Hadassah Magazine's Guide to Jewish Literature
A selection of books to entice any reader. Everything from novels to nonfiction, memoirs to mysteries.
Touted by Gloria Steinem (“courageous”) and National Book Award winner Mark Doty (“marvelous”), Uncovered is the very first memoir of a gay person who left the Hasidic fold. Uncovered begins with Lax’s arranged marriage, then recounts her teenaged move toward cult-like faith, estrangement from secular family, and endless motherhood during thirty years among the Hasidim, as creative, sexual, and spiritual longings simmered on. Since its release, Uncovered has remained at #1 in “Women & Judaism” on Amazon. It has been hailed by Booklist as a Top 10 title in “LGBT” books and “Religion & Spirituality.” Lambda Literary calls it “groundbreaking.”
Paperback, $16.95; e-book, $9.95. Available wherever books are sold.
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 to create memories together sing-along fun!
Available at elaineserling.com and 800-457-2157. $14 plus $2 shipping.
A motivational memoir with an unprecedented plan to raise a Billion Dollars, through the “Professional Sporting World” for critically needed research to cure ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Includes other Rainbows worth chasing, along with unique life experiences at The Harvard Business School, “Working for the Mob,” the “Vanishing Egg Roll” story and Rotary. Truly “A Spectrum of Life and Hope.”
$24.95 Hardcover; $14.95 Softcover. Order from Trimarkpress.com or Amazon.
The perfect Hanukkah present! Vibrant non-fiction through fantasy, these new and adapted stories by leading authors, storytellers and educators are inclusive for gender, family structure and the full spectrum of Jewish life and learning. Reveals the soulful essence of inclusive, mitzvah-centered living. 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.
Reclaiming Judaism Press. Quality paperback, 336 pp. $19.99. Available through all major booksellers.
“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.
Did Shakespeare write the 37 plays credited to him—or did a hidden Jewess? Unable to overcome barriers to women, Amelia Bassano (1569–1645) seals a secret pact with Shakespeare—yet embeds clues to her authorship. But not everyone is deceived. As plots to expose them gather steam, Amelia confronts repercussions from writing a soul-tormenting script and rebels against forces keeping her in the shadows.
As Israel braves Saddam Hussein’s Scuds, an Iraqi Torah disappears in China. Can Lily Kovner, “the Jewish Miss Marple,” find the scroll in time for a milestone diplomatic breakthrough? Political intrigue, threats, physical attack and murder plague a quest underlain by the 2,500-year Jewish diaspora from Iraq to India and China.
The true story of a Holocaust hero who rescued 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto, but whose heroism was forgotten. Sixty years later, three Kansas teenagers, each carrying her own burden, “rescue the rescuer” and elevate Irena Sendler to a Polish hero, championing tolerance and respect for all people.
Russia, 1905—A time of pogroms and potential revolution. After her village is attacked, Leah must protect her children, but her life is complicated by the attentions of the Russian captain in charge. Whatever she chooses, life will never be the same. “Seamlessly woven into a compelling tale”—Association of Jewish Libraries. “A wonderfully plotted novel”—Kirkus Indies. “Historical fiction with great depth”—S.F. Examiner.com. “Will grip you from the first sentence”—ChicLit.com.
On May 10, 1940, a day before Salomon Kool’s bar mitzvah, the Germans invaded Holland. One by one, his father, mother, two brothers and sister are arrested and never heard from again. Salomon Kool’s survival is as much about those who risked their lives to hide him as it is an emotional story of his learning to be a survivor.
Available at Amazon.com.
“This is a Holocaust story certain to move readers not only because of the quiet heroism of its characters, but because it rings with truth…a stunning historical endeavor”—Foreword Reviews. “This beautifully written story gives the reader insight into a woman who followed an unusual path”—Jewish Book Council. “Stark Nemon demonstrates the beauty and the treasure inherent in good storytelling,…and respects courage in the many manifestations called forth by the Holocaust”—Chicago Examiner.
Paperback and e-books available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and wherever books are sold.
This collection of Jewish fiction and folk stories is for young adults and adults. It includes an original Hanukkah story, “Who Hid the Cruse of Oil,” by Leo Abrami, author of The Eleventh Commandment, a Jewish Childhood in Nazi-occupied France.
125 pages, $14.95. Order at TheJewishFellowship@gmail.com. Will gladly sign copies.
