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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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                                                              Elizabeth Andal

                                                              Elizabeth is a passionate writer who shares about lifestyle tips and lessons learned in life on Lifehack.

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                                                              Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                                                              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                                              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                                              Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                                                              You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                                                              Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                                                              1. Work on the small tasks.

                                                              When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                                                              Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                                                              2. Take a break from your work desk.

                                                              Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                                                              Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                                                              3. Upgrade yourself

                                                              Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                                                              The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                                                              4. Talk to a friend.

                                                              Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                                                              Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                                                              5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                                                              If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                                                              Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                                                              Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                                                              6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                                                              If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                                                              Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                                                              Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                                                              7. Read a book (or blog).

                                                              The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                                                              Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                                                              Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                                                              8. Have a quick nap.

                                                              If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                                                              9. Remember why you are doing this.

                                                              Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                                                              What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                                                              10. Find some competition.

                                                              Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                                                              Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                                                              11. Go exercise.

                                                              Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                                                              Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                                                              As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                                                              Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                                                              12. Take a good break.

                                                              Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                                                              Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                                                              Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                                                              Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                                                              More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                                                              Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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