ABEA: Book to Movie Adaptations

Today is the last day of ABEA!  It has been a lot of fun, and I have met lots of fab new people on Twitter and found some great new blogs to stalk!  The final topic is all about book to movie adaptations.

What books do you want to be made into a movie or television show? What are some of your favorites? We’ll explore more about this topic, especially what works and what doesn’t. Are there any upcoming shows or movies that you’re excited for? What are your recommendations?

I’m one of those people who like to read the book before seeing the movie.  Game of Thrones threw a huge spanner in that works; I was a latecomer to the GoT party, and started watching when Season 4 hit our screens (I watched from the beginning though – it was great to binge-watch on Netflix!) and I know there’s no way I’ll get through all the books ahead of the programme, so I’ll just have to live with that.

It is so disappointing when a film does not live up to your expectations from reading the book.  But when your expectations ARE met or exceeded? Nothing better!  The Harry Potter books are a great example of this.  I adored the books (read them as an adult) and loved creating the world in my mind, but the filmmakers did a much better job of bringing the books alive than I could ever hope to do in my mind, and each surpasses the next!  Wonderful film making!

Here are couple of my other favourites/duds:


Book = Film

I read One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey earlier this year, but I had seen the film many years before.  I definitely need to re-watch the film, but from memory I think this is one where the film is just as good as the book.  The characters come alive on film, and fit with those in my imagination perfectly.  This is one pairing I highly recommend (but be prepared for heartbreak!).

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a great book, and I think the film definitely met my expectations.  Jennifer Lawrence is a superb Katniss and I loved the depiction of the crazy Capitol dwellers.

Book > Film

The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is one of my favourite books of all time.  It takes a little while to get into, but once you’re into the flow it is a fabulous read.  Unfortunately, the film version, which I was really looking forward to, is a big ole pile of crap.  It was just so disappointing it made me want to cry!  Give this one a miss!

Film > Book

It’s rare that I think a film is better than the book it is based on, but one that springs to mind is The Silver Linings Playbook.  I could not get into the book by Matthew Quick and in fact gave up on it!  I watched the film out of desperation on a long flight home from a holiday in Florida, and I was hugely and very pleasantly surprised by it.  A great film, and a definite thumbs up from me!

Book = Film {but in a bad way}

Two words.  Gone Girl.  I read the super-hyped book, hated it (well, I say I hated it … I thought the plot was very good, the twist very clever, but the characters wholly unlikable and despicable which, as discussed in yesterday’s twitter party, totally ruined the book for me). I watched the film in the hope it would improve on the book, but it failed miserably and was a total waste of 2 hours of my life.

There are a few books I would like to see made into films.  One is The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.  I have only read this first book in the trilogy, loved it, and would love to see this on screen! A bit like the Harry Potter world, I can’t imagine how this would be done, but I’m sure some creative filmmaker could make a really good job of it!

I really enjoy reading police procedurals and psychological thrillers, but I find these are the films that tend to let me down.  I really enjoyed Seven with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman but haven’t found anything equal to this in the genre.  Maybe a film version of The Book of You by Claire Kendall – that would be pretty creepy!

And one I absolutely can’t wait to see is Ready Player One.  I adored the book by Ernest Cline and I’m so excited to see how this world is portrayed on the big screen!  I’m 100% confident that Steven Spielberg will do the book justice.

So what are you favourite film adaptations?  Any I need to see? And can you recommend me a film that is like Seven? Let me know!

ABEA: It’s all about the blog

Today over on Armchair BEA, the chat is all about characters and blogging.  As I have very recently migrated from blogger.com to WordPress.org I thought I would talk a little about the process.  Nothing techy, mind!

Blogging Q&A
Blogging 101. All kinds of tips and tricks to get you started or keep you going. Talk about ARCs, reviewing in general, web design, etc. What blogging platform do you use? How do you network? What are some of your favorite web designs? Or maybe you want to talk about your own blogging journey, and how you got to where you are now. Either way, we want you to share your knowledge with the rest of the community!

As I have very recently migrated from blogger.com to WordPress.org I thought I would talk a little about the process.

I had wanted to move to WordPress for quite some time because I really like the functionality and customisation options.  Blogger is quite limited with regard to plugins, etc.  However, I thought it would be an absolute nightmare trying to change – I’m not a techy person, know nothing about coding or anything computery at all, so I was scared and kept putting it off.  But then one day I was bored at work and started googling how to do it, and I discovered that it really wasn’t that hard at all!  Seriously, the hardest part was choosing a theme!

So first you need to get hosted.  I had a domain name for my blogger blog, (cookcreateread.co.uk) but instructions for changing that over seemed a bit complicated to me.  I checked and was very happy to discover that cookcreateread.com was an available domain name, so I snapped that up through Bluehost, WordPress’s recommended hosting service (and cheap!).  Then choosing a theme happened.  And happened.  And happened.  Seriously.  I tried out so many different themes but nothing was working the way I wanted it to.  I eventually stumbled on this Supernova theme which met most (not quite all!) of my requirements, and I really liked the way it look.  Next step was migration …. WordPress makes it really easy to migrate blogger posts (and I’m sure other sites too) using one click! Once I’d migrated the posts, I got everything looking the way I wanted it to and then I simply had to redirect my .co.uk name to the .com name, and here we are!  It really was so much easier than I was expecting and now I wish I’d done it ages ago!

