Jul 16

June Wrap Up (Books and Movies) #WeekendReads

Hey guys!

Welcome to the third installment 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 (which this clearly is NOT, but hey, better late than never – right?).


I will recap the books I read chronologically (outside of audio-books that is).


The Raven King (4.5 stars)

I know, I know, what you guys are thinking – there she goes blabbering about The Raven Cycle again. But it’s not that. I promise. This is only included here because I happened to finish this book in the first few days of June. My love for it though is unchanged. In case you have missed my expression of undying love for this series (which seems pretty impossible), you can check it out hereherehere or here.

The Raven Boys (Book 1 of 4) (Amazon) | The Raven Boys (Book 1 of 4) (Flipkart)

Only-Wheat-Not-WhiteOnly Wheat Not White (4.5 stars)

I picked this book up right after reading (and re-reading) The Raven Cycle Series, and when, oddly enough, I was drifting into a reading slump. I say oddly enough, because I had loved the series, and it should have energized me to read more, but it didn’t. I was in a strange lethargy.

And my go-to genre in such situations is – romance. A simple, light-hearted, fun, romantic comedy always picks me back up, and gets me going. And this book – Only Wheat, Not White (OWNW), fit the bill perfectly.

OWNW follows the life of Eila Sood, a 20 something, who takes up a project/job in USA to spend time (and mend fences) with her estranged elder sister – Sheela (who had a falling out with her family due to her inter-racial marriage 7 years back). While coming to US, the one advice/warning Eila’s mother chose to give her was – Only Wheat, Not White. And nope, this wasn’t nutritional, but matrimonial advice/warning!

The plot then revolves around Eila’s life, as she lands in the country, starts a new job, meets different people, makes friends, and (eventually) falls in love.

This book has all the ingredients of a great rom-com. It is funny, witty, charming, and adorable. It’s also pretty fast paced with many twists and turns, and not a single boring moment. While reading this book, I felt like I was watching this story unfold on the screen. That itself says a lot about the writing, characterization, and the author’s story-telling ability.

A perfect light read for the summer. Highly recommended to fans of this genre.

Only Wheat, Not White (Amazon) | Only Wheat, Not White (Flipkart)

The-Yoga-of-Max's-Discontent-by-Karan-BajajThe Yoga of Max’s Discontent (5 stars)

This book. If you follow my blog, you have seen me gush over it here, but truly, this was a completely unexpected gem.

When I got offered an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of this book to review, I was unsure if I should take it up, as it was way out of my comfort zone (so far out that I couldn’t even see my comfort zone from there!).

Books on spirituality and spiritual journeys are not my thing. Not because I don’t believe in a higher spirit. I do. It’s just that most books written on this topic are either immensely dull and boring, or I find them hard to relate to.

So I was extremely wary of this one, but I went for it nonetheless. Best. Decision. Ever.

It might look like one of those others – westerners looking for Nirvana type things- but it’s not that at all. It has a very authentic feel to it, and that’s pretty difficult to achieve.

I can’t fully express how deeply this book has affected me, but I will say this – it  has certainly compelled me to look into yoga as a way of life ( for health and fitness), and for that alone, I am eternally grateful that the author chose to write this book.

Needless to say – I highly recommend it. To everyone.

Get it here: The Yoga of Max’s Discontent (Amazon)

Audio Books!

This month I also made my way through some audio-books, but they deserve their own full reviews (which will be coming up soon). Watch out for them.



Just one thing – please don’t kill me for what follows.


A Walk To Remember

I solemnly swear that I don’t hate Nicholas Sparks, and have no personal agenda against him – whatsoever. I actually enjoy the genre of romance, but I just can’t seem to get into the romances he puts out.

Wait, that’s not completely true. So far, while his books are overly sappy for my taste, I have liked the movie versions of them. While I haven’t read The Best of Me and Safe Haven, I enjoyed watching them on screen. Then there was The Longest Ride, which was okay too. And finally The Notebook (my review here) – that was a book I had read before I saw the movie, and I felt that the movie was light years better than the book.

Which makes this movie (A Walk to Remember) an exception. I really did not care for it. I mean I didn’t hate it. There were *sparks* (pun intended) of awesomeness, but overall it just felt meh. I couldn’t get into the romance, nor did I care very much about anything or anyone in that movie, which is never a good thing.

I don’t think me and Sparks are meant to be. I have kinda given up on his books, but will possibly be checking out more of the movie adaptations. I know Message in a Bottle is highly recommended by many.

