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June 02, 2013: Israel Versus Honduras in soccer or Kadoor Regel. Citi Field, New York City. 530 PM The Israel National Soccer Team ccomes to NYC. First time in 35 years.
June 04, 2013: Abraham Foxman, an expert on speaking out about hate, reads from Viral Hate. B&N 82nd Bway UWS NYC
June 04, 2013: Brad Ricca reads from Super Boys The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster---the Creators of Superman. B&N Crocker Park in Westlake Ohio.
June 04, 2013: David Sedaris at Univ of Penn Bookstore, Philadelphia, PA 6PM
June 08/09, 2013: Greg Bellow, author of Saul Bellow’s Heart, at Printers Row Book Fest, Chicago IL
June 13, 2013: Margalit Fox reads from The Riddle of the Labyrinth The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code. B&N 86th Lex UES NYC
June 24, 2013: Scribblers on the Roof – 14th Season. Rooftop of Congregation Ansche Chesed NYC 100th and WEA. Andre Aciman (newest book: Havard Square) and Adam Wilson (flatscreen) read from their works
June 27, 2013: Max Brooks, son of Mel and Anne, signs World War Z and Zombie Survival Guide. Midtown Comics, NYC Fulton and Gold NYC 630PM

July 01, 2013: Scribblers on the Roof – 14th Season. Rooftop of Congregation Ansche Chesed NYC 100th and WEA. Lucette Lagnado (The Arrogant Years; White Sharkskin) and Judith Harway (All That is Left; The Memory Box) read from their works
July 08, 2013: Scribblers on the Roof – 14th Season. Rooftop of Congregation Ansche Chesed NYC 100th and WEA. Michael Greenberg (Beg Borrow Steal; Hurry Down Sunshine) and Austin Ratner (In The Land of the Living; The Jump Artist) read from their works
July 08, 2013: Brad Ricca reads from Super Boys The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster---the Creators of Superman. B&N UeS, 86th and Lexington NYC
July 16, 2013: Daniel Silva reads from The English Girl (Gabriel Allon Series #13). B&N NYC Union Square
July 17, 2013: Friends of the late David Rakoff read from his last work: Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish A Novel. B&N NYC Union Square
July 22, 2013: Scribblers on the Roof – 14th Season. Rooftop of Congregation Ansche Chesed NYC 100th and WEA. Seth Kaufman (The King of Pain) and Sarah Van Arsdale (Grand Isle; Toward Amnesia) read from their works

August 05, 2013: Najla Said, daughter of the late Professor Edward Said, reads from Looking for Palestine - Growing Up Confused in an Arab-American Family. Based on her one woman show. B&N NYC UWS 86th and Bway
August 17, 2013: The Honorable U.S. Rep. John Lewis reads from “March, Book 1, Vol. 1” at B&N Buckhard, Atlanta Georgia

September 09, 2013: Film critic Molly Haskell (widow of film critic Andrew Sarris) reads from My Brother, My Sister: Story of a Transformation. B&N NYC UWS 82nd and Bway
September 10, 2013: Daniel Jonah Goldhagen reads from The Devil That Never Dies The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism. B&N UWS NYC 82nd and Bway
September 11, 2013: Billy Crystal reads from Still Foolin' 'Em Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? B&N Union Square, NYC
September 12, 2013: Jonathan Lethem reads from Dissident Gardens. B&N UWS NYC 82nd and Bway
September 16, 2013: Michael Chabon reads from Telegraph Avenue. B&N Homestead PA
September 16, 2013: Adelle Waldman reads from The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. A Novel at B&N UeS NYC 86th and Lexington
September 17, 2013: Delia Ephron reads from Sister Mother Husband Dog Etc. B&N UeS NYC 86th/Lex
September 17, 2013: Dara Horn reads from A Guide for the Perplexed. B&N UWS NYC 82nd and Bway

[book]A Dual Inheritance
A Novel
By Joanna Hershon
May 2013
For readers of Rules of Civility and The Marriage Plot, Joanna Hershon’s A Dual Inheritance is an engrossing novel of passion, friendship, betrayal, and class—and their reverberations across generations.
Autumn 1962: Ed Cantowitz and Hugh Shipley meet in their final year at Harvard. Ed is far removed from Hugh’s privileged upbringing as a Boston Brahmin, yet his drive and ambition outpace Hugh’s ambivalence about his own life. These two young men form an unlikely friendship, bolstered by a fierce shared desire to transcend their circumstances. But in just a few short years, not only do their paths diverge—one rising on Wall Street, the other becoming a kind of global humanitarian—but their friendship ends abruptly, with only one of them understanding why.
Can a friendship define your view of the world? Spanning from the Cuban Missile Crisis to the present-day stock market collapse, with locations as diverse as Dar es Salaam, Boston, Shenzhen, and Fishers Island, A Dual Inheritance asks this question, as it follows not only these two men, but the complicated women in their vastly different lives. And as Ed and Hugh grow farther and farther apart, they remain uniquely—even surprisingly—connected.
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[book]How the Jews Defeated Hitler
Exploding the Myth of Jewish Passivity
in the Face of Nazism
by Benjamin Ginsberg (Johns Hopkins University)
Rowman and Littlefield
One of the most common assumptions about World War II is that the Jews did not actively or effectively resist their own extermination at the hands of the Nazis. In this powerful book, Benjamin Ginsberg convincingly argues that the Jews not only resisted the Germans but actually played a major role in the defeat of Nazi Germany. The question, he contends, is not whether the Jews fought but where and by what means. True, many Jews were poorly armed, outnumbered, and without resources, but Ginsberg shows persuasively that this myth of passivity is solely that—a myth.
The author describes how Jews resisted Nazism strongly in four major venues. First, they served as members of the Soviet military and as engineers who designed and built many pivotal Soviet weapons, including the T-34 tank. Second, a number were soldiers in the U.S. armed forces, and many also played key roles in discrediting American isolationism, in providing the Roosevelt administration with the support it needed for preparing for war, and in building the atomic bomb. Third, they made vital contributions to the Allies—the Soviet Union, the United States, and Britain—in espionage and intelligence (especially cryptanalysis), and fourth, they assumed important roles in several European anti-Nazi resistance movements that often disrupted Germany’s fragile military supply lines. In this compelling, cogent history, we discover that the Jews were an important factor in Hitler’s defeat..
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[book]Let Me Tell You a Story
A Memoir of a Wartime Childhood
Renata Calverley
May 2013
Przemysl, Poland, 1939. Two-year-old Renata is woken by her Mamusia in the middle of the night and bundled into the basement. The peacock quilt she is wrapped in reminds her of a story about a giant who guards a mysterious place called the Underworld. She drifts back to sleep as the sound of thunder rages around them. No one has explained to Renata what war is. She knows her Tatus, a doctor, is in Europe with the Polish Army and that her beautiful Mamusia is not allowed to work at the university anymore. But, more than anything, she notices that their frequent visitors - among them Great Aunt Zuzia and Uncle Julek with their gifts of melon and lovely clothes - have stopped coming entirely. One morning Mamusia returns home with little yellow, six-pointed stars for them to wear. Renata thinks that they will keep them safe. June, 1942. Two soldiers in grey-green uniforms burst into their apartment carrying guns. Renata, Mamusia and grandmother 'Babcia' are taken to the Ghetto and crammed into one room with other frightened families. The adults are forced to work long hours at the factory and to survive on next to no food. One day Mamusia and Babcia do not return from their shifts. Renata is five years old. Utterly alone, she is passed from place to place and survives through the willingness of ordinary people to take the most deadly risks. Her unlikely blonde hair and blue eyes and other twists of fate save her life but stories become her salvation. A true story of the horrors of war, Let Me Tell You a Story is a powerful and moving memoir of growing up in extraordinary times, and of the magical discovery of books..
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May 2013
WW Norton
Jews are thinkers. Looking at facets like on a diamond
New tools explained for thinkers
One of the world’s leading philosophers offers aspiring thinkers his personal trove of mind-stretching thought experiments. Over a storied career, philosopher Daniel C. Dennett has engaged questions about science and the workings of the mind. His answers have combined rigorous argument with strong empirical grounding.
And a lot of fun.
In this book, Dennett shares the “imagination extenders and focus-holders” that he and others have developed for addressing life’s most fundamental questions. Along with novel discussions of familiar moves—Occam’s Razor, reductio ad absurdum—Dennett offers cognitive tools purpose-built for the most treacherous subject matter: evolution, meaning, mind, and free will. From skyhooks to deepities, the Wandering Two-Bitser and the Prime Mammal, Dennett’s genial style persuades as it educates, pointing out pitfalls in arguments as it challenges readers to find others. The result is a sweeping work of deep intellectual seriousness that’s also studded with impish delights. Intuition Pumps offers intrepid thinkers—in all walks of life—delicious opportunities to explore their pet ideas with new powers.
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By Frederic Raphael and Joseph Epstein
May 2013
Yale University Press
This delightful book of writer-to-writer correspondence joins a full shelf of volumes in the genre, yet it is perhaps the first set of such letters ever transacted via the Internet. Also unusual, at least for correspondents in the twenty-first century, is that Frederic Raphael and Joseph Epstein have never met, nor even spoken to each other. But what is most rare about this book is the authors' abundant talent for entertaining their readers, as much when the topic is grave as when it is droll.
Raphael and Epstein agree to embark on a year-long correspondence, but other rules are few. As the weeks progress, their friendship grows, and each inspires the other. Almost any topic, large or small, is considered: they write of schooling, parents, wives, children, literary tastes, enmities, delights, and beliefs. They discuss their professional lives as writers, their skills or want of them, respective experiences with editors, producers, and actors, and, in priceless passages scattered throughout the letters, they assess such celebrated figures as Gore Vidal, Christopher Hitchens, Susan Sontag, Annie Leibowitz, Malcolm Gladwell, Harold Bloom, George Steiner, Harold Pinter, Isaiah Berlin, George Weidenfeld, and Robert Gottlieb, among many others. Epstein and Raphael capture a year in their letters, but more, they invite us into an intimate world where literature, cinema, and art are keys to self-discovery and friendship.
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[book] A Queer and Pleasant Danger
The true story of a nice Jewish boy
who joins the Church of Scientology,
and leaves twelve years later to become
the lovely lady she is today
by Kate Bornstein
May 2013
A memoir by performer and author, Kate Bornstein

When Arab Eyes Are Smiling…
BY SHIBLEY TELHAMI (University of Maryland)
(Non Resident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute)
Human Rights Watch (Former Board Member), Council of Foreign Relations (Member)
June 2013
Basic Books
Once a voiceless region dominated by authoritarian rulers, the Arab world seems to have developed an identity of its own almost overnight. The series of uprisings that began in 2010 profoundly altered politics in the region, forcing many experts to drastically revise their understandings of the Arab people. Yet while the Arab uprisings have indeed triggered seismic changes, Arab public opinion has been a perennial but long ignored force influencing events in the Middle East.
In The World Through Arab Eyes, eminent political scientist Shibley Telhami draws upon a decade’s worth of original polling data, probing the depths of the Arab psyche to analyze the driving forces and emotions of the Arab uprisings and the next phase of Arab politics. With great insight into the people and countries he has surveyed, Telhami provides a longitudinal account of Arab identity, revealing how Arabs’ present-day priorities and grievances have been gestating for decades. The demand for dignity foremost in the chants of millions went far beyond a straightforward struggle for food and individual rights. The Arabs’ cries were not simply a response to corrupt leaders, but were in fact inseparable from the collective respect they crave from the outside world. Decades of perceived humiliations at the hands of the West have left many Arabs with a wounded sense of national pride, but also a desire for political systems with elements of Western democracies—an apparent contradiction that is only one of many complicating our understanding of the monumental shifts in Arab politics and society.
In astonishing detail and with great humanity, Telhami identifies the key prisms through which Arabs view issues central to their everyday lives, from democracy to religion to foreign relations with Iran, Israel, the United States, and other world powers. The World Through Arab Eyes reveals the hearts and minds of a people often misunderstood but ever more central to our globalized world.
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(Famed New Yorker cartoonist)
June 2013
S& S
Ages 4 - 8
From BEK, famed cartoonist, Seinfeld writer, and Prod for Six Feet Under… a humorous tale about learning to accept your family — even if one of them is an alien (code for Jewish?). Teddy isn’t excited about Cousin Irv’s visit. Cousin Irv is too weird. He steals Teddy’s pillow, eats Teddy’s food, and even plays with Teddy’s action figures. Not to mention that Cousin Irv is from MARS. What will Teddy’s friends say? But it turns out that everyone at school loves Cousin Irv. Not only is he from a different planet, he can vaporize things! Maybe cousins from Mars aren’t so bad after all...
Illustrated with clever simplicity in New Yorker cartoonist Bruce Kaplan’s trademark style and filled with out-of-this-world whimsy, Cousin Irv from Mars is an interplanetary treat that begs to be shared.
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[book] What Were They Thinking?
Carrie, from Book to Movie to Musical
By Lawrence D. Cohen
June 2013
Applause Theatre and Cinema Books
What Were They Thinking? Carrie, from Book to Movie to Musical is an intensely personal chronicle, tracking Lawrence Cohens almost four-decade history with Stephen Kings classic fable, from reading the manuscript in 1973 while a reader for producer David Susskind, to writing the screenplay for the classic 1976 Brian de Palma film, from deciding to turn it into a musical (1984) to the controversial Royal Shakespeare Company and legendary Broadway production that crashed and burned (1988), to collaborating on its rebirth and resurrection Off-Broadway for MCC Theater in 2012. Rarely has a theatrical account been so first person and insider basednaming names, telling never-before-told stories, and revealing what its creators were thinking. Passionate and visceral, it provides a highly informative and educational behind-the-scenes look into just how musicals are written and put together. How did a show that even its harshest critic, Frank Rich, admitted was a workable idea for a musical and Ken Mandelbaum argued was salvageable go so far off track? How did an Oscar-winning composer and lyricist, plus the award-nominated screenwriter of the original film, mess up so badly? How did a musical that the world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company chose as its follow-up to Les Misérables become such a train wreck? What were they thinking? Follow the journey from its inception to its resurrectionthirteen theater award nominations; an award for Best Revival; the release of a long-awaited cast recording; and licensing by Rodgers and Hammerstein allowing Carrie to enter the global theater repertoire. Talk about a miracle and a happy ending.
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[book] Sacred Scripture, Sacred War
The Bible and the American Revolution
by James P. Byrd
June 2013
On January 17, 1776, one week after Thomas Paine published his incendiary pamphlet Common Sense, Connecticut minister Samuel Sherwood preached an equally patriotic sermon. "God Almighty, with all the powers of heaven, are on our side," Sherwood said, voicing a sacred justification for war that Americans would invoke repeatedly throughout the struggle for independence.
In Sacred Scripture, Sacred War, James Byrd offers the first comprehensive analysis of how American revolutionaries defended their patriotic convictions through scripture. Byrd shows that the Bible was a key text of the American Revolution. Indeed, many colonists saw the Bible as primarily a book about war. They viewed God as not merely sanctioning violence but actively participating in combat, playing a decisive role on the battlefield. When war came, preachers and patriots alike turned to scripture not only for solace but for exhortations to fight. Such scripture helped amateur soldiers overcome their natural aversion to killing, conferred on those who died for the Revolution the halo of martyrdom, and gave Americans a sense of the divine providence of their cause. Many histories of the Revolution have noted the connection between religion and war, but Sacred Scripture, Sacred War is the first to provide a detailed analysis of specific biblical texts and how they were used, especially in making the patriotic case for war. Combing through more than 500 wartime sources, which include more than 17,000 biblical citations, Byrd shows precisely how the Bible shaped American war, and how war in turn shaped Americans' view of the Bible.
Brilliantly researched and cogently argued, Sacred Scripture, Sacred War sheds new light on the American Revolution.
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[book] The Property
A graphic Novel
By Rutu Modan
Translated from Hebrew by Jessica Cohen
June 2013
Drawn and Quarterly
The award-winning author of Exit Wounds returns with a story about families, secrets, and the bonds of love
The Property is a work that will inspire, fascinate, and delight readers and critics alike. Savvy and insightful, elegant and subtle, Rutu Modan’s second full-length graphic novel is a triumph of storytelling and fine lines.
After the death of her son, Regina Segal takes her granddaughter Mica to Warsaw, hoping to reclaim a family property lost during the Second World War. As they get to know modern Warsaw, Regina is forced to recall difficult things about her past, and Mica begins to wonder if maybe their reasons for coming aren’t a little different than what her grandmother led her to believe.
Modan offers up a world populated by prickly seniors, smart-alecky public servants, and stubborn women—a world whose realism is expressed alternately in the absurdity of people’s behavior and in the complex consequences of their sacrifices. Modan’s ever-present wit is articulated perfectly in her clear-line style, while a subtle, almost muted color palette complements the true-to-life nuances of her characterization. Exit Wounds made a huge splash for this signature combination of wit, style, and realism, and The Property will cement Modan’s status as one of the foremost cartoonists working today.
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[book] Finerman's Rules
Secrets I'd Only Tell My Daughters
About Business and Life
By Karen Finerman
June 2013
WW Norton
Finerman runs a fund with over $400 Million in assets. Her husband Lewis Golub) has a fund, she and her husband have two sets of twins, and her siblings are very successful economically as well. She is on the board of a hospital and a medical philanthropy. Here is some of her advice
Karen Finerman (pronounced like "Mighty Fine-rman") likes to tell people she was raised Calvinist. Or as her mother used to say, "I buy my girls Calvin Klein clothes. Then when they graduate from college they have to pay for them themselves." In order to keep herself in Calvin, Karen went to Wall Street.
As a woman working in an investment bank she noticed numerous ways that she and her colleagues sabotaged themselves both professionally and personally. Why were her friends unable to bring the same logic they applied at work to personal decisions? Why did they often let personal baggage undermine them at work in a way that her male colleagues never did? A classic illustration would be the way that women tend to Poll (Do I look good in these shoes?) rather than Decide, often giving too much weight to the input from a random stranger than their own gut.
Divided into three sections (Career, Money, Love), Finerman's Rules serves up unvarnished advice about how to get ahead, how to get the dysfunction out of your personal life and how to take control of your financial destiny. Or as Karen puts it, "You wouldn't let a man tell you where to live, how to vote, or what to wear. Then tell me why 80 percent of women have a man in charge of their money?"
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If you like the book, why not emulate a 2010 program that Finerman spoke at for JWI at Manhattan's JCC. A Mother-Daughter brunch on Life$avings® which grows out of JWI’s commitment to empower women and girls.

[book] And We're All Brothers
Singing in Yiddish in Contemporary North America
(Soas Musicology Series)
by Abigail Wood
The dawn of the twenty-first century marked a turning period for American Yiddish culture. The 'Old World' of Yiddish-speaking Eastern Europe was fading from living memory - yet at the same time, Yiddish song enjoyed a renaissance of creative interest, both among a younger generation seeking reengagement with the Yiddish language, and, most prominently via the transnational revival of klezmer music. The last quarter of the twentieth century and the early years of the twenty-first saw a steady stream of new songbook publications and recordings in Yiddish - newly composed songs, well-known singers performing nostalgic favourites, American popular songs translated into Yiddish, theatre songs, and even a couple of forays into Yiddish hip hop; musicians meanwhile engaged with discourses of musical revival, post-Holocaust cultural politics, the transformation of language use, radical alterity and a new generation of American Jewish identities. This book explores how Yiddish song became such a potent medium for musical and ideological creativity at the twilight of the twentieth century, presenting an episode in the flowing timeline of a musical repertory - New York at the dawn of the twenty-first century - and outlining some of the trajectories that Yiddish song and its singers have taken to, and beyond, this point.

[book] Ibn Gabirol's Theology of Desire
Matter and Method in Jewish Medieval Neoplatonism
by Sarah Pessin
Cambridge University Press
Drawing on Arabic passages from Ibn Gabirol's original Fons Vitae text, and highlighting philosophical insights from his Hebrew poetry, Sarah Pessin develops a "Theology of Desire" at the heart of Ibn Gabirol's eleventh-century cosmo-ontology. She challenges centuries of received scholarship on his work, including his so-called Doctrine of Divine Will. Pessin rejects voluntarist readings of the Fons Vitae as opposing divine emanation. She also emphasizes Pseudo-Empedoclean notions of "Divine Desire" and "Grounding Element" alongside Ibn Gabirol's use of a particularly Neoplatonic method with apophatic (and what she terms "doubly apophatic") implications. In this way, Pessin reads claims about matter and God as insights about love, desire, and the receptive, dependent, and fragile nature of human being. Pessin reenvisions the entire spirit of Ibn Gabirol's philosophy, moving us from a set of doctrines to a fluid inquiry into the nature of God and human being - and the bond between God and human being in desire.

[book] Blessed
A History of the American Prosperity Gospel
By Kate Bowler (Duke)
June 2013,
Oxford University Press
How have millions of American Christians come to measure spiritual progress in terms of their financial status and physical well-being? How has the movement variously called Word of Faith, Health and Wealth, Name It and Claim It, or simply prosperity gospel come to dominate much of our contemporary religious landscape?
Kate Bowler's Blessed is the first book to fully explore the origins, unifying themes, and major figures of a burgeoning movement that now claims millions of followers in America. Bowler traces the roots of the prosperity gospel: from the touring mesmerists, metaphysical sages, pentecostal healers, business oracles, and princely prophets of the early 20th century; through mid-century positive thinkers like Norman Vincent Peale and revivalists like Oral Roberts and Kenneth Hagin; to today's hugely successful prosperity preachers. Bowler focuses on such contemporary figures as
Creflo Dollar, pastor of Atlanta's 30,000-member World Changers Church International;
Joel Osteen, known as "the smiling preacher," with a weekly audience of seven million;
T. D. Jakes, named by Time magazine one of America's most influential new religious leaders;
Joyce Meyer, evangelist and women's empowerment guru; and many others.
At almost any moment, day or night, the American public can tune in to these preachers-on TV, radio, podcasts, and in their megachurches-to hear the message that God desires to bless them with wealth and health. Bowler offers an interpretive framework for scholars and general readers alike to understand the diverse expressions of Christian abundance as a cohesive movement bound by shared understandings and common goals.
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[book] My Mother's Brisket & Other Love Songs
By Rick Moranis
So it isn’t a book, so kill me, it is a CD
Summer 2013
Rick Moranis, nominated for a Grammy for Best Comedy Album in 1983 and 2005, presents a collection of songs for 2013, this time derived from his Jewish roots and upbringing. My Mother s Brisket & Other Love Songs is an eclectic blend of klezmer, rumba, folk and jazz covering themes of family, food, religious traditions, more food, love, and dessert.
Music has always been a big part of Moranis career. He started spinning records on Toronto radio in the 70s, then went on to do stand-up comedy, always appearing with his guitar. On the Emmy award-winning TV series SCTV, Moranis did musical impressions, parodies, and characters. And starred in a list of still loved 80s comedy films including Ghostbusters, Spaceballs, Parenthood, Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, the cult-favorite McKenzie Brothers' film Strange Brew, and one of his most beloved, the musical Little Shop Of Horrors.
With this album, Moranis goes back to where he started: "When I first began writing jokes and sketches with various Jewish partners one of us would inevitably stop at some point and announce, "Too Jewish!" Too Jewish for the star, the show, the network, or the audience. The songs on this album are all in that category. I grew up hearing the Allan Sherman and the You Don't Have To Be Jewish albums in the 60s. Now I m in my 60s."

