Edmonds Booktalk: Summer reading fun — books that are also movies

Elaine Mattson

One more month of official summer! One more month of reading anything you want! [not that you have to have an excuse to read whatever you want, whenever you want, but in case you do …!] How about getting caught up on books that are being turned into movies? “Divergent” and “The Fault in Our Stars” have already opened in theaters – and the books are definitely worth reading! And here is a partial list of movies based on books coming the rest of this year:

  • “A Most Wanted Man” by John le Carré. The movie stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright, Willem Dafoe. July 25
  • “The Hundred-Foot Journey” by Richard C. Morais. “That skinny Indian teenager… is one of those rare chefs who is simply born. He is an artist.” starring Helen Mirren, directed by Lasse Hallstrom, and produced by Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg. Aug. 8
  • “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. The classic quintessential dystopian novel. Starring Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgård, Taylor Swift, Jeff Bridges. Aug. 15
  • “If I Stay” by Gayle Forman. Caught between life and death for one revealing day, Mia has only one decision left, which will not only decide her future but her ultimate fate. Aug. 22
  • “Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn. A woman who survived the brutal killing of her family as a child is forced to confront the events of that day by a secret society obsessed with solving notorious crimes. Sept. 1
  • “The Drop” adapted for the screen by Dennis Lehane, based on his very own short story. A moderately-reformed Boston criminal gets mixed up in a heist/murder involving a pit bull puppy. Some unseemly types come after him and the puppy, including mob boss James Gandolfini, starring in his last role. Sept. 12
  • “The Maze Runner” by James Dashner. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, young Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they’re all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow “runners” for a shot at escape. Sept. 19
  • “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. Marriage can be a real killer. Starring Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris. Oct. 3
  • “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1.” [Part 2 coming in 2015.] Nov. 21
  • “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, it powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds. Screenwriter: Nick Hornby. Starring: Reese Witherspoon. Dec. 5
  • “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption” by Laura Hillenbrand. The story of a young lieutenant, Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete who was taken prisoner by the Japanese in WWII. Screenwriters: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen! Movie coming Christmas Day, Dec. 25

QuickAnd introducing, a new, occasional, feature-ette in my column: I will update you on my reading of first novels. For the ‘why’ behind this purposeful new venture of mine, see my July column, and my tribute to Valerie Jean Ryan who claimed that everyone has at least one book in them, so first novels are always worth reading. … together we will see if her hypothesis holds true and see if first novels are, indeed, usually worth reading… [fun, right!?]
First Novel Report for July: “The Quick” by Lauren Owen. Lovely writing. Quite atmospheric. Feels like it could have been written in Victorian England, where/when it is set. Feels like a classic gothic novel. [elements of horror in there, but in a ‘spot of blood on the cuff’ kind of way…totally cerebral.] Thoroughly enjoyed it! Verdict: completely worth reading!

August Events at The Edmonds Bookshop.

burgessAug. 7 & 20. Our August Book Club title is “The Burgess Boys” by Elizabeth Strout. With a rare combination of brilliant storytelling, exquisite prose, and remarkable insight into character, the author has brought to life two deeply human protagonists whose struggles and triumphs will resonate with readers long after they turn the final page. Tender, tough-minded, loving, and deeply illuminating about the ties that bind us to family and home.

Find more details about this title and the list of our book choices for the rest of the year, on our Book Club page.

How to makeAug. 21. Third Thursday Art Walk, 5-8 p.m. We will welcome poet and author Nicola Pearson with her first novel, “How to Make a Pot in 14 Easy Lessons.”

Originally from England, Nicola traveled extensively before settling in in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains with her potter husband, Stephen. They raised three lovely children and now live with their dog, their cat, and seven chickens. Nicola divides her time between selling her husband’s beautiful pottery and writing. With the publication of her first novel, she believes she has found a way to do both! She will be bringing samples of her husband’s pottery with her to show us the inspiration. Visit her website [https://www.howtomakeapotin14easylessons.com/home/4575087078] for all kinds of background info, and a fun blog!

Recent book releases of note:
“Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption” by Laura Hillenbrand. Finally in paperback! Movie coming Christmas Day, 2014.
“The Care and Management of Lies: A Novel of the Great War” by Jacqueline Winspear. Chosen for July IndieBound.
“The Book of Life: All Souls Trilogy #3” by Deborah Harkness. The highly anticipated finale to the trilogy that began with “A Discovery of Witches.”
“World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Book III” by Ben H. Winters. The critically acclaimed author [and staff favorite!] delivers this explosive final installment in the Edgar Award-winning Last Policeman series.
“How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel” by Louise Penny. Now in paperback.
“Tigerman” by Nick Harkaway. All his tours of duty can’t prepare British army Sgt. Lester Ferris, a veteran of the War in Afghanistan, for life on an island facing certain ecological destruction, in Harkaway’s poignant morality tale, equally fueled by emotion and adrenaline.
“Lucky Us” by Amy Bloom. Two teenaged half-sisters make their way through WWII-era America in Bloom’s imaginative romp. New [7/27/14] review in The Seattle Times.
For little kids “A Library Book for Bear” by Bonny Becker. Curmudgeonly Bear succumbs to Mouse’s entreaties and discovers the joy of books.
“Half a King” by Joe Abercrombie. In this superb fantasy trilogy kickoff, Abercrombie regales readers with the tale of a young man who is thrust onto the throne by unexpected betrayal.
“The Heist: A Gabriel Allon Novel” by Daniel Silva. Gabriel Allon, art restorer and occasional spy, searches for a stolen masterpiece by Caravaggio in the latest action-packed tale of high stakes international intrigue.

Books of note coming soon:
“Alex : The Commandant Camille Verhoeven Trilogy” by Pierre Lemaitre; Frank Wynne (Translator). Chosen for August IndieBound. Aug. 5.
“Sweet Thunder” by Ivan Doig. A beloved character brings the power of the press to 1920s Butte, Montana, in this latest from the best storyteller of the West. In paperback! Aug. 5
The Magician’s Land: A Novel” by Lev Grossman. The stunning conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy. Chosen for August IndieBound. Aug. 5.
Sweetness #9: A Novel” by Stephan Eirik Clark. An interesting little article about an author boosted by ‘Colbert Bump…’The article here. Coming Aug. 19
The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel” by Louise Penny. Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec, has found a peace he’d only imagined possible. A new friend, Clara tells him that her artist husband has failed to come home. Having finally found sanctuary, Gamache feels a near revulsion at the thought of leaving Three Pines… Aug. 26.
Personal: A Jack Reacher Novel” by Lee Child. Sept. 2.

And plan ahead a little bit:
Edge of Eternity: Book Three of The Century Trilogy” by Ken Follett. This finale covers one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the 1960s through the 1980s, encompassing civil rights, assassinations, Vietnam, the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution—and rock and roll.Coming Sept. 16.

As always, check our website for all the latest in book news!

Happy reading!

– By Elaine Mattson

Edmonds native Elaine Mattson has worked at The Edmonds Bookshop off and on since she was 12 years old, and has also worked at a book wholesaler, a book publisher, and for the book publishing division of a large local software company (yes, that one). “I was raised a book lover [thanks, Mom!],” Mattson says. “We got book lights by our beds as soon as we were old enough to read. And then I probably got in trouble for reading too late the very next night. And I still read too late!”

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