The Revenant by Michael Punke | Adapted: Books to Movies

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Love books? Love movies? Hosts Marisa Serafini and Phil Svitek love them both too... equally. So they decided to marry their love of both into a monthly dedicated series where they discuss books that have been adapted into movies.

In episode four, they venture into the wilderness of Wyoming in Michael Punke's 2002 novel The Revenant. The novel is based on a series of events in the life of American frontiersman Hugh Glass in 1823 Missouri Territory. The word "Revenant" means someone who has risen from the grave to terrorize the living.

This book has been adapted in 2015 by visionary director Alejandro G. [...]

The Prestige by Christopher Priest - Adapted: Books to Movies

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Love books? Love movies? Hosts Marisa Serafini and Phil Svitek love them both too... equally. So they decided to marry their love of both into a monthly dedicated series where they discuss books that have been adapted into movies.

In episode three, they enter the world of magic at a time when electricity was just taking off to discuss Christopher Priest's 1996 novel The Prestige. The novel tells the story of a prolonged feud between two stage magicians in late 1800s England. It is epistolary in structure; that is, it purports to be a collection of real diaries that were kept by the protagonists [...]

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling | Adapted: Books to Movies

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Love books? Love movies? Hosts Marisa Serafini and Phil Svitek love them both too... equally. So they decided to marry their love of both into a monthly dedicated series where they discuss books that have been adapted into movies.

In the second episode, they venture off into the jungle to learn the laws of nature as they discuss Rudyard Kipling's 1894 book called The Jungle Book. It's a collection of fables, using animals in an anthropomorphic manner to give moral lessons. A principal character is the boy or "man-cub" Mowgli, who is raised in the jungle by wolves. Other characters include Shere Khan the [...]

The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Brian Selznick) - Adapted: Books to Movies

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Love books? Love movies? Hosts Marisa Serafini and Phil Svitek love them both too... equally. So they decided to marry their love of both into a monthly dedicated series where they discuss books that have been adapted into movies.

In the inaugural episode, they thought it fitting to kick things off with a book that also marries the love of movies, pictures, and words all into one! They discuss Brian Selznick's 2007 historical fiction steampunk book called The Invention of Hugo Cabret which is about an ORPHAN, CLOCK KEEPER, AND THIEF named Hugo who lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station. [...]

Night Film by Marisha Pessl | Book Discussion

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NIGHT FILM follows a broken journalist's investigation into the haunted life and death of Ashley Cordova, the mad director's beautiful daughter. It begins as a mystery with overtones of dream-like horror. It flickers and dims and deepens into a study of people who burn too brightly, burning up the souls around them until their aftermath is a legacy of ashes. It's about art that goes too far and the fanatical religious passion such art can trigger in those strangelengs who are attuned to its frequency. It's about the nature and function of fantasy, the damage done to the ties that bind by those who [...]

3 Books You Should Have Read This Year (2014)

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This year we sat down and talked to over 20 authors, one of the highlights being Jackie Collins who, it turns out, has had an even wilder life than her characters. She told us that about 10 years ago, a masked man shoved an Uzi in her face and screamed, "Don't move, b**** or I'll blow your f***ing head off." I imagine her running away, the adrenaline kicking in as she gives a silent cheer, thankful for her survival, but more thankful for the story she'll have for future dinner parties. It's the type of thing that you'd expect to happen to the woman whose [...]

Acceptance by Jeff Vandermeer | Book Discussion

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It is winter in Area X, the mysterious wilderness that has defied explanation for thirty years, rebuffing expedition after expedition, refusing to reveal its secrets. As Area X expands, the agency tasked with investigating and overseeing it--the Southern Reach--has collapsed on itself in confusion. Now one last, desperate team crosses the border, determined to reach a remote island that may hold the answers they've been seeking. If they fail, the outer world is in peril.

Meanwhile, Acceptance tunnels ever deeper into the circumstances surrounding the creation of Area X--what initiated this unnatural upheaval? Among the many who have tried, who has gotten close to [...]

Perfidia by James Ellroy | Book Discussion

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It is December 6, 1941. America stands at the brink of World War II. Last hopes for peace are shattered when Japanese squadrons bomb Pearl Harbor. Los Angeles has been a haven for loyal Japanese-Americans—but now, war fever and race hate grip the city and the Japanese internment begins.

The hellish murder of a Japanese family summons three men and one woman. William H. Parker is a captain on the Los Angeles Police Department. He’s superbly gifted, corrosively ambitious, liquored-up, and consumed by dubious ideology. He is bitterly at odds with Sergeant Dudley Smith—Irish émigré, ex-IRA killer, fledgling war profiteer. Hideo Ashida is a [...]

Consumed by David Cronenberg | Book Discussion

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David Cronenberg, the celebrated Canadian film director, lauded by The New York Times for creating “some of the best, most challenging, most unusual English-language films of the last twenty years,” and named a chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in France—turns his remarkable talent to the haunting, disturbing intersection of desire and decay in Consumed, his highly anticipated debut novel.

