Category Archives: Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Books I Love That Became Films or TV Shows

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

I recently did a Top Ten Tuesday post on a similar topic, so it’s going to be interesting to see how many other shows I can come up with. My best guess is that the first two items on my list will be on everyone else’s lists, too!

Lord of the Rings

With all of the 1980s and 1990s remakes coming out these days, I hope that this trend ends before anyone decides to remake the early 2000s Lord of the Rings films. They’ve aged wonderfully in my opinion. I’d rather see studios take a chance on something new than remake these films even though I do love this story.

Harry Potter 

There are certain things that work beautifully in a novel but won’t feel the same in a film (and vice versa). Overall, I was quite pleased with how the Harry Potter films depicted the Potterverse. The first few movies in particular will always feel magical to me.

The Martian

This film did an excellent job of explaining how the main character used science creatively to get himself out of all sorts of life-threatening predicaments when he was accidentally stranded on Mars. My first experience with Andy Weir’s style of storytelling came from this movie, and I’ve been a fan of his ever since.

Room 

Emma Donoghue’s original version of this drama about a young boy who had lived his entire life in the same room because his mother had been kidnapped by a violent stranger a few years before the boy’s birth made me stay up very late at night to see how it would turn out.

The film version of it was just as intense. Even though I already knew how it ended, I still found myself holding my breathe at certain key scenes.

Still Alice

Lisa Genova’s book by the same name was about a woman named Alice who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. I was so excited when it was turned into a film.Both versions followed Alice from shortly before she was diagnosed until well into the progression of this disease. They were tearjerkers and I’d reread/rewatch either of them in a heartbeat.

My great-grandmother had Alzheimer’s disease, so it was especially meaningful to see what this illness might be like for the person experiencing it. The gif above is from a scene where Alice forgets how to get home again early on in the course of her disease. It was the moment when I realized just how amazing this story is.

Hidden Figures

Where there were a few fictional tweaks to the film version of Hidden Figures that I wasn’t a big fan of, the true story that Margot Lee Shetterly wrote of how these women made the calculations that sent humankind to the moon is still something well worth checking out.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question. The image below is the list of upcoming prompts for this blog hop.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Places to Read

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s prompt was “Books That I Refuse to Let Anyone Touch.” I was hopelessly stumped by it, so I decided to do one of the first Top Ten Tuesday prompts instead. This one is from almost a decade ago, long before I had any clue that Top Ten Tuesday even existed.

Favourite Places to Read

Underneath Trees

My family lived near a forest when I was in middle school.  Sometimes I’d ride my bike to the edge of the forest and read underneath one of the big trees just off of the official bike path. It was incredibly peaceful.

I still occasionally go to the park for this purpose today. There’s nothing like hearing leaves rustling and squirrels or other small animals chattering while you read.

On an Airplane

Flying makes me nervous, so it’s quite helpful to have a good book to distract me once the flight attendants have finished sharing the safety information they must discuss at the beginning of every flight.

I’ve actually been known to buy e-books that really catch my eye and then not read them until months later when I’m flying somewhere. It gives me something positive to look forward to during that time, and that’s always handy.

While Waiting 

I could be waiting for anything:

  • A doctor’s appointment
  • Dental treatments
  • Food at a restaurant
  • The chance to update my driver’s license

Books are a lovely and deeply-appreciated distraction in these moments…especially if the thing I’m waiting for carries the possibility of bad news!

When I Can’t Sleep

Occasionally, my brain decides to wake me up in the middle of the night for no reason. I’m simply wide awake at a time when I should be fast asleep on those nights.

It’s been my experience that the quickest way to get back to sleep is to read for a little while. Preferably, it should be something soothing, not exciting.

What are your favourite places to read? Did anyone else struggle with the original prompt for this week?

 

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Favorite TV Shows and Why

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

I wish this prompt had happened in January or July! I tend to watch lots of TV when the weather is freezing or unbearably hot. Spring and fall are when I cut back on shows and spend more time socializing with friends and visiting the great outdoors to soak up the mild weather.  With that being said, I will follow the prompt and talk about television instead of going off on a tangent about how much I want to go wander off into the woods for an afternoon.

