Hey Savvy readers, today I’ve got my best picks for that person on your list who loves films, but could maybe use a little literature in their life (I’m looking at you, Netflix!).
And don’t worry, even though they’re books, they still go great with a big bowl of popcorn.
If they love romance…
Love, Rosie by Cecilia Ahern
This is the perfect book to give to your girlfriends. Cecilia Ahern’s first novel was a little title called P.S. I Love You, and if your friends swooned over the film (Gerard Butler, why are you so charming?), why not surprise them with another love story? This one focuses on Rosie and Alex, best friends who live in Dublin, who may be in love with each other, until Alex moves to Boston and suddenly their slightly-complicated relationship becomes, well, complicated. If your friends have ever been in a long-distance relationship, they’ll empathize, and the entire book is told through letters, instant messages and e-mails, which gives it a great Bridget Jones’s Diary vibe.
Serena by Ron Rash
You know that friend who loves vintage and historical fiction? This is for them. Set in the 1930s, it follows the love affair of newlyweds Serena and George Pemberton as they work to create a timber empire in the American wilderness, at whatever cost. While still in their newlywed bliss, Serena finds out George has an illegitimate son, and when she learns the crushing news that she isn’t able to have any children of her own … well, let’s just say things get interesting. In the film (starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper), the costumes are gorgeous (I think it’s time pin curls made a comeback) and Lawrence’s character, Serena, does some serious leaning in: perfect for a girls’ movie night.
If they can’t get enough of action-packed trilogies…
Mockingjay (Hunger Games Trilogy) by Suzanne Collins
If you have a niece or nephew who hasn’t read the final book in the Hunger Games series, this holiday is your time to change that. Mockingjay is so unpredictable, and full of suspense, they’ll be carting it to the Christmas table. After they’ve finished reading the series, you can head straight to the theatres to watch Jennifer Lawrence fight the Capitol on the big screen in Mockingjay: Part Two. I call that a win, win.
If the young one on your list is already Team Katniss, this necklace from Etsy is perfect (and so nice, you might have to get one for yourself).
Allegiant (Divergent Series) by Veronica Roth
All right Savvy readers, moment of truth: I’m obsessed with Divergent. I may have made my way to the books through seeing the first film, but I haven’t looked back. The series is smart, intriguing, and with Allegiant coming out in theatres soon: now’s the time to gift it. Even if you don’t have a YA reader on your “Nice” list this year, Allegiant (even the whole series) would make a great gift for anyone who likes learning new things about themselves. If you have a friend who constantly sends you the results to their Buzzfeed quizzes: this is for them.
Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History by Michael Klastorin and Randal Atamaniuk
If you’ve got a Back to the Future fan on your list, look no further. Endorsed by director/ co-creator Robert Zemeckis, this book contains a ton of rare and never-before-seen photos from the set of the movies, as well as concept art, storyboards, and in-depth interviews with Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), Doc and the rest of the cast. For the pop culture king or queen, this book will be like candy (just in case they’re too old for a stocking).
If they are totally into TIFF…
Room by Emma Donoghue
Powerful. Haunting. Endearing. Emma Donoghue’s novel has taken the book world by storm and now it’s a movie that’s in talks to bring home some serious hardware this award’s season. If you have any serious film buff in your life, Room would make the perfect present. When Oscar conversations about the film get heated in February, they’ll be able to win any discussion with a subtle, “Oh, but did you read the book …”
The Martian by Andy Weir
You know that new movie about Matt Damon trapped in space? This is the book behind the blockbuster. If you have someone in your life that loves sci-fi, The Martian is the perfect pick. They’ll be impressed you knew it was a book, and you can just pretend you spent hours in Indigo doing research. Also, can we talk about the cover? Never has floating through shades of orange in a space suit looked so appealing.
Hyena Road by Paul Gross (Based on the Screenplay)
For the war and history buff, Hyena Road is my top pick. The film, written and directed by Canadian Paul Gross (who also wrote Passchendaele), has been turned into a novel, which drops the reader down right into the centre of the Afghanistan war zone. Three characters (a veteran intelligence officer, a Canadian sniper, and The Ghost, a legendary mujahedeen warrior) show both the complexities of modern warfare, and what doesn’t show up on CNN. The fact that it’s from a Canadian perspective makes it that much more intriguing.
If they’re into dramas with some heart …
Captive by Ashley Smith & Stacy Mattingly
If there’s anyone in your life that follows the news like it’s their day job (or maybe it is), they’ll be enthralled by Captive. This gripping real-life story follows Ashley Smith who in 2005 was taken hostage by the infamous courthouse killer, Brian Nichols, and talked him into releasing her by reading to him from the bestselling book The Purpose-Driven Life (proof that books do save lives). It’s suspenseful and inspirational, and entirely true. With actors like Kate Mara (from House of Cards) and David Oyelowo (from the 2014 Oscar favourite Selma), the film looks like it won’t disappoint.
Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson
Now a film starring Ethan Hawke, Ten Thousand Saints is the kind of story that might make you think your family is normal after all. A NPR bestseller, it’s a multigenerational tale that shows what happens to a family when things like adoption, teen pregnancy, drugs, and some hardcore punk rock, are thrown into the mix. If you have a friend who loves New York and the 80s, this is the book for them.
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