the girl with the dragon tattoo

I don’t know if Hollywood is getting lazy or if there are just so many cineplexes with 8 and 10 movies running, but it seems like more and more books are being brought to the big screen. Of course it may be the phenomenal successes of the Harry Potter and the Twilight series that are fueling the frenzy. I’ve read a few of the books that have been made into movies and seen a few of the movies without reading the book. Since there’s always the question of whether the book is better than the movie or vice versa, I’m never sure which way I want to go. But let me just share a few of the book/movies that have come out recently or are soon to be released.

Water For Elephants
This is a movie I saw, but didn’t read the book. The movie was well done in that the violence toward human and animal is intimated, but done off-screen. I’m not sure how they handle it in the book, but even in writing, violence is very hard for me to handle. I enjoyed the movie, but the ladies sitting in front of me from a bookclub enjoyed the book so much more.

The Help
My mother read this book last summer and highly recommended it. And though it was on my TBR list, I hadn’t gotten around to it by the time the movie was released. My daughter and I saw it. I haven’t cried so much in a movie in a long time. What I liked best is the story of these african-american maids was told through the eyes of a caucasian author who is simply trying to share the trials and tribulations of their lives in a book she is writing. It is so well done and I have no doubt the author of the book, Kathryn Stockett based the stories on a lot of research. Thankfully, it’s interspersed with lots of humor and the movie is very enjoyable despite its difficult subject matter.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I read this book. Correction … I tried to read this book. But I was part of that 1% that just couldn’t get into it. And I did something I don’t usually do, I forced myself to keep reading, convinced that if so many people enjoyed it, surely I would get to the good parts. It never happened. I abandoned the book with a mere 50 pages left. Really, I couldn’t get through it. I will however, go and see the movie. I desperately want to know what the “mystery” was around the story. The missing girl? The murder? I’m not sure. I did read into it enough to know what happened (or didn’t happen) to the girl … yeah, well I figured that out the first time she was mentioned. Anyway, I’m hoping I’ll enjoy the movie, though my son already told me the ending stinks. His girlfriend, who loved the book, said it was true to the story, which is not surprising since there are two other books in this series.

Hunger Games
I’ve been hearing so much about the book that when the trailer showed at a movie I was watching I knew it was time to check it out. I’m currently reading the book and the premise of 24 young people battling to death is intriguing. I’m only half way through, but since I can’t put it down, I expect to finish it in the next day or so. Since I’ve just admitted I don’t like violence, I’m wondering how the author will handle the visciousness that will be the killings. I really don’t want the heroine of the story to commit any horrible murders even if it is to save her life. Anyway, this is one of the few times I’m actually reading the book with the anticipation of seeing the movie.

One For The Money
This is another example of a genre I just couldn’t get into. I listened to one of Janet Evanovich’s stories on audio books, but wasn’t moved to read any others. There’s such a huge following for Stephanie Plum who find the books laugh-out-loud funny that I have no doubt I’ll drag Mr. Nina to the movie when it comes out. I’m sure it will translate well to the big screen.

So what about you? Do you enjoy book to movies? Are there any movies that you’ve seen or books that you’ve read that you would recommend?

I feel like I was hit with a real epiphany last week. It’s going to sound really silly since I’ve been reading books for like forty-five years or so. Granted, many of those years were spent reading required books for English or text books. (Yep, I’m one of those that read every page of the assignments in college … what can I say?) But through the years it’s been mostly just me and whatever books I found at the library. But this interesting lightbulb moment had to do with my reading habits.

You see for the last month or so I’ve been pushing myself through this book that the world LOVES THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. It’s the beginning of a series and people can’t get read the three books fast enough. Me? Did I mention I’ve been slogging through it for the better part of November? I wasn’t even invested in the story until 200 pages into it. Then the next 300 or so were really good as they actually solved a murder and went after a very bad guy. But then … it just kept going … and going … and going. I gave up. With about 60 pages to go I had no desire to finish it. What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I like this book? My extended family is filled with readers but none of them live close enough for me to ask what made them LOVE this story. Because I just can’t figure it out.

Now I don’t consider myself a slouch in the brains department. I enjoy many genres of books. I’ve read through most of the John Grisham novels in the library and really enjoyed them. And this weekend while I was traveling I was enjoying an Iris Johansen audio book in the car. Lots of intrigue and murders and mystery and a love story. Yep, the main characters are running for their lives (as they do in most Johansen novels) and the sexual tension was electrifying. I cared what happened to the characters. In the book I slogged through last month … not so much. The main characters could have fallen off the face of the earth and I would have shrugged and thought “another one down”.

And there was the epiphany. I REALLY enjoy a story with some intense action and … romance. Stop laughing. Really. Stop. It’s not that funny that a romance author could be so daft about her own choice of reading material. I know, I know, this shouldn’t have been like this ZOMG! moment, but it was. I mean all my books don’t have to have the main characters falling in love … they can already be married … no, I’m just kidding. I’ve read and enjoyed stories that don’t center around a romance, but there was something that made me connect and stay engaged. But then that’s a Writing 101 basic. Create characters your readers want to cheer on to the end.

I’m just wondering what other people found so engaging with the Tattoo story. Because it bummed me out that I missed it. I do understand not every book is everyone’s cup of tea, but I usually enjoy the stories my family recommends. So what about you … have you tried a story that the world LOVED and you didn’t enjoy it?

Oh, and just one aside since I’m doing a sort of review blog … Mr. Nina and I saw THE TOURIST with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie this weekend and LOVED IT! If you like a little suspense with your romantic comedy/action movies than I can’t recommend it enough!