Really liked this for its 'insider' (fictionalized) view of the impacts of Columbine on individuals near and far, but it *draaaaged* in chunks towardReally liked this for its 'insider' (fictionalized) view of the impacts of Columbine on individuals near and far, but it *draaaaged* in chunks toward the end when the narrator recounts ancient history in a related subplot. By merely skimming these large sections, I enjoyed the book, but would've given my experience only two stars, or even 1.5, if I'd read word for word....more
I wish goodreads had a 10-star rating for this book. Anyone who has ever wanted to make a difference, anyone who has ever dreamed the impossible dreamI wish goodreads had a 10-star rating for this book. Anyone who has ever wanted to make a difference, anyone who has ever dreamed the impossible dream of a diverse world living together in peaceful coexistence, anyone who has ever feared their own small voice was too small a drop in the bucket to matter -- MUST read this book, and then share it and its message with everyone you know. (NOTE: buy through the link at http://www.threecupsoftea.com/Intro.php, and you will be sending 7% of the cost back to this amazing charity.) The book is fascinating, inspirational and informative on so many levels -- exciting action story, moving human drama, exotic travelogue, social action miracle, bird's eye view of contemporary history in the making in the world's most complex and volatile region, a revelation of the tenaciousness and power of the human spirit under the most destructive conditions. For the first time, I have a basic understanding of the roots of conflicts in central Asia, and how the very land and landscape (and their role in outside powers' self-serving political decisions) have helped to shape today's Pakistan and Afghanistan (enough of a reason right there to read this book). But the real MIRACLE of this book is that this is all done through the mind-boggling true story of one man's miraculous mission, and seen at ground level through the eyes and souls of those who call these lands home, in such a way that these foreign places and people feel as intimate as sisters and brothers -- which, in fact, as this story makes clear, they are. The book follows GREG MORTENSON (who has my vote, along with many others', for the next Nobel Peace Prize) from his unexpected life-saving encounter with the hospitality and generosity of a remote village in Baltistan (northern Pakistan) through his fulfillment of a grateful promise to come back and build a school for this tiny, poor community -- and on through the unfolding of an incredible mission (so incredible you can hardly believe it's nonfiction) to bring nonsectarian education and basic humanitarian aid to tiny villages throughout remote, war-torn and povertry-stricken areas throughout northern Pakistan and, eventually, Afghanistan. If for no other reason, please, PLEASE, read this book for its empowering message of the earth-shaping, history-altering power that begins with a SINGLE PERSON (you, me!) -- but can leverage the hearts and hands of millions to move mountains toward a common good. I have read dozens of eloquent pleas for and dreams of world peace -- but NEVER have I read so shockingly concrete a story of planting its actual seeds -- never have I been so moved to feel global peace can actually be more than mere dream.