If you love a good story, then chances are you’re a fan of the convergence of book and film. While the Academy Awards is celebrating its 90th birthday this year, booklovers around the globe are celebrating some of the best page to screen adaptations that have swept up a handful of the 2018 nominations.
Whether you want to squeeze in some listening while stuck in I-405 traffic en-route to the Academy Awards or are getting the updates from home, it’s never too late to listen to the books that inspired the year’s best movies with Audiobooks.com.
Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman. Narrated by Armie Hammer.
Nominated for Best Picture, Lead Actor, and Adapted Screenplay
This coming-of-age novel follows the summer love affair between Elio, a precocious American-Italian Jewish teenager, and Oliver, a charming doctoral student working as an intern for Elio’s father. The novel chronicles the 20 years following Elio and Oliver’s illuminating and electric Italian summer together, and how it changed their lives forever. Bonus: the audiobook is narrated by the actor who portrays Oliver in the film: the incredible Armie Hammer.
Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back from the Brink (Film Adaptation: Darkest Hour) by Anthony McCarten. Narrated by John Lee.
Nominated for Best Picture, Lead Actor, Cinematography, Production Design, Makeup and Hair, and Costume Design
Facing the horrors of Nazi Germany and holding the fate of western European democracy in his hands, Winston Churchill wonders what – and how – words could capture the public mood when the invasion of Britain feels within arm’s reach. McCarten’s biography on Churchill depicts his day-by-day (and often hour-by-hour) narrative of the Prime Minister’s doubts through the weeks that helped define history, Europe, and the free world as we know it.
Dunkirk: The History Behind The Major Motion Picture (Film Adaptation: Dunkirk) by Joshua Levine. Narrated by Jonathan Keeble, Leighton Pugh.
Nominated for Best Picture, Director, Cinematography, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Production Design, and Original Score
The Battle of Dunkirk in the spring of 1940 is somewhat of a paradox; both an incredible defeat and major victory, the Nazis had pushed the Allies across France to the northern port of Dunkirk. Winston Churchill used this moment of German aggression as a call to Franklin Roosevelt to enter the war. Levine delves into the real lives of those in the midst of Dunkirk, from soldiers to civilians to airmen, where 300,000 men were evacuated – 10 times more than Prime Minister Churchill had originally hoped for.
The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made (Film Adaptation: The Disaster Artist) by Tom Bissell and Greg Sestero. Narrated by Greg Sestero.
Nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay
As a struggling actor with a lack of confidence and funds, Greg Sestero’s luck seems to change when he meets Tommy Wiseau at a San Francisco acting school. Wiseau’s mysterious, and seemingly endless, supply of cash allows him to pour $6 million of his own money on a cinematic disaster called The Room. The hilarious, inspiring, and true story of their struggles, triumphs, and unique relationship makes this story a must-see and read.
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan. Narrated by Kate Forbes, Peter Jay Fernandez, Tom Stechschulte, Brenda Pressley, Ezra Knight, Joseph Collins.
Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay, and Cinematography
A powerful piece of Southern literature, Hillary Jordan’s debut novel takes on prejudice on a Mississippi Delta farm in 1946. Despite questionable decisions made by her husband, city girl Laura McAllen attempts to raise her family, leading to devastating tensions. These tensions are inflamed when her brother-in-law and the son of a family of sharecroppers return from World War II with scars of combat and changed personalities.
Wonder by R. J. Palacio. Narrated by Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd, Diana Steele.
Nominated for Best Makeup and Hair
As if being the new kid at school wasn’t already hard, August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Now entering fifth grade at Beecher Prep, Auggie must convince his new classmates that despite his extraordinary face, he’s an ordinary kid. This stunning tale of family, friendship and school is an emotional powerhouse.
The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis. Narrated by Rita Wolf.
Nominated for Best Animated Feature
Living in a bombed-out apartment building in Afghanistan’s capital city during the Taliban rule was tough enough before 11-year-old Pravana’s father was arrested for the crime of having a foreign education. As the family’s situation becomes dire, Pravana must become the family breadwinner in order to survive. Forbidden by the Taliban government to earn money as a girl, Parvana is forced to transform herself into a boy – and hero – overnight.
The Story of Ferdinand (Film Adaptation: Ferdinand) by Munro Leaf. Narrated by Angel Pineda, Brian Amador.
Nominated for Best Animated Feature
As a bull, Ferdinand is expected to behave just like his peers by running, jumping, and butting his heads against the other bulls. But Ferdinand would rather sit and smell the flowers, and he does – until a bumblebee and some men from the Madrid bullfights give him the chance to be the fiercest star of the corrida and unexpected comic hero. Whimsical with a timeless message, The Story of Ferdinand has been a children’s classic since it was first published in 1936.
Victoria & Abdul by Shrabani Basu. Narrated by Elizabeth Jasicki.
Nominated for Best Makeup and Hair and Costume Design
Arriving in England at age 24 from India to wait at tables for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, Abdul surprised everyone when, within a year, he had become the Queen’s counsel on Urdu and Indian affairs, and, most importantly, one of her most trusted friends. Following the death of Prince Albert in 1861 and her personal servant in 1883, Queen Victoria found immense joy in her friendship with Abdul, much to the royal household’s disapproval and resentment, lasting until her death in 1901.
Blade Runner (Film Adaptation: Blade Runner 2049) by Philip K. Dick. Narrated by Scott Brick.
Nominated for Best Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Production Design, and Visual Effects
Just as you shouldn’t watch Blade Runner 2049 without having watched the original Blade Runner, we think that before you jump into the film franchise at all, you should start with the book. Published in 1968 under the title Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Blade Runner follows bounty hunter Rick Deckard. He has been commissioned to find rogue androids and retire them, but they fight back with lethal force that has consequences for everyone.
With 24 categories and a variety of genres from romance to history to drama, this year’s Academy Awards gives film buffs and bookworms alike something to talk about. Tell us in the comments what your favorite page to screen adaptation is and what book you hope to see in theatres next.