Book vs. Movie: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

I’ve never met a movie I like more than the book.  When it comes to Harry, I love them both – but there are a lot of details left out if you only see the movie.  Here are some, from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
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The movie starts out with Dumbledore on the Dursley’s street.  In the book, we actually get a glimpse at Vernon Dursley as he goes through his morning routine, getting to work, yelling at people, etc. before any of the magic stuff happens.
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And when it comes to Dumbledore, he’s a lot goofier in the books than in the movies.  Wears purple robes and high-heeled boots.  Makes everyone sing the Hogwarts school song, but to their own tune, and says thinks like “I haven’t blushed so much since Madam Pomfrey told me she liked my new earmuffs,” and that he has a scar on his knee that is a perfect map of the London underground.  What??
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In the book and movie, Hagrid shows up carrying baby Harry on a flying motorcycle.  In the book, he says that he borrowed the bike from young Sirius Black…who isn’t mentioned again until (and then is, of course, a main character in) book number 3.  Genius.  Hagrid, in the book, is far larger than he is in the movie – “twice as tall as a normal man, and five times as wide”.  And he knows how to spell in the books (vs. “Happee Birthdae Harry” on the cake in the movie).
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In the book, Dudley’s friend Piers goes to the zoo with the Dursley’s for Dudley’s birthday.  Harry isn’t supposed to go, but his babysitter, Ms. Figg falls and breaks her leg (another character who becomes key in later books – book 5, for her).
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In the book, once letters from Hogwarts start coming to Harry addressed to the cupboard under the stairs, the Dursley’s move him into Dudley’s 2nd bedroom.  The letters also show up in crazy places – for example, inside eggs Petunia brings home from the grocery.
In the movie Hagrid tells Harry he’s not allowed to do magic, and that is all that is said.  In the book, he elaborates – Hagrid was thrown out of Hogwarts and had his wand snapped in half (which Harry figures, is now a part of the umbrella he always carries).  Of course, we find out why he was thrown out in book 2.
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In the movie, Hagrid takes Harry to the train station straight from shopping at Diagon Alley.  In the book, he goes back to the Dursley’s for a month (after all, his birthday is July 31, and there is still a month of summer left).  The Dursley’s get a good laugh as they leave Harry at the train station, completely lost as to where platform 9 and 3/4 is.In the book, Harry has his first run-in with Malfoy when getting fitted for robes at Madam Malkin’s.  It is then that Draco gives Harry his first clue that he doesn’t want to be in Slytherin.  Harry and Ron have their first face-off with Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle on the train.  In the movie, he doesn’t meet them till they’re at Hogwarts.
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In the book, Quirrell is the one who clues Harry into the reason Snape dislikes him so – that Snape and his father were enemies in school.  If you’ve only watched the moive, you wouldn’t have any idea why Snape hates Harry.
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The discovery of Nicholas Flamel…in the movie, all of a sudden Hermione has a book, and says “Of course!  Nicholas Flamel…blah blah blah.”  Of course?  What?  There is no explanation of how she knows all of a sudden!  In the book, Harry first reads Flamel’s name on Dumbledore’s chocolate frog card, but then he can’t remember where he’s read it.  It’s not until they’re eating chocolate frogs again after Christmas that it comes back to him, and they realize, since Flamel is 600 and some years old, they need to look in old books, vs. the modern ones they had been perusing.
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In the movie, we meet Norbert when he hatches and never see him again.  Hagrid mentions that Dumbledore sends Norbert to Romania.  In the book, he wrecks havoc on Hagrid’s cabin as he gets bigger, and the three finally convince Hagrid to let Ron’s brother Charlie’s friends take him to Romania.  Harry and Hermione sneak the dragon to the top of a Hogwarts tower for the friends to pick him up, and this is when they, and Malfoy, get caught and sent to detention with Hagrid.  Ron is in the hospital wing when this happens in the book, and never gets in trouble or goes into the dark forest – however, Neville does.
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In the movie, Harry, Hermione and Ron only have to get past Fluffy, through the room with the flying keys, and the chess game before Harry gets to the final room with Quirrell.  In the book, there are two more challenges – a troll, which has already been knocked out when the three get to him, and a set of potions by Snape, along with a riddle that they must figure out in order to know which to drink to go on.  Harry and Hermione (well really, Hermione) figure this out; Ron is laying passed out on the chess board.
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In the book, Dumbledore tells Harry “Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself.”  These words are spoken by Hermione in the second movie, and not at all in the first.  In the movie, Voldemort is the one who tells Harry “There is only power, and those too weak to seek it.”  In the book, it is Quirrell.

