Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mini Reviews: Cutting For Stone, Survivor, This is Where I Leave You

book cover for Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese
Title: Cutting For Stone
Author: Abraham Verghese
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Vintage Books, 2009

Summary: Twin brothers Marion and Shiva Stone come of age in Ethiopia, sharing a deep bond that has helped them survive the loss of their parents and the country's political upheaval, but when they both fall for the same woman, their bond is broken and the two go their separate ways, until a medical crisis reunites them.

This was the best book I've read in the last six months. Hands down. Cutting for Stone is one of those books that you read while walking throughout your apartment, not really caring if you run into walls on the way to the bathroom. I've always been fascinated with the occupation of surgery, which is what both Marion and Shiva, as well as their adoptive parents, do for a living. I'm looking forward to reading Verghese's nonfiction offerings.

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book cover for Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk
Title: Survivor
Author: Chuck Palahniuk
Genre: Satire/Psychological Fiction
Publisher: W.W. Norton, 1999

Summary: Just before committing suicide, Tender Branson dictates his life story and reveals what life was like as a member of the Creedish Death Cult.

For those of you not already familiar with Palaniuk's work, I will warn you: it is an acquired taste. I had no trouble taking it in, mind you, but many people find him morbid. If you like dark humor, you will enjoy his work. But please stick with the early stuff, especially this one, Lullaby, or Diary. They are his best.

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This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper book coverTitle: This is Where I Leave You
Author: Jonathan Tropper
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Dutton, 2009

Summary: Judd Foxman honors his father's dying request by spending a week with his dysfunctional family while simultaneously coping with his wife's infidelity.

After Judd's father passes away, the Foxman siblings discover they are expected to sit shiva at their childhood home. Every sibling has their own personal issues they are dealing with in addition to the death of their father. In spite of all this, the book is hilarious. I picked up an ARC of this book at the ALA Annual Conference a couple of years ago, and it's been sitting on my bookshelf waiting on me. After reading a great review lauding Tropper's literary prowess, I decided it was time I give him a shot. So glad I did. I'd like to read Tropper's How To Talk To A Widower next.

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Zibilee said...

I bought Cutting For Stone last year for my birthday after reading rave reviews, and haven't gotten to it yet. It sounds like I need to though! I am not that crazy about Palahniuk and his work, though it is interesting. I have read two of his books, and they were both very...different. I am glad to see someone reviewing them, even if they are not my cup of tea, because I think he needs more attention.

Ann Summerville said...

I met Abraham Verghese at the Austin Book Festival last year - interesting man.

ImageNations said...

Yet to read any of the books on the list but I find your mini reviews interesting. I would try Palahniuk. I am not one to detest the morbid.

Lisa said...

I really must work up the courage to battle Cutting For Stone soon. It really does appeal to me and sounds like something I will enjoy.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Cutting for Stone was incredible! My book club reviewed this and we had the Ethiopian food in the book... oh wow.... you must try the dora wot!

We ate it traditionally - hands only :)

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