Escape into these Great Reads…

When was the last time you found a book that just swept you away? Reading can be a great escape when your stuck at home during the quarantine. Why not read before you stream?

Take a loot at the books below and let me know which ones are the most appealing to you! If you’re daring, you’ll order a copy and read it before streaming it on Netflix, Hulu, or any of your other online streaming accounts.

BOOKS TURNED INTO TV SHOWS

Which of these books have you read? Which of the TV shows have you seen? Share your answers in the comments below and let me know if you would like me to review any of the books and/or shows!

BOOKS TURNED INTO MOVIES

Which of these books have you read? Which of the movies have you seen? Share your answers in the comments below and let me know if you would like me to review any of the books and/or movies!


When you purchase a book using a link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.


Doctor Sleep (Movie Review)

Title: Doctor Sleep (2019)

Director: Mike Flanagan

Screenplay Writer: Mike Flanagan

Novel By: Stephen King

Stars: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran

Genre(s): Drama | Fantasy | Horror

Runtime: 2 hours 32 minutes | Rating: R

IMDB STORY LINE:

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless-mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and tween Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death. Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.” Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul… Written by Stephen King

Now let’s talk about the movie… That’s why we are here, right?

SHOW RATING OVERVIEW ★★★ (3.66 Stars)
Writing/Story: ★★★  |  Cinematography:  ★★★★  |  Character(s)/Acting: ★★★★

Writing/Story: ★★★

WTF?!?!?!

Ok, for the most part, I really enjoyed this movie. FOR THE MOST PART. Now, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that Stephen King is my favorite author. However, I have not yet read Doctor Sleep, so I can’t say how well the movie follows the book.

With that said, I will just speak to the movie on its own.

The scene where ‘baseball boy’ is killed… NO, JUST NO!!! There was no need for the director to show that scene in such detail. It was horrific. It was grotesque. It was over the top and made me sick to my stomach. To be honest, I almost turned the movie off I was so disgusted by the fact that the director would show the scene in that way when he clearly had other options.

Cinematography ★★★★

The cinematography was good. There were a number of really cool shots, interesting angles, and zoom features that made caught my eyes. Very artistic in ways that I didn’t expect.

Character(s)/Acting: ★★★★

I felt like Ewan McGregor did a great job as Danny. I’ve always enjoyed him as an actor and thought he was perfectly cast for this role.

Rebecca Ferguson was creepy and ethereal all at the same time. Right from her first scene you feel drawn to her character, but yet there is a tugging feeling that screams DANGER – DANGER – DANGER in your mind.

A huge shout out to Jacob Tremblay who played Bradley Trevor (baseball boy). Although it was my least favorite scene in the whole movie (not because of the acting but because of the act), Jacob gave a fantastic performance. No child should ever experience what his character went through and personally, I believe, not child actor should ever have to experience it either. It was violent in a way that should never have been scene, but he did a wonderful job and get a truly spectacular performance.

FUN FACTS:

* Danny Lloyd, who played the character Danny Torrance in The Shining, makes a cameo in this movie at the baseball game and is listed in the credits as “Spectator.”
* Most elements from The Shining (1980) were recreated with duplicate sets and lookalike actors, though three shots were reused: the aerial shot of the water and the island and the two shots after it of the car driving on the mountain road. The shots were degrained, recolored as day-for-night, and had snow digitally added.
* Mike Flanagan painstakingly recreated the sets of the Overlook hotel from blueprints acquired from Stanley Kubrick's estate.

MY FAVORITE QUOTE:

“Our beliefs don’t make us better people. Our actions make us better people.” ~ Danny Torrance

“We’re all dying. The world’s just one big hospice with fresh air.” ~ Danny Torrance

TO SUM IT UP:

Would I watch it again? Probably not. Will I read the book? Absolutely.

Have you seen Doctor Sleep yet? If so, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If not, I highly recommend seeing it for yourself and forming your own opinion.


#Theredheadedauthor Presents the February 2020 New York Times TOP 10 Best Sellers – FICTION

As an avid reader of fiction (and an author who one day hopes to make the list) I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE checking out the New York Times Best Seller list. So, here it is… The independently ranked top 10 Fiction selections for February 2020!

If you’ve read any of the TOP 10 selections and recommend them, please comment below and let me know. If you see something you like and plan to pick up a copy, you can do so by clicking on the [BUY IT HERE] button.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


#1 Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste Ng

An artist with a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo upends a quiet town outside Cleveland.


