Dani is a Book & Wine Pairing Blogger from the mountains of West Virginia. She loves to read anything she can get her hands on while sipping on a glass of wine and snuggling with her fur-babies.

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Better Than the Movie

Lately, I feel like every time I turn around there is another book I’ve recently read being turned into a movie. And I know that in my A Book that was Made into a Movie post I even stated that I’m having a hard time finding a book that I own that hasn’t been made into a movie at one point or another.

So, seeing that it seems to be a reoccurring theme to me here as of late, I decided it was time that I gave an abbreviated list of books I found to be better than the movie.

A Walk to Remember

by Nicholas Sparks (Nicholas Sparks, another reoccurring theme it seems!)

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There was a time when the world was sweeter…when the women of Beaufort, North Carolina, wore dresses, and the men donned hats…

Every April, when the wind smells of both the sea and lilacs, Landon Carter remembers 1958, his last year at Beaufort High. Landon had dated a girl or two, and even once sworn that he’d been in love. Certainly the last person he thought he’d fall for was Jamie, the shy, almost ethereal daughter of the town’s Baptist minister… Jamie, who was destined to show him the depths of the human heart—and the joy and pain of living.

From the internationally bestselling author Nicholas Sparks comes his most moving story yet… (source)

I love Mandy Moore, I’ve watched just about everything she’s been in, even those episodes of Scrubs, but I found A Walk to Remember better than the movie mainly because there is more detail in the book than in the movie (Duh!). Landon does so many more sweet things for Jamie in the book than he does in the movie, and to me, that won out.

Also, as you can see by reading the above synopsis by Warner Books, the time period of the movie was completely off. Landon was a “bad boy” for eating boiled peanuts in the graveyard. The school play wasn’t some weird play that took place in a bar, but was the Christmas play and Jamie was to play the angel. Changing the era degraded the story.

If your looking for a classy romance, then pick up A Walk to Remember and travel back to the 1950s.


Wicked

by Gregory Maguire

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When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum’s classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked?

Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability, and the Tin Man becomes victim of a domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West—a smart, prickly, and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil. (source)

Granted, I know that Wicked isn’t a movie, but the book is still way better than the musical, too, and I loved the musical! I listen to it on Pandora daily; I wake up humming the songs some days. So, trust me, when I say, if you loved the musical, you’ll love the book just as much, if not more.

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  • If you liked Wicked, then check out Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino. Valentino’s Disney Villains collection retells all our favorite Disney fairy tales from the villains’ perspective.
     

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The Hobbit

by J.R.R. Tolkien

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-Earth recounts the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent. (source)

The Hobbit movies were good, don’t get me wrong! I actually quite loved them, but I loved them because there were so many other of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth Universe intertwined into them. The book version of The Hobbit in reality should have only taken one movie to create it, but since Hollywood is Hollywood and they love their money, they took elements from Tolkien’s other tales and intertwined them into the movie to make three movies out of it. And because of this, it made some parts a bit broken. Like the Necromancer, when you think about it, he really seems out of place and you don’t fully find out what his story is there, and that’s because in The Hobbit (print form) Gandalf does leave the dwarves for a time, but you don’t know where he’s gone or what he’s doing because that’s a whole other tale. The Hobbit is Bilbo Baggins’ story, not Gandalf’s, and so the story never actually leaves him.

Take it from me, read The Hobbit. Take the unexpected journey with Bilbo and his dwarf company, learn the whole story behind Beorn and his queer lodgings, and stand with Bard as he aims the mighty black arrow at the terrible dragon, Smaug.


The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

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It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel Meminger’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Grave Digger’s Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up and closed down.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time. (source)

The Book Thief movie was done very well, and for the most part, followed along the original story line. What it was missing was the real understanding that the story was being told by Death, himself. I feel that watching the movie you lost that perspective. Yes, in the beginning you’re introduced to Death, and in the end, you’re reunited, but you don’t get the constant check-ins with Death like you do while reading it. The constant reminder that Death is always near Liesel and always watching her isn’t felt during the movie, and that was the most powerful part of this book: knowing that Death is always watching from around the corner.

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  • If you liked The Book Thief, then check out Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. Another book about a child growing up during World War II and the changes their life goes through because of who they are and who they know. Sarah’s Key was made into a movie in 2010. 

World War Z

by Max Brooks

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We survived the zombie apocalypse, but how many of us are still haunted by that terrible time? We have (temporarily?) defeated the living dead, but at what cost? Told in the haunting and riveting voices of the men and women who witnessed the horror firsthand, World War Z is the only record of the plague years. (source)

World War Z is a different kind of book all together. It’s told in this journalistic/interview style. You get the entire story—past, present, and future—through the interviews of several different people, from different places, with different points of view of this zombie apocalypse. The only view point you don’t get is from an actual zombie, and well, that would be hard seeing how they’re pretty stupid and would be trying to eat you the entire time. But—again—it’s the perspective that makes this book so much better than the movie. Without this perspective, you lose some depth within the story.


Fifty Shades of Grey

by E.L. James

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When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires. (source)

For you steamy-romance lovers out there, most of you have probably read Fifty Shades of Grey and most of you probably saw it the day it came out in theaters, and if you’re one of those people, then I’m positive that you’ll agree with me on this one, that the book was way better than the movie. However, for those of you out there who haven’t read it—you men scoffing at this right now, you’re included here! —Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t as bad as you think it is. There is more to it than S&M and raunchy sex all the time. There actually is a story line, and the main character, Ana, is rather great. But then again, she kind of reminds me of me, so I guess I would think she’s great! 😊

Men, do yourself a favor: READ. THIS. BOOK. I promise, if you read this book, and then either
a) treat your girl like Christian treats Ana in everyday life (like a princess!), or
b) do the things to your girl in bed that Christian does to Ana (make her toes curl!), then you will have a very happy girl on your hands! A girl that will be begging to please you just the same!

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  • If you liked Fifty Shades trilogy then check out Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series. Doesn’t have the S&M that Fifty Shades has, but it’s just as steamy!


I hope that you’ll take my advice and give these books a chance over the movie. Don’t take the easy way out! Go, take an adventure in your mind and see how much better it can be than having your brain go numb while watching mindless TV.

 

From one wine-loving bookaholic to another, I hope I’ve helped you find your next fix.
—Dani

 

Start a conversation: Which book do you think is better than the movie?

Have a book you’d like to suggest or one you’d like me to review? Please feel free to leave your comments down below.

Book of the Month - October 2017

Book of the Month - October 2017

Audio Book Extra

Audio Book Extra