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Expect Expecting

I admit I was a bit puzzled by news that Lionsgate acquired the feature film rights to the pregnancy guide What to Expect When You’re Expecting. It’s not that Expecting isn’t famous enough to carry a movie—almost a quarter century old, it’s sold 16 million copies and is now in its fourth printing. (USA Today once noted that Expecting is read by 93 percent of pregnant women who buy a pregnancy book.) So what’s the problem? Just a little matter of a—how shall I say?—plot. And main character. And fictional or real-life narrative. I’m making fun, but the truth is, it’s not all that unusual for decidedly un-cinematic how-to or self-help guides to end up on the big-screen. In 1972, Woody Allen went to crazy town with the ür-sexual revolution text Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask). And just last year, the dating guide He’s Just Not That Into You somehow extended its 15 minutes even longer with a big-screen romantic comedy of the same name. What else am I missing? And what totally illogical book would you like to see adapted as a movie? I pick Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. But maybe I’m just hungry.