Adaptations at the 84th Acadamy Awards 2012

Four book-to-film adaptations won Oscars at the 84th Academy Awards after a slew of nominations for 13 adaptations. Hugo was the big winner, which was nominated for 11 Oscars and won five.

Oscar winners

Hugo based on The Invention of Hugo Cabretby Brian Selznick (Scholastic) won Academy Awards in several categories. Awards included Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing , Best Sound Mixing, Best Art Direction and Best Visual Effects.Nominations included Best Picture, Best Director (Martin Scorsese), Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Music Original Score and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The Descendants,based on the novel of the same name by Kaui Hart Hemmings (Vintage), won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay. The screenplay was written by Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.The film was also nominated for Best picture, Best Actor (George Clooney, who played Matt King), Best Director and Best Film Editing.

The Help based on the novel of the same name by Kathryn Stockett (Penguin)was awarded Best Supporting Actress to Octavia Spencer for her role as Minny Jackson.Nominations included Best Picture, Best Actress (Viola Davis as Aibileen Clark), Best Supporting Actress (Jessica Chastain as Celia Foote).

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the US film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Stieg Larsson (Quercus), won the award for Best Film Editing.Nominations for the film included Best Actress (Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander), Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

Other nominations
War Horse
, based both on the novel of the same name by Michael Morpurgo (HarperCollins) and the stage adaptation, was nominated for Best Picture (Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy), Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Original Score (John Williams), Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

Moneyball, based on Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (W W Norton) was nominated for Best Picture (Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt), Best Actor (Brad Pitt as Billy Beane), Best Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill as Peter Brand), Best Film Editing, Sound Mixing and  Best Adapted Screenplay.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer (Penguin), was nominated for Best Picture (Scott Rudin) and Best Supporting Actor (Max von Sydow as The Renter)

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, based on the novel by John le Carré (Hodder), was nominated for Best Actor (Gary Oldman as George Smiley), Best Original Score and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Albert Nobbs, based on the novel by George Moore (Penguin US), was nominated for Best Actress (Glenn Close as Albert Nobbs), Best Supporting Actress (Janet McTeer as Hubert Page) and Best Makeup.

My Week with Marilyn, based on The Prince, The Showgirl and Me and My Week with Marilyn by Colin Clark (Perseus), was nominated for Best Actress (Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe) and Best Supporting Actor (Kenneth Brangah as Laurence Olivier).

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2, based on the novel by J K Rowling (Bloomsbury), was nominated for Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effects and Best Makeup.

Jane Eyre based on the novel by Charlotte Brontë (various imprints), was nominated  for Best Costume Design. Drive based on the novel by James Sallis (No Exit Press), was nominated for Best Sound Editing.

Sanna Nyblad is an intern at Bookseller+Publisher.

On tour: Meet the author Jo Nesbø

Norwegian crime novelist Jo Nesbø is currently touring Australia and New Zealand. His latest book is Phantom (Harvill Secker) starring police detective Harry Hole. (Warning: this interview contains some colourful language.)

What is the silliest question you’ve ever been asked on a book tour?
Well, this one nearly qualifies.

And the most profound?
‘How do I get to f**k Harry Hole?’ Or ‘Is the name Harry Hole an in-joke, referring to hairy hole?’

What are you reading right now?
A history about Taiwan [Nesbo was recently a guest at the Taipei International Book Exhibition]. And a play based on Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot.

What was the last book you read and loved?
I re-read Ibsen’s plays. This may not be breaking news, but he is great.

What was the defining book of your childhood?
William Golding’s Lord of the Flies (I thought it was a children’s book because of the cover) and Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer.

Which is your favourite bookstore?
Actually, I loved some of the book stores in Sydney when I was there 15 years ago. Don’t remember the names though. There is one mystery books store in Southern Manhattan. Name … ah, no.

Facebook or Twitter?
Nope. I hear somebody is borrowing my name on Facebook though, so hopefully he or she is doing the job for me.

If I were a literary character I’d be …
Harry Hole, I guess. All writers are in some way or the other writing about themselves.

In 50 years’ time books will be …
… read, I think. Or more precise, stories will be read. The book is—after all—just a medium.

