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20 Amazing Novels You Should Read Before You Watch The Movies Based on Them

20 Amazing Novels You Should Read Before You Watch The Movies Based on Them

There’s nothing better than sinking into your comfy chair with a wonderful book and being drifted off into a whole new world. A world that isn’t yours. Many will agree that reading books is different than watching the movie version, since you grow attached to the characters as their feelings and story progresses. It’s not uncommon for a reader to actually get caught up into the book to such a level that they cry, laugh, blush or scream while their favorite character goes through different life episodes. That being said, there are 20 amazing novels that you must read before you watch the movie! Not only to know what to expect before it happens, but also to compare your vision of the character to the movie’s portrayal.

1. The Giver by Lois Lowry

Lois Lowry’s dystopian story comes to life as it takes a spot on the big screen. It’s a story that we’ve all fallen in love with, and it’s now time to connect with each character on a whole new level. A community without war, suffering, differences or free will is shaken up as a young boy, named Jonas, is given the opportunity to learn about emotions and past events from an elderly man. Will Jonas be able to take what he’s learning and change the community? With Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift, and Alexander Skarsgard. Release date: August 15th, 2014

THEGIVER

    2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

    John Green’s book has made many weep and smile as they read about Hazel and Gus’ story. This amazing story has shined a new light on relationships and true love and the time has finally come to bring the characters to life! Two teenagers, named Gus and Hazel, fall in love while they’re both being treated at the hospital. Their wits and weirdness brings them closer together as the story moves forward and keep each other strong throughout the struggles that their illnesses put them through. Will it be a happy ending? With Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, and Willem Dafoe.

    3. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

    We’ve fallen in love with Suzanne Collins’ characters, Katniss and Peeta, during the first two movies that were inspired by the Hunger Games trilogy. Hollywood finishes the trilogy by dividing the third book’s story into two parts. Katniss unintentionally becomes the face of rebellion as she teams up with her mentors and hunger games teammates to bring President Snow down. It’s way more than just a rebellion though as she is also forced to choose between her two loves, Peeta and Gale. With Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, and Donald Sutherland.

    4. If I Stay by Gale Foreman

    For those of you who like the supernatural and have a soft side in your heart, you will love Gale Foreman’s book, If I Stay. Not only do you connect with the characters, but you also start viewing life in a whole different way… in a supernatural way. Time to let the dreams begin. Mia’s life changes drastically as she is put in a coma after a tragic car accident. While in a coma, she has an out-of-body experience where she meets various individuals. As her story moves forward, she has to decide whether or not she will stay in a coma, since she is not yet ready to let go of the people she met while in her out-of-body experience. With Chloe Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, Jamie Blackley, Joshua Leonard, Liana Liberato, and Stacy Keach. Release date: August 22nd, 2014

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    if i stay

      5. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

      Gillian Flynn’s mystery and thriller book Dark Places keeps us on the edge of our seat as the characters get themselves in various situations. The suspense of knowing whether or not the characters will reach their goal is what makes this book a must-read! Libby’s life is turned upside down when her mother and two sisters are murdered by her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben. After testifying against her brother, she thought she was done and ready to move on… but she was wrong. Twenty-five years later, a secret society pumps her for details about what happened to her mother and sisters in order to free Ben from prison, forcing Libby to reconnect with the tragic event. Will she survive her run from the killer? With Chloe Grace Moretz, Charlize Theron, Christina Hendricks, Nicholas Hoult, and Corey Stoll. Release date: November 14th, 2014

      dark places

        6. This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

        Jonathan Tropper’s book makes us laugh and nod our heads as we realize the funny truths about our own families. An easy-read that needs to be shared with everybody! All grown and somewhat responsible, four siblings are shaken up as their father passes away. Although the passing upsets them, it’s what comes after that really hits them. Their father’s last wish, to ground all his children for one week, has been written in his will and forces all four siblings to return back home and face each other’s drama-filled lives. Will they survive the week? With Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, and Corey Stoll

        7. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

        This story will most definitely hook you from beginning to end, as the characters go through a hard journey to keep their identity. Get your running shoes ready, because you will live this story at full speed. Thomas’ life is changed dramatically as his memory is erased and he’s dumped with 60 other teenage boys in a closed space. With the other boys, Thomas tries to escape by going through a maze that surrounds their living environment. Little did they know that they must run to keep themselves from being trapped there forever. With Dylan O’Brien, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee, Blake Cooper, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dexter Darden, an Will Poulter.

