Friday, August 1, 2008

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Title: Three Cups of Tea
Author: Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
Pages: 338
Yearly Count: 45
(July book Blowout book 8)

A world away form here what many of us would view as life's necessities are extravagances for many. In Three Cups of Tea Greg Mortenson's story is told. He wants to do something to honour his sister so he chooses to climb K2 to honour her.He fails at his attempt to do what he has always done, but then begins his journey at something he has never done and something that comes completely from the heart, and will use up all his brain power and energy as well. He sees a need for schools in Pakistan, the children sit outside in the cold winter months to learn their lessons on their own, without a teacher. Mortenson makes it his one mission to change that. Three Cups of Tea is the process of building, buying and brining these dreams together.

I was inspired by Mortenson in this book, by his relentlessness and drive. I was moved by his heart, his dreams and the relationship he formed with the people of Pakistan. One of the Pakistani men he admired the most was illiterate. The fact that Mortenson could understand that this man was wise even if he was illiterate was a breath of fresh air (even though the book is about schools and education!).

Inspired as I was I did not fully enjoy the reading of this book. I think that is fine, I don't know that it was intended for enjoyment, but that is not really what I mean. I guess I am much more of a relational person, than a factual one. I enjoy day to day feelings of people and sufferings and dreams. Facts are nice, but only on the side, not as my main meal. Three Cups of Tea is all about the facts, and when it is not about the facts it is about Mortenson's life and not ever about the lives of the Pakistanis. I do not complain though, because I actually understand why it is that way: It is a NON-FICTION book. And in order to call it non-fiction the author had to go by the facts and off of what Mortenson said and remembered and not on character development of the Pakistani people. I get it, I do....but somehow I feel like I am missing a chunk of the story anyway. Silly me.

Overall I do recommend it, not for enjoyment so much as to be inspired and to know the difference that one person (with a super-crazy drive) can do to change the world.
Here are some pictures that are included in the book, dreams that Mortenson made true:

Some of the organisations mentioned in the book for helping fund this project:

Pennies for Peace
Greg Mortenson's website
Central Asia Institute (CAI) The Organisation funding Mortenson's Projects

Three Cups of Tea also reviewed by:
Reading and Writing about it

Have you read it?? Give me your link.


Ronda's Rants said...

Great reveiw...I understand what you are saying! A little like just--the-facts kind of story telling. Maybe more journalistic ( Is there such a thing?) Y' know I loved it but I agree not much on style or character development! I love reading what you think!

Anonymous said...

Agree with Ronda. Very good review. Here is the link to mine, done this morning. This will make No. 42 for the year for me. I'll be around later I'm sure to talk about the book over at the group Travel The World (from a Comfy Chair). Off to visit mother (tomorrow her birthday) now.

Trixie said...

Great review. I love that you included the photos - yours are a bit different from the ones I have in my copy though. You don't have the one where they're holding the guns with the subtitle Peace on Earth.
And the links - I might add these to my post as well.
I definitely agree with your points about characters and style. (I know you know) it's a man's memoir co-written by a journalist so that's what it is. I'm wondering if you'd like Kabul Beauty School better, which I found reviewed here by Amanda:
She also reviewed The Bookseller of Kabul but didn't like it as well although this review drew quite a bit of interesting commentary about the Middle East. I've never read either.

Trixie said...

Oops...I should give you the link to my review too.
How do you do the hot links within comments?

bethany said...

ronda- thank you!:) yes, more journalistic for sure. I think that is what they meant to do, but it really isn't my favoured reading style.
Awe...thanks :)

justareadingfool- :) I will need to go read your review too! Have a great birthday for your mom, sounds like fun.

Trixie- thanks! I got the photos from his website, some are from the book, some weren't in there. I just wanted people to see. Yeah! I know the one with the guns is great!!!:)

Yeah, the more I think about it the more I realize this book is the way that it was meant to be. That is fine, and it also is fine that it isn't my favourite style of writing. Still there is so much good in it though!
I really do want to read those two. Especially the Kabul Beauty School one.

Thanks for the comments, and the links to reviews !!

The Holistic Knitter said...

Thanks for this review ;0)

Trish said...

I don't think its silly of you to want some sort of personal connection with the people in the book. Even though a book is non-fiction I think this can absolutely be acheived--especially when you are dealing so closely with humanity. Too bad this book didn't provide that because it sounds like it would have made it even more powerful.

That being said, I've seen this one around and have wondered about it. And what is this armchair travel group? Why don't I know about it!! I'm probably going to pass on this one for a little bit longer but one day I think I'll eventually pick it up. Thanks for the touching review and pictures.

LisaMM said...

So maybe the book is good for you, like taking your vitamins, LOL.

My book club will discuss this one in September. I haven't started it yet but I'm looking forward to it. I'm glad I read your review because now I realize it's not really a "story" so much as a report. Thanks!