Tag Archives: movies

Week 5 Reading: Frankenstein

Well folks, this week starts week 5 of our book challenge, and brings around our fifth book! This should be an interesting one, because this week overlaps two months – September and October – and therefore overlaps two themes. I wanted to incorporate September’s theme – books that have been made into Movies/TV Shows – but also start off our Halloween month with a bang! What could be a better choice than Mary Shelley’s classic horror novel, Frankenstein?!


I have, to my great embarrassment, never read this book!! I’m really looking forward to diving into the Romantic Era novel, and discovering one of the most renowned classic horror novels! I spent 8 weeks over the summer taking a Romantic and Modern British Literature course for my BA in English, and we read a lot of Percy Shelley’s (Mary’s husband) work, but never even touched on Mary’s work – arguably the most famous of the Shelley pieces.

This book has been made into multiple movie adaptations, featuring everyone from Bela Lugosi to Robert De Niro as Frankenstein’s monster. My favorite adaptation, however, was Mel Brook’s parody “Young Frankenstein.”

I hope you get inspired to pick up Frankenstein for a read along this week, and start getting into the Halloween spirit! Decorations go up around my house on the first for a full month of Halloween, and Frankenstein is a great way to start it all off!


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The Book Was Better

Okay, usually the book is better… this isn’t a secret. This list would go on forever if I were to list all of them. However, there are a few movies I’ve seen that I LOVED, yet the book was just that much better. Here’s my Top 5. If you’ve seen the movie and liked it, you should try giving these books a shot.

1. Gone With the Wind – Margret Mitchell


This is my favorite movie. I love everything about it. The story is heart wrenching, the cinematography is beautiful, and the acting is spot on. The book, however, is head-and-shoulders above the movie (which is saying something). Margret Mitchell doesn’t just introduce you to characters, places and history, she draws you in, and makes you feel like YOU are experiencing the Civil War, the Reconstruction and the destruction of the South.

SPOILERS – If you only watch the movie you miss: the fact that Scarlett has a child with each of her husbands; a great deal of the history (the book goes in depth to many historical topics that the book only brushes on); the actual strength of Melanie (who is portrayed in the movie to be a rather weak, but loveable, character).

2. Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling


Don’t get me wrong – I have greatly enjoyed the Harry Potter movies, but the books are SO MUCH BETTER. These books were my “gateway books” – that is, they showed me how to love to read! While they may seem juvenile, they can be enjoyed by all audiences, and contain a hefty amount of mythological references. If you’ve only seen the movies (and never read the books) you’re missing out on a whole magical world, and characters you will love. Adults: get over your “grown up” attitude, and FINALLY read these books!

SPOILERS – If you only watch the movie you miss: the story of Neville Longbottom; Nearly Headless Nick’s Deathday Party; a lot of Dursley plot line; Dumbledore’s past; and so much more.

3. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkein


I hate to hate on Peter Jackson (cause his Lord of the Rings adaptation was A+), but I was kind of disappointed in The Hobbit. I really enjoyed the thrill ride (of the first) and am looking forward to the next installment, but the book didn’t need all the changes the film gave it. Again, this might be considered a “children’s book,” but it has a lot to offer adults as well. Anyone who loves the world of Tolkein (LOTR, or the Hobbit or otherwise), should pick up The Hobbit. It’s only just over 300 pages long and can be a quick read!

 SPOILERS If you only watch the movie you miss: … the fact that Jackson created some characters and plot to turn a 300 page book into three movies.

4. The Road – Cormac McCarthy


This movie is great – and it sticks to the plot line of McCarthy’s book perfectly. But still, the book was better (sorry, Viggo. I still love you!). McCarthy’s words are… breathtaking. It’s like reading poetry. Post-apocalyptic poetry, but poetry all the same. The story is, in general, actually very slow – it’s about a man and his son struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, making their way along the road, trying to get to the coast (essentially because they have nothing better to do). McCarthy’s storytelling, however, tugs on your heartstrings and makes you fall in love with this book.

SPOILERS – If you only watch the movie you miss: not much in plot line, but the stunning storytelling should not be missed.

5. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins


 Listen … the movie is crap (at least the first installment is, the second looks much more promising). I enjoyed it simply because I read the book, so I had more insight into the plot. The problem is, the book takes place mainly in Katniss (the main character)’s head. When she’s thrust into the arena to kill her fellow teenagers (you’re probably extremely confused if you haven’t seen the movie), there’s very little dialogue, and most of the story telling is told through her musings. This is hard to translate into a movie. With the book, however, you get much more insight into the characters and the history of Panem (the post-apocalyptic take on America). Yea, yea, yea – they’re mainstream and ::shudder:: young adult novels (technically), but personally I think they’re more appropriate for an adult audience (if I can get a unit of grown US Marines to read and enjoy them, trust me, they’re good!). I’m looking forward to the second movie, which includes MUCH MORE dialogue, action and drama.

