"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Saturday, September 22, 2012

What's Your Favorite Book...Turned Movie?

Of course it goes without saying, to those of you who are "regulars" here, that I am an avid reader.
Check the archives at Pen and Prosper, and you'll certainly uncover countless book reviews and high praise for this declining practice. Kids of today don't know what they're missing out on, as they often opt for other forms of entertainment like video games, music videos, and You Tube activities to engage their growing minds and experience a form of escape. To each his own.

Reading is "fun"-damental. But, I'm also a big movie buff as well. Yep, I am.
In fact, one of my favorite simple pleasures, (particularly during the fall season), or when I have had a grueling week, is to unwind in front of a good movie-- accompanied by a soothing, hot cup of herbal tea, or some decadent chocolate. Whether it's a chick-flick, a clever comedy, or a movie based upon some one's life, I'm in! 
I love the relaxation it provides. Not to mention, it's a way to get some creative ideas going for writing topics.

Last week, quite by accident, I actually ended up viewing a few popular movies that were initially produced as books. 
  • I checked out Steve Harvey's "Act like a lady, think like a man."
  • Made a reservation with "Reservation Road"
  • And mentally noted great scenes from "Message in a Bottle"...
They were each entertaining in their own respect. And might I add, that Michael Ealy, (of Act Like a Lady movie) is one fine piece of art. Just sayin'. :-)

Anyhow, this got me to thinking. From classics like Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, to Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird", to modern-day titles, books that evolve into movies provide a different experience for today's audiences.  Sometimes they allow for an interpretation that is more broadly based.
Sometimes they allow us to discover more about the writer's message.

Worth mention as well, is a great read on what I like to call "movie therapy" 
entitled, "Cinematherapy-the Girl's Guide to Movies for Every Mood" *by Nancy Peske and Beverly West.

So, I'd like to know, "readers"-- how do you feel about books made into movies? What would be your favorite? Do tell.

Image: SPFF


  1. It will always be "Gone With the Wind." Loved the book and loved the movie.

    1. Ah, Margaret Mitchell's masterpiece. Great choice! Great to hear from you today, Buttercup. Thanks for starting us off. :-)

  2. I didn't read '...Think Like a Man,' but I did enjoy the movie. Then again, I maybe be prejudiced in its favor because Taraji P. Henson is such a great actress and always ridiculously beautiful.

    I didn't enjoy reading 'Great Expectations,' but I do enjoy the classic movie version with Alec Guinness.

    I'm not going to say 'From Here to Eternity,' even though James Jones is my current literary obsession, because so many important characters were left out of the film version, and the '50s movie morality code didn't allow certain topics from the book to be filmed. (The 'Gone With the Wind' movie also leaves out a lot, including Scarlett's son with her first husband, Charles.)

    I can't say 'The Killers' (1946), even though it's a film noir classic and the young Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner are so gorgeous and talented. But it's not really based on a book, just a short story (by Ernest Hemingway) and a large part was purely the imaginings of the screenwriters.

    So I guess I'll have to say 'The Color Purple.' Excellent book, excellent film that never fails to make me cry happy tears at the end. 'Beloved' is also a brilliant film adaptation of an incredibly complicated book.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksSeptember 23, 2012 at 5:59 AM

      Hey there, Erin,

      Long time, no hear from. ;-)
      Interesting choice. Color Purple? I've actually watched the Color Purple several times; didn't get what most folks got out of it...unfortunately. I purchased "Beloved" on audio tape many moons ago, (if I recall correctly), but didn't get through it. :-) Appreciate your thoughts today.

  3. One that tops the list for me is To Kill a Mockingbird. I first read it in tenth grade, and then we watched the movie at the end of the semester. It was the first book that I actually enjoyed studying and breaking down into pieces. So to my 15 year old mind, seeing the movie was a real treat. It has endured as a big favorite of mine.

    I also enjoy the many versions of Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre, also Anne of Green Gables, and of course, Gone With the Wind.

    Thanks for asking. Have a great weekend!

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksSeptember 23, 2012 at 6:16 AM

      To Kill a Mockingbird and Pride and Prejudice are indeed popular reads, Karen. Thanks for adding to the mix, as always. :-)

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  5. I like Airport by Bestseller writer Arthur Hailey, somehow I do think that Airports have something 'Magical' a place 'Where the Whole World Meets', I also once wrote a post about Spending Waiting Time on an Airport on my Travel Blog.

    Also the Movie Terminal with Tom Hanks in it, is a great movie that entirely play's at an Airport.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksSeptember 24, 2012 at 5:42 AM


      I'm a big fan of Tom Hanks, but I've never seen Terminal. Thanks for your input. :-)

    2. Talking about 'Airport Movies...,'

      Also the movie Pushing Tin is definitely an interesting movie, that also play's around an Airport. (Btw. one of these day's I might put up a 'Plane Movies Special' on my Movie Blog :))

  6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Dr. Zhivago and The Help top my list. Books allow for my creative visuals.

  7. Jennifer Brown BanksSeptember 24, 2012 at 5:56 AM


    I like your choice of "The Help". It was entertaining with great social impact.

  8. Raising boys as we do, a trilogy I've watched (like it or not) is The Lord of the Rings. I did enjoy the books as a girl and find many spiritual applications in both the books and the movies. I didn't read "The Help," but certainly enjoyed the movie.

    Happy Monday,

    Rhonda Schrock

    1. Happy Monday to you too, Rhonda! Good to connect here today.
      The LOTR...I hadn't thought about that.
      Thanks for adding to the mix.

  9. LOTR movie came very close to my expectations. I've read the trilogy and The Hobbit three times. I can't wait until The Hobbit movie comes out next year. I have to say that every movie version of Dracula(Bram Stoker)is better than the book. What. A. Drag. I guess they just wrote differently back then. I read The Help, but did not see the movie. Gone With the Wind - excellent book, pretty good movie. Love this topic!

  10. Hi Sue,

    Love that you love this topic, and love that you stopped by to say so. :-)Please rent the "Help" and "Reservation Road" this week and let me know what you think, if you can. ;-)

  11. Hi Jennifer,

    Very interesting topic. I too love movies, and besides reading, I find it a relaxing way to unwind. Your description of that decadent chocholate tempted me to go get some :) Like Linda, I loved watching Dr. Zhivago, and the theme song "Somewhere my Love" is among my favorite songs. I also enjoyed Jane Austen's Emma; Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez), The Count of Monte Cristo (Dumas) and Tolstoy's War and Peace. I have so many other favorites that could have made the list too.

  12. Hi Yasmin,

    I could use some of that chocolate today...actually. :-)

    Thanks for your perspective; it's always appreciated.
    You're right. There are so many favorites from which to choose.

  13. Jen, I probably had too much chocolate on my mind and so mis-spelled the word in my comment. Sorry for the typo. I better go get me some chocolate:)

  14. Yasmin,

    It happens to the best of us. No worries. :-)

  15. I remember enjoying COLD MOUNTAIN as a reader and put off seeing the movie for quite some time. When I finally decided to view the film, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I appreciated the character portrayals. Of course, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is still my favorite. ("Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing." Classic!)

  16. Hi Geralyn,

    Wow, a blast from the past! Nice. :-) Actually, I think one of the biggest advantages of film adaptations is character portrayals.
    It's good to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by and sharing.