Critical Linking: November 23, 2014

While comparing the differences between a book and its cinematic adaptation can often lead to rage and tears, it doesn’t stop us from still wanting to read the novel before it makes its way to the big screen. It also provides us with an overwhelming feeling of smugness, something that can’t be underestimated.

To share this feeling with you all, we’ve whittled down a list of the eight essential books to read before the movies come out.

Some of these upcoming book-to-film adaptations were new ones to me.


But all this talk of adaptation brings us to the question that the internet must ask of every subject under the sun: what are nth best films made from novels—list them, damn you! Okay, well, you won’t get just my humble opinion, but the collective votes of hundreds of Guardian readers, circa 2006, when writers Peter Bradshaw and Xan Brooks took a poll, then posted the results as “The Big 50.”

The list includes those dapper mafiosi, but, as I said, I’m not much inclined—nor was Francis Ford Coppola—to Mario Puzo’s novel. But there are several films on the list made from books I do like quite a bit. In the 15 picks below, I like the movies almost or just as much. These are films from The Guardian’s big 50 that I feel do their source novels justice.

Speaking of film adaptations, do you agree with this list of 15 that are as great as the books themselves?


These 70 books distinguish themselves with excellence in writing, art, design, storytelling, originality, and appeal. From raucous read-alouds to off-the-wall adventure, there is something for everyone on this list; dig in and happy reading.

If you’re a fan of children’s lit, then you’ll want to check out the 2014 best of picks from the editors of School Library Journal, from picture books to young adult books.


Here are three things among many I have noticed about libraries. They are telling for the way libraries speak to needs in our communities across America. It’s not just my impression; the numbers collected behind the phenomena are strong, and the human stories behind them resonate as true.

A nice look at the way libraries have grown, adapted, and changed in their roles within their communities.

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