The Golden Globes, held on Jan. 11, are not only the most entertaining of Hollywood awards, but also excellent prep for the far more serious Oscars. If you want to be up on the stories that inspired many of the nominated films, these books are essential reading.
Among the real-life memoirs now lighting up the screen are those of science geniuses Alan Turing and Stephen Hawking (also leading to a Battle of the Brits in the Globes Best Actor, Drama category), a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights movement, and a harrowing hike one woman undertook as a way to reclaim her life. If you didn’t read Gone Girl before seeing the film, well, it’s too late to un-know the mystery’s twist, but you can enjoy the way it plays out on the page. You can also enjoy more strange creatures from the creator of The Boxtrolls and kitchen capers in The Hundred Foot Journey.
The Theory of Everything courtesy Focus Features
Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen Hawking
The Theory of Everything, based on the book about her extraordinary life with astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, is up for 4 Golden Globes, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Eddie Redmayne plays Hawking), Best Actress in a Drama (Felicity Jones) and Best Score. The film, directed by Man On Wire‘s James Marsh, is expected to be a major Oscar contender.
Alan Turing: The Enigma
Want to learn more about Alan Turing, the mathematical genius who broke the Nazi’s Enigma code, helped end the war and became the father of the modern computer? Hodges’ novel has been called “one of the finest scientific biographies ever written” by the New Yorker. The film is up for several Golden Globes, including Best Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Best Drama.
Protest at Selma
Pick up this 1980 examination of the civil rights protests in Selma, Alabama in 1965 if you want more background on the events depicted in the powerful new film Selma, which is up for Globes for Best Drama, Best Actor (David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr.) and Best Director (Ava Duvernay).
Citizen Keane: The Big Lies Behind the Big Eyes
Co-author Adam Parfrey discovered that Walter Keane, the famous artist known for his paintings of big-eyed waifs, was a fraud: The paintings were all by his wife, Margaret. Now the story is a film starring Amy Adams as Margaret and two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz as Walter, both of whom stand to gain a Golden Globe for their roles.
by Lisa Genova
Julianne Moore is up for Best Actress in a Drama for her role as Alice, an accomplished professor who’s diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, based on the first novel by author Lisa Genova, who holds a Ph. D in neuroscience from Harvard University.
The Hundred-Foot Journey
Who else but Helen Mirren (nominated for Best Actress, Musical or Comedy) could have played Madame Mallory, the proprietress of a fancy French restaurant who faces unexpected culinary competition from a young Indian chef? Morais’s best-selling debut novel got raves from Oprah Winfrey (who produced the film) and chef Anthony Bourdain, who called it “easily the best novel ever set in the world of cooking.”
Here Be Monsters!
by Alan Snow
Alan Snow’s first book in the Ratbridge Chronicles became The Boxtrolls, a film from Laika Studios about a boy who’s raised by the strange, scavenging creatures who live underground: The movie is now up for Best Animated Feature at the Golden Globes.