Books Coming to Screen in 2018

 

 

Writer: Teresa Madaleno

 

I know a lot of people who enjoy reading books before they become movies. The idea is to read first then watch the movie, compare and critique. Lately, I have had several readers ask me what 2018 books will be coming to a theatre near them. While I imagine I am missing some, here are the books know will be movies:

  • A Wrinkle in Time – if it sounds familiar it’s because it is the adaptation of L’Engle’s 1962 novel about good, evil, and time travel. Rumour has it that this Sci-Fi will star Reese Witherpoon, Chris Pine, and Oprah Winfrey.
  • All the Bright Places – is a novel about two teenagers helping each other through some very difficult times. Elle Fanning will be playing one of the lead roles in the movie version.
  • Ophelia – the story of Hamlet from the point of view of Ophelia, a book by Lisa Kline, will hit the big screen at some point in 2018. The cast will include Naomi Watts and Clive Owen.
  • Ready Player One – this book about an obsession with an online game leads to a massive treasure hunt in the online world. The movie version is expected to be thrilling, as well as humorous.
  • Let it Snow – is a novel by the same author who brought us “The Fault in Our Stars”. Does this mean you should bring a box of tissues to the theatre to see the movie version? Some insiders say, “Yes” the story of love just might bring you to tears.
  • Peter Rabbit – the classic tale of a rebellious rabbit comes to the screen in February 2018. It will star James Corden as Peter Rabbit, and Rose Byrne as Bea.

So if more than one of these sound appealing to you then, get reading. The year 2018 will be here before you know it.

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Children’s Books Every Adult Should Read

Contributing Writer: Keelin Mayer

If you are a book lover then you probably find yourself reflecting on your childhood reading from time-to-time. Well, just because you are an adult doesn’t mean you can’t relive the various themes and life lessons in those great books you read as a young person. Here are six books that every adult should consider reading again or for the first time, if they haven’t done so as a child.

Charlotte’s Web – An uplifting story of friendship, the tale of Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider allowed me to believe in something bigger than myself; adding an element of wonder and hopeful possibility to my childhood. I learned that it is important to stand up for what you believe in and to embrace the commonalities and differences between yourself and your friends.

Anne of Green Gables – The story of Anne with an “e” will forever be a part of my soul. A classic, magical and timeless tale of friendship, perseverance and love Anne taught me that it is important to build your own life path. It is a story that warms my heart and reminds me to never give up – regardless of the obstacles before you anything is possible.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – Harry Potter walked me through the universal childhood challenges – the need to figure out who you are as an individual, the desire to be the same as everyone else and the realization that you can only ever be yourself, and ultimately the quest to find meaning in life. It is an entertaining book that captured my imagination and made tackling childhood fun.

The Secret Garden – A story of finding oneself by helping others, I found The Secret Garden to be an illustration of how a person can change when placed within new circumstances and offered new understandings of life. The metaphor of the garden is a visual component of the book that drew me in, allowing me to connect with the story through a personal familiarity of the beauty and tranquility of gardens. Opening your heart to the unexpected is the message I took away from the tale of Mary and Colin.

The Outsiders – The sad circumstances of the characters of this story were heartbreaking. Offering me a window into a realm of life unfamiliar to me, the poverty, underlying message of the need to fight to survive, and the lasting impact of split second decisions spoke to me of lost innocence. The book was a product of its time with a message that still resonates today.

The Story of Ferdinand – With a message of non-violence and pacifism, The Story of Ferdinand introduced me to the concept of internal struggles stemming from external sources. Ferdinand’s resolute determination to smell flowers instead of participate in bull fighting suggested that we all make our own destiny; it is not necessarily determined by the circumstances of our birth.

Reading at any age is an opportunity to step outside of the day-to-day routine. The life lessons learned from books read as a young person have the ability to stick with the reader, ultimately influencing their decisions and helping to shape their world view.

Contributing Writer, Keelin Mayer is passionate about writing, yummy food and nature. She spends her free time exploring forests and mud puddles with her husband and two young sons.

