- Ruby Circle, Richelle Mead
- American Sniper, Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen and Jim Defelice*
- Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James*
- Obsession in Death, J.D.Rob
- Wild, Cheryl Strayed*
- Family Food, Pete Evans
- Still Alice, Lisa Genova*
- The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
- Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn*
- The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flannigan
|Julianne Moore as Alice in Still Alice|
Insasmuch as the secondary market of books that follows on from a film, particularly a successful film, is a good thing, I can't be sorry to see this aspect of the bestseller list. I DO, however, have real difficulty looking at Fifty Shades of Grey in the company of The Narrow Road to the Deep North - winner of this year's Man Booker Prize. I know a bestseller list is about the sales statistics, and not the quality of the books on the list (I also have issues with Pete Evans' book, because I feel strongly that the whole Paleo philosphy is deeply flawed) but...you know... I have yet to read The Narrow Road to the Deep North, although, The Teacher recently touched base with me via Facebook, asking if I'd read it, saying it's marvelous. So, it's on my list. Whether or not a movie is made from an adaptation of the book will be anyone's guess, but I guess that being a Booker prizewinner guarantees it a place within the canon of modern classics, so it should have a reasonable shot at long term sales that a badly written fly-by-night popular success like Fifty Shades of Grey just won't achieve.
I had huge reservations about Fifty Shades of Grey when the trilogy was published, and they are just being reinforced by everything I've heard about the movie, and of course, parts two and three are yet to come. In a weirdly creepy juxtaposition of popular culture, the movie was released on the Valentine's Day weekend, I guess, as a prospective date movie - a thought that REALLY worries me. As was to be expected, there have been protests all over the Western world in the wake of the movie, and much spirited debate. I've seen reviews that slam the movie, as book reviews slammed the books, for tacitly promoting domestic violence, at a time when, in Australia, even our national average of deaths in domestic violence situations is currently DOUBLE what it was at the same time last year. Then, I've read reviews from people who did and didn't read the books, dismissing all of that and saying that it's all a 'fantasy' and people 'know' it's not serious, etc... Is that how we've reached the stage we have where there is such a struggle to deal with the issue of domestic violence? That the stories we read and see are just 'stories' and not 'real' so that those stuck in real situations have that much more difficulty being taken seriously.
This year, commentary after the Oscars said that they'd been a really 'political' event, with winners in man categories using their moment at the microphone to promote the issues showcased in their movies. Julianne Moore spoke out about Alzheimers in her winner's speech. Eddie Redmayne, winner of the best male actor in a lead role for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything, highlighted the issues for those suffering from ALS. (You can read a post I wrote on my other blog about seeing that movie - also based on a book HERE) Of course, we applaud these actors and movies for bringing issues like this to public attention via such an accessible medium - movies can have a far bigger audience than books, as we well know. However, to dismiss the potential impact when it comes to something like domestic violence is folly, pure and simple - and all I can say at this stage is thank goodness there was no way that Fifty Shades of Grey was going to be anywhere near the Oscars, and offer an opportunity for that kind of accolade by default, of domestic violence.