2020 Adaptations: From Book to Screen

Books are increasingly becoming Hollywood’s most treasured manna–the star-stuff that inspires the year’s buzziest television films and movies. Here are some books and series coming to screens big and small this year:

Let’s start with adaptations with Northwest ties!

Another film based on Frank Herbert’s Dune will be released by director  Denis Villeneuve, who previously directed “Arrival,” which was based on local author Ted Chiang’s short story “The Story of Your Life.” The cast will include Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, and Oscar Isaac. It should be mentioned that Tacoma recently anointed the Dune Peninsula and Frank Herbert Trail at Point Defiance Park.

Matt Ruff’s Lovecraft Country will be an HBO mini-series executive produced by Jordan Peele and J. J. Abrams is a Lovecraftian look at Jim Crow America and the horrors of racism starring Jonathan Majors and Michael K. Williams.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, which is based on the true story of a gorilla who lived in a shopping mall, will be a film directed by Thea Sharrock, starring Angelina Jolie and Sam Rockwell.

Now, on to adaptations by authors further afield:

Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity will be a Hulu TV series with a gender-flipped main character played by Zoë Kravitz, whose mother Lisa Bonet starred in the original, about the life and romantic entanglements of a record store owner.

Jane Austen is never out of style and a fresh revival of Emma by director Autumn de Wilde with a screenplay by Booker Prize-winner Eleanor Catton should bring this match-maker a new audience.

Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton is a debut that will be directed by George Clooney, starring George Clooney and Felicity Jones. My colleague Kara  called it a “beautiful page-turner” and described the set-up: “Two narrators: One in space and one in the Arctic; a female astronaut and an aging Astronomer, both coming to terms with the fact that something has happened that has cut off communication.”

Philip Roth’s bestselling alternate history The Plot Against America, starring Winona Ryder and Zoe Kazan, posits the isolationist and anti-Semitic Charles A. Lindbergh as winning the Presidential election instead of Franklin Roosevelt.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng about a big shake up in the suburbs is also being adapted as a Hulu series by Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.

Cherry by Nico Walker, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and starring Tom Holland, is an autobiographical novel about the currently incarcerated author’s life as an Army veteran who becomes addicted to opioids.

Sally Rooney’s buzzy Normal People, starring Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal, features a complex love story between two Irish youth.

What adaptations are you excited to see this year? What did you read that you would love to see on the screen?

A couple of sources that list even more adaptations to be aware of are these articles from LitHub and BookRiot.

~posted by Misha

The Joys of Winter Gardening

There’s nothing like a sunny Seattle day during the long dreary winter, especially for those who like to garden. The minute the sun breaks through that cloud cover, even just for a few minutes, you’ll see gardeners all over the city trying to get things in order. For those willing to brave the colder months, though, dedicated winter gardening can offer rewards and surprises that feel extra special. Want to see what’s possible in the world of winter gardening? Here are a few titles to guide and inspire.

If you have grand cold-weather garden dreams, try Cedric Pollet’s Winter Gardens: Reinventing the Season. This inspirational coffee table book is full of lush photos, featuring dramatic color landscapes and a variety of unusual plants, shrubs, and trees to capture interest.

Want to make sure you have exhausted your research before purchasing and planting? Winter-flowering Shrubs by Michael Buffin offers a deeper dive into plants that thrive in winter conditions with extensive historical information and cultivation tips in this encyclopedia-style book.

Not interested in tackling your entire yard during the colder months but still want some color and style? The Winter Garden: Over 35 Step-by-step Projects for Small Spaces Using Foliage and Flowers, Berries and Blooms, and Herbs and Produce by Emma Hardy focuses on small spaces with loads of ideas for outdoor containers and displays that focus on color and texture.

Maybe you’d prefer to put your winter gardening skills to use for edibles! Winter Gardening in the Maritime Northwest: Cool-season Crops for the Year-round Gardener by local gardening expert Binda Colebrook helps you maximize your cool winter crop production through careful selection of varieties, plus tips on companion planting, cold frames, and more.

And, although these aren’t specific to winter gardening, garden design superstar Piet Oldouf’s Planting: A New Perspective and New Nordic Gardens: Scandinavian Landscape Design by Annika Zetterman focus on year-round garden design with a keen eye for winter interest. Both offer gorgeous photos that will get any gardener through the darkest months with aspirational dreams of garden form, color, and texture.

You can find these and other titles in our catalog here.

