First Impression Friday will be a meme where you talk about a book that you JUST STARTED! Maybe you’re only a chapter or two in, maybe a little farther. Based on this sampling of your current read, give a few impressions and predict what you’ll think by the end.


It is the festive season, but flint-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge is altogether lacking in Christmas cheer. “Bah! Humbug!” is Scrooge’s verdict on those who wish to make merry. His desire to be left alone in his freezing counting-house is disrupted by the terrifying ghostly appearance of Jacob Marley, Scrooge’s deceased business partner. Marley has been condemned to wander the earth, weighed down by a chain of cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, and ledgers – the things that sustained him in life. The same restless fate awaits Scrooge unless he can mend his ways, but along the path to salvation is he must face three more uncomfortable spectral visits.

No work of fiction captures the spirit of Christmas better than the heartwarming, life-affirming tale of Scrooge’s transformation, which extols the redeeming power of love and charity.

Page 365. Wow. Today is the last day of 2021. We are about to close a chapter and in a few hours, we are about to embark on a new adventure, an entire book with a fresh set of 365 pages. As the curtain closes in on 2021, I pray for everyone’s healing. I hope that all your prayers have been answered and that you have reached the stars you have been aiming for at the start of the year. More importantly, I pray that you all have a clean bill of health, despite the uncertainties that have enveloped us in the past two years. While 2022 fills me with anxiety, I am still brimming with hope, that it will be a better one. Amidst the darkness, hope beacons brightly. More than anything else, I pray that the pandemic ends soon so that we can all sleep more soundly at night. For now, happy new year! I hope you are celebrating the new year with your families and loved ones.

Before the year officially ends, I am posting my last First Impression Friday update. The past weeks have been frantic because of the holiday cheer. This reversed the reading momentum I have gained in late November. Nevertheless, I was able to complete the reading challenges I was hoping to complete before the year ends. I only failed in one reading challenge, the same one I failed in the past three years (HAHA). I also recently completed my 900th read, Nuruddin Farah’s Secrets. For the third time since I started reading, I read at least 90 books for the year. I have now accomplished the same feat in back-to-back years. The first time I completed this feat was in 2016. My current read, Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, is my 92nd book for 2021.

With my second novel for the year, Dickens became just the second author who I’ve read more than one work of this year; the first one was Haruki Murakami. A Christmas Carol is also my sixth work by the renowned English writer. Perhaps Dickens’s most popular title, A Christmas Carol is a book I have long wanted to read. I mean, who isn’t familiar with the book? It is the first book that comes to mind when the subject of Christmas comes up. It is a classic of storytelling and has also been adapted into a film (which I haven’t watched completely). The book’s main protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge, is one of the most popular literary characters. I admit it is such a shame that it is only now that I get to read the book.

First impression? Well, it is something quite unexpected from Charles Dickens. However, his study of human nature again comes across. Scrooge is like Dr. Seuss’ creation, The Grinch. I recognize that the holiday season is not for everyone. There will always be a Scrooge in a sea of loud holiday cheers. They see the holidays as a disruption, an inconvenience. And this created a wonderful canvass upon which Dickens painted his timeless work. I am done with the Ghost of Christmas Past and I am now looking forward to the last two Ghosts. What I am looking forward to is the philosophy that Dickens related in this rather thin book. But don’t be deceived by its thinness. It is packed with heavy punches!

I think I will finish the book before 2022 arrives. How about you fellow reader? What book do you have on your hand right now? How are you enjoying it so far? I hope you could share it in the comment box. For now, have a great weekend ahead! And as always, happy reading! Happy new year!