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[book] Claudia Silver to the Rescue
A Novel
By Kathy Ebel
June 2013
In this gutsy debut novel, flawed but unsinkable Claudia Silver cuts a wide comic swath in her misguided attempts to find love and security in 1990s New York City. Estranged from her bohemian Brooklyn family and fired for an impropriety at work, Claudia Silver is officially in over her head. When her younger sister lands on her doorstep urgently in need of help, 20-something Claudia desperately wants to offer the rescue that she herself has longed for. But Claudia missteps spectacularly, straight into a supremely disastrous love affair that disrupts three very different New York households. Ultimately, she discovers the resilient nature of love where she least expects it — among her own family. In the fierce and vulnerable spirit of the HBO series Girls, Claudia Silver to the Rescue follows the various humiliations and rare triumphs that allow a memorable young woman to claim her identity from the wreckage of the worst mistake she’s ever made. By turns razor-sharp and tender, Claudia Silver to the Rescue chronicles the offbeat life of a heroine who shoots for the stars and hits the ceiling.
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[book] The World Without You
A Novel
by Joshua Henkin
June 2013
Vintage Paperback
It's July 4, 2005, and the Frankel family is descending upon their beloved summer home in the Berkshires. They have gathered to memorialize Leo, the youngest of the four siblings and an intrepid journalist killed on that day in 2004, while on assignment in Iraq. But Leo’s parents are adrift in a grief that’s tearing apart their forty-year marriage, his sisters are struggling with their own difficulties, and his widow has arrived from California bearing a secret. Here award-winning writer Joshua Henkin unfolds this family story, as, over the course of three days, the Frankels contend with sibling rivalries and marital feuds, with volatile women and silent men — and, ultimately, with the true meaning of family
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June 2013
A book from David Berg, a renowned Texas trial lawyer. He looked up to his brother, a brother who pushed him to greater heights, until he was brutally murdered by a man who is now known as the actor Woody Harrelson’s father.
In 1968 David Berg’s brother, Alan, was murdered by Charles Harrelson—notorious hit man and father of Woody Harrelson. Alan was only thirty-one when he disappeared and for more than six months his family did not know what had happened to him—until his remains were found in a ditch in Texas.
There was an eyewitness to the murder: Harrelson’s girlfriend, who agreed to testify. Even so, Harrelson was acquitted with the help of the most famous criminal lawyer in America. Writing with cold-eyed grief and lacerating humor, Berg shares intimate details about his striving Jewish family that perhaps set Alan on a course for self-destruction, and the wrenching miscarriage of justice when Berg’s murderer went unpunished.
Since burying his brother, David has never discussed how he died. But then about three years ago, details from his past crept into his memory and he began to research his family’s legacy and his brother’s death, informed by his expertise as a seasoned attorney. The result is a raw and painful memoir that taps into the darkest human behaviors, a fascinating portrait of an iconic American place, and a true-crime courtroom murder drama—all perfectly calibrated.
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[book] No Joke
Making Jewish Humor
(Library of Jewish Ideas)
June 2013
Humor is the most celebrated of all Jewish responses to modernity. In this book, Ruth Wisse evokes and applauds the genius of spontaneous Jewish joking--as well as the brilliance of comic masterworks by writers like Heinrich Heine, Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Babel, S. Y. Agnon, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Philip Roth. At the same time, Wisse draws attention to the precarious conditions that call Jewish humor into being--and the price it may exact from its practitioners and audience.
Wisse broadly traces modern Jewish humor around the world, teasing out its implications as she explores memorable and telling examples from German, Yiddish, English, Russian, and Hebrew. Among other topics, the book looks at how Jewish humor channeled Jewish learning and wordsmanship into new avenues of creativity, brought relief to liberal non-Jews in repressive societies, and enriched popular culture in the United States.
Even as it invites readers to consider the pleasures and profits of Jewish humor, the book asks difficult but fascinating questions: Can the excess and extreme self-ridicule of Jewish humor go too far and backfire in the process? And is "leave 'em laughing" the wisest motto for a people that others have intended to sweep off the stage of history?
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Runaways, Rodents, and Giant Bugs
By Matthue Roth and Rohan Daniel Eason (Illustrator)
June 2013
One Peace Books
Runaway children who meet up with monsters. A giant talking bug. A secret world of mouse-people. The stories of Franz Kafka are wondrous and nightmarish, miraculous and scary. In My First Kafka, storyteller Matthue Roth and artist Rohan Daniel Eason adapt three Kafka stories into startling, creepy, fun stories for all ages. With My First Kafka, the master storyteller takes his rightful place alongside Maurice Sendak, Edward Gorey, and Lemony Snicket as a literary giant for all ages. .
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[book] Goliath
Life and Loathing in Greater Israel
By Max Blumenthal
June 2013
Nation Books
Blumenthal has appeared in the left wing Nation, Daily Beast and Al Jazeera
Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel is Max Blumenthal’s journey through Israel and an anatomy of what he terms an extremist takeover of Israel.
Blumenthal finds is a country overrun by extremists, where the Jewish Right has hijacked constitutional protections for both minorities and those in the majority who dissent. Blumenthal investigates the roots of these cultural and political shifts, as well as the American right-wing funders who are bankrolling Israel's right wingers that Bumenthal terms extremists. He finds that the country US officials regard as the only foothold of democracy in the Middle East—with which President Obama has said “[our] bond is unbreakable”—is teetering on the edge of authoritarianism.
Informed by intensive on-the-ground reporting, Goliath paints a vivid portrait of a society turning its back on democracy and uncovers the factors (political, demographic, and psychological) that have transformed a nation.
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[book] Operation Damocles
Israel's Secret War Against Hitler's Scientists, 1951-1967
By Roger Howard
The forgotten cloak-and-dagger history of the former Nazi scientists who were recruited by Egypt to develop long-range missiles capable of striking Israel From 1951 to 1967 Egypt pursued a secret program to build military rockets that could have conceivably posed a threat to neighboring Israel. Because such an ambitious project required Western expertise, the Egyptian leader President Nasser hired West German scientists, many of them veterans of the Nazi rocket program at Peenemu?nde and elsewhere. These covert plans soon came to the attention of Israel’s legendary secret service, Mossad, and caused deep alarm in Tel Aviv.Would Israel fall under the shadow of long-range missiles held by a ruler who was sworn to destroy the Jewish state? Could the missiles be fitted with warheads filled with radiological, chemical, or even nuclear materials? Israel responded by using threats, intimidation, and brutal assassination squads to deter the German scientists from working on Nasser’s behalf. Exactly half a century later, this book tells the gripping story of the mysterious arms dealers, Mossad assassins, scientific genii, and leading figures who all played their part in Operation Damocles. 12 pages of B&W photographs and maps
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[book] Cool War
The Future of Global Competition
Random House
A bold and thought-provoking look at the future of U.S.-China relations, and how their coming power struggle will reshape the competitive playing field for nations around the world. The Cold War seemingly ended in a decisive victory for the West. But now, Noah Feldman argues, we are entering an era of renewed global struggle: the era of Cool War. Just as the Cold War matched the planet’s reigning superpowers in a contest for geopolitical supremacy, so this new age will pit the United States against a rising China in a contest for dominance, alliances, and resources. Already visible in Asia, the conflict will extend to the Middle East (U.S.-backed Israel versus Chinese-backed Iran), Africa, and beyond.
Yet this Cool War differs fundamentally from the zero-sum showdowns of the past: The world’s major power and its leading challenger are economically interdependent to an unprecedented degree. Exports to the U.S. account for nearly a quarter of Chinese trade, while the Chinese government holds 8 percent of America’s outstanding debt. This positive-sum interdependence has profound implications for nations, corporations, and international institutions. It makes what looked to be a classic contest between two great powers into something much more complex, contradictory, and badly in need of the shrewd and carefully reasoned analysis that Feldman provides.
To understand the looming competition with China, we must understand the incentives that drive Chinese policy. Feldman offers an arresting take on that country’s secretive hierarchy, proposing that the hereditary “princelings” who reap the benefits of the complicated Chinese political system are actually in partnership with the meritocrats who keep the system full of fresh talent and the reformers who are trying to root out corruption and foster government accountability. He provides a clear-eyed analysis of the years ahead, showing how China’s rise presents opportunities as well as risks. Robust competition could make the U.S. leaner, smarter, and more pragmatic, and could drive China to greater respect for human rights. Alternatively, disputes over trade, territory, or human rights could jeopardize the global economic equilibrium—or provoke a catastrophic “hot war” that neither country wants.
The U.S. and China may be divided by political culture and belief, but they are also bound together by mutual self-interest. Cool War makes the case for competitive cooperation as the only way forward that can preserve the peace and make winners out of both sides.
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By Royal Young
June 2013
In this gritty "Memoir Noir," Royal Young reexamines his turbulent childhood and adolescence in New York City of the 1990s. Grappling with issues of sexuality, addiction, and self-definition, he doggedly pursues every possible path to stardom, only to find himself mired in mangled relationships. His story is an unapologetic and ultimately profound, poignant commentary on celebrity culture and love in all its forms. "Royal Young has accomplished a rare feat in his fresh and riveting debut: he manages to recount his fascinating youth and unconventional family with a mixture of humor, scathing honesty & tenderness. Much more than simply a book about a kid who dreams of stardom, Fame Shark is a thoughtful, hilarious and moving love letter to his family and the Lower East Side of New York City." -Kristen Johnston
"Royal Young stands out as heir apparent to ... literary Jews from early Philip Roth to any-time Jonathan Ames ... Some books you like, some you enjoy, some you feel the need to command the air waves and scream to the masses that they either have to read immediately, or live artistically stunted lives ... " - Jerry Stah
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by Miriam Katin
A Holocaust survivor struggles to let go of the past
Miriam Katin has the light hand of a master storyteller in this flowing, expressive, full-color masterpiece. A Holocaust survivor and mother, Katin’s world is turned upside down by the news that her adult son is moving to Berlin, a city she’s villainized for the past forty years. As she struggles to accept her son’s decision, she visits the city twice, first to see her son and then to attend a museum gala featuring her own artwork. What she witnesses firsthand is a city coming to terms with its traumatic past, much as Katin is herself. Letting It Go is a deft and careful balance: wry, self-deprecating anecdotes counterpoint a serious account of the myriad ways trauma inflects daily existence, both for survivors and for their families.
Katin’s first book, We Are On Our Own, was a memoir of her childhood, detailing how she and her mother hid in the Hungarian countryside, disguising themselves as a peasant woman and her illegitimate child in order to escape the Nazis. The stunning story, along with Katin’s gorgeous pencil work, immediately garnered acclaim in the comics world and beyond. With Letting It Go, Katin’s storytelling and artistic skills allow her to explore a voice and perspective like no other found in the medium.
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[book] Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence
A Novel
By David Samuel Levinson
June 2013
Catherine Strayed is living a quiet, un-?remarkable life in a secluded college town following the mysterious death of her husband, a promising writer whose death may have been an accident, a suicide, or perhaps even a murder. When her former mentor (and onetime lover)—a powerful critic who singlehandedly destroyed her late husband’s chance for success—takes a teaching job at the college, Catherine’s world threatens to collapse. For with him has come his latest protégé, an exotic young woman named Antonia Lively. Antonia’s debut novel has become a literary sensation—but it is, in fact, an almost factual retelling of ?a terrible crime that she relates without ?any concern for the impact its publication will have on the lives of those involved.
As Antonia insinuates herself into Catherine’s life, mysterious and frightening things start to happen, because unbeknownst to Catherine, the younger woman intends to plunder her own dark, regrettable past—and the unsolved death of her husband—for her next literary triumph.
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June 2013
Harper paperback
Now in paperback
“One weekend turned into many. Saturdays at the pizzeria became my newest ritual—harking back to the one that began in my early childhood, when my father would take me to the magic store on the weekends. My friends and family soon learned not to call me on Saturdays; I observed the magic Sabbath more faithfully than the Hebrew one. (I may be half Jewish, but I’m all magician)” (p. 52).
From the back rooms of New York City’s age-old magic societies to cutting-edge psychology labs, three-card monte games on Canal Street to glossy Las Vegas casinos, Fooling Houdini recounts Alex Stone’s quest to join the ranks of master magicians.
As he navigates this quirky and occasionally hilarious subculture populated by brilliant eccentrics, Stone pulls back the curtain on a community shrouded in secrecy, fueled by obsession and brilliance, and organized around one overriding need: to prove one’s worth by deceiving others.
But his journey is more than a tale of tricks, gigs, and geeks. By investing some of the lesser-known corners of psychology, neuroscience, physics, history, and even crime, all through the lens of trickery and illusion, Fooling Houdini arrives at a host of startling revelations about how the mind works--and why, sometimes, it doesn’t.
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[book] Anne Frank
The Biography
By Melissa Müller
June 2013
Metropolitan Books
Updated and filled with striking new revelations, the bestselling, “superb” biography that “honors in full a life we thought we knew” (Newsweek)
Praised as “remarkable,” “meticulous,” and “long overdue,” Anne Frank: The Biography, originally published in 1998, still stands as the definitive account of the girl who has become “the human face of the Holocaust.” For this nuanced portrait of her famous subject, biographer Melissa Müller drew on exclusive interviews with family and friends as well as on previously unavailable correspondence, even, in the process, discovering five missing diary pages. Full of revelations, Müller’s richly textured narrative returned Anne Frank to history, portraying the flesh-and-blood girl unsentimentalized and so all the more affecting.
Now, fifteen years after the book first appeared, much new information has come to light: letters sent by Otto Frank to relatives in America as he sought to emigrate with his family, the identity of other suspects involved in the betrayal of the Franks, and important details about the family’s arrest and subsequent fate. Revised and updated with more than thirty percent new material, this is an indispensable volume for all those who seek a deeper understanding of Anne Frank and the brutal times in which she lived and died.
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[book] Brilliant Blunders
From Darwin to Einstein - Colossal
Mistakes by Great Scientists That
Changed Our Understanding of Life
and the Universe
By Mario Livio PHD
Spring 2013
Simon and Schuster
Fom Israeli astrophysicist and Hubble leader, Mario Livio.
We met him in Brooklyn at the Science Fair in June 2013, and he was able to simply explain dark energy and gravit to us.
WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES. Nobodys perfect. Not even some of the greatest geniuses in history, as Mario Livio tells us in this marvelous story of scientific error and breakthrough.
Charles Darwin, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), Linus Pauling, Fred Hoyle, and Albert Einstein were all brilliant scientists. Each made groundbreaking contributions to his fieldbut each also stumbled badly. Darwins theory of natural selection shouldnt have worked, according to the prevailing beliefs of his time. Not until Gregor Mendels work was known would there be a mechanism to explain natural selection. How could Darwin be both wrong and right? Lord Kelvin, Britains leading scientific intellect at the time, gravely miscalculated the age of the earth. Linus Pauling, the worlds premier chemist (who would win the Nobel Prize in chemistry) constructed an erroneous model for DNA in his haste to beat the competition to publication. Astrophysicist Fred Hoyle dismissed the idea of a Big Bang origin to the universe (ironically, the caustic name he gave to this event endured long after his erroneous objections were disproven). And Albert Einstein, whose name is synonymous with genius, speculated incorrectly about the forces that hold the universe in equilibriumand that speculation opened the door to brilliant conceptual leaps. These five scientists expanded our knowledge of life on earth, the evolution of the earth itself, and the evolution of the universe, despite and because of their errors. As Mario Livio luminously explains, the scientific process advances through error. Mistakes are essential to progress.
Brilliant Blunders is a singular tour through the world of science and scientific achievement and a wonderfully insightful examination of the psychology of five fascinating scientists.
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June 2013
If it was not true, you would not believe it. Star of Hardcare Porn on American cable TV, there is a pawn shop and pawn broker who is Jewish. A Shylock perhaps. And his name is sort of “Less Gold?” And he is sometimes charitable, and many times a hardcore bastard in a poor, destitute area of Detroit’s Eight Mile corridor.
In this book, Gold tells the reader that the business owner must convince the customer he wants the thing you’re selling.
Les Gold has been in business since age twelve, when he started selling used golf clubs from his dad’s basement. Now he owns Detroit’s biggest pawnshop, American Jewelry and Loan, and is the star of the hit reality TV show Hardcore Pawn. As a third-generation pawnbroker, Gold grew up in the business, dealing with customers who could be unruly and violent as often as they were friendly. He became good at selling just about anything and at buying items for what they were worth. Although he started at his family’s small pawnshop, he has now expanded into a fifty-thousand-square-foot former bowling alley, making a thousand deals a day.
On any given day, he could be taking a vintage car in to pawn or chasing down a thief who has just stolen a gold chain from the store. No business school in the world can teach you as much about buying, selling, negotiating, managing employees, dealing with customers, advertising, tracking trends, and predicting the economy’s ups and downs. In this entertaining book, Gold takes you inside some of his most unusual deals and how he took advantage of others (steals). From the monkey his dad once took in to pawn to the deal Gold made for a stripper pole, he has no boundaries for what he considers to be part of his business.
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[book] Totally Unofficial
The Autobiography of Raphael Lemkin
By Raphael Lemkin
Edited by Donna-Lee Frieze
Spring 2013
Among the greatest intellectual heroes of modern times, Raphael Lemkin lived an extraordinary life of struggle and hardship, yet altered international law and redefined the world’s understanding of group rights. He invented the concept and word “genocide” and propelled the idea into international legal status. An uncommonly creative pioneer in ethical thought, he twice was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
  Although Lemkin died alone and in poverty, he left behind a model for a life of activism, a legacy of major contributions to international law, and—not least—an unpublished autobiography. Presented here for the first time is his own account of his life, from his boyhood on a small farm in Poland with his Jewish parents, to his perilous escape from Nazi Europe, through his arrival in the United States and rise to influence as an academic, thinker, and revered lawyer of international criminal law.
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Translated from Hebrew by Tal RaRan Verso
June 2013
Verso / Norton
“She took from me the belief that absolute evil exists in this world, and the belief that I was avenging it and fighting against it. For that girl, I embodied absolute evil ... Since then I have been left without my Holocaust, and since then everything in my life has assumed a new meaning: belongingness is blurred, pride is lacking, belief is faltering, contrition is heightening, forgiveness is being born.”
The Girl Who Stole My Holocaust is the deeply moving memoir of Chayut’s journey from eager Zionist conscript on the front line of Operation Defensive Shield to leading campaigner against the Israeli occupation. As he attempts to make sense of his own life as well as his place within the wider conflict around him, he slowly starts to question his soldier’s calling, Israel’s justifications for invasion, and the ever-present problem of historical victimhood. Noam Chayut’s exploration of a young soldier’s life is one of the most compelling memoirs to emerge from Israel for a long time.
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[book] What Changed When Everything Changed:
9/11 and the Making of National Identity
by Joseph Margulies
Yale University Press
Beautifully written and carefully reasoned, this bold and provocative work upends the conventional wisdom about the American reaction to crisis. Margulies demonstrates that for key elements of the post-9/11 landscape—especially support for counterterror policies like torture and hostility to Islam—American identity is not only darker than it was before September 11, 2001, but substantially more repressive than it was immediately after the attacks. These repressive attitudes, Margulies shows us, have taken hold even as the terrorist threat has diminished significantly.
Contrary to what is widely imagined, at the moment of greatest perceived threat, when the fear of another attack “hung over the country like a shroud,” favorable attitudes toward Muslims and Islam were at record highs, and the suggestion that America should torture was denounced in the public square.
ONLY MUCH LATER DID IT become socially acceptable to favor “enhanced interrogation” and exhibit clear anti-Muslim prejudice. Margulies accounts for this unexpected turn and explains what it means to the nation’s identity as it moves beyond 9/11. We express our values in the same language, but that language can hide profound differences and radical changes in what we actually believe. “National identity,” he writes, “is not fixed, it is made.
Margulies is a law professor at Northwestern and famous for his case against Guantanamo Bay before the US Supreme Court
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[book] Friend of the Court
On the Front Lines with the First Amendment
by Floyd Abrams
June 2013
Yale University Press
Since 1971, when the Pentagon Papers were leaked to the New York Times and furious debate over First Amendment rights ensued, free-speech cases have emerged in rapid succession. Floyd Abrams has been on the front lines of nearly every one of these major cases, which is also to say that, more than any other person, he has forged this country’s legal understanding of free speech. Litigating everything from national-security and prior-restraint issues to controversies concerning the law of libel and attempts by local officials to censor art, Abrams has worked devotedly to protect the First Amendment, the “crown jewel” of America’s Constitution.
This collection of Abrams’s writings gathers speeches, articles, debates, briefs, oral arguments, and testimony from his entire career. The writings illuminate topics of ongoing import: WikiLeaks, the correctness of the Citizens United case, journalist shield laws, and, not least, the responsibilities of the press. An exceptional writer and a brilliant thinker, Abrams offers a unique perspective on the First Amendment and the unparalleled rights it confers.
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[book] Inside the Box
A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results
by Drew Boyd and Jacob Goldenberg
June 2013
Simon & Schuster
Mr. Boyd is an alum of J&J
Professor Goldenberg teaches of Columbia Business School and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem
Want a truly creative organization?
Forget this crap about Out of The Boz.
Think Inside the Box. The traditional view says that creativity is unstructured and doesn’t follow rules or patterns. That you need to think “outside the box” to be truly original and innovative. That you should start with a problem and then “brainstorm” ideas without restraint until you find a solution. Inside the Box shows that more innovation — and better and quicker innovation — happens when you work INSIDE your familiar world (yes, inside the box) using a set of templates that channel the creative process in a way that makes us more—not less—creative. These techniques were derived from research that discovered a surprising set of common patterns shared by all inventive solutions. They form the basis for Systematic Inventive Thinking, or SIT, now used by hundreds of corporations throughout the world, including industry leaders such as Johnson & Johnson, GE, Procter & Gamble, SAP, and Philips. Many other books discuss how to make creativity a part of corporate culture, but none of them uses the innovative and unconventional SIT approach described in this book. With “inside the box” thinking, companies and organizations of any size can creatively solve problems before they develop—and innovate on an ongoing, systematic basis. This system really works!
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[book] The Bohemian Love Diaries
A Memoir
by Slash Coleman
June 2013
Lyons Press
Infused with southern charm, this irresistibly weird and wonderful story chronicles Slash Coleman’s upbringing in a warped but warm-hearted household of eccentric artists. Descended from a posse of off-beat immigrants--including a grandfather who danced at the Moulin Rouge--and raised near the capital of the Confederacy during the 1970s and ’80s, young Slash sets out to find true love. Unfortunately, he’s his own worst enemy. Obsessions with Evel Knievel, rock band KISS, and crisscrossing the country to find the girl of his dreams set his quest for happiness on a hapless course.
Hilarious and profound, Coleman slowly comes to terms with his father, a genius sculptor and volatile alcoholic, and his mother, a Holocaust survivor who makes him promise never to reveal that he’s Jewish. A touching portrait emerges of a young artist whose passionate spirit refuses to be suppressed. A swift kick to the funny bone, The Bohemian Love Diaries and its laugh-out-loud perversity conjure Jonathan Ames and Augusten Burroughs with a tender edge, revealing what might have happened if John Hodgman raised Holden Caulfield in Chuck Palahniuk’s attic. It will leave you howling
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[book] The World of the End
by Ofir Touché Gafla
June 2013
Tor Books
As an epilogist, Ben Mendelssohn appreciates an unexpected ending. But when that denouement is the untimely demise of his beloved wife, Ben is incapable of coping. Marian was more than his life partner; she was the fiber that held together all that he is. And Ben is willing to do anything, even enter the unknown beyond, if it means a chance to be with her again.
One bullet to the brain later, Ben is in the Other World, where he discovers a vast and curiously secular existence utterly unlike anything he could have imagined: a realm of sprawling cities where the deceased of every age live an eternal second life, and where forests of family trees are tended by mysterious humans who never lived in the previous world. But Ben cannot find Marian.
Desperate for a reunion, he enlists an unconventional afterlife investigator to track her down, little knowing that his search is entangled in events that continue to unfold in the world of the living. It is a search that confronts Ben with one heart-rending shock after another; with the best and worst of human nature; with the resilience and fragility of love; and with truths that will haunt him through eternity.
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[book] To Sing Away the Darkest Days
Poems Re-imagined from Yiddish Folksongs
by Norbert Hirschhorn
Holland Park Press
To Sing Away the Darkest Days is the culmination of a five-year project which saw Norbert Hirschhorn source more than one thousand Yiddish songs from several archives and from collections on the Internet, as well as from CDs. For Norbert they helped him to rediscover and trace his own Jewish cultural history. However, some of the songs 'spoke' to him as a poet and begged for a new translation, or 're-imagining' as he calls it, into English poems. The resulting collection of poems tells the story of the emigrant, the Jew in the Diaspora. Norbert adds his unique view: he personalises the Diaspora, and at the same time brings a vanished culture back to life. The collection is funny and poignant and captures the Jewish experience, but the struggle and questioning of the poet add an extra dimension. To Sing Away the Darkest Days is not only a wonderful collection of poems but also a unique historical document.
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[book] An Archaeology of Sympathy
The Sentimental Mode in Literature and Cinema
by James Chandler
In the middle of the eighteenth century, something new made itself felt in European culture—a tone or style that came to be called the sentimental. The sentimental mode went on to shape not just literature, art, music, and cinema, but people’s very structures of feeling, their ways of doing and being.
In what is sure to become a critical classic, An Archaeology of Sympathy challenges Sergei Eisenstein’s influential account of Dickens and early American film by tracing the unexpected history and intricate strategies of the sentimental mode and showing how it has been reimagined over the past three centuries. James Chandler begins with a look at Frank Capra and the Capraesque in American public life, then digs back to the eighteenth century to examine the sentimental substratum underlying Dickens and early cinema alike. With this surprising move, he reveals how literary spectatorship in the eighteenth century anticipated classic Hollywood films such as Capra’s It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, and It’s a Wonderful Life. Chandler then moves forward to romanticism and modernism—two cultural movements often seen as defined by their rejection of the sentimental—examining how authors like Mary Shelley, Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf actually engaged with sentimental forms and themes in ways that left a mark on their work.
Reaching from Laurence Sterne to the Coen brothers, An Archaeology of Sympathy casts new light on the long eighteenth century and the novelistic forebears of cinema and our modern world.
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Jews and Christians Who Defied th Nazi Terror
By Nechama Tec
Professor Emerita, Univ of CT
Nechama Tec's Defiance, an account of a Jewish partisan unit that fought the Nazis in the Polish forests during World War II, was turned into a major feature film. Yet despite the attention this film brought to the topic of Jewish resistance, Tec, who speaks widely about the Holocaust and the experience of Jews in wartime Poland, still ran into the same question again and again: Why didn't Jews fight back? To Tec, this question suggested that Jews were somehow complicit in their own extermination. Despite works by Tec and others, the stereotype of Jewish passivity in the Holocaust persists.
In Resistance, Tec draws on first-hand accounts, interviews, and other sources to reveal the full range of tactics employed to resist the Nazi regime in Poland. She compares Jewish and non-Jewish groups, showing that they faced vastly different conditions. The Jewish resistance had its own particular aims, especially the recovery of dignity and the salvation of lives. Tec explores the conditions necessary for resistance, including favorable topography, a supply of arms, and effective leadership, and dedicates the majority of the book to the stories of those who stood up and fought back in any way that they could. Emphasizing the centrality of cooperation to the Jewish and Polish resistance movements of World War II, Tec argues that resistance is more than not submitting--that it requires taking action, and demands cooperation with others. Whereas resilience is individual in orientation, Tec writes, resistance assumes others. Within this context, Tec explores life in the ghettoes, the organizations that arose within them, and the famous uprising in Warsaw that began on January 18, 1943. She tells of those who escaped to hide and fight as partisans in the forests, and considers the crucial role played by women who acted as couriers, carrying messages and supplies between the ghetto and the outside world. Tec also discusses resistance in concentration camps, vividly recounting the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp uprising on October 7, 1944. The refusal of the rebel leaders to give information under unspeakable torture, Tec displays, was just one more of the many forms resistance took.
Resistance is a rich book that forever shatters the myth of Jewish passivity in the face of annihilation.
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By Susanna Drake
June 2013
University of Pennsylvania Press
As Christian leaders in the first through fifth centuries embraced ascetic interpretations of the Bible and practices of sexual renunciation, sexual slander—such as the accusations Paul leveled against wayward Gentiles in the New Testament—played a pivotal role in the formation of early Christian identity. In particular, the imagined construct of the lascivious, literal-minded Jew served as a convenient foil to the chaste Christian ideal. Susanna Drake examines representations of Jewish sexuality in early Christian writings that use accusations of carnality, fleshliness, bestiality, and licentiousness as strategies to differentiate the "spiritual" Christian from the "carnal" Jew. Church fathers such as Justin Martyr, Hippolytus of Rome, Origen of Alexandria, and John Chrysostom portrayed Jewish men variously as dangerously hypersexual, at times literally seducing virtuous Christians into heresy, or as weak and effeminate, unable to control bodily impulses or govern their wives.
As Drake shows, these carnal caricatures served not only to emphasize religious difference between Christians and Jews but also to justify increased legal constraints and violent acts against Jews as the interests of Christian leaders began to dovetail with the interests of the empire. Placing Christian representations of Jews at the root of the destruction of synagogues and mobbing of Jewish communities in the late fourth and early fifth centuries, Slandering the Jew casts new light on the intersections of sexuality, violence, representation, and religious identity.
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[book] The New York Review Abroad
Fifty Years of International Reportage
Edited by Robert B. Silvers
June 2013
NY Review Books
For the past fifty years, The New York Review of Books has covered virtually every international revolution and movement of consequence by dispatching the world’s most brilliant writers to write eyewitness accounts. The New York Review Abroad not only brings together twenty-eight of the most riveting of these pieces but includes epilogues that update and reassess the political situation (by either the original authors or by Ian Buruma). Among the pieces included are:
• Susan Sontag’s personal narrative of staging Waiting for Godot in war-torn Sarajevo
• Alma Guillermoprieto’s report from inside Colombia’s guerrilla headquarters and her disturbing encounter with young female fighters
• Ryszard Kapuscinski’s terrifying description of being set on fire while running roadblocks in Nigeria
and of course a piece about evil Israeli Jews in Hebron
Among other writers whose New York Review pieces will be included are Tim Judah, Amos Elon, Joan Didion, William Shawcross, Christopher de Bellaigue, and Mark Danner. A tour de force of vivid and enlightening writing from the front lines, this volume is indeed the first rough draft of the history of the past fifty years. .
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A novel in verse
By the late David Rakoff
July 2013
I avoided this book. Rhyming verse? Sounded like it would be a hard read. It isn’t. It wasn’t. It is an important book to read and the images from it have stayed with me longer than from any other book I read this year.
From the incomparable and late David Rakoff, a poignant, beautiful, witty, and wise novel in verse whose scope spans the twentieth century
Through his books and his radio essays for NPR's This American Life, David Rakoff has built a deserved reputation as one of the finest and funniest essayists of our time. Written with humor, sympathy, and tenderness, this intricately woven novel proves him to be the master of an altogether different art form. Rakoff passed away in 2012 from cancer, and we at were such fans of his that we sent a memorial contribution to his family’s synagogue in Toronto in his memory.
LOVE, DISHONOR, MARRY, DIE; CHERISH, PERISH leaps cities and decades as Rakoff sings the song of an America whose freedoms can be intoxicating, or brutal.
The characters' – many of them Jewish with a penchant for using Yiddish expressions that drive the points of the story - lives are linked to each other by acts of generosity or cruelty. A daughter of Irish slaughterhouse workers in early-twentieth-century Chicago faces a desperate choice; a hobo offers an unexpected refuge on the rails during the Great Depression; a vivacious aunt provides her clever nephew a path out of the crushed dream of postwar Southern California; an office girl endures the casually vicious sexism of 1950s Manhattan and the results of an extra-marital affair; the young man from Southern California revels in the electrifying sexual and artistic openness of 1960s San Francisco, then later tends to dying friends and lovers as the AIDS (then known as GRiD) pandemic devastates the community he cherishes; a love triangle reveals the empty materialism of the Reagan years; a marriage crumbles under the distinction between self-actualization and humanity; as the new century opens, a man who has lost his way finds a measure of peace in a photograph he discovers in an old box — an image with scalloped edges of pure and simple joy that unites the themes of this brilliantly conceived work.
Rakoff's insistence on beauty and the necessity of kindness in a selfish world raises the novel far above mere satire.  A critic once called Rakoff "magnificent," a word that perfectly describes this wonderful novel in verse.
We at were privileged to attend the book launch in July 2013 in NYC in which Doubleday had over 60 of Rakoff’s friends and family each read a page or two from this novel. Ira Glass (This American life) even played an audio of a weakened, ill Rakoff himself reading a page from the book. Jackie Hoffman read the last page, and Sarah Vowell read from the last half. Simon Doonan read one of the more x-rated, fallatio-filled pages. Other readers included Martha Plimpton, Irene Skolnick, Augusten Burroughs, Christopher Schelling, Starlee Kine, Jane Stine, Suzanne Wasserman, Patty Marx, Paul Roosin, Abigail Asher, Lynn Tillman, and more.
After reading the book, I poignantly recall simple the images conjured by Rakoff... the melted candy in the pocket of an old sport jacket in the closet, meeting the bride’s schlong-talking father in the lavatory after giving a rambling toast and learning about the nature of happiness revenge and love, the story of the scorpion, the path of schulamit and dovid and Naphtali… I really think you will love this book.
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July 2013
Sarah Zuckerman and Jennifer Jones are best friends in an upscale part of Washington, D.C., in the politically charged 1980s. Sarah is the shy, wary product of an unhappy home: her father abandoned the family to return to his native England; her agoraphobic mother is obsessed with fears of nuclear war. Jenny is an all-American girl who has seemingly perfect parents. With Cold War rhetoric reaching a fever pitch in 1982, the ten-year-old girls write letters to Soviet premier Yuri Andropov asking for peace. But only Jenny's letter receives a response, and Sarah is left behind when her friend accepts the Kremlin's invitation to visit the USSR and becomes an international media sensation. The girls' icy relationship still hasn't thawed when Jenny and her parents die tragically in a plane crash in 1985.
Ten years later, Sarah is about to graduate from college when she receives a mysterious letter from Moscow suggesting that Jenny's death might have been a hoax. She sets off to the former Soviet Union in search of the truth, but the more she delves into her personal Cold War history, the harder it is to separate facts from propaganda.
You Are One of Them is a taut, moving debut about the ways in which we define ourselves against others and the secrets we keep from those who are closest to us. In her insightful forensic of a mourned friendship, Holt illuminates the long lasting sting of abandonment and the measures we take to bring back those we have lost.
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[book] Speaking Torah, Volume 1:
Spiritual Teachings from around Maggid's Table
Edited by Rabbis Arthur Green with Ebn Leader
and Ariel Evan Mayse and Or N. Rose
July 2013
Jewish Lights

