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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 October 23, 2019

                                                              50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

                                                              50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

                                                              If you’re like me and really into self-development, you’ve probably read many of the thousands of self-help books out there on the market. But also like me, you probably find all the information a bit overwhelming.

                                                              That’s why I wanted to do the self-less task of taking the most important, life-changing lessons I’ve drawn from these books and condensed them into fifty key points.

                                                              Here’re 50 habits of highly successful people you should learn:

                                                              1. Believe It to See It

                                                              Our minds tend to focus on what’s happening around us and refuse to see what could happen. Only when you trust in what’s possible and dare to dream big, big things can happen for you.

                                                              2. See Problems as a Wonderful Gift

                                                              While others only see problems and give up, successful people use the problem as a lesson to find improvement in themselves or the task at hand.

                                                              3. Keep Looking for Solutions

                                                              Even if they’re knee-deep in problems, successful people will still put all of their focus on finding solutions.

                                                              4. Remember It’s All About the Journey

                                                              Successful people are conscious and methodical in creating their own success. They don’t sit around doing the bare minimum, hoping success finds them.

                                                              5. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

                                                              There’s so much fear on the road to success, but instead of letting that fear control and limit them, successful people do a good job of just forging ahead regardless.

                                                              6. Always Ask Productive Questions

                                                              It’s all about asking the right questions. Successful people make sure they are questions that will elicit information for a more productive, creative and positive mindset moving forward.

                                                              7. Understand the Best Waste of Energy Is Complaining

                                                              Successful people know that choosing to see the negative side of things will only create a useless and unproductive state.

                                                              8. Don’t Play the Blame Game

                                                              Taking responsibility for actions and outcomes is a form of empowerment that you can build your success upon. While the act of blaming others or outside circumstances takes this empowerment away from you.

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                                                              9. Maximize Your Strengths

                                                              Not every successful person is simply more talented than the rest, but they do use what they know they’re good at to achieve more successful results.

                                                              10. Be in It to Win It

                                                              Successful people are busy, productive and proactive. Instead of sitting around over-thinking and over-planning a great idea, they just take a step towards it no matter how small.

                                                              11. Know That Success Attracts Success

                                                              People who are successful surround themselves and seek out like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team and forge win-win relationships.

                                                              12. Actually Choose to Be Successful

                                                              Dreaming big is a massive part of being successful even if your dream seems impossible. Ambition is a mindset that needs to be a daily conscious choice.

                                                              13. Visualize, Visualize, Visualize!

                                                              You’ve got to see your success in your mind’s eye even before it comes. Successful people clarify and get that certainty about what they want their reality to look like rather than being mere spectators of life.

                                                              14. Be a One-Off Original

                                                              Successful people look for what’s working and then create a unique spin on it. Imitating only regurgitates other people’s ideas with no originality.

                                                              15. The Perfect Time to Act Is Now

                                                              Waiting for the right time to act is basically procrastination wrapped up in an excuse. Successful people know there’s never a perfect time so they may as well just do it now.

                                                              16. Keep Learning, Keep Growing

                                                              Continuous learning is the key to a successful life. Whether it’s academic, being a student of life or actionable learning, it’s all about expanding your knowledge and personal development.

                                                              17. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

                                                              Successful people have the knack for finding positive aspects in all people and circumstances no matter what.

                                                              18. Having a Bad Day? Do It Anyway!

                                                              We all have bad moods but it shouldn’t be an excuse to stop everything. Giving into a bad mood just stop-starts your life, slowing success way down.

                                                              19. Sometimes Risky Business Is Needed

                                                              Calculated risks are a must for success. It’s about weighing the pros and cons while moving forward with that element of trust.

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                                                              20. Accept Challenge All the Time

                                                              Dealing with problems head-on is a must to be successful. Successful people also face challenges in order to improve themselves.

                                                              21. Make Your Own Luck

                                                              In the mindset of a successful person, there’s no such thing as ‘luck’ or ‘fate’. They take control to actively and consciously create their own best life.

                                                              22. Ignite Your Initiative

                                                              While many people are reactive, successful people are proactive – taking action before they have to.

                                                              23. Be the Master of Your Emotions

                                                              Being effective at managing emotions is key on the road to success. That’s not to say successful people don’t feel like we all do, but they’re just not slaves to their emotions.

                                                              24. Champion in Communication

                                                              Consciously working on effective communication skills gets anyone closer to success.

                                                              25. Plan Your Life Strategically

                                                              Successful people’s lives aren’t a clumsy series of unplanned events and outcomes, they methodically work at turning their plans into a reality.

