Poppy’s Birthday Bash: Annette Goes Hollywood

For today’s 12 Days of Poppy post, I hit up my friend and RomFanReviews blogger Annette. Annette and I are both avid readers, and wanted to compare notes on books turned into movies. Do we love them or hate them? Are there any stand outs? And did Annette put my favorite on her list? Let’s check out what she has to say…
When I came up with the idea to do “12 Books Turned into Movies” for Poppy’s 12 Days of Poppy Birthday Bash I did not realize what I was getting myself into.  All that came to mind was my favorite book of all time which you will find out what my #1 is later. So, I changed my idea to “My Top 12 Books Turned into Movies” so, here we go!!!
12. Gone With the Wind – Author Margaret Mitchell
Margaret Mitchell won a Pulitzer for this book which was released in 1936.  The story is set during the Civil War and follows life and trouble of Scarlett O’Hara who begins the story as a sixteen year old girl in love.
What more can be said about this one “Oh Rhett” starring Vivian Leigh and Clark Cable who gave us the phrase “Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn” that made every woman swoon.  And then of course we have Scarlett that you either wanted to hug her or slap her, talk about a woman who went from sweet to bitch in zero-sixty. 
Poppy: What I love about this movie is that it isn’t your typical romance. It’s funny, because everyone seems to think of Gone With the Wind as a romance, but it isn’t that as all. And Rhett…oh Rhett…
11. The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
Published in 1967 The Outsiders tells the story of a group of boys coming of age in 1965. Claimed as a controversial book due to the violence even to this day it is now part of some schools reading curriculum.
I was a young adult myself when this book was turned into a movie in 1983 and I cannot tell you how many times I watched this movie.  Yes, partly because of the cast but also the story of all that Ponyboy had gone through and the friendships that held through it all.
Poppy: This is one where I watched the movie first. I don’t like to do that, but heck, I didn’t really know any better at the time. And really, how could you go wrong with that cast? How many of those guys went on to become superstars? 
10.  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
Okay, I know it is a children’s book and movies but I love them both.
First published in 1950 and then adapted into a movie in 2005 this story follows Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy into the world of Narnia where they befriend many of the characters and help to defeat the White Witch.
What more to say about a story that takes you into a world of beings and magic. 
Poppy: I tried to resist watching this movie when it came out a few years ago. You might not be surprised to know that I get cranky when books are made into movies and they don’t do it “right”. Fortunately, this one worked for me and it introduced my nephews to the world of Narnia. Gotta love a movie that makes kids want to read! 
9. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Published in 1843 and the first time I saw one of the many adaptions made into a movie was the 1951 version starring Alastair Simms. Of course it was probably 20 something years old by the time I saw it.
We all know how the story goes, grumpy and tight fisted Scrooge is haunted by three ghosts.  The best way to start the holiday season along with The Grinch, Rudolph and Frosty.
Poppy: I adore this Christmas story. One of my all-time favorites. I don’t know though, Annette. I’m not sure the films have every really done the book justice! 
8. Interview with a Vampire – Anne Rice
This was the beginning of my love of all things paranormal.  Anne Rice is the queen that started it all for me at least.  I know there is Dracula and other stories out there but this was where it all began for me.
The telling of the story of Louis and how he became a vampire and his survival over the 200 years the book covers.  Anne Rice began this book as a short story and who knew the hit it would become. 
Just a little tid-bit my daughter found a kitten and brought him home and she named him Lestat after the character in the book.  He lives up to his name with his fangs and his nightly roaming the house and 11 years later he is still my vampire kitty.
Poppy: You know, my absolute favorite character in the film? Claudia, as played by Kirsten Dunst. Man, she broke my heart into a million pieces…and sent cold chills down my spine while doing it! 
7. Beaches – Iris Rainer Dart
I will admit this is one book I did not actually read but the movie I could almost recite word for word.  You see my best-friend Tina and I dubbed this “our” movie.  Of course I am not sure which one of us is Bette Midler LOL…
The story of two young girls who meet and become fast friends it follows them through their adult lives of struggles and just trying to make it through another day.  But, when one of them falls ill and the other drops everything to be there for her is the main plot of the story and their flashbacks of their friendship.
It is a movie I can relate to because my BFF or my soul-mate as I call her are like that, no matter how far away we are from each other we are always there when needed.  Who knew that two women who met at a bar would still be best-friends 25 years later?  I love you Twinkie.
Poppy: Well, it had to happen at some point. I hate to admit it, but I haven’t read the book! Meep! But I have seen the film version multiple times. Bette Midler is outstanding in this movie. Whenever I need a heart-wrenching cry, this is the film that goes on! 
6. A Time to Kill – John Grisham
John Grisham brought us the story that made us all question what would we have done in the same situation. 
The tale of a white lawyer, Jake Brigance who takes on the case of Carl Lee, a black man in Mississippi that murdered two men who had beaten and raped his young daughter and left her for dead.  It follows the hardship that and the trial and tribulations that they encounter.  This is one of those stories that could have been ripped from the headlines of a newspaper.
I watched this movie the first time because it had my favorite actor Matthew McConaughey and it has become one of those movies that I will forever treasure just because it does raise the questions, would I do the same thing Carl Lee did? 
