Books and Movie Trailers


Recently I found two digital books that I could download to my Kindle from our local library.   Both had been made into movies:   Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-first Century and Let Her Go.


Now every time I receive a package from Amazon, I wonder if some tired retiree from an rv camp had some part in it.  The book, written by journalist Jessica Bruder, follows (literally at times in her own van) real-life nomad Linda May,  a 64-year old grandmother, who found going on the road a last choice after she lost everything in the Great Recession.  It is written in documentary  style.  Some of the travelers find seasonal work at rv parks, national campgrounds and Amazon warehouses.  Apparently Amazon likes older workers because they are dependable, don’t demand much and are willing to  work part-time in conditions that are not ideal for senior citizens:  fast-paced where employees are tracked for efficiency.

The movie, directed by Chloe Zhao, is a fictionalized version of the book.  The main character, played by Frances McDormand, is purely invented and she plays on the background of real characters and events from the book.  There are three characters from the book who play themselves in the movie including Linda May who is the one the author mainly followed.  Scenes from working at Amazon are filmed in a real Amazon warehouse; Amazon fares better in the movie than in the book in my opinion.  I have not seen the movie and only read reviews about it and viewed the trailer.   Here is a link to the movie trailer –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sxCFZ8_d84

Let Him Go, written by Larry Watson and published in 2013, is a novel set in  South Dakota and Montana in the 1950s.  The opening chapter has the wife packing to go somewhere on a mission: husband (a retired sheriff) is given the option of going along.  He opts to go even if it means walking off a job that is below his skills.  Their son had died a few years before and his widow had remarried soon after, taking their young grandson with her and the new husband.  The grandmother learns that all is not well with the child in his new environment with the domineering  step-father.  Determined not to lose contact with the child, protect him if necessary and even bring him back, the couple takes off.  The husband is reluctant but goes along to support his wife.  Diane Lane  and Kevin Costner play the grandparents in the movie.

From reading reviews and watching the movie trailer, the movie appears to follow the book closely.  I have not seen this movie either.  Here is a link to the movie trailer – https://youtu.be/GfMkjdIc24I

Do you prefer to read the book first and then see the movie or see the movie and then read the book?  Or do you think one version is enough?  I always think the book is better.  Some movies make me want to do more research if it involves history.

40 thoughts on “Books and Movie Trailers

    • The older characters appealed to me. I don’t see many movies these days. As a grandmother I could relate to protecting a child at any cost. Reading Nomadland I tried to imagine what it would be to have to go on the road. Grateful for all that I have.

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  1. I generally read the book, and then sometimes, want to see the movie. I find far too often that the movie takes so many ‘creative liberties’ with the book that it changes the essence of the story. Thank you for the reviews; these sound interesting.

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  2. When I can, I always read the book first. I recall, decades ago, reading Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe. Fabulous novel! I was so disappointed with the film, even though it starred some actors I really like: Tom Hanks and Melanie Griffiths. I thought the casting was wrong.

    I’ve neither read the books nor seen the films you mention but I’m looking forward to seeing Nomadland. I don’t think I’ll read the book first as in this case, it’s non-fiction. I prefer fiction.

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    • I prefer reading the book too as I am often disappointed with the movie. The book seems so much richer and deeper most of the time. A few times I have been surprised and the movie just brought the book to life. From what I have read and seen, the movie, Nomadland, does a good job of blending the best of the non-fiction into fiction. I will probably see the movie.

      I go back and forth in my reading between fiction and non-fiction and don’t want a steady of either. But fiction is my real escape.

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  3. On another note, I read The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. Loved the book and because I thought it was such a great read, I’m not that interested in seeing the film. I’m more than satisfied with the reading experience.

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  4. I usually try to read the book first, if possible. A few times, after seeing a movie, I learned that it was based on a book. If I then read the book after, I usually find that the movie just scraped the surface – or even, in some cases – completely changed the story. Thanks for a heads up on these two books. I had no idea that Nomadland (which I haven’t seen but, because I love Frances McDormand, I had on my list) came from a book.

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    • So good to read your words on the on Coastal Cronie. I want to find the movie Let Him Go. Two of my favorite actors. I’m going to see if I can find it. By the way, if you haven’t watched Yellowstone stories with Kevin Costner. It is so good. About Ranch life of a family in Yellowstone.
      I miss you. Your pic is so pretty. Love you Cuz. Kim

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      • No, I have not seen Yellowstone stories. Costner is always good in westerns. May check it out. You are too kind, Kim! Sending hugs and love back to you, Cuz! Hope all is well with you. Doing ok here.

