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Welcome to our pages of Winter 2014, Fall 2013, Summer 2013, Spring 2013, Winter 2013, Fall 2012, and oh so many more Book Suggestions. For our Home Page, Please visit MyJewishBooks.com

SOME SPRING 2014 BOOK READINGS

February 26, 2014: Rabbi Marc Schneier and Imam Shamsi Ali read from Sons of Abraham A Candid Conversation about the Issues That Divide and Unite Jews and Muslims. B&N UWS NYC
March 13, 2014: Michael Gross reads from House of Outrageous Fortune Fifteen Central Park West, the World's Most Powerful Address. B&N 82nd Bway UWS NYC
March 24, 2014: Tova Mirvis reads from Visible City. B&N 82nd Bway UWS NYC (or you can stand across the street and peep into B&N

April 01, 2014: Bette Midler chats with Judy Gold. B&N Union Square NYC
April 03, 2014: Meg Wolitzer reads from The Interestings. B&N 82nd Bway UWS NYC
April 03, 2014: Biz Stone, a co-founder of Twitter, reads from Things a Little Bird Told Me Confessions of the Creative Mind. B&N Union Square NYC
April 06, 2014: Private View and Breakfast Tour with author art spiegelman (Maus), High School of Art and Design cafeteria, 5th Fl (E 56th). NYC 1030AM - Noon $20.
April 08, 2014: Barbara Ehrenreich reads from Living with a Wild God A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything. B&N Union Square NYC
April 2014: Barbara Ehrenreich reads from Living with a Wild God A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything. Sixth & I Synagogue, Washington DC
April 09, 2014: Carol Leifer reads from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying. B&N 86th Lexington UES NYC
April 09, 2014: Bob Saget (who other comedians report is one of the dirtiest comedians on stage even though his image is nice clean guy) reads from Dirty Daddy The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian. B&N. Union Square NYC
April 09, 2014: Rob Lowe (Berkoff) reads from Love Life. Fifth Avenue. NYC
April 10, 2014: Deborah Feldman reads from EXODUS. B&N Upper East Side (86th) 7PM NYC
April 24, 2014: Ruchama King Feuerman reads from In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist. B&N 82nd Bway UWS NYC.
April 24, 2014: Professor Grace Tiffany speak on "Shakespeare's Jewish Women", at Congregation of Moses, Kalamazoo MI. 7PM.

April 24, 2014: From the Borscht Belt to Seinfeld. The Evolution of Jewish American Comedy. A panel discussion will be held for an intergenerational audience interested in learning how Jewish humor grew out of Yiddish culture. Panelists include Edward Portnoy, Ph.D, Yiddish language, literature and theater expert who will serve as moderator; Larry Storch, renowned vaudeville, film and TV comedian; Drew Friedman, illustrator and author; Bill Persky, legendary TV sitcom writer; and Tom Leopold, contemporary sketch comedy writer. 7-930PM $15. NYC Society of Illustrators. Coincides w/ their show of illustrators of old Jewish Comedians (Closes May 5) http://www.societyillustrators.org/

April 28, 2014: Ayelet Waldman reads from Love and Treasure at The Strand Bookstore, NYC. 7 PM
April 30, 2014: Francine Prose reads from Lovers at the Chameleon Club. Paris 1932. B&N UWS 7PM NYC

May 01, 2014: Ayelet Waldman reads from Love and Treasure at Chizuk Amuno Congregation in Baltimore, hosted with the Ivy Bookshop
May 13, 2014: Ione Skye reads from My Yiddish Vacation. B&N. Farmers' Market Los Angeles
May 19, 2014: Professor Emeritus Sternlicht (Syracuse) – author of Tenements - speaks at the LOC U.S. Library of Congress. Washington DC, 12 Noon
May 29, 2014: Cartoonist Roz Chast at the 92y.org. NYC UES
May 29, 2014: CD Release Party for Golem. GolemRocks.com Joe’s Pub NYC. NYC UES
May 29-31, 2014; BEA – NYC

June 02, 2014: Jack Devine reads from Good Hunting: An American Spymaster's Story. B&N NYC UES 86th/Lex
June 03, 2014: Tikkun Leil Shavuot. All Night Study. Worldwide. And also at the jccmanhattan.org/tikkun - featuring essayists Irwin Kula, Jospeh Telushkin, Steven Cohen, Alisa Solomon, Naftali Citron, David Ingbar, Alan Mintz, Jan Uhrbach, Liz Abzug, Arnold Eisen, Michael Paley, and more. June 10, 2014: Boris Fishman reads from his novel, A Replacement Life. B&N NYC UWS
June 10, 2014: Amar'e Stoudemire (who nearly played for Tel Aviv, and helped coach a Macabi team) reads from Cooking with Amar'e: 100 Easy Recipes for Pros and Rookies in the Kitchen. B&N Citicorp NYC
June 11, 2014: Avery Corman (Kramer vs Kramer) reads from My Old Neighborhood: A Memoir. B&N NYC UWS
June 15, 2014: Laura Silver reads from KNISH. 92Y.org 2:30 PM Battery Place. NYC
June 23, 2014: Susan Jane Gilman reads from her debut novel: The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street. B&N NYC UWS
June 30, 2014: Joan Rivers reads from Diary of a Mad Diva. B&N NYC Union Square.
June 30, 2014: The 15th season of SCRIBBLERS ON THE ROOF launches with readings by authors Tova Mirvis and Ruchama Feuerman. Ansche Chesed rooftop. West 100th and West End Ave., NYC

July 15, 2014: Daniel Silva reads from The Heist: A Novel (Gabriel Allon Series #14). B&N NYC Union Square
July 22, 2014: Oscar-winning Actress Lee Grant reads from I Said Yes to Everything: A Memoir (Lee Grant, also known as Lyova Haskell Rosenthal). B&N NYC UWS (down the street from where she grew up on Riverside Drive)









[book] NOAH
BY DARREN ARONOFSKY
March 2014
Image Comics
The film book tie-in for what will be the most talked-about film of spring 2014: Darren Aronofsky's Noah, starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, and Anthony Hopkins. Following on the heels of his successful film Black Swan, celebrated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky turns his talent to the epic big-budget biblical tradition with his film Noah, starring Award-winners¨ Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, and Anthony Hopkins, as well as Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Ray Winstone. Russell Crowe stars as Noah, a man chosen by God for a great task before an apocalyptic flood destroys the world. The film touches on themes found throughout Aronofsky's work-the dichotomy of life/death, inner turmoil, otherness-presented with Aronofsky's singular and compelling aesthetic. Noah is an extension of Aronofsky's otherworldly sensibilities; it showcases art from the film and the director at work and is a must-have for fans of Aronofsky and of cinema everywhere.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] THE LIVING MEMORIES PROJECT
LEGACIES THAT LAST
BY MERYL AIN, ARTHUR M. FISCHMAN, AND STEWART AIN
March 2014
Little MiAmi
A collection of stories from Nick Clooney, Lynda Johnson Robb, Jack Klugman, and others who lost someone dear to them and how they keep their memories alive through memory quilts, the arts, scholarships, poetry, recipes, and many other ways to remember their loved ones.
Thre year the death of her mother< Meryl Ain still felt a major loss in her life. She knew there was no closure but discovered how some other people successfully overcame grief and integrated the loss into their lives.
Meryl enlisted the help of her husband, the award-winning Jewish journalist Stewart Ain, and her brother, Arthur Fischman, and began to interview people who had moved from mourning to meaningful action and remembrance.
The Project presents more than thirty interviews and their memorial projects. They include Arthur Kurzweill, Atty Leon Charney; Jack Klugman; Eileen Belmont, a quilt designer; Malachy McCourt, the actor and author, and brother of Frank; Robert Meeropol, who established a Fund in memory of his parents, Ethel and Julius Osenberg; Linda Ruth Tosetti, who made a film about her grandfather, athlete babe Ruth; Jen Chapin, daughter of the late Harry Chapin; Dr. Yeou-Cheng Ma, the sister of Yo-Yo Ma, who writes poetry and has a society in memory of their father; .
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] The Boy's Own Manual To
Being a Proper Jew
[Kindle Edition]
By Eli Glasman
2014
Kindle Edition
Yossi, at seventeen, feels as though his homosexuality makes him less of a Jew. Living as he does in an Orthodox Jewish community, he has a lot to hide. When non-religious rebel Josh turns up at school, Yossi is asked to look after him, and while Yossi educates Josh on the ancient traditions of their faith, Josh does some educating of his own. Through their relationship, Yossi learns to see the laws of Judaism in a very new light. But when he and Josh are caught kissing in the bathhouse, Yossi’s life takes on a dramatic new turn, and he can ignore his new reality no longer. The Boy’s Own Manual to Being a Proper Jew is full of heart and human blundering, as a family gradually learns to accept the parameters of its faith, and how to work around them.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] Mayim's Vegan Table
More than 100 Great-Tasting and
Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours
by Mayim Bialik with Jay Gordon
2014
De Capo
While she's an actress with a PhD in neuroscience, at the end of the day Mayim Bialik is a mom, one who knows what it's like to be a busy parent with little time to spend in the kitchen. She shares the concerns of parents everywhere: when it comes to nutrition and feeding your family, you want healthy meals, but also food that everyone—kids and parents—can enjoy, and a balanced lifestyle that's inexpensive and fuss-free. Not only does Mayim's Vegan Table share more than 100 easy plant-based recipes for dishes that are as good to eat as they are good for you, but Mayim has also teamed up with pediatrician Jay Gordon to offer:
Basic nutritional information about a plant-based diet The real deal on raising kids on a plant-based diet (myths and misperceptions, debunked)
Vegan family essentials (including a list of what to always keep in the pantry) Tips and strategies for easy meal planning and healthy eating out And, of course, the food: you'll find recipes for Mayim's favorite breakfasts, snacks, lunches, dinners, and desserts, including kid-approved meals like build-your-own tacos and mac n cheez, Mediterranean and Asian-inspired salads that parents will love, comfort-food classics like kugel and matzoh ball soup, and many more
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] Mannequin Girl
A Novel
by Ellen Litman
2014
Norton
A heartfelt and deftly told coming-of-age story, Mannequin Girl captures the bleakness of Soviet Russia and the hopeful turmoil of adolescence.
"A perfect little figure," he says. "Our mannequin girl." She knows who mannequin girls are. They are in her grandmother's Working Woman magazines, modeling flouncy dresses and berets. "Bend," he tells her, and she does, so pliant, so obedient."
Growing up in Soviet Russia, Kat Knopman worships her parents, temperamental Anechka and soft-hearted, absent-minded Misha. Young Jewish intellectuals, they teach literature at a Moscow school, run a drama club, and dabble in political radicalism. Kat sees herself as their heir and ally. But when she's diagnosed with rapidly-progressing scoliosis, the trajectory of her life changes and she finds herself at a different institution—a school-sanatorium for children with spinal ailments. Confined to a brace, surrounded by unsympathetic peers, Kat embarks on a quest to prove that she can be as exceptional as her parents: a beauty, an intellect, and free spirit despite her physical limitations, her Jewishness, and her suspicion that her beloved parents are in fact flawed. Can a girl with a crooked spine really be a mannequin girl, her parents’ pride and her doctors’ and teachers’ glory? Or will she prove to be something far more ordinary—and, thereby, more her own? An unforgettable heroine, Kat will have to find the courage to face the world and break free not only of her metal brace but of all the constraints that bind her.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book










APRIL 2014 BOOKS

[book] HOW THE BIBLE BECAME HOLY
By MICHAEL L. SATLOW (Brown University)
April 2014
Yale University Press
Professor Satlow did not have a bible in his home until he received one at age 13 to celebrate him become a bar mitvah. He never really sat down and read a whole book of the Hebrew bible cover to cover linearly. Yet he now is top scholar in Judaic Studies, so let this be a lesson that you don;t have to be born into a certain field of study.
In this sweeping narrative, Michael Satlow tells the fascinating story of how an ancient collection of obscure Israelite writings became the founding texts of both Judaism and Christianity, considered holy by followers of each faith. Drawing on cutting-edge historical and archeological research, he traces the story of how, when, and why Jews and Christians gradually granted authority to texts that had long lay dormant in a dusty temple archive.

The Bible, Satlow maintains, was NOT the consecrated book it is now until quite late in its history.

He describes how elite scribes in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C.E. began the process that led to the creation of several of our biblical texts. It was not until these were translated into Greek in Egypt in the second century B.C.E., however, that some Jews began to see them as culturally authoritative, comparable to Homer’s works in contemporary Greek society.
SO, repeating, it was not until Jews read the Hebrew Bible in Greek that they started to pay attention to it and give it status

Then, in the first century B.C.E. in Israel, political machinations resulted in the Sadducees assigning legal power to the writings. We see how the world Jesus was born into was largely biblically illiterate and how he knew very little about the texts upon which his apostles would base his spiritual leadership.
Synthesizing an enormous body of scholarly work, Satlow’s GROUNDBREAKING study offers provocative new assertions about commonly accepted interpretations of biblical history as well as a unique window into how two of the world’s great faiths came into being.
Not only that, but Satlow writes the story with energy and excitement, that it is an intellectually fluid and entertaining read.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book


















[book] How to Succeed in Business
Without Really Crying
Lessons from a life in Comedy
by Carol Leifer (A)
April 2014
Quirk Books
A lot of college graduates get a copy of Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” as a gift. It is about as helpful as saying “plastics.” But this book by Carol Leifer (rhymes with reefer) is the book for every college grad entering the workforce - whether it be as a writer, banker, administrative assistant, proctologist, artist, or whatever.

How should you network? How should you not screw over people? How to be nice to waiters, since one day they might be writers, producers, actors, or fans? How to approach celebrities whom you know, even if they spent the might drinking with you and can’t remember you. How to interview and ask questions, dress appropriately, write personalized thank-you notes, be reasonable, and be willing to offer assistance on scripts for free, since it might lead to a paying gig.

Carol Leifer is among those few female comedians who have blazed a trail in stand-up and sit-com writing. She joins Joan Rivers, Totie Fields, Lucille Ball, Roseanne Barr, and others.
Leifer grew up on Long Island. Her parents played all the important comedy record albums of the time: from Mel Brooks to Mickey Katz. They let Carol stay up late to watch the great comedians on Ed Sullivan. They once drove her into Manhattan to eat at the same West Village bistro as her idol – Soupy Sales (what kind of parents did that sort of stuff? Great ones.)
When she went to what is now called SUNY Binghamton for college, her dormitory floor-mate was a guy named Paul Reiser. He became a friend and boyfriend. They both did acting and stand-up, and came down to NYC on Route 80 for gigs. There they met two up and coming comics: Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. Carol’s father supported her decision to drop out of college to pursue stand-up, striking while the iron was hot.
From gigs at brick-walled comedy shops and campuses, where being a woman was a novelty, but also – as Carol explains - a strength, (but also flypaper for the heckling of drunk college guys), Leifer worked her way up the stand-up comedy ladder. She also landed writing spots. From Late Night with David Letterman and Saturday Night Live to Seinfeld and Larry Sanders, from co-creating The Ellen Show to writing for seven Oscar’s and Modern Family, Carol has written for and/or performed on some of the best TV comedies. She even got her own situation comedy which was well reviewed, but hey, it was on the WB channel, and most Americans did not even know that channel existed
In very short chapters, Carol shares her experiences and anecdotes and teaches important career lessons. She shares successes and also the errors that led to temporary downfalls. Can you ever rest? Unlikely. If The Tonight Show with Carson says “no, thanks” twenty times, should you audition a twenty-first time? Even though she has written for The Oscars more than half a dozen times, she still needs to audition for the show. Why is Larry David’s shoulder key to his liking or disliking an idea for an episode? Should you burn a bridge after getting rejected by the Larry Sanders Show? No way. Her graciousness ended up landing her a writing gig after the other finalist candidate didn’t work out.
Carol shares that no industry support passive people so you have to manufacture your own success and not lean back. She explains how her first interview in Manhattan was a failure and the silly errors she made. Learn from it. She scored a writing job on Saturday Night Live and was loved by her direct bosses (one is now a U.S. Senator), but she was invisible to the Captain of the ship, Lorne Michaels. BIG career error. Is it better to be a grunt / P.A. / Writer’s Assistant or wait for the big job? Why should you develop a professional camaraderie? I wish I had read this book decades ago, so I would have avoided some errors.
Part memoir, part guide to life, and all incredibly funny, HTSIB-WR-Crying offers tips and tricks for getting ahead, finding your way, and opening doors — even if you have to use a sledgehammer.
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[book] Lovers at the Chameleon Club,
Paris 1932:
A Novel
By Francine Prose
April 2014
Harper
When PROSE read the story of the Club, she wanted to write a non fiction book about it. Then she saw it would work better as a novel.

A richly imagined and stunningly inventive literary masterpiece of love, art, and betrayal, exploring the genesis of evil, the unforeseen consequences of love, and the ultimate unreliability of storytelling itself.
Paris in the 1920s shimmers with excitement, dissipation, and freedom. It is a place of intoxicating ambition, passion, art, and discontent, where louche jazz venues like the Chameleon Club draw expats, artists, libertines, and parvenus looking to indulge their true selves. It is at the Chameleon where the striking Lou Villars, an extraordinary athlete and scandalous cross-dressing lesbian, finds refuge among the club’s loyal denizens, including the rising Hungarian photographer Gabor Tsenyi, the socialite and art patron Baroness Lily de Rossignol; and the caustic American writer Lionel Maine.
As the years pass, their fortunes—and the world itself—evolve. Lou falls desperately in love and finds success as a race car driver. Gabor builds his reputation with startlingly vivid and imaginative photographs, including a haunting portrait of Lou and her lover, which will resonate through all their lives. As the exuberant twenties give way to darker times, Lou experiences another metamorphosis— sparked by tumultuous events—that will warp her earnest desire for love and approval into something far more.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book


















[book] The Routes Not Taken
A Trip Through New York City's Unbuilt
Subway System
by Joseph B. Raskin
Fordham University Press.
Delves deep into the underbelly of the NYC subway system to reveal the tunnels and stations that might have been.
Robert A. Van Wyck, mayor of the greater city of New York, broke ground for the first subway line by City Hall on March 24, 1900. It took four years, six months, and twenty-three days to build the line from City Hall to West 145th Street in Harlem. Things rarely went that quickly ever again. The Routes Not Taken explores the often dramatic stories behind the unbuilt or unfinished subway lines, shedding light on a significant part of New York City's history that has been almost completely ignored until now.
Home to one of the world's largest subway systems, New York City made constant efforts to expand its underground labyrinth, efforts that were often met with unexpected obstacles: financial shortfalls, clashing agendas of mayors and borough presidents, battles with local community groups, and much more. After discovering a copy of the 1929 subway expansion map, author Joseph Raskin began his own investigation into the city's underbelly. Using research from libraries, historical societies, and transit agencies throughout the New York metropolitan area, Raskin provides a fascinating history of the Big Apple's unfinished business that until now has been only tantalizing stories retold by public-transit experts.
The Routes Not Taken sheds light on the tunnels and stations that were completed for lines that were never fulfilled: the efforts to expand the Hudson tubes into a fullfledged subway; the Flushing line, and why it never made it past Flushing; a platform underneath Brooklyn's Nevins Street station that has remained unused for more than a century; and the 2nd Avenue line long the symbol of dashed dreams deferred countless times since the original plans were presented in 1929. Raskin also reveals the figures and personalities involved, including why Fiorello LaGuardia could not grasp the importance of subway lines and why Robert Moses found them to be old and boring. By focusing on the unbuilt lines, Raskin illustrates how the existing subway system is actually a Herculean feat of countless political compromises.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book


















[book] Life, Animated
A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism
by Ron Suskind
April 2014
Imagine being trapped inside a Disney movie and having to learn about life mostly from animated characters dancing across a screen of color. A fantasy? A nightmare? This is the real-life story of Owen Suskind, the son of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind and his wife, Cornelia. He is now 23. An autistic boy who couldn't speak for years, Owen memorized dozens of Disney movies, turned them into a language to express love and loss, kinship, brotherhood.
The family was forced to become animated characters, communicating with him in Disney dialogue and song; until they all emerge, together, revealing how, in darkness, we all literally need stories to survive

Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book


















[book] THE AUSCHWITZ ESCAPE
A NOVEL
BY JOEL C. ROSENBERG
April 2014
Tyndale
I rarely add Rosenberg's Middle East related novels to this site since they are published by Tyndale and they target an evangelical Christian audience. But since Rosenberg appeared in April 2014 at Manhattan's Lincoln Square synagogue with Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and David Nekrutman (seriously... Nekrutman.. you lead a Jewish Christian understanding group and you did not know the story of the Hugeunot French town of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon ??) on Evangelical Zionism (see the video here: http://new.livestream.com/myeventlive/ots4114 ) I added the book
Rosenberg is a graduate of Syracuse, moved to Israel from Washington DC and identifies as a Evangelical Christian. He is the author of The Last Jihad, The Ezekiel Option, and many other best selling novels. You have probably seen him on Fox or the 700 Club
Here is Rosenberg's newest novel:
PW writes: The strong religious conviction evident in Rosenberg’s previous novels (Damascus Countdown), which were focused on the Middle East and Muslim-Western relations, is reflected in his latest book, [The Auschwitz Escape,] a work of historical fiction, about a heroic escape from the Nazis. Luc, a French pastor, who is sentenced to the Auschwitz death camp for helping Jews, joins forces with Jacob, a Jewish man sent to the camp after his attempt to hijack a train bound for Auschwitz fails. Together they plan to escape to tell an unbelieving world about the Holocaust. During the escape, the two form a strong bond, learning about each other’s faith and doubts. When Jacob questions why Luc has joined the Resistance, the pastor responds, “The real question is ‘Why aren’t all the Christians here?’”
Rosenberg has done what he does best: create believable characters set in a political milieu and also in religious context, acting on conviction or exploiting religion for selfish or evil ends. This is Rosenberg’s most deeply moving work to date.
The impetus of the novel was when Rosenberg visited Auschwitz and learned of 800 attempts to escape the death camp and four were successful. He wanted to write a novel of horror and drama based on a true escape, to draw in a Christian reader that was rooted in the reality of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon.
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[book] HIDDEN
A Child's Story of the Holocaust
by Loic Dauvillier and Greg Salsedo
Illustrated by Marc Lizano
April 2014
First Second
Ages 6 - 10
In this gentle, poetic young graphic novel, Dounia, a grandmother, tells her granddaughter the story even her son has never heard: how, as a young Jewish girl in Paris, she was hidden away from the Nazis by a series of neighbors and friends who risked their lives to keep her alive when her parents had been taken to concentration camps.
Hidden ends on a tender note, with Dounia and her mother rediscovering each other as World War II  ends . . . and a young girl in present-day France becoming closer to her grandmother, who can finally, after all those years, tell her story. With words by Loïc Dauvillier and art by Marc Lizano and Greg Salsedo, this picture book-style comic for young readers is a touching read.
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[book] Hidden Like Anne Frank
14 True Stories of Survival
by Marcel Prins, Peter Henk Steenhuis
Translated by Laura Watkinson
April 2014
Arthur A. Levine Books
Ages 12 and Up
Fourteen unforgettable true stories of children hidden away during World War II
Jaap Sitters was only eight years old when his mother cut the yellow stars off his clothes and sent him, alone, on a fifteen-mile walk to hide with relatives. It was a terrifying night, one he would never forget. Before the end of the war, Jaap would hide in secret rooms and behind walls. He would suffer from hunger, sickness, and the looming threat of Nazi raids. But he would live.
This is just one of the incredible stories told in HIDDEN LIKE ANNE FRANK, a collection of eye-opening first-person accounts that share what it was like to go into hiding during World War II. Some children were only three or four years old when they were hidden; some were teenagers. Some hid with neighbors or family, while many were with complete strangers. But all know the pain of losing their homes, their families, even their own names. They describe the secret network of brave people who kept them safe. And they share the coincidences and close escapes that made all the difference.
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[book] FAMILY LIFE
A NOVEL
BY AKHIL SHARMA
April 2014
WW Norton
Hailed as a "supreme storyteller" (Philadelphia Inquirer) for his "cunning, dismaying and beautifully conceived" fiction (New York Times), Akhil Sharma is possessed of a narrative voice "as hypnotic as those found in the pages of Dostoyevsky" (The Nation). In his highly anticipated second novel, Family Life, he delivers a story of astonishing intensity and emotional precision.
We meet the Mishra family in Delhi in 1978, where eight-year-old Ajay and his older brother Birju play cricket in the streets, waiting for the day when their plane tickets will arrive and they and their mother can fly across the world and join their father in America.
America to the Mishras is, indeed, everything they could have imagined and more: when automatic glass doors open before them, they feel that surely they must have been mistaken for somebody important. Pressing an elevator button and the elevator closing its doors and rising, they have a feeling of power at the fact that the elevator is obeying them. Life is extraordinary until tragedy strikes, leaving one brother severely brain-damaged (his mother says he is in a coma; she doesnt want to admit that his brain is damaged) and the other lost and virtually orphaned by his parents in a strange land. Ajay – the younger son - is ignored by the family, and craves a tiny bit of attention; but the sadness and desire to just die devastates the family. Ajay prays to a God he envisions as Superman, longing to find his place amid the ruins of his family’s new life. (In Honors classes, the son interacts better with the Jewish students at school and avoids the Indian and Chinese ones)
Heart-wrenching and darkly funny, Family Life is a universal story of a boy torn between duty and his own survival..
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[book] The Pat Boone Fan Club
My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew
(American Lives)
by Sue William Silverman
(Vermont College of Fine Art)
April 2014
Nebraska
Gentile reader, and you, Jews, come too. Follow Sue William Silverman, a one-woman cultural mash-up, on her exploration of identity among the mishmash of American idols and ideals that confuse most of us—or should. Pat Boone is our first stop. Now a Tea Party darling, Boone once shone as a squeaky-clean pop music icon of normality, an antidote for Silverman’s own confusing and dangerous home, where being a Jew in a Christian school wasn’t easy, and being the daughter of the Anti-Boone was unspeakable. And yet somehow Silverman found her way, a “gefilte fish swimming upstream,” and found her voice, which in this searching, bracing, hilarious, and moving book tries to make sense of that most troubling American condition: belonging, but to what?
Picking apricots on a kibbutz, tramping cross-country in a loathed Volkswagen camper, appearing in a made-for-television version of her own life: Silverman is a bobby-soxer, a baby boomer, a hippy, a lefty, and a rebel with something to say to those of us—most of us—still wondering what to make of ourselves.
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[book] [book] [book] DAUGHTER OF THE KING
GROWING UP IN GANGLAND
BY THE DAUGHTER OF MEYER LANSKY
BY SANDRA LANSKY
With William Stadtiem
Foreword by Nicholas Pileggi
April 2014
Weinstein
First, let me say that I dislike restaurant owners who glorify Siegel and Lansky with Lansky’s Lounge and Bugsy’s. Yes, they were business men and parents and gave to charity, but they also were murderers and sociopaths. And they should not be made heroes. In The Godfather II by Mario Puzo, the Lansky character is “Hyman Roth” – played by Lee Strasberg. He is a kindly nice old man at home in Florida with his daughter, returning from Israel, trying to escape U.S. laws. But that was fiction.
Nick Pilegi knew Sandi Lansky for about two decades; she had zero interest in writing a book on her father, Mayer Lansky. She, and her current husband, Vince Lombardo, loved Meyer Lansky and had no interest in telling tales. As a young police reporter, Nick used to see Meyer Lansky at dinner with Vincent “Jimmy Blue Eyes” Alo at Frankie and Johnny’s Steakhouse in midtown Manhattan (he had brown eyes). Nick wanted to know how a skinny kid from Grodno Poland came to America and became a casino genius and a top leader of organized crime. So he kept pushing for Sandi to write a book. Here it is:
In the memoir, the only daughter of the man who was considered the “brains of the Mob” opens the door on her glamorous—and tragic—life. Sandi Lansky Lombardo, daughter of Mob boss Meyer Lansky, was raised in New York City in upper-class Jewish splendor and spent her childhood in the undeniable glitz of Havana and Las Vegas in Lansky’s heyday in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s. (Although her grandparents and parents were Jewish, she tells that she was raised with little of anything Jewish, and her mother focused on Christian Science in a gambit to cure the first son of spina bifida) (and in order to try to cure Buddy, Meyer was tight and catholic’ish with the priest who later became the archbishop of Boston).
Sandy dined out with her father and his associates at places like Diny Moore’s when she was six years old, and she was introduced to Frank Sinatra (who spilled a drink on her) when she was eleven. When the men needed to talk business, she went to the hatcheck girl to help out. She knew (Uncle) Bugsy Siegel and Uncle Lucky Luciano and met Howard Hughes and Joseph Kennedy (another bootlegger who was seen as a member of society and not a criminal).
She was the Paris Hilton of her day: partying till dawn at El Morocco and the Stork Club (mob controlled), married at sixteen (he was gay, marriage did not last long), and romanced by Dean Martin at nineteen. She was pampered and protected, but her life was also full of tragedy: her mother was mentally ill and her eldest brother (Buddy) severely handicapped, and Mob violence repeatedly invaded the world of their friends and family. Also, Meyer Lansky kept matters and emotions private, so who knew how he really felt. For example, he couldn’t save “Uncle Benny (Bugsy Siegel)” from being murdered. Lansky profited from the turnaround of the Flamingo, and Benny was closer to him than a real brother, but some things even Lansky could not control. Or.. to his daughter, Meyer Lansky was daddy and so nice and doting. But once when color blind Dan almost got them all killed at a railroad crossing (red or green light?), she saw his mob-anger and vocabulary as she never did before.
Sandy’s other brother, Paul, was sent to NY Military Academy, and went on to USMA at West Point and VietNam and NASA. All the top monsters sent their sons to NYMA; John Gotti, Donald Trump, and other famous made men went there as well. In Daughter of the King, Sandi recounts for the first time the grandeur—and heartbreak—in her life as the daughter of one of the most powerful mobsters in America. Sandi takes readers back in time to tell the story of her life—one lived in a glamorous but troubled world where nothing ever turned out to be quite as it seemed.
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[book] I PITY THE POOR IMMIGRANT
A NOVEL
BY ZACHARY LAZAR
April 2014
Little, Brown
The stunning new novel by the author of Sway is another "brilliant portrayal of life as a legend" (Margot Livesey).
In 1972, the American gangster Meyer Lansky petitions the Israeli government for citizenship. His request is denied, and he is returned to the U.S. to stand trial. He leaves behind a mistress in Tel Aviv, a Holocaust survivor named Gila Konig.
In 2009, American journalist Hannah Groff travels to Israel to investigate the killing of an Israeli writer. She soon finds herself inside a web of violence that takes in the American and Israeli Mafias, the Biblical figure of King David, and the modern state of Israel. As she connects the dots between the murdered writer, Lansky, Gila, and her own father, Hannah becomes increasingly obsessed with the dark side of her heritage. Part crime story, part spiritual quest, I Pity the Poor Immigrant is also a novelistic consideration of Jewish identity.
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[book] The War within These Walls
by Aline Sax
Illustrated by Caryl Strzelecki
Eerdman
It's World War II, and Misha's family, like the rest of the Jews living in Warsaw, has been moved by the Nazis into a single crowded ghetto. Conditions are appalling: every day more people die from disease, starvation, and deportations. Misha does his best to help his family survive, even crawling through the sewers to smuggle food. When conditions worsen, Misha joins a handful of other Jews who decide to make a final, desperate stand against the Nazis.
Heavily illustrated with sober blue-and-white drawings, this powerful novel dramatically captures the brutal reality of a tragic historical event.
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[book] DON’T EVER LOOK BACK
A MYSTERY NOVEL
BY DANIEL FREEDMAN, ESQ.
April 2014
Minotaur
DON'T EVER GET OLD was one of mystery-publishing's biggest critical successes last year, earning starred reviews from every major trade publication, garnering nominations for the Edgar, Thriller, and Anthony awards, and winning the Macavity Award for Best First Novel. The producer of four Harry Potter films and the Sherlock Holmes sequel, Lionel Wigram, is set to produce the film version.
In this new novel, set in Memphis, Tennessee, and four months after the events of DON'T EVER GET OLD, eighty-eight-year-old Buck is reluctantly coming to terms with the fact that he can only move around with the aid of a walker, and his dementia seems to be getting worse.
So when one of Buck’s long-time foes, a bank-robber named Elijah, comes to Buck looking for protection from mysterious pursuers, Buck wavers. In the end, his desire to cement his legacy by closing out a series of long-unsolved robberies overwhelms his usual antipathy toward doing favors for people he dislikes. Buck agrees to broker Elijah's surrender to the authorities, if Elijah will promise to confess to his long-ago crimes.
But nothing involving Elijah, or Buck, is ever simple, and Elijah's plans for Buck are more sinister than they first appeared.
Written in Buck's signature voice and featuring a mystery that will knock your socks off, DON'T EVER LOOK BACK takes a decades-old feud between two dangerous—and now elderly—men and brings it to a final, explosive conclusion.
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[book] Things a Little Bird Told Me
Confessions of the Creative Mind
by Biz Stone
April 1, 2014
Grand Central
I can be snarky or envious. Why is the publication date April Fool’s Day? Why would a guy who dropped out of school to be a book cover designer for Little brown in Boston have this as a cover? If the adult neighbor really built the alarm mat, wy does Biz still think that he made it himself as a kid? Why would you move to SF and live in a 6 floor walk down and not think it possible to break a lease?
Nevertheless why be snarky. Enjoy the ride. The stories are great and enlightening. If I was ever able to interview at Google, I would use Biz Stone’s style in a heartbeat
Biz Stone is a co-founder of Twitter. IN this memoir he discusses the power of his creativity and how he harnessed his and how you could do the same.
GQ Magazine (does anyone still read it, who?) named him "Nerd of the Year." Biz Stone represents different things to different people. But he is known to all as the creative, effervescent, funny, charmingly positive and remarkably savvy co-founder of Twitter. Now, Biz tells fascinating, pivotal, and personal stories from his early life and his careers at Google, Odeo and Twitter, sharing his knowledge about the nature and importance of ingenuity today. In Biz's world:

-Opportunity can be manufactured
-Great work comes from abandoning a linear way of thinking
-Creativity never runs out
-Asking questions is free
-Empathy is core to personal and global success

In this book, Biz also addresses failure, the value of vulnerability, ambition, and corporate culture. Whether seeking behind-the-scenes stories, advice, or wisdom and principles from one of the most successful businessmen of the new century, THINGS A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME will satisfy every reader.
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[book] OVERWATCH
A MYSTERY NOVEL
BY MARC GuGGENHEIM
April 2014
Little, Brown/Mulholland
A young CIA lawyer uncovers a dangerous worldwide conspiracy, masterminded by forces within the US intelligence community.
Alex Garnett has spent his life in the shadow of his father, a former Chief of Staff and Solicitor General to two presidents who's been responsible for getting Alex every job he ever had, including his latest: attorney for the CIA. However, a seemingly routine litigation leads to a series of unexpected events, including poison, kidnapping, torture and murder. As casualties pile up, it becomes clear Alex is the final target in someone's blood-soaked attempts to cover their tracks.
With the help of a neurotic hacker, Alex unravels a conspiracy older than the CIA itself. The trail of clues reveals the presence of unseen forces that are bringing this nation to the brink of war--and Alex's life is only one of many in danger.
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[book] Lost and Found in Johannesburg
A Memoir
by Mark Gevisser
April 2014
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
An inner life of Johannesburg that turns on the author’s fascination with maps, boundaries, and transgressions
This singular memoir begins with a transgression—the invasion of a private home in Johannesburg. But it is far more than the story of a theft. Lost and Found in Johannesburg is a luminous exploration of place, one in which the author’s and the reader’s assumptions are constantly being tested.
As a child growing up in apartheid South Africa, Mark Gevisser was obsessed with maps—and with Holmden’s Register, Johannesburg’s street guide, in particular. He played a game called Dispatcher with this eccentric guide, transporting himself across the city into places that would otherwise be forbidden to him. It was through Dispatcher that he discovered apartheid by realizing that he could not find an access route to the neighboring township of Alexandra and, later, by realizing that Soweto was not mapped at all. This was the beginning of his lifelong obsession with maps and photographs, and what they tell us about borders and boundaries—how we define ourselves by staying within them or by transgressing them. This memoir is an account of getting lost in one’s hometown, and then finding oneself as a gay Jewish South African who was raised under apartheid and who eventually married a man of a different race as the country moved toward freedom.
Using maps, shards of memory, photographs, and stories, Gevisser constructs a stunning portrait of race and sexuality, heritage and otherness.
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[book] RED APPLE
Communism and McCarthyism in Cold War New York
By Phillip Deery
2014
Fordham University Press
Oxford University Press
Set against a backdrop of mounting anti-communism, Red Apple documents the personal, physical, and mental effects of McCarthyism on six political activists with ties to New York City.
From the late 1940s through the 1950s, McCarthyism disfigured the American political landscape. Under the altar of anticommunism, domestic Cold War crusaders undermined civil liberties, curtailed equality before the law, and tarnished the ideals of American democracy. In order to preserve freedom, they jettisoned some of its tenets. Congressional committees worked in tandem, although not necessarily in collusion, with the FBI, law firms, university administrations, publishing houses, television networks, movie studios, and a legion of government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels to target "subversive" individuals.
Exploring the human consequences of the widespread paranoia that gripped a nation, Red Apple presents the international and domestic context for the experiences of these individuals: the House Un-American Activities Committee, hearings of the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee, resulting in the incarceration of its chairman, Dr. Edward Barsky, and its executive board; the academic freedom cases of two New York University professors, Lyman Bradley and Edwin Burgum, culminating in their dismissal from the university; the blacklisting of the communist writer Howard Fast and his defection from American communism; the visit of an anguished Dimitri Shostakovich to New York in the spring of 1949; and the attempts by O. John Rogge, the Committee's lawyer, to find a "third way" in the quest for peace, which led detractors to question which side he was on.
Examining real-life experiences at the "ground level," Deery explores how these six individuals experienced, responded to, and suffered from one of the most savage assaults on civil liberties in American history. Their collective stories illuminate the personal costs of holding dissident political beliefs in the face of intolerance and moral panic that is as relevant today as it was seventy years ago.
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Joan Bingham, VP of Grove Atlantic and Executive Editor reminds us that the publication of this novel coincides with Holocaust Remembrance Day and the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. It is a lyrical and fierce story of survival, betrayal, memory and enduring love.
[book] THE TRAIN TO WARSAW
A NOVEL
BY GWEN EDELMAN
April 2014
Grove
Jascha and Lilka separately fled from the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942. Reunited years later, they live in London where Jascha has become a celebrated writer, feted for his dark tales about his war adventures. One day, forty years after the war, Jascha receives a letter inviting him to give a reading in Warsaw. He tells Lilka that nothing remains of the city they knew and that wild horses couldn’t drag him back. Nostalgic for the city of her childhood, Lilka prevails; together, traveling by train through a frozen December landscape, they return to the city of their past. When they unwittingly find themselves back in what was once the ghetto, they will discover that they still have secrets between them.
A riveting story of the nature of desire and the cost of survival, The Train to Warsaw is a haunting and unforgettable portrait of a man and a woman who cannot escape their past.
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[book] ELAN, SON OF TWO PEOPLE’S
By Heidi Smith Hyde
2014
Kar-Ben
Ages 5 – 9
"Always remember you are the son of two proud nations," Elan' s parents tell him when he turns 13. After celebrating his Bar Mitzvah in San Francisco, Elan, with his Jewish father and Native American mother, travels to New Mexico, where he takes part in a Pueblo manhood ceremony. Based on a true story.
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[book] THE PATCHWORK TORAH
By Allison Ofanansky
2014
Kar-Ben
Ages 4 – 8
Fragments of damaged and rescued Torahs from several periods of history are woven together in this touching tale of four generations of a Torah scribe and his family.
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[book] SHABBAT IS COMING
BY TRACY NEWMAN
Illustrated by Viviana Garofoli
2014
Kar-Ben
Friday' s here. Jump and cheer. Shabbat is coming. A family and its pet puppy eagerly prepare for Shabbat.
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[book] 50 Children
One Ordinary American Couple's Extraordinary
Rescue Mission into the Heart of Nazi Germany
by Steven Pressman
April 2014
HarperCollins
Based on the acclaimed HBO documentary, the astonishing true story of how one American couple transported fifty Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Austria to America in 1939—the single largest group of unaccompanied refugee children allowed into the United States—for readers of In the Garden of Beasts and A Train in Winter.
In early 1939, America's rigid immigration laws made it virtually impossible for European Jews to seek safe haven in the United States. As deep-seated anti-Semitism and isolationism gripped much of the country, neither President Roosevelt nor Congress rallied to their aid.
Yet one brave Jewish couple from Philadelphia refused to silently stand by. Risking their own safety, Gilbert Kraus, a successful lawyer, and his stylish wife, Eleanor, traveled to Nazi-controlled Vienna and Berlin to save fifty Jewish children. Steven Pressman brought the Kraus's rescue mission to life in his acclaimed HBO documentary, 50 Children. In this book, he expands upon the story related in the hour-long film, offering additional historical detail and context to offer a rich, full portrait of this ordinary couple and their extraordinary actions.
Drawing from Eleanor Kraus's unpublished memoir, rare historical documents, and interviews with more than a dozen of the surviving children, and illustrated with period photographs, archival materials, and memorabilia, 50 Children is a remarkable tale of personal courage and triumphant heroism that offers a fresh, unique insight into a critical period of history.
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[book] The Marrying of Chani Kaufman
by Eve Harris
April 2014
Grove Press
Perhaps the most surprising and intriguing novel on the Man Booker Prize longlist, The Marrying of Chani Kaufman is a debut originally published by a small independent Scottish press that is already garnering significant attention worldwide.
London, 2008. Chani Kaufman is a nineteen-year-old woman, betrothed to Baruch Levy, a young man whom she has seen only four times before their wedding day. The novel begins with Chani standing “like a pillar of salt,” wearing a wedding dress that has been passed between members of her family and has the yellowed underarms and rows of alteration stitches to prove it. All of the cups of cold coffee and small talk with men referred to Chani’s parents have led up to this moment. But the happiness Chani and Baruch feel is more than counterbalanced by their anxiety: about the realities of married life; about whether they will be able to have fewer children than Chani’s mother, who has eight daughters; and, most frighteningly, about the unknown, unspeakable secrets of the wedding night. As the book moves back to tell the story of Chani and Baruch’s unusual courtship, it throws into focus a very different couple: Rabbi Chaim Zilberman and his wife, Rebbetzin Rivka Zilberman. As Chani and Baruch prepare for a shared lifetime, Chaim and Rivka struggle to keep their marriage alive—and all four, together with the rest of the community, face difficult decisions about the place of faith and family life in the contemporary.
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Who Shall Live, Who Shall Die, and Whom Shall I Say Is Calling
[book] Leonard Cohen on Leonard Cohen
Interviews and Encounters
by Jeff Burger
April 2014
Chicago Review Press
Leonard Cohen, one of the most admired performers of the last half century, has had a stranger-than-fiction, roller-coaster ride of a life. Now, for the first time, he tells his story in his own words, via more than 50 interviews conducted worldwide between 1966 and 2012.
In Leonard Cohen on Leonard Cohen--which includes a foreword by singer Suzanne Vega and eight pages of rarely seen photos--the artist talks about "Bird on the Wire," "Hallelujah," and his other classic songs. He candidly discusses his famous romances, his years in a Zen monastery, his ill-fated collaboration with producer Phil Spector, his long battle with depression, and much more.
You'll find interviews that first appeared in the New York Times and Rolling Stone, but also material that has not previously been printed in English. Some of it has not been available until now in any format, including many illuminating reminiscences that contributors supplied specifically for this definitive anthology.
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[book] Living with a Wild God
A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything
by Barbara Ehrenreich
April 2014
Twelve
In middle age, Ehrenreich came across the journal she had kept during her tumultuous adolescence and set out to reconstruct that quest, which had taken her to the study of science and through a cataclysmic series of uncanny-or as she later learned to call them, "mystical"-experiences. A staunch atheist and rationalist, she is profoundly shaken by the implications of her life-long search.
Part memoir, part philosophical and spiritual inquiry, LIVING WITH A WILD GOD brings an older woman's wry and erudite perspective to a young girl's uninhibited musings on the questions that, at one point or another, torment us all. Ehrenreich's most personal book ever will spark a lively and heated conversation about religion and spirituality, science and morality, and the "meaning of life."
Certain to be a classic, LIVING WITH A WILD GOD combines intellectual rigor with a frank account of the inexplicable, in Ehrenreich's singular voice, to produce a true literary
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[book] The Myth of the Strong Leader
Political Leadership in the Modern Age
by Archie Brown (Oxford University)
April 2014
Basic
All too frequently, leadership is reduced to a simple dichotomy: the strong versus the weak. Yet, there are myriad ways to exercise effective political leadership—as well as different ways to fail. We blame our leaders for economic downfalls and praise them for vital social reforms, but rarely do we question what makes some leaders successful while others falter. In this magisterial and wide-ranging survey of political leadership over the past hundred years, renowned Oxford politics professor Archie Brown challenges the widespread belief that strong leaders – meaning those who dominate their colleagues and the policy-making process – are the most successful and admirable.
In reality, only a minority of political leaders will truly make a lasting difference. Though we tend to dismiss more collegial styles of leadership as weak, it is often the most cooperative leaders who have the greatest impact. Drawing on extensive research and decades of political analysis and experience, Brown illuminates the achievements, failures and foibles of a broad array of twentieth century politicians. Whether speaking of redefining leaders like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and Margaret Thatcher, who expanded the limits of what was politically possible during their time in power, or the even rarer transformational leaders who played a decisive role in bringing about systemic change – Charles de Gaulle, Mikhail Gorbachev and Nelson Mandela, among them – Brown challenges our commonly held beliefs about political efficacy and strength.
Overturning many of our assumptions about the twentieth century’s most important figures, Brown’s conclusions are both original and enlightening. The Myth of the Strong Leader compels us to reassess the leaders who have shaped our world – and to reconsider how we should choose and evaluate those who will lead us into the future. Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book


















