The Book Was Better than the Movie – Categorizing the Same Story in Different Genres

„The book was so much better than the movie.“ I have heard this sentence so many times and I don’t agree. Generally because I have studied television narratives and I know that there is quite the difference between book, TV and movie narratives (to name just a few) and see them as separate entities. Lately I had a few stories where I enjoyed the movie more than the book only to realize that I would categorize them in different genres.

Aurora Teagarden Series by Charlaine Harris – Books vs. Movies


The Books

I have started to read the series as a crime story. Though it is cozy, comfy and less gruesome than other books, it never struck me as a crime story. Sure there was a mystery in it, the protagonist was interested in murder, but she never really investigated. It was pure coincidence that she got information and was actually at the right spot at the right time. There was a lot more side chatter that in other crime novels. The protagonist was far from being investigative and seemed rather clueless. So for me this is more of a comfy read about Aurora’s life mixed with a little mystery than an actual crime story.

The Movies

However, the Hallmark movies are really wonderful and I watched and enjoyed them as a crime story. Here, the protagonist is far more investigative and a little nosy. It is not coincidence that lead her on the right track. Her private life is still quite dominant, but somehow intertwines better with the crime story. I liked the characters a lot more than I did in the novel and the crime was actually presented as a crime story.

The Books Are Not The Movies – Reading Two Different Genres

So for me personally, the book is not always better than the movie as well as the movie is not necessarily better than the book. I consume both in a different way, as two different categories – cozy-chick-lit-with-a -little-mystery novel vs. cozy crime movie. So, apart from the fact that one might have to remember that telling a story in a book and telling a story on a screen are very different ways of storytelling, one can actually enjoy both with an open mind. I did not put any expectations into reading or watching Aurora Teagarden novels but let them just role over me and see what develops during my reading or watching of the story. This way I don’t feel like I wasted time.

Advertisements

My Reading Month March

March was a solid reading month. I have a little bit of reading groove back. It increased slowly, but at least it does. I hope the next months might be better.

  • Books: 4
  • Audiobook: 6
  • Pages (only books): 698
  • Pages (incl. Audiobooks): 1857
  • Minutes listened: 1490 min. (over 24 hours)

Books:

Charlaine Harris – Three Bedrooms and One Corpse (Aurora Teagarden #3)

The third novel in the series was finally a little more crime fiction than the ones before. I enjoyed the story, the mystery, and even the characters – Aurora wasn’t as annoying as in the last installments. A good cozy mystery.

Kate Clary – The Monster that Moved in

A lovely children’s tale about a family who invited a monster to move in with them. Only to discover annoying habits that seems to drive them crazy. Yet they are not aware that they might have annoying habits, too.

Andreas H. Schmachtl – Weltbeste Freunde für Immer

A short book about friendship and love. Really adorable.

Maria V. Snyder – Touch of Power (Avry of Kazan #1)

It took me a while to start another book by Maria V. Snyder. I loved her Poison Study series, but wasn’t so thrilled with the first book in the glass series. This time I get to know a whole new world full of magic and healers, who are hunted down – a little like a witch hunt. This whole story just sets up the story for the continuing books and is leaves an interesting premise for the future. I was captivated, enjoyed the characters, and loved the side kicks. Snyder has a fantastic way to create loveable characters and keep a fast and thrilling narrative pace. I loved it.

Weltbeste Freunde Charlaine Harris - Teagarden 3

Audiobooks:

Andreas H. Schmachtl – Tilda Apfelkern

My first audiobook this month was German children’s book but I forgot the complete title. There are quite a few out there and I couldn’t recall which one it was. It contained stories about the white mouse Tilda and her friends who embark on some adventures.

Holly Black and Cassandra Clare – Magisterium: Der Weg ins Labyrinth/ The Iron Trial

Although the reviews state that The Iron Trial was a rip off of Harry Potter, I disagree. Yes there are some similar tropes and settings used but you can’t reinvent the wheel all the time. There is bound to be some overlapping. I really enjoyed the story, I did not see the ending or the twists coming. Really good.

