Books Vs. Movie Versions…Ramble

It’s easy to replace the original version of a book in your memory, with what happened in the film adaptation. Here are a few changes from popular books made into popular movies, you may not remember:

1. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen is a classic that has sparked a whole genre of books inspired by the original. In the film version starring Kiera Knightly, the film ends with Mark Darcy being told the nicknames he can call her i.e. “My Pearl” on Sundays. The classic book ends with a summary of the relationships between The Darcys and different characters in the book. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, do, once engaged, then become rather playful in the same vein as the movie, questioning how they could ever have fallen in love and what was the timeline.

2. Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding, not only based on Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, it sparked a whole genre of ‘chick lit’ itself. The genre is a fun, career women who bumble along when it comes to love. In the film, Mark Darcy and rival Daniel Clever have several scenes in which they are both present which climaxes with a fist fight on Bridget’s birthday. However, in the book, the two never face-off in person. Bridget also has a brother, who doesn’t add much to the book anyway,  which didn’t make it into the film.

3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, like Helen Fielding, Collins was able to be part of the film adaption, which remained closely faithful to the book. In first book in the much beloved trilogy, Katniss Everdeen saying goodbye to her family, Gale, and the mayor’s daughter who gives her the pin of the Mockingjay for good luck. In the film version, we never meet the mayor’s daughter. The pin is given to her by her costume designer, Cinna.

4. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson is also the first book in a beloved, albeit, adult, not YA, triology. There is one huge difference the film changed, for the better. At the end of the film, Lizbeth wants to go see Blomkvist, to give him a gift and resume their romantic relationship. In the book, it is a cheesy license plate that says ELVIS on it. The film fortunately made it an expensive leather jacket, a much sexier gift. However, both end up in the trash.

5. The Princess Bride by William Goldman. The book added this interesting detail- the four white horses our heroes rode off in on the end, were used by Prince Humperdink to go hunting. He would jump from one horse to another, in order to maximize their energy in his hunting pursuits.

Small changes can add big drama or cut out unnecessary details weighing down a book. What are some of your favorite differences between books and their film adaptations?



A Mini-Break with Mr. Darcy at “Austenland”…Ramble

I had the delightful pleasure of going to a screening of Sony Classic Pictures’ new film “Austenland” starring Keri Russell, who really has had a lot of exceptional roles in smaller films. In this film she is a huge Jane Austen who decides to spend her life savings on a “game changer” vacation to “Austenland”. It turns out to be a bit of a degrading experience for her since she could only afford the “crap copper package.”

This hilarious and charming romp had the audience laughing from the start. As a “Jane-ite” I love finding new ways of interpreting her works into the modern world. Let the charm carry you away:

And, lesson learned, I should have stuck to my first instinct to take a selfie because this is a fuzzy hot mess. Still, I finally got my hands on Mr. Darcy!


Crush of the Week: Helen Fielding Creator of Bridget Jones…Ramble

I attended the BookExpoAmerica (BEA) last week at the Jacob Javits Center. It was a whirlwind of activity with arms and elbows flying as readers grabbed for free books. Well, before that frenzy which left me seeking the santity of the Harlequin booth, I had the enormous pleasure of attending the Author Breakfest hosted by Chris Matthews where I got to hear Helen Fielding speak about her third Bridget Jones’ book “Mad About A Boy.” 

I’m going to give you the gist from my notes of what she said. Imagine a fabulous dry British accent that sounds like champagne and you’ll enjoy it even more. Disclaimer: I said gist and yes some is verbatim, but don’t (literally) quote me or Helen on that!

I want to thank everyone for coming here today. It’s nice to see all of you. The first time I had a public speaking engagement like this only two people showed up. One of them I had dated. Afterwards we went to lunch where he told me he was gay. — grrlgenius: transported to Bridget heaven!) I never thought I’d write another one (Bridget Jones novel) after the first two because I lost my voice. But last year, some things started to strike me as funny again and I started writing without telling anyone so that took the pressure off and reclaimed my privacy which allowed me creative freedom.