[book] The Knowledge
How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch
By Lewis Dartnell, PhD (UK Space Agency; Leicester)
April 2014
Penguin Press
The book I have longed for for two decades.
What if the world as we know it nearly ends and you or I are left alive.
How would we survive? What is the knowledge we need? Infrastructures will not be maintained, oil won’t be refined, coasts will flood, videogames will not work.
Should you stay in cities? No. The rotting corpses will spread disease and buildings will crumble. It is best to be in suburban areas where you have space and can grow food. After a year of more, you can return to cities to forage for materials.
For postapocalyptic survivors, what crucial knowledge would they need to survive in the immediate aftermath and to rebuild civilization as quickly as possible—a guide for rebooting the world? Human knowledge is collective, distributed across the population. It has built on itself for centuries, becoming vast and increasingly specialized. Most of us are ignorant about the fundamental principles of the civilization that supports us, happily utilizing the latest—or even the most basic—technology without having the slightest idea of why it works or how it came to be. If you had to go back to absolute basics, like some sort of postcataclysmic Robinson Crusoe, would you know how to re-create an internal combustion engine, put together a microscope, get metals out of rock, accurately tell time, weave fibers into clothing, or even how to produce food for yourself?
Regarded as one of the brightest young scientists of his generation, Lewis Dartnell proposes that the key to preserving civilization in an apocalyptic scenario is to provide a quickstart guide, adapted to cataclysmic circumstances. The Knowledge describes many of the modern technologies we employ, but first it explains the fundamentals upon which they are built. Every piece of technology rests on an enormous support network of other technologies, all interlinked and mutually dependent. You can’t hope to build a radio, for example, without understanding how to acquire the raw materials it requires, as well as generate the electricity needed to run it. But Dartnell doesn’t just provide specific information for starting over; he also reveals the greatest invention of them all—the phenomenal knowledge-generating machine that is the scientific method itself. This would allow survivors to learn technological advances not explicitly explored in The Knowledge as well as things we have yet to discover. The Knowledge is a brilliantly original guide to the fundamentals of science and how it built our modern world as well as a thought experiment about the very idea of scientific knowledge itself. Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book












[book] My Paris Kitchen
Recipes and Stories
by David Lebovitz
April 2014
Ten Speed Press
A collection of stories and 100 sweet and savory French-inspired recipes from Chez Panisse pastry chef and popular food blogger and nice Jewish boy, David Lebovitz, reflecting the way modern Parisians eat today and featuring lush photography taken around Paris and in David's Parisian kitchen. He was at Chez Panisse for 13 years.
This is cuisine due Marche (market cuisine)
French cooking has come a long way since the days of Escoffier. The culinary culture of France has changed and the current generation of French cooks, most notably in Paris, are incorporating ingredients and techniques from around the world. In My Paris Kitchen, David Lebovitz re-masters the French classics, introduces lesser known French fare, and presents 100 recipes using ingredients foraged in the ethnic neighborhoods of Paris. Stories told in David's trademark style describe the quirks, trials, and joys of cooking, shopping, and eating in France, while food and location photographs reveal modern life in Paris.
Recipes include sriracha spiced meatballs, onion tart, duck terrine with figs, tabbouleh, Egyptian spiced nut mix, eggplant caviar, chicken with mustard, the no-mess counterfeit confit of duck, salted butter caramel sauce over chocolate cake, orange glaze over bay leaf pound cake, cassoulet, and more
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[book] Exit Berlin
How One Woman Saved Her Family from Nazi Germany
by Charlotte Bonelli
Translated by Natascha Bodemann
April 2014
Yale University Press
Just a week after the Kristallnacht terror in 1938, young Luzie Hatch, a German Jew, fled Berlin to resettle in New York. Her rescuer was an American-born cousin and industrialist, Arnold Hatch. Arnold spoke no German, so Luzie quickly became translator, intermediary, and advocate for family left behind. Soon an unending stream of desperate requests from German relatives made their way to Arnold’s desk.
Luzie Hatch had faithfully preserved her letters both to and from far-flung relatives during the World War II era as well as copies of letters written on their behalf. This extraordinary collection, now housed at the American Jewish Committee Archives, serves as the framework for Exit Berlin. Charlotte R. Bonelli offers a vantage point rich with historical context, from biographical information about the correspondents to background on U.S. immigration laws, conditions at the Vichy internment camps, refuge in Shanghai, and many other topics, thus transforming the letters into a riveting narrative.
Arnold’s letters reveal an unfamiliar side of Holocaust history. His are the responses of an “average” American Jew, struggling to keep his own business afloat while also assisting dozens of relatives trapped abroad—most of whom he had never met and whose deathly situation he could not fully comprehend. This book contributes importantly to historical understanding while also uncovering the dramatic story of one besieged family confronting unimaginable evil..
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[book] A World Without Jews
by Alon Confino (Virginia, Ben Gurion Univ)
April 2014
Yale University Press
Click to read an excerpt
Why exactly did the Nazis burn the Hebrew Bible everywhere in Germany on November 9, 1938? The perplexing event has not been adequately accounted for by historians in their large-scale assessments of how and why the Holocaust occurred. In this gripping new analysis, Alon Confino draws on an array of archives across three continents to propose a penetrating new assessment of one of the central moral problems of the twentieth century. To a surprising extent, Confino demonstrates, the mass murder of Jews during the war years was powerfully anticipated in the culture of the prewar years.
The author shifts his focus away from the debates over what the Germans did or did not know about the Holocaust and explores instead how Germans came to conceive of the idea of a Germany without Jews. He traces the stories the Nazis told themselves—where they came from and where they were heading—and how those stories led to the conclusion that Jews must be eradicated in order for the new Nazi civilization to arise. The creation of this new empire required that Jews and Judaism be erased from Christian history, and this was the inspiration—and justification—for Kristallnacht. As Germans imagined a future world without Jews, persecution and extermination became imaginable, and even justifiable.
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SEA PEOPLES? Sea peoples should also be read as Philistines of the coastal area perhaps?
[book] 1177 B.C.
The Year Civilization Collapsed
(Turning Points in Ancient History)
by Eric H. Cline (GWU)
April 2014
Princeton University
In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh's army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the late second millennium B.C., which had stretched from Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia, suddenly ceased to exist, along with writing systems, technology, and monumental architecture. But the Sea Peoples alone could not have caused such widespread breakdown. How did it happen?
In this major new account of the causes of this "First Dark Ages," Eric Cline tells the gripping story of how the end was brought about by multiple interconnected failures, ranging from invasion and revolt to earthquakes, drought, and the cutting of international trade routes. Bringing to life the vibrant multicultural world of these great civilizations, he draws a sweeping panorama of the empires and globalized peoples of the Late Bronze Age and shows that it was their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse and ushered in a dark age that lasted centuries.
A compelling combination of narrative and the latest scholarship, 1177 B.C. sheds new light on the complex ties that gave rise to, and ultimately destroyed, the flourishing civilizations of the Late Bronze Age--and that set the stage for the emergence of classical Greece.
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[book] The Golden Age Shtetl
A New History of Jewish Life in East Europe
by Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern (Northwestern University)
April 2014
Princeton University
The shtetl was home to two-thirds of East Europe's Jews in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, yet it has long been one of the most neglected and misunderstood chapters of the Jewish experience. This book provides the first grassroots social, economic, and cultural history of the shtetl. Challenging popular misconceptions of the shtetl as an isolated, ramshackle Jewish village stricken by poverty and pogroms, Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern argues that, in its heyday from the 1790s to the 1840s, the shtetl was a thriving Jewish community as vibrant as any in Europe.
Petrovsky-Shtern brings this golden age to life, looking at dozens of shtetls and drawing on a wealth of never-before-used archival material. The shtetl, in essence, was a Polish private town belonging to a Catholic magnate, administratively run by the tsarist empire, yet economically driven by Jews. Petrovsky-Shtern shows how its success hinged on its unique position in this triangle of power--as did its ultimate suppression. He reconstructs the rich social tapestry of these market towns, showing how Russian clerks put the shtetl on the empire's map, and chronicling how shtetl Jews traded widely, importing commodities from France, Austria, Prussia, and even the Ottoman Empire. Petrovsky-Shtern describes family life; dwellings, trading stalls, and taverns; books and religious life; and the bustling marketplace with its Polish gentry, Ukrainian peasants, and Russian policemen.
Illustrated throughout with rare archival photographs and artwork, this nuanced history casts the shtetl in an altogether new light, revealing how its golden age continues to shape the collective memory of the Jewish people today.
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[book] EVERYDAY CALCULUS
DISCOVERING THE HIDDEN MATH ALL AROUND US
BY OSCAR E. FERNANDEZ (Wellesley))
April 2014
Princeton University Press
Calculus. For some of us, the word conjures up memories of ten-pound textbooks and visions of tedious abstract equations. And yet, in reality, calculus is fun, accessible, and surrounds us everywhere we go. In Everyday Calculus, Oscar Fernandez shows us how to see the math in our coffee, on the highway, and even in the night sky.
Fernandez uses our everyday experiences to skillfully reveal the hidden calculus behind a typical day's events. He guides us through how math naturally emerges from simple observations--how hot coffee cools down, for example--and in discussions of over fifty familiar events and activities. Fernandez demonstrates that calculus can be used to explore practically any aspect of our lives, including the most effective number of hours to sleep and the fastest route to get to work. He also shows that calculus can be both useful--determining which seat at the theater leads to the best viewing experience, for instance--and fascinating--exploring topics such as time travel and the age of the universe. Throughout, Fernandez presents straightforward concepts, and no prior mathematical knowledge is required. For advanced math fans, the mathematical derivations are included in the appendixes.
Whether you're new to mathematics or already a curious math enthusiast, Everyday Calculus invites you to spend a day discovering the calculus all around you. The book will convince even die-hard skeptics to view this area of math in a whole new way.
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[book] Enlightening Symbols:
A Short History of Mathematical Notation
and Its Hidden Powers
By Joseph Mazur
Spring 2014
Princeton University Press
Plus, Minus, Divided by, Square Root..
While all of us regularly use basic math symbols such as those for plus, minus, and equals, few of us know that many of these symbols weren't available before the sixteenth century. What did mathematicians rely on for their work before then? And how did mathematical notations evolve into what we know today? In Enlightening Symbols, popular math writer Joseph Mazur explains the fascinating history behind the development of our mathematical notation system. He shows how symbols were used initially, how one symbol replaced another over time, and how written math was conveyed before and after symbols became widely adopted.
Traversing mathematical history and the foundations of numerals in different cultures, Mazur looks at how historians have disagreed over the origins of the numerical system for the past two centuries. He follows the transfigurations of algebra from a rhetorical style to a symbolic one, demonstrating that most algebra before the sixteenth century was written in prose or in verse employing the written names of numerals. Mazur also investigates the subconscious and psychological effects that mathematical symbols have had on mathematical thought, moods, meaning, communication, and comprehension. He considers how these symbols influence us (through similarity, association, identity, resemblance, and repeated imagery), how they lead to new ideas by subconscious associations, how they make connections between experience and the unknown, and how they contribute to the communication of basic mathematics.
From words to abbreviations to symbols, this book shows how math evolved to the familiar forms we use today..
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[book] MATH BYTES
Google Bombs, Chocolate-covered Pi
And Other Cool Bits of Computing
By Tim Chartier (Davidson)
April 2014
Princeton University Press
This book provides a fun, hands-on approach to learning how mathematics and computing relate to the world around us and help us to better understand it. How can reposting on Twitter kill a movie's opening weekend? How can you use mathematics to find your celebrity look-alike? What is Homer Simpson's method for disproving Fermat's Last Theorem? Each topic in this refreshingly inviting book illustrates a famous mathematical algorithm or result--such as Google's PageRank and the traveling salesman problem--and the applications grow more challenging as you progress through the chapters. But don't worry, helpful solutions are provided each step of the way.
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[book] Outside the Box
Interviews with Contemporary Cartoonists
by Hillary L. Chute
April 2014
University of Chicago Press
We are living in a golden age of cartoon art. Never before has graphic storytelling been so prominent or garnered such respect: critics and readers alike agree that contemporary cartoonists are creating some of the most innovative and exciting work in all the arts.
For nearly a decade Hillary L. Chute has been sitting down for extensive interviews with the leading figures in comics, and with Outside the Box she offers fans a chance to share her ringside seat. Chute’s in-depth discussions with twelve of the most prominent and accomplished artists and writers in comics today reveal a creative community that is richly interconnected yet fiercely independent, its members sharing many interests and approaches while working with wildly different styles and themes. Chute’s subjects run the gamut of contemporary comics practice, from underground pioneers like Art Spiegelman and Lynda Barry, to the analytic work of Scott McCloud, the journalism of Joe Sacco, and the extended narratives of Alison Bechdel, Charles Burns, and more. They reflect on their experience and innovations, the influence of peers and mentors, the reception of their art and the growth of critical attention, and the crucial place of print amid the encroachment of the digital age.
Beautifully illustrated in full-color, and featuring three never-before-published interviews—including the first public conversation between Art Spiegelman and Chris Ware—Outside the Box will be a landmark volume, a close-up account of the rise of graphic storytelling and a testament to its vibrant creativity.
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[book] IN PARADISE
A NOVEL
BY PETER MATTHIESSEN
April 2014
Riverhead Books
From the author of 30 books and National Book Award winner, Peter Matthiessen comes a profoundly searching new novel by a writer of incomparable range, power, and achievement.
Broken Brained... broken hearted. Is there a potential for evil in all people?
In the winter of 1996, more than a hundred women and men of diverse nationality, background, and belief gather at the site of a former concentration camp for an unprecedented purpose: a weeklong retreat during which they will offer prayer and witness at the crematoria and meditate in all weathers on the selection platform, while eating and sleeping in the quarters of the Nazi officers who, half a century before, sent more than a million Jews to their deaths. Clements Olin, an American academic of Polish descent, has come along, ostensibly to complete research on the death of a survivor, even as he questions what a non-Jew can contribute to the understanding of so monstrous a catastrophe. As the days pass, tensions, both political and personal, surface among the participants, stripping away any easy pretense to healing or closure. Finding himself in the grip of emotions and impulses of bewildering intensity, Olin is forced to abandon his observer’s role and to embrace a history his family has long suppressed—and with it the yearnings and contradictions of being fully alive.
In Paradise is a brave and deeply thought-provoking novel by one of our most stunningly accomplished writers.Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book









[book] WHY THE GERMANS?
WHY THE JEWS?
ENVY, RACE HATRED, AND
THE PREHISTORY OF THE HOLOCAUST
BY GOTZ ALY
April 2014
Henry Holt Books
A provocative and insightful analysis that sheds new light on one of the most puzzling and historically unsettling conundrums
Why the Germans? Why the Jews? Countless historians have grappled with these questions, but few have come up with answers as original and insightful as those of maverick German historian Götz Aly. Tracing the prehistory of the Holocaust from the 1800s to the Nazis’ assumption of power in 1933, Aly shows that German anti-Semitism was—to a previously overlooked extent—driven in large part by material concerns, not racist ideology or religious animosity. As Germany made its way through the upheaval of the Industrial Revolution, the difficulties of the lethargic, economically backward German majority stood in marked contrast to the social and economic success of the agile Jewish minority. This success aroused envy and fear among the Gentile population, creating fertile ground for murderous Nazi politics.
In 1858, just fifty years after being emancipated from ghettos, Jews were 1% of the population and 50% of the middle class and 15% of the upper class. Social envy was strong against the Jews, and it was fertile ground for Hitler.
Surprisingly, and controversially, Aly shows that the roots of the Holocaust are deeply intertwined with German efforts to create greater social equality. Redistributing wealth from the well-off to the less fortunate was in many respects a laudable goal, particularly at a time when many lived in poverty. But as the notion of material equality took over the public imagination, the skilled, well-educated Jewish population came to be seen as having more than its fair share. Aly’s account of this fatal social dynamic opens up a new vantage point on the greatest crime in history and is sure to prompt heated debate for years to come.
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[book] How Could This Happen
Explaining the Holocaust
by Dan McMillan
April 2014
Basic Books
The Holocaust has long seemed incomprehensible, a monumental crime that beggars our powers of description and explanation. Historians have probed the many sources of this tragedy, but no account has united the various causes into an overarching synthesis that answers the vital question: How was such a nightmare possible in the heart of western civilization?
In How Could This Happen, historian Dan McMillan distills the vast body of Holocaust research into a cogent explanation and comprehensive analysis of the genocide’s many causes, revealing how a once-progressive society like Germany could have carried out this crime. The Holocaust, he explains, was caused not by one but by a combination of factors—from Germany’s failure to become a democracy until 1918, to the widespread acceptance of anti-Semitism and scientific racism, to the effects of World War I, which intensified political divisions within the country and drastically lowered the value of human life in the minds of an entire generation. Masterfully synthesizing the myriad causes that led Germany to disaster, McMillan shows why thousands of Germans carried out the genocide while millions watched, with cold indifference, as it enveloped their homeland.
Persuasive and compelling, How Could This Happen explains how a perfect storm of bleak circumstances, malevolent ideas, and damaged personalities unleashed history’s most terrifying atrocity.
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[book] THE WHISPERING TOWN
by Jennifer Elvgren
Illustrated by Fabio Santomauro
2014
Kar Ben
The dramatic story of neighbors in a small Danish fishing village who, during the Holocaust, shelter a Jewish family waiting to be ferried to safety in Sweden. It is 1943 in Nazi-occupied Denmark. Anett and her parents are hiding a Jewish woman and her son, Carl, in their cellar until a fishing boat can take them across the sound to neutral Sweden. The soldiers patrolling their street are growing suspicious, so Carl and his mama must make their way to the harbor despite a cloudy sky with no moon to guide them. Worried about their safety, Anett devises a clever and unusual plan for their safe passage to the harbor. Based on a true story.
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[book] A Bintel Brief
Love and Longing in Old New York
by Liana Finck
April 15, 2014
Ecco
In an illustrative style that is a thrilling mash-up of Art Spiegelman's deft emotionality, Roz Chast's neuroses, and the magical spirit of Marc Chagall, A Bintel Brief is Liana Frinck’s evocative, elegiac love letter to the turn-of-the-century Jewish immigrants who transformed New York City and America itself.
A Bintel Brief "A Bundle of Letters" was the enormously popular advice column of the Yiddish language daily, The Forverts (The Forward), begun in 1906 New York City.
Written by a diverse community of Jewish immigrants, these letters seeking advice spoke to the daily heartbreaks and comedies of new lives, capturing the hope, isolation, and confusion of assimilation.
Finck, a former cartoonist for TABLET, has selected some letters, translated them to English, and adapted them into two-color illustrations. She also imagines that Mr. Abraham Cahan himself pops out of the letters and chats with FInck and routs around her flat.
From premarital sex to stolen watches to family politics to struggles with jobs and money and family relations and immigration, A Bintel Brief is an enlightening look at a segment of America's rich cultural past that offers fresh insights for our own lives as well..
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[book] SACRED LAUGHTER OF THE SUFIs
Awakening The Soul With The
Mulla’s Comic Teaching Stories
& Other Islamic Wisdom
By Imam Jamal Rahman
April 2014
Skylight Paths
A first-of-its-kind combination of the legendary wisdom stories of Islam s great comic foil with spiritual insights for seekers of all traditions or none.
There is an ancient Sufi saying that a precious gold coin can sometimes be recovered with the help of a penny candle, meaning that sometimes the profoundest truths are best illuminated through simple stories. So it is with the legendary stories of Mulla Nasruddin, Islam s great comic foil. Timeless and placeless, the mythical Mulla is a village simpleton and sage rolled into one, whose wisdom stories emanate from a source beyond book learning, and contain several layers of meaning.
In this first-of-its-kind presentation of the Mulla s teachings, Imam Jamal Rahman weaves together spiritual insights with the Mulla s stories and connects them to the issues at the heart of the spiritual quest. Addressing such topics as human vulnerability, the rigors of inner and outer spiritual work, the hazards of the ego and more, he roots the Mulla s stories in Islamic spirituality by pairing them with sayings from the Qur an, the Prophet Muhammad, Rumi, Hafiz and other Islamic sages. Together, these sources awaken readers spirits with laughter and inspire them to transform themselves and the world around them.
Imam Rahman then shows how spiritual seekers of all faiths as individuals or as part of a group can apply the Mulla s wisdom teachings to their spiritual lives with easy-to-follow spiritual practices.
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In an interview with the author, PW’s reviewer, Atty. Lenny Picker, we learn that the Daniel Friedman wanted to push the envelope in the genre of mysteries that star retired cops and detectives in their 60s and 70s. In the Buck Schatz mystery, Buck is in his late 80s. The character was inspired by Buddy Friedman, Daniel’s grandfather who passed away at the age of 97, as well as his great aunt Rose Burson who lived in a dementia ward for the last decade of her life. She passed away at 88. His grandmother, Margaret Friedman, is 96 and still with us.
[book] Don't Ever Look Back
A Mystery (Buck Schatz)
by Daniel Friedman
April 22, 2014
Minotaur
DON'T EVER GET OLD was one of mystery-publishing's biggest critical successes last year, earning starred reviews from every major trade publication, garnering nominations for the Edgar, Thriller, and Anthony awards, and winning the Macavity Award for Best First Novel. The producer of four Harry Potter films and the Sherlock Holmes sequel, Lionel Wigram, is set to produce the film version.
In this new novel, set in Memphis, Tennessee, and four months after the events of DON'T EVER GET OLD, eighty-eight-year-old Buck is reluctantly coming to terms with the fact that he can only move around with the aid of a walker, and his dementia seems to be getting worse.
So when one of Buck’s long-time foes, a bank-robber named Elijah, comes to Buck looking for protection from mysterious pursuers, Buck wavers. In the end, his desire to cement his legacy by closing out a series of long-unsolved robberies overwhelms his usual antipathy toward doing favors for people he dislikes. Buck agrees to broker Elijah's surrender to the authorities, if Elijah will promise to confess to his long-ago crimes.
But nothing involving Elijah, or Buck, is ever simple, and Elijah's plans for Buck are more sinister than they first appeared. Written in Buck's signature voice and featuring a mystery that will knock your socks off, DON'T EVER LOOK BACK takes a decades-old feud between two dangerous—and now elderly—men and brings it to a final, explosive conclusion.
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See also his earlier book, DON’T EVER GET OLD, by clicking HERE (just $10 in hardcover)







[book] From Enemy to Friend
Jewish Wisdom and the Pursuit of Peace
by Rabbi Amy Eilberg
April 2014
orbis
Rabbi Eilberg, the first openly female student ordained by JTS, has written this guide on how to pursue peace.
Most of Jewish law is case law, in response to situations. But two commandments are explicitly articulated not as responses to a particular situation, but as imperatives to be followed — indeed, pursued — at all times. We are not only to act in accordance with these imperatives passively when the occasion arises. We are to actively seek out opportunities to engage in them. The two cases are the pursuit of justice, of which it is said, “Justice, justice shall you pursue” (Deut. 16:20) and the pursuit of peace, of which it is said, “Seek peace and pursue it” (Ps. 34:15). The Rabbis ask why the verse employs two verbs (“seek” and “pursue”) when one would have sufficed. Their answer: “Seek it in your place and pursue it in other places.” The two verbs, they suggest, convey different elements of the command: seek peace when conflict comes to your doorstep, but do not stop there. You must energetically pursue opportunities to practice peace, near and far, for it is the work of God.
Read this book to learn how to pursue peace and learn from EIlberg’s own experiences in building bridges and peace.
Here are ten ideas adapted from the book to entice you to buy and read it
Extend a warm greeting to someone at work with whom you have had recent disagreements.
Invite someone of another religion or political perspective to lunch.
Read a piece of political commentary representing a perspective different from your own. Try to imagine: what in the author’s life journey might have led him or her to such a view?
Think back over a recent argument with a friend. Make a list of three ways to explain sympathetically why your friend might have behaved in the way that he or she did.
Call or email a friend or relative with whom you have felt some tension, expressing a desire to reconnect.
If someone speaks sharply or critically to you today, stop and ask yourself what pain or pressure in his or her life might have led to that moment of harsh speech.
If you notice that you have spoken with unnecessary sharpness to another today, stop and ask yourself compassionately what might have led you to speak in that moment in a way that was hurtful. When you are ready, look for an opportunity to apologize.
If you hear two people arguing at a desk or table some distance from yours, notice how quickly you jump to conclusions about who is right. Stop and ask yourself what more you would need to know to really understand their conversation.
Counter- intuitively, pay close attention to whoever irritates you today. When you sense annoyance or anger in yourself, use that uncomfortable sensation as an internal reminder to ask yourself what about that person causes pain in you.
Find at least three opportunities today to say each of the following: “Thank you,” “I appreciate you” (or “I love you”), and “I don’t know.”

