The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss
Ohhhh The Name of the Wind. It is difficult for me to put my emotions into words in regards to this book. It is a Harry Potter story but for grown ups, I’m sure someone somewhere said this in a review I read 5 months ago when I added the book to my shopping cart. But it’s true. Following the story of an orphan who will go on to be the greatest wizard in the history of ever, with beautiful words, storytelling, and adventure Patrick Rothfuss gives us Kvothe, the lead character of The Name of the Wind. This is one of those investment stories…it is a long book (727 pages in paperback, 28 hours on audio.) It is a slow paced journey of a young man who becomes a legend. The author takes great care to tell the reader the story in a mysterious and beautiful poetic way. The tales remind me of a medieval-era belief system/world. If the book mentioned what world or time period it is set in, I didn’t care enough to pay attention (okay, so there is a map inside the cover but who looks at those before they read the book?!) I loved loved loved turning each page, it is the kind of read you soak in slowly and not a race to the end. While I compare to Harry Potter, please note, it is NOT Harry Potter. The lead character is much more clever, a bit arrogant, a survivor, a musician, and a smart young man who certainly has more skill and brains than his peers. There are a few female characters, but this is no romance. I recommend this book to those who can get drawn into another life, and a story of adventure with some fantasy but not too sci-fi. Even though this was a long dedicated read, I think it qualifies for a re-read in the future.
Little America – Rajiv Chandrasekaran
My husband handed me this book, said how great it was, and asked me if I would read it. And DUH! Of course I would. While our favorite authors and topics rarely overlap, if my history-buff, action, thriller of a reading husband hands me something he thinks I need to read, then it is a done deal.
In short, this book examines the where we went wrong in Afghanistan. While parts of the book go further back, we see Americas big involvement with Little America in the 50’s. Where we invested in their agriculture, had a pop-up town, and paid lots of folks to support Afghanistan only to ruin their soil and withdrawal just in time for the Soviet Union to make a mess. The story follows through to today (well, 2010 when the book was written.) The politics, the decisions made, who made the decisions, and so on. The book was packed with facts that I didn’t know. I paused many times just to ask my husband “seriously?! we did that?!”
While I didn’t close out the book with any “aha!” moments about what we can do going forward, Little America put the problems in Afghanistan into perspective for me. This would be an excellent read for soldiers, Americans trying to get a better idea of what has happened to get us where we are today, and really anyone who needs a better overall picture of the politics involved in this war. As we say here at my house, we are going on our 17th-One-Year-Plan. Educate yourself.
**By clicking on the photo, you will be directed to Amazon where you can purchase your own copy of the book. Full disclosure, this is a referral link, while I don’t make but pennies they can add up and help fund my book-reading adventure. Thank you!**