Happy Read a Book Day to everyone! At Midas, we’re dedicated to promoting the joy of storytelling and the wonders of literature. Similar to our previous blog on National Book Lovers Day, we asked our team to share a bit about their own reading journeys – from their first book through to their favourite book-to-screen adaptations.
Here’s what they had to say…
What’s the first book you ever read and how did it define or impact you?
Anna Zanetti (Account Director):
Growing up I loved the crazy adventures of Biana Pitzorno’s books or (closer to a UK audience), Roald Dahl’s completely bonkers characters.
Tina Mories (Account Director):
Way before Hogwarts was on the scene the first book, I distinctly remember choosing myself was Jill Murphy’s The Worst Witch. The witty and klutzy protagonist Mildred Hubble is consistently getting into disastrous calamities but all with a heart of gold. Sometimes when I have a bad day, I can always be comforted by the fact that it can never be as bad as having to deal with the wrath of Miss Hardbroom.
Fiona Marsh (Director, New Business):
Now We Are Six by A. A. Milne. I still vividly remember the poem King John’s Christmas and wanting a ‘big, red india-rubber ball’ myself after reading it, and feeling quite sorry for King John even though he is ‘not a good man’. But most importantly it made me believe there was a Father Christmas and that it was okay not to be perfect – dreams could still come true.
Tom Neilson (Senior Account Manager):
Omg this is quite a hard question. I read a lot when I was younger but I can’t remember the first book I ever read. I remember reading The Firework Maker’s Daughter quite a lot and being very into books that included some kind of creator or creatives, so I guess it encouraged me to be creative and use imagination?
Madison Sotos (Trainee):
I’m not sure if it was the first book I ever read, but the earliest book I can remember loving was a picture book called No Matter What by Debi Gliori. It’s about a little fox whose Mum is trying to get across how much she loves him. My favourite scene was when the Mum fox compares her love for her child to the stars in the sky, whose light – like her love – still reaches the little fox even though they are far away. It gained significance for me in my university years when I moved overseas and was far away from my family.
Henrietta Richardson (Senior Account Executive):
I can’t remember the first book I read (my parents used to read to me a lot), but I used to love Sheltie the Shetland Pony, by Peter Clover, and would read all of those books over and over again.
Jane Lau (Senior Account Executive):
I don’t think I can remember the very first book I read, but the first series I remember being intensely fixated on as a child was A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. I loved the mystery, dark humour and its somewhat fantastical universe. I now hugely appreciate it for its transtextual elements.
Louis Jaffa (Digital Marketing and Social Media Trainee):
The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton.
Ann Amarawansa (Digital Account Manager):
Maybe not the first, but a series that has stuck with me is the Japanese manga series Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya. At first glance it looks like a fluffy, slice of life story about people turning into the animals of the Chinese Zodiac (yep, you heard be correctly), but it goes so much deeper than that. It explores the themes of found-family, abuse, grief, and healing through the eyes of 16-year-old Tohru Honda as she encounters an eclectic group of characters, each grappling with their own inner demons. If you’re interested in getting into manga, then this is a great introduction.
What’s your favourite book to screen adaptation?
My Boomer self cannot but say Father Brown.
I don’t like book to screen adaptations. If I have read the book I won’t see the film, or if I see the film I won’t read the book. Books allow you to tap into your own imagination. If you see the film having read the book you run the risk of being disappointed or if you see the film before reading the book it has already been imagined for you.
The iconic Stand by Me directed by Rob Reiner based on Stephen King’s novella The Body. Nearly 40 years on the film is still breaking my heart and expertly captures the essence of King’s coming of age classic. Hands down one of the best adaptions to screen of all time.
Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects. The television series captured the book’s portrayal of girlhood and the sense of dread and stickiness so perfectly.
Amelia Knight (Deputy Managing Director):
I would say that my favourite book to screen adaptation was the BBC and Andrew Davies’ version of Pride and Prejudice, including the perfectly cast Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. I thought Davies captured Austen’s razor-sharp wit and fully rounded characterisation perfectly, and along with Emma Thompson’s Sense and Sensibility, I think these Austen adaptations can’t be beaten.
I am admittedly a bit obsessed, but it has to be HBO/Sky’s adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels. I think I’d automatically love essentially anything remotely related to those books, so the television series is a clear winner!
The Exorcist (lol).
For the cinematography, the dreamy colour palette, and the metatheatre- it’s got to be Park Chan-wook’s adaptation of John le Carré’s The Little Drummer Girl.
Anyone that knows me already knows what I’ll say: of course, it’s Interview with the Vampire. Anne Rice defined the vampire genre (no sparkling vampires here) in that her monsters are probably the most human monsters you’ll ever encounter. While the 1994 film adaptation, starring Tom Cruise as the ever-so devious vampire Lestat and Brad Pitt as his eternal companion Louis, remains a cult classic, the brand-new TV series is a refreshing take on the timeless story and manages to update it for modern audiences whilst staying true to Rice’s writing. If you’re looking for a gothic romance, then look no further!
We trust that you relished the insights and reflections offered by a selection of our Midas office colleagues. Our celebration extends far beyond the stories themselves; it encompasses the meaningful connections and discussions they inspire in our daily office interactions. We wholeheartedly encourage the continued appreciation of the solace and wisdom that books bestow upon us, enabling us to venture into uncharted realms and broaden our perspectives. Here’s to a continually enriching journey of literary exploration and joy. Happy Read a Book Day!