Movie Tie-Ins

Want to read the book before the movie comes out?  Three books are soon to be in the movies:

      51f2c8bc-85bb-41ec-a73f-f3bc6417af96_1.f4decc4d6ffadbfeda9aaba4e2e5074d1. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

The first in the three book series is the story of an Asian-American girl, Rachel, accompanying her boyfriend, Nick, to Singapore for a wedding, only to learn about Nick’s family wealth and power. The book uses the opulent lives of Asia’s ultra-rich as its focus, with an all-Asian cast scheduled for release in August.

The novel is built on shopping expeditions and gossipy lunches hosted by scheming ladies with boundless amounts of time and money – a combination of the Shopoholic with The Mean Girls. Kwan poses his novel as a satire, using the the naive Rachel as the foil for glamorous and wealthy Asians.  Tash Aw, the author of “The Harmony Silk Factory” (2005), and winner of the Whitbread Book Award, reviewed the book for NPR, and recommends having a good time with the story.  I did, and went on to read all three books in the series.

:All that you need to know is that Charlie Wu, of the tech billionaire fortune, is in love with Astrid, the granddaughter of the Shang Su Yi, who is unhappy that her grandson Nicholas is not dating the Rachel Chu of the Taipei Plastics Chus, but they are all going to the wedding of Araminta Lee, of the luxury hotel Lees, and Colin Khoo, of the Khoo Teck Fong fortune and — alamak! — some big secrets might be revealed.” Tash Aw for NPR

51VSk1M187L._AC_US218_  2.  The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook

Set in ravaged Germany after World War II, the story revolves around two families – one British and the other German – thrown into one house.  Brook’s 2013 book is set in Hamburg, Germany where Colonel Lewis Morgan has been charged with the rebuilding of the devastated city in the wake of World War II.  Morgan and his family have been offered a palace belonging to Stefan Lubert as their home. Instead of turning Lubert out as Morgan is expected to do, the officer suggests he, his wife, Rachael and their son, Edmund, share the house with Lubert, his daughter, Freda, and their servants.  Keira Knightly stars in the film,

I have not read the book, and the Washington Post gave it a lukewarm review in 2013 but the Boston Globe predicts the movie will be better than the book.

518DrlH61lL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_ 3. On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

This Man Booker Prize finalist tells the story of newlyweds Edward and Florence, both in their early 20s and also both virgins.  The novel focuses on the wedding night and their terrified preoccupation of the upcoming consummation of their marriage.  In reviewing the 2007 book for the New York Times, Jonathan Lethem succinctly summarizes the plot:

“Edward and Florence have retreated, on their wedding night, to a hotel suite overlooking Chesil Beach. Edward wants sex, Florence is sure she doesn’t. The situation is miniature and enormous, dire and pathetic, tender and irrevocable. “

When the book was published, I had forsworn reading any more of McEwan’s sad, depressing dramas, no matter how iconic or soul-searching, so I have not read this book.  McEwan adapted his novel for the screen, due to be released in May, and for lovers of Atonement (and I was one of both the book and the movie), the movie adaptation of On Chessil Beach might be worth seeing.

 

 

 

 

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Liane Moriarty

With a mix of Sophie Kinsella, Maria Semple, and a little Sherlock Homes (with a nod to the Professor Moriarty), Liane Moriarty always delivers a satisfying story.  She is on the list of authors whose next books I anticipate as soon as the last is read.

Currently, the new HBO series – Big Little Lies – has a cast of well-known women, including Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, telling the tale of murder and ambition, with a sprinkling of self-doubt, and a large dose of bullying.  Thankfully, I forget most of the details of a book after I’ve read it – clearing my synapses for the next round of fiction – yet, watching the story unfold, I am grateful for having read the book first.  The vague flashbacks and inner thoughts in the televised version seem to make more sense.  I remember enough of the action and characters to be familiar but I do not remember the ending.   Like all her books, this one will be a surprise – again.

Happily, I found one of Moriarty’s earlier books on my shelf.  The Last Anniversary has all those familiar qualities  – romance and adventure, women working through issues, and a cliff-hanging mystery.  Two women, Connie and Rose, find a surprise when they accept an invitation to tea at the Munro house.  In addition to the warm marble cake on the table and the bloodstains on the floor, they find a baby girl.  They decide to name her Enigma and raise her as their own in their small town of Scribbly Gum Island.

The story revolves around the Munro Baby mystery and Sophie, a thirty-nine year ex-girlfriend who unexpectedly inherits the house from Connie; Enigma is now a grandmother, and the town mystery has become a tourist attraction.  Secrets are important in Moriarty’s books and every character in this story seems to have one.  Like all her books, The Last Anniversary is a page turner, and just when all the secrets seem to have been revealed, Moriarty adds one more on the last page.

Have you read Moriarty’s books?  Here is a list of my reviews:

Books to Read Before the Movie Comes Out

9781594633669_p0_v4_s192x300 After a fun discussion of Paula Hawkins’ wild mystery The Girl on the Train today at one of my book clubs, we all wondered how Emily Blunt would portray the voyeur Rachel as an ex-pat in New York City riding the train in her old neighborhood.  Many of us agreed this Hitchcockian thriller was a book made for playing on the big screen. The movie comes out in October.  If you haven’t yet read the book, the surprise ending will really be a treat for you.

Other books to movies to watch for:

JoJo Moyes’ tear jerker Me Before You comes to life in June.

Roald Dahl’s The BFG (as in the big friendly giant who eats leftover oatmeal from your dirty dishes) is in theaters on July 1st.

M.L. Stedman’s  Light Between Oceans  emerges in September.

Tom Hanks is back in another Dan Brown book to movie – The Inferno – in October.

If you can’t bear to muddle through Philip Roth, you can catch his 1998 Pulitzer prize winning American Pastoral on the screen in October.

9781594746031_p0_v2_s192x300   Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a spooky gift on Christmas.

And look for two more with 2016 release dates but no months yet:

  • Diane Ackerman’s true story of saving the animals in Warsaw – The Zookeeper’s Wife.
  • John Green’s Looking for Alaska

Click on the red titles to read my reviews.