This tag is associated with 28 posts

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

I read Khaled Hosseini’s earlier novels, A Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns before I began this blog; I love them both but love the first most. 5 years on, I have changed and I hope Hosseini’s story have changed too because I am not that into soppy, sacrificial and heartbreaking stories anymore and … Continue reading


The People of Forever Are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu

Lea, Avishag and Yael are school friends in a small town in Northern Israel. During dull lessons they play game and daydream about boys they fancy. When they reached 18, they are conscripted into the army. Stuck on mundane checkpoint duty with fellow soldiers she hates, Lea relieves her boredom by creating an imaginary family … Continue reading

The Flowers of War by Geling Yan

December 1937. The Japanese have taken Nanking. A group of terrified convent school girls hide in the compound of an American church, the priest is Father John Engelmann. Among the girls, is Shujuan, through whose 13-year-old eyes we witness the calamity that is to befall the church and its refugees. The church is a neutral … Continue reading

Jerusalem by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Jerusalem is the house of the one God, the capital of two peoples, the temple of three religions and she is the only city to exist twice – in heaven and on earth. – preface It’s been a long time since I read a history book. An academic book. I am going to Jerusalem and … Continue reading

Purge by Sofi Oksanen

I won this book from Zee@Notes from the North last year. I have an extra copy to give away. The giveaway gave me the impetus to read this book. There was a stranger at the door step…. It’s 1992 (just before the closing of the iron curtain), Aliide Truu is an old woman living alone in a … Continue reading

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 novel is one of the definitive accounts of WW1. The narrator of All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul Bäumer, is a German soldier who was urged by his school master to join the war. He is not yet 20 years old when he begins his narrative, but the horrors he … Continue reading

Toby’s Room by Pat Barker

What it is: Toby and Elinor, brother and sister, friends and confidants, are sharers of a dark secret, carried from the summer of 1912 into the battlefields of France and wartime London in 1917. When Toby is reported ‘Missing, Believed Killed’, another secret casts a lengthening shadow over Elinor’s world: how exactly did Toby die – … Continue reading

The House of Mosque by Kader Abdolah

Aqa Jaan’s family has lived in the house of the mosque for centuries. Two of his cousins also live in the house; one is the mosque’s imam, Alsaberi and the other is the muezzin. Aqa Jaan is an honest man making an honest living of selling carpets and is the head of the house. Set in … Continue reading

I was born there, I was born here

I stumbled across this book in the Westminster London (close to where I work) Library one day and took this home. A continuation to my favourite I Saw Ramallah, I can’t wait to read the sequel. In 2000 Mourid Barghouti published I Saw Ramallah that told of returning in 1996 to his Palestinian home for the … Continue reading

Double Review of Shanghai Girls and Dreams of Joy by Lisa See

Shanghai Girls Shanghai, 1937, Pearl and May Chin are two beautiful, modern, carefree sisters, who are leading glamorous lives working as models, especially for calendars, in Shanghai – until their father tells them that he has gambled away the family wealth. In order to repay his debts he must sell the girls as wives to … Continue reading


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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)