5 Excellent Books To Read If You Love Film Adaptations

This is a guest post.

5 Excellent Books To Read If You Love Film Adaptations

It seems as if more and more books are being turned into films these days. While there are still plenty of wholly original screenplays making it to the big screen, it seems that in many cases studios find it easier to work with existing material and pay a writer to adapt a book into screen form. Often, particularly lately, this leads to excellent films. However, as the old adage goes, “the book is better” – most of the time at least! Because of this, and because if you’re reading here you’re presumably a book lover, I’m doing a list of five excellent books to read if you’re interested in those that get turned into films. This list concerns primarily recent material, either having led to recent cinematic releases or being adapted even now.

1. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Putting it simply, Crazy Rich Asians became something of a sensation this past summer. Billed as a rare Hollywood film that would have a primarily Asian cast without stereotypical roles, it wound up being a resounding success – in fact, the top grossing romantic comedy in 10 years! There’s already talk of a sequel, and various cast members involved appear to be on their way to far more glamorous careers than they might have imagined before 2018. With all of this success, the novel figures to be irresistible to some who never came across it before. It was published in 2013, and was a bestseller, with author Kevin Kwan having expressed a stated goal of introducing a new, contemporary Asia to a primarily American audience. Mission accomplished; the book is as terrific as the film.

2. Love May Fail by Matthew Quick

Love May Fail is a book that was published in 2015. It essentially concerns a group of characters one wouldn’t ordinarily place together, who wind up helping one another to rediscover the joys of life. That alone may sound like just another hit-or-miss story until you recall that Matthew Quick is the clever and sensitive author who produced Silver Linings Playbook. Love May Fail offers a similarly heartfelt blend of real-life issues, unlikely but plausible circumstances, and an inexplicable touch of wonder. Whether or not the film adaptation lives up to the extraordinary Silver Linings Playbook one remains to be seen, though with Emma Stone cast in the lead as Portia Kane, it’s off to a good start!

3. Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom

This is a different sort of book in that it’s essentially a memoir. But it’s one I find more fascinating with each passing year. These days, we mostly think of casino culture as being purely digital. Poker tournaments are held online, casino games are now mobile arcades, and the betting side of it all has morphed into matched deposits and free games appealing to bettors around the world. Molly’s Game paints a different and decidedly more human picture: an underground poker world, full of wealth, secrecy, and back rooms, and all completely real! Bloom herself was busted by the government for running high-stakes games featuring prominent celebrities, and this book is her own stunning account of the story – a story that was brilliantly adapted by Aaron Sorkin. If you want to believe in the more mythical side of casino culture, it’s one to read and watch.

4. The Devil In The White City by Erik Larson

If you’re familiar at all with the work of Erik Larson, you know he brings history to life with novel-like quality about as well as anyone. In this case, he does so with two dueling narratives concerning the architects and engineers in charge of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and the infamous serial killer H. H. Holmes who stalked the Chicago area at the same time. It’s an absolutely riveting read from beginning to end, and an educational one at that, painting a picture of what was in some ways a smaller world focused on international competition and collective achievement. As with Love May Fail, the adaptation is not out yet, but Leonardo DiCaprio has the rights, and Martin Scorsese is on hand to direct. DiCaprio is likely to play the role of Holmes in what ought to be a terrific film.

5. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

It’s difficult to describe what makes The Goldfinch such a great book, because there’s a temptation to say something vague, such as “it’s just kind of magical.” That’s the case, however; there’s a mysterious quality to this book that makes it easy to immerse yourself in and hard to put down. More directly, the book concerns a boy who loses his mother in an apparent terrorist attack at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and who – in something of a dazed panic – takes a small painting (“The Goldfinch”) in the aftermath. His entire life from that point forward unfolds as a series of consequences for these early actions, and it’s quite a journey to read through. The film is not out yet but fans of the book have been eagerly awaiting it, and now that there’s a cast, it feels fairly imminent, with a possible release late in 2019.

Wreath Between the Lines by Daryl Wood Gerber – Recipe / Guest Post & Giveaway!

The Agatha Award–winning author of Pressing the Issue returns to the Cookbook Nook, where Jenna Hart is busy decking the halls and ducking a killer . . .

The holidays are Jenna Hart’s favorite time of year, but just as she’s decorating the Cookbook Nook for all the festive events, her imperious older sister makes a surprise visit, anxious that her husband’s been more naughty than nice. To make matters worse, her father’s good friend Jake shows up on her doorstep with a frantic report that his friend has been murdered—trussed with Christmas lights and impaled with a tree star.