Nina Müller – Kuschelflosse und die blubberbunte Weltmeisterschaft

The second adventure of the fish cuddly and his friends is equally fun and adorable. The participate in the world championship of bubbles, trying to create the most and unique bubbles with a machine. Lovely story.

George R.R. Martin – Das Lied des Eisdrachen/ The Ice Dragon

Also lovely and entertaining was this short fairy tale. The Ice Dragon is a short, yet interesting narration that would have made a wonderful fantasy novel: Adara and the ice dragon are friends, yet when her town is run over by war, Adara has to make a choice that will cost her.

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson: Im Bann des Zyklopen/ Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters

I love Percy Jackson. I already read all the books and I now listen to the audiobooks in German. Granted, I do think the originals are better because I was laughing a lot more when I read them, but I also enjoy the narrated German version. They are still as captivating as the written word.

M.C. Beaton – Agatha Raisin: Hiss and Hers

My first M.C. Beaton mystery and I am unsure what and how to feel. The mystery was very good and interesting. It kept my on my toes. Yet I did not warm up to the main character or any other character really. They were annoying, behaved like children, and drove me plain crazy. Thus, I think I have to read one before I form a final opinion. Some books are better when I read them then have them narrated to me. Maybe it will be the same with Beaton’s novels.

Charlaine Harris – A Bone to Pick (Aurora Teagarden #2)

Charlaine Harris A Bone to Pick

Paperback
publisher: Berkley
published: Reprint 2008
pages: 272

Blurb:

Death comes calling on a small-town librarian whose life is passing her by.
Aurora “Roe” Teagarden’s fortunes change when a deceased acquaintance names her as heir to a rather substantial estate, including money, jewelry, and a house complete with a skull hidden in a window seat. Roe concludes that the elderly women has purposely left her a murder to solve. So she must identify the victim and figure out which one of her new, ordinary-seeming neighbors is a murderer-without putting herself in deadly danger. (Amazon)

In (Very) Short:

+ an Aurora Teagarden mystery
+ light and easy read more reminiscent of chick lit
+ not a mystery not a crime story

My Opinion:

Aurora “Roe” Teagarden inherits a fortune, a house, and a skull. After an acquaintance dies and leaves Roe money and a house, she is delighted until she finds the skull. Now she has to decide what to with all that she has inherited and she is left with the task of solving the mystery of the dead person hidden in her new house.

The story was an easy and breezy read. Charlaine Harris has a writing style that will draw you in and not let you go. The story was anything but a mystery. Roe was neither investigating nor doing anything really. She just happens to be at the right place at the right time. She looks what happens around her and asks herself some questions, but basically she does nothing really.

If you don’t read it under the premise of a mystery novel (which I haven’t because I already read another book and I have identified the primary pattern), it is a really enjoyable and quick read. It is more of a chick lit – dealing with her ex, dating another, discussions and problems with her mother – kind of book. It is at least for me.

I enjoyed the read, the characters are quite flat but that doesn’t mater since again I did not expect anything else and was looking for exactly that when I started reading. Something that washes over me.

Bottom Line:

Good read, but nothing to pick up if you really want to read a mystery novel.

Rating:

rating 3

My Reading Month April

I am happy with my reading month. I managed quite a few books as well as audiobooks. I will start of with the books I have read this past month.

Charlaine Harris – A Bone to Pick (Aurora Teagarden #2)

I picked up the second book in the series because I wanted a nice and easy read and the Aurora Teagarden series did not disappoint. It is advertised as a mystery book which it really isn’t. Aurora just happens to be at the places where dead bodies are found and she spend a few thoughts on them. This does not make it a crime story. But her private life is compelling and so is the effortless writing of Harris. It just washed over me and I had to continue.