These are my current favourite shows for reasons I’ll explain underneath the photo of each program.  If I were going to go out to dinner with any of you, I’d light up if you mentioned being fans of them as well.

The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t on this list because it won’t be out until later on this summer. Mindfulness is important to me, so I’m doing my best to wait until the first episode is out before getting excited about it.

Anne with an E

One of the things that always bothered me a little bit about L.M. Montgomery’s  Anne of Green Gables series was how much it brushed over Anne’s difficult childhood. She mentioned some pretty serious moments of child abuse and neglect to her new foster parents, and then the plot pretty much skipped over the trauma of those experiences for her. To be fair, these weren’t things that were discussed in too much depth in children’s books back then, and people living in the 1800s also had a much murkier understanding of how adverse childhood experiences could affect someone years later.

The cool thing about season one of this remake is that it hasn’t been afraid to explore how being abused, neglected, and abandoned by multiple caregivers had a serious emotional impact on Anne. I know some fans have criticized it for being too dark, but I think it’s going to be interesting to see how this more realistic approach to her story affects the person she becomes as she grows up.

I still need to watch season two. I’m so behind on shows!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

I love the fact that this sitcom has a diverse cast but doesn’t fall back on stereotypes in order to make their jokes or explain who their characters are. All of the main characters and even some of the secondary ones are three-dimensional individuals. They feel like real people, warts and all.  It’s amazing to see how they’ve grown and changed over the years.

The running jokes are great, too. This isn’t the sort of sitcom I’d recommend watching out of order. There were things that happened in season one that are still being brought up by the characters years later.

Stranger Things

This was the show that taught me that people used to smoke everywhere and let their kids wander all over town without any supervision at all in the 1980s! Yes, I’m mostly joking there, but I was shocked by some of the cultural differences between that era and our own.

On a more serious note, I really like fantasy stories that are set in our world and feel as ordinary as possible. If not for the various supernatural stuff going on in this setting, it could have all really happened to my parents or other relatives who were teens or young adults back then. That’s quite appealing to me.

Black Mirror

I’m brand new to this show. It’s like The Twilight Zone in the sense that each episode is its own self-contained sci-fi or fantasy story. Of the few I’ve seen so far, there doesn’t seem to be crossover between any of them as far as characters or plots go.

I love the creativity of the episodes I have seen. The writers seem to take current trends and extrapolate what they might be like at a distant point in the future or in a version of earth where, say, a parent’s desire to electronically monitor her child is taken to the logical extreme.

I know I’m being vague here, but I really don’t want to give away spoilers. Let’s just say that this is a very thought-provoking program that I’m enjoying so much that I’m even willing to come home from the park early in order to watch it.

The same can be said for the rest of these shows, too. Ha!

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question. The image below is the list of upcoming prompts for this blog hop.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Became Great TV Shows

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s topic was a page to screen freebie. I’ve decided to narrow down my focus to five books that were made into wonderful TV shows. I’ve left off a couple of the titles that I always discuss on this blog (*cough* The Handmaid’s Tale) so I could focus on stories I haven’t talked all of your ears off about yet.

Tomorrow’s Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge prompt has what turned out to be a similar theme this week, so I had to divide my answers evenly between these two hops since so many of my answers would fit into both of them. I would have otherwise written a much longer post on this topic.

The Haunting of Hill House

Based on: Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House

Why I loved it: Paranormal stories always grab my attention, especially if they rely on psychological horror more than jump scares. The fact that this one had so much subtle foreshadowing on top of the psychological horror made it impossible for me to stop reading or watching it.

I also enjoyed the fact that the TV version found a fresh take on the characters while still remaining true to their personalities. That isn’t an easy thing to do…especially when some of the characters were of dramatically different ages and origins in each version!

The Magicians

Based on: Lev Grossman’s Magicians series.

Why I love it: This universe feels like Harry Potter for an adult audience. I love the unpredictability of the magic in it as well as the fact that the characters deal with serious issues like drug/alcohol abuse, depression, and abortion alongside delightfully joyful moments where talking rabbits deliver important messages or centaurs randomly cross your path.