The most powerful Hasidic teachings made accessible--from some of the world s preeminent authorities on Jewish thought and spirituality.
Hasidism, a great movement of spiritual revival within Judaism, began in eighteenth-century Eastern Europe and continues to have great influence on Jewish life today. A key tool of this revival was the oral sermon, using novel mystical readings of the Torah to open people s minds to thinking more profoundly about the texts and how the wisdom relates directly to their own lives.
While Hasidic tales have become widely known to modern audiences, the teachings that stand at the very heart of Hasidism have remained a closed book for all except scholars. This fascinating selection--presented in two volumes following the weekly Torah reading and the holiday cycle, and featured in English and Hebrew--renders them accessible in an extraordinary way. Volume 1 covers Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus, and includes a history of early Hasidism and a summary of central religious teachings of the Maggid s school. Volume 2 covers Numbers and Deuteronomy and the holiday cycle, and includes brief biographies of the Hasidic figures. Each teaching is presented with a fresh translation and contemporary commentary that builds a bridge between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries. And each teaching concludes with a dynamic round-table discussion between distinguished Jewish scholar Arthur Green and his closest students--the editors of this volume. They highlight the wisdom most meaningful for them, thus serving as a contemporary circle's reflections on the original mystical circle of master and disciples who created these teachings.
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[book] Speaking Torah, Volume 2:
Spiritual Teachings from around Maggid's Table
Edited by Rabbis Arthur Green with Ebn Leader
and Ariel Evan Mayse and Or N. Rose
July 2013
Jewish Lights

The most powerful Hasidic teachings made accessible--from some of the world's preeminent authorities on Jewish thought and spirituality.
Hasidism, a great movement of spiritual revival within Judaism, began in eighteenth-century Eastern Europe and continues to have great influence on Jewish life today. A key tool of this revival was the oral sermon, using novel mystical readings of the Torah to open people's minds to thinking more profoundly about the texts and how the wisdom relates directly to their own lives.
While Hasidic tales have become widely known to modern audiences, the teachings that stand at the very heart of Hasidism have remained a closed book for all except scholars. This fascinating selection--presented in two volumes following the weekly Torah reading and the holiday cycle, and featured in English and Hebrew--renders them accessible in an extraordinary way. Volume 1 covers Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus, and includes a history of early Hasidism and a summary of central religious teachings of the Maggid's school. Volume 2 covers Numbers and Deuteronomy and the holiday cycle, and includes brief biographies of the Hasidic figures. Each teaching is presented with a fresh translation and contemporary commentary that builds a bridge between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries. And each teaching concludes with a dynamic round-table discussion between distinguished Jewish scholar Arthur Green and his closest students--the editors of this volume. They highlight the wisdom most meaningful for them, thus serving as a contemporary circle's reflections on the original mystical circle of master and disciples who created these teachings.
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[book] The Widow Waltz
A novel
By Sally Koslow
June 2013
I wasn’t familiar with Koslow’s writings until I read a story she wrote about she and her sister growing up. You can read it at sallykoslow dot com
A husband's secret upends a pampered widow's life, from the author of The Late, Lamented Molly Marx
Georgia Waltz has things many people only dream of: a plush Manhattan apartment overlooking Central Park, a Hamptons beach house, valuable jewels and art, two bright daughters, and a husband she adores, even after decades of marriage. It’s only when Ben suddenly drops dead from a massive coronary while training for the New York City Marathon that Georgia discovers her husband—a successful lawyer—has left them nearly penniless. Their wonderland was built on lies.
As the family attorney scours emptied bank accounts, Georgia must not only look for a way to support her family, she needs to face the revelation that Ben was not the perfect husband he appeared to be, just as her daughters—now ensconced back at home with secrets of their own—have to accept that they may not be returning to their lives in Paris and at Stanford subsidized by the Bank of Mom and Dad. As she uncovers hidden resilience, Georgia’s sudden midlife shift forces her to consider who she is and what she truly values. That Georgia may also find new love in the land of Spanx and stretch marks surprises everyone—most of all, her.
Sally Koslow’s fourth novel is deftly told through the alternating viewpoints of her remarkable female protagonists as they plumb for the grit required to reinvent their lives. Inspiring, funny, and deeply satisfying, The Widow Waltz explores in a profound way the bonds between mothers and daughters, belligerent siblings, skittish lovers, and bitter rivals as they discover the power of forgiveness, and healing, all while asking, “What is family, really?”
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The Amazing Adventures
Of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
The Creators of Superman
By Brad Ricca
June 2013
St. Martin’s Press
In the vein of Schulz and Peanuts, the first comprehensive literary biography of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, creators of the DC Comics superhero Superman and the inspiration for Michael Chabon's Kavalier and Clay.
Drawing on ten years of research in the trenches of Cleveland libraries, boarded-up high schools, and secret, private collections, and a love of comic books, Brad Ricca's Super Boys is the first ever full biography about Superman’s creators. Among scores of new discoveries, the book reveals the first stories and pictures ever published by the two, where the first Superman story really came from, the real inspiration for Lois Lane, the template for Superman’s costume, and much, much more. Super Boys also tracks the boys’ unknown, often mysterious lives after they left Superman, including Siegel's secret work during World War II and never-before-seen work from Shuster.
Super Boys explains, finally, what exactly happened with the infamous check for $130 that pulled Superman away from his creators—and gave control of the character to the publisher. Ricca also uncovers the true nature of Jerry’s father’s death, a crime that has always remained a mystery. Super Boys is the story of a long friendship between boys who grew to be men and the standard that would be impossible for both of them to live up to.
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[book] God in Proof
The Story of a Search from the Ancients to the Internet
By Nathan Schneider
June 2013
University of California Press
In this tour of the history of arguments for and against the existence of God, Nathan Schneider embarks on a remarkable intellectual, historical, and theological journey through the centuries of believers and unbelievers--from ancient Greeks, to medieval Arabs, to today's most eminent philosophers and the New Atheists. Framed by an account of Schneider's own unique journey, God in Proof illuminates the great minds who wrestled with one of history's biggest questions together with their arguments, bringing them to life in their time, and our own. Schneider's sure-handed portrayal of the characters and ideas involved in the search for proof challenges how we normally think about doubt and faith while showing that, in their quest for certainty and the proofs to declare it, thinkers on either side of the God divide are often closer to one another than they would like to think.
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By Elana Amsterdam
June 2013
10 Speed Press
A family-friendly collection of simple paleo recipes that emphasize protein and produce, from breakfasts to entrees to treats, from the popular gluten-free blogger of Elana's Pantry.
Amsterdam is based on Boulder CO with her globe trotting husband and two pre-teen sons.
She opens this book with Bagels topped with smoked salmon, and these bagels are grain free. She uses almond flour and flax meal, and a dash of coconut flour. Her pancakes are based in the same primary ingredients.
Her younger son is fond of avocado kale salad. The kale is massaged. She serves beets with rosemary and balsamic vinegar. In need of Colorado style healing? Try her Healing Vegetable Bisque which is rooted in an onion, carrots, daikon root, burdock root, and chicken stock. He sautes turnips in coconut oil and honey, and her sesame noodles are made with kelp noodles, almond butter, sesame oil, plum vinegar and honey. Other unique recipes includes salmon burgers, greek turkey burgers (hint: uses zucchini), sesame fish sticks (cod, eggs, almond flour, sesame seeds); chicken marbella (based on the silver palate recipe: includes prunes, green olives, honey, apple cider vinegar) There are no specific passover recipes. For those, check her blog.
Elana Amsterdam has established herself as an extremely successful gluten-free author and blogger; her simple recipes offer busy cooks streamlined techniques and short ingredients lists. While her first two books emphasized gluten-free recipes, Elana has eaten a grain-free diet since 2001. Her paleo recipes have become the most popular on her site, embraced by readers looking to not only eliminate gluten--but also dairy and grains--whether because of allergies or to generally improve their health. Paleo Cooking from Elana's Pantry offers nearly 100 recipes featuring lean proteins and simple vegetable dishes, plus classic desserts--all free from grain, gluten, and dairy, and made with natural sweeteners.
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Are you a leader of your local UJA/Federation? Have you reached out to your Hispanic, Asian and Asian-Indian/Indian Subcontinent neighbors? Here is a book to read.
June 2013
Hachette/Business Plus
Historically, the Protestant WASPs, the Irish Catholics, and then the German Jews moved from immigrant enclaves to Wall Street powerbroker positions. The newest group is Indian Americans. Who runs PepsiCO, ran Citigroup, runs Mastercard? Indian Americans. Who are these Indian emigres (and children of emigres) ?
The collapse of the Galleon Group--a hedge fund that managed more than $7 billion in assets--from criminal charges of insider trading was a sensational case that pitted prosecutor Preet Bharara, himself the son of Indian immigrants, against the best and brightest of the South Asian business community. At the center of the case was self-described King of Kings, Galleon's founder Raj Rajaratnam, a Sri-Lankan-born, Wharton-educated billionaire. But the most shocking allegation was that the éminence grise of Indian business, Rajat Gupta, was Rajaratnam's accomplice and mole. If not for Gupta's nose-to-the-grindstone rise to head up McKinsey & Co and position on the Goldman Sachs board, men like Rajaratnam would have never made it to the top of America's moneyed elite.
Author Anita Raghavan criss-crosses the globe from Wall Street boardrooms to Delhi's Indian Institute of Technology as she uncovers the secrets of this subculture--an incredible tale of triumph, temptation and tragedy.
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[book] Freud's Mistress
A Novel
By Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman
July 2013
Putnam Einhorn
Freud’s theories changed the world — and tore hers apart.
This is a novel inspired by the actual love affair between Sigmund Freud and his sister-in-law.
It is fin-de-siècle Vienna and Minna Bernays, an overeducated lady’s companion with a sharp, wry wit, is abruptly fired, yet again, from her position. She finds herself out on the street and out of options. In 1895, the city may be aswirl with avant-garde artists and revolutionary ideas, yet a woman’s only hope for security is still marriage. But Minna is unwilling to settle. Out of desperation, she turns to her sister, Martha, for help.
Martha has her own problems—six young children and an absent, disinterested husband who happens to be Sigmund Freud. At this time, Freud is a struggling professor, all but shunned by his peers and under attack for his theories, most of which center around sexual impulses. And while Martha is shocked and repulsed by her husband’s “pornographic” work, Minna is fascinated.
Minna is everything Martha is not—intellectually curious, engaging, and passionate. She and Freud embark on what is at first simply an intellectual courtship, yet something deeper is brewing beneath the surface, something Minna cannot escape. In this sweeping tale of love, loyalty, and betrayal—between a husband and a wife, between sisters—fact and fiction seamlessly blend together, creating a compelling portrait of an unforgettable woman and her struggle to reconcile her love for her sister with her obsessive desire for her sister’s husband, the mythic father of psychoanalysis.
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[book] God Bless America
The Surprising History of an Iconic Song
Sheryl Kaskowitz
July 2013
“God Bless America” is a song most Americans know well. It is taught in American schools and regularly performed at sporting events. After the attacks on September 11th, it was sung on the steps of the Capitol, at spontaneous memorial sites, and during the seventh inning stretch at baseball games, becoming even more deeply embedded in America's collective consciousness.
In “God Bless America,” Sheryl Kaskowitz tells the fascinating story behind America's other national anthem.
It begins with the song's composition by Irving Berlin in 1918 and first performance by Kate Smith in 1938 (20 years later!), revealing an early struggle for control between composer and performer as well as the hidden economics behind the song's royalties.
Kaskowitz shows how the early popularity of "God Bless America" reflected the anxiety of the pre-war period and sparked a surprising anti-Semitic and xenophobic backlash.
She follows the song's rightward ideological trajectory from early associations with religious and ethnic tolerance to increasing uses as an anthem for the Christian Right, and considers the song's popularity directly after the September 11th attacks.
The book concludes with a portrait of the song's post-9/11 function within professional baseball, illuminating the power of the song - and of communal singing itself - as a vehicle for both commemoration and coercion. A companion website offers streaming audio of recordings referenced in the book, links to videos of relevant performances, appendices of information, and an opportunity for readers to participate in the author's survey.
Based on extensive archival research and fieldwork, God Bless America sheds new light on cultural tensions within the U.S., past and present, and offers a historical chronicle that is full of surprises and that will both edify and delight readers from all walks of life.
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July 2013
Crazy. Let's talk about the heir to one of the largest fortunes in Asia. He lives in a small rented studio in Astoria Queens and takes the subway to work. He eats at McDonalds to save money. How about the heiress who walks everywhere to economize on bus fare. I feel so empathetic for these people. They are m. And now, on to the novel
Kevin Kwan, the grandson of Dr. Arthur PC Kwan, is from Singapore and was forcibly sent to America by his parents for schooling. He graduated from college in Texas and from Parsons and worked for Tibor Kalman and M&Co on their cool umbrella with the sky inside. He also worked at Martha Stewart and Interview magazines and presently lives in Manhattan. He is the co-author of LUCK with D. Aaronson and this is his first novel. He has been told be his relatives to keep $500K liquid at all times.

Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.
When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions, lah, a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry, lah. What she doesn't know is that Nick's family home happens to look like a palace, that she'll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia's most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back.
Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick's formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should--and should not--marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider's look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.
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[book] Our Man in China
A Paperback Novel
by Ming Liu
Eric Chen is ready to make a name for himself. American-born Chinese (ABC) and armed with a high-powered banking job, he is destined for success and riches in the world's next superpower. But the New China is rapidly changing, its billion-plus people ambitious, hungry and on the move. Determined to win a take-over deal that sees him shuttle between Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and New York, Eric encounters those also profiting from the world's most promising nation: the playboy son of a Hong Kong tycoon, a hedonistic boss, and another ABC desiring to belong. In the New China, cultural assimilation and confusion, along with temptation and seduction, abound- and Eric could lose himself not to mention those he loves most. .
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Short Stories
by Curt Leviant
Texas Tech University press
Short stories. Joseph Ginsburgh is watching a film when the shadow of a woman corsses the screen. She has arrived late to the screening. He notices that the jewelry she is wearing is that of his mother; she was killed in the Holocaust. Can he find this woman who has his mother’s necklace and why does she have it? In another ztory Shmulik Gafni at the University of Israel has a thing for a Polish woman. And she is not Jewish. In another story, there is a Jewish History grad student named keller who gets invited to a party by a renegade rabbi. Why did this agnostic rabbi invite him and what games will he play? And many more.
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[book] Next Year in Marienbad
The Lost Worlds of Jewish Spa Culture
(Jewish Culture and Contexts)
By Mirjam Zadoff (Professor, Univ of Munchen)
Translated by William Templer
UNiv of Pennsylvania Press
(Why buy the book? Just click through and click on the cover of the book to see inside and you can read the first few chapters for free)
"A rich tale beautifully told, Mirjam Zadoff's evocative study introduces us to the single most important recreational activity for modern Jews in Central Europe: their annual summer pilgrimage to take the waters at their favorite spa resorts. Zadoff's remarkable history of Jewish sociability introduces us to a Chaucerian parade of characters and transports us back to those spas, reanimating for the reader their long-gone social and cultural life and making it clear why Jews so eagerly looked forward to spending next year in Marienbad."—John M. Efron, University of California-Berkeley
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A Novel
By Gabriel Roth
July 2013
A sharp, sparkling debut about the sentimental education of a nerd. Eric Muller has been trying to hack the girlfriend problem since puberty, and all his attempts have backfired. As a high school freshman, Eric takes detailed notes on the girls in his class, hoping to find the one who will deign to go out with him. But when his notebook of "research" falls into into the hands of his peers, social disaster ensues. Flash forward to 2002. Eric is a Silicon Valley millionaire. He's figured out how to coax girls into bed with a protocol of ironic remarks and carefully timed intimacies, but he's never been in love. So when he falls for Maya, a disarmingly clever young journalist who sees through his moves, he's in virgin territory. When Eric discovers that her past may hold a dark secret, he must decide: Do the facts--the data--of her life matter? Or does it only matter that he loves her?
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[book] Worthless, Impossible and Stupid
How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and
Capture Extraordinary Value
By Daniel Isenberg
July 2013
HBR Press
Daniel Isenberg is a Professor of Management at Babson where he established the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project (BEEP). He has published several seminal articles in the Harvard Business Review, including the April 2011 "Entrepreneurs and the Cult of Failure"[1] and the June 2010 “How to Start an Entrepreneurial Revolution,”[2] that was published as the “Big Idea” feature article. Isenberg has taught at Harvard B School (for 9 years), Columbia, Insead, Reykjavik, Theseus, and the Technion.
Speaking of Technion, between 1987-2004, Professor Isenberg lived in Israel and was founding CEO of Triangle Technologies, which executes cross-border transactions between Japanese companies and non-Japanese technology companies, and has concluded over 100 discrete deals (joint ventures, OEM agreements, distribution channels, strategic investments, licensing agreements, etc.). During that period Dan helped establish two venture capital funds and was general partner in one of them. From 1987-1989 he created a course at the Technion called Technology-Based Entrepreneurship, cofounded and co-directed the Tefen Entrepreneurs Program with Stef Wertheimer, and directed the Technion Entrepreneurial Associates with Professor Ed Roberts from MIT. Dan has served as director of several private and NASDAQ-listed companies. Dan speaks and consults frequently on global entrepreneurship and has been quoted in Fortune, The Economist, Boston Globe, Success, Yomiuri Shimbun, il Mondi, HaAretz, Nikkei, Business Week, and USA Today.

