2018 Academy Award Nominations

Now that the 2018 Academy Award Nominations have finally been announced, check out the audiobooks of the works that helped inspire these great films!

 

1.Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman

Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. During the restless summer weeks, unrelenting but buried currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them and verge toward the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy. André Aciman’s critically acclaimed debut novel is a frank, unsentimental, heartrending elegy to human passion.

 

 

2. Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back from the Brink by Anthony McCarten

May 1940. Britain is at war, Winston Churchill has unexpectedly been promoted to Prime Minister, the horrors of Blitzkreig witness one western European Democracy fall after another in rapid succession. Facing this horror, with pen in hand and typist-secretary at the ready, Churchill wonders what words could capture the public mood when the invasion of Britain seems mere hours away.

It is this fascinating period that Anthony McCarten captures in this deeply researched and wonderfully written new book, The Darkest Hour. A day-by-day (and often hour-by-hour) narrative of this crucial moment in history provides a revisionist look at Churchill-a man plagued by doubt through those turbulent weeks-but who emerged having made himself into the iconic, lionized figure we remember.

 

3. Dunkirk: The History Behind the Major Motion Picture by Joshua Levine

The Battle of Dunkirk, in May/June 1940, is remembered as a stunning defeat, yet a major victory as well. The Nazis had beaten back the Allies and pushed them across France to the northern port of Dunkirk. In the ultimate race against time, more than 300,000 Allied soldiers were daringly evacuated across the Channel. This moment of German aggression was used by Winston Churchill as a call to Franklin Roosevelt to enter the war. Now, historian Joshua Levine explores the real lives of those soldiers, bombed and strafed on the beaches for days on end, without food or ammunition; the civilians whose boats were overloaded; the airmen who risked their lives to buy their companions on the ground precious time; and those who did not escape.

 

4. The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell

The Disaster Artist is Greg Sestero’s laugh-out-loud funny account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and friendship to make “the Citizen Kane of bad movies” (Entertainment Weekly), which is now an international phenomenon, with Wiseau himself beloved as an oddball celebrity. Written with award-winning journalist Tom Bissell, The Disaster Artist is an inspiring tour de force that reads like a page-turning novel, an open-hearted portrait of an enigmatic man who will improbably capture your heart.

 

5. The Pentagon Papers: The Secret History of the Vietnam War by Neil Sheehan

Pentagon Papers: The Secret History of the Vietnam War, Neil Sheehan

The Pentagon Papers is a series of articles, documents, and studies published by The New York Times that revealed the true depth of US involvement in the Vietnam War for more than two decades starting in 1945, bringing to light startling conclusions about America’s role in that conflict. It won both a Pulitzer Prize and a ground-breaking Supreme Court decision.

With a foreword by James L. Greenfield, who coordinated the team that reported the series, this edition is sure to provoke discussion about freedom of the press and government deception, and shed light on issues that are still relevant now, more than four decades later.

 

6. Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

Mudbound, Hillary Jordan

Hillary Jordan’s mesmerizing debut novel won the Bellwether Prize for fiction. A powerful piece of Southern literature, Mudbound takes on prejudice in its myriad forms on a Mississippi Delta farm in 1946. City girl Laura McAllen attempts to raise her family despite questionable decisions made by her husband. Tensions continue to rise when her brother-in-law and the son of a family of sharecroppers both return from WWII as changed men bearing the scars of combat.

 

7. Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Wonder, R. J. Palacio

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school-until now. He’s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances? R. J. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and writing that shines with spare emotional power.

 

8. The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis

Breadwinner, Deborah Ellis

In this powerful and realistic tale, eleven-year-old Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital city during the Taliban rule. Parvana’s father- a history teacher until his school was bombed and his health destroyed- works from a blanket on the ground in the marketplace, reading letters for people who cannot read or write. One day he is arrested for the crime of having a foreign education, and the family is left without someone who can earn money or even shop for food. As conditions in the family grow desperate, only one solution emerges. Forbidden by the Taliban government to earn money as a girl, Parvana must transform herself into a boy and become the breadwinner.

