Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Thousand Splendid Suns

I just finished A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (author of The Kite Runner).

I must say that I really enjoy his writing and storytelling style. It is so interesting to learn more about Afghanistan (although I realize it is fiction). Phil asked me if I would recommend this book. I had to think about that. Here is my answer:

If you are looking for a happy story ... don't read this book. The ending does not compensate for the sorrow and horror that must be a reality for far too many people in that area of the world.

If you are willing to face some pretty harsh realities and experience some of the sorrow, you might appreciate this book. It is well written.

So yeah, I would recommend it but with some serious qualifications.

I have realized that the books I like best are the ones that champion the human spirit. I love stories about people doing hard things. I appreciate fiction that is plausible (even if it is "fantasy" - if the author can make me think it is plausible, they get big points). I like to read books about other cultures (either in place or time) than my own. I want a book to inspire me and make me think.

Here are some that I've enjoyed:

Cry The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone
Oh Pioneers by Willa Cather
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

With that as a background, any suggestions for my reading list?

5 response(s):

Jill said...

I liked this book too. It really gave me an appreciation for where I live and the good men in my life. Very eye opening huh?

Crystal said...

To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all time favorite books! This is a total shot in the dark, but you may enjoy The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (I think). I loved the book but I'm also very easy to please. I feel like it is very much about the human spirit. It is fantasy but frighteningly plausible. I don't know. Give it a try, if you don't like it stop. If you do......yay! :o)

michellejohnnie said...

I loved this book too and have recommended it with the same reservations to many. Have you read "Not Without My Daughter." Very good. Kite Runner is ok, but I liked spendid suns better. Also, Infidel is interesting (along the same lines) but not as fast a read. I love middle eastern books too!

Laura said...

Hi, Heidi! I really did like Splendid Suns better than Kite Runner. And I just finished My Antonia by Willa Cather. I was kind of nervous about reading her, for some reason, but was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the book.

One book that I really really liked is The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. It is a great story.

Also, loved Agony and Ecstasy. The movie was not as good as the book, though.

amy greenway said...

If you haven't already, try Three Cups of Tea. Non-fiction, and wonderful.