Defending The Goldfinch

Writer: Teresa Madaleno

So I finally found the time to sit down and read Donna Tartt’s, The Goldfinch and I am glad I did. This book, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize actually came out in 2013 and has been stirring up controversy ever since.

The book has drawn a long list of rave reviews, but it also has its naysayers. For example, the editor of The Paris Review, one of the most highly regarded literary magazines in the world, has been quoted as saying, “A book like The Goldfinch doesn’t undo any clichés –it deals in them.” Another harsh critic referred to the book as “children’s literature”. While I can see that the book does contain a few boilerplates, it should be recognized for what is really is, a story that brings characters alive, a story that touches various emotions, a story that makes you think.

In the aftermath of a terrorist bombing, a young boy named Theo comforts a dying man who points to the small painting, The Goldfinch. The boy takes this as a sign he should grab the painting and leave the rubble behind. His decision to take the painting leads him on a wild coming-of-age journey, complete with eccentric characters and heartache. That small painting becomes a lifeline to Theo, a reminder of his dear mother who was killed in the bombing.

Tartt’s decision to have Theo tell his own story was a way to draw us deeper into the heart and mind of a tortured boy. She manages to craft a tale that allows you to see his soul. Theo Decker is a prime example of a fantasy feeling like reality. You forget when you put down the novel that Theo is not real, but rather a well-crafted character from an author’s imagination.

Theo’s attachment to his mother is as strong as his distaste is for his reckless father. His heartbreak over the loss of his mother is compounded by his concern for the safe keeping of The Goldfinch. Here is an example of Theo telling his own story. He is sick with a fever and dreaming…

“She came up suddenly beside me so I saw her reflection in a mirror. At the sight of her I was paralyzed with happiness; … She was smiling at me, … not a dream but a presence that filled the whole room … I knew I couldn’t turn around, that to look at her directly was to violate the laws of her world and mine; … our eyes met in the glass for a long moment; but just as she seemed about to speak … — a vapor rolled between us and I woke up.”

If you have ever lost someone who means everything to you, then this passage hits home. It is hard to write grief well, but Tartt does it with vivid and intoxicating language.

It’s not all about Theo, Tartt manages to introduce readers to a whole cast of characters that will keep you turning the pages. Even some who have panned the book for it’s far fetched plot, also admit they had difficulty putting it down.

By the way, The Goldfinch, which is a real painting by Carel Faritius, was never stolen. Today the 1654 painting, sits in the Royal Picture Gallery of The Hague. Believe me, if you haven’t read Tartt’s The Goldfinch yet, this little piece of information will do little to spoil the narrative.

Oh, one more note – The Goldfinch is coming to a movie theatre near you. That’s right, it is going to hit the big screen sometime in 2018. That means you have plenty of time to get through the approximately 900 pages of the book before heading to the theatre.

 

 

 

Self-published Authors

Writer: Teresa Madaleno3339059842_2fdbfe1b6a

If you like to write, and I mean really like to write, then you probably know that completing a book is only part of the journey when it comes to getting published. Finding a publisher that is willing to take a chance on you is much tougher in most cases than actually writing the novel itself. Luckily, in recent years the publishing industry has changed dramatically. E-books are now very popular so it is easier to get your work out there and read. As well, there are a number of self-publishing programs that allow writers to publish their own stories at a reasonable cost, and in some cases, free of charge.

While it is true that anyone can self-publish, not all self-published work gets read. It has to be good. It might surprise you to learn how many good books are out there that are self-published. Some of your favorite authors could have started out with self-publishing or perhaps they are still using this route.

Now a household name, David Chilton, the man we all know as a Dragon from CBC’s Dragon’s Den, published The Wealthy Barber out of his basement when he was still studying economics. Today, it is a top book for those who are looking to learn about the basics of investment.

