Book Adaptations Nominated for 2015 Oscars

Yesterday, the 2015 Academy Award Nominations were announced. Out of the many nominees, 21 were book adaptations! Here’s why you should read these fantastic books. Who will you be cheering on come February 22?

American Sniper based on American Sniper by Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen, and Jim DeFelice american-sniper-2 Best Picture

Best Actor—Bradley Cooper

Best Adapted Screenplay—Jason Hall

Best Film Editing

Best Sound Editing

Best Sound Mixing

Why You Should Read It: Chris Kyle’s memoir of his time as a US Navy SEAL details how he came to be the record-holding sniper in U.S. military history with over 150 confirmed kills. He tells the riveting story of his multiple combat tours in Iraq and other deployments between 1999 and 2009.

The Grand Budapest Hotel based on Beware of Pity and The Post-Office Girl by Stefan Zweig grand-budapest Best Picture

Best Director—Wes Anderson

Best Film Editing

Best Original Score—Alexandre Desplat

Best Cinematography—Robert Yeoman   

Best Costume Design

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Best Production Design

Why You Should Read It: Two novels by Stefan Zweig inspired the film, but each tell its own story. Beware of Pity follows a young lieutenant who develops compassion for a paralyzed girl who in turn loves him. The Post-Office Girl—published posthumously—involves a young female post-office clerk in impoverished Vienna following World War I. Both novels vividly depict the impact World War I had on Europe.

The Imitation Game based on Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges the imitation Best Picture

Best Director—Morten Tyldum

Best Actor—Benedict Cumberbatch

Best Supporting Actress—Kiera Knightley

Best Adapted Screenplay—Graham Moore

Best Film Editing

Best Original Score—Alexandre Desplat

Best Production Design

Why You Should Read It: The intense true story of Alan Turing, the British man who is considered the father of computer science and artificial intelligence which saved the Allies from the Nazis, also details his struggle as a gay man in a society where homosexuality was considered a crime.

The Theory of Everything based on Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Hawking the theory of everything Best Picture

Best Actress—Felicity Jones

Best Actor—Eddie Redmayne

Best Adapted Screenplay—Anthony McCarten

Best Original Score—Johann Johannsson

Why You Should Read It: Stephen Hawking’s first wife Jane gives readers an inside look at their marriage. Through her candidness discussing their complicated and at times painful relationship, this memoir exposes the personal life of the Hawking’s.

Still Alice based on Still Alice by Lisa Genova still alice Best Actress—Julianna Moore

Why You Should Read It: At age 50, Harvard professor Alice Howland is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. This heartbreaking novel describers her desire to keep her life the same, while forgetting things in it.

Gone Girl based on Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn Gone Girl Best Actress—Rosamund Pike

Why You Should Read It: Gone Girl is thriller that will keep you up all night—in a good way. After Nick Dunne’s wife Amy goes missing, the police believe that he was involved. The fast-paced novel is well-written and very exciting through the last page.

Wild based on Wild by Cheryl Strayed wild Best Actress—Reese Witherspoon

Best Supporting Actress—Laura Dern

Why You Should Read It: After her mother’s death, Cheryl Strayed sets out on more than a thousand mile journey hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. In this funny and suspenseful memoir, Strayed recounts how her trek healed her.

Into the Woods based on The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales by Bruno Bettelheim into the woods Best Supporting Actress—Meryl Streep

Best Costume Design

Best Production Design

Why You Should Read It: Into the Woods (the movie) is based on Into the Woods (the play); however, the play was inspired by Bettelheim’s Freudian analysis of fairytales. While seemingly an odd thing to do, his analysis was eye-opening as he suggested children interpret fairy-tales in their own way to get a greater sense of meaning.

Inherent Vice based on Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon inherent vice Best Adapted Screenplay

Best Costume Design

Why You Should Read It: Inherent Vice follows Doc Sportello as he investigates the kidnapping plot against his ex-girlfriend’s love–a billionaire land developer. The story takes readers back to 1970 that will make many feel nostalgic and others immersed in the culture.

