Sunday, September 16, 2007

Reading List: "A Thousand Splendid Suns"

Last week my mother-in-law Brenda McGee sent me a package with a scrumptiously soft blanket for Jesse wrapped around a book about strong women. Does my mother-in-law know what makes me tick, or what!

Here are the reasons you must read this book:

1. Literary merit
The number 1 criteria for any book. Beautiful sentences, beautiful scenes. You'll love the characters. You won't want to put it down.

2. Political relevance
I'm a smart girl, I tell myself, but I can't seem to wrap my mind around the middle east. This book, though fiction, helped me get a grip of major events in the last 30 years of Afghanistan.

3. Motivation
Spoiler alert: The book ends with redemption, in terms of the characters, yes, but also a beautiful story of spiritual redemption. You'll put it down feeling enlightened, grateful, motivated, ready to make the world a better place.

Keep this in mind when, in the middle of the book, the characters' troubles start to weigh you down. On Friday night I decided I wouldn't read any further on Saturday--the book was so sad I feared it would cast a pallor over me and make me grumpy with the kids. (It does take some serious positive energy to stay home with 5 kids all day.) Instead I woke up on Saturday morning and read the characters to safety while the kids watched cartoons. Then the rest of the day I was able to see more clearly the blessings of my peaceful country, safe home, plentiful pantry, and loving family.

I now must read the author's other book, which has been on best-seller lists for years. Here's his website:


  1. Beautiful writing, Angela! Thank you for sharing your blog with me. I'll have to find "A Thousand Splendid Suns." I loved The Kite Runner, and I'm sure you will, too.

  2. Angela and Others,

    Borders Books has a half hour online book club interview with Khaled Hosseini that is exceptional. After reading "The Kite Runner" and "A Thousand Spendid Suns", I felt very connected to the characters and appreciated Khaled sharing his creative process in developing them and his love for them. Miriam was the character most referred to by those participating in the "Book Club" interview. The various emotional connections that those present made especially with Miriam's mother were very thought provoking. I almost felt present in the casual setting as I listened and observed Khaled and the others sharing their experience reading his books. Observing this interview also increased my appreciation for the internet bringing positive experiences into my home. Thanks, Brenda

  3. I just found your blog when searching for a picture of the book on google =]. I just wanted to say I absolutely agree with all your points. Hosseini's writing IS beautiful, that's a perfect discription. The characters are so easy to connect to! I also agree with your second point. I've been horrible with knowledge of world events, but this book has opened my eyes. The Kite Runner does that for you too.

    Sorry, I'm just a random 17-year-old, but I just finished this book in less than four days and I had to tell somebody! The Kite Runner is a must-read too, but I think I liked A Thousand Splendid Suns better. Beautiful book.

    Nice blog! =D