Top Ten Tuesday: Best TV Series Based on Books

TV PicMonkey Collage

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is all about television-related topics. As TV has evolved from sitcoms with standalone plots in favor of long-form storytelling, books are becoming more popular as the go-to place for outstanding content for the small screen.

I’m super excited to finish reading Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, in anticipation of the STARZ adaptation coming next year, but to celebrate this TTT, here are the best TV series based on books (according to the humble opinions of me and my friends!):

  1. Best wedding scene: “Game of Thrones” (2011-present) based on the series by George R.R. Martin
  2. Best accents: “Outlander” (2014-present) based on the series by Diana Gabaldon
  3. Best six-pack abs: “Poldark” (2015-present) based on the series by Winston Graham
  4. Best Clinton biography: “House of Cards” (2013-present) based on the novel by Michael Dobbs
  5. Best swordwielding: “Legend of the Seeker” (2008-2010) based on The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind
  6. Best wardrobes: “Sex and the City” (1998-2004) based on the novel by Candace Bushnell
  7. Best backstabbing: “Gossip Girl” (2007-2012) based on the series by Cecily von Ziegesar
  8. Best for Millenials: “Younger” (2015-present) based on the novel by Pamela Redmond Satran
  9. Best “Will they? Won’t they?” chemistry: “Elementary” (2012-present) based on the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  10. Best culinary show: “Hannibal” (2013-2015) based on the novels by Thomas Harris

I’ve listed some fan-favorites, and I’m sure that there will be a lot of overlap on other bloggers’ TTTs, but let me know if I missed a TV adaptation you love!

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Top Ten Books Recommended to Me

Another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, a meme in which I sporadically participate that is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week it’s the books which have been recommended to me the most. This was actually difficult, since it seems people usually ask for my suggestions rather provide their own, but here are a few that stood out, in no particular order:

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

A Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Any novels by Ayn Rand

Some of these books are already on my to-read list, some I couldn’t care less about, and some are wasted recommendations because I’ll never read them. I’ll leave it to you to decipher which are which 🙂 But I’d love to hear your opinions on them!

Which books have been recommended to you the most? Are you simply procrastinating or are they never going to happen? Share the details!

15 Things I’m Looking Forward to in 2014!

Hi everyone!

It’s been a lazy Sunday for me, after finishing my Christmas shopping and wrapping like a madwoman yesterday. Today, I’m just making some chicken and dumpling soup, organizing my stuff both online and IRL, and preparing for the last work week of the year before celebrating the holidays with family and friends.

I’m also reading my 15th and final book of 2013: The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker. It’s been an absolutely exquisite read so far, and I can’t wait to see how it all will end. What a fantastic way to close the year!

I also figured that since I’m reading my 15th book on the 15th of December, why not share 15 things I’m looking forward to in 2014? Sure, I could have picked 14 things to coincide with the new year, but I’ve always been a slight overachiever! So here we go!

1.     Celebrating my 25th birthday (on the 15th of September, no less!). One of my best friends is planning a surprise vacation for me, which I’ll find out about when we reunite for Christmas. She’s the perfect party planner, so I’m crazy excited!

2.     Paying off my student loan. My grace period ended last January, but in a year, I’ve managed to put over $3,000 to my student loan thanks to doubling the minimum payments and using my tax refund. I hope to eliminate the remaining balance so I can snowball those payments into my savings!

3.     Reading more books! Waiting for me on my bookshelf right now include Reached by Ally Condie, Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella, and When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro.

4.     Hollow City. The sequel to Ransom Rigg’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is finally being released on January 14th! Here’s to more creepy photos!

No shirt, no problem!

5.     The parade of pecs…I mean, of Greek myth movies. The Legend of Hercules (Jan. 10), Pompeii (Feb. 21), 300: Rise of an Empire (Mar. 7), and Hercules (Jul 25). Sure, they’ll probably hack the history, but hooray for chiseled chests and six-pack abs!

