The Blagger's Guide To...The books behind The Oscars

Half of this year's 'Best Films' are based on books

*David Seidler's film The King's Speech was already in pre-production when Mark Logue, the grandson of George VI's speech therapist Lionel Logue, uncovered the latter's diaries, written in pencil on Basildon Bond paper, and copies of the King's speeches annotated by Logue himself.

The film was quickly amended, but the diaries, speeches and handwritten letters from the King were used by Mark Logue and the journalist Peter Conradi in compiling their far more comprehensive book, The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy (Quercus, £12.99). Among other things that never made it to film are a Christmas cracker joke enjoyed by the King, and the contents of a letter from the Queen Mother to Logue: "[The King] was such a splendid person, and I don't believe that he ever thought of himself at all," she wrote. "I did so hope that he might have been allowed a few years of comparative peace after the many anguished years he had to battle through so bravely. But it was not to be."

*127 Hours, directed by Danny Boyle, is based on the 2004 autobiography of the climber Aron Ralston, Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Pocket Books, £7.99). It was reviewed by the mountaineer and writer Robert Macfarlane. "Fear-seekers will be gripped," he wrote.

*Winter's Bone, written and directed by Debra Granik, is an adaptation of the 2006 novel of the same name by Daniel Woodrell (Sceptre, £7.99). Most of his eight novels are set in the Missouri Ozarks. He has coined the term "country noir" to define his work.

*Aaron Sorkin's The Social Network is based on the 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal, by the Harvard-educated author Ben Mezrich. He has written four other non-fiction books and seven novels. One of these, Reaper, has become a TBS network movie starring Robert Wagner. Mezrich's Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cow-boys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Millions (Arrow, £8.99) has been optioned as a movie with a screenplay by Robert Schenkkan, who adapted Graham Greene's The Quiet American for the big screen. (Michael Caine was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his part in it.)

*The Coen brothers' True Grit is the second film adaptation of Charles Portis's novel of the same name, which was first published as a serial in The Saturday Evening Post in 1968. Nora Ephron's book, I Remember Nothing, reveals that she dated Portis after they met at Newsweek in 1962. Portis, she writes, "was a wonderful writer with a spectacular and entirely eccentric style ... [who] was no good at all at writing the formulaic, voiceless, unbylined stories ... that Newsweek printed".

*Black Swan is a 2007 book by Nicholas Nassim Taleb (Penguin, £9.99) about "our blindness with respect to randomness". The film Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman, has nothing to do with random events but is based on Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake, which was inspired partly by the Russian fairy tale "The White Duck". The story was included in the 1894 Yellow Fairy Book (Dover Publications, £12.99) – part of the series which, along with The Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare, contain all of the best stories ever told. (Disney's version of the Blue Fairy Book's "Beauty and the Beast", for example, was the first of only three animated films ever to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. The third is Toy Story 3, nominated this year.)

Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam