A Christmas Carol

In this short story Ebeneezer Scrooge is a lonely miser that hoards all his money and does not even think about helping his impoverished family or others in need. On returning home one cold night he is visited by the ghost of his business partner, Jacob Marley, which has been dead for seven years. Marley warns Scrooge that unless he changes his way of living he will be spending his afterlife in great misery where he will not be able to rest. On that night Scrooge is visited by three spirits, the ghosts of Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas yet to come. The spirits make Scrooge realize that there is much more to life than he is living and by helping others he can make someone else's life better. I think everyone heard about Scrooge's story but not everyone has read this book. I was one of them until I realized that the other day so I decided to read it. It is a very short book and you can finish it in just a couple of hours but I really enjoyed it. Dickens makes good use of imagery to convey the difference between the poor people that still managed to live a happy life as oppsed to Srooge who was wealthy but chose to live a cold and lonely life. This was a very enjoyable book to read and it is suitable for kids and adults alike. It aims to put a message across that one shouldn't be greedy and I think Charles Dickens did that very well.

Anybody Out There?

Anna is in Dublin staying with her parents while she recovers from some serious injuries, however her mind is back home in New York. At first what happened to Anna is a mystery, with the occasional mention of her husband Aidan who doesn't seem to be around anymore. When she moves back to New York the story starts unveiling through Anna's painful thoughts. She tries to appear as everything is fine but in reality she is willing to do anything to hear from Aidan, even lose her glamorous job as a PR for a makeup line. While Anna is learning to deal with the truth she also discovers something that she never expected. At first this made her furious at Aidan however in the end it turned out to be what she needed to move on and the closest to Aidan she could get now that he is gone.

This is the first book I have read from the unofficial "Walsh Sister Series" by Marian Keyes. At times it does get sad but I also loved the humor in this book. I am really liking Keye's style and can't wait to read the other books in this series to get to know the other sisters' stories. All in all it's a relaxing read with an interesting story.

Two Caravans

Two CaravansA group of eight immigrants from different parts of the world go to England in hopes of finding a better life, but instead they find themselves living in two caravans in a strawberry field, not at all what they had expected. This book deals with how immigrants in England perceive the country before they go there, the high expectations they have and their hope of making a better life for themselves. The immigrants are instead exploited and given jobs that the English people will not do such as strawberry picking and working in the poultry industry. The book is written from the point of view of these eight workers, as well as dog's point which they have named Dog. In the second part this is mostly from Andriy's and Irina's point of view, both from Ukraine but one is a miner's son from the Donbas mining region while the other is a bourgeois girl from the anti-Russian Western Ukraine. Despite being very different they end up being attracted to each other and they both think that in the long run they can change the other's way of thinking. I picked up this book while I was at the airport in London on my way back home because I had seen a couple of people reading it during my short stay there. Initially I thought it would be light reading but Marina Lewycka managed to explore serious subjects such as global capitalism in a way that it will not bore you out.

Things I Learned About My Dad

This is a collection of essays about fatherhood written by various bloggers and compiled by Heather B. Armstrong of www.dooce.com. The essays vary from those written by fathers about their kids or to their kids, to those written about the authors' fathers. I found the essays witten by the fathers quite interesting and enjoyed seeing parenthood from the dads' perspective. My favorite essays were 'Sam I Am' by Matthew Baldwin and 'Day Job' by Heather B. Armstrong. This was a little different read for me as I don't usually read these kind of books but I'm always open to new things so being I follow Dooce I thought I'd give it a try. I was expecting this book to be more funny and deep from the reviews I read about it and from reading Dooce, however I was a bit disappointed to find out that most of the essays aren't really humorous and none of them that deep. I didn't care for some of the essays either, especially ones were the writing is not that good. Maybe I had high expectations for this book and that is why I was disappointed. What I would have liked to see was more essays by Heather herself as I like her style of writing, and in general I think it would have been a better book.