#2 The Outsider

by Stephen King

A detective investigates a seemingly wholesome member of the community when an 11-year-old boy’s body is found.


#3 One Good Deed

by David Baldacci

A World War II veteran on parole must find the real killer in a small town or face going back to jail.


#4 Before We Were Yours

by Lisa Wingate

A South Carolina Lawyer learns about the questionable practices of a Tennessee orphanage.


#5 The Tattooist of Auschwitz

by Heather Morris

A concentration camp detainee tasked with permanently marking fellow prisoners falls in love with one of them.


#6 The Overstory

by Richard Powers

Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Nine people drawn to trees for different reasons fight for the last of the remaining acres of virgin forest.


#7 The River Murders

by James Patterson and James O. Born

Three thrillers: “Hidden,” “Malicious” and “Malevolent.”


#8 The Woman in the Window

by A.J. Finn

A recluse who drinks heavily and takes prescription drugs may have witnessed a crime across from her Harlem townhouse.


#9 Sword of Destiny

by Andrzej Sapkowski

In a collection of short stories, Geralt the Witcher battles monsters and demons.


#10 The Wives

by Tarryn Fisher

A woman discovers something disturbing about her polygamist husband.


When you purchase a book using a link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.


Author Interview ~ A.G.R. Goff

I’d like to welcome A.G.R. Goff, author of The Sky Above, to my blog today. She is going to tell us a little about her book, her writing process, and her life.

About A.G.R. Goff
A.G.R. Goff is an author who just published her second novel “The sky above”, a dystopian story about the collapse of the world as we know it based on current political conflicts. Goff grew up in East Germany and has since lived in South Africa and the United Kingdom. She is married to an English guy and enjoys British humor and unexpected adventures. When she is not writing or travelling she plays the saxophone.

What is your name and do you write under a pen name? My pen name is A.G.R. Goff. It’s a short version of my real name and I’d like to keep the mystery by not revealing it.

Where do you call home? At the moment, George/South Africa. But I have also lived in Germany and the UK.

Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do? I’m also a translator. I like it but my passion is writing.

If it doesn’t bother you, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like? Just a simple flat in an apartment block in East Germany.

Do you have any hobbies, other than writing? What do you enjoy doing? I love my dog, but I guess that’s not really a hobby and I also play the saxophone.

What is your greatest dream? To be able to make a living with my writing.

I think there are a lot of us out there that feel the same way as you. I’d love to make a living with my writing as well. For now, I will settle for just enjoying the craft and sharing with others around me.

What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you? A sporty person. I guess I’m not passionate enough when it comes to physical exercise.

Not to pry too much, but do you remember your first love? Yes, but we never became a couple. I was 13 and met him when I was out with friends during school holidays. I kept going back to the same public swimming pool, just to see him. He never even looked at me.

What is the most terrible thing that ever happened to you? The death of my 16-year-old nephew. He died of pancreatic cancer.

What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing? I always used to read a lot and I guess one day I thought, I can do this. But it took years to finally finish a book. I think I had to become proficient enough in English to feel the passion. My mother tongue is German and I wrote a lot whilst growing up in Germany but I never thought of myself as a writer.

Who is your role model? My mum. She’s an unbelievably strong woman.

What is your greatest fear? To become so sick that I cannot look after myself and my family.

Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books? It depends on the mood I’m in. I read a lot from indie authors and that’s mainly e-books but when I’m at an airport I prefer paperbacks. When I walk the dog I listen to audio-books.

Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it? Yes, Stephen King books but only his older stories like Cujo, Carrie, The Shining. I was obsessed with his writing when I was a teenager.

See, now you are speaking my language. Stephen King is my favorite author of all time. I get that his older stories are amazing, they are what made me fall in love with reading. But, if you haven’t already read some of his newer stuff like Mr. Mercedes, Elevation, or 11/22/63 then you should. They are great.

What is your opinion of novellas? They have their place and sometimes it’s nice to finish something quickly.

Have you ever read a book just based on its cover? All the time. When I’m travelling I buy books in stores based first on genre and then the book cover.

What is your favorite film based on a book? The Green Mile

YES! YES! YES! It is SO GOOD!

What is your favorite book genre at the moment? Thriller and Suspense

What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why? Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey. A friend recommended it me.

What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format? The Murderer of Cardim by Noah Alexander. I’m doing it to give a review. It turned out to be quite a good story.

If you could invite any four (4) celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why? Jodi Picoult and Stephen King, just because I love their books. Ray Charles, to talk about music and his life and Jamie Oliver for recipes.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say? The Sky Above. A fictional survival story about the end of the world due to recent political events.

