Hi friends! This blog is for teachers and families- all for the sheer joy of literacy. When we are enthusiastic about reading and writing our students and our own kids become excited to read and write. I hope that we all can be models for those in our care- how did you show your passion for reading, writing, learning, language, or words today?? It's in those small, daily moments that we teach kids to love literacy.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Non-Required Reading*: Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese

I think it's safe to assume that all you literacy types get your read on. True?

I got a Kindle for Christmas (what literacy nerd hasn't?- okay, maybe there are a few out there), and really been enjoying it. I love that my 17th month old calls it mama's book. Somehow it's not confusing to her that it doesn't look like any of her books.

Since I've gotten this Kindle,  I've read a couple of duds. But with Cutting for Stone- I fell in love.

Abraham Verghese, currently a medical professor at Stanford and Iowa's Writer's Workshop MFA grad (how cool is that?), writes a beautiful, captivating, and yes long, first novel. This book cost me a few nights sleep towards the end, but it was so worth it.

Cutting for Stone is set in Ethiopia, for the most part. It is a tale intertwining pain, joy, estrangement, coming-of-age moments, unexpected births and deaths, courage, selfishness, and above all- love. Verghese's characters have depth. The simple plot is propelled forward by questions planted by the author at the beginning of the book (like all good novels). I became so involved with the plot and the characters' development, that I was no longer read for closure, but to experience life with the characters.

The main gist of the story is that twin brothers, Shiva and Marion, are orphaned at birth when their nun mother (yes, nun) dies in labor, and their father (a surgeon) flees shortly thereafter. The boys are raised by another couple, both doctors, at a hospital in Ethiopia.

The novel is told from different perspectives, but one of the twins, Marion, narrates the majority of the book.

Read this book, if you haven't already. It's definitely the best book I've read in a long while. Oh yeah, and the writing is phenomenal.

See the NY Times Book Review

*Title lifted from the annual anthology series

Read On!


  1. Hi Rebecca,

    I just got this book, Cutting for Stone, out of the library and am just starting to read it -- already hooked!

  2. Have you finished it yet? It's a dense read, but completely wonderful!

  3. This was one of my favorite reads of last year. Incredible writing. I'm trying to get my book group to read it but my description must not have done it justice.

  4. This book has now set the standard for me. I loved the writing as well! I read it with my book club. Everyone loved it. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...