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The debate rages: how do you feel about book adaptations??

2021 begins with a lot of hope and prayers for an improvement over 2020. Great books will be published and movies will follow. The debate rages as to whether book-to-movie adaptations are good, bad or ugly, but rarely better. Some books, for me, are made simpler and more visually appealing through film. However, if I absolutely loved reading the book, I rarely like the adaptation. If the book was underwhelming, a movie or TV series can be a boost for me.

Being a librarian, I feel an allegiance towards the "book is always better" league. In a survey by SuperSummary in 2020, the results were fairly close. Overall, 34% of people enjoyed the book, compared to 27% of people who liked the movie more. Although 82% of surveyors said "screen adaptations help books come to life," 46% of people argued that film adaptations "would never be as good as the book." Almost 25% of people declared that movies even ruined the original book. Forrest Gump was often quoted as the best book-to-movie adaptation, followed by the Jurassic Park series and the Harry Potter series. For the most part, comparing the two mediums isn't fair. Adaptations steer towards the visual spectacle with stimulating content rather than more cerebral leanings. And the limitations in time constrain the exploration of character development and love of place. If you can suspend your expectations, most adaptations will do what they were intended to do: entertain.

As Stephen King once said, "books and movies are like apples and oranges. They both are fruit but taste completely different."  Enjoy the list below for movies that are coming to the big or little screen in 2021.

Cherry : a novel / Nico Walker.  Concerns an unnamed narrator's time in college, as a soldier during the War in Iraq, and life as a drug addict and bank robber after returning from the war during the midst of the American opioid epidemic.

Death on the Nile / Agatha Christie.  The story follows the main character, Hercule Poirot, where he embarks on a vacation in Egypt, but finds himself solving two murder cases. Hercule Poirot is a Belgian private investigator that is famous for solving some of the world's most perplexing mysteries. 

The dig / John Preston.  A historical novel that looks at the foibles and emotions of people involved in an archaeological dig on the grounds of a Suffolk, England, estate in 1939.

The dry / Jane Harper.  The story explores the violent end of four lives in a regional Victorian community, beset by drought and desperation. The story is centred around Aaron Falk, a police officer based in Melbourne but formerly a local who was driven out of town decades ago, after the mysterious death of his teenage friend Ellie Deacon.

Dune / Frank Herbert.  Set in the distant future amidst a feudal interstellar society in which various noble houses control planetary fiefs. It tells the story of young Paul Atreides, whose family accepts the stewardship of the planet Arrakis.

Firefly Lane / Kristin Hannah.  A coming of age novel about a generation of women who were both blessed and cursed by their choices. It is 1974 and the summer of love is finally drawing to a close. The flower children are starting to realize that you cannot survive on peace and love alone.

The last letter from your lover / Jojo Moyes.  It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing - not the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply "B", asking her to leave her husband.

The nightingale / Kristin Hannah.  Two sisters struggle to survive during World War II in France. One sister is rebellious and intent on fighting for France while the other simply wants to survive the war with her family intact.

Redeeming love : a novel / Francine Rivers.  The story is inspired by the Book of Hosea from the Bible, and its central theme is the redeeming love of God towards sinners.

Without remorse / Tom Clancy. The story of John Kelly's revenge against the people who killed the woman he loved. He is a highly-trained SEAL and well respected in the military. ... He made a mistake when he went to the neighborhood and the drug dealer recognized the woman, and it cost her her life.

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Finished binging Brigerton, but ready for more?

For years, my coworkers have been singing the praises of author Julia Quinn and her Brigerton series of romance novels.  Eight siblings, all alphabetically named and tied together by love. Then, the world got on board when the Netflix series produced by the wonderful Shonda Rhimes came into being.  Now, I too am a lover of the complicated romances of the Brigertons.  From the unique female characters to the slight wickedness of Lady Whistledown, there is something for everyone.  In the expanse of time before we are back to the Brigertons next season, the other Brigerton siblings can be read in order in either book format, or audio, or e-version!  Not only that, we can discover various rakes, scots, highlanders and cads that fill romance novels with their charm!  The regal and charmed lives of Regency England are brought alive by many talented writers.  So, if you are looking for an escape, look no further than this list below and stay calm and read on! 

All Scot and bothered / Kerrigan Byrne. 

Daring and the duke / Sarah MacLean.

Devil in Winter / Lisa Kleypas.

Her night with the duke : A Novel / Diana Quincy.

The secret history of the Pink Carnation / Lauren Willig.

This Scot of mine / Sophie Jordan.

Wilde in love / Eloisa James.

Would I lie to the duke / Eva Leigh.

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Is joining a new book club a New Years Resolution?

Thursdays are huge book club days here at the Hoover Library! On the first Thursday of each month, we read a fiction selection voted on by all active members. Tomorrow we will be discussing Jennifer Weiner's Mrs. Everything at 10 am. On the second Thursday, we meet at the same time to discuss another fiction title. Overall, 12 books are chosen for the year and are rotated between the two groups. Virtual meetings on Zoom have become the norm for gathering, discussing and dissecting the author, characters and plot of a given book.

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