You may have watched the movie, but have you read the book? Here are a few of our favorite titles that shine as brightly on the page as they do on the silver screen.
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Christina Speed, E-Zine Co-Editor, shares “My absolute favorite book-to-movie is The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. His writing is so rich and poetic; his clarity, unnerving at times, yet beautiful. At once love story and war story, the sympathetic natures of the characters run deep, as do their flaws. And the movie? Breathtaking and thick with emotion — can’t take your eyes from the screen.”
Columnist Susan Ito writes “I nominate Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. One of my favorite books which turned into a beautiful, quirky and very little seen movie with Christine Lahti. The book and movie were very different but both wonderful on their own.”
Kristina Riggle, Fiction Co-Editor, adds “The Godfather by Mario Puzo is as chilling and vivid as the film. I became a fan of the movie first, and picked up the book at a used bookstore for 25 cents in paperback. I thought for sure that Marlon Brando would loom in my memory as I read, but Puzo’s novel made Don Corleone come alive in the pages as his own being, separate from the film. Fans of “The Sopranos” should dig this one up, if they haven’t already.”
Caroline Grant, Senior Editor and Mama at the Movies Columnist, nominates “The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri’s beautiful and delicate coming-of-age novel about a young man whose parents immigrated to the US from India. When filmed by Mira Nair, the story’s focus shifts, and the emphasis is slightly more on the parents, especially the mother, Ashima, who cries at the prospect of raising her children in this “lonely country.” Whether you start with the novel or the film, you find yourself transported by the moving story.”
Sarah Raleigh Kilts, Literary Reflections Editorial Assistant, picks Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi: “Satrapi teamed up with Vincent Paronnaud to create the stunning screen adaptation of her graphic novel series. For more about the film, check out the Mama at the Movies column by the same name. I can’t say enough good things about the books, they are among my all-time favorites!”