Books provide fertile fodder for filmmakers looking for the next Hollywood blockbuster or arthouse masterpiece. Ultimate Library selects five true-life stories and biopics that are either upcoming or have just hit screens – including a stunning biography of Oppenheimer that is the source material for Christopher Nolan’s latest epic and the story of seventies popstars Daisy Jones & The Six and their sudden disappearance from the airwaves – now a major Amazon Prime series…
1. Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
For a while, Daisy Jones & The Six were everywhere. Their albums were on every turntable, they sold out arenas from coast to coast, their sound defined an era. And then, on 12 July 1979, they split. Nobody ever knew why. Until now. Making music is never just
about the music. And sometimes it can be hard to tell where the sound stops and the feelings begin. This is their story of the early days and the wild nights, but everyone remembers the truth differently. You can find Daisy Jones and The Six currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video featuring Sam Claflin and Riley Keough.
2. Women Talking by Miriam Toews
Based on real events, this shocking and touching novel follows eight women who meet in secret to discuss the sexual assault that has been rife within their secluded Mennonite colony. All illiterate and without any knowledge of the outside world these women must decide how to protect themselves and their daughters from future harm. Still available in cinemas Women Talking directed by Sarah Polley won the Best Adapted Screenplay at the 95th Academy Awards and was called a ‘powerful act of nonviolent protest’ by Peter Debruge in Variety.
3. American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin
One of the iconic figures of the 20th century and the embodiment of modern scientific man’s Faustian bargain, J. Robert Oppenheimer confronted the moral consequences of scientific progress. A physicist, polymath and ‘father of the atom bomb’ Oppenheimer
became the most famous scientist of his generation. At once both a history and a biography, this book is essential to understanding our recent past – and our future. You will find Oppenheimer, directed by Christopher Nolan, in cinemas this July.
American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer
4. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret edited by Judy Blume
Meet Margaret. She’s going through all the same things most teenage girls must face – fitting in, friendship and first bras. Life isn’t easy for Margaret. She’s moved away from her childhood home, she’s starting a new school, finding new friends – and she’s
convinced she’s not normal. It’s too embarrassing to talk to her parents about these things. So, she talks to God instead – and waits for an answer… This timeless coming of age story comes to the big screen later this spring, written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig.
5. Killers of the Flower Moon: Oil, Money, Murder and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
A true-life story which became one of the FBI’s first major homicide investigations. In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. As the death toll climbed, the FBI took up the case. In desperation, its young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to former Texas Ranger, Tom White. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. Directed by Martin Scorsese, audiences will find this story in cinemas this October.
Killers of the Flower Moon: Oil, Money, Murder and the Birth of the FBI