SPOILERS – If you only watched the movie you miss: Madge; a background of Panem and the Games that makes you understand what the hell is actually going on; about 2/3 of the character development for our heroine; most likely the second movie (since the first movie gave you NO encouragement to see the second)

What about you? What movies did you enjoy, but found yourself thinking it paled in comparison to the book?


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Happy Birthday to “The Hobbit”

Since we’re keeping with a theme of Books made into Movies/TV shows… .

On this day in 1937, J.R.R. Tolkien’s story The Hobbit was published!


Let’s just take a minute to appreciate 1) the fact that this book is still popular after so long – so popular, in fact, the major motion pictures, which make MILLIONS of dollars, are captivating audiences who’s grandparents weren’t even alive when the book was first published; and 2) that Tolkien created an entire world – Middle Earth – complete with multiple languages, a rich background, and entire civilizations. Tolkien’s books have played a huge role in my love for literature and reading (thanks, Mom, for letting me read and re-read your books)!

So let me just say “Happy Birthday, Middle Earth, and thank you Mr. Tolkien!”


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Week 3 Reading: The Great Gatsby

In keeping with the Movie/TV Show Theme for September (that is, books that have been adapted into movie or TV shows), this week’s reading will be F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic – The Great Gatsby.

While most of us probably read this book in high school, I thought it was time to revisit it! The movie, staring the fabulous Leonardo DiCaprio (who else could follow in Robert Redford’s footprints?!), just came out on DVD, and I’ve been holding off on watching it so I could finish my re-read.

Now, if you’re wanting to read it, but don’t want to pay a ton of money for it, try visiting the library. If you can’t find it there (it is a popular book, and required reading in most schools), you can find the FREE ebook here


Who doesn’t like free?!

So I hope you’ll read this classic American novel along with me!

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In your words… again…

Keeping with out Movie/TV adaptations theme for September (that is, books that have been turned – or are being turned – into movies or TV shows), I asked some followers on my Facebook page what their FAVORITE book to movie/TV show adaptations were. Here are some responses:

Sara: “The Help. I thought the book told the story better.” (Regina says: “I haven’t read the book yet, but the movie was fantastic! Maybe we can find somewhere in this challenge for ‘The Help.’”)

Christina: “A Clockwork Orange. It’s one of the few I feel actually met and exceeded expectations. A close second would be Fight Club even though the ending was different”

Erin: “GAME OF THRONES” (Regina says: “I agree 100%!!!)

Anna: “One of my top favs is Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend and the screen adaptation.. Our Mutual Friend (1998 TV serial) .. Dumas’ Count Of Monte Cristo was a pretty good book to screen adaptation…at least they didn’t completely butcher how fun a story that it….Edson’ Wit was amazing. Cooper’ The Last Of The Mohicans was wonderful!.. I almost liked the movie better..(probably because Daniel-Day Lewis is beyond sexually attractive).. as was Leroux’ The Phantom Of The Opera.. mmmm , more contemporary is Larsson’ The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo.. Niels Arden Oplev did a great job with the screen adaptation.. Are you just looking for big thick impressive books??? cause.. Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle was such a GREAT screen adaptation.”

Julia: “City of Ember”

So what are your thoughts? What are some of the better book-to-movie/TV show adaptations out there?


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In your words…

Keeping with the Movie/TV theme for September (that is, books that have been made into movies or tv shows) I asked followers on the My Year in Book Reviews Facebook page what they thought the WORST book-to-movie (or TV show) adaptations are. Here are a few suggestions:

Christina: “Choke, even thought I do like the movie… it’s not easy to follow on it’s own. If you haven’t read the book it’s a lot harder to get into.”

Haley: “The Host (don’t judge me) I liked the book – kind of like invasion of the body snatchers from the aliens’ point of view – but the movie was horrible. Trying to have a conversation in your head with the same voice was bad enough, but they did a terrible job with the character development. It was boring and they added action that never happened in the book. Just all around bad.” (Regina says: “No judgment from me… we all have our guilty pleasures!)

Erin: “Battlefield Earth”

Anna: “We just watched Burton’s Alice in Wonderland again and it has to be on the list of ‘MOST UNLIKE THE BOOK.’” (Regina says: “I haven’t read ‘Alice in Wonderland’ but I can’t imagine Burton’s take on it was anything like how it was supposed to be… but that’s kind of Burton’s style”)

So what to you think? What, in your opinion, are some of the WORST book-to-movie adaptations?



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