Sunday, April 3, 2011

52 Books in 52 Weeks - Book 13: Three Cups of Tea

This week I finished reading Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. I highly recommend this book for its unique perspective on the lives of those living in Pakistan during these tumultuous times.This story begins with the accidental encounter that Mr. Mortenson had with the people of the village of Korphe after a failed mountain climbing expedition - an encounter that changed his life forever. After learning of the non-existence of opportunities to educate girls in this mountain region as well as how the schools that do exist are run by terrorist organizations for the purpose of indoctrinating the youth, Mr. Mortenson resolved to do what he could do - to build a school for this one village. That was the beginning of a journey that has not yet ended. I appreciated the vivid descriptions of the geographical locations, encounters with their residents and the way in which Mr. Mortenson approached the communities involved. I learned many things about the culture of this area of the world that the evening news skips over.

The only thing that I had difficulty with while reading this book is that the authors occasionally lost the voice. The book is told from a third party perspective, that of an observer. The approach in itself is adequate, but there are some rough spots towards the latte 1/3 of the book that may reflect more on the editor than the authors.

I had a hard time putting this book down as I was always wondering what was just around the corner for the author as he single-mindedly did his part in educating some of the world's most isolated populations. This is a really good book that will inspire readers to wonder what it is they can do to change the world.


dstb said...

You have probably heard the news by now of the investigation into Mortenson's claims and CAI's finances. Too bad. His goal of helping kids, especially girls, in Pakistan and Afghanistan is a good one, but one that will probably now suffer.

As I think I mentioned before, I encourage you to read John Wood's "Leaving Microsoft...". Similar goals, but in different countries.


A said...
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TechWife said...

Yes, the information on Mortenson came out just after I put the review of the book up. I'm surprised he wasn't found out earlier, but I surely do appreciate those who investigated his claims. I'll check out Wood's book, thanks for the recommendation.