Hadassah Magazine's Guide to Jewish Literature October/November 2014
A selection of books to entice any reader.
For anyone whose heart is in Jerusalem, reading this book will warm you like chicken soup. The author brings a delightful eye that puts fresh, invigorating light on many corners of Jerusalem life. Her stories turn the hidden into wonderfully colorful and the mundane into lively and interesting. Her description of life in her beloved city gives us Jerusalem at its very best.
Soft cover – available at Amazon.com or in Israel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The author came to the United States in 1938 from Nazi Germany. He volunteered for the Army, spending three years in Africa and Europe, to help defeat his homeland, which destroyed the lives of so many. Follow Siegmund’s poignant eyewitness account of the war, his revisits to those same places years later, and his prognosis for the future based on current events and history past.
Order from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, XLibris, etc.
Winner, 2014 National Indie Excellence Award. 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.
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. www.NancySharp.net.
Lovingly known as The Rebbetzin’s Rebbetzin, the author has composed a treasury of stories and vignettes depicting an extraordinary life composed for her family, but ideal for all who seek a life of meaning. In a humorous vein, this ethical will and personal story highlights venues, individuals and unique situations, which the reader will delight in visiting.
Life-affirming true stories of a chaplain’s encounters with patients, their families and caregivers as he witnesses their tears of joy and heartache during life’s most profound moments. “This book is a heart opener for clergy and their work and for people who seek out clergy for help. In story after story I was moved to tears of compassion.”—Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z’’l.
Available on Amazon.com in digital and paperback.
A finalist for the 2013 National Jewish Book Awards, this picture book for children 4 to 12 is beautifully written and exquisitely illustrated. When Sarah Laughed is a warm and whimsical retelling of an Abraham and Sarah story that stimulates conversations about prayer, Jewish traditions for naming a child and Midrash.
Purchase at www.allegramagrisso.com.
The perfect holiday book to help someone you love reconnect with their Jewish heritage! Recipient of Hadassah’s Myrtle Wreath award, and author of And So It Was Written, this bestselling author takes you into a Nazi plot to overtake the government of the United States in Clouds Across the Sun. Set in NY, Washington, Israel, Russia and Vilna, this story follows the life of a young woman with a Nazi father and, unbeknownst to her, a Jewish mother. She finds herself drawn to Judaism in a story of discovery, redemption, intrigue and romance. To read reviews and arrange speaking appearances, visit www.ellenbrazer.com.
Available at Amazon.com and all e-book formats.
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!
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.
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).
Micah Publications, 255 Humphrey St., Marblehead, MA 01945. For further details: www.micahbooks.com.
Recipes for the Jewish holidays.
$18.95 ($4.00 postage). Micah Publications, 255 Humphrey St., Marblehead, MA 01945. For further details: www.micahbooks.com.
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.
Filled with heartbreak and humor, Silver’s memoir deals with the challenges of life intensified by progressive vision and hearing loss. Conflicting attitudes of her Jewish, immigrant parents cause turmoil. When Ruth marries Marv, an enduring love story unfolds. Her resilient spirit, bolstered by love and support, propels her forward toward a happy, productive life. “You needn’t be blind or deaf to relate to Silver. Her story is an inspiration for anyone who’s ever felt alone or different. It is a blockbuster!” Meg Kissinger, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Available in print and e-book format from www.amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com. Available at local talking book/Braille libraries through interlibrary loan, Digital audio: DBW25; Braille: BRW23423.
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.
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.
In this story based on ancient Jewish legend, Adam and Eve walk through the Garden of Eden, noticing what is happening around them and deciding what holidays they will celebrate based on what they see, smell, hear and taste. Gorgeous text and art illuminate Judaism, the calendar and the environment, for both children and adults.
Hardcover, 32 pages, wherever books are sold.
Simon’s latest espionage novel is a bio-terrorism thriller. Al Qaeda’s biological warfare scientists are working on a weapon in a secret laboratory provided by the Pakistani Intelligence Service, the ISI. They are combining the DNA of some of the world’s deadliest diseases, including Ebola hemorrhagic fever. The resultant virus, containing multiple DNA strands, will defy any cure. The principal targets are New York and Tel Aviv. A joint CIA-Mossad team is assigned the mission to thwart this al Qaeda operation and neutralize the principal players.
277 pages, available at Amazon.com and Createspace.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.
A poetry collection from internationally acclaimed writer Ahuva Batya Scharff recounts her heart-wrenching experience with childlessness, Jewish women’s roles and an exhilarating, unstoppable faith. If you know a woman who cannot have children, challenges gender roles, or deeply loves God, get this book.
Available now for Chanukah at www.sociosights.com.
Rabbi Hertzel is being held for a murder everyone knows he did not commit. Could it be because of the ancient scroll found in a cave outside of Nazareth that describes Jesus as a mere human? Are the rich and powerful out to get him? Will God help save him? This book tells about the discovery of the ancient scroll, known as the Book of Emet, and what followed. The scroll relates the true story of Jesus, as told by his Jewish best friend from childhood. A panel of experts is convened to discuss and compare the Book of Emet with the New Testament. The panel consists of a gay Unitarian minister, a divorced male rabbi, an unhappily married female televangelist and an elderly British historian. Subsequent events include a forbidden love story, a vast right-wing conspiracy, a shocking murder and a magical ending. The book also contains thoughts for modernizing Judaism for the 21st Century.
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.
Combining a perilous interfaith romance and intense family drama with a harrowing depiction of life in Poland under the shadow of the Nazi occupation, The Winter Guest is a stirring and elegiac exploration of first love in a time of war, personal sacrifice and the unbearable choices that could tear sisters apart.
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 to order visit nebraskapress.unl.edu, or call 800-848-6224.
“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.”
The thrilling sequel to Exceeding Expectations:
“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.