Books to Escape With

I’ve always had a passion for books.  Reading is one of my favorite ways to step away from the stresses of daily life and leave it all behind – even better if accompanied by a glass of chardonnay.  I’m calling this list Books to Escape With not because they’re all light-hearted – quite on the contrary in some cases – but because these are books that I wanted to read so badly once I got into them, that when they were in my hand I wasn’t worried about much else.  So if you’re looking for a good read, check some of these out.

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Oh – and if you know of a really good, laugh-out-loud book will you let me know in the comments?  I’ve been looking for one of those for a while – Chelsea Handler isn’t cutting it.

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1.  Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett
This book is amazing.  It’s sent in the 12th century in England, and follows two generations of families, all centered around the building of a cathedral.  There are poor families traveling from town to town looking for work, young men battling for earldom and trying to satisfy their manipulative families, kings and queens battling to rule, and crooked monks, priests, bishops, etc. who had a lot of power at a time when everyone took their religion seriously.  And there is Jack, probably my all time favorite character – doesn’t hurt that Eddie Redmaybe plays him in the miniseries (wait a long time after reading the book to watch the miniseries, so you won’t be pissed off about all the stuff they leave out).
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2.  Plain Truth, Jodi Picoult
In this book, a dead newborn is discovered on an Amish farm.  In a setting where people choose to remain stationary while the world progresses around them, a lawyer tries to discover the truth among people who don’t want to talk.  Who gave birth, in a community where premarital sex does not happen?  Who is the father?  Who moved the baby? How did no one notice a pregnancy?
I’ve read a lot of books by this author – Plain Truth was my first one.  At times i have to take a break from her, because they seem to follow a common path – but I always come back.  Salem Falls is another of hers that sucked me in.
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3.  Sarah’s Key, Tatiana De Rosnay and Winter GardenKristin Hannah
I’ve put these two together because they’re kind of similar – both feature a middle-aged woman questioning how satisfied she is with her marriage and life in general, and both flash back to significant moments in world history (both WW2) – the holocaust for Sarah’s and the siege on Leningrad for Winter.  Both feature some pretty serious secrets, one hidden in a house and one hidden in a person.
I wasn’t familiar with the siege (maybe I wasn’t paying attention in history class?) – apparently all communication, supplies, etc. were cut off by Hitler for two and a half years.  People in Leningrad starved – they ate rats, birds, their pets, bread that was made mostly of sawdust.  And they froze.  One and a half million people in that city died.  Insane.
Both of these books are really good.  Both have some pretty disturbing parts.  Writing this list is making me want to read them all again.  Anyway…
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4.  Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
I considered this book my favorite for a long time.  You follow the main character as he tries to find a place to belong in a traveling circus after losing both his parents – the relationships and experiences he has with both humans and animals take you on a roller coaster of emotions – I remember being so mad I wanted to throw the book across the room.  If you’ve seen the movie already, hopefully it hasn’t ruined the book – I heart Reese and Robert as much as the next person, but their onscreen chemistry didn’t do the book justice.  And the story is so much deeper than the movie portrays, which is how it goes with books turned film.
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5.  Harry Potter and the Prisioner of Azkaban (and the rest of the series), JK Rowling
I don’t think it’s a surprise to most people that I’m a Harry Potter fanatic.  Out of all, this is my favorite.  I was traveling around Europe with a friend after college, and we arrived in Paris when I was at the climax of this book – it was so good, I wanted to stay in our hostel and read.  I didn’t want to go out.  In Paris.
JK Rowling is a genius – the way a character will appear in one book and not show up again till two books later, and then have a very significan roll that was referenced in the earlier book is amazing.  I would love to know how she kept everything straight across seven books.  If you haven’t read them, you should.
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I’m going to have to do this more than once – I just looked through my goodreads list, and realized I didn’t talk about The Help or Deception Point.  Loved both of those as well.  Or A Long Way Gone!  So many good ones.  If you’re looking for something a little less intense, here are some of my faves:  The Devil Wears Prada, Something Borrowed, On the Island, Mariana (just finished this one – thanks for the reco Morgan!).
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I’m always looking for good recos – if you have them, please send my way!