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Welcome to our pages of Summer 2012, Spring 2013, Winter 2013, Fall 2012, and oh so many more Book Suggestions. For our Home Page, Please visit MyJewishBooks.com

SOME SPRING 2013 BOOK READINGS


March 03, 2013: Dr. Stephen Grosz discusses The Examined Life. London Jewish Book Week. Kings Place. 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG. 2PM
March 04, 2013: John Connelly (Berkeley) and Susannah Heschel (Dartmouth) speak on From Enemy To Brother: What Changed. Converts and the Revolution in Catholic Teaching about Jews. Fordham University, NYC 6PM
March 07, 2013: Amir Eshel (Stanford) steaks on Futuricity: Contemporary Hebrew Literature and the Quest for the Past. UCLA, 314 Royce Hall. UCLA Center for Jewish Studies with the generous support of Milt and Sheila Hyman. 7:30 PM
March 27, 2013: Adam Alter reads Drunk Tank Pink And Other Unexpected Forces that Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave. B&N 82nd Bway NYC

April 01, 2013: Rashid Khalidi reads from Brokers of Deceit. Columbia Univ Middle East Inst W122nd St 730-930PM
April 02, 2013: Amy Shearn reads from The Mermaid of Brooklyn, Powerhouse on Eighth, Brooklyn NY
April 05, 2013: Rashid Khalidi reads from Brokers of Deceit. Politics and Prose. Washington DC 7PM
April 08, 2013: Richard Belzer joins Dick Cavett to discuss Belver’s new book, HIT LIST about JFK assassination conspiracy. B&N 82nd Bway UWS NYC
April 08, 2013: Daniel Kahneman in Conversation with Josh Foer on Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow. B&N Union Square NYC
April 09, 2013: Andre Aciman reads from Harvard Square. B&N Harvard Sq, Cambridge MA
April 13, 2013: Actress Debbie Reynolds, and maybe Carrie Fisher, appear to read from her memoir, Unsinkable A Memoir. B&N Farmers’ Market Los Angeles
April 14, 2013: Amy Shearn reads from The Mermaid of Brooklyn, Lark Cafe, Brooklyn NY
April 18, 2013: Rashid Khalidi reads from Brokers of Deceit. Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge MA 5PM
April 24, 2013: Rashid Khalidi reads from Brokers of Deceit. Seminary Co-op Bookstore, University of Chicago. 730 PM (and at Northwestern the next day)
April 25, 2013: Greg Bellow, author of Saul Bellow’s Heart, in conversation with Rabbi David Wolpe. At Writers’ Bloc Beverly Hills CA

May 01, 2013: Greg Bellow, author of Saul Bellow’s Heart, in conversation with Janna Malamud Smith. Harvard Bookstore. Cambridge MA
May 02, 2013: Hungary Torn. An American Symphony Orchestra concert at Carnegie Hall NYC led by Leon Botstein, paying tribute to young Hungarian Jewish composers who were murdered during WWII.
May 03, 2013: Greg Bellow, author of Saul Bellow’s Heart, in conversation with Adam Bellow and San Bellow. 92nd Street Y – TriBeCa. NYC
May 05, 2013: Ensemble Studio Theatre presents FINKS by Joe Gilford. NYC
May 06, 2013: Greg Bellow, author of Saul Bellow’s Heart, in conversation with Chancellor Arnold Eisen. Jewish Theological Seminary NYC
May 08, 2013: Want to be one degree from Kevin Bacon? Gregory Heller reads from Ed Bacon: Planning, Politics, and the Building of Modern Philadelphia. Penn Bookstore. 6PM
May 22, 2013: Abigail Pogrebin interviews Letty Cottin Pogrebin about her book, How To Be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick. JCC UWS Manhattan. $20 7:30
May 28, 2013: What’s In A Name. The Ghetto Comes To America. Kluge Center of Library of Congress. Washington DC. 12 Noon
May 30 – June 01, 2013: Book Expo America - NYC
May 30, 2013: From The Camp to The Chair. The Holocaust and Psychiatry. Ben SHephard (Oxford) UCLA Faculty Center, LA CA 4PM
May 30, 2013: Mosh Ben Ari in concert in NYC

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. Mets.com/soccer
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






APRIL 2013 BOOKS



[book] How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick
By Letty Cottin Pogrebin
April 2013
Public Affairs
Everyone knows someone who’s sick or suffering. Yet when a friend or relative is under duress many of us feel uncertain about how to cope.
Throughout her recent bout with breast cancer, Letty Cottin Pogrebin became fascinated by her friends’ and family’s diverse reactions to her and her illness: how awkwardly some of them behaved; how some misspoke or misinterpreted her needs; and how wonderful it was when people read her right. She began talking to her fellow patients and dozens of other veterans of serious illness, seeking to discover what sick people wished their friends knew about how best to comfort, help, and even simply talk to them.
Now Pogrebin has distilled their collective stories and opinions into this wide-ranging compendium of pragmatic guidance and usable wisdom. Her advice is always infused with sensitivity, warmth, and humor. It is embedded in candid stories from her own and others’ journeys, and their sometimes imperfect interactions with well-meaning friends. How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick is an invaluable guidebook for anyone hoping to rise to the challenges of this most important and demanding passage of friendship.

In a recent issue of the Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition, Pogrebin wrote, “'A closed mouth gathers no feet." It's a charming axiom, but silence isn't always an option when we're dealing with a friend who's sick or in despair. The natural human reaction is to feel awkward and upset in the face of illness, but unless we control those feelings and come up with an appropriate response, there's a good chance that we'll blurt out some cringe-worthy cliché, craven remark or blunt question that, in retrospect, we'll regret.
Take this real-life exchange. If ever the tone deaf needed a poster child, Fred is their man.
"How'd it go?" he asked his friend, Pete, who'd just had cancer surgery.
"Great!" said Pete. "They got it all."
"Really?" said Fred. "How do they know?"

A few simple commandments makes a huge difference when conversing with the ill. Later, when Pete told him how demoralizing his remark had been, Fred's excuse was, ‘I was nervous. I just said what popped into my head.’
We're all nervous around illness and mortality, but whatever pops into our heads should not necessarily plop out of our mouths. Yet, in my own experience as a breast-cancer patient, and for many of the people I have interviewed, friends do make hurtful remarks… In another case, upon hearing a man's leukemia diagnosis, his friend shrieked, "Wow! A girl in my office just died of that!"…
Though our intent is to comfort the patient, we also say [things to comfort ourselves] and tamp down our own feelings of vulnerability. From now on, rather than sound like a Hallmark card, you might want to heed the following 10 Commandments for Conversing With a Sick Friend.
1. Rejoice at their good news. Don't minimize their bad news. A guy tells you that the doctors got it all, say "Hallelujah!" … The best response in any encounter with a sick friend is to say, "Tell me what I can do to make things easier for you—I really want to help."
2. Treat your sick friends as you always did—but never forget their changed circumstance….
3. Avoid self-referential comments. A friend with a hacking cough doesn't need to hear, "You think that's bad? I had double pneumonia." Don't tell someone with brain cancer that you know how painful it must be because you get migraines….
4. Don't assume, verify. Several friends of Michele, a Canadian writer, reacted to her cancer diagnosis with, "Well, at least you caught it early, so you'll be all right!" In fact, she did not catch it early, and never said or hinted otherwise. So when someone said, "You caught it early," she thought, "No, I didn't, therefore I'm going to die." Repeat after me: "Assume nothing."
5. Get the facts straight before you open your mouth. Did your friend have a heart or liver transplant? Chemo or radiation? Don't just ask, "How are you?" Ask questions specific to your friend's health. "How's your rotator cuff these days?" "Did the blood test show Lyme disease?" "Are your new meds working?" If you need help remembering who has shingles and who has lupus, or the date of a friend's operation, enter a health note under the person's name in your contacts list or stick a Post-it by the phone and update the information as needed.
6. Help your sick friend feel useful. Zero in on one of their skills and lead to it….
7. Don't infantilize the patient. Never speak to a grown-up the way you'd talk to a child. Objectionable sentences include, "How are we today, dearie?" "That's a good boy." "I bet you could swallow this teeny-tiny pill if you really tried." And the most wince-worthy, "Are we ready to go wee-wee?" Protect your friend's dignity at all costs.
8. Think twice before giving advice. Don't forward medical alerts, newspaper clippings …
9. Let patients who are terminally ill set the conversational agenda. If they're unaware that they're dying, don't be the one to tell them. If they know they're at the end of life and want to talk about it, don't contradict or interrupt them; let them vent or weep or curse the Fates. Hand them a tissue and cry with them. If they want to confide their last wish, or trust you with a long-kept secret, thank them for the honor and listen hard. Someday you'll want to remember every word they say.
10. Don't pressure them to practice 'positive thinking.' The implication is that they caused their illness in the first place by negative thinking—by feeling discouraged, depressed or not having the "right attitude."….

Though most of us feel dis-eased around disease, colloquial English proffers a sparse vocabulary for the expression of embarrassment, fear, anxiety, grief or sorrow. These 10 commandments should help you relate to your sick friends with greater empathy, warmth and grace.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book









THE PARODY VERSION:


[book] The Diagnostic Manual of Mishegas:
potchkied together and .com-piled by
Jay Neugeboren, Michael B. Friedman
And Lloyd I. Sederer M.D.
April 2013
Createspace
Under 80 pages
THE DIAGNOSTIC MANUAL OF MISHEGAS (DMOM) is a delightful parody of the American Psychiatric Association’s “Bible of psychiatry,” the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

In this playful send-up of the DSM, the authors—all of whom are distinguished writers with deep roots in the field of mental health—cut through the hundreds of categories in the 1000-page D.S.M. by dividing all mental disorders into two realms: mishegas major and mishegas minor. And for each of the sub-categories it analyzes—spilkes major (and spilkes minor), yenta, kvetch, alter kocker, shnorrer, dementia-with-benefits, etc.— it provides light-hearted anecdotes that not only illustrate the diagnostic category, but also make you plotz with laughter. THE DMOM will enable readers to transform ordinary tsuris and mishegas—the glooms, blues, angsts, and general chazzerie of their lives—into transcendent and easy-to-understand categories. It will turn kvetching into kvelling and guilt into gelt, so that readers will learn to live at peace with their inner mishegas and to treasure its precious and life-giving absurdities.

A perfect gift for Mental Health Month (May), Father’s Day, or for your favorite mishugenah friend or relative any time of the year, THE DMOM is sure to keep readers laughing long after the last page is read.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book









THE NOT SO PARODY VERSION:
LESS THAN THE COST OF ONE THERAPY SESSION

[book] Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Fifth Edition (DSM-5(TM))
The American Psychiatric Association
2013
992 pages
This new edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), used by clinicians and researchers to diagnose and classify mental disorders, is the product of more than 10 years of effort by hundreds of international experts in all aspects of mental health. Their dedication and hard work have yielded an authoritative volume that defines and classifies mental disorders in order to improve diagnoses, treatment, and research. This manual, which creates a common language for clinicians involved in the diagnosis of mental disorders, includes concise and specific criteria intended to facilitate an objective assessment of symptom presentations in a variety of clinical settings inpatient, outpatient, partial hospital, consultation-liaison, clinical, private practice, and primary care. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, is the most comprehensive, current, and critical resource for clinical practice available to today's mental health clinicians and researchers of all orientations. The information contained in the manual is also valuable to other physicians and health professionals, including psychologists, counselors, nurses, and occupational and rehabilitation therapists, as well as social workers and forensic and legal specialists. DSM-5 is the most definitive resource for the diagnosis and classification of mental disorders.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] The Mothers
A Novel
By Jennifer Gilmore
April 2013
Scribner
A taut, emotionally gripping novel about one couple’s passionate desire for a child and their heartrending journey through adoption—from a critically acclaimed writer whose “voice is at turns wise and barbed with sharp humor” (Vanity Fair).
Post-cancer Jesse (Jewish) and Ramon (Italian Spanish) are a happy, loving couple but after years trying to get pregnant they turn to adoption, relieved to think that once they navigate the bureaucratic path to parenthood they will finally be able to bring a child into their family. But nothing prepared them for the labyrinthine process—for the many training sessions and approvals, for the ocean of advice, for the birthmothers who would contact them but not choose them, for the women who would call claiming that they had chosen Jesse and Ramon but weren’t really pregnant. All the while, husband and wife grapple with notions of race, class, culture, and changing family dynamics as they navigate the difficult, absurd, and often heart-breaking terrain of domestic open adoption.
Poignant, raw, and wise, Jennifer Gilmore has written a powerful and unforgettable story of love and family.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] MIDDLE C
A NOVEL
BY WILLIAM h. GASS
2013
Knopf
A literary event—the long-awaited novel, almost two decades in work, by the acclaimed author of The Tunnel (“The most beautiful, most complex, most disturbing novel to be published in my lifetime.”—Michael Silverblatt, Los Angeles Times;
“An extraordinary achievement”—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
Gass’s new novel moves from World War II Europe to a small town in postwar Ohio. In a series of variations, Gass gives us a mosaic of a life—futile, comic, anarchic—arranged in an array of vocabularies, altered rhythms, forms and tones, and broken pieces with music as both theme and structure, set in the key of middle C.
It begins in Graz, Austria, 1938. Joseph Skizzen's father, pretending to be Jewish, leaves his country for England with his wife and two children to avoid any connection with the Nazis, who he foresees will soon take over his homeland. In London with his family for the duration of the war, he disappears under mysterious circumstances. The family is relocated to a small town in Ohio, where Joseph Skizzen grows up, becomes a decent amateur piano player, in part to cope with the abandonment of his father, and creates as well a fantasy self—a professor with a fantasy goal: to establish the Inhumanity Museum . . . as Skizzen alternately feels wrongly accused (of what?) and is transported by his music. Skizzen is able to accept guilt for crimes against humanity and is protected by a secret self that remains sinless.
Middle C tells the story of this journey, an investigation into the nature of human identity and the ways in which each of us is several selves, and whether any one self is more genuine than another.
William Gass set out to write a novel that breaks traditional rules and denies itself easy solutions, cliff-edge suspense, and conventional surprises . . . Middle C is that book; a masterpiece by a beloved master.
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[book] The Gods Are Broken!
The Hidden Legacy of Abraham
By Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin
April 2013
Jewish Publication Society / University of Nebraska Press
The story of Abraham smashing his father Terah’s idols might be the most important Jewish story ever told and the key to how Jews define themselves.
In a work at once deeply erudite and wonderfully accessible, Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin conducts readers through the life and legacy of this powerful story and explains how it has shaped Jewish consciousness.
Offering a radical view of Jewish existence, The Gods Are Broken! views the story of the young Abraham as the “primal trauma” of Jewish history, one critical to the development of a certain Jewish comfort with rebelliousness and one that, happening in every generation, has helped Jews develop a unique identity. Salkin, one of America’s most manly rabbis (The Modern Men’s Torah Commentary), shows how the story continues to reverberate through the ages, even in its connection to the phenomenon of anti-Semitism.
Salkin’s work—combining biblical texts, archaeology, rabbinic insights, Hasidic texts (some never before translated), philosophy, history, poetry, contemporary Jewish thought, sociology, and popular culture—is nothing less than a journey through two thousand years of Jewish life and intellectual endeavor.
Rabbi Salkin, formerly a successful author and pulpit rabbi, is employed by the ADL
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] Wisdom for People of all Faiths
Ten Ways to Connect with God
By Rabbi Evan Moffic (Solel in Chicago)
April 2013
Press
Although the online picture of Evan Moffic makes him look like a light haired evangelical minister from Texas, he is actually a highly regarding senior rabbi in Chicago (Twitter @chicagorabbi), an esteemed grad of HUC and Stanford, a prolific writer on HuffingtonPost and BeliefNet, and a spiritual leader.
He writes in this book that we have so much information, and so little wisdom. Drawing from Jewish teachings, Rabbi Moffic addresses the fundamental questions each of us faces. How can we live with fewer regrets? How can we find greater satisfaction and success as parents, siblings, children and friends? How can we find meaning and insight amidst endless distraction and information overload?
In answering these questions, we find deep wisdom in the Torah. It is accessible, inviting and life-changing. It proclaims hope amidst despair and the personal relationship between God and every human being. This book opens it up for each of us.
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[book] The View from Penthouse B
A Novel
By Elinor Lipman
April 2013
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Seth Rudetsky recommended we read this book from the irrepressible and funny Elinor Lipman. In real life, sadly, she lost her husband in 2009 (she wrote about this in a Modern Love column in The NYT)
Two sisters recover from widowhood, divorce, and Bernie Madoff as unexpected roommates in a Manhattan apartment Unexpectedly widowed Gwen-Laura Schmidt is still mourning her husband, Edwin, when her older sister Margot invites her to join forces as roommates in Margot’s luxurious Village apartment. For Margot, divorced amid scandal (hint: her husband was a fertility doctor) and then made Ponzi-poor, it’s a chance to shake Gwen out of her grief and help make ends meet. To further this effort she enlists a third boarder, the handsome, cupcake-baking Anthony.
As the three swap money-making schemes and timid Gwen ventures back out into the dating world, the arrival of Margot’s paroled ex in the efficiency apartment downstairs creates not just complications but the chance for all sorts of unexpected forgiveness. A sister story about love, loneliness, and new life in middle age, this is a cracklingly witty, deeply sweet novel from one of our finest comic writers.
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[book] I Can't Complain
(All Too) Personal Essays
By Elinor Lipman
April 2013
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
From the beloved and acclaimed novelist, a collection of witty, moving essays.
In her two decades of writing, Elinor Lipman has populated her fictional universe with characters so utterly real that we feel like they’re old friends. Now she shares an even more intimate world with us—her own—in essays that offer a candid, charming take on modern life. Looking back and forging ahead, she considers the subjects that matter most: childhood and condiments, long marriage and solo living, career and politics.
Here you’ll find the lighthearted: a celebration of four decades of All My Children, a reflection on being Jewish in heavily Irish-Catholic Lowell on St. Patrick’s Day, a hilariously unflinching account of her tiptoe into online dating. But she also tackles the serious and profound in eloquent stories of unexpected widowhood and caring for elderly parents that use her struggles to illuminate ours. Whether for Lipman’s longtime readers or those who love the essays of Nora Ephron or Anna Quindlen, I Can't Complain is a diverting delight.
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[book] Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots
A Novel
By Jessica Soffer
April 2013
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Two women adrift in New York—an Iraqi Jewish widow and the latchkey daughter of a chef—find each other, solace, and a new kind of family through their shared love of cooking.
Lorca spends hours poring over cookbooks, seeking out ingredients for her distracted chef of a mother, who is about to send her off to boarding school. In one last effort to secure her mother’s love and prove herself indispensable, Lorca resolves to replicate her mother’s ideal meal, an obscure dish called masgouf.
Victoria, an Iraqi-Jewish immigrant, teaches cooking lessons; Lorca signs up. Grappling with grief over her husband’s passing, Victoria has been dreaming of the daughter they gave up forty years ago. Together these two women — a widow and an almost-orphan — begin to suspect they are connected through more than a love of food. In these lessons and their separate investigations, they will be forced to reckon with the past, the future, and the truth — however complicated and unimaginable it might be.
Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots is a novel of loss, remembrance, and revival. It is the heartrending, heartwarming story of two cast-off characters who find in each other a way of accepting the people we love, including ourselves.
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[book] AMERICAN JEWS & AMERICA’S GAME
AMERICAN JEWS AND AMERICA’S GAME
VOICES OF A GROWING LEGACY IN BASEBALL
BY LARRY RUTTMAN
Foreword by Allan H Selig
Introduction by Dr. Martin Abramowitz
April 2013
The Jewish Publication Society, University of Nebraska Press
Most fans don’t know how far the Jewish presence in baseball extends beyond a few famous players such as Greenberg, Rosen, Koufax, Holtzman, Green, Ausmus, Youkilis, Braun, and Kinsler. In fact, that presence extends to the baseball commissioner Bud Selig, labor leaders Marvin Miller and Don Fehr, owners Jerry Reinsdorf and Stuart Sternberg, officials Theo Epstein and Mark Shapiro, sportswriters Murray Chass, Ross Newhan, Ira Berkow, and Roger Kahn, and even famous Jewish baseball fans like Professor Alan Dershowitz and for U.S. Rep. Barney Frank.
The life stories of these and many others, on and off the field, have been compiled from nearly fifty in-depth interviews and arranged by decade in this edifying and entertaining work of oral and cultural history. In American Jews and America’s Game each person talks about growing up Jewish and dealing with Jewish identity, assimilation, intermarriage, future viability, religious observance, anti-Semitism, and Israel. Each tells about being in the midst of the colorful pantheon of players who, over the past seventy-five years or more, have made baseball what it is. Their stories tell, as no previous book has, the history of the larger-than-life role of Jews in America’s pastime.
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Honestly, this was my favorite read of 2013 so far:
[book] FLIP
THE INSIDE STORY OF TV’S FIRST BLACK SUPERSTAR
BY KEVIN COOK
April 2013
Viking
The book opens with this scene. Flip Wilson, with the top rated show on television, a black man known for Geraldine, Reverend Leroy, The Devil Made Me Do It, WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), a variety of characters, and being in nearly every sketch on his show, is leaving the set after a taping. He bid good bye to his write, an up and coming comedian named Richard Pryor. His other top writer is a comedian named George Carlin. Flip starts the engine of his extremely expensive car and heads East across state lines. Drinking, snorting, signing a few autographs along the way, but not doing any shticks or Geraldine, he drives some more, comes to the edge of a cliff and ponders his life.

