Reel Good Reads: From Print to Film

A Beautiful Mind: A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr., Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, 1994

By Sylvia Nasar

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A dramatic and moving biography of a mathematical genius whose brilliant career was cut short by schizophrenia, and who, after three decades of devastating mental illness, miraculously recovered and was honored with a Nobel Prize.

The 2001 film, directed by Ron Howard and starring Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, and Jennifer Connelly was a huge success, receiving four Academy Awards in 2002 including Best Picture.

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All the President's Men

By Warner Home Video

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The true story of how Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncovered the White House involvement in the Watergate break in. Based on their Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting which was later set down as a book.

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Black Narcissus

By Rumer Godden

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"In this 1939 psychological drama, English and Irish nuns work to establish a convent in a unused palace, high in the Himalayas. The nuns are to doomed to failure because their own repressed memories and desires make them unable to connect with the Indian people and their culture. They seem to be overwhelmed by the sensuality of their surroundings. The novel was made into an excellent film in 1947 starring Deborah Kerr as the Mother Superior. The nuns leaving the mountaintop palace seemed to many film-goers of the time to be an allegory for the failure of the British Raj."

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Bridget Jones's Diary

By Helen Fielding

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Hilarious chronicle of the life of a 30-something woman who wants to lose weight, stop smoking, develop inner poise, and form a functional relationship with a responsible adult.

Renee Zellweger shines in the 2001 film adaptation, also starring Colin Firth and Hugh Grant.

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Catch Me If You Can: The Amazing True Story of the Youngest and Most Daring Con Man in the History of Fun and Profit

By Frank W. Abagnale, Jr.

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Frank Abagnale pretended to be an airline pilot, an attorney, a professor, and a physician, among others, and conned a lot of people out of a lot of money. Hard to believe one person could get away with so much for so long in real life! His story is so compelling that it became a major feature film.
Also available in large print.

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Chocolat: A Novel

By Joanne Harris

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In a tiny French town where little has changed in the past century, newcomer Vianne Rocher arrives with her exquisite chocolate shop which immediately begins to play havoc with the villagers' Lenten vows. Each box of the bonbons comes with a free gift - Vianne's uncanny perceptions of its buyer's discontents and a clever cure for them. Is she a witch? Soon the parishioners no longer care as they abandon themselves to temptation with unforeseen results.

Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina, Lena Olin, and Johnny Depp star in this box office hit, released in 2000.

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Circle of Friends

By Maeve Binchy

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Set in Ireland, this is the story of three girls who were friends when growing up and are reunited in college. The central figure is Benny, a big girl with big dreams, who sets her cap for the brightest and handsomest boy on campus.

The 1995 film adaptation stars Chris O'Donnell, Colin Firth, Minnie Driver.

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Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

By Rebecca Wells

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When Siddalee Walker, oldest daughter of Vivi Abbott Walker, Ya-Ya extraordinaire, is interviewed in the New York Times about a hit play she's directed, her mother gets described as a "tap-dancing child abuser." Enraged, Vivi disowns Sidda. Devastated, Sidda begs forgiveness, and postpones her upcoming wedding. All looks bleak until the Ya-Yas step in and convince Vivi to send Sidda a scrapbook of their girlhood mementos, called "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood."

Check out the film starring Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, and Ashley Judd.

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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

By Philip K. Dick

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Rick Deckard prowls the steel-and-microchip jungle of 21st-century Los Angeles. He's a 'blade runner' stalking genetically made criminal replicants. His assignment: kill them. Their crime: wanting to be human. Basis of the film Blade Runner.

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Dune

By Frank Herbert

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Follows the adventures of Paul Atreides, the son of a betrayed duke given up for dead on a treacherous desert planet and adopted by its fierce, nomadic people, who help him unravel his most unexpected destiny.

On Film: people either love or hate David's Lynch's film version of Dune. But one thing you shouldn't miss is Kyle MacLachlan's performance as Paul Atreides. Having read the book first makes enjoying the movie easier.

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