Hey 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.
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.
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)
[tweetthis]Shanaya Tales Month Wrap Up: Featuring Clinton Cash, Big Red Firetruck, Erin Brockovich and The Holiday.[/tweetthis]
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.
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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