Tag: The Girl on the Train

8 of Michelle Obama’s Must-Reads

Book lovers and Obama supporters alike wait with anticipation every year to hear Barrack Obama’s book picks for that summer. Fortunately, you now have another round of books to choose from thanks to Michelle who has a few book recommendations of her own. Despite your ever-growing to-be-read pile, when Michelle Obama tells you to read a certain book, you listen!

Following the release of her own memoir, Becoming, Michelle reveals eight more must-reads in her “By the Book” interview, published on December 6, 2018 in the New York Times. Other titles come from an interview with Jenna Bush Hager and a memorial posted on Instagram for what would have been a Holocaust victim’s ninetieth birthday.

 

 

8-Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Song of Solomon

Image Via Image via The Stanford Daily

 

Part of the reason why Morrison received the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature, Song of Solomon follows the life of Michigan native, Macon through his life as he searches for a sense of identity.

 

7-The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

Image Via Image via Penguin Books Australia

 

Before the major motion picture, Rachel was just a girl who liked to ride the train everyday to London and back. It’s definitely not because the train passes her ex-husband’s house or the because she can see the perfect couple she envies so who live a few houses down. Definitely not.

 

 

6-White Teeth by Zadie Smith

White Teeth

Image Via Image via Book Riot

 

Smith’s London-centric novel follows two friends, one Bangladeshi and one Englishman, as they navigate family, friendship and life in the city.

 

5-Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

Image via Apple Books

 

The archetype for unreliable narrators, Gone Girl will have you guessing until the very last page. Follow Nick and her husband Amy who disappears, but why…and how…and where?

 

4-An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

An American Marriage

Image Via Image via Oneworld Publications

 

Jones’ novel follows newlyweds who separate after a daunting rape trial. When they reunite later in life, things somehow get even more complicated.

 

 

3-Educated by Tara Westover

Educated

Image via Booktopia

 

Westover’s biographical memoir tells the story of how she fell in love with learning after growing up with little to none of it at all.

 

2-The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank

Image Via Image via Book Depository

 

Frank’s diary which she kept as a young girl before her family was sent to concentration camps during the Holocaust relay the horrors of the terrible tragedy.

 

1-Commonwealth by Anne Patchett

Commonwealth

Image Via Inprint

 

Patchett’s bestseller tells the story of a family whose dynamic gets turned upside down at a family christening and what happens when that child grows up and decides to share that story.

 

 

Featured Image via AARP

3 Unreliable Narrators That’ll Keep You Guessing

A reader always wants to feel like they know the narrator from their favorite books. We want to be able to trust the characters we have grown to love. But certain genres—mainly thrillers or horror novels—benefit from a first person perspective that may not always be the most reliable.

In these novels, the author manipulates their storytellers to build up a false sense of trust with the reader that lends to twists, turns and surprises. Don’t trust everything these lead characters have to say…or do…

awkward gone girl GIF by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Image via Giphy

1. Amy in Gone Girl 

Gone Girl

Image Via IMDB

Made famous with a 2014 film adaptation, Gillian Flynn’s family thriller follows Amy through her thoughts, actions, journals and eventual disappearance. Flynn conjures up a shifty relationship between the reader and Amy as we struggle to label Amy as a villain, a hero or something in between. Gillian’s thought-provoking adventure into Amy’s mind makes the reader furl in frustration as arguably the most famous unreliable narrator in recent literary history.

 

the girl on the train GIF by eOneFilms
Image via Giphy

 

2. Rachel in The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train

Image Via Amazon

Also donned with a film adaptation, Paula Hawkins creates a similar air of mystery and distrust surrounding every character in her London based thriller. Rachel’s alcoholism and failed marriage evoke sympathy in the reader…

…before learning of her history of stalking as well as breaking and entering. As Rachel interacts with police after a disappearance, the reader grapples with what is fact and what is Rachel’s booze clouded fantasy.

The film GIF
Image via Giphy

 

 

3. Just about every character in Behind her Eyes

Behind Her Eyes

Image Via Amazon

Sarah Pinborough’s domestic thriller seems similar to those which came before with a husband, a wife and another woman. Always another woman. However, Pinborough artfully bends and twists her characters so soon you forget who you were supposed to trust at the beginning.

Even the most seasoned thriller bookworm detectives fall short at guessing the end of this confusing, mysterious and certainly distrustful novel. This ending will stick with you…trust me.

 

 

Feature Image via New York Public Library

Marc Webb to Direct Live-Action Snow White?