The Other Side of the Story

This book is written from the perspective of Gemma, Lily and Jojo, three women striving to be successful. Gemma and Lily used to be friends, until Lily stole Gemma's boyfriend Anton, although it's debatable whether she really stole him since Gemma and Anton broke up prior to them getting together. Jojo is the sexy agent at Lipman Haigh involved in a complicated love affair with Mark, one of the partners at the company while she herself is striving to become partner. The three women connect when Jojo agents both Lily's and Gemma's book and as the story evolves, everything gets more complicated, from their love life to their jobs. This is typical 'Chick Lit' but Marian Keyes did a great job at making the story enjoyable where you get to both laugh and cry. It's a great book for a relaxing read with nothing too intriguing to figure out and very easy to go through. For some reason I found myself really rooting for Gemma and was a little disappointed with how her book turned out, but on the other hand was pleased that everything else worked out for her. Knowing how each of the women perceive the situation made me connect with the three of them, and although at times I didn't like Lily in the end I really wanted her to get back with Anton. I also found the three different characters to be real, with a little extravagance thrown in to make it more interesting but I can easily see how anyone can feel the way they did given the circumstances. Definitely need to read a book like this every now and then.

Gerald's Game

Gerald's GameWhat was supposed to be a romantic weekend away with her husband turned out to be a horrible nightmare for Jessie. She is fed up of his sleazy sex games but she comes to regret the moment she kicked him in his crotch, causing him to have a fatal heart attack and leaving her handcuffed to the bed, all alone at their cabin where her screaming is heard by no one. During the hours she spent attached to the bed, Jessie is haunted by the voices in her head which represent different personalities and eventually help her get out of the situation she got into. Other than the voices in her head, her only other company is 'Prince', the dog which comes inside the cabin to feed on Gerald's body, and 'The Space Cowboy' which is her visitor at night, except she doesn't know if he is real or her mind is playing tricks on her. This is a psychological novel and although King includes some gruesome bloody details, the horror lies within Jessie's thoughts and her fight for survival. It keeps you wanting to know what happened next and although it's not the best I've read by Stephen King it did keep my interest. The voices of Ruth, Goodwife Burlingame and Punkin are real in a situation like this, where the brain isn't entirely functioning well and when in fear the conflicting voices represent your own thoughts and speculations. King also explores the doubts one encounters when in fear, where you can't distinguish between reality and your imagination running wild due to the state of panic you are in. The ending has an interesting twist. When you think you can breathe a sigh of relief that Jessie made it, you learn that perhaps her 'The Space Cowboy' wasn't just a figment of her imagination and there might be more to it than that.

A Thousand Splendid Suns

The book starts with Mariam, a young girl living in Herat, Afghanistan, with her bitter mother. Mariam was born out of wedlock when Jalil, a wealthy man slept with his servant. She spends her days eagerly waiting to see her father, which visits once a week. She loves him dearly and her mother always warned her that he doesn't treat her as his other children. One day Mariam went to her father's house but he wouldn't see her, and after spending the night outside his house she went back home only to find her mother had committed suicide. Mariam's story continues when at 15 years old, Jalil and his wives marry her to Rasheed, a widow which is much older than herself and lives in Kabul. Things didn't turn out right for Mariam in Kabul either. After she had a miscarriage Rasheed turned into a violent man but Mariam was strong and went through it. When Rasheed married Laila, a much younger girl, Mariam feels threatened but eventually they become the best of friends and help eachother to endure Rasheed's bad temper. They plan to run away to Pakistan together but this doesn't work out and when they return home Rasheed locks them up both. This was a very sad story during the Soviet occupation and then the reigh of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the author paints a true picture of the unimmaginable sorrow that the people in this country had to go through in these times of war as well as how women are treated by men like Rasheed. I was appalled by Mariam and Laila's unfortunate story and I was hoping that in the end everything turns out right for the two. I was dismayed when I found out Mariam's fate after her selfless act to save Laila from Rasheed. On the other hand I was happy that Laila finally got married to her childhood friend Tariq and together they had a family and were helping to fix up the orphanage in Kabul. This is another book by Khaled Hosseini that I enjoyed reading thoroughly. I like how Hosseini's writing seems to just flow and how the ending of this book was happy and sad at the same time. I hope we will be seeing more books of this kind from this author written with the same passion that The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns holds.