Three nice Jewish girls met in a dormitory room on the campus of Ohio State University in September 1956. Fifty-three years later, as widows, they sat together and retold the stories of their lives. The author speaks frankly as she writes about a widow’s place, real or perceived, in her daily life. She uses candor and wit in her observations about relationships, friends and sex.
Paperback – $14.99; Kindle – $4.99. Available on Amazon.com.
Adelaide Mannheim and her slave Rachel have grown up with a shameful secret. Adelaide’s father is Rachel’s father, too. Their secret shadows their girlhood together and follows them into Adelaide’s marriage. As the Civil War breaks out, Adelaide’s husband falls in love with Rachel, and the lives of mistress and slave are torn apart. Slavery made them kin. Can the Civil War make them sisters?
“Merges the best of family biography with fascinating historical, social and religious knowledge”—Foreword Reviews. A loving account of a father’s odyssey from Aleppo’s ancient Jewish community, to Shanghai under Japanese occupation during World War II, to a new life in skyscraper America: “A must-read for anyone who wants to explore this rich culture.”—Jewish Book Council.
A wonderful gift for anyone experiencing a health crisis or caregiving family members and friends, Bridge to Healing is a wise, compassionate self-help guide to creating a Practical Spiritual Toolbox containing many resources to strengthen coping and sustain one’s spirits during illness and other life crises.
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.
In 1942, Jascha and Lilka escape from the Warsaw Ghetto. Forty years after the war, traveling by train through a frozen December landscape, they return to the city of their past. A riveting love story about the nature of desire and the cost of survival, a haunting and unforgettable portrait of a man and woman who cannot escape the past.
Available in hardcover, paperback, e-book, audiobook; from Amazon and in bookstores.
Buy this book if you love Sephardic culture and recognize the importance of teaching your children Ladino, the language derived from medieval Spanish! It introduces children, ages 4 to 10, to Ladino phrases and vocabulary. Whether you speak it or not, you and those you read it with will enjoy the tickle of the phrases on the tongue, the love found in the illustrations and the engaging conversations you will have with words you learn from the book.
Available on Amazon.
A nice Jewish girl goes to Tokyo, falls in love with a Japanese man and tries to start a family. Love transcends time and space when Walter Benjamin, a necklace from Anne Frank’s aunt, and other mysteries lead the author to an orphan she adopts. “The new Eat, Pray, Love” by a best-selling writer, excerpted in New York Times, Huffington Post, KVELLER and Asian Jewish Life.
Available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon.
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!
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.
From Kirkus Reviews: “In this debut historical fiction, young teen, Fanny Tatch, escapes from her shtetl near Kiev to embark on a new life in America…a lovely coming-of-age novel…a charming tale that captures the hopes and challenges of the female Jewish immigrant.” Come along with Fanny on her difficult but satisfying journey away from a life of oppression and toward one with self-determination. Fanny and the other compelling characters will have you turning page after page.
Available in paperback and e-book format. Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and The Jewish Museum Shops on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
In Tel Aviv, during Operation Desert Storm, Sharon Lapidot, a beautiful young nurse, begins an affair with a married doctor amid a culture of strict Jewish faith. Vividly told, this compelling journey of love and lust, honor and betrayal, loss and redemption, will move you—and perhaps even change you. “…It tells the story of the heartbreak of forbidden love between star-crossed lovers. This is the story of love, romance, conflict and finding oneself…”—Amazon Reviewer Coco.
A gifted storyteller with a passion for scholarly research. Fine’s 4 A’s: archaeology, art auctions, academia and anti-Semitism intersect in this meticulously observed narrative that opens in a taxicab in New York City, leaps back in time to Paris with stops in New Haven, Miami and Arles. This book is a page-turner with a message.
Never known facts about Albert Einstein and his nephew Stephen, who lived with his uncle in Princeton, NJ. Stephen tells it the way it was, great read and revealing of how Albert really lived. Fifth chapter is mind-boggling, with facts that leave you in awe. Albert Einstein was a founder of Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the first man to be named Man of the Century. A must read for all Jewish families, a great Chanukah gift.
$14.95, 122 pages. Order from Amazon, iTunes, all bookstores.
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.
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 & Noble in hardcover, paperback and in all e-book formats.
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.”
“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.
“This book has it all! …romance, mystery, sex and crime…a story that you will not be able to put down.”—Reviewer Charla Wilson.
“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.”
“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.