And then you think. Where is Flip? What ever happened to him? Did he go over the cliff? Overdose? Just retire while he was on top? And so the book begins, and along the way, we learn the rags-to-riches story of a beloved, very hard working, scientifically minded entertainer.
When The Flip Wilson Show debuted in 1970, black faces were still rare on television, black hosts did not exist. Remember, there were only three main channels that America watched in 1970. How did Clerow Wilson go from Jersey City grade-school dropout to national celebrity, heralded on the cover of Time magazine as “TV’s First Black Superstar”?
Kevin Cook chronicles Flip’s meteoric rise through the Chitlin’ Circuit of segregated nightclubs to his breakthrough on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show (after Redd Fox – who owed Flip $50 for blow - said he was the funniest comic out there) to his hit variety show, on which he created such outrageous and hilarious characters as the Geraldine and Reverend Leroy. He performed and partied with Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Sid Caesar, BB King, Andy Griffith, Curtis Mayfield, and other stars of the 1970s. How did Cook learn all this and how do we get a glimpse at what went on behind the scenes? Flip made tapes
Drawing on interviews with family, friends, and celebrities, Cook delivers the inspiring story of a complex man who broke the prime-time color barrier, blazing a trail for generations of African American performers who followed him. It is funny, and at times not to pretty. Wilson was abused by his family, learned early on that his father was not his biological father, never married the mother of his children, but married a pick-up he met in Vegas, tipped big, withheld love from his kids, planned his suicide, did more coke than one would think was humanly possible, scientifically times his jokes and planned his sets on a legal pad, studied the art of comedy, had more threesomes and ten-somes than probably anyone else, and harbored extreme grudges and jealousies against Bill Cosby and other competitors.
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[book] THE AMISH
Companion to PBS’s AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
By Donald B. Kraybill, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner, and Steven M. Nolt.
April 2013
Johns Hopkins Press
First a joke. My cousins visited Lancaster PA. A Jewish woman criticized them saying how she hated their orthodox backward ways, the suppression of women, insularity, religiosity, keeping children out of public schools and colleges… My cousin told her that he was Amish. She replied, “Oh, I just love you people and your ways…” Meet the Amish
What keeps them going? What is their religion? How do they focus on the group and not the individual?
The Amish have always struggled with the modern world. Known for their simple clothing, plain lifestyle, and horse-and-buggy mode of transportation, Amish communities continually face outside pressures to modify their cultural patterns, social organization, and religious world view. An intimate portrait of Amish life, The Amish explores not only the emerging diversity and evolving identities within this distinctive American ethnic community, but also its transformation and geographic expansion.
Donald B. Kraybill, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner, and Steven M. Nolt spent twenty-five years researching Amish history, religion, and culture. Drawing on archival material, direct observations, and oral history, the authors provide an authoritative and sensitive understanding of Amish society.
Amish people do not evangelize, yet their numbers in North America have grown from a small community of some 6,000 people in the early 1900s to a thriving population of more than 275,000 today. The largest populations are found in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana, with additional communities in twenty-seven other states and Ontario.
The authors argue that the intensely private and insular Amish have devised creative ways to negotiate with modernity that have enabled them to thrive in America. The transformation of the Amish in the American imagination from "backward bumpkins" to media icons poses provocative questions. What does the Amish story reveal about the American character, popular culture, and mainstream values? Richly illustrated, The Amish is the definitive portrayal of the Amish in America in the twenty-first century.
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[book] Kosher
Private Regulation in the Age of Industrial Food
By Timothy D. Lytton (SUNY Albany)
2013
Harvard University Press
Generating over $12 billion in annual sales, kosher food is big business. It is also an unheralded story of successful private-sector regulation in an era of growing public concern over the government’s ability to ensure food safety. Kosher uncovers how independent certification agencies rescued American kosher supervision from fraud and corruption and turned it into a model of nongovernmental administration.
Currently, a network of over three hundred private certifiers ensures the kosher status of food for over twelve million Americans, of whom only eight percent are religious Jews. But the system was not always so reliable. At the turn of the twentieth century, kosher meat production in the United States was notorious for scandals involving price-fixing, racketeering, and even murder. Reform finally came with the rise of independent kosher certification agencies which established uniform industry standards, rigorous professional training, and institutional checks and balances to prevent mistakes and misconduct.
In overcoming many of the problems of insufficient resources and weak enforcement that hamper the government, private kosher certification holds important lessons for improving food regulation, Timothy Lytton argues. He views the popularity of kosher food as a response to a more general cultural anxiety about industrialization of the food supply. Like organic and locavore enthusiasts, a growing number of consumers see in rabbinic supervision a way to personalize today’s vastly complex, globalized system of food production.
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A book by the physician who has helped countless Jewish families adopt children:
[book] Carried in Our Hearts
The Gift of Adoption
Inspiring Stories of Families Created Across Continents
By Dr. Jane Aronson
April 2013, Tarcher
"My mommy didn't carry me in her tummy, she carried me in her heart." Bailey, a 5-years old who was adopted from China. Her story is included in this book.
According to People magazine, parents from all over the country seek adoption expert and Worldwide Orphans Foundation founder Dr. Jane Aronson’s help “as if consulting a master detective.” Angelina Jolie praised Dr. Aronson’s “drive and ambition to help children dream” (Elle). Indeed, over the course of the past three decades, Dr. Aronson has touched the lives of thousands of adopted children from around the world and in this inspiring book she presents moving first-person testimonies from parents (and a few children themselves) whose lives have been blessed by adoption.
Divided into thematic sections—such as "The Decision," "The Journey," and "The Moment We Met")—each prefaced by Dr. Aronson, this book introduces readers to Claude Knobler, a writer from Los Angeles whose journey to Ethiopia to adopt his son led to an unexpectedly moving encounter with the boy’s courageous birthmother; actor Mary Louise-Parker whose older adopted son’s bond with her newly adopted baby daughter was deep and unwavering from the instant the two children met; and Lynn Danzker, an entrepreneur who set off alone to adopt her son, Cole, and in the process, met and married her husband. The authors of these testimonies range from doctors to filmmakers, from financial consultants to celebrities—all of them bound by their moving and transformative experience as adoptive parents.
Essay authors include Shari Hershon, Maggie greenwald, Carolyn Jacobs, Wendy Lipp, Ann Silverberg, Lori Finkel, the famed author Melissa Fay Greene, Cindy Sutliff, Ben Aronson (adopted from VietNam), Des Aronson (from Ethiopia), and many more.
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[book] THE MERMAID OF BROOKLYN
A NOVEL
BY AMY SHEARN
April 2013
Touchstone/Simon & Schuster
Jenny Lipkin is a formerly up-and-coming magazine editor. Presently, she is your average, stretched-too-thin Brooklyn mom, tackling the challenges of raising two children in a cramped Park Slope walk-up. All she really wants is to survive the sweltering New York summer with a shred of sanity intact. But when her husband, Harry, a gambling addict, vanishes one evening (he said he was going for smokes), Jenny reaches her breaking point. And in a moment of despair, considering suicide, she falls from the Brooklyn Bridge only to be saved (and possessed) by a Russian mermaid (rusalka).
Pulled from the brink, Jenny rethinks her ideas about success, motherhood, romance, and relationships, and pursues sewing and another man. But confronting her inner demons (or mermaid) is no easy task, especially if Harry returns. . . .
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[book] THE SECRET HISTORY OF VLADIMIR NABOKOV
BY ANDERA PITZER
Spring 2013
Pegasus
A startling and revelatory examination of Nabokov’s life and works—notably Pale Fire and Lolita—bringing new insight into one of the twentieth century’s most enigmatic authors.
Novelist Vladimir Nabokov witnessed the horrors of his century, escaping Revolutionary Russia then Germany under Hitler, and fleeing France with his Jewish wife and son just weeks before Paris fell to the Nazis. He repeatedly faced accusations of turning a blind eye to human suffering to write artful tales of depravity. But does one of the greatest writers in the English language really deserve the label of amoral aesthete bestowed on him by so many critics?
Using information from newly-declassified intelligence files and recovered military history, journalist Andrea Pitzer argues that far from being a proponent of art for art’s sake, Vladimir Nabokov managed to hide disturbing history in his fiction—history that has gone unnoticed for decades. Nabokov emerges as a kind of documentary conjurer, spending the most productive decades of his career recording a saga of forgotten concentration camps and searing bigotry, from World War I to the Gulag and the Holocaust. Lolita surrenders Humbert Humbert’s secret identity, and reveals a Nabokov appalled by American anti-Semitism. The lunatic narrator of Pale Fire recalls Russian tragedies that once haunted the world. From Tsarist courts to Nazi film sets, from CIA front organizations to wartime Casablanca, the story of Nabokov’s family is the story of his century—and both are woven inextricably into his fiction.
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[book] Hitler's Charisma
Leading Millions into the Abyss
By Laurence Rees
April 2013
Pantheon
Fueled by hate, incapable of forming normal human relationships, unwilling to listen to dissenting voices, Adolf Hitler seemed an unlikely leader, and yet he commanded enormous support and was able to exert a powerful influence over those who encountered him. How did Hitler become such an attractive figure to millions of people? That is the question at the core of Hitler’s Charisma.
Acclaimed historian and documentary filmmaker Laurence Rees examines the nature of Hitler’s appeal and reveals the role his supposed “charisma” played in his success. Here is a fascinating social, psychological and historical investigation into the formation of a personality whose determination and vision would at the outset convince a small group of like-minded political and social outcasts but would eventually win over an entire nation and plunge the rest of the world into a cataclysm unlike any that had ever been seen before. Hitler’s Charisma is a natural culmination of twenty years of writing and research on the Third Reich and a remarkable examination of the man and the mind at the heart of it all.
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[book] The Interestings
A Novel
By Meg Wolitzer
April 2013
Riverhead
From bestselling author Meg Wolitzer a dazzling, panoramic novel about what becomes of early talent, and the roles that art, money, and even envy can play in close friendships. The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge.
The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules’s now-married best friends, become shockingly successful—true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken.
Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life.
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[book] THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI
A Novel
By Helene Wecker
April 2013
Harper
In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.
Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899. She hears not only her own thoughts, but the thoughts and desires of others. She is full grown, but a childlike naïf – naïve. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free. Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker's debut novel The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.
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Speaking of Poland
[book] The Eagle Unbowed
Poland and the Poles in the Second World War
Halik Kochanski, King’s College
Harvard University Press
The Second World War gripped Poland as it did no other country in Europe. Invaded by both Germany and the Soviet Union, it remained under occupation by foreign armies from the first day of the war to the last. The conflict was brutal, as Polish armies battled the enemy on four different fronts. It was on Polish soil that the architects of the Final Solution assembled their most elaborate network of extermination camps, culminating in the deliberate destruction of millions of lives, including three million Polish Jews. In The Eagle Unbowed, Halik Kochanski tells, for the first time, the story of Poland's war in its entirety, a story that captures both the diversity and the depth of the lives of those who endured its horrors.
Most histories of the European war focus on the Allies' determination to liberate the continent from the fascist onslaught. Yet the "good war" looks quite different when viewed from Lodz or Krakow than from London or Washington, D.C. Poland emerged from the war trapped behind the Iron Curtain, and it would be nearly a half-century until Poland gained the freedom that its partners had secured with the defeat of Hitler. Rescuing the stories of those who died and those who vanished, those who fought and those who escaped, Kochanski deftly reconstructs the world of wartime Poland in all its complexity-from collaboration to resistance, from expulsion to exile, from Warsaw to Treblinka. The Eagle Unbowed provides in a single volume the first truly comprehensive account of one of the most harrowing periods in modern history.
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[book] THE CHILD CATCHERS
Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel
Of Adoption
By Kathryn Joyce
April 2013
PublicAffairs
When Jessie Hawkins’ adopted daughter told her she had another mom back in Ethiopia, Jessie didn’t, at first, know what to think. She’d wanted her adoption to be great story about a child who needed a home and got one, and a family led by God to adopt. Instead, she felt like she’d done something wrong.
Adoption has long been enmeshed in the politics of reproductive rights, pitched as a “win-win” compromise in the never-ending abortion debate. But as Kathryn Joyce makes clear in The Child Catchers, adoption has lately become even more entangled in the conservative Christian agenda.
To tens of millions of evangelicals, adoption is a new front in the culture wars: a test of “pro-life” bona fides, a way for born again Christians to reinvent compassionate conservatism on the global stage, and a means to fulfill the “Great Commission” mandate to evangelize the nations. Influential leaders fervently promote a new “orphan theology,” urging followers to adopt en masse, with little thought for the families these “orphans” may already have. Conservative evangelicals control much of that industry through an infrastructure of adoption agencies, ministries, political lobbying groups, and publicly-supported “crisis pregnancy centers,” which convince women not just to “choose life,” but to choose adoption. Overseas, conservative Christians preside over a spiraling boom-bust adoption market in countries where people are poor and regulations weak, and where hefty adoption fees provide lots of incentive to increase the “supply” of adoptable children, recruiting “orphans” from intact but vulnerable families.
The Child Catchers is a shocking exposé of what the adoption industry has become and how it got there, told through deep investigative reporting and the heartbreaking stories of individuals who became collateral damage in a market driven by profit and, now, pulpit command.
Anyone who seeks to adopt—of whatever faith or no faith, and however well-meaning—is affected by the evangelical adoption movement, whether they know it or not. The movement has shaped the way we think about adoption, the language we use to discuss it, the places we seek to adopt from, and the policies and laws that govern the process. In The Child Catchers, Kathryn Joyce reveals with great sensitivity and empathy why, if we truly care for children, we need to see more clearly.
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[book] I Can't Complain
(All Too) Personal Essays
Elinor Lipman
April 2013
HMH
From the beloved and acclaimed novelist, a collection of witty, moving essays In her two decades of writing, Elinor Lipman has populated her fictional universe with characters so utterly real that we feel like they’re old friends. Now she shares an even more intimate world with us her own in essays that offer a candid, charming take on modern life. Looking back and forging ahead, she considers the subjects that matter most, from childhood to condiments, long marriage and solo living, career and politics.
Here you’ll find the lighthearted: a celebration of four decades of All My Children, a reflection on being Jewish in heavily Irish-Catholic Lowell on St. Patrick’s Day, a hilariously unflinching account of her tip-toe into online dating. But she also tackles the serious and profound in eloquent stories of unexpected widowhood and caring for elderly parents that use her struggles to illuminate ours. Whether for Lipman’s longtime readers or those who love the essays of Nora Ephron or Anna Quindlen, I Can't Complain is a diverting delight.
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[book] In the Land of the Living
A Novel
By Austin Ratner
April 2013,
WW Norton
A dazzling story of fathers, sons, and brothers - bound by love, divided by history The Auberons are a lovably neurotic, infernally intelligent family who love and hate each other-and themselves-- in equal measure. Driven both by grief at his young mother's death and war with his distant, abusive immigrant father, patriarch Isidore almost attains the life of his dreams: he works his way through Harvard and then medical school; he marries a beautiful and even-keeled girl; in his father-in-law, he finds the father he always wanted; and he becomes a father himself. He has talent, but he also has rage, and happiness is not meant to be his for very long.
Isidore's sons, Leo and Mack, haunted by the mythic, epic proportions of their father's heroics and the tragic events that marked their early lives, have alternately relied upon and disappointed one another since the day Mack was born. For Leo, who is angry at the world but angrier at himself, the burden of the past shapes his future: sexual awakening, first love, and restless attempts live up to his father's ideals.
Just when Leo reaches a crossroads between potential self-destruction and new freedom, Mack invites him on a road trip from Los Angeles to Cleveland. As the brothers make their way east, and towards understanding, their battles and reconciliations illuminate the power of family to both destroy and empower-and the price and rewards of independence. Part family saga, part coming-of-age story, In the Land of the Living is a kinetic, fresh, bawdy yet earnest shot to the heart of a novel about coping with death, and figuring out how and why to live. Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] ZOMBIES, BANANAS, AND WHY THERE ARE NO ECONOMISTS IN HEAVEN
THE ECONOMICS OF REAL LIFE
BY JESSICA IRVINE (Sydney Morning Herald)
April 2013
Allen and Unwin/IPG
Use the power of economics to solve everyday problems with this witty, accessible, and entertaining guide presenting Econ 101
Can economics help one lose weight? How does an emissions trading scheme work? Why are bananas so expensive? What really goes on inside the federal budget lock up? How can one spot a zombie bank? Why do boy bands make so much money? From asylum seekers to bananas, this book uses fun facts to get to the heart of some of the biggest political and economic debates. Part economics lesson, part quirky observation on modern life, this collection of easily digestible, bite-sized nuggets of factual goodness will help transform even the most economically illiterate person into an insightful commentator at their next work drinks or weekend barbeque.
She plans to leave Australia if banana prices rise over $15 AUS per Kilo.
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[book] THE MISSING FILE
A Mystery Novel
An Avraham Avraham Mystery
By D. A. Mishani
April 2013,
Harper
Introducing a detective from Israel, Avraham Avraham
A missing person’s case that the author, an Israeli scholar, based on his own fantasy as well as a true story he once read about, of a man who would write horrible nasty letters to families who experienced tragedies.
In The Missing File, Israeli detective Avraham Avraham must find a teenage boy gone missing from the suburbs of Tel Aviv in this first volume in a fresh new literary crime series by D. A. Mishani.
Crimes in Avraham's quiet suburb are generally not all that complex. But when a sixteen-year-old boy goes missing and a schoolteacher offers up a baffling complication, Avraham finds himself questioning everything he thought he knew about his life. Was there a crime? Maybe there is no crime and the boy is just missing? Is the detective correct? Or wrong?
Told through alternating points of view, The Missing File is an emotionally wrought, character-driven page-turner with plenty of twists and turns. It's a mystery that will leave readers questioning the notions of innocence and guilt, and the nebulous nature of truth Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] Père Marie-Benoît and Jewish Rescue
How a French Priest Together with Jewish
Friends Saved Thousands during the Holocaust
By Susan Zuccotti
April 2013,
Indiana University Press
From the award winning author and expert on French and Italian Jews during WWII.
PW calls it a page turner and highlights it as one of the best reads for Spring 2013.
Susan Zuccotti narrates the life and work of Père Marie-Benoît, a courageous French Capuchin priest who risked everything to hide Jews in France and Italy during the Holocaust. Who was this extraordinary priest and how did he become adept at hiding Jews, providing them with false papers, and helping them to elude their persecutors? First from a monastery in Marseille and later in Rome, Père Benoît worked with Jewish co-conspirators to build remarkably effective Jewish-Christian rescue networks.
Despite a cold reception from Pope Pius XII, who declined to assist in their efforts, they persisted in their clandestine activities until the Allies liberated Rome. To tell this remarkable tale, in addition to her research in French and Vatican archives, Zuccotti personally interviewed Père Benoît, his family, Jewish rescuers with whom he worked, and survivors who owed their lives to his network.
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[book] The Cushion in the Road
Meditation and Wandering as the Whole World Awakens to Being in Harm's Way
By Alice Walker
April 2013,
New Press
So well written, but drek.
Walker’s latest collection of personal and spiritual and political essays, letters from her travels, and letters to luminaries and politicians on the topics of racism, solidarity with Code Pink and the Palestinian people, Africa, the criminality of Israel, Barack Obama, Cuba, Dennis Banks, Clinton, healthcare, Mumia Abu-Jamal of course, and Aung San Suu Kyi.
Walker final chapter of several essays focuses on her love of the Palestinian people and her push to engage deeply in their struggles. One essay is an open letter to Israel’s PM, MK, and others in support of MK ZOaby he joined with a flotilla (or faux-tilla) to Gaza. Walker frets over her inability to buy a pair of sandals that she loves. Why? Because she sees that they were manufactured in Israel by Israelis and she must therefore boycott them.
Look for Walker in late May 2013 at Busboys and Poets (May 28, Washington DC) and The 92nd St YM/WHA in Manhattan on May 30, 2013
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[book] ESTHER STORIES
BY PETER ORNER
FOREWORD BY MARILYNNE ROBINSON
April 2013,
Back Bay Books
One of the most acclaimed and original story collections of the last decade, Peter Orner's first book explores the brief but far-reaching occasions that haunt us.
The discovery of a murdered man in a bathrobe by the side of a road, the destruction of a town's historic City Hall building, and the recollection of a cruel wartime decision are equally affecting in Orner's vivid and intimate gaze. The first half of the book concerns the lives of unrelated strangers across the American landscape, and the second introduces two very different Jewish families, one on the East Coast, the other in the Midwest. Yet Orner's real territory is memory, and this book of wide-ranging and innovative stories remains an important and unique contribution to the art of the American short story.
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[book] The Throne of Adulis
Red Sea Wars on the Eve of Islam
By G.W. Bowersock (Princeton)
April 2013,
Oxford
Just prior to the birth of Islam in the sixth century AD, southern Arabia was embroiled in a violent conflict between Christian Ethiopians and Jewish Arabs. Though little known today, this was an international war that involved both the Byzantine Empire, which had established Christian churches in Ethiopia, and the Sasanian Empire in Persia, which supported the Jews in a proxy war against its longtime foe Byzantium.
Our knowledge of these events derives largely from an inscribed marble throne at the Ethiopian port of Adulis, meticulously described by a sixth-century merchant known as Cosmas Indicopleustes. Using the writings of Cosmas and a wealth of other historical and archaeological evidence from the period, eminent historian G. W. Bowersock carefully reconstructs this fascinating but overlooked chapter in pre-Islamic Arabian history. The flashpoint of the war, Bowersock tells us, occurred when Yusuf, the Jewish king of ?imyar, massacred hundreds of Christians living in Najran. The Christian ruler of Ethiopia, Kaleb, urged on by the Byzantine emperor Justin "to go forth...against the abominable and criminal Jew," led a force of 120,000 men across the Red Sea to defeat Yusuf. But when the victorious Kaleb--said to have retired to a monastery--left behind weak leaders in both Ethiopia and Himyar, the Byzantine and Persian empires expanded their activity in the Arabian territory. In the midst of this conflict, a new religion was born, destined to bring a wholly unanticipated resolution to the power struggle in Arabia.
The Throne of Adulis vividly recreates the Red Sea world of Late Antiquity, transporting us back to a remote but pivotal epoch in ancient history, one that sheds light on the rise of Islam as well as the collapse of the Persian Empire.
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[book] A NEW NEW TESTAMENT
A Bible for the 21st Century
Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts
Edited by Hal Taussig
April 2013,
Houghton Mifflin
For those who study Christianity
Over the past century, numerous lost scriptures have been discovered, authenticated, translated, debated, celebrated. Many of these documents were as important to shaping early-Christian communities and beliefs as what we have come to call the New Testament; these were not the work of shunned sects or rebel apostles, not alternative histories or doctrines, but part of the vibrant conversations that sparked the rise of Christianity. Yet these scriptures are rarely read in contemporary churches; they are discussed nearly only by scholars or within a context only of gnostic gospels. Why should these books be set aside? Why should they continue to be lost to most of us? And don’t we have a great deal to gain by placing them back into contact with the twenty-seven books of the traditional New Testament—by hearing, finally, the full range of voices that formed the early chorus of Christians?
To create this New New Testament, Hal Taussig called together a council of scholars and spiritual leaders to discuss and reconsider which books belong in the New Testament. They talked about these recently found documents, the lessons therein, and how they inform the previously bound books. They voted on which should be added, choosing ten new books to include in A New New Testament. Reading the traditional scriptures alongside these new texts—the Gospel of Luke with the Gospel of Mary, Paul’s letters with The Letter of Peter to Philip, The Revelation to John with The Secret Revelation to John—offers the exciting possibility of understanding both the new and the old better. This new reading, and the accompanying commentary in this volume, promises to reinvigorate a centuries-old conversation and to bring new relevance to a dynamic tradition.
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[book] SAYYID QUTB
THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF A RADICAL ISLAMIC INTELLECTUAL
BY JAMES TOTH
April 2013,
Oxford
Sayyid Qutb is widely considered the guiding intellectual of radical Islam, with a direct line connecting him to Osama bin Laden. But Qutb has too often been treated maliciously or reductively-"the Philosopher of Islamic Terror," as Paul Berman famously put it in the New York Times Magazine.
James Toth offers an even-handed account of Sayyid Qutb and shows him to be a much more complex figure than the many one-dimensional portraits would have us believe. Qutb first gained notice as a novelist, literary critic, and poet but then turned to religious and political criticism aimed at the Egyptian government and Muslims he deemed insufficiently pious. After a two-year sojourn in the U.S., he returned to Egypt even more radicalized and joined the Muslim Brotherhood, eventually taking charge of its propaganda operation. When Brotherhood members were accused of assassinating Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, the group was outlawed and Qutb imprisoned.
He was executed in 1966, becoming the first martyr to the Islamist cause. Using an analytical approach that investigates without passing judgment, Toth traces the life and thought of Qutb, giving attention not only to his well-known Signposts on the Road, but also to his less-studied works like Social Justice in Islam and his 30-volume Qur'anic commentary, In the Shade of the Qur'an. Toth's aim is to give Qutb's ideas a fair hearing, to measure their impact, and to treat him like other
intellectuals who inspire revolutions, however unpopular they may be. In offering a more nuanced account of Qutb, one that moves beyond the cartoonish depictions of him as the evil genius lurking behind today's terrorists, Sayyid Qutb deepens our understanding of a central figure of radical Islam and, indeed, our understanding of radical Islam itself
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[book] A Nearly Perfect Copy
A Novel
BY Allison Amend
April 2013,
Nan A Talese
Richly drawn and sharply observed, A Nearly Perfect Copy is a smart and affecting novel of family and forgery set amidst the rarefied international art world.
Elm Howells has a loving family and a distinguished career at an elite Manhattan auction house. But after a tragic loss throws her into an emotional crisis, she pursues a reckless course of action that jeopardizes her personal and professional success. Meanwhile, talented artist Gabriel Connois wearies of remaining at the margins of the capricious Parisian art scene. Desperate for recognition, he embarks on a scheme that threatens his burgeoning reputation. As these narratives converge, with disastrous consequences, A Nearly Perfect Copy boldly challenges our presumptions about originality and authenticity, loss and replacement, and the perilous pursuit of perfection.
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[book] 'Til Faith Do Us Part
How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America
By Naomi Schaefer Riley
April 2013,
Oxford University Press
In the last decade, 45% of all marriages in the U.S. were between people of different faiths. The rapidly growing number of mixed-faith families has become a source of hope, encouraging openness and tolerance among religious communities that historically have been insular and suspicious of other faiths.
Yet as Naomi Schaefer Riley demonstrates in 'Til Faith Do Us Part, what is good for society as a whole often proves difficult for individual families: interfaith couples, Riley shows, are less happy than others and certain combinations of religions are more likely to lead to divorce. Drawing on in-depth interviews with married and once-married couples, clergy, counselors, sociologists, and others, Riley shows that many people enter into interfaith marriages without much consideration of the fundamental spiritual, doctrinal, and practical issues that divide them. Couples tend to marry in their twenties and thirties, a time when religion diminishes in importance, only to return to faith as they grow older and raise children, suffer the loss of a parent, or experience other major life challenges. Riley suggests that a devotion to diversity as well as to a romantic ideal blinds many interfaith couples to potential future problems. Even when they recognize deeply held differences, couples believe that love conquers all. As a result, they fail to ask the necessary questions about how they will reconcile their divergent worldviews-about raising children, celebrating holidays, interacting with extended families, and more. An obsession with tolerance at all costs, Riley argues, has made discussing the problems of interfaith marriage taboo.
'Til Faith Do Us Part is a fascinating exploration of the promise and peril of interfaith marriage today. It will be required reading not only for interfaith couples or anyone considering interfaith marriage, but for all those interested in learning more about this significant, yet understudied phenomenon and the impact it is having on America.
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[book] HELGA'S DIARY
A YOUNG GIRL'S ACCOUNT OF
LIFE IN A CONCENTRATION CAMP
BY HELGA WEISS
TRANSLATED BY NEIL BERMEL
FOREWORD BY FRANCINE PROSE
April 2013,
WW Norton
The remarkable diary of a young girl who survived the Holocaust—appearing in English for the first time.
In 1939, Helga Weiss was a young Jewish schoolgirl in Prague. Along with some 45,000 Jews living in the city, Helga’s family endured the first wave of the Nazi invasion: her father was denied work; she was forbidden from attending regular school. As Helga witnessed the increasing Nazi brutality, she began documenting her experiences in a diary.
In 1941, Helga and her parents were sent to the concentration camp of Terezín. There, Helga continued to write with astonishing insight about her daily life: the squalid living quarters, the cruel rationing of food, and the executions—as well as the moments of joy and hope that persisted in even the worst conditions.
In 1944, Helga and her family were sent to Auschwitz. Before she left, Helga’s uncle, who worked in the Terezín records department, hid her diary and drawings in a brick wall. Miraculously, he was able to reclaim them for her after the war.
Of the 15,000 children brought to Terezín and later deported to Auschwitz, only 100 survived. Helga was one of them. Reconstructed from her original notebooks, the diary is presented here in its entirety. With an introduction by Francine Prose, a revealing interview between translator Neil Bermel and Helga, and the artwork Helga made during her time at Terezín, Helga's Diary stands as a vivid and utterly unique historical document.
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[book] HARVARD SQUARE
A NOVEL
BY ANDRE ACIMAN
April 2013,
WW Norton
A powerful tale of love, friendship, and becoming American in late ’70s Cambridge from the best-selling novelist. André Aciman has been hailed as "the most exciting new fiction writer of the twenty-first century" (New York magazine), a "brilliant chronicler of the disconnect…between who we are and who we wish we might have been" (Wall Street Journal), and a writer of "fiction at its most supremely interesting" (Colm Tóibín). Now, with his third and most ambitious novel, Aciman delivers an elegant and powerful tale of the wages of assimilation—a moving story of an immigrant’s remembered youth and the nearly forgotten costs and sacrifices of becoming an American.
It’s the fall of 1977, and amid the lovely, leafy streets of Cambridge a young Harvard graduate student, a Jew from Egypt, longs more than anything to become an assimilated American and a professor of literature. He spends his days in a pleasant blur of seventeenth-century fiction, but when he meets a brash, charismatic Arab cab driver in a Harvard Square café, everything changes.
Nicknamed Kalashnikov—Kalaj for short—for his machine-gun vitriol, the cab driver roars into the student’s life with his denunciations of the American obsession with "all things jumbo and ersatz"—Twinkies, monster television sets, all-you-can-eat buffets—and his outrageous declarations on love and the art of seduction. The student finds it hard to resist his new friend’s magnetism, and before long he begins to neglect his studies and live a double life: one in the rarified world of Harvard, the other as an exile with Kalaj on the streets of Cambridge. Together they carouse the bars and cafés around Harvard Square, trade intimate accounts of their love affairs, argue about the American dream, and skinny-dip in Walden Pond. But as final exams loom and Kalaj has his license revoked and is threatened with deportation, the student faces the decision of his life: whether to cling to his dream of New World assimilation or risk it all to defend his Old World friend. Harvard Square is a sexually charged and deeply American novel of identity and aspiration at odds. It is also an unforgettable, moving portrait of an unlikely friendship from one of the finest stylists of our time.
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[book] Payback
The Case for Revenge
Thane Rosenbaum
April 2013
University of Chicago Press
Rosenbaum, the son of Holocaust survivors, is an attorney, essayist, novelist, and university professor, A theme in a lot of his writing is justice and morality
We call it justice—the assassination of Osama bin Laden, the incarceration of corrupt politicians or financiers like Rod Blagojevich and Bernard Madoff, and the climactic slaying of cinema-screen villains by superheroes. But could we not also call it revenge? We are told that revenge is uncivilized and immoral, an impulse that individuals and societies should actively repress and replace with the order and codes of courtroom justice. What, if anything, distinguishes punishment at the hands of the government from a victim’s individual desire for retribution? Are vengeance and justice really so very different? No, answers legal scholar and novelist Thane Rosenbaum in Payback: The Case for Revenge—revenge is, in fact, indistinguishable from justice.
Revenge, Rosenbaum argues, is not the problem. It is, in fact, a perfectly healthy emotion. Instead, the problem is the inadequacy of lawful outlets through which to express it. He mounts a case for legal systems to punish the guilty commensurate with their crimes as part of a societal moral duty to satisfy the needs of victims to feel avenged. Indeed, the legal system would better serve the public if it gave victims the sense that vengeance was being done on their behalf. Drawing on a wide range of support, from recent studies in behavioral psychology and neuroeconomics, to stories of vengeance and justice denied, to revenge practices from around the world, to the way in which revenge tales have permeated popular culture—including Hamlet, The Godfather, and Braveheart—Rosenbaum demonstrates that vengeance needs to be more openly and honestly discussed and lawfully practiced.
Fiercely argued and highly engaging, Payback is a provocative and eye-opening cultural tour of revenge and its rewards—from Shakespeare to The Sopranos. It liberates revenge from its social stigma and proves that vengeance is indeed ours, a perfectly human and acceptable response to moral injury. Rosenbaum deftly persuades us to reconsider a misunderstood subject and, along the way, reinvigorates the debate on the shape of justice in the modern world. Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book