6.     The Hobbit: There and Back Again. I’m waiting to see The Desolation of Smaug with my family next weekend, but I’m pretty confident I will love it and this finale.

My Spidey sense is tingling 😉

7.     The Amazing Spiderman 2. Ok, last movie-related one, I promise. But it’s Andrew Garfield–’nuff said!

8.     The return of Community. Despite the drama off-screen, including Donald Glover’s early departure, I’m crossing my fingers for #SixSeasonsAndAMovie Cool cool cool!

9.     Game of Thrones, season 4. I realize that I’m wasting most of my bullets on the things I watch, but oh well! How could Peter Dinklage NOT make my list?

Blackjacks FTW!

10.     K-pop comebacks. Rumors are circulating that Korean girl bands 2NE1 and Girls’ Generation are planning to release albums early next year, and many more groups will be revealing new songs and videos. If you don’t know k-pop besides “Gangnam Style,” you’re missing out!

11.     Traveling to new places. I better boost my vacation fund, because the world is too big to sit in one spot for long!

Yummmm….

12.     Trying out new recipes. My “Nom Noms” board on Pinterest has a bunch of untested meals, and I’d like to get my cook on! I’m partial to anything with Nutella as an ingredient!

13.     Reaching 40,000 total blog views. And based on my stats, I should reach this milestone in a few months!

14.     Renewing my domain. I can’t believe I’ve been using bookclubbabe.net for almost a year! It’s been a wild ride!

15.      And of course, blogging! 2013 has been an incredible journey, and I know it’s only going to get better next year!

So what are you looking forward to in 2014? Let’s raise our glasses to another 365 days of awesomeness!

When Reading Itself is a Vacation

Today had so many feels you guys. My awesome weekend with my brother and his girlfriend came to an end, season 3 of “Game of Thrones” is also over (Anyone want to form a Red Wedding grief counseling group?), and my sassy Zumba instructor is switching to a morning schedule so I have to find a new one…sigh…

Needless to say, I could use a vacation! I don’t need something fancy or action-packed, just some peace and quiet to catch up on my reading (seriously, it’s beginning to become a real problem catching up!).

All images via Tea & Cookies

Well, as always, Pinterest to the rescue! I came across this pin which linked to a lovely blog called Tea & Cookies. There I learned about a destination called The Sylvia Beach Hotel in Nye Beach, Oregon.

Open for over 26 years and named after the owner of the Parisian bookstore Shakespeare & Company, this hotel has designed each of its rooms after a famous author.

Separated into three price ranges of classics, bestsellers, and novels, you can stay in a room of your own inspired by Dickinson, Steinbeck, Austen, among others.

Even Dr. Seuss!

No radios, phones, TVs, or wifi. Just a quaint place which provides family-style meals–in their restaurant “Tables of Content”–and hosts a feline mascot named Shelly.

At the risk of sounding like a paid testimonial, this hotel looks like the ultimate getaway for book lovers. Hole up in your room all weekend or take your reading to the beach. Disconnect, unwind, and relax.

Tolkien room for one, please!

So if you could design a new room for The Sylvia Beach Hotel, which author would you choose and how would you decorate? Let your imagination run wild!

My 200th Post!!!

Just after I completely re-designed my blog, I’ve hit another major milestone: my 200th post! Granted, it’s almost been two years since launching Book Club Babe, and I could have achieved this months ago, but meet my excuses: Moving Out, Full-Time Job, and Who-Am-I-Kidding-I’ve-Been-On-A-Game-Of-Thrones-Bender-Because-Brace-Yourselves-Winter-Is-Coming-In-Only-6-More-Days!!!

Damn right LotR cross-over meme! Tyrion Lannister FTW!

Can you tell I’m excited for Sunday?! (Seriously, though, I haven’t read the books–yet, but the HBO series is freaking fantastic! Jump onto the bandwagon!)

Anywho, I’d like to celebrate my 200th post with a haphazard list of links to literary stuff I’ve been interested in. Don’t think I haven’t been keeping up with the news–it’s just that “keeping up” and “blogging about” are more like long-lost cousins than identical twins.

