In today’s New York Times, Janet Maslin says Greg Mortenson’s second book after Three Cups of Tea is “very different” from his first,  still hugely popular title; its  first-person narrative [is] much more vigorous than the third person of Three Cups of Tea”.

In the LA Times’ review, Bernadette Murphy offers more insight into the differences between the two books;

The new book is less focused on the plot drive found in Three Cups of Tea — will he succeed or fail to build the school? — and more concerned with educating readers about the region, the religions represented, the tribal customs and countless other details that animate the area…

Stones Into Schools has more characters, more regions to consider, more obstacles to overcome, more history to digest. At times, these “mores” can require a slow and careful read.

But be not discouraged: Like the trouble it takes to build these important and life-enriching schools, endeavoring to better understand this region through Stones Into Schools is worth the effort.

The book goes on to the NYT Nonfiction bestseller list for the first this week, at #2. It’s had a surprisingly slow start, given the popularity of the first title. Prior to publication, libraries were showing low holds on cautious ordering. In the last two weeks, however, holds have doubled and even tripled in several large libraries.

Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Greg Mortenson
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult – (2009-12-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0670021156 / 9780670021154

Penguin Audio; UNABR; CD; 9780143144960; $26.95
Blackstone Audio; UNABR; CD; 9781433298271; $105
Blackstone Audio; UNABR; Cassette; 9781433298264; $72.95
Blackstone Audio; UNABR; MP3 CD; 9781433277184; $59.99
Thorndike Large Print; Hdbk; 9781410420350; $34.95

One Response to “STONES INTO SCHOOLS reviewed in the NYT”

  1. Susan Matson Says:

    Stones Into Schools, which is written in first person, is a much smoother read and brings out more personal stories of how girls and women’s lives have been transformed through education. Three Cups of Tea, which was written in the third person quirky prose of a writer named David Oliver Relin, seemed more like it was written for a Hollywood script, and confusing to follow.

    What struck me most in Stones Into Schools, is Greg Mortenson’s deep and abiding respect for the U.S. military, and how he is helping them to learn how to function in a difficult environment by building relationships with the communities, and respecting elders.

    There are many lessons to be learned from Stones Into Schools, and it is a far better read than his first book Three Cups of Tea.

    Susan Matson
    Sherman TX