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[book] Alex's Wake
A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance
by Martin Goldsmith (Sirius XM)
April 2014
de capo
Alex’s Wake is a tale of two parallel journeys undertaken seven decades apart. In the spring of 1939, Alex and Helmut Goldschmidt were two of more than 900 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany aboard the St. Louis, “the saddest ship afloat” (New York Times). Turned away from Cuba, the United States, and Canada, the St. Louis returned to Europe, a stark symbol of the world’s indifference to the gathering Holocaust. The Goldschmidts disembarked in France, where they spent the next three years in six different camps before being shipped to their deaths in Auschwitz.
In the spring of 2011, Alex’s grandson, Martin Goldsmith, followed in his relatives’ footsteps on a six-week journey of remembrance and hope, an irrational quest to reverse their fate and bring himself peace. Alex’s Wake movingly recounts the detailed histories of the two journeys, the witnesses Martin encounters for whom the events of the past are a vivid part of a living present, and an intimate, honest attempt to overcome a tormented family legacy.
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How Did a Jewish Rabbi From Galilee Become God in Christian Theology and Faith?
[book] How Jesus Became God
The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee
by Bart D. Ehrman (UNC, Chapel Hill)
April 2014
HarperOne
New York Times bestselling author and Bible expert Bart Ehrman reveals how Jesus’s divinity became dogma in the first few centuries of the early church.
The claim at the heart of the Christian faith is that Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, God. But this is not what the original disciples believed during Jesus’s lifetime—and it is not what Jesus claimed about himself. How Jesus Became God tells the story of an idea that shaped Christianity, and of the evolution of a belief that looked very different in the fourth century than it did in the first. A master explainer of Christian history, texts, and traditions, Ehrman reveals how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee crucified for crimes against the state came to be thought of as equal with the one God Almighty, Creator of all things. But how did he move from being a Jewish prophet to being God? In a book that took eight years to research and write, Ehrman sketches Jesus’s transformation from a human prophet to the Son of God exalted to divine status at his resurrection. Only when some of Jesus’s followers had visions of him after his death—alive again—did anyone come to think that he, the prophet from Galilee, had become God. And what they meant by that was not at all what people mean today.

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How Did a Jewish Rabbi From Galilee Become God in Christian Theology and Faith?
[book] THE FRENCH INTIFADA
The Long War Between France and Its Arabs
by Andrew Hussey (London Institute in Paris)
April 2014
Faber and Faber
A provocative rethinking of France’s long relationship with the Arab world
To fully understand both the social and political pressures wracking contemporary France—and, indeed, all of Europe—as well as major events from the Arab Spring to the tensions in Mali, Andrew Hussey believes that we have to look beyond the confines of domestic horizons. As much as unemployment, economic stagnation, and social deprivation exacerbate the ongoing turmoil in the banlieues, the root of the problem lies elsewhere: in the continuing fallout from Europe’s colonial era.
Combining a fascinating and compulsively readable mix of history, literature, and politics with his years of personal experience visiting the banlieues and countries across the Arab world, especially Algeria, Hussey attempts to make sense of the present situation. In the course of teasing out the myriad interconnections between past and present in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Beirut, and Western Europe, The French Intifada shows that the defining conflict of the twenty-first century will not be between Islam and the West but between two dramatically different experiences of the world—the colonizers and the colonized.
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[book] Radiant Truths
Essential Dispatches, Reports, Confessions,
and Other Essays on American Belief
Edited by Jeff Sharlet
April 2014
Yale University Press
Beginning with Walt Whitman singing hymns at a wounded soldier’s bedside during the Civil War, this surprising and vivid anthology ranges straight through to the twenty-first century to end with Francine Prose crying tears of complicated joy at the sight of Whitman’s words in Zuccotti Park during the brief days of the Occupy movement. The first anthology of its kind, Radiant Truths gathers an exquisite selection of writings by both well-known and forgotten American authors and thinkers, each engaged in the challenges of writing about religion, of documenting “things unseen.” Their contributions to the genre of literary journalism—the telling of factual stories using the techniques of fiction and poetry—make this volume one of the most exciting anthologies of creative nonfiction to have emerged in years.
Jeff Sharlet presents an evocative selection of writings that illuminate the evolution of the American genre of documentary prose. Each entry may be savored separately, but together the works enrich one another, engaging in an implicit and continuing conversation that reaches across time and generations.
Including works by:
Walt Whitman • Henry David Thoreau • Mark Twain • Meridel Le Sueur • Zora Neale Hurston • Mary McCarthy • James Baldwin • Norman Mailer • Ellen Willis • Anne Fadiman • John Jeremiah Sullivan • Francine Prose • Garry Wills • and many others.
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[book] Defending The City of God
A Medieval Queen, the First Crusades
and The Quest for Peace in Jerusalem
by Sharan Newman
April 2014
Palgrave
Jerusalem sits at the crossroads of three continents and has been continuously invaded for millennia. Yet, in the middle of one of the region’s most violent eras, the Crusades, an amazing multicultural world was forming. Templar knights, Muslim peasants, Turkish caliphs, Jewish merchants, and the native Christians, along with the children of the first crusaders, blended cultures while struggling to survive in a land constantly at war. Defending the City of God explores this fascinating and forgotten world, and how a group of sisters, daughters of the King of Jerusalem, whose supporters included Grand Masters of the Templars and Armenian clerics, held together the fragile treaties, understandings, and marriages that allowed for relative peace among the many different factions. As the crusaders fought to maintain their conquests, these relationships quickly unraveled, and the religious and cultural diversity was lost as hardline factions took over. Weaving together the political intrigues and dynastic battles that transformed the Near East with an evocative portrait of medieval Jerusalem, this is an astonishing look at a forgotten side of the first Crusades.
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[book] The Musical Theater of Stephen Schwartz:
From Godspell to Wicked and Beyond
by Paul R. Laird
April 2014
Rowman & Littlefield
As the composer/lyricist for Godspell, Pippin, Wicked, and other musicals, Stephen Schwartz has enjoyed one of the most significant careers in American musical theater for more than four decades. Schwartz has also achieved success on the big screen, contributing to such films as Enchanted, The Prince of Egypt, and Pocahontas. For his work, he has received six Tony nominations, three Grammys, and three Academy Awards.
The Musical Theater of Stephen Schwartz: From Godspell to Wicked and Beyond is a detailed examination of Schwartz’s various projects throughout his career. Musicologist Paul R. Laird discusses at length Schwartz’s major shows and also considers his other ventures, such as the music and lyrics for animated features from Disney and Dreamworks. The book focuses on two major aspects of Schwartz’s creations: the process of collaboration resulting in a project’s completion and a descriptive analysis of his music and lyrics. Laird also describes each show’s critical reception and its place in the larger history of musical theater.
Based on extensive interviews with Schwartz and a number of his major collaborators, this book provides a rare look into the creation of the composer and lyricist’s shows and films. The Musical Theater of Stephen Schwartz is intended for fans as well as students and professional researchers in music, theater, and the musical theater.
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[book] Dirty Daddy
The Chronicles of a Family Man
Turned Filthy Comedian
by Bob Saget
April 2014
Millions of viewers know and love Bob Saget from his role as the sweetly neurotic father on the smash hit Full House, and as the charming wisecracking host of America's Funniest Home Videos. And then there are the legions of fans who can't get enough of his scatological, out-of-his-mind stand-up routines, comedy specials, and outrageously profane performances in such shows as HBO's Entourage and the hit documentary The Aristocrats.
In his bold and wildly entertaining publishing debut, he continues to embrace his dark side and gives readers the book they have long been waiting for—hilarious and often dirty. Bob believes there's a time and a place for filth. From his never-before-heard stories of what really went on behind the scenes of two of the most successful family shows of all times, with co-stars like John Stamos and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, to his tales of legendary friends and colleagues like Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Pryor, Don Rickles, and other show business legends, Saget opens up about some of his personal experiences with life and death, his career, and his reputation for sick humor—all with his highly original blend of silliness, vulgarity, humor and heart, and all framed by a man who loves being funny above all else.
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[book] GOD LAUGHED
Sources of Jewish Humor
By Hershey H. Friedman and Linda Weiser Friedman
April 2014
Humor has had a profound effect on the way the Jewish people see the world, and has sustained them through millennia of hardships and suffering. God Laughed reviews, organizes, and categorizes the humor of the ancient Jewish texts—the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, and Midrash—in a clear, readable, and accessible manner.
These works have influenced the Jewish people in many ways, and all are replete with humor and wit. Inevitably, this oeuvre of Jewish humor has itself influenced generations of comics, as well as genres of humor. The authors use examples of Biblical humor from several broad categories, including irony, sarcasm, wordplay, humorous names, humorous imagery, and humorous situations.
Because their primary purpose is not to entertain, but to teach humanity how to live the ideal life, much of the humor in the Talmud and the Midrash has a single purpose: to demonstrate that evil is wrong and even, at times, ludicrous. This may help explain why approximately 1,500 years after its closing, the Talmud is still such a fascinating work. God Laughed is the latest addition to Transaction’s Jewish Studies series.
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[book] Lean In For Graduates
by Sheryl Sandberg
April 2014
Knopf
Expanded and updated exclusively for graduates just entering the workforce, this extraordinary edition of Lean In includes a letter to graduates from Sheryl Sandberg and six additional chapters from experts offering advice on finding and getting the most out of a first job; résumé writing; best interviewing practices; negotiating your salary; listening to your inner voice; owning who you are; and leaning in for millennial men.
In 2013, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In became a massive cultural phenomenon and its title became an instant catchphrase for empowering women. The book soared to the top of best-seller lists both nationally and internationally, igniting global conversations about women and ambition. Sandberg packed theaters, dominated op-ed pages, appeared on every major television show and on the cover of Time magazine, and sparked ferocious debate about women and leadership. Now, this enhanced edition provides the entire text of the original book updated with more recent statistics and features a passionate letter from Sandberg encouraging graduates to find and commit to work they love. A combination of inspiration and practical advice, this new edition will speak directly to graduates and, like the original, will change lives.
New Material for the Graduate Edition:
· A Letter to Graduates from Sheryl Sandberg
· Find Your First Job, by Mindy Levy (Mindy Levy has more than twenty years of experience in all phases of organizational management and holds degrees from Wharton (Org Behavior) and Penn(Psych, 1991), and a Doctorate from Georgetown) as well as real world experience from Booz Allen Hamilton, where she consulted with Department of Homeland Security, National Reconnaissance Office and the Smithsonian Institute.)
· Negotiate Your Salary, by Kim Keating (Keating is the founder and managing director of Keating Advisors)
· Man Up: Millennial Men and Equality, by Kunal Modi (Modi is a consultant at McKinsey & Company and a recent graduate of Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School)
· Leaning In Together, by Rachel Thomas (Thomas is the president of Lean In)
· Own Who You Are, by Mellody Hobson (Hobson is the president of Ariel Investments)
· Listen to Your Inner Voice, by Rachel Simmons (Simmons is cofounder of the Girls Leadership Institute)
· 12 Lean In stories (500-word essays), by readers around the world who have been inspired by Sandberg
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[book] EXIT BERLIN
HOW ONE WOMAN SAVER HER FAMILY
FROM NAZI GERMANY
BY CHARLOTTE R. BONELLI
With translations by Natascha Bodemann
April 2014
Yale University Press
Just a week after the Kristallnacht terror in 1938, young Luzie Hatch, a German Jew, fled Berlin to resettle in New York. Her rescuer was an American-born cousin and industrialist, Arnold Hatch. Arnold spoke no German, so Luzie quickly became translator, intermediary, and advocate for family left behind. Soon an unending stream of desperate requests from German relatives made their way to Arnold’s desk.
  Luzie Hatch had faithfully preserved her letters both to and from far-flung relatives during the World War II era as well as copies of letters written on their behalf. This extraordinary collection, now housed at the American Jewish Committee Archives, serves as the framework for Exit Berlin. Charlotte R. Bonelli offers a vantage point rich with historical context, from biographical information about the correspondents to background on U.S. immigration laws, conditions at the Vichy internment camps, refuge in Shanghai, and many other topics, thus transforming the letters into a riveting narrative.
  Arnold’s letters reveal an unfamiliar side of Holocaust history. His are the responses of an “average” American Jew, struggling to keep his own business afloat while also assisting dozens of relatives trapped abroad—most of whom he had never met and whose deathly situation he could not fully comprehend. This book contributes importantly to historical understanding while also uncovering the dramatic story of one besieged family confronting unimaginable evil..
Exit Berlin is unique since it documents the deprtation of 6504 Jews from Baden and Saar Palitinate to Camp Gurs in Vichy controlled France; it expores the role of gender and age and survival (being female and old); researches the Aryanization of Jewish businesses using Nazi surveillance records; and it uses multiple perspectives by including gletters and replies from various people from South America and China to Europe and the Middle East.
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[book] LOVE AND TREASURE
A NOVEL
BY AYELET WALDMAN
April 2014
Knopf
A spellbinding new novel of contraband masterpieces, tragic love, and the unexpected legacies of forgotten crimes, Ayelet Waldman’s Love and Treasure weaves a tale around the fascinating, true history of the Hungarian Gold Train in the Second World War.
In 1945 on the outskirts of Salzburg, victorious American soldiers capture a train filled with unspeakable riches: piles of fine gold watches; mountains of fur coats; crates filled with wedding rings, silver picture frames, family heirlooms, and Shabbat candlesticks passed down through generations. Jack Wiseman, a tough, smart New York Jew, is the lieutenant charged with guarding this treasure—a responsibility that grows more complicated when he meets Ilona, a fierce, beautiful Hungarian who has lost everything in the ravages of the Holocaust. Seventy years later, amid the shadowy world of art dealers who profit off the sins of previous generations, Jack gives a necklace to his granddaughter, Natalie Stein, and charges her with searching for an unknown woman—a woman whose portrait and fate come to haunt Natalie, a woman whose secret may help Natalie to understand the guilt her grandfather will take to his grave and to find a way out of the mess she has made of her own life.
A story of brilliantly drawn characters—a suave and shady art historian, a delusive and infatuated Freudian, a family of singing circus dwarfs fallen into the clutches of Josef Mengele, and desperate lovers facing choices that will tear them apart—Love and Treasure is Ayelet Waldman’s finest novel to date: a sad, funny, richly detailed work that poses hard questions about the value of precious things in a time when life itself has no value, and about the slenderest of chains that can bind us to the griefs and passions of the past. .
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[book] Creativity, Inc.
Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand
in the Way of True Inspiration
by Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace
April 2014
Random House
From Ed Catmull, co-founder (with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios, comes an incisive book about creativity in business—sure to appeal to readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath.
Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.”
For nearly twenty years, Pixar has dominated the world of animation, producing such beloved films as the Toy Story trilogy, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, and WALL-E, which have gone on to set box-office records and garner thirty Academy Awards. The joyousness of the storytelling, the inventive plots, the emotional authenticity: In some ways, Pixar movies are an object lesson in what creativity really is. Here, in this book, Catmull reveals the ideals and techniques that have made Pixar so widely admired—and so profitable.
As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: to make the first computer-animated movie. He nurtured that dream as a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, where many computer science pioneers got their start, and then forged a partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his founding Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter in 1986. Nine years later, Toy Story was released, changing animation forever. The essential ingredient in that movie’s success—and in the thirteen movies that followed—was the unique environment that Catmull and his colleagues built at Pixar, based on philosophies that protect the creative process and defy convention, such as:
• Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better.
• If you don’t strive to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead.
• It’s not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It’s the manager’s job to make it safe for others to take them.
• The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them.
• A company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody.
• Do not assume that general agreement will lead to change—it takes substantial energy to move a group, even when all are on board.
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[book] CHURCHILL AND EMPIRE
BY LAWRENCE JAMES
Now in paperback
April 2014
Phoenix Orion
One of our finest narrative historians, and journalist for the SUNDAY TIMES and LITERARY REVIEW, Lawrence James, has written a genuinely new biography of Winston Churchill, set within a fully detailed historical context, but solely focusing on his relationship with the British Empire. As a young army officer in the late 19th century, Churchill's first experience of the Empire was serving in conflicts in India, South Africa and the Sudan. His attitude towards the Empire at the time was the stereotypical Victorian paternalistic approach - a combination of feeling responsible and feeling superior. Conscious even then of his political career ahead, Churchill's natural benevolence towards the Empire was occasionally overruled for political reasons, and he found himself reluctantly supporting - or at least not publicly condemning - British atrocities. As a politician he consistently relied on the Empire for support during crises, but was angered by any demands for nationalisation.
He held what many would regard today as RACIST VIEWS, in that he felt that some nationalities were superior to others, but he didn't regard those positions as fixed. His (some might say obsequious) relationship with America reflected that view. America was a former colony where the natives had become worthy to rule themselves, but - he felt - still had that tie to Britain. Thus he overlooked the frequently expressed American view that the Empire was a hangover from a bygone era of colonization, and reflected poorly on Britain's ability to conduct herself as a political power in the current world order.
Has some choice tidbits on Balfour, Jews, and Palestine
This outmoded Victorian racist parental attitude was one of the reasons the British voters rejected him after a Second World War in which - it was universally felt - he had led the country brilliantly. His attitude remained Victorian in a world that was shaping up very differently. However, it would be a mistake to consider Churchill merely as an anachronistic soldier. He grasped the problems of the Cold War immediately, believing that immature nations prematurely given independence would be more likely to be sucked into the vortex of Communism. This view chimed with American foreign policy, and made the Americans rather more pragmatic about their demands for self-governance for Empire countries. Lawrence James has written a fascinating portrait of an endlessly interesting statesman - and one that includes tantalising vignettes about his penchants for silk underwear and champagne..
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[book] THE BRIDESMAIDS
True Tales of Love, Envy, Loyalty... and Terrible Dresses
By Eimear Lynch
April 2014
Picador
WHAT DO A FORMER FASHION MODEL, AN EX-NUN, AND A FRAT BOY HAVE IN COMMON? VIRTUALLY NOTHING, EXCEPT THAT EACH HAS EXPERIENCED A UNIVERSAL RITE OF PASSAGE: BEING A BRIDESMAID.
Each year 11 million bridesmaids lead their best friends down the aisle. Most wear matching dresses, and nearly all have a thing or two to say about the bride. In this uproarious oral history, editor and journalist Eimear Lynch offers us an intimate glimpse at the moments the wedding photographer failed to capture.
From the accidental bridesmaid who helped sew the bride into her “designer” gown to the tomboy who struggled to carry Princess Diana’s twenty-five foot train, The Bridesmaids lifts the veil on the Big Day. Opening with her own experiences as a five-time ’maid, Eimear gives us stories that are by turns heartfelt, funny, scandalous, and sometimes downright strange. An ode to the good, the bad, the strapless chiffon, and the occasional three-piece suit—and, above all, to the supporting actresses and actors who wore them—The Bridesmaids is a colorful walk down the aisle that you won’t want to miss, and the perfect companion for every bridesmaid-to-be.
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[book] HOW NOT TO CALM A CHILD ON A PLANE
And Other Lessons in Parenting
From a Highly Questionable Source
By Johanna Stein
April 2014
de Capo Press / Lifelong Books
A 113
Stein is the daughter of pot smoking, radical, free thinking, Jewish, hippies from Winnipeg Canada. Not a lot of Jews back then in Winnipeg. Her parents ignored religion. There was no Hanukkah, no Xmas, but on December 26, they had Stein Day. So you can see where she gets her creativity.
Looking for the perfect book to help you survive childbirth and parenting with your sanity intact?
Look elsewhere.
For Johanna Stein (writer/comedian/forward/slash/abuser and occasionally neurotic/immature/way-too-candid mom), parenting is an extreme sport. Her stories from the trenches may not always be shared experiences—Have you ever wondered if your baby's "soft spot" is like a delete key? Trained your preschooler for a zombie invasion? Accused a nearly nude stranger of being pregnant? Made sweet, bimonthly love to your spouse while your toddler serenaded you through the adjoining wall? Attempted to calm your screaming baby on an airplane with a hand puppet, only to have it lead to one of the most disgusting experiences of your life?—but they will always make you laugh.
So, no, this book won't teach you how to deal with nipple blisters (or why they point in different directions) or Oedipal complexes. It will teach you not to kick a box of diapers and tell it to eat shit, or have a crush on your obgyn, to avoid a friendship ending argument with another new mother on the topic of baby leashes, and why you should never attempt to play a practical joke in the hospital delivery room.
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[book] IF THIS ISN'T NICE WHAT IS?
ADVICE TO THE YOUNG
The Graduation Speeches
By the late Kurt Vonnegut
Compiled by Dan Wakefield
April 2014
SevenStories
Before becoming popular in the 1960s, novelist and science fiction author, Kurt Vonnegut, held lots of odd jobs, and was rejected as a writing instructor by a dorky little school. Once he became famous with Slaughterhouse Five – his tale that was based on being taken captive in the Battle of the Bulge and being imprisoned by the Nazis in Dresden during the fire bombing – he was invited to give commencement addresses. Here is a collection of these speeches, and in each one he tells about his relative in Ohio who would take a moment to enjoy the moment in life, and say, “If this isn't nice, what is.”
Best known as one of our most astonishing and enduring contemporary novelists, Kurt Vonnegut was also a celebrated commencement address giver. He himself never graduated college, so his words to any class of graduating seniors always carried the delight, and gentle irony, of someone savoring an achievement he himself had not had occasion to savor on his own behalf.
Selected and introduced by fellow novelist and friend Dan Wakefield, the speeches in If This Isn’t Nice, What Is? capture this side of Kurt Vonnegut for the first time in book form. There are nine speeches, seven given at colleges, one to the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, one on the occasion of Vonnegut receiving the Carl Sandburg Award. In each of these talks Vonnegut takes pains to find the few things worth saying and a conversational voice to say them in that isn’t heavy-handed or pretentious or glib, but funny and serious and joyful even if sometimes without seeming so.
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[book] A Broken Hallelujah:
Rock and Roll, Redemption, and
the Life of Leonard Cohen
by Liel Leibovitz
April 2014
Norton
Brings to life a passionate poet-turned-musician and what compels him and his work. Why is it that Leonard Cohen receives the sort of reverence we reserve for a precious few living artists? Why are his songs, three or four decades after their original release, suddenly gracing the charts, blockbuster movie sound tracks, and television singing competitions? And why is it that while most of his contemporaries are either long dead or engaged in uninspired nostalgia tours, Cohen is at the peak of his powers and popularity?
These are the questions at the heart of A Broken Hallelujah, a meditation on the singer, his music, and the ideas and beliefs at its core. Granted extraordinary access to Cohen’s personal papers, Liel Leibovitz examines the intricacies of the man whose performing career began with a crippling bout of stage fright, yet who, only a few years later, tamed a rowdy crowd on the Isle of Wight, preventing further violence; the artist who had gone from a successful world tour and a movie star girlfriend to a long residency in a remote Zen retreat; and the rare spiritual seeker for whom the principles of traditional Judaism, the tenets of Zen Buddhism, and the iconography of Christianity all align. The portrait that emerges is that of an artist attuned to notions of justice, lust, longing, loneliness, and redemption, and possessing the sort of voice and vision commonly reserved only for the prophets.
More than just an account of Cohen’s life, A Broken Hallelujah is an intimate look at the artist that is as emotionally astute as it is philosophically observant. Delving into the sources and meaning of Cohen’s work, Leibovitz beautifully illuminates what Cohen is telling us and why we listen so intensely.
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Will Tel Aviv be a future city ?
[book] A HISTORY OF FUTURE CITIES
St. Petersburg, Dubai, Shanghai, Mumbai
by Daniel Brook
April 2014
Norton
A pioneering exploration of four cities where East meets West and past becomes future: St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Dubai.