Worried that Jake was the intended victim, Jenna makes a list of suspects and checks it twice. Swapping her Santa’s hat for a sleuthing cap, she gets busy investigating Jake’s long-lost sister, his Grinch of a neighbor, and a stamp collector who covets Jake’s most treasured piece. When Jake himself is poisoned and nearly dies, Jenna knows she’ll have to do whatever it takes to corner the culprit before it’s lights out for Jake . . .

Includes tantalizing holiday recipes!

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Guest Post from Author Michael Christopher Carter

I’m very pleased to welcome paranormal author Michael Christopher Carter to The Book’s the Thing today. Read on for a glimpse inside this writer’s creative process…

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I was delighted when Erika asked me to write a guest post for her and that got me thinking. What would I want to learn about me if I were a reader? (Which of course I am—I read my own books a million times as part of the editorial process as well as reading other authors’ books avidly.) What would I want to know?

Well, I suppose I’d ask where it all began?

I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. My teachers from as young as nursery age would say, ‘He has to be a writer one day…’ I didn’t take their advice for another thirty-plus years. Or rather, I didn’t write a book until I was forty. I had flirted with the notion, buying a word processor, but I had no clue where to start. It all comes so easily now I wish I’d started years ago. I console myself acknowledging my greater life experiences must have led to richer writing.

Now I’ve taken the plunge, is it what I expected?

Yes. It’s the best job in the world. It doesn’t even feel like work… I get paid to do what I would do anyway for free! And I can do it in my pyjamas if I want. Don’t worry, I’m writing this fully clothed and abluted.

What about the nuts and bolts of what I do?

It’s something I’m honing all the time, but it always starts with an idea. I have lots and I usually write them all down. Then sometimes there’s one I’m super-excited about and I know I’ll write that book.

Inspiration comes from anywhere. Sometimes (perhaps frequently), it’s from conversations with my wife. Whilst discussing the ins and outs of the Universe, I’ll stop and say, “That would make a good book,” before scurrying away to make notes. This is especially true of my novel, “An Extraordinary Haunting,” which includes true-life goings on for my wife and late mother-in-law.

Most of the time you can thank my dogs. The peace and calm of being in the wild outdoors with my best buddies is a great time to think. “The Beast of Benfro,” came to me whilst walking them in the very woods the story is set. I could picture the beast rampaging down the hillside to get to me, and my subsequent dash to the safety my car gave me quite an adrenaline rush. I didn’t write the book for a couple of years after the initial conception because that’s the other thing: I have so many ideas I can’t possibly complete them all. Like choosing a novel from your (if you’re anything like me) unfeasibly long ‘To-read’ list that contains far too many titles for an average human lifespan, one just nags to be read above the others; or for me, nags to be written.

I aimed, this year, to become more prolific, releasing at least four books. But I’ve only written one so far because I’ve been so busy moving home. I’ll do my best to catch up so there should be some exciting releases before the year is out.

I’m so lucky living in The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Whenever I need to take stock and get inside my own thoughts there are limitless beauty spots to choose from to gratify me with wonder. From dozens of castles and incredible secret beaches, to woods and rivers with waterfalls, West Wales is really a writers’ paradise.

Is there anything I don’t like about being an author?

Not so long ago, I might have said editing. Now, it’s one of my favourite things: That’s when the ideas take shape, and when other people read my words for the first time and I get to share that most intimate part of myself—my thoughts.

I used to get nervous I’d hear back that my book is rubbish, but I’m not so uneasy anymore. That’s not to say things don’t need changing. First-draughts always require a lot of work. It makes me laugh reading them. When I’m letting the ideas flow, the writing can be wrought with errors. I’m amazed at the evidence of my crazy thoughts, using the word ‘exactly’ lots of times on the same page, or starting ten sentences in a row with the word ‘it’! At least I get to iron these out before anybody sees (apart from my poor editor!)

I love my job. I feel so lucky. But what do I enjoy most of all?

The thing that makes me grin from ear to ear whenever it happens is satisfied fan mail. To know my words have touched someone to the point they have taken the trouble to write to tell me often moves me to tears (usually of joy, but not always—books mean a lot of different things to different people.)

I could go on forever, but I hope this brief and gushing glimpse into my world has been of interest, and that you go on to enjoy some of my novels.

Who knows? Maybe your letter will become one of my favourite things.

 

Michael Christopher Carter,

Author.

 

About the Author

Michael is the author of several novels including the number one bestseller “An Extraordinary Haunting,” and “The HUM,” with well over 1000 four and five-star ratings on Source, and brand new “Destructive Interference” which fans and journalists are saying is his best yet!

Prior to beginning his life as an author in 2013, Michael was a success in the world of direct sales where he ran a number of businesses including a conservatory design and build company, and coordinated a several-hundred-strong army of water filter salespeople!

