The Taliban Shuffle

The Taliban Shuffle
Author: Kim Barker
Pages: 302
ISBN: 9780307477385
Available:
Release: 2012
Editor: Anchor
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A wisecracking foreign correspondent recounts her experiences in Afghanistan and Pakistan while sharing cautionary observations about the region in its first post-Taliban years and the responsibilities of the U.S. and NATO.

The Taliban Shuffle

The Taliban Shuffle
Author: Kim Barker
Pages: 302
ISBN: 0385533314
Available:
Release: 2011
Editor: Doubleday Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A wisecracking foreign correspondent recounts her haphazard experiences in Afghanistan and Pakistan while sharing cautionary observations about the region in its first post-Taliban years, its ability to prevent a Taliban regrouping and the responsibilities of the U.S. and NATO.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Author: Kim Barker
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781101973127
Available:
Release: 2016
Editor: Anchor
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A wisecracking foreign correspondent recounts her experiences in Afghanistan and Pakistan while sharing cautionary observations about the region in its first post-Taliban years and the responsibilities of the U.S. and NATO.

The Longest War

The Longest War
Author: Peter L. Bergen
Pages: 496
ISBN: 9780743278942
Available:
Release: 2011-06-28
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A forefront expert on al Qaeda draws on his unique first-hand interviews with Osama bin Laden, top-level jihadists and Washington officials to offer insight into the war on terror from both sides. By the author of The Osama bin Laden I Know. Reprint.

In the Hands of the Taliban

In the Hands of the Taliban
Author: Yvonne Ridley
Pages: 300
ISBN: 9781909396708
Available:
Release: 2014-06-05
Editor: Robson
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Yvonne Ridley's terrifying 10 day detainment by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan struck a chord that continues to resonate around the world. At a time when the world was plunged into a state of unprecedented chaos and uncertainty following the terrorist atrocities in the US, Yvonne faced the ordeal of her life. Captured by the Taliban as she attempted to cross the Afghan border to report on the outbreak of war for the Sunday Express, Yvonne found her life hanging in the balance in the hands of the most reviled regime in the world. For Yvonne, an unexpected survival instinct kicked in that saw her face her captors not with fear, but with anger. Her courage and gutsiness, and that of her family, prompted the Taliban to release her, glad to be rid of such a so-called 'difficult' woman. This is Yvonne's full, true story. From her capture, to the ordeal she endured at the hands of the Taliban, to her eventual release; she offers a unique perspective into a way of life that remains a mystery to many. The friendships she formed with her fellow hostages, her feelings about her captors and their beliefs, and her discoveries -- many of which surprised and baffled her -- are all exclusively revealed in detail. Yvonne's story is a truly compelling and inspirational read.

A Different Kind of Daughter

A Different Kind of Daughter
Author: Maria Toorpakai
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780143196914
Available:
Release: 2016-05-03
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The incredible story of a girl from tribal Pakistan who risked everything just to play and ended up taking on the Taliban and inspiring the world. Maria Toorpakai hails from Pakistan's violently oppressive northwest tribal region, where women are forbidden from playing sports and girls rarely leave their homes. But she did, chopping off her hair and passing as a boy in order to play the sports she loved, thus becoming a lightning rod in her country's fierce battle over women's rights. A Different Kind of Daughter tells of Maria's harrowing journey to play the sport she knew was her destiny, first living as a boy and roaming the violent back alleys of the frontier city of Peshawar, rising to become the number one female squash player in Pakistan. For Maria, squash was not only liberation, though--it was also a death sentence, thrusting her into the national spotlight and the crosshairs of the Taliban, who wanted Maria and her family dead. Maria knew her only chance of survival was to flee the country. Enter Canadian Jonathon Power, the first North American to earn the title of top squash player in the world, and the only person to heed Maria's plea for help. Recognizing her determination and talent, Jonathon invited Maria to train and compete internationally in Canada. After years of living on the run from the Taliban, Maria packed up and left the only place she had ever known to move halfway across the globe to pursue her dream in Toronto. Now Maria is well on the way to becoming world champion and continues to be a voice for oppressed women everywhere. A Different Kind of Daughter is about equality, courage, determination, parents' love, and the ability to turn to what is best in us to fight against what is worst in the world.

