FM.

*Originally aired on 100.9 CANOE FM.

FUN FACT: The Death of Poor John, filmed in 1901, is the oldest surviving film based on a Dickens character.

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