Three Cups of Tea

Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin

Named the Book in Common for 2008-09 by Chico State, and the cities of Chico and Oroville, Three Cups of Tea may be the most-read book in Butte County. A variety of people, from high school students to book club members to library-goers, are reading the compelling story of American mountaineer-turned-humanitarian Greg Mortenson. He single-handedly launched a highly successful campaign (which continues today) to build much-needed schools in the remotest parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Besides being an inspirational tale of how one dedicated, loving man can make such a difference in the lives of so many (especially the girls of the area), Three Cups also serves as a detailed lesson in the culture, history, geography and politics of the Pakistan-Afghanistan area as well as a close, touching look into the hearts of the people whom Mortenson befriended there. Add the book’s vivid descriptions of hair-raising mountainous roads, gun-firing opium warlords, American military operations and Mortenson’s eight-day kidnapping in tribal Waziristan and you’ve got all the makings of a highly readable book that really would make a great movie, but can certainly serve as a conversation starter with nearly anyone in town.