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Home for the Holidays

Staying home for the holiday season offers a superb chance to catch up on that TBR (To Be Read) pile -- those books you've been wanting to read but can never find the time. The shorter days and chilly evenings are just right for curling up with a good book. Toss in a pandemic curfew, and you've got more reading time than ever before. 

If wintertime makes you feel bookish, we can help! Here is a list of upcoming book-based films and television series in development right now. Get ahead on reading those titles before they move to television and film. Check them out through MI Library'sTo Go service. 

The Book of Gutsy Women by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton - This mother-daughter team will host and produce a docu-series on Apple TV, featuring a selection of gutsy women, including  Harriett Tubman, Wangari Maathai, Malala Yousafzai, Rachel Carson, Edie Windsor, Diana Nyad, and many others whose biographies appeared in their best-selling 2019 book. The show is expected to stream sometime in 2021. 

Eleanor of Aquitaine: a life and Captive Queen by Alison Weir - As part of its "Extraordinary Women of History," Starz will adapt Weir's impeccably-researched historical biography and its companion book, Captive Queen into a television series. The project, written by Susan Conklin, is in development now with Lionsgate TV. 

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian - Cassandra Bowden awakens in a Dubai hotel room after a night of binge drinking to find a dead body in bed with her. A single woman alone in a hotel room far from home, Cassandra covers up her discovery and begins to lie. The television miniseries based on the book by the same name began airing on HBO in November. 

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell - The BBC recently purchased the TV rights to O'Farrell's historical fiction novel about the tragic death of Shakespeare's young son during the bubonic plague in England. Hamnet won the 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction. According to news sources, the BBC is hoping to create a series as opulent as "Wolf Hall."

Leading Men by Christopher Castellani - Playwright Matthew Lopez will write the screenplay for the film adaptation of Castellani's 2019 novel that explores the romance between Tennessee Williams and his long-time partner, Frank Merlo. Director assignment, casting and production schedule have yet to be released by Searchlight Pictures. 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah - Hannah's best-selling 2015 novel follows two sisters on the eve of World War II as they struggle to survive the German occupation of France. Real life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning will portray the two siblings. Parts of Hannah's novel, such as one of the sisters helping downed Allied pilots escaping the Germans are inspired by actual historical events. The film adaptation, directed by Melanie Laurent, will air sometime in 2021.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee - Apple will produce a TV series of this absorbing saga of 20th-century Korean experience as seen through four generations of a Korean immigrant family. The series is in pre-production now but may be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic so there's plenty of time to read before you watch. Also available in a Large Print edition.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts - Apple TV was planning to adapt Roberts' 2003 novel about a heroin-addicted Australian bank robber who escapes prison and feels to the slums of India. According to news sources, this lavishly funded project has halted for a variety of reasons but filming is expected to resume at a later date. 

Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan - The author announced recently that her 1992 bestseller about four Black female friends is being adapted into a TV series by 20th Television. The timeline is unclear so add this one to your TBR list for sure.

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates - Brad Pitt and Oprah Winfrey are producing Coates' novel about the Underground Railroad and one of its conductors, a young slave named Hiram Walker. While guiding slaves to safety, Walker discovers he has a mysterious power to transport himself. The Water Dancer is in production now with Coates writing the adaptation and MGM producing the film.


Posted on Dec. 10, 2020 by Celeste Steward