When the first Bridget Jones book came out there wasn’t any of the online things around that are around today like Twitter. I signed up for Twitter to do some research as Bridget Jones. Twitter is like a popularity contest. I kept checking the account for followers: naught. Again: naught. Then I got suspended from Twitter for checking 150 times in an hour how many followers I had. (grrlgenius: crowd was roaring laughing). Women come up to me all the time to tell me how much they relate to Bridget. I feel like I’m the Pope, confess child confess. One woman told me she went on an Internet Date and they had kissed a bit. A few days later she’d received a mass email from the fellow announcing his wife had just given birth to a girl. 

No matter where I go though women tell me they relate to Bridget even in Japan where they are so fabulous and tiny and eat small amounts of fish! I think she is so appealing because she represents the gap between how you feel you should be and how you are inside. When I was a kid I thought middle-aged woman were sagging and not very attractive with gray hair and you know today’s middle-aged women are very glam. This book sort of rebrands the older woman of today. Now there’s young children and you have so many priorities the to-do list might have find cheese, finish novel on it. Look at David Cameron, the PM of Britain. He was in the car on the phone and his kids were acting up. He finally had to say to them “shut up I’m on the phone with the Prime Minister of Israel.” So, see all of us are juggling a lot of things today and we try to act like we’re glamourous when we are a mess on the other end. I’ve been wearing sweatpants and didn’t brush my hair looking quite feral while I wrote this book. So now I’m going to go on a huge diet (grrlgenius: she is so tiny!) and have massive amounts of plastic surgery before the book comes out. 

Love & Hate: People Have Strong Feelings for Gwyneth Paltrow…Ramble

As a Gwyneth fan I am glad that one of my most read posts to date has been “In Defense of Gwyneth…”. I was really excited when her new, healthy cook book It’s All Good came out April 9th and even more so, when I went to the book signing at William-Sonoma. There were no haters with bitchforks waiting to throw quinoa pies at the golden goddess, in fact it was the best dressed crowd I have ever seen at a book signing and there was so much love and appreciation for the Oscar winning actress I felt I had found my people.

It is kind of amusing just how polarizing the media is in their portrayal of Gwyneth. Last week she was named by Us Magazine the number one most hated celebrity – now this is  a list with Kim Kardashian at number ten and Chris Brown at number twenty. Should GP choose to assault someone with a large ass she will apparently slide off that list. Note: this was also two weeks after her new book made the NY Times Best Seller list.

Today People Magazine named Gwyneth “The Most Beautiful Woman In the World”. So is it because she is so beautiful that she is so hated? Wow even the ‘Mean Girls’ were less transparent! When Gwyneth visited Dr. Oz he asked her if it bothered her journalists had taken sentences out of her book to twist and call her a bad mother, the good natured health fanantic had to laugh and say no, because those people obviously don’t know her personally. That’s a pretty healthy outlook.

I view GOOP as GP’s outlet for sharing tidbits and giving insight and access to her contacts. I thanked her for sharing her recipes and yep, believe it or not folks there are items in the newsletter you can make yourself for under five dollars like a sugar scrub. Last week’s newsletter had tips from the butler at the Four Seasons who uses such dollar store products like ammonia and the Mr. Clean erasers to keep things shiny. You could say the elitist part is getting cleaning tips from him, but the solutions are quite cost effective.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s newsletters filled with tips on clean eating and juiciing and recipes have helped me take a whole new outlook to food and the way I consume it. As a result I’ve lost thirty pounds. So thank you Gwyneth for your guidance. I needed someone to point me in the right direction.


Book Suggestions for Gifts This Holiday Season…Ramble

As Christmas and the holiday season is upon us, the gifting has commenced! If you shopped like millions of Americans on Black Friday yesterday, then got home, realized you hitting the book store was the last thing you wanted to do and half the stuff you bought is of no use to anyone, well it’s time to buy, buy again. Here are some great books for your holiday gifting:

Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub is about the life of a small town Midwest girl who gets into the Hollywood Machine in her early 20’s driven by the loss of her sister. Taking place in the 1940’s-60’s it is an interesting tale which will draw the reader in whether you are 15 or 55. I really had to stop myself from finishing the last fifty or sixty pages because I didn’t want my time with Ms. Lamont to be finished. 

I picked up this gem when Emma had a co-book signing event with the ever amazing, Molly Ringwald, who is just as cool as you thought she’d be and then some. Molly’s book When It Happens To You is also a great read especially for fans who are literary lovers. Her intelligent insights to human behaviour facing everyday challenges of life and betrayal are so vivid I wondered if she knew all these people in real life. 

