Hadassah Magazine's Guide to Jewish Literature – Sept/Oct 2020
A selection of books to entice any reader. Everything from novels to nonfiction, memoirs to mysteries, cookbooks to kids’ books.
When their marriage – and their Victorian home – go up in flames, a couple must face the charred remains of both. But did the fire rob them of their past or free them from it? The novel draws on the biblical tale of Lilith, Adam’s first wife, who is portrayed as a woman of fierce independence and unbridled sexuality. The protagonist sees his wife as his “Lilith” – until he unearths the tragic roots of her fervor. A love story like no other. “With prose that is insightful and slightly mystical, Golan questions the impossibility of happiness.”- Kirkus Reviews
In 1939 Leah, her parents and sister leave Hamburg and sail to Cuba aboard the Saint Louis, a ship full of Jews trying to escape from the Nazis. Upon arrival in Havana, the government returned them to Europe. Leah watches how all her dreams, her family and her violins aspirations fade away. Holocaust memories will haunt Leah, along with the tattooed numbers in her arm.
230 pages – available at Amazon.com.
“Magnificent… a novel of epic proportions that tells of three strong women, a nun, a rabbi and a minister as they face the struggle for legitimacy and recognition…”—Rabbi Stephen L. Fuchs. A Catholic Sister wants to become a priest. One of the first women rabbis and one of the first women Presbyterian pastors must choose between their lovers and their careers. When they attend a dinner to receive an award, each recalls fifty years of her life and journey to forge her path and find her voice and each makes the decision that will forever change her life.
In 1905, when Rebecca leaves her shtetl in Ukraine to join Samuel in Milwaukee and Ingrid leaves Norway to become the Picture Bride of Lars, a farmer in North Dakota, by mistake officials at Ellis Island send them to each other’s destination. Lost in alien cultures, they struggle to return to their fiancés. But the love that blossoms between Rebecca and Lars threatens their plans.
Ever wonder what would happen if one of Judaism’s fiercest feminist theological minds trained itself on understanding the teachings of a tzaddik who had manifested his reincarnated soul in her new shelter cat? Can you imagine this gray tabby’s routine and unusual behaviors imparting the profound insights and moral lessons found in Judaism’s most revered texts and practices? Wonder and imagine no more. Here you encounter not only the sage Mysticat but also Rabbi Adler’s creativity, erudition and mischievous humor, as they connect us effortlessly to Jewish mysticism, rabbinic thought and six thousand years of cherished tradition.
From the award-winning author of The Dream Stitcher comes Synchronicities on the Avenue of the Saints, a smart blend of magical realism, suspense, romance and wit. Characters from past and present offer allegorical insight on our faltering contemporary world, as they uncover ways to heal both it and themselves.
Paperback and e-book available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and independent book stores. $5.99 e-book, $14.99 paperback.
“Raw, intimate, and true.” —Peggy Orenstein, bestselling author of Boys & Sex. This BuzzFeed Most Anticipated Book of the Year offers a poignant look at boyhood, in the form of a heartfelt letter from comedian, actor, and father Michael Ian Black to his teenage son before he leaves for college. Part memoir and part advice book, A Better Man reveals Black’s own complicated relationship with his father, explores the damage and rising violence caused by the expectations placed on boys to “man up,” and urges young men and their parents to be part of the solution by rethinking masculinity.
Hardcover, 304 pages. Available wherever books are sold. $14.95.
Have you ever wondered how your ancestors lived in the “Old World”? How they managed to survive and even thrive in the “New World”? Prize-winning author Dr. Diana Korzenik, a Brooklyn native, describes—through her own family’s rabbinic history—the vast pattern of early 20th century Jewish Lithuanian migration to the US. Departing from years of silence about the Old World, using family documents in the American Jewish Archives and objects she donated to Yeshiva University Museum, she reveals the losses of Old World culture and how these heroic individuals built educational and social service institutions anew.
Paperback, 150 pages, $19, order from author firstname.lastname@example.org.
Set in pre-World War II Baltimore, Baltimore Logic tells the story of Martin Victor, a history teacher (and a U.S. Naval Reserve officer) who gets drafted into a counter-intelligence unit composed of a diverse collection of FBI, Office of Naval Intelligence and Baltimore City Police Department personnel. Tasked with protecting local defense firms from sophisticated Axis spies, Martin and his colleagues play a complex zero-sum game of espionage within Baltimore’s pressure-cooker of ethnic, religious, and racial communities. Poignant and heroic (in a classical Greek sense), Baltimore Logic rivets the reader’s attention from its mysterious beginning to its mystical end.
You may be alone, with little family support, but you needn’t be isolated and lonely. You can take control of your life. A book full of fresh new ideas and excellent resources for you to lead a happier life. This guide for senior orphans has been long overdue. “What a wonderful way to give hope to seniors that find themselves alone and help them improve their lives”— Rabbi Fishel Zakos, Naples, Florida.
When Dr. Richard Gross and his wife Robin receive news that he has been diagnosed with glioblastoma, the life they built together abruptly changed. With the help of family, friends, and patients, his last two years became an unexpected, extraordinary part of Dick’s life. This open-hearted, inspiring memoir is foremost a love story. If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, this book will guide you through the days and months to come. Robin will be your voice of reason, your shoulder to cry on, and your light at the end of the tunnel.
Available on Amazon.
This is the true, virtually unknown, story of an independent 150–year–old medieval Jewish kingdom in southern France called Septimania. Its first king, amazingly, became Charlemagne’s uncle. His people hailed him, with excellent reason, as the long-tarried Messiah. The quest for the long-lost Holy Menorah is a vital part of the story. “The novel…will keep the reader entranced.”—Alan Caruba, National Book Critics Circle.
Available on Amazon.