As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

March 1, 2011

THREE CUPS OF TEA by Greg Mortensen and Oliver Renin, 2006

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a TimeAnyone who despairs of the individual’s power to change lives has to read the story of Greg Mortenson, a homeless mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan’s treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school. Over the next decade he built fifty-five schools—especially for girls—that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. As it chronicles Mortenson’s quest, which has brought him into conflict with both enraged Islamists and uncomprehending Americans, Three Cups of Tea combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit. (Amazon)

Review by Jen Seegmiller

If you haven't read this book yet, stop whatever you're doing, call your library and get on the wait list for it. Or better yet, just buy it.

Fantastic, is one word to describe it. Inspirational, fascinating, compelling, humbling, are a few other words that work as well. I don't read a lot of non-fiction, but this is one of the most amazing true stories I've ever read or heard of. I don't want to spoil the whole book, so I won't, but I think Greg Mortensen's wife must be absolutely amazing to support his tireless efforts to improve the lives of so many people in such a dangerous part of the world.

Greg Mortensen unequivocally demonstrates the value of humanitarian efforts in the Islamic world, despite the backlash from some small-minded Americans who don't think people in those countries are worth our attention at all. If you'd like to discover how good works have changed the hearts, minds, and future of a people, read this book. If more of us could love and help others despite religious, political, and cultural differences, the pain and suffering of this world would be greatly diminished and perhaps the ugliness of war would become a mere memory.

However, it's not a book to read when you're tired. David Oliver Renin writes beautiful, but complex sentences that slip through tired brains without leaving their meaning behind until the second try. It's a great read though - absolutely worth every minute of reading time - unless you're already sleepy. If so, you're better off sleeping and picking it up to read when you're fresh.

Language: Mild
Sensuality: Mild
Violence: Mild - some disturbing things are discussed, but not graphically
Mature Themes: Opression, Poverty, Abuse, Neglect

Book formats:

To learn more about the authors, visit: Greg Mortensen and Oliver Relin


Anonymous said...

I STILL haven't read this book! But I will. This is a great review! Very compelling--makes me want to read THREE CUPS OF TEA even more.

Amy Finnegan {} said...

Don't feel too bad, Kim! I've heard how great this book is over and over again, too, and I haven't read it yet either! (Note to self: READ IT!)

My reservation comes from me feeling physically sick whenever I read of such difficult living circumstances for children. Seriously, I once went to Nogales Mexico and after I left, I'm pretty sure I cried for the next month straight.

We were living in Tucson, Arizona at the time, and I couldn't get the visions of crushing poverty (only an hour away from my house!) out of my head no matter how hard I tried.

Since then, I have a very difficult time reading books like this. So tell me, Jen, will I leave the book feeling depressed?

From your great review, it doesn't seem like it, but would you recommend it to a hyper-sensitive softy like me?

Amy :)

Anonymous said...

Amy's question goes for me, too, Jen. I don't like violence or children suffering!

BJ said...

Three Cups of Tea is a book I would love to own. infarrantly creative sent me to this blog and I am so glad that I have found it now.

Danielle N. said...

I would LOVE to own this book! Infarrantly Creative sent me to your site and I know follow you on Facebook. Books are more valuable than money in our household, so thankful for this site.