The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns by Margaret Dilloway was one of my favorite suprise reads of the year. Her main character, Gal Garner is so different than most  women’s fiction works. Gal isn’t on a man hunt, oh no, she wants something bigger- to breed a new and original type of rose. I learned so much in the most fascinating way about rose breeding through Gal’s voice. A wonderful story that is far from typical fare. 

The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin is now in paperback. Snap this one up for the Downton Abbey fan you know immediately. I read online there is a potential movie for Downton which will depict the evolution of Robert & Cora Crawley (aka the parents!). I say, why wait? Scoop up The American Heiress now which cannot be too far off since it is about that exact subject- a rich American who is married off for a title to pump some much needed money back into an English estate. 

For Your Best Friend:
50 Shades of Grey Trilogy. What? I know how much I’ve complained about my struggle to get through this book. In fact I’ve 7 books while trying to get through 50 Shades, however, my friend who insisted I read it says you can’t read ‘high brow’ all the time. And yesterday I was discussing it with another friend, also a working mother, who has read the series 9 times.

Caveat: I’m still trying to get through the first book which I want to read with a Sharpie to vehemently cross out the words “inner goddess” which would never come out of a 21 year old’s subconscious on a regular basis. Another friend found the sex closer to forced than on the consensual side of on the border.

Teens: So, you’re teen likes series? If they haven’t already tried the Switched novels  by Amanda Hocking, it’s time to be the cool relative and call this one…. a wrap. Bwahaha. 

Happy Holidays!!!!!

Great Cause: Anti-Bullying

I think most of us has been through some kind of bullying- mild or otherwise in this life. It happens to kids but it also happens at work– and don’t try to deny it. Standing up for one’s self can come at great cost so here’s a way to support an anti-bullying cause at very little cost and you get a great book out of it to enjoy. See the details below:

This is a lovely book and perfect for Fall or Holiday gift giving for the book lover on your list. Today only, we’re donating money to “I Choose” Anti-bullying organization for those who buy The Salt God’s Daughter by Ilie Ruby. This book was inspired by 17 young women who were bullied enough to take their own lives. It’s a tragedy that this happens. I hope you’ll take a moment and support this campaign – buy the book, read it, give it as a gift, it’s a beautiful and magical novel about the love between mothers and daughters, sisters, and how we can survive and be resilient amidst adversity. I hope you’ll support us today and stand up against bullying! If you are able to buy and send your receipt to (or simply email me and let me know!), we’re donating a portion of the sales to I Choose!  Thank you!!

Girl Crush: Author Liza Palmer…Ramble

Liza is one of those people who’s writing creates new friends. Friends that fulfill the Girl Scout song “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold.” I’ve been able to connect online with Liza and interview her for some outlets, including this blog. She just pretty much kicks ass. Funny, honest and bubbling over with talent, she even has a French bulldog named Poet. Could she be any cooler? 

My favorite book of Liza’s is Seeing Me Naked. It’s a powerful and intrigueing facing the hard stuff in life with your family and finally creating a life for yourself regardless of what everyone expects you to do. Her last book A Field Guide To Burying Your Parents completely book my heart. It was so powerfully emotional and really hit a raw part of my experience in life. Let’s not forget her first book Conversations With The Fat Girl which was both hilarious and amazing.

Palmer fans already excited for her latest book More Like Her out on April 17th, which I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of to read. I’ve been discussing this issue of lifestyle over career ambitions and how that changes with age with a lot of my friends in the last couple of years. It’s like Liza was part of those conversations or at least her characters in “More Like Her” were. There are times when it’s hard for us to understand the end of a relationship, romanticize it and grieve for it while admiring someone else who seems to have “more” than us in one or several ways. 

“More Like Her” captures the feeling of being in your 30’s wondering why life still hasn’t resolved those career and relationship issues, but really addresses the need to actual realize you deserve someone who appreciates you as you are and the first person to fall in love with you should be you. This book is a little bit of a lighter emotional tugging than Liza’s first three books, but have no fear she will still take you over that edge and in that way I wish I was ….more like her. 🙂