Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 2010 Book Club Meeting

Summary: Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon. Orphaned by their mother’s death and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution.

Moving from Addis Ababa to New York City and back again, Cutting for Stone is an unforgettable story of love and betrayal, medicine and ordinary miracles—and two brothers whose fates are forever intertwined. -- Vintage

I was the hostess for last night's meeting, and I selected CUTTING FOR STONE by Abraham Verghese. I absolutely loved this book -- I mean really, really loved it. I still haven't written my review yet, but I promise it's coming soon! I'll warn you now that it's going to be major-gushing on my part because this book was one of my favorites of 2010.

I'm not sure everyone was quite as enthusiastic, but for the most part, we all thought CUTTING FOR STONE was an excellent book. I thought we had a great discussion and everyone had something to say. We actually didn't even need to use the discussion question to get our conversation flowing, but I did think a few of them were worth discussing. You can check out all of them here. Some of the group thought the book was a little hard to get into to, but one thing we all agreed on was that Mr. Verghese is an amazing writer.

Next month, we are reading the classic EAST OF EDEN by John Steinbeck. Well, we are actually reading Parts 1 and 2 for June and Parts 3 and 4 for July. I have never read this novel before but it's always been something I've wanted to do. I'll admit I'm pretty excited to finally have a "reason" to read it.

Summary: In his journal, John Steinbeck called East of Eden “the first book,” and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

Adam Trask came to California from the East to farm and raise his family on the new, rich land. But the birth of his twins, Cal and Aron, brings his wife to the brink of madness, and Adam is left alone to raise his boys to manhood. One boy thrives, nurtured by the love of all those around him; the other grows up in loneliness, enveloped by a mysterious darkness.

First published in 1952, East of Eden is the work in which Steinbeck created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love’s absence. A masterpiece of Steinbeck’s later years, East of Eden is a powerful and vastly ambitious novel that is at once a family saga and a modern retelling of the Book of Genesis. -- Penguin

11 comments:

Jen (Devourer of Books) said...

Oh, I'm *so* glad you guys are reading East of Eden, it is my favorite book of all time.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

You guys definitely aren't afraid of the chunksters. I want to read Cutting for Stone but have been a bit daunted by the size. I want to read East of Eden as well. Jen (above) says that you aren't truly her friend unless you read it!

bermudaonion said...

I'm glad to see everyone enjoyed the book, even if they didn't love it since it's in my TBR pile.

Kay said...

I'm so glad you shared about your book club's reaction to CUTTING FOR STONE. My book group will discuss it next Tuesday afternoon. I'm about 2/3 through it and I am really enjoying it. I'm curious as to what my group will say though. I have lots of older ladies in my group and there are some frank and graphic things in the narrative. :-)

By the way, I love the fact that you relate books that you review to how they would work as book group reads. Very nice touch and most appreciated by many I am sure.

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

I am so mixed about reading this. I still can't decide!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I loved this book too and didn't it totally make you crave Indian food?!!!!!!!

Heather J. said...

EAST OF EDEN was the first book my club read together and it led to some great discussions.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm so impressed (and jealous) that your range of reading choices is so expansive. What I wouldn't give if one of these two books were chosen in our book club! I can't wait to hear about Cutting for Stone. It is a little intimidating size-wise, so I am hoping to get it on audio.

Care said...

I agree with Sandy that your club chooses terrific books. Probably the only way you could get me to read East of Eden would be as a club choice.

Beth F said...

I am one of the few people who haven't read this. East of Eden is wonderful -- I read it years ago, but I'm sure I would still like it.

Alyce said...

I've had Cutting for Stone on my wish list for a very long time. I know that I'll get around to reading it sometime soon because everyone says it's so good.

The only Steinbeck I've read was Of Mice and Men, and it was so depressing that I haven't had the urge to read any of his other books.