Author Spotlight: Kahled Hosseini {The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, And The Mountains Echoed}

Kahled Hosseini, you are one an amazing author.

The plots, characters, and settings in your 1st 2 books are truly works of art and some of the best I’ve read.

You should have stopped writing while you were ahead.

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime.” 

Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.

My Thoughts:

I read this many, many years ago and the details are a bit fuzzy to me….but I do remember absolutely LOVING this book.  It’s one of the few books that my husband and I have both read and both loved. It’s an AMAZING story written by an AMAZING author, I just can’t quite remember enough details to give you a full and detailed review.

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime.” 

Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.

My Thoughts:

I started reading this the same day I finished reading The Kite Runner.  After just reading that one book, I was immediately drawn to this wonderful author.  This book did not disappoint!  I remember loving it just as much as I loved The Kite Runner (how rare to love 2 books in a row so equally).  This beautiful story was so incredibly well written.  Again, the details here are a bit fuzzy for me….but I do remember absolutely LOVING everything about it.

Aaaaaaand then…..

This book.  Ugh.

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one…Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and stepmother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Abdullah, Pari – as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named – is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their heads touching, their limbs tangled. One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand. Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways in which we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.

My Thoughts:

I was beyond excited when this book was finally released.  Finally!  I had been anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new Hosseini book for years!  I remember going to the bookstore on the day of it’s release to buy my copy.  Such a great day!

As I sat down to read, I prepared myself to feel all of the emotions I felt while reading the other 2 books.  It was obvious from the very beginning that this book was going to be quite different.

It was so LONG and SO BORING…I felt like I was reading a textbook.

I never wanted to sit down and read this book and was so unmotivated to read more than a few pages at a time when I did read.  I eventually did finish it…but…wow did it take me forever.

Here’s a fun fact about me: this book took me longer to finish reading than any other book that I’ve ever read in my life.  MONTHS.  To read ONE book.  One very long and very boring book.  Months of my life that I will never get back.  When I think of all of the amazing books I could have read over those months, my bookloving heart hurts…

Clearly this book was NOTHING at all like the other 2 books he had written.  How does this happen?!

When authors develop a fan base, their readers expect their work to be of a certain quality.  I couldn’t believe how dramatically different this book was in terms of quality from the previous 2.  Absolutely nothing about this story drew me in.  I was incredibly disappointed.  Still am.

My Bottom Line on Khaled Hosseini:

The Kite Runner: READ IT NOW.

A Thousand Splendid Suns: READ IT NEXT.

And The Mountains Echoed: SEND ME A THANK YOU NOTE FOR SAVING YOU FROM READING THIS BOOK.

*Khaled Hosseini released a short story in 2018 called Sea Prayer.  Have any of you read it?  I have not. I’m still recovering from And the Mountains Echoed.*

Xo,

Jenny

Have you read these books?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram!

Local friends, I run a storytime every Tuesday and Friday at Whimsy Cafe in Buffalo Grove, Illinois from 10:00-10:45! Bring your kids (6 months-5 years) for stories, songs, and lots of fun. Price is included in your child’s admission, no need to sign up. If you are a blog reader, please be sure to introduce yourself!  I can’t wait to meet you and your little ones. 🙂

Click the image below to order the books through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

Let’s Chat: Spoilers. Love Knowing or Better Blind?

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You’re in the middle of an amazing book.  You tell someone what you’re reading.  Without thinking, they give away the ending.

Or…

You’re in the middle of an amazing book.  You close it without bookmarking.  When you open again to find your place, you open the cover a wee bit too far and mistakenly read ahead.

Or…

You’re in the middle of an amazing (uplifting) book.  You tell someone what you’re reading.  They tell you how tragically sad the ending is and how it will make you sob.  You spend the rest of the book trying to figure out the sad twist that you never knew existed.

Or…

Someone posts something on Facebook and while innocently scrolling through your newsfeed, you now have books (AND REALITY TV) ruined for you.

THE.  WORST.

All of these situations have happened to me and I’m quite certain they have also happened for a number of you.  Admittingly, I am more sensitive to this than most people.  I absolutely HATE knowing anything ahead of time.

When I’m reading a book and the plot is getting GOOD, it’s not uncommon for me to physically put my hand over the rest of the page so I cannot mistakenly read ahead.

When I am watching reality tv (my favorite), I mute the sound and look away when Chris Harrison announces, “Tonight on the Bachelor” or “Coming up after the break”.  Scenes from next week?????? FORGET ABOUT IT.  Hell no.

I saw Hamilton without listening to a single song first although everyone told me I needed to.  I did zero historical research.  I walked into that theater completely blind and I truly think I had a better experience because of it!

Have you ever noticed the following disclaimer that I include with every book review that I  publish on my blog?

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

I have heard that there are people who when they receive a book, the very first thing that they do is to read the last page of the book.  Do people like this really exist?!?

I never Google a television show for any reason unless I am 100 percent caught up in the current season.  I have blocked people on Facebook when they post status updates about current television shows so nothing will be ruined for me if I’m an episode or 2 behind.  I turn away from the magazines in the grocery store checkout aisle when they post photos of current reality tv stars.

I once told a friend how excited I was to watch the Bachelor finale that night and she responded with “Oh!  ____won!  I just read an article!”  This was roughly 3 hours before the finale aired.  And of course my friend was right.  And of course it was the girl who I NEVER thought was going to win.  It would have been such an amazing finale.

