Written by Lília

I’m not the biggest nonfiction fan, but some stories are so compelling they expand my genre-reading. The following books, all which deal with pressing issues of our times, have been turned into some pretty incredible movies. Whether you prefer to read about them (like me), or see them in celluloid form, don’t miss out!

Books to movies:

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin

As the most famous scientist of his generation, J. Robert Oppenheimer was the director of the Manhattan Project, responsible for developing the atomic bomb. In the film Oppenheimer, based on this Pulitzer-Prize-winning book, Christopher Nolan takes us beyond the laboratory to reveal this brilliant, ambitious, complex and flawed man who was profoundly involved with some of the momentous events of the twentieth century.

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

A masterpiece of narrative non-fiction set around an American crime and the birth of the FBI, this is an investigative account of a forgotten moment in history. Martin Scorcese brings us a beautiful rendition of this piece of forgotten American history. You can watch the trailer here.

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma, after oil was discovered beneath their land. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. As the death toll climbed, the FBI took up the case. But the bureau badly bungled the investigation. In desperation, its young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. Together with the Osage, he and his undercover team began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.

She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey

On October 5, 2017, The New York Times published an article by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey that helped change the world. Hollywood was talking as never before. Kantor and Twohey outmaneuvered Harvey Weinstein, his team of defenders and private investigators, convincing some of the most famous women in the world – and some unknown ones – to go on the record.
Three years later, it helped lead to his conviction. You can watch the trailer here.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

When in her thirties Elizabeth Gilbert realizes she does not want a husband, a house and a baby, she goes looking for herself and the three basic things she has been missing: pleasure, devotion and balance.
Gilbert’s tome was turned into a movie starring Julia Roberts. You can watch the trailer here.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston

In this incredible adventure, Aron Ralston candidly describes the six days he spent pinned down by a bolder, thinking about all the ways possible to free himself, remembering his life and the people he loved. The book also reveals the efforts his family and friends made to find him in time.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place was brought to the silver screen as 127 Hours, starring James Franco as Aron Ralston.

Wild by Chery Strayed

In the wake of her mother’s death, Cheryl thought she lost everything: her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail—alone.
Told with suspense and style, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all the odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened and, ultimately, healed her.
Director Jean-Marc Vallée was so emotionally moved by the book he decided to turn it into a movie featuring Reese Witherspoon. You can watch the trailer here.