Leviathan (Russian) based on The Bible leviathan Best Foreign Language Film

Why You Should Read It: While its inspired by biblical events—we still think it’s worth noting. Leviathan is a sea monster referenced in the Old Testament in the book of Job and plays an important role.

Big Hero 6 (Disney) based on Big Hero 6 Comics by Marvel big hero 6 Best Animated Film

Why You Should Read It: The original Marvel comic books tell the story of a Japanese government-formed superhero team, Big Hero 6, who were created to be at their disposal. Thirteen-year old genius Hiro and his synthetic bodyguard Baymax join the team after Hiro’s mother is kidnapped. The adventure never ceases in this entertaining comic book.

The Boxtrolls based on Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow Boxtrolls Best Animated Film

Why You Should Read It: This magical tale is perfect for children of all ages and follows Arthur and his adoptive grandfather William as they meet many boxtrolls who used to run a pet shop called Here Be Monsters!

How to Train Your Dragon 2 based on How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell how to train your dragon Best Animated Film

Why You Should Read It: The fantasy series taking place in a fictional Viking world follows the extraordinary adventures of Hiccup as he and his tribe train Dragons as pets.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya based on The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter (Japanese Folktale) princess Best Animated Film

Why You Should Read It: The story deals with the life of Kaguya who was found as a baby inside a glowing bamboo stalk. Growing up to be a beautiful young woman—there is a twist that makes it impossible for her to live a happy life on Earth. The story is a 10th century Japanese folktale that everyone should check out.

Unbroken based on Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand unbroken Best Cinematography—Robert Deakins

Best Sound Editing

Best Sound Mixing

Why You Should Read It: The story of Louis Zamperini is one that deserves to be told in the fashion Laura Hillenbrand does. After his Army Air Forces bomber crashes into the Pacific Ocean, Zamperini surfaces only to deal with an open ocean—which included sharks and enemy aircraft.

Maleficent based on Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault maleficent-2 Best Costume Design

Why you should read it: Maleficent is inspired by the fairytale Sleeping Beauty—which was originally written by the French author Charles Perrault and later interpreted by the Grimm Brothers (much like Cinderella). The story features a fairy who is overlooked at Sleeping Beauty’s christening and curses her to prick her finger on a spindle and die. This fairy is of course Maleficent—who was created and given a back story for the Disney adaptation. But, as with most adaptations, the original book is definitely worth a read!

Guardians of the Galaxy based on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Comic Books (Marvel Super Heroes) guardians-of-the-galaxyBest Makeup and Hairstyling

Why You Should Read It: The superhero team was originally featured in other comic books in 1969—getting their own comic in the 1990s. Although the movie and comics differ greatly, it’s still worth a read to check out this original team!

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies based on The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien the-hobbit-merge Best Sound Editing

Why You Should Read It: The Hobbit is what started it all and is definitely one to check out. Published in 1937, it follows Bilbo Baggins’ quest to win a share of the treasure guarded by the dragon Smaug. While an epic tale of adventure, it also focuses on Bilbo’s personal growth and is a great read at any age.

Captain America: The Winter Solider based on Marvel’s Captain America Comics captain-america Best Visual Effects

Why you should read it: Captain America stems back to 1941 when he first appeared in Captain America Comics #1. This patriotic superhero fought the Axis powers in World War II and is definitely worth a read to get the full story.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes based on Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle dawn-of-the-planet Best Visual Effects

Why You Should Read It: Les Planète des Singes—as it was first-known in France—has inspired numerous media franchises since its publication in 1963. The book is about a future in which apes rule the world and is an interesting look at civilization.

X-Men: Days of Future Past based on the X-Men Comic Books by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (Marvel) xmen Best Visual Effects

Why you should read it: One of Marvel’s most successful franchises, X-Men has now been adapted into seven movies. It’s definitely worth reading the originals (published in 1963) to see how it all began.

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