Miriam Poulton recommends Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns (as did Andrew Martin here):- "I have just finished this book. It follows the story of two women, Mariam and Laila, in Afghanistan. The two are separated by their age but are linked when the embittered Rasheed takes Laila as his second wife. The political climate in their country changes dramatically over the course of the book, and the two become more and more oppressed.
This book gives us a real insight into the lives of the people in Afghanistan during the rule of the Taliban. It is also a portrait of friendship in unlikely situations and a story of how people will go to extremities for what they believe in and those they love. I really enjoyed and highly recommend it."
Igor Verkhovskiy is reading Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and writes:- "This book is about a ward in an Oregon mental institution, and how daily life and the tyrannical regime of Nurse Ratched is disturbed by the arrival of a new patient, McMurphy. There's nothing wrong with him: he faked a mental condition to escape a sentence on a work farm. He tries to make men out of his fellow patients, and opens their eyes to Ratched's tyranny, and how she makes rabbits out of grown men.
The book is about a struggle against a greater power - the Combine as it's called. Everything McMurphy does or tries to do goes against the regime, and the idea is that at least he tried, while the others watched. In the end Mac, as they call him, does an outrageous thing, bringing hookers and alcohol into the dorm. He is punished for this, but the men now see that there is a way against the Combine, and the regime is losing its power over them."