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The Places In Between
We're not shy about plugging audible.com. First, listening to books gives our computer-weary eyes a needed rest. Two, schlepping around an iPod is easier than a big, new hardcover. Third, often the authors themselves read the books, adding an extra dimension that reading can't touch. (audible.com version of Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, anyone?)
We've been hearing about another book for a while and we mentioned it a few months ago, but hadn't picked it up until just now, because now we can hear it from audible.com: Rory Stewart's The Places in Between.
What makes this book special? Mr. Stewart walked across Asia solo. The book is about just a relatively small portion of that trip: walking--as in on foot--across Afghanistan during the war in 2002. He's a young, Farsi and Persian-speaking, former British diplomat and current resident of Kabul, and his tale is fascinating. He re-traced the steps of a 16th Century Muslim Emperor (Babur), straight across the country, across high mountain passes--in the middle of winter--from Herat to Kabul.
You'll definitely gain new insights into the culture and people of Afghanistan and hearing it directly from the author himself is well worth a listen. It's surprising and interesting, and you'll definitely learn a lot. We sure did.