Books to Read Before They Are Movies

These movies based on books will be in theaters in 2017. Read the books before they hit the big screen!

Check out movie trailers at the Internet Movie Database:

Follow the Screen and Page at Goodreads or on Facebook for more ideas and news about book to movie adaptations.

By dailyplanit Posted in Books

2016 Screen and Page

I’ve devoted this year to reading books that have been adapted into movies, and then watching the movies. It’s been an interesting year! This is a great way to run a book group, because there are lots of resources to help, and if you don’t have time to read the book, you can still watch the movie and participate. (although without comparing the book to the movie!) At the Screen and Page on Goodreads, I tried to find both “Theater Reads” (currently in theaters) and “Watch at Home Reads” (available on DVD or to stream) options. I found that at times there weren’t too many options for theater reads that might lead to good discussions. I stuck to options for adults, and some of them are rated R.

I started out with Manhattan Night, based on the book “Manhattan Nocturene” by Colin Harrison. If you like dark and twisty, you might like them, I quite enjoyed both.

Next up was the Oscar winning “Room” by Emma Donoghue. Some of these titles were outside of what I usually might read or watch, and led to some pleasant surprises.

“Me Before You” by JoJo Moyes was another pleasant surprise. I bought the book and shared it with several friends. We planned to go to the movie for ages, but it was hard to get our schedules on the same page! We finally got to see the movie recently, enjoyed it a lot, and felt it closely followed the book.

I liked the book “The Light Between Oceans” by M.L. Stedman. Haven’t had a chance to see the movie yet, but it’s on my list.

Another dark and twisty one: “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins. Loved both the book and the movie!

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak is one that’s been around for awhile that I had not gotten around to. I struggled a bit at first with the book, but I’m glad that I read it before watching the movie. Brilliantly filmed, with great characters, and it’s in part about the power of books and reading.

“The Dressmaker” by Rosalie Ham was another pleasant surprise that was a stretch beyond what I normally read. I enjoyed the book, and hope to see the movie soon.

Along the way, I watched some book-to-movie adaptations without getting the book read.

It’s about a wrap for the year 2016. I enjoyed this so much I intend to keep it up in 2017!





Reading Record Punch Card

How can libraries create excitement about coming into the library to check out books or other items on a regular basis? I’m thinking a monthly drawing with really neat (but not too expensive) book related prizes. When patrons check out (at least) once a month, they get a monthly punch on a Reading Record Punch Card, and can enter their name for the monthly drawing. If they get a punch each month they can enter their card for the annual grand prize drawing. This is aimed at adults only, no kids allowed! (why should they be the only ones having fun?!) Actually, school librarians could modify the idea a  little and have fun with it too.

You could even set up a selfie photo booth. A word bubble could say “Check me out! I checked this out at the library!” with a checkerboard background.

There are so many great possibilities for prizes. There are a lot of book lovers out there! Here are some of the prize ideas I’ve come up with so far.

See lots of ideas at this Pinterest BoardPinterestLogo

  1. Color Your World at the Library: an adult coloring book & pencils.
  2. Sweeten Your World at the Library: hot chocolate & chocolate trail mix.
  3. Organize Your World at the Library: a Household Binder Notebook.
  4. Light Up Your World at the Library: a book light & this mug.
  5. Rock Your World at the Library: a music CD or gift card, or vintage record label coasters.
  6. Game On! Level up Your World at the Library: a big wooden scrabble letter sign that spells READ or scrabble letter fridge magnets from PBS.
  7. Caffeinate Your World at the Library: a coffee mug & Starbucks gift card.
  8. Turn Up Your Creativi-tea at the Library: Novel Teas.
  9. ACT-ivate Your World at the Library: a movie quote mug & CD of great movie soundtracks or popcorn.
  10. Carry On at the Library: a Where the Wild Things Are tote bag or pouch. Or a Keep Calm & Carry On tote.
  11. Relax & Read at the Library: a literary pillow or a Keep Calm & Read On mug.
  12. It’s Time to Read at the Library: a literary clock or a Book Lover’s Calendar.
  13. Annual Grand Prize: maybe a literary garden sign post, or a Once Upon a Time lamp.

I looked for things that might appeal to anyone, and most cost around $10 or $15. It would take a little bit of a marketing budget to pull off. This idea might also work for bookstores looking for a way to encourage customers to return on a regular basis. And those in search of great gifts for book lovers, of course these things would totally work. Which ones do you like the best? What should be used for the annual grand prize? Let me know your thoughts at the Daily Planit Facebook page.

