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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 February 18, 2019

                                                              13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

                                                              13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

                                                              Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

                                                              Why is this so critically important to you?

                                                              The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

                                                              Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

                                                              1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

                                                              Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

                                                              When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

                                                              • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
                                                              • The man facing the judge.
                                                              • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
                                                              • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
                                                              • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
                                                              • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

                                                              These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

                                                              Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

                                                              Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

                                                              2. Accept Your Fear

                                                              Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

                                                              We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

                                                              And here’s what can be done.

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                                                              3. Get Some Perspective

                                                              I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

                                                              And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

                                                              That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

                                                              We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

                                                              So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

                                                              • Are you really at risk?
                                                              • Will this kill you?
                                                              • Which leads us on to..
                                                              • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

                                                              4. Hold a Hand

                                                              As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

                                                              Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

                                                              We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

                                                              Ask yourself:

                                                              • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
                                                              • Could that really happen?
                                                              • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
                                                              • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

                                                              By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

                                                              5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

                                                              This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

                                                              Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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                                                              The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

                                                              It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

                                                              For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

                                                              Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

                                                              6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

                                                              I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

                                                              Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

                                                              Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

                                                              Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

                                                              Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

                                                              Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

                                                              7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

                                                              Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

                                                              I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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                                                              It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

                                                              One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

                                                              Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

                                                              It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

                                                              8. Assume the Worse

                                                              If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

                                                              Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

                                                              • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
                                                              • Think about how they feel about champagne?
                                                              • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

                                                              And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

                                                              When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

                                                              Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

                                                              9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

                                                              If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

                                                              Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

                                                              Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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                                                              10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

                                                              One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

                                                              11. Go with Fear

                                                              When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

                                                              I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

                                                              Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

                                                              One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

                                                              However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

                                                              We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

                                                              12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

                                                              And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

                                                              The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

                                                              What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

                                                              13. Own Your Fear

                                                              Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

                                                              We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

                                                              You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

                                                              More Resources About Fighting Fear

                                                              Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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