Reading Challenge 6: A Book by an Author You’ve Never Read Before

Another very open ended challenge. In fact, as I commented on the challenge of reading a book by an author I loved, I tend to not repeat authors very regularly. More often I prefer to try something new, which was why I wasn’t really sure what to pick for this challenge. But I ended up just picking something that had long been on my reading list: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

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The story follows a young boy named Amir living in Afghanistan. He and his servant boy, Hassan, enjoy reading stories, and seeing John Wayne movies, and participating in kite tournaments together, until one act of cowardice by Amir pulls them apart forever. The book follows Amir’s journey, to his new life in America, and then to his journey back to Afghanistan to redeem himself.

I think that’s the best description I can give, but I still feel it in no way begins to cover this amazing book. Even after a few days to reflect, I’m not sure I can even write a decent blog post, because I’m still far too overwhelmed by the mere thought of this story. It’s one of the books that has made me cry the hardest, but also one I was unable to put down. I stayed up well past midnight even with an early morning of work ahead, so eager to know what would happen. I felt really connected to the characters, and thoroughly invested in the story.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what goes into making a great novel. And to me, some of the biggest components are a good story, great themes, and a decent writing style. I think good books can have one or two of these. But to me, a really worthwhile and meaningful novel will have all three. I felt that The Kite Runner had a good writing style over all. First person narrators can be tricky, but it was well done. The story kept me motivated to keep reading. And of course, I thought the themes were very meaningful. About overcoming ones own flaws, about family dynamics, about justice and politics, wealth and poverty. The layers in this book seemed so rich to me, that I think it would require another more thorough reading to really peel them back.

Either way, I loved this book and it’s become a new favorite of mine. I would really encourage others to read it!

Do you often read books by the same author? What do you think makes a great novel?

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Here is a book challenge I did not make. Click it to find the original source.

Previous Posts:

1. A Book You Own But Haven’t Read

2. A Book that was Made into a Movie

3. A Book You Pick Solely for the Cover

4. A Book Your Friend Loves

5. A Book Published this Year

7. A Book by an Author You Love

9. A Book with a Color in the Title

10. A Book Set Somewhere You’ve Always Wanted to Visit

11. A Book You Started but Never Finished

12. A Book with a Lion, a Witch, or a Wardrobe

14. A Book Set in Summer

15. A Book of Poems

16. A Book You Learned About Because of this Challenge

17. A Book that Will Make You Smarter

18. A Book with a Blue Cover

19. A Book You Were Supposed to Read in School but Didn’t

20. A Book EVERYONE but You Has Read

21. A Book with a Great First Line

22. A Book with Pictures

24. A Book You Loved…Read it Again!

25. A Book that is More than Ten Years Old

26. A Book Based on a True Story

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Reading Challenge 6: A Book by an Author You’ve Never Read Before

  1. Khaled Hosseini became my favorite author very quickly. The Kite Runner captured me and wouldn’t let me go — until I read A Thousand Splendid Suns. Where TKR was from a male perspective, ATSS is from the female. That Hosseini can move between the genders so effectively proved what an amazing author he is. THEN I read And the Mountains Echoed and I cried through the whole book. The overtones of aging were the ones that wouldn’t let me go. Of the three, ATME was my favorite.

    I DO often read the same authors. I will get stuck on one and read and read their work until I burn out. Clive Cussler, James Rollins, Joan Anderson, Julia Cameron, Jane Austen… What do I think makes a great novel? Simply whether it allows me to disconnect from my world for a time. Doesn’t have to be wonderfully, technically written with all kinds of themes, it just needs to take me with it wherever it goes.

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