I hope you all had a wonderful bank holiday weekend.
I am now trying to work out what books to read for my first ever reading challenge The Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge: Beginner level and today I am looking at the prompt Good as Gold. This means a book that has won the Goodreads Choice Award, so I have had a look at the options and come up with two winners that take my fancy. I have discarded the winners that I have already read because I want to read new books. I must admit every year I vote in the choice awards and my choices have never won. I also find not many of the books I read are nominated, perhaps I just don’t read the right books.
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.
Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils … Pagford is not what it first seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?
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.
These are the two books I have chosen out of the winners and now I just have to decide which one to go for. I own ‘The Casual Vacancy’ so that is one advantage but I don’t mind buying ‘And The Mountains Echoed’. I love both authors but I am a bit worried about ‘And The Mountains Echoed’ as Khaled Hosseini can be a rather sad read and I’m not sure I want to be crying whilst on holiday.
I would be happy to hear your thoughts on the two books, as I would love to have some help with my choice.