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A Good Book, and Some Tea

I've been an avid reader since I was a little girl. Nothing I love more than curling up with a good book, learning about people, places and cultures and escaping to another world. This year has been a busy one and finding time to read has been difficult. A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a book again, and I'm so glad I did. I missed reading; it clears my head....

In a bit, I'll ask you to share what you're currently reading, and what's on your reading list. But first, over the weekend, I read something interesting:

WASHINGTON - In the frantic last hours of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's command in Afghanistan, when the world wondered what was racing through the general's mind, he reached out to an unlikely corner of his life: the author of the book "Three Cups of Tea," Greg Mortenson.

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In the past year, Mr. Mortenson and his Central Asia Institute, responsible for the construction of more than 130 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan, mostly for girls, have set up some three dozen meetings between General McChrystal or his senior staff members and village elders across Afghanistan.

The collaboration, which grew in part out of the popularity of "Three Cups of Tea" among military wives who told their husbands to read it, extends to the office of Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Last summer, Admiral Mullen attended the opening of one of Mr. Mortenson's schools in Pushghar, a remote village in Afghanistan's Hindu Kush mountains.

Mortenson - who for a time lived out of his car in Berkeley, Calif. - has also spoken at dozens of military bases, seen his book go on required reading lists for senior American military commanders, and had lunch with General David H. Petraeus, McChrystal's replacement.

Judging fromthe reviews of "Three Cups of Tea" on Amazon, the writing leaves much to be desired, but the story is compelling. I'm assuming senior leadership's interest in Mortenson's work plays to the "hearts and minds" aspect of the war in Afghanistan. I'm particularly interested in the education of girls in a region where it has been largely discouraged, so despite the warnings that the writing is torturous at times, I'm going to add this to my reading list. I think in some small way it will help me relate more to my husband's past service in Afghanistan.

Currently, I'm reading The Help, an eye-opening book about the lives of black maids in Mississippi in the 1960's.

Now that I'm back in the reading business, give me some suggestions - What are you currently reading? What do you recommend? Any kindle lovers out there?

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