** The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (2005)

I couldn’t put this down.  It’s a fascinating story about two friends (and half brothers), Amir and Hasan, growing up in Afghanistan during the monarchy, which is pre-Russian invasion, pre Northern Alliance, pre Taliban, and pre US occupation.  It’s a different Afghanistan than I had ever seen or been aware of, though as the author points out, this “well to do” world was a mere fraction of the country’s population and the biggest losers in the demise of the monarchy.  Great page turner.  (fiction)

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