Have you ever stopped to think about all the series you’ve read? Especially the ones you’ve finished. Well I just did. And guess how many I came up with? Two.
There’s always a chance I’m missing some, but I think I’m pretty spot on. Merci Rayborn and The Hunger Games. Those are the only book series I’ve read from start to finish. It probably sounds crazy, but it really isn’t.
I’ve written on here before about the length of series you’re willing to read, and I remember several people saying that four or five books is just too many for a series. I thought it was garbage back then and I still think so today.
The majority of the series I read are 10+ books. Spenser. Bosch. Alex Cross. Jesse Stone. Elvis Cole. Alex McKnight. And several I started and never finished. Mystery writers tend to write long series, and I have no issue with that as long as the writing stays top notch.
Do you have any idea how many aeries you’ve completed?
Yay for finally doing a Top Five Wednesday video! The truth is that I haven’t liked any of the recent topics and I didn’t want to just do my own because then it’s just “five random things Wednesday”, which doesn’t really have a nice ring to it. Ha!
Anyway, today’s topic is five fictional items I want. I knew I’d do this one as soon as I saw the March topics. But I soon realized that I don’t really read too many stories set in fictional places, which severely limits the number of fictional items I’ve read about. But fear not, in the process of recording the video I was actually able to come up with SIX items! Hehe. But they’re all from two series. Eh.
Two from The Hunger Games because duhh. And four from that series with Hogwarts. But you won’t know what they are unless you watch!
Which five fictional items do YOU want? If you can limit it to five. I couldn’t.
And don’t forget that Top Five Wednesday is hosted by Lainey here. There’s also a Goodreads group.
There are a lot of books adapted into films each year. Most are hardly worth taking note of, but others stand the test of time. Some remain popular long after their theatrical run ends. And others are immensely popular before and after movie adaptatations. But only a few books keep selling well in the used books environment.
You would not believe how many of these books we get in at my store. It’s ridiculous.
The Hunger Games.
There’s a difference between the two series. THG sell, but we get SO many of them.
Marley & Me.
I actually had no idea it was a book before I started working at Half Price Books. It’s one we see A LOT of. It isn’t exactly flying off the shelves.
The Fault in Our Stars.
Similar to THG, these sell okay. But it’s definitely a book we see plenty of.
So that’s my little list of popular books that became popular movies that don’t sell particularly well in a used bookstore environment. At least not in the environment I work in each day. Of course, there are opposites. Books that sell VERY well. It’s all a guessing game. Maybe I’ll have a post about those books in a couple of days.
This week something happened. Something unfortunate. It was hinted that there could be more films set in Panem. And I absolutely hate the idea.
The Hunger Games books and movies, to me, were so good because of Katniss. Just your regular girl trying to do right and protect her family. And now it seems the studio is willing to do without its brightest star. Any prequel would take place long before the day Katniss so courageously volunteered as tribute. I’m not sure I’d be interested in such a film.
The reasoning for these potential prequels is simple. Money. And supposedly some fans have been disappointed by the lack of arena battles. But it’s mostly money. Before the series came along Lionsgate was well outside the big 6 movie studios. And now they’ve just about made it a big 7. The series isn’t wholly responsible for that, but it’s pretty damn close. So now Lionsgate is trying to milk its cash cow for every last penny.
It isn’t surprising. And I won’t even say they can’t make quality movies, but I just hate that no story is ever really complete in today’s movie business.
By the way, nothing is official at this point. But it will be. You watch.
Are you interested in these potential prequels to the four movies already in the series?
First off, I read the book some three and a half years ago. So did I know most of what would happen? Yes. Did I have every detail etched into my head? No.
The movie starts calmly. It has to if you think about what happened at the end of Part 1. We see that Peeta is still in a pretty bad state. And we soon realize that the war is going well for the districts and 13.
What I liked best about this movie over Part 1 and even the first movie in the series is that it played out more like an action movie than the others did. At least in my eyes. It was pretty nonstop from the time Katniss arrived in District 2 until the end of the movie.
When you’re watching it you almost forget that it could ever be adapted from a young adult series. That’s not a shot at the genre, it’s just what I’m thinking.