Charlaine Harris A Bone to PickHieronymus Frosch  Das hat die Welt noch nicht gesehen

Andreas H. Schmachtl – Hieronymus Frosch: Das hat die Welt noch nicht gesehen

This German children’s book is lovely and wonderful and focuses on stories about an inventor frog and his friends. It is a fun read, beautifully illustrated and the book is made up of many stories that can be read individually. Really great for reading to a child. And since a frog is green, so is the color of the fond.

John Farman – The Very Bloody History of Britain (Without the Boring Bits) The First Bit!

Another quick read was the history of Britain without the boring bits – and it sure was bloody. It is an interesting take on the subject of history and I enjoyed reading it. Kings and queens seem to be quite weird. Fun.

Derek Landy – Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing with Fire

The second installment in this series was again really enjoyable. The story was fast-paced from the beginning, adventurous, exiting, fun, with incredibly funny dialogues. I loved it.

Skulduggery Pleasant 2

Bette A. Stevens – Amazing Matilda: A Monarch’s Tale

This children’s book is a lovely little story about the monarch butterfly Matilda who wants to fly so bad and is told to be patient. It is a lovely book with beautiful illustrations. Wonderful.

Now onto my audiobooks that I listened in April.

Kristin Cashore – Die Beschenkte/ Graceling

I have read this book some time ago and now listened to the audiobook when I came across this. I enjoyed it as much as the first time. The premise is interesting, the characters well-developed, and likeable, and the translation was really good (I occasionally peeked into the book and compared). Totally recommend this.

Sabine Weigand – Das Buch der Königin

A German historical novel about an „old“ queen who gave birth to her child in a market place because people believed she wasn’t really having a child at 40. It was a good and entertaining story but was drawn out a little at times.

Veronica Roth – Divergent

I loved this audiobook. I found the unabridged version in English in my local library and I was thrilled to have it. The narrator was fantastic, the story well-paced and the characters well-developed. I enjoyed the main characters, the minor characters, I loathed the antagonists and wasn’t bothered by the love story thing. Great fun!

Andrea Sawatzki – Tief durchatmen, die Familie kommt.

This book is written by a German author/actress and focuses on one complicated family during Christmas time. It was an entertaining book though I had difficulties warming up to the female main protagonist. But the family was chaotic and I really enjoyed the end.

My Top 5 Most Read Authors

1. Agatha Christie

The Murder at the Vicarage
The Thirteen Problems
The Body in the Library
The Moving Finger
A Murder is Announced
They do it with Mirrors
4.50 from Paddington
The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side
The Caribbean Mystery
At Bertram’s Hotel
Sleeping Murder
Miss Marple’s Final Cases
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Murder on the Orient Express
Murder in Mesopotamia
Death on the Nile
After the Funeral
Cat Among the Pigeons
And Then There Were None
Nemesis
Hallowe’en Party

2. J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Askaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them
Quidditch Through the Ages
The Tales of Beedle the Bard

3. Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth
Percy Jackson and the last Olympian
The Demigod Files
Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades
The Red Pyramid
The Throne of Fire

4. Trudi Canavan

The Magician’s Guild
The Novice
The High Lord
The Ambassador’s Mission
The Rogue
The Traitor Queen

5. Charlaine Harris

Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Shakespeare’s Landlord
Real Murders
A Bone to Pick

My Top 5 Owned Authors

I do enjoy the booktube and I have seen top something owned authors a couple of times and it made me think from which author do I own most of the books. This does not necessarily go hand in glove with my most read authors, or my favorite etc. – which surprised me to be honest. Agatha I was pretty sure of, but I was surprised about others, because I don’t remember reading that many books from those writers. Due to ebay, however, I own a lot, but have not read them all… Anyway. Here it goes.