Happy digging!

~ Posted by Summer H.

February is American Heart Month

Four years ago, at the age of 44, I had a heart attack. I was one of the lucky ones because women who have heart attacks are much less likely to survive.

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. – American Heart Association

41104077. sy475 A new book that came out last year called Invisible Women: Data Bias in A World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado-Perez talks about this and digs into the statistics in other areas where women are ignored. The symptoms a women can have when a heart attack takes place can often differ greatly than a man. I actually feel lucky that I had the traditional symptoms because my husband knew to call 911, but if I had the sore arm or back I would have ignored it, just writing it off as another one of my daily pains.

Heart disease does not run in my family, I did not have high blood pressure, and my cholesterol was slightly elevated, but not enough to be on medicine. Also, it is highly unusual for a women to have a heart attack before menopause, which at the time I wasn’t even pre-menopausal.


When I can’t cope with something I read to try to understand it. One of the books, I read that helped me  is Saving Women’s Hearts: How You Can Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease with Natural and Conventional Strategies by Martha Gulati. It wasn’t able to give me an exact answer to why it happened to me, but it did answer and explain a lot of the things that were happening in layman’s terms. It also made me wish I had read it before I had the heart attack.



Finally, because fiction is my way to escape everyday things, though still relatable, I read and enjoyed Leave Me by Gayle Forman, which is about a working mom and wife who is so busy she doesn’t realize that she had a heart attack. She decides to run away from it all and when she does she discovers inner secrets about herself.


The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services also has information about American Heart Month. Ways to get involved, to practice a healthy lifestyle, and a social media toolkit! Help spread the word about heart health! 

~posted by Pam H.

Mandalas, Muffins, and Mimosas

I recently took a mandala rock painting class with a bunch of girl friends last month. I was surprised at how lost we all got into painting our mandalas and how fast the two hours they had scheduled for our group went! The art studio we went to also offered us muffins and mimosas while we got our painting on. Since I live in Tacoma I thought what better way to spread this idea than highlighting books from the library for patrons to recreate this activity at home!  Maybe even for Galentine’s Day, perhaps!

Mandala for the Inspired Artist: Working with paint, paper, and texture to create expressive ...Mandala for the Inspired Artist [working With Paint, Paper, and Texture to Create Expressive Mandala Art] by Marisa Edghill
This book takes on multiple mediums to create your own mandala art. “From making art with pencils, paints, and paper to tape, nature’s textures, and found objects, readers will discover a variety of ways to make unique mandala artwork.” This book is also for all skill levels so don’t be afraid to make your mandala in the medium that works best for you. In class none of us were familiar with this art type and each rock created was amazing, unique, and beautiful – just like the women who created them!

Mad for Muffins: 70 Amazing Muffin Recipes From Savory to Sweet by Jean Anderson
Muffins are pretty much just breakfast cupcakes, right? I had the most amazing Lemon Poppyseed muffin at the art studio, which are two flavors that I can never say no to! And this book has so many different kinds of muffins for those that prefer savory or sweet in every kind of variation you can imagine.

Let’s Get Fizzical: More Than 50 Bubbly Cocktail Recipes With Prosecco, Champagne, and Other Sparkling Wines by Pippa Guy    First of all this book is just adorable, but also takes the idea of the sparkling cocktail to another level. “An inspiring mix of classic cocktail recipes such as bellinis and mimosas, alongside exciting variations and twists, Let’s Get Fizzical offers tips, tricks, presentation ideas, and technical know.”

Happy Galentine’s Day!

~posted by Kara P.

African American Romance Writers

February is Black History Month and with Valentine’s Day approaching we want you to get passionate about some romance series that we love, written by African American authors.

If you haven’t read anything by the prolific author Beverly Jenkins by now, we highly recommend you begin any of her numerous series. She’s a seasoned author known for her award-winning historical romance novels. Try her latest book, Rebel, from her new series Women Who Dare. Set in post-Civil War New Orleans, Valinda Lacy has a passion for teaching recently emancipated children and adults how to read and write. However, there are many who are unhappy with the outcome of the war and when she’s threatened by racist villains, the hero, Drake LeVeq, saves her from her attackers. As the reader, you can’t help falling in love with these characters and will swoon over the development of their romantic relationship. Though this novel is set in a painful time period, Beverly Jenkins has the magic to balance sorrow with beauty that will surely delight you. Continue reading “African American Romance Writers”