Akita's (as in the Japanese Prefecture, not the dog) virtual book club discussion

Three Cups of Tea

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message 1: by MMG (new)

MMG | 106 comments woohoo! I'm the first one to post on this book!

So I liked it. I thought the writing was terrible, but the story was so inspiring...I'm not usually impressed by humanitarians, but I really like Greg Morte-whatever. It also made me feel really lame...like what did I do today? I made a third grader cry...not that I want to go around building schools in the middle east but it would be nice to be part of something important. Too bad I'm not a more passionate person.

I thought it was amazing some of the situations he got himself into and then out of and the fact that he still kept going back....maybe he's an adrenaline junky...

Do you think people visit Korphe now, like people visit Washington where Twilight was filmed? I mean I wouldnt expect the same numbers, but I bet there are people who after reading the book bought a ticket to Pakistan just to see the village that started it all.

message 2: by Brittany (new)

Brittany (bmholman) | 107 comments Stars: 4
Goodreads review: This book made me feel like I'm not doing enough in this world. But it was very inspirational. I would love to do something similar with my life. I really enjoyed seeing the other side of Muslims and Islam from a non-fundamentalist point of view. I know what the US was/is doing to the country of Afghanistan during the "war on terrorism" was horrible, but I had no idea it was that bad. Like how the US had money appropriated for the rebuilding of Afghanistan, but has redirected it to the "war" in Iran instead of keeping to their word. I was also flabbergasted as to the lengths Mortenson has gone to keep his promises in all the dangerous countries and remote villages that he has gone to. It's very admirable, and I wish I had the balls to do the same. Cheers to Mortenson, you are a very good man. As far as the book itself, it was dry at times, but exciting at others. I would like to have read more about the children that have been helped due to the building of the schools. I'm very interested in reading Stones into Schools at some point in the future.

Quotes: I'll be quoting quotes too, since this book was full of em.

"'When it is dark enough, you can see the stars' -Persian proverb" (7).

"Mortenson thought that Sakina had perhaps the kindest face he'd ever seen. It was wrinkled in a way that suggested smile lines had set up camp at the corners of her mouth and eyes, then marched toward each other until they completed their conquest" (27).

"...the word 'Muslim' means, literally, "to submit'" (68).

"...the true measure of a nation's success is not gross national product, but 'gross national happiness'" (120).

"'What we are trying to do may be just a drop in the ocean,'...'But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop'" (227)

"'When we increase literacy, we substantially reduce tensions'" (228)

When there were no tall, visible buildings in Afghanistan "this is what Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was talking about when he complained there were no good targets in Afghanistan and suggested striking Iraq instead" (279).

"'I want to be thoroughly used up when I die'" (Julia Bergman 286).

"'We women of Afghanistan see the light through education,'.... 'Not through this or that hole in a piece of cloth'" (Uzra Faizad 289).

"'I do it because I care about kids. Fighting terror is maybe seventh or eighth on my list of priorities. But working over there, I've learned a few things. I've learned that terror doesn't happen because some group of people somewhere like Pakistan or Afghanistan simply decide to hate us. It happens because children aren't being offered a bright enough future that they have a reason to choose life over death'" (292).

The U.S. has "'launched 114 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Afghanistan so far. Now take the cost of one of those missiles tipped with a Raytheon guidance system, which I think is about $840,000. For that much money, you could build dozens of schools that could provide tens of thousands of students with a balanced nonextremist education over the course of a generation. Which do you think will make us more secure?'" (294-295).

"If we truly want a legacy of peace for our children, we need to understand that this is a war that will ultimately be won with books, not bombs'" (301).

"'Your President Bush has done a wonderful job of uniting one billion Muslims against America for the next two hundred years'" (Brigadier General Bashir Baz 310).

"'...The enemy is ignorance. The only way to defeat it is to build relationships with these people [Muslims], to draw them into the modern world with education and business. Otherwise the fight will go on forever'" (Bashir 310).

"'When your heart speaks, take good notes'" (Judith Campbell 333).

Mara: people might go to visit it as soon as the country is in peace, which prob won't be in our lifetime. And p.s. I do plan on visiting Forks, Washington sometime. LOL!

message 3: by Alison (new)

Alison | 103 comments Mod
OK I have finally finished this book, mid june but oh well. It took me ages to finish I think because I really didn't like the book too much. I suppose it makes me a bad person, but I just felt like the book could have ended say round page 200 and then rest could have been summed up in an epilogue. I suppose you girls would disagree with me, but I felt like the last half of the story was kind of the same story over and over again with little anecdotes thrown in the mix. He sees a countryside with no school, he wants to build them a school, he needs money, he struggles but gets money, he goes back and the villagers rejoice. And now that all the scandal about him has come out, I don't feel as bad for not liking this book. It took me like 3-4 months to finish it and I finished like 4 or 5 books while reading this book. I thought the writing was crap, in the beginning it keeps jumping back and forth between past and present which was just annoying. And I don't know I generally like all the writing about building the first school in Korphe, but then the rest was just boring to me.

I really am curious how much of the story was true now. I've got a couple of links talking about what might not be true if you gals wanna check it out. This situation is like a 'million little pieces' but way worse because 'three cups of tea' involves millions of donor money.



Ok I did find a couple quotes that I had liked in the beginning.

"And behind his desk, a case of a Japanese sports drink called Pokhari Swear propped up half a dozen boxes of biscotti." -pg. 110
Yay Pokhari Sweat, I wonder if he's tried Pokhari Ion Water

"Mortenson took an apple out of his rucksack and handed it to the boy, who threw it in the gutter." - pg. 111
Reading something like that really pissed me off because I've been in China where there were kids clambering for any food or drink they could get, from leftover food to a half drunk soda.

I'm looking forward to re-reading bachlorette party!

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