Hadassah Magazine's Guide to Jewish Literature – March/April 2022
A selection of books to entice any reader. Everything from novels to nonfiction, memoirs to mysteries, cookbooks to kids’ books.
Blending history, mystery, and romance, The Paris Photo is an acclaimed novel depicting the long reach of wartime trauma. Stationed in Paris in 1944, an American soldier, Ben Gordon, assists a Jewish Parisian family. Years later, his daughter finds a photo of her father, taken in Paris, with women and a boy. Why were they in a picture he obviously kept his whole life – but never discussed? She travels to Paris to uncover the story, learning more than she intended. The author, part of the Jewish Book Council network, has given presentations around the country.
From a potential waif to the triumphs of wealth, he sees the adventures of his life; loss, love of friends, enemies, of coming close to meeting his own death…..An unloved boy, enterprising auctioneer, unrequited lover – Jonah Knight always looked for things hidden in plain sight that someday save his life…..Knight’s quest for himself leads him to learn what deprived him of the only shelter over his head – the remarkable auctioning skills he learned from Peter Flagstaff.
A Jewish woman’s story of faith and betrayal, loyalty and commitment.
Spain, 1391. Shlomo Halevi, the city’s Rabbi, converts to Christianity with his five young children. Later, he becomes the Archbishop of his city. Shlomo’s wife Joana is faced with an impossible choice between loyalty to her children and her Jewish heritage. This novel is a tribute to Jewish women and mothers of all generations.
Dr. Larry S. Milner takes us to the closing period in Abraham’s life after the Akedah, when told by YHWH to prepare to sacrifice Isaac. It was after this event that Abraham, amazingly, lost faith. After the Akedah, when it was not Isaac who died, but Sarah, Abraham did the unexpected; he married a pagan.
Milner presents Abraham’s story in the format of a play, through dialog. Ideal for teachers and group leaders, this story can easily be presented in a live format for all ages.
ISBN 978-1946124-883 ~ 148 pages. Available on Amazon.
Dr. Larry S. Milner analyzes when Moses punished the Israelites with a death penalty, not God-approved, that this prohibited him from entering Israel and how this punishment was consistent with the principles of Divine Justice found in the Torah. Then Milner examines when Moses strikes, rather than speaking to the rock at Meribah, the event thought to be the reason Moses couldn’t enter the Land. He presents the view that this reason was a late addition to the Torah, intended to rehabilitate the reputation of Moses.
ISBN 978-1946124-869 ~ 774 pages. Available at Amazon.
“Fast paced with an original, exotic setting, HIP SET is an unstoppable read from first page to last.” Faye Kellerman, best-selling author. A noir thriller set in modern-day Tel Aviv, HIP SET begins with what appears to the police to be a simple murder but swiftly takes our heroes through the hidden lives of Sudanese refugees and the violent underground economy of Russian gangsters, in search of an ancient mystery, lying untouched in the desert for millennia, that has been troubling scholars since it first appeared in the Old Testament itself.
Seeds of Scripture weaves together ancient wisdom and modern knowledge. It is not a re-imagination of the Jacob story but an expansion that teases out the inner meaning of the biblical text. In Egypt, Jacob shares his past with his grandchildren as he organizes the writings collected by Abraham.
Available through Amazon Kindle or Amazon.
A Black-Jewish dialogue lifts a veil on these groups’ unspoken history, shedding light on the challenges and promises facing American democracy. “This book offers a smart, fresh take not only on the complicated history of a fraught alliance but also on topics like liberalism, intersectionality, and Israel-Palestine that tend to separate the two groups today.”—Maurice Samuels, director, Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism
Hardcover, 224 pages, $26.95. Available for purchase on press.georgetown.edu.
Hardcover, 224 pages, $26.95. Available for purchase on press.georgetown.edu.
An engaging, thought-provoking, Heavenly Court story about applying Jewish ethics and integrity in life, business and more… Here’s what several Amazon Readers have said, “A relatable coming of wisdom story…” “Right book at the right moment, underscores the power of ethical behavior, this short book felt like a refreshing drink of water…” “Encourages you to be more ethical not only in business, but in all aspects of your life!”
Inspired by a real-life incident. When a favorite teacher gives an assignment requiring students to pretend they’re Nazis and debate the Final Solution, two brave teens speak up and refuse to participate. The situation explodes, forcing the school and larger community to confront antisemitism and bigotry. What does it take for tolerance, justice, and love to prevail? Find out in this riveting, fast-paced, multi-award-winning novel.