BOOK REVIEW: The Cartographer (Peter Twohig, Fourth Estate)

I never judge a book by the publicity spin that accompanies it. This one came with the line: ‘for readers of Jonathan Safran Foer and Craig Silvey’. Given the story concerns an 11-year-old boy, I rolled my eyes at the lazy marketing hook. Set in 1959 and narrated by an unnamed boy, the story opens on the day of his twin brother’s funeral. A year later we find him exploring the streets and lanes near his Richmond home. Inspired by his heroes from comic books, radio and TV serials, he fancies himself a brave explorer, which leads him to witness a brutal murder. He decides to map his travels in order to avoid the murder house, but as his travels widen, his adventures grow more dangerous. To combat his rising fear he creates an unflappable alter-ego: The Cartographer. Our hero is an amusing and likeable character, his speech littered with racetrack phrasing and noir references. He is supported by an eclectic and intriguing cast of characters, no more so than his wheeling, dealing grandfather. So I was wrong about the marketing hook. If, like me, you enjoyed Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, you are going to want to read this book, as I suspect a lot of people will.

Paul Landymore is a former bookseller based in Brisbane. This review first appeared in the Summer issue of Bookseller+Publisher magazine.

Bestsellers this week

CIA-trained assassin Mitch Rapp has been working through a list to eliminate the men responsible for the slaughter of 270 civilians. But, the hunted men become aware that someone is hunting them and soon set a trap that finds Rapp wounded and fighting for his life, out of the control of his CIA handlers. Kill Shot (Vince Flynn, S&S), the latest in the ‘American Assassin’ thriller series, is at the top of the fastest movers chart this week, followed by A Crown Imperilled (Raymond E Feist, HarperVoyager), the second book in the latest ‘Riftwar Cycle’ fantasy trilogy. Private: No. 1 Suspect (Century) is again at the top of the bestsellers chart, followed by Lauren Kate’s Fallen in Love (Doubleday) in second, and Jeff Kinney’s Cabin Fever (Puffin) in third place. The film tie-in edition of Suzanne Collins’ YA novel The Hunger Games (Scholastic) is top of the highest new entries chart–Weekly Book Newsletter.

Most mentioned this week

Susan Orlean explores the idea of heroism in Rin Tin Tin: The Life and Legend of the World’s Most Famous Dog (Atlantic Books). Carrie Tiffany’s Mateship with Birds (Picador), Alain de Botton’s Religion for Atheists (Hamish Hamilton) and Peter Twohig’s The Cartographer (Fourth Estate) all returned to the most mentioned chart this week. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity (Scribe) is Katherine Boo’s work of narrative non-fiction, which tells the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in one of the world’s most treacherous cities–Media Extra.

BOOK REVIEW: Flight (Rosie Dub, Fourth Estate)

What I like best about this novel is that it is an adventure story that encapsulates both a physical and spiritual journey. In the beginning we meet a confused and depressed young woman, Fern, who seems to have an extreme case of the ‘teenage blues’. She has withdrawn from the world and refuses to leave her attic for months on end. Eventually she tries to run away, but she can’t outrun the frightening dreams and disturbing visions that haunt her. With the help of friends from both the physical and metaphysical world, Fern embarks on a journey that takes her from the streets of Sydney to the Tasmanian wilderness, where she will confront her past and lay her demons to rest. This is Rosie Dub’s second novel (Gathering Storm was published in 2008), and while it’s not the most suspenseful thriller I’ve read this year, it does get rather spooky in parts. Dub’s approach to the genre is interesting and original. Her writing is detailed and descriptive, with some startling contrasts between the ordinary and extraordinary. While this book is pitched at an adult readership, it will also appeal to mature YA readers.

Shannon Wood is an editing student and administration assistant for Bookseller+Publisher’s Weekly Book Newsletter.  This review first appeared in the Summer issue of Bookseller+Publisher magazine.

Most mentioned this week

In Alain de Botton’s Religion for Atheists (Hamish Hamilton), he argues that the supernatural claims of religion are entirely false, and yet religions still have some very important things to teach the secular world. Margo Lanagan’s Sea Hearts (A&U) is set on remote Rollrock Island, where the sea-witch Misskaella discovers she can draw a girl from the heart of a seal. In The Wonderbox: Curious Histories of How to Live (Profile Books), Roman Krznaric shows what our Victorian forefathers can teach us about life in the 21st century. Peter Twohig’s The Cartographer (Fourth Estate) and Jo Nesbo’s Phantom (Harvill Secker), a follow-up to the thriller The Leopard, also made it onto the most mentioned chart this week–Media Extra.