[book] ANCIENT ISRAEL
The Former Prophets
Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings
A Translation with Translation
Robert Alter (UC - Berkeley)
April 2013,
WW Norton
Robert Alter’s award-winning translation of the Hebrew Bible continues with the stirring narrative of Israel’s ancient history. To read the books of the Former Prophets in this riveting Robert Alter translation is to discover an entertaining amalgam of hair-raising action and high literary achievement. Samson, the vigilante superhero of Judges, slaughters thousands of Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. David, the Machiavellian prince of Samuel and Kings, is one of the great literary figures of antiquity. A ruthless monarch, David embodies a life in full dimension as it moves from brilliant youth through vigorous prime to failing old age. Samson and David play emblematic roles in the rise and fall of ancient Israel, a nation beset by internal divisions and external threats. A scattering of contentious desert tribes joined by faith in a special covenant with God, Israel emerges through the bloody massacres of Canaanite populations recounted in Joshua and the anarchic violence of Judges. The resourceful David consolidates national power, but it is power rooted in conspiracy, and David dies bitterly isolated in his court, surrounded by enemies. His successor, Solomon, maintains national unity through his legendary wisdom, wealth, and grand public vision, but after his death Israel succumbs to internal discord and foreign conquest. Near its end, the saga of ancient Israel returns to the supernatural. In Elijah’s fiery ascent to heaven many would find the harbinger of a messiah coming to save his people in their time of need.
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[book] The Turk Who Loved Apples
And Other Tales of Losing My Way Around the World
By Matt Gross
April 2013
Da Capo Press
While writing his celebrated Frugal Traveler column for The New York Times, Matt Gross began to feel hemmed in by its focus on what he thought of as “traveling on the cheap at all costs.” When his editor offered him the opportunity to do something less structured, the Getting Lost series was born, and Gross began a more immersive form of travel that allowed him to “lose his way all over the globe”—from developing-world megalopolises to venerable European capitals, from American sprawl to Asian archipelagos. And that’s what the never-before-published material in The Turk Who Loved Apples is all about: breaking free of the constraints of modern travel and letting the place itself guide you. It’s a variety of travel you’ll love to experience vicariously through Matt Gross—and maybe even be inspired to try for yourself.
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[book] What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know
An Insider Reveals How to Get Smart Funding for Your Billion Dollar Idea
By Brian Cohen
with John Kador
April 2013
McGraw Hill
"Terrific advice from a master of the angel investing game. Brian Cohen reveals the art and craft of raising angel money. An investment in this book will pay off a thousandfold." -- DR. HOWARD MORGAN, founder and partner at First Round Capital
When you connect with the right angel investor, it's like finding a new best friend--you just have to know what makes him or her happy. Smart funding is waiting for smart founders. Raising funds is all about connecting with the investor who's right for you--and What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know shows you exactly how to succeed.
Veteran early-stage investor Brian Cohen knows how to spot a great company destined for success, and in this groundbreaking book he offers soup-to-nuts guidance for any entrepreneur seeking to launch an invention, a product, or a great new idea into a receptive marketplace. As chairman of the board of directors of the New York Angels, Cohen is one of the most engaged angel investors out there today. The first investor in Pinterest, he describes exactly what angels want to see, hear, and feel before they take out their checkbooks:
A clear exit strategy before the startup even launches
Facts that turn "due" diligence into "do" diligence
Authenticity--"save your spinning for the fitness center"
Proof that you "live inside the customer's head"
Cohen gives invaluable insight into how the most successful angels view due diligence, friends and family money, crowdfunding, team building, scalability, iteration, exit strategies--and much more. This one-of-a-kind book provides a rare look inside the minds of people who are in the business of funding businesses just like yours. Read What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know to get your best shot at funding for your product after your very first pitch.
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[book] Franz Kafka
The Poet of Shame and Guilt (Jewish Lives)
By Saul Friedlander
April 2013
Yale University Press
Franz Kafka was the poet of his own disorder. Throughout his life he struggled with a pervasive sense of shame and guilt that left traces in his daily existence—in his many letters, in his extensive diaries, and especially in his fiction. This stimulating book investigates some of the sources of Kafka’s personal anguish and its complex reflections in his imaginary world.
In his query, Saul Friedländer probes major aspects of Kafka’s life (family, Judaism, love and sex, writing, illness, and despair) that until now have been skewed by posthumous censorship. Contrary to Kafka’s dying request that all his papers be burned, Max Brod, Kafka’s closest friend and literary executor, edited and published the author’s novels and other works soon after his death in 1924. Friedländer shows that, when reinserted in Kafka’s letters and diaries, deleted segments lift the mask of “sainthood” frequently attached to the writer and thus restore previously hidden aspects of his individuality.
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[book] SHOCKED
My Mother, Schiaparelli, and Me
By Patricia Volk
April 2013,
Knopf
From the acclaimed author of Stuffed: an intimate, richly illustrated memoir, written with charm and panache, that juxtaposes two fascinating lives—the iconoclastic designer Elsa Schiaparelli and the author’s own mother—to explore how a girl fashions herself into a woman.
Audrey Morgen Volk, an upper-middle-class New Yorker, was a great beauty and the polished hostess at her family’s garment district restaurant. Elsa Schiaparelli—“Schiap”—the haute couture designer whose creations shocked the world, blurred the line between fashion and art, and believed that everything, even a button, has the potential to delight. Audrey’s daughter Patricia read Schiap’s autobiography, Shocking Life, at a tender age, and was transformed by it. These two women—volatile, opinionated, and brilliant each in her own way—offered Patricia contrasting lessons about womanhood and personal style that allowed her to plot her own course.
Moving seamlessly between the Volks’ Manhattan and Florida milieux and Schiap’s life in Rome and Paris (among friends such as Dalí, Duchamp, and Picasso), Shocked weaves Audrey’s traditional notions of domesticity with Schiaparelli’s often outrageous ideas into a marvel-filled, meditation on beauty, and on being a daughter, sister, and mother, while demonstrating how a single book can change a life.
PW and Kirkus write: “Volk has a talent for unearthing meaning in the seemingly mundane. She works off the theory that everyone reads one influential book before puberty that leaves an indelible mark. Hers was Shocking Life, outré fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli’s memoir, filched from a shelf before her voracious reader of a mother (deemed beautiful by everyone from the dentist to the hostess at Schrafft’s) could return it to the Upper West Side bookstore where she ‘rented’ books. This is no soft-focus hagiography, however. Volk is cheerfully honest about her mother’s concern with what others think of her, and she bluntly calls Schiaparelli ‘a terrible mother.’ Including both personal photographs and depictions of Schiaparelli inventions such as women’s underpants that didn’t require ironing, this memoir is a compelling tribute to two ambitious women who were way ahead of their time.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Witty, tender and vividly nostalgic. . . . a spirited account of how an encounter with a memoir by couturier Elsa Schiaparelli transformed a young girl’s view of what it meant to be a woman. Volk adored her movie-star gorgeous mother Audrey. However, even as a child, she could never quite countenance the ‘blind adherence to the mystifying virtue of ‘seemly’ (female) behavior’ that Audrey demanded of her. She unexpectedly found [a] more subversive model for feminine behavior in Schiaparelli, whose autobiography Volk read at age 10. Like the author, ‘Schiap’ was a much-loved child. . . . [and] no great beauty, something Volk also understood. Yet she still managed to create an enduring legacy as an avant-garde fashion designer . . . Schiaparelli’s remarkable story provided Volk the ‘shock’ she needed to grow away from Audrey’s certitudes—about everything from clothes to men to life itself—and into her own, unique sensibilities. . . . Generously illustrated with images from the two worlds Volk depicts, the narrative that emerges from Volk’s deft interweaving of lives is as sharp-eyed as it is wickedly funny. Her attention to detail, especially in her evocations of 1950s New York, is nothing short of delicious.” —Kirkus
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[book] MY MOTHER'S WARS
A memoir
By Lillian Faderman
Spring 2013,
Beacon Press
An acclaimed writer on her mother’s tumultuous life as a Jewish immigrant in 1930s New York and her life-long guilt when the Holocaust claims the family she left behind in Latvia A story of love, war, and life as a Jewish immigrant in the squalid factories and lively dance halls of New York’s Garment District in the 1930s, My Mother’s Wars is the memoir Lillian Faderman’s mother was never able to write. The daughter delves into her mother’s past to tell the story of a Latvian girl who left her village for America with dreams of a life on the stage and encountered the realities of her new world: the battles she was forced to fight as a woman, an immigrant worker, and a Jew with family left behind in Hitler’s deadly path. The story begins in 1914: Mary, the girl who will become Lillian Faderman’s mother, just seventeen and swept up with vague ambitions to be a dancer, travels alone to America, where her half-sister in Brooklyn takes her in. She finds a job in the garment industry and a shop friend who teaches her the thrills of dance halls and the cheap amusements open to working-class girls. This dazzling life leaves Mary distracted and her half-sister and brother-in-law scandalized that she has become a “good-time gal.” They kick her out of their home, an event with consequences Mary will regret for the rest of her life.
Eighteen years later, still barely scraping by as a garment worker and unmarried at thirty-five, Mary falls madly in love and has a torrid romance with a man who will never marry her, but who will father Lillian Faderman before he disappears from their lives. America is in the midst of the Depression, Hitler is coming to power in Europe, and New York’s garment workers are just beginning to unionize. Mary makes tentative steps to join, despite her lover’s angry opposition. As National Socialism engulfs Europe, Mary realizes she must find a way to get her family out of Latvia, and she spends frenetic months chasing vague promises and false rumors of hope. Pregnant again, after having submitted to two wrenching back-room abortions, and still unmarried, Mary faces both single motherhood and the devastating possibility of losing her entire Eastern European family.
Drawing on family stories and documents, as well as her own tireless research, Lillian Faderman has reconstructed an engrossing and essential chapter in the history of women, of workers, of Jews, and of the Holocaust as immigrants experienced it from American shores.

