Let me first express my lack of knowledge of Afghanistan, the people, the culture, and it's history. Let me also express my disinterest in really learning about it, 'cause I'm lazy like that.
Last summer, a friend of mine lent me some books. (I read "Skinny Legs and All" by Tom Robbins. Pretty good, but Robbins is sort of difficult to read. Even better than "Skinny Legs and All" is "Still Life With A Woodpecker.") One of the books she lent me was "The Kite Runner." I was interested in it, because I'd heard only good things about it, but I get in moods about books, and I was really enjoying my sci-fi craze. But I figured that was my chance and I read it while I had it.
I fell in love with the book. It really is a great book. And the movie actually sticks with the book remarkably well. There are some parts that are left out, for time reasons, but it gets every super important scene, and it didn't alter any of the scenes it kept.
Last week, Books-A-Million had a "buy two get the third free" table, and I picked up "Pygmy" by Chuck Palahniuk for my husband. I also bought "An American Wife" by Curtis Sittenfield, which was a really good read even if it was supposed to be about Laura Bush.
My last purchase was "A Thousand Splendid Suns," by Khaled Hosseini (the author of "The Kite Runner"). Again, I couldn't put the book down. Like "The Kite Runner," this is also set in Afghanistan, but unlike "The Kite Runner," the main characters don't run to America during the Soviet takeover of Afghanistan. You follow two women through Afghanistan while it passes hands three times. The war, the horror, the terror. And, of course, the treatment of the women is portrayed quite well. A very good read, and one I highly recommend.
And I learned a bit about Afghanistan, too, which made me happy.