 

9. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

The Story of Ferdinand, Munro Leaf

With music and sound effects, this audiobook is perfect for those who love Ferdinand and those who have yet to meet him.

A true classic with a timeless message, The Story of Ferdinand has enchanted readers since it was first published in 1936. All the other bulls would run and jump and butt their heads together. But Ferdinand would rather sit and smell the flowers. And he does just that, until the day a bumblebee and some men from the Madrid bullfights give gentle Ferdinand a chance to be the most ferocious star of the corrida—and the most unexpected comic hero.

 

10. Victoria & Abdul (Movie Tie-in): The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant by Shrabani Basu

Victoria & Abdul (Movie Tie-in): The True Story of the Queen's Closest Confidant, Shrabani Basu

Drawn from never-before-seen first-hand documents that had been closely guarded secrets for a century, Shrabani Basu’s Victoria & Abdul is a remarkable history of the last years of the 19th century in English court, an unforgettable view onto the passions of an aging Queen, and a fascinating portrayal of how a young Indian Muslim came to play a central role at the heart of the British Empire.

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Your favorite holiday movies are based on great books

What came first, the chicken or the egg? Did these holiday themed audiobooks inspire the movies or did the movies inspire them? Share your best guess with us in the comments below!

 

The Bridge: A Novel, by Karen Kingsbury

Molly Allen lives alone in Portland, but she left her heart back in Tennessee with a man she walked away from five years ago. They had a rare sort of love she hasn’t found since. Ryan Kelly lives in Nashville after a broken engagement and several years on the road touring with a country music duo. He can still hear Molly’s voice encouraging him to follow his dreams; Molly, whose memory stays with him… Read more and listen here

 

 

Trading Christmas, by Debbie Macomber

Emily Springer, widowed mother of one, decides to leave Leavenworth, Washington, to spend Christmas with her daughter in Boston. Charles Brewster, history professor, curmudgeon and resident of Boston, wants to avoid Christmas altogether. He figures a prison town should be nice and quiet over the holidays – except he’s thinking of the wrong Leavenworth!… Read more and listen here

 

 

The Mistletoe Promise, by Richard Paul Evans

This book is about two strangers who forge a fake relationship for the holidays. The two intended for the arrangement to be platonic but finding an unlikely relationship blossoming from the situation… Read more and listen here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dashing Through the Snow: A Christmas Novel, by Debbie Macomber

Ashley Davison, a graduate student in California, desperately wants to spend the holidays with her family in Seattle. Dashiell Sutherland, a former army intelligence officer, has a job interview in Seattle and must arrive by December 23. Though frantic to book a last-minute flight out of San Francisco, both are out of luck: Every flight is full, and there’s only one rental car available…Read more and listen here.

 

 

 

Marry Me at Christmas, by Susan Mallery

To bridal boutique owner Madeline Krug, organizing a Christmas wedding sounds like a joy-until she finds out she’ll be working closely with the gorgeous brother of the bride, movie star Jonny Blaze. How will a small-town girl like her keep from falling for the world’s sexiest guy? Especially with mistletoe lurking around every corner!…Read more and listen here

 

 

The Christmas Train, by David Baldacci

On a train ride to Los Angeles, cash-strapped journalist Tom Langdon encounters a ridiculous cast of characters, unexpected romance, and an avalanche that changes everyone’s Christmas plans…Read more and listen here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maggie’s Miracle, by Karen Kingsbury

Maggie’s Miracle focuses on the power of a young child to change two people’s lives. A best-selling Christian author, Kingsbury is sure to touch all listeners’ hearts with her tender novel…Read more and listen here

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10 Life Lessons We Learned from Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks’ new book, The Longest Ride was released this week, and to commemorate the newest title from this prolific author, we’ve pulled together 10 truths that we’ve gleaned from his bittersweet romances.