The 60th annual APA Book Design Awards shortlist 2012

The shortlisted titles for this year’s Australian Publishers Association (APA) Book Design Awards have been announced. Here are some of the award categories. The full shortlist is available on the APA website.

Best Designed Cover of the Year

The Art of Pasta(Lucio Galletto, Lantern) designed by Daniel New MoVida Cocina: Spanish Flavours from Five Kitchens (Frank Camorra & Rochard Cornish, Murdoch) designed by Reuben Crossman August (Bernard Beckett, Text) cover design by WH Chong and internal design by Susan Miller


Best Designed Children’s Cover of the Year

Alaska (Sue Saliba, Penguin) designed by Allison Colpoys August (Bernard Beckett, Text) cover design by WH Chong and internal design by Susan Miller Ben & Duck (Sara Acton, Scholastic) designed by Nicole Leary
Drawing Life for Kids: My Art Journal (Queensland Art Gallery Children’s Art Centre, Queensland Art Gallery) designed by Sally Nall Star League 1: Lights, Camera, Action Hero! (Random House, H J Harper) cover design by Nahum Ziersch and internal design by Astred Hicks, Design Cherry


Best Designed Fiction Book

The Colour of Tea (Hannah Tunnicliffe, Pan Macmillan) cover design by Emily O’Neill, internal design by Post Pre-Press Group Love in the Years of Lunacy (Mandy Sayer, A&U) design by Emily O’Neill Last Summer (Kylie Ladd, A&U) design by Natalie Winter


Best Designed Literary Fiction Book

Life Kills (Miles Vertigan, Sleepers Publishing) cover design by Miriam Rosenbloom, internal design by Zoe Dattner Forecast: Turbulence (Janette Turner Hospital, Fourth Estate) design by Natalie Winter Foal’s Bread (Gillian Mears, A&U) cover design by Sandy Cull & gogoGingko, internal design by Yolande Gray & Sandy Cull
Pepsi Bears and Other Stories (Anson Cameron,  Radom House) design by Committee, internal design by Post Pre-Press. The Life (Malcolm Knox, A&U) cover design by Emily O’Neill, internal design by Phil Campbell


Best Designed Nonfiction Book

Meanjin Vol 70, No 4 (ed by Sally Heath, MUP) design by Jenny Grigg Hiroshima Nagasaki (Paul Ham, HarperCollins) cover design by Matt Stanton, internal design by HarperCollins Design Studio Good Living Street (Tim Bonyhady, A&U) design by Emily O’Neill
Mad Dog: William Cyril Moxley and the Moorebank Killings (Peter Corris, NewSouth) cover design by Sandy Cull, internal design by Di Quick Hung Like an Argentine Duck (John Long, HarperCollins) cover design by Natalie Winter, internal design by HarperCollins Design Studio The Casuals (Sally Breen, HarperCollins) design by Natalie Winter


INTERVIEW: Meet Laura Kroetsch, director of Adelaide Writers’ Week

Adelaide Writers’ Week is just around the corner (3-8 March). Eloise Keating spoke to new director Laura Kroetsch about her first festival, her favourite sessions and the themes behind this year’s program.

What do you think will be the highlights of this year’s Adelaide Writers’ Week?
For much of our audience the highlights will be discovering new writers and some really great books.  Among our many treasures, I think audiences will fall in love with American novelist and short story writer Ron Rash. Rash is a gorgeous speaker and his books are a delight. I’m also predicting people will be quite enchanted by Israeli short story writer Etgar Keret. Keret’s oddly funny and always surprising. I think our audiences will be as charmed by our two titans’ of Spanish literature, Javier Cercas and Juan Gabriel Vasquez. I’m also predicting that our audiences will love British biographer Selina Hastings, and her terrific biography, The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham (John Murray).

