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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 January 3, 2020

                                                              The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

                                                              The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

                                                              Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

                                                              The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

                                                              1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

                                                              Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

                                                               I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

                                                              To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

                                                              And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

                                                               2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

                                                              Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

                                                              3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

                                                              Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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                                                              4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

                                                              The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

                                                              5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

                                                              Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

                                                              6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

                                                              Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

                                                              7. Positive people smile a lot!

                                                              When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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                                                              8. People who are positive are great communicators.

                                                              They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

                                                              9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

                                                              One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

                                                              10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

                                                              Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

                                                              How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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                                                              I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

                                                              Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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