Oscars Countdown: What to Read (and Watch) After Top Gun: Maverick
Lit Hub’s Literary Countdown to the 95th Academy Awards
Sure, we’re a website about books, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get in on the Oscars fun, too. (Exhibit A: If they gave Oscars to books, our 2022 nominees.) And while there are few adaptations in this year’s lineup, we’ll still be tuning in on Sunday to celebrate storytelling, judge the Academy’s taste, and perhaps witness some live drama. In the meantime, we’re recommending the books and films you and should read and watch next for each Best Picture contender. And the nominee is: Top Gun: Maverick.
There are, probably, no two movies in the world less alike than Top Gun: Maverick, a nostalgic, technically audacious movie about talented fighter pilots in the U.S. Navy, and of the 2003 comic masterpiece School of Rock, a movie about a man who impersonates a substitute teacher and tricks his fourth-grade students into competing against adults in a local Battle of the Bands tournament.
And yet, after I saw Top Gun: Maverick in theaters this past year, I was gripped, transfixed by the overlaps between the two films. (Keep reading)
READ THIS, WATCH THAT:
Maggie Shipstead, Great Circle
Here’s what I know about Top Gun: Maverick: PLANES! Well, the best book I’ve ever read about planes is far and beyond Maggie Shipstead’s Great Circle, an intensely immersive, multi-perspective novel centering around Marian Graves, an Amelia Earhart–esque character who falls in love with flying planes as a teenager in early 19th-century Montana. The book is set to be adapted for TV—so while it can’t win an Oscar, I’ll hope for an Emmy. –Eliza Smith, special projects editor
Let’s be honest: there are few things in this world that can hold a candle to Top Gun: Maverick. What a height of cinema!! But here goes nothing. If you liked Top Gun: Maverick, perhaps you should read Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Don’t laugh. Hear me out. Both are about a man being haunted by his father’s untimely death, hungry for revenge. If you need to picture Miles Teller as Hamlet, so be it. –Katie Yee, associate editor
Geoff Dyer, Another Great Day at Sea
Geoff Dyer is a man who enjoys exploring his own interests and obsessions to the fullest, and it seems as if each time he finds a subject to explore, he manages to make it fascinating to virtually everyone around him. Here, he documents the mundane, the bizarre, the comical, and the disturbing aboard a massive aircraft carrier. Sadly, there are no ship’s cats, but otherwise, this book is a fascinating and deeply human portrayal of an entire contained world. If you enjoyed this book, check out Zona, Dyer’s take on Tarkovsky’s cult classic Stalker. –Molly Odintz, CrimeReads senior editor
Top Gun (1986)
It might be obvious, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t right. And honestly, it’s worth revisiting just to be inspired by the fact that Tom Cruise is still pulling this off 36 years later. Maybe Scientology has been the way all along?? –Emily Temple, managing editor