The books listed below are all books I’ve read in the past 3 months or so. I loved some, liked others, and teetered on despising others. This got me thinking. After each one of these reads, what film would I pair it with? To either keep the beautiful mood planted within me, offset an unsettling (or terrible) read, or simply watch an adapted version of what words just floated through my mind for several days (or weeks).
Below are the books I’ve most recently read, and their movie pairings. Because if you love art, why not get it in every medium you can?
Author’s Note: All book/film pairings would also pair nicely with a full-bodied cabernet. Cheers.
Up in the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell (1992)
A Bronx Tale (1993, directed by Robert De Niro)
New York is so stunningly portrayed in both Mitchell’s collection of essays and this coming-of-age story in A Bronx Tale. Also, De Niro — is there anyone better?
Up in the Old Hotel was one of those books I mentioned above that spread a warmth through my bones and made me feel very, very lucky to live where I live and love.
Before The Fall by Noah Hawley (2016)
Flight (2012, directed by Robert Zemeckis)
Perhaps a bit on the nose, but you cannot beat the beginnings of both this novel, and this film. All I’ll say, is there was a bit of an oopsy on planes in both. Sort of more than an oopsy.
However, after the explosive beginnings of both these works of art, I fell off a bit. Still happy I finished, though. And the opening scenes are worth sitting through the rest of both!
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling (2016)
Stand by Me (1986, directed by Rob Reiner)
Struggling young boys go on an adventure in both of these stories. If reading the quick play by J.K. Rowling didn’t wet your whistle enough for a great “kids figuring themselves out and in turn, solidifying their friendships forever” story, turn to the forever perfect Stand by Me.
Maestra by L.S. Hilton (2016)
Dirty Dancing (1987, directed by Emile Ardolino)
THIS BOOK WAS SO UNBELIEVABLY BAD. I am not, in any way, shape or form, telling you to read this. In fact, this is a warning to never step near it. I feel sad that I spent money on this. It’s supposed to be sexy and kind of dark — but really it’s just gross ( I swear) sex scenes with a horrible main character that thinks she’s a “bad girl” when she’s really just straight up murdering people. Also, L.S. Hilton, stop trying to be cool like J.K. Rowling. You are not J.K. Rowling.
Dirty Dancing, on the other hand, is the exact kind of palette cleanser you need after this garbage. Dirty Dancing IS hot. And Baby is kind of a badass. And Patrick Swayze is the dreamiest dream boat in history.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (1926)
And Then There Were None (1945, directed by René Clair)
My as well pair one of Agatha Christie’s best books, with one of the best film adaptations of another one of her books! Can you tell I love Agatha Christie? Also, the recent BBC mini series on And Then There Were None is also AMAZING. I love you, Phillip Lombard (even though you’re kinda a bad guy). Watch both!
In terms of this book, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, it’s basically widely accepted as her best mystery. You will be surprised. I promise.
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick (1963)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004, directed by Michel Gondry)
The strangest, but also most thought-provoking movie I can think of. Because what did I even sit down and read when I read The Man in the High Castle? Boring at times, INCREDIBLE and shocking at others, and really leaves you questioning everything. Maybe that’s all we can ask for in a piece of literature? Then, once you watch the brilliance that is Gondry’s film, watch the Amazon adaptation of Man in the High Castle to get a better understanding of what you read. Let some bright filmmakers make sense of it for you.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (1966)
Monster (2003, directed by Patty Jenkins)
All we’re doing here is swapping out a few crazies. What I think Truman Capote does so beautifully in his work is somehow make us sympathize with these truly sick murderers. How? How did I feel bad for Perry Smith? But I did. And this is a true story!! Insane.
Monster, on the other hand, also plays into the idea of perhaps doing something horrible for the right (?) or maybe, understandable, reason. But really — watch it for Charlize <3
The Likeness by Tana French (2008)
Old School (2003, directed by Todd Phillips)
Oh, this book. The plot of The Likeness was super eerie, complicated and fascinating. A bunch of intellectual, private “hiding something” college students living together with a doppelgänger posing as “one of them”. You have to read it to understand. I really enjoyed it.
After reading this book, I was sort of in the mood to remember that college is not all secret cults and murder, and is often filled with idiots binge drinking! That’s where Old School comes in. Funny, ridiculous – and completely the opposite of The Likeness in the best way.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (1951)
Ordinary People (1980, directed by Robert Redford)
Kids suffering inside themselves, with seemingly no answers on the horizon, is never an easy subject to read or see on screen. But these two masterpieces paint that suffering in such a beautiful, and comforting way that leads us to understanding, perhaps, someone in our own lives. They reach out and squeeze your heart. Don’t walk through life without knowing these stories and taking them into yourself.