Jul 31

July Wrap Up – Books and #HarryPotter fever!

Hey guys, welcome to the July edition of the Monthly Wrap Ups, a series where I wrap up my month in books and movies, within the first week of the next month (or so I wish).

However this time, it’s only the last day of the month today, and the post is already up! *pats self on the back*

This time we are also going to shake things up a bit, and start with Movies, instead of Books. If you are wondering why that is, it’s because it’s Harry Potter, that’s why. No rules apply to this series – it eternally occupies the #1 slot in my heart.


Harry-Potter-and-the-Cursed-ChildAs you all know (or at-least you all must know by now) – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child released today! In anticipation of which, I dedicated the month of July to a Harry Potter movie marathon.

Now I use the term ‘marathon’ pretty loosely here, because I have spread out these movies over the course of 1 month. In another life I would have been able to do this over a weekend, or 3 or 4 days at the max. But that was then; this is now. A decade, a full time job, and a toddler later – a month is more realistic for me to catch up 8 movies.

Past me would have been horrified if she got to know of this in her future. But then, past me would have never even entertained the thought of refreshing the series by watching movies. She would have most certainly re-read the books. Shortchanging books for movies would have amounted to blasphemy in her world. But like I said, that was then, this is now.

Wiser, practical me realized that I shouldn’t kid myself with the idea of a reading marathon, because – new job, toddler, sleep, life. So I went with the next best thing – the movies (which I must say are very very well done!).

Now I am primed and ready, and I can barely contain my excitement; the anticipation of starting the book tonight is getting the better of me! Speaking of which, I would have much preferred if it was an actual book, rather than a play script, but at this point, I will take what I get of Harry Potter, thank you very much.

You can order the book here (if you haven’t already) –

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (Amazon)

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (Flipkart)

If you would rather wait for the review,  I will have it up on my blog under a week.


During the beginning of July, I was skeptical about getting much reading done this month. Mostly because, I had just started going back to work full time, after a career break of some years, and I used to get completely exhausted by night fall, which was essentially my reading time.

But as things fell into a new routine, I found my groove, and started utilizing my long commute to work, for reading. Also, the DC Metro, with its Safe Track program, and frequent breakdowns, ensured that my long commute stayed super long. Which meant, more reading time, than I ever had before!

Tales of Sunshine by Sundari Venkatraman (3 stars)

Tales-of-SunshineWhen I began the month, my plan was to stick with light reads, preferably romances, because with all the new variables in my life, I just did not have the bandwidth for anything else.

Due to which, I read Tales of Sunshine, a collection of short human interest stories. These were fine.  I had read many of these stories on the author’s blog, which is why, there was very little novelty for me. But overall,  if you have read anything by the author, and like her style of narration, you will like this too.

Tales of Sunshine (Amazon) 

Trouble Has A New Name by Adite Banerjie (3.5 stars)

Trouble-Has-A-New-NameNext I read an Indian Mills & Boons – Trouble Has A New Name. Unless I am mistaken, this is the first ever M&B that I have read, which is by an Indian author, in an Indian setting. It was a decent read. It had all the trappings of a good romance, and it was set in the exotic islands of Andaman & Nicobar, which ensured that the visual imagery was pretty awesome.

The only thing that irked me was in the epilogue. I can’t really mention the exact issue without spoiling the story, so let me just say that, while I do enjoy surprises – I would never want someone to ‘surprise’ me by fixing my own wedding or any other such life-altering event. I am possibly overly controlling, but this part of the epilogue did not sit well with me.

Nonetheless, it was a decent read. It fulfilled the expectations I have from a romance, minus that thing in the epilogue.

Trouble Has A New Name (Amazon) | Trouble Has A New Name (Flipkart)

The Girl on The Train (4.5 ish stars, possibly 5)

The-Girl-On-The-TrainThis I completed just last night, and am yet to process it fully, so I am waiting for my thoughts to settle before I write a review. However, I did enjoy it, very much in fact. It’s just that I am trying to wrap my head around all that happened, and going back to re-read some events. Which is why, I am hesitant to write a detailed review just yet. But would I recommend it? Yes, most definitely. Especially if you enjoy this genre, but even if you don’t. Because I am not very into mystery/thrillers, and I really enjoyed it.

The Girl on The Train (Amazon) | The Girl on The Train (Flipkart)

This is it from my end, guys. Have you read any of these books? Any another books that you read that you really enjoyed? Have you also been catching up with Harry Potter, in anticipation of the new release? Do share. I would love to hear from you!


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  1. Except girl on the train, I have read the others. They are light reads to be read in between. would love to read your take on the last book. I want to read it too.

  2. I can sense that excited you in the post. I do agree that HP occupies a special place for me. Haven’t lined up to buy the book yet though. I’m what you call a cautious buyer. Weigh my options and decide. But so glad you’re enjoying the movies and the books too.
    As for the light reads I think I’ll give them a pass. I still cannot do light romances for whatever reason unless there is a stronger plot line that compels me. Interested to see your take on them, though.
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently posted…Moments from the past #CherishedBlogFestMy Profile

  3. I’m excited to hear what you think of The Cursed Child! I haven’t been AS excited about it, just cause JK Rowling isn’t the writer and she’s the reason I care about Harry Potter so — eh. I’m interested but not overcome with joy the way I was when proper Harry Potter was still coming out. I would love to do a reread of the whole series, but I’ve promised myself I’ll only reread the Harry Potter books as they come out in the new illustrated editions by Jim Kay.

