David Rohde & Kristen Mulvihill

New York Times correspondent David Rohde surely thought of The Wall Street Journal’s murdered Daniel Pearl when he was captured by the Taliban two years ago. He spent the next seven months in captivity before escaping, shuttled from Afghanistan to Pakistan, an experience he recounts in A Rope and A Prayer: A Kidnapping From Two Sides (Viking, $26.95), co-written with his wife, Kristen Mulvihill, who also appears tonight. The two had been married for just two months prior to his abduction. Rohde, a past Pulitzer winner, was already expert in the ways of Afghan insurgency and Taliban mindsets. Yet during his long incarceration, there were surprises. In North Waziristan, his captors surf the Web and listen to the radio; they’re surprisingly well-informed about the world—though it’s understood through a fanatical filter. And there are touches of absurdity. Rohde writes, “My Taliban guards slept beneath bedspreads … emblazoned with characters from the American television show Hannah Montana and the movie Spider-Man. My blanket was a pink Barbie comforter.” BRIAN MILLER

Mon., Dec. 13, 7 p.m., 2010

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