        8. Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

        A forbidden love affair always makes everything more interesting for the lovers and the public who’s watching. Who’s to say that love can’t happen between two people? Certainly not Mark Helprin. Set in the 19th century, in Manhattan, a middle-aged burglar and a young heiress fall in love without meaning to. As their journey moves forward and their love for each other grows, a turn of events shakes up their relationship. As the burglar is left alone after the heiress dies, he realizes that he has a magic power that could help him bring back his beloved: the power of reincarnation. The burglar then goes on a journey to help the heiress and bring her back into his life. With Colin Farrell, Matt Bomer, Lucy Griffiths, Michael Patrick Crane, Brian Hutchison, Kevin Corrigan, and Alan Doyle.

        9. Hector and the Search For Happiness by Francois Lelord

        ‘What’s the secret to happiness?’ is the question Francois Lelord wants to answer in his new book. Tears will fall down your cheeks from laughter and sadness, as you connect with the character through his journey to happiness. We always thought that psychiatrists had the answer to everything, but Hector is shaken up as he realizes that he doesn’t understand what true happiness is. He decides to quit his job as a shrink and go around the world to find what makes people happy and in turn find happiness for himself. With Simon Pegg, Jordan Schartner, Rosamund Pike, Tracy Ann Oberman, Veronica Ferres, Jakob Davies, and Chris Gauthier.

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        10. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

        Gillian Flynn does it again! This book will submerge you in the story as you connect with the characters and look at the situations through their eyes. Nick’s wife has disappeared and instead of searching the town for the killer, the media bombards Nick with questions, blaming him for the disappearance. Under a lot of pressure from the police and the media, Nick concocts lies to keep them away as long as he can. He’s playing the role of the innocent, but is he really? With Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Missi Pyle, Carrie Coon, and Patrick Fugit.

        11. The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

        Nicholas Sparks’s books have touched our heart many times as we grew attached to the characters in his stories and felt the emotions they were going through. The Best of Me is no exception; an easy read that will bring you on a wonderful emotional journey. Amanda and Dawson fell in love in 1984, when they were both in High School, but their relationship never made it until the end. They both went their own way after they graduated 12th grade, almost forgetting about one another, until they are forced to come back together twenty-five years later and face the painful memories that brought them to that point in their lives. Will their love for each other be enough to surpass the pain? With Michelle Monaghan, Liana Liberato, James Marsden, and Luke Bracey.

        12. Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern

        Cecelia Ahern’s book tells about something that a lot people are struggling with nowadays: the Friendzone. This story will keep you on the edge of your seat, as you laugh and connect with the characters’ struggles to find love for each other while not jeopardizing their friendship. Alex and Rosie has been best friends since they were five years-old. Since they grew up together, they learned to see each other like siblings, oblivious to all the signs showing them that they should actually be in a relationship. Follow their hilarious journey as they try to be together but just keep missing their chance! The movie is titled Love, Rosie.  With Lily Collins, Sam Claffin, Christian Cooke, and Art Parkinson.

        13. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

        It’s so easy to connect with the main character in this books, as we’ve all felt like running away from everything at least once in our lives. Cheryl Strayed uses the perfect words to bring the story to life and make us feel like we’re on the journey as well. After having her life turned upside down by her mother’s death and family destroyed, Cheryl decides to go on a journey to find herself and be at peace. With nothing more than a backpack and ambition, she hikes more than a thousand miles from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon all the way to Washington State. Alone with her thoughts, she hopes to heal her heart from all the drama that’s recently filled her life. Will she succeed, or will the journey be too much for her to handle alone? With Reese Witherspoon, Gaby Hoffmann, Laura Dern, Charles Baker, Michiel Huisman, and W. Earl Brown.

        14. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

        There is absolutely no way to not fall in love with The Hobbit! J.R.R. Tolkien describes Bilbo’s journey like no other, with details that make the magic come to life from within. Goosebumps are guaranteed to occur when you follow the hard, yet hilarious, journey of The Hobbit. Bilbo Baggins’s journey continues as he tries to reclaim Erebor from the enemies and take back the treasure that was once rightfully his and the Dwarves’s. Will Bilbo be able to claim what is his? With Benedict Cumberbatch, Lee Pace, Evangeline Lilly, Richard Armitage, Martin Freeman, and Luke Evans.

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        15. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

        Laura Hillenbrand’s words grab you and draw you into the story, leaving you feeling slightly like a better person for being part of the character’s journey. This is not a book that you read and put down every half hour, so prepare the time to read it in one sitting because you will not want to stop. Louis Zamperini was born to run. Not because he wanted to, but because there was a delinquent side of him that could only be tamed through running. Through running, he was able to go to the Berlin Olympics and compete at a young age. When World War II started though, he had to join the army and fight for his country. Little did he know that his journey was going to take a drastic turn and bring him right in the Japanese’s hands. A prisoner of the enemy clan, will he survive to see the day? With Jai Courtney, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund, Jack O’Connell, Luke Treadaway, and Alex Russell.

