Thursday, January 10, 2008

Book Review: A Thousand Splendid Suns

So a gal pal at work loaned me A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. I still haven't read The Kite Runner, but both have received lofty reviews, so I started on it last week. It was great. I read it before bed last week, and on the plane to Vegas. I finished it on the first leg of the trip back today. Just amazing.

The book is... how do you say... graphic. On the surface it isn't a happy story by any means, but the outcome is a testament to the strength and resolve of its characters. It takes place across three decades of life in Afghanistan, and for a 30 year old American born woman like myself - the details regarding the wars, the sexism, the abuse - were not only foreign but frightening in nature. It is ever so slightly reminiscent of Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody and William Hoffer, but much more vivid. It was a fabulous book, and I fear that all of these awesome books in a row will spoil me.

So I am searching for the next book now. Below is my current list, with both new books and books left over from the Fall 2007 list. I make an effort not to read two books by the same author in a row because it tends to be too overwhelming for me. So here it goes...

My Original Fall List
1. What Remains by Carole Radziwill - Done!
2. What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman - Done!
3. Until I Find You by John Irving - Done!
4. The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford - Mostly done!
5. Butchers Hill by Laura Lippman

New Spring 2007 List (including some of your suggestions)
1. Butchers Hill by Laura Lippman
2. Fish: A Memoir of a Boy in a Man's Prison by TJ Parsell
3. Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
4. Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia by Marya Hornbacher
5. Sickened: The Memoir of a Munchausen by Proxy Childhood by Julie Gregory
6. Searching for Life: The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Disappeared Children of Argentina by Rita Arditti
7. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
8. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
9. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
10. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet
11. Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody
12. A Ship Made of Paper by Scott Spencer
13. 1984 by George Orwell
14. The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings


Blogger Malnurtured Snay said...

I'd suggest THE KITE RUNNER.

January 11, 2008 1:18 AM  
Blogger cherylann said...

Oooh Oooh Good Books! I read a couple. I liked the Munchausen by Proxy book... very interesting. I also read Glass Walls... slow but good- beautifully written. And you know how I feel about Pillars. heh. Thanks for the input on the book... I've been hearing so much about The Kite Runner that I was starting to feel like I was missing out on something- maybe I am. I should get on that. How was your trip?

January 11, 2008 2:06 AM  
Blogger Broadsheet said...

I'm FINALLY going to see the Kite Runner today. It's only playing at one theater in town, but it's dark and dreary today, so why not?

I'm reading Pillars of the Earth now - OMG. I've been up WAY too late the last few nights just trying to cram in another page before bed.

January 11, 2008 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still recommend that you read the Kite Runner. I got a thousand splendid suns for christmas, so I am looking forward to reading that!!
The Descendan't is fabulous too! I read and critique books for ELLE and I chose that as my favorite for 2007.
For more light reading "Still life with husband" is very entertaining.
Hope to hear from you soon,

January 11, 2008 9:24 AM  
Blogger jwer said...

I expected to dislike The Time Traveler's Wife, but it was pretty much awesome. I'm told that The Pillars of Heaven is amazing, and that Water for Elephants is good too.

I would also always recommend 1984, although hopefully it will become less relevant next January...

January 11, 2008 9:28 AM  
Blogger NPR Junky said...

A Thousand Splendid Suns was incredible. Overwhelming and intense, but incredible. I know you'll love Time Travellers Wife, as well as Water for Elephants. Kite Runner was good, too.

January 11, 2008 9:38 AM  
Blogger danielle said...

Good list. I was also pleasantly surprised by The Time Traveler's Wife. I have The Glass Castle if you want to borrow it.

January 11, 2008 9:45 AM  

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