Every month, five million people move from the past to the future. Pouring into developing-world “instant cities” like Dubai and Shenzhen, these urban newcomers confront a modern world cobbled together from fragments of a West they have never seen. Do these fantastical boomtowns, where blueprints spring to life overnight on virgin land, represent the dawning of a brave new world? Or is their vaunted newness a mirage?
In a captivating blend of history and reportage, Daniel Brook travels to a series of major metropolitan hubs that were once themselves instant cities— St. Petersburg, Shanghai, and Mumbai—to watch their “dress rehearsals for the twenty-first century.” Understanding today’s emerging global order, he argues, requires comprehending the West’s profound and conflicted influence on developing-world cities over the centuries.
In 1703, Tsar Peter the Great personally oversaw the construction of a new Russian capital, a “window on the West” carefully modeled on Amsterdam, that he believed would wrench Russia into the modern world. In the nineteenth century, Shanghai became the fastest-growing city on earth as it mushroomed into an English-speaking, Western-looking metropolis that just happened to be in the Far East. Meanwhile, Bombay, the cosmopolitan hub of the British Raj, morphed into a tropical London at the hands of its pith-helmeted imperialists.
Juxtaposing the stories of the architects and authoritarians, the artists and revolutionaries who seized the reins to transform each of these precociously modern places into avatars of the global future, Brook demonstrates that the drive for modernization was initially conflated with wholesale Westernization. He shows, too, the ambiguous legacy of that emulation—the birth (and rebirth) of Chinese capitalism in Shanghai, the origins of Bollywood in Bombay’s American-style movie palaces, the combustible mix of revolutionary culture and politics that rocked the Russian capital—and how it may be transcended today.
A fascinating, vivid look from the past out toward the horizon, A History of Future Cities is both a crucial reminder of globalization’s long march and an inspiring look into the possibilities of our Asian Century.
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[book] KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE WALL
Palestinian Landscapes
Edited by Olivia Snaije, Mitchell Albert,
and Foreword by Raja Shehadeh
April 2014
Saqi Books
In art and literature, walls are frequently used as powerful symbols of division. For the people of Palestine, however, the wall travels through over seven hundred kilometres of the West Bank.
Keep Your Eye on the Wall brings together seven award-winning artist-photographers and four essayists, all responding to the Wall in images or words, specially commissioned for this book. The photographers present unique perspectives, whether documenting the journey of laborers across the barrier, the desolation of abandoned checkpoints, or the tattered posters of "martyrs" on a wall in Gaza.
Featuring the photographic work of Taysir Batniji, Raed Bawayah, Rula Halawani, Noel Jabbour, Raeda Saadeh, Steve Sabella, and Kai Wiedonhöfer, and the words of Malu Halasa, Yael Lerer, Christine Leuenberger, and Adania Shibli.
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[book] The Bells of Memory
A Palestinian Boyhood in Jerusalem
by Issa J. Boullata
April 2014
Linda L
The distinguished Arabic scholar, author, and translator Issa J. Boullata grew up in a Palestinian family in the Jerusalem of the 1930s and 1940s, when Palestine was under the British Mandate. His memoir, The Bells of Memory, is delightful in its reflections on an idyllic youth and detailed in its recollections of family members, classmates and teachers, remembered scents and foods, the pleasures of reading, and his early experience of the working world. This is a love letter to a Jerusalem that was changed immeasurably by Al-Nakba, the Palestinian Catastrophe of 1948 that dispossessed the Palestinians of their homeland and dislocated many as refugees when Israel was established..
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[book] Mussar Yoga
Blending an Ancient Jewish Spiritual
Practice with Yoga to Transform Body and Soul
by Edith R. Brotman PhD
April 2014
Jewish Lights
Mussar Yoga is a spiritual practice that engages the whole self in the process of spiritual transformation. It bridges the Jewish spiritual practice of self-study, and the cultivation and discipline of ethical behavior known as Mussar ("instruction" in Hebrew) with the Eight Limbs of Yoga, the ancient Indian eight-fold path for creating union between mind, body and spirit. Mussar provides the structure and focus of the journey of self-inquiry, while yoga offers a means for embodying it.
In this clear and structured introduction to Mussar Yoga, you will learn how to explore the physical dimension of soul traits ethical behaviors and attitudes such as humility, generosity, enthusiasm and gratitude through yoga poses and the yogic practice of breath work. Intended for the novice as well as the yoga expert, each exercise is accompanied by step-by-step instructions, helpful photographs, mantras and journaling exercises.
With practice, Mussar Yoga can help free you from established negative patterns of being, increase your capacity for compassion and acts of goodness, and help you develop a more fulfilling, meaningful life.
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[book] The Gods of Judaism
A Theological and Historical Journey
by Rabbi Or N. Rose
April 2014
Jewish Lights
A groundbreaking look at the many faces of the one God in Judaism from ancient times up to today.
Judaism is widely regarded as the world’s first great monotheistic tradition. What is not widely known is that Jewish thinkers throughout the ages have held very different views of God. Is the Divine all-powerful and all-knowing? What about evil? Can human actions impact God? From the Hebrew Bible to Maimonides to Abraham Joshua Heschel, these questions have been answered in a variety of ways. This original anthology takes the reader on an intellectual and spiritual journey into the heart of the Jewish religious imagination. Each contributor—an expert in a specific area of Jewish thought—focuses on several major theological issues, explaining these concepts in a clear and thought-provoking manner, while also providing the reader with the appropriate historical context.
Themes include:
Hebrew Bible
Rabbinic Literature
Medieval Jewish Philosophy
Kabbalah
Hasidism
Twentieth-Century Jewish Thought
Jewish Theology Today
Intended for individual readers, book groups, students and adult learners in synagogues and other education settings, this singular volume deals with the subject of God both chronologically and thematically.
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[book] The Battle for Justice in Palestine
Paperback
by Ali Abunimah
Spring 2014
Haymarket
Alice Walker recommends this book, as does Joseph Massad
Ali Abunimah (The Electronic Intifada) takes a look at the shifting tides of the politics of Palestine and the Israelis in a neoliberal world — and makes a case for why the Palestine solidarity movement might win.
Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the BDS movement, and author of Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights says that this paperback is a dose of educated hope. “This is what hits me from this fascinating amalgam of incisive journalism, analytic prose and intellectually compelling vision that emanates from many years of brilliant activism. Sailing effortlessly from the domestic to the global, from Johannesburg to Belfast and from Chicago to Tel Aviv, Ali Abunimah paints a lucid, accessible picture out of a complex web of racism, racialized oppression, and creative resistance. Abunimah does not give us hope; he helps us dig for it within us by meticulously laying out before us the facts, the trends, the challenges and the inspiring resistance to them.”
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[book] GHANDI BEFORE INDIA
BY RAMACHANDRA GUHA
April 2014
Knopf
Ramachandra Guha—hailed by Time as “Indian democracy’s preeminent chronicler”—takes us from Gandhi’s birth in 1869 through his upbringing in Gujarat, his two years as a student in London and his two decades as a lawyer and community organizer in South Africa. Guha has uncovered myriad previously untapped documents, including private papers of Gandhi’s contemporaries and co-workers; contemporary newspapers and court documents; the writings of Gandhi’s children; and secret files kept by British Empire functionaries. Using this wealth of material in an exuberant, brilliantly nuanced and detailed narrative, Guha describes the social, political and personal worlds inside of which Gandhi began the journey that would earn him the honorific Mahatma: “Great Soul.” And, more clearly than ever before, he elucidates how Gandhi’s work in South Africa—far from being a mere prelude to his accomplishments in India—was profoundly influential in his evolution as a family man, political thinker, social reformer and, ultimately, beloved leader.
In 1893, when Gandhi set sail for South Africa, he was a twenty-three-year-old lawyer who had failed to establish himself in India. In this remarkable biography, the author makes clear the fundamental ways in which Gandhi’s ideas were shaped before his return to India in 1915. It was during his years in England and South Africa, Guha shows us, that Gandhi came to understand the nature of imperialism and racism; and in South Africa that he forged the philosophy and techniques that would undermine and eventually overthrow the British Raj.
Gandhi Before India gives us equally vivid portraits of the man and the world he lived in: a world of sharp contrasts among the coastal culture of his birthplace, High Victorian London, and colonial South Africa. It explores in abundant detail Gandhi’s experiments with dissident cults such as the Tolstoyans; his friendships with RADICAL JEWS, heterodox Christians and devout Muslims; his enmities and rivalries; and his often overlooked failures as a husband and father. It tells the dramatic, profoundly moving story of how Gandhi inspired the devotion of thousands of followers in South Africa as he mobilized a cross-class and inter-religious coalition, pledged to non-violence in their battle against a brutally racist regime. Researched with unequaled depth and breadth, and written with extraordinary grace and clarity, Gandhi Before India is, on every level, fully commensurate with its subject. It will radically alter our understanding and appreciation of twentieth-century India’s greatest man.
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[book] The Bible's Many Voices
by Michael Carasik PhD
April 2014
JPS
The most common English translations of the Bible often sound like a single, somewhat archaic voice. In fact, the Bible is made up of many separate books composed by multiple writers in a wide range of styles and perspectives. It is, as Michael Carasik demonstrates, not a remote text reserved for churches and synagogues but rather a human document full of history, poetry, politics, theology, and spirituality.
Using historic, linguistic, anthropological, and theological sources, Carasik helps us distinguish between the Jewish Bible’s voices—the mythic, the historical, the prophetic, the theological, and the legal. By articulating the differences among these voices, he shows us not just their messages and meanings but also what mattered to the authors. In these contrasts we encounter the Bible anew, as a living work whose many voices tell us about the world out of which the Bible grew—and the world that it created.
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MAY 2014 BOOKS




[book] My Rebbe
by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
by Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz
May 2014
Shefa Maggid
In MY REBBE, celebrated author, genius, and thinker Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz shares his firsthand account of this extraordinary individual who shaped the landscape of twentieth-century religious life.
Written over 20 years with the admiration of a close disciple and the nuanced perceptiveness of a scholar, this biography-memoir inspires us to think about our own missions and aspirations for a better world
Includes a glossary and a family tree of Chabad leaders.
He writes, “this was not an easy book to write. On the one hand, the subject is vast: the Rebbe’s accomplishments have transformed the Jewish world. On the other hand, my feelings about the great spiritual figure were – and are – emotionally intimate. With many stops and starts, this book was some two decades in the making.”
Contents include: The Enigma of the Rebbe; What is a Holy Man?; Chasidism and Chabad; The Early Years; Religious Leadership; The Heart of the Movement; The Power of Outreach; Nurturing; The Rebbe’s Religious Discourses; Dealing with Opposition; The Rebbe’s Loneliness; Connections with the Divine; The World Beyond; The Rebbe’s Immense Spiritual Mission; and The Rebbe’s Legacy.
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[book] Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?
A Memoir Hardcover
In Graphic Form
by Roz Chast
May 2014
Bloomsbury USA
In her first memoir, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of her aging Jewish parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast’s memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.
When it came to her elderly mother and father, Roz held to the practices of denial, avoidance, and distraction. But when Elizabeth Chast climbed a ladder to locate an old souvenir from the “crazy closet”—with predictable results—the tools that had served Roz well through her parents’ seventies, eighties, and into their early nineties could no longer be deployed.
While the particulars are Chast-ian in their idiosyncrasies — an anxious father who had relied heavily on his wife for stability as he slipped into dementia and a former assistant principal mother whose overbearing personality had sidelined Roz for decades — the themes are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; managing logistics; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal care.
Her parents were one step below hoarders. Intellectuals, they were educators who had Roz late in their adult lives. They were unhappy with “The Place”, the senior living community in CT they moved to from Brooklyn when they could no longer live on their own.
An amazing portrait of two lives at their end and an only child coping as best she can, Can We Talk about Something More Pleasant will show the full range of Roz Chast’s talent as cartoonist and storyteller..
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[book] The Good Doctor
A Father, a Son, and
the Evolution of Medical Ethics
by Barron H. Lerner, MD
May 2014
Beacon Press/Random House
The story of two doctors, a father and son, who practiced in very different times and the evolution of the ethics that profoundly influence health care
As a practicing physician and longtime member of his hospital’s ethics committee, Dr. Barron Lerner thought he had heard it all. But in the mid-1990s, his father, an infectious diseases physician, told him a stunning story: he had physically placed his body over an end-stage patient who had stopped breathing, preventing his colleagues from performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, even though CPR was the ethically and legally accepted thing to do. Over the next few years, the senior Dr. Lerner tried to speed the deaths of his seriously ill mother and mother-in-law to spare them further suffering.
These stories angered and alarmed the younger Dr. Lerner — an internist, historian of medicine and bioethicist — who had rejected physician-based paternalism in favor of informed consent and patient autonomy.
The Good Doctor is a fascinating and moving account of how Dr. Lerner came to terms with two very different images of his father: a revered clinician who had studied under the famed Dr. Weinstein at JC Hayes Memorial Hospital, teacher and researcher who always put his patients first, but also a physician willing to “play God,” opposing the very revolution in patients' rights that his son was studying and teaching to his own medical students.
But the elder Dr. Lerner’s journals, which he had kept for decades, showed his son how his outdated paternalism had grown out of a fierce devotion to patient-centered medicine that was rapidly disappearing in a world of managed care, spiraling costs and health care reform. And they raised questions: Are paternalistic doctors just relics or should their expertise be used to overrule patients and families that make ill-advised choices? Does the growing use of personalized medicine—in which specific interventions may be best for specific patients—change the calculus between autonomy and paternalism? And how can we best use technologies that were invented to save lives but now too often prolong death? In an era of high-technology medicine, spiraling costs and healthcare reform, these questions could not be more relevant.
Also. In addition to the medical ethics, Dr. Lerner's memories of growing up in Ohio, his bar mitzvah, and reading about himself in his father's journals are more than simply poignant.
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A Jewish book? Yes. The life a the modern xmas celebrating Jewish son and father.
[book] Will Not Attend
Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation
by Adam Resnick
May 2014
Blue Rider
Adam Resnick, an Emmy Award-winning writer for NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman, has spent his entire life trying to avoid interaction with people. Even as a second grader, he avoided classmates. While courageously admitting to being “euphorically antisocial” and “sick in the head,” he allows us to plunge even deeper into his troubled psyche in this unabashedly uproarious memoir-in-essays where we observe Resnick’s committed indifference to family, friends, strangers, and the world at large.
His mind shaped by such touchstone events as a traumatic Easter egg hunt when he was six (which solidified his hatred of parties) and overwrought by obsessions, including one with a plastic shopping bag (which solidified his hatred for change), he refuses to be burdened by chores like basic social obligation and personal growth, living instead by his own steadfast rule: “I refuse to do anything I don’t want to do.”
One of six sons who grew up in Harrisburg PA, his essays are as funny as David Sedaris' with the darkness of Louis C.K. And Albert Brooks. Just as Sedaris portrays his crazed parents, Resnick spins tales of a crazed father who loves to curse and is physically imposing. I laughed out loud on the subway, on a bench, and in a coffee bar. They are violent laughs, since Resnick is so funny yet so crazy. How crazy?? HE WROTE CABIN BOY, wrote for SNL, and wrote for Crhis Elliott's short lived TV series.
Resnick is the crazy, miserable bastard you can’t help rooting for, and the brilliant Will Not Attend showcases this seasoned comedy writer at his brazenly hilarious best.
Two of the funniest stories to give you an idea of the insanity: He and his brother get their father to pull over and give a ride to the school's “colored” janitor... or maybe he isn't the lovable janitor; or Resnick at age 17 figures out a way to buy pot for the slutty new classmate in order to get into her pants, but then finds out that her mother and grandmothers have a collection of 78's that he cobets more than sex, pot, or reptiles.
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[book] Unlearning with Hannah Arendt
by Marie Luise Knott (Le Monde diplomatique)
May 2014
Other Press
Short-listed for the Tractatus Essay Prize, an examination of the innovative strategies Arendt used to achieve intellectual freedom