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OHHH.. MAN'OUSHE… I THOUGHT IT WAS A BOOK BY THE MOSSAD
[book] Man'oushe
Inside the Street Corner Lebanese Bakery
By Barbara Abdeni Massaad
Illustrated by Raymond Yazbeck
April/May 2013
Interlink IPG
THE ARABIC PIZZA THAT IS FAST BECOMING a SNACK
The man'oushé is the cherished national pie of Lebanon. It has a reserved place on the country's breakfast table and has the unique ability to be worked into every meal of the day due to its simple versatility. Barbara Abdeni Massaad's cookbook is dedicated entirely to the art of creating the perfect man'oushé. With over 70 simple recipes, it offers you a way to enjoy these typical pies traditionally baked in street corner bakeries in the comfort of your own home.
Man'oushé: Inside the Street Corner Lebanese Bakery is a journey to discover Lebanon's favorite snack. One only has to leaf through the pages to realize that this typical Lebanese creation can be as simple as an on-the-go breakfast and as intricate as a family meal.
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[book] The Messiah and the Jews
Three Thousand Years of Tradition, Belief and Hope
By Rabbi Elaine Rose Glickman
April 2013
Jewish Lights
The conviction that the Messiah is coming is a promise of meaning. It is a source of consolation. It is a wellspring of creativity. It is a reconciliation between what is and what should be. And it is perhaps our most powerful statement of faith in God, in humanity and in ourselves. from Chapter 1, The Messiah Is Coming!
The coming of the Messiah the promise of redemption is among Judaism s gifts to the world. But it is a gift about which the world knows so little. It has been overshadowed by Christian belief and teaching, and as a result its Jewish significance has been all but lost. To further complicate matters, Jewish messianic teaching is enthralling, compelling, challenging, exhilarating yet, up until now, woefully inaccessible. This book will change that.
Rabbi Elaine Rose Glickman brings together, and to life, this three-thousand-year-old tradition as never before. Rather than simply reviewing the vast body of Jewish messianic literature, she explores an astonishing range of primary and secondary sources, explaining in an informative yet inspirational way these teachings significance for Jews of the past and infuses them with new meaning for the modern reader, both Jewish and non-Jewish.
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[book] LET'S EXPLORE DIABETES WITH OWLS
STORIES, ESSAYS, ETC.
By David Sedaris
April 2013
Little Brown
A new collection of essays from the #1 New York Times bestselling author who has been called "the preeminent humorist of his generation" (Entertainment Weekly).
From the unique perspective of David Sedaris comes a new book of essays taking his readers on a bizarre and stimulating world tour. From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler's experiences. Whether railing against the habits of litterers in the English countryside or marveling over a disembodied human arm in a taxidermist's shop, Sedaris takes us on side-splitting adventures that are not to be forgotten.
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[book] Why "A" Students Work for "C" Students
and Why "B" Students Work for the Government:
Rich Dad's Guide to Financial Education
for Parents [Paperback]
By Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad)
April 2013
Plata
Kiyosaki expands on his belief that the school system was created to churn out 'Es' / Employees... those "A Students" who read well, memorize well and test well... and not the creative thinkers, visionaries and dreamers –entrepreneurs-in-the-making... those "C Students who grow up to be the innovators and creators of new ideas, businesses, applications and products.
The book urges parents not to be obsessed with their kids' "letter grades" ("good grades" might only mean they or the student themselves were successful in jamming a square peg into a round hole...) and focus, instead, on concepts, ideas, and helping their child find their true genius, their special gift. The path they can pursue with a love and true passion.
Robert showcases success stories of "C Students" who grew up to be phenomenal successes – and HIRED those "A Students"(attorneys, accountants, and other school-smart specialists) to work in their businesses... while the more average students, "B Students," often find themselves in government-type jobs...
Not surprisingly, Kiyosaki will coin his own definitions of what "A," "B," and "C" stand for as he gives parents and their children bits of wisdom as well as insights and tools for navigating an ever-changing world... an Information Age world where the ability to change and adapt, understand relationships, and anticipate the future will shape their lives.
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[book] KEVIN
(Archie Comics)
By Paul Kupperberg
April 2013
Penguin G&D
Ages 8 – 12
Paul Kupperberg, one of the top comic editors in the USA and author of Life With Archie, and Jew Jitsu, has written a back story for Kevin Keller. (Kupperberg started at Carlton Comics and DC Comics in 1975)Kevin Keller is the first Archie character who is openly gay and he currently stars in his own best-selling series of comic books.
In this special paper-over-board novel, we focus on Kevin’s early, awkward years and the struggles and joys of his inspirational road to self-discovery. This sweet and funny coming-of-age story features a strong anti-bullying message and is a perfect gift for Archie fans, parents, and anyone who has—or is—struggling to find their place.
The story opens with Kevin in middle school before who moves to Riverdale. As your know, Kevin’s father is an officer in the U.S. military, and Kevin changes schools a lot. He befriends fellow geeks and nerds; Kevin is overweight and has braces and is not the suave guy he is when he arrives in Riverdale on the outside.
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[book] The New Persian Kitchen
Louisa Shafia
April 2013
10 Speed Press
THE SHAHS OF BEVERLY HILLS IS A HOT TELEVISION SHOW
AND JEWISH PERSIAN AND PERSIAN COOKING IS HOT ALSO
The loss to the stage, is a gain to cooks
This luscious and contemporary take on the alluring cuisine of Iran from cookbook author Louisa Shafia features 75 recipes for both traditional Persian dishes and modern reinterpretations using Middle Eastern ingredients.
In The New Persian Kitchen, acclaimed chef Louisa Shafia explores her Iranian heritage by reimagining classic Persian recipes from a fresh, vegetable-focused perspective. These vibrant recipes demystify Persian ingredients like rose petals, dried limes, tamarind, and sumac, while offering surprising preparations for familiar foods such as beets, carrots, mint, and yogurt for the busy, health-conscious cook. The nearly eighty recipes—such as Turmeric Chicken with Sumac and Lime, Pomegranate Soup, and ice cream sandwiches made with Saffron Frozen Yogurt and Cardamom Pizzelles—range from starters to stews to sweets, and employ streamlined kitchen techniques and smart preparation tips. A luscious, contemporary take on a time-honored cuisine, The New Persian Kitchen makes the exotic and beautiful tradition of seasonal Persian cooking both accessible and inspiring.
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Also
Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:00am Cooking Class and Book Signing Sephardic Community Center, 1901 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11223  http://scclive.org/pages/detail/882/Culinary
Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 7:00pm Persian Cooking Class at Whole Foods Bowery Whole Foods Bowery 95 East Houston Street New York, NY 10002  http://events.nydailynews.com/new_york_ny/events/show/319319643-the-new-persian-kitchen

Louisa adds that growing up, she did not eat pork, since her father is Muslim and her mother is Jewish. She yearned for fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Her mother focused on French and European cooking as well as fried matzoh, latkes, borscht, dill pickles, and bagels with lox. Her father loved flatbread, tart yogurt, fluffy saffron rice, charred and juicy kebabs, fragrant and complex Persian stews like eggplant and tomato bademjan, and mouth-puckering torshi pickles.
Fortunately, also, Shafia had a “nanny”, Mrs. D(uGan), in suburban Philly who was a former cook who imparted a love of food. The 1992 Penn grad has a chickpea and almond flour icebox cookie recipe here: http://thepenngazette.com/finding-mrs-d/
The cookbook includes: Persian "Matzoh Balls" with Chickpeas and Chicken (Gondi), Pomegranate Walnut Stew (Fesenjan), Rice with Rose Petals and Barberries (Zereshk Polo), Nutty Chocolate Bark with Cardamom and Coffee (Sholeh Zard)