In the book-filled, artfully messy Paris apartment of the famous French intellectuals Celestine and Aristide Arosteguy, an astonishing discovery is made—the grisly, butchered remains of Celestine, partially eaten. Her husband, sought by police for questioning, is nowhere to be found.

Naomi [...]

California by Edan Lepucki | Book Discussion

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The world Cal and Frida have always known is gone, and they've left the crumbling city of Los Angeles far behind them. They now live in a shack in the wilderness, working side-by-side to make their days tolerable in the face of hardship and isolation. Mourning a past they can't reclaim, they seek solace in each other. But the tentative existence they've built for themselves is thrown into doubt when Frida finds out she's pregnant.

Terrified of the unknown and unsure of their ability to raise a child alone, Cal and Frida set out for the nearest settlement, a guarded and paranoid community with [...]

Dead Stars by Bruce Wagner | Book Discussion

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Dead Stars is Bruce Wagner’s most lavish and remarkable translation yet of the national zeitgeist: post-privacy porn culture, a Kardashianworld of rapid-cycling, disposable narrative where reality-show triumph is the new American narcotic.

At age thirteen, Telma is famous as the world’s youngest breast cancer survivor until threatened with obscurity by a four-year-old Canadian who’s just undergone a mastectomy … Reeyonna believes that auditioning for pregnant-teen porn online will help fulfill her dream of befriending Jennifer Lawrence and Kanye West … Biggie, the neurologically impaired adolescent son of a billionaire, spends his days Google Map-searching his mother-who abandoned home and family for a new love [...]

Authority by Jeff VanderMeer | Book Discussion

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After thirty years, the only human engagement with Area X—a seemingly malevolent landscape surrounded by an invisible border and mysteriously wiped clean of all signs of civilization—has been a series of expeditions overseen by a government agency so secret it has almost been forgotten: the Southern Reach. Following the tumultuous twelfth expedition chronicled in ANNIHILATION, the agency is in complete disarray.

John Rodrigues (aka "Control") is the Southern Reach's newly appointed head. Working with a distrustful but desperate team, a series of frustrating interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, Control begins to penetrate the secrets of Area [...]

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn | Book Discussion

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Join the Book Circle team as we investigate the he said/she said psychosis of GONE GIRL, Gillian Flynn's bestselling hypnotic thriller (soon to be a major motion picture):

"Marriage can be a real killer. One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates [...]

Qaddaffi's Point Guard by Alex Owumi | Book Discussion

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A Nigerian native who emigrated to the United States at age 11, Alex Owumi’s exploits on the basketball court led him to a successful career as a small college player. Undrafted by the NBA, Owumi pursued his pro basketball dream overseas, eventually signing with Al-Nasr of Libya, a state-run athletic club privately funded by the family of then-Libyan president Muammar Qaddafi.Owumi’s tenure with Al-Nasr was interrupted by the Libyan uprising and resulting civil war.

Imprisoned in his Benghazi apartment for more than 2 weeks with no food, phone, Internet, or hope, Owumi wondered whether he would make it out of Libya alive. Despite his [...]

The Pale King by David Foster Wallace | Book Discussion

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In honor of Tax Day, the Book Circle team explores what may be the most ambitious and resonant fiction ever composed on the subject of the IRS and the men and women who serve it...

The agents at the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, Illinois, appear ordinary enough to newly arrived trainee David Foster Wallace. But as he immerses himself in a routine so tedious and repetitive that new employees receive boredom-survival training, he learns of the extraordinary variety of personalities drawn to this strange calling. And he has arrived at a moment when forces within the IRS are plotting to eliminate even [...]

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins | Book Discussion

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Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

Join Jason Squamata, Pat Janowski, and Kristi Gray Lovato for the Quarter Quell as Book Circle Online CATCHES FIRE. [...]

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins | Book Discussion

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Mockingjay is the third and final book in the Hunger Games trilogy. Katniss has reluctantly joined the rebel army as Mockingjay, a symbol of hope and freedom for the districts. In this edition, hosts Jeffrey Masters, Jason Squamata, and Kira Hesser sit down and discuss Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.

Bio:
In 1991, Suzanne Collins began her professional career writing for children’s television. She worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. For preschool viewers, she penned multiple stories for the Emmy-nominated Little Bear and Oswald. She also co-wrote the [...]

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer | Book Discussion

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ANNIHILATION is a bestselling slice of weird fiction that follows a woman we know only as “the biologist” into a lost world of sorts, an expanding eruption of primeval paradise called AREA X, wherein multiple ecosystems are rudely spliced and teeming lifeforms mutate at the speed of eternity. She and her colleagues (a surveyor, an anthropologist, and a sinister psychologist) are the twelfth expedition into the shrieking tropical depths of X, where savage miracles unfold on an hourly basis, where history and memory and identity are as mutable as the terrain and nothing is what it seems. It combines a feverish excess of naturalistic [...]