When I’m reading or watching television, I NEVER try to predict the ending.  I just enjoy the present and not give too much thought into trying to figure out what will happen next (on a side note, this is also a fantastic way to go about life…but that’s a different post for a different day).

To me, nothing beats an amazing twist that I never saw coming.  Nothing is better than a surprise ending.  When an author has the ability to make this happen, it’s brilliant.  So many specific books come to mind…but I don’t want to spoil any of them for you!

What are your thoughts on all of this?  How do you feel about spoilers?  Tell me a story about a time when someone ruined something for you!  

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram!

Local friends, I run a storytime every Tuesday and Friday at Whimsy Cafe in Buffalo Grove, Illinois from 10:00-10:45! Bring your kids (6 months-5 years) for stories, songs, and lots of fun. Price is included in your child’s admission, no need to sign up. If you are a blog reader, please be sure to introduce yourself!  I can’t wait to meet you and your little ones. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

A Book Blogger’s Instagram in an Instant {Part 2} and a Fun Book Coffee Happy Announcement

Hi Friends!

How was your weekend?  Ours was a perfect mix of relaxation, errands, and lots of fun.

Friday night the 4 of us went to my kids’ favorite pizza restaurant for dinner.  The restaurant has been around for a million years, is filled with taxidermy animals, peanut shells on the floor, and the most delicious pizza ever.  It’s crowded, small, loud, and perfect.  Our kids beg us to take them to the restaurant with the “animals”, lol.

Do you follow Book Coffee Happy on Instagram?  If not, head over there and join the fun!

Last month, I posted A Book Blogger’s Instagram in an Instant and it was such a hit, I decided to make it a regular addition to my blog!  Welcome to part 2 🙂

Here are a small sample of photos and videos that I’ve recently taken and posted to my Instagram account (see my account for photo explanations, lol).  Just like my blog, it has lots of posts about books with bits of my personal life sprinkled in. 🙂

If you don’t already follow me on Instagram, this is a perfect time to start because I will be hosting my very first Instagram Giveaway on Wednesday!  The winner will be able to choose 1 book from 3 amazing book selections.  I can’t wait!

A Fun Book Coffee Happy Announcement:

Local friends, I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be running storytime at the brand new and beautiful Whimsy Play in Buffalo Grove on Tuesday and Friday mornings from 10:00-10:45 starting this Tuesday! Local friends, bring your kids (6 months-5 years) for stories, songs, and lots of fun. Price will be included in your child’s admission, no need to sign up! If you are a blog reader and we don’t know each other in real life, please come and introduce yourself. 😍 I can’t wait to meet all of you and your little ones! ❤️

I hope you are all having a great Monday!

Xo,

Jenny

 

4 Books I Started but Didn’t Care to Finish {Part 1}

Hi Friends!

How was your weekend?  Remember on Friday when I was excited that we had 3 Hanukkah parties to attend this past weekend???  2 words: sick toddler.  1 party got rescheduled for next week (it was supposed to be at our house), 1 party was attended by my daughter and I, and the last party was attended by my husband and my daughter.  Not at all how I envisioned our fun family weekend to be but sometimes that’s life, right?  My little boy seems to be feeling much better today!  I hated seeing him like that.  Poor thing.

I posted a photo on Instagram from the 1 party I actually went to:

My best friend’s mom has this beautiful tradition where everyone who attends her party brings their own menorah and we all light them together.  There’s something so magical about watching the menorah candles glow and seeing so many at once is absolutely one of my favorite holiday traditions every year.  This year was extra interesting because one of the menorahs next to me fell over with all of it’s lit candles and I grabbed it just in time before anything or anyone got burned!  #hanukkahherojenny

After I wrote this post Let’s Chat: How Long Until You Officially Abandon A Book? I received so many responses and it got me thinking…There are SO many books that I have abandoned before finishing.  I hate doing that but sometimes it’s just necessary.  As I’ve said before, there are way too many amazing books out there to be stuck reading something you don’t love!

Welcome to the first installment of a new series I will be doing from time to time called “4 Books I Started but Didn’t Care to Finish”!

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This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you purchase through these links. I obviously wouldn’t recommend buying ANY of these books but if you do…I would be thankful if you could do it through my links, lol 😉

Let’s dive right in…

Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

People RAVE about this book.  All the time.  I was so excited to read it!  I made it about 50 pages in before I called it quits.  Why do people love this one so much?  I absolutely hated the writing style.

One Day (Vintage Contemporaries)

I LOVE the synopsis of this book. I tried…so hard…hated it.  Everything about it.  From page 1.  Broke my heart because I so wanted to love it.  I even went back and tried again!  Still couldn’t get into it. Ugh.

Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1)

I liked it.  It was fine.  I didn’t LOVE it…and about a quarter of the way through, I called it quits.  Would it have gotten better?  I’m sure it would have!  I just was a bit too bored to stick around to find out.  Eh.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Series)

Oh dear lord did I DESPISE this book from the very first sentence on the very first page.  Again, see this post for details: Let’s Chat: How Long Until You Officially Abandon A Book?  I’m going to go ahead and call this my LEAST favorite book I’ve ever read.  Of all time. In my entire life. And I have read A LOT of books.  I was so sure I would love it that I bought all 3 books in the series before I even opened the cover of the first one. I sold all 3 the following summer for $1 each at my garage sale. I will gladly take $3.00 over owning these 3 books any day!

I would love to hear your thoughts.  What books have you started but didn’t care to finish?  Have you read any of the above books?  Did you like them?  Let’s discuss in the comments!

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram!