BEST PICTURE – DRAMA
12 Years a Slave
Twelve Years a Slave
by Solomon Northup
The story that inspired the major motion picture, with an introduction by the bestselling author of Wench, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Twelve Years a Slave is a harrowing, vividly detailed, and utterly unforgettable account of slavery.
Solomon Northup was an entrepreneur and dedicated family man, father to three young children, Elizabeth, Margaret, and Alonzo. What little free time he had after long days of manual and farm labor he spent reading books and playing the violin. Though his father was born into slavery, Solomon was born and lived free.
In March 1841, two strangers approached Northup, offering him employment as a violinist in a town hundreds of miles away from his home in Saratoga Springs, New York. Solomon bid his wife farewell until his return. Only after he was drugged and bound did he realize the strangers were kidnappers-that nefarious brand of criminals in the business of capturing runaway and free blacks for profit. Thus began Northup’s horrific life as a slave.
A Captain’s Duty
by Richard Phillips
8th April 2009 was just an ordinary day for 53 -year-old Richard Phillips, captain of the United States-registered cargo vessel, the Maersk Alabama, as it headed towards the port of Mombasa. Ordinary that is until, two hundred or so miles off the east coast of Africa, armed Somali pirates attacked and boarded the freighter. It was the first time an American cargo ship had been hijacked in over 200 years.
What the pirates didn’t expect was that the crew would fight back, nor did they expect Captain Phillips to offer himself as a hostage in exchange for the safety of his crew – a courageous gesture that resulted in his being help captive on a tiny life-boat off the anarchic, gun-plagued coast of Somalia. And so began a tense five-day stand-off, which ended in a daring high-seas rescue by U.S. Navy SEALs.
by Martin Sixsmith
When she fell pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to the convent at Roscrea in Co. Tipperary to be looked after as a fallen woman. She cared for her baby for three years until the Church took him from her and sold him, like countless others, to America for adoption.
Coerced into signing a document promising never to attempt to see her child again, she nonetheless spent the next fifty years secretly searching for him, unaware that he was searching for her from across the Atlantic.
BEST PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
The Sting Man
by Robert W. Greene
The Sting Man tells the inside story of Mel Weinberg. From hustling on the streets of the Bronx to selling bogus businesses and sham investments around the world, Weinberg netted millions of dollars. So legendary were his skills that in the late 1970s he was recruited by the FBI to combat art thieves and counterfeiters. But the trail quickly led to even bigger targets.
His legendary sting operation, Abscam, caught eight corrupt congressmen and senators. The scandal shook America to the core.
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Mayor of MacDougal Street
by Dave Van Ronk
Dave Van Ronk was one of the founding figures of the 1960s folk revival, but he was far more than that. A pioneer of modern acoustic blues, a fine songwriter and arranger, a powerful singer, and one of the most influential guitarists of the ’60s, he was also a marvelous storyteller, a peerless musical historian, and one of the most quotable figures on the Village scene.
The Mayor of MacDougal Street is a first-hand account by a major player in the social and musical history of the ’50s and ’60s. It features encounters with young stars-to-be like Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, and Joni Mitchell, as well as older luminaries like Reverend Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, and Odetta.
The Wolf Of Wall Street
The Wolf Of Wall Street
by Jordan Belfort
From the binge that sunk a 170-foot motor yacht, crashed a Gulfstream jet, and ran up a $700,000 hotel tab, to the wife and kids who waited for him for at home, and the fast-talking, hard-partying young stockbrokers who called him king and did his bidding.
Here, in his own inimitable words, is the story of the ill-fated genius they called …
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
About the Contributor
Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.
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