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Foundation and Empire
Isaac Asimov
Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures
Virginia Morell
Zoya's Story: An Afghan Woman's Struggle for Freedom - Zoya, John Follain, Rita Cristofari "The children of Afghanistan were allowed to carry a Kalashnikov but not homework."

Published in 2002, this book is a pretty bleak look at Afghanistan, mostly the last decade or so pre-9/11, though there is a little of it (9/11) at the very end. It chronicles the experiences of Zoya, an Afghani activist from a very young age working to improve the lives of women in her country. I would be interested to learn any updates on Zoya's story, how things might have changed for her and those she knows, her country. Not a happy book, but perhaps a necessary one; having read a number of Middle Eastern women's memoirs (after latching onto the subject during college when I was fortunate to take a Middle Eastern women's studies class), I have to say those set in Afghanistan seem to be among the most desolate.