History was made today, as the first meeting of our unashamedly geeky book club took place in Highgate. The book we’d been tasked to read was called 3 Cups of Tea, about Greg Mortenson – written by him and David Oliver Relin.
Out of the five of us in attendance the stats went something like this: 2 people read it totally, 1 person read half (that would be me, totally underestimating how fast a reader I am!), 1 person wikipedia’d it this morning and 1 read the back cover – but had other fabulous stories to share.
The book is a very interesting story about Greg Mortenson, a climber who got lost in the Himalayan mountain ranges and stumbled across a village that didn’t have a school. He promised to help build them one, little realising at the time how profoundly this promise would affect his whole life. He has whole heartedly devoted his life to building schools in Northern Afghanistan and Pakistan – and the book documents the adventures, challenges and triumphs he has had along the way.
An excellent first book for our fledgling club, and it prompted some discussion about how it made you feel like stepping outside your comfort zone, doing something that really matters in the world. Leaving your mark, and making the world a better place through selfless acts of generosity.
Sassy had done herself proud on the organisational front, and we wouldn’t expect anything less from a seasoned project manager. We got handouts containing insightful questions about the book. There was a slide show with maps of the area in Pakistan, we saw pictures of the bridge he built (to get the school supplies across), and of course of the schools that he built. We sat there chatting, listening to Pakistani music, eating fabulous home made burgers and drinking delicious Himalayan tea – a milky sweet beverage, infused with cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger.
All we needed for total authenticity was a yak dung fireplace in the middle of the lounge, but Sassy’s landlord may have taken issue with that.
The next book club is in May and it’s my book choice, which is going to be Road to Nab End, by William Woodruff. The theme for the food this time round will be British Picnic Fayre. I’m going to be a little more organised, and will actually finish the book BEFORE the book club meeting. Being realistic – I think I need to allow myself more than four hours to get through the whole thing!