Hangover Wisdom 100 Thoughts on the Taliban Shuffle

Hangover Wisdom  100 Thoughts on the Taliban Shuffle
Author: David Capper
Pages: 44
ISBN: 5458842960
Available:
Release: 2013-01
Editor: Lennex
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In this book, we have hand-picked the most sophisticated, unanticipated, absorbing (if not at times crackpot!), original and musing book reviews of "The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan." Don't say we didn't warn you: these reviews are known to shock with their unconventionality or intimacy. Some may be startled by their biting sincerity; others may be spellbound by their unbridled flights of fantasy. Don't buy this book if: 1. You don't have nerves of steel. 2. You expect to get pregnant in the next five minutes. 3. You've heard it all.

My Life with the Taliban

My Life with the Taliban
Author: Abdul Salam Zaeef
Pages: 329
ISBN: 9781849044448
Available:
Release: 2010-01-01
Editor: Oxford University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

This is the autobiography of Abdul Salam Zaeef, a senior former member of the Taliban. His memoirs, translated from Pashto, are more than just a personal account of his extraordinary life. My Life with the Taliban offers a counter-narrative to the standard accounts of Afghanistan since 1979. Zaeef describes growing up in rural poverty in Kandahar province. Both of his parents died at an early age, and the Russian invasion of 1979 forced him to flee to Pakistan. He started fighting the jihad in 1983, during which time he was associated with many major figures in the anti-Soviet resistance, including the current Taliban head Mullah Mohammad Omar. After the war Zaeef returned to a quiet life in a small village in Kandahar, but chaos soon overwhelmed Afghanistan as factional fighting erupted after the Russians pulled out. Disgusted by the lawlessness that ensued, Zaeef was one among the former mujahidin who were closely involved in the discussions that led to the emergence of the Taliban, in 1994. Zaeef then details his Taliban career as civil servant and minister who negotiated with foreign oil companies as well as with Afghanistan's own resistance leader, Ahmed Shah Massoud. Zaeef was ambassador to Pakistan at the time of the 9/11 attacks, and his account discusses the strange "phoney war" period before the US-led intervention toppled the Taliban. In early 2002 Zaeef was handed over to American forces in Pakistan, notwithstanding his diplomatic status, and spent four and a half years in prison (including several years in Guantanamo) before being released without having been tried or charged with any offence. My Life with the Taliban offers a personal and privileged insight into the rural Pashtun village communities that are the Taliban's bedrock. It helps to explain what drives men like Zaeef to take up arms against the foreigners who are foolish enough to invade his homeland.

Soldier Girls

Soldier Girls
Author: Helen Thorpe
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9781451668124
Available:
Release: 2014-08-05
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“A raw, intimate look at the impact of combat and the healing power of friendship” (People): the lives of three women deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, and the effect of their military service on their personal lives and families—named a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly. “In the tradition of Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Richard Rhodes, and other masters of literary journalism, Soldier Girls is utterly absorbing, gorgeously written, and unforgettable” (The Boston Globe). Helen Thorpe follows the lives of three women over twelve years on their paths to the military, overseas to combat, and back home…and then overseas again for two of them. These women, who are quite different in every way, become friends, and we watch their interaction and also what happens when they are separated. We see their families, their lovers, their spouses, their children. We see them work extremely hard, deal with the attentions of men on base and in war zones, and struggle to stay connected to their families back home. We see some of them drink too much, have affairs, and react to the deaths of fellow soldiers. And we see what happens to one of them when the truck she is driving hits an explosive in the road, blowing it up. She survives, but her life may never be the same again. Deeply reported, beautifully written, and powerfully moving, Soldier Girls is “a breakthrough work...What Thorpe accomplishes in Soldier Girls is something far greater than describing the experience of women in the military. The book is a solid chunk of American history...Thorpe triumphs” (The New York Times Book Review).