1. Agatha Christie (21 books)

The Murder at the Vicarage
The Thirteen Problems
The Body in the Library
The Moving Finger
A Murder is Announced
They do it with Mirrors
4.50 from Paddington
The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side
The Caribbean Mystery
At Bertram’s Hotel
Nemesis
Sleeping Murder
Miss Marple’s Final Cases
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Murder on the Orient Express
Murder in Mesopotamia
Death on the Nile
After the Funeral
Cat Among the Pigeons
Giant’s Bread (as Mary Westmacott)
And Then There Were None

2. Charlaine Harris (18 books)

Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Shakespeare’s Landlord
Shakespeare’s Champion
Shakespeare’s Christmas
Shakespeare’s Trollop
Shakespeare’s Counselor
Real Murders
A Bone to Pick
Three Bedrooms, One Corpse
The Julius House
Dead over Heels
A Fool and his Honey
Last Scene Alive
Poppy Done to Death
Grave Sight

3. J.K. Rowling (11 books and I did not include the Potter books I have in German)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Askaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them
Quidditsh Through the Ages
The Tales of Beedle the Bard

4. Trudi Canavan (9 books)

The Magician’s Apprentice
The Magician’s Guild
The Novice
The High Lord
The Ambassador’s Mission
The Rogue
The Traitor Queen
Priestess of the Wild
The Last of the Wilds

5. Rick Riordan (9 books)

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth
Percy Jackson and the last Olympian
The Demigod Files
Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades
The Lost Hero
The Red Pyramid

Charlaine Harris – Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden Mystery #1)

Real Murders

paperback
publisher: Berkley
published 2007
pages: 290

Blurb:

Lawrencetown, Georgia,may be a growing suburb Atlanta,but it’s still a small town at heart. Librarian Aurora „Roe§ Teagarden grew up there and knows more than enough about her fellow townsfolk, including which ones share her interest in the darker side of human nature.
With those fellow crime buffs, Roe belongs to a club called Real Murders, which meets once a month to analyze famous cases. It’s a harmless pastime – until the night she finds a member dead, killed in a manner that eerily resembles the crime the club was about to discuss. And as other brutal „copcat“ killings follow, Roe will have to uncover the person behind the terrifying game, one that casts all the members of Real Murders, herself included, as prime-suspects – or potential victims…

In (Very) Short:

+ first book in the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries
+ fluent and captivating writing, Harris has a way of drawing you into the story
+ likeable characters
– not necessary a mystery series: lack of sleuthing and more coincidences really

My Opinion:

The first book in the Aurora Teagarden Mystery Series was my third Charlaine Harris series. I have started Sookie Stackhouse’s books some time ago, I started the Lily Bard Mystery Series last year, and I like to return to Harris writing. It is always an easy and entertaining read. And so was Real Murders.

Aurora Teagarden is a librarian who has an interest in real murders (usually committed some time ago). She meets with a group of people who are also interested in real murders and they discuss those cases. During one of those meetings a member is murdered in a way that resembles the murder that the club was about to discuss. Now, Aurora and her club members and friends are caught in the middle of it all and have to be careful not to be the next victim of the copycat killer.

The book was a good read. The story was fast paced, the writing was fluent and easy, and the main characters were interesting and likeable. Real Murders was not necessarily a mystery for me since Aurora was not really investigating a lot but was more caught in the middle of all this. She was and often seemed to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. But although I read this as a mystery and expected the main protagonist to be more of a sleuth, it was by far not disappointing.

It was a good story and Charlaine Harris is able to draw me into her stories, her characters, and her novels. In the middle of the book I noticed I cared about Aurora so that there was not a lot left to be disappointed about. I would have liked a character who does not perceive that being married with kids was the only way to be happy and who would not be so disappointed for being single – but I can overlook that in one book. I am not sure how I will feel about it should this continue throughout all books, but I will have to see.

Bottom Line:

A good and entertaining read, with a likeable protagonist. But it is less of a mystery than you would expect, so beware with your expectations.

Rating:

rating 3