Tag: bookxcess

From Sentence to Screen: 3 Books That Made The Movies

Plenty of books have evolved from bestseller to blockbuster, albeit with varying amounts of success. Here are three titles from our shelves that have captured the hearts of readers and moviegoers alike – and spawned many arguments about which medium really did it better.


  wolf-of-wall-streetTHE WOLF OF WALL STREET by Jordan Belfort

RRP: RM51.20
BookXcess: RM17.90

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Take a look into the cutthroat world of boiler rooms, stock trading and how it can all go very, very wrong in the name of greed and profit. Jordan Belfort has done it all, quite literally, and lived the life to prove it, going from multimillionaire to wanted criminal.

Belfort’s memoir details his rise and fall as a stockbroker and symbol of American entrepreneurship. The child of accountants, he went from selling meat and seafood to stockbroking and founding his own company. His investment firm, Stratton Oakmont, specialised in pump-and-dump schemes that involved buying up cheap stock, inflating prices with false positive news, and then selling them for a massive profit (and dire losses to the consecutive buyers). Decadence and debauchery is the order of the day as he splurges on yachts, helicopters, drugs and sex before finally falling from grace.

The Wolf of Wall Street received the screen treatment in 2013, with Martin Scorsese as director and the talents of Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Riza Aziz, Matthew McConaughey and a host of others. This black comedy was nominated for five Academy Awards, and DiCaprio’s performance would net him that a Golden Globe for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.


hp-half-bloodHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

RRP: RM39.90
BookXcess: RM17.90

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The adults and young adults out there are the generation raised on Harry Potter, hoping for our letters from owls and a way into a world where magic is real, dragons live on more than paper, and everyone bonded around fantasy books which grew from slim volumes to the size of our own heads. (We’ll assume that everyone has caught up already with HBP, but just in case, we promise no spoilers in this review. Not very large ones, anyway.)

In the sixth and penultimate novel of Harry’s wizarding adventures, he returns to Hogwarts and finds it a darker place – especially with Severus Snape teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts, Voldemort gaining strength and influence, and the beginnings of the physical war against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Harry must prepare for the final battle while also juggling his academic responsibilities, made easier by the notes in his second-hand Potions textbook from a student calling himself the ‘Half-Blood Prince’. Over the course of the year, Harry and Professor Dumbledore set out to discover and destroy more of Voldemort’s weaknesses, but that quest exacts a price that shakes the very core of Hogwarts, and directs him to make a fateful decision.

Half Blood Prince looks into the past of Voldemort as well as that of lesser antagonist Snape, studying the things that shaped both men into what they are. Harry, Ron and Hermione are growing up, and are forced to mature even faster by the war brewing around them. Romance grows and emotions run high, and if readers haven’t realised by now that the Boy Who Lived is very much a teenager with the associated emotional intensity and everyday troubles, it’s definitely clear by the end of the book. The final pages leave us with a grim yet clear vision of what must come, and set the stage for one final conflict…but that’s a tale for its sequel, The Deathly Hallows.

The book benefited from an initial print run of 10.8 million copies, and some additional drama as some books were mistakenly sold before the official launch. Its film adaptation grossed over USD934 million, the second-highest grossing film worldwide of 2009 and 15th-highest of all time, and was nominated for Best Cinematography at the Academy Awards.


RRP: RM38.45
BookXcess: RM17.90

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If it wasn’t for a little dustbin diving, Stephen King’s first novel published may never have seen the light of day. He had attempted to write a short story concerning women (and a certain, pivotal gym shower scene does make it into the finished book), but gave up a few pages in. His wife Tabitha found the disposed manuscript and encouraged him to continue. The result is the violently chilling Carrie, the tale of a young girl for whom the only way out is revenge of the bloodiest order.

Carrietta “Carrie” N. White has led her sheltered, miserable life mocked by her friends and abused by a manically religious mother. Things appear like they might look up when she begins developing telekinetic powers and has a chance to go to her high school’s prom, but her peers have other plans, with deadly consequences.

Carrie portrays the power of young femininity, the terrible impact of bullying and abuse, and the many cruelties and kindnesses inherent in teen minds. Revenge and resentment appear on full display here as Carrie’s full powers manifest for the first time, making for a gripping, powerful read for horror and thriller fans of all stripes.

