Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What Are They Reading? Cutting for Stone

Authors tend to be readers, so it is natural for them to create characters who like to read.  It is always interesting to me to read what books the characters are reading in the books I read. Even if I can't say that ten times fast.

Usually, the characters' choice of books reflects the author's tastes or, I sometimes think, what the author was reading at the time.  But sometimes the character's reading material is a clue to the character's personality, or is even a part of the story. 

This is an occasional blog event. If anyone wants to join in, feel free to leave a comment with a link to your related post. And feel free to use the button.  If this catches on, I can pick a day and make it a weekly event.


My book club read Cutting for Stone a while back but I didn't get to it because I knew I was going to miss that meeting. Everyone loved it and now that I am reading it, I can understand why -- it is such an engrossing story about medicine and doctors and Africa and twins and religion and so much more.

There is a part where the narrator and his twin brother are still tiny, preemie babies and the brother suffers from "apnea of prematurity" that causes him to stop breathing when he sleeps.  The two doctors take turns watching him in the night so they can jiggle him when he stops breathing so that he starts again.

To stay  awake, the doctors read through a set of classic novels, starting with Middlemarch by George Eliot.  Reading the same book gives them something to talk about besides their work and the fate of the baby twins.  They always had a bantering, flirtatious relationship, so it is easy to guess where all that book talk led to . . .  


  1. First of all, I LOVED Cutting for Stone and I have a major readerly crush on the writer, who is a charming and gentle soul.

    But secondly, what a terrific thing to pay attention to: what the characters are reading in the books YOU are reading.

  2. I am really enjoying the book! Glad you like the What Are They Reading idea.

  3. I recently finished Cutting for Stone. Two books later I finished Middlemarch. I didn't even connect the two until now.


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