Library Corner: Black ink on the silver screen |

Library Corner: Black ink on the silver screen

Sally Mathis
Grand County Library District

Walk into a library after a book-made-into-movie hits the theaters and you will hear readers critiquing how well the motion picture portrayed the story. Reactions vary from letdown to indignation and from contentment to delight. Why all the fuss?

Readers adore the delicious details of books with their fully developed characters and rich plots. We sometimes get miffed when the movie version isn’t what we expected or hoped it would be. How can we fairly compare the two formats? Author Stephen King gives wise advice for our outlook on this genre: “Books and movies are like apples and oranges. They both are fruit, but taste completely different.”

The GCLD Virtual Adult Book Club recently delved into this category and explored book/movie combos across a wide variety of age levels and genres.

It was a moment of self-discovery for member Julie Guhl. “I always wondered what my favorite genre was, and I found out that this is my genre! I never realized how many of these I had read,” she said.

Multiple individuals enjoyed the following book/movie combos:

“The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story” by Diane Ackerman: Set in Poland during World War II, “The Zookeeper’s Wife” relates the true story of a family who transformed their zoo into a safe habitation for over 300 Jewish and political refugees. Under the nose of the Nazis, the family hid their secret guests in animal cages and called them by animal names. Readers agree the book/movie combo was emotional, yet powerful.

“The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger: A romantic fantasy, “The Time Traveler’s Wife” explores an unusual relationship between Claire and Henry, a librarian whom time imprisons, randomly throwing him across time apart from his control. Despite this mind-bending existence, they fall in love. Although the movie differs slightly from the book, readers loved the clever story.

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak: This award-winning young adult book is a literary delight. A kind Angel of Death narrates the story of Liesel, a German girl taken in by foster parents during the rise of Adolph Hitler and the ensuing World War II. Although tormented by past tragedy and current challenges, Liesel finds solace and nourishment in the books she steals. The film stays true to the story and boasts an excellent cast.

Why should kids have all the fun this summer? All adults are welcome to participate and explore “A Universe of Stories” in GCLD’s Summer Reading Program. You might even win an Apple Watch Series 3! To complete the program, choose from a wide variety of book and movie topics, including science fiction, NASA’s Space Program, international settings/authors, and mythology/folklore. Try out one of GCLD’s many online resources, as well: Libby by Overdrive’s digital books, Kanopy’s streaming films, or Rosetta Stone’s foreign languages. And note, we have Mad Science workshops this week on Living in Space and Marvels of Motion. Please visit your local library for details. We look forward to reading and learning with you this summer!

Shelly Mathis is library services specialist with the Grand County Library District.

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