Adult Book Lists: Oscar-Worthy Books: These Books Were Made into Award-Winning Movies!

[Printable book list]

Uzodinma Iweala / FIC IWEALA
Beasts of No Nation
Agu is a young boy recruited into a unit of guerrilla fighters as a civil war engulfs his West African nation.

Nathaniel Philbrick / 910.9164 PHILBRIC
In the Heart of the Sea
Fifteen months after setting sail for Nantucket, the Essex was repeatedly rammed, and eventually sunk, by an eighty-ton whale. The twenty-man crew spent ninety days at sea, one by one succumbing to hunger, thirst, disease, and fear.
(Also available in audiobook, ebook, and DVD)

Ken Kesey / FIC KESEY
One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest
"Chief" Bromden, a patient at a mental hospital, narrates the story of Randle Patrick McMurphy who faked insanity to avoid prison. At the hospital he meets Nurse Ratched, and antagonizes her, leading to a constant power struggle, which ultimately turns tragic.
(Also available in DVD)

Sylvia Nasar / B NASH
A Beautiful Mind
This is the biography of Princeton mathematician John Nash and his struggle with schizophrenia. Deemed a brilliant mathematician by his peers, Nash eventually succumbed to the hallucinations induced by his mental illness in the 1950s. His achievements in mathematical theory and economics were overlooked until 1994 when he received a Nobel Prize.
(Also available in DVD)

Thomas Harris / FIC HARRIS
The Silence of the Lambs
In pursuit of a serial murderer, Clarice Starling, an FBI-academy trainee, is summoned by the chief of the Bureau's Behavioral Science section to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter, an inmate in the Baltimore State Hospital, to gain a better understanding of the yet-to-be-identified serial killer.
(Also available in DVD)

Michael Punke / WES PUNKE
The Revenant
Set in the frontier of the American West in 1823, Hugh Glass is on a scouting mission that puts him face-to-face with a grizzly bear. Glass is left on the brink of death, and two men are assigned to stay behind and tend to him before he dies, but they abandon him instead, leading to a revenge story like no other.
(Also available in large print, ebook, and DVD)

Soloman Northrup / B NORTHRUP
Twelve Years a Slave
Born a free man in New York in 1808, Solomon Northrup was kidnapped in 1841 and sold as a slave. He worked the next 12 years on a Louisiana plantation. After his rescue, Northrup published a vivid account of his life as a slave. It is recognized as one of the very few portraits of American slavery written by someone as educated as Northrup with the dual perspective of both a free man and slave.
(Also available in audiobook, ebook, and DVD)

Cormac McCarthy / FIC MCCARTHY
No Country for Old Men
Llewelyn Moss hunts antelope near the Rio Grande and discovers men shot dead, a load of heroin, and more than $2 million in cash. From there, tensions rise as Sheriff Bell discovers the carnage in the desert. The failed transaction leads to the hire of an ex-Special Forces officer to defend his interests against a freelancer, both of whom are no stranger to violence.
(Also available in large print and DVD)

F. X. Toole / FIC TOOLE
Rope Burns: Stories From the Corner
This collection of stories is drawn from the personal experiences of Toole in the boxing world. He reveals complex characters who are athletes, trainers, and their extended family, serving as the inspiration for the movie Million Dollar Baby.

Mark Logue / B LOGUE
The King's Speech
On the eve of World War II the newly appointed King George VI needs to inspire confidence in his country, but his terrible stammer prevents him from speaking. It is only with the help of an Australian speech therapist that the King has a chance to overcome his speech impediment and fulfill his duty as king.
(Also available in DVD)

Colm Tóibín / FIC TOIBIN
Brooklyn: a Novel
Eilis Lacey receives a sponsor-ship that enables her to move to America. She lands in Brooklyn and studies accounting at Brook-lyn College. She meets a blond Italian named Tony, and they fall in love. But devastating news from Ireland threatens her new life.
(Also available in ebook and DVD)

David Ebershoff / FIC EBERSHOF
The Danish Girl
Set against the backdrop of the decadent 1920s of Copenhagen, Dresden, and Paris, follow one man's journey as he discovers he is a woman. Though he is married, his wife supports his transition and the intimacy of marriage is explored. This is based on a true story.
(Also available in ebook and DVD)

Michael Lewis / 330.973 LEWIS
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
By the time the US Stock Market crash became public knowledge in the fall of 2008, it was old news. There had been a silent crash in bond and real estate derivative markets where self-proclaimed geeks profit from the misery of foreclosures. Find out who got it right, who saw it coming, and who made billions.
(Also available in large print, audiobook, and DVD)

Emma Donoghue / FIC DONOGHUE
The Room
Beginning with the narration of five-year-old Jack describ-ing his long days with Ma, playing games, watching TV, and reading his favorite sto-ries, it is slowly revealed that both characters are held captive in one small room. Upon their escape, Jack discovers a world and people he'd never fathomed. And his young mother attempts to grapple with her psychological trauma.
(Also available in audiobook, ebook, and DVD)

Patricia Highsmith
The Price of Salt
Therese is a young, struggling sales clerk and Carol, a homemaker, is in the midst of a bitter divorce. A chance encounter be-tween the two women leads to romance. They abandon their oppressive daily routines for the open road where their love blossoms. But their new love is threatened when Carol is forced to choose be-tween her lover and her child.
(Only available in ebook)

Andy Weird / SF WEIR
The Martian
Mark Watney is stranded on Mars after a dust storm nearly kills him. Just six days before he was the first person to walk on Mars, but today he's pretty sure he'll be the first to die. The dust storm forced his crew to evacuate while thinking Watney was dead, now he has to figure out how he'll survive the unforgiving environment of the Red Planet with damaged machinery, using every effort to avoid a simplistic but deadly enemy: "human error".
(Also available in large print, audiobook, ebook, and DVD)