Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge

December 18, 2009 § 6 Comments


I’m not much of a movie person, but I think I’d like to join this challenge; it sounds like fun! Basically, the challenge is to read a book, watch the movie that was made based on it, and include both book and movie in our blog post.

The challenge is being hosted by C.B. James HERE, and there are five levels at which one can join:

  • Matinee: one book/movie
  • Double Feature: two books/movies
  • Saturday Movie Marathon: four books/movies
  • Film Festival: eight books/movies
  • Festival Jury Member: ten books/movies

There are some books I’ve read, for which I want to watch the movie, and there are some movies I’ve watched, for which I want to read the book. And then of course, there are those that I just want to read the book AND watch the movie.

So what titles do I anticipate?

I’ve been meaning to watch The Color Purple for quite some time now, especially after reading the book, for which I have posted my thoughts HERE. Maybe I’ll do a re-read of the book when I get around to watching the movie.

I’ve also heard good things about the movie adapted from John Steinback’s Of Mice and Men. Seeing how I’ve read and rather enjoyed the book (thoughts HERE), this movie is going on the list too.

As for movies that I’ve watched and now want to read the book, I’ve got Notes on a Scandal and The Joy Luck Club. I particularly want to read Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, and of course re-watch the movie, because I only watched the movie a couple of times when I was quite quite young, and though I didn’t quite understand the movie, I always felt intrigued by it.

On my radar also is Raise the Red Lantern, written by Su Tong, movie directed by Zhang Yimou. I am a Zhang Yimou fan, particularly for his movie Hero. If you’ve not watched it, I’d recommend it. The splendid use of colour in that movie alone is worth watching it again and again.

Having read only Saturday by Ian McEwan, Atonement has been on my list of to-read-soon for quite some time now. I’ve been told the movie is not too bad, so maybe I’ll be able to read my second McEwan next year?

I was then told that The Reader is an awesome movie. Having an acute interest in WW2, pre-, during or post-; I repeatedly told myself to refrain from watching the movie before reading the book. I’m making Bernard Schlink’s book a to-be-read for 2010.

The Lovely Bones is coming out very soon, and my brother is convinced that I should watch it. My sister, on the other hand, is convinced that I should read the book. I plan to do both.

Alice in Wonderland is coming out in March next year, and is an extension of Lewis Carroll’s novels, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I wonder if that counts for this challenge? Anyhow, the trailer on YouTube HERE has definitely captured my interest. And I love Tim Burton.

I’d love to include A Christmas Carol into this list as well, though I’m not sure if I can make it.

Then of course, there’s No Country for Old Men and The Kite Runner.

If I really wanted to, I guess I could re-read Dan Brown’s books, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. I rather enjoyed both books really, despite what everyone says about Dan Brown, though I have yet to watch the A&D movie. And then there’s Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, which though I’m not too keen, I might just give it a go.


So let’s see, how many is that? Ah! I’ve got 15 titles listed here!

I don’t think I’ll have time for that many though. I’m committing myself to a Double Feature for now, though things may change, who knows? I’d love to do at least 10 of the 15 I’ve got here though.

Any thoughts or suggestions?


§ 6 Responses to Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge

  • Eva says:

    I read the novella “Raise the Red Lantern” last month and really liked it. But it was in a collection w/ two other novellas of his, and I didn’t like those two at all (they didn’t have the same feel to them, and I would have sworn they were by different authors!). Anyway, so I’d definitely recommend “Raise the Red Lantern” as long as it’s the only one! I’m a huge McEwan fan, and Atonement is the first book of his I read. The movie was good, but kind of flat compared to the emotional power of the book. So I’d say go with the book first! 🙂 I’ve read The Lovely Bones and loved it, but that was back when I was 17 or 18 so I don’t know if I’d feel the same way. I hope so-I definitely want to see the movie! I read The Reader back in college too, and It didn’t overly impress me. But then, I feel the opposite way about WWII stuff; I have a natural aversion to it.

    I’ve read both those Dan Brown books too, and I think that for fluffy thrillers, they work well. 🙂 I read them when I needed something to give my mind a break and enjoyed them too. I don’t enjoy the people who take them ridiculously seriously though.

  • su says:

    @ Eva: I did happen to read your thoughts on Raise the Red Lantern, and I’m hoping that I’ll like it as much as you did, considering I didn’t quite enjoy his other book, Binu and the Great Wall all too much.

    It always seems like the books are more engaging than the movies. I wonder if it’s not because we have very fluid imagination by default. =)

    I too think Dan Brown’s books are the kind to read when we want to take a break from heavy reading. As long as they are enjoyable, which is what reading’s all about if you asked me!

  • mee says:

    On the other hand, I loved Atonement the movie more than the book (the book was far too slow for me, but the emotional impact was there definitely). Atonement the movie was fantastic!

    I liked Joy Luck Club the book more than the movie, also The Kite Runner. The Color Purple, both good, book slightly better. I’ve been meaning to watch The Reader, Lovely Bones, and My Sister’s Keeper (all books I’ve read, tho I didn’t like My Sister’s Keeper, ugh). Of course I would want to watch the new A Christmas Carol and Burton’s Alice (my most awaited movie now!). I’m thinking to watch The Road (didn’t like the book, but I might like the movie), Raise the Red Lantern and Notes on a Scandal.

    I should join this challenge too as book vs. movie is really my thing 😀

  • su says:

    @ mee: I hope you join! I’ve come to love reading your thoughts, and I’m sure you’ll have some interesting picks!

  • Mark David says:

    Oh I think you’ll love Atonement the movie! It’s a powerful adaptation of a really beautiful book, in my opinion. So I do hope you fall in love with the book as well.

    I remember watching The Joyluck Club when I was a kid, and I still remember it. Since you’re Asian yourself, I’ve got a good feeling you’ll like it too 🙂

    I also like watching movie adaptations of books, by the way 😉

  • su says:

    @ Mark David: I’m really looking forward to reading Atonement. It’s been on my radar since such a long time ago.

    Hope you join this challenge!

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