The Sunday Salon: When TV Leads to Books

by Kim on October 16, 2011 · 22 comments

The Sunday Salon.comI’ve been thinking a lot about the connection between books, movies, and television this weekend.

I got started when I started watching the TV show Parenthood, which I just recently found on Netflix Instant. A couple of the early episodes of the first season have a small sub-plot connected to William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury — there’s a plagiarized essay about the story and a cute scene where one of the characters (Sarah, played by Lauren Graham [aka Lorelei Gilmore on Gilmore Girls]) starts dating an English teacher who also loves the book. I don’t normally have a desire to read Faulkner, but after the book played such a big role in the story I suddenly couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

It’s more common (for me anyway) for the inspiration to go the other way — for a book to inspire me to look for more. After I finished Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M., a book about the making of the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I wanted to read Truman Capote’s original novella and see the movie again. I finally watched it this weekend and it was lovely, except for the absurdly distasteful portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi, Holly’s Asian upstairs neighbor, by Mickey Rooney in yellowface makeup.

I’ve got the movie version of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in my queue because of reading the book, and I also recently watched Holes because I loved the YA book by Louis Sachar. I can’t wait to both read Moneyball by Michael Lewis and then go see the movie (or probably wait to see the movie when it’s out on DVD). I’m also curious about The Big Year, which is out this weekend and based on a book by the same title by Mark Obmascik.

I have to think that the book/movie connection is often more common than the book/television connection, but maybe that’s just because I can’t think of any more examples from my own live. I’m curious what you all think: Have you ever picked up a book because it was mentioned on a tv show or in a movie? What show and what book?

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