Godsend

Godsend
Author: John Wray
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780374716097
Available:
Release: 2018-10-09
Editor: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Inspired by the story of John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban,” Whiting Award–winning author John Wray explores the circumstances that could impel a young American to abandon identity and home to become an Islamist militant. Like many other eighteen-year-olds, Aden Sawyer is intently focused on a goal: escape from her hometown. Her plan will take her far from her mother’s claustrophobic house, where the family photos have all been turned to face the wall; far from the influence of her domineering father—a professor of Islamic studies—and his new wife. Aden’s dream, however, is worlds removed from conventional fantasies of teen rebellion: she is determined to travel to Peshawar, Pakistan, to study Islam at a madrasa. To do so, she takes on a new identity, disguising herself as a young man named Suleyman. Aden fully commits to this new life, even burning her passport to protect her secret. But once she is on the ground, she finds herself in greater danger than she could possibly have imagined. Faced with violence, disillusionment, and loss, Aden must make choices that will test not only her faith but also her most fundamental understanding of who she is, and that will set her on a wild, fateful course toward redemption by blood. John Wray’s Godsend is a coming-of-age novel like no other.

The Body Papers

The Body Papers
Author: Grace Talusan
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781632061843
Available:
Release: 2019-04-02
Editor: Restless Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Winner of The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing “Grace Talusan writes eloquently about the most unsayable things: the deep gravitational pull of family, the complexity of navigating identity as an immigrant, and the ways we move forward even as we carry our traumas with us. Equal parts compassion and confession, The Body Papers is a stunning work by a powerful new writer who—like the best memoirists—transcends the personal to speak on a universal level.” —Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere Born in the Philippines, young Grace Talusan moves with her family to a New England suburb in the 1970s. At school, she confronts racism as one of the few kids with a brown face. At home, the confusion is worse: her grandfather’s nightly visits to her room leave her hurt and terrified, and she learns to build a protective wall of silence that maps onto the larger silence practiced by her Catholic Filipino family. Talusan learns as a teenager that her family’s legal status in the country has always hung by a thread—for a time, they were “illegal.” Family, she’s told, must be put first. The abuse and trauma Talusan suffers as a child affects all her relationships, her mental health, and her relationship with her own body. Later, she learns that her family history is threaded with violence and abuse. And she discovers another devastating family thread: cancer. In her thirties, Talusan must decide whether to undergo preventive surgeries to remove her breasts and ovaries. Despite all this, she finds love, and success as a teacher. On a fellowship, Talusan and her husband return to the Philippines, where she revisits her family’s ancestral home and tries to reclaim a lost piece of herself. Not every family legacy is destructive. From her parents, Talusan has learned to tell stories in order to continue. The generosity of spirit and literary acuity of this debut memoir are a testament to her determination and resilience. In excavating such abuse and trauma, and supplementing her story with government documents, medical records, and family photos, Talusan gives voice to unspeakable experience, and shines a light of hope into the darkness.