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green | Book Discussion

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The Fault in Our Stars is the #1 New York Times bestselling novel by John Green. It is now a major motion picture, and follows the story of Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters after the two meet and form an instant connection at a cancer support group. In this edition, hosts Jeffrey Masters, Jillian Leff, and Kylie Hodges sit down and discuss John Green's The Fault in Our Stars.
“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
Click Here to Download the Podcast on iTunes

Bio [...]

Under The Skin by Michael Faber | Book Discussion

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UNDER THE SKIN is a sleek and bizarre science fiction story by Michel Faber, a sometimes erotic, sometimes ice-cold portrait of a disfigured alien predator. Strategically disfigured as a honeytrap for earth men who will soon be meat. Her name is Isserly and she picks up hitchers on the motorways of Scotland, conducting them into castration, mutation, and processing into foodstuff at the behest of a decadent cosmic aristocracy. The book pushes buttons like JG Ballard on hits of champagne-spiked estrogen. Through the insect eyes of a huntress in disguise, we're tricked into thinking about where our food comes from and who it used [...]

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King | Book Discussion

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DOCTOR SLEEP is Stephen King's gripping and surprisingly endearing sequel to THE SHINING, a classic 70s horror novel that opened bloodsoaked corridors of terror in the collective psyche of a generation (in its literary form and via a masterful film adaptation by Stanley Kubrick). The book revisits Danny Torrance, the psychically gifted little boy whose daddy Jack was possessed and destroyed by the malignant ghost culture of an evil old hotel. Danny is Dan, now, in his thirties, a survivor of traumas the ordinary world can scarcely imagine, dulling the dark edge of his supernatural sensitivity with liquor and drugs for decades. The [...]

Night Film by Marisha Pessl | Book Discussion

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NIGHT FILM follows a broken journalist's investigation into the haunted life and death of Ashley Cordova, the mad director's beautiful daughter. It begins as a mystery with overtones of dream-like horror. It flickers and dims and deepens into a study of people who burn too brightly, burning up the souls around them until their aftermath is a legacy of ashes. It's about art that goes too far and the fanatical religious passion such art can trigger in those strangelengs who are attuned to its frequency. It's about the nature and function of fantasy, the damage done to the ties that bind by those who [...]

Wild by Cheryl Strayed | Book Discussion

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After her mother's death and her marriage was destroyed, Cheryl Strayed embarked on a 3-month trek across the Pacific Crest Trail, which stretches across the west coast from Mexico to Canada. She hiked over 1,000 miles of it, and details the terrors and triumphs of her experiences in her memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on The Pacific Crest Trail. In this edition, hosts Jeffrey Masters, Cassidy Gard, Kylie Hodges, and Sean Overman discuss Cheryl Strayed's memoir, Wild.
"Of all the things I'd been skeptical about, I didn't feel skeptical about this: the wilderness had a clarity that included me." - Cheryl Strayed [...]

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins | Book Discussion

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HUNGER GAMES, by Suzanne Collins, is a 2008 young adult novel (quote/unquote) that became a publishing sensation, spawning two sequels and two hit films with a third in the wings, wooing readers and watchers from every walk of life with its mythic tale of Katniss Everdeen, the Girl On Fire, a poor girl who hunts squirrels to feed her family in a brutal dystopia (a future gone wrong, it seems, or perhaps a parallel universe that overlaps with our own in all the wrong places). She scrapes and survives with a traumatized mother and a fragile sister in one of twelve districts, where [...]

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon | Book Discussion

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Step into the Circle and bear witness as the BCO narrative dissection team explores Samantha Shannon's THE BONE SEASON, an exciting and widely hyped new novel (the first of a projected seven-part series), wherein we meet Paige Mahoney, our narrator and heroine, a nineteen year old criminal clairvoyant who can slash her way into the headspaces and dreamscapes of those around her.

She performs her little thought crimes in a future London, circa 2059, a London under the control of SCION, a tyrannical security force that runs six other major cities and seems poised to take over a globe even darker and more troubled [...]

A Brilliant Novel in the Works by Yuvi Zalkow | Book Discussion

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“A Brilliant Novel in the Works” edition, is an exploration of Yuvi Zalkow’s “A Brilliant Novel in the Works”, an almost semi-autobiographic piece about a man struggling to write a novel. Host Jason Squamata talks about the book on the levels of craft, theme, and character. Joining Jason with the breakdown are co-hosts Doug Dean, Pat Janowski, and Mark Savage. It’s Book Circle Online's “A Brilliant Novel in the Works” podcast!

About “A Brilliant Novel in the Works”:



When Yuvi's wife finds him in his underwear, standing on top of his desk, she isn't terribly impressed with him and his writing habits.

But Yuvi [...]