Is Chicken Adobo Jewish? I will check at http://www.jewishphilippines.net/
[book] Memories of Philippine Kitchens
By Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan
2012
10 Speed Press
In the newly revised and updated Memories of Philippine Kitchens, Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan, owners and chef at the Purple Yam and formerly of Cendrillon in Manhattan, present a fascinating—and very personal—look at Filipino cuisine and culture. From adobo to pancit, lumpia to kinilaw, the authors trace the origins of native Filipino foods and the impact of foreign cultures on the cuisine. More than 100 unique recipes, culled from private kitchens and the acclaimed Purple Yam menu, reflect classic dishes as well as contemporary Filipino food. Filled with hundreds of sumptuous photographs and stories from the authors and other notable cooks, this book is a joy to peruse in and out of the kitchen.
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[book] Attempting Normal
Marc Maron
April 30, 2013
Spiegel & Grau
Maron is not a cat person, he is a MY CATS ONLY person
He married one of his wives because it was easier to marry than to ask to break up
He wanted a simple wedding, but his Jewish fiance and mother-in-law had much larger plans
It is rather hard to ask for a divorce since you are in love with a 23 year old, and even harder when your 20-something wife is taking pre-natal vitamins. Why is he a comedian? For the people and characters, but who else would be getting oral sex from a street prostitute in Boston, and when you pay her $10 extra to take off her shirt, she asks you to see if she has a lump.. and she does. (she should have paid him for his medical exam)
So, Marc Maron was a parent-scarred, angst-filled, coke and booze addict, a love-starved (he had plenty of love, he just didn’t accept it) comedian who dreamed of a simple life: a wife, a home, a sitcom to call his own. But instead he woke up one day to find himself fired from his radio job, surrounded by feral cats, and emotionally and financially annihilated by a divorce from a woman he thought he loved (he met his first wife while standing at the chuppah for his brother. He was the best man, she was the maid of honor.)
He tried to heal his broken heart through whatever means he could find —minor-league hoarding before it was fashionable (or collecting nostalgia), Viagra addiction and its side effects, accidental racial profiling (the jet crew became alarmed and surrounded him), cat fancying, flying airplanes with his mind—but nothing seemed to work. It was only when he was stripped down to nothing that he found his way back.
Attempting Normal is Marc Maron’s journey through the wilderness of his own mind, a collection of explosively, painfully, addictively funny stories that add up to a moving tale of hope and hopelessness, of failing, flailing, and finding a way. From standup to television to his outrageously popular podcast, WTF with Marc Maron, Marc has always been a genuine original, a disarmingly honest, intensely smart, brutally open comic who finds wisdom in the strangest places. This is his story of the winding, potholed road from madness and obsession and failure to something like normal, the thrillingly comic journey of a sympathetic f***up who’s trying really hard to do better without making a bigger mess.
If you are a Jewish comedian, coke addicted, self-loathing, and angry you might relate… PLUS IT IS VERY FUNNY
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Marc Maron on Hasidim in Williamsburg Brooklyn: http://youtu.be/5j3rASbjC4M








[book] The Bridge Over the Neroch
And Other Works
By Leonid Tsypkin
Translated by Jamey Gambrell
Spring 2013
New Directions Press
From the acclaimed author of Summer in Baden-Baden, a collection of short work finally in English.
Leonid Tsypkin’s novel Summer in Baden-Baden was hailed as an undiscovered classic of 20th-century Russian literature. The Washington Post claimed it “a chronicle of fevered genius,” and The New York Review of Books described it as “gripping, mysterious and profoundly moving.” In her introduction,Susan Sontag said: “If you want from one book an experience of the depth and authority of Russian literature, read this book.”
At long last, here are the remaining writings of Leonid Tsypkin: in the powerful novella Bridge Across the Neroch, the history of four generations of a Russian-Jewish family is seen through the lens of a doctor living in Moscow. In Norartakir, a husband and wife on vacation in Armenia bask in the view of Mt. Ararat and the ancient history of the land, until they are unceremoniously kicked out of their hotel and returned to Soviet reality. The remaining stories offer knowing windows into Soviet urban life. As the translator Jamey Gambrell says in her preface: "For Tsypkin's narrator, history is a tightrope to be walked every minute of every day, in both his internal and external world."
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[book] BEYOND WAR
REIMAGINING AMERICaN INFLUENCE IN A NEW MIDDLE EAST
BY DAVID ROHDE
April 2013
VIKING
How to get rich from the “war on terror” as a mega contract…
Did you know that 30% of the people working for American intelligence agencies are contractors?
How do you cut the budgets for foreign service officers, but pay a CEO of a NON PROFIT contractor nearly $900K in salary to do not much.
An examination of the cardinal failing of Washington’s war on terror
This book distills eleven years of expert reporting for The New York Times, Reuters, and The Atlantic Monthly into a clarion call for change. An incisive look at the evolving nature of war, Rohde exposes how a dysfunctional Washington squandered billions on contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, neglected its true allies in the war on terror and failed to employ its most potent nonmilitary weapons: American consumerism, technology, and investment. Rohde then surveys post-Arab Spring Tunisia, Turkey, and Egypt, and finds a yearning for American technology, trade, and education. He argues that only Muslim moderates, not Americans, can eradicate militancy. For readers of Steve Coll, Tom Ricks, and Ahmed Rashid, Beyond War shows how the failed American effort to back moderate Muslims since 9/11 can be salvaged.

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[book] Saul Bellow's Heart
A Son's Memoir
By Greg Bellow
April 2013
Bloomsbury
In this warm, affectionate, yet strikingly honest look inside the life of one of America's greatest 20th century writers, his father the Nobel Prize-winning author Saul Bellow, Greg Bellow offers a view no one else has of a man known to be quick to anger, prone to argument, politically conservative, and palpably vulnerable to criticism. Yet there was a bond of tender emotion between Saul Bellow and Greg, his firstborn.
In Saul Bellow's Heart, Greg Bellow gives voice to a side of Saul unknown to most others, the "Young Saul"-emotionally accessible, often soft, with a set of egalitarian social values and the ability to laugh at the world's folly and himself; rebellious, irreverent, and ambitious.Saul's accessibility and lightheartedness waned as he aged, and his social views hardened.This is the "Old Saul" most known to the world, and these changes taxed the relationship between Bellow and his son so sorely that Greg often worried whether it would survive. But theirs were differences of mind, not of heart.Interweaving stories based on autobiographical references in Saul's books that only he might recognize, Greg Bellow reveals himself to be a fine prose stylist, never shying away from the truth. In Saul Bellow's Heart, he has written a memoir that gives equal weight to the rebellious, irreverent, and ambitious young writer who raised him, and the older literary giant, famous and fiercely private.
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[book] Relational Judaism
Using the Power of Relationships to
Transform the Jewish Community
Dr. Ron Wolfson
April 2013
Jewish Lights
How to transform the model of twentieth-century Jewish institutions into twenty-first-century relational communities offering meaning and purpose, belonging and blessing.
What really matters is that we care about the people we seek to engage. When we genuinely care about people, we will not only welcome them; we will listen to their stories, we will share ours, and we will join together to build a Jewish community that enriches our lives.
Membership in Jewish organizations is down. Day school enrollment has peaked. Federation campaigns are flat. The fastest growing and second largest category of Jews is Just Jewish. Young Jewish adults are unengaged and aging baby boomers are disengaging. Yet, in the era of Facebook, people crave face-to-face community.
It s all about relationships. With this simple, but profound idea, noted educator and community revitalization pioneer Dr. Ron Wolfson presents practical strategies and case studies to transform the old model of Jewish institutions into relational communities. He sets out twelve principles of relational engagement to guide Jewish lay leaders, professionals and community members in transforming institutions into inspiring communities whose value-proposition is to engage people and connect them to Judaism and community in meaningful and lasting ways.
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[book] THE MAGIC OF HEBREW CHANT
HEALING THE SPIRIT, TRANSFORMING THE MIND,
DEEPENING LOVE
By Rabbi Shefa Gold
Foreword by Sylvia Boostein
April 2013
Jewish Lights
A few short words repeated with passion & intention can unlock treasure upon treasure of healing, wisdom & love
Chant is a path for all of us who lead with our hearts, who are determined to seek out the truth that is buried deep beneath the ground of our lives, and who have made a commitment to live that truth, from moment to moment, breath to breath, one little bit at a time.
Chant is a meditative practice that fully engages the body, heart and mind, and facilitates healing and expansion of consciousness. Rabbi Shefa Gold, beloved teacher of chant, Jewish mysticism, prayer and spirituality, introduces you to this transformative spiritual practice as a way to unlock the power of sacred texts and take prayer and meditation into the delight of your life. She illuminates the usefulness, benefits and blessings of chant by:
Teaching you the theory and foundations of chant its relation to beauty, pleasure and the deep wisdom buried in sacred texts
Providing for the first time complete musical notations for many of her popular chants and practical instruction for how to use them to cultivate self-awareness and love.
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[book] JEWISH WITH FEELING
A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Practice
By Rabbi Zalman Schacter-SHalomi with Joel Segel
April 2013
Jewish Lights
A how-to for Jewish spirituality that works. A spiritual seeker is a person whose soul is awake. In this book I make no assumptions about how much you know about Judaism, what holidays you keep, or whether you believe in God. I want us to start from your soul s experience and carry on from there.
Virtually anyone remotely affiliated with Judaism should read this book, wrote Publishers Weekly, which listed Jewish with Feeling among its Best Religion Books of the Year. Without question the best, most readable introduction to Reb Zalman s philosophy of Judaism, it is also the best beginner s guide to Jewish spirituality available today, wrote the Forward, the perfect book for both the spiritual seeker and the curious skeptic.
Taking off from basic questions like Why be Jewish? and whether the word God still speaks to us today, Reb Zalman lays out a vision for a whole-person Judaism. This is not only Sinai then but Sinai now, a revelation of the Torah inside and all around us. Complete with many practical suggestions to enrich your own Jewish life, Jewish with Feeling is a mystical masterpiece filled with spiritual practices and an exciting vision of the future (Spirituality & Health). Spiritual experience, as Reb Zalman shows, repays every effort we make to acquire it.
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[book] An Ode to Salonika
The Ladino Verses of Bouena Sarfatty
(Indiana Series in Sephardi and Mizrahi Studies)
By Renée Levine Melammed
April 2013
Indiana
Through the poetry of Bouena Sarfatty (1916-1997), An Ode to Salonika sketches the life and demise of the Sephardi Jewish community that once flourished in this Greek crossroads city. A resident of Salonika who survived the Holocaust as a partisan and later settled in Canada, Sarfatty preserved the traditions and memories of this diverse and thriving Sephardi community in some 500 Ladino poems known as coplas. The coplas also describe the traumas the community faced under German occupation before the Nazis deported its Jewish residents to Auschwitz. The coplas in Ladino and in Renée Levine Melammed's English translation are framed by chapters that trace the history of the Sephardi community in Salonika and provide context for the poems. This unique and moving source provides a rare entrée into a once vibrant world now lost..
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[book] An American Caddie in St. Andrews
Growing Up, Girls, and Looping on the Old Course
By Oliver Horovitz
Spring 2013
Gotham
A hilarious and poignant memoir of a Stuyvesant grad and Harvard student who comes of age as a caddie on St. Andrews’s fabled Old Course. In the middle of Oliver Horovitz’s high school graduation ceremony at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, his cell phone rang: It was an Admission Officer at Harvard University. He’d been accepted, but he couldn’t start for another year.
A caddie since he was twelve and a golfer sporting a 1.8 handicap, Ollie decides to spend his gap year in St. Andrews, Scotland — a town with the U.K.’s highest number of pubs per capita, and home to the Old Course, golf ’s most famous eighteen holes — where he enrolls in the St. Andrews Links Trust caddie trainee program.
Initially, the notoriously brusque veteran caddies treat Ollie like a bug. But after a year of waking up at 4:30 A.M. every morning and looping two rounds a day, Ollie earns their grudging respect— only to have to pack up and leave for Harvard. There, Ollie’s new classmates are the sons of Albania’s UN ambassador, the owner of Heineken, and the CEO of Goldman Sachs. Surrounded by sixth generation legacies, he feels like a fish out of water all over again and can’t wait to get back to St. Andrews.

OH COME ON! OLIVER IS NO SLOUCH. ISN’T HIS STEP BROTHER A FAMOUS ACTOR AND MUSICIAN? ISN’T HIS FATHER A FAMOUS PLAYRIGHT?

Even after graduation, when his college friends rush to Wall Street, Horovitz continues to return each summer to caddie on the Old Course. A hilarious, irresistible, behind-the-scenes peek at the world’s most celebrated golf course—and its equally famous caddie shack—An American Caddie in St. Andrews is certain to not only entertain golfers and fans of St. Andrews but also anyone who dares to remember stumbling into adulthood and finding one’s place in the world.
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[book] ZINSKY THE OBSCURE
A NOVEL
BY ILAN MOCHARI
April 2013
Fomite
Thirty-year-old Manhattan bachelor Ariel Zinsky is still recovering from his abusive childhood when he realizes no one -- including his few living relatives -- is truly interested in his narrative. While they numb themselves with the latest celebrity rehab story or the third-world atrocities replayed without ceasing on cable news, he sets out to write his autobiography as an exercise in his own self-medication, recasting himself as the hero in a coming-of-age story. Fans of A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES and THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER will relate to this tale of overcoming your childhood's traumas, and the world's indifference to them.
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[book] THE NEW DIGITAL AGE
RESHAPING THE FUTURE OF PEOPLE,
NATIONS AND BUSINESS
BY ERIC SCHMIDT (google) and
Jared Cohen (google)
April 23, 2013
Knopf
NewDigitalAge.com
IN the coming decade, five billion new people will come online and have access to unfiltered data in the palm of their hands. Most live in autocratic places where there is poverty and conflict. How will this change the world and life on Earth? Will this lead to powerful citizens? Will terrorism be easier or harder? Will privacy not exist? Ubiquitous wireless will be cheap. Societies will leapfrog a technological generation. Exponential creativity will occur. AI and thought controlled robotic movements will exist. The natural world will merge with machines. In the virtual world we will be quickly be connected. The Physical world will be constrained by poverty, circumstance, government and geography. Countries will have domestic and foreign policies for cyberspace and the physical world (autocracy in the real world, freedom in the virtual world). Your postings will exist forever and shape your identity in perpetuity. How will the affect behavior. With freedom of information, users will be worldwide, access will be also. In the future, can I buy stolen or manufactured identities with historic postings and purchases?

If information wants to be free
Will my mobile phone allow governments to track my every movement?
Atrocities and wars everywhere will make it seem that violence and conflict has increase. Genocides will be seen 2/7. Foreign policies will change. Criminals can kidnap virtual identities and hold them ransom. Drones can be used for cyber-related attacks. Anyplace with mobile access can be a source of brilliance or attack.

Remember Jared? He had an essay published in 2006 in the SAIS Review on Iran's youth and their opposition to the Islamic Republic's leadership. He wrote a book about Muslim youth and Jihad in 2007. As a Stanford undergrad, Jared travelled extensively to Africa. While studying on a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford, he took a crash course in Arabic, read voraciously on the history and culture of the Middle East, and in 2004 he embarked on the first of a series of incredible journeys to the Middle East. After completing that book, Jared Cohen joined the U.S. Department of State as a member of the Secretary of State's policy planning staff. Now he works for Google.com in a senior position for thinking and ideas. (Jared Cohen is also an artist, had a Summer job at the Pentagon, and is fluent in Kiswahili and conversant in Maa, knows some Korean and delta theta chi) That is the sort of person who works at Google.
Eric is executive chairman of Google, where he served as CEO for a decade. He is a member of the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Eric is one of Silicon Valley’s great leaders, having taken Google from a small startup to one of the world’s most influential companies. In this groundbreaking book, Schmidt and Cohen combine observation and insight to outline the promise and peril awaiting us in the coming decades. At once pragmatic and inspirational, this is a forward-thinking account of where our world is headed and what this means for people, states and businesses.
With the confidence and clarity of visionaries, Schmidt and Cohen illustrate just how much we have to look forward to—and beware of—as the greatest information and technology revolution in human history continues to evolve. On individual, community and state levels, across every geographical and socioeconomic spectrum, they reveal the dramatic developments—good and bad—that will transform both our everyday lives and our understanding of self and society, as technology advances and our virtual identities become more and more fundamentally real.
As Schmidt and Cohen’s nuanced vision of the near future unfolds, an urban professional takes his driverless car to work, attends meetings via hologram and dispenses housekeeping robots by voice; a Congolese fisherwoman uses her smart phone to monitor market demand and coordinate sales (saving on costly refrigeration and preventing overfishing); the potential arises for “virtual statehood” and “Internet asylum” to liberate political dissidents and oppressed minorities, but also for tech-savvy autocracies (and perhaps democracies) to exploit their citizens’ mobile devices for ever more ubiquitous surveillance. Along the way, we meet a cadre of international figures—including Julian Assange—who explain their own visions of our technology-saturated future.
Inspiring, provocative and absorbing, The New Digital Age is a brilliant analysis of how our hyper-connected world will soon look, from two of our most prescient and informed public thinkers.

