Hadassah Magazine's Guide to Jewish Literature August/September 2014
A selection of books to entice any reader.
This deeply personal story of the gift and burden of an extraordinary friendship is told with stunning dialogue, poetry and memories revealing the narrator Carol’s coming-of-age relationship with beautiful, brilliant “Bethie,” who inexplicably commits suicide. Carol’s dedication to discovering what caused her friend’s tragic decision gives the novel suspense, rich characterization and amazing insight into how our closest friends mirror, challenge and support us.
Paperback, $17.95, and Kindle, $7.95, available from Amazon.com. Also on BarnesandNoble.com.
Looking for stories that excite the imagination, open the heart and support good values? This juried volume offers vibrant new Jewish folklore, cleverly adapted traditional tales and riveting true stories. Each tale is paired with a stimulating Study Guide for reflection, discussion and action. Forty-three stories reveal the nourishing spirituality of Jewish values and are designed for reading and retelling across the generations. A perfect gift for all occasions.
Quality paperback, 336 pp. $24.99. Available through all major booksellers.
In a 19th century shtetl, a kindly village elder’s magic invisibility enables him to teach moral behavior to children and adults alike. “The best children’s book I have ever read”—Rabbi Hillel Goldberg, Intermountain Jewish News, October, 2012.
Hardcover, 58 pages, $18.95. ISBN 978-1-933480-04-6. Available wherever books are sold. www.bunimbannigan.com.
Part of the Jewish Book Council Author Tour. From the mansions of Chicago’s North Shore to the European capitals of Paris and Berlin, from WWII to the present day, this compelling historical fiction follows a beautiful Impressionist painting and a young love diverted by the Nazis. From a world torn by the horrors of war, a love story emerges that endures through years of separation.
Experience Jewish life during the first-century CE Roman occupation of Alexandria while Miriam bat Isaac, alchemist extraordinaire, wrestles with a baffling mystery and a guilty conscience as she stalks her suspects through the city’s lavish mansions and sinister underbelly searching for the alchemical scrolls stolen from her home on Shabbat.
Paperback and e-book available from Amazon.
An uplifting, interfaith tale that chronicles the unique friendship between a Catholic monk and a haredi rabbi in Jerusalem. Inspired by true events, it’s the spiritual story of good, evil and redemption. “…a moving story of life and redemption.” “There are some major lessons here for the contemporary Jewish and Christian communities.” “Time seems to stop while you read this book.”
When life and death collide, one young woman discovers how to hold past and present at once—ultimately lifting herself by bold living and a second chance at love. A compelling book club read. “Eloquent and fiercely hopeful.”—Kirkus.
“An unflinching memoir of love and loss and hope.”—Ann Hood, Author of The Knitting Circle.
Chosen for the 2014 Jewish Book Council Author Tour, this thriller combines the theme of anti-Semitism in America with an exciting adventure story, as a young suburban family faces a deadly threat when the husband is kidnapped. “I read it in one day because I couldn’t go to bed until I knew how it turned out,” said a reader. Book group questions included.
Available for $9.95 at bookstores and on Amazon.com in paperback or Kindle e-book. Author query: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A cultural memoir of one woman’s search for belonging and a voice as an ethnic Jew, drawn in by the gentile world and mid-century American pop culture icon Pat Boone.
$18.95, paperback 978-0-8032-6485-4. For more information and order visit nebraskapress.unl.edu, or call 800-848-6224.
A book club favorite and finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, this acclaimed memoir of growing up a Turkish Jew in a fortune-telling, belly-dancing family illustrates Sephardic life, the foods, fear of the Evil Eye and the author’s struggle to walk again after polio. Booklist calls it “A joy to read…a profoundly moving memoir.” Now in paperback with Discussion Questions!
In 1937, a devoted father made the horrific decision to kill his mentally ill daughter rather than commit her to an insane asylum. Rich in details about depression-era Jews living in the West, this extraordinary memoir reveals family secrets kept hidden for decades. Newly revised. A book club favorite.
Celebrate Shabbat meatless and help reduce global warming by 1/7. Praised in Jewish Book World, Lilith, Tikkun, The Jewish Week and elsewhere.
250 pages, paperback, illustrated. $26.00 ($4.00 postage).
The Jewish Vegetarian Year Cookbook Recipes for the Jewish holidays. $18.95 ($4.00 postage).
Micah Publications, 255 Humphrey St., Marblehead, MA 01945. For further details: www.micahbooks.com.
The treasured bond between Bubbies, Zaydees and grandchildren is lovingly shared in Bubbie’s Baby, a musical story of a Bubbie, Zaydee and grandchild celebrating the joys of exploring the world. This tender tale comes to life through a CD-single/book, featuring a toe-tapping melody and beautiful vocals sung by singer/songwriter/author. Guaranteed sing-along fun!
Available at elaineserling.com and 800-457-2157. $14 plus $2 shipping.
Recipient of Hadassah’s Myrtle Wreath Award and listed on Amazon’s top 10 Holocaust-Related-Novels. In a Nazi plot to overtake the government of the United States, we follow Jo Wells to Washington, Israel, Russia and Vilna as she resists her Nazi father’s influence. It is a story of redemption, intrigue and romance.
Available at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle e-book formats.
Follow Adina and Jack in this dramatic, fictional love story with special appeal for those Jewish communities whose religious and cultural worlds collided as they moved from cities to suburbs during the 1960s. “An often engaging Romeo-and-Juliet story with an unexpected mature and thoughtful ending.”–Kirkus Indie Review.
Available on Amazon.com, including Kindle, and BarnesandNoble.com.
Follow the Ross family from Vilna to Harvard to Maine in the mid ‘50s. Jacob, trying to decide between the examples of his zeyde and his profligate uncle, enters into a doomed relationship with a Catholic girl.
Available at Amazon and other online stores.
“Seduction. Crime. Revenge.”–The Morning Call. “One woman’s life on-the-edge…”
“…laced with suspense, humor, emotion and lots of twists and turns…racy new thriller has two unforgettable protagonists.”–Palm Beach Post. “…page turning suspense and a plot that grabs the reader from the first page.”–Spotlight Magazine. “This is the closest novel I’ve read to Mario Puzo’s Godfather in decades.”–TheBookishDame
“…from turbulent Nazi-occupied Paris to plush Palm Beach in 1961, this one will take you on a ride you won’t forget.”
Named to “Top Twelve of 2012” best novels. “5 Soaring Stars”
“…authentic details of the time-periods that make it fun to read.”–Reviewer Deborah Previte. “…bursting with riveting mystery, suspenseful twists and love scenes that sizzle and pop.”–Reviewer Cari Pestelak.
“…well told, well plotted out and executed perfectly.” “It’s witty fun and sassy.”
“Sophisticated, Smoldering and Suspenseful = Sensational!”
“The characters…are so rich and complex I feel as if I know them all.”–Reviewer Crystal Fulcher.
“…a compelling and superbly written book that will fill you with anticipation until the very end yet still leave you wanting more.”–Reviewer Anna Wengerd.