Category Archives: A J Cronin

Reading A J Cronin Books

Published / by Elizabeth / Leave a Comment

A J Cronin Book Collection - AJ Cronin Books

This happens to be my 250th post on this blog and what better way to write it than to speak about my  favorite author  A J Cronin!

If you ask me who is my favorite author I believe my answer would be A J Cronin. He is a Scottish physician(19 July 1896 – 6 January 1981) who turned into a novelist. I know many of you would not have even heard of this author. I was also in the same situation until few years back when a dear friend introduced his books to me. At that time, it was very much difficult to get a new copy of his books and I remember scouting Blossom Book House in Church Street, Bangalore for finding old tattered copies of A J Cronin novels.

You can see most of my collection in above picture made over the years. Few books have been left out because they are not fit to be shown and I am not at my place to take pictures of those ones. The almost fresh looking copy of The Keys of the Kingdom actually belong to TH. He bought it when I get him hooked to A J Cronin books.
The Citadel by A J Cronin- AJ Cronin Books

Though The Keys of the Kingdom is my favorite  A J Cronin book, looking at the no of visits on my blog, ‘The Citadel‘ seems to be his most popular work. I have re-read the former book and that would be one of the very few books that I have re-read ever. The only other books I remember re-reading are ‘Gone with the Wind’ and ‘Anne of Green Gables’ series.

Today while I was itching to read something different I decided to buy unread books by  A J Cronin and I ended up buying 6 kindle books on amazon.

The list of A J Cronin books that I got today:

  1. The Spanish Gardener
  2. The Innkeeper’s Wife
  3. The Minstrel Boy
  4. The Lady with Carnations
  5. The Stars Look Down
  6. Dr Finlay’s Casebook

I will be reading these books in the coming day and hope to put up reviews as soon as possible. ( I have a huge backlog with few awesome books pending to be read ). There are few more kindle books available in amazon and I will buy them later.

The A J Cronin books reviewed on this blog:
  1. The Keys of the Kingdom (Highly Recommended)
  2. Adventures in Two Worlds (Autobiography)
  3. Three Loves
  4. A Song of SixPence
  5. Beyond This Place
  6. The Citadel 

I have read Hatter’s Castle,The Judas Tree and Crusader’s Tomb, but never wrote the reviews for them.If you are a reader interested in good old fashioned but realistic stories based in old Europe, please read A J Cronin books.

If you just want to read something awesome, please please read ‘The Keys of the Kingdom’. You will absolutely love it !

Are there any A J Cronin fans out there?

Top Ten Posts on This Blog [UBC-Day 13]

Published / by Elizabeth / Leave a Comment
Some reviews are easier to write but many reviews are tough to write because it is very difficult to translate your emotions, thoughts, feelings to written text. I have always associated popularity of the posts based on the popularity of the book or movie that I have reviewed. But the site statistics have always proved me wrong.

So here is the look at the most popular posts on this blog from June 2009. I know that I have kept a ‘Popular Posts’ widget on my left side bar. But those cover only the last 30 days and I think that is a justifiable period.

1. The Adventures of Tintin: Movie Review

This movie review is the most popular post on this entire blog and I was totally surprised at the number of people who came looking for the review.

2. The Citadel by A J Cronin- Book Review

I have already written about my love for the works of A J Cronin and since he is a author who is practically unknown to many in the world, it is not surprising that I get a lot of organic search hits for his books.

3. Trinity by Leon Uris – Book Review

I was hooked to Leon Uris ever since I read his Exodus, but I was not actually aware of the popularity of Trinity which is the story of Ireland from the Great Irish Famine in 1840s to the Easter Rising of 1916.

4. Book Review : Dork By Sidin Vadukut

The popularity of this book review has slightly intrigued me recently. As per stats this is 4th most popular post on this blog.

5. The Keys of the Kingdom by A J Cronin – Book Review

This is my favorite book by A J Cronin and as I mentioned before, there are a lot of A J Cronin fans or probably students all around the world who visit my blog regularly for reviews.

6. Adventures in Two Worlds by A J Cronin–Book Review

Adventures in Two Worlds in the autobiography of A J Cronin though I did not realize that till I was almost half way through the book.

7. Amelia Movie Review

I was flabbergasted the day I realized that Amelia Earhart do trigger a lot of curiosity and there are a lot of people who reaches my blog searching for more information about this movie. Amelia (2009) directed by Indian director Mira Nair  is based on the real life story of Amelia Earhart Putnam, the first woman pilot to fly solo over the Atlantic Ocean. 

8. Ice Age 4 – Continental Drift – Movie Review

The popularity of this movie review is quite evident if you consider the fact that we can count on our fingers the number of people around us who has not seen at least one Ice Age movie – be it on TV or at a theatre.

