Dec 3

October Wrap Up – Books and Movies

october-wrap-upHey Guys, welcome to the (overly delayed) October edition of the Monthly Wraps Ups, a series where I wrap up my month in Books and Movies, within the first week of the next month (okay so this timeline has essentially become a joke, considering this is December now, but hey, it’s the goal, and I don’t want to lose sight of it; I’ll get there..someday..).

Having said that, the delay this time was not only due to my current overly busy schedule, but also because of the actual content of this post.

I was conflicted about a book that I have covered in this wrap up, and also the timing of releasing this post.

This wrap up was due in the first week of November, right before the US Elections, and it had my thoughts on the book Clinton Cash – a graphic novel featuring the many Clinton scams.

And like most things in this election – this was/is complicated. I did not want to highlight a book featuring Clinton scams right before the general elections. Not because I would have influenced anybody, but because it just did not sit right with me.

And the strange thing is –  I know (and not only because of this book) that she is undoubtedly corrupt, but even then, if I could have voted this election, I would have voted for her. Such were the options. Which is why I said – complicated.

Anyway, let’s move on to the actual reviews now.


Clinton Cash

Like I mentioned earlier, this book is a political graphic novel. Now, without focusing on the content for a bit, I find the concept of having graphic novels in this genre, really cool. It makes the content accessible to a whole other segment of readers, who would have been intimidated by the sheer size of the other bulky reads this genre houses.

For instance – this graphic novel is based on the New York Times bestseller book Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer. I am pretty sure I would not have been inclined to read a 272 page documentation of the various Clinton Scams, but a graphic dominated book which is less than half the size was doable.

Having said that, there is also the obvious limitation of such a format, which is that, there is no room to go into detail; it is mostly the cliff notes version of the actual book.

So it only really works as a quick glance through, something  that gives you some food for thought, and  a foundation for more research.

Or in this case, something that might help you mourn her defeat less, and accept the equally difficult alternative that we are faced with now.

Clinton Cash Graphic Novel (Amazon) | Clinton Cash Book (Amazon)

Related: Food for Thought to Help You Overcome Anxiety Over Trump Presidency

Big Red Fire Truck

I received a complimentary copy of this book by the author, with no compulsion for review. However, the same night that I received this book, I read it aloud to my 4 year old, and we both enjoyed it.

The story revolves around two little boys Idu and Adu (who are inspired by the authors two sons), and in this book – Idu (the preschooler) is ‘teaching’ Adu (the toddler) all about Firetrucks through interactive play.

The premise is simple, yet effective, and the subject is perfect for the targeted age group. I knew that even before I saw my son’s eyes light up when he got to know the title of this book.

The one thing that I wished for was to have a physical copy of this book, since as of now this is available only in e-book version, which is a pity, because as much as I love my Kindle, children’s books are best consumed in the physical format.

Nonetheless, I would definitely recommend this book regardless of the format, because this is one of the few books in this genre that actually features characters whom my son can identify with. And that, to me at-least, is a big deal. Which is why, I will always support authors who venture to fill the diversity gap in the children’s book segment.

Speaking of which, I did an author interview with this author, where she speaks about her upcoming book – Ten Gulab Jamuns. It promises to be a real treat! Check it out here.

Big Red Firetruck (Amazon)


Erin Brockovich

I don’t see very many movies these days, mostly because I feel there are so many mediocre ones to get through before you come across something truly great, that it doesn’t seem like a very good utilization of my time.

I know, I know the same thing can be said about books too, but hey, I’m biased towards the written word, okay.

Having said that – this movie was exceptional. I loved it. An inspiring, uplifting plot, and a power-packed performance by Julia Roberts makes this an absolute must-watch.

The movie is based on a real life David versus Goliath kind of story (and I love those!!).

It centers around Erin Brockovich (well, of-course ) –  a down-on-her-luck single mother of three, who after being a SAHM for several years, is struggling to find a job to support her family. During this already-bad phase of life, she gets into an auto accident, that leads her to a law firm, which takes her on as a pro-bono client at first, and eventually (very grudgingly) as an employee.

It was  during this stint as a clerical assistant at a law firm, that she stumbled into a case with staggering implications, and quite by accident, uncovered a huge corporate scandal. It was very interesting to watch her navigate through this, and start an overwhelming, yet determined journey towards justice.

All in all, it’s a powerful and well directed human interest drama, and I highly recommend it.

Check out the trailer here – Erin Brockovich.

The Holiday

While we are on the topic of exceptional movies, this is another one of those. And while I did see this movie in the past month, this is not the first time I have seen it. But I can’t tell you how many times I have watched this one, as I have completely lost count.