Now that Disney’s live action remake of Aladdin is a hit, it seems like the perfect time to announce that Marc Webb is set to direct the live action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Variety reports that while the deal isn’t finalized, Disney has Webb at the top of their list to direct a live action version of Disney’s first full-length animated feature film.

 

Snow White movie poster

Image Via Amazon

Based on the story from Grimm’s Fairy Tales, this 1937 paved the way for the future. It’s the film that put Disney on the map, the first animated film that had sound incorporated into the cartoon instead of just being an overlay, the film with an adjusted gross of $1.7 billion.

 

Snow White

Image Via Giphy.com

This film is so important that it’s almost surprising that Disney’s mascot isn’t a girl in a glass coffin.

 

Marc Webb

Image Via Empire

Flash forward and Snow White and getting a live action remake. Will Marc Webb direct it? Despite his stint with the Amazing Spider-man series being less than spectacular (Thanks, Sony!), he’s directed some great flicks.

 

"(500) Days of Summer" Movie Poster

Image Via BananaRoad

His debut film, (500) Days of Summer, was a sleeper hit that earned over $60 million in worldwide returns, far exceeding its $7.5 million budget.

 

"Gifted" Movie Poster

Image Via Amazon

After the Amazing Spider-Man films, his 2017 film about an intelligent seven-year-old who becomes the subject of a custody battle between her uncle and grandmother entitled Gifted grossed a whopping 43 million off of a $7 million budget, with Star Tribute writing , “Sure, it’s a simple, straightforward film, but sometimes that’s all you need as long as its heart is true” and with Richard Roeper saying, “Gifted isn’t the best or most sophisticated or most original film of the year so far – but it just might be my favorite”.

Maybe it’s time Marc Webb took on the reigns of a bigger film. Luckily, he won’t be alone. This isn’t a one man show, after all, it’s a movie.

 

Erin Cressida Wilson

Image Via Zimbio

Erin Cressida Wilson is in negotiations to pen the script. Wilson famously wrote Secretary, starring Maggie Gyllenhall and James Spader, which won her the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay. More recently she’s written The Girl on the Train, adapted from Paula Hawkins novel of the same name, which scored a nomination for Best Thriller from the Saturn Awards.

Now, last but not least…

 

?Ladies and gentlemen this is the moment you’ve waited for?

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Image Via Playbill

Joining the crew are Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the duo behind La La Land, and The Greatest Showman, and guess who’s doing the new songs for the movie?

 

Marc Platt

Image Via Variety

This is Marc Platt, producer behind La La Land and Mary Poppins Returns, and he’s on board to produce this movie! But are you on board? Are you ready?

Now if you’re sick of these live action remakes, don’t fret! The live action version of Lion King is only coming out later this year…

 

 

BTW: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are doing the new songs for this movie.

 

 

Featured Image Via Hollywood Reporter

Top 5 Thriller Writers Taking Things to the Next Level

Master of Suspense, Sir Alfred Hitchcock once said “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it,” and while there are countless authors seeking to instill in their readers the terror and anticipation of which Hitchcock spoke, there are only some who really stand out, who take risks and elevate the art of thrilling readers. Here are the top five thriller writers who are taking things to the next level.

 

1. Peter James

 

Image Via The Real Spy

 

One of the biggest names in thriller writing in the UK and Ireland, Peter James is about to hit the US, and you better be ready. Having received his first writing accolade in school, this murder mystery powerhouse has won coveted awards almost every year since 1999, and doesn’t show signs of stopping. Brace yourself for some big numbers: James is best known as the author of the Roy Grace series, which is comprised of nineteen books and counting, and has sold a cool 19 million copies worldwide, as well as earning him the number one spots in countries including the UK, Canada, Russia and Germany and being translated into thirty-seven languages. It doesn’t stop there. James has over twenty additional novels under his belt, as well as a non-fiction book, Death Comes Knocking: Policing Roy Grace’s Brighton, and has also been involved in the making of no less than twenty-six movies including A Different Loyalty, starring Sharon Stone and The Bridge of San Luis Rey, starring Robert De Niro. All in a day’s work.

 

James’s latest contribution to the world of thriller writing is his exciting new novel Absolute Proof. What would you do if someone told you they had absolute proof of God’s existence? That is the question posed by James in what Lee Child has called “the best what-if thriller since The Da Vinci Code.” Investigative journalist Ross Hunter receives the following phone call that will change his life forever…

 

‘I’d just like to assure you I’m not a nutcase, Mr Hunter. My name is Dr Harry F. Cook. I know this is going to sound strange, but I’ve recently been given absolute proof of God’s existence – and I’ve been advised there is a writer, a respected journalist called Ross Hunter, who could help me to get taken seriously.’