In this fascinating book, global entrepreneurship expert Daniel Isenberg presents a completely novel way to approach business building—with the insights and lessons learned from a worldwide cast of entrepreneurial characters. Not bound by a western, Silicon Valley stereotype, this group of courageous and energetic doers has created a global and diverse mix of companies destined to become tomorrow’s leading organizations.
Worthless, Impossible, and Stupid is about how enterprising individuals from around the world see hidden value in situations where others do not, use that perception to develop products and services that people initially don’t think they want, and ultimately go on to realize extraordinary value for themselves, their customers, and society as a whole. What these business builders have in common is a contrarian mind-set that allows them to create opportunities and succeed where others see nothing. Amazingly, this process repeats itself in one form or another countless times a day all over the world.
From Albuquerque to Islamabad, you will travel with Isenberg to discover unusual yet practical insights that you can use in your own business. Meet the founders of Grameenphone in Bangladesh, PACIV in Puerto Rico, Sea to Table in New York, Actavis in Iceland, Studio Moderna in Slovenia, Hartwell Metals in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, Given Imaging in Israel, WildChina in China, and many others. You’ll be moved by the stories of these plucky start-ups—many of them fueled by adversity and, more often than not, by necessity.
Great stories, stunning successes, crushing failures—they’re all here. What can we, in the East and West, learn from them? What can you learn—and what will these entrepreneurial stories, so compellingly told, inspire you to do? Let this book open doors for you where you once saw only walls. If you’ve ever felt the urge to turn a glimmer of an idea into something extraordinary, these stories are for you.
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[book] "On My Way"
The Untold Story of Rouben Mamoulian,
George Gershwin, and Porgy and Bess
By Joseph Horowitz
July 2013
Horowitz, a former NYTIMES music critic has composed a revelatory history of the operatic masterpiece that both made and destroyed Rouben Mamoulian, its director and unsung hero. The title derives from the closing song in which Porgy packs up and heads off for the big city in the North.
A forgotten master of American musical theater, Rouben Mamoulian directed the original production of Porgy and Bess, the opera that catapulted his career and led to both successes and failures.
Culling newly released information from the Mamoulian Archives at the Library of Congress, Joseph Horowitz shows that, more than any other individual, Mamoulian transformed DuBose Heyward’s 1925 novella, Porgy, from a quasi-realistic regional cameo into an epic theater work about suffering and redemption. In vividly rendered scenes of sound and movement, “On My Way” transports readers to the rehearsals and performances that Mamoulian singularly reconceived and choreographed, and the laudatory or scathing reviews that followed. Part history and part biography, “On My Way” re-creates Mamoulian’s unique directorial style on stage and screen, his collaboration with musical genius George Gershwin, and the opera that changed the face of American musical life.
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July 2, 2013
Random House/Spiegel and Grau
Not Jewish, but so many young Jewish people are headed to Shanghai
An expansive, eye-opening novel that captures the vibrancy of China today Phoebe is a factory girl who has come to Shanghai with the promise of a job—but when she arrives she discovers that the job doesn’t exist. Gary is a country boy turned pop star who is spinning out of control. Justin is in Shanghai to expand his family’s real estate empire, only to find that he might not be up to the task. He has long harbored a crush on Yinghui, a poetry-loving, left-wing activist who has reinvented herself as a successful Shanghai businesswoman. Yinghui is about to make a deal with the shadowy Walter Chao, the five star billionaire of the novel, who with his secrets and his schemes has a hand in the lives of each of the characters. All bring their dreams and hopes to Shanghai, the shining symbol of the New China, which, like the novel’s characters, is constantly in flux and which plays its own fateful role in the lives of its inhabitants.
Five Star Billionaire is a dazzling, kaleidoscopic novel that offers rare insight into the booming world of Shanghai, a city of elusive identities and ever-changing skylines, of grand ambitions and outsize dreams. Bursting with energy, contradictions, and the promise of possibility, Tash Aw’s remarkable new book is both poignant and comic, exotic and familiar, cutting-edge and classic, suspenseful and yet beautifully unhurried. Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Bringing the Dark Past to Light
The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe
Edited by John-Paul Himka and Joanna Beata Michlic
July 2013
Jewish Publication Society, University of Nebraska Press
Despite the Holocaust’s profound impact on the history of Eastern Europe, the communist regimes successfully repressed public discourse about and memory of this tragedy. Since the collapse of communism in 1989, however, this has changed. Not only has a wealth of archival sources become available, but there have also been oral history projects and interviews recording the testimonies of eyewitnesses who experienced the Holocaust as children and young adults. Recent political, social, and cultural developments have facilitated a more nuanced and complex understanding of the continuities and discontinuities in representations of the Holocaust. People are beginning to realize the significant role that memory of Holocaust plays in contemporary discussions of national identity in Eastern Europe.

This volume of original essays explores the memory of the Holocaust and the Jewish past in postcommunist Eastern Europe. Devoting space to every postcommunist country, the essays in Bringing the Dark Past to Light explore how the memory of the “dark pasts” of Eastern European nations is being recollected and reworked. In addition, it examines how this memory shapes the collective identities and the social identity of ethnic and national minorities. Memory of the Holocaust has practical implications regarding the current development of national cultures and international relationships.
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[book] Between Philosemitism and Antisemitism
Defenses of Jews and Judaism in Germany, 1871-1932
By Alan T. Levenson
Paperback edition
July 2013
Jewish Publication Society, University of Nebraska Press
Philosemitism, as Alan T. Levenson explains, is “any pro-Jewish or pro-Judaic utterance or act.” The German term for this phenomenon appeared in the language at roughly the same time as its more famous counterpart, antisemitism, and its emergence signifies an important, often neglected aspect of German-Jewish encounters. Between Philosemitism and Antisemitism is the first assessment of the non-Jewish defense of Jews, Judaism, and Jewishness from the foundation of the German Reich in 1871 until the ascent of the Nazis in 1932, when befriending Jews became a crime.
Levenson takes an interdisciplinary look at fiction, private correspondence, and published works defending Jews and Judaism in early twentieth-century Germany. He reappraises the missionary Protestant defense of Judaism and advocacy of Jewry by members of the German peace movement. Literary analysis of popular novels with positive Jewish characters and exploration of the reception of Herzlian Zionism further illuminate this often overlooked aspect of German-Jewish history.
Between Philosemitism and Antisemitism reveals the dynamic process by which a generally despised minority attracts defenders and supporters. It demonstrates that there was sympathy for Jews and Judaism in Imperial and Weimar Germany, although its effectiveness was limited by the values of a bygone era and scattered across the political and social spectrum.
Levenson’s new afterword vividly surveys the past decade of philosemitism studies, and in a reading of Die Weltbühne, Weimar Germany’s most celebrated leftwing intellectual journal, he justifies the widely contested term of philosemitism. 
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[book] Mother Daughter Me
A Memoir
By Katie Hafner
July 2013
Dreaming of a “year in Provence” with her mother, Katie urges Helen to move to San Francisco to live with her and Zoë, Katie’s teenage daughter. Katie and Zoë had become a single mother and daughter team, strong enough, Katie thought, to absorb the arrival of a seventy-seven-year-old woman set in her ways.
Filled with fairy-tale hope that she and her mother would become friends, and that Helen would grow close to her exceptional granddaughter, Katie embarked on an experiment in intergenerational living that she would soon discover was filled with land mines: memories of her parents’ painful divorce, of her mother’s drinking, her lack of parenting skills, of dislocating moves back and forth across the country, and of Katie’s own widowhood and bumpy recovery. Helen, for her part, was also holding difficult issues at bay. Plus she was critical of Zoe’s piano skills (she wasn’t the kind of grandmother who praises kids).
How these three women from such different generations learn to navigate their challenging, turbulent, and ultimately healing journey together makes for riveting reading. By turns heartbreaking and funny—and always insightful—Katie Hafner’s brave and loving book answers questions about the universal truths of family that are central to the lives of so many.
Katie is the author of many newspaper stories and books, including The House at the Bridge: A Story of Modern Germany about her German-Jewish family’s property in Germany and what happened to it after 1938.
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[book] Here Comes Mrs. Kugelman
A Novel
By Minka Pradelski
Translated by Philip Boehm
July 9, 2013
Minka is a filmmaker, sociologist, and associated with Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History. As the daughter of death camp survivors, she knows the silences that exist between generations. This novel is the U.S. debut for the author. This was originally published in Germany to much acclaim.
An enchanting novel of listening and telling, of the silence between Holocaust survivors and their children, and of the power of stories to mend broken bonds
When feisty young Tsippy Silberberg of the curious eating habits receives word from Tel Aviv that a distant aunt has left her a mysterious inheritance—an incomplete fish service in a battered brown suitcase—she decides to break her rigid routine and go collect it in person. But before she is even able to settle into her hotel room, an odd old woman bangs on her door and invites herself in. Her name is Bella Kugelman, and she is determined to talk.
And talk she does, with wondrous effect. Soon the room is filled with people—residents of the Polish town of Bedzin before the war, who now live on, if only in Mrs. Kugelman’s stories. Flirtatious girls and sly shopkeepers, rich industrialists and a family so poor that their necks are bent over from looking for coins—in tale after tale, a town magically returns to life, even as its grim future looms darkly. And under the thrall of Mrs. Kugelman’s words, Tsippy finally pieces together her aunt’s strange bequest, as well as her own place in the story unfolding before her.
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[book] This Town
Two Parties and a Funeral-Plus,
Plenty of Valet Parking!
in America's Gilded Capital
by Mark Leibovich
July 2013
One of the nation’s most acclaimed journalists, The New York Times’s Mark Leibovich, presents a blistering, penetrating, jaw-dropping—and often hysterical—look at Washington’s incestuous “media industrial complex.”
Oy, just the opening chapter and his riff on the Clinton’s at the Kennedy Center funeral for Tim Russert is reason enough to buy this book. Although he better watch his back, because anyone his disses the Clinton’s ends up ill, missing, underempoyed or dead. And ouch. He says that Ken Duberstein was Reagan’s Chief of Staff for 6.5 months and has been dining off that for over two decades; or that he asked to work for McCain, was rejected, so endorsed Obama (that is what you call a hired gun). Or how about how he and Andrea Mitchell skipped kol nidre to attend Prince Bandar’s party. Sandy Koufax they are not. And this is just Chapter 1…
The great thing about Washington is no matter how many elections you lose, how many times you’re indicted, how many scandals you’ve been tainted by, well, the great thing is you can always eat lunch in that town again. What keeps the permanent government spinning on its carousel is the freedom of shamelessness, and that mother’s milk of politics, cash.
In Mark Leibovich’s remarkable look at the way things really work in D.C., a funeral for a beloved television star becomes the perfect networking platform, a disgraced political aide can emerge with more power than his boss, campaign losers befriend their vanquishers (and make more money than ever!), “conflict of interest” is a term lost in translation, political reporters are fetishized and worshipped for their ability to get one’s name in print, and, well—we’re all really friends, aren’t we?
What Julia Phillips did for Hollywood, Timothy Crouse did for journalists, and Michael Lewis did for Wall Street, Mark Leibovich does for our nation’s capital.

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[book] My New Orleans, Gone Away
By Peter M. Wolf
July 2013
Peter M. Wolf is a nationally recognized author, land use expert, and investment advisor. The author of six previous books, his new memoir My New Orleans, Gone Away, captures the fabled town of his youth and delves into the aspirations, expectations and disappointments of his post-war generation and six generations of a New Orleans Jewish family.
The narrative incorporates themes of identity, love, and longing bound into the story of his family, education, romances and career. Celebrated author and historian Barbara Goldsmith has praised My New Orleans as "A heartfelt, intimate, and painfully honest account of the coming of age of one shy boy and of the exotic city he left behind, but will never forget."
Sidney Offit calls it "the triumph of a memoirist with the eye of an architect and the heart of a poet."

Although Fox News was wrong to attack him for not being Christian and daring to write a book about Jesus Christ, if they had actually read the book and attacked him for making Jesus look like an illiterate bandit who wanted to be King of Israel and overthrow Rome and the Priests, and for calling the apostles wrong… they would have had a much better debate and interview.
[book] Zealot
The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
By Professor Reza Aslan, Phd
July 2013
Random House
PW writes: Starred Review. The person and work of Jesus of Nazareth has been a topic of constant interest since he lived and died some 2,000 years ago. Much speculation about who he was and what he taught has led to confusion and doubt. Aslan, who authored the much acclaimed No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, offers a compelling argument for a fresh look at the Nazarene, focusing on how Jesus the man evolved into Jesus the Christ. Approaching the subject from a purely academic perspective, the author parts an important curtain that has long hidden from view the man Jesus, who is every bit as compelling, charismatic, and praiseworthy as Jesus the Christ. Carefully comparing extra-biblical historical records with the New Testament accounts, Aslan develops a convincing and coherent story of how the Christian church, and in particular Paul, reshaped Christianity's essence, obscuring the very real man who was Jesus of Nazareth. Compulsively readable and written at a popular level, this superb work is highly recommended.”
Booklist: starred review. “Aslan brings a fine popular style, shorn of all jargon, to bear on the presentation of Jesus of Nazareth. . . . He isn’t interested in attacking religion or even the church, much less in comparing Christianity unfavorably to another religion. He would have us admire Jesus as one of the many would-be messiahs who sprang up during Rome’s occupation of Palestine, animated by zeal for ‘strict adherence to the Torah and the Law,’ refusal to serve a human master, and devotion to God, and therefore dedicated to throwing off Rome and repudiating Roman religion. . . . You don’t have to lose your religion to learn much that’s vitally germane to its history from Aslan’s absorbing, reader-friendly book.”

By Richard Smith, PhD (Kentucky)
July 30, 2013
Few people will easily admit to taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others. But who doesn't enjoy it when an arrogant but untalented contestant is humiliated on American Idol, or when the embarrassing vice of a self-righteous politician is exposed, or even when an envied friend suffers a small setback? The truth is that joy in someone else's pain-known by the German word schadenfreude--permeates our society.
In The Joy of Pain, psychologist Richard Smith, one of the world's foremost authorities on envy and shame, sheds much light on a feeling we dare not admit. Smith argues that schadenfreude is a natural human emotion, one worth taking a closer look at, as it reveals much about who we are as human beings. We have a passion for justice. Sometimes, schadenfreude can feel like getting one's revenge, when the suffering person has previously harmed us. But most of us are also motivated to feel good about ourselves, Smith notes, and look for ways to maintain a positive sense of self. One common way to do this is to compare ourselves to others and find areas where we are better. Similarly, the downfall of others--especially when they have seemed superior to us--can lead to a boost in our self-esteem, a lessening of feelings of inferiority. This is often at the root of schadenfreude. As the author points out, most instances of schadenfreude are harmless, on par with the pleasures of light gossip. Yet we must also be mindful that envy can motivate, without full awareness, the engineering of the misfortune we delight in. And envy-induced aggression can take us into dark territory indeed, as Smith shows as he examines the role of envy and schadenfreude in the Nazi persecution of the Jews.
Filled with engaging examples of schadenfreude, from popular reality shows to the Duke-Kentucky basketball rivalry, The Joy of Pain provides an intriguing glimpse into a hidden corner of the human psyche.

By Michael Haas
Yale University Press

With National Socialism's arrival in Germany in 1933, Jews dominated music more than virtually any other sector, making it the most important cultural front in the Nazi fight for German identity. This groundbreaking book looks at the Jewish composers and musicians banned by the Third Reich and the consequences for music throughout the rest of the twentieth century. Because Jewish musicians and composers were, by 1933, the principal conveyors of Germany’s historic traditions and the ideals of German culture, the isolation, exile and persecution of Jewish musicians by the Nazis became an act of musical self-mutilation.
Michael Haas looks at the actual contribution of Jewish composers in Germany and Austria before 1933, at their increasingly precarious position in Nazi Europe, their forced emigration before and during the war, their ambivalent relationships with their countries of refuge, such as Britain and the United States and their contributions within the radically changed post-war music environment.
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August 2013
Henry Holt
Bold, touching, and funny—a debut novel by a brilliant young woman about the coming-of-age of a brilliant young literary man
“He was not the kind of guy who disappeared after sleeping with a woman—and certainly not after the condom broke. On the contrary: Nathaniel Piven was a product of a postfeminist, 1980s childhood and politically correct 1990s college education. He had learned all about male privilege. Moreover, he was in possession of a functional and frankly rather clamorous conscience.” –from The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.

Nate Piven is a rising star in Brooklyn’s literary scene. After several lean and striving years, he has his pick of both magazine assignments and women: Juliet, the hotshot business reporter; Elisa, his gorgeous ex-girlfriend, now friend; and Hannah, “almost universally regarded as nice and smart, or smart and nice,” and who holds her own in conversation with his friends. But when one relationship grows more serious, Nate is forced to reconsider what it is he really wants.
This absorbing and funny tale is set in a twenty-first century literary world alive with wit and conversation. Here Adelle Waldman plunges into the psyche of a sensitive, modern man—who is drawn to women, yet has a habit of letting them down, who thinks of himself as beyond superficial judgment, yet constantly struggles with his own status anxiety. With tough-minded intelligence and wry good humor, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. reveals one particular (though also alarmingly familiar) young man’s thoughts about women and love.
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August 2013
The author heard the story of how MGM head Louis B Mayer would meet with the German Consul and get advice on how his films would play well in Germany, and for that reason, prior to war, Hollywood films did not feature evil Nazis. He also found a National Archives document that stated that MGM exported its profits out of Germany by financing German armaments in Sudetenland and Austria.
The position of this book is that to continue doing business in Germany after Hitler's ascent to power, Hollywood studios agreed NOT to make films that attacked the Nazis or condemned Germany's persecution of Jews. Ben Urwand reveals this bargain for the first time--a "collaboration" (Zusammenarbeit).
At the center of Urwand's story is Hitler himself, who was obsessed with movies and recognized their power to shape public opinion. In December 1930, his Party rioted against the Berlin screening of All Quiet on the Western Front, which led to a chain of unfortunate events and decisions. Fearful of losing access to the German market, all of the Hollywood studios started making concessions to the German government, and when Hitler came to power in January 1933, the studios--many of which were headed by Jews--began dealing with his representatives directly.
Urwand shows that the arrangement remained in place through the 1930s, as Hollywood studios met regularly with the German consul in Los Angeles and changed or canceled movies according to his wishes. Paramount and Fox invested profits made from the German market in German newsreels, while MGM financed the production of German armaments. Painstakingly marshaling previously unexamined archival evidence, The Collaboration raises the curtain on a hidden episode in Hollywood--and American--history.
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[book] The Joy of Pain
Schadenfreude and the Dark Side of Human Nature
By Richard H. Smith
August 2013
Oxford University Press
Few people will easily admit to taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others. But who doesn't enjoy it when an arrogant but untalented contestant is humiliated on American Idol, or when the embarrassing vice of a self-righteous politician is exposed, or even when an envied friend suffers a small setback? The truth is that joy in someone else's pain-known by the German word schadenfreude--permeates our society.
In The Joy of Pain, psychologist Richard Smith, one of the world's foremost authorities on envy and shame, sheds much light on a feeling we dare not admit. Smith argues that schadenfreude is a natural human emotion, one worth taking a closer look at, as it reveals much about who we are as human beings. We have a passion for justice. Sometimes, schadenfreude can feel like getting one's revenge, when the suffering person has previously harmed us. But most of us are also motivated to feel good about ourselves, Smith notes, and look for ways to maintain a positive sense of self. One common way to do this is to compare ourselves to others and find areas where we are better. Similarly, the downfall of others--especially when they have seemed superior to us--can lead to a boost in our self-esteem, a lessening of feelings of inferiority. This is often at the root of schadenfreude. As the author points out, most instances of schadenfreude are harmless, on par with the pleasures of light gossip. Yet we must also be mindful that envy can motivate, without full awareness, the engineering of the misfortune we delight in. And envy-induced aggression can take us into dark territory indeed, as Smith shows as he examines the role of envy and schadenfreude in the Nazi persecution of the Jews.
Filled with engaging examples of schadenfreude, from popular reality shows to the Duke-Kentucky basketball rivalry, The Joy of Pain provides an intriguing glimpse into a hidden corner of the human psyche.
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[book] I Kiss Your Hands Many Times
Hearts, Souls, and Wars in Hungary
By Marianne Szegedy-Maszak
August 2013
Spiegel & Grau
A magnificent wartime love story about the forces that brought the author’s parents together and those that nearly drove them apart Marianne Szegedy-Maszák’s parents, Hanna and Aladár, met and fell in love in Budapest in 1940. He was a rising star in the foreign ministry—a vocal anti-Fascist who was in talks with the Allies when he was arrested and sent to Dachau. She was the granddaughter of Manfred Weiss, the industrialist patriarch of an aristocratic Jewish family that owned factories, were patrons of intellectuals and artists, and entertained dignitaries at their baronial estates. Though many in the family had converted to Catholicism decades earlier, when the Germans invaded Hungary in March 1944, they were forced into hiding. In a secret and controversial deal brokered with Heinrich Himmler, the family turned over their vast holdings in exchange for their safe passage to Portugal.
Aladár survived Dachau, a fragile and anxious version of himself. After nearly two years without contact, he located Hanna and wrote her a letter that warned that he was not the man she’d last seen, but he was still in love with her. After months of waiting for visas and transit, she finally arrived in a devastated Budapest in December 1945, where at last they were wed.
Framed by a cache of letters written between 1940 and 1947, Szegedy-Maszák’s family memoir tells the story, at once intimate and epic, of the complicated relationship Hungary had with its Jewish population—the moments of glorious humanism that stood apart from its history of anti-Semitism—and with the rest of the world. She resurrects in riveting detail a lost world of splendor and carefully limns the moral struggles that history exacted—from a country and its individuals.
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Untold Stories from the Fight against Muslim Fundamentalism
by Karima Bennoune
August 2013
WW Norton
Impassioned, eye-opening accounts of heroic resistance to religious extremism. Journalists, theater directors, doctors, musicians, museum curators, lawyers, comics, street vendors, educators, and women’s rights activists—these are some of the people Karima Bennoune interviewed in her three-year investigation of grassroots opposition to the rising tide of fundamentalism in Muslim populations from Lahore, Pakistan, to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her subjects’ own religious views range from the wholly secular to the deeply devout, yet all bear painful witness to the brutal effects of fundamentalist violence and oppression.
True defenders of freedom, they struggle to foster creativity, compassion, discussion, and diversity even sometimes in the face of death threats (and more than threats) from armed religious militants. Yet, some of these vibrant, engaging, and heroic people also suffer from the consequences of counterterrorism. Abroad, they are abandoned, as the political right resorts to anti-Muslim prejudice while the left defends Muslim fundamentalism as an authentic expression of cultural tradition, even as a “democratic” force. 20 illustrations
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August 2013
WW Norton
An explosive biography, decades in the making, reveals the secret past of the Svengali-like academic who held an entire generation in his thrall. Thirty years after his death in 1983, Yale University professor Paul de Man remains a haunting figure. The Nazi collaborator and chameleon-like intellectual created with Deconstruction a literary movement so pervasive that it threatened to topple the very foundations of literature and history itself. The revelation in 1988 that de Man had written a collaborationist and anti-Semitic article led to his intellectual downfall, yet biographer Evelyn Barish apprehended that nothing appeared to contextualize the life he assiduously sought to conceal. Relying on archival research and hundreds of interviews, Barish evokes figures such as Mary McCarthy, Elizabeth Hardwick, and Jacques Derrida. Reexamining de Man’s life, particularly in prewar Europe and his reincarnation in postwar America, she reveals, among other things, his embezzlement schemes, his lack of an undergraduate degree, and his bigamous marriage. The man who despised narrative, particularly biography, finally gets his due in this chilling portrait of a man and his era.
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By Mark Slouka
August 2013
A powerful story about an unforgettable friendship between two teenage boys and their hopes for escape from a dead-end town.
The year is 1968, a year after the summer of love and the peak of the Vietnam War. The world is changing, and sixteen-year-old Jon Mosher is determined to change with it. Racked by guilt over his older brother’s childhood death, Jon turns his rage into victories running track. (did I mention that Jon’s parent are German Jewish emigres, Sam and Vera. Jon feels alienated from tham and the neighbors and the town)
When Jon meets Ray Cappicciano, a local legend in the making, a rebel as gifted with his fists as Jon is with his feet, he recognizes a friendship with the potential to save him. Realizing that Ray needs saving too, Jon sets off on the race of his life — a race to redeem his past and save them both. Reverberating with compassion, heartache, and grace, Brewster is sure to remind readers of Andre Dubus III and Richard Russo.
The agent on this book is Bill Clegg, the book agent who has written about his drug addictions and bouts of rehab
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[book] Eating My Feelings
Tales of Overeating, Underperforming, and Coping with My Crazy Family
By Mark Rosenberg
August 2013
Three Rivers Press
ew from the author of Blackouts and Breakdowns--and in the tradition of Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Chelsea Handler--a collection of funny essays skewering the author's struggles with weight and body image, both as a kid in the 1980s and as a gay man in the 2000s. Mark Rosenberg has had more ups and downs with his weight than Oprah--but unlike Oprah, no one gives a sh*t. Coming of age very outrageously as an overweight, soon-to-be gay kid, he learns to relate to others by way of his beloved Melrose Place and Clueless--which serves him well when exiled to fat camp and faced with an opportunity to bribe an adulterous counselor or poison his stepmother by birthday cake--and thinks nothing of dressing as Homey the Clown (in blackface) for Halloween. This sets him up for adulthood in the image-obsessed world of gay men in New York City, where he hires personal trainers he wants to sleep with, applies an X-rated twist to Julie & Julia in an attempt to reach blogger stardom, and has an imaginary relationship with the man on the P90X workout infomercials that becomes a little bit too real. Hilarious, heartwarming (as if), and especially scandalous, Eating My Feelings leaves no stone unturned and no piece of red velvet cake uneaten.
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[book] Rifka Takes a Bow
By Betty Rosenberg Perlov
Illustrated by Cosei Kawa
August 2013
Kar-Ben Publishing
Ages 4 - 8
Rifka’s parents are actors in the Yiddish Theater, and one day she finds herself center stage in a special role! A slice of immigrant life on New York’s Second Avenue.
The author is a daughter of a Yiddish Theater writer/producer and actress. Betty Rosenberg Perlov is 96 years old and a resident of Park Slope, and Kar-Ben has married her story with a lovely illustrator from Japan.
In the story, Rifka is a young girl with parents in the entertainment business. They take her to Manhattan, to the Automat for a snack, and to the theaters along Second Avenue. (Rifka always gets cherry pie at the Automat). Her parents act; it is not real. She tries on the makeup. She learns the props are fake: tea pretends to whiskey; ketchup(TM) stands in for blood. Rifka-la explores the backstage until one day she appears on stage in the middle of a show by accident. The audience waits to hear what she can ad lib. (note, it is more about theater than Yiddish theater)
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[book] Don't Sneeze at the Wedding
By Pamela Mayer and Martha Aviles
August 2013
Kar-Ben Publishing
Ages 4 - 8
Anna is excited to be the flower girl at her aunt’s wedding, but that morning she wakes up and ... achoo! “Don’t sneeze at the wedding!” everyone warns her, but will their remedies work?
Aunt Rivka is getting married. But Anna is sneezy. Everyone tells her not to sneeze. Press her lips, wiggle her ear lobe. Even Monsieur Phillippe, a hair stylist, tells her how not to sneeze. At the signing of the ketubah, Rabbi Bernstein tells her a trick on how not to sneeze. Will she sneeze during the wedding? During the 7 blessings?
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August 2013
Kar-Ben Publishing
Ages 12 - 18
In 1941 in occupied Paris, brothers Maurice and Joseph play a last game of marbles before running home to their father’s barbershop. This is the day that will change their lives forever. With the German occupation threatening their family's safety, the boys' parents decide Maurice and Joseph must disguise themselves and flee to their older brothers in the free zone. Surviving the long journey will take every scrap of ingenuity and courage they can muster. And if they hope to elude the Nazis, they must never, under any circumstances, admit to being Jewish. The boys travel by train, by ferry, and on foot, facing threats from strangers and receiving help from unexpected quarters. Along the way they must adapt to the unfamiliar world beyond their city—and find a way to be true to themselves even as they conceal their identities. Based on an autobiographical novel by Joseph Joffo and adapted with the author’s input, this true story offers a harrowing but inspiring glimpse of a childhood cut short.
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August 2013
Kar-Ben Publishing
Ages 4 - 8
Beginning the New Year in a new city isn’t easy, and it definitely isn’t starting out very well for Dina and her family! But when they’re welcomed by warm and generous hosts in their new community it becomes a very happy New Year for all.
Michael and Maya plan to start the new Jewish year. But the family has moved to a new house and town. They miss their tenple and the Kaplans. Dad – who is not Jewish – misses the honey cake. (are they eating a pizza with pepperoni on it??)
Problems. They lose the keys, they get a flat.. what a way to start the new year in a new house and new city.
They spill juice. What a way to start the year
Wait. Then there is Mr. Levine from the temple in the new city. He invites them over. The prayers are the same, so are the tunes, even if the faces are not the same. And the cantor and his wife invite them over for brisket and a round challah. What a way to start the year.
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Illus by Ann Iosa
August 2013
Kar-Ben Publishing
Ages 4 - 8
All the children in Miss Sharon's class have brought their favorite fruits to decorate the sukkah. Sam brings an apple, Rachel a pear, David an orange. Julie brings a tangerine, but when Michael brings (or rolls in) a watermelon, the class must find a way to hang it!
Maybe they can make a cradle or do a slip knot, or use tape, or rubber bands
And what about a pumpkin?
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Growing Up Confused in an Arab-American Family
by Najla Said
August 2013
Based on her one woman show.
A memoir, from the daughter of Columbia Professor Edward Said, about growing up second-generation Arab American and struggling with that identity.
The daughter of a prominent Palestinian father and a sophisticated Lebanese Quaker mother, Najla Said grew up in New York City, confused and conflicted about her cultural background and identity. Said knew that her parents identified deeply with their homelands, but growing up in a Manhattan world that was defined largely by class and conformity, she felt unsure about who she was supposed to be, and was often in denial of the differences she sensed between her family and those around her.
The fact that her father was the famous professor and outspoken Palestinian advocate Edward Said only made things more complicated. She may have been born a Palestinian Lebanese American, but in Said’s mind she grew up first as a WASP, having been baptized Episcopalian in Boston and attending the wealthy Upper East Side girls’ school Chapin, then as a teenage Jew, essentially denying her true roots ("I was more likely to say 'Oy vey' and 'I'm shvitzing' than dare utter a word of Arabic."), even to herself—until, ultimately, the psychological toll of all this self-hatred began to threaten her health.

