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Mountain to Mountain: A Journey of Adventure and Activism for the Women of Afghanistan

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  217 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Being inspired to act can take many forms. For some it's taking a weekend to volunteer, but for Shannon Galpin, it meant leaving her career, selling her house, launching a nonprofit and committing her life to advancing education and opportunity for women and girls. Focusing on the war-torn country of Afghanistan, Galpin and her organization, Mountain2Mountain, have touched ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 16th 2014 by St. Martin's Press
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Beena Khan
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I like how rich in detailed this book is about Afghanistan. I love reading cross cultural books and memoirs, this was a book I enjoyed from beginning to end. The writer Shannon shows a different insight into the lives of Afghanistan and Afghan women. I honestly had not heard of women in Afghanistan bike riding especially wearing a burka. The concept of this memoir is original and unique.

It was exciting for me to get into the book, but it was a bit slow afterwards. Shannon Galpin has transformed
Heena Gahlon
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. I had mixed feelings about this book at first. It started off exciting and then got real slow. But as the story progresses you start to see that each part of the story intertwines to a climax that weaves the whole story together. This book is rich in detail painting Afghanistan not only in images the media portrays but a very different view. One full of amazing landscapes and the culture and soul that drive the Afghani people. Sometimes ...more
Emily at Reaching While Rooted
Shannon’s story was a refreshing change in perspective. Her vantage point t as an “other”, a woman bit a foreigner allowed her access to a viewpoint of the Middle East few get to see. Throw in a bike, schools, and women’s rights and you have an inspiring memoir.
May 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
I finished the book only because I wanted to know more about the Afghans and their daily life from the author's point of view, but I didn't like the level of details she used to describe everything, I found it boring and sometimes distracting.
Also I didn't like the order of the chapters, expected a book about Afghanistan and got only half of the book about the Afghanistan experiences and the other half about the writer's personal life, her family and her past, which I wasn't expecting half the b
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gr-giveaways
Shannon Galpin is an activist, mountain biker and founder of the non-profit organization Mountain2Mountain. This book is her story of the journey she has taken since deciding to visit Afghanistan in the mid 2000's. She has broken down barriers by using her bike to travel across a lot of war torn Afghanistan visiting women's prisons, speaking to politicians, schools and eventually deciding to focus on women's rights. Galpin has been to Afghanistan many times, taking computers to schools, focusing ...more
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shannon tells about the struggles women experience yet others feel to embarrassed to talk about. Opening up about the difficult times could help empower many. I hope men also read this book to realize how much women are demoralized and belittles. To not be able to ride a bike because of the act of straddling something is ridiculous yet very real in Afghanistan. I too have visited several places in the country and understand what Shannon writes, witnessed and experienced. There are some very genu ...more
Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won a copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads. This was a heartfelt story of the author's personal tragedy and how it led her to want to help change the injustices that women of Afghanistan face. Overall, I felt the booked jumped around a bit in a way that could make it hard to follow at times, but it all comes together when sticking it through to the end. I appreciated her very personal account of the events leading up to her decision to make a difference for the women of Afghanistan, ...more
Kenn Anderson
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite the powerful message. Can't believe all Shannon sacrificed for her cause. A very emotional growing experience.

