Monday, October 11, 2010

Some Book Club Suggestions: Books and Movies

I promised you more lists of book club suggestions from my chapter of the Women's National Book Association, and I think this next list is particularly interesting. It's entirely books which have been made into movies. Everyone loves to debate movie adaptations. Did the actors look like you thought the characters would? What got cut out? Did the movie go off the rails entirely and make things up? Did you actually like the movie more than the book (rare, I know, but I would certainly put Cold Mountain into that category, personally.)

So my vice-president's list is here, complete with the movie's primary star, so you can be sure your group is talking about the same movie (some such as Sense & Sensibility have multiple versions.)

1. In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner (movie starring Toni Colette)
2. Precious (or Push) by Sapphire (Gabby Sidibe)
3. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Vivian Leigh)
4. The Godfather by Mario Puzo (Al Pacino)
5. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster (Helena Bonham Carter)
6. From Here to Eternity by James Jones (Burt Lancaster)
7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Gregory Peck)
8. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (Julie Christie)
9. Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Armin (Miranda Richardson)
10. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (Viggo Mortensen)
11. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (Emma Thompson)
12. Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard (John Travolta)

The group could each watch the movies on their own, like how they read the books on their own. Or your group could meet to watch the movie at someone's house, and have the discussion immediately afterwards. For books with multiple movie versions, it might be interesting to have people watch different versions. Personally, I like the Kate Beckinsale version of Emma, abhor the Gwyneth Paltrow, but adore Clueless. But I didn't realize how bad the Paltrow version was until I watched all three back to back to back (yes, I'm a little crazy.) Or it might be something fun your book club just does once - maybe in December for a holiday party or your last meeting before breaking for the summer. It's a fun way to mix things up a bit.


Carol said...

I love to read a book b4 seeing a film as I prefer my own images of what the author wants me to see before the director's.

Sometimes I am really disappointed with a film version of a book because it has not been portrayed the way I interpreted the book :)

I must read Room with a view. I did love the film and am sure I will love the book too.


Teacher/Learner said...

Great list of worthy movie adaptations of books! It's a lot of fun to compare them. I think the movie In Her Shoes improved on the book. Then again, I read it after seeing the movie :o)

Suzanne said...

My book group went to see The Lovely Bones earlier this year as a group and then discussed the book vs movie afterwards over dinner. It was a great conversation.

Thanks for the list of recommendations.