As she grew older, making increased visits to Palestine and Beirut, Said’s worldview shifted. The attacks on the World Trade Center, and some of the ways in which Americans responded, finally made it impossible for Said to continue to pick and choose her identity, forcing her to see herself and her passions more clearly. Today, she has become an important voice for second-generation Arab Americans nationwide. .

[book] Startup Rising
The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East
By Christopher M. Schroeder
August 2013
You have heard of STARTUP NATION about Israel.
Well this is about the Arab states in the Middle East.
The author graduated from Harvard and Harvard B School, ran; washingtonpost.newsweek interactive, and, and has been involved in many startups in Arab countries. He is on the advisory board of the American University in Cairo, the Jordanian incubator Oasis500, the Middle East entrepreneurial platform, The American University School of International Service and the board of directors of The American Council on Germany. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and French American Foundation. He graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Business School.
Despite the world's elation at the Arab Spring, shockingly little has changed politically in the Middle East; even front-liners Egypt and Tunisia continue to suffer repression, fixed elections, and bombings, while Syria – as I write this - descends into murders and civil war.
But in the midst of it all, a quieter revolution has begun to emerge, one that might ultimately do more to change the face of the region: entrepreneurship. As a seasoned angel investor in emerging markets, Christopher M. Schroeder was curious but skeptical about the future of investing in the Arab world. Travelling to Dubai, Cairo, Amman, Beirut, Istanbul, and even Damascus, he saw thousands of talented, successful, and intrepid entrepreneurs, all willing to face cultural, legal, and societal impediments inherent to their worlds. Equally important, he saw major private equity firms, venture capitalists, and tech companies like Google, Intel, Cisco, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and PayPal making significant bets, despite the uncertainty in the region. Here, he marries his own observations with the predictions of these tech giants to offer a surprising and timely look at the second stealth revolution in the Middle East—one that promises to reinvent it as a center of innovation and progress.

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August 2013
Little Brown
The definitive book on schmaltz--a staple in Jewish cuisine and a "thread in a great tapestry," by one of America's most respected culinary writers. For culinary expert Michael Ruhlman, the ultimate goal in cooking is flavor, and for certain dishes nothing introduces it half as well as schmaltz. A staple ingredient in traditional Jewish cuisine, schmaltz (or rendered chicken fat), is at risk of disappearing from use due to modern dietary trends and misperceptions about this versatile and flavor-packed ingredient.
THE BOOK OF SCHMALTZ acts as a primer on schmaltz, taking a fresh look at traditional dishes like kugel, kishke, and kreplach, and also venturing into contemporary recipes that take advantage of the versatility of this marvelous fat. Potatoes cooked with schmaltz take on a crispness and satisfying flavor that vegetable oil can't produce. Meats and starches have a depth and complexity that set them apart from the same dishes prepared with olive oil or butter.
What's more, schmaltz provides a unique link to the past that ought to be preserved. "Schmaltz is like a thread that runs through a great tapestry," says Ruhlman's neighbor Lois, whose cooking inspired his own journey into the world of schmaltz. "It's a secret handshake among Jews who love to cook and eat."

August 2013
Jewish Lights
An engaging and sobering look at memorializing in Judaism and why memory ours and God’s is so central to the human enterprise. Few topics exercise the Jewish mind and heart as thoroughly as memorializing the past, and few prayers on the High Holy Days attract as many people as does Yizkor, the Jewish memorial service par excellence.
Yizkor recalls both personal losses and the martyrs of history. It began as a sobering reflection on the Jews killed by the Crusaders who destroyed Jewish communities in the Rhineland on their way to the Holy Land. Its signature line, Yizkor ( May God remember ), headed up the memory books in which Jews listed the names of their dead, with the fervent hope that God would remember them. Other prayers followed, including El malei rachamim ( God, full of compassion ), a response to the Chmielnicki pogroms in 1648 Ukraine. Jews in the nineteenth century enlarged this original set of prayers to become the lengthy and touching service that we have today.
May God Remember provides the history and the ideas behind this fascinating chapter in Jewish piety. The fourth volume in the Prayers of Awe series, it assembles the collective thought of thirty contributors from all denominations, and from the United States, Canada, England, France, Germany and Israel. Appendices provide the Sefardi memorial prayer called Hashkavah, and a translation and annotation of the original elegy for the dead in 1648 whose loss spurred the creation of El malei rachamim, the most famous of our memorial prayers and a staple for the funeral liturgy as well.
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[book] Necessary Errors
A Novel
by Caleb Crain
August 2013
An debut novel that brilliantly captures the lives and romances of young expatriates in newly democratic Prague I was actually in the Jewish Quarter of Prague in 1991 after the Velvet Revolution, and I recall meeting a lot of expats and recent college grads from the USA, and was curious about their lives. This is a fascinating fictional account.
It’s October 1990. Jacob Putnam is young and full of ideas. He’s arrived a year too late to witness Czechoslovakia’s revolution, but he still hopes to find its spirit, somehow.
He discovers a country at a crossroads between communism and capitalism, and a picturesque city in the Czech Republic overflowing with a vibrant, searching sense of possibility. A Harvard grad, he has recently determined he is gay and he is healing from being dropped by his first boyfriend. As the men and women Jacob meets begin to fall in love with one another, no one turns out to be quite the same as the idea Jacob has of them—including Jacob himself. Everyone is about money, even the Communist bouncers and the older man he starts to date.
. Necessary Errors is a first novel from literary critic and journalist Caleb Crain. Shimmering and expansive, Crain’s prose richly captures the turbulent feelings and discoveries of youth as it stretches toward adulthood—the chance encounters that grow into lasting, unforgettable experiences and the surprises of our first ventures into a foreign world—and the treasure of living in Prague during an era of historic change.
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By Scott Anderson
August 2013
The Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War One was, in the words of T.E. Lawrence, “a sideshow of a sideshow.” Amidst the slaughter in European trenches, the Western combatants paid scant attention to the Middle Eastern theater. As a result, the conflict was shaped to a remarkable degree by a small handful of adventurers and low-level officers far removed from the corridors of power.
Curt Prüfer was an effete academic attached to the German embassy in Cairo, whose clandestine role was to foment Islamic jihad against British rule. Aaron Aaronsohn was a renowned agronomist and committed Zionist who gained the trust of the Ottoman governor of Syria. William Yale was the fallen scion of the American aristocracy, who traveled the Ottoman Empire on behalf of Standard Oil, dissembling to the Turks in order gain valuable oil concessions. At the center of it all was Lawrence. In early 1914 he was an archaeologist excavating ruins in the sands of Syria; by 1917 he was the most romantic figure of World War One, battling both the enemy and his own government to bring about the vision he had for the Arab people.
The intertwined paths of these four men – the schemes they put in place, the battles they fought, the betrayals they endured and committed – mirror the grandeur, intrigue and tragedy of the war in the desert. Prüfer became Germany’s grand spymaster in the Middle East. Aaronsohn constructed an elaborate Jewish spy-ring in Palestine, only to have the anti-Semitic and bureaucratically-inept British first ignore and then misuse his organization, at tragic personal cost. Yale would become the only American intelligence agent in the entire Middle East – while still secretly on the payroll of Standard Oil. And the enigmatic Lawrence rode into legend at the head of an Arab army, even as he waged secret war against his own nation’s imperial ambitions.
Based on years of intensive primary document research, LAWRENCE IN ARABIA definitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed. Sweeping in its action, keen in its portraiture, acid in its condemnation of the destruction wrought by European colonial plots, this is a book that brilliantly captures the way in which the folly of the past creates the anguish of the present.
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A young adult novel
By Matthew Quick
(the same author as Silver lInings Playbook)
August 2013
Little Brown
I personally am not keen on books about mentally ill teens who want to murder classmates and commit suicide
It is Leonard Peacock's birthday. He hides a gun in his backpackHe plans to murder his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather's P-38 pistol, the pistol he got from a Nazi in WWII
But first Leonard must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt, with whom Leonard watches old films and talks in cinema-quips; his classmate Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on and with whom he once went to church; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school's class on the Holocaust and who never shows his forearms (is he hiding a tattoo). Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.
In this riveting book, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made--and the light in us all that never goes out. Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

August 2013
WW Norton
The year is 1968. The world is changing, and sixteen-year-old Jon Mosher is determined to change with it. Racked by guilt over his older brother’s childhood death and stuck in the dead-end town of Brewster, New York, he turns his rage into victories running track. His family are Jewish immigrants who fled Nazi Germany.
Meanwhile, Ray Cappicciano, a rebel as gifted with his fists as Jon is with his feet, is trying to take care of his baby brother while staying out of the way of his abusive, ex-cop father. When Jon and Ray form a tight friendship, they find in each other everything they lack at home, but it’s not until Ray falls in love with beautiful, headstrong Karen Dorsey that the three friends begin to dream of breaking away from Brewster for good. Freedom, however, has its price. As forces beyond their control begin to bear down on them, Jon sets off on the race of his life—a race to redeem his past and save them all.
Mark Slouka's work has been called "relentlessly observant, miraculously expressive" (New York Times Book Review). Reverberating with compassion, heartache, and grace, Brewster is an unforgettable coming-of-age story from one of our most compelling novelists.
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[book] Lineup
A crime thriller novel
By Liad Shoham
September 2013
Israel #1 bestselling author Liad Shoham makes his American debut in this compelling, superbly plotted crime thriller.
What makes the thriller Israeli is that it is set in Tel Aviv and told from a number of POVs. Like Rashomon, each character tells the story from their opinion and worldview, they also make choices with Israeli Improvisation, without planning, in ways that may break rules, but which they feel is right. Also, the story occurs in Israel, where it seems that everyone meddles, everyone is a cousin, and there is no escape; the victim and the criminal and the investigators all live in the same small city and country.

After a brutal rape disturbs a quiet Tel Aviv neighborhood, baffled detectives find no clues, no eyewitnesses, and no suspects. The father of the shattered victim refuses to rest until justice is done, so he begins his own investigation. Keeping watch over his daughter's apartment from the street, he notices Ziv Nevo lurking in the shadows.
All circumstances — and the victim — point to Nevo's guilt, and it appears the case is closed.
But appearances can be deceiving. Detective Eli Nachum is eager to wrap up this high-profile case, which threatens to thwart his career. He sees an easy conviction when the father, determined to succeed where the police have failed, hands over Nevo. But why does the suspect keep silent during the interrogation? What secret is he hiding? What should Nachum and the idealistic young district attorney understand from the suspect's silence?
What unfolds is a brilliant, fast-paced story that will keep you guessing until the very last page. Lineup is a twisted tale of mistaken identity, organized crime, a disgraced detective looking for redemption, a tireless young reporter, and an innocent man with a not-so-innocent past. Which lines will they cross and what will they be willing to risk, as their worlds begin to collapse? This seamless, gripping novel introduces a powerful new voice in crime fiction.
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[book] fOOSTA
A Cookbook
by Einat Admony
September 2013
Einat Admony is a 21st-century balaboosta (Yiddish for “perfect housewife”). She’s a mother and wife, but also a chef busy running three bustling New York City restaurants: Taim, and Balaboosta.
I must mention that everytime I go to Taim, the takeout Israeli cuisine is quite above average, but they have so much staff attitude that I usually avoid the place. That is why I like the cookbook better; you get the food and nice feelings, without the unnecessary snide attitude.
This is Admony’s debut cookbook and it contains over 130 recipes she cooks for the people she loves. Here, Einat’s mixed Israeli heritage (Yemenite, Persian) seamlessly blends with the fresh, sophisticated Mediterranean palate she honed while working in some of New York City’s most beloved kitchens. The result is a melting pot of meals for every need and occasion: exotic and exciting dinner-party dishes (harissa-spiced Moroccan fish, beet gnocchi), meals just for kids (chicken schnitzel, root veggie chips), healthy options (butternut squash and saffron soup, quinoa salad with preserved lemon and chickpeas), satisfying comfort food (creamy, cheesy potatoes, spicy chili), and so much more.
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[book] Still Foolin' 'Em
Where I've Been, Where I'm Going,
and Where the Hell Are My Keys?
By Billy Crystal
September 2013
Henry Holt
Arranged by decade, a memoir, and probably soon to be stage play a la 700 Sundays
A hilarious and heartfelt look at aging, by one of America's biggest movie stars on the eve of his 65th birthday
Billy Crystal is turning 65, and he's not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners out with half your meal on your shirt. In humorously titled chapters like "Drugs We Did Then, Drugs We Do Now" and "Sex at 65," Crystal not only catalogues his physical gripes, but offers a roadmap to his 77 million fellow baby boomers who are arriving at this milestone age with him, urging them to "celebrate the fact that you made it around the sun one more time" and that "the ancient Mayans were wrong." He looks back at the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, from his final conversation with his father, which would haunt him, to the birthday ritual he shared with his mother. Readers get a front row seat to his one day career with the New York Yankees (he was the first player to ever "test positive for Maalox"), his love affair with Sophia Loren, and his first brush with the afterlife. He lends a light touch to more serious topics like religion ("the aging friends I know have turned to the Holy Trinity: Advil, bourbon and Prozac"), death, and the things he wishes he had known as a younger man. As wise and poignant as it is funny, Crystal’s reflections are an unforgettable look at an extraordinary life well lived.

[book] A Guide for the Perplexed
A Novel
By Dara Horn
September 2013
WW Norton and Company
Dara, a resident a NJ with her husband and four children is a winner of two, count them, two National Jewish Book Awards.
Dara Horn returns with a spellbinding novel of how technology changes memory and how memory shapes the soul.
Software prodigy Josie Ashkenazi has invented an application that records everything its users do. When an Egyptian library invites her to visit as a consultant, her jealous sister Judith persuades her to go. But in Egypt’s postrevolutionary chaos, Josie is abducted—leaving Judith free to take over Josie’s life at home, including her husband and daughter, while Josie’s talent for preserving memories becomes a surprising test of her empathy and her only means of escape.
A century earlier, another traveler arrives in Egypt: Solomon Schechter, a Cambridge professor hunting for a medieval archive hidden in a Cairo synagogue. Both he and Josie are haunted by the work of the medieval philosopher Moses Maimonides, a doctor and rationalist who sought to reconcile faith and science, destiny and free will. But what Schechter finds, as he tracks down the remnants of a thousand-year-old community’s once-vibrant life, will reveal the power and perils of what Josie’s ingenious work brings into being: a world where nothing is ever forgotten.
An engrossing adventure that intertwines stories from Genesis, medieval philosophy, and the digital frontier, A Guide for the Perplexed is a novel of profound inner meaning and astonishing imagination.

By Thomas Harding (UK)
September 2013
Simon and Schuster
Thomas Harding has written a book of two intersecting lives: His uncle, a German Jew and potential Nazi victim, and Rudolf Hss, Kommandant of Auschwitz. In a neat historical irony, his uncle became a British officer who tracked down war criminals, including one of the worst mass murderers. A fascinating account, with chunks of new information, about one of history's darkest chapters. (Richard Breitman, Author of The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and The Final Solution and Editor-in-chief of the U.S. Holocaust Museum's Holocaust and Genocide Studies.)
This important and moving book describes the unlikely intersection of two very different livesthat of Hanns Alexander, the son of a prosperous German family in Berlin who became a refugee in London in the 1930s and Rudolf Hss, the Kommandant of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Well-researched and grippingly written it provides a unique insight into the fate of Germany under National Socialism. (Antony Polonsky, Albert Abramson Professor of Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Brandeis University)
Thomas Harding’s “Hanns and Rudolf” not only declines to forget, but challenges and defies the empty sententiousness characteristic of those who privately admit to being tired of hearing about the Holocaust. In this electrifying account of how a morally driven British Jewish soldier pursues and captures and brings to trial the turntail Kommandant of Auschwitz, Thomas Harding commemorates (and, for the tired, revivifies) a ringing Biblical injunction:Justice, justice, shalt thou pursue". (Cynthia Ozick)
Two lives. One Catholic. One Jewish. Diverged, Intersected

September 2013
A uniquely original encounter with one of the most compelling and resonant stories ever told—the story of God's command to Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. A history and meditation that illuminates the myriad ways in which it has been interpreted and understood down through the ages. Who wrote it and for whom?
A mere nineteen lines in the book of Genesis, the story rests at the heart of the history, literature, theology, and sacred rituals of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and for more than two millennia, people have struggled with the troubling questions about sacrifice, authority, obedience, and faith the story gives rise to. James Goodman recounts the history of that struggle, from the story's origins to its place in the cultures and faiths of our own time. He introduces us to the commentary of late-antiquity rabbis and priests and then early Islamic exegetes (many of whom believed that Ishmael was the son that Abraham nearly sacrificed). He examines Syriac hymns (in which Sarah plays a major role), the Hebrew chronicles of the First Crusade (in which Isaac often dies), and the medieval English mystery plays. He delineates the story's presence in the art of Europe's golden age, the philosophy of Kant and Kierkegaard, and the panoply of both sacred and profane reflection upon the story in the twentieth-century.

Edited by Roger Bennett
September 2013
54 leading young Jewish writers, artists, photographers, screenwriters, architects, actors, musicians, and graphic artists grappling with the first five books of the Bible and giving new meaning to the 54 Torah portions that are traditionally read over the course of a year. From the foundational stories of Genesis and Exodus to the legalistic minutiae of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, Unscrolled is a reinterpreting, a re-imagining, a creative and eclectic celebration of the Jewish Bible.
Here’s a graphic-novel version of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments, by Rebecca Odes and Sam Lipsyte. Lost creator Damon Lindelof writing about Abraham’s decision to sacrifice his son—as if Abraham were a mental patient in the wake of that incident. Here’s Sloane Crosley bringing Pharaoh into the 21st century, where he’s checking out “boils,” “lice,” and “plague of frogs” on WebMD. Plus there’s Joshua Foer, Amichai (Storahtelling) Lau Lavie, Aimee (sad lemon cake) Bender, A. J. Jacobs, David Auburn, Jill (Six Feet Under) Soloway, a poised Ben (New Yorker) Greenman, Josh Radnor, Shoshana Berger, Dennis (WSJ) Berman, Ariel Kaminer, Rich (I’m a tough Jew) Cohen, Rachel (Daily Show) Axler, Adam Mansbach, Marc (build me a tabernacle) Kushner, vinyl loving Josh Kun, . and more.
Edited by Roger Bennett, a founder of Reboot, a network of young Jewish creatives and intellectuals, Unscrolled is a gathering of brilliant, diverse voices that will speak to anyone interested in Jewish thought and identity—and, with its singular design and use of color throughout, the perfect bar and bat mitzvah gift.
For each parshat, it presents a sentence, then a synopsis of the Torah portion that is written by Bennett. This is followed by a drash on the story by an author in forms that range from the aforementioned graphic novel and transcript to stories, poems, memoirs, letters, plays, infographics, monologues — each designed to give the reader a different take on some of the oldest, wisest, and occasionally weirdest stories of the Western world, while inspiring new ideas about the Bible and its meaning, value, and place in our lives.
Some work; some don’t work as well. You decide.
Rebecca Odes and Sam Lipsyte render a cartoon of Moses on Mount Sinai; Joshua Foer (with two equally famous and achieving brothers) writes an essay on Jacob and Esau and brutal rivalry (was Isaac really blind? Did he pretend to be fooled by Jacob?); David Auburn (playwright) has a short play in response to Yosef being sold into slavery; Sloane Crosley imagines a frantic Pharaoh checking Google and WebMD as Egypt is afflicted with plagues; Damon Lindelof, a producer of LOST, imagines Abraham being evaluated by a psych ward after almost sacrificing his son Isaac; Eli Attie (who wisely preferred Ess A Bagel to H&H), a former Gore speechwriter and West Wing writer, discusses Nitzavim (One’s standing) as a TV script in which Moses (with his tunic in a bunch) takes a meeting with two overweight men in suits (they think he is Willie Nelson). They specialize in crisis management or strategic communications; Jil Soloway, on Lech L’kha gives us a rashomon-like treatment from various points of view that reflect on Sarah, Abraham, Hagar, and the children. You get the idea. There is something here for everyone and plenty to study and contemplate

[book] Dissident Gardens
A Novel
By Jonathan Lethem
September 2013
A dazzling novel from one of our finest writers—an epic yet intimate family saga about three generations of all-American radicals
At the center of Jonathan Lethem’s superb new novel stand two extraordinary women. Rose Zimmer, the aptly nicknamed Red Queen of Sunnyside, Queens, is an unreconstructed Communist and mercurial tyrant who terrorizes her neighborhood and her family with the ferocity of her personality and the absolutism of her beliefs. Her brilliant and willful daughter, Miriam, is equally passionate in her activism, but flees Rose’s suffocating influence and embraces the Age of Aquarius counterculture of Greenwich Village.
Both women cast spells that entrance or enchain the men in their lives: Rose’s aristocratic German Jewish husband, Albert; her nephew, the feckless chess hustler Lenny Angrush; Cicero Lookins, the brilliant son of her black cop lover; Miriam’s (slightly fraudulent) Irish folksinging husband, Tommy Gogan; their bewildered son, Sergius. These flawed, idealistic people all struggle to follow their own utopian dreams in an America where radicalism is viewed with bemusement, hostility, or indifference.
As the decades pass—from the parlor communism of the ’30s, McCarthyism, the civil rights movement, ragged ’70s communes, the romanticization of the Sandinistas, up to the Occupy movement of the moment—we come to understand through Lethem’s extraordinarily vivid storytelling that the personal may be political, but the political, even more so, is personal.
Brilliantly constructed as it weaves across time and among characters, facing faltering memories and recollections, Dissident Gardens is riotous and haunting, satiric and sympathetic—and a joy to read.