 

“What would it take to prove the existence of God? And what,” asks James, “would be the consequences? The false faith of a billionaire evangelist, the life’s work of a famous atheist, and the credibility of each of the world’s major religions are all under threat. If Ross Hunter can survive long enough to present the evidence…”

Don’t miss your chance to win your name in a Peter James novel, signed copies of Absolute Proof and more thrilling Peter James goodies! 

2. Paula Hawkins

 

Image Via Daily Express

 

You’re probably familiar with Paula Hawkins’ phenomenon The Girl on the Train, which was made into a crazy-successful film starring Emily Blunt. But can you fathom how successful the book was, even without the film? The Girl on the Train debuted at number one on The New York Times Bestsellers list, where it spent thirteen consecutive weeks. In its first year, the book sold well over 1.5 million copies, and occupied the number one spot of the UK hardback book chart for twenty weeks, the longest any book has ever held the top spot.

 

The Girl on the Train was the first book she published as Paula Hawkins, however it was not her first published work. She wrote several romance novels under the pseudonym Amy Silver, as well as a financial advice book for women entitled The Money Goddess. Her second book as Hawkins, Into the Water, had a lot to live up to, however also became a bestseller and in February 2017, before it was first published, DreamWorks’ parent Amblin Partners purchased the film rights, with La La Land‘s Mark Platt and Jared LeBoff as producers. If you’ve seen The Girl on the Train film, you’ll be excited for this. As USA Today notes, “Hawkins, influenced by Hitchcock, has a cinematic eye and an ear for eerie, evocative language.”

 

3. Tana French

 

Image Via Oprah.com

 

A favorite author of none other than Stephen King, Irish-American author Tana French is best known for her Dublin Detectives series, which follows the homicide detectives of Dublin as they investigate strange and unusual crimes around Ireland. Her best book (in this writer’s opinion) is The Secret Place, an absolutely stunning mixture of thriller, bildungsroman, murder mystery and, unexpectedly, but so well executed, magic surrealism that will keep you entirely hooked until the end. The combination of themes and genres she weaves together really sets her apart, and ensures that no two of her novels bear much similarity to one another, beyond their consistently gripping plots, believable characters and, as King would have it, ‘incandescent’ prose.

 

Her latest offering, The Witch Elm, described by the New York Times as “her most intricately nuanced novel yet” follows a young man who goes to his dying uncle’s home to recover from an attack that left him near dead. However when a skull is unearthed beneath a tree on the house’s grounds, family secrets come to the surface.

 

 

4. Jessica Knoll

 

Image Via WWD

Image Via WWD

Jessica Knoll is an author who hit the big time straight off the mark. Her debut thriller Luckiest Girl Alive became an instant New York Times bestseller, selling 450,000 copies, and remaining on best-seller lists for four months. It was then optioned for film by Lionsgate, with none other than Reese Witherspoon set to produce. And all this for good reason; Knoll has also become a voice for survivors of sexual assault, having opened up about the gang-rape she suffered when she was fifteen, which informed Luckiest Girl Alive. Her willingness to be candid and open about her experiences has no doubt helped and inspired many survivors, and she is undoubtedly taking things to the next level with her brave, unflinching writing and honesty.

 

Apart from her literary success, over the course of her career Knoll has held the position of senior editor at Cosmopolitan and the articles editor at Self, which are incredibly impressive roles in themselves. Her second novel, The Favorite Sister, dubbed “deliciously savage and wildly entertaining”by People Magazine who named it their Book of the Week, also sat happily on bestseller lists around the world following its release in May 2018. By the following month, a TV adaptation from the producers of Big Little Lies had been announced.

 

5. Stuart Turton

 

Image Via The National

 

Despite having only one book out, what a book it is! Turton’s debut, The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a high-concept thriller that has already been optioned for TV! Described as “Cluedo meets The Matrix meets Agatha Christie meets the reinvention of Sherlock Holmes as a TV series”, Evelyn Hardcastle follows an amnesiac who finds himself caught in a Groundhog Day-style game of real life Cluedo, in which he relives the death of Evelyn Hardcastle from the various perspectives of the potential culprits every day. As you can imagine, the book is doing rather well.

 

Following its appearance on the Sunday Times Bestseller list, it went on to win the Books Are My Bag Novel Award 2018, as well as being shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Specsavers National Book Awards 2018. As if that wasn’t enough, it made it onto various Must Read Books of 2018 lists, including those of Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire. But it wasn’t even all of this praise that led to the next big thing for Turton. Before the book was even released, the TV rights were optioned by House Productions. Phew!