The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers

The Monk of Mokha

From the best-selling author of The Circle, the true story of a young Yemeni-American man, raised in San Francisco, who dreams of resurrecting the ancient art of Yemeni coffee but finds himself trapped in Sana'a by civil war--and his riveting tale of escape.Mokhtar Alkhanshali grew up in San Francisco, one of seven siblings brought up by Yemeni immigrants in a tiny apartment. At age twenty-four, unable to pay for college, he works as a doorman, u...

Details The Monk of Mokha

TitleThe Monk of Mokha
Release DateJan 30th, 2018
GenreNonfiction, Biography, Biography Memoir, Autobiography, Memoir, History, Adult, Politics, Travel, Cultural, Africa, Food and Drink, Food

Reviews The Monk of Mokha

  • da AL
    True account of Yemen-American. When he learns that coffee originated in Yemen, he employs passion, courage, creativity, & humanitarianism to make Yemen coffee the world's best. All that amid daunting poverty, war & politics. Pulitzer prize author. Audio narrator passable, but not a quite right fit & mispronounced eide. Story was engaging all the same.
  • Ammar
    This book made me appreciate coffee more. This is the kind of book that keeps you on the edge of the seat while rooting for the main guy to get over the obstacles and attain the goals they need to get. Mokhtar Alkhanshali was born and raised in California. His parents are from Yemen. He discovers while working as a door attendant in a large residential building that Yemen was a major exporter of coffee beans for centuries and had a monopoly over ...
  • Brian
    In a world filled with misery and pain, it's refreshing to read a well written, non-fiction story of a member of our race who overcomes all shades of adversity to succeed when every deck is stacked against him. Like his excellent Zeitoun, Eggers writes in an easily accessible narrative style that draws the reader into every facet of the story - whether it's the personal history of the protagonist or an encompassing background on the world of coff...
  • Marie
    Eggers was the reason why I picked up this book—someone at work handed me an ARC and I was like sure why not? I didn’t even realize it was non-fiction until after the first chapterBut holy cow, it was spectacular. It’s about a Yemeni-American who wants to bring high quality Yemen coffee back to the US and the rest of the world. I had no idea about the history of coffee and wouldn’t have thought I would find it so interesting, but Eggers w...
  • Krista
    Conditions in Yemen were deteriorating. Virtually no goods were being shipped out of the country. Activity at the ports was concentrated on importing essentials. Medicine was scarce and the vast majority of the country was suffering from food insecurity. The UN considered Yemen on the brink of famine. No one was prioritizing the export of coffee to international specialty roasters. The Monk of Mokha is a work of narrative nonfiction by noted stor...
  • Jay Chi
    Endlessly fascinating and engrossing read. It tells a story of the difficulties and dedication it takes to be a successful entrepreneur; it offers advice and inspiration to college students (or any person really) who is unsure about where their passions lie and what career path to pursue (spoiler: it's okay to fail a few times); it tells the rich history of the humble coffee bean. I was expecting this book to be fiction, but was nonplussed to fin...
  • Donald
    I really enjoyed reading this book! It very much reminded me of "Zeitoun" and "What Is the What", which I also enjoyed! This book is the story of Mokhtar, a Yemeni American man who wants to export coffee from Yemen to the U.S., specifically the Bay Area. It's a pretty amazing story, and the reader learns a lot about coffee along the way. And Yemen too! It also helped that I live in the Bay Area, so I really connected with the location and I've be...
  • MetroBookChat
    NEXT time you slurp a cup of coffee, spare a thought for the humble bean that produced it. In Dave Eggers' latest socially conscious non-fiction book, a bean's journey involves being trapped in a city pounded by Saudi bombs and twice being taken captive by armed militia, and escaping a war-torn country by fibre boat to make it to a cup.It's a detail in the story of Mokhtar Alkhanshali, an aimless twentysomething from San Francisco's Tenderloin di...
  • Jim Higgins
    Terrific story (nonfiction) of a young man who found his calling reviving coffee trade in Yemen. In addition to its strong literary and narrative qualities, it's an excellent business book!
  • Kasa Cotugno
    I love the way Dave Eggers tells a larger story through a personal lens. As with Valentino Dent (What is the What) and Abdulrahman Zeitoun, he has taken the life of Mokhtar Alkhanshali and crafted it into a book so readable and yet so informative and true it becomes a real page turner. His books are proof of his extraordinary empathy, and this one is no exception. Mokhtar is a young man of Yemeni heritage, who grew up on the mean streets of San F...
  • Jack
    It's hard to articulate my thoughts on this book better than Michael Lindgren already has in the Washington Post, but what the hell I'll give it a shot - I liked the book, I don't regret reading it, but I won't recommend it to others, because after having read Eggers' fiction and memoir, I'm frankly disappointed.Monk of Mokha is the remarkably true story of Mokhtar Alkhanshali, a Yemeni-American Millennial who overcame some pretty harrowing odds ...
  • Laura Walsh
    This book was a perfect combination of two things that truly give me joy in this world - reading and drinking coffee! I will never look at a cuppa java in the same way again, (nor complain about the price!) now that I know so much more than I did just last week, about the journey coffee beans take to get to me for my daily 'simple pleasure' enjoyment.David Eggers is such a gifted writer, and boy, did he do justice to the subject matter here. I am...
  • Brandon Forsyth
    Dave Eggers is back with another story of self-discovery and the American dream, and it's *almost* as good as WHAT IS THE WHAT or A HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS. Mokhtar Alkhanshali comes wonderfully to life here, and Eggers draws out his irrepressible optimism and charming naïveté in full. Mokhtar's search for his calling in life, and his eventual success in the world of coffee entrepreneurship, is as unpredictable and heartwarming ...