After observing the trial of Adolf Eichmann, Hannah Arendt articulated her controversial concept of the “banality of evil,” thereby posing one of the most chilling and divisive moral questions of the twentieth century: How can genocidal acts be carried out by non-psychopathic people? By revealing the full complexity of the trial with reasoning that defied prevailing attitudes, Arendt became the object of severe and often slanderous criticism, losing some of her closest friends as well as being labeled a “self-hating Jew.” And while her theories have continued to draw innumerable opponents, Arendt’s work remains an invaluable resource for those seeking greater insight into the more problematic aspects of human nature.
Anchoring its discussion in the themes of translation, forgiveness, dramatization, and even laughter, Unlearning with Hannah Arendt explores the ways in which this iconic political theorist “unlearned” recognized trends and patterns—both philosophical and cultural—to establish a theoretical praxis all her own. Through an analysis of the social context and intellectual influences—Karl Jaspers, Walter Benjamin, and Martin Heidegger—that helped shape Arendt’s process, Knott has formed a historically engaged and incisive contribution to Arendt’s legacy..
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[book] Grandpa's Third Drawer
Unlocking Holocaust Memories
by Judy Tal Kopelman
May 2014
JPS
Ages 5 – 8
Of all the places in the world, Uri really loves to be at his grandparents’ house. There he can stay up way past his bedtime and eat as many sweets from the chocolate box as he likes. There’s only one forbidden place in that house: the third drawer in Grandpa’s desk. This drawer is locked. No one ever opens it until one day when Uri finds the key to the third drawer. From that moment, nothing is ever the same. Grandpa’s Third Drawer takes up the difficult challenge of discussing the Holocaust with young children, of teaching its heritage and memory, all in a gentle and unobtrusive manner. The story of a silent grandfather unexpectedly confronted by his curious and loving grandchild is accompanied by rich illustrations that show authentic preserved objects donated by Holocaust survivors from Theresienstadt.
The original Hebrew edition won the Israeli Ze’ev Prize for Children’s Literature in 2003 and twice won the first prize in Mits’ad Hasfarim for first to third grades (in 2003 and 2012), a nationwide survey of all schoolchildren in Israel.
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[book] The Boxer
The True Story of Holocaust Survivor Harry Haft
Graphic Story
by Reinhard Kleist
Spring 2014
Abrams
Poland, 1941. Sixteen-year-old Harry Haft is sent to Auschwitz. When he is forced to fight against other inmates for the amusement of the SS officers, Haft shows extraordinary strength and courage, and a determination to survive. As the Soviet Army advances in April 1945, he makes a daring escape from the Nazis. After negotiating the turmoil of postwar Poland, Haft immigrates to the United States and establishes himself as a professional prizefighter, remaining undefeated until he faces heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano in 1949. In The Boxer, Reinhard Kleist reveals another side to the steely Harry Haft: a man struggling to escape the memories of the fiancée he left behind in Poland. This is a powerful and moving graphic novel about love and the will to survive.
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[book] The Impossible Exile
Stefan Zweig at the End of the World
by George Prochnik
May 2014
Other Press
An original study of exile, told through the biography of Austrian writer Stefan Zweig
By the 1930s, Stefan Zweig had become the most widely translated living author in the world. His work could be found in nearly 50 LANGUAGES
His novels, short stories, and biographies were so compelling that they became instant best sellers. Zweig was also an intellectual and a lover of all the arts, high and low. Yet after Hitler’s rise to power, this celebrated writer who had dedicated so much energy to promoting international humanism plummeted, in a matter of a few years, into an increasingly isolated exile — from London to Bath to New York City, then Ossining, Rio, and finally Petrópolis (Brazil) — where, in 1942, in a cramped bungalow, he and his wife killed themselves.
The President of brazil attended his state funeral
News of his death was on the front page of newspapers, including The New York Times.
Thomas Mann, the leader of German exiles, telegrammed that he was saddened by the death, but felt Zweig was a coward. Irmgard Keun wrote that he was a noble thinskinned Jew, living in an immaculate glass world, who was open to harm.
The Impossible Exile tells the tragic story of Zweig’s extraordinary rise and fall while it also depicts, with great acumen, the gulf between the world of ideas in Europe and in America, and the consuming struggle of those forced to forsake one for the other. Why did some exiles get inspiration from exile, while others were ruined?
It also reveals how Zweig embodied, through his work, thoughts, and behavior, the end of an era—the implosion of Europe as an ideal of Western civilization.
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[book] The Downfall of Abba Hillel Silver
and the Foundation of Israel
The Defeated Zionist
by Ofer Shiff
2014
Syracuse University Press
Silver was the most instrumental American Jewish leader in the political struggle that led to the foundation of the State of Israel. Almost overnight the most influential leader - one who was admired and feared by both supporters and opponents - was stripped of his power within both the Zionist and the American Jewish arenas. Shiff's book discerns the various aspects of the striking turnabout in Silver's political fate, describing both the personal tragic story of a leader who was defeated by his own victory, and the much broader intra-Zionist battle which erupted in full force immediately after the founding of Israel.
Ofer Shiff is professor of Jewish history at Ben-Gurion University, where he served as director of the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Studies of Israel and Zionism from 2001 to 2004. He is the author of Survival through Integration: American Reform Jewish Universalism and the Holocaust and is the editor of the Hebrew periodical Iyunim Bitkumat Israel.
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[book] Becoming Freud
The Making of a Psychoanalyst
(Jewish Lives)
by Adam Phillips (Charing Cross, London)
May 2014
Yale University Press
Becoming Freud is the story of the young Freud—Freud up until the age of fifty—that incorporates all of Freud’s many misgivings about the art of biography. Freud invented a psychological treatment that involved the telling and revising of life stories, but he was himself skeptical of the writing of such stories. In this biography, Adam Phillips, whom the New Yorker calls “Britain’s foremost psychoanalytical writer,” emphasizes the largely and inevitably undocumented story of Freud’s earliest years as the oldest—and favored—son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe and suggests that the psychoanalysis Freud invented was, among many other things, a psychology of the immigrant—increasingly, of course, everybody’s status in the modern world.
Psychoanalysis was also Freud’s way of coming to terms with the fate of the Jews in Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. So as well as incorporating the writings of Freud and his contemporaries, Becoming Freud also uses the work of historians of the Jews in Europe in this significant period in their lives, a period of unprecedented political freedom and mounting persecution. Phillips concludes by speculating what psychoanalysis might have become if Freud had died in 1906, before the emergence of a psychoanalytic movement over which he had to preside.
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[book] JABOTINSKY
(Jewish Lives)
by Hillel Halkin
May 2014
Yale University Press
Vladimir Jabotinsky (1880–1940) was a man of huge paradoxes and contradictions and has been the most misunderstood of all Zionist politicians--a first-rate novelist, a celebrated Russian journalist, and the founder of the branch of Zionism now headed by Benjamin Netanyahu. This biography, the first in English in more than two decades, undertakes to answer central questions about Jabotinsky as a writer, a political thinker, and a leader. Hillel Halkin sets aside the stereotypes to which Jabotinsky has been reduced by his would-be followers and detractors alike.
Halkin explains the importance of Odessa, Jabotinsky’s native city, in molding his character and outlook; discusses his novels and short stories, showing the sometimes hidden connections between them and Jabotinsky’s political thought, and studies a political career that ended in tragic failure. Halkin also addresses Jabotinsky’s position, unique among the great figures of Zionist history, as both a territorial maximalist and a principled believer in democracy. The author inquires why Jabotinsky was often accused of fascist tendencies though he abhorred authoritarian and totalitarian politics, and investigates the many opposed aspects of his personality and conduct while asking whether or not they had an ultimate coherence. Few figures in twentieth-century Jewish life were quite so admired and loathed, and Halkin’s splendid, subtle book explores him with empathy and lucidity.
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[book] DELANCEY
A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant, A Marriage
BY MOLLY WIZENBERG
May 2014
Simon and Schuster
HEY. I know Molly Wizenberg (daughter of the late Dr. Morris Weisenberg Wizenberg of Oklahoma City) is Episcopalian, and the name Delancey refers to a restaurant in Seattle and not Loisaida NYC, but it is an interesting book and I am adding it to the site)
In this funny, frank, and tender new memoir, the author of the New York Times bestseller A Homemade Life and the blog Orangette recounts how opening a pizza restaurant in the Seattle area sparked the first crisis of her young marriage.
When Molly Wizenberg married Brandon Pettit, she vowed to support him and work with him to make their hopes and dreams come true. Even when Brandon’s enthusiasms—building a boat, constructing a violin, and opening an ice cream shop—turned out to be nothing more than passing ideas, Molly stayed by his side, supportive and optimistic.
So when Brandon decided to open a pizza restaurant, Molly was certain it would join the boat, the violin, and the ice cream shop on his list of abandoned projects. Before she knew it, he’d signed a lease on a space. The restaurant, Delancey, was going to be a reality, and all of Molly’s assumptions about her married life were about to change.
The two partners gutted and renovated the space, built their own furniture, hired staff, and passed health inspections. When their restaurant turned out to be a success, Molly tried her best to convince herself she was happy in their new life. But that was before Halloween night, when she was forced to admit she hadn’t been honest with herself or Brandon.
With twenty new home kitchen recipes and evocative photos by Molly, Delancey is a moving and honest account of how two young people learned to give in and let go in order to strengthen their bond and receive something more.
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[book] INVISIBLE CITY
A mystery novel
By Julia Dahl
May 2014
Minotaur
Just months after Rebekah Roberts was born, her mother, an Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn, abandoned her Christian boyfriend and newborn baby to return to her religion. Neither Rebekah nor her father have heard from her since. Now a recent college graduate, Rebekah has moved to New York City to follow her dream of becoming a big-city reporter. But she’s also drawn to the idea of being closer to her mother, who might still be living in the Hasidic community in Brooklyn.
Rebekah is called to cover the story of a murdered Hasidic woman. Rebekah’s shocked to learn that, because of the NYPD’s habit of kow-towing to the powerful ultra-Orthodox community, not only will the woman be buried without an autopsy, her killer may get away with murder.
Rebekah can’t let the story end there. But getting to the truth won’t be easy—even as she immerses herself in the cloistered world where her mother grew up, it's clear that she's not welcome, and everyone she meets has a secret to keep from an outsider.
In her riveting debut Invisible City, journalist Julia Dahl introduces a compelling new character in search of the truth about a murder and an understanding of her own heritage.

NOTE: The author hails from Fresno, California, and has a Jewish mother and Christian father. The author was a reporter for the NY Post, and covers crime for CBS News. When she moved with her husband to Brooklyn, she learned the her place had been previously occupied by a Hassidic man wo killed himself after he wsa shunned for being gay. She was also assigned to cover a news story of a Hasidic groom who fell from his hotel room on his honeymoon, or was it a suicide.

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[book] The Lion's Gate
On the Front Lines of the Six Day War
by Steven Pressfield
May 2014
Sentinel
The bestselling author of Gates of Fire and Killing Rommel delivers his first work of military nonfiction—an epic narrative of the Six Day War.

FIRST A QUICK NOTE. THIS IS A HYBRID History. The author recoreates conversation based on memoirs, and he interviews people who were on the front lines in the battles. Memories fail. Sometimes in the same room, a few men would be interviewed and recall the same incident differently and the timing of events differently. Some battles are left out of this book. He does not purport to be the concise history. This is the history based on recollections and recreations based on published memoirs.

June 5, 1967. The fearsome, Soviet-equipped Egyptian Army and its 1000 tanks are massed on Israel’s southern border. Meanwhile, the Syrian Army is shelling the much smaller nation from the north. And to the east, Jordan and Iraq are moving brigades and fighter squadrons into position to attack. Egypt’s President Nasser has declared that the Arab world’s goal is no less than “the destruction of Israel.”
June 10, 1967. The combined Arab armies are in ruins, their air forces totally destroyed. Israel’s citizen-soldiers have seized the Gaza Strip and the entire Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria, East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan. The land under Israeli control has tripled. The charismatic, eye-patch wearing Defense Minister Moshe Dayan has barreled through the Lion’s Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, meeting up with a gang of paratroopers who have already raised the blue and white flag that frames the Star of David.
How on earth did this happen?
Only Steven Pressfield could get the real story from the fighter jocks in the air, the tank commanders through the sand, and the infantrymen on the ground. Through more than 300 hours of interviews conducted in Israel, he has written a gripping chronicle of the six days that changed the Middle East forever. He also captures the universal experience of individual soldiers compelled to stare down mortal fear and move headlong into a firestorm.
The Lion’s Gate blends the immediacy of Mark Bowden’s Black Hawk Down, the esprit de corps of Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers, and the soul of James Bradley’s Flags of Our Fathers. It will join the indispensable canon of military nonfiction.
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[book] ALL ROADS LEAD TO JERUSALEM
A MEMOIR
A Muslim American Woman Looking for Hope
And Answers in the West Bank of the Jordan
By Jenny Jones
May 2014
Titletown
As a young Teen in Oregon, Jenny Jones read the Koran in English and converted from Christianity to Islam. As an adult she married a man from the West Bank and had children. When Jenny Jones and her three children move from their Washington home to that of Jenny's in-laws in the West Bank, the village of Safa seems like a haven. Sheltered from much of the area's troubles, Jenny considers the village to be the ideal place for her children to explore a part of their identity they deserved to know more about.
In spite of its pastoral charm, Safa is far more complex than Jenny had imagined.
On top of dealing with inter-tribal battles, and the military, Jenny has to deal with her in-laws and day-to-day difficulties caused by her less than eloquent Arabic and frequent cultural misunderstandings.
All Roads Lead to Jerusalem depicts a woman's struggle to find a sense of inner peace after realizing that neither the restrictive Islamic culture she has chosen, nor the increasingly hostile North American society she was born into, seem to offer the acceptance she yearns for.
Also.. she learns about a dig on the Temple Mount and decides to try to work at it as a woman and foreigner.
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[book] ADDICTION BY DESIGN
Machine Gambling in Las Vegas
by Natasha Dow Schüll
May 2014
Princeton University Press
Recent decades have seen a dramatic shift away from social forms of gambling played around roulette wheels and card tables to solitary gambling at electronic terminals. Slot machines, revamped by ever more compelling digital and video technology, have unseated traditional casino games as the gambling industry's revenue mainstay. Addiction by Design takes readers into the intriguing world of machine gambling, an increasingly popular and absorbing form of play that blurs the line between human and machine, compulsion and control, risk and reward.
Drawing on fifteen years of field research in Las Vegas, anthropologist Natasha Dow Schüll shows how the mechanical rhythm of electronic gambling pulls players into a trancelike state they call the "machine zone," in which daily worries, social demands, and even bodily awareness fade away. Once in the zone, gambling addicts play not to win but simply to keep playing, for as long as possible--even at the cost of physical and economic exhaustion. In continuous machine play, gamblers seek to lose themselves while the gambling industry seeks profit. Schüll describes the strategic calculations behind game algorithms and machine ergonomics, casino architecture and "ambience management," player tracking and cash access systems--all designed to meet the market's desire for maximum "time on device." Her account moves from casino floors into gamblers' everyday lives, from gambling industry conventions and Gamblers Anonymous meetings to regulatory debates over whether addiction to gambling machines stems from the consumer, the product, or the interplay between the two.
Addiction by Design is a compelling inquiry into the intensifying traffic between people and machines of chance, offering clues to some of the broader anxieties and predicaments of contemporary life. At stake in Schüll's account of the intensifying traffic between people and machines of chance is a blurring of the line between design and experience, profit and loss, control and compulsion.
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[book] The Tastemakers
Why We're Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue
by David Sax
May 2014
PublicAffairs
From the Canadian writer who told us about DELI HISTORY in SAVE THE DELI: IN SEARCH OF PERFECT PASTAMI, CRUSTRY RYE, and the HEART OF JEWISH DELICATESSEN
Greek yogurt. Spicy chipotle mayo. Honeycrisp apples. The Cronut. These days, it seems we are constantly discovering a new food that will make us healthier, happier, or even somehow smarter. After a brief life as a novelty houseplant and "I Love the '80s" punchline, chia seeds are suddenly a superfood. Speaking of which, what ever happened to pomegranate juice? Or acai berries? Did they suddenly cease to be healthy in 2010? And by the way, what exactly is a superfood again?
In this eye-opening, witty work of reportage, David Sax uncovers the world of food trends: where they come from, how they grow, and where they end up. From the test labs at Dole foods to the food truck lobby to the 20 seconds of Sex and the City that forever changed the fate of the cupcake, Sax reveals the money and influence behind what you eat for breakfast.
In sections on how food trends are created, what makes them explode, and why they matter, Sax travels America in search of the farmers, planners, and chefs who help decide what you will spend three hours waiting for on a SoHo sidewalk. The Tastemakers is full of entertaining stories and useful bits of wisdom for maintaining your sanity in the complex world of food choices.
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Not a Jewish book, but interesting nevertheless
[book] GOOD TALK, DAD
The Birds and the Bees…
And Other Conversations We FORGOT to Have
By Bill Geist and Willie Geist
May 2014
Grand Central Publishing
From popular TV hosts and bestselling authors Bill and Willie Geist, a hilarious testament to the special nature of father-son relationships.
GOOD TALK, DAD, open at Willie’s baptism, as a teen. His parents never got him baptized as a newborn, and he was so active in the church, it was about time for the ceremony
This talented father-son team shares stories of their funny and heartwarming relationship. Told in a unique back-and-forth banter style, this extended conversation riffs on everything from music and sports to summer camp, driving lessons, and family life. Imagine Big Russ & Me meets Sh*t My Dad Says.
After Bill went public with his struggle with Parkinsons disease, the Geists decided to collaborate on this book so their children and grandchildren would have a record of their unique bond. Now that Willie is a father (and Bill a grandfather), Willie has continued Bill's child-rearing traditions in the hopes of carrying on the riotous Geistian parenting legacy. The result is delightfully entertaining, wildly funny, and poignant as well.

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[book] KOSHER LUST
LOVE IS NOT THE ANSWER
Lust as the Glue To Marriage
By Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
Spring 2014
Gefen Publishing House
Boy meets girl. Boy marries girl. Boy and girl enjoy the sparks in the early years, but eventually settle into a comfortable friendship, and all passion disappears from their marriage. That s just the way it goes, right? As many as one in three long-term marriages in America are sexless, and most people accept this as the inevitable course of a romantic relationship. In this groundbreaking book, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach explains why the prioritizing of love and companionship in marriage is all wrong, and why we should not go quietly into that dark night of celibate marriage. It is not love, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach shows, but lust that is the glue of a marriage.
In this book you will learn how to restore lust to its rightful place as the central pillar of marriage. You will learn about the three principles of lust, and how to tap into them to keep the flames burning in the family hearth. Finally, you will discover the incredible emotional and spiritual potential of the intimate marital bond. In a wide-ranging discussion that plumbs the depths of the erotic mind, Rabbi Shmuley delivers a revolutionary message with the power to completely transform your most important relationship
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[book] Not Your Ordinary Housewife
How the Man I Loved Led Me into
a World I Had Never Imagined
by Nikki Stern
May 2014
Allen & Unwin IPG
The fascinating and extraordinary true story of how a young woman from a privileged, wealthy, Australian Jewish family found herself drawn into a dark world of petty prostitution and pornography by the troubled man she loved
Having spent the first eight months of her life in an orphanage before being adopted by a prominent Jewish family in Melbourne and attending MLC (school uniforms can be useful later in life), university graduate Stern became a promising glass artist but had to give up this career due to an eye condition. In Amsterdam, aged 27, she met her future husband, Paul—the extremely talented but damaged 19-year-old Dutch-Canadian cartoonist whose marketing genius would convert her into an extremely profitable sexual commodity.
Paul and Nikki embarked on a passionate love affair, enjoying the hedonistic days of the 1980s before eloping and returning to Australia. But soon Nikki found herself in a world she never imagined.
Descending into the depths of the sex industry — as a dominatrix, stripper, prostitute, and porn star — there was almost nothing she didn't do. Despite a stormy marriage, she and Paul starred in and marketed their highly successful Horny Housewife X-rated videos as she became the queen of Australian erotica.
Leading a double life as a mother of three small children, Nikki struggled not merely with censorship but with child welfare authorities and the judgement of mainstream society. In this extraordinary memoir, Nikki vividly recounts her intriguing past with emotional honesty and great insight, making it an unflinching and absorbing account of the incredible life of the Horny Housewife.
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Conversations with Jerry Lewis
by Richard Belzer
May 2014
Weinstein Books/Perseus
Conversations between actor/comedian/author Richard Belzer and 87 year old Jerry Lewis. Translated from the French?









[book] UNSTILL LIFE
A Daughter’s Memoir of Art and
Love in the Age of Abstraction
By Gabrielle Selz, daughter of Peter Selz of MoMA
May 2014
WW Norton and Company
Luminous and revealing, a daughter's memoir of the art world and a larger-than-life father.
Gabrielle Selz grew up in a home full of the most celebrated artists of the 1960s and 1970s: Rothko, de Kooning, Tinguely, Giacometti, and Christo. Her father, Peter Selz, was the chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in the heyday of Abstract Expressionism. Selz's father was vibrant and freewheeling, but his enthusiasm for both women and art took its toll on their family life. When her father left to direct his own museum in California, going on to marry four more times, Selz's mother, writer Thalia Selz, moved with her children into the utopian artist community of Westbeth. Still, her parents continued a tumultuous affair that would last 40 years.
Weaving her family narrative into the larger story of twentieth-century art and culture, Selz paints an unforgettable portrait of a charismatic man, the generation of modern artists he championed, and the daughter whose life he shaped.
(Selz was an art historian of German Expressionism and Professor of Art History, University of California, Berkeley,1965-1988. Selz was the son of Eugene Selz and Edith Drey (Selz). Of Jewish parentage, he fled Nazi Germany with his family arriving in the United States in 1936. Selz attended Columbia University for the 1937-38 year. He also established a connection with Alfred Stieglitz, a distant relative, who introduced him to many New York and European expatriate artists. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army in Office of Strategic Services from 1941 until 1946. After the War, he married the writer Thalia Cheronis in 1948. Selz attended the University of Chicago, where he received his A. M., in 1949, and two Fulbright Awards to study German Expressionism. Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