War Reporting for Cowards

War Reporting for Cowards
Author: Chris Ayres
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781555845940
Available:
Release: 2007-12-01
Editor: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“Imagine George Costanza from Seinfeld being sent off to cover the Iraq War . . . Hilarious” (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times). Chris Ayres is a small-town boy, a hypochondriac, and a neat freak with an anxiety disorder. Not exactly the picture of a war correspondent. But when his boss asks him if he would like to go to Iraq, he doesn’t have the guts to say no. After signing a one million dollar life-insurance policy, studying a tutorial on repairing severed limbs, and spending twenty thousand dollars on camping gear (only to find out that his bright yellow tent makes him a sitting duck), Ayres is embedded with a battalion of gung ho Marines who either shun him or threaten him when he files an unfavorable story. As time goes on, though, he begins to understand them (and his inexplicably enthusiastic fellow war reporters) more and more: Each night of terrifying combat brings, in the morning, something more visceral than he has ever experienced—the thrill of having won a fight for survival. A “heartbreakingly funny” memoir (Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead), War Reporting for Cowards tells, with “self-deprecating wit” (The New Yorker), the story of Iraq in a way that is extraordinarily honest, and bitterly hilarious. “Chris Ayres has invented a new genre: a rip-roaring tale of adventure and derring-don’t.” —Toby Young, author of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People “Darkly entertaining.” —Los Angeles Times “Ayres’s stories of life with Marines are gripping—in part because he’s the perfect neurotic foil.” —People

Our Bodies Their Battlefields

Our Bodies  Their Battlefields
Author: Christina Lamb
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9781501199196
Available:
Release: 2020-09-22
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From Christina Lamb, the coauthor of the bestselling I Am Malala and an award-winning journalist—an essential, groundbreaking examination of how women experience war. In Our Bodies, Their Battlefields, longtime intrepid war correspondent Christina Lamb makes us witness to the lives of women in wartime. An award-winning war correspondent for twenty-five years (she’s never had a female editor) Lamb reports two wars—the “bang-bang” war and the story of how the people behind the lines live and survive. At the same time, since men usually act as the fighters, women are rarely interviewed about their experience of wartime, other than as grieving widows and mothers, though their experience is markedly different from that of the men involved in battle. Lamb chronicles extraordinary tragedy and challenges in the lives of women in wartime. And none is more devastating than the increase of the use of rape as a weapon of war. Visiting warzones including the Congo, Rwanda, Nigeria, Bosnia, and Iraq, and spending time with the Rohingya fleeing Myanmar, she records the harrowing stories of survivors, from Yazidi girls kept as sex slaves by ISIS fighters and the beekeeper risking his life to rescue them; to the thousands of schoolgirls abducted across northern Nigeria by Boko Haram, to the Congolese gynecologist who stitches up more rape victims than anyone on earth. Told as a journey, and structured by country, Our Bodies, Their Battlefields gives these women voice. We have made significant progress in international women’s rights, but across the world women are victimized by wartime atrocities that are rarely recorded, much less punished. The first ever prosecution for war rape was in 1997 and there have been remarkably few convictions since, as if rape doesn’t matter in the reckoning of war, only killing. Some courageous women in countries around the world are taking things in their own hands, hunting down the war criminals themselves, trying to trap them through Facebook. In this profoundly important book, Christina Lamb shines a light on some of the darkest parts of the human experience—so that we might find a new way forward. Our Bodies, Their Battlefields is as inspiring and empowering is as it is urgent, a clarion call for necessary change.

Unbelievable

Unbelievable
Author: Katy Tur
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780062684943
Available:
Release: 2017-09-12
Editor: HarperCollins
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “Compelling… this book couldn’t be more timely.” – Jill Abramson, New York Times Book Review From the Recipient of the 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism Called "disgraceful," "third-rate," and "not nice" by Donald Trump, NBC News correspondent Katy Tur reported on—and took flak from—the most captivating and volatile presidential candidate in American history. Katy Tur lived out of a suitcase for a year and a half, following Trump around the country, powered by packets of peanut butter and kept clean with dry shampoo. She visited forty states with the candidate, made more than 3,800 live television reports, and tried to endure a gazillion loops of Elton John’s "Tiny Dancer"—a Trump rally playlist staple. From day 1 to day 500, Tur documented Trump’s inconsistencies, fact-checked his falsities, and called him out on his lies. In return, Trump repeatedly singled Tur out. He tried to charm her, intimidate her, and shame her. At one point, he got a crowd so riled up against Tur, Secret Service agents had to walk her to her car. None of it worked. Facts are stubborn. So was Tur. She was part of the first women-led politics team in the history of network news. The Boys on the Bus became the Girls on the Plane. But the circus remained. Through all the long nights, wild scoops, naked chauvinism, dodgy staffers, and fevered debates, no one had a better view than Tur. Unbelievable is her darkly comic, fascinatingly bizarre, and often scary story of how America sent a former reality show host to the White House. It’s also the story of what it was like for Tur to be there as it happened, inside a no-rules world where reporters were spat on, demeaned, and discredited. Tur was a foreign correspondent who came home to her most foreign story of all. Unbelievable is a must-read for anyone who still wakes up and wonders, Is this real life?

