Dec 18

November Wrap Up – Books and Movies

Hey Guys, welcome to the November 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. In the past few months, it’s been a struggle to keep up with this timeline, but I am getting better at this, considering I am only delayed by a week or so this time, as opposed to a whole month the last time. 🙂


This time around I’m going to do the bookish wrap up a little differently – summary style,  because there will be full reviews of some of these books coming up very very soon, and I don’t want to repetitive.

I read 4 books this month – a romantic short story collection by an Indian Author; the first two books of the Twilight Saga (finally! after almost 10 years!) and The Book Thief! So without further ado, let’s get started..

Hearts & Hots

hearts-and-hotsGenerally speaking, I am not a fan of short story collections; I prefer full length novels. But when Ruchi Singh, one of my favorite Indian romance authors (who is also a very dear friend) approached me to beta read her latest, I just had to give it a go. And boy am I glad I did.

This collection of romantic short stories packs a punch. She deals with some very serious social issues, and manages to do justice to them, in-spite of the limitations of the format, while never veering too far from the theme of romance.

Check this one out if you are looking for an easy-breezy weekend read.

Hearts and Hots (Amazon) 

The Book Thief

the-book-thiefThis book. I must admit that while it was always on my TBR list, I only picked it up last month to check off an item on my Bookish Bingo for 2016. But trust me, I have never been more grateful that I was forced to pick up a book.

Since I am going to do a full review, including a book to movie adaptation for this one, really soon, I am going to keep my thoughts brief today.

My experience reading this book is best summarized by one of Stephen King’s quotes. He once (very rightly) said that – books are a uniquely portable magic. That is the very magic that Marcus Zusak wove around the readers of this book; around me specifically.

I was transported into a different time and era, admittedly not the best time in human history, but the author made it possible for me to experience that time as though I had actually lived through it. And that is no mean feat.

This book was just hauntingly beautiful, and I don’t think I have ever used that description for any other book that I have read.

Needless to say, I highly recommend it.

The Book Thief (Amazon) | The Book Thief (Flipkart)

The Twilight Saga – Book 1 & 2

twilightThis is another series I picked up last month to check off a category in my Bookish Bingo. I know, I know, not the best reason to pick up books, but it’s almost the end of the year, and I want to give my Bingo the best shot it can get.

Having said that, this is another series I did not regret being forced into. But my feelings are a little more complicated than that. (Note: I say series, because as of the day I write this wrap up, I have read all 4 books, so I speak of them collectively).

On the whole – I liked this series. It was mindless fun, more like brain candy. And the timing was perfect for me, because I was looking for just this kind of a read – mindless enough for me to not put much thought into, yet interesting enough to be a page turner to provide the perfect distraction.

But I feel like this is something that I would have enjoyed a lot more 10 or so years back, in my teens. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, as teens and young adults are the target audience for this, so in that sense it’s perfect. It’s just that in my teens I wouldn’t overthink this – the story and it’s implications.

And I guess that summarizes my overall experience best. I enjoyed the read, until I really thought about some things that were mentioned, but then, it was addictive enough for me to not care and read on. Do I make sense? Or have I confused you guys?

Anyway, I will be doing a full review/discussion on this one, when I have had a chance to collect my thoughts, so more on this later.

Twilight (Amazon) | Twilight (Flipkart)


Angel In The House

angel-in-the-houseThis movie (also known as Foster) was recommended to me on Netflix, and looked like another one of those adorable, yet cheesy Hallmark Holiday movies, which by the way is completely okay with me every now and then, but this one was an interesting deviation.

It’s about a couple who dreams of having a child, but is unable to conceive due to psychological trauma (rather than physiological issues). As a result, they visit a foster home looking to adopt, and that is where they come across the adorable Eli. But no, they don’t technically adopt him. He just lands up on their doorstep and kind of adopts them. You have to see this movie to know what I mean.

But I will say this – this film had a feel-good magical vibe to it that is perfect for this time of the year, and puts a whole new spin on the term Guardian Angels.

I would definitely recommend this one to everyone – young and old alike.

You can check out the trailer here – Angel In The House.

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


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  1. I loved Hearts and Hots so much even though I am not a fan of romance. I should check out The Book thief. I have hearing a lot about it since long!

  2. So you read Twilight! Glad you didn’t write it off. I didn’t find it as bad as it’s been made out to be. The Book Thief was of course beautiful. I haven’t seen the film, though – Angel in the House. Sounds like a good read over the Christmas Holidays.
    Beat About the Book recently posted…Birds of Prey – A reviewMy Profile

  3. I love to watch the Twilight movie. Many say it is crap, but I don’t care. I have enjoyed the movie a lot and not interested in reading the book. I am so glad you like the Book Thief. It does take you to a magical place. Looking forward to the long reviews.