What sessions or which authors do you think will attract the big crowds?
We have some truly wonderful big-name writers coming this year and we are expecting big crowds for Kate Grenville, Alan Hollinghurst, Frank Moorhouse, Les Murray and the crime-writing superstar Jo Nesbo. I also think Glen Duncan will pull in the numbers as his recent novel, The Last Werewolf (Text), has enjoyed huge success. We’re also expecting big numbers for Greg Chappell in a session that will see him in conversation with Malcom Knox, we’ve never really celebrated sports writing at Writers’ Week and we are hoping for a good crowd. We also feel confident that our speculative fiction writers will also enjoy big audiences, in part because Robert Shearman’s ‘Doctor Who and Daleks’ was our first ticketed session to sell out.  I’m hoping for big audiences for Kelly Link and Margo Lanagan, two great writers who deserve the huge audiences they enjoy.

What about your personal picks? Which authors are you most looking forward to hearing talk about their work?
There are some writers that you get a bit selfish about, and these are, for me, my more recent discoveries. I’ve loved Kate Grenville for over a decade, probably longer, but I only met Jenny Erpenbeck as a writer last year. Her novel Visitation (Portobello Books) is one of the best I’ve read in years.  Technically I began reading Michael Crummey about 10 years ago, but he’d slipped from my mind. Fortunately a mutual friend told me to read his novel Galore and I’m so delighted he is coming to Adelaide. I’m huge fan of noir novels and so am really looking forward to meeting Megan Abbott—she is the real deal. Poetry is a passion and among our poets the one I most look forward to meeting is Dionne Brand. Her long poem ‘Ossuaries’ is a must read—even for those who don’t think they like poetry.

This is your first Adelaide Writers’ Week. Is there anything new or different that you have introduced?
We’ve changed a lot—not what makes this event great—but a lot nonetheless. We’ve redesigned the site. We’ve traded the tents for sail cloth, we’ve moved the booktent and the caterer to another part of the garden in an effort to make the site more comfortable and we’ve even got new chairs—they’re green. We are thrilled to be hosting our first kids program—it will run alongside the regular program on Sunday 4 March and will include a story tent, a giant Leafy Sea Dragon and some very clever craft. We’ll also, in an effort to attract office workers, run a series of lunchtime and early evening sessions designed to appeal to office workers, or indeed anyone who has never been to a literary festival before. The series will feature both fiction and nonfiction and we hope to see a few suits in our new green seats.

There has been a trend towards issues-based programs at recent writers’ festivals. Are there any particular issues or themes that inform this year’s event?
The demand for issues-based conversation is a fascinating one, and yes, we now have a focus on nonfiction that we haven’t had in past festivals. Among the many issues that I hoped to present is a conversation about religious tolerance, and in doing so to attempt to provide a counter-balance to the story so popularly presented by Richard Dawkins in 2010. That answer comes from two extraordinary journalists, Eliza Griswold and M J Ackbar, both of whom are writing about the religious tensions in the Middle East with insight and generosity.  Like everyone else in Australia I too burn to know more about China, and am delighted to be presenting both Jianying Zha and Paul French. I realise now, looking back over the program, that I have a lot of writers coming who in both fiction and nonfiction write about the experience of immigration, and as a new migrant myself, it strikes that this is, for this nation of immigrants, one of our most enduring questions.

For more information on Adelaide Writers’ Week visit the website here

BOOK REVIEW: Losing Turtle (Adrienne Frater, illus by Cat Chapman, Walker Books)

Losing Turtle is a younger reader novel containing three stories, all revolving around the character of Sam, his family and friends. In the first story, ‘Losing Turtle’, Sam has to cope with feeling embarrassed about a jumper with a turtle motif that his Gran has made for him. In ‘Top Secret’, we see him trying to invent the ultimate birthday present for his dad and causing chaos by mistake. The third story, ‘Scrambled Eggs’, catches Sam at his culinary worst trying to make supper for himself and his injured Gran. Although each story is different there is continuity of setting and characters, as well as all of the elements of a great younger reader novel. Adrienne Frater’s stories are told with warmth and humour and there are some lovely messages contained within. Frater really captures the child readers’ enthusiasm and curiosity for the world around them which adds a great deal of realism to the stories. The illustrations by Cat Chapman bring the characters to life and complement the text, while appealing very much to the younger reader. Overall this is a good, solid book which should be successful both in retail and educational settings and is a good addition to what can sometimes be an over-supplied and uninspiring section of the market.

Natalie Crawford is a freelance reviewer and bookseller at Dymocks Claremont, WA. This review first appeared in the Summer issue of Bookseller+Publisher magazine.