Print this page

Books vs. Movies, Part 1

Glen Creason, Librarian III, History & Genealogy Department,
An open movie book

Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes.  ~John LeCarre

There is an age-old argument about books vs. movies which has increased as the digital age takes over for the old inky printed page favorites. While the History and Genealogy department might not seem completely Hollywood it does have plenty of examples of books that were made into films. The following is just a short, flippantly annotated list of what we old-timer-librarians call monographs. This is a double feature so during the intermission you can visit the lobby for refreshments…

979.8 K89
Into the Wild
Jon Krakauer
Depending on how you look at it a young man finding freedom in the wilderness or a dude who did not know how to adequately pack

940.548 M9776
To Hell and Back
Audie Murphy
At one time this was my favorite movie of all-time but then I turned eleven.

910.4 R284
Piers Paul Read
The absolutely wrong book to read on a long airplane journey, especially when hungry.

958 C929-1
Charlie Wilson’s War
George Crile
A surprisingly saucy book for the History department made in the years when Tom Hanks appeared in every movie by law.

973.922 K365-1
The Kennedy Tapes (Movie “The Thirteen Days”
Ernest R. May and Philip D. Zelikow
Movie Critics said it seemed exactly like that to sit through it…

959.7 H564
Dispatches (parts inspired “Platoon”)
Michael Herr
One of the greatest Vietnam books and not a bad movie either.

940.5352 B811
Flags of Our Fathers
James Bradley
Back in the glory days when Clint Eastwood spoke to animate objects and made terrific movies.

910.41 L867
A Night to Remember
Walter Lord
The granddaddy of all Titanic books without a mention of Jack and Rose.

92 G263 Ga
Nicholas Gage
A movie so good it achieved 100% in Rotten Tomatoes and the book 58 Five-star ratings on Amazon

956.7 S979
Anthony Swofford
Really engaging book…movie not so much

92 V712Pi
Viva Villa!
Edgcumb Pinchon
Even with Wallace Beery as the complicated Pancho Villa the movie is very good and the book was for years the definitive Villa biography