Book Cover by Chloe Belle Arts for The Sky Above by AGR Goff

Can the world survive when hate wins?
In the year 2021, a religious civil war rocks the world, destroying civilisation and pitting Muslims against Christians. Fear rules as looters and rapists control the streets, and people are killed for nothing more than the colour of their skin. Those who survive are left to starve to death or die from lack of clean water.
Brought together by the cruellest of fates, two schoolmates, Mark and Ben—one Christian, one Muslim—band together in a desperate quest for survival. Not knowing who to trust or what the future holds for them, or humankind, they try to stay alive while caring for Ben’s little sister, until a chance encounter changes everything.

Well it is a stunning cover. I would definitely pick this one off the shelf at a bookstore to read the back cover.

How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)? I asked a professional graphic designer. Chloe Belle Arts.

Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)? Not this time. I usually like it quiet but sometimes music can be nice.

How did you come up with the title for your book(s)? It was something one of the characters said in the book and I thought it was a good title.

In your latest novel, who is the lead character and can you tell us a little about him/her? A normal 13-year-old boy who is forced to fight for survival and changes in the process. His whole world is turned upside-down.

What is your character’s greatest strengths? To adapt quickly.

And what are his/her greatest weaknesses? To lose faith.

What are some of his favorite foods? He eats anything he can get his hands on. There is no choice.

What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he has? He is good at looking after others without intention.

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why? Probably both because he’s torn between his upbringing and the need for survival.

What first gave you the idea for your latest book? Recent political events and what it could mean.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter? Definitely a pantster. I never know where my stories begin or end. It just comes to me whilst writing.

Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing? What would you do differently the next time? I’m still learning, so it’s difficult. Writing is very personal, so I wouldn’t change anything. But when it comes to publishing – Maybe learn more about marketing.

Marketing is the hardest part of it for me as well. I’m much more the creative type. Id rather be writing then putting myself out there to post about my books.

Are you a self-published/Indie author or did you publish through a traditional publishing company? Self-published and it’s hard work.

Yes it is. I’ve published 7 novel, working on #8, and I can absolutely say it is’t easy. For those people out there that say anyone can write and publish a book now because of indie-publishing – YOU’RE WRONG! It takes a lot of time, hard work, dedication, blood, sweat, and tears!

If you’re a self-published/Indie author what made you go that route instead of the traditional publishing route? As a new author, it’s almost impossible to publish traditionally even if you have a very good story. A self-publisher has more control, financially and otherwise.

What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing? Just write every day even if it’s garbage.

What advice would you give someone who wants to start writing? Do a course to get you started and then write, write, write.

Where can your readers follow you?

ALSO BY A.G.R. GOFF

Letting Miranda into his house is a big mistake. But aging comedian Dave also has some secrets. Maybe she should never have come looking for answers. As this story about murder, betrayal and dark desires unfolds, things take an unsuspected turn. Things from the past find their way back to the surface and the dead might not be so dead after all.
A diverse collection of short stories attempting to resist categorization. It starts with the love story between a cape-coloured worker and his white boss in South Africa and moves on to a Stasi-agent in East Germany and his struggle to keep secrets. The heroes of these stories are lovers and friends, acquaintances and strangers and they have one thing in common – they want to escape the boredom of their daily lives.

#Theredheadedauthor Presents the December 2019 New York Times TOP 10 Best Sellers – FICTION

As an avid reader of fiction (and an author who one day hopes to make the list) I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE checking out the New York Times Best Seller list. So, here it is… The independently ranked top 10 Fiction selections for December 2019!

If you’ve read any of the TOP 10 selections and recommend them, please comment below and let me know. If you see something you like and plan to pick up a copy, you can do so by clicking on the cover image, the title or the [BUY IT HERE] button.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


#1 Twisted Twenty-Six

by Janet Evanovich

The 26th book in the Stephanie Plum series. A New Jersey gangster’s associates go after a bounty hunter’s widowed grandmother.


#2 Blue Moon

by Lee Child

Jack Reacher gets caught up in a turf war between Ukrainian and Albanian gangs.


#3 The Guardians

by John Grisham

Cullen Post, a lawyer and Episcopal minister, antagonizes some ruthless killers when he takes on a wrongful conviction case.


#4 Where The Crawdads Sing

by Delia Owens

In a quiet town on the North Carolina coast in 1969, a young woman who survived alone in the marsh becomes a murder suspect.