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  5. They are very few movies that are better than the book. The English Patient was a great movie and I did not like the book. I just saw News of the World with Tom Hanks . Even though I like Tom Hanks and the young German actress that played the girl was fantastic I prefer the book. It gives so much more depths to the story. Nomandland is on my list.

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    • The English Patient was a little hard to read but the movie did bring it to life. I haven’t seen News of the World. Yes, the book always provides that depth that cannot be captured fully on screen. I hope you enjoy Nomadland in whatever form. Nice to hear from you!

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    • Oh, good to know about News of the World, Gerlinde. Tom Hanks is usually so good, but I didn’t know much about this movie. The English Patient WAS a challenging book – I gave up on that one and watched the movie instead. 🙂

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    • Sometimes a movie can bring a book to life some even if it is not as good as the book. Most of the time I read the book first and often don’t see the movie. I haven’t been to a movie theater in years.

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  6. I rarely watch a movie: so rarely that I’m not sure which I saw last. Your question did make me realize something. If I’ve read a book, I don’t watch a film adaptation, and if I see a movie, I never read any book it’s based on. What I often will do is more research into whatever has piqued my interest in a film or book — provided something has!

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    • Reading the book and seeing the movie is a bit redundant, I suppose. Research is always good as movies can portray history or individuals differently. Just as we have to be careful of our sources of information. Hope all is well with you. Thanks for the visit to this part of the coast.

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    • Oh, I agree, Frank. “Nomadland” provides a look into a part of America that most of us do not see and is relevant for our times, especially with the unionizing at Amazon being rejected in Alabama. “Let Him Go” is dark and a little unreal to me with its violence. Thanks for traveling to my blog.

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  7. I almost always prefer the book to movies, so I think I’d rather see the movie first. Because then I wouldn’t be disappointed in the book. But when I read the book first and then see the movie, I’m always disappointed in the movie!

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  8. I almost always read the book first. And if I really like the book, I refuse to see the movie. Movies generally ruin a good book, in my opinion. But if I’m not likely to read a book (like I probably won’t read Let Him Go), I’ll see the movie. That said, I think I might get too sad, seeing that movie of Let Him Go. I have a hard time “letting go” when I see children in pain or neglected. Ack. Great reviews here.

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    • :”Let Him Go” has a semi-happy ending but still sad. The title can have a double meaning – Diane Lane’s character could not let the son’s memory go and she wanted the child’s mother and family to let the grandson go. Yes, it is hard to see violence against children. Ack, for sure. Thanks for dropping by!

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    • Oh, I was moved by the book too to think of so many in this country who had no secure home. Too often it is women who are left with little income and security in their later years, especially if there is not husband. Working at Amazon does not seem like an ideal part-time job for retirees. I am not sure I will see the movie. Hope all is well with you, Judith.

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  9. Sounds like an excellent read Jo, and Kevin Costner as a star, should give the film ratings… Happy reading and its good the library is now enabling downloads to kindle… I often find after a reading a book which has been made into a movie.. The movie disappoints me obviously they cant include all of the book.. But sometimes I have found it deviates from our own interpretation of the characters….in our minds eye when reading… lol..
    Sending Loads of love my friend… Enjoy dear Jo.. ❤ ❤

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    • Yes, Kevin Costner is always a draw for any movie. Our library has been closed except for curbside pick-up for over a year and is just now beginning to open up on a limited basis. I prefer holding that book but my Kindle has been great during the pandemic. The selection is limited so I am anxious for the library to open again. Take care!

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  10. I think the book is almost always better, although sometimes I enjoy both. I would often seek out a book if I’d enjoyed a film, or watch a film with trepidation when I’d read the book. Now, I’m more likely to just let a film stand without looking for the book to read.

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  11. Dear Jo Nell, A god-send! Book recommendation and a movie. We are desperate for something new and are tired to the death of scrolling through Netflix. We are in “stay in your home – stay in your health area – no unnecessary travelling). We have been short of vaccine and neither myself or Lar have received the second one. Our world has grown extremely small and will remain so until the end of May. Thank goodness we live in the country with a great deal of open space around us. Looking forward to the end of this but we must again continue to be heroic and do the right thing. XXXX Virginia

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  12. I was wondering how you both were doing. So sorry you have not received the second shot. Grateful to have had our second one and Son and Daughter have had second one too. We were able to be together a couple of weeks ago as a fully vaccinated family and celebrate Daughter’s birthday at home. (Will send a photo via email later.) Vaccines in US are available but so many distrust the vaccines and government. Does not make any sense.

    We still don’t get out much and masks are required in the places we go for basics. Yes, we must continue to be heroic and do the right thing. So happy to hear from you. Hugs!!! Books have kept me going and an occasional movie. Cheers!

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