Book Shelf – Kite Runner
The Kite Runner is the first novel by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2003 by Riverhead Books, it tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, whose closest friend is Hassan.
The Kite Runner became a bestseller after being printed in paperback and was popularized in book clubs. It was a number one New York Times bestseller for over two years, with over seven million copies sold in the United States. Reviews were generally positive, though parts of the plot drew significant controversy in Afghanistan. A number of adaptations were created following publication, including a 2007 film of the same name, several stage performances, and a graphic novel. The novel is also available in a multi-CD audiobook read by the author.
Amir, a well-to-do Pashtun boy, and Hassan, a Hazara boy who is the son of Ali, Amir’s father’s servant, spend their days kite fighting in the hitherto peaceful city of Kabul. Flying kites was a way to escape the horrific reality the two boys were living in. Hassan is a successful “kite runner” for Amir; he knows where the kite will land without watching it. Both boys are motherless: Amir’s mother died in childbirth, while Hassan’s mother, Sanaubar, simply abandoned him and Ali. Amir’s father, a wealthy merchant Amir affectionately refers to as Baba, loves both boys. He makes a point of buying Hassan exactly the same things as Amir, to Amir’s annoyance. He even pays to have Hassan’s cleft lip surgically corrected.
On the other hand, Baba is often critical of Amir, considering him weak and lacking in courage, even threatening to physically punish him when he complains about Hassan. Amir finds a kinder fatherly figure in Rahim Khan, Baba’s closest friend, who understands him and supports his interest in writing, whereas Baba considers that interest to be worthy only of females.
From Rahim Khan, Amir learns that Hassan and Ali are both dead. Ali was killed by a land mine. Hassan and his wife were killed after Hassan refused to allow the Taliban to confiscate Baba and Amir’s house in Kabul. Rahim Khan further reveals that Ali was sterile and was not Hassan’s biological father. Hassan was actually the son of Sanaubar and Baba, making him Amir’s half brother. Finally, Khan tells Amir that the reason he has called Amir to Pakistan is to ask him to rescue Hassan’s son, Sohrab, from an orphanage in Kabul.
Amir searches for Sohrab, accompanied by Farid, an Afghan taxi driver and veteran of the war with the Soviets. The orphanage director tells Amir how to find the official, and Farid secures an appointment at his home by claiming to have “personal business” with him.
Amir tells Sohrab of his plans to take him back to America and possibly adopt him. However, American authorities demand evidence of Sohrab’s orphan status. Amir tells Sohrab that he may have to go back to the orphanage for a little while as they have encountered a problem in the adoption process, and Sohrab, terrified about returning to the orphanage, attempts suicide. Amir eventually manages to take him back to the United States. After his adoption, Sohrab refuses to interact with Amir or Soraya until Amir reminisces about Hassan and kites and shows off some of Hassan’s tricks. In the end, Sohrab only gives a lopsided smile, but Amir takes it with all his heart as he runs the kite for Sohrab, saying, “For you, a thousand times over.”
The Secret of the Unicorn is the eleventh book in The Adventures of Tintin series, comprising of 24 comics created by the Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, who wrote under the pen name Hergé. The series was one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century. Tintin is the titular protagonist of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. He is a reporter and adventurer who travels around the world with his dog Snowy. By 2007, a century after Hergé’s birth in 1907, Tintin had been published in more than 70 languages with sales of more than 200 million copies, and had been adapted for radio, television, theatre, and film.
While looking through an old sea-chest found in his attic, Captain Haddock chances upon the diaries of his ancestor, Sir Francis Haddock. This legendary sea dog achieved fame through his renowned run-in with the fearsome pirate Red Rackham. So are the words of Sir Francis Haddock just another chronicle of life at sea? Certainly not! His journals speak of a fabulous hoard of jewels: for Tintin, Captain Haddock – and a gang of crooks – the treasure hunt is well and truly on. But as the search continues, the plot thickens…
Despite the picture on the book’s cover showing a caravel at sea, The Secret of the Unicorn keeps both feet firmly on the ground. We only breathe sea air through the story of Sir Francis Haddock and Red Rackham. In the sequel, Red Rackham’s Treasure, there is a change of scene as we embark on a thrilling maritime adventure.
Next Book in the series : Red Rackham’s Treasure
St. Frances Cabrini
On November 13, the universal Church honors St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, an Italian missionary who spent much of her life working with Italian immigrants in the United States. Mother Cabrini, who had a deathly fear of water and drowning, crossed the Atlantic Ocean more than 30 times in service of the Church and the people she was serving.
St. Frances Cabrini, from a young age, longed to be a missionary in China, but God had other plans for her. Orphaned in Italy before she was 18, she joined the Sisters of the Sacred Heart and took on the name “Xavier” in honor of St. Francis Xavier, the great missionary to the Orient.
At the advice of Pope Leo XIII, who told her “Not to the East, but to the West,” she focused her missionary efforts on the United States. Accepting Archbishop Corrigan of New York’s invitation, she came to America and spent nearly 30 years traveling back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean as well as around the United States setting up orphanages, hospitals, convents, and schools for the often marginalized Italian immigrants.
Eventually, St. Frances became a naturalized U.S. citizen. She died in 1917 and was canonized in 1946, just before a new wave of immigrants began to arrive in the U.S.
St. Frances Cabrini is the patron of immigrants.