#5 The Night Fire

by Michael Connelly

Harry Bosch and Renée Ballard return to take up a case that held the attention of Bosch’s mentor.


#6 Olive Again

by Elizabeth Strout

In a follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Olive Kitteridge,” new relationships, including a second marriage, are encountered in a seaside town in Maine.


#7 The Dutch House

by Ann Patchett

A sibling relationship is impacted when the family goes from poverty to wealth and back again over the course of many decades.


#8 The Giver of Stars

by Jojo Moyes

In Depression-era Kentucky, five women refuse to be cowed by men or convention as they deliver books.


#9 The Institute

by Stephen King

Children with special talents are abducted and sequestered in an institution where the sinister staff seeks to extract their gifts through harsh methods.


#10 The 19th Christmas

by James Patterson

In the 19th installment of the Women’s Murder Club series, detective Lindsay Boxer and company take on a fearsome criminal known only as “Loman.”


When you purchase a book using a link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.


The Shining (Movie Review)

Would you prefer to watch the video review, instead of reading it? Click on the video below!

I love receiving review requests. So, when a request to review The Shining came in, I jumped on it. Did I really need a reason to re-watch The Shining? No, but I’ll take it. 🙂

SHOW RATING OVERVIEW ★★★★★ (5 Stars)
Writing/Story: ★★★★★ | Cinematography:  ★★★★★ Character(s)/Acting: ★★★★★

STORY LINE:

Jack Torrance, a writer and former teacher, signs a contract to spend the winter, with his family taking care of an old hotel with a violent past. Secluded in the Colorado mountains for 5 months, Jack, who is recently sober, slowly gets more violent and angry. His son, Danny, tries to use a special talent, the “Shining”, to inform the people outside about what is going on in the hotel.

MY 2 CENTS:

The Shining has always been one of my favorite horror films. It is perfect in just about every way. When The Shinning was first released, in 1980, it received mixed reviews. People didn’t really know what to make of it.

The fact that it was nominated for a Razzie award – honoring the worst of cinematic under-achievements – just blows me away. In my opinion, it is pretty perfect! Much like Citizen Kane or Schindler’s List, I can’t think of anything wrong with this film.

Sure, it’s metaphorical and it leaves the audience wondering what they just watched. What is wrong with that?  

Writing/Story: ★★★★★

I loved the novel. It was one of the first books I ever read that truly scared me. And the film, although very different than the novel, had the same effect. I have read that Stephen King hated the movie and recently read the following quote:

“The book is hot, and the movie is cold; the book ends in fire, and the movie in ice. In the book, there’s an actual arc where you see this guy, Jack Torrance, trying to be good, and little by little he moves over to this place where he’s crazy. And as far as I was concerned, when I saw the movie, Jack was crazy from the first scene. I had to keep my mouth shut at the time. It was a screening, and Nicholson was there. But I’m thinking to myself the minute he’s on the screen, ‘Oh, I know this guy. I’ve seen him in five motorcycle movies, where Jack Nicholson played the same part.’ And it’s so misogynistic. I mean, Wendy Torrance is just presented as this sort of screaming dishrag. But that’s just me, that’s the way I am.” ~ Stephen King, on The Shining

In my opinion, yes, the book and the film are very different. However, just because I love the book doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the movie for what it is. The Shining is a classic horror film that will, until I die, send chills up and down my spine and nightmares into my sleeping mind.

Cinematography ★★★★★

This film has some of the best cinematography I’ve ever seen and to say that about a horror film is pretty amazing. Most horror films, especially these days, are all about the jump out at you scares, the blood and gore, and less about the visual aspects of the film.

The opening scene, where he is driving up the mountain, is stunning.

Fun fact… Although the inspiration for the fictional hotel came from Colorado’s Stanley Hotel, Kubrick ended up using Oregon’s Timberline Lodge for the exterior shots of The Shining’s Overlook Hotel and all of the interior scenes were filmed in England.

The entire film, from the opening until the closing credits, visually draws you in and leaves you on the edge of your seat in anticipation and fear.

Character(s)/Acting: ★★★★★

Jack Nicholson is absolutely fantastic in this film. When you first watch him, he is oddly and uncomfortably comical. His is so light hearted in some of the scenes, especially the terrifying ones. However, as you watch his insanity settle in, you realize it is a great performance. One of the scariest scenes is when Jack is stalking his wife up the stairs. He is telling her, with a crazy smile on his face, “Wendy? Darling? Light, of my life. I’m not gonna hurt ya. You didn’t let me finish my sentence. I said, I’m not gonna hurt ya. I’m just going to bash your brains in. …”

Shelley Duvall appears to be on edge and devastated throughout this entire film. I’ve heard that Stanley Kubrick treated Shelley very poorly throughout filming. Some people say he did it in order to get this devastated performance, and although I don’t agree with his methods, I have to admit it worked. Watching her, you truly do believe she is afraid… devastated… and just completely lost.

