The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Great movie. AMAZING book. I love historical-fiction, especially when it involves different time periods and different cultures. I get to world- and time-travel at the same time! Hosseini is great at painting the raw picture of humanity and hardships. “The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies. A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.”
**A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
This is my favorite Hosseini book. Basically, if the book makes me weep, it’s a great story. “Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul-they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman’s love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.” After reading that summary, I think I might pick this one up again!
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Hosseini’s creativity in criss-crossing characters’ stories brings this book to life. “In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.”
*Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
A wonderful Christian-fiction novel. Rivers uses the biblical story of Hosea to outline this moving story based in 1850. “Redeeming Love is a life-changing story of God’s unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love.”
**Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel by Arthur Golden
I read this book in middle school…probably the first “long chapter book” I ever read. (Probably wouldn’t recommend middle schoolers to read this though.) “Speaking to us with the wisdom of age and in a voice at once haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri tells the story of her life as a geisha. It begins in a poor fishing village in 1929, when, as a nine-year-old girl with unusual blue-gray eyes, she is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. We witness her transformation as she learns the rigorous arts of the geisha: dance and music; wearing kimono, elaborate makeup, and hair; pouring sake to reveal just a touch of inner wrist; competing with a jealous rival for men’s solicitude and the money that goes with it.” This novel is enchanting and draws you into a beautiful culture.
*Lightning by Dean Koontz
I love time travel stories! (Thanks, Dad.) “In the midst of a raging blizzard, lightning struck on the night Laura Shane was born. And a mysterious blond-haired stranger showed up just in time to save her from dying. Years later, in the wake of another storm, Laura will be saved again. For someone is watching over her. But just as lightning illuminates, darkness always follows close behind.”
To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee
You really can’t go wrong with a classic like this. I read this when I was a kid, and reading stories like these play a huge part in developing character. “Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos.”