Art curator Daniel Singer, adopted son of Colonel Samuel Singer receives a mysterious package from Germany. He can’t help but think that there’s something important within the envelope. But what? Daniel’s quest to learn about the package’s contents leads him on a voyage of discovery about his roots, an encounter with the Mossad, Israel’s secret spy agency. As he searches, he unlocks the secrets of three families- one American and two German-following them from the dying days of WWI, to the rise of Adolf Hitler, WWII, the Holocaust, the birth of the State of Israel and three Middle East wars.
Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg applies years of masterful rabbinical sermons and theology to the contemporary trappings of the lifestyles of the rich and famous and the false idols of celebrities. You can learn from the highs and lows of the influential while keeping your spirits intact!
The owner of Soul Mates Unlimited™️, Judith Gottesman, MSW, is a Jewish matchmaker and dating coach. In Your Soul Mate Awaits! A Matchmaker Reveals How to Find Love and Happiness in 3 Simple Steps, Judith takes on much more than just dating, to illuminate today’s relationship questions. Judith understands how frustration, self-doubt and uncertainty plague those looking for a soul mate connection. Whether readers are looking to date for the first time, for the first time in a long time, or just need a new approach, Judith reveals the tricks of the trade to find a romantic partner.
Buy her books at www.SoulMatesUnlimited.com.
Almost the entire human and mammal population on Earth dies mysteriously in 2030. One survivor, Eli, an agnostic who recently made Aliya to Israel from the US is compelled to find answers. Hassan, an astronaut on the international space station from the UAE provides Eli with helpful information. Eli starts his journey driving an Israeli-made solar-powered vehicle and finds survivors and valuable scientific research. Eli studies Torah and is contacted by the Almighty. The Earth is repopulated with an emphasis on protecting the environment. After Elis’s death, the people of another planet need assistance from the people of Earth.
A cartoon haggadah that follows the traditional steps of the seder. Written in a concise, contemporary style, it includes songs, games, recipes and prayers in English, Hebrew and transliterated Hebrew. It makes the seder fun and meaningful for family, guests and even for those “who don’t know how to ask.”
Softcover, 48 pages. Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, $11.95.
Named one of the Best Books of 2021 by Kirkus Reviews. “A compelling work…poignant and eloquent.” (Starred Review). Mira Adler, growing up in a town on the post-WWII Canadian prairies, learns about life and love from her Yiddish and violin teacher, Chaver B, a recent immigrant from Prague. Perfect for Purim, the holiday plays an important role in Mira’s growing consciousness in this coming-of-age novel about music, love, friendship, community, and religion. Winner of the Independent Press Award and a New York City Big Book Award Distinguished Favorite. Ideal for book clubs, Bat/Bar-Mitzvah gifts, adults/young adults.
See www.PrairieSonata.com for more reviews and details on purchasing. Available in hardcover, softcover, and ebook.
A Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner! In this fresh retelling of the classic I.L. Peretz story “The Magician”, Muriel assumes her family is too poor to hold a Passover Seder this year—but an act of kindness and a mysterious guest change everything. This picture book offers a wonderful message about the power of togetherness through difficult times and masterfully encapsulates the spirit of Passover.
Hardcover, 40 pages. Available on Bookshop.org or wherever books are sold. Published by Neal Porter Books / Holiday House Books .
The frackers have invaded Pennsylvania and Yukon Oil and Gas may have poisoned a residential well and threaten a town’s water supply. Mike Jacobs, a 29-year old environmental lawyer with Pennsylvania’s environmental agency, is back in this romantically-charged environmental legal thriller “Burcat writes with an insider’s edge about a dangerous battle over fracking. Strange Fire is a dark, suspenseful read that ranges from gas fields to the courtroom, all handled with gritty style. A treat for thriller fans.” William Landay (Defending Jacob).
Rumors percolate in a Jewish community where gossip is an Olympic sport. RUMORS, boasting 79% five-star ratings, overflows with secrets, lies, love, lust, conspiracies, intrigue, wit, a who-dunnit and people you know, braided together like a challah! An acclaimed author notes: “Not since Rosemary’s Baby have I been given a book I could not stop reading. Gripping plot, well written.” An Israeli-American magazine publisher writes: “My wife devoured this book in record time. She told me: ‘You’d love it.’ Later that night I inhaled the book.”
Read reviews at Amazon.com and dive into RUMORS!. Available in ebook and print.