Books Into Movies

An interesting article on the new movie “Hunger Games” in last Sunday’s NYT.  A dilemma as to how to pitch this movie, as well as other YA movies made into movies, was discussed.  “Hunger Games” the movie is going to be categorized as a PG-13 film, however, many kids under 13 really want to see it.  The star Jennifer Lawrence is 21.  She got the book from her mother, who obviously is an adult.  So is this book/movies audience?

On of the movie’s producers is Nina Jacobson, who describes herself as “Hunger Games” obsessed.  She optioned the book immediately after reading it and promised the author “to respect the book’s fans.” She wouldn’t dilute the story by changing the ages of the characters or by “glamorizing its violence.”  “Hunger Games” fans, regardless of their ages, will soon find out if these goals were achieved.

Choose My Plate

Choose My Plate includes common sense information and it is also customizable and interactive. You can enter your personal information (age, height, weight, gender, activity level) and the site will tell you how many calories you should eat and gives suggestions for serving sizes of foods you should be eating at meal time and for snacks.

This is a great resource for people looking to eat a more healthful diet or trying to lose weight. It is based on scientific research and includes a lot of information you have probably heard before. It brings it all together in one place without advertisements. I have looked at and tried to use other websites like,, or but they have so many commercial tie-ins the sites are visually distracting and leave you with a sense that you are the real product being sold to all the marketers affiliated with the sites. I like for it’s simple design and clear message.



I’m Hungry for The Hunger Games

I’m sure many of you have heard that The Hunger Games movie is coming out next Friday and that the film is based on the best selling books by Suzanne Collins.  I checked the book out from here at least twice, but I never got a chance to read it.  I finally just purchased a paperback copy and got around to reading it last week.  I now know what all the fuss is about- the book is fantastic!

The gist of the story is that the USA is broken down into twelve Districts, plus The Capitol.  Each year the aristocracy forces each District to submit two Tributes (one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18)  to compete in a to-the-death game of survival called The Hunger Games as punishment for District 13 rising up against The Capitol 70-some years previous.

The book is excellent- it’s told in a riveting, no frills kind of way, and you really identify with the protagonist because you understand that she’s doing whatever it takes to survive to give her family a better life.  There’s a love story too, but it’s more of a fabricated one for The Games at this point in the series, but I know it’s developed into a more robust as the series continues.

I really want to read Catching Fire, but every copy is checked out or on hold in the system.  Pooey.

When She Woke

Book by Hillary Jordan is a modern version of the Scarlet letter but instead of an A, Hannah’s skin is turned bright red. The setting is the not too distant future and RELIGION IS IN CONTROL. The book touches on religion, rape, murder and mainly abortion. I’m almost finished – found the first half interesting but it is losing steam – or I am.

Marion Roach

Kurt Andersen’s interview on Studio 360 with Marion Roach, author of the “Memoir Project” was filled with great insights about attitudes we all have.  Roach worked at the NYT in the 1980s, lived on New York’s  West Side and believed serious writers could only live in major world cities to be considered note worthy.  Then she read “Legs” by William Kennedy.  She was deeply affected by the writing, but could not believe that Kennedy lived and wrote in Albany.  Albany she believed was a blot on the landscape. 

Her attitudes have changed.  She now lives not far from our state’s capital and is herself an author.  Roach put it best when she said, “…write from where you are.”  Great advice for writers. For the rest of us, including candidates for public office, realize regional stigmas still exist and need to eradicated in 2012.