Review: Three Cups of Tea

Three Cups of Tea: One man’s mission to Promote Peace… One School at a Time has taken me about three years to read. It was my toilet book and for a very long time, I would look at it feel utterly intimidated by it, so I would read and re-read the first chapter or two.

I finally started making myself read a paragraph at a time. Once I did, I began to steadily devour it. Then I had a kid and often my bathroom time was too rushed to even try. Or worse…. I had a crying baby in my arms while I tried to do my business.

But finally this year I finished the book. I feel bad because this books deserves so much better than this. I will go back and re-read this book someday over a vacation at the beach while I make my husband play with the kid in the sand and I just read. However, I never felt lost in the book.

Greg is kind of amazing. I will admit, I have to wrestle with some prejudices I didn’t want to acknowledge about mountain climbers – mostly that I expect them to be obnoxious health nuts who rub their athleticism in everyone’s face. “ermaghad you mean you HAVEN’T ever wanted to walk for days and days in the wilderness carrying all your food and comfort?!?” No. No I haven’t. And I am a horrible person for thinking that all mountaineers are like that. I’m not sure who to apologize to, but I am sorry.

I was young enough when 9/11 happened (high school), that although I saw it and could follow it – I didn’t understand the background. I didn’t understand the fighting before. I didn’t understand the world.

That is where this book is amazing and I will make my son read it when he’s in high school because it will provide some very real context to that area of the world. A lot of the work Greg did was in Pakistan, but literally along the border with Afghanistan. In those remote, terrifying mountains that make that area of the world cut off and isolated from much of what I (especially as a technophile) find vital to call “civilization.”

I am sorry, this might be a ramble rather than a true review. I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, so I’m not sure how to review it. I can’t talk about character. These are real people, not just characters. I can’t talk about plot because it’s not a story in that way. It is a well structured book, but it isn’t a story per say. It doesn’t have those highs and lows of a fictional novel.

I can say that I thought this book was excellent. And honestly, in this weird year with all the weird emotions, reading what is (to me) a very different book helped. I am still doing more re-reading than new, but I am at least reading again. And I have to thank this book at least in part for helping me find words again.


2 thoughts on “Review: Three Cups of Tea”

  1. I have decided to read this because of your review. Your right, its not the typical review. Because I know you, i can read background into what you struggled to express- and this makes the book interesting. Cant wait to read, and then discuss, with you.


    1. Please -please- change “your” to “You’re.” I am so ashamed of this kind of sloppy communication—-


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