Travelogue with books – 2021 Day 1


After a tough 2021, I planned many book challenges for the year 2021. One of the challenges I prepared was choosing one new title a month as my Book of the month. And that book from one country each out of all the existing countries in the world. In this regard, I started gathering one book each for the country. As my list grew I started learning new things.

But, the start of 2021 was not smooth. On a personal front, I had seen hard times because of which my reading speed and focus lost their track. It was in the month of May I started getting back the focus. As planned, I started gathering and followed my planner. Instead of tracking it from January, I planned it for the month of June. Browsing the countries and their books in alphabetical order also completed another challenge, i.e. books to be read in alphabetical order. Thus, it started with the letter ‘ A’. I could acquire 195 country names as per Google.

Therefore, the first country I have on the list is Afghanistan. Every reader knows that Khaled Hosseini is from Afghanistan and his books are famous. But, it was harder than I expected to find an Afghan book that wasn’t by Khaled Hosseini. Not that I’ve got anything against Khaled Hosseini, I was keen to know about other writers from this mysterious land. Apart from the political views and news, we hear about this beautiful country, there is a lot more to read and understand. At this juncture, I myself started reading many articles and blogs to know about other writers and authors. And, I ended up getting the book by French-Afghan writer Atiq Rahimi and translated from the French by Polly McLean – named The Patience Stone. Skipping the introduction (by Khaled Hosseini) I plunged right in, haha!

Short Review:
Atiq Rahimi’s The Patience Stone is a brutally frank, painfully truthful novel, and not a book to be appreciated by readers who believe in Afghans’ own myths about themselves.

Set in the civil war years that followed an illusionary victory over the Soviet Red Army, the book deals with a period that is doubtless the most painful era of Afghanistan’s recent history. A period in which the people of Afghanistan were robbed of their right to take pride in the country’s struggle against the Soviet occupation, and were instead thrown into a fierce but meaningless civil war. The true face of the jihad, as a brutal, meaningless and directionless power struggle between egocentric men was revealed in that period. ( Courtesy- Afghan Magazine)

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