The Thread Book Club: 'Green on Blue'

'Green on Blue' by Elliot Ackerman
'Green on Blue' by Elliot Ackerman
Courtesy of Scribner

This week we kicked off The Thread Book Club, a monthly feature where we sit down with a great book, the author and a guest reader.

This month's book was "Green on Blue" by Elliot Ackerman. Ackerman completed five tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, where he earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. He channeled his experience overseas into his debut novel.

"Green on Blue" tells the story of the war in Afghanistan through the eyes of a young Afghan boy, orphaned in the conflict.

The New York Times wrote that Ackerman "has done something brave as a writer and even braver as a soldier: He has touched, for real, the culture and soul of his enemy."

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Ackerman discussed the book and his experiences, both in the military and in the writing process, with MPR News' Kerri Miller. They were joined by this month's guest reader Andrew Zimmern. Zimmern, an award-winning chef and writer, has traveled to more than 150 countries in his work.

"The book hurtled along with big ideas," said Zimmern, who devoured it in two days. "It read like a thriller."

Further reading

More from Ackerman: Ackerman wrote a piece for TIME Magazine this month: "Draft the Rich." "To avoid a toxic social rift and to bolster our armed forces," Ackerman wrote. "The military should conscript upper-class Americans."

More on literature from Afghanistan veterans: Brian Castner dissects the growing field of literature by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Many veterans are putting their pens to paper, but Castner asks: Why has the war in Afghanistan not produced any poets?