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[book] OFF MY CHEST
Letters to the Editor
By Richard Levik
Spring 2013
Authorhouse
As you will see inside this book, most letters were in response to articles, stories, or other issues affecting Jews and Israel. Richard's criticism also touches on Christianity.
Religion is very much a hands-on topic for Mr. Levik. Originally, letter writing was intended as a safe outlet for release of frustration and anger, never expecting such angry and sometimes vicious letters to be published. Astonishingly, provocative letters were published. Inside OFF MY CHEST you will see the published version, the unedited version, along with letters and a few articles which were never published. Whether these letters changed hearts or minds, you be the judge. Read OFF MY CHEST, see if your heart and mind are not moved, challenged, or even changed.
Levik has been a Mathematics and History teacher for over 21 years in Los Angeles. In addition to this book he is working on his memoir, which begins at his birth in 1959 and.
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[book] A Short Jew in the Body of a Tall WASP
(A Gay Melodrama in Thirteen Acts)
By Mark Okun and Hillary Brower
Spring 2013
Mark Okun's new book is a delightful and entertaining read that captures the heady high spirits of both the psychedelic 60's and the insane disco 70's. From this celebrated hairdresser to the stars cum "beautiful disco fag." Mark has plenty of outrageous stories of the NYC glitter high life in all its lost innocent glory back in the days when anything truly would go...a brilliant social history/memoir from a privileged outsider-insider renegade (also a Nice Jewish Boy!). ~ Gary Lucas
This is a wonderful, honest, and touching, often funny and sometimes heartbreaking account of the struggles of a man to find himself and where he fits in life. As a tall, blond, blue-eyed, gay man adopted and raised by loving, dark, small Jewish parents, he describes his genes being at war with his upbringing. Mr. Okun does not pull his punches about his friends who died of AIDS or how emotionally barren and spiritually dead his life of drugs, alcohol, and partying made him feel. In his commitment to life and the depth of his love for his adoptive parents, his grandmother, his friends, and his long-time companion John, he finally finds happiness and contentment. A beautiful story! ~ Janine Brookner
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[book] CHEESECAKE FOR SHAVUOT
By Allison Ofanasky
2013
Kar-Ben
Ages 3 – 11
32 pages
To celebrate Shavuot a Spring harvest festival children in Israel make cheesecake using flour they have ground from wheat they have grown in their school garden, fresh goat cheese from the friendly petting zoo goats, and fresh strawberries from the garden.
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[book] STONES FOR GRANDPA
By Renee Londner
2013
Kar-Ben
Ages 3 – 11
32 pages
A little boy and his family gather at the cemetery for the unveiling of his grandpa’s gravestone, bringing stones to place on the grave, as is a custom among many Jewish families. They tell stories that help the boy deal with his loss, reminding him of the wonderful memories he has of his grandpa..
Grandpa Duke passed away nearly a year ago. A grandson is preparing for the unveiling of his headstone in a cemetery. Over the year, they celebrated sukkot and hannukah without his physical presence. Purim and Pesach also. But the boy stores his memories in a memory box, like the secret chili recipe without beans. But many memories are not in a box, they are in the hearts of minds of those who remember and love grandpa. And they will bring those memories with them to the cemetery...
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[book] RISE & SHINE
A CHALLAH – DAY TALE
By Karen Ostrove
2013
Kar-Ben
Ages 3 – 11
32 pages
What is the mysterious writing on a crumpled piece of paper that Sammy and Sophie find in the attic? The answer leads to a happy baking adventure at Grandma Gert’s retirement home.
Sammy and Sophie are exploring the attic when they find an apron and a crumpled note in a pocket. It has some peculiar writing on it. SO they go to the senior citizen home – Shalom House - to ask Grandma is whe can decipher it. There at Shalom House are many elderly people and they decipher this note in yiddish. It is a recipe from Grandma's Grandma! They get together and make the recipe... we follow them through the steps and it is a CHALLAH. Recipe (in English) included.
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[book] IT'S A MITZVAH, GROVER!
BY TILDA BALSLEY AND ELLEN FISCHER
2013
Kar-Ben
Ages 3 – 11
32 pages
Grover does a mitzvah (good deed) by joining his friends to spruce up the neighborhood playground. Even Moishe Oofnik comes out of his trash can to help, eating up all the trash, and separating the cans for recycling.
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[book] OY FEH SO ?
Cary Fagan and Gary Clement (Illustrator)
Spring 2013
Groundwork Books
Ages 4 – 8
Every Sunday Aunt Essy, Aunt Chanah, and Uncle Sam drive up in the old Lincoln for the afternoon. They plop themselves down in the living room, and no matter what anyone says their response is always the same — “Oy,” “Feh,” “So?” One afternoon the three children try to provoke a different reaction. They fake a robbery, produce a terrifying child-eating dragon, and pretend to be kidnapped by space invaders, but their aunts and uncle remain unimpressed. In exasperation the children take to mocking them, and soon they are all laughing so hard they’re practically crying. Cary Fagan’s characteristically dry humor and Gary Clement’s witty illustrations perfectly depict a family with loveable quirks in this story that is sure to become a favorite.
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[book] TIKKUN OLAM TED
By Vivian Newman
Illus by Steve Mack
Spring 2013
Kar-Ben
Grades K - 4
Always busy doing good deeds like recycling, feeding birds, working in the garden and donating items to others, a young boy has earned the nickname “Tikkun Olam Ted.”
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[book] THANK YOU, TREES
By Gail Langer Karwaski and Marilyn E. Goodman
Illus by Kristen Balouch
Spring 2013
Kar-Ben
Grades K - 4
Rhyming story giving thanks for the gifts trees provide on the occasion of Tu B’Shevat, Jewish Arbor Day.
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[book] THE CATS OF BEN YEHUDA STREET
By Ann Redisch Stample
Illustrated by Francesca Carabelli
Spring 2013
Kar-Ben
Grades K - 4
There are lots of cats on Ben Yehuda Street, but it is the friendship between a little grey cat with a pink collar and a fluffy white stray cat that brings two lonely neighbors together.
The owner of a Tel Aviv fish shop doesn’t understand how his widowed neighbor, Mrs. Spiegel, can care for a local cat, let it knit with her, eat with her, and sleep with her. Mrs. Spiegel cares for a cat with a collar, but the building has a one-cat-policy, so the other feral stray cat must stay outside. One day, her cat goes missing and she is distraught. Her neighbor, whom we think is a curmudgeon perhaps, dons his motor scooter helmet and... will he help? Will he learn to appreciate cats? Will he ever accept an invitation for tea? Is a Dag (fish) Man a Dog Man or a Cat Man?
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A Guidebook on Interfaith Etiquette
By Rabbi Joseph Mendelsohn
With the aid of students from the University of Scranton and Marywood University, Rabbi Joseph Mendelsohn has written an excellent handbook for individuals, groups, government employees, and leaders on how to be a good interfaith friend, host, guest, or neighbor.
Available from http://www.interfaithresource.com









How and When I Stopped Being Jewish
Shlomo Sand, PhD
Not yet available in the USA in English
Sand, a 66-year-old history professor at Tel Aviv University, does not seem to suffer from lack of self-confidence, nor does he have any difficulty expressing himself. On the contrary, the thousands of students packing the lecture halls to hear him speak over last three decades attest to his uncanny ability to distill controversial assertions into supremely fluent language. In this book, Professor Sand writes that “Many readers will see the main point presented in this book as illegitimate and even infuriating. Many of the secular people among them who insist on defining themselves as Jews will reject it out of hand. Others will see me as a vile, self-hating traitor.”
Ofer Aderet, in Haaretz, wrote, “In… two preceding books, Sand claims that the notion of a unified Jewish people was invented, based on myths and fictional accounts, in order to further Zionist ideals. And it is this faulty logic, he says, that served as the excuse for the establishment of the State of Israel. Now, in "How and When I Stopped Being Jewish" (Kinneret Zmora-Bitan), Sand takes secular readers a step further, asserting that if there is no such thing as a Jewish people, then secular individuals cannot, by definition, be Jewish. Step by step, he undermines, weakens and deconstructs the identity of secular Jews. “People tell me I belong to the nation of Albert Einstein, but I — Shlomo Sand — feel closer to the Israeli culture of Arik Sharon than to the German culture of Einstein,” he says. In other words, Sand does not identify with a Jewish nation, but rather with an Israeli one. “Ask me if I like it — not particularly, but I accept it as reality,” he says. In "How and When I Stopped Being Jewish," Sand asks whether there exists a secular Jewish culture that unites non-observant Jews throughout the world. He attempts, uncomfortably, to clarify whether there is a “Jewish component” that connects the philosophies of famous secular Jews such as Marx, Freud and Einstein. “Did 'Das Kapital,' the theory of the unconscious and the theory of relativity contribute in any way to the shaping and preservation of secular Jewish culture?” he asks. In Sand's view, the answer is no…
Sand even tries to take humor away from the Jews, asserting that figures such as Sholem Aleichem and Woody Allen, for example, drew on “Slavic-Yiddish humor” – a culture that, according to Sand, died out long ago. Though certain veins of humor mistakenly labeled as “Jewish” do indeed arouse strong feelings of nostalgia among many Diaspora Jews, Sand points out that these types of humor were never viewed as particularly funny by Jewish writers in Iraq, whose humor, he argues, is based on a different sort of logic….”
“If this is true, then what forms the basis for secular Jews' Judaism? What connects secular Jews from Tel Aviv with non-believing Jews from Paris or New York? In Sand’s opinion, there is no connection. “Those who are called ‘secular Jews’ don’t have a way of life in common. They don’t experience day-to-day pain and joy that connect them to other secular Jews throughout the world," he says. "They speak, weep, make their living and create in their own languages and national cultures.”… Sand’s book is disturbing, challenging, annoying, yes, and thought-provoking. “The deeper we delve into the subject, the more we have to admit that there is no unifying Jewish culture that is not religious,” he tells Haaretz. “You and I have a day-to-day experience and existence that are very much Israeli. They may have Jewish and Yiddish sources, but they’re Israeli.”





[book] PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS
The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die
By Eric Siegel, PhD; with a Foreword by Thomas H. Davenport
2013
Wiley
From Brandeis graduate, Eric Siegel, an easily understandable study of case studies and the latest state-of-the-art techniques. You have been predicted — by companies, governments, law enforcement, hospitals, and universities. Their computers say, "I knew you were going to do that!" These institutions are seizing upon the power to predict whether you're going to click, buy, lie, or die. Why? For good reason: predicting human behavior combats financial risk, fortifies healthcare, conquers spam, toughens crime fighting, and boosts sales.
How? Prediction is powered by the world's most potent, booming unnatural resource: data. Accumulated in large part as the by-product of routine tasks, data is the unsalted, flavorless residue deposited en masse as organizations churn away. Surprise! This heap of refuse is a gold mine. Big data embodies an extraordinary wealth of experience from which to learn.
Predictive analytics unleashes the power of data. With this technology, the computer literally learns from data how to predict the future behavior of individuals. Perfect prediction is not possible, but putting odds on the future — lifting a bit of the fog off our hazy view of tomorrow — means pay dirt.
What type of mortgage risk Chase Bank predicted before the recession.
Predicting which people will drop out of school, cancel a subscription, or get divorced before they are even aware of it themselves.
Why early retirement decreases life expectancy and vegetarians miss fewer flights.
Five reasons why organizations predict death, including one health insurance company.
How U.S. Bank, European wireless carrier Telenor, and Obama's 2012 campaign calculated the way to most strongly influence each individual.
How IBM's Watson computer used predictive modeling to answer questions and beat the human champs on TV's Jeopardy!
How companies ascertain untold, private truths — how Target figures out you're pregnant and Hewlett-Packard deduces you're about to quit your job.
How judges and parole boards rely on crime-predicting computers to decide who stays in prison and who goes free.
What's predicted by the BBC, Citibank, ConEd, Facebook, Ford, Google, IBM, the IRS, Match.com, MTV, Netflix, Pandora, PayPal, Pfizer, and Wikipedia.
A truly omnipresent science, predictive analytics affects everyone, every day. Although largely unseen, it drives millions of decisions, determining whom to call, mail, investigate, incarcerate, set up on a date, or medicate.
Predictive analytics transcends human perception. This book's final chapter answers the riddle: What often happens to you that cannot be witnessed, and that you can't even be sure has happened afterward — but that can be predicted in advance?
Whether you are a consumer of it — or consumed by it — get a handle on the power of Predictive Analytics.
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[book] Why Knot?
How to Tie More Than Sixty Ingenious,
Useful, Beautiful, Lifesaving, and Secure Knots!
By Philippe Petit
April 2013
Abrams
On August 7, 1974, Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire illegally rigged between the New York World Trade Center’s twin towers, where he performed for nearly an hour. During this history-making walk, and many others throughout his celebrated career, knots have always been indispensable components—the guardian angels protecting his life in the sky. After years of hands-on research, Philippe presents Why Knot?, a guide to tying his essential knots. Philippe’s own practical sketches illustrate original methods and clear, clever tying instructions. Photographs in which special knots were used during spectacular high-wire walks, quirky knot trivia, personal anecdotes, helpful tips, magic tricks, and special tying challenges ensure that, if you’re not already nuts for knots, Petit will transform you into a knot aficionado.
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[book] Sinners and the Sea
The Untold Story of Noah's Wife
A Novel
By Rebecca Kanner
April 2013
Howard Books.
The young heroine in Sinners and the Sea is destined for greatness. Known only as “wife” in the Bible and cursed with a birthmark that many think is the brand of a demon, this unnamed woman—fated to become the mother of all generations after the great flood—lives anew through Rebecca Kanner. The author gives this virtuous woman the perfect voice to make one of the Old Testament’s stories come alive like never before.
Desperate to keep her safe, the woman’s father gives her to the righteous Noah, who weds her and takes her to the town of Sorum, a haven for outcasts. Alone in her new life, Noah’s wife gives him three sons. But living in this wicked and perverse town with an aloof husband who speaks more to God than to her takes its toll. Noah’s wife struggles to know her own identity and value. She tries to make friends with the violent and dissolute people of Sorum while raising a brood that, despite its pious upbringing, develops some sinful tendencies of its own. While Noah carries out the Lord’s commands, she tries to hide her mark and her shame as she weathers the scorn and taunts of the townspeople.
But these trials are nothing compared to what awaits her after God tells her husband that a flood is coming—and that Noah and his family must build an ark so that they alone can repopulate the world. As the floodwaters draw near, she grows in courage and honor, and when the water finally recedes, she emerges whole, displaying once and for all the indomitable strength of women. Drawing on the biblical narrative and Jewish mythology, Sinners and the Sea is a beautifully written account of the antediluvian world told in cinematic detail.
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[book] The Next Scott Nadelson
A Life in Progress
By Scott Nadelson
2013
Hawthorne Books.
Beginning in the summer of 2004, Scott Nadelson’s life fell apart. His fiancée left him a month before their planned wedding for another woman who made her living performing as a drag king. He moved into a drafty attic. His car’s brakes went out. He learned that his cat was dying. Over the next two years, he’d struggle, with equivocal and sometimes humiliating results, to get back on his feet, in the process re-examining his past to understand his present circumstances.
The Next Scott Nadelson: A Life in Progress is a literary self-portrait that revolves around the dissolution of a relationship but encompasses the long process of a young man’s halting self-discovery. Exploring episodes from the life of its author/narrator marked by failure, suffering, and hope, as well as literary and cultural influence, the book weighs the things that make us want to give up against the things that keep us going. Though many of the pieces are comic and self-deprecating—some self-lacerating—they are above all meditations on the nature of the self and the way it can be constructed through memory, desire, and the imagination. Together they form a larger narrative, a search for fulfillment and identity in a life often governed by fear.
With humor and unflinching honesty, Scott Nadelson scrutinizes his life to discover who he is and finds just how elusive such a discovery can be. To read the resulting book is to join him on a personal journey that is thoughtful, surprising, occasionally hilarious, and unapologetically human.
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[book] Traveling Heavy
A Memoir in between Journeys
by Ruth Behar
2013
Duke
Traveling Heavy is a deeply moving, unconventional memoir by the master storyteller and cultural anthropologist Ruth Behar. Through evocative stories, she portrays her life as an immigrant child and later, as an adult woman who loves to travel but is terrified of boarding a plane. With an open heart, she writes about her Yiddish-Sephardic-Cuban-American family, as well as the strangers who show her kindness as she makes her way through the world. Compassionate, curious, and unafraid to reveal her failings, Behar embraces the unexpected insights and adventures of travel, whether those be learning that she longed to become a mother after being accused of giving the evil eye to a baby in rural Mexico, or going on a zany pilgrimage to the Behar World Summit in the Spanish town of Béjar.
Behar calls herself an anthropologist who specializes in homesickness. Repeatedly returning to her homeland of Cuba, unwilling to utter her last goodbye, she is obsessed by the question of why we leave home to find home. For those of us who travel heavy with our own baggage, Behar is an indispensable guide, full of grace and hope, in the perpetual search for connection that defines our humanity.
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[book] JERUSALEM
A Family Portrait
An illustrated story
By Boaz Yakin and Nick Bertozzi (Illustrator)
April 2013
First Second
Jerusalem is a sweeping, epic work that follows a single family — three generations and fifteen very different people — as they are swept up in chaos, war, and nation-making from 1940-1948.
Faith, family, and politics are the heady mix that fuel this ambitious, cinematic graphic novel. With Jerusalem, award winning filmmaker and screenwriter Boaz Yakin turns his finely-honed storytelling skills to a topic near to his heart: Yakin's family lived in Palestine during this period and was caught up in the turmoil of war just as his characters are.
This is a personal work, but it is not a book with a political ax to grind. Rather, this comic seeks to tell the stories of a huge cast of memorable characters as they wrestle with a time when nothing was clear and no path was smooth.
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[book] King of the Class
Paperback Novel
by Gila Green
April 2013
Now or Never
Eve and Manny are engaged in post-civil war Israel. Eve studies at the Hebrew University for Jewish Renewal, an island of militant secularism in the religiously-run Shalem State, while Manny is an unemployed graduate student with a secret: he is falling in love with his religious roots and turning his back on modern moral relativism. As their wedding date approaches, Manny deserts Eve, then devastates her a second time with the revelation that he has pre-empted their wedding with a marriage to a new lifestyle. In the midst of this betrayal, Eve collides with a pre-soul who has had his out-of-this-world eyes on her all along. The collision leaves Eve with a choice: reconcile with Manny or else condemn a soul to never living.
Now, more than a decade later, the couple live with their three children off the Tel Aviv Coast on the manmade Yovel Islands. But Eve’s uncanny encounter has left a mark and she now has her own secret, one that may save her only son’s life, or else tear her family apart. King of the Class is a futuristic satire on the toxic brew of religion and politics in modern Israel, poking a playful finger at parental gold-digging and technological dependence. .
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[book] Secrets in the Suitcase
Stories My Mother Never Told Me
by Molly Greenberg, MD
AuthorHouse
Molly Greenberg, was born on December 22, 1924, in an Eastern European Jewish shtetl called Skala Podolska in Poland. An orphan by age three, she was raised in poverty by five older siblings. Her world was shattered on September 17, 1939, when the Soviet army seized control of Skala. This was the beginning of the end of a flourishing Jewish community. By the end of July 1942, the German military was in control of the area. Molly survived by pretending she was Mary, a non-Jew. She lived in constant fear of discovery and extermination. By the end of World War II, only one hundred and fifty out of two thousand Skala Jews survived. Molly married another survivor. In January 1949, following a few years in a displaced persons camp (where a daughter was born), they came to America to start a new life.
In December 1950, another daughter was born. Growing up in Brooklyn, her children were only told that the Nazis murdered their father's father, his sister, and their mother's entire family. This part of Molly's life was off limits-too painful to talk about. When she entered her sixties, during a senior writing class, Molly finally faced her painful past. This book is about her life, in her own words. Her ability to survive and thrive serves as an inspiration to us all. The stories were found in a long-forgotten case, hence the title, Secrets in the Suitcase.
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[book] WORLDLY PHILOSOPHER
THE ODYSSEY OF ALBERT O. HIRSCHMAN
BY JEREMY ADELMAN
Princeton University Press
Worldly Philosopher chronicles the times and writings of Albert O. Hirschman, one of the twentieth century's most original and provocative thinkers. In this gripping biography, Jeremy Adelman tells the story of a man shaped by modern horrors and hopes, a worldly intellectual who fought for and wrote in defense of the values of tolerance and change.
Born in Berlin in 1915, Hirschman grew up amid the promise and turmoil of the Weimar era, but fled Germany when the Nazis seized power in 1933. Amid hardship and personal tragedy, he volunteered to fight against the fascists in Spain and helped many of Europe's leading artists and intellectuals escape to America after France fell to Hitler. His intellectual career led him to Paris, London, and Trieste, and to academic appointments at Columbia, Harvard, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He was an influential adviser to governments in the United States, Latin America, and Europe, as well as major foundations and the World Bank. Along the way, he wrote some of the most innovative and important books in economics, the social sciences, and the history of ideas.
Throughout, he remained committed to his belief that reform is possible, even in the darkest of times.
This is the first major account of Hirschman's remarkable life, and a tale of the twentieth century as seen through the story of an astute and passionate observer. Adelman's riveting narrative traces how Hirschman's personal experiences shaped his unique intellectual perspective, and how his enduring legacy is one of hope, open-mindedness, and practical idealism.
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MAY 2013 BOOKS

