Giveaways and Reviews

The Book Is Always Better

I love reading. Love it. One of my self-care strategies is to dedicate time to reading more. I haven’t read one book in 2021 so far which I suppose tells you how well I’m taking care of myself (I’m working on it!) Often times I’ll find a new series on Netflix and NOT want to watch it because I know it’s based on a book and, let’s face it, the book is always better! I love watching adaptations of books but I prefer reading the story first if I can. I don’t think there are many times that I’ll dive into a book after I’ve watched the movie or series with 2 notable exceptions recently:

Sweet Magnolias (Netflix 2020)

This had been in my que for awhile and I am so so happy I decided to dive in and have been recommending Sweet Magnolias to friends! So Southern, so funny, so sweet – and as a bonus American Pie’s Chris Klein plays a scoundrel of a dad (it’s weird how he aged and we didn’t…) I didn’t even realize it was based on a book series until the last episode when I needed to know more after the cliffhanger omg and discovered this! So – the first book is now on order and set to arrive any day now so I can dive right into this book series of 12 books total! Can’t. Wait.

The Stand – Stephen King (Amazon Prime 2021)

This is a weird one for me because, like many teenagers in the 90’s, I read The Stand for some reason. Apparently there was a TV mini-series at the time so maybe it was in the media and that created some buzz about it, I’m not sure. What I do know is that I remembered very little about it, but was eager to see it play out on screen with Alexander Skarsgard and Whoopi Goldberg among many other talented cast members. I actually liked it – despite some mixed reviews – but one theme among many of the reviews was about how much character development was lost and how much better the book is. Well then, I thought, it’s time I read it again – that’s a summer plan.

Next, here are three books I’d suggest reading ahead of watching the streaming series if you’re like me and love the detail and storytelling in a book more than on the screen. Maybe you’ve already read some of these?

You Should Have Known / The Undoing (2020 Apple TV)

Another case where I started watching the series and then discovered it was based on a book. Now that I know the ending and the who-did-it, I’m not sure it’s worth reading the book but wish I had read it first. So – if you haven’t watched The Undoing just yet, I’d definitely suggest the book (maybe someone who has read it first can share here if and why the book is always better?)

Firefly Lane (Netflix 2020)

This is a series I didn’t jump into because I had not heard any buzz about it, and am thankful that’s the case because when I learned it was based on a book I knew that was the way I wanted to go first. Katherine Heigl is in the series (people seem to love her or hate her, Grey’s Anatomy drama-influenced I think) and I am eager to check it out. But first, the book!

Behind Her Eyes (Netflix 2020)

This time I’m going to get it right and read the book before falling into the series which I almost started this week! The book itself has received some rave reviews so I can’t wait to read it (Stephen King called it “bloody brilliant”). It’s only 6 episodes on Netflix so after reading the book it should be easy to jump into the series and see it all unfold on screen. Curious to hear from others who have read the book and watched the series but I don’t want to Google that in case I run into spoilers!

To help encourage you to jump into reading for more self-care, or continue your love of reading with a little help, I’m giving away a $25 gift card to one reader to shop for books!

To enter to win, just fill in your name and email address in the form below and click begin! Then just leave a comment on this post sharing your thoughts – and you’ll be in to win!


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  • The Sweet Magnolia seems great. I find books way better than movies although I enjoy movies a lot. But they have to be kind of “safe” movies. I scare easily

  • I have not seen or read any of them yet. I do tend to find and watch a series on Netflix or else where , then buy the books. The book are mostly better than the series.

  • I read The Stand many many moons ago and watched the TV series way back in the 90’s. The book was much better. The books are always better. I haven’t read any of the other books or saw any of the shows, but my daughter watched Firefly Lane and enjoyed it.

  • I haven’t read any of the above books or series. I find that movies made from books are never the same. Some parts are left out and the movies just don’t measure up. That being said, I would still watch the movie.

  • These are all new to me! Am interested in reading them & seeing the movies too. My book vs film experience is with Harry Potter – I love the movies but love the books more!

  • I watch firefly lane and the stand. Enjoying both.

    I started watching sweet Magnolia but couldn’t get into it.

  • i have not read any of the books, but am just starting Firefly Lane on netflix and am enjoying it so far!

  • I haven’t read or watched any of these books (or movies). I really author love Stephen King and I hope to read The Stand this summer, and then watch the TV adapation series.

  • I really liked Sweet Magnolias too. I didn’t know about the books till after, but haven’t yet got to read those. Sometimes the book is better because there is usually so much more details you can give. But…i really do love sitting down to a good movie or series based off a book.

  • I’ve started to watch Firefly lane on Netflix, but the story makes me sad with all the heartbreak. I’m hoping reading the book would help me like the tv series and help me finish it!

  • I think some books just lend themselves to movies far better than others! I don’t like when books I love become movies though because they usually lose some of the nuances

  • The books are ALWAYS better than the movies! I haven’t read or watched any of these specific ones but I’m excited to read them now!

  • I prefer to read the books before watching the show or film. I find the books are often better however some are done so well on screen. I didnt realize firefly lane was a book. I’ve added it to my list but will wait to watch it.

  • I haven’t read any of these and I think the book is usually better, more detailed however the movie version is quick gratification!!

  • Especially interested in ‘You Should Have Know/The Undoing’ and ‘Behind Her Eyes’, which are bound to flesh out the series.

  • I haven’t read or watched any of the books/movies you’ve featured.
    I do find that the books are better than the movie/series.

  • I binged watched The Undoing last week and really enjoyed it. I would like to see Sweet Magnolias it sounds great.

  • They all look good! I like to try different books. So thankful for libraries and second hand stores because my kids go through books like crazy too.
    I think I generally prefer the books to the movies although there have been a few exceptions. I like Little Women (the movie) more than the book.

  • Honestly, I am just getting back into reading again, and I have not read these ones. Usually I do find the book is always better than the movie.

  • I always prefer the book because you get to imagine everything the way you prefer. I have heard about several of these but haven’t had much reading time lately.

  • I haven’t read or watched either yet, but am 100% on board that you should read the book before you watch the movie or the show!

    Once someone else has visualized the cast and characters for you, it’s very hard to reimagine them!

  • I am watching the series Firefly Lane but haven’t read the book yet. I find that books are often better than the series/movies.

  • I haven’t read or seen any of the these books/shows. I do feel that movies based on books are somewhat different than the books and have been let down in the past.