01 August 2011

Mrs Readalot Enjoys a Book Feast {Bookclub & Linky}

Oh dear readers, July was a Book Lovers delight for our Mrs Readalot. A veritable literary feast.
She chewed through a number of good reads, including Leonie's Book Club picks which, I must say, she absolutely loved - yes, she got through both of them.

This month's host, Leonie, picked A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, a book Mrs Readalot had previously read and remembered as very good. She decided to go ahead and order it from the library, to refresh her memory. Mrs Readalot is not averse to re-reading great books.

In this case she was very glad she did.
What a splendid soul-wrenching piece of writing it was. I'll let her tell you in her own words...

Mrs Readalot Says:
A Thousand Splendid Suns is the story of two Afghani women whose already-difficult lives become entwined after the Taliban enter the scene. The Taliban escalates the destruction of a country devastated by decades of war, and imposes unthinkable restrictions on women, who must endure being treated as possessions with no rights and no justice.

Khaled Hosseini is a master storyteller. He paints the unfamiliar Afghani culture in beautiful detail, making the strange and foreign seem normal and everyday. We watch the large-scale tragedy of the Taliban takeover unfold against the smaller canvas of women's lives. Women we come to understand and care about.
Its a personal story, the story of broken hearts, disappointments, suffering.
But somehow the book is not dark or heavy, even though the setting and events are often heartbreaking.
Its a human story, full of grit, warmth, love and friendship - and in spite of everything, hope.

Even though the story is fictional, as you read you know that these lives, these events really happened. Real women lived this way, suffered these things, and survived.
I cannot urge you enough to read this book. It will stay with you. You will never think about Afghanistan in the same way again. 

The endless list of restrictions placed on Afghani women by the Taliban is unbelievable. {More info here} For me, the worst thing of them all was the ban on medical treatment and medicines (like anaesthetic) for women. Cannot begin to imagine what some of our sisters went through.

I found myself thanking God that I grew up in a country that respects and honours women, where I am free to come and go as I please and can be and do anything I set my mind to. I am incredibly blessed with this freedom, and I appreciated it all over again after reading A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Mrs Readalot Rates A Thousand Splendid Suns:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Today as this post is published, Mrs R has just finished devouring The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak.

Leonie offered this book as a second choice for those who (like Mrs Readalot) had already read A Thousand Splendid Suns. Oh what an original read The Book Thief was. But to do it justice, Mrs R wants to tell you about it all on its own. Give The Book Thief its very own post.
It surely deserves that, at least (along with all those other International Book Awards it has won).

If you haven't read The Book Thief, drop what you're doing, race to the library right now and request it. Mrs R's copy arrived within four days of requesting it so hopefully you won't have to wait long. Then devour it eagerly, letting it tug your heartstrings and amaze you with it ingenuity. Must. Read. The. Book. Thief. {And then review it and link up}


Hungry for more great reads, Mrs Readalot prowled the aisles of her local library and spied a new offering from her favourite "mythical history" author, Stephen Lawhead.
Not just a book, a new trilogy. Stephen Lawhead wrote a couple of Mrs R's favourite series of books: The Pendragon Cycle and the Song of Albion series.

Now Stephen Lawhead has turned his hand to recreating the legend of Robin Hood.

Mrs Readalot says about Stephen Lawhead's Books:
What I love about this author is the way he takes favourite myths and legends and combines them with great historical research and a spiritual edge to come up with exciting adventures that draw you in and get you believing that this is actually how those myths could have originated.
Every one of his books draws me in.

The Pendragon cycle starts with the story Taliesin, a Welsh bard who goes on to become the father of Merlin. Woven through it is the story of Atlantis. Through Merlin, we meet King Arthur, the tale told in a whole different light, very different from the colour-coordinated Richard Gere version. It is raw and gritty, unpolished... and so believable. 

The Song of Albion series is also fantastic, and now Stephen Lawhead has written the King Raven series - his spin on the legend of Robin Hood. So glad I stumbled on these in the library! After gobbling up Books 1&2 ("Hood" and "Scarlet") I've ordered the final book in the series "Tuck" and eagerly await its arrival.

If you haven't read Stephen Lawhead, but love historical fiction and imaginative writing, give him a try. I think you will not be disappointed.


Mrs R has plans to race to the library as soon as she has dropped the kids off at school (yipppppeeeee!)... the final book in the series {"Tuck"} has arrived already.
So in spite of the southerly gales this July, Mrs Readalot has enjoyed her Book Feast. In fact, chilly winter weather is perfect for snuggling up by the fire with a good read. And now you have a few suggestions, so go forth and devour a book!

{Then come back and link up here}

August Book Club and Linky
This Month's Book Club Linky is being Hosted by Leonie over at KiwiatHeart, so go over and check out what everybody's been reading... and link up your reviews. The linky will remain open throughout the month of August.
  • Link up your book reviews here
  • Visit the Book Club Page for Book Club details... 
  • Find out this month's Book Choice here...
  • Sign up to be a Book Club Linky host here...
  • Grab the button for your post (and your sidebar)... 


Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; 
they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, 
and the most patient of teachers.  
~Charles W. Eliot

Have fun reading!

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Trees said...

I loved the Pendragon Cycle, Albion too but The Robin Hood ones not so much, that may be because we were always waiting for the next one to come out so it was a disjointed read of the set. It will be interesting to hear your thoughts.
Also looking forward to your Book Thief review, I really enjoyed this book, such a clever perspective.
I shall come back and read your Splendid Suns review after my holiday, it's one I'm taking with me.
If you ever come across any by Kate Atkinson I would really recommend them xx

Sima J said...

Lucky for me my friend has the full set of the Robin Hood books that she has let us borrow and we couldn't put them down! LOVE them! Have to search out the other series he has written now :-)

Anonymous said...

So very glad I read "A Thousand Splendid Suns" - it has been my favourite read of the year so far and I find myself pondering its messages while I'm going about my day. Itching to read "The Kite Runner" now. Love your images and review.

Renee said...

Am loving all these new authors I'm coming across from being a part of Mrs Readalots book club :-) I love a good series - I love that feeling once you've finished the first book that there is MORE to come! Have ordered The Book Thief from library and at some point I'll have a look at Stephen Lawhead too.

I so agree about thanking God that we grew up in a country like New Zealand and not Afghanistan. Wow - how lucky are we! I read the list of things women 'must not do' out to my husband and he said 'well - you've got it easy don't you' - cheeky - but he's right!

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