Hadassah Magazine's Guide to Jewish Literature February/March 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.
“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.
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.
After eight years and over 300,000 books sold, the 30minute-Seder® Haggadah continues to bring Passover joy to contemporary Jewish families worldwide. Refreshingly brief, and beautifully illustrated, this gender-neutral, family friendly book appeals to new and experienced Seder participants alike and includes lyrics to traditional Passover songs. Written in rabbinically approved English with just enough Hebrew (with transliteration) to keep everyone happy. Finally…no more “When do we eat already?”
$6.95. Need it right away? Download instantly and print your own! Also available in an easy-read large print book as well as Braille. Read the whole 30minute-Seder® Passover Haggadah online before you purchase at www.30minuteSeder.com.
In the wake of a string of lies, a burglary and a kidnapping, Dan and Rivka risk life and limb to rescue rare 15th-century printing artifacts and avenge the murder of a Holocaust survivor. They launch a manhunt with the help of the FBI, Scotland Yard and their heroic cat, Lord Byron. Not what this Jewish couple expected when they bought The Olde Victorian Bookstore.
Available on Amazon.com: digital and paperback.
This is a story about the horse chestnut tree that gave Anne strength while she hid from the Nazis. Saplings from that tree are planted around the world, and this story shows how life survives loss and cruelty. This beautiful, hopeful book is co-published by The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and Skinner House Books.
Hardcover, 32 pages. Wherever books are sold.
Tel Aviv and Seattle. A woman who does the unthinkable. Two best friends living far apart, and how that separation shapes their lives. Is the grass really greener on the other side of the fence? Shiri-Horowitz challenges her readers to confront the meaning of life itself. Her first book, Daughters of Iraq, has won an award. Hope to See You Soon is her second novel.
The religious conflicts that overwhelmed Moses began long before his birth and have continued to the present day. This in-depth narrative goes far beyond Hollywood hype and reveals how an enlightened belief system can be molded out of a cauldron of hate. Based on careful research, The Unknown Moses uncovers an astonishing story that has never been told.
Available on Amazon.com—Kindle $4.99, or Paperback $17.95.
JUST IN TIME FOR PASSOVER! At a retirement home seder, resident Bertha Finkelstein expires face down in a bowl of Rose Kaplan’s prize-winning matzoh ball soup. Suspected of murder, Mrs. Kaplan and her friend Ida set out to find the true culprit. A cozy mystery with a Jewish flavor. “Too deliciously funny”—Rita Mae Brown, bestselling author of Nine Lives to Die.
From Random House/Alibi, $2.99. Wherever e-books are sold.
“Lighthearted but thoughtful…Citing numerous sources including the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, and the Midrash, the authors do a thorough and convincing job of identifying the presence of humor, especially the distinctive elements of self-deprecation and irony, in the Torah…. A fun read.”—Publishers Weekly.
Transaction Publishers. Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4128-5376-7 2014 316 pp. $39.95; e-book ISBN: 978-1-4128-5427-6. For more information or to order, visit www.transactionpub.com.
In a high-stakes game of musical chairs, there can be only one winner. Roberta Palmer and Marcia Baker are running against each other in the NY Democratic Senate primary. Each has a secret—a deal breaker. Who will win this zero sum game?
Susan Warner finds meaning in her work for Soviet Jews. Her professional life is fulfilling, her marriage is falling apart. Susan must make life choices, for herself and for her cause.
The struggle between the heirs of the two families started when the Berlin Wall came down. Starting out as antagonists, they learned much about themselves and their families, e.g. that the father of one had been a Nazi accused of basically having stolen the house. As they continued the fight for the house, they slowly learned to trust each other. One result of that trust and friendship is this book, which they co-authored.
Available in paperback, e-book and audio versions from Amazon.com.
“A Jewish girl in Eastern Europe and her teenage American cousin experience the Holocaust years in vastly different ways in this bittersweet novel… A tender look at immigrants in America and Nazi victims in Europe succeeds in educating and engaging readers.”—Kirkus. “[The Sweetness] is a beautifully crafted portrait of life in its rawest form during a time of great unrest.”—Publishers Weekly, Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards.
Paperback and ebooks available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and wherever books are sold.
A Purim Story for the 21st Century.
Shortlisted: Red City Review Fiction Award
“The tense tone of this novel is woven through prose that is executed beautifully to create a story that will pull the readers in and note let the go until the very last page.”
Available on Amazon.com and BN.com.
Put A Spring in your Seder. The Joyous Haggadah is a lively cartoon retelling of the story of Passover that is children and family friendly. It covers all the traditional 14 steps of the Seder. It’s written in a light, concise, contemporary manner, in English, Hebrew and transliterated Hebrew. It includes songs, games and recipes. The Joyous Haggadah makes the Seder enjoyable and meaningful for Jewish and multi-cultural families, and even for those “who don’t know how to ask.”
Eli Schneider hates Germans as hard as anyone can hate. And for good reason. Then he falls in love with one. Germany 1963: Eli is a U.S. Army officer, a Jew now expected to defend perpetrators of the Holocaust from the Russians. He pursues fraulein Lara Kohler just for sex until her quirky personality and fascinating mind ensnare him. But in a country filled with former Nazis, there are bound to be secrets.
Paperback, Kindle, hardcover. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.