Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The book was better than the movie....

It has been said so many times! However, it is always exciting to finish a good book and then see favorite characters and settings come to life in a movie. 

On Thursday, December 2, the R.E.A.D. Book Group will meet in the little theater at the library to watch the movie 84, Charing Cross Road and have a short discussion on books that have been made into movies. 

This delightful movie is based on the book 84, Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff.

It tells the true story of an American writer (the author of the book) who strikes up a friendship by mail with a bookseller in England. The entire book is a series of unedited letters exchanged between Hanff and the Marks & Co. booksellers at 84 Charing Cross Road. Her primary pen pal is a man named Frank Doel, with whom she shares a love of old books. The correspondence runs from 1949 until 1969, during which time Helene and the people at 84 Charing Cross Road exchange Christmas gifts and news of their families as well as letters. This is a sweet story about kindness and how we can find our best friends in the most unexpected places.

There is a wealth of movies based on books at the Pleasant Grove City Library

One of the most watched DVDs in the library right now is Lark Rise to Candleford.

This dearly loved television series is based on the book Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson and is produced by the BBC. The library currently has the first three seasons available and you will want to watch them in order.

Lark Rise to Candleford is set at the end of the 19th century, and it follows the story of two communities in the midst of a developing Oxfordshire. One is a fast-growing market town, the other a sleepier, quieter place that's holding more onto the past. Centered on Laura, the eldest daughter in the Timmins house, as she leaves the quieter life for work in the market town, the stage is then set for a quality drama series. It is truly a delight!

Another fun television series is based on the book series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.

It tells the uplifting fictional story of a Botswana woman who fulfills a longtime dream – and bucks daunting odds – by opening her country’s first and only female-owned detective agency.

Other favorites produced by the BBC are the miniseries' based on books by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Wives and Daughters is set in a richly portrayed society well-stocked with eccentric nobles and gossipy villagers, the story centers around 17-year-old Molly Gibson, the only daughter of a respected country Doctor.

North and South  is a top notch adaptation of an often overlooked British author that had wonderful social commentary about the time of the industrial revolution in Northern England set amidst a Victorian style drama with romantic inclinations.

The library also has Cranford and Return to Cranford on DVD.  They are also very good and based on the books written by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Another movie that is in demand is Pride and Prejudice.  The library has this A&E longer version done by the BBC and also the more recent version starring Kiera Knightly.

Jane Austen's classic novel about the prejudice that occurred between the 19th century classes and the pride which would keep lovers apart still wins the hearts of countless schoolgirls with its romantic story of Elizabeth Bennet and her Mr. Darcy.  We also have several other movies based on the books of Jane Austen.

You can also find several other movies based on classic literature at the library such as The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

This movie tells the story is that of the Joad family, a group of hard working, loving people who are forced out of their homes and sent looking for work. Tom, the eldest son, was recently released from prison, and he serves as the head of the house basically, helping his parents and siblings make their long journey to California. Along the way they meet greed and desperation in many forms.

The library also has movies based on East of Eden by John Steinbeck, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Tess of the D'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Woman in White by Wilkie Collins and many more.  There is also a wonderful selection of movies based on the books of Charles Dickens.

We also have musicals that are based on books.

You may enjoy watching The Sound of Music based on The Story of the Trapp Singers by Maria Von Trapp or The Phantom of the Opera based on the book by the same name written by Gaston Leroux.

Some favorite movies of our patrons are based on Christian novels such as the Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke.

This is a beautiful collection telling the stories of women in the pioneer days, the trials and tribulations that they experience. The stories center around one particular family, from one generation to the next.

Other favorites are the movies based on The Work and the Glory series by Gerald Lund.

These movies  blend high-powered fiction with true events from the life of Joseph Smith. They tell of the tragedies and triumphs of the Steed family amid the raging controversy that surrounds the teachings of one of the most influential religious leaders in American history.

You might also be interested in a movie about Queen Ester based on the book Hadassah: One Night with the King by Tommy Tenney with Mark Andrew Olsen.

One Night with the King is a sweeping epic about Hadassah, the young Jewish girl who becomes the Biblical Esther, Queen of Persia. Despite her position, Hadassah's life is in danger, as the state has decreed that all Jews will be put to death. Defying warnings to remain silent, however, Hadassah struggles to save her people, evens as she seeks to win the heart of the king, in this exciting and inspiring story about destiny.

If you are more interested in thriller and adventure type books we have many movies based on those too.  Some very popular ones are based on the Bourne Identity series by Robert Ludlum.

The twisting plot revs up in Zurich, where amnesiac CIA assassin Jason Bourne, with no memory of his name, profession, or recent activities, recruits a penniless German traveler to assist in solving the puzzle of his missing identity. While his CIA superio dispatches assassins to kill Bourne and thus cover up his failed mission, Bourne exercises his lethal training to leave a trail of bodies from Switzerland to Paris.