    • Oh I enjoyed the Twilight movies too. There were parts that were better in the book version, like Bella’s whole thought process, when she had to choose between Edward and Jacob in Eclipse (it seemed kinda selfish even there, but oh well).

      Though I must say that the final fight of Breaking Dawn – Part 2, made up for the lapse in Eclipse. It wasn’t present in the book, and I for one, was itching to see the Volturi brought to their knees. The fact that they managed to incorporate it, without changing the story line was awesome. 😀
      Shanaya Tales recently posted…November Wrap Up – Books and MoviesMy Profile

  4. Many claimed Twilight was a bore, I read it mainly to decide for myself and yes I loved it. The movies are a bit dull though, except the last one. Any how I loved Stephanie Meyer’s writing. I’ve only watched the movie of The Book Thief, it was sad but a beautiful experience. I must check out Hearts and hots. 🙂
    Dashy recently posted…IntroversionMy Profile

    • The Book Thief – sad, yes, but hauntingly beautiful. 🙂

      As far as Twilight goes, initially the public opinion made me very skeptical, but it was such additive fun. Though like I said, if I really thought about some things in this story, it was annoying and unsettling, but oh well, it was enjoyable nonetheless.
      Shanaya Tales recently posted…November Wrap Up – Books and MoviesMy Profile

  5. I do not tell anyone that I loved reading the complete Twilight series when I read a few years ago, because you know why, unless I meet someone who say they liked it. For me, the 2nd book ‘New Moon’ was a bit dull as compared to all the other books and my favorite one is Breaking dawn. I am going by your review and watch Foster soon.
    Anamika Agnihotri recently posted…Questions raising me!My Profile

    • Yeah..Twilight gets a lot of hate. And while I have my issues with it, I feel the haters are overdoing it. It isn’t that bad. At all. In fact, overall I quite liked it.

      And yeah, New Moon is my least favorite too. But that is mostly because there was too much of Bella (my least fav person of the trio) and not nearly enough of Edward (my favorite protagonist of this series)! 😀

      Will have a full review/discussion on it soon. 🙂
      Shanaya Tales recently posted…November Wrap Up – Books and MoviesMy Profile

  6. Oh I love Book Thief. It is one of my absolute favourites. There is something about the way it is written and then the era and place where it is set. I cannot express what this book is to the reader in me. I loved the movie too. Can’t wait for your review. 🙂
    Nabanita Dhar recently posted…Wordless Wednesdays | A Special PhotomontageMy Profile

  7. Actually I had decided to read the twilight series sometime back. But somehow after opinions that floated around, I just let it be. Looks like I need to reconsider reading it.

    • You know what, the public opinion is what had me procrastinating this series for the longest time. And while I feel that in some aspects the arguments against Twilight are valid, it doesn’t deserve the kind of hate it gets.

      I would say give it a go, and judge for yourself. Happy reading. 🙂
      Shanaya Tales recently posted…November Wrap Up – Books and MoviesMy Profile

  8. Not a Twilight fan, but each book has its audience, and my likes are subjective:)

  9. Nice roundup, Shantala. I have The Book Thief but haven’t got around to reading it. I read Twilight Series a few years back and had similar feelings about it. Would have enjoyed it more when I was a teen. And short stories, somehow I am a bit wary of them. Have a few books to read this December if I can spare some time. Wish you a happy new year, Shantala.

  10. Thank you Shanaya!!
    Ruchi Singh recently posted…‘Secrets of Tickling the Funny Bone’ by C. SureshMy Profile

  11. Firstly, congrats my dear friend on completing 100 posts!! Yayy! Kudos for a great milestone! I am really lagging in my reading and have not read much beyond blogposts! I do hope 2017 will be better! I do think Ruchi Singh’s book will be the kind I would like to unwind with. The Book Thief, I tried reading a few pages but somehow I couldn’t move ahead**hides in shame**The Twilight series, after seeing the movies, I haven’t really felt like diving in, but your review tempts me. Yes, certainly lots of reading I need to catch up on. As always, I loved your candid and honest reviews. How can anyone make reviews so interesting, I honestly can’t even attempt it! Only you can do it!! Love and hugs 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Kala. It’s been an awesome reading year, but have missed catching up on as many blog posts as I would have liked to, so that’s a goal of mine in 2017.

      I can relate to The Book Thief dragging at the beginning. In fact, until about 50% of the book, I had a lot of mixed feelings, and had to really push through. But I guess the second half made all the difference for me. 🙂
      Shanaya Tales recently posted…Reading Goals and Bookish Bingo – An UpdateMy Profile

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