Here is a Reading Record version of the punch card:

Insight Out by Tina Seelig (Book Review)

The book “Insight Out” by Tina Seelig describes a framework for getting ideas out of your head and into the world called the Invention Cycle.

Imagination: Engage & Envision to identify passions

  • Be curious: explore and engage in experiences that may lead to passions.
  • Generate ideas and use your imagination to visualize how you will solve the problem that has captured your passion.

Creativity: Motivate & Experiment to explore challenges

Innovation: Focus & Reframe to generate unique solutions

  • Make time to focus, keep workspace uncluttered.
  • Look at ideas from different perspectives.

Entrepreneurship: Persist & Inspire to bring your ideas into reality

  • Push through the point where others stop by developing grit.Understand that challenges and mistakes are to be expected. Take steps that are the right size: neither too small nor too large.
  • Manifest your ideas by sharing your dream. Inspire others to join or support your cause by telling stories. Tell stories that inspire emotion and provide a clear path for action. See Kurt Vonnegut’s story shapes, the story spine and more about storytelling on Pinterest.

Tina Seelig’s TED Talk: A Crash Course in Creativity

By dailyplanit Posted in Books

A Keep It Super Simple Book Discussion

MoviesBooksI love movies, I love books, and I really love discussing an outstanding movie based on a terrific book. I couldn’t find a discussion group, so I started the Screen and Page at Goodreads and Facebook. If you love discussing movies based on books too, you are invited to join.

Keep It Super Simple book discussion group guide

I’m trying to Keep It Super Simple! If you want a simple way to start a book discussion group, the following ideas and resources might help.

Getting Organized

  1. Choose a topic: Fiction (new & popular? award winners? classic? mystery?) or Nonfiction (business? self-help? history?).
  2. Select a name that reflects the topic.
  3. For an in-person group, choose a time and place to meet, and decide on how many members (a good number is generally 8-12).
  4. Whether in-person or online, send invitations.
  5. At an organizational meeting, decide on guidelines, book selection, and whether to have snacks or not.

Moderator or not?

Also decide whether to have a moderator lead discussions, and if so, how they will be selected and what the duties will include. A moderator can help keep the discussion on track, and could also look for specific discussion questions or resources related to the book online. It can also work to simply take turns and use generic discussion questions like the ones below. Or everyone can write a comment or question on an index card and just select from them at random to discuss. Or you can roll dice to choose a discussion topic. (here’s an online dicer roller)

dieRoll a Fiction Book Discussion 

Pair this with the printable Fiction discussion questions below.

  1. Miscellaneous
  2. Author
  3. Characters
  4. Dialogue
  5. Originality
  6. Pace
  7. Plot
  8. Setting
  9. Structure
  10. Style
  11. Theme
  12. Ideas & Thoughts

Generic Discussion Questions

Online Tools for a Reading Group

  • It was easy to set up a group at Goodreads. MakeUseOf has a helpful Unofficial Guide to Goodreads. Here is Screen and Page on Goodreads.
  • You can also set up a Facebook page for your group, and add the Goodreads app. Goodreads provides prompts when you set up your group. Here is Screen and Page on Facebook.


Example Guidelines for a Book Discussion Group in person – These are the Screen and Page guidelines.

  • It’s best if you read the book and watch the movie! But if you can’t manage it, come anyway.
  • Consider taking notes as you read the book and after watching the movie. BooksMoviesNotes (pdf)
  • Try to stay (mostly) on topic.
  • Everyone is invited to participate…One at a time please!
  • Opinions may vary, and all are respected.

Example Guidelines for an Online Book Discussion Group – These are the Screen and Page Rules:

  1. We expect respect. DO be respectful & kind. NO spam, profanity, or obscene language is allowed & NO personal attacks or abuse. Any inappropriate content will be deleted and the poster blocked.
  2. We expect opinions will vary. Consider explaining how the work made you feel and supporting your views by mentioning a scene from the movie or a passage from the book. Please mark *spoilers* with astericks.

Meeting Agendas

  • Greetings – a few minutes for welcomes, introductions, icebreakers if desired. Update the contact list if one is maintained.
  • Idea List for Future Reads – review, add suggestions, and vote for next month’s read.
  • Moderator – choose for next month if you use one. (draw straws?)
  • Discussion – reminder of guidelines
  • Conclusion – Thanks for joining!