Everything else I want to say about this series is filled with spoilers, so I’ll stop talking now.

True Blood

Based on: Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series

Why I loved it: I spent a year of my childhood living in the south, so southern food, accents, and culture can’t help but make my ears perk up. I also enjoyed the parallels the screenwriters made between the prejudice faced by vampires and the real-life prejudice that other groups deal with every day in our world. They did a nice job of gently nudging the audience into being more accepting without ever turning their episodes into an After School Special.

The Man in the High Castle

Based on: Philip K. Dick’s “The Man in the High Castle

Why I loved it: Imagine what the world would be like if the Nazis had won World War II and taken over North America. This definitely isn’t the right thing to read or watch if you’re in the mood for something cheerful, but it is a fantastic alternate history for anyone who has ever wondered how terribly things could have turned out in a different version of Earth.

I’m actually taking a break from this show right now because of how dark and gritty it is. It’s absolutely worth watching, though, and I do hope to return to it in the near future.

Little House on the Prairie

Based on: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series

Why I loved it: This show ended before I was even born, but the stories it told are timeless. My step-grandmother taped some of the episodes on those old-fashioned VHS tapes people once had.  I used to watch those reruns in her living room while the adults chatted in another room.

It was so interesting to see how people survived in the 1800s when women cooked every meal of the day over roaring fires, antibiotics and automobiles didn’t exist, and everyone had to work under some pretty demanding (and often dangerous) conditions from sunup to sundown if there was any hope of the family making it through the winter.

This series seemed like an adventure to me when I read it as a young child. Seeing it play out on the small screen really drove home how much easier life is for us now.

 

 

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Books I Want Youth to Discover

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

I’d never tell a kid that they must read a specific book. Just because a story was meaningful to me at a certain age doesn’t mean every child or teenager would want to read it then. People grow at different rates, and we obviously all have different interests as well.

What I would do is leave copies of these books lying around where little, and not-so-little, hands can reach them. My hope would be that young people would eventually read these titles whenever they were ready for them.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The full meaning of this story didn’t become clear to me until I was an adult, but I think it’s message about valuing love, friendship, and beauty over the mindless accumulation of material possessions is something that should be introduced to everyone early on in life.

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

I’d like to confess that I’ve never been able to read this story without wiping away a tear. It’s such a beautiful, timeless story. When I became an aunt years ago, this was the first book I bought for our nephew. I wanted him to have the opportunity to enjoy it just like I did!

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

When I was a kid, I didn’t like the units my teachers had us do on World War II every year because of how much time we spent studying a war that I struggled to understand.  I had a great deal of sympathy for everyone who was killed in the Holocaust, but I had trouble condensing all of that horror into something my young mind could better grasp.

The wonderful thing about The Diary of Anne Frank was that it was written by a real child. I connected with her as I read her diary entries, and learning that she did not survive the concentration camps helped me to understand a very small piece of all of the suffering innocent people endured in that war.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

It amazed me to see how much I related to the characters in this book when I read it in the 90s. The characters lived in the 1910s, yet so many of their struggles were the same ones my family dealt with eighty years later. For example, both they and us were concerned with stretching out a food budget, dealing with social class prejudice, and finding creative ways to get good educations for everyone.

Some of the details of how daily life plays out have obviously changed over the last century, but I think a lot of modern teens could relate to this tale far more than they might have guessed at first glance.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I had no idea who Maya Angelou was before I picked up this book as a teenager, but I loved reading about her childhood and how she learned to persevere through truly difficult circumstances including being separated from her parents at age three and later being sexually abused. This is definitely something I think mature teens should read.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question. The image below is the list of upcoming prompts for this blog hop.

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters That Remind Me of Myself

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl My answers this week will be a mixed bag of books, TV shows, and films. This topic was a little challenging for me, but I enjoyed brainstorming for it. Let’s see if I can come up with the full ten answers! 1. Karana from Scott Odell’s Island of the… Read More