Between the Lines: So many books make their way to the big screen

Published: Sunday, Mar. 3, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 10AANDE
Last Modified: Sunday, Mar. 3, 2013 - 7:46 am

Watching the 85th Academy Awards last Sunday was a reminder that countless books, novellas and short stories have found their way onto the big screen over the decades.

Among this year's Oscar-winners indebted to the written word:

• Best picture: "Argo," adapted from a Wired magazine piece by Joshuah Berman.

• Best actor: Daniel Day-Lewis for "Lincoln," based in part on the history "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

• Best actress: Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings Playbook," from the novel by Matthew Quick.

• Best supporting actress: Anne Hathaway for "Les Misérables," which 19th century French novelist and playwright Victor Hugo published in 1862.

• Best director: Ang Lee for "Life of Pi," from the sleeper-turned-best-selling novel by Yann Martel.

• Of course, "Anna Karenina" (best costumes) was originally Leo Tolstoy's classic 1873 novel, and "Skyfall" (best original song) was sourced from Ian Fleming's body of James "007" Bond stories.

Which segues into a few upcoming books-to-movies that will be screened this year:

• May 10: "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire).

• June 21: "World War Z" by Max Brooks (Brad Pitt, Matthew Fox, Mireille Enos).

• Aug. 16: "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" by Rick Riordon (Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario).

• Nov. 1: "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card (Harrison Ford, Abigail Breslin, Asa Butterfield).

• Nov. 22: "Catching Fire: The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins (Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks).

• Dec. 13: "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" by J.R.R. Tolkien (Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood).

Uncertain release dates:

• "A Most Wanted Man" by John le Carré (Willem Dafoe, Rachel McAdams, Philip Seymour Hoffman).

• "The Wolf of Wall Street," from an autobiography by stockbroker and ex-convict Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey).

• "Winter's Tale" by Mark Helprin (Russell Crowe, Will Smith, Jennifer Connelly).


• Most of us take it for granted as we go about our daily business, but the regionally dominant Sacramento River is a multidimensional marvel. California's largest river originates in the Mount Shasta-Mount Eddy watershed, and combines with the McCloud and the Pit rivers to flow 447 miles south to Suisun Bay and into the Pacific Ocean.

Sacramento author ("Shattered Air") and educator Bob Madgic takes readers on a revealing journey in "The Sacramento: A Transcendent River" (River Bend, $25 paperback, $40 hardback, 226 pages; in bookstores soon and at The deeply researched, engaging text and 190-plus contemporary color and vintage black-and-white photos reveal a vital natural resource with a fascinating history and a troubled future.

"The book attempts to inspire," Madgic said on the phone from his home on the river in Anderson, near Redding. "I've tried to make it accessible to the general public."

• The Sherlock Holmes pastiche lives on in "Death on a Pale Horse" by Donald Thomas (Pegasus, $25.95, 400 pages) and "Encounters of Sherlock Holmes," edited by George Mann (Titan, $14.95, 400 pages).

In the first, Holmes and Dr. Watson go global in their quest to unravel a conspiracy designed to start a world war. In the second, 14 writers offer their takes on Holmes-Watson high adventure in Victorian England.

• "Murder Below Montparnasse" by Cara Black (Soho, $25.95, 336 page): This is the 13th title in the Aimee Leduc series by the San Francisco author, who appeared for the Bee Book Club in 2008. Leduc, the spiky-haired French PI, must deal with murder and the theft of what could be a priceless painting.

Around town

• Outdoorsman and author Dave Metz tells the harrowing tale of his four-month, 600-mile trek over the frozen Brooks Range in "Crossing the Gates of Alaska" (Citadel, $15.95, 272 pages). Catch his presentation at 7 p.m. Wednesday at REI, 1790 Expo Parkway, Sacramento; (916) 924-8900. The event is free; register at More information:

• The Avid Reader in Davis has a hefty calendar of upcoming author events in March. The store is at 617 Second St.; (530) 758-4040.

4 p.m. March 9: Kelly Hess for "Eyes of the Enemy."

7:30 p.m. March 15: Anne Elbrecht for "Telling the Story."

7:30 p.m. March 22: Joelle Fraser for "The Forest House."

4 p.m. March 24: Diane Wagstaff for "Signals from Heaven."

7:30 p.m. March 30: T.J. Brown for "Summerset Abbey: A Bloom in Winter."

• The Joseph Campbell Foundation Mythological Round Table Group of Sacramento will host Gary S. Bobroff, author of "Jung, Crop Circles and the Re-Emergence of the Archetypal Feminine" at 5 p.m. Saturday at Luna's Cafe, 1414 16th St., Sacramento; (916) 772-3623. Suggested donation is $5.

• David LaMotte for "White Flour," 7 p.m. Saturday at Carmichael Presbyterian Church, 5645 Marconi Ave. Carmichael; (916) 486-9081.

• Barry S. Martin for "Forgotten Aviator: The Adventures of Royal Leonard," 6:30 p.m. March 15 at Face in a Book, 4369 Town Center Blvd., El Dorado Hills; (916) 941-9401.


If you have information on author appearances or other book-related special events, email it to at least two weeks before the event. To read the online calendar, go to Questions? Call The Bee's Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128.

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