I NEVER HEARD OF POOLISH before reading this book
Gluten-Free Baking from a Jewish-American Kitchen
By Lisa Stander-Horel, Tim Horel
With a foreword by Arthur Schwartz
September 2013
The Experiment
Growing up in a Jewish home, Lisa Stander-Horel was accustomed to helping her mother make special dishes and baked goods for all the holidays. When gluten-free blogger Lisa made the decision to go gluten-free, she wanted to make sure her family could carry on those traditions as a gluten-free household.
Once she had conquered recipes for Mom’s Marble Chiffon Cake, Rugelach, Challah, and other holiday classics, she moved her focus to “everyday” sweet treats, baked goods you could “nosh” on at any time. The result is a collection of diverse recipes that elevate gluten-free baking.
Nosh on This features over 100 recipes for the gluten-free baker who craves traditional Jewish baking.
From Apple Upside-Down Cake to Cherry Chocolate Mandelbrot and more, there are recipes for cookies, cakes, pies & tarts, bars & brownies, pastries, cupcakes, donuts, macaroons, quick breads, muffins, and biscuits, breads, savories, matzoh, and crackers.
There’s even a bonus “Out of the Box” chapter for making the most of a gluten-free mix. Every single recipe is paired with a full-page photograph that provides the readers with an expectation of the result. Lisa’s unique recipe-writing style is explanatory to a tee, and extremely open (meaning she doesn’t shy from admitting if she had a cakewreck the first time she made something, and what she learned). Many recipes are Dairy-Free or include a Dairy-Free option.
Complete with an introduction to gluten-free flour (including a tutorial for the Horels’ special blend that can be used in each recipe) and valuable gluten-free baking tips and process photos throughout, Nosh on This is a comprehensive gluten-free baking resource.

I have to admit... I did not know half of these items were “Jew-ish.” Yes, there are recipes for gluten free babka, honey cake, Mandelbrot, linzer heart, macaroons, challah, challah corn bread stuffing, latkes, kugels, brownies, nutella bites, un-sad lemon bars, cakes rolls, many cupcakes, and pies, but also for meringue bites, peanut butter cups, marshmallows, various donuts, an éclair, a sacher torte, a pavlova and more.
Don’t get caught up with “Jewish.” There are fluffy biscuits (uses buttermilk); caramel banana bread with cranberries (uses nutmeg, cocoa powder, pepper, rum flavoring, orange extract); quick challah (uses Pellegrino water – now I gave away a MAJOR SECRET); marble chiffon cake, and more importantly, there is Flo’s Danish recipe, which the author received in the mail three days after Flo passed away.

[book] MARGOT
September 2013
Personally, I am a member of “Don’t Touch My Holocaust” and I am not a fan of fictional novels based on the reimagined lives of Holocaust victims, but it is a popular genre, and this is a good member of this genre.
Philadelphia-bred Cantor, a graduate of Penn State and the University of Arizona reimagines the life of Anne Frank’s sister. She isn’t killed, but instead moves to America.
The author, Cantor, read The Diary of a Young Girl as a teen and identified with it. She too was an aspiring writer, though not hidden in an attic in a war. She did not even remember that Anne had an older sister. Cantor grew up, married a Jewish man, had kids; but when her grandfather died, she felt compelled to organize her first Passover Seder. Around the same time she read Anne Frank’s diary, and now she was struck by Anne’s suster, Margot. Now, Cantor was 33, not 13. Margot also had a diary, but it was never found. Cantor assumes (or does she project) that Margot was quiet and responsible. This book imagzines the life of Margot.

Anne Frank has long been a symbol of bravery and hope, but there were two sisters hidden in the annex, two young Jewish girls, one a cultural icon made famous by her published diary and the other, nearly forgotten.
In the spring of 1959, The Diary of Anne Frank has just come to the silver screen to great acclaim, and a young woman named Margie Franklin is working in Philadelphia as a secretary at a Jewish law firm. On the surface she lives a quiet life, but Margie has a secret: a life she once lived, a past and a religion she has denied, and a family and a country she left behind.
Margie Franklin is really Margot Frank, older sister of Anne, who did not die in Bergen-Belsen as reported, but who instead escaped the Nazis for America. But now, as her sister becomes a global icon, Margie’s carefully constructed American life begins to fall apart. A new relationship threatens to overtake the young love that sustained her during the war, and her past and present begin to collide. Margie is forced to come to terms with Margot, with the people she loved, and with a life swept up into the course of history.

(Boston Consulting Group – BCG)
September 2013
Random House/Penguin
A fabulous business book. Jewish? Well, no. But I am pretty sure that Montreal born Alan Iny – a graduate of Columbia Business School – is a specialist in Ladino songs.

When BIC, manufacturer of disposable ballpoint pens, wanted to grow, it looked for an idea beyond introducing new sizes and ink colors. Someone suggested lighters. LIGHTERS? With an idea that seemed crazy at first, that bright executive, instead of seeing BIC as a pen company—a business in the PEN “box”—figured out that there was growth to be found in the DISPOSABLE “box.” And he was right. Now there are disposable BIC lighters, razors, even phones. The company opened its door to a host of opportunities.
Your business can, too. And simply thinking “out of the box” is not the answer. True ingenuity needs structure, hard analysis, and bold brainstorming. It needs to start THINKING IN NEW BOXES
—a revolutionary process for sustainable creativity from two strategic innovation experts from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
To make sense of the world, we all rely on assumptions, on models—on what Luc de Brabandere and Alan Iny call “boxes.” If we are unaware of our boxes, they can blind us to risks and opportunities.
This innovative book challenges everything you thought you knew about business creativity by breaking creativity down into five steps:
• Doubt everything. Challenge your current perspectives.
• Probe the possible. Explore options around you.
• Diverge. Generate many new and exciting ideas, even if they seem absurd.
• Converge. Evaluate and select the ideas that will drive breakthrough results.
• Reevaluate. Relentlessly. No idea is a good idea forever. And did we mention Reevaluate? Relentlessly.
Creativity is paramount if you are to thrive in a time of accelerating change. Replete with practical and potent creativity tools, and featuring fascinating case studies from BIC to Ford to Trader Joe’s, Thinking in New Boxes will help you and your company overcome missed opportunities and stay ahead of the curve. This book isn’t a simpleminded checklist. This is Thinking in New Boxes.
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[book] Eating Asian America
A Food Studies Reader
Edited by Robert Ji-Song Ku
Martin F. Manalansan and Anita Mannur
September 2013
NYU New York University Press
Chop suey. Sushi. Curry. Adobo. Kimchi. The deep associations Asians in the United States have with food have become ingrained in the American popular imagination. So much so that contentious notions of ethnic authenticity and authority are marked by and argued around images and ideas of food.
Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader collects burgeoning new scholarship in Asian American Studies that centers the study of foodways and culinary practices in our understanding of the racialized underpinnings of Asian Americanness. It does so by bringing together twenty scholars from across the disciplinary spectrum to inaugurate a new turn in food studies: the refusal to yield to a superficial multiculturalism that naively celebrates difference and reconciliation through the pleasures of food and eating. By focusing on multi-sited struggles across various spaces and times, the contributors to this anthology bring into focus the potent forces of class, racial, ethnic, sexual and gender inequalities that pervade and persist in the production of Asian American culinary and alimentary practices, ideas, and images. This is the first collection to consider the fraught itineraries of Asian American immigrant histories and how they are inscribed in the production and dissemination of ideas about Asian American foodways.

September 2013
A play on words... namely Julia Child's famed book on the art of French Cooking
Anya and her mother dream of food growing up in the Soviet Union. A maternal grandchild of the Frumkin's, she knew of scarcity, and even when she emigrated and landed in Philly in the 1970s, as a child, she craved the flavors of Soviet candy and meats, and worse, mayonnaise.
A James Beard Award-winning writer captures life under the Red socialist banner in this wildly inventive, tragicomic memoir of feasts, famines, and three generations
With startling beauty and sardonic wit, Anya von Bremzen tells an intimate yet epic story of life in that vanished empire known as the USSR—a place where every edible morsel was packed with emotional and political meaning.
Born in 1963, in an era of bread shortages, Anya grew up in a communal Moscow apartment where eighteen families shared one kitchen. She sang odes to Lenin, black-marketeered Juicy Fruit gum at school, watched her father brew moonshine, and, like most Soviet citizens, longed for a taste of the mythical West. It was a life by turns absurd, drab, naively joyous, melancholy—and ultimately intolerable to her anti-Soviet mother, Larisa. When Anya was ten, she and Larisa fled the political repression of Brezhnev-era Russia, arriving in Philadelphia with no winter coats and no right of return.
Now Anya occupies two parallel food universes: one where she writes about four-star restaurants, the other where a taste of humble kolbasa transports her back to her scarlet-blazed socialist past. To bring that past to life, in its full flavor, both bitter and sweet, Anya and Larisa, embark on a journey unlike any other: they decide to eat and cook their way through every decade of the Soviet experience—turning Larisa’s kitchen into a "time machine and an incubator of memories.” Together, mother and daughter re-create meals both modest and sumptuous, featuring a decadent fish pie from the pages of Chekhov, chanakhi (Stalin’s favorite Georgian stew), blini, and more.
Through these meals, Anya tells the gripping story of three Soviet generations— masterfully capturing the strange mix of idealism, cynicism, longing, and terror that defined Soviet life. We meet her grandfather Naum, a glamorous intelligence chief under Stalin, and her grandmother Liza, who made a perilous odyssey to icy, blockaded Leningrad to find Naum during World War II. We meet Anya’s hard-drinking, sarcastic father, Sergei, who cruelly abandons his family shortly after Anya is born; and we are captivated by Larisa, the romantic dreamer who grew up dreading the black public loudspeakers trumpeting the glories of the Five-Year Plan. Their stories unfold against the vast panorama of Soviet history: Lenin’s bloody grain requisitioning, World War II hunger and survival, Stalin’s table manners, Khrushchev’s kitchen debates, Gorbachev’s disastrous anti-alcohol policies. And, ultimately, the collapse of the USSR. And all of it is bound together by Anya’s passionate nostalgia, sly humor, and piercing observations.
Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking is that rare book that stirs our souls and our senses.
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By Merelyn Frank Chalmers, Natanya Eskin
Lauren Fink, Lisa Goldberg, Paula Horwitz
and Jaqui Israel
Photography by Alan Benson
September 2013
Harper Collins Publishers
In 2006 a group of Sydney Jewish women came together to share recipes and talk about food. They cooked, ate, drank endless cups of tea and—often heatedly—discussed the merits of different recipes. After just a few weekly meetings, the Monday Morning Cooking Club was born and a legacy of food and recipes spanning many cultures and generations began to take shape. Five years and hundreds of dishes later, six members of the sisterhood have handpicked their favorite recipes for publication in their first book of the same name. More than 100 culturally diverse recipes from more than 60 cooks have been tried, tested, and refined for inclusion in the Monday Morning Cooking Club book. Each recipe begins with a short story of the cook and their history of the dish. These stories, interweaved with amazing recipes, narrate the rich and personal history of far-flung communities and families who find a deep connection through food and the memory of generations that have gone before.
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[book] Walls
Travels Along the Barricades
by Marcello Di Cintio
September 2013
Soft Skull Press
When I heard him interviewed on the BCC, it made me sick, listending to them fawn over him and lick his ego and focus on evil Israel and noble Palistinians
Book Blurb: What does it mean to live against a wall? In this ambitious first person narrative, Marcello Di Cintio travels to the world’s most disputed edges to meet the people who live alongside the razor wire, concrete, and steel and how the structure of the walls has influenced their lives. Di Cintio shares tea with Saharan refugees on the wrong side of Morocco’s desert wall. He meets with illegal Punjabi migrants who have circumvented the fencing around the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. He visits fenced-in villages in northeast India, walks Arizona’s migrant trails, and travels to Palestinian villages to witness the protests against Israel’s security barrier.
From Native American reservations on the U.S.-Mexico border and the “Great Wall of Montreal” to Cyprus’s divided capital and the Peace Lines of Belfast, Di Cintio seeks to understand what these structures say about those who build them and how they influence the cultures that they pen in. He learns that while every wall fails to accomplish what it was erected to achieve – the walls are never solutions – each wall succeeds at something else. Some walls define Us from Them with Medieval clarity. Some walls encourage fear or feed hate. Some walls steal. Others kill. And every wall inspires its own subversion, either by the infiltrators who dare to go over, under, or around them, or by the artists who transform them. Click the cover to learn more or to purchase the book

Foreword by Samuel G. Freedman
September 2013
Beacon Press
A prominent rabbi and imam, each raised in orthodoxy, overcome the temptations of bigotry and work to bridge the chasm between Muslims and Jews
Sons of Abraham relates the unlikely friendship between the orthodox Rabbi Marc Schneier and Imam Shamsi Ali. Despite the anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic prejudices they were exposed to in their youth, these two men forged a lasting friendship in the tumultuous decade following the attacks of 9/11. Here they share their vision of how Jews and Muslims can work to find common ground. To that end, they analyze some of the religious texts that divide—but can also unite—Jews and Muslims, and address the pressing issues of the day, such as why Jews should be concerned about Islamophobia and why Muslims should care about anti-Semitism. In a time when Jews and Muslims are viewed as incorrigible enemies, Sons of Abraham is an example of a genuine alliance that gives readers a cause for hope.
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A Hot To Guide on Managing Your Covert Terror Group? [book] THE TERRORIST'S DILEMMA
September 2013
Princeton University Press
How do terrorist groups control their members? Do the tools groups use to monitor their operatives and enforce discipline create security vulnerabilities that governments can exploit? The Terrorist's Dilemma is the first book to systematically examine the great variation in how terrorist groups are structured. Employing a broad range of agency theory, historical case studies, and terrorists' own internal documents, Jacob Shapiro provocatively discusses the core managerial challenges that terrorists face and illustrates how their political goals interact with the operational environment to push them to organize in particular ways.
Shapiro provides a historically informed explanation for why some groups have little hierarchy, while others resemble miniature firms, complete with line charts and written disciplinary codes. Looking at groups in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, he highlights how consistent and widespread the terrorist's dilemma--balancing the desire to maintain control with the need for secrecy--has been since the 1880s. Through an analysis of more than a hundred terrorist autobiographies he shows how prevalent bureaucracy has been, and he utilizes a cache of internal documents from al-Qa'ida in Iraq to outline why this deadly group used so much paperwork to handle its people. Tracing the strategic interaction between terrorist leaders and their operatives, Shapiro closes with a series of comparative case studies, indicating that the differences in how groups in the same conflict approach their dilemmas are consistent with an agency theory perspective.
The Terrorist's Dilemma demonstrates the management constraints inherent to terrorist groups and sheds light on specific organizational details that can be exploited to more efficiently combat terrorist activity.
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[book] The Firm
The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business
By Duff McDonald
September 2013
Simon and Schuster
A behind-the-scenes, revelatory history of McKinsey & Co., America’s most influential and controversial business consulting firm, told by one of the nation’s leading financial journalists.
Founded in 1926, McKinsey & Company has become one of the world’s leading management consulting firms, helping to invent American business and shaping its course for decades. Ushering in the age of American industrial dominance, McKinsey remapped the power structure in the White House, helped create the bar code, revolutionized business schools, and introduced the idea of budgeting as a management tool. McKinsey consultants have created the corporate behaviors that shaped our world—reinventing our idea of American capitalism and exporting it across the globe.
At the same time, however, McKinsey can also be associated with a list of striking failures. Its consultants were on the scene when General Motors drove itself into the ground, and they played a critical role in building the bomb known as Enron. Yet they are rarely blamed for the failures—at least not publicly.
McKinsey employees are trusted and distrusted, loved and despised. And far from prying eyes, they are doing behind-the-scenes work for the most powerful people in the world. In The Firm, star financial journalist Duff McDonald uncovers how these high-powered, high-priced business savants have ushered in waves of structural, financial, and technological shifts to the biggest and best American organizations. With unrivaled access to company documents and current and former employees, McDonald reveals the inner workings of what just might be the most influential private organization in America.
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[book] The Firm
The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business
By Duff McDonald
September 2013
Simon and Schuster
A behind-the-scenes, revelatory history of McKinsey & Co., America’s most influential and controversial business consulting firm, told by one of the nation’s leading financial journalists.
Founded in 1926, McKinsey & Company has become one of the world’s leading management consulting firms, helping to invent American business and shaping its course for decades. Ushering in the age of American industrial dominance, McKinsey remapped the power structure in the White House, helped create the bar code, revolutionized business schools, and introduced the idea of budgeting as a management tool. McKinsey consultants have created the corporate behaviors that shaped our world—reinventing our idea of American capitalism and exporting it across the globe.
At the same time, however, McKinsey can also be associated with a list of striking failures. Its consultants were on the scene when General Motors drove itself into the ground, and they played a critical role in building the bomb known as Enron. Yet they are rarely blamed for the failures—at least not publicly.
McKinsey employees are trusted and distrusted, loved and despised. And far from prying eyes, they are doing behind-the-scenes work for the most powerful people in the world. In The Firm, star financial journalist Duff McDonald uncovers how these high-powered, high-priced business savants have ushered in waves of structural, financial, and technological shifts to the biggest and best American organizations. With unrivaled access to company documents and current and former employees, McDonald reveals the inner workings of what just might be the most influential private organization in America.
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Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans von Dohnanyi
Resisters Agsinst Hitler in Church and State
By Fritz Stern and Elisabeth Sifton
September 2013
NY Review of Books
The Third Reich was the twentieth century’s most popular tyranny. After Adolf Hitler took power in 1933, most of Germany’s civil servants and professional elite collaborated with the Nazis or else tried to remain “unpolitical,” to retreat into “inner emigration.” Those who resisted were intimidated and silenced, often through terror and murder. To oppose the regime was rare and dangerous; to do so to protect the sanctity of law and faith was rarer still.
But nonetheless some did. Claus von Stauffenberg, who was at the center of the conspiracy that attempted to kill Hitler on July 20, 1944, is only the best-known member of the German resistance. No Ordinary Men is the story of two of the Nazi regime’s most courageous and admirable opponents: the pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his close friend and brother-in-law Hans von Dohnanyi. Bonhoeffer opposed Nazi racial thought and fought the Nazis’ efforts to control the German Protestant churches. Dohnanyi, a lawyer working in the Wehrmacht’s counterintelligence section, kept records of Nazi crimes to be used as evidence once the regime fell, helped victims, tried to sabotage Nazi policies, and conspired to assassinate Hitler. Both were arrested in April 1943 and interrogated about their resistance activities, and both were executed, after terrible suffering, in April 1945 as the Third Reich was collapsing.
Bonhoeffer’s writings were collected after the war; his Letters and Papers from Prison found a wide audience, and both his theological ideas and his resistance activities attracted much interest. Dohnanyi was less well known but his work in opposing the Nazis—and that of other members of their family—was intimately bound up with Bonhoeffer’s. In No Ordinary Men, Elisabeth Sifton and Fritz Stern demonstrate that the resistance to the Nazi regime was a larger and more complicated drama than is usually depicted. Among those opposed to Hitler’s rule, their growing outrage about the treatment of the Jews was what motivated their decision to resist and to try to remove him, for they knew it was a barbarism that would be a burden of guilt for their nation ever after.
Bonhoeffer and Dohnanyi embodied qualities all too rare among their countrymen at the time: integrity and hard work, selflessness, and remarkable bravery. Sifton and Stern honor both Bonhoeffer’s human decency and his theological legacy, as well as Dohnanyi’s preservation of the highest standard of civic virtue in an utterly corrupted state. Dohnanyi remarked that they had simply taken “the path that a decent person inevitably takes.” Their story expands our understanding of the responses to the Nazi
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[book] DUSK
September 2013
Ages 3 - 8
One December afternoon, boy with dog and grandfather with beard take a walk to watch the sun begin to set over the river. When the sun drops low in the sky, they start home. Buildings grow dimmer. People are rushing. As nature's lights go out, one by one, city's lights turn on, revealing brilliant Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Christmas displays in streets, homes, and stores. A stunning picture book that's sure to be a winter holiday classic by Caldecott Medalist Uri Shulevitz.
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[book] Free Spirit
Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid
by Joshua Safran
September 2013
Joshua Safran may be best known for the award winning documentary Crime After Crime, about two pro bono attorneys who attempt to free a woman in California from prison who was not guilty, and how is Judaism plays a role in his pursuit of justice.
But here is his back story of an unusual childhood.
When Joshua Safran was four years old, his mother -- determined to protect him from the threats of nuclear war and Ronald Reagan -- took to the open road with her young son, leaving the San Francisco countercultural scene behind. Together they embarked on a journey to find a utopia they could call home. In Free Spirit, Safran tells the harrowing, yet wryly funny story of his childhood chasing this perfect life off the grid--and how they survived the imperfect one they found instead. Encountering a cast of strange and humorous characters along the way, Joshua spends his early years living in a series of makeshift homes, including shacks, teepees, buses, and a lean-to on a stump. His colorful youth darkens, however, when his mother marries an alcoholic and abusive guerrilla/poet.
Throughout it all, Joshua yearns for a "normal" life, but when he finally reenters society through school, he finds "America" a difficult and confusing place. Years spent living in the wilderness and discussing Marxism have not prepared him for the Darwinian world of teenagers, and he finds himself bullied and beaten by classmates who don't share his mother's belief about reveling in one's differences.
Eventually, Joshua finds the strength to fight back against his tormentors, both in school and at home, and helps his mother find peace.
But Free Spirit is more than just a coming-of age story. It is also a journey of the spirit, as he reconnects with his Jewish roots; a tale of overcoming adversity; and a captivating read about a childhood unlike any other.
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By Rabbi Neil Gillman
September 2013
Jewish Lights
An intimate and candid examination of the changing nature of belief and where it can lead us from the life experience of one of Judaism s leading thinkers. For over five decades, Rabbi Neil Gillman has helped people think through the most challenging questions at the heart of being a believing religious person. In this intimate rethinking of his own theological journey he explores the changing nature of belief and the complexities of reconciling the intellectual, emotional and moral questions of his own searching mind and soul.
If what we have in recognizing, speaking of and experiencing God is a wide-ranging treasury of humanly crafted metaphors, what, then, is the ultimate reality, the ultimate nature of God? What lies beyond the metaphors? If humanity was an active partner in revelation if the human community participated in what was revealed and gave it meaning what then should be the authority of Jewish law? How do we cope intellectually, emotionally and morally with suffering, the greatest challenge to our faith commitment, relationship with God and sense of a fundamentally ordered world? Death is inevitable but why is it built in as part of the total life experience?
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[book] The American Way of Poverty
How The Other Half Still Lives
By Sasha Abramsky
September 2013
Fifty years after Michael Harrington published his groundbreaking book The Other America, in which he chronicled the lives of people excluded from the Age of Affluence, poverty in America is back with a vengeance. It is made up of both the long-term chronically poor and new working poor—the tens of millions of victims of a broken economy and an ever more dysfunctional political system. In many ways, for the majority of Americans, financial insecurity has become the new norm.
The American Way of Poverty shines a light on this travesty. Sasha Abramsky brings the effects of economic inequality out of the shadows and, ultimately, suggests ways for moving toward a fairer and more equitable social contract. Exploring everything from housing policy to wage protections and affordable higher education, Abramsky lays out a panoramic blueprint for a reinvigorated political process that, in turn, will pave the way for a renewed War on Poverty.
It is, Harrington believed, a moral outrage that in a country as wealthy as America, so many people could be so poor. Written in the way of the 2008 financial collapse, in an era of grotesque economic extremes, The American Way of Poverty brings that same powerful indignation to the topic.
Abramsky is a graduate of Oxford and Columbia J School. He is working on a family memoir which will be published in the UK in 2014 (I assume he is related to Professors Shimshon and Ros Abramsky). Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book


October 2013
Metropolitan Books
EVEN IF you only read the intro, the book is worth the purchase price
Since when did Tevye and Fiddler on the Roof, a 50-year-old musical based on 100 year old short stories come to represent the nostalgia and idea of shtetl Jewish life and Jewish life before the mass American immigration
This is a sparkling and eye-opening history of the Broadway musical that changed the world.
In the half-century since its premiere, Fiddler on the Roof has had an astonishing global impact. Beloved by audiences the world over, performed from rural high schools to grand state theaters, Fiddler is a supremely potent cultural landmark.
In a history as captivating as its subject, award-winning drama critic Alisa Solomon traces how and why the story of Tevye the milkman, the creation of the great Yiddish writer Sholem-Aleichem, was reborn as blockbuster entertainment and a cultural touchstone, not only for Jews and not only in America. It is a story of the theater, following Tevye from his humble appearance on the New York Yiddish stage, through his adoption by leftist dramatists as a symbol of oppression, to his Broadway debut in one of the last big book musicals, and his ultimate destination—a major Hollywood picture.
Solomon reveals how the show spoke to the deepest conflicts and desires of its time: the fraying of tradition, generational tension, the loss of roots. Audiences everywhere found in Fiddler immediate resonance and a usable past, whether in Warsaw, where it unlocked the taboo subject of Jewish history, or in Tokyo, where the producer asked how Americans could understand a story that is “so Japanese.”
Rich, entertaining, and original, Wonder of Wonders reveals the surprising and enduring legacy of a show about tradition that itself became a tradition.

