Brentwood Library launches its 2011 CityRead campaign on Monday, Sept. 12, depositing hundreds of copies of the Abraham Verghese novel throughout town for readers to pick up at their leisure. The novel has been critically hailed since its 2009 debut, and the book has been a favorite in book clubs around the country.
Brentwood Library Manager Liz Fuller said “Cutting For Stone” is a perfect fit for the annual CityRead program. The library always tries to feature a Bay Area author, and Verghese is a doctor at Stanford University, where he teaches the theory and practice of medicine.
The CityRead author traditionally makes an appearance near the end of the program, which concludes on Oct. 29, but Verghese is currently in high demand, zigzagging around the globe to discuss his novel, so Fuller has yet to confirm the author’s appearance. If the author is unable to attend the Oct. 22 event, Random House Representative Ron Shoop will lead a book discussion in his place.
“Mr. Verghese has a long list of prior commitments and engagements, but we are doing our best to see if we can work something out,” Fuller said. “His book is extremely popular right now and many groups are requesting a visit. He’s a very busy man and we understand if he can’t come to our event, but Ron Shoop is very familiar with the book and he’ll also tell the crowd about other books that residents might want to add to their book list.”
“Cutting For Stone” is the story of twin brothers Marion and Shiva. Their mother dies giving birth to them, and their grief-stricken father vanishes, so the boys are raised in Ethiopia by two Indian doctors who knew their parents. Spanning five generations, the story reaches beyond Ethiopia to India and the United States, emphasizing the themes of love and betrayal, compassion and redemption, exile and return. The book was recently optioned to become a major motion picture.
The CityRead program, sponsored by the Friends of the Brentwood Library and in partnership with the Lamorinda Reads! program, has become a Brentwood tradition, encouraging residents to pick up the novel and share it with others. “It’s a way to unite the community through the shared experience of reading this book,” said Fuller, “and it promotes literacy throughout our community, which is always important.”
As this year’s selection is longer than previous novels, coming in at 688 pages, Fuller encourages readers to pick up their copy early enough to read in time for the Oct. 22 event. Books are available at the following locations:
• Peet’s Coffee and Tea, 5411 Lone Tree Way.
• Starbucks: 2540 Sand Creek Road, 8610 Brentwood Blvd., 3150 Balfour Road and 14804 Highway 4 (Discovery Bay).
• Summerset I Library, 1675 Crispin Drive.
• Willy’s Bagels & Blends, 1155 Second St. and 390 West Country Club Drive.
To read the first chapter of “Cutting For Stone,” visit www.abrahamverghese.com/books.asp. For more information about the CityRead program, call 925-516-5290 or visit www.ccclib.org.