The illness of a family member prompted Michael to investigate a spiritual path where from Catholic roots, he diversified to qualify as a Reiki Master in 1999 before moving with his family from Cambridge to the beautiful Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in South West Wales. It’s from this unique standpoint and incredible scenery that Michael is inspired to write today.

Make sure to visit his website for more info, and check out his latest release on Amazon!

 

Destructive Interference Kindle cover 2.8.17What if a seemingly harmless choice could take away everything you love the most? 

When Matthew Morrissey takes an innocent stroll to his local convenience store to buy batteries for his daughter’s Christmas present, he doesn’t know it will change his life forever. But, when he returns home, everything has changed… There are strangers in his home, his neighbours deny ever knowing him and he ends up attracting the attention of Bristol’s finest.

Matthew has a theory about what is happening to him and who is to blame. But first, he has to escape.

Can he solve the mystery and save his family, or has he lost them forever?

If you like a twist in your tale, this latest voyage into the paranormal world of Wales’s premier writer of supernatural fiction is the most remarkable yet! 

How a book improved my appearance by Dara Carr – Author of Angela Cray Gets Real

Angela Cray Gets Real: (An Angela Cray Mystery, Book 1)Unemployed ex-party girl Angela Cray is back living with her no-nonsense mother in Phoenix. After coming within air-kissing distance of a felony charge, Angela is determined to make something of her life. When a sympathetic neighbor offers her work, Angela jumps at the opportunity. She figures it won’t be hard to track down a missing fiancé last seen with two Lady Gaga lookalikes. After all, one of her superpowers is finding badly behaved men. 

But the trail of the runaway groom has more twists than a bride’s updo. And when Angela uncovers secrets that people will kill to keep hidden, she has to decide the price she’s willing to pay for success. 

Angela will need to call upon all her charm and cunning—and the deities of her ancient Samoan ancestors—to make sure this professional growth opportunity doesn’t kill her first. 

Angela Cray Gets Real was a finalist for a Freddie Award for Writing Excellence from the Florida Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America. 

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Guest Post and Giveaway from Margaret Mizushima – Author of Hunting Hour

Deputy Mattie Cobb is in a dark place and has withdrawn from Cole Walker and his family to work on issues from her past. When she and her K-9 partner Robo get called to track a missing junior high student, they find the girl dead on Smoker’s Hill behind the high school, and Mattie must head to the Walker home to break the bad news. But that’s only the start of trouble in Timber Creek, because soon another girl goes missing—and this time it’s one of Cole’s daughters.

Knowing that each hour a child remains missing lessens the probability of finding her alive, Mattie and Robo lead the hunt while Cole and community volunteers join in to search everywhere. To no avail. It seems that someone has snatched all trace of the Walker girl from their midst, including her scent. Grasping at straws, Mattie and Robo follow a phoned-in tip into the dense forest, where they hope to find a trace of the girl’s scent and to rescue her alive. But when Robo does catch her scent, it leads them to information that challenges everything they thought they knew about the case.

Mattie and Robo must rush to hunt down the kidnapper before they’re too late in Hunting Hour, the third installment in critically acclaimed author Margaret Mizushima’s exhilarating mystery series.

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Body on Baker Street – Guest Post and Giveaway (ENDED)


Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson are busy managing the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium on Baker Street and adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room in anticipation of the store’s upcoming book signing with the illustrious Renalta Van Markoff, author of the controversial Hudson and Holmes mystery series. But during the author Q&A session, dedicated Sherlockian Donald Morris verbally attacks Renalta and her series for disgracing Sherlock’s legacy, only to be publicly humiliated when the author triumphantly lashes back and gains the upper hand. That is until Renalta collapses on the table―dead. 

Donald insists he didn’t do it and pleads to his friends to clear his name. Fortunately, Gemma and Jayne have no shortage of suspects between author’s bullied personal assistant, her frustrated publicist, the hapless publisher, a handsome rare book dealer, an obsessively rabid fan, and a world of other Sherlock enthusiasts with strong objections to Renalta’s depiction of the Great Detective. It’s up to the shrewd sleuthing duo to eliminate the impossible and deduce the truth before the West London police arrest an innocent man in Body on Baker Street, the second Sherlock Homes Bookshop mystery perfect for fans of Miranda James and Kate Carlisle.

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A Knit Before Dying by Sadie Hartwell – Guest Post & Giveaway

A new business might add some much-needed charm to downtown Dorset Falls—and draw tourists to Josie’s yarn shop. But when someone gets murdered, a close-knit community could come undone . . .

