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10 Books You Need to Read Before Watching their Movies

10 Books You Need to Read Before Watching their Movies

A good book can quickly turn into a blockbuster on the big  screen. It is tempting to skip the trip to the library and go straight to the movie theater, however it is important to consider what you are potentially missing out on. Some novels need to be read before experienced as a film, and here are some novels you don’t want to miss.

1.The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (2002): Fragility of life

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      “Each time I told my story, I lost a bit, the smallest drop of pain. It was that day that I knew I wanted to tell the story of my family. Because horror on Earth is real and it is every day. It is like a flower or like the sun; it cannot be contained.”

      — Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

      Murdered at a tragically young age, Susie Salmon narrates the events in the world of the living after her passing. While the film adaptation is visually entrancing, thrilling and emotional, there are a few key events, thoughts and character developments featured in the novel that are not included.

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        Scene from the film Source: imgarcade.com

        Most prominently noted, the crucial rape and murder scene which is described in graphic detail at the beginning of the novel is almost entirely left out in the film adaptation. While it makes the film more accessible to younger audiences, it interferes with some elements of emotion that are crucial to the full experience of Susie’s story. Although the novel is a little bit more emotionally confronting than the film, it is worth forming the emotional connections with the characters and understanding their stories and struggles before sitting down to watch the movie.

        2. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult (2004): Sisterhood and sacrifice

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            “If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one? Or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone?”

            —Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

            A number of characters are omitted, and if they remain in the novel, certain aspects are altered, for example, age, personality and a few of their actions. The most prominent difference however lies in the endings, as a different sister dies in each version.

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              Scene from the film Source: popsugar.com

              Reading the novel first to get understand the originally plot line will make you a great deal more understanding of the different events that occur in the film adaptation.

              3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (2012): Love through sickness and health

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                  “Maybe ‘okay’ will be our ‘always”’

                  —John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

                  The novel tells the story of two young cancer patients, fighting not only for love but for their lives. The film follows the plot of the novel quite closely, with minor alterations. It is impossible to create the full emotional impact of the novel into a feature-length film.

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                    Scene from the film Source: hellogiggles.com

                    Like most movie adaptations, certain scenes and character traits are left out, which would have been essential to the success of the plot, so while the differences between the novel and the film are actually not too drastic, it would probably be best to read the novel first.

                    4. Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris (1988): Through madness can you find peace

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                        “But the face on the pillow, rosy in the firelight, is certainly that of Clarice Starling, and she sleeps
                        deeply, sweetly, in the silence of the lambs.”

                        —Thomas Harris, The Silence of the Lambs

                        The 2nd installation in the series starring the infamous Hannibal Lecter is as much of a spectacle in the novel as it is on the big screen. Again, this film adaptation follows the novel very closely, with the occasional omitted or altered event.

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                          Scene from the film Source: screengoblin.com

                          The most important factor to remember is that Hannibal Lecter is such a mysterious and intimidating character that being familiar with both the film and novel versions of him would be beneficial to the full experience of the character. The film interpretation of Lecter (played by Anthony Hopkins) was an absolutely amazing performance,however,using your imagination and previously making your own expectations about the character before watching the film can be a great deal more exciting.

                          5. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (2012): Fear of Commitment

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                              “Tampon commercial, detergent commercial, maxi pad commercial, windex commercial – you’d think all women do is clean and bleed.”
                              ― Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

                              The main beauty of the story lies in the mystery viewers and readers experience. However the  suspense is build using different means in each version.

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                                Scene from the film Source: fastcocreate.com

                                As a novel, the story is narrated from different perspectives, and it would be best to view these perspectives before seeing how they are portrayed in the film adaptation.

                                6. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein (1954): Bravery and Courage

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                                    “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
                                    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
                                    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”
                                    ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

                                    The temptation to leave the novels out of mind lies in the fact that the books were published a very long time ago, making them very difficult to read, especially to younger people.

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                                      Scene from the film Source: slantmagazine.com

                                      However by reading the books first, you have already formed a world in your own imagination, watching the movie later on will affirm the scenes you have previously envisioned.

                                      7. The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown (2003): Conflict in faith and Knowledge

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                                          “Faith ― acceptance of which we imagine to be true, that which we cannot prove.”
                                          ― Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code

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                                            Scene from the movie Source: theguardian.com

                                            While it can be argued that reading the novel first can provide ‘spoilers’, leading to less enjoyment of the film adaptation, it would be useful to know the events beforehand, and therefore enjoy the way that the film adaptation can surprise you in how the mysteries are portrayed. You may know what exactly will happen, however you do not know exactly how it will happen.

                                            8. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (2008): Stand up for what’s right

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                                                “May the odds be ever in your favor!”
                                                ― Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

                                                A reader can build strong relationships with the characters whilst reading the novel, and imagine the world of the story by themselves. Sometimes reading a book allows you to enter into the world of the story.

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                                                  Scene from the film Source: thedailymail.com

                                                  Some people prefer returning to something familiar when viewing a film adaptation, therefore getting familiar with the plot and the characters can lead to the best viewing experience.

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                                                  9. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (1950): Lessons must be learned yourself

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                                                      “Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs. Nothing else matters.”
                                                      ― C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia

                                                      Again, the drastic difference in language and context in such an old book is not as accessible to certain audiences as the film adaptation.

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                                                        Scene from the film Source: firstshowing.net

                                                        However the novel is very helpful in understanding the events of the film and the context under which it was written. C.S. Lewis is a very descriptive author, and not every detail can make it into the film. In this case, while it is difficult, reading the novel is essential for the greatest enjoyment of the story.

                                                        10. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (1997): Friendship, Love and Loyalty

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                                                            “It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.”
                                                            ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

                                                            The magical lands of J.K. Rowling’s novel are the object of many childrens’ imaginations around the world.

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                                                              Scene from the film Source: tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com

                                                              Watching this imagined land come to life on the big screen can be considered a dream come true to some people. This same feeling cannot be related to by people who haven’t read the books. It can be argued therefore that the real ‘magic’ of Harry Potter can only be experienced by reading the novels first.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Soft photo of woman on the bed with old book and cup of coffee, top view point via shutterstock.com

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                                                              Last Updated on December 2, 2018

                                                              How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                                                              How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                                                              Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

                                                              The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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                                                              The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

                                                              Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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                                                              Review Your Past Flow

                                                              Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

                                                              Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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                                                              Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

                                                              Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

                                                              Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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                                                              Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

                                                              Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

                                                              We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

                                                              Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

                                                                Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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