Book review – Cutting For Stone

I read a lot especially when I am on vacation. However Cutting For Stone is a big novel. (534 pages) and it took me almost all last week to read it. I did have company on my vacation to Isla so I didn’t have as much time as usual to just read.

I got totally wrapped up in the lives of all the main characters. For his first book of fiction Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone is a tremendous accomplishment with gorgeous writing, interesting and sympathetic characters, fascinating setting, gripping narrative. One of the twins is the narrator of the story but that doesn’t take away from really getting to know the other characters in the novel.

Read it, I think you will like it!

The story is a riveting saga of twin brothers, Marion and Shiva Stone, born of a tragic union between a beautifulIndian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother’s death in childbirth and their father’s disappearance, and 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.But it’s love, not politics — their passion for the same woman — that will tear them apart and force Marion to flee his homeland and make his way to America, finding refuge in his work at an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him, wreaking havoc and destruction, Marion has to entrust his life to the two men he has trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him.”

I came across a blog titled “All the Books I can Read” where the blogger has a ton of book reviews. Many of the books she has reviewed are books that I have read and enjoyed or now have on my list of “to read”.

Recommended reading – three books by Tana French

I have finished the third book by Tana French. I don’t remember when I was last so taken in by an author and the characters. Oh, yes I guess I was as taken by the Millennium Trilogy. But these stories are of a very different kind.

Here’s my recommendation if you think you might be interested in reading her books.

Read them in the order they were written They all are certainly stand alone stories but if you read them in order you meet the character who will be the first person narrator in the next book.

In the Woods – Murder Detective Rob Ryan tells the story about a young girl murdered in the woods. Coincidently it is the same woods where 20+ years earlier 12 year old Ryan was found in a catatonic state gripping a tree with blood filled tennis shoes and his two friends never were found. Rob is the main character but his partner Cassie Maddox plays a big role in the story. Cassie used to be an undercover agent before transferring to the murder squad. Detective Sam O’Neil works a side angle of the case.

The Likeness – Story told by Detective Cassie Maddox who is brought into a murder case by her ex undercover boss Frank Mackey. Murder detective Sam O’Neil has the case but because the dead girl was flagged to Frank in the Dublin police database  Frank is jointly working it. The dead girl is a ringer for Cassie and is using an alias that Cassie used when undercover. BTW Sam and Cassie are now a couple.

Faithful Place – Told by Frank Mackey. When Frank was 19 he and his girlfriend were planning on secretly leaving Ireland to go to England. The night they were supposed to meet up to sneak out of the country the GF never showed up. For 22 years Frank thought that she had dumped him. The GF’s suitcase shows up and Frank is pulled back to his family and the place he grew up where he hadn’t been back to since that night 22 years ago. Frank unofficially works on solving the mystery from 22 years ago as well as the current murder of his younger brother.

All of the books were really good. I hope Tana has another one in the works.



KOOZA ~ Cirque Du Solei

My daughter, SIL and I saw KOOZA today. It was awesome! The music, the singers and the performers were amazing.

KOOZA tells the story of The Innocent, a melancholy loner in search of his place in the world.”


All of Cirque Du Solei’s shows have a storyline. However, if you didn’t know the story or could not follow the story you would still be fully entertained.

“KOOZA is a return to the origins of Cirque du Soleil: It combines two circus traditions – acrobatic performance and the art of clowning. The show highlights the physical demands of human performance in all its splendor and fragility, presented in a colorful mélange that emphasizes bold slapstick humor.”


If you plan to go to Las Vegas be sure to check out O at the Bellagio. O remains my favorite of the Cirque Du Solei shows that I have seen in Las Vegas. KOOZA wasn’t the best of the five traveling shows I have seen in Portland but it was still fantastic. Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.

The Grand Chapiteau

  • It takes 11 days for more than 200 workers, including 100 hired locally, to complete a city to city transfer of the infrastructures.
  • It takes 7 days to set up the site and all the infrastructures and it takes 2 days to completely tear it down.
  • This represents at least 11 000 man hours which represents 5.5 years of work if one guy did it alone!
  • An average of 55 tractor trailers are needed to carry more than 2 million pounds of equipment from city to city.
  • Completely self-sufficient for electrical power, the site relies only on a local water supply and telecommunication facilities to support its infrastructure.

Yeah! Another Cirque De Solei show coming to Portland!

I am a huge fan of Cirque De Solei. I have seen all of the shows in Las Vegas except the adult show Zumanity and the newest Elvis one. The first show I saw was O. It was so awesome. When it was over my three GFs and I could only say “Awesome!” to say how much we liked it. I saw O again a few years later with my daughter and she loved it too. O was just as great the second time around.

Cirqu De Solei has traveling shows. I have seen all but the first one that has come to Portland. A few years ago Tara’s husband Kelly saw his first CDS show. He was in AWE!  Another fan was created.

Last night I purchased tickets to the next CDS show coming to Portland KOOZA.  I forgot to change my email address on the CDS Member’s site so I did not get the email telling me in advance that tickets would be going on sale. The tickets that I bought today do not have as good as seats as the previous shows we saw but they will still be good. The traveling tent show really does not have any bad seats.

Watch the video on the CSD website.