N O W IN P A P E R B A C K
[book] The Poetry of Kabbalah
Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition
(The Margellos World Republic of Letters)
Edited by Peter Cole
Afterword by Aminadav Dykman
Spring 2014
Now in paperback from Yale University Press
This groundbreaking collection presents for the first time in English a substantial body of poetry from the world of Jewish mysticism. Taking up Gershom Scholem's call to plumb the "tremendous poetic potential concealed" in the Kabbalistic tradition, MacArthur-winning poet and translator Peter Cole provides dazzling English renderings of works composed on three continents over a period of some fifteen hundred years. The volume presents the texts in their original languages alongside the English translations. These prayerful poems represent different cultural terrains and take up multiple tacks. The reader will encounter cosmological masterpieces and occasional poems; erotic charms and epic phantasmagoria; ballad-like lyrics and didactic mottoes; simple hymns of pure devotion and gnomic verse of numerical intrigue. Cole supplies an insightful introduction along with commentaries on the poems, and in an elegant afterword Aminadav Dykman places Kabbalistic verse in the context of world literature.
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HALLELUYA! THE JEWS ARE DESTROYED!
[book] Tainted Glory in Handel’s Messiah
The Unsettling History of the
World’s Most Beloved Choral Work
by Michael Marissen (Swarthmore)
Spring 2014
Yale University Press
Every Easter, audiences across the globe thrill to performances of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus,” but they would probably be appalled to learn the full extent of the oratorio’s anti-Judaic message. In this pioneering study, respected musicologist Michael Marissen examines Handel’s masterwork and uncovers a disturbing message of anti-Judaism buried within its joyous celebration of the divinity of the Christ.
Discovering previously unidentified historical source materials enabled the author to investigate the circumstances that led to the creation of the Messiah and expose the hateful sentiments masked by magnificent musical artistry—including the famed “Hallelujah Chorus,” which rejoices in the “dashing to pieces” of God’s enemies, among them the “people of Israel.”
Marissen’s fascinating, provocative work offers musical scholars and general readers alike an unsettling new appreciation of one of the world’s best-loved and most widely performed works of religious music..
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[book] Death Tourism
Disaster Sites as Recreational Landscape
Paperback
by Brigitte Sion, PhD (NYU, Performance Studies)
May 2014
Seagull
Auschwitz. Hiroshima. Cambodia’s killing fields. The World Trade Center. The mass graves of Rwanda. These places of violent death have become part of the recreational landscape of tourism, an industry that is otherwise dedicated to pleasure and escape. In dark places like concentration camps, prisons, battlegrounds, and the sites of natural disasters, how are memory and trauma mediated by thanotourism, or tourism of death? In Death Tourism, Brigitte Sion brings together essays by some of the most trenchant voices in the field to look at the tensions created by the juxtaposition of human remains and food stands, political agendas and educational programs, economic development and architectural ambition. How does a state redefine its national identity after catastrophic trauma? And what is the role of this kind of tourism in defining their new identity? A timely volume on an irresistible subject, this inquiry exposes the intersection of leisure with the inhumane, giving insight into how people respectfully share a public space that is both free and sacred, compelling and tragic.
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[book] The Glitter Plan
How We Started Juicy Couture for $200 and
Turned It into a Global Brand
by Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor
with Booth Moore
May 2014
Gotham
Part memoir, part business manual, and 100% juicy—the inside story of Juicy Couture, one of the most iconic brands of our times
While working together at a Los Angeles boutique, Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor became fast and furious friends over the impossibility of finding the perfect T-shirt. Following their vision of comfortable, fitted T-shirts, they set up shop in Gela’s one-bedroom Hollywood apartment with $200 and one rule: Whatever they did, they both had to be obsessed by it. The best friends’ project became Juicy Couture. Pam and Gela eventually sold their company to Liz Claiborne for $50 million, but not before they created a whole new genre of casual clothing that came to define California cool.
Pamela and Gela built an empire from the ground up, using themselves as models to build their patterns and placing their merchandise by storming into stores and handing out samples. They balanced careful growth with innovative tactics—sending Madonna a tracksuit with her nickname, Madge, embroidered on it—and created a unique, bold, and unconventional business plan that was all their own: the Glitter Plan.
Now, Pam and Gela reveal the secrets of Juicy’s success: how they learned to find and stick with the right colleagues and trust their instincts when it became time to move on to their next project. They also share their missteps and hilarious lessons learned—like the time robbers stole one thousand pairs of maternity shortalls, which the partners took as the first sign to get out of the maternity clothing business.
Told in the bright, cheery voice that defines Juicy style even today, The Glitter Plan shows readers how to transform passion and ideas into business success. Aspiring designers, Juicy fans, and business readers of all stripes will be enthralled by the story of spirit and savvy behind Pam and Gela’s multimillion-dollar fashion empire.
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[book] Hitchhiking with Larry David
An Accidental Tourist's Summer of
Self-Discovery in Martha's Vineyard
by Paul Samuel Dolman
May 2014
Gotham
A memoir about a broken-hearted, middle-aged man who stumbles upon solace, meaning, and Larry David while hitchhiking his way around Martha’s Vineyard
One summer day on Martha’s Vineyard Paul Samuel Dolman was hitchhiking, and none other than Larry David pulled over and asked, “You’re not a serial killer or something, are you?” The comedic writer and actor from Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm not only gave Dolman a ride, but helped him find his way during his summer of soul-searching and hitchhiking.
Dolman found himself on Martha’s Vineyard that summer having made the catastrophic mistake of visiting “The Parental Asylum” in the wake of a painful breakup. His mother is welcoming, albeit senile and neurotically rigid. But his dad “only has the social energy to be nice to humans for about 10 minutes a day.” Desperately seeking companionship, Dolman begins hitchhiking around the island and meets a wide array of characters: the super-rich and the homeless, movie stars and common folk, and, of course, Mr. David. Astonishingly, it is Dolman’s growing friendship with the famous comedian that becomes the lodestar of his spiritual quest. (Yes, Larry David gets deep!)
Written with disarming honest humor and perfectly capturing Larry David’s unique comic genius, Hitchhiking with Larry David will leave readers simultaneously laughing and crying as they ponder the mystery and spirituality of life.
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[book] PILGRIM
RISKING MY LIFE I HAVE
TO FIND THE FAITH I SEEK
BY LEE KRAVITZ
Former Editor of Parade Magazine
May 2014
Hudson Street Press
A former editor in chief of Parade magazine embarks on a spiritual quest that goes to the heart of what really matters in life Lee Kravitz is adrift—shaken deeply after 9/11 and the loss of his job, he begins to feel the pull toward rediscovering his spirituality. He faces resistance from his wife, who doesn’t understand why their family life can’t provide what he needs, but when he suffers what he thinks is a heart attack and calls out for God, Lee realizes he must take action. His journey takes him to many places—Quaker meetings, Catholic mass, and even sessions with an astrologer—and blends memoir, religion, and science, culminating in a narrative that speaks to the universal need to feel connected to the world around us.
In documenting his quest to pursue a contemplative life in the chaos of everyday existence and fit his religion-shaped needs into a secular mold, Lee offers a blueprint for anyone who might find himself lost at one point or another. With forays into meditation, Quakerism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Protestantism, Judaism, and more, Pilgrim is an engrossing, thoughtful, and stirring guide for readers of Kathleen Norris and Anne Lamott.
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[book] Jewish Wisdom for Daily Life
Sayings of Rabbi Menahem Mendl of Kotzk
Edited by Miriam Chaikin
Illustrated by the rabbi’s descendant, Gabriel Lisowski
May 2014
Arcade
Rabbi Menahem Mendl was a Hassidic master renowned for his wisdom throughout Europe. The spiritual leader of the Jews in a small stetl called Kotzk in a corner of Poland, he was nevertheless so famous that he was he was referred to far and wide as the Kotzker. His wise sayings—about human nature, how to live, and the world of the spirit—were repeated and passed around, and, though he kept no records, they have been savored and preserved through the years. This beautifully produced collection gathers more than 130 of his sayings and joins them with elegant cut-paper illustrations by the rabbi’s great-great-great-grandson, the illustrator Gabriel Lisowki, who has also provided an introduction about his ancestor.
Jewish Wisdom for Daily Life is a treasure for spiritual seekers or anyone who enjoys life’s lessons distilled into trenchant and memorable aphoristic gems. Here are a few:
Everyone has something to teach, even a thief. If he fails he tries again. If he finds nothing of value, he takes what he finds.
There is nothing more whole than a broken heart.
Angels are God’s favorite creatures. It’s easy to see why. They are not jealous and they like to sing.
Whoever believes in miracles is an imbecile. Whoever does not is an atheist

I think these gems are in a raw form. It could have used more editing, but sometimes it is good to see the sayings as they were recalled and recording before they are polished.
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[book] The Lion's Gate
On the Front Lines of the Six Day War
by Steven Pressfield (StevenPressfield.com)
May 2014
Sentinel
The bestselling author of Gates of Fire and Killing Rommel delivers his first work of military nonfiction—an epic narrative of the Six Day War.
June 5, 1967. The fearsome, Soviet-equipped Egyptian Army and its 1000 tanks are massed on Israel’s southern border. Meanwhile, the Syrian Army is shelling the much smaller nation from the north. And to the east, Jordan and Iraq are moving brigades and fighter squadrons into position to attack. Egypt’s President Nasser has declared that the Arab world’s goal is no less than “the destruction of Israel.”
June 10, 1967. The combined Arab armies are in ruins, their air forces totally destroyed. Israel’s citizen-soldiers have seized the Gaza Strip and the entire Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria, East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan. The land under Israeli control has tripled. The charismatic, eye-patch wearing Defense Minister Moshe Dayan has barreled through the Lion’s Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, meeting up with a gang of paratroopers who have already raised the blue and white flag that frames the Star of David.
How on earth did this happen?
Only Steven Pressfield could get the real story from the fighter jocks in the air, the tank commanders through the sand, and the infantrymen on the ground. Through more than 300 hours of interviews conducted in Israel, he has written a gripping chronicle of the six days that changed the Middle East forever. He also captures the universal experience of individual soldiers compelled to stare down mortal fear and move headlong into a firestorm.
The Lion’s Gate blends the immediacy of Mark Bowden’s Black Hawk Down, the esprit de corps of Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers, and the soul of James Bradley’s Flags of Our Fathers. It will join the indispensable canon of military nonfiction.
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[book] UNLEARNING WITH HANNAH ARENDT
BY MARIE LUISE KNOTT
May 2014
Other Press
Short-listed for the Tractatus Essay Prize, an examination of the innovative strategies Arendt used to achieve intellectual freedom
After observing the trial of Adolf Eichmann, Hannah Arendt articulated her controversial concept of the “banality of evil,” thereby posing one of the most chilling and divisive moral questions of the twentieth century: How can genocidal acts be carried out by non-psychopathic people? By revealing the full complexity of the trial with reasoning that defied prevailing attitudes, Arendt became the object of severe and often slanderous criticism, losing some of her closest friends as well as being labeled a “self-hating Jew.” And while her theories have continued to draw innumerable opponents, Arendt’s work remains an invaluable resource for those seeking greater insight into the more problematic aspects of human nature.
Anchoring its discussion in the themes of translation, forgiveness, dramatization, and even laughter, Unlearning with Hannah Arendt explores the ways in which this iconic political theorist “unlearned” recognized trends and patterns—both philosophical and cultural—to establish a theoretical praxis all her own. Through an analysis of the social context and intellectual influences—Karl Jaspers, Walter Benjamin, and Martin Heidegger—that helped shape Arendt’s process, Knott has formed a historically engaged and incisive contribution to Arendt’s legacy.
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[book] Sexual Fitness:
The Ultimate Guide to Pump While You Hump,
Tone While You Bone and Shred in the Bed
by D. J. Gugenheim, Marc Fellner-Erez,
Anat Fellner-Erez, and Lee Asher
May 2014
St. Martin’s Griffin Press
It’s time to work out, but your partner wants to be intimate. SEXUAL FITNESS is the simple solution to this wonderful dilemma. Make your bedroom your gym and your partner your dumbbell. Most sex books are just description manuals or photo albums with silly photos of waxed couples making ridiculous faces while they try to hide any genitalia from the camera. The truth is that when you are getting it on you don’t want to stop to read the next paragraph. SEXUAL FITNESS is a quick reference funny-read-for-the-bedroom excercise catalyst.
As entertaining as they come, SEXUAL FITNESS also strives to give you an incredible and ass-kicking challenge. Experts say that during a sexual romp a person will burn between 100-150 calories. While there is no way of truly aggregating what you’ll burn, these workouts are designed to help you burn between 220-400 calories per workout or more! Try out new positions that will help you work your core and blow your… mind:
There is a checklist. You can check each one off as you complete it
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[book] THE VACATIONERS
A Novel
by Emma Straub
May 2014
Riverhead Books
An irresistible, deftly observed novel about the secrets, joys, and jealousies that rise to the surface over the course of an American family’s two-week stay in Mallorca.
For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. The sunlit island, its mountains and beaches, its tapas and tennis courts, also promise an escape from the tensions simmering at home in Manhattan. But all does not go according to plan: over the course of the vacation, secrets come to light, old and new humiliations are experienced, childhood rivalries resurface, and ancient wounds are exacerbated.
This is a story of the sides of ourselves that we choose to show and those we try to conceal, of the ways we tear each other down and build each other up again, and the bonds that ultimately hold us together. With wry humor and tremendous heart, Emma Straub delivers a richly satisfying story of a family in the midst of a maelstrom of change, emerging irrevocably altered yet whole..
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[book] The Good Spy
The Life and Death of Robert Ames
By Kai Bird
May 2014
Crown
The son of a diplomat based in Israel, Kai Bird grew up in Jerusalem and knows the processes of embassies, spies, and diplomacy well.
The Good Spy is Kai Bird’s compelling portrait of the remarkable life and death of one of the most important operatives in CIA history – a man who, had he lived, might have helped heal the rift between Arabs and the West.
On April 18, 1983, a bomb exploded outside the American Embassy in Beirut, killing 63 people. The attack was a geopolitical turning point. It marked the beginning of Hezbollah as a political force, but even more important, it eliminated America’s most influential and effective intelligence officer in the Middle East – CIA operative Robert Ames.
What set Ames apart from his peers was his extraordinary ability to form deep, meaningful connections with key Arab intelligence figures. Some operatives relied on threats and subterfuge, but Ames worked by building friendships and emphasizing shared values – never more notably than with Yasir Arafat’s charismatic intelligence chief and heir apparent Ali Hassan Salameh (aka “The Red Prince”). Ames’ deepening relationship with Salameh held the potential for a lasting peace. Within a few years, though, both men were killed by assassins, and America’s relations with the Arab world began heading down a path that culminated in 9/11, the War on Terror, and the current state of mistrust.
Bird, who as a child lived in the Beirut Embassy and knew Ames as a neighbor when he was twelve years old, spent years researching The Good Spy. Not only does the book draw on hours of interviews with Ames’ widow, and quotes from hundreds of Ames’ private letters, it’s woven from interviews with scores of current and former American, Israeli, and Palestinian intelligence officers as well as other players in the Middle East “Great Game.”
What emerges is a masterpiece-level narrative of the making of a CIA officer, a uniquely insightful history of twentieth-century conflict in the Middle East, and an absorbing hour-by-hour account of the Beirut Embassy bombing. Even more impressive, Bird draws on his reporter’s skills to deliver a full dossier on the bombers and expose the shocking truth of where the attack’s mastermind resides today.
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[book] From Galilee to the Negev
By Stephen Shore
May 2014
Phaidon
Stephen Shore is a pioneering photographer and influential teacher. At age 14, his photos were already acquired by MoMA. From Galilee to the Negev is an intimate portrait of a multi-faceted place, exploring the landscape of Israel and the Palestinian territories of the West Bank; its complexities and its contradictions. Shore traveled the length and breadth of the region, questioning and revealing through his camera lens.
His visual inquiry explores the landscape itself and the people who live in it - the daily lives and the narratives that combine to create this fascinating place - at once beautiful and ugly, safe and hostile.
A selection of texts by a diverse range of writers - who have each selected one photograph as a spring board - will be interspersed amongst the photographs, offering a gathering of voices and perspectives..
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[book] The Animals
Love Letters Between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy
by Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy (Author)
Edited by Katherine Bucknell
May 2014
FS&G
The love story between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy—in their own words
Christopher Isherwood was the celebrated middle-aged English author of Goodbye to Berlin when he met the Californian teenager Don Bachardy on a Santa Monica beach in 1952. (IF YOU SAW THE FILM , SINGLE MAN, there is sort of similar scene)
Defying convention, the two created an enduring relationship out of that initial spark — living as an openly gay couple for more than three decades in the closeted world of Hollywood, California.
THE ANIMALS is the testimony in letters of their partnership, which lasted until Isherwood’s death in 1986 — despite a thirty-year age gap, affairs, jealousies, the pressures of literary fame, and the disdain of for gays.
Why the animals? Because they spoke of each other as animals in their letters
In romantic letters to each other, they invented the private world of the Animals. Isherwood was Dobbin, a stubborn old workhorse; Bachardy was a rash, spirited white kitten named Kitty.
Playful, The Animals shows a devotion between two creative spirits in tenderness and storms.

AND Guess What Else it Shows?

It shows that Isherwood was a raging anti-Semite, not a casual one.. but a serious, professional one. Hard to believe from a guy whose stories were the basis of CABARET. Was it his British prep school upbringing and years living in Weimar and Nazi Germany? I don’t think you can look at Cabaret the same way again










[book] A Social Strategy
How We Profit from Social Media
by Mikolaj Jan Piskorski (Harvard B School)
May 2014
Princeton University
Almost no one had heard of social media a decade ago, but today websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have more than 1 billion users and account for almost 25 percent of Internet use. Practically overnight, social media seems indispensable to our lives--from friendship and dating to news and business.
What makes social media so different from traditional media? Answering that question is the key to making social media work for any business, argues Miko?aj Piskorski, one of the world's leading experts on the business of social media. In A Social Strategy, he provides the most convincing answer yet, one backed by original research, data, and case studies from companies such as Nike and American Express.
Drawing on his analysis of proprietary data from social media sites, Piskorski argues that the secret of successful ones is that they allow people to fulfill social needs that either can't be met offline or can be met only at much greater cost. This insight provides the key to how companies can leverage social platforms to create a sustainable competitive advantage. Companies need to help people interact with each other before they will promote products to their friends or help companies in other ways. Done right, a company's social media should benefit customers and the firm. Piskorski calls this "a social strategy," and he describes how companies such as Yelp and Zynga have done it.
Groundbreaking and important, A Social Strategy provides not only a story- and data-driven explanation for the explosion of social media but also an invaluable, concrete road map for any company that wants to tap the marketing potential of this remarkable phenomenon..
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[book] KNISH
In Search of the Jewish Soul Food
(HBI Series on Jewish Women)
by Laura Silver
May 2014
When Laura Silver’s favorite knish shop went out of business, the native New Yorker sank into mourning, but then she sprang into action. She embarked on a round-the-world quest for the origins and modern-day manifestations of the knish.
The iconic potato pie leads the author from Mrs. Stahl’s bakery in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, to an Italian pasta maker in New Jersey—and on to a hunt across three continents for the pastry that shaped her identity. Starting in New York, she tracks down heirs to several knish dynasties and discovers that her own family has roots in a Polish town named Knyszyn.
With good humor and a hunger for history, Silver mines knish lore for stories of entrepreneurship, survival, and major deliciousness. Along the way, she meets Minnesota seniors who make knishes for weekly fundraisers, foodies determined to revive the legacy of Mrs. Stahl, and even the legendary knish maker’s granddaughters, who share their joie de vivre—and their family recipe.
Knish connections to Eleanor Roosevelt and rap music?
Die-hard investigator Silver unearths those and other intriguing anecdotes involving the starchy snack once so common along Manhattan’s long-lost Knish Alley.
In a series of funny, moving, and touching episodes, Silver takes us on a knish-eye tour of worlds past and present, thus laying the foundation for a global knish renaissance.

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[book] My Yiddish Vacation
by Ione Skye with Scott Menchin
May 2014
Ottaviano
Whenever Ruth and Sammy visit their grandparents, they get to brush up on their Yiddish. This Jewish language, a blend of German and Hebrew, is full of words that are fun to say: words like shvitz (sweat), feh! (“It stinks!”), and schmaltz (fat). Ruth and Sammy look forward to spending time with relatives. As Ruth would say, until they arrive at their grandparent’s house, they are on shpilkes (pins and needles)!
Actress Ione Skye (Say Anything, Arrested Development, River’s Edge) drew upon her childhood experiences in this story of family ties, cultural exploration, and adventures under the sunshine.
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[book] FROM INDIA TO ISRAEL
Identity, Immigration, and the Struggle for Religious Equality
by Joseph Hodes (Tulane)
May 2014
McGill-Queens University Press
Between May 1948 and December 1951, Israel received approximately 684,000 immigrants from across the globe. The arrival of so many ethnic, linguistic, and cultural groups to such a small place in such a short time was unprecedented and the new country was ill-prepared to absorb its new citizens. The first years of the state were marked by war, agricultural failure, a housing crisis, health epidemics, a terrible culture clash, and a struggle between the religious authorities and the secular government over who was going to control the state.
In From India to Israel, Joseph Hodes examines Israel's first decades through the perspective of an Indian Jewish community, the Bene Israel, who would go on to play an important role in the creation of the state. He describes how a community of relatively high status and free from persecution under the British Raj left the recently independent India for fear of losing status, only to encounter bias and prejudice in their new country. In 1960, a decision made by the religious authorities to ban the Bene Israel from marrying other Jews on the grounds that they were not "pure Jews" set in motion a civil rights struggle between the Indian community and the religious authority with far-reaching implications. After a drawn-out struggle, and under pressure from both the government and the people, the Bene Israel were declared acceptable for marriage. A detailed look at how one immigrant community fought to maintain their place within a religion and a society, From India to Israel raises important questions about the state of Israel and its earliest struggles to absorb the diversity in its midst. .
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[book] LET'S GO EXPLORE ISRAEL
LET'S EXPLORE ISRAEL
By Zondervan
Zonderkidz
Spring 2014
Zondervan
In this full-color picture book, Israel (part of the Let’s Go Explore series), young readers travel to the holy land of Israel. Complete with photographs, maps, vocabulary call-outs, fun facts, and more, this is the perfect resource for the young explorer. Read about the Biblical significance and history of Israel as well as current and curious information about foods, clothes, places of interest, and other pertinent facts of interest. Fulfills common core standards including: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.3 Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.5 Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.6 Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.
[book] [book] See also Let's Go Explore Galilee, Let's Go Explore Jerusalem
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JUNE 2014 BOOKS



