Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

I read The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield, so quickly because I just couldn't put it down! I love books like that. After I finished it, I was disappointed that the story was over. I hope that Diane writes more books soon. In this book, a young biographer named Margaret Lea is called upon to write the story of a reclusive author, Vida Winter. Like the summary on the back cover says, "Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves." The story has many twists and turns, which made it fun to read. And the author's use of language is so eloquent. Here if one of my favorite lines from the book:

"Do you know the feeling when you start reading a new book before the membrane of the last one has had time to close behind you? You leave the previous book with ideas and themes - characters even - caught in the fibers of your clothes, and when you open the new book, they are still with you."

That is exactly how I felt after reading this book.

A Thousand Splendid Suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns

I've been trying to decide what to say about the book A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini. The book is so beautifully written that it's hard to put my thoughts about it into words. I think that with so much conflict going on in the Middle East right now, it would be good for everyone to read this book. I'll never feel the same way again when I see a woman in a burka. Reading this book, I was able to really put myself into the shoes of the Afghan women, and I didn't like the way it felt. The book starts out in the pre-Taliban days when the Communists were trying to take over the country, and it ends in post-Taliban Afghanistan.

I cried many times while reading this book. I cried not only because I wished I could help these women and their country, but I also cried out of selfish fear. I started to wonder what it would be like if something like the Taliban took over our country. With the election coming up, I'm very concerned about what will happen in the world if our next president doesn't take a firm stand against terrorists and tyrants. If our next president is soft on terror, then the terrorists will be that much closer to world domination...one big Arab state. Then you and I, heaven forbid, might have to learn how to navigate sidewalks while wearing a burka. We will have to get used to staying inside our homes unless escorted by a man. We will have to get used to never driving a car or buying anything. We will have to get used to having no rights at all. We will be treated worse than a dog.

I've never been much of a John McCain fan, but after reading this book I think that he's the best man for the job during these times. He'll be a strong leader against terror. On the other hand, the thought of a man with Islamic ties (stronger ties than I think he tells everyone) becoming the leader of the Free World scares the mess out of me. I'm going to pray for all of the candidates. That's the best thing that I can do. I'm also going to pray for people all over the world who are oppressed and have never known the kind of freedom that we have here. After reading this book, I'll never take my freedom for granted again.

My two favorite lines of the book:
"One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs,
Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls."

"One last time, Mariam did as she was told."

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