First Novels

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I have to admit that I have been in somewhat of a reading rut. I would wander around thinking, “I have nothing to read…” or I just don’t feel like reading anything. Turns out that a little TV (Weeds) on Netflix was just the thing to cure me of my reading woes and now I’m back in business. I have a bunch of books on my hold list: The Unaccustomed Earth ~ Jhumpa Lahiri, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle ~ David Wrobelewski, The Host – Stephanie Meyer. All I had to do was look at “My List” and I would have found a number of good things to read. I guess I wanted something a little mindless and I couldn’t bring myself to do it through books, so I watched a little TV. It has been a long time without TV I must say. Anyway, I’m glad that’s over. I’m always inspired by new authors and Publisher’s Weekly had a great batch in one of their recent issues. Here are a few that peaked my interest:

Cutting for Stone ~ Abraham Verghese

“Cutting for Stone is a tremendous accomplishment. The writing is vivid and thrilling, and the story completely absorbing, with its pregnant Indian nun, demon-ridden British surgeon, Siamese twins orphaned and severed at birth, and narrative strands stretching across four continents. A tale this wild is perilous, but there is not a false step anywhere. Accomplished non-fiction writers do not necessarily make accomplished novelists, but with Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese has become both. This is a novel sure to receive a great amount of critical attention–and attention from readers, too. I feel lucky to have gotten to read it.” –Atul Gawande

Heretics’s Daughter ~ Kathleen Kent

Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live. Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superstitious tyranny that led to the torture and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft. This is the story of Martha’s courageous defiance and ultimate death, as told by the daughter who survived.


Toss of a Lemon ~ Padma Viswanathan

Married at ten, widowed at eighteen, left with two children, Sivakami must wear widow’s whites, shave her head, and touch no one from dawn to dusk. She is not allowed to remarry, and in the next sixty years she ventures outside her family compound only three times. She is extremely orthodox in her behavior except for one defiant act: She moves back to her dead husband’s house and village to raise her children. That decision sets the course of her children’s and grandchildren’s lives, twisting their fates in surprising, sometimes heartbreaking ways.

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2 thoughts on “First Novels

    kate said:
    July 19, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    These sounds like wonderful books! I’m going to add them to my ever-growing list, as well. (I also love to escape into Weeds and other series, but I’m afraid I do it more frequently than I should.)

    ta said:
    July 20, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    That makes me feel better!

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