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10 Books to Read Before the Oscars

These 10 Oscar-nominated films have one thing in common: They all started off as brilliant books! Here’s a reading list inspired by the 88th Academy Awards.

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When the nominees for the 88th Academy Awards were announced in mid-January, several titles would’ve rung a bell with avid readers. In fact, 2016 might well become known as the year that books took over the big screen! Check out this reading list of books that inspired this year’s most outstanding films. How many have you read?

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1. The Revenant by Michael Punke

Leading the pack with a whopping 12 Oscar nominations, Michael Punke’s The Revenant could very well be the vehicle for Leonardo diCaprio’s elusive Academy Award win. Punke’s novel is a thrilling (and true) tale set against the 19th-century American frontier, in which diCaprio’s character, fur-trapper Hugh Glass, is driven to survive in the wilderness by one desire: Revenge.

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2. Carol by Patricia Highsmith

Oscar nominations: 6

First published in 1952 under the title, The Price of Salt, Carol is described by the book experts at Chapters Indigo as “one of the most important, but still largely unrecognized, novels of the twentieth century.” Like The Revenant, it’s based on a true story of obsession. Unlike The Revenant, this obsession is a romantic one.

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3. The Martian by Andy Weir

Oscar nominations: 6

Matt Damon earned a nod from the Academy for his performance as Mark Watney, an astronaut left for dead after a dust storm in the adaptation of Andy Weir’s The Martian. It’s a dramatic novel that will keep you guessing from page one. (Unless, of course, you’ve already seen the flick.)

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4. Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church by the Investigative Staff of the Boston Globe

Oscar nominations: 6

The book that triggered a crisis in the Vatican and around the world, Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church was translated to the silver screen as Spotlight in 2015. It’s a ground-breaking book that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, and, according to the book experts at Chapters Indigo, “stands as one of the most significant works of investigative journalism in recent history.”

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5. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis

Oscar nominations: 5

If the name Michael Lewis sounds familiar, it’s with good reason-he’s the man who penned best-sellers-turned-big-budget-blockbusters, Moneyball and The Blind Side. For a hat trick, he delivers The Big Short, a tale of four outsiders in the world of high-finance who predict the housing bubble collapse before anyone else.

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6. The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff

Oscar nominations: 4

In The Danish Girl, David Ebershoff tells the story of transgender pioneer Lili Elbe-a woman torn between loyalty to her marriage and her own ambitions and desires. As Lili, Eddie Redmayne earns a second Oscar nomination for Actor in a Leading Role-a category which he won with 2014’s The Theory of Everything.

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7. Room by Emma Donoghue

Oscar nominations: 4

Even if Room doesn’t snag Best Picture, the novel that spawned the film has already garnered an impressive list of honours and distinctions. Not just an international best-seller, Emma Donoghue’s poignant tale of a mother and son escaping from captivity also won the Hughes & Hughes Irish Nobel of the Year and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book.

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8. Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

Oscar nominations: 3

Colm Toibin’s coming-of-age tale is set in-you guessed it-Brooklyn, where Irish emigrant Eilis Lacey is attempting to forge a new life out on her own. The crowded boarding-house that serves as her new home only deepens Eilis’s sense of isolation, giving actress Saorise Ronan (nominated for Actress in a Leading Role) plenty to sink her teeth into.

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9. Steve Jobs: A Biography by Walter Isaacson

Oscar nominations: 2

When it comes to beach reads, there’s nothing like a juicy biography, and Water Isaacson delivers the goods in Steve Jobs. Based on more than 40 interviews with friends, family and colleagues of the enigmatic Apple founder, Isaacson documents the highs and lows-both personal and professional-of a man whose relentless drive to innovate ultimately changed the world.

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10. Trumbo by Bruce Cook

Oscar nominations: 1

Hollywood loves movies about Hollywood-and in the case of the remarkable Trumbo, that vanity is entirely justified. Based on Bruce Cook’s novel, Trumbo tells the story of the Hollywood Ten: screenwriters who were blacklisted and jailed during the “Red Scare” of the late 1940s. The versatile Bryan Cranston plays the titular character, earning his first Academy Award nomination for Actor in a Leading Role.