And while we’re on the subject of blogs, I thought I would share some tips from a reader’s point of view!

  • Make it easy for your readers to comment.  If they have to sign up to and log in via another app to leave a comment, chances are they won’t.  Check the options on your blogging platform to weed out the spam.
  • Be friendly!  If readers leave comments, reply to them, and maybe even visit their blog and leave a comment too.
  • Follow back!  I say this with discretion.  I don’t blanket follow back everyone who follows me, I do check out their feed to see if it is something I might be interested in as I don’t want my various feeds filled up with content that does not interest me, but generally, unless they’re a spammer of spam, I’ll follow back.
  • Have a clean blog layout.  This is a personal one, but as a reader, I don’t want to be distracted by huge badges and flashing buttons in both sidebars.  Let the focus be on your excellent content!
  • Make your social media follow icons obvious!  If I have to go looking for your twitter link, chances are I won’t bother.  Call me lazy!

Any tips to share with me? Which blogging platform do you use?  What are your ‘must have’ plugins and widgets?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

ABEA Day 2

profile pic | cookcreateread.com

Apologies for two blog posts in one day! Not like me at all … it’s either a flood or a famine over here!

Today’s question is all about how we use social media. This is something that I need to get better at, and I definitely go through “flood/famine” phases!

10430899_10152535639233921_8287652131238521140_nMy favourite social media platform is Instagram. (You can follow me here: @terrigriffiths_) I love photography (even tried my hand at wedding photography for a while) and am inspired by seeing other people’s photos too, so I love Instagram.
I am also on twitter: @iluvsneakers which I am trying to use more to promote (?) my blog. (I’m really not into self-promotion though, and find it hard to put a spotlight on myself!).
I am on Goodreads, but I don’t really use it socially – I do have friends on there, but I use it mainly as a resource for tracking the books I read.
I have a personal Facebook page which I use just for real life friends, and I have recently created a Facebook page for the blog (which is a bit lonely with just a few likes – see above re self-promotion!) which is here if you would like to have a look, and if you like you could like it! All my blog posts are linked from that page, as well as other bookish day-to-day stuff that doesn’t merit a full blog post!
I am on Pinterest too, but I use that just for inspiration – I totally don’t use that as a way to interact at all, and I don’t think it really works very well for that.

I think I really need to get better at social media. I would love to have more interaction with other bookish people, but being shy in real life I still find it quite difficult on the internet! I’m definitely more of a follower than a leader!

What are your favourite social media platforms? Am I missing out on something awesome?

Armchair BEA anyone?!

So who knew this was a thing! But what a wonderful thing it is 🙂

Armchair BEA. For those who can’t attend (and are eaten up with envy!) the real BEA (which, for those of you who don’t know, is Book Expo America! A place to schmooze and meet like minded bookish people and publishers.

So seeing as I live in England and there’s pretty much no way I’ll ever get to visit the real BEA, I thought I would join in and enjoy it from my armchair (well, PC chair …). There will be different activities each day, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to join in everything, but Day 1 was yesterday, and we were given some questions to answer, so here goes!

Tell us a bit about yourself: How long have you been blogging? Where are you from? How did you get into blogging?
This is a tricky one to answer! My first blog was on Blogger and I really don’t know how long ago I started. My blogs have gone through many transformations, but I guess the ‘serious’ blogging has been in the last 5 years. My blog started off as a way to record and share my artwork with friends on a forum, but it changed with my habits and is now pretty much all about reading and books with the occasional cooking/arty thing thrown in! And I live just outside London, though I was born in Northern Ireland and grew up in South Africa!

What does diversity mean to you?
Diversity is such a big buzz word right now, and this is no bad thing! To me, diversity in books is reading about other cultures, other countries, genres you wouldn’t normally read. Something that might put you out of your comfort zone a little bit. For me, reading is an escape, and what better way to escape than to enter a diverse world that you’ve never visited before?! This is why I started my Global Reading challenge and I hope to be transported to many different cultures and countries!

What book are you reading right now?

I am currently reading The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng, an author from Malaysia. I am really enjoying it -who ever thought I’d enjoy a book about a Japanese gardener living in Malaysia!

What is one book everyone should read?
3273I have a stock answer for this … Moloka’i by Alan Brennert. This book deserves more attention! First of all, how gorgeous is that cover? Just beautiful! I would link to my review, but I see that I haven’t actually reviewed it! That’s a bit shocking! It is a historical fiction (not usually my genre) set in Hawaii and focuses on a young girl who contracts leprosy. It is heartbreaking and wonderful. It has been a while since I read it, actually, and I think will put this on my re-read list. Read it!

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what author would you want to bring with you? Why?
Even though I am 43 years old, I would bring the complete works of JK Rowling. Just so I could escape to Hogwarts. Who wouldn’t?!