Hadassah Magazine's Guide to Jewish Literature December 2014/January 2015
A selection of books to entice any reader.
“The unifying theme of Why We Remain Jews is the beauty of the Jewish religion [and] why adherence to Judaism is so tenacious. Very highly recommended for students of Judaism, [for] both community and academic libraries.”–Midwest Book Review. “…valuable and wise reflection of Jewish history and Jewish survival.”—Rabbi David J. Wolpe. “A welcome, warm-hearted book that provides inspiration and amusement.”—Michael Medved.
Paperback, Kindle, hardcover. Available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, etc.
Christian missionaries calling themselves messianic “Jews,” Jews ingratiating themselves to Evangelical Christians for their support of Israel, the overuse of the term “Judeo-Christian” and the increasing use of Jewish rituals in Christian churches are among the factors that blur the lines between Judaism and Christianity. Judaism and Christianity: A Contrast explains, from a Jewish perspective, the irreconcilable differences and mutually exclusive beliefs of the two faiths.
Available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble in hardcover, paperback and in all e-book formats.
In 1896, Theodor Herzl published The Jewish State. The following year he convened a Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland. In this concise, illuminating biography, the renowned Israeli political scientist Shlomo Avineri tells the story of how Herzl, combining a visionary idea with practical action, fashioned the policies and institutions that paved the way for the Jewish state. “…[an] immensely readable biography…this is the most chewily cogent account yet of Herzl the political thinker and doer.”—Financial Times.
BlueBridge, hardcover, 304 pages, $22.95. For more information, see www.bluebridgebooks.com. Available through various booksellers.
Adam Levtov is a rabbi’s son with a guilty conscience, a troubled family and an angry Russian playwright on his tail. This short novel works the borderlands between tragedy and comedy, and “…creates a compelling family drama filled with love, compassion, humor and a keen understanding of the human condition.”—Richard Berlin, M.D.
Price: $13.95, 182 pages. Available from iUniverse or Amazon.com.
This is the story of a brave Jewish girl living in a castle where it is hard to keep the Sabbath. To keep her family home, Mindel enlists the help of three dragons, considered misfits by all, but whose very oddities may save Castle Draconmere.
A ten-year-old boy hides on the top of the stairwell listening to his father tell his harrowing story of almost being gassed to death in a Nazi concentration camp. He does not dare ask his father about the story.
To purchase, visit Amazon.com.
“This book is one woman’s journey to Judaism after age fifty. The evocative descriptions catapult the reader into a different place and time. It should be on every Jewish bookshelf!”—Tammy Kaiser, MSJE, Jewish Educator. “A deeply insightful, wonderfully written, excellent read!”—Marc Yellin, AbqJew.com.
Looking for stories that excite the imagination, open the heart, and support good values? This inclusive volume for every kind of Jewish family 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.
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!
“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 Crystal Fulcher. “…for readers who wish to be totally engrossed in a story and feel transported thru time and space.”—Reviewer Marilou George.
Fleeing Nazi Germany, 12-year-old Werner struggles to create a new life in New York City, hoping his family can follow. Winner of a Silver Nautilus Award for books inspiring readers, Forced Journey is a fictional account of one of the thousand or more children who found refuge in the U.S. Ages 11 and up. “Your book was not just good but excellent!!”—Mussi Levertov, Chabad Administrator.
Order from Ingram, bookstores or Amazon.
When the king of Persia issues a call for beautiful women, a Jewish orphan named Hadassah is forcibly brought to the palace. This girl, known to the Persians as Esther, wins the king’s heart and a queen’s crown, and then risks everything to honor her God and save her people.
Available wherever books are sold.
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.
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.
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.
Rabbi Hertzel is being held for a murder he did not commit. Could it be because of the ancient scroll found in Israel that challenges the very underpinnings of Christianity? Are the rich and powerful out to get him? Will God help save him? As the Rabbi tries to escape his fate, he finds his true love and an understanding of God that works in the 21st Century.
A murder mystery with a twist of humor, warmth and surprise. A lovable wife, mother, grandmother and friend, with an affinity for persistently involving herself in the affairs of others, puts her life in danger as she tries to identify a killer.