This is one of my favorite Holiday movies, and it is among my favorite romantic comedies of all time.

The movie is set during the Christmas holidays, during which two women  — Iris (Kate Winslet), an English journalist, and Amanda (Cameron Diaz), an L.A. producer of film trailers, meet over the Internet, and on  a whim, decide to switch houses for Christmas.

Amanda ends up in Iris’s picture-postcard-pretty cottage in Surrey, and  Iris in Amanda’s luxurious, gated mansion in Beverly Hills. In their new surrounding they meet two wonderful men – the kind of men they would have never met in their regular lives, the kind of men who might not seem to be a great fit for them on paper, but the kind of men who were just what they were looking for.

The result: The screen equivalent of cozying up with a great book by the fireplace on a cold snowy night. Yes, it’s that good.

So if you haven’t already watched this one, add this on the list of movies you must check out this holiday season, as this one is just perfect for this time of the year.

Check out the trailer here – The Holiday.

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


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  1. Oh I loved both the movies myself too! Holiday is one of my all time favourite feel good movies. I have watched it like a dozen times.
    The book seems interesting too. Glad that you had a productive October 🙂

  2. Haven’t read these books, but I really enjoyed watching these movies, especially The Holiday. I have seen this movie 3-4 times.
    Tarang sinha recently posted…Dangling desires…My Profile

  3. lisa thomson says:

    Hi Shantala, I love both of these movies. Erin Brockovich is one of my all time faves. I’ve written more than a few blog posts about not just the film, but her character. She really battled against the whole system to accomplish what she did. The Holiday is a very sweet movie but I find too long to watch on regular television with commercials (it was on last night and the running time was 2 hrs 59 mins). That said, who couldn’t love this movie?! Interesting book reviews, you’ve shared. I haven’t heard of the Clinton Cash. I think there is corruption either way…sigh. Luckily, I am a Canadian but still concerned over the Trump presidency and what it will mean.

    BTW, have you done a catch up over coffee yet? I posted one a few weeks ago and had positive response from my readers. They seem to like the personal tone.

    • Hey, Lisa..Sorry have been kinda outta it..something really big came up on the personal front, and have been in a very bad shape. Though it is all resolved now. In the best way possible.

      Will be doing the Chatty Blogs link up soon. Will ping you when it’s live. Another week or so, at the most.

      Glad it went well with your readers. And thank you so much for the participation. Will keep you posted. 🙂
      Shanaya Tales recently posted…November Wrap Up – Books and MoviesMy Profile

  4. not any one of these, but i read ‘Chokher Bali’ by Rabindranath Tagore, an old translated version and loved it. I am reading ‘Kafka on the Shore’ by Haruki Murakami… Movies, yes i watched ‘Kahaani2’ and some web series.. 🙂
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  5. It feels so good to read you after so long, Shantala! <3
    From the two books you wrote about, I would pick up the children's book any day over the other. Not least bit interested in reading about dirty politics!
    And, the movies….both are a favourite, esp The Holiday. How I would love to swap places with either of the ladies! I could watch these movies on the loop and still not tire!

  6. I loved The Holiday. Watched it two three times. Haven’t watched the other one yet. I can’t even imagine me picking up a book on politics. I do watch documentaries on politics though, thanks to my husband. 🙂 Kanna will love to read the Big Red Firetruck. I’m reading Harry Potter with Kanna now. So happy that he wants me to read it for him. 🙂 And I have introduced Kindle books to him too. We finished Joody Moody and Boxcar Children in Kindle. I am glad that he is picking up iPad for reading instead of watching videos and playing games.
    Glad to have you back here, Shantala. 🙂 <3
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  7. I haven’t seen or read Holiday, so thts going on my list now. The story line is interesting. As for Clinton Clash… wow I didn’t know she was that. Corrupt that there’s a graphic book on it. I am quite disappointed to know that 🙁
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  8. I like the idea of having graphic novels for books that are difficult to read. I know for sure that I would never pick the regular book format of Clinton Clash but wouldnt hesitate to pick the graphic novel version.

  9. I’ve watched The Holiday many times over. It’s just the perfect film to watch on a cold winter day. I have Erin Brockovich also somewhere among my CDs. Will pull it out and watch it. Haven’t read any of the books, though.
    Beat About the Book recently posted…Birds of Prey – A reviewMy Profile

  10. There is a movie version of Clinton Cash. I don’t know if it’s animation or a documentary. Just saw about it in an article. First time visiting here. Loved the post. Cheers.

  11. Ya. It is a little delayed. Nevertheless it made a great read. Better late than never.

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