The Oscar nominations are out and it looks like the big winner is going to be...books. After all, three of the best picture nominees are adaptations: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Reader,and Slumdog Millionaire.
It's no secret that popular television shows the power to put books on bestseller lists, so when the headline went out today on the Huffington Post that Gweneth Paltrow's latest GOOP newsletter was recommending books, heart fluttered a wee bit. Think of the spike Dalkey Archive saw for its edition of Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman after it appeared on Lost? Or the boost for copies of John O'Hara's Meditations in an Emergency after Don Draper was spotted reading it on Mad Men? Think of what
So, what the A/B listers are reading? Anything worth getting excited about?
Christie Turlington claims she snuggles up to Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury" and Hemingway (I seriously doubt it -- even Oprah couldn't move the needle for Faulkner).
Paltrow goes in for Crime and Punishment and Jane Eyre, as well as Paul Bowles The Sheltering Sky, a fine book indeed. But I have to hand it to Madonna for suggesting: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts -- edgy -- and her other choices, The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa and The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, are at least contemporary.
My question is whether or not the power of celebrity could be harnessed more often to try and boost the profile of contemporary writers? I don't mean the AAPs flaccid "Get Caught Reading Campaign" -- is tennis player Nicole Vaidisova really a celeb? -- I mean as hucksters, blurbsters, human pitchmen/women?
It would seem these days with so many movies being adapted from books these days, it would be in the stars best interest to, well, take an interest.
Let us know what you think in the comments below.