Thursday, August 21, 2014


Cutting for Stone  By:  Abraham Verghese
     A truly beautiful book of love, heartbreak, and medicine that begins in an Ethiopian Mission hospital, populated by locals, an Indian nun, two Indian doctors and a British surgeon.  I adored the characters Hema and Ghosh and the medical aspects. (Do not be needn't know a thing about medicine to appreciate them!)  I was touched that some of the characters' love for one another came through in their ease of working side by side, as if of one mind, assisting one another while caring for patients with no strain or confusion.  Just a simple flow and intuitive knowledge of what the other needed.  It reminded me of working with B!  My only criticism was a stretch into the symbiosis of twin-dom that got a little carried away, but was still very much worth the reading.  I was very glad I had eaten Ethiopian food, their bread in particular...

     Injera is served just as you see rolls alongside (Incredibly similar in appearance to ACE wraps, unfortunately!!), and as the "plate" for the communal meal.  The food is deliciously seasoned and doesn't taste like Indian food despite the appearance.  The something you probably need to develop a taste for!  It is a sourdough flat bread made from teff (a tiny iron rich grain) flour, mixed with water, that is allowed to ferment for several days.  The liquid batter is poured onto the baking surface resulting in flat bread with one smooth and one porous side that is then used both as your plate and your fork!

     Passages I loved:
"Sound Nursing Sense is more important than knowledge, though knowledge only enhances it. [It] is a quality that cannot be defined, yet is invaluable when present and noticeable when absent."

"Hema's style was precise and careful - a living example...of why more women should be surgeons."

"My VIP patients often regret so many things on their deathbeds.  They regret the bitterness they'll leave in people's hearts.  They realize that no money, no church service, no eulogy, no funeral procession no matter how elaborate, can remove the legacy of a mean spirit."

"But a few lucky men...never have such worries; there was no restitution he needed to make, no moment he failed to seize."

The Thirteenth Tale  By: Diane Setterfield
     Offered to me by a nurse at work, this was a uniquely written mystery of sorts, in which the method of the telling lent a great deal to the story itself.  Surprisingly, after the symbiosis of twins was touched on in Cutting for Stone, it was part of this story too.  Interestingly, the author touched another chord....the question of seeing things as we choose to see them...whether we intend to or not...  "To guard against errors such as this, one would have to teach oneself to view everything without preconception, to abandon all habitual modes of thought.  There is much to be said in favor of such an attitude in principle.  The freshness of the mind!  The virginal response to the world!  So much science has at its root the ability to see afresh what has been seen and thought to be understood for centuries..."  Something researchers need to train themselves to do for certain....but it is not always that easy, is it?
Happy reading! - c


  1. Hmmmm... some of those quotes really hit the nail on the head! Injera looks like pancakes! ;)

  2. Yes, it is pretty much like a slightly rubbery pancake. I thought you might like some of those phrases! They make you think don't they?

  3. "They realize that no money, no church service, no eulogy, no funeral procession no matter how elaborate, can remove the legacy of a mean spirit."

    Excellent thought provoking statement. A good perspective for handling problems.

  4. Yes, makes you want to be sure you are not "THAT" person, huh?