I thought the cast did quite well in their roles with Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson standing out just above the rest. Peeta was good, bad, and even wildly crazy all in just two hours. Hutcherson did well to convince me of the ongoing turmoil plaguing Peeta.
I have two favorite parts of the movie. There’s a scene in which Katniss and her squad are proceeding toward the presidential mansion through the tunnels beneath the Capitol. They’re resting. But their whereabouts are known and mutts are released to find and kill them. They’re unable to outrun them and are forced to fight. They do. But the space is small and most of the squad is able to escape. Except Finnick. He keeps fighting. But he’s ultimately killed. And Katniss kills as many as she can by detonating the holo. It was one of my favorite moments because once Finnick was alone with a long ladder to climb we all knew he wouldn’t make it. But he fought. And fought. He kind of symbolized the entire rebellion.
The other was the assassination of President Coin. One of my favorite parts of the book and the series. It became apparent once the Capitol surrendered that she’d simply take Snow’s place. And it took Snow to convince Katniss, along with Coin proposing a symbolic Games. Katniss always stood for right, and she wouldn’t just stand by and watch one tyrant be replaced by another.
Guys, I thought the movie was a solid ending to a rather fantastic series. My order of the movies is #2, #4, #1, #3. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll reread the series and rewatch the movies.
Thank you, Suzanne Collins. For giving so many The Girl on Fire.
I’ve seen all four movies on either Thursday or Friday. But this time around Lionsgate started Thursday night showings earlier. I counted ten showings at my local theater for tonight. I don’t remember that many for any of the other movies.
And as a result I managed to try out my local theater for the first time since their heavy remodeling last year. The auditoriums aren’t as big as other movie theaters and there’s less seating because every chair is a brand new leather recliner. They’re huge.
Anyway, my question tonight is simple. How do you plan on seeing Mockingjay Part 2? And what have you thought of the movies? I’ll have a great post tomorrow morning about the series as a whole.
No. It’s a simple answer to a dumb question.
Imagine if Barnes and Noble (online) or Amazon asked you prior to checkout if you’re a man or woman. Or if you went to your local bookstore and they took one look at you and said the book you’re trying to buy is only to be bought by someone who looks different. It’s crazy talk. And you probably read this as if it’s somehow funny. It isn’t.
Remember that article (even though everyone knows it was clickbait) about adults reading YA? And the big fuss that arose from it? When someone says that any book should only be read by a specific reader, they are embracing the same stupidity present in that article. Imagine if Harry Potter could only be read by young boys. No girls. No men. No women. Or if The Hunger Games could only be read by teen girls. The list could go on and on.
Most genres have a target audience, but any popular book will transcend that audience and be read by just about any reader. So if a guy wants to read YA or erotica or any genre generally perceived as female, then who’s to tell him he shouldn’t? I’d make the same case for girls reading “male” genres, but I’m not sure which genres fall into that particular group.
What do you think?
On this day in 2014 I published A Literary Tattoo? I think Yes!.
I’ve never once posted a #WCW on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere. Until today. For those of you not in with the new trendy lingo, #WCW just stands for “Woman Crush Wednesday.” No idea who comes with this stuff. And typically guys only post a picture of one girl/woman, but I’m going to post four. Anyway, you can think of these as my literary/bookish crushes.
There’s no need for me to explain why she’s first on my list. I’m basically obsessed with her. Or maybe it’s just the series as a whole? Or…I don’t know. Katniss is pretty much a superhero in my eyes. Yep.
She may not be as obvious as Katniss since I don’t talk about her every second of the day. BUT she’s still one of my favorite characters of any books or movies or life. I mean, I know there’s this whole thing about guys wanting to be smarter than their girlfriends or girl friends or whatever, but no. I have no issue with Hermione being a million times smarter than me. Is there anyone else who could have dealt with Ron and Harry as well as she did? I don’t think so. And let’s not forget that she seriously helped Harry with all that Chamber of Secrets business. And a million other things.
Oooooh. One y’all probably don’t know at all. She’s from the Gears of War books written by Karen Traviss and adapted from the bestselling games. If you have no idea what I’m talking about when I say Gears of War, just think of another human vs. monster kind of deal. That’s oversimplifying it, but eh. Anya is a soldier. But she is also able to get close to Marcus Fenix during their years of war. Guys, he’s as hardcore as it gets. But Anya is that one little soft spot he has. And she’s great for him.
