books & reading reviews

Text-to-TV Showdown: Dead Until Dark vs. True Blood

I know it’s a risky move to watch a tv show or movie based off a book before reading it, but these things happen to the best of us. Usually it means I will be unable to read the book, already knowing the plot. This was true for the first half of Dead Until Dark, the first in a series by Charlaine Harris that the hit show True Blood is based off of. I’d just rented the first season on Netflix, which like the book, tells the story of Sukie Stackhouse, a modern day southern belle who happens to fall for a vampire.

In the story, vampires have just “come out” to society and are attempting to mainstream their way into society. I’d already started watching the show and was several episodes in, when I found out about the book series. It took me awhile to track down a copy of the book and meanwhile there was the tv show, in all it’s deliciousness. I couldn’t resist – I love a good vampire story and this one intrigued me. I really liked the spin they took on vampires and the idea of them trying to live peacefully among the living without pretending to be something else.

When I managed to snag a review copy of the book, I was feeling all kinds of guilty. I’d cheated on the first rule of Book Lovers: Always read the book first!!! I vowed to finish this book no matter what – never mind the new baby I gave birth to in the middle (seriously, my timing could not have been worse). I couldn’t help but compare the two and for awhile, I preferred the tv show – it’s easier to look at pretty pictures, let’s be honest), but either the writing got better halfway through, or I just finally got into it – either way, I ended up really liking it.

The book and tv show have a lot of major differences, although some major things like “Whodunnit” are the same. It was kind of hard to enjoy some scenes where the “villain” of the story seems nice and normal and I’m thinking, “Run away you fool!” This is probably what made it really hard to enjoy initially – knowing who the killer was. Oh well.

I did end up liking the book and definitely plan to read book two, Club Dead. So which one did I like better? TV show or book? I honestly cannot say! I think they did a great job making the two into their own things, both with pros and cons over the other – so you can enjoy both versions of the same basic story. I also plan to watch season two of True Blood when it comes out on DVD.

Are you a fan of all things Sukie Stackhouse? What do you think – which is better, the book or the show?

family fun

5 Great Things…

First off, I just wanted to thank everyone for your kind comments and words of encouragement in yesterday’s post. You guys are wonderful and between your words of advice and the general therapeutic nature of writing, I felt a lot better. Anyway, I thought I’d take a different approach today and write about the things that are going really well – that way I’ll have given equal attention to the good and the bad of these days, which are so fleeting…

Jean @ Working Momma 247 has been doing Gratitude Posts lately and that is really what inspired me to give this a go, so here are 5 things that I’m grateful for / happy about right now or just things that have made me smile…

  1. I finally finished reading Dead Until Dark last night – I feel very proud of myself for sticking with it, never mind for finding reading time at night again. I actually ended up really liking this book – I’ll try to write a review soon.
  2. Last night Dan attempted to make a 5 course dinner in celebration of our anniversary. I think it was a little overly ambitious, especially with him not getting home to start cooking until 6:00 pm and us having the new baby and the crazy preschooler, but we had a fun time anyway. Even when he caught the garlic bread on fire. It was actually a really nice night and there was really no point where either of us were upset when our plans went crazy it was just kind of like, “Yeah this is our life now.” I am impressed looking back on it, at how well we both just rolled with the punches. 5 courses turned into roughly 3 which I commented was maybe perfect for a 3 year anniversary. Maybe in two years we’ll attempt it again? We still have the ingredients to attempt courses 4 and 5 sometime this weekend maybe.
  3. MM has added two new phrases to his constant vocabulary – “two minutes” as in, two more minutes until nap time, bedtime, diaper change etc. He says it so cutely that it’s hard to be annoyed, never mind the cleverness of his scheme to bide his time. The other phrase is “two little” as in, I’ll have “just two little crackers” or “two little grapes” or “two little oatmeal.” This one doesn’t really mean he wants 2 – one bowl of oatmeal is fine and he will want more than two grapes but again – it’s cute. He’s cute. There’s cuteness.
  4. We finally got our washer / dryer fixed – again. Apparently another bird made another nest in the vent and our office manager guy came himself, climbed up on the window sill in MM’s room (teaching him new bad habits – hurray!) and got it out, then added a vent cover so as to nip the problem in the bud. And that night Dan added to our child proofing stick in the window thing so that MM will definitely not be able to open to window to reenact our office manager’s actions. In retrospect, I totally shouldn’t have let him watch, but all is good and fixed. Finally.
  5. BB is just beautiful – have I said that enough? She’s healthy and happy and nurses well and is getting bigger and becoming more alert during the day and we are all crazily in love with her. And when the bad seems to pile up on me, it really should be remembered – that I have two beautiful, healthy, brilliant children – not to mention a helpful, caring, patient husband who cooks me 3 to 5 course meals and changes the diapers at night…

How about you? What are 5 great things in your life right now?