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Lemieux Library
Lemieux Library

Recommended Reads: Books to Screen

Read 'em before you watch 'em!

Little Fires Everywhere

A riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.

Normal People

Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities end there. At school, Connell is popular and well liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation—awkward but electrifying—something life changing begins.A year later, they're both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together.

Unorthodox

The bestselling memoir of a young Jewish woman's escape from a religious sect. As a member of the strictly religious Satmar sect of Hasidic Judaism, Deborah Feldman grew up under a code of relentlessly enforced customs governing everything from what she could wear and to whom she could speak to what she was allowed to read. Yet in spite of her repressive upbringing, Deborah grew into an independent-minded young woman whose stolen moments reading about the empowered literary characters of Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott helped her to imagine an alternative way of life among the skyscrapers of Manhattan.

The Good Lord Bird

The story of a young boy born a slave who joins John Brown's antislavery crusade—and who must pass as a girl to survive. Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry's master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town—with Brown, who believes he's a girl. Over the ensuing months, Henry—whom Brown nicknames Little Onion—conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive.

My Brilliant Friend

Beginning in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, Elena Ferrante’s four-volume story spans almost sixty years, as its main characters, the fiery and unforgettable Lila and the bookish narrator, Elena, become women, wives, mothers, and leaders, all the while maintaining a complex and at times conflicted friendship. This first novel in the series follows Lila and Elena from their fateful meeting as ten-year-olds through their school years and adolescence.

American Psycho

In American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis imaginatively explores the incomprehensible depths of madness and captures the insanity of violence in our time or any other. Patrick Bateman moves among the young and trendy in 1980s Manhattan. Young, handsome, and well educated, Bateman earns his fortune on Wall Street by day while spending his nights in ways we cannot begin to fathom. Expressing his true self through torture and murder, Bateman prefigures an apocalyptic horror that no society could bear to confront.

Emma

Emma Woodhouse is a privileged young woman whose greatest pleasure in life lies in matchmaking for anyone but herself. Written, by Austen’s own admission, as “a heroine whom no one but myself will much like,” Emma’s charm and wit exist in constant tension with her capacity for selfishness and vanity. Despite her intelligence, Emma stumbles from one catastrophe to the next—from a misguided attempt at securing a husband for her friend Harriet Smith to her disastrous meddling in the affairs of new arrivals Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax—before ultimately falling into her own unexpected happy ending.

Little Women

The four March sisters--Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy--face good times and bad while growing up in a small New England town. Their father is away, serving as a chaplain for the Union in the Civil War, and the family has fallen on hard times financially. Yet their wise and patient mother, Marmee, guides them through every twist and turn. The girls play games, make friends, have adventures, learn from disappointments, fall in love, and strive to follow their dreams as they grow into young women.

The Turning (Turn of the Screw & Other Ghost Stories)

This unsettling collection brings together eight of Henry James's tales exploring ghosts and the uncanny, including his infamous ghost story,'The Turn of the Screw,'a work saturated with evil. James's haunting masterpiece tells of a nameless young governess sent to a country house to take charge of two orphans, Miles and Flora. Unsettled by a dark foreboding of menace within the house, she soon comes to believe that something malevolent is stalking the children in her care. But is the threat to her young charges really a malign and ghostly presence or something else entirely?

Invisible Man

A first novel by an unknown writer, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century. The nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of'the Brotherhood', and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be.

Sharp Objects

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

David Copperfield

In this classic tale, a young boy is deeply affected when his widowed mother remarries. When his mother dies, David's stepfather sends him to work in a London factory. After Wilkins Micawber, his landlord in London, is sent to prison, David escapes London and takes refuge in Dover with Betsey Trotwood, his aunt. After a conventional schooling and a brief legal career he later becomes a novelist.

Crazy Rich Asians

When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country's most eligible bachelor. On Nick's arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.

For more information on this guide please contact: library@seattleu.edu