    • I finished reading the new Harry Potter book (full review is up on the blog now), and I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it was a very nostalgic experience seeing some of my most beloved characters from literature in much loved settings, BUT there are plot holes, and some annoying plot devices that were just reflective of lazy story-telling. And then – this is mostly personal – but I am not a fan of how they represent POC.
      Shanaya Tales recently posted…Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (Spoiler Free) – Rave and Rant!My Profile

  4. Have u read the “James potter”books. They are not by JK rowling – niether are they in anyway close to HP but then for a HP fan, a “potter” book always spels comfort rt

  5. Would you believe that I haven’t read a single Harry Potter book? Okay, now that’s not exactly true – I started one and didn’t get past page 15! What to do? I’m like that only!

    I have The Girl on The Train sitting prettily in my Kindle and I must get down to reading it so we can compare notes. Looking forward to your review too.

    I love the idea of this round up and how well you do it, Shantala.

  6. I have The Girl on the Train and was contemplating reading it during my recent trip, but somehow chose something else. Must be tough returning to work after a break, Shantala. But it is nice that you are finding time to read. I liked your mention of “that was then and this is now” How life changes, eh?

    I enjoyed “Trouble has a new name” – it was quite refreshing compared to some of the books that were out at the time. Yet to read Sundari’s book. Nice round up. I guess HP overshadows everyone else. I am reading mixed reviews about the book – can’t wait to see what you think. Happy reading to you. Take care of yourself. 🙂
    Vidya Sury recently posted…When it comes to blessings…My Profile

  7. I actually loved The Cursed Child, but all the negativity about it is keeping me from blogging about why just yet. I have been rereading Harry Potter lately too – I just wish I could read it for the first time all over again!
    The Girl on the Train has been on my wishlist forever! Maybe it’s time to pick it up now.

    • You know I have mixed feelings about the new Harry Potter book ( I have done a full review now) – and not for same reasons as most people.

      Yes, the play-script format was not the best, and there were some plot holes and annoying plot devices, but I enjoyed the main plot enough to overlook most of that.

      Though I hated Panju – what sort of a name is that? I am so over these people thinking representation of POC is basically a joke.

      P.S. I too wish I could read the Harry Potter books for the first time. I am actually so jealous of the ones who are reading it for the first time now. On the other hand, I am not sure if it would have the same impact reading the books now, as an adult, versus reading it in my teens, growing up with Harry and the crew.
      Shanaya Tales recently posted…Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (Spoiler Free) – Rave and Rant!My Profile

      • My God, yes, Panju was such a silly addition! I’d forgotten… there were a few annoying parts in this book though. It is the first time I sort of speed-read through parts of a Harry Potter book.

  8. I am re-reading HP series. Once I am done with that, I will pick up the Cursed Child.
    Have read the Sundari and Adite’s books and liked them for they make for light breezy reads.
    I quite liked The Girl on the Train too. It was unputdownable and very engaging too.

  9. I’m not much into Harry Potter books. For The Girl on the Train, I loved that book. My first psychological thriller, and I have developed an interest in psychological thrillers. I have heard that The Devotion Of Suspect X is very good and I am planning to read that.

    I have read Love Virtually last month and loved it!
    I missed movies in this post ☺
    Tarang sinha recently posted…When Sita Meets Sati. Part 4 (Final)My Profile

  10. Haven’t read HP new book but I am interested to read the girl on the train. Didn’t read Sundari’s noves yet but I love to read short stories. Nice round up Shanya.

  11. Glad that you into a routine now… Didn’t know train services were this disruptive there… But then you got the best company of a book. I am reading the new HP book… But ummm not as exciting as previous ones. Let’s hope it’s better later on.

  12. Wow! I must say you’ve managed to pack in a lot of reading and movie watching with a really hectic work life. Kudos to you for that.
    I think your wrap up is a good idea because you have some idea of what you’ve read … I think I should do it too. I’ll be lucky if I manage a book. Last month I began a book which was whisked away by one of my daughters after I had read only four chapters … I haven’t seen the book since.

    • Oh you should totally do this. Even if you have read one book, and have seen one movie in a month- you could talk about those.

      Before I started doing these wrap ups, I used to read wrap up posts that had 5 to 10 books on average,and I read 3-4 books at the max. Which is why, I was intimidated, and almost thought of giving up. But I did not. And now the monthly wrap-ups are the most popular of my posts. Who would have thought, right?
      Shanaya Tales recently posted…Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (Spoiler Free) – Rave and Rant!My Profile

  13. I like how you mix up your genres while reading. I’ve read Girl on the Train and I quite liked it too.

  14. I am a huge HP Fan and will keep last three months of the year to do a marathon, read again all the series:)

  15. My son was just the right age when the Harry Potter books started to come in. I’m glad he didn’t expect me to wait on the lines of bookstores opening at midnight for each release! I only saw two of the movies, and because (horrors) I never read the books, I found them difficult to understand. I tried reading one of them and (hiss, boo) could never get into it. I should try again.
    Alana recently posted…Throwback Thursday – It’s Raining It’s Pouring and My Heart is Not SoaringMy Profile

  16. I need to get back into the habit of reading. From being a voracious reader to just someone who rarely reads is a major downfall. The girl on the train intrigues me… Especially since there is a movie coming out soon, I would love to read the book first

  17. I wanna read “The girl on the train”.. so much talks are going on about it.. love books.. read ‘The Four Patriots’ this week.. reading ‘Glitter and gloss’ by Vibha Batra now.. 🙂
    Pratikshya recently posted…Memoir Writing – Family Tales 2My Profile

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