Have you read any of these books or watched this movie? Any others that you recently read/watched that you really enjoyed? Do share! 


Disclaimer: I received review copies of The Yoga of Max’s Discontent and Only Wheat, Not White, but the opinions, as always, are my own.

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you buy on the site through this link, I will get a referral fee, at no additional cost to you. If you do use the link – thank you for your support.


  1. Ah! Not a ‘Nicholas Sparks’ novel fanatic myself. So not quite sure what I can add to this conversation 🙂
    Thanks for the round up, Shan!
    Sid recently posted…Is your Blog a Brand?My Profile

  2. Lata Sunil says:

    I am liking this format. Interesting reads. My reading has been slow in June / July.. but will pick up pace.

  3. I always enjoy your wrap up posts Shantala. The Raven Cycle remains on my TBR. After reading a particularly good series a slump always hits me because of the hangover of the good story. And yes – a romance is the best antidote. OWNW sounds like a good read. I like their rhyming names Eila and Sheela :-D.
    PS: A request: Can you check if my comments from Obsessivemom are lying in your spam folder?
    Beat About the Book recently posted…Do you judge a person by the books he reads?My Profile

  4. I look forward to your reviews of the audio books (Jenny Lawson’s and Tina Fey’s). I’ve read neither but adore both of these women. AS for nicholas Sparks, I’m luke warm on his books. They’re okay. I wasn’t crazy for ” A Walk to Remember” but I was totally CRAZY for The Notebook. That’s a movie my Beau and I watch together on Valentine’s Day (although I think we missed last Valentine’s).
    Lisa Thomson recently posted…Recipes—An Arsenal of LoveMy Profile

  5. Waiting for the review of Tina Fey’s audio book. Am a huge fan of her 🙂

    Really encouraged to read The Yoga of Max’s Discontent by reading your review. That one’s going on my TBR list.

  6. I am not a fan of Nicholas Sparks. I have The Notebook, unfinished. Read two chapters of Only Wheat Not White. Overuse of exclamation marks!! Did you notice that? 🙂 Will read it soon.
    Tarang Sinha recently posted…What If…? Blog Marathon Day 5My Profile

  7. I read ‘The Nightingale’ recently and I’m in love with the book. I just can’t get over the warm feeling of having read something so nice…I remember watching A walk to remember in college..I loved the movie, It was very sweet..His movie versions are actually really good 🙂

  8. I’m going to get myself audio books: haven’t tried them yet.
    Damyanti recently posted…Want tips from Short Story writer Lillian Slugocki? #writetipMy Profile

  9. karan bajaj, that good, eh? I must pick it up then, totally my genre! and I have read Only wheat not white, agree with you. I loved it too. Nic sparks, a couple of them are interesting, but they are all the same, you read one, you’ve read it all.
    shubhangi recently posted…Book Review : The Tales of Sunshine- by Sundari VenkatramanMy Profile

  10. Ha ha 😀 I do know a lot of people who don’t like Sparks.
    Well, Sparks is my idol and I love many of his books. I can tell you that The Notebook is literally the best movie based on his books. You won’t find any other movie even brushing that level. A walk to Remember is the best you are going to get after that. 😀
    Anmol Rawat recently posted…A Letter to My ExMy Profile

  11. Hi,Thanks for the reviews. Have you tried reading Karan Bajaj’s The seeker? It is really awesome too.Looks like he has used the hero’s name from that book in this!

  12. Hi, Thanks for the reviews. Will definitely pick up ‘Only wheat not white’. Karan Bajaj’s “the seeker” is also an awesome book. Do have alook.

  13. I don’t read that extensively. I know I should but I don’t. It sucks. But you are doing an amazing job with books. You sure are a voracious reader, aren’t Shantala?

    Geets recently posted…Ten to One: Know me MoreMy Profile

  14. I love going through the month-en, year-end posts. It gives me ideas and recommedations regarding books and movies which I make a note of for future use. I have heard so much about Karan Bajaj and I think it is high time I gave his books a try.
    Maliny Mohan recently posted…Between Right And Wrong – FictionMy Profile

  15. I love the movie A Walk to Remember. I love all the movies based on Nicholas Sparks’ books actually 🙂
    I so badly want to read Raven cycle but I am scared to start a new series before finishing the ones that I own already. Waiting for your post on audiobooks.

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