Book Selection

Add suggestions to a list of ideas for future books to read. Promising titles for interesting discussions have…

  • Characters that are amazing.
  • Original or unique approach.
  • Themes that are complex.
  • Emotions or thoughts inspired.

List Options: Listopia at Goodreads, (although I quickly hit limits with the free version), maybe Litsy if you are an ios person. For Screen and Page I’m creating a shareable spreadsheet in Google Drive. A feature of Goodreads is a way to take a poll of Goodreads group members to vote on future reads. Consider having the next two books selected, so people have plenty of time to read the selections.

More Resources

Printable Reading List from Money Saving Mom

Guides for Starting a Book Club

By dailyplanit Posted in Books

What the Brain Wants

Emily and Paul are just trying to get some work done. But they don’t do it very well until they learn to understand their brains. Author David Rock uses their stories to illustrate how the brain works in the fascinating book “Your Brain at Work.”

To think and work effectively, it is important to understand the brain and be aware of our thought processes. In the first act of the book, the author uses a metaphor for what goes on in the brain. In this metaphor:

  • The Stage is our attention
  • The Actors are our thoughts
  • The Audience is the thoughts already in our brain

The Five Functions of Conscious Thought

  1. Understand: put new actors onstage and hold them long enough to see connections to audience.
  2. Decide: hold actors onstage and compare them to one another, making value judgments.
  3. Recall: bring audience members onstage to interact with actors. (it’s easier to get recent thoughts back onstage)
  4. Memorize: get actors offstage and into audience. (practice, practice, practice: go over connections frequently)
  5. Inhibit: keep actors offstage that aren’t contributing to the story.

All of these functions require a lot of resources. It is best to tackle these tasks at times when your energy levels are high, and to use strategies to focus, gain insight, eliminate distractions, and manage emotions. There is only room onstage for so many actors, so choose them wisely. (Yes, you are the director, as we learn in the intermission.)


To Focus: be aware of energy levels, and do tasks in the best order. This usually means doing important work first. Develop routines so attention reserves aren’t used up by non-essentials, and use that brainpower for more important thought.

To Gain Insight: add interest with some novelty, (but not too much) choose to be curious, know when to take a break, take a walk, change perspective, and use visuals.

To Manage Distractions: Novelty gets our attention, and the brain is easily distracted. (which is summed up beautifully in this clip from the movie “Adaptation.“) Distractions have a big energy cost, and vetoing distractions also takes energy. Practice braking by learning to veto impulses before they turn into action. Stop impulses so that distractions are kept off the stage before they get on it. Once they are on stage they like to stay there.

The Director

In the intermission part of the book, we learn about the director. Awareness: the ability to observe our own thought processes, is central to managing them.


Mind map of “Your Brain at Work” by David Rock created with mindmup. Click image to download.

The Brain is Social

After the intermission, we learn about five things that are powerful drivers in our social interactions. These are things that we want, and move toward. If we don’t get them, we feel pain and move away.

The SCARF model

  • Status-our relative position, confidence in our abilities
  • Certainty-the ability to predict what’s next
  • Autonomy-the ability to make choices
  • Relatedness-connection with others, belonging
  • Fairness-equal and just treatment

An increase in any of these is viewed as reward and desired. Loss of any of these is viewed as threat and avoided. To handle a loss of any of these, first label the emotion, then reappraise by looking at the situation from different perspectives. Handling threats is easier when you practice emotional awareness, reappraise, and have strong self-esteem. If you are tired or your attention is fragmented by many demands, it is harder to handle them.

To reappraise, ask: What’s going on with the other person? Are you interpreting the situation accurately? Are expectations realistic?

Reappraisal is the Killer App

  1. re-interpret (re-frame)
  2. normalize (for example, expect to experience stress when starting a new job)
  3. re-order (increase or decrease value placed)
  4. re-position (get a different perspective)

Things to do when working with others: start off with icebreakers to connect, be open and transparent about your goals, outline expectations upfront, make it visual, ask questions that will lead to insights, focus on solutions (rather than problems), use humor, use your strengths, play against yourself (rather than compete with others), take steps to correct unfairness like volunteering for a cause.

Knowing what the brain wants and how it works may be the best thing you’ve ever done for your productivity.

To learn more, read David Rock’s book and watch his TED Talk, Learning About the Brain Changes Everything.