I almost didn’t include her. But I love reading about the Master Chief and she’s with him every step of the way. She’s his AI, she’s basically a computer linked to Master Chief and what he’s doing at all times. She does a whole lot more than just help reach the objective, and it’s hard to imagine Master Chief without Cortana. Though I think she meets her demise in the fourth installment of the game series. I think.
So that’s it! My four bookish crushes for #WCW. Who are yours?
Is it me or did that title rhyme a bit? Hm.
Anyway, 2015 is another year full of books being adapted into movies. I wrote a million years ago about Hollywood’s fascination with turning toward the literary world for movie ideas. We all hear about the movie deals for this title and for that one just about every week. A movie is a hit, another book by the same author is adapted. Two prime examples of this just from 2014 are Gillian Flynn and John Green. And let’s not forget that the top grossing movie at the domestic box office has been adapted from a book in three of the last four calendar years. 2011 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. 2013 – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. 2014 – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. Technically Guardians of the Galaxy still shows as the top grossing movie of last year, but I’m happy to say that Mockingjay is just a short time from claiming the top spot.
So when you take those little tidbits into consideration, it’s easy to see why Hollywood is always searching for that next big hit by way of the publishing industry. American Sniper just expanded its release and what happens? With Bradley Cooper as the lead and awards buzz from every which way, it’s going to shatter the January opening record at the box office. Another movie adapted from a book.
I’m sure you know exactly when your favorite adaptation will be released this year, but here are 20 notable releases. And no, I didn’t come up with the list myself. And no, I don’t have release dates because I’m too lazy to find them on Box Office Mojo. Here’s the list:
The Light Between Oceans
In the Heart of the Sea
The Zookeeper’s Wife
The Secret Scripture
Into the Forest
A Book of Common Prayer
Walk in the Woods
Carol (The Price of Salt)
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
The Jungle Book
Far from the Madding Crowd
And that’s it. Of course, none of these matter. It’s all about how soon November can get here so we can see Katniss again. Sorry for the lack of actual information about each movie, but I stole the list from here and they tell you a little about the story and the actors involved with most of the adaptations.
Are you looking forward to ANY of these? I’m not. But eh.
PS: You should know by now that the Fifty Shades of Grey movie is just weeks away from its release date. Well I read from a very good box office guy that it might open to more than $75 million domestically. A little perspective, Twilight opened to $69 million and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone opened to $90 million.
I’m talking about assigned school reading here. Schools down here in Texas mostly assign classics in the classroom, which isn’t bad, but I’d like to see some more variety. I’ve heard of teachers assigning The Hunger Games for class. Like…where the heck was that teacher when I was in school?! I know John Green’s books are assigned. And several others. But my experience in the classroom was with books that were written decades before I was born, and sometimes centuries before.
Let me just make a random list of books I remember reading in school. This isn’t necessarily going to be in any order or by genre or anything. Romeo and Juliet. Does that even count? The Odyssey. Dracula. Jurassic Park. 12 Angry Men. Was that originally a book? The Great Gatsby. Beowulf. I’m just naming whatever I can think of. I’m sleepy. I Have Lived a Thousand Years. Of Mice and Men. That’s all I can come up with. I just sat here rolling my head on my desk in an effort to stay awake. I don’t think that list really fits with my previous assertion that I read a lot of classics in school. Oh well.
I know there are a million more books I was assigned during my time in school, but I only listed out those books for your benefit. I know which book was the best. Dracula. I’ve written about that book several times on here, because it’s quite honestly the only assigned reading book that’s stuck with me. I don’t hardly remember any part of any other book I was forced to read in school. But I remember the Count. I remember Mina. And Lucy. And Harker. Van Helsing. The gypsies. Shapeshifting. The pure evil of it all. And no, I didn’t take a look at the Wikipedia page for the book. I don’t have to. I even know the year it was published by memory. 1897.
I know I liked The Great Gatsby, but I couldn’t tell you hardly anything about the story itself. Oh! We read The Giver in 8th grade. No idea what it was about. I know Jurassic Park pretty well, but that’s a good book while Dracula is iconic. The others…eh.
Now you know the best book I was forced to read in school, what’s yours?