Khaled Hosseini Recommends 3 Great Reads

Dear Reader,


A decade ago, we hosted one of Khaled Hosseini's early booksignings at the Barnes & Noble Astor Place.  The buzz surrounding The Kite Runner (a Summer '03 Discover selection) was still building, and a decent-sized crowd turned out to hear a then-unknown Hosseini read from his debut novel. 


Fast forward ten years: The Kite Runner is a modern classic, taught in high schools and colleges across the country,  adapted to film, and as a graphic novel.  Hosseini's second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, was an instant bestseller -- and all told, as of this writing, these two novels have sold a combined 38 million copies worldwide. 


And the Mountains Echoed is Hosseini's finest achievement to date -- at once compassionate and steely-eyed, both timeless and immediate, transporting readers across physical, temporal, and cultural boundaries to deliver emotional truths.  From Afghanistan to Northern California, with stops in Greece and Paris, this expansive novel is ultimately a story of finding one's place at home in the world.


Last night, hundreds of readers came to the Barnes & Noble in Union Square to hear Hosseini interviewed on stage by Bill Goldstein, a professor of literature at Hunter College and frequent contributor to WNBC's Weekend Today in New York.  Goldstein had a slew of terrific, wide-ranging questions -- including one of our perennial favorites: Who are you reading now? To which Hosseini replied: Colum McCann's Transatlantic, Mohsin Hamid's How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, and the short stories of Alice Munro.


So if you've already devoured And the Mountains Echoed and are looking for your next great read...


Cheers, Miwa




Miwa Messer

Miwa Messer is the Director of the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program, which was established in 1990 to highlight works of exceptional literary quality that might otherwise be overlooked in a crowded book marketplace. Titles chosen for the program are handpicked by a select group of our booksellers four times a year. Click here for submission guidelines.




April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysely Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.

The Promise of Hope

Killed last year in the infamous terror attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall, Kofi Awoonor was a national treasure in his native Ghana.  His career began in 1964 with Rediscovery, and this magnum opus serves as a tribute to his entire long journey charting his beloved nation's course through his accomplished poetry.

Winter Mythologies and Abbots

A pair of linked stories finds that, as translator Ann Jefferson relates, "[Pierre] Michon's great theme is the precarious balance between belief and imposture, and the way the greatest aspirations can be complicated by physical desire or the equally urgent desire for what he calls glory."