Some books transport you to a different world. One where you could never possibly have lived and yet that nugget of time and space becomes so real while reading, it becomes part of your own personal history. As though you were there, smelling the local fauna, feeling the tension of the political strife, holding the hands of characters you’ve never met. Like a dream so vivid that after you wake up, you ask yourself which was the dream and which was reality. A good book will do that to you. Cutting for Stone did that to me: took me to Ethiopia during the 1960s, had me escape via Eritrea in the 70s, and brought me to NYC in the 80s. It also had me performing many more surgeries than I’ve ever wanted to: I could do without holding someone’s liver in my hands. I am always so grateful for a writer like Abraham Verghese who toils for years to gift the world with his story.