8 books that inspired this year’s Oscar-nominated films


If you’re a movie buff, your list of films to watch probably increased dramatically Tuesday after the nominees for the 91st Academy Awards were announced in Beverly Hills.

But if you prefer spending an evening curled up on your couch with a good book, and not in a theater with an overly expensive bucket of popcorn, you shouldn’t feel left out. Many of this year’s nominated films were based on books, so you can join the fun in your own way — and you don’t even need to change out of your pajamas to do it.

Here are some of the books that inspired the films that Hollywood is buzzing about this Oscars season.


“If Beale Street Could Talk,” James Baldwin

The legendary author’s 1974 novel about a young couple whose relationship is tested after a false rape accusation inspired the critically acclaimed film from”Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins. Regina King earned a supporting actress nomination for her role as Sharon Rivers in the movie.

“Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart,” John Guy

Australian-British historian Guy’s biography served as the inspiration for “Mary Queen of Scots,” Josie Rourke’s film starring Saoirse Ronan as the monarch who began her reign when she was less than a week old.The period-piece film was nominated for makeup and hairstyling and costume design.”

“First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong,” James R. Hansen

Ryan Gosling stars as the astronaut in “First Man,” Damien Chazelle’s biopic about Armstrong. The movie, which earned a nomination for sound mixing, was based on Hansen’s popular biography of the Ohio-born Navy veteran and astronaut.


“Can You Ever Forgive Me?: Memoirs of a Literary Forger,” Lee Israel

Melissa McCarthy earned a lead actress nomination for her role as Israel, a biographer who started forging letters from literary legends to earn money after she fell on hard times. Israel’s 2008 biography,which was controversial at the time, forms the basis for the Marielle Heller film.

“All Gold Canyon” by Jack London

London’s short story about an Old West prospector who finds a huge gold vein forms the basis of one of the six vignettes in “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” an anthology film from Joel and Ethan Coen that received an Oscar nomination for adapted screenplay.

“Black Klansman: Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime,” Ron Stallworth

Spike Lee’s movie “BlacKkKlansman,” which earned multiple Oscar nods including best picture, director and adapted screenplay, is based on the remarkable memoir from Stallworth, an African American police detective in Colorado who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s with the help of his white partner.

The “Mary Poppins” series, P.L. Travers

Travers’ eight-book series about London’s favorite magical child-care provider inspired “Mary Poppins Returns,” Rob Marshall’s film starring Emily Blunt as the title character. The film, a hit with fans who loved the original 1964 movie, was nominated in a host of categories, including original Score and production design.

“The Wife,” Meg Wolitzer

Glenn Close earned her seventh Oscar nomination for Björn Runge’s “The Wife,” which also features Jonathan Pryce and Christian Slater. The film is based on Meg Wolitzer’s darkly comic 2003 novel about an acclaimed novelist whose spouse decides she wants to pursue her own literary dreams rather than keep playing the role of quiet, supportive wife.