Apr 21, 2010

Three Cups of Tea

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

My rating: 4 stars

Quick overview: One day in 1993, high up in the world's most inhospitable mountains, Greg Mortenson wandered lost and alone, broken in body and spirit, after a failed attempt to climb K2, the world's deadliest peak. When the people of an impoverished village in Pakistan's Karakoram Himalaya took him in and nursed him back to health, Mortenson made an impulsive promise: He would return one day and build them a school. Although he was a homeless "climbing bum" living out of his aging Buick in Berkeley, California, Mortenson sold what few possessions he had to launch one of the most remarkable humanitarian campaigns of our time. Three Cups of Tea traces Mortenson's decade-long odyssey to build schools, especially for girls, throughout the region that gave birth to the Taliban and sanctuary to Al Qaeda. (from goodreads)

I loved this book. After reading it I wanted to simply saturate myself with knowledge. It was nothing short of inspiring.

However, having said that, you need to know it's a good read, but not a fast read. You absorb so much with each paragraph, so you really have to take some time to get through it.

"In times of war, you often hear leaders - Christian, Jewish, and Muslim - saying, 'God is on our side.' But that isn't true. In war, God is on the side of refugees, widows, and orphans." (Pg. 239)

Parts of the story made me laugh, but so many other parts made me cry - it really tugs at your heart strings. A hundred pages into the book and Mortenson still hadn't built his first school. There were SO many challenges he faced just trying to get the school built - but he never stopped trying.

And ohhh...the writing. When I read The Girls from Ames I loved the story, but struggled through it because I thought the writing was crap. The writing in this book was phenomenal. It pulled me in, and even though at times there are a lot of facts thrown at you, I just wanted to keep reading.

I was afraid this would be a "he's so great" story about Mortenson and not share any down side or bad things about him. But they did an excellent job of showing how building these schools affected his health, marriage, and even life in the United States.

I would highly recommend this book. Have you read it? What did you think?

(Photo: Maggie Rose)


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

As you know from my Goodreads comments, I really liked the booked as well. I struggled a bit with the writing style at times. I think the editor could have done a better job. I can't think of anything specific because it's been over 2 years since I have read it.

It was an inspiring story, though. Mortenson is so brave. He definitely puts his life at risk at times.

I am looking forward to reading his next book!

Unknown said...

he is an amazing man ~ what an inspiration to us all! i'm reading the follow-up right now and it is just as amazing. you should definitely check it out!

Gracie said...

I just put this on my "to read" list. I can't abide a book that's poorly written, so your recommendation bumped it up a spot or two on the list!

Nicole said...

Well, as you know from my Goodreads review, I had such a hard time getting through this book. The writing style isn't for everyone. I think overall I was just disappointed with this book. I wanted more stories. I think it will be interesting though to read the follow-up and compare the writing styles.

Anonymous said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

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