1. Families can really screw up a relationship
Look, we know our families love us but sometimes they just don’t know when to back off. In ‘The Notebook’, Allie’s mom took it upon herself to interfere in her daughter’s romance because she thought Allie was too good for the son of a laborer. I’m a mom so I get it – you want what you think is best for your kids. But messing with the mail is a federal offense for a reason. In ‘A Bend in the Road’, a brother’s secret threatens to derail a romance (Dude, chill. We are not our brothers’ keepers!)

 

2. Men are afraid of commitment
We women are all too familiar this one. Guys just can’t commit. Nowhere is this illustrated more clearly than in ‘The Rescue’. Taylor McAden is one hunky firefighter who is not afraid to take risks. He doesn’t think twice about rushing into a burning building to save a life. But settle down with one woman? No way! Seriously guys – what is THAT all about anyway?

3. Ghosts make great matchmakers
Some of us consider ghost stories terrifying and haunted graveyards creepy and gross. Apparently we don’t know what we’re missing out on by avoiding spectal encounters. In ‘A Bend in the Road’, Sarah and Jonah fall in love on a Ghost Walk, while in ‘True Believer’ mysterious happenings in the local cemetery draw investigative journalist Jeremy to town and straight into the arms of Lexie. Forget match.com – get yourself down to the graveyard after dark if you’re looking for love.

 

4. Dogs are smarter than people
If you’re a dog owner, you already know this. But for you cat people out there, it takes Singer the Great Dane to see sense in ‘The Guardian’. Singer seems to be the only one to pick up on the fact that the new guy in his owner’s life is a psychopath. But will this cunning canine be able to save the day and steer Julie to Mr. Right? If only Julie were a dog, she’d have known better in the first place.

 

5. Pay attention in English Class
You never know when a well-written letter is going to make the difference between finding true love and a life of loneliness. Really people, you could lose more than just marks for bad spelling and grammar! Do you think Theresa would’ve bothered tracking Garret down if his ‘Message in a Bottle’ read “OMG, Catherine! You made me ROTFLMAO! You were totes my BFF!” I don’t think so.

 

6. Change the batteries in your smoke detectors
It’s not just the residents of firefighter Taylor McAden’s town in ‘The Rescue’ that seem to have an aversion to fire prevention. The characters in ‘Safe Haven’ also don’t pay much heed to the Fire Marshall’s warnings to replace their smoke detectors’ batteries every year when they put their clocks forward. Sure, with smoke alarms the books would be shorter but it would save a lot of heartache and hassle in the long run.

 

7. Get your eyes checked regularly
You never know when you’re going to fall in love at first sight. Imagine meeting the person you were supposed to be with, but you don’t even recognize it because they’re all blurry? ‘The Notebook’ proves that love at first sight is real and a yearly visit to the eye doctor will keep your eyes in top form should that special someone wander into your line of vision.

 

8. Invest in swimming lessons
Please, parents – take your children to swimming lessons as soon as they can walk! And if your own parents weren’t on the ball when you were a tot – it’s never too late. Check your local rec center for adult classes and make the time to learn. But even if you do know how to swim (Garret from ‘Message in a Bottle’, we’re looking at you!) remember the first rule of boating – wear a life jacket! Because what is the point of finding the love of your life if one of you is fated for a watery death?

 

9. Soldiers always do the right thing
Honor above all. Soldiers are such great dudes that they are willing to sacrifice their own happiness, even if – like the John of ‘Dear John’ – that means walking away from the woman they love to do the honorable thing. They’re just that awesome.

 

10. Books are better than movies
This one’s not exclusive to Nicholas Sparks. We all know it. With the exception of Harry Potter, movies adaptations usually can’t hold a candle to the original text. So just prepare to be disappointed now and you never know – if you go in with no high expectations, you might just be okay with the fact that the studio has butchered the ending, or cut out vital portions of your favorite book. Does ‘The Lucky One’ ring any bells here?