Danny Lloyd is amazing and, in my opinion, gives us one of the all-time best child actor performances. He is natural and completely believable. I find it hard to believe that his film credits pretty much start and end with this film. However, he does make an appearance in the film Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining. But, I was disappointed to find out he is playing just a spectator and not reprising his role as Danny.

FUN FACT:

There is a photograph at the ends of the film, that shows Jack Torrancce, Jack Nicholson’s character, smiling at the 1921 July 4th Ball at the Overlook Hotel. It leaves the audience on edge, because it leaves you questioning reality. Has he been there the whole time? Was he there before? The worst part is that the questions are never answered.

When asked what the photograph means, Stanley Kubrick said, “The ballroom photograph at the very end suggests the reincarnation of Jack.” That would mean that Jack Torrance is the reincarnation of a guest or someone on staff at the Overlook in 1921.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:

“Some places are like people: some shine and some don’t.”

“I like you, Lloyd. I always liked you. You were always the best of them. Best goddamned bartender from Timbuktu to Portland, Maine. Or Portland, Oregon, for that matter.”

This quote makes me wonder… ‘I always like you.’ Is he referring to the fact that he knew him before, from time spent at the hotel? Plus, the mention of Portland, Oregon… is that a nod to the fact that the exterior hotel shots were filmed in Oregon? Just food for thought.

TO SUM IT UP:

This film is a terrifying glimpse into the declining mental state of a man on the edge. It’s a horror film where the lead character – a drunk on the wagon – is an abusive husband and father. Sure, it is an extreme situation but the fact that this type of thing can, and has, happened makes it all the more disturbing.

This movie came out in 1980, so you’ve probably already seen it, but if not, I highly recommend it.  Especially if you plan to see Doctor Sleep while its still in the theatres… watch The Shining first, even if just to reacquaint yourself.

Have you seen The Shining? If you have, let me know your thoughts, in the comments below. If not, I recommend seeing it for yourself and forming your own opinion.

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.


#Theredheadedauthor Presents the November 2019 New York Times TOP 10 Best Sellers – FICTION

As an avid reader of fiction (and an author who one day hopes to make the list) I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE checking out the New York Times Best Seller list. So, here it is… The independently ranked top 10 Fiction selections for November 2019!

row of books and a cup of coffee

If you’ve read any of the TOP 10 selections and recommend them, please comment below and let me know. If you see something you like and plan to pick up a copy, you can do so by clicking on the title, the cover image, or the [BUY IT HERE] button.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


#1 Blue Moon

by Lee Child

Jack Reacher gets caught up in a turf war between Ukrainian and Albanian gangs.


#2 The Guardians

by John Grisham

Cullen Post, a lawyer and Episcopal minister, antagonizes some ruthless killers when he takes on a wrongful conviction case.


#3 The Night Fire

by Michael Connelly

Harry Bosch and Renee Ballard return to take up a case that held the attention of Bosch’s mentor.


#4 Where the Crawdads Sing

by Delia Owens

In a quiet town on the North Carolina coast in 1969, a young woman who survived alone in the marsh becomes a murder suspect.


#5 The Giver of Stars

by Jojo Moyes

In Depression-era America, five women refuse to be cowed by men or convention as they deliver books throughout the mountains of Kentucky.


#6 The Dutch House

by Ann Patchett

A sibling relationship is impacted when the family goes from poverty to wealth and back again over the course of many decades.


#7 Find Me

by Andre Aciman

Years after the events of “Call Me by Your Name,” Elio has become a classically trained pianist in Paris while Oliver is a New England college professor with a family.


#8 The 19th Christmas

by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

In the 19th installment of the Women’s Murder Club series, detective Lindsay Boxer and company take on a fearsome criminal known only as “Loman.”


#9 The Deserter

by Nelson DeMille and Alex DeMille

Two members of the Criminal Investigation Division must bring back a Delta Force soldier who disappeared.


#10 The Institute

by Stephen King

Children with special talents are abducted and sequestered in an institution where the sinister staff seeks to extract their gifts through harsh methods.


When you purchase a book using a link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.