1.

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

Read a few pages and it’s not difficult to understand why Hosseini’s first novel was an international best-seller. Set across several generations and encompassing some of Afghanistan’s most tumultuous times, it is a lacerating story of friendship and betrayal.

2.

Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan, 183942, by William Dalrymple

Too many histories of Afghanistan are written from exclusively Western sources. This riveting history, stuffed with new material from Russian, Urdu and Persian sources, breaks the mold with a galloping narrative of the First Anglo-Afghan War in 1839-42.

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