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Ken Kesey and 6 Other Authors Who Hated the Films of their Books

Ken Kesey famously hated classic 1975 film version of his book, ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’. Kesey had wanted to cast Gene Hackman in the lead.  Instead it went to Jack Nicholson, who took home the Academy Award that year for best actor for his portrayal of McMurphy, a convict who faked mental illness in order to finish out his sentence in what he thought would be the relative comfort of a psychiatric ward. Kesey was also disappointed with the director’s decision not to have the film narrated – as the book was – from the point of view of Chief Bromden, a native American character thought to be deaf and mute. Although the film ultimately went on to win the ‘big five’ at the Oscars – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Actress in a Lead Role – Kesey claimed until his death never to have seen it.

Kesey isn’t the only author to have taken umbrage with a studio’s treatment of his book. Here are six more authors who weren’t so pleased to see their book translated to the big screen.

Ernest Hemingway – A Farewell to Arms (1932)

Ernest Hemingway doesn’t sound like the most pleasant fellow. He bullied F. Scott Fitzgerald, alienated writers like William Faulkner and Gertrude Stein, and was famously unfaithful to his wives. Apparently, despite his friendship with leading man Gary Cooper, he was so unhappy with the screen adaptation of the book that established him on the writing scene, ‘A Farewell to Arms’ that he tried to have its release blocked in the town of Piggott, Arkansas where he lived with his second wife. Critics didn’t agree with his assessment – the film took home two Academy Awards.

Roald Dahl – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

British audiences would no doubt have welcomed Dahl’s original choice to play the eccentric candy-maker in the film version, renamed ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’. Spike Milligan was beloved over the pond for his off-the-wall comedy as a member of the radio program, The Goon Show. Dahl was unhappy with the studio’s decision to cast Gene Wilder as well as such additions to the plot as a rival manufacturer spying on the Wonka factory and the fact that there was more emphasis placed on Wonka and less on Charlie. But what may ultimately have turned Dahl off was the studio’s break with him when he failed to meet script deadlines. Sorry, Roald. You snooze, you lose.

Stephen King – The Shining (1980)

Jack Nicholson, what did you do to piss writers off anyway? It was actually partly due to Nicholson’s role as McMurphy in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ that put Stephen King off his casting in ‘The Shining’. Apparently Nicholson does crazy so well, King thought it would give viewers a clue that the character Jack Torrence was mentally unbalanced. King also felt that director Stanley Kubrick’s decision to downplay Torrence’s alcoholism and the supernatural aspects of the story, made the character less sympathetic. I’ll give him that – if there is one word I would NOT use to describe Nicholson’s role in The Shining, it would be sympathetic.

Winston Groom – Forrest Gump (1994)

Although ‘Forrest Gump’ soared at the box office and cemented Tom Hanks’ status as one of the greatest actors of our time, the author of the book it was adapted from was not a fan. Winston Groom was unhappy that much of the sex and profanity from the book was downplayed, and had originally imagined John Goodman in the role. To add insult to injury, Groom didn’t receive any royalties from the film. In a classic case of Hollywood accounting, the studio stated that ‘Forrest Gump’ didn’t make any money. I don’t think even the title character of the book-to-film would fall for that dubious claim.

Anne Rice – Interview With the Vampire (1994)

Fans were as outraged as the author at the announcement that Tom Cruise would play her iconic anti-hero, Lestat, in the film version of her book ‘Interview With the Vampire’. Rice’s outspokenness over the selection of Cruise led to the studio cutting off all contact with the author during production of the film. Despite her initial misgivings though, Rice is one author who came around in the end. When shown the final cut, Rice did a 180, declaring that Cruise WAS her Lestat, and even applauding the screenwriters’ additions to her story. One of her only complaints? Brad Pitt didn’t look beautiful enough. Um… okay.

 

Clive Cussler – Sahara (2005)

Clive Cussler hated what was to be the first in a series of films based on his Dirk Pittman books so much that he sued the studio. Cussler claimed that he was promised absolute control over the script and that he was deceived by the studio, leading to the failure of this big budget film. The studio counter-sued, claiming that Cussler’s bad-mouthing helped to torpedo the project. Cussler lost the case, but has taken it to appeals court. However, he needn’t worry about more Dirk Pittman films tarnishing his franchise – the movie was so poorly received no sequels have gone ahead.

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