The Kite Runner

By Khaled Hosseini,

Book cover of The Kite Runner

Book description

Afghanistan, 1975: Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the local kite-fighting tournament and his loyal friend Hassan promises to help him. But neither of the boys can foresee what will happen to Hassan that afternoon, an event that is to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family…

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Why read it?

6 authors picked The Kite Runner as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I found myself involved with the characters and came to care for them. Moreover, I was struck by the author's desire to inspire readers to encourage discussion of Afghanistan and so keep the nation in the wider public consciousness.

The book certainly did that for me and is unforgettable, even though I read it over 20 years ago! It brought me alive and helped me understand issues facing those in Afghanistan and in my own community of Sindhis from my country of origin, Pakistan (formerly British India when my family had to flee following the partition of British India in…

It seems as if I’m consistently selecting novels set during war. But my former recommendation, and this one, is just too good to pass by plus it’s on the top shelf of my library, keeping other favorites company. This one is a love story between boyhood friends and I’m a hopeless romantic. Match my romantic soul with tragedy and I’m a goner. Now we’re in Afghanistan where a privileged young boy and his friend, the son of his father’s servant, live through their country’s revolution and are invaded by Russian forces that tear the country apart. The writing is so…

I could relate to the character who witnessed something wrong and did nothing about it. Most of us encounter that kind of situation and we fail to act for a variety of reasons. Usually we find justifications for our failure to act, which are really excuses. The underlying reason for our failure is usually fear, which is hard for us to acknowledge. So we find ways of deflecting our guilt or covering it up, usually with lies that sooner or later will come back to haunt us. When we seek redemption, it’s always a challenge.

From Tom's list on redemption and forgiveness.

She Refused to Bow

By Farida Manekshah,

Book cover of She Refused to Bow

Farida Manekshah

New book alert!

What is my book about?

A personal memoir which introduces the supernatural in the most natural way.

A message which came in a dream and brought you wealth. A sadhu's warning. The presence you feel as you pray at a grave. A well that dries up. The vision you see as you peer out of the window of your cabin. A jinni. An ancient religion. When everything you say and do has consequence. Because nothing that is done can be undone.

She Refused to Bow

By Farida Manekshah,

What is this book about?

A personal memoir which introduces the supernatural in the most natural way.

A message which came in a dream and brought you wealth. A sadhu's warning. The presence you feel as you pray at a grave. A well that dries up. The vision you see as you peer out of the window of your cabin. A jinni. An ancient religion. When everything you say and do has consequence. Because nothing that is done can be undone.


It has been a long time since I first read this book, but at its core this story is about friendship between a wealthy Pashtun boy and a poor Hazara boy, Hassan. Love, betrayal, hate, and a whole spectrum of emotions play out under the cruel regime of the Taliban. Like the kites the two friends fly so cleverly, your heart will leap with hope and break with its descent. The inferior way the Hazara clan is treated by Afghan society is forever tattooed in my mind, but the book is filled with history and deep insight into its culture.…

From Shugri's list on bringing other cultures to life.

This was a major tearjerker for me. The relationship between the young protagonist and his friend was one-sided and subtly abusive because they came from different social classes. 

This emotive story reminded me that as human beings we can be cruel if there are no perceived consequences and if we don’t keep our conscience in check. Although the protagonist somewhat redeems himself as an adult later in the story, I was tearful for days after reading this book.

From Ellen's list on about childhood that make you cry.

Yes, it’s a novel, but it is a novel steeped in local lore, history, and the reality of life under the kite-banning Taliban. No book evokes daily life in the land of the Taliban better than The Kite Runner. Thank you, Khaled Hosseini!

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