Kindred

Kindred
Author: Rebecca Wragg Sykes
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781472937483
Available:
Release: 2020-08-20
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

'Beautiful, evocative, authoritative.' Professor Brian Cox 'Important reading not just for anyone interested in these ancient cousins of ours, but also for anyone interested in humanity.' Yuval Noah Harari Kindred is the definitive guide to the Neanderthals. Since their discovery more than 160 years ago, Neanderthals have metamorphosed from the losers of the human family tree to A-list hominins.Rebecca Wragg Sykes uses her experience at the cutting-edge of Palaeolithic research to share our new understanding of Neanderthals, shoving aside clichés of rag-clad brutes in an icy wasteland. She reveals them to be curious, clever connoisseurs of their world, technologically inventive and ecologically adaptable. Above all, they were successful survivors for more than 300,000 years, during times of massive climatic upheaval. Much of what defines us was also in Neanderthals, and their DNA is still inside us. Planning, co-operation, altruism, craftsmanship, aesthetic sense, imagination, perhaps even a desire for transcendence beyond mortality. Kindred does for Neanderthals what Sapiens did for us, revealing a deeper, more nuanced story where humanity itself is our ancient, shared inheritance.

I Lost My Love in Baghdad

I Lost My Love in Baghdad
Author: Michael Hastings
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781416561163
Available:
Release: 2008-04-08
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The “wrenching” (Rachel Maddow, The Rachel Maddow Show) first book by acclaimed journalist Michael Hastings (1980-2013), whose unflinching Rolling Stone article “Runaway General” ended the military career of General Stanley A. McChrystal. At age twenty-five, Michael Hastings arrived in Baghdad to cover the war in Iraq for Newsweek. He had at his disposal a little Hemingway romanticism and all the apparatus of a twenty-first-century reporter -- cell phones, high-speed Internet access, digital video cameras, fixers, drivers, guards, translators. In startling detail, he describes the chaos, the violence, the never-ending threats of bomb and mortar attacks, the front lines that can be a half mile from the Green Zone, that can be anywhere. This is a new kind of war: private security companies follow their own rules or lack thereof; soldiers in combat get instant messages from their girlfriends and families; members of the Louisiana National Guard watch Katrina's decimation of their city on a TV in the barracks. Back in New York, Hastings had fallen in love with Andi Parhamovich, a young idealist who worked for Air America. A year into their courtship, Andi followed Michael to Iraq, taking a job with the National Democratic Institute. Their war-zone romance is another window into life in Baghdad. They call each other pet names; they make plans for the future; they fight, usually because each is fearful for the other's safety; and they try to figure out how to get together, when it means putting bodyguards and drivers in jeopardy.Then Andi goes on a dangerous mission for her new employer -- a meeting at the Iraqi Islamic Party headquarters that ends in catastrophe. Searing, unflinching, and revelatory, I Lost My Love in Baghdad is both a raw, brave, brilliantly observed account of the war and a heartbreaking story of one life lost to it.

