Showing posts with label history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label history. Show all posts
This summer at the book sale in the town that we vacation in I picked up Three Cups of Tea-By Greg Mortenson and David Relin.  It caught my eye because it was a book about building schools in Pakistan.  The new course that I teach at my school is History of the last 20 years and we spend a lot of time talking about Afghanistan and Pakistan.  This book tells the story of Greg Mortenson and his quest to build schools in the most impoverished areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.  

I have to be honest this is one of the few books I have read lately that I have been torn about how to review.  I finished it a few weeks ago and have delayed review because I didn't really know what I would give it.  Then I decided.  I am going to give it two review ratings.  As an educational resource on the area of Pakistan and life in that nation I would five it four stars out of five.  From a standpoint of a regular book to read I would give it 2.5 stars.

This book gave a beautiful personal look in to part of Pakistan that not many people get to encounter.  It showed what family and village life are like, the struggle of the people. and the ill effects of terrorism on the society.  I was fascinated to read about the people and the experiences of Mortenson and how he was able to work with the people of those nations and build schools or the children of some of the most impoverished areas of these nations.

From a strictly read for pleasure standpoint there were parts of the book that were very slow.  I mean so slow that I took breaks from the book because it dragged.  I feel that this story may have been better and an extended interview piece in a magazine or a shorter book.  The book is a hair over 300 pages and I think it would be at least 50 shorter.  I can see how the author would not want to trim because it is an amazing story to tell, but I personally felt part of it dragged.  As a reader of history this wasn't anything that took away from my reading as a historian but as a pleasure reader I felt it took away from the overall book.

So basically-if you want to learn about live in Pakistan or the amazing life of Mortenson and his charity work in this area of the world go get this book.  If you are looking for a nice easy read-this won't be your cup of tea (pun totally intended) 

So I admittedly may have a thing about Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt-and yes it is in that order.  Eleanor then Franklin.  I took a class last summer on FDR and through the book that I was assigned to read I feel more in love with the Roosevelts.  My plan for fathers day this year was actually to take a daddy daughter trip to Hyde Park with my dad as I have never been-Maybe I will still go-maybe.

Anywho-I fell in love with all things Roosevelt.  I loved the fact that for all intent and purpose they had a true partnership in a marriage. They not only dealt with FDR's horrific illness but also the fact that as they aged and grew as individuals their marriage changed.  My personal opinion is that if this was modern times perhaps they would have divorced....or maybe not as they would have been a family in the political spot light.

What I love about the story of the Roosevelts is the fact that each of them were allowed to achieve success in their own right.  I loved that in a era where women were not really allowed to be leaders, Eleanor was one in her own right.  Not in the classic sense that way I man was in this WWII era, but a leader never the less.  I loved reading especially about her struggles to define herself outside of motherhood and being a wife.  I think as a working mother who is very educated I often struggle with the question of who am I-Eleanor did too.

Now in terms of new information this book only had a few things I didn't know about the famous couple-then again I took an entire graduate class on FDR and Eleanor so that is why.  I think this is a great non-fiction read for anywho who is interested in this famous couple.  The books reads just like a normal biography would just instead of being about one person, it is about their relationship.  How they worked together as a team and also how they allowed each other to be individuals with their own desires and interests.  When looking up the link to put in for the book I saw a few more options on Amazon that lets be honest I will probably buy too!  I would highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to get an in-depth look into he Roosevelt's relationship.   Five Stars on this book from me!


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