[book] Norwegian by Night
A Novel
By Derek Miller
May 2013
Houghton Mifflin
A luminous novel, a police thriller, and the funniest book about war crimes and dementia you are likely to read
Sheldon Horowitz — widowed, impatient, impertinent — has grudgingly agreed to leave New York and move in with his granddaughter, Rhea, and her new husband, Lars, in Norway: a country of blue and ice with one thousand Jews, not one of them a former Marine sniper in the Korean War turned watch repairman, who failed his only son by sending him to Vietnam to die. Not until now, anyway.
Home alone one morning, Sheldon witnesses a dispute between the woman who lives upstairs and an aggressive stranger. When events turn dire, Sheldon seizes and shields the neighbor’s young son from the violence, and they flee the scene. But old age and circumstances are altering Sheldon’s experience of time and memory. He is haunted by dreams of his son Saul’s life and by guilt over his death. As Sheldon and the boy look for a haven in an alien world, reality and fantasy, past and present, weave together, forcing them ever forward to a wrenching moment of truth.
Norwegian by Night introduces an ensemble of unforgettable characters—Sheldon and the boy, Rhea and Lars, a Balkan war criminal named Enver, and Sigrid and Petter, the brilliantly dry-witted investigating officers—as they chase one another, and their own demons, through the wilderness at the end of the world.
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[book] The Martian's Daughter
A Memoir
by Professor Marina Von Neumann Whitman
Spring 2013
Paperback
University of Michigan
Marina (Von Neumann Freeman) Whitman is the daughter and only child of John von Neumann, one of the five Hungarian scientific geniuses dubbed “the Martians” by their colleagues, a figure often hailed as the greatest mathematician of the 20th century and even as the greatest scientist after Einstein. Von Neumann was a key figure in the Manhattan project; the inventor of game theory; the pioneer developer of the modern stored-program electronic computer; and, right up until his death, an adviser to the top echelons of the American military establishment and RAND.
Whitman’s memoir is the story of how the cosmopolitan environment in which she was immersed, the demanding expectations of her parents, and her own struggles to emerge from the shadow of a larger-than-life parent shaped her life and work. Starting as, in her words, “a trailing spouse,” she rose to become a noted academic during the 1960s and ’70s, casting her teaching and writing in the framework of globalization before the word had been invented. She was the first woman ever to serve on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (under Nixon) and participated actively in U.S. efforts to reshape the international monetary and financial system during the early 1970s (in the 70's, the CEA had a critical role in US domestic policy). She pioneered the role of women on the boards of leading multinational corporations (Manufacturers Hanover (now JP Morgan Chase), IIE, NBER, P&G, Reynolds, Harvard, etc), and became the highest-ranking female executive in the American auto industry in the 1980s, serving not only as GM’s vice president and chief economist but also as its Cassandra while the firm persisted along a path that led eventually to its collapse into bankruptcy.
One of the best story... even though her father founded the IAS at Princeton, Princeton did not accept Whitman into the PhD program in Economics (no female bathrooms), so she had to get her PhD at Columbia, even though her husband was on the faculty at Princeton. Another is when she lost her innocence, figured out that Nixon was involved in Watergate, and she resigned from the CEA, an action that loyalist Herb Stein, the head of the Advisors, took as a personal betrayal.
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[book] Overweight Sensation
The Life and Comedy of Allan Sherman
(Brandeis Series in American Jewish History,
Culture and Life)
By Mark Cohen
May 2013
Brandeis
Allan Sherman was the Larry David, the Adam Sandler, the Sacha Baron Cohen of 1963. He led Jewish humor and sensibilities out of ethnic enclaves and into the American mainstream with explosively funny parodies of classic songs that won Sherman extraordinary success and acclaim across the board, from Harpo Marx to President Kennedy. In Overweight Sensation, Mark Cohen argues persuasively for Sherman's legacy as a touchstone of postwar humor and a turning point in Jewish American cultural history. With exclusive access to Allan Sherman's estate, Cohen has written the first biography of the manic, bacchanalian, and hugely creative artist who sold three million albums in just twelve months, yet died in obscurity a decade later at the age of 49.
Comprehensive, dramatic, stylish, and tragic, Overweight Sensation is destined to become the definitive Sherman biography.
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The Importance of...
[book] BEING OSCAR
FROM MOB LAWYER TO MAYOR OF LAS VEGAS
ONLY IN AMERICA
BY OSCAR GOODMAN
Former Mayor of Las Vegas
Director Emeritus of the Mob Museum
Owner, Oscar's Beef, Booze, and Broads
with George Anastasia
May 21, 2013
Weinstein Books
In Being Oscar,one of America’s most celebrated criminal defense attorneys recounts the stories and cases of his epic life. The Mafia’s go-to defender, he has tried an estimated 300 criminal cases, and won most of them. His roster of clients reads like a history of organized crime: Meyer Lansky, Nicky Scarfo, and “Lefty” Rosenthal, as well as Mike Tyson and boxing promoter Don King, along with a midget, a dentist, and a federal judge.
After thirty-five years as a defender, he ran for mayor of Las Vegas, and America’s greatest Mob lawyer became the mayor of its sexiest city. He was so popular his image appeared on the $5, $25, and $100 chips. While mayor of Vegas, he starred on the screen in Rush Hour 2 and CSI. He is as large a character in the history of organized crime as any of his clients and as legendary a figure in the history of Las Vegas as the entrepreneurs (his friends and clients) who built the city. This is his astonishing story—the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
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[book] The American Jewish Story through Cinema
(Jewish Life, History, and Culture)
By Eric A. Goldman
Spring 2013
University of Texas Press
Like the haggadah, the traditional “telling” of the story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt that is read at the Passover seder, cinema offers a valuable text from which to gain an understanding of the social, political, and cultural realities of Jews in America. In an industry strongly influenced by Jewish filmmakers who made and continue to make the decisions as to which films are produced, the complex and evolving nature of the American Jewish condition has had considerable impact on American cinema and, in particular, on how Jews are reflected on the screen. This groundbreaking study analyzes select mainstream films from the beginning of the sound era to today to provide an understanding of the American Jewish experience over the last century.
In the first half of the twentieth century, Hollywood’s movie moguls, most of whom were Jewish, shied away from asserting a Jewish image on the screen for fear that they might be too closely identified with that representation. Over the next two decades, Jewish moviemakers became more comfortable with the concept of a Jewish hero and with an overpowered, yet heroic, Israel. In time, the Holocaust assumed center stage as the single event with the greatest effect on American Jewish identity. Recently, as American Jewish screenwriters, directors, and producers have become increasingly comfortable with their heritage, we are seeing an unprecedented number of movies that spotlight Jewish protagonists, experiences, and challenges.
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[book] Atrocities
The 100 Deadliest Episodes in Human History
By Matthew White, Steven Pinker (Foreword)
May 2013
WW Norton
Evangelists of human progress meet their opposite in Matthew White’s epic examination of history’s one hundred most violent events, or, in White’s piquant phrasing, “the numbers that people want to argue about.” Reaching back to the Second Persian War in 480 BCE and moving chronologically through history, White surrounds hard facts (time and place) and succinct takeaways (who usually gets the blame?) with lively military, social, and political histories. 4 maps
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[book] I’LL SEiZE THE DAY TOMORROW
Edited by Jonathan Goldstein
May 2013
Pintail
A Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, 2013.
David Sedaris says he is funny. That is good enough for me.
Jonathan Goldstein worries. A lot.
A year before his fortieth birthday, and Jonathan isn’t where he thinks he should be. With no wife, no kids, no car, and no house—not even a houseboat—what does he have?
Through a series of wonderfully funny stories, Jonathan recounts the highs and lows of his last year in his thirties, weighing in on topics such as the mysterious McRib, whether an automatic hand dryer can tell if you have a soul, and the underestimated power of a toy poodle.
Filled with Jonathan’s trademark wit, I’ll Seize the Day Tomorrow is the tale of one man’s journey to find some great truth on his road to forty . . . or maybe not.
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[book] THE EXAMINED LIFE
By STEPHEN GROSZ. PHD, University College London
May 2013
WW Norton
(The British cover is so much better)
An extraordinary book for anyone eager to understand the hidden motives that shape our lives.
The everyday world bedevils us. To make sense of it, we tell ourselves stories. Here, in short, vivid, dramatic tales, psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz draws from his twenty-year practice to track the collaborative journey of therapist and patient as they uncover the hidden feelings behind ordinary behavior. A woman finds herself daydreaming as she returns home from a business trip; a young man loses his wallet. We learn, too, from more extreme examples: the patient who points an unloaded gun at a police officer, the compulsive liar who convinces his wife he’s dying of cancer. These beautifully rendered tales illuminate the fundamental pathways of life from birth to death. They invite compassionate understanding, suggesting answers to the questions that compel and disturb us most about love and loss, parents and children, work and change. The resulting journey will spark new ideas about who we are and why we do what we do.

The Examined Life is a series of short dramatic tales from the caseload of London psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz. It charts life’s trajectory from birth to death and aims to answer the questions that compel and disturb us most about love and loss, parents and children, work and change. In almost Talmudic vein, the chapters are self-contained stories that can be read in any order; in succession they offer a way of thinking about life’s problems. Grosz tells stories about everyday lives: about the people we love and the lies that we tell; the changes we bear, and the grief. Ultimately, they show us not only how we lose ourselves but how we might find ourselves too.
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[book] The Invitation
A Novel
By Anne Cherian
May 2013
WW Norton
A moving story that redefines the meaning of family, friendship, and success among a group of first-generation Indian immigrants.
When Vikram invites three of his college friends to his son’s graduation from MIT, they accept out of obligation and curiosity, viewing the party as a twenty-fifth reunion of sorts. Village genius Vikram, now the founder of a lucrative computer company, is having the party against his son’s wishes. Frances and Jay regret accepting: Frances, a real estate agent, hasn't sold a house in a year; Jay’s middle management job isn't brag worthy; and their daughter is failing the eleventh grade. Lali plans to hide the fact that her once-happy marriage is crumbling because her American husband is discovering his Jewish roots. Each had left UCLA expecting to be successful and have even more successful children. At Vikram’s Newport Beach mansion, the showmanship they anticipate dissolves as each is forced to deal with his or her own problems. The follow-up to A Good Indian Wife, Anne Cherian’s novel resonates with the poignancy of real life colliding with expectations unmet.
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[book] The Laws of Gravity
A novel
By Liz Rosenberg (A
May 2013
Amazon Publishing
An exquisite tour de force, The Laws of Gravity is a testament to what it means to be a family, what it takes to save a life, and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love.
Nicole, red-haired and beautiful, discovers that her life is in danger. She turns to her cousin and childhood best friend Ari for the cord blood he's been banking for his own children. His decision brings them before the scales of justice. Solomon Richter, a state Supreme Court judge on the brink of mandatory retirement, finds himself embroiled in a legal battle unlike any other. A case that calls into question the very things we live for: family, loyalty, friendship and love.
It's Nicole's last chance, Ari's last stand, and the judge's last case.
A novel of heartbreaking honesty, humor and depth; an unforgettable story of justice and love: The Laws of Gravity heralds award-winning Liz Rosenberg as a new storytelling sensation.
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[book] The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan
A Boy Avenger, a Nazi Diplomat, and a Murder in Paris
By Jonathan Kirsch
May 2013,
Liveright
On the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht comes this untold story of a teenager whose act of defiance would have dire international consequences. On the morning of November 7, 1938, Herschel Grynszpan, a desperate seventeen-year-old Jewish refugee, walked into the German embassy in Paris and shot Ernst vom Rath, a Nazi diplomat. Two days later vom Rath lay dead, and the Third Reich exploited the murder to unleash Kristallnacht—its horrific campaign of terror against Germany’s Jewish citizens in a bizarre concatenation of events that would rapidly involve Ribbentrop, Goebbels, and Hitler himself. Bestselling author Jonathan Kirsch brings to light this wrenching story, reexamining the historical details and moral dimensions of one of World War II’s most enigmatic cases. Was Grynszpan a deranged lone gunman or psychopath, as Hannah Arendt claimed, or was he an early resistance fighter? Had this young man and his victim shared an intimate connection, as Grynszpan later claimed? Kirsch illuminates a life cast into the shadows of history in a compelling biography that is part page-turning historical thriller and part Kafkaesque legal drama. 8 pages of photographs
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The Importance of...
[book] Strange Rebels
1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century
By Christian Caryl
May 2013
Basic Books
Few moments in history have seen as many seismic transformations as 1979. That single year marked the emergence of revolutionary Islam as a political force on the world stage, the beginning of market revolutions in China and Britain that would fuel globalization and radically alter the international economy, and the first stirrings of the resistance movements in Eastern Europe and Afghanistan that ultimately led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. More than any other year in the latter half of the twentieth century, 1979 heralded the economic, political, and religious realities that define the twenty-first.
In Strange Rebels, veteran journalist Christian Caryl shows how the world we live in today—and the problems that plague it—began to take shape in this pivotal year. 1979, he explains, saw a series of counterrevolutions against the progressive consensus that had dominated the postwar era. The year’s epic upheavals embodied a startling conservative challenge to communist and socialist systems around the globe, fundamentally transforming politics and economics worldwide. In China, 1979 marked the start of sweeping market-oriented reforms that have made the country the economic powerhouse it is today. 1979 was also the year that Pope John Paul II traveled to Poland, confronting communism in Eastern Europe by reigniting its people’s suppressed Catholic faith. In Iran, meanwhile, an Islamic Revolution transformed the nation into a theocracy almost overnight, overthrowing the Shah’s modernizing monarchy. Further west, Margaret Thatcher became prime minister of Britain, returning it to a purer form of free-market capitalism and opening the way for Ronald Reagan to do the same in the US. And in Afghanistan, a Soviet invasion fueled an Islamic holy war with global consequences; the Afghan mujahedin presaged the rise of al-Qaeda and served as a key factor—along with John Paul’s journey to Poland—in the fall of communism.
Weaving the story of each of these counterrevolutions into a brisk, gripping narrative, Strange Rebels is a groundbreaking account of how these far-flung events and disparate actors and movements gave birth to our modern age.
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[book] IS THIS TOMORROW
A NOVEL
By Caroline Leavitt
Spring 2013
Algonquin
In 1956, Ava Lark rents a house with her twelve-year-old son, Lewis, in a desirable Boston suburb. Ava is beautiful, divorced, Jewish, and a working mom. She finds her neighbors less than welcoming. Lewis yearns for his absent father, befriending the only other fatherless kids: Jimmy and Rose. One afternoon, Jimmy goes missing. The neighborhood—in the throes of Cold War paranoia—seizes the opportunity to further ostracize Ava and her son.
Years later, when Lewis and Rose reunite to untangle the final pieces of the tragic puzzle, they must decide: Should you tell the truth even if it hurts those you love, or should some secrets remain buried?
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[book] The Secret of the Nightingale Palace
A Novel
By Dana Sachs
2013
Morrow
Anna Rosenthal's grandmother, Goldie, asks Anna to drive her from New York to San Francisco to return a valuable collection of Japanese art to its former owner, who gave it to Goldie for safekeeping during World War II. Anna can't understand why her grandmother kept it for sixty years, but Goldie refuses to explain. As The Secret of the Nightingale Palace sweeps from the present back to wartime San Francisco, however, Goldie's story begins to unfold. A poor and uneducated Jewish girl from Memphis, Goldie arrives in San Francisco in 1940 with nothing but her determination and a great sense of style. She quickly finds a job as a salesgirl at the elegant Jewish-owned Feld's Department Store, but being Jewish does not automatically mean acceptance by other Jews. In a time of constant social upheaval, Goldie faces intolerance and bigotry, not only toward Jews but also toward Japanese-Americans, whose suffering forces her to recognize the troubles of the wider world and to confront the complicated urgings of her own heart..
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[book] The Patron Way
From Fantasy to Fortune
Lessons on Taking Any Business From
Idea to Iconic Brand
By Ilana Edelstein
April 2013
McGraw Hill
How a billion-dollar business ascended from a forgotten dusty agave field in central Mexico
The Patrón Way details the unorthodox building of the brand, the extraordinary creativity and marketing ingenuity of Patrón’s cofounder, Martin Crowley, and his life partner, Ilana Edelstein, and the way Patrón transformed the tequila industry.
Born and raised in a traditional Jewish South African home, and with a mother who survived Auschwitz, she strongly embraced and indulged her Jewishness, which included being a Habonim participant. She became the life partner who sacrificed everything and worked with the love of her life, the late Martin Crowley, co-founder of Patrón Tequila, to build a billion-dollar business.
Edelstein was involved in every aspect of the business—from the brand’s iconic bottle to designing the sexy and attention- getting outfits worn by the famous “Patrón Girls” at promotions and parties to running the back office.
Patrón is a tequila so sumptuous—and so brilliantly marketed—that it has become the world’s leading ultrapremium tequila and has changed the way the spirit is experienced: what was once “gasoline” slammed back in a shot glass is now poured from an exquisite hand-blown bottle into a chilled glass and sipped to attain a “Patrón high.”
Today, Patrón has grown to over a billion-dollar brand, and it is the largest generator of revenue of all tequila brands. Edelstein combines the dramatic story of the company’s rise to success in an astonishingly competitive and sometimes cutthroat industry with practical business lessons about R&D and brand building that business leaders can put to productive use in any industry.
A tale of love, sacrifice, celebrity, dizzying success, and ultimate betrayal, The Patrón Way reveals for the first time all the details behind the intimate relationship and marketing genius of the “power couple” that transformed the spirits industry.
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[book] GAWKY
Tales of an Extra Long Awkward Phase
by Margot Leitman
May 2013
Seal Press
Some tall girls grow up to have perfect posture and are later seen gracing the pages of magazines. Some are natural athletes with toned legs that mask their overlarge feet. Then there are other tall girls: the ones who are always tripping over themselves; who never look normal in any size of clothing; who literally don’t fit in.
Comedian Margot Leitman was one of these awkward giants, and Gawky is the painfully funny chronicle of her experiences growing up tall. Reaching five feet six inches in fourth grade—and approaching six feet in high school—Leitman realized early on that she'd always stand out from the crowd. To cope, she developed a thick skin and a sharp sense of humor, and instead of forever trying to blend in, she decided to embrace her center-of-attention status. Leitman wears funky, Ziggy Stardust-era jumpsuits (in the 90s); takes up any cause she can find (whether saving the public beaches or protesting prom); and generally makes as much use of her big presence as humanly possible.
Leitman’s memoir is a hilarious celebration of growing up gangly. Endearing and encouraging, Gawky is a cathartic release of everything awkward girls endure—and a tribute to a youth larger than life.
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[book] Who Will Die Last
Stories of Life in Israel
By David Ehrlich and Ken Frieden
May 2013,
"This is a highly original collection of thought-provoking stories that both prod and soothe the reader, and range in style from Etgar Keret to Lorrie Moore. The characters are often in search of answers to life’s biggest issues— truth, love, identity, purpose—and sometimes even find them. More often, they grapple with loneliness and are filled with wistful regret. The prose is unadorned and straightforward, infused with a sane, world-weary, winking godliness. A must-read for anyone who enjoys well-crafted, unpretentious, and meaningful stories."—Evan Fallenberg, author of Light Fell and When We Danced on Water
"David Ehrlich takes us into an Israel of fragile soldiers and all-powerful grandmothers, a country that confounds expectations and whose people live at the meeting point between meaning and absurdity. By turn heartbreaking and hilarious (and sometimes both at once), these stories are small epics for a post-mythical time. Only a writer in love with the story of Israel could have written such wonderful Israeli stories."—Yossi Klein Halevi, fellow, The Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem

