Your Grandma has great taste too! I enjoyed The Kite Runner (as well as And The Mountains Echoed) but I liked Splendid Suns best of all. Need to add them to my bookcase! I don't know too much about The Road but I'll look it up. Thanks
@nina GoT and NotW are both pretty gritty. IMO, Stormlight is not quite as grim. One thing Sanderson does with his characters is give them big powers, so take that as you will, but not so much with Martin or Rothfuss.