Khaled Hosseini made a big splash with his first novel, The Kite Runner (don't miss the film, due to be released in mid-December). For those fans who worried that he wouldn't be able to follow such a perfect book with anything up to par, well, the fear was obviously unfounded. A Thousand Splendid Suns is another masterpiece, a gift to readers and a gift to the people of Afghanistan, Hosseini's home country. The characters are different (told primarily from a female perspective this time), the story is different, but the pain and heartbreak of Afghanistan that readers found in The Kite Runner remains the drivingi force. Suns follows two women, Mariam and Laila, whose paths cross in a shocking way in war-torn Afghanistan. They endure war, loss, and brutality beyond comprehension, but their friendship and love for each other helps them endure, and ultimately makes survival possible. It's a history book, a love story, and a wakeup call to readers.