Ah, the Golden Globes. Chances are you watched them, or read about them — this year’s show was covered with a particular sort of intensity due to all that’s been happening in Hollywood and the activism that became a focal point of the ceremony. A lot of the winners and nominees this year have wonderful tie-ins to books and stories, offering plenty of great reads that can deepen the experience of watching them.
Whether you’ve seen the movies and TV shows or not, below is a guide to reading the Golden Globes, where we break down seven books that inspired the winners and nominees or provide more context into well-told stories. There’s still time – get reading, and get watching.
1. Women On Ice: Feminist Responses to the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan Spectacle, Edited by Cynthia Baughman
To Dive Deeper Into I, Tonya, which won Allison Janney Best Supporting Actress
Synopsis: The attack on Nancy Kerrigan at the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships set the stage for a Winter Olympics spectacle: Tonya versus Nancy. Women on Ice collects the writings of a diverse group of feminists who address and question our national obsession with Tonya and Nancy and what this tells us about perceptions of women in twentieth-century America.
Worth Reading If….You loved the movie and want a deeper look into the cultural significance of the spectacle.
2. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
To Dive Deeper Into The Handmaid’s Tale, winner of Best Television Drama Series and won Elizabeth Moss Best Actress
Synopsis: Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…
Worth Reading If….You’re a fan of dystopian stories and want a nightmarish tale that is frighteningly relevant, love good storytelling, and want to see what the chilling show feels like in book form – worth a read whether you’ve seen the show or not.
3. Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty
To Dive Deeper Into Big Little Lies, winner of Best Television Limited Series, Best Actress in a Miniseries/TV Film (Nicole Kidman), Best Supporting Actress (Laura Dern), and Best Supporting Actor (Alexander Skarsgard)
Synopsis: Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal… A murder…a tragic accident…or just parents behaving badly? What’s indisputable is that someone is dead. But who did what? Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads. Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.
Worth Reading If…A dark book that manages to be simultaneously notoriously funny, a book that’ll keep you up late turning pages, and different plot points/subplots from the show.
4. The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made, Greg Sestero & Tom Bissell
To Dive Deeper Into The Disaster Artist, which won James Franco Best Actor
Synopsis: Described by one reviewer as “like getting stabbed in the head,” the $6 million film earned a grand total of $1,800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. Ten years later, it’s an international cult phenomenon, whose legions of fans attend screenings featuring costumes, audience rituals, merchandising, and thousands of plastic spoons. Hailed by The Huffington Post as “possibly the most important piece of literature ever printed,” The Disaster Artist is the hilarious, behind-the-scenes story of a deliciously awful cinematic phenomenon as well as the story of an odd and inspiring Hollywood friendship. Greg Sestero, Tommy’s costar, recounts the film’s bizarre journey to infamy, explaining how the movie’s many nonsensical scenes and bits of dialogue came to be and unraveling the mystery of Tommy Wiseau himself.
Worth Reading If…You want to read the book that this movie was based on. The whole Disaster Artist situation feels a bit like Russian nesting dolls – stories inside of stories – and reading this can help further that if it’s a feeling you like and find interesting.
5. The Life Of P.T. Barnum, P.T. Barnum
To Dive Deeper Into The Greatest Showman, winner of Best Original Song
Synopsis: This is the story of P.T. Barnum, the world-renowned showman, written by the man himself. It tells of “his early life and struggles; bold ventures and brilliant successes; wonderful career in which he made and lost fortunes, captivated kings, queens, nobility, and millions of people; his genius, wit, eloquence, public benefactor, [and] life as a citizen.” It is “a remarkable story, abounding in fascinating incidents, thrilling episodes, and marvelous achievements.” Barnum wrote, “That my narrative is interspersed with amusing incidents, and even the recital of some very practical jokes is simply because my natural disposition impels me to look upon the brighter side of life, and I hope my humorous experiences will entertain my readers as much as they were enjoyed by myself.”
Worth Reading If…..You were entranced by the movie’s magic and want the man’s story from the man himself!
6. Bonus 1: The Day The Presses Stopped: A History of the Pentagon Papers Case, David Rudenstine
To Dive Deeper Into The Post, nominated for six Golden Globes — Best Actor (Tom Hanks), Best Actress (Meryl Streep), Best Director (Steven Spielberg), Best Motion Picture, Best Original Score, and Best Screenplay
Synopsis: This bold account provides an original perspective on one of the most significant legal struggles in American history: the Nixon administration’s efforts to prohibit the New York Times and the Washington Post from publishing the 7,000-page, top-secret Pentagon Papers, which traced U.S. involvement in Vietnam. In his gripping account of this highly charged case, Rudenstine examines new evidence, raises difficult questions, and challenges conventional views of a historic moment.
Worth Reading If….You’re fascinated by the history of this insane story. If you’re looking for a super historical approach, filled with primary sources and deeper context behind the movie, this is the book for you.
7. Bonus 2: Call Me By Your Name, André Aciman
To Dive Deeper Into Call Me By Your Name, nominated for Best Motion Picture (Drama), Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama), and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.
Synopsis: Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliff-side mansion on the Italian Riviera. Unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, at first each feigns indifference. But during the restless summer weeks that follow, unrelenting buried currents of obsession and fear, fascination, and desire, intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them. What grows from the depths of their spirits is a romance of scarcely six weeks’ duration and an experience that marks them for a lifetime. For what the two discover on the Riviera and during a sultry evening in Rome is the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy. The psychological maneuvers that accompany attraction have seldom been more shrewdly captured than in André Aciman‘s frank, unsentimental, heartrending elegy to human passion.
Worth Reading If….You saw the movie. Or you want to see the movie. Or you didn’t see the movie but want to read a really intimate, beautiful, sad story that will stick with you.