The freedoms we take for granted in America can make it difficult to understand how other cultures treat women. Where riding a bike is unacceptable. I like the message that we have to look at the strength of the Afghanistan women and not as victims.
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
a little misleading, not so much about the bike.
young mom goes to Afghanistan to help, in her own way.
unfortunately I didn't really like her. probably biased cuz I didn't like her leaving her young child to go do her own thing. she has an inspiring story but I'm more of a rule follower and she is not, not sure if she's altruistic or just selfish.
Gail Owen
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: women-s-issues
The story of Shannon Galpin's own personal growth was truly the most predominate story in this book. There were many times that the anecdotes of loose bowels or head scarf problems overshadowed what she was accomplishing in her trips to Afghanistan. A co-author could have helped her better focus her storyline.
John Malsch
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to John by: Women's Rights Groups
A must read for anyone who plans on coming into this area of the world. Shannon is a new found hero of mine. I love bike riding and now appreciate my right to ride more and more. God bless Shannon and her work to free Afghan women and their right to ride.
Chris Witt
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought I was getting a book about biking but it turned out to be so much more. This has bikes in it, sure, but it really turns out to be an ethnography. And an interesting one at that. I learned quite a bit about a country that I only previously knew through post-9/11 images of war. Good read.
Amanda Corry
Dec 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Hoped to learn more about Afghanistan. More of a personal journey.
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Thought I'd like it more, got really slow & turned into a story of personal aggrandizement & I finally couldn't keep slogging away anymore. ...more
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Hovered between 3-4 stars. Interesting memoir-want to check out her organizations now. Also glad to know afghan women's bike team
Has been in news lately
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Although Ms.Galphin's experiences in Afghanistan are covered, this book is more a story of her finding her way past a life crisis to a meaningful life. Also, I expected more pictures.
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beverly Hallfrisch
Apr 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
Interesting concept but poorly written. She would have benefited greatly from a ghost writer. She failed to expand on many of the stories that could have been fascinating. The lack of character voice made the timelines harder to follow. It was difficult to grasp how the author was helping and often seemed aloof.
Donna Carroll
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
I couldn't get into the characters of the book. Although the author is writing about her experiences in Afghanistan, I felt no connection to the people, or her organization. There was little to no details, which would have made it interesting.
Oct 17, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I was a little bit disappointed by Mountain To Mountain but I think it is because so many of these stories are just really great and inspiring and the bar is too high. What I liked the most about Galpin's memoir is the unfair discrimination against women that have careers in dangerous places or in dangerous professions because they are mothers and yet fathers get a pass. She makes an eloquent and heartfelt argument and she is, of course, right. What I liked least was her insistence that she shou ...more
Aug 16, 2015 rated it liked it
I read this in fits and starts due to a mild disinterest. I thought, oh dear, another Afghanistan do gooder... but it's different since this is the story of a woman who has devoted her life to the women of Afghanistan and tied in her passion of cycling. Her descriptions of the women's lives she comes to know in prisons and on the streets is of interest but overall, it was not remarkable, nor did it spur me into giving it all up and moving there myself.
Feb 15, 2015 rated it liked it
The author has taken a personal tragedy (raped at the age of 18) and a sense of adventure to go to Afghanistan to crusade for women. It is an interesting story and shows commendable courage in helping to change the world. Much of it is in the face of the traditions and culture as she rides a mountain bike around the country.
Jackie Smith
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
Very little here about the work of the Mountain2Mountain organization and much more about the author herself and her bike rides across Afghanistan. Towards the end of the book she mentions meeting the coach of the Afgan National men’s and women’s cycling teams and I gather that M2M has since turned its focus to encouraging cycling among the women of Afghanistan.
Apr 12, 2016 rated it liked it
There is no doubt that Shannon is an adventurous and inspiring women. Her drive and spirit is admirable. I felt mislead from the book summary: I wanted to read more about the impact of her activism. I would have liked less about her personal journey and more on the impact of women she helped. I also thought there would be more content of riding bikes.
Kelly Himsl Arthur
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thinkpeace-girls
We highly recommend this book by our friend and thinkpeace girl mentor, Shannon Galpin. Shannon is a courageous adventurer, determined to break barriers on her quest to help us understand cultural differences and create a more peaceful world.
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
Moderately interesting account of the American author's experience creating a non profit in Afghanistan. Poorly written and lacked focus but was touching when she described her personal motivation.
Joy Carter
Apr 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting but I don't think I would ever leave my children to go to such a dangerous country just to prove a point.
Dec 06, 2014 rated it liked it
More about her personal struggles than the people in Afghanistan.
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