Although I was tempted to sneak a few pages in during the party, I enjoyed our company so much, I was able to sweep the temptation aside. Until they left. And then I began to devour a book that absolutely stole my heart.
If you haven't read Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns, or his first international bestseller, The Kite Runner, you should put these on the top of your "To Read" list for 2009. For me, they were my daughter's world cultures textbook brought to life as I read about life in Afghanistan before, during, and after occupation of Russian and Taliban forces.
I fear that many Americans take for granted the wonderful opportunities and freedoms we enjoy. These two books are eye-openers. Although fiction, Hosseini bases many of the characters and events in the stories on real people and events that have transpired in that war-ravaged country.
I hope you'll let his masterful writing send you on a powerful journey into the hearts of Afghanistan and its people. You can also visit Hosseini's Web site, which includes videos of him discussing the books and his work to improve lives of Afghani men, women, and children.