                                                              26. Become Exceptional at What You Do

                                                              To become exceptional, you typically have to do things that most won’t. To become successful, hard decisions need to be made and acting on them is crucial.

                                                              27. Choose to Live Outside of Your Comfort Zone

                                                              While many people are pleasure junkies and avoid pain and discomfort at all costs, successful people understand the value and benefits of working through the tough stuff that most would avoid.

                                                              28. Live by Core Values

                                                              Successful people firstly identify their core values and what’s important to them, then do their best to live a life that reflects these values.

                                                              29. Realize Money Isn’t Everything

                                                              Money and success are not interchangeable and the most successful people understand this. Putting money on a pedestal and equating it to success is a dangerous mindset to have. Success comes in many forms.

                                                              30. Don’t Get Carried Away

                                                              Successful people understand the importance of discipline and self-control and as a result they are happy to take the road less travelled.

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                                                              31. Self-Worth Is Not Tied to Success

                                                              Successful people are secure. They do not derive their self-worth from what they own, who they know, where they live or what they look like.

                                                              32. Kindness Breeds Kindness (And Success)

                                                              Generosity and kindness is a common trait among long-term successful people. It’s important to take pleasure in helping others achieve.

                                                              33. More Humility, Less Arrogance

                                                              Successful people are humble and happy to admit and apologize for mistakes. This is because they’re confident in their ability. They are happy to learn from others and happy to make others look good rather than seek their own personal glory.

                                                              34. Change Opens New Doors

                                                              People who are successful are adaptable and embrace change, while the majority are creatures of comfort and habit. They are comfortable with, and embrace, the new and the unfamiliar.

                                                              35. Success Requires a Healthy Body

                                                              It’s not just how you think, it’s about how you show up for success. Successful people understand the importance of being physically well, not for vain reasons but because being in tiptop condition creates a better personal life for success.

                                                              36. Laziness Just Doesn’t Exist

                                                              Successful people are never considered lazy. Yes, they can relax when they need to, but working hard is their game.

                                                              37. Resilience by the Bucket Load

                                                              When difficulty strikes, most would throw in the towel, but successful people are just warming up.

                                                              38. Feedback Is Just Another Chance to Improve

                                                              How people react to feedback determines their potential for success. Being open to constructive criticism and acting on it to improve is most seen in those who are successful.

                                                              39. Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

                                                              If people are hanging out with toxic and negative people, then they need to take a look at themselves. Successful people hang out with others who are positive and supportive.

                                                              40. Can’t Control It? Forget It

                                                              Successful people don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control of.

                                                              41. Swim Against the Tide

                                                              Successful people are not people-pleasers and they don’t need constant approval from others in order to move ahead.

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                                                              42. Alone Time Is Valuable Time

                                                              More self-worth means being more comfortable with your own company. Successful people are more happy and see the value in spending time alone.

                                                              43. Self-Standard Is Higher Than Most

                                                              Everyone has a choice to set high standards for themselves. Successful people do this, which in turn produces greater commitment, more momentum, a better work ethic and of course, better results.

                                                              44. Failure Isn’t Rationalized

                                                              While many use age, health, lack of time, ‘bad luck’, or lack of opportunity to explain away their failure, the key to success is finding a way to succeed despite facing these challenges.

                                                              45. Down Time Is an Important Part of a Routine

                                                              Having an off switch and taking time to do things that make them happy is a common trait of a successful person. Take a look at here The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                                                              46. Career Isn’t Who You Are, It’s What You Do

                                                              Successful people know their career isn’t their identity. They are multi-dimensional and don’t define themselves by their job.

                                                              47. Be Interested in Only the Path of Resistance

                                                              While most people look for the easiest way or the shortcut, successful people are more interested in the most effective way. They look for the course of action which will produce the best results over the long term.

                                                              48. Follow Through

                                                              Many spend their life starting things that they never finish, but successful people get the job done. Even when the excitement and the novelty has worn off they still follow through and finish.

                                                              49. Invest in All Your Dimensions

                                                              We’re not just physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well. Successful people consciously work at being healthy and productive on all levels.

                                                              50. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

                                                              To obtain success, it’s important to practice what you preach. Successful people don’t talk about the theory, they live the reality.

                                                              So there you have it, a summary of what I’ve learned from self-help books. But of course, you need to start taking actions so you will get closer to success too.

                                                              More About Success

                                                              Featured photo credit: Juan Jose via unsplash.com

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