Read Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.
Both are excellent and provide some insight into the history of the much maligned Afghanistan.
I will warn you, however, that neither are what you would call light reads - the subject matter is pretty heavy (though the writing style is very accessible).
Ooh, also, I'm not sure if these guys are big or not at home, but check out "Flight of the Conchords," New Zealand's fourth most popular digi-folk paradists. They've been around for a while and I think they have a show on HBO but they just started showing it on the BBC here and it's great. There's a bunch of their stuff on youtube.