I've been reading a lot lately, thanks to a wondeful two-week break. Just thought I'd share some of what I've consumed in the way of literature.
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
It's the story of a young woman who grows up in Chile and follows her lover to California during the Gold Rush. Great for the historical context and vivid imagery of the untamed West. Not so great for the value of the overall story and the maturation process of the characters. I give it a 5 on a 1-10 scale.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A complex story about a boy who grows up in Afghanistan prior to the Russian takeover and control of the Taliban. This is a beautifully written book. It delves into the psyche of children, the importance of father/son relationships, the ravages of war, the horrors of sadism, the hope of freedom and the overall reality of suffering as a normal part of life. There are graphic descriptions in this book that are difficult to read, especially for the squeamish. However, I highly recommend this book; it is a must-read. I give it a 9.
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
Unlike many of Lewis' works, this is very easy to read. It explores the ideas of heaven and hell. Lewis says to participate in Heaven, humans must relinquish every souvenir of Hell. I don't agree with all of his theology, but he offers some interesting perspective and thought-provoking ideas. This is written in fiction form as the dream of a young man. It scores a 6, points being taken off for faulty theology.
I am currently reading The Problem of Pain, also by Lewis. Will let you know what I think.