First off, here’s a reminder of the book adaptation blockbusters, coming to a theater near you this year:

  1. May 10 – The Great Gatsby
  2. June 21 – World War Z
  3. Aug 10 – Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
  4. Oct 18 – Carrie
  5. Nov 1 – Ender’s Game
  6. Nov 22 – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  7. Dec 13 – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Also, in non-Game-of-Thrones related TV news, I’ve given up on “The Carrie Diaries.” I was really excited before it premiered, because I’m obsessed with watching re-runs of “Sex and the City,” but now? Meh. Stopped watching after five or six episodes. Wide-eyed, innocent teenage Carrie is not nearly as much fun as sexy, confident 30-something Carrie, especially when her equally awesome friends aren’t in the picture yet.

Raise your hand if you’d rather be watching “Game of Thrones!”

Not to mention, the dialogue is stale, the plots are cliche, and the ‘bad boy’ is not hot enough to keep me interested, a la Chuck Bass in “Gossip Girl.” Granted, two of the executive producers of “The Carrie Diaries,” Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz, were also behind the making of “Gossip Girl,” but in that show of NYC’s elite, they didn’t even attempt to follow the books, which sucked. “The Carrie Diaries” also kinda sucked, so tell me again why these two are attempting to adhere to it this time?

You know what would make this teeny-bopper show better? DRAGONS.

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

Ok, ok, I’ll stop. Last two links:

Here’s a lovely post from Qwiklit on “50 Reasons You Should be a Bookworm.”

And here’s “A Brief History of Book Vending Machines” over at HuffPo. Seriously?! Book vending machines? Awesome!

Any other literary news you’d like to add? Just stopped by to reveal your GoT addiction? Anything goes today!

Is the Fantasy Bubble Ready to Burst?

You know, if fantasy’s dying, then Sean Bean is out of a job!

Yesterday E. D. Kain posted on TheAtlantic.com, “Fantasy’s Spell on Pop Culture: When Will It Wear Off?” an article about how the booming success of fantasy books and adaptations in the last decade might soon come to a slow-down, if not an actual end. How will authors and producers top the fame of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, Twilight, and the recently acclaimed HBO series “Game of Thrones,” based on the novels by George R. R. Martin?

I believe that the answer regarding fantasy’s future is deceivingly simple: Those who only enjoy the movies are more likely to grow tired and bored with similar releases, but true fantasy fans will always be ready to support both the classics and the next big thing. I have not read/seen Game of Thrones, (I hear great things about the series, though!), but I’m familiar with all the others I listed and then some. Everybody goes through phases with their interests, as I progressed from animal novels like White Fang to fantasy sagas like His Dark Materials to chick lit like the novels of Sophie Kinsella.

But fantasy is something that I always return to, eager and enthralled by worlds much different than our own. I admit that I love fantasy more than sci-fi (because I prefer elves, magic, and sword-and-bow warfare over robots and aliens any day), but both genres represent escapism. Kain is right: Fantasy has gone mainstream. Fans are no longer just the mouth-breathing, D&D playing nerds in their moms’ basements. But that stereotype to me is offensive, as if all the “cool” fantasy fans will abandon the genre as soon as it gets too popular, like some sort of literary hipsters.

There are hardcore comic-books fans that will still get giddy over the latest Spiderman and Superman comics, no matter how many movies they remake. The same applies to fantasy: some fads like vampires and werewolves will come and go, but the genre will continue to grow and thrive as long as the true fans keep reading…and writing. The bestsellers of this decade have made fantasy-writing even more of a challenge. We shouldn’t be looking for a Harry Potter replacement, but a story that breathes new life and excitement into the genre. And those stories are out there, just waiting to be discovered…

So what are your thoughts? Has fantasy hit a dead end, or is it just getting started? Which stories prove promising, and which ones are just overrated? And perhaps most importantly–what IS fantasy? Has the genre grown and evolved, or have all the crossovers diluted what constitutes true fantasy? Let me know!