There is also K.A Tucker. She self-published her own Y.A stories for about three years before getting noticed by Atria Books, which is a division of Simon & Schuster. Tucker is the author of the well known, Ten Tiny Breaths, which is the story of a girl trying to start over following a horrible drunk driving accident.

One of the most successful self-published authors of all time is, Michael J Sullivan. Before signing with a traditional publisher, he sold close to 70,000 copies of his Sci- Fi, Fantasy tales all by himself.

“Still Alice” is another book, made into a major motion picture not long ago and it was originally self-published.

If you are looking for a new author to follow, don’t discount self-published works. You just might find a gem.

Fun Reading – Books you can breeze through

Writer: Teresa Madaleno

 

It has been quite some time since I have recommended any books. I must confess that a lot of my reading in recent months has been work-related texts, but I have had a chance to enjoy several easy reads over the last little while and wanted to share just a few.

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I Almost Forgot About You, is written by Terry McMillan, the bestselling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Waiting To Exhale. This uplifting novel tells the story of Dr. Georgia Young who makes some major changes in her life, including quitting her job and moving. She is a reminder that it is never too late to make changes in your life and follow your dreams.

 

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, is a debut novel by Phaedra Patrick filled with an interesting cast of characters and a whole lot of heart. It follows the life of 69-year-old Arthur Pepper, a widower who goes on a journey from London to Paris and as far as India discovering details about his late wife’s secret life before they met. He finds hope and self-discovery along the way.

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney is charming and funny. It features the Plumb family who give new meaning to the word, dysfunctional. Four adult siblings and their shared inheritance are the focus of the book. It seems that inheritance has ruled their decision-making and their lives, but the siblings come to realize that their joint trust fund, “The nest” is suddenly in jeopardy. The author brings us an amazing cast of characters and teaches us about what money does to relationships and at the same time, demonstrates the unbreakable power of love.

 

How to edit your own writing

Writer: Teresa Madaleno

Four eyes or eight or 10 or 12 or 14 are much better than two. However, there are times when content has to be turned around quickly and that means you have to write and edit your own work fast – there is no time to pass your writing off to someone else to check.

The demand for engaging, accurate content is growing so if you want to be a writer you have to learn how to self-edit. Sure, if you are working for a big publishing house you will have an editor; maybe even a group of editors, reviewing your work before the public reads it. If you are blogging, writing web content or working for a small organization, you have to learn to edit yourself.

Here are my top 6 tips for becoming a better self-editor:

  • Don’t edit while you write, just write and remember the editing will come later.
  • Read your work in a different format. For example, you might consider printing out a blog or read it on a different platform like an e-reader. Sometimes it is easier to catch mistakes when you change your view.
  • Most people write too much so cut out 5 to 10 percent of the content. Remove anything that sounds repetitive, get rid of overstated arguments, and eliminate unnecessary adjectives.
  • Don’t depend too much on spellcheck. Go ahead and use spellcheck but use your eyes more. Remember spellcheck is not foolproof. Some words sound the same, but are spelled different and only your eyes can catch those. Spellcheck has also been known to point out words that are in fact spelled the right way so following every spellcheck suggestion could be a mistake.
  • Read your piece backwards. You can become so familiar with the material you have produced that mistakes will slide past you when you read. Reading backwards can help you catch mistakes since the copy suddenly becomes less familiar.
  • Read your copy out loud. I have always found that I catch more mistakes when I read my copy out loud.

While self-editing sounds easy, I really can’t stress how important it is to have extra eyes on your work whenever possible. No matter how good a writer you might be, no matter how detail oriented you might think you are, mistakes can be missed. Some best selling books are even guilty of not being well edited. For example, “The Hunger Games” has a comma overload problem and the popular book, “Fifty Shades of Grey” forgot to edit out the 5 to 10 percent of unnecessary content and has serious punctuation issues. When I wrote my non-fiction book, “Girl Power: Chronicles of the True Power of Female Friendships”, it had several eyes and a professional editor, yet the first print still had a typo on the back cover. Yikes – I was mortified.

You get the point, editing is a very important part of the writing process.

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