[book] The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem
The Remarkable Life and Afterlife of the Man Who Created Tevye
By Jeremy Dauber
October 2013
The first comprehensive biography of one of the most beloved authors of all time: the creator of Tevye the Dairyman, the stories that inspired Fiddler on the Roof.
Novelist, playwright, journalist, essayist, and editor, Sholem Aleichem was one of the founding giants of modern Yiddish literature and a folk hero in his own right. The creator of a pantheon of memorable characters who have been immortalized in books and plays, he provided readers with a fascinating window onto the world of Eastern European Jews as they began to confront the forces of cultural, political, and religious modernity that tore through the Russian empire in the final decades of the nineteenth century. But just as compelling as the fictional lives of his characters was Sholem Aleichem's own life story. Born Sholem Rabinovitch in Ukraine in 1859, he endured an impoverished childhood, married into fabulous wealth, and then lost it all through bad luck and worse business sense. Turning to his pen to support himself, he switched from writing in Russian and Hebrew to Yiddish in order to create a living body of literature for the Jewish masses. He enjoyed spectacular success as both a writer and a performer of his work in Jewish communities throughout Europe and the United States, and his death from chronic tuberculosis in New York in 1916 was front-page news around the world. His funeral was attended by more than 150,000 people, and a New York Times editorial mourned the loss of "the Jewish Mark Twain." But his greatest fame lay ahead of him, as the English-speaking world began to discover his work in translation and his beloved characters were introduced to an audience that would extend beyond his wildest dreams.  In this magnificent biography, we encounter a Sholem Aleichem for the ages.
This biography is part of the critically-acclaimed JEWISH ENCOUNTERS series, a collaboration between Schocken Books and Nextbook Press.

[book] The Rise of Abraham Cahan
By Seth Lipsky
October 2013
The first general-interest biography of the legendary editor of The Jewish Daily Forward, the iconic Yiddish-language newspaper of the laboring masses that inspired, educated, and entertained millions of readers, helped redefine journalism during its golden age, and transformed American culture.
Abraham Cahan took the helm of a failing Yiddish Socialist daily in New York City in 1902 and over the next fifty years turned it into a national newspaper that changed American politics and earned him the adulation of millions of Jewish immigrants and the friendship of the greatest newspapermen of his day, from Lincoln Steffens to H. L. Mencken. Cahan--whose tenure at the Forward spanned the Russian Revolution, the First World War, the rise of political Zionism, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and the creation of the State of Israel--did more than cover the news. He led revolutionary reforms--spreading social democracy, organizing labor unions, battling communism, and assimilating immigrant Jews into American society, most notably via his groundbreaking advice column, "A Bintel Brief." Cahan was also a celebrated novelist whose works are read and studied to this day as brilliant examples of fiction that turned the immigrant narrative into an art form. Acclaimed journalist Seth Lipsky, creator of the English-language successor to Cahan's Forward, gives us the fascinating story of a man of profound contradictions: an avowed socialist who wrote fiction with transcendent sympathy for a wealthy manufacturer; an internationalist who turned against the anti-Zionism of the left; an assimilationist whose final battle was against religious apostasy. Lipsky's Cahan is a prism through which to understand the paradoxes and transformations of American Judaism itself. A towering newspaperman in the manner of Horace Greeley and Joseph Pulitzer, Abraham Cahan revolutionized our idea of what newspapers could accomplish.
This biography is part of the critically-acclaimed JEWISH ENCOUNTERS series, a collaboration between Schocken Books and Nextbook Press.

October 2013
Other Press
A mesmerizing debut novel that spans a thousand years of European and Jewish history seen through the beguiling members of the Spinoza family
Since the eleventh century, the Spinoza family has passed down, from father to son, a secret manuscript containing the recipe for immortality. Now, after thirty-six generations, the last descendant of this long and illustrious chain, Ari Spinoza, doesn’t have a son to whom to entrust the manuscript. From his deathbed, he begins his narrative, hoping to save his lineage from oblivion.
Ari’s two main sources of his family’s history are a trunk of yellowing documents inherited from his grandfather, and his great-uncle Fernando’s tales that captivated him when he was a child. He chronicles the Spinozas’ involvement in some of Europe’s most formative cultural events with intertwining narratives that move through ages of tyranny, creativity, and social upheaval: into medieval Portugal, Grand inquisitor Torquemada’s Spain, Rembrandt’s Amsterdam, the French Revolution, Freud’s Vienna, and the horrors of both world wars.
The Elixir of Immortality blends truth and fiction as it rewrites European history through comic, imaginative, scandalous, and tragic tales that prove “the only thing that can possibly give human beings immortality on this earth: our ability to remember.”

October 2013
Yale University Press
Leonard Bernstein was a charismatic and versatile musician—a brilliant conductor who attained international super-star status, and a gifted composer of Broadway musicals (West Side Story), symphonies (Age of Anxiety), choral works (Chichester Psalms), film scores (On the Waterfront), and much more. Bernstein was also an enthusiastic letter writer, and this book is the first to present a wide-ranging selection of his correspondence. The letters have been selected for the insights they offer into the passions of his life—musical and personal—and the extravagant scope of his musical and extra-musical activities.
Bernstein’s letters tell much about this complex man, his collaborators, his mentors, and others close to him. His galaxy of correspondents encompassed, among others, Aaron Copland,Stephen Sondheim, Jerome Robbins, Thornton Wilder, Boris Pasternak, Bette Davis, Adolph Green, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and family members including his wife Felicia and his sister Shirley.
The majority of these letters have NEVER been published before.
They have been carefully chosen to demonstrate the breadth of Bernstein’s musical interests, his constant struggle to find the time to compose, his turbulent and complex sexuality, his political activities, and his endless capacity for hard work. Beyond all this, these writings provide a glimpse of the man behind the legends: his humanity, warmth, volatility, intellectual brilliance, wonderful eye for descriptive detail, and humor.

[book] DARLING
By Richard Rodriquez
October 2013
Penguin Viking
An award–winning writer delivers a major reckoning with religion, place, and sexuality in the aftermath of 9/11
Hailed in The Washington Post as “one of the most eloquent and probing public intellectuals in America,” Richard Rodriguez now considers religious violence worldwide, growing public atheism in the West, and his own mortality.
Rodriguez’s stylish new memoir—the first book in a decade from the Pulitzer Prize finalist—moves from Jerusalem to Silicon Valley, from Moses to Liberace, from Lance Armstrong to Mother Teresa. Rodriguez is a homosexual who writes with love of the religions of the desert that exclude him. He is a passionate, unorthodox Christian who is always mindful of his relationship to Judaism and Islam because of a shared belief in the God who revealed himself within an ecology of emptiness. And at the center of this book is a consideration of women—their importance to Rodriguez’s spiritual formation and their centrality to the future of the desert religions.
Only a mind as elastic and refined as Rodriguez’s could bind these threads together into this wonderfully complex tapestry.

A Novel
Translated from Hebrew by Yardenne Greenspan
October 13, 2013
New Vessel Press
On the shores of Israel’s Sea of Galilee lies the city of Tiberias, a place bursting with sexuality and longing for love. The air is saturated with smells of cooking and passion. Seven-year-old Shlomi, who develops a remarkable culinary talent, has fallen for Ella, the strange girl next door with suicidal tendencies; his little brother Hilik obsessively collects words in a notebook.
In the wild, selfish but magical grown-up world that swirls around them, a mother with a poet’s soul mourns the deaths of literary giants while her handsome, wayward husband cheats on her both at home and abroad.
Some Day is a gripping family saga, a sensual and emotional feast that plays out over decades. The characters find themselves caught in cycles of repetition, as if they were “rhymes in a poem, cursed with history.” They become victims of inspired recipes that bring joy and calamity to the cooks and diners. Mysterious curses cause people’s hair to fall out, their necks to swell and the elimination of rational thought amid capitulation to unhealthy urges.
This is an enchanting tale about tragic fates that disrupt families and break our hearts. Zarhin’s hypnotic writing renders a painfully delicious vision of individual lives behind Israel’s larger national story.

An Introduction to Modern Jewish Thought
By Leora Batnitzky (Princeton)
October 2013
Is Judaism a religion, a culture, a nationality--or a mixture of all of these? In How Judaism Became a Religion, Leora Batnitzky boldly argues that this question more than any other has driven modern Jewish thought since the eighteenth century. This wide-ranging and lucid introduction tells the story of how Judaism came to be defined as a religion in the modern period--and why Jewish thinkers have fought as well as championed this idea.
Ever since the Enlightenment, Jewish thinkers have debated whether and how Judaism--largely a religion of practice and public adherence to law--can fit into a modern, Protestant conception of religion as an individual and private matter of belief or faith. Batnitzky makes the novel argument that it is this clash between the modern category of religion and Judaism that is responsible for much of the creative tension in modern Jewish thought. Tracing how the idea of Jewish religion has been defended and resisted from the eighteenth century to today, the book discusses many of the major Jewish thinkers of the past three centuries, including Moses Mendelssohn, Abraham Geiger, Hermann Cohen, Martin Buber, Zvi Yehuda Kook, Theodor Herzl, and Mordecai Kaplan. At the same time, it tells the story of modern orthodoxy, the German-Jewish renaissance, Jewish religion after the Holocaust, the emergence of the Jewish individual, the birth of Jewish nationalism, and Jewish religion in America.
More than an introduction, How Judaism Became a Religion presents a compelling new perspective on the history of modern Jewish thought.
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The Trolley problem and What Your Answer Tells Us about Right and Wrong
Presented by David Edmonds
October 2013
You’ve probably seen the Harvard class on video or youtube in which the teacher asks students what they would do if they saw a runaway trolley. And the scenario keeps changing to see what choices you would make
A runaway trolley is racing toward five men who are tied to the track. Unless the train is stopped, it will inevitably kill all five men. You are standing on a footbridge looking down on the unfolding disaster. However, a fat man, a stranger, is standing next to you: if you push him off the bridge, he will topple onto the line and, although he will die, his chunky body will stop the train, saving five lives. Would you kill the fat man?
The question may seem bizarre. But it's one variation of a puzzle that has baffled moral philosophers for almost half a century since it was written in Britain by a female philosophy professor, and that more recently has come to preoccupy neuroscientists, psychologists, and other thinkers as well.
In this book, David Edmonds, coauthor of the best-selling Wittgenstein's Poker, tells the story of why and how philosophers have struggled with this ethical dilemma, sometimes called the trolley problem. In the process, he provides an entertaining and informative tour through the history of moral philosophy.
I got a little irritated by the format, trying to recreate police reports and testimonies, but in the end it is a good teaching tool
Most people feel it's wrong to kill the fat man. But why? After all, in taking one life you could save five. As Edmonds shows, answering the question is far more complex--and important--than it first appears. In fact, how we answer it tells us a great deal about right and wrong.
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Edited by AbdelWahab Meddeb and Benjamin Stora
October 2013
This is the first encyclopedic guide to the history of relations between Jews and Muslims around the world from the birth of Islam to today. Richly illustrated and beautifully produced, the book features more than 150 authoritative and accessible articles by an international team of leading experts in history, politics, literature, anthropology, and philosophy. Organized thematically and chronologically, this indispensable reference provides critical facts and balanced context for greater historical understanding and a more informed dialogue between Jews and Muslims.
Part I covers the medieval period; Part II, the early modern period through the nineteenth century, in the Ottoman Empire, Africa, Asia, and Europe; Part III, the twentieth century, including the exile of Jews from the Muslim world, Jews and Muslims in Israel, and Jewish-Muslim politics; and Part IV, intersections between Jewish and Muslim origins, philosophy, scholarship, art, ritual, and beliefs. The main articles address major topics such as the Jews of Arabia at the origin of Islam; special profiles cover important individuals and places; and excerpts from primary sources provide contemporary views on historical events.
Contributors include Mark R. Cohen, Alain Dieckhoff, Michael Laskier, Vera Moreen, Gordon D. Newby, Marina Rustow, Daniel Schroeter, Kirsten Schulze, Mark Tessler, John Tolan, Gilles Veinstein, and many more.
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[book] ISA DOES IT
Amazingly Easy Wildly Delicious
Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week
A Cookbook
By Isa Chandra Moskowitz
October 2013
Little Brown and Company
Recipes, tips, and strategies for easy, delicious vegan meals every day of the week, from America's bestselling vegan cookbook author. How does Isa Chandra Moskowitz make flavorful and satisfying vegan meals from scratch every day, often in 30 minutes or less? It's easy! In ISA DOES IT, the beloved cookbook author shares 150 new recipes to make weeknight cooking a snap. Mouthwatering recipes like Sweet Potato Red Curry with Rice and Purple Kale, Bistro Beet Burgers, and Summer Seitan Saute with Cilantro and Lime illustrate how simple and satisfying meat-free food can be. The recipes are supermarket friendly and respect how busy most readers are. From skilled vegan chefs, to those new to the vegan pantry, or just cooks looking for some fresh ideas, Isa's unfussy recipes and quirky commentary will make everyone's time in the kitchen fun and productive.
Isa's blog gets 5 million visits a year, and she has more than 20,000 Twitter followers.
By the way, Isa grew up in Brooklyn with powdered potatoes and hamburger helper. Then she went vegan and her mother bought her a small stack of cookbooks. She dropped out of HS for Music and Art, focused on cooking, and now we have this, her latest cookbook.
Here are two items I want to mention. Her coconut chana saag uses coconut instead of a tomato base (although it does use tomato juice and a can of whole ones). She also skips the spinach and uses kale instead. Her warm potato salad uses grilled seitan and asparagus..

[book] Being Both
Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family
By Susan Katz Miller
October 2013
Beacon Press
A book on the growing number of interfaith families raising children in two religions. Former New Scientist and Newsweek reporter, Susan Katz Miller, grew up with a Jewish father and Christian mother, and was raised Jewish. Now in an interfaith marriage herself, she is a leader in the growing movement of families electing to raise children in both religions, rather than in one religion or the other (or without religion).
Miller draws on original surveys and interviews with parents, students, teachers, and clergy, as well as on her own journey, in chronicling this grassroots movement. Being Both is a book for couples and families considering this pathway, and for the clergy and extended family who want to support them. Miller offers inspiration and reassurance for parents exploring the unique benefits and challenges of dual-faith education, and she rebuts many of the common myths about raising children with two faiths. Being Both heralds a new America of inevitable racial, ethnic, and religious intermarriage, and asks couples who choose both religions to celebrate this decision.

Three Journeys Into The Heart of the Twentieth Century
By David Laskin
October 2013
The author of the The Children’s Blizzard delivers an epic work of twentieth century history through the riveting story of one extraordinary Jewish family. With cinematic power and beauty, bestselling author David Laskin limns his own genealogy to tell the spellbinding tale of the three drastically different paths that his family members took across the span of 150 years.
In the latter half of the nineteenth century Laskin’s great-great-grandfather, a Torah scribe named Shimon Dov HaKohen, raised six children with his wife, Beyle, in a yeshiva town at the western fringe of the Russian empire. The pious couple expected their sons and daughters to carry the family tradition into future generations. But the social and political upheavals of the twentieth century decreed otherwise.
The HaKohen family split off into three branches. One branch emigrated to America and founded the fabulously successful Maidenform Bra Company; one branch went to Palestine as pioneers and participated in the contentious birth of the state of Israel; and the third branch remained in Europe and suffered the Holocaust.
In tracing the roots of his own family, Laskin captures the epic sweep of twentieth-century history. A modern-day scribe, Laskin honors the traditions, the lives, and the choices of his ancestors: revolutionaries and entrepreneurs, scholars and farmers, tycoons and truck drivers. The Family is an eloquent masterwork of true grandeur—a deeply personal, dramatic, and universal account of a people
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[book] Goliath:
Life and Loathing in Greater Israel
By Max Blumenthal
October 2013
Nation Books.
The book is published by NATION BOOKS, so you will not be surprised by the content and theme.
In Goliath, Max Blumenthal takes the reader on a journey through Israel-Palestine, painting a portrait of Israeli society under the siege of increasingly authoritarian politics as its occupation of the Palestinians deepens. Blumenthal tells the story of Israel in the wake of the collapse of the Oslo peace process.
Blumenthal writes that Israel has become a country where right-wing leaders like Avigdor Lieberman and Binyamin Netanyahu are sacrificing democracy on the altar of their power politics; where the loyal opposition largely and passively stands aside and watches the organized assault on civil liberties; where state-funded Orthodox rabbis publish books that provide instructions on how and when to kill Gentiles; where half of Jewish youth declare their refusal to sit in a classroom with an Arab; and where mob violence targets Palestinians and African asylum seekers scapegoated by leading government officials as "demographic threats."
As his journey deepens, he painstakingly reports on the occupied Palestinians challenging schemes of demographic separation through unarmed protest. He talks at length to the leaders and youth of Palestinian society inside Israel now targeted by security service dragnets and legislation suppressing their speech, and provides in-depth reporting on the small band of Jewish Israeli dissidents who have shaken off a conformist mindset that permeates the media, schools, and the military. Blumenthal illuminates the histories of Palestinian neighborhoods and villages now gone and forgotten; how that history has set the stage for the current crisis of Israeli society; and how the Holocaust has been turned into justification for occupation.
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[book] The Can't Cook Book
Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified!
By Jessica Seinfeld
October 2013
Many know Seinfeld as the wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld, or they are jealous and badmouth her because she left her first husband after a few weeks after she met Seinfeld or they malign her for her best selling Sneaky Chef and Deceptively Delicious cookbooks.
I say to them to getta life
In her newest book, she has a collection of more than 100 simple recipes that will transform even the most kitchen-phobic “Can’t Cooks” into “Can Cooks.”
If you find cooking scary or stressful or just boring, Jessica has a calm, confidence building approach to cooking, even for those who’ve never followed a recipe or used an oven. Jessica shows you how to prepare simple food — from Caesar salad, rice pilaf, and roasted asparagus to lemon salmon, roast chicken, and flourless fudge cake.
At the beginning of each dish, she explains up front what the challenge will be, and then shows you exactly how to overcome any hurdles in easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions. Designed to put the nervous cook at ease, The Can’t Cook Book is perfect for anyone who wants to gain confidence in the kitchen—and, who knows, maybe even master a meal or two.

October 2013
Atria – Cash Money Press
Al Sharpton has been called many things. A reverend, a pundit, a leader, a con-artist, a promoter, an unrepentant spokesman for Tawana Brawley, a civil rights entrepreneur, an extortionist, a leader of goon squads, a street provocateur, a future mayor or elected politician, and more. Currently, a host of cable TV/MSNBC's PoliticsNation, he is outspoken. In this, his first book in over a decade, Sharpton gives you his behind the scenes recollections of officiating at Michael Jackson's funeral, visiting President Barack Obama at the White House, and “taking charge” of the Trayvon Martin case in Florida. He also writes how he came to his unexpected conclusions in such areas as Immigration, Gay Rights, Religion and the Family.
But the heart of the book is an intimate discussion of his own personal evolution from street activist, pulpit provocateur and civil rights leader to the man he is today - one hundred pounds slimmer, and according to the New York Observer “the most thoughtful voice on cable.” No, the Sharpton of 2001 isn’t the same man in 2013. He wants people to transform their hearts and minds.
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October 2013
Taunton Press
Smooth or ribbed, long or short, pasta is a “machine” designed to “capture” the sauce, to hold it, to transport it in the proper quantity to the mouth, to define the flavor of the recipe. The ribbings increase the surface area, to extend the staying power of the sour or sweet notes of the various seasonings; the loops catch small fragments of flavor; the spirals withhold and amplify the density of sauces. Pasta was created as a carrier of sauces, and there are no limits to it in this marvelous vocation. And Italian gastronomic tradition, so widely varied in its regional and territorial products, offers an extraordinary wealth of combinations, worthy of being proposed a new for an international audience, to respond to the hasty and quotidian repetitiveness resulting in unchanging cuisine. Thus was born the idea for a new book on pasta, the fruit of Academia Barilla’s gastronomic experience and of Barilla’s centuries-old technological competencies, to promote 360° knowledge about pasta, giving value to the extraordinary variety of the formats produced today in Italy — at least 300 — combining them in simple and varied preparations, each one tested and experimented with by the chefs at Academia Barilla, along with text and suggestions for excellence in the final result…
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A cookbook by Oretta Zanini de Vita and Maureen B Fant
October 2013
Not Jewish per se, but a fascinating cookbook
The indispensable cookbook for genuine Italian sauces and the traditional pasta shapes that go with them.
Cooking pasta the Italian way means:
Keep your eye on the pot, not the clock.
Respect tradition, but don’t be a slave to it.
Choose a compatible pasta shape for your sauce or soup, but remember they aren’t matched by computer. (And that angel hair goes with broth, not sauce.)
Use the best ingredients you can find—and you can find plenty on the Internet. Resist the urge to embellish, add, or substitute. But minor variations usually enhance a dish.
How much salt? Don’t ask, taste!

Jewish readers will be drawn to the Sugo coi carciofi, the artichoke sauces.
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[book] Roth Unbound
A Writer and His Books
by Claudia Roth Pierpont
October 2013
A critical evaluation of Philip Roth—the first of its kind—that takes on the man, the myth, and the work. Philip Roth—one of the most renowned writers of his generation—hardly needs introduction. From his debut, Goodbye, Columbus, which won the National Book Award, to his Pulitzer Prize–winning American Pastoral, to his eternally inventive later works such as Exit Ghost and Nemesis, Roth has produced some of the greatest literature of the past hundred years. And yet there has been no major critical work about him, until now.
Here, at last, is the story of Roth’s creative life. Claudia Roth Pierpont, a writer for The New Yorker for more than twenty years, tells an engaging story even as she delves into the many complexities of Roth’s work and the controversies it has raised. This is not a biography—though it contains many biographical details—but something more rewarding: an attempt to understand a great writer through his art.
Pierpont, who has known Roth for several years, peppers her gracefully written and carefully researched account with conversational details, providing insights and anecdotes previously accessible only to a very few, touching on Roth’s family, his inspirations, his critics, the full range of his fiction, and his literary friendships with such figures as Saul Bellow and John Updike. Roth Unbound is a major achievement, a fascinating and highly readable work that will set the standard for Roth scholarship for years to come.

[book] The JGuy's Guide
The GPS for Jewish Teen Guys
by Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler and Dr. Shulamit Reinharz
November 2013
Jewish Lights
What does it mean to be a young Jewish man?
Who am I? How do I feel about myself? Do I seem cool? Do I fit in? These overarching teen boys concerns are addressed head on through the voices of contemporary Jewish teens, men, and biblical and historical stories. The JGuy s Guide helps young teens see how Judaism can help them navigate the often choppy waters of adolescence while it strengthens Jewish identity and pride.
This interactive book encourages personal reflection and discussion, making it ideal for the individual teenager as well as education and discussion groups. Its candid approach explores dilemmas boys face in their daily lives: the pressure to excel at sports, school and social life; the courage to speak up when friends make questionable choices or parents act hypocritically; and more. Like the Talmud, the book offers many perspectives and reflection questions to help boys find their own truths.
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[book] Mitzi's Mitzvah
by Gloria Koster
Illustrated by Hollil Conger
October 2013
Adorable puppy Mitzi visits a nursing home where she helps the residents celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New year.

[book] Buffoon Men
Classic Hollywood Comedians and Queered Masculinity
(Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media Series)
by Scott Balcerzak (Northern Illinois)
October 2013
Wayne State University Press
Film scholars and fans have used distinctive terms to describe the Classic Hollywood comedian: He is a "trickster," a "rebel," or a "buffoon." Yet the performer is almost always described as a "he." In Buffoon Men: Classic Hollywood Comedians and Queered Masculinity, Scott Balcerzak reads the performances of notable comedians such as W. C. Fields, Eddie Cantor, Jack Benny, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey, and Bud Abbott and Lou Costello through humor and queer theory to expose a problematic history of maleness in their personas. He argues that contrary to popular notions of Classic Hollywood history, these male comedians rearranged or, at times, rejected heteronormative protocols.
Balcerzak begins by defining the particular buffoonish masculinity portrayed by early film comedians, a gender and genre construct influenced by the cultural anxieties of the 1930s and '40s. In chapter 1, he considers the onscreen pairing of W. C. Fields and Mae West to identify a queered sexuality and drag persona in Fields's performance, while in chapter 2 he examines the two major constructions of Fields's film persona-the confidence man and the husband-to show Fields to be a conflicted and subversive figure. In chapter 3, Balcerzak considers the assimilation and influence of Eddie Cantor as a Jewish celebrity, while he turns to the cross-media influence of Jack Benny's radio persona in chapter 4. In Chapters 5 and 6, he moves beyond the individual performer to examine the complex masculine brotherhood of comedy duos Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey.
Buffoon Men shows that the complicated history of the male comedian during the early sound era has much to tell us about multimedia comedic stars today. Fans and scholars of film history, gender studies, and broadcast studies will appreciate Balcerzak's thorough exploration of the era's fascinating gender constructs.

By Corey Feldman (child actor)
October 2013
St. Martin’s Press
A memoir by a survivor… I mean a survivor of Hollywood (and its pedophilia and lifestyles and talent agents and managers).
A personal and revealing memoir and Hollywood-survival story by child actor who is best known for The Lost Boys and Stand By Me star, and the other Corey (compared to late Corey Haim)
You know Corey Feldman from Stand by Me, Gremlins, The Goonies, and The Lost Boys. Growing up onscreen, he exuded tough guy edge with a heart of gold. And he lived the life that went along with his success: he palled around with Michael Jackson, dated Drew Barrymore, and was best friends with Corey Haim (aka "the other Corey").
But now that two of those close friends—Haim and Jackson—have passed away, along with others, Corey has decided that it’s time to come clean about his past, a past that included physical, drug, and sexual abuse, a dysfunctional family from whom he was emancipated at age fifteen, and a stint in rehab. He will zone in on his close friendship with Haim: the two actors shared a darker story of abuse, which led to Haim’s lifelong battle with various addictions and his eventual death.
Through it all, Corey has overcome the worst traps that have ensnared so many others of his generation, others who have not made it to where he is today—still acting, a touring musician, and a loving father. At the same time, he still fights for his career and his health, every single day. Coreyography is a tale of survival and redemption.

