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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

‘Books I’m Reading’ with Martha Stewart: Cutting for Stone

Book report time! The next book for the Martha Stewart Books I’m Reading book club is called Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. I was beyond delighted when I found out this month’s title because it is the same book that my in-real-life book club is reading right now. Woo-hoo! I could finally kill two birds with one book, so to speak, and I had been wanting to read this book after several recommendations from friends.

The book is long and I’m actually not quite done with it…but I will be in the next few days and am really enjoying the novel. In fact, I just came to an exciting part of the story and all I want to do right now is sit down and read! The author Abraham Verghese is a doctor and professor at Stanford. One thing I really appreciate when reading Cutting for Stone is knowing that an actual physician wrote the book and that I can trust the medical descriptions in the novel. Of course, that also lends itself to some pretty graphic scenes, which in all honestly don’t phase me but might bother others.

I really like the story and care about the characters, who are all unique and well-developed. There are many beautiful sentiments and lines in the story that cause me to pause and think, and throw a bookmark in for later discussion. I really enjoy that there is a strong sense of place in the novel. I feel transported to the places that Verghese describes – whether it is an airplane that nearly crashes or an African country experiencing a political coup. And there’s just a bit of mystery about the characters (one in particular) that drives you through the novel. I always love a little intrigue.

All in all, I really like Cutting for Stone. I think it is a bit long, but even having said that, I never feel bored and always enjoy reading the book. I am really looking forward to my book club meeting on Tuesday night to chat about the book with my friends.

Abraham Verghese will be on The Martha Stewart Show tomorrow 2/3/11 on the Hallmark channel. I’ve got my DVR all set!

On a side note, as you know I’m participating in this book club through the Martha’s Circle of bloggers, sponsored by Sony. At the start of the book club, Sony sent me a Pocket Reader to read the books on. I haven’t really talked much about the reader because I wanted to use it and get a feel for it. I actually really like it. It’s super small, which is both a positive and a negative. Positive because it fits in a little pocket in my purse so it’s easy to carry around. Negative because the screen is pretty small so you have to flip the pages often. My favorite thing about the reader is that it’s so much easier to read in bed than a normal book. It’s great! Anyway, I’m really loving the whole ‘reader’ concept, which surprises me because I thought I could never leave a paper book behind. “I love technology…” 😉


  1. I read Cutting for Stone about a year ago, and I have to agree with so much of what you said. I personally didn’t love it, but was still glad to have read it. I love any book that is well researched and deals with culture, and I think that is what I most enjoyed. It is definitely an interesting read, and it was fun to hear your take on it!

  2. I’ve followed your writing for quite some time, but never have left a comment. “Long time listener, first time caller”.
    I read this book in early winter and was absolutely engrossed with the descriptions of Ethiopia and the history associated with the region. Working with surgeons I also enjoyed and attest to the realism of Verghese’s medical descriptions.
    I was hoping to see in your blog post a dinner or food recommendation suitable to accompany discussions about Cutting for Stone; although I’m sure Martha will make a recommendation, I’d value your insure as well.
    PS, love your blog! Keep it up.

    • Jane Maynard

      um, why didn’t I think of that?!?! what a great book to come up with food for a book club meeting! I think I might suggest that to my friends for next week…

      I feel like Indian or Ethiopian food would both be fun. We ate at an Ethiopian restaurant years ago – it was very cool, you sit on the floor with this wok shaped table in the middle and everyone ate out of the same giant serving platter…and the food was delicious!

      I’m kind of thinking maybe I”ll make Indian Butter Chicken for tuesday night served with some rice and naan. mmmmmmm….

  3. 3
    Lauren Donnell

    If you can respect his writing style, but were not as into the topic, try out The Tennis Partner. It was wonderful, and the subject matter was a little easier for me to relate to. He is an awesome writer.

  4. I LOVED this book. It was recommended to me by a retired English professor as her favorite book. I read it during the sick season of the first trimester of my second … it got me through. I loved it!

  5. 5

    I really enjoyed this book too. We read it for my bookclub and I think almost everyone liked it. At first I had a hard time getting into it but then the story picked up and I was swept away.

  6. 6

    A girlfriend just reccommended this book to me, so I ordered it from Amazon and am going to suggest my book club reads it.

  7. 7
    anna maria

    i just started reading this book – at about the same time i started my surgery block during my third year of medical school. i haven’t read enough to comment except to say that it has made me view the operating room from a very different perspective! am excited to read more…if only i had more time 🙂

  8. 8
    Jane Maynard

    love all your comments – love hearing your reactions to the book!

  9. Okay, I’ve heard really good things about this book. You’re reading such great books in her club. Go Martha! Tell me what you think when you finish, I’m excited to hear what you think.

  10. I loved this book – I thought the characters and story were so interesting! And I thought his writing was great. Thanks to Lauren Donnell for the recommendation on his other book! I’m going to order it now 🙂

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