We also have the movies based on Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons by Dan Brown as well as Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy or Hidalgo by Frank Hopkins.

Some movies are based on great historical books such as Dances With Wolves by Michael Blake.

This is the engrossing story of a white soldier who single-handedly mans a post in the 1870 Dakotas, and becomes a part of the Lakota Sioux community who live nearby.

You might also like to watch the movie made from the book Flyboys by James Bradley.

Inspired by the true story of the legendary Lafayette Escadrille, this action-packed epic tells the tale of America's first fighter pilots. These courageous young men distinguish themselves in a manner that none before them had dared, becoming true heroes who experience triumph, tragedy, love, and loss amid the chaos of World War I. Hang on for the ride of your life!

For fantasy lovers we have all the movies based on The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien and several based on the Harry Potter books by J.K Rowling as well as many others.

The Lord of the Rings is a critically acclaimed epic trilogy which follows the quest undertaken by the hobbit, Frodo Baggins, and his fellowship of companions to save Middle-earth by destroying the One Ring and defeating the evil forces of the Dark Lord Sauron.

You can also find many recently released movies that are based on books at the library.  One favorite is The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.

 This is a movie tells the story of Lily Owens who lives on a peach farm in South Carolina with her father after her mother was killed when Lily was only 4 years old. Her best friend and substitute mother is a protective and fierce African American woman named Rosaleen. Together they have quite an adventure as they escape to a town called Tiburon which is mentioned on the back of a picture that had belonged to Lily's mother. When there, they are taken in by an eccentric trio of beekeeping sisters named May, June and August.

The movie based on the book Blind Side by Michael Lewis can also be checked out at the library.

Michael Oher, a hulking but gentle African-American teen in Tennessee, gets taken in by a well-to-do white family; the mother, Leigh Anne Touhy, pushes and mothers the boy, who eventually wins a football scholarship to the University of Mississippi.

We also have some great chick flicks at the library.  Our most recent addition is Dear John by Nicholas Sparks.
This one is about an angry rebel, John, who dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love--and face the hardest decision of his life.

We also have some great movies based on young adult novels such as The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne.

Bored and restless in his new home, Bruno, an innocent and naive eight year old, ignores his mother and sets off on an adventure in the woods. Soon he meets a young boy, and a surprising friendship develops. Set during World War II, this remarkable and inspiring story about the power of the human spirit will capture your heart and engage your mind. There are scenes at the end of the movie that could be too intense for young children. You may want to stick with a young adult audience for this one.

We think you will really enjoy the movie based on Flipped by Wendlin Van Draanen.

This cute movie treats viewers to a sweet but honest glimpse into the lives of a young girl and boy during the early 1960s as they maneuver through first crushes and heartbreak.

In the junior fiction section we have several movies based on some well loved books. These include The Bridge to Teribithia by Katherine Paterson.

Jess Aarons is eager to start fifth grade. He's been practicing his sprints all summer, determined to become the fastest runner at school. All seems to be on track, until the new girl in class (who also happens to be Jess's new next-door neighbor), Leslie Burke, leaves all the boys in the dust, including Jess. After this rather frustrating introduction, Jess and Leslie soon become inseparable. Together, they create an imaginary, secret kingdom in the woods called Terabithia that can be reached only by swinging across a creek bed on a rope. But one morning a tragic accident befalls Leslie as she ventures alone to Terabithia, and Jess's life is changed forever.

As well as the movie based on Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.
Modern and mythical worlds collide in this thunderous fantasy-adventure. Percy Jackson is no ordinary teenager...he’s just learned he’s the son of Poseidon and is accused of stealing Zeus’ ­lightning bolt – the most powerful weapon ever created! With storm clouds brewing, Percy embarks on an incredible cross-country journey to prove his innocence, recover the bolt and prevent a war amongst the gods that could destroy our world!

We have entire sets of DVDs based on beloved junior fiction books such as Little House on the Prarie by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.

Children will also love to check out movies based on Holes by Louis Sachar, The Secret Garden or A Little Princess by Francis Hodgson Burnett, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, or one of the many more we have on the shelves.  They will also love the Disney movies based on some well loved classics.

We even have several DVDs based on picture books for children such as Little Bear by Maurice Sendak.

It's interesting to note that we also have books that were made from movies!  An example of those are the very popular Star Wars movies and books.

We have so many DVDs and videos based on books that it would be impossible to list them all.  We hope you will come to the library and see all that we have to offer.

If you'd like to search the library's catalog online to find out what movies we have you can do a search by call number and then type DVD in the space. It will scroll through DVD fiction, DVD junior fiction and the DVD young adult fiction.  You can follow the same process for videos by typing VID in the search space.

Movies can be checked out from the library for a week at a time. There is no charge. You can take up to 7 DVDs and 7 VHS if you'd like.

Please watch for an update on this post after R.E.A.D. Book Group meets.  That post will include interesting thoughts and discussion about books being made into movies.

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