What the books are about

Three Cups of Tea

A reader in Holland: This is the type of book you want to immediately go and buy for everyone. It’s an awe inspiring story that makes you realise how much some people manage to get done in their lifetime — which makes me question what I might’ve contributed to making the world or areas a better place (I still need to start contributing but by reading something like this it does/ has inspired me to start). The way it was written makes it easy to read — and gives you the real glimpse into Greg Mortenson’s life. How easily things can change in a day. I really think this book is something everyone should read, and it should even be added to schools reading lists.

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner of Khaled Hosseini’s deeply moving fiction debut is an illiterate Afghan boy with an uncanny instinct for predicting exactly where a downed kite will land. Growing up in the city of Kabul in the early 1970s, Hassan was narrator Amir’s closest friend even though the loyal 11-year-old with “a face like a Chinese doll” was the son of Amir’s father’s servant and a member of Afghanistan’s despised Hazara minority. But in 1975, on the day of Kabul’s annual kite-fighting tournament, something unspeakable happened between the two boys. Narrated by Amir, a 40-year-old novelist living in California, The Kite Runner tells the gripping story of a boyhood friendship destroyed by jealousy, fear, and the kind of ruthless evil that transcends mere politics. Running parallel to this personal narrative of loss and redemption is the story of modern Afghanistan and of Amir’s equally guilt-ridden relationship with the war-torn city of his birth.

... My Melancholy Whores

Memories of My Melancholy Whores is Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s first work of fiction in 10 years, and it fully lives up to the expectations of his critics, readers, and fans of all ages and nationalities. Memories... introduces us to a totally new genre of Garcia Marquez’s writing. It is a fairy tale for the aged — a story that celebrates the belated discovery of amorous passion in old age. This enticingly sensual, yet at the same time innocent adventure tells of an unnamed second-rate reporter who on the eve of his ninetieth birthday decides to give himself ‘a night of mad love with a virgin adolescent’. In a little more than 100 pages, Garcia Marquez proceeds to describe a series of encounters that is hypnotising and disturbing. When he first sees the chosen girl — a shy 14-year-old, whom he calls Delgadina — asleep, entirely naked, in the brothel room, his life begins to change completely. He never speaks to her nor does he learn anything about her, nor she of him...

Maximum City: Bombay...

Bombay’s story is told through the lives, often desperately near the edge, of some of the people who live there. Hitmen, dancing girls, cops, movie stars, poets, beggars and politicians — Suketu looked at the city through their eyes. The complex texture of these extraordinary tales is threaded together by Suketu Mehta’s own history of growing up in Bombay and returning to live there after a 21-year absence, and in looking through the eyes of his found the city within himself. Part memoir, part journalism, part travelogue, and written with the relentless observation and patience of a novelist, Maximum City is a brilliantly illuminating portrait of Bombay and its people — a book as vast, diverse, and rich in experience, incident, and sensation as the city itself.

Pomegranate Soup

For the inhabitants of this little Irish town of Ballinacroagh, the repertoire of gastronomic delights has never extended farther than the limp meals of the local inn’s carvery. But things change when the Aminpour sisters — Marjan, Bahar and Layla — arrive, determined to share the magic of their kitchen with the locals. Opening Babylon Cafe they begin serving up traditional Persian dishes and soon the townsfolk is lured to the new premises by the tantalising aroma. But not everyone welcomes the women with open arms, though. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, as they say, and the women of Ballinacroagh want their men back.