        16. True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa by Michael Finkel

        Someone’s memoir is always interesting as it captures the author’s true feelings about a situation but Michael Finkel takes it to the next level by sharing the truth about why his feelings became what they did. This book will leave you frustrated on so many levels, while still wanting to know more. A must-read for anyone looking to know the truth about business and society. New York Times writer Michael Finkel received a troubling note one day that changed everything. A wanted convict had taken his identity by using his name while captured in Mexico. The story could stop there, but after losing his job under the claims of falsifying an investigation, Finkel goes out of his way to find the truth. This emotional journey brings together Finkel and the convict as they try to uncover what really happened in the investigation. Movie is titled True Story. With James Franco, Jonah Hill, Felicity Jones.

        17. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

        E.L. James brings the erotic books to a whole new level by describing the passionate love between the two main characters. Not only do you connect with the characters as they find a way to love each other, but the story also makes you think about the passion in your own love life. Certain to make you blush and while raising a few hairs off your back! Anastasia was just a normal University student; her life lacked passion as she focused all her attention on work and studies. Everything changes though, when she meets the handsome billionaire Mr.Grey. Their erotic and somewhat bizarre love for each other brings new adventures as secrets are revealed on the tormented billionaire. Will Anastasia find out the true reason why Mr.Grey is the way he is, or will she remain blind to the truth? With Jamie Doman, Dakota Johnson, Jennifer Ehle, Marcia Gay Harden, and Max Martini.

        18. Fallen by Lauren Kate

        The fantasy world portrayed in Fallen will surely make you look at your life a little differently. The feelings between the two characters are described so vividly that it may bring back memories of your own love life, both good and bad. Mostly good. You can’t go wrong with true love, even if it’s in a fantasy world! Lucinda is a teenager living a pretty ordinary life until she’s falsely accused of a crime. Now at a reform school for the delinquent teenagers of the city, she finds herself being attracted to two mysterious students. As her journey moves forward in the reform school, many secrets of her past unravel and make her realize the truth about those two mysterious students, who are actually angels battling for her love. Will she choose the right boy to love? With Addison Timlin, Jeremy Irvine, and Harrison Gilbertson.

        19. A New Darkness by Joseph Delaney

        Joseph Delaney shows off his talent at suspense in his book A New Darkness. Get ready to go on an adventure of a lifetime that will bring fantasy creatures to life and give danger a whole new meaning. John Gregory is the local spook and seventh son of his generation. His job is to protect the country from evil creatures, but he now needs to pass on his knowledge and power to a younger individual: Thomas Ward. The young man has to survive countless challenges that many have failed before him in order to take over the local spook’s job. Will he succeed and protect the country from the evil beings? The movie is titled Seventh Son. With Julianne Moore, Kit Harrington, Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, and Antje Traue.

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        20. Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon

        A hilarious detective story with unforgettable characters that will take you on an amazing trip back to the sixties. The story will capture every moment and detail without fault and leave you eagerly guessing about the next chapter in the characters’ lives. Doc Sportello hasn’t seen his ex-girlfriend in a long time, and he didn’t mind. One day though, she shows up at his doorstep with a crazy plan to kidnap a billionaire land developer, whom she loves. Why does she want to do that and will Doc join in on her madness? With Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Jena Malone, and Joanna Newson

        Which ones are you going to read and watch?

        Featured photo credit: FidlerJan via morguefile.com

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        Last Updated on January 17, 2019

        8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

        8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

        In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

        Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

        Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

        Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

        Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

        The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

        There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

        How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

        According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

        Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

        Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

        The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

        Listen carefully:

        We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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        The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

        Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

        8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

        There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

        Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

        1. Pray Daily

        You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

        When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

        Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

        Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

        2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

        A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

        By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

        Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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        If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

        This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

        How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

        3. Smile Often

        Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

        Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

        Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

        The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

        4. Organize Your Working Desk

        A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

        When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

        Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

        Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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        5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

        I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

        Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

        What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

        6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

        God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

        I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

        I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

        7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

        You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

        How do you do that? This is my formula:

        First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

        If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

        If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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        If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

        Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

        8. Go Exercise

        Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

        The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

        You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

        12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

        The Bottom Line

        It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

        It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

        Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

        More Resources About Mindfulness

        Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

        Reference

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