The Kite Runner

The Kite RunnerAn emotional story based in Afghanistan about a boy, Amir, and his struggle to live up to his father's expectations. The 12 year old Amir is so determined to win his father's affection that he even turns his back on his best friend Hassan when he sees him being raped by the neighbourhood bully. Amir can't live with his actions and what he did haunts him until he is a grown man. When Rahim Khan, his father's long time friend, asks him to return home, Amir sets on a mission "to be good again" and is determined to make things right this time. I felt this story is told with such passion and it gives a true picture of the lives in Afghanistan. By showing the situation in Afghanistan and Amir's life after he moved to America, this book makes you realize how little you know about this country that you hear so much about. It is beautifully written and I was hooked right away, wanting to know what happens next. It is heartbreaking reading how loyal Hassan was to Amir, only to be betrayed by him. What captured me was that throughout the whole book the author managed to keep my interest the whole time, from the very beginning starting to know about Hassan up until the end finding out how life changed in Afghanistan and what happened to Hassan's son Sohrab. It also contains a surprise factor where in some situations I never expected things to happen that way, this is one thing that makes a book so appealing for me, when the things that happen aren't so predictable. I could read this book all over again and I would enjoy it just as much as the first time.

Lost Boy Lost Girl

A very intriguing story which starts when a woman commits suicide and nobody really knows the reason. At first you get the impression that she was unhappy with her life and her husband didn't do much to help that, but in fact the book goes much deeper than that when her son, Mark, discovers a mysterious house. What he manages to discover in the house reveals a secret that few know and are willing to talk about. His adventure started with a mission, to find the reason behind his mother's death, which he believed had something to do with the house on 3323, Michigan Avenue. The story is told from Tim Underhill's perspective, Mark's uncle, which is a writer and is determined to find out what happened to Mark when he goes missing. Everyone thinks that mark has been yet another victim of the Sherman Park killer, but Tim knows better. This book is full of suspense and I think Straub did a great job at keeping the reader hooked. This was the first book I read by Peter Straub and I will be definitely looking for more books by him. I used to think that Stephen King was the best author for Horror Novels, but Straub certainly matches his abilities, if not outdo him. I liked his style and it was hard putting this one down. The ending was very unexpected, and although some might have been disappointed by it, I enjoyed it and thought it was like a twist to the "and they lived happily ever after" ending. I am very curious to read the books jointly written by Peter Straub and Stephen King and see what they managed to cook up, should be interesting.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

The Girl Who Loved Tom GordonThis book revolves around a nine year old girl called Trisha Mcfarland. During a hike with her mother and brother, she decides to stop and take a bathroom leak while her mother and brother are arguing, mainly about their parents' divorce, which Trisha is very fed up of hearing about. When she starts walking again she gets off the trail and is lost in the woods. The rest of the book describes Trisha's survival in the woods, eating checkerberries and nuts and drinking water from the stream while knowing that someone, something, the 'subaudible', is keeping an eye on her and waiting for her to ripen enough before it feasts on her. Most of the time I found this book to be dragging, and felt like the author was trying too hard to make the situation sound scary and introduce fear and suspense, however for some reason it wasn't working for me. More often than not I thought he took too long trying to describe the gory details and wanted him to move on. Not to mention the continuous references to the game of baseball which I didn't get, but that is because I have no idea about baseball and it only seemed like a minor incovenience. The story picked up again near the end when Trisha finally found a road and at that point it got me hooked. I was a little disappointed with this book, I have read a few of King's books and loved them, but this one just didn't seem like it was from the same author. It's enough to say that this book took me about 6 months to complete, albeit that it has only some 300 pages. The story wasn't gripping enough and that made it hard for me to pick it up and continue reading.


Hello there. I have just created 'Book Archive' with the aim to document my thoughts on the books that I read. I have read many books but although I remember what the book was about, somewhere down the road I forget the details and what my views were on the book and all I am left with is a vague idea. I have been meaning to do something like this for a while, but didn't quite know how to implement such a thing. I recently started blogging and have been finding it quite fun, so I thought why not create a blog and post my thoughts on the books I read on it?

I don't expect that anyone would be reading this blog, I am mainly doing it for me, but I am actually writing this intro in case someone stumbles across my blog and wonders what is the purpose of such blog.

I will be posting my first book review shortly, I have been waiting to finish a book to start the blog and this is the time. Don't expect that I will be posting a book review every day, not even every week probably. I won't be reading more than usual just to update the blog, but when I finish a book I will be sure to write about it here. On the right hand side you can see which books I am currently reading, and essentially the books that I will be reviewing next !

For more generic stuff you can visit my main blog here. You will won't you? And possibly even leave a comment to make me happy.