The book has been adapted for film not once, but three times between 1976 and 2013, and that’s not counting the 1990s ‘sequel’ to the book’s story.

Ready to add these titles to your bookshelf? Check them out at our Amcorp Mall and fahrenheit88 stores, and remember to grab your popcorn and your bookmarks!

3 Unmissable Books for June

We’ve picked up some amazing new titles in our quest to help all of Malaysia read more for less with our bookstores! Here are three of special note for the month of June:

the_Art_of_thinking_clearlyTHE ART OF THINKING CLEARLY by Rolf Dobelli

RRP: RM49.50
BookXcess: RM17.90

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Everyone knows this person (or, unfortunately, is that person): the one who can’t seem to escape from repeated mistakes, or holds on to things and causes that aren’t worth the fight, or continues to engage in behaviour that you know brings nothing good. And yet, things never seem to change. How does the mind trick itself into these vicious cycles? What tricks do we play on ourselves, while thinking we’re being perfectly logical?

In The Art of Thinking Clearly, thinker and entrepreneur Dobelli lists 99 common thinking errors, including cognitive bias, envy and distortions, in short and easily digestible sections. Described as a guide to ‘avoid self-induced unhappiness’, this book describes common errors in judgement and how to recognise them. With this added awareness, it becomes easier to avoid the pitfalls placed before us by our brains. Make sharper, more impartial decisions, and discover new clarity in the way your mind works! This is a great book for those struggling to break out of a rut, or those interested in understanding the inner workings of the mind.

The Art of Thinking Clearly has remained at the top 10 of Germany’s Der Spiegel Bestseller list for 80 weeks, and is similarly on bestseller lists in UK, South Korea, India, Ireland and Singapore.



THE CARDTURNER by Louis Sachar

RRP: RM79.10
BookXcess: RM14.90

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If you liked the young adult novel Holes, which was turned into a 2003 film, this is a book you definitely want to pick up for yourself or to introduce to a fellow reader. The Cardturner tells the tale of Alton Richards, who becomes his uncle’s helper at his parent’s behest to lay claim to the old man’s riches. He is not alone, however–Alton must compete with his Uncle Lester’s longtime househeeper, his alluring young nurse, and the crazy Castanedas who seem to have their own mysterious influence over Lester, including shy, quiet Toni: his previous cardturner.

At the beginning of the novel, Alton’s summer is starting in the worst possible way: he has no money, no job, and an ex-girlfriend who has just dumped him for his so-called best friend. Then Alton’s great-uncle Lester Trapp, blinded by diabetes, asks him to serve as his cardturner: basically, his eyes and hands as he plays bridge.  His mother urges him to help, if only for a chance at Lester’s collected riches, but the relationship Alton begins to forge with his great-uncle, especially as they start becoming a great bridge-playing team and he discovers his own talents, will be completely on his own terms.

Sachar’s artistic storytelling is paired with deceptively down-to-earth text, making this book a treat to read and digest. It skilfully showcases the many differences between perception and reality through the richly fleshed-out inner lives of each character. Cardturner also won the 2010 Alan Truscott Memorial Award from the International Bridge Press Association, and makes a fine addition to any collection of books.


song_solomonSONG OF SOLOMON by Toni Morrison

RRP: RM49.50
BookXcess: RM17.90

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A classic example of black American literature, Song of Solomon is one of Morrison’s most commercially successful books with over 500,000 copies in print. While Morrison is known for her body of womanist works, she purposely chose a black male protagonist to draw upon experiences foreign to her as a woman, and, according to her, “Because I thought he had more to learn than a woman would have.”

Macon “Milkman” Dead III is the son of a wealthy property owner, alienated from himself and estranged from his own culture, history and roots. He decides to leave Michigan in search of his ‘inheritance’ – supposedly a stash of hidden gold cached in Pennsylvania on his paternal grandfather’s former property. In his journey to discover his fortune and his place in the world, he is helped (and hindered) by his aunt Pilate, an eccentric woman of near-divine nature, and his best friend Guitar, a street-wise, arrogant activist out for revenge against the white people who have killed his fellows.

Milkman’s search for his cultural identity, both as an African-American and a person independent of his family and its influences, are intertwined with fantastic elements and flashbacks into the pasts of family members, giving insight into the workings of their minds. If you’re looking for a rich, compelling story that explores love, life and black history, we highly recommend giving this book a try!

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