Tolani Osan is a Marketing Associate at Simon & Schuster. A daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Tolani enjoys literary fiction about the tensions between cultures and classes. Her favorite book is Khaled Hosseini’s “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” which she’s made a pact with herself to revisit every three years. She also founded and runs her own blog, TolanisLifeLessons.com. You can enjoy her musings about pop culture, fashion, and literature on Twitter @TolaniHerself.
Fall is here and with it a new crop of book-to-movie adaptations that are sure to entertain, make you cry, make you laugh, and even make you think. But while there’s still time before theaters fill up, make sure you’re caught up on all the books behind these must-see films.
John David Washington (Ballers) stars as real-life African-American detective Ron Stallworth in the buzzworthy Spike Lee joint, BlacKkKlansman. In his memoir BLACK KLANSMAN, Ron Stallworth tells his story of what is surely one of the most audacious, and incredible undercover investigations in history—infiltrating the KKK. Ron recruits his partner Chuck (played by Adam Driver) to play the "white" Ron Stallworth, while Stallworth himself conducts all subsequent phone conversations. During the months-long investigation, Stallworth sabotages cross burnings, exposes white supremacists in the military, and even befriends David Duke himself.
Julianne Moore stars in the adaptation of Ann Patchett’s award-winning novel BEL CANTO. The story is set in South America at a birthday party hosted by the country’s vice president. Rozanne Coss (Moore), opera’s most revered soprano, has just finished a mesmerizing performance when a band of terrorists breaks into the house and holds everyone for ransom.
Ann Patchett’s 2001 novel is set somewhere in South America at a birthday party hosted by the country’s vice president. Rozanne Coss, opera’s most revered soprano, has just finished a mesmerizing performance when a band of terrorists breaks into the house and holds everyone for ransom. Salon calls Bel Canto “a story of passionate, doomed love; of the glory of art; of the triumph of our shared humanity over the forces that divide us.” OTS calls it “the most elegant, meditative hostage-takeover novel ever.”
When Emily asks her best friend, Stephanie, for a simple favor—to pick her son up from school—and then suddenly vanishes, Stephanie's life is turned upside down. As the mystery of her friend's disappearance unravels, Stephanie begins to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even a small favor—is as simple as it seems. This remarkable psychological thriller stars Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick as the calamitous pair of friends.
Venus Johnston has it all and keeps up appearances with her weekly beauty-parlor date with Tina, who keeps Venus's long, processed hair slick and straight. But when her boyfriend—who's been reluctant to commit over the past four years-brings home a puppy instead of an engagement ring, Venus decides to give it all up. She trades in her long hair for a dramatically short, natural cut and sends Clint packing. NAPPILY EVER AFTER infiltrates the hotly debated and often political topic of black hair with style, savvy, and humor. Sanaa Lathan (The Affair) stars as Venus in this highly-anticipated Netflix film adaptation.
Packed with emotional and gripping performances from Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell, the Beautiful Boy trailer alone deserves to be watched. Based on Nic Sheff's memoir, TWEAK, and his father's memoir, BEAUTIFUL BOY, this film paints a harrowing, but ultimately hopeful portrait of the road from relapse to recovery.
This New York Times bestselling memoir of a young man’s addiction to methamphetamine tells a raw, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful tale of the road from relapse to recovery and complements his father’s parallel memoir, "Beautiful Boy".
Arguably one of the most important books of 2017, THE HATE U GIVE has sparked so many conversations about police brutality, racial tension, and identity—and has even been banned in several states. THUG follows a young woman named Starr, who moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. When she finds herself at the center of a police brutality controversy, what Starr does or doesn't say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life. The film adaptation stars Amandla Stenberg as Starr and the star-studded cast includes Issa Rae, Common, and Regina Hall, among others.
Before turning to her life of crime—running a one-woman forgery business out of a phone booth in a Greenwich Village bar and even dodging the FBI—Lee Israel had a legitimate career as an author of biographies (including MISS TALLULAH BANKHEAD and ESTÉE LAUDER: BEYOND THE MAGIC). In her memoir, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?, Israel comes clean about the astonishing caper she carried on for almost two years when she forged and sold more than 300 letters by literary notables such as Dorothy Parker, Edna Ferber, and Noël Coward. Melissa McCarthy portrays Israel in the film adaptation of the same name that I'm certain will elicit some laughs and perhaps some Oscar buzz.
Born the son of a Baptist pastor in small-town Arkansas, Garrard Conley was deeply conflicted by his sexuality. At 19, he was given the option to either lose his family forever or attend a church-supported therapy program. Following the 12-step program, he was meant to emerge heterosexual and cleansed of impure urges. Instead, through this brutal journey, Conley managed to find the strength and understanding to eventually break away and embrace his true self. The film stars Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Joel Edgerton, who cowrote and directed the film as well.
The Crown's Claire Foy stars as the infamous genius hacker Lisbeth Salander in the adaptation of the fourth novel in the Millennium series—THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER'S WEB. Journalist Mikael Blomkvist receives a call from a source who claims to have been given information vital to the United States by a young female hacker. Blomkvist, always on the lookout for a story, reaches out to Salander for help. She, as usual, has plans of her own. This fun novel explores the ruthless underworld of spies, cybercriminals, and government operatives, so the film is sure to get the attention of conspiracy-movie lovers.
Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo, and Elliot Alderson, vigilante hacker of “Mr. Robot,” would make the ultimate hacker dream team. Both genius hackers are forced to face a ruthless underworld of spies, cybercriminals, and government operatives. While you wait for season three of “Mr. Robot,” revisit Stieg Larsson’s gripping Millennium series.
Oscar-winning Moonlight director Barry Jenkins takes on a stunning James Baldwin classic in his latest film, If Beale Street Could Talk. The book, on which the film is based, is told through the eyes of Tish, a 19-year-old girl pregnant with the child of her love, Fonny—who is falsely accused of a crime and facing an uncertain future in prison. Their families set out to clear his name, and as they face an uncertain future, the young lovers experience a kaleidoscope of emotions—affection, despair, and hope.