I sincerely enjoyed reading the novel, Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese, before Christmas. For me, there were several factors that enhanced its appeal. First, the story is largely set in Ethiopia, and many of the contextual details had a certain familiarity to me—if not from direct personal experience, then from research related to the birthland of two sons. Second, the novel’s handling of medical issues was absolutely fascinating. Finally, throughout the wildly entertaining plot, the characters and their circumstances never fail to maintain their believability, offering perspective on life that challenges the reader to examine his or herself as well.
The Indian in the Cupboard was recently completed as our family read-aloud. The children found this to be a fastastically amusing book, and I soon found myself listening to mono-syllabic “Little Bear” talk throughout the day. There is plenty of suspense in this childhood favorite, and I was often begged to keep reading at the close of a chapter! I am not sure that the book's ending was particularly satisfying to my young ones, but they won’t forget the idea of a magic cupboard and key and the possibility of real live miniatures any time soon.