Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Little Princes by Conor Grennan
Little Princes is a surprisingly entertaining memoir, and it's also heartwarming, of course. In some ways, I liked it better than "Three Cups of Tea." I know this was written better, and whereas this author is self-deprecating and funny, Greg Mortenson was not portrayed as such by his ghost writer in 3COT. I listened to the free audio download of Little Princes through my library and I feel it really enhanced the experience of this book. It was read aloud by the author and so he was able to mimic the voices of the sweet children as he remembered them and parts of it were really funny, despite the dark circumstances of poverty and child trafficking. I don't want to take away from Three Cups of Tea, because I believe that Greg Mortenson is doing amazing work, possibly even bigger work in that he truly believes the world will not change until girls have equal education and opportunities. However, I just want to say that Little Princes was more enjoyable in some ways. Set in Nepal, Conor Grennan brings it to life, and especially makes the images of the darling children come alive off the page. If you have a choice of whether to read or listen to it, and you enjoy audio books, i would recommend listening to this one, but either way, it's a good read. Conor Grennan really wants to trek and travel, but he does end up doing a brief stint as a volunteer in Nepal. Part of his motivation was that he noticed girls would "sort of swoon" when he told them he was thinking of volunteering at an orphanage. His youthful motivations turned into a sometimes-harrowing quest, however, to literally save helpless children, and along the way, he sort of saved himself and found love in the offing. I wish we could all get along as well as the Christians, Hindus and Buddhists do in this adventurous memoir. If you ever wanted to trek across a foreign land, or join the Peace Corps, you might really enjoy this book. Two of my favorite previous memoirs include "Nine Hills to Nambonkaha" and "The Bookseller of Kabul" and now I can add this one to my list.