Three Cups of Tea: Young Reader’s Edition (Paperback) by Greg Mortenson: A Book Review

threecupschildI decided to put it in my bag unmolested for a few days before I mustered up enough desire to finish it. As a matter of fact, its edition is intended for young readers. However, I swerved off after having watched the report of 60 Minutes by CBS News about the author’s credibility on Youtube in 2011. According to the news, the book contained fabrications and he mismanaged Central Asia Institute, the charity he co-founded. In an interview with author John Krauker, he said that it is a beautiful story, and it’s a lie. He also added that a companion on the 1993 attempt to climb K2 refuted Mortenson’s account that people in the remote Pakistani village of Korphe nursed him back to health. The reports also accused Mortenson of using the charity to enrich himself and promote his books without sharing the royalties or speaking fees.( For more information, see the news here http://www.cbsnews.com/news/three-cups-of-tea-author-greg-mortenson-to-retire-from-charity/)

In the end, while trying to finish it and despite the author’s credibility in question, I thought that, somehow, the book has a message each and every one of us should be aware of: All children elsewhere have the right to acquire decent education.

I had seen its original book several times in a second-hand book store. However, I just ignored it because I was not interested in such genre yet at that time. Besides, as I have always crowed to the world, I don’t want to buy a tattered book any more. It just happened that I stumbled on its new and childish edition.

As I started reading it, I began to mutter under my breath regretting why I did not dare reading it before since there were paperbacks aplenty. I was touched to read Greg Monterson’s humble life story , on how he began to realize that there was something he could do more than climbing the second highest mountain in the world, K2. Back in America, he worked his butt off to ante up enough fund to make his promise come true. Fortunately, he made it. Despite all the trepidation, he never gave up on his calling.

Since the book is for young readers, obviously, it is light, not that much heavily detailed as the original although I have this feeling that I want to know the story more- in detail. I guess the author may have selected only some important parts paralleling with a young reader’s comprehension level.

After reading it, I forgot the controversy about Greg. I don’t mind it anymore except the messages he wants to tell the world: Education is a human right. Besides, I will still give his two books a try such as his original Three Cups Of Tea: One Man’s Mission To Promote Peace One School At A Time and Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

               

On the other hand, it occurred to me that corruption is indeed a big temptation to a person who has been deprived of poverty unless that person grows in a home where love is taught as the most powerful element in the world.

In January of this year, Greg Mortenson retired from Central Asia Institute, the charity he managed for nine years. He is now 58 years old . He can now spend more quality time with his family, but for sure he cannot escape the specter of the weathering controversy he has been facing .

Meanwhile, here are the catchphrases I want to dwell in my mind when Haji Ali spoke to Monterson:

“If you want to thrive in Baltistan, you must respect our ways. The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family, and for our family, we are prepared to do anything, even die. Doctor Greg, you must take time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated but we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time.’ That day, Haji Ali taught me the most important lesson I’ve ever learned in my life. We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly…Haji Ali taught me to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects. He taught me that I had more to learn from the people I work with than I could ever hope to teach them.”

Rating: 3/ 5 stars (  I liked it.)

Days of Obligation: An Argument With My Mexican Father by Richard Rodriguez: A Book Review

richardEven though I get the points of Richard Rodriguez, this book is beyond my interest. I cannot relate to his essays on Tijuana and other buzz words unless I look them up in Wikipedia as though I read sheer historical information on Mexico’s sovereignty. Besides, I mistook the title of the book for his difficulties in coming out to his father. (The title turns out to be related to the relationship between America and Mexico.) So it took me a few days to finish it since I do not want to get into the habit of putting down a book that I find too sluggish to read.

The reason why I longed to read it then because I was impressed by his notable autobiography, THE HUNGER OF MEMORY since it deals with intellectual development of an average person.

Nevertheless, reading DAYS OF OBLIGATION has proven the fact that Richard Rodriguez, for me, is indeed genius; he has these exceptional skills in writing. I tend to befuddled by the ways he puts his ideas together as well as his perspectives on life as a non-native speaker, an immigrant in America. Also, he is such an independent critic. He even criticized the customs of the Filipino immigrants in America. No doubt he is heralded as one of the best American essayists. If I were a Mexican or World History professor, I would rate it 4 or 5 stars. In fact, I wonder if he could write a novel as impressive as Henry James’s. ^^

Rating: 2/ 5 stars ( It’s ok. )

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Secrets of a Sparrow by Diana Ross: A Book Review

sparrowWhen I was in high school. I watched a contest on TV about contestants who had to lip-synch any famous singers they wanted to parody. The winner chose Diana Ross. I wondered who Diana Ross was  at that time . I just had an idea that she may have looked black with these long soft curls. Then the idea had dwelt upon me for a long time . This is the fact that I am fascinated by Black Americans. For me knowing about the lives of Black Americans is a mystery to me. No doubt I have read some of them such as Richard Wright, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. So I wish to read others’ more.

Since Diana Ross may be a legendary icon, I try to relate to the story by listening to her songs on YouTube, even listening to other singers namedropped I am not familiar with.Besides, I got wind of other legendary singers like Josephine Baker and Marvin Gaye whom I find very interesting. Thus, reading books is indeed beneficial; it leads you the way to other worlds you have not gallivanted around yet.

This book appears to be simple since it is Diana Ross’s memoirs. May be I wish that she had written it at length. She just made it special because of the mushy lines she padded with, which touched me to the bone nonetheless, and for sure readers might feel the same way.So it is inspirational for people who want to make something of them. Also, you can understand what makes Diana Rose to be the way she is, how she always believes that there ain’t such high mountain that people can reach, how perfectionist and passionate she is about her profession, and how smart she turns out to be- not only how she views the world from her own perspectives but also the way she puts her ideas into beautiful sentences. In fact, she loves readings books, too. It is just as well I decided to buy it after having skimmed through the pages.

Since this book was first published in 1993, I am sure that somehow I would understand any talks on her life whenever she makes a headline on TV or newspapers, I would just exclaim, “Ah, it’s Diana Ross- the wonderful singer.”

Rating: 3/ 5 stars ( I liked it. )