  • Jill Wittkopp
    I had the chance to see Dave & Mokhtar speak when the book was released. You could tell from their chemistry and mutual respect that the story was going to be well told. Not only is it an inspiring story about chasing the American Dream, it highlights integrity and mutual benefit (above exploitation) in that dream. This book also has an interesting perspective on the pricey specialty coffee sold in cities like San Francisco. I highly recommend th...
  • Lacy
    I won a Goodreads giveaway to get the Monk of Mokha, so here's my review! It's a few weeks into 2018, and I predict this will be the best book I read this year. Before reading this book, I didn't know much about coffee, and I knew Yemen was located south of Saudi Arabia but knew little else about the country. Now I've traveled in reading to Yemen's coffee farms and cities, and know how the seeds of the coffee plant fruit become the drink so much ...
  • Elisa
    I wanted to like this book! I should have liked this book! I grew up going to my grandparents coffee plantation, eating the beans, watching the picking, the pealing, the drying, the sorting.... My brother in law still owns a coffee plantation... The book even dealt with events that are in my recent memory! It was engaging especially at the beginning and some of it was entertaining. Yet it lacked humanness. It felt like I was watching the news. In...
  • Tessy Consentino
    Absolutely fascinating! Loved learning more about my beloved beverage, coffee. Yemeni American Mokhtar is inspiring.
  • Steve
    The true story of Mokhtar Alkhanshali a directionless young American Muslim when gets the idea to resurrect Yemeni coffee. While telling Mokhtar's story this book also tells the story of coffee from it's history to tasting to the specialty coffee market. Additionally when Mokhtar embarks on his mission to find, market, and export coffee from Yemen civil war erupts trapping him in a country associated with terrorism as fighting spreads and politic...
  • Ivor Armistead
    This is a wonderful story about a Yemeni-American kid from San Francisco’s Tenderloin who beats the odds and makes it as an importer of coffee from his ancestral home in the middle of a civil war. Horatio Alger, eat your heart out.
  • Miriam
    I received a copy of the ARC from the Book Loft of German Village (Columbus, OH) in exchange for a review.After reading all the hype about this book, I expected a thrilling read, a captivating tale about the rise of the king of coffee Mokhtar Alkhanshali who imported coffee beans from Africa and the Middle East. It's more like an extended interview with lots of dialogue thrown in. I found the book burbles along and had dif...
  • sam
    let it be known that i would follow dave eggers anywhere.
  • Ellen
    An enormous amount of research went into this book. Some fascinating information about coffee and interesting insights into Yemen and refugees.
  • Nicola
    A remarkable story. I couldn't put it down. I recommend it to anybody with even a passing interest in coffee.
  • Stephanie
    3.5 stars | This is a breezy read about a young man’s discovery and realization of his life mission. Dave Eggers is a fantastic writer, but I found this narrative nonfiction about Mokhtar Alkhanshali to be lacking in depth. Mokhtar faced his share of obstacles both when he began learning about coffee at home in California and later throughout his harrowing experiences in Yemen. It’s clear that Mokhtar is an optimistic and resourceful person w...
  • Jennifer Watts
    The first book I have read about Yemen, which before was only known to me for the civil war and the 2001 attack out of the Port of Aden. The author brings Yemen to light through Mokhtar, a Yemeni American who grew up in the Tenderloin in San Francisco. He follows Mokhtar through his many trials and tribulations in San Francisco to try to make something of himself. Ultimately, through fate, he is introduced to the history of Yemeni coffee and begi...
  • Pia
    Most things Dave Eggers (and his phenomenally talented wife, Vendela Vida - my absolute favorite writer, oh man, what a power couple) writes are just plain on fire. But my favorite of his works are his biographies - What is the What, Zeitoun and this one. He really gets into the minds, bodies and souls of his characters, and I find myself falling in love with each of them, and leaving each book feeling as though I have made a new lifelong friend....
  • Peggy
    Super enthralling, vivid storytelling with a heartwarming immigrant hero, and the dramatic backdrop of Yemen — a fascinating country anytime, but even more than usual now. I’m a former Peace Corps volunteer who served in Yemen in the late 70’s so I was of course drawn to the story for that reason, and the book does capture some of the things that make Yemen so amazing— rugged friendly people, stunning landscapes, the national habit of che...
  • Jay
    I picked up this book because it was about coffee. I like coffee, but I wouldn't call myself a coffee snob. I don't have the bank account to support such a hobby. So, I'm mainly satisfied with my own brews at home with store-bought beans. I read this book and found myself drawn into the world of a would-be coffee importer with (at first) no taste for coffee. How could this be?!By the end, I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation, wondering ...
  • Danny Greeff
    A must read for coffee lovers, Eggers does a brilliant job at detailing the history and origins of our beloved brew, while telling an inspiring story of one man's journey to empower his homeland and build something spectacular.
  • Ron
    A very good narrative of a young man's determination to bring Yemeni coffee back to the prominence it once had. Along the way, a horrifying tale of what life and travel is like in current-day Yemen. Feeling sorry for yourself because you have to live your life without your every wish and dream fulfilled? Read this and you will understand how lucky we are here in the U.S.A. At least so far! From Amazon: From bestselling author Dave Eggers, the inc...