November 2013
Spiegel and Grau
A groundbreaking, ambitious, and authoritative examination of Israel by one of the most influential columnists writing about the Middle East today
My Promised Land tells the story of Israel as it has never been told before. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Through revealing stories of significant events and of ordinary individuals—pioneers, immigrants, entrepreneurs, scientists, army generals, peaceniks, settlers, and Palestinians—Israeli journalist Ari Shavit illuminates many of the pivotal moments of the Zionist century that led Israel to where it is today. We meet the youth group leader who recognized the potential of Masada as a powerful symbol for Zionism; the young farmer who bought an orange grove from his Arab neighbor in the 1920s, and with the Jaffa orange helped to create a booming economy in Palestine; the engineer who was instrumental in developing Israel’s nuclear program; the religious Zionists who started the settler movement. Over an illustrious career that has spanned almost thirty years, Shavit has had rare access to people from across the Israeli political, economic, and social spectrum, and in this ambitious work he tells a riveting story that is both deeply human and of profound historical dimension.
As it examines the complexities and contradictions of the Israeli condition, My Promised Land asks difficult but important questions: Why did Israel come to be? How did it come to be? And can Israel survive? Culminating with an analysis of the issues and threats that Israel is currently facing, both internal and external, My Promised Land uses the defining events of the past to shed new light on the present. The result is a landmark portrait of a small, vibrant country living on the edge, whose identity and presence play a crucial role in today’s global political landscape.

The Meaning of Machiavelli’s Masterpiece
By Maurizio Viroli (Princeton)
November 2013
In Redeeming "The Prince," one of the world's leading Machiavelli scholars puts forth a startling new interpretation of arguably the most influential but widely misunderstood book in the Western political tradition. Overturning popular misconceptions and challenging scholarly consensus, Maurizio Viroli also provides a fresh introduction to the work. Seen from this original perspective, five centuries after its composition, The Prince offers new insights into the nature and possibilities of political liberation.
Rather than a bible of unscrupulous politics, The Prince, Viroli argues, is actually about political redemption--a book motivated by Machiavelli's patriotic desire to see a new founding for Italy. Written in the form of an oration, following the rules of classical rhetoric, the book condenses its main message in the final section, "Exhortation to liberate Italy from the barbarians." There Machiavelli creates the myth of a redeemer, an ideal ruler who ushers in an era of peace, freedom, and unity. Contrary to scholars who maintain that the exhortation was added later, Viroli proves that Machiavelli composed it along with the rest of the text, completing the whole by December 1513 or early 1514.
Only if we read The Prince as a theory of political redemption, Viroli contends, can we at last understand, and properly evaluate, the book's most controversial pages on political morality, as well as put to rest the cliché of Machiavelli as a "Machiavellian."
Bold, clear, and provocative, Redeeming "The Prince" should permanently change how Machiavelli and his masterpiece are understood.
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November 2013
Jews and the Military is the first comprehensive and comparative look at Jews' involvement in the military and their attitudes toward war from the 1600s until the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Derek Penslar shows that although Jews have often been described as people who shun the army, in fact they have frequently been willing, even eager, to do military service, and only a minuscule minority have been pacifists. Penslar demonstrates that Israel's military ethos did not emerge from a vacuum and that long before the state's establishment, Jews had a vested interest in military affairs.
Spanning Europe, North America, and the Middle East, Penslar discusses the myths and realities of Jewish draft dodging, how Jews reacted to facing their coreligionists in battle, the careers of Jewish officers and their reception in the Jewish community, the effects of World War I on Jewish veterans, and Jewish participation in the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Penslar culminates with a study of Israel's War of Independence as a Jewish world war, which drew on the military expertise and financial support of a mobilized, global Jewish community. He considers how military service was a central issue in debates about Jewish emancipation and a primary indicator of the position of Jews in any given society.
Deconstructing old stereotypes, Jews and the Military radically transforms our understanding of Jews' historic relationship to war and military power.

November 2013
NYU Press
Jews have played an integral role in the history of obscenity in America. For most of the 20th century, Jewish entrepreneurs and editors led the charge against obscenity laws. Jewish lawyers battled literary censorship even when their non-Jewish counterparts refused to do so, and they won court decisions in favor of texts including Ulysses, A Howl, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and Tropic of Cancer. Jewish literary critics have provided some of the most influential courtroom testimony on behalf of freedom of expression.
The anti-Semitic stereotype of the lascivious Jew has made many historians hesitant to draw a direct link between Jewishness and obscenity. In Unclean Lips, Josh Lambert addresses the Jewishness of participants in obscenity controversies in the U.S. directly, exploring the transformative roles played by a host of neglected figures in the development of modern and postmodern American culture.
The diversity of American Jewry means that there is no single explanation for Jews' interventions in this field. Rejecting generalizations, this bookoffers case studies that pair cultural histories with close readings of both contested texts and trial transcripts to reveal the ways in which specific engagements with obscenity mattered to particular American Jews at discrete historical moments.
Reading American culture from Theodore Dreiser and Henry Miller to Curb Your Enthusiasm and FCC v. Fox, Unclean Lips analyzes the variable historical and cultural factors that account for the central role Jews have played in the struggles over obscenity and censorship in the modern United States.
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November 2013
This is the book that American Jews and particularly American Reform Jews have been waiting for: a clear and informed call for further reform in the Reform movement.
In light of profound demographic, social, and technological developments, it has become increasingly clear that the Reform movement will need to make major changes to meet the needs of a quickly evolving American Jewish population. Younger Americans in particular differ from previous generations in how they relate to organized religion, often preferring to network through virtual groups or gather in informal settings of their own choosing.
Dana Evan Kaplan, an American Reform Jew and pulpit rabbi, argues that rather than focusing on the importance of loyalty to community, Reform Judaism must determine how to engage the individual in a search for existential meaning. It should move us toward a critical, scholarly understanding of the Hebrew Bible, that we may emerge with the perspectives required by a postmodern world. Such a Reform Judaism can at once help us understand how the ancient world molded our most cherished religious traditions and guide us in addressing the increasingly complex social problems of our day.
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November 2013
Center Street
Marion Grodin, daughter of funnyman Charles Grodin (A descendant of a long line of rabbis), knows firsthand that laughter is truly the best medicine, having not only survived breast cancer and divorce, but also, various addictions-including an inappropriate relationship with Haagen Dazs.
Her hilarious riffs include; the story of growing large breasts that appeared seemingly overnight (Unfortunately this happened during the summer that she spent on the set of King Kong with her father and Jeff Bridges on whom she developed a huge crush); Her post divorce life, its slight weight gain and how she relied on her wise support group, her cats "BabyFighter" Edmond and "fashionably sporty, forensic expert" Snuggles.
In this cleverly written memoir Marion integrates her diverse and challenging life experiences and unstoppable ability to make everything funny in a way that is both entertaining and helpful. She hopes that her book will send a message to those who feel they are misfits and to those locked in addiction: there is a way out - and life can be very good when you kick the habit.

November 2013
Paul Auster’s most intimate autobiographical work to date
In the beginning, everything was alive. The smallest objects were endowed with beating hearts . . .
Having recalled his life through the story of his physical self in Winter Journal, internationally acclaimed novelist Paul Auster now remembers the experience of his development from within through the encounters of his interior self with the outer world in Report from the Interior.
From his baby’s-eye view of the man in the moon, to his childhood worship of the movie cowboy Buster Crabbe, to the composition of his first poem at the age of nine, to his dawning awareness of the injustices of American life, Report from the Interior charts Auster’s moral, political, and intellectual journey as he inches his way toward adulthood through the postwar 1950s and into the turbulent 1960s.
Auster evokes the sounds, smells, and tactile sensations that marked his early life—and the many images that came at him, including moving images (he adored cartoons, he was in love with films), until, at its unique climax, the book breaks away from prose into pure imagery: The final section of Report from the Interior recapitulates the first three parts, told in an album of pictures. At once a story of the times—which makes it everyone’s story—and the story of the emerging consciousness of a renowned literary artist, this four-part work answers the challenge of autobiography in ways rarely, if ever, seen before.  

[book] Lillian Hellman
An Imperious Life
(Jewish Lives Series) by Dorothy Gallagher
November 2013
Yale University Press
Glamorous, talented, audacious—Lillian Hellman knew everyone, did everything, had been everywhere. By the age of twenty-nine she had written The Children’s Hour, the first of four hit Broadway plays, and soon she was considered a member of America’s first rank of dramatists, a position she maintained for more than twenty-five years. Apart from her literary accomplishments—eight original plays and three volumes of memoirs—Hellman lived a rich life filled with notable friendships, controversial political activity, travel, and love affairs, most importantly with Dashiell Hammett. But by the time she died, the truth about her life and works had been called into question. Scandals attached to her name, having to do with sex, with money, and with her own veracity.
Dorothy Gallagher confronts the conundrum that was Lillian Hellman—a woman with a capacity to inspire outrage as often as admiration. Exploring Hellman’s leftist politics, her Jewish and Southern background, and her famous testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee, Gallagher also undertakes a new reading of Hellman’s carefully crafted memoirs and plays, in which she is both revealed and hidden. Gallagher sorts through the facts and the myths, arriving at a sharply drawn portrait of a woman who lived large to the end of her remarkable life and never backed down from a fight..

Fall 2013
Yale University Press
Susan Sontag, one of the most internationally renowned and controversial intellectuals of the latter half of the twentieth century, still provokes. In 1978 Jonathan Cott, a founding contributing editor of Rolling Stone magazine, interviewed Sontag first in Paris and later in New York. Only a third of their twelve hours of discussion ever made it to print. Now, more than three decades later, Yale University Press is proud to publish the entire transcript of Sontag’s remarkable conversation, accompanied by Cott’s preface and recollections.
Sontag’s (nee Susan Rosenblatt) musings and observations reveal the passionate engagement and breadth of her critical intelligence and curiosities at a moment when she was at the peak of her powers. Nearly a decade after her death, these hours of conversation offer a revelatory and indispensable look at the self-described "besotted aesthete" and "obsessed moralist." Sontag proclaims a personal credo, declaring:
"Thinking is a form of feeling; feeling is a form of thinking."

November 2013
Yale University Press
In 1943, twenty-four-year-old Primo Levi had just begun a career in chemistry when, after joining a partisan group, he was captured by the Italian Fascist Militia and deported to Auschwitz. Of the 650 Italian Jews in his transport, he was one of fewer than 25 who survived the eleven months before the camp’s liberation. Upon returning to his native Turin, Levi resumed work as a chemist and was employed for thirty years by a company specializing in paints and other chemical coatings. Yet soon after his return to Turin, he also began writing—memoirs, essays, novels, short stories, poetry—and it is for this work that he has won international recognition. His first book, If This Is a Man, issued in 1947 after great difficulty in finding a publisher, remains a landmark document of the twentieth century.
Berel Lang's groundbreaking biography shines new light on Levi’s role as a major intellectual and literary figure—an important Holocaust writer and witness but also an innovative moral thinker in whom his two roles as chemist and writer converged, providing the “matter” of his life. Levi’s writing combined a scientist’s attentiveness to structure and detail, an ironic imagination that found in all nature an ingenuity at once inviting and evasive, and a powerful and passionate moral imagination. Lang’s approach provides a philosophically acute and nuanced analysis of Levi as thinker, witness, writer, and scientific detective

By Louise Steinman
November 2013
Beacon Press
A lyrical literary memoir that explores the exhilarating, discomforting, and ultimately healing process of Polish-Jewish reconciliation taking place in Poland today.

First some background… Ssteinman would attend a shul in Southern Caluifornia with a Zan Rabbi, Rabbi Singer. He would go to Poland each winter to teach and be at the Bearing Witness Retreat and focus on Jewish – Polish reconciliation. You see, not all Poles were murderers according to Rabbi Singer. The author thought differently at first.
I sort of felt a kinship with this author.
We are both the children of pharmacists who had stores that were open over 12 hours a day; we are both of Polish Jewish heritage; we both visited Poland; we both found items from WWII of our fathers’ (but she wrote a book about it); and while she visited a Radomsk cemestery in NYC, I visited a Zarszyn one.
So I was eager to read this book.
Although an estimated 80 percent of American Jews are of Polish descent, many in the postwar generation and those born later know little about their families’ connection to their ancestral home.
In fact, many Jews continue to think of Poland as a bastion of anti-Semitism, since nearly the entire population of Polish Jewry was killed in the Holocaust. The reality is more complex: although German-occupied Poland was the site of great persecution towards Jews, it was also the epicenter of European Jewish life for centuries.
In this book, Louise Steinman examines the burgeoning Polish-Jewish reconciliation movement through the lens of her own family's history, joining the ranks of Jews of Polish descent who are confronting both Poland’s heroism and occupation-afflicted atrocities, and who are seeking to reconnect with their families’ Polish roots.

You may find it provocative, or redemptive, or you might just say screw Poland and the Poles, I have better things to think about.

[book] Marching to Zion
A Novel
By Mary Glickman
November 2013
Open Road
The forbidden, tempestuous, and tragic love story of a beautiful Jewish immigrant and a debonair black man in the South during the early twentieth century
Mags Preacher, a young black woman with a dream, arrives in St. Louis from the piney woods of her family home in 1916, hoping to learn the beauty trade. She knows nothing about Jews except that they killed the Lord Jesus Christ. Then she begins working for Mr. Fishbein, an Eastern European émigré who fled the pogroms that shattered his life to become the proprietor of Fishbein’s Funeral Home. By the time he saves Mags from certain death during the 1917 race riots in East St. Louis, all her perceptions have changed. But Mr. Fishbein’s daughter, the troubled redheaded beauty Minerva, is a different matter. There is something wrong with the girl, something dangerous, something fateful. And it is Magnus Bailey, Mags’s first friend in the city, who learns to what heights and depths the girl’s willful spirit can drive a man.
Marching to Zion is the tragic love story of Minerva Fishbein and Magnus Bailey, a charismatic black man and the longtime business partner of Minerva’s father. From the brutal riots of East St. Louis to Memphis, Tennessee, during the 1920s and the Depression, Marching to Zion is a tale of passion, betrayal, and redemption during an era in America when interracial love could not go unpunished. Readers of Mary Glickman’s One More River will celebrate the return of Aurora Mae Stanton, who joins a cast of vibrant new characters in this tense and compelling Southern-Jewish novel that examines the price of love and the interventions of fate.

A New York Childhood
By Roger Rosenblatt
November 2013
None year old Roger, growing up in Gramercy park, thought of himself as a detective, a private eye seeking out imaginary criminals.
Here is his story
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Now in paperback
[book] Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza
Engaging the Islamist Social Sector
By Sara Roy (Auth
November 2013
Many in the United States and Israel believe that Hamas is nothing but a terrorist organization, and that its social sector serves merely to recruit new supporters for its violent agenda. Based on Sara Roy's extensive fieldwork in the Gaza Strip and West Bank during the critical period of the Oslo peace process, Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza shows how the social service activities sponsored by the Islamist group emphasized not political violence but rather community development and civic restoration. Roy demonstrates how Islamic social institutions in Gaza and the West Bank advocated a moderate approach to change that valued order and stability, not disorder and instability; were less dogmatically Islamic than is often assumed; and served people who had a range of political outlooks and no history of acting collectively in support of radical Islam. These institutions attempted to create civic communities, not religious congregations. They reflected a deep commitment to stimulate a social, cultural, and moral renewal of the Muslim community, one couched not only--or even primarily--in religious terms.
Vividly illustrating Hamas's unrecognized potential for moderation, accommodation, and change, Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza also traces critical developments in Hamas's social and political sectors through the Second Intifada to today, and offers an assessment of the current, more adverse situation in the occupied territories. The Oslo period held great promise that has since been squandered. This book argues for more enlightened policies by the United States and Israel, ones that reflect Hamas's proven record of nonviolent community building.
In a new afterword, Roy discusses how Hamas has been affected by changing regional dynamics and by recent economic and political events in Gaza, including failed attempts at reconciliation with Fatah.
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[book] Maimonides
Life and Thought
by Moshe Halbertal (NYU, IDC, Herzliya)
November 2013
Maimonides was the greatest Jewish philosopher and legal scholar of the medieval period, a towering figure who has had a profound and lasting influence on Jewish law, philosophy, and religious consciousness. This book provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to his life and work, revealing how his philosophical sensibility and outlook informed his interpretation of Jewish tradition.
Moshe Halbertal vividly describes Maimonides's childhood in Muslim Spain, his family's flight to North Africa to escape persecution, and their eventual resettling in Egypt. He draws on Maimonides's letters and the testimonies of his contemporaries, both Muslims and Jews, to offer new insights into his personality and the circumstances that shaped his thinking. Halbertal then turns to Maimonides's legal and philosophical work, analyzing his three great books--Commentary on the Mishnah, Mishneh Torah, and The Guide of the Perplexed. He discusses Maimonides's battle against all attempts to personify God, his conviction that God's presence in the world is mediated through the natural order rather than through miracles, and his locating of philosophy and science at the summit of the religious life of Torah. Halbertal examines Maimonides's philosophical positions on fundamental questions such as the nature and limits of religious language, creation and nature, prophecy, providence, the problem of evil, and the meaning of the commandments.
A stunning achievement, Maimonides offers an unparalleled look at the life and thought of this important Jewish philosopher, scholar, and theologian.
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January 2014
Random House
Shteyngart, the author of Super Sad True Love Story; The Russian Debutante’s Handbook; and Absurdistan, has penned a memoir – a candid and deeply poignant story of a Soviet (Jewish) family that arrives in America in 1979 to discovers its future. Shteygart wrote, “I’ve finally written a book that isn’t a ribald satire, and because it’s actually based on my life, contains almost no sex whatsoever. I’ve lived this troubled life so others don’t have to. Learn from my failure, please.”
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[book] ARIK
The Life of Ariel Sharon
by David Landau(Haaretz)
January 2014
From the former editor in chief of Haaretz, the first in-depth comprehensive biography of Ariel Sharon, the most important Israeli political and military leader of the last forty years.
The life of Ariel Sharon spans much of modern Israel's history: A commander in the Israeli Army from its inception in 1948, Sharon participated in the 1948 War of Independence, and played decisive roles in the 1956 Suez War and the six day War of 1967, and most dramatically is largely credited with the shift in the outcome of the Yom Kippur War of 1973. After returning from the army in 1982, Sharon became a political leader and served in numerous governments, most prominently as the defense minister during the 1983 Lebanon War in which he bore "personal responsibility" according to the Kahan Commission for massacres of Palestinian civilians by Lebanese militia, and he championed the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. But as prime minister he performed a dramatic reversal: orchestrating Israel's unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip. Landau brilliantly chronicles and analyzes his surprising about-face. Sharon suffered a stroke in January 2006 and remains in a persistent vegetative state. Considered by many to be Israel's greatest military leader and political statesman, this biography recounts his life and shows how this leadership transformed Israel, and how Sharon's views were shaped by the changing nature of Israeli society.

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January 2014
This book traces the global, national, and local origins of the conflict between Muslims and Jews in France, challenging the belief that rising anti-Semitism in France is rooted solely in the unfolding crisis in Israel and Palestine. Maud Mandel shows how the conflict in fact emerged from processes internal to French society itself even as it was shaped by affairs elsewhere, particularly in North Africa during the era of decolonization.
Mandel examines moments in which conflicts between Muslims and Jews became a matter of concern to French police, the media, and an array of self-appointed spokesmen from both communities: Israel's War of Independence in 1948, France's decolonization of North Africa, the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the 1968 student riots, and François Mitterrand's experiments with multiculturalism in the 1980s. She takes an in-depth, on-the-ground look at interethnic relations in Marseille, which is home to the country's largest Muslim and Jewish populations outside of Paris. She reveals how Muslims and Jews in France have related to each other in diverse ways throughout this history--as former residents of French North Africa, as immigrants competing for limited resources, as employers and employees, as victims of racist aggression, as religious minorities in a secularizing state, and as French citizens.
In Muslims and Jews in France, Mandel traces the way these multiple, complex interactions have been overshadowed and obscured by a reductionist narrative of Muslim-Jewish polarization.

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February 2014
WW Norton / Countryman Press
Manhattan is home to millions of people and yet it harbors an extraordinary array of wondrous places that have remained relatively unknown and undiscovered. Who better than an emeritus geologist at the American Museum of Natural History to be your guide to uncovering these fantastic sites.
Author Sidney Horenstein gives us a unique guide to more than 100 sites that range from prehistoric potholes to lost river beds to the ginko tree of Isham Park. Each of these marvelous sites is described in a brief essay that is accompanied by a photo. The book is organized by neighborhood, with a locator map for each covered areas of Manhattan. His astute exploration of these sites will give the reader a scientifically accurate insight into the history, geology, and landscape of Manhattan. You’ll never see the island in the same way again!
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[book] The Priority List
A teacher’s Final Quest to Discover Life’s Greatest lessons
By David Menasche
January 2014
In this poignant and inspiring memoir, a beloved high school English teacher with terminal brain cancer undertakes a cross-country journey to reunite with his former students from Miami Florida area in order to find out if he made a difference in their lives, discovering along the way what is truly important in life.
At thirty-four years old, David Menasche was diagnosed with brain cancer. He was given two months to live. Six years later and fifteen years after he began teaching, Menasche suffered a catastrophic seizure that began to steal his vision, memories, mobility, and perhaps most tragically of all—his ability to continue teaching.
But teaching is something David Menasche can’t quit. Undaunted by the difficult road ahead of him, he decided to end his treatments and make life his classroom. Cancer had taken his past and would certainly, at some point, take his future, but he wouldn't allow it to take his present. He put out a call on Facebook and within hours of posting his plan to travel the country, former students now living in more than fifty cities replied with offers to help and couches to sleep on. The lasting lessons he collected on his journey make up The Priority List.
Based on one of Menasche’s favorite lessons, The Priority List is a remarkable book of insights that explores many of life’s biggest themes, such as love, wealth, family, ambition, and friends, and asks us all to consider what really matters.
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[book] Stranger in My Own Country
A Jewish Family in Modern Germany
by Yascha Mounk
January 2014
As a Jew in postwar Germany, Yascha Mounk felt like a foreigner in his own country. When he mentioned that he is Jewish, some made anti-Semitic jokes or talked about the superiority of the Aryan race. Others, sincerely hoping to atone for the country’s past, fawned over him with a forced friendliness he found just as alienating.
Vivid and fascinating, Stranger in My Own Country traces the contours of Jewish life in a country still struggling with the legacy of the Third Reich and who, inevitably, continue to live in its shadow. Marshaling an extraordinary range of material into a lively narrative, Mounk surveys his countrymen’s responses to the “Jewish question.” Examining history, the story of his family, and his own childhood, he shows that anti-Semitism and far-right extremism have long coexisted with self-conscious philo-Semitism.
But of late a new kind of resentment against Jews has come out in the open. Unnoticed by much of the outside world, the desire for a “finish line” that would spell a definitive end to the country’s obsession with the past is feeding an emphasis on German victimhood. Mounk shows how, from the government’s pursuit of a less “apologetic” foreign policy to the way the country’s idea of the “Volk” makes life difficult for its immigrant communities, a troubled nationalism is shaping Germany’s future.
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[book] THE AGENT
With Evan Arkush
February 2014
Thomas Dunne, Saint Martin’s Press
Leigh Steinberg is the famed sports agent and attorney, Berkeley and Boadt Hall grad, upon whom the film character of Jerry Maguire is said to have been based. Here is his behind the scenes look at the life of a super-agent and his deals, and his game changing behavior in the world of professional sports
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QUESTION: Dear – I heard that the It Get’s Better campaign will be a book. Will it be a Jewish book?

ANSWER: I hear that Penguin USA/Dutton (Dan Savage’s publisher and editor) will issue a collection of essay on It Gets Better in Spring 2011. I am sure that several Jewish people will submit essay and be published. So I would answer that yes, it will be a Jewish book and a book of Jewish interest. While you are waiting for the book, may I suggest you check out YouTube for this growing collection of YouTube videos from NYC’s CBST synagogue leaders: Click here, or Click here, or Click here.

QUESTION: Dear – What can I read after hearing of a new ponzi scheme in Lakewood?


[book] Confronting Scandal
How Jews Can Respond When Jews Do Bad Things
Erica Brown
August 2010, Jewish Lights
Jews seem to be in the news today for all of the wrong reasons. Whether it is Bernie Madoff or money laundering by rabbinic leaders, faking appraisals so you can sell assets to friends, smuggling narcotics to benefit yeshivas, the Jewish community has yet to take stock of what these breaches of civil law and Jewish ethical teachings mean for us as a people.
How do we manage collective discomfort and shame?
Should we feel ghetto mentality shame, or be filled with Dershowitz like Chutzpah?
How do we explain rabbis (or cantors) who commit sex offenses (and then ask for ultra kosher food in prison) or other crimes yet stand at the pulpit week after week offering others moral guidance?
And most importantly, how do we restore honor and dignity to our community by raising the ethical bar and adherence to it? This book explores the difficult and thorny issues surrounding scandals: airing dirty laundry in public, coming to terms with criminality among Jews, examining painful stereotypes of Jews and the difficult position of being a minority in society. A call for us to answer to a higher authority, it also addresses practical ways to strengthen ethical behavior and "do good things" to bring pride back, and to engender greater self-respect and the respect of others.
Dr. Erica Brown, a leading voice on subjects of current Jewish interest, consults for Jewish federations and organizations across the country. She is author of Inspired Jewish Leadership: Practical Approaches to Building Strong Communities, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award.
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