Imperial Life in the Emerald City

Imperial Life in the Emerald City
Author: Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780307265920
Available:
Release: 2006-09-19
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A National Book Award Finalist and New York Times Bestseller The Green Zone, Baghdad, Iraq, 2003: in this walled-off compound of swimming pools and luxurious amenities, Paul Bremer and his Coalition Provisional Authority set out to fashion a new, democratic Iraq. Staffed by idealistic aides chosen primarily for their views on issues such as abortion and capital punishment, the CPA spent the crucial first year of occupation pursuing goals that had little to do with the immediate needs of a postwar nation: flat taxes instead of electricity and deregulated health care instead of emergency medical supplies. In this acclaimed firsthand account, the former Baghdad bureau chief of The Washington Post gives us an intimate portrait of life inside this Oz-like bubble, which continued unaffected by the growing mayhem outside. This is a quietly devastating tale of imperial folly, and the definitive history of those early days when things went irrevocably wrong in Iraq.

A Fort of Nine Towers

A Fort of Nine Towers
Author: Qais Akbar Omar
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9780307362704
Available:
Release: 2013-04-16
Editor: Knopf Canada
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The surprising, stunning book that took the publishing world by storm: a coming-of-age memoir of unimaginable perils and unexpected joys, steeped in the rhythms of folk tales and poetry, that is as unforgettable as it is rare--a treasure for readers. Qais Akbar Omar was born in Kabul in a time of relative peace. Until he was 7, he lived with his father, a high school physics teacher, and mother, a bank manager, in the spacious, garden-filled compound his grandfather had built. Noisy with the laughter of his cousins (with whom they lived in the typical Afghan style), fragrant with the scent of roses and apple blossoms, and rich in shady, tucked-away spots where Qais and his grandfather sat and read, home was the idyllic centre of their quiet, comfortable life. But in the wake of the Russian withdrawal and the bloody civil conflict that erupted, his family was forced to flee and take refuge in the legendary Fort of Nine Towers, a centuries-old palace in the hills on the far side of Kabul. On a perilous trip home, Omar and his father were kidnapped, narrowly escaping, and the family fled again, his parents leading their 6 children on a remarkable, sometimes wondrous journey. Hiding inside the famous giant Bamiyan Buddhas sculpture, and among Kurchi herders, Omar cobbles together an education, learning the beautiful art of carpet-weaving from a deaf mute girl, which will become the family's means of support. Against a backdrop of uncertainty, violence and absurdity, young Qais Omar weaves together a story--and a self--that is complex, colourful, and profound.

Let Me Tell You What I Mean

Let Me Tell You What I Mean
Author: Joan Didion
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9780593318492
Available:
Release: 2021-01-26
Editor: Knopf
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

*A New York Times Best Seller* From one of our most iconic and influential writers: a timeless collection of mostly early pieces that reveal what would become Joan Didion's subjects, including the press, politics, California robber barons, women, and her own self-doubt. A Most Anticipated Book of 2021 from Vogue, TIME, Bustle, The New York Times and many more. These twelve pieces from 1968 to 2000, never before gathered together, offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary figure. They showcase Joan Didion's incisive reporting, her empathetic gaze, and her role as "an articulate witness to the most stubborn and intractable truths of our time" (The New York Times Book Review). Here, Didion touches on topics ranging from newspapers ("the problem is not so much whether one trusts the news as to whether one finds it"), to the fantasy of San Simeon, to not getting into Stanford. In "Why I Write," Didion ponders the act of writing: "I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means." From her admiration for Hemingway's sentences to her acknowledgment that Martha Stewart's story is one "that has historically encouraged women in this country, even as it has threatened men," these essays are acutely and brilliantly observed. Each piece is classic Didion: incisive, bemused, and stunningly prescient.

The Bookseller of Kabul

The Bookseller of Kabul
Author: Asne Seierstad
Pages: 297
ISBN: 0316159417
Available:
Release: 2004-10-26
Editor: Back Bay Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The Norwegian journalist provides a portrait of a committed Muslim man and his family living in post-Taliban Kabul, Afghanistan.