Shop owner Josie Blair is finally settling into the pace of living in Dorset Falls, Connecticut. Between running Miss Marple Knits, jumpstarting a blog, and handcrafting items with the help of her knitting pals, Josie’s too preoccupied to worry about her past in New York. And thanks to Lyndon and Harry, the owners of the brand-new antique shop next door, she has another project in her midst—repurposing a box of vintage crocheted doilies adorned with the most curious needlework . . .

But before Josie can formally welcome her neighbors, she discovers Lyndon on the floor of his shop stabbed to death by a rusty old pair of sheep shears. Police have pinned Harry as the killer, but Josie isn’t so sure. Now, she’s lacing up for another homicide investigation—and no eyelet or stitch can go unexamined, lest she herself becomes ensnared in the criminal’s deadly design . . .

INCLUDES ORIGINAL KNITTING PATTERNS

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Engaged in Trouble by Jenny B. Jones – Guest Post and Giveaway

When a washed-up pop star inherits a wedding planning business, it’s all bouquets and bliss until a bride turns up dead.

Paisley Sutton shot to stardom as a teenage rock sensation, but ten years later that star has fizzled out, just like her bank account. When she unexpectedly inherits her aunt’s wedding planning business, Paisley leaves the glamour of Los Angeles for a charming small town in Arkansas. Thinking she’ll arrive in Sugar Creek and liquidate the moldly property, Paisley’s shocked to find Enchanted Events has experienced a major makeover and is now the place for brides. She’s got two months to keep Enchanted Events afloat if she wants to sell and rekindle her music career with the profits.

Paisley’s tossed into a world of vows and venues, but her most difficult challenge comes in the form of one demanding bride. When this Bridezilla’s found facedown in her cake, all fingers point to Paisley as the prime murder suspect. And she does not look good in prison orange.

This former pop princess will need the help of her gun-toting, ex-CIA grandmother and her handsome neighbor, Beau Hudson, to unravel the mystery and clear her good name. As she and her unruly posse dig into Bridezilla’s life, she discovers the woman had a long list of enemies. The closer Paisley gets to the truth, the more her own life is in danger.

Love is in the air this wedding season, but before Paisley can help the ladies of Sugar Creek say, “I do,” she’s got to unveil a killer. Or find herself the next target.

Engaged in Trouble is the first book in the long-awaited Enchanted Events cozy mystery series by award-winning author Jenny B. Jones. If you like laugh-out-loud adventures, small-town romance, unforgettable, sassy characters, and a mystery to keep you guessing, then you’ll love this new page-turning series.

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Guest Post and Giveaway from Jodi Hockinson – Author of Between Two Worlds

Between Two WorldsTemi stood in stunned silence at the sight before her. She had finally come face to face with the man of her dreams….literally. Having slipped through time as a child, she had seen this man on three occasions. Destiny now seemingly fulfilled, this man she recognized from her past travels through time was standing right in front of her, in a small general store, at the foot of the mountain that she called home. But Temi has a secret. She is inextricably linked to the spirit that resides in the heart of the mountain. The time she had spent shifting into her other life as a mountain lion had brought her even closer to the mountain spirit, and she wondered how this man might be part of divine will.

John has gone to the same fishing cabin every year for the past ten years. But this year’s trip is different – he receives a mysterious visit from a little girl. He forgets about the event, until a string of paranormal occurrences unfold, compelling him through an incredible exploration of his past, present and future as he moves forward to meet his destiny.

Find out how John finds his soul mate, and how the pair joins forces to accomplish their future together.

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Guest Post and Giveaway from H. G. Chambers – Author of Recreance

Recreance_Final_Titled_web Synopsis:

When death is overcome, life may never survive.
Fourteen hundred years after discovering the secret to eternal life, a battered humanity recovers from centuries of conflict known as the Aeternum Wars. Ruled by the all-powerful Ministry, what is left of humankind huddles in the geo-magnetic powered settlement of New Arcadia.
When his parents are murdered by Ministry Breakers, seventeen-year-old Oren is forced to flee into the deadly Miralaja desert, leaving behind his best friend Clementine, and the life he once knew. As clues of his past fall into place, so too are the dark designs of the Ministry laid bare.
Back in New Arcadia, Clementine is driven to the streets, where she is faced with a choice—steal, or starve. Not one to give up, Clem adapts and thrives, using her mastery of geo-tech to earn a small fortune, and a large reputation. Everything was going brilliantly until she took a job infiltrating a Ministry Defense building. Now she too must flee New Arcadia with a dark secret she dares not ignore.
On an epic journey of secret magic and ancient mysteries, Oren and Clementine find themselves fighting not only for their own survival, but for that of all citizens of New Arcadia.

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