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[book]A Dual Inheritance
A Novel
By Joanna Hershon
May 2013
Ballantine
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] INTUITION PUMPS
AND OTHER TOOLS FOR THINKING
BY DANIEL C. DENNETT
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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[book] The Bible in Arabic
The Scriptures of the 'People of the Book'
in the Language of Islam
(Jews, Christians, and Muslims from the Ancient to the Modern World)
By Sidney H. Griffith
May 2013
Princeton University Press
From the first centuries of Islam to well into the Middle Ages, Jews and Christians produced hundreds of manuscripts containing portions of the Bible in Arabic. Until recently, however, these translations remained largely neglected by Biblical scholars and historians. In telling the story of the Bible in Arabic, this book casts light on a crucial transition in the cultural and religious life of Jews and Christians in Arabic-speaking lands.
In pre-Islamic times, Jewish and Christian scriptures circulated orally in the Arabic-speaking milieu. After the rise of Islam--and the Qur'an's appearance as a scripture in its own right--Jews and Christians translated the Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament into Arabic for their own use and as a response to the Qur'an's retelling of Biblical narratives. From the ninth century onward, a steady stream of Jewish and Christian translations of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament crossed communal borders to influence the Islamic world.
The Bible in Arabic offers a new frame of reference for the pivotal place of Arabic Bible translations in the religious and cultural interactions between Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
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[book] MAN MADE
IN WHICH A DAD LEARNS TO BE A MAN FOR HIS SON
A STUPID QUEST
BY JOEL STEIN
May 2013
Grand Central Publishing

Stein is based on Los Angeles. He is a columnist for Time Magazine and he has over 1 million followers in Twitter.com. A graduate of of Stanford, he worked initially for Martha Stewart where he was fired twice in single day, and for other publications. He was an Idiot Savant on MTV, and finally landed at Time.
The smudge looked suspiciously penis- like. The doctor confirmed: "That's the baby's penis!" which caused not celebration, but panic. Joel pictured having to go camping and fix a car and use a hammer and throw a football and watch professionals throw footballs and figure out whether to be sad or happy about the results of said football throwing.
So begins his quest to confront his effete nature whether he likes it or not (he doesn't), by doing a twenty-four-hour shift with L.A. firefighters, going hunting, rebuilding a house, driving a Lamborghini, enduring three days of boot camp with the U.S. Army, day-trading with $100,000, and going into the ring with UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture. Seeking help from a panel of experts, including his manly father-in-law, Boy Scouts, former NFL star Warren Sapp, former MLB All-Star Shawn Green, Adam Carolla, and a pit bull named Hercules, he expects to learn that masculinity is defined not by the size of his muscles, but by the size of his heart (also, technically, a muscle). This is not at all what he learns.
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[book] MOTTI
Hebrew Literature Series
By Asaf Schurr
Translated by Todd Hasak-Lowy
May 2013
Dalkey
Calling to mind the minimalist novels of Jean-Philippe Toussaint, Motti is at once an exercise in simplicity and a self-conscious investigation into storytelling . . .
An unassuming, unambitious man named Motti, who owns a dog named Laika, has a good friend named Menachem. Motti and Menachem drink beer together every week, and Motti spends the rest of his time daydreaming an imaginary love story for himself and his neighbor, Ariella. Motti is the very picture of inertia, until, one night, a drunk Menachem, driving home from a bar with Motti, runs over a woman and kills her. Menachem has a wife and children, so without any fuss, Motti—who has nothing—decides to take the blame, going to prison instead of his friend . . . and finding that his life there isn’t too different from his life outside. “Oh dear,” says the narrator, wondering how to tell us anything about such empty lives, “look at them, at all the people in this novel . . . if someone would really hug them, if someone would hold them tightly, they would fall to pieces.”
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[book] The Bible in Arabic
The Scriptures of the 'People of the Book'
in the Language of Islam
(Jews, Christians, and Muslims from the Ancient to the Modern World)
By Sidney H. Griffith
May 2013
Princeton University Press
From the first centuries of Islam to well into the Middle Ages, Jews and Christians produced hundreds of manuscripts containing portions of the Bible in Arabic. Until recently, however, these translations remained largely neglected by Biblical scholars and historians. In telling the story of the Bible in Arabic, this book casts light on a crucial transition in the cultural and religious life of Jews and Christians in Arabic-speaking lands.
In pre-Islamic times, Jewish and Christian scriptures circulated orally in the Arabic-speaking milieu. After the rise of Islam--and the Qur'an's appearance as a scripture in its own right--Jews and Christians translated the Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament into Arabic for their own use and as a response to the Qur'an's retelling of Biblical narratives. From the ninth century onward, a steady stream of Jewish and Christian translations of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament crossed communal borders to influence the Islamic world.
The Bible in Arabic offers a new frame of reference for the pivotal place of Arabic Bible translations in the religious and cultural interactions between Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
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[book] A FAR PIECE TO CANAAN
A NOVEL
BY SAM HALPERN
May 2013
Harper
A Far Piece to Canaan is a warm and nostalgic novel from an unexpected source: Sam Halpern, whose salty paternal wisdom made Justin Halpern’s Sh*t My Dad Says a phenomenal bestseller.
Inspired by Sam Halpern’s childhood in rural Kentucky, A Far Piece to Canaan tells the story of Samuel Zelinsky, a celebrated but troubled former professor who reluctantly returns after his wife’s death to the Kentucky hills where he lived as a child to reconnect with long-buried memories and make good on a forgotten promise.
Samuel and Fred made a promise in their youth. They had covered up an incident the discovered in Blue Hole, a site of evil. They promised that if ever either needed help, the other would be obligated to come to his aid. But that was in 1945 as preteens. Upon returning to KY, he learns of Fred’s tragic life, and manages to contact Lisa June, his granddaughter. Can Sam find peace through her?
A tale of superstition, secrets, and heroism in the postwar South, A Far Piece to Canaan: A Novel of Friendship and Redemption is the surprising and moving debut of a gifted storyteller.
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[book] The Batali Brothers Cookbook
By Leo Batali and Benno Batali
With additional recipes by Mario Batali (their father)
With photos by Susi Cahn (their mother)
May 2013
ecco Press
For the past decade, the Batali family spends a month in Northern Michigan at a blue roofed, pink and orange walled summer house on Grand Traverse Bay in the Leelanau Peninsula (by the way, “Leelanau” pretends to be a native American word that means ‘delight of life’ but it was made up by a man who gave many towns faux-Indian Ojibwa sounding pace names). The Batalis have an outdoor pizza oven as well as a large indoor kitchen, and the family cooks a lot; the kids have paid attention. For Mario’s 50th birthday, his sons prepared a cookbook of favorite family foods, and Susi Cahn took pictures. That homemade gift is now a book, and Mario has added some additional already published recipes that he loves to serve for his family.
There are about 17 recipes in part one of the book. And there are about 16 recipes in part two (Mario’s Family Favorites).
The part one recipes range from Cinnamon Swirl French Toast and Brown Sugar Pancakes to Sloppy Sloppy Joes and Franny’s Sunshine Cake (Birthday Cake). The French Toast begins with slices of cinnamon bread, and adds eggs, milk, nutmeg and more cinnamon. The pancakes begin with flour and baking powder and uses light brown sugar. The Batali brothers scramble their eggs in virgin olive oil. And they were eating kale salad in lemon dressing (zest the lemon with a grater like a Microplane) long before kale became de rigueur in Manhattan. Their whole roasted chicken uses 1.5 cups of pickle juice and 8 cloves of garlic. (the homemade pasta use… Mario Batali’s bottled pasta sauce “available at your local market,” yes, his sons have learned well) Their Triple P Salad (Potatoes, Peas and Pesto) is a must try from the book.
Part two recipes include ones for Carrots in Scapece with Cumin and Honey (carrots were never a hit with the kids until they added these spices); Oven Dried Cherry Tomatoes with Breadcrumbs (better than sun dried ones); Fregula With Corn (good in late Summer); Grilled Mozzarella Sandwiches (they use buffalo mozzarella imported from Italia, heavy cream, nutmeg, and thyme); pizza dough; Benno Pizza (pesto made from broccoli); and Leo Pizza (Guanciale or pancetta, and chickpeas). The Batali’s make Baked Ziti with besciamella sauce, and their spaghetti can be topped with green tomato pesto than can be frozen for an entire Winter. Also included is a Chocolate Cake a la Abruzzo which takes less than an hour to prepare.
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Click the link to watch a video on how to make the MONDRIAN cake
[book] [book] Modern Art Desserts
Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Confections,
and Frozen Treats Based on Iconic Works of Art
By Caitlin Freeman
The Blue Bottle Café in The SF MOMA
2013
Ten Speed Press

Each day, the author with Leah Rosenberg and Tess Wilson makes cake for museum goers (note: In June 2013, SF MOMA closed for over two years for a renovation. You can still make the sake by visiting the café’s webpage and taking a one day class in How To Make The Mondrian cake))
Taking cues from works by Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, and Matisse, pastry chef Caitlin Freeman, of Miette bakery and Blue Bottle Coffee fame, creates a collection of uniquely delicious dessert recipes (with step-by-step assembly guides) that give readers all they need to make their own edible masterpieces.
From a fudge pop based on an Ellsworth Kelly sculpture to a pristinely segmented cake fashioned after Mondrian’s well-known composition, this collection of uniquely delicious recipes for cookies, parfait, gelées, ice pops, ice cream, cakes, and inventive drinks has everything you need to astound friends, family, and guests with your own edible masterpieces.
Taking cues from modern art’s most revered artists, these twenty-seven showstopping desserts exhibit the charm and sophistication of works by Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Henri Matisse, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Avedon, Wayne Thiebaud, and more. Featuring an image of the original artwork alongside a museum curator’s perspective on the original piece and detailed, easy-to-follow directions (with step-by-step assembly guides adapted for home bakers), Modern Art Desserts will inspire a kitchen gallery of stunning treats.
NOTE: SOME BAKERS THINK THE MONDRIAN CAKE is the best cake in the book and bought the book for it. The other items – they say – pale in comparison to the art works and left them feeling sad.
So I tell you what.. check out this page and then come back… it has some pics of the desserts from the book: http://www.lostateminor.com/2013/04/23/modern-art-made-edible/

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[book] Jews in the Los Angeles Mosaic
Edited by Karen Wilson
May 2013
June 2013
University of California Press
Influenced by popular notions that the West is a place of vanishing Jews and disappearing Judaism, most people draw a blank at the words "Los Angeles Jew." Yet, the region is home to the second largest number of Jews in North America, and boasts the fourth largest Jewish population in the world, behind only Tel Aviv, New York City, and Jerusalem. This book, and its companion exhibition at the Autry National Center, reveals how Los Angeles has shaped Jewish identities and how Jewish Angelenos have shaped the metropolis. Six incisive essays look at the mutual influence of people and place as they examine Jewish engagement with frontier society, yidishe kultur and union activism, ethnic identity and Hollywood movies, Jewish women and local politics, and Jews making music in Los Angeles. The book is illustrated with a wealth of images that illustrate how Jews, operating both at the center and the margins of power, have contributed to the place and myth called Los Angeles.
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[book] Top Student, Top School?
How Social Class Shapes Where Valedictorians Go to College
By Alexandria Walton Radford
May 2013
University of Chicago Press
Most of us think that valedictorians can write their own ticket. By reaching the top of their class they have proven their merit, so their next logical step should be to attend the nation’s very best universities. Yet in Top Student, Top School?, Alexandria Walton Radford reveals that many valedictorians do not enroll in prestigious institutions. Employing an original five-state study that surveyed nine hundred public high school valedictorians, she sets out to determine when and why valedictorians end up at less selective schools, showing that social class makes all the difference.  
Radford traces valedictorians’ paths to college and presents damning evidence that high schools do not provide sufficient guidance on crucial factors affecting college selection, such as reputation, financial aid, and even the application process itself. Left in a bewildering environment of seemingly similar options, many students depend on their parents for assistance—and this allows social class to rear its head and have a profound impact on where students attend. Simply put, parents from less affluent backgrounds are far less informed about differences in colleges’ quality, the college application process, and financial aid options, which significantly limits their child’s chances of attending a competitive school, even when their child has already managed to become valedictorian.  
Top Student, Top School? pinpoints an overlooked yet critical juncture in the education process, one that stands as a barrier to class mobility. By focusing solely on valedictorians, it shows that students’ paths diverge by social class even when they are similarly well-prepared academically, and this divergence is traceable to specific failures by society, failures that we can and should address.
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JUNE 2013 BOOKS


When Arab Eyes Are Smiling…
[book] THE WORLD THROUGH ARAB EYES
ARAB PUBLIC OPINION AND THE RESHAPING OF THE MIDDLE EAST
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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[book] COUSIN IRV FROM MARS
BY BRUCE ERIC KAPLAN
(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
Oxford
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] 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] Claudia Silver to the Rescue
A Novel
By Kathy Ebel
June 2013
HMH
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] RUN, BROTHER, RUN
A MEMOIR OF A MURDERIN MY FAMILY
BY DAVID BERG
June 2013
Scribner
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
Princeton
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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[book] MY FIRST KAFKA
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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JULY 2013 BOOKS




[book] YOU ARE ONE OF THEM
A NOVEL
BY ELLIOTT HOLT
July 2013
Penguin
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] The Widow Waltz
A novel
By Sally Koslow
June 2013
Viking
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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[book] SUPER BOYS
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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[book] PALEO COOKING
FROM ELANA'S PANTRY
GLUTEN-FREE, GRAIN FREE, HIGH PROTEIN RECIPES
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.
[book] THE BILLIONAIRE'S APPRENTICE
THE RISE OF THE INDIAN-AMERICAN ELITE
AND THE FALL OF THE GALLEON HEDGE FUND
BY ANITA RAGHAVAN
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
Oxford
“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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[book] CRAZY RICH ASIANS
A NOVEL
BY KEVIN KWAN
July 2013
Doubleday
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] THE UNKNOWNS
A Novel
By Gabriel Roth
July 2013
Reagan
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
Norton
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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[book] FIVE STAR BILLIONAIRE
A NOVEL
BY TASH AW
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
Random
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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