9. Three Loves by A J Cronin – Book Review

I consider Three Loves as a mediocre work by A J Cronin, but there are a lot of people who are visiting this blog to get more information about it.

10. Beyond This Place by A J Cronin – Book Review

Beyond This Place is another Ok kind of book from A J Cronin but as a A J Cronin fan, I can understand the popularity of this book.

 I hope I have convinced all of you to give A J Cronin a try if you have never read one of his works. Flipkart has The Citadel and The Keys of the Kingdom, but they are on the slightly expensive side. Try raiding the old second hand book shops in your place; trust me you will be very much surprised. Amazon Kindle Store also has a decent enough collection of his works.


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UBC – Day 4 – A J Cronin Book Collection

Published / by Elizabeth / 5 Comments on UBC – Day 4 – A J Cronin Book Collection

As I have decided to take part in the Ultimate Blogging Challenge, I thought I will get away with today’s post with a picture of my personal book collection of my favorite author – Archibald Joseph Cronin ( A J Cronin).

A J Cronin was a Scottish physician and a novelist who has written more than 35 novels and short stories. I should say that he adorns the top position in my favorite authors list. His works has around 19 film adaptations.

The above picture is a photo of my A J Cronin books and all of them except them are second hand book. The Keys of the Kingdom is my husband’s personal copy as he is also a great fan of A J Cronin.

My copy of The Citadel is missing from this picture as I have lent it to my friend. I got most of these second hand copies from Blossom Book House, Church Street, Bangalore. Believe me, that place is a paradise for book lovers.

 I have three more books in my collection which is not there in this picture – Shannon’s Way, Beyond This Place and The Judas Tree.

Find below the list of books in my collection and  my reviews.

  1. The Keys of the Kingdom (Highly Recommended)
  2. Adventures in Two Worlds (Autobiography)
  3. Three Loves
  4. A Song of SixPence
  5. Beyond This Place
  6. The Citadel
  7. Hatter’s Castle
  8. The Judas Tree
  9. A Pocketful of Rye
  10. Grand Canary
  11. Crusader’s Tomb

This post is a part of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge – July 2013 during which I strive to post at least once a day.

This post was originally published on All Rights Reserved.

Beyond This Place by A J Cronin – Book Review

Published / by Elizabeth / Leave a Comment
beyond this place by a j cronin

I have a lot of unread books that has been stored inside the cupboard for more than six months. Somehow most of these books doesn’t seem to excite me like the new books I see in the library or book shops.

Beyond This Place by A J Cronin is one of the books that had sat in my to-read pile for almost an year. I have a 1953 edition of the book and the outer cover was already gone when I got it from a second hand book shop. The books looks worn out, used and all brown, but the pages are all fine. It felt good when I was holding a book that was printed almost 60 years ago.
Beyond This Place is another simple book by A J Cronin with a simple story line. I would say that it was quite an ordinary read, but then an ordinary book by A J Cronin is itself a joy to read. I finished this book within 2 days, so you cannot calling it boring at all…
Paul Mathry grew up believing that his father died when he was very young, but his mother couldn’t hold back the truth from him for long. His father Rees Mathry is a convicted murderer who will be spending the rest of his life in prison. This knowledge devastates Paul, but he has also a burning desire to meet his father of whom he has very cherished memories from childhood. Rees Mathry was convicted for assaulting and murdering a woman of questionable character.The local police and a prosecutor Sir Matthew Sprott was too eager to get the gallows that they totally ignored the innocent pleas of Rees. Rees Mathry’s death sentence was later changed to a life sentence and he has been serving the same in a prison where visitors are not allowed.
Paul decides to learn more about his father’s case by checking out with the local library and speaking to the witnesses. He finds a lots of flaws in the evidence against his father. Also he learns that there are a lot of people who don’t want him prodding into the case. They just want him to let the case die just like the slow death that his father has been undergoing in the prison for the past 15 years. But Paul is determined to save his father from the living hell…But how ?
My Thoughts
Beyond This Place is a simple story of a determined young man who is convinced of his father’s innocence in a murder and wants to bring out his father from the living hell that he has been subjected to for the past 15 years. But his journey is not at all smooth. Oppositions from all side including the police, lack of money even to buy food etc is driving him to the edge. This is a well written story of perseverance and great thinking.
The character of Lena Anderson who takes care of Paul even in his most desperate state is depicted as a sensible person. Probably Lena is the foremost reason why Paul was able to get justice for his father.
A J Cronin has taken care not to make a complex case out of Paul Mathry’s life. He has tried to keep the narration as simple as possible, yet very interesting. None of the portions have been stretched beyond what is required and this itself makes it a quick and interesting read.
My verdict: Recommended highly for a light and interesting read :)