This summer at the book sale in the town that we vacation in I picked up Three Cups of Tea-By Greg Mortenson and David Relin. It caught my eye because it was a book about building schools in Pakistan. The new course that I teach at my school is History of the last 20 years and we spend a lot of time talking about Afghanistan and Pakistan. This book tells the story of Greg Mortenson and his quest to build schools in the most impoverished areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
I have to be honest this is one of the few books I have read lately that I have been torn about how to review. I finished it a few weeks ago and have delayed review because I didn't really know what I would give it. Then I decided. I am going to give it two review ratings. As an educational resource on the area of Pakistan and life in that nation I would five it four stars out of five. From a standpoint of a regular book to read I would give it 2.5 stars.
This book gave a beautiful personal look in to part of Pakistan that not many people get to encounter. It showed what family and village life are like, the struggle of the people. and the ill effects of terrorism on the society. I was fascinated to read about the people and the experiences of Mortenson and how he was able to work with the people of those nations and build schools or the children of some of the most impoverished areas of these nations.
From a strictly read for pleasure standpoint there were parts of the book that were very slow. I mean so slow that I took breaks from the book because it dragged. I feel that this story may have been better and an extended interview piece in a magazine or a shorter book. The book is a hair over 300 pages and I think it would be at least 50 shorter. I can see how the author would not want to trim because it is an amazing story to tell, but I personally felt part of it dragged. As a reader of history this wasn't anything that took away from my reading as a historian but as a pleasure reader I felt it took away from the overall book.
So basically-if you want to learn about live in Pakistan or the amazing life of Mortenson and his charity work in this area of the world go get this book. If you are looking for a nice easy read-this won't be your cup of tea (pun totally intended)