Posted by: montclairlibrary | June 27, 2013

Summer movies

Alexis Denisof as Benedick and and Amy Acker as Beatrice in Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing

Alexis Denisof as Benedick and and Amy Acker as Beatrice in Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing”

The summer movie season is upon us, and as usual, many of this summer’s hits are inspired by books.

We probably all know that “The Great Gatsby” is based on the book of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald, or that Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing” was originally a play by William Shakespeare.

But did you know that “What Maisie Knew,” with its seemingly very modern tale of divorcing parents, is inspired by Henry James’ 1897 novel? Or that the animated “Epic” has its roots in The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs, a picture book by William Joyce?

Looking through the current movie listings on SFGate here are some books to pair with movies both new and old playing around the Bay Area this week — some of the books inspired the movie directly or indirectly, and some are useful companions to the movie:

Movie: “42”
Book: Jackie Robinson: A Biography by Arnold Rampersad

Movie: “Flight of the Butterflies”
Book: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Movie: “Ice Age: Continental Drift”
Book: Sabertooths and the Ice Age: A Nonfiction Companion to Sunset of the Sabertooth by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce

Movie: “Iron Man”
Book: Iron Man: I am Iron Man by Mark Fergus; adapted by Lisa Rao (easy reader)

Movie: “Kon-Tiki”
Book: Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific by Raft by Thor Heyerdahl

Movie: “Man of Steel”
Book: Superman: The Story of the Man of Steel by Ralph Cosentino (picture book)

Movie: “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”
Book: Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

Movie: “Mud”
Book: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Movie: “Oz the Great & Powerful”
Book: The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum or Wicked by Gregory Maguire

Movie: “The Dark Knight Rises”
Book: Batman: The Story of the Dark Knight by Ralph Cosentino (picture book)

Movie: “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things”
Book: The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things by JT LeRoy

Loved the movie? Read the book! What’s your favorite movie adaptation of a book?


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