Poppy: Well heck, Annette! You surprised me with this one. I wouldn’t have put it on my favorites list, but I can certainly see why you did. Matthew McConaughey was really good in this one. Yeah, I can see it. How about that. You got me on this one! 🙂 
5. Dances with Wolves – Michael Blake
The story of Lt. John J. Dunbar and life on the wild frontier, he encounters the Sioux Indians and a woman who lives with them although she is a white woman.  Stands with a Fist has been with the tribe since she was a child and adopted by their Shaman. 
Dunbar becomes friends with the Sioux and has a connection with a wolf that hangs out at the post.  But, he has to make a decision and choose between the two worlds.
This is one of my favorite movies, I love historical movies and books, and I can never get enough of them.  And when it involves the great people of this land the Native American Indians and wolves I am hooked as it brings two of my favorite loves together.  If you were to see my house you would know what I am talking about, wolves and Native American Indian art and books all over the place.
Poppy: Love. Absolutely love. All I can say about that. Well, I could say Kevin Costner, too, but you knew that already…
4. The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks
Written in 1996 this story based on true events made me cry, laugh and also at times want to throw it out the window.  That is what makes a great book for me, one that brings out just about every emotion possible and still has you come back for more.
The story of a man who falls in love with a woman but life happens and separates them to only come back again and still feel the sparks.  It proves to us that there is a love out there that can last through anything and that there is that one person out there for us all.
Made into film in 2004 I had to see if the movie was as good as the book and of course it did not hurt that it starred Ryan Gosling.  I swear I probably went through a whole box of Kleenex.  This is one of those movies that I can watch over and over and still not get enough.
Poppy: Now, don’t shoot me, Annette, but I’m not a Nicholas Sparks fan. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’m a fan of anyone who can make me cry with every. single. book. That said, this movie was really fantastic. Gena Rowlands is one of my favorite actresses and, man, she did something amazing in this role! 
3. The Twilight Saga– Stephanie Meyer
Well, unless you live under a rock these books really need no explaining.  We have Bella, Edward the vampire and Jacob the werewolf.  I know a lot of people have a problem with the books compared to adult version of vampire romances but I devoured these books in one week.  Of course it was due to the first movie Twilight being released and I wanted to read the books first.
With the release of the final movie Breaking Dawn Part 2 I will admit finally that the final book in the series was my favorite, maybe because it was more adult then the first two when they were still in high school.
Poppy: I love you, Annette. Really and truly. But nope, not this one. LOL! 
2. The Last of the Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper
The oldest book on my list, the first publication of this book was in 1826 when they didn’t even have pictures on the covers since they were the nice leather bound, last forever books.  Can you imagine what it would cost to get one of those now?  If I ever hit the lotto this will be one book that will grace my shelf forever.
As I explained before I have a love for history and Native American Indians and then throw some romance in the mix and it is the perfect film for me.
When the daughters of Colonel Munro are taken by a Huron Indian for revenge against their father it is up to Hawkeye, Chingachgook and his son Uncas to rescue them from the fate handed to them.
This is a story of not just war and romance but also of a man and his people, what is to become the beginning of the end for a race of great people.
Poppy: Now you’re speaking my language! Daniel Day Lewis! Need I say more? Oh, how about “I will find you!” *melts into a big puddle of Poppy-goo*
1. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Published in 1960 I remember this being one of the required books I had to read in my high school Lit class and I just remember that I could not put it down once I started to read it.  Harper Lee is another Pulitzer Prize winner.
Based in 1936 the story of little Scout Finch getting a lesson in strange friendships with neighbor Boo Radley and hatred due to her father defending a black man accused of raping a white woman in the south.
The movie starring Gregory Peck is an all-time favorite of mine.  Released in 1962 I never saw the movie until I was in high school and after I had read the book.  Based on a time when I was not even thought of yet and to see the prejudice that was going on in that time just blows my mind.  To know it still exists today in the form of race, religion and sexual orientation to me is unforgivable.  It makes me what to just “bitch slap” the bigots of this world.   We all bleed red.
Poppy: Absolutely 100% agree on this one. Gregory Peck…yeah. Just yeah. Amazing book and must-see movie. 
Well, that is my Top 12 list and if I could have continued with even more it would have also included such books as the Harry Potter Saga, Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Green Mileand many, many more. But, I had to narrow down to 12 which was not an easy task at all believe me.  We will see if City of Embers will be added to this list when it hits theaters next year.
 Now I have a couple questions for Poppy since this is her Birthday Bash:
Keeping with the theme here what is your #1 book turned into a movie?
Poppy: Oh, this one is so easy for me, and I’m surprised it didn’t make your list, Annette! Without a doubt, Pride & Prejudice! I’ve read the novel dozens of times, and I’ve watched the BBC mini-series about as many times! Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Yeah. Just yeah. *nods* Yes. On so many levels. Poppy likey. 🙂 
If either Mind Magic or Body Magic were made into a movie who would be your leading man?
Hmm. This is actually a really tough question for me. Although I did find some images of guys to use as inspiration for the characters of the Triad verse, none of them are really actors. Well, unless you count Colton Ford. He was the person I used as an inspiration character for Gray Townsend, my alpha werewolf. 🙂 
What is something on your Birthday wish list?
Well, other than books, I’d say that owls would be top on my list this year. Owls? Yes. I know, I’m random. I’ve developed a sudden fascination with owls. I can’t explain it. 
Now for everyone else out there….what is your favorite book turned movie?