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Topic: Three Cups of Tea

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Subject: Three Cups of Tea
Date Posted: 8/11/2009 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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A correspondent of mine in North Carolina recently informed me that incoming students at the University of North Carolina this year are supposed to have read Greg Mortenson's memoir about building schools in Afghanistan, Three Cups of Tea.

Bonnie (LoveNE) - ,
Date Posted: 8/20/2009 8:10 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2007
Posts: 5,982
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I had a real difficult time with that one. It definitely didn't grab me and I couldn't finish it.

Date Posted: 8/28/2009 10:12 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2008
Posts: 456
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The school I work at (middle school) is supposedly reading that this year with the 7th grade because it fits the Social Studies curriculum nicely, but I think they are reading a young adult version.  I read and loved the adult version, but it is a very difficult read so I can't see the 7th graders reading that version.

Date Posted: 8/28/2009 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2009
Posts: 81
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I didn't like the book.  Greg Mortenson comes across as selfishly obsessed and oblivious to his personal responsibilities, and the writer, David Relin, worships Greg one too many times to make this book comfortably unbiased.  Not sure Greg's the kind of person I would hold up as a role model to young adults, unless of course you want to teach them to ignore their home responsibilities in order to jaunt off on their own personal quest.  I do have to admit that Greg's efforts in Afghanistan are commendable, but as a whole, I find him unpleasant.

Date Posted: 8/28/2009 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2009
Posts: 168
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 I disliked this book as well. As a matter of fact I didn't even finish reading it, which is unusual for me. Poor students, I can't see this book fostering a love of reading.

Date Posted: 8/28/2009 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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While I agree with some of Sara's comments about Greg's behavior I have to admire his complete devotion to his cause. While he was being irresponsible at home he was keeping his commitment to the community in Afghanistan. There were a few spots where the book lagged for me but I was glad I finished it.

Date Posted: 10/22/2009 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,718
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I'm so glad to read these comments and know that I'm not alone!  I started Three Cups of Tea, and quickly realized I had better things to do than "watch" this guy pat himself on the back...constantly.  I didn't finish it, and I never recommend it to any of my library patrons. 

Date Posted: 1/11/2010 3:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/1/2005
Posts: 24
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Darn, I'm sorry to hear these reviews...just bought this book from the thrift store a week ago. oh well, I'll give it a go and if it doesn't hold my interest I'll pass it on to someone else.

Date Posted: 1/11/2010 4:35 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Saara:  I'm sorry to hear you are put off by some of the comments in here on your recent thrift store purchase.  We had a copy in my family, a while back and three of us read it with considerable interest.  I should tell you that all three of us have something to do with teaching.  Now, my hubby is reading Stones into Schools, a second book about Mortenson's mission in that violence-cursed region of the world.  After we'd read Three Cups of Tea, we presented the copy to the public library in our small town  in Minnesota.  (There was a waiting list for it.)  Anyway, don't accept anyone else's judgment on it, make your own assessment.  Remember, Mortenson didn't write the book himself, he 'told' some of the story to the actual writer, who got the rest of the story, apparently, from other individuals who played various roles in it.

Last Edited on: 1/11/10 4:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: comments on sequel??
Date Posted: 1/15/2010 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,875
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I was living overseas when "tea" came out so only recently heard of it and put it on my TBR list. However, "Stones for Schools" is now a big seller in the bookstores.

What do you all think, Should I read it?

Date Posted: 1/15/2010 6:23 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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After reading your reviews of Reading Lolita in Teheran and The Kite Runner,  I rather suspect you will want to read about the daunting task Mortenson set himself, that of building schools in those fierce, mountainous regions of Afghanistan and the disputed area between it and Pakistan (such as Waziristan).  This is the part of the world where the Talibani rage rampantly about, as described in Hosseini's second book, A Thousand Splendid Suns.  But I also suspect that after reading books such as Three Cups of Tea and A Thousand Splendid Suns, you (as an American woman) may find yourself fuming inside at the way girls and women are denied education simply because of their gender.   So with that precaution . . . . . .

Last Edited on: 1/15/10 6:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/8/2010 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
Posts: 1,958
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We read Three Cups of Tea for my book club last month. The writing was what drove most of us crazy. Greg was almost sainted over and over again! There was one particularly self-congratulatory part where there was an argument that he should win the Nobel Peace Prize. We were all admiring of the work that he has done, but many of us wondered about the cost to his own family.

I didn't hate it completely, but I did not love it either.

Date Posted: 5/9/2010 1:15 AM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,891
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I'm a third of the way through and find it engaging and enjoyable to read. I like the book very much and look forward to reading on. Doesn't seem difficult or overly-self-congratulatory to me but maybe it gets more so later. I'd recommend it, especially if you prefer non-fiction.

Date Posted: 5/16/2010 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2005
Posts: 404
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Ijust finished it for our bk club. We meet next week. I liked the book. It was good to see some Muslems (sp?) in a better light for a change. I agree with the guy, education is the key! He put a burden on his family but the wife didn't seem to mind. The book will make for a lively discussion.