[book] REBBE
The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson,
the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History
by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
June 2014
Harper Wave
Includes a glossary of Hebrew and Yiddish terms. The inspiring story of the prominent yet deeply modest leader who rebuilt a dwindling post-holocaust community into the most influential Jewish organization in the world, the late Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
From a small synagogue In Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the late Rebbe Schneerson impacted the policies of U.S. presidents and politicians, counseled some of our greatest thinkers, and spread his teachings of love and righteousness to the far corners of the world. An ambassador for Jews globally, his role was unprecedented within a fragmented religion, comprised of diverse, often divided, sects. Many Jews—especially those involved in Chabad—believed that the Rebbe was the messiah while he was still alive.
Drawn from the Rebbe’s private correspondence, Rebbe is a rich and illuminating portrait of this remarkable man who was a devoted spiritual leader and tireless counselor; controversial advocate for women’s rights and community openness; and an accomplished scholar fluent in dozens of languages. Joseph Telushkin illuminates the Rebbe’s rich private life and chronicles his achievements, from his close bond with his congregants to his influence on presidents, including Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Throughout, Telushkin pays tribute to the Rebbe’s legacy—his teachings, of love, education, and respect—which have become engrained in millions of Jews and non-Jews alike.
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[book] Supersurvivors
The Surprising Link Between Suffering and Success
by David B. Feldman and Lee Daniel Kravetz
June 2014
Harper Wave
Pressure on coal makes diamonds. Does the crucible of challenges lead to success. Is that why Outward Bound works? Is that why Israel has high tech successes from post-Army college grads?
Starting where resiliency studies leave off, two psychologists explore the science of remarkable accomplishment in the wake of trauma, revealing the surprising principles that allow people to transform their lives and achieve extraordinary things.
Over four billion people worldwide will survive a trauma during their lives. Some will experience severe post-traumatic stress. Most will eventually recover and return to life as normal. But sometimes, survivors do more than bounce back. Sometimes they bounce forward.
These are the Supersurvivors—individuals who not only rebuild their lives, but also thrive and grow in ways never previously imagined. Beginning where resilience ends, David B. Feldman and Lee Daniel Kravetz look beyond the tenets of traditional psychology for a deeper understanding of the strength of the human spirit. What they have found flies in the face of conventional wisdom—that positive thinking may hinder more than help; that perceived support can be just as good as the real thing; and that realistic expectations may be a key to great success.
They introduce the humble but powerful notion of grounded hope as the foundation for overcoming trauma. The authors interviewed dozens of men and women whose stories serve as the counterpoint to the latest scientific research. Feldman and Kravetz then brilliantly weave these extraordinary narratives with new science, creating an emotionally compelling and thought-provoking look at what is possible in the face of human tragedy. Supersurvivors will reset our thinking about how we deal with challenges, no matter how big or small.
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[book] One Land, Two States:
Israel and Palestine as Parallel States
Edited by Mark LeVine and Mathias Mossberg
Essays by Jens Bartelson, Peter Wallensteen, Nimrod Hurvitz, Dror Zeevi, Hussein Agha, Ahmad Khalidi, Raja Khalidi, Raphael Bar-El, Liam O'Mara IV, Hiba Husseini, Eyal Megged
June 2014
University of California Press
BOOK COVER: One Land, Two States imagines a new vision for Israel and Palestine in a situation where the peace process has failed to deliver an end of conflict. “If the land cannot be shared by geographical division, and if a one-state solution remains unacceptable,” the book asks, “can the land be shared in some other way?” Leading Palestinian and Israeli experts along with international diplomats and scholars answer this timely question by examining a scenario with two parallel state structures, both covering the whole territory between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, allowing for shared rather than competing claims of sovereignty. Such a political architecture would radically transform the nature and stakes of the Israel-Palestine conflict, open up for Israelis to remain in the West Bank and maintain their security position, enable Palestinians to settle in all of historic Palestine, and transform Jerusalem into a capital for both of full equality and independence—all without disturbing the demographic balance of each state. Exploring themes of security, resistance, diaspora, globalism, and religion, as well as forms of political and economic power that are not dependent on claims of exclusive territorial sovereignty, this pioneering book offers new ideas for the resolution of conflicts worldwide.
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[book] Judaism in Transition
How Economic Choices Shape Religious Tradition
by Carmel Chiswick
(Research Professor of Economics at George Washington University) June 2014
Stanford
At the core of Judaism stands a body of traditions that have remained consistent over millennia. Yet, the practice of these rituals has varied widely across historical and cultural contexts.
In Judaism in Transition, Professor Carmel U. Chiswick draws on her Jewish upbringing, her journey as a Jewish parent, and her perspective as an Economist to consider how incentives affect the ways that mainstream American Jews have navigated and continue to manage the conflicting demands of everyday life and religious observance. Arguing that economics is a blind spot in our understanding of religion, Chiswick blends her personal experiences with economic analysis to illustrate the cost of Jewish participation—financially and, more importantly, in terms of time and effort.
Jewish practice costs. There are special foods and diets, memberships, modes of dress, schools, and charities to consider. You need to live near a community, and it might be a costly area.
Should you work Saturdays? Should you work for yourself or others? Should you be a radiologist with holidays off, or an OB/GYN?
The history of American Jews is almost always told as a success story in the secular world. Chiswick recasts this story as one of innovation in order to maintain a distinctive Jewish culture while keeping pace with the steady march of American life. She shows how TRADEOFFS, often made on an individual and deeply personal level, produce the brand of Judaism which predominates in America today. Along the way, Chiswick explores salient and controversial topics—from intermarriage to immigration, from egalitarianism to connections with Israel.
At once a portrait of American Jewish culture and a work that outlines how economic decisions affect religion, Judaism in Transition shows how changes in our economic environment will affect the Jewish community for decades to come..
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[book] HAPPY COW COOKBOOK
RECIPES FROM TOP-RATED
VEGAN RESTAURANTS AROUND THE WORLD
Edited by Eric Brent and Glen Merzer
Foreword by Emily Deschanel Blurb by Mayim Bialik
June 2014
Benbella
Sample amazing vegan dishes from around the world—right in your own kitchen.
HappyCow.com helps millions of people everywhere find delicious vegan and vegetarian cuisine across the globe through the site’s extensive database of restaurants and reviews. Now, Eric Brent, creator of HappyCow, and Glen Merzer, coauthor of Better Than Vegan and Food Over Medicine, bring the HappyCow concept home with a collection of nutritious and delicious dishes from top-rated vegan restaurants around the world.
Featuring recipes from many of the world's finest and most popular vegan restaurants, The HappyCow Cookbook shares the history and evolution of each restaurant, provides Q&As with the owners, and teaches you how to make some of their mouthwatering dishes.
With entrées like Blackbird Pizzeria’s Nacho Pizza, desserts such as Sublime Restaurant’s Apple Crumble Pie à la Mode, and drinks such as El Piano’s Granada Chai tea, HappyCow fans and newcomers alike will enjoy a selection of international gourmet vegan fare from the comfort of their own kitchens. The HappyCow Cookbook is a must-have guide for vegetarians, vegans, and those who simply want to experience some of the most delicious and healthy food on the planet..
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[book] Find It in the Talmud
An Encyclopedia of Jewish Ethics and Conduct
by Mordechai Judovits
June 2014
URIM
The Talmud—an ancient and seminal text central to Rabbinic Judaism—is the focal point of this reference book. With more than 6,000 entries, this book serves as a path finder for those interested in the Talmud and a useful tool for scholars when searching for a particular Talmudic subject. The book also contains stories, anecdotes, and sayings recorded in the Talmud while placing an emphasis on topics of ethics, morality, charity, decency, and proper.
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[book] Siegfried Sassoon
Soldier, Poet, Lover, Friend
by Jean Moorcroft Wilson
June 2014
Overlook
Years in the making, biographer and foremost scholar Jean Moorcroft Wilson has written the first complete biography of arguably the greatest English-language war poet. Hailed as “invaluable” by the Times and “thorough and perceptive” by the Observer, Siegfried Sassoon encompasses the poet’s complete life and works, from his patriotic youth that led him to the frontline, and flamboyant love affairs. This single-volume opus also includes never-before-published poems that have only just come to light through the author’s work. With over a decade’s research, and unparalleled access to Sassoon’s private correspondence, Wilson presents the complete portrait, both elegant and heartfelt, of an extraordinary man, and an extraordinary poet.
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[book] A Partner in Holiness
Deepening Mindfulness, Practicing Compassion
and Enriching Our Lives through the Wisdom
of Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev's Kedushat Levi
by Rabbi Jonathan P. Slater DMin,
Rabbi Nancy Flam MA, and Dr. Arthur Green
VOLUME ONE OF TWO
June 2014
Jewish Lights
The soul yearns to feel connected to something greater and to know happiness despite personal suffering and seemingly endless need. Surprisingly, the teachings of nineteenth-century Hasidic spiritual teachers offer a radically different Jewish theology that speaks directly to contemporary spiritual seekers whose faith has been shattered by both modernity and the Holocaust. These masters taught of interdependence, interconnectedness, selflessness, service and joy, anticipating the insights of contemporary science and twenty-first-century spirituality.
Mindfulness meditation, growing in popularity and influence throughout North America, directs practitioners to focus on their life experience in each moment. The spiritual practice offers the possibility of inner peace, fearlessness and expansive concern for the wellbeing of others.
These volumes bring the two together, providing a practical mindfulness method for applying the spiritual teachings of the Hasidic masters to everyday spiritual life. Covering the Five Books of Moses, they present accessible translations (many previously unavailable in English) of selections from Kedushat Levi, the Hasidic Torah commentary of Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev, one of the most beloved Hasidic leaders. His Torah commentary emphasizes our spiritual capacity to transform consciousness and so our life experience. The selections are paired with Rabbi Jonathan Slater's commentaries to help the reader understand their message and suggestions for practice, based in mindfulness, grounding them in a contemporary life..
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[book] Good Hunting
An American Spymaster's Story
by Jack Devine and Vernon Loeb
June 3, 2014
Crichton
"A sophisticated, deeply informed account of real life in the real CIA that adds immeasurably to the public understanding of the espionage culture—the good and the bad." —Bob Woodward Jack Devine ran Charlie Wilson’s War in Afghanistan. It was the largest covert action of the Cold War, and it was Devine who put the brand-new Stinger missile into the hands of the mujahideen during their war with the Soviets, paving the way to a decisive victory against the Russians. He also pushed the CIA’s effort to run down the narcotics trafficker Pablo Escobar in Colombia. He tried to warn the director of central intelligence, George Tenet, that there was a bullet coming from Iraq with his name on it. He was in Chile when Allende fell, and he had too much to do with Iran-Contra for his own taste, though he tried to stop it. And he tangled with Rick Ames, the KGB spy inside the CIA, and hunted Robert Hanssen, the mole in the FBI.
Good Hunting: An American Spymaster’s Story is the spellbinding memoir of Devine’s time in the Central Intelligence Agency, where he served for more than thirty years, rising to become the acting deputy director of operations, responsible for all of the CIA’s spying operations. This is a story of intrigue and high-stakes maneuvering, all the more gripping when the fate of our geopolitical order hangs in the balance. But this book also sounds a warning to our nation’s decision makers: covert operations, not costly and devastating full-scale interventions, are the best safeguard of America’s interests worldwide.
Part memoir, part historical redress, Good Hunting debunks outright some of the myths surrounding the Agency and cautions against its misuses. Beneath the exotic allure—living abroad with his wife and six children, running operations in seven countries, and serving successive presidents from Nixon to Clinton—this is a realist, gimlet-eyed account of the Agency. Now, as Devine sees it, the CIA is trapped within a larger bureaucracy, losing swaths of turf to the military, and, most ominous of all, is becoming overly weighted toward paramilitary operations after a decade of war. Its capacity to do what it does best—spying and covert action—has been seriously degraded.
Good Hunting sheds light on some of the CIA’s deepest secrets and spans an illustrious tenure—and never before has an acting deputy director of operations come forth with such an account. With the historical acumen of Steve Coll’s Ghost Wars and gripping scenarios that evoke the novels of John le Carré even as they hew closely to the facts on the ground, Devine offers a master class in spycraft.
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[book] Never Say a Mean Word Again
A Tale from Medieval Spain
by Jacqueline Jules
Illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhard
June 2014
WisdomTalesPress
Ages 4 - 8
No one ignores the grand vizier. The most important advisor in the royal court, he was considered the wisest man in the kingdom. He was also Samuel’s father. “Make sure Hamza never says a mean word to you again,” he had ordered Samuel.
What should Samuel do? He couldn’t disobey his father. But how would he make sure that Hamza never insulted him again? Perhaps train a monkey to hold Hamza’s lips closed, or give him some lemon juice to make his mouth pucker?
Inspired by a powerful legend of conflict resolution in Muslim Spain, Never Say a Mean Word Again is the compelling story of a boy who is given permission to punish an enemy. What will he do?

Based on a tale of a Jewish vizier to a Muslim monarch in Spain, and the vizier’s Jewish son, Samuel. .
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[book] A Partner in Holiness
Deepening Mindfulness, Practicing Compassion
and Enriching Our Lives through the Wisdom
of Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev's Kedushat Levi
by Rabbi Jonathan P. Slater DMin,
Rabbi Nancy Flam MA, and Dr. Arthur Green
VOLUME TWO OF TWO
June 2014
Jewish Lights
The soul yearns to feel connected to something greater and to know happiness despite personal suffering and seemingly endless need. Surprisingly, the teachings of nineteenth-century Hasidic spiritual teachers offer a radically different Jewish theology that speaks directly to contemporary spiritual seekers whose faith has been shattered by both modernity and the Holocaust. These masters taught of interdependence, interconnectedness, selflessness, service and joy, anticipating the insights of contemporary science and twenty-first-century spirituality.
Mindfulness meditation, growing in popularity and influence throughout North America, directs practitioners to focus on their life experience in each moment. The spiritual practice offers the possibility of inner peace, fearlessness and expansive concern for the wellbeing of others.
These volumes bring the two together, providing a practical mindfulness method for applying the spiritual teachings of the Hasidic masters to everyday spiritual life. Covering the Five Books of Moses, they present accessible translations (many previously unavailable in English) of selections from Kedushat Levi, the Hasidic Torah commentary of Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev, one of the most beloved Hasidic leaders. His Torah commentary emphasizes our spiritual capacity to transform consciousness and so our life experience. The selections are paired with Rabbi Jonathan Slater's commentaries to help the reader understand their message and suggestions for practice, based in mindfulness, grounding them in a contemporary life.
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[book] Mercy of a Rude Stream
The Complete Novels
by Henry Roth
Introduction by Joshua Ferris
June 2014
Liveright
This “landmark of the American literary century” (Boston Globe) is finally published as one volume, appearing with a brilliant new introduction.
When I think of this novel, I think of his portrayal of a weak Orthodox Jewish handshake. Simple words, an indelible image in my mind. Disavowing Call It Sleep, his widely celebrated masterpiece, as the work of another man, Henry Roth in 1979 began at the age of seventy-four to compose Mercy of a Rude Stream, a four-volume American epic, set between 1914 and 1928, for which he hoped to be most remembered. Hailed as “provocative as anything in the chapters of St. Augustine or Rousseau” (Los Angeles Times), Roth’s bildungsroman depicts the travails and sexual awakenings of an immigrant boy named Ira Stigman, whose twisted exploits are recalled by a haunted and chastened older man in fits of intensely lyrical, Proustian-like memory. Twenty years after the initial publication of the first volume of this “extraordinary work, one arguably unparalleled in American letters” (Philadelphia Inquirer), Mercy of a Rude Stream is, as Roth envisioned, finally unified, a powerful testament to the unflagging faith and literary genius of one of America’s greatest twentieth-century writers..
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[book] IN PRAISE OF INTRANSIGENCE
he Perils of Flexibility
by Richard H. Weisberg
(Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University)
June 2014
Oxford University Press
Flexibility is usually seen as a virtue in today's world. Even the dictionary seems to dislike those who stick too hard to their own positions. The thesaurus links "intransigence" to a whole host of words signifying a distaste for loyalty to fixed positions: intractable, stubborn, Pharisaic, close-minded, and stiff-necked, to name a few.
In this short and provocative book, constitutional law professor Richard H. Weisberg asks us to reexamine our collective cultural bias toward flexibility, open-mindedness, and compromise. He argues that flexibility has not fared well over the course of history. Indeed, emergencies both real and imagined have led people to betray their soundest traditions.
Weisberg explores the rise of flexibility, which he traces not only to the Enlightenment but further back to early Christian reinterpretation of Jewish sacred texts. He illustrates his argument with historical examples from Vichy France and the occupation of the British Channel Islands during World War II as well as post-9/11 betrayals of sound American traditions against torture, eavesdropping, unlimited detention, and drone killings.
Despite the damage wrought by Western society's incautious embrace of flexibility over the past two millennia, Weisberg does not make the case for unthinking rigidity. Rather, he argues that a willingness to embrace intransigence allows us to recognize that we have beliefs worth holding on to -- without compromise..
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[book] WHIPPING BOY
WHAT LIES WITHIN US
My Forty Year Search for My 12 Year Old Bully
by Allen Kurzweil
June 2014
Harper
You probably know Kurzweil by his children’s books about a potato chip, mysteries about a watch heist in Israel, or that famous potato chip experiment book.
Kurzweil is the child of immigrants from Austria. He grew up in Europe and the US, and graduated from Yale and Rome.
But he lived with something inside him. The memory of a bully. Don’t we all. I mean, I remember the kid who robbed me and the kid who tore a sleeve off my winter coat. But there are few who search out the bully 40 years later.
MORE DESCRIPTION TO COME
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[book] The Sixteenth of June
A Novel
by Maya Lang
June 16, 2014
Scribner
A century ago, James Joyce wrote about Leo Bloom, a Jewish man on a walk on June 16, - Bloomsday.
Here is a finely observed, wry social satire set in Philadelphia over the course of a single day, this soaring debut novel paints a moving portrait of a family at a turning point.
Leopold Portman, a young IT manager a few years out of college, dreams of settling down in Philly’s bucolic suburbs and starting a family with his fiancée, Nora. A talented singer in mourning for her mother, Nora has abandoned a promising opera career and wonders what her destiny holds. Her best friend, Stephen, Leopold’s brother, dithers in his seventh year of graduate school and privately questions Leo and Nora’s relationship. On June 16, 2004, the three are brought together—first for a funeral, then for an annual Bloomsday party. As the long-simmering tensions between them come to a head, they are forced to confront the choices of their pasts and their hopes for the future.
Clever, lyrical, and often hilarious, The Sixteenth of June is a feat of storytelling and a sharp depiction of modern American family life. It delves into the tensions and allegiances of friendships, the murky uncertainty of early adulthood, and the yearning to belong. This remarkable novel offers a nod to James Joyce's celebrated classic, Ulysses, and it is about the secrets we keep and the lengths we’ll go to for acceptance and love.
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[book] ALL FALL DOWN
A NOVEL
BY JENNIFER WEINER
June 2014
Atria
Has your drinking or drug use become a problem?
Allison Weiss got her happy ending—a handsome husband, an adorable little girl, a job she loves, and a big house in the suburbs. But when she’s in the pediatrician’s office with her daughter and a magazine flips open to a quiz about addiction, she starts to wonder whether her use of prescription pills is becoming a problem. On the one hand, it’s just prescription medication, the stuff her doctors give her. Is a Percocet at the end of a hard day really different than a glass of wine? Is it such a bad thing to pop a Vicodin after a brutal Jump & Pump class…or after your husband ignores you?
Back in the car, with her daughter safely buckled behind her, Allison opens the Altoid tin in her purse and slips a chalky white oval underneath her tongue. The pill unties her knotted muscles, erases the grime and ugliness of the city, soothes her as she frets about the truth of her looking-good life: that her husband’s becoming distant, that her daughter is acting out, that her father’s early Alzheimer’s is worsening and her mother’s barely managing to cope. She tells herself that the pills let her make it through her days…but what if her ever-increasing drug use, a habit that’s becoming expensive and hard to hide, is turning into her biggest problem of all?
All Fall Down is the story of a woman’s slide into addiction and struggle to find her way back up again. With a sparkling comedic touch and tender, true-to-life characterizations, this tale of empowerment and redemption is Jennifer Weiner’s most poignant, timely, and triumphant story yet.
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[book] THE ICE CREAM QUEEN OF ORCHARD STREET
A NOVEL
BY SUSAN JANE GILMAN
June 2014
Atria
In 1913, little Malka Treynovsky flees Russia with her family. Bedazzled by tales of gold and movie stardom, she tricks them into buying tickets for America. Yet no sooner do they land on the squalid Lower East Side of Manhattan, than Malka is crippled and abandoned in the street.
Taken in by a tough-loving Italian ices peddler, she manages to survive through cunning and inventiveness. As she learns the secrets of his trade, she begins to shape her own destiny. She falls in love with a gorgeous, illiterate radical named Albert, and they set off across America in an ice cream truck. Slowly, she transforms herself into Lillian Dunkle, "The Ice Cream Queen" -- doyenne of an empire of ice cream franchises and a celebrated television personality.
Lillian's rise to fame and fortune spans seventy years and is inextricably linked to the course of American history itself, from Prohibition to the disco days of Studio 54. Yet Lillian Dunkle is nothing like the whimsical motherly persona she crafts for herself in the media. Conniving, profane, and irreverent, she is a supremely complex woman who prefers a good stiff drink to an ice cream cone. And when her past begins to catch up with her, everything she has spent her life building is at stake.
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[book] Big Little Man
In Search of My Asian Self
by Alex Tizon
June 2014
HMH
An award-winning writer takes a groundbreaking look at the experience and psyche of the Asian American male. Alex Tizon landed in an America that saw Asian women as sexy and Asian men as sexless. Immigrating from the Philippines as a young boy, everything he saw and heard taught him to be ashamed of his face, his skin color, his height.
?His fierce and funny observations of sex and the Asian American male include his own quest for love during college in the 1980s, a tortured tutorial on stereotypes that still make it hard for Asian men to get the girl. Tizon writes: "I had to educate myself on my own worth. It was a sloppy, piecemeal education, but I had to do it because no one else was going to do it for me."
?And then, a transformation. First, Tizon’s growing understanding that shame is universal: that his own just happened to be about race. Next, seismic cultural changes – from Jerry Yang’s phenomenal success with Yahoo! Inc., to actor Ken Watanabe’s emergence in Hollywood blockbusters, to Jeremy Lin’s meteoric NBA rise.
?Finally, Tizon’s deeply original, taboo-bending investigation turns outward, tracking the unheard stories of young Asian men today, in a landscape still complex but much changed for the Asian American man.
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[book] The Chutzpah Imperative
Empowering Today's Jews for a Life That Matters
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein
Valley Beth Shalom in Encino
June 2014
Jewish Lights
Judaism assigns a uniquely important role to the human being, the role of partner with God in creating a world of oneness. This theme, the singular message of Judaism, runs throughout the Jewish tradition, but it has been largely lost to our modern day's leaning toward Jewish ethnic identity and culture.
In this clarion call for a new way to "do Judaism," award-winning spiritual leader Rabbi Edward Feinstein urges us to recover this message of Jewish self-empowerment or chutzpah to reshape the world. Feinstein begins with the early chapters of Genesis. He then describes how the idea was encoded into the Jewish national narrative through biblical law, and how the Rabbis of Talmud embraced that conviction as the center of Judaism, demonstrating the Rabbis sense of their own self-empowerment to reshape their religious tradition in response to the destruction of the Temple. Turning to the mystics of medieval Spain and the European Hasidic tradition, Feinstein shows how chutzpah found its expression in the traditions of Kabbalah. Finally, he explores the theme of empowerment in modernity, as the centerpiece of Zionism and post-Holocaust thought. Inspiring Jews of all denominations, Feinstein presents a bold reminder of the Jewish responsibility to repair the world and a new way to conceive of Jewish community life, Jewish education, prayer and religious activism.
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[book] THE GOD(s) OF JUDAISM
A Theological and Historical Journey
By Rabbi Or N. Rose
Center for Global Judaism at Hebrew College
Spring 2014
Jewish Lights
Judaism is widely regarded as the world's first great monotheistic tradition. What is not widely known is that Jewish thinkers throughout the ages have held very different views of God. Is the Divine all-powerful and all-knowing? What about evil? Can human actions impact God?
From the Hebrew Bible to Maimonides to Abraham Joshua Heschel, these questions have been answered in a variety of ways. This innovative and original anthology takes the reader on an intellectual and spiritual journey into the heart of the Jewish religious imagination. Each contributor an expert in a specific area of Jewish thought focuses on several major theological issues, explaining these concepts in a clear and thought-provoking manner, while also providing the reader with the appropriate historical context. Themes include:
Hebrew Bible
Rabbinic Literature
Medieval Jewish Philosophy
Kabbalah
Hasidism
Twentieth-century Jewish Thought
Jewish Theology Today
This singular volume deals with the subject of God both chronologically and thematically..
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[book] MOSES AND THE PATH TO LEADERSHIP
BY ZVI GRUMET (Rabbi, Lookstein Center and Pardes)
May 1, 2014
URIM PUBLICATIONS
Many believe that the stories surrounding the birth of Moses mark him from the cradle as being destined for leadership. Others argue that the track record of Moses as a leader leaves much to be desired, and that without the constant prompting by God, he would never have survived. The central proposition in this book is that neither of these polar positions reflects the profound transformations and growth of the experiences of Moses and that it is only within the turbulent space of change that he becomes a great leader, but not without his fair share of missteps along the way. It is precisely within, and from, those mistakes that Moses learns and ultimately becomes a model leader. This book traces this path to leadership and readers are given close readings of the text as stepping stones to developing themes and patterns.
As Rabbi Daniel Landes of the Pardes Institte wrote, Dr. Zvi grumet’s superb meditation on Moses’s leadership employs his real setbacks… learning and building from humiliating defeat… His exciting analysis of the Spy’s Evil Report and the social upheava; in its wake alone is worth buying and reading the book...”
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[book] BAR MITZVAH
A HISTORY
By MICHAEL HILTON
June 2014
JPS
The Jewish coming-of-age ceremony of bar mitzvah was first recorded in thirteenth-century France, where it took the form of a simple statement by the father that he was no longer responsible for his thirteen-year-old son. Today, bar mitzvah for boys and bat mitzvah for girls are more popular than at any time in history and are sometimes accompanied by lavish celebrations.
How did bar mitzvah develop over the centuries from an obscure legal ritual into a core component of Judaism? How did it capture the imagination of even non-Jewish youth? Bar Mitzvah, A History is a comprehensive account of the ceremonies and celebrations for both boys and girls. A cultural anthropology informed by rabbinic knowledge, it explores the origins and development of the most important coming-of-age milestone in Judaism. Rabbi Michael Hilton has sought out every reference to bar mitzvah in the Bible, the Talmud, and numerous other Jewish texts spanning several centuries, extracting a fascinating miscellany of information, stories, and commentary.
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[book] Why Can't They Get Along?:
A Trialogue Between a Muslim, a Jew and a Christian
by Dan Cohn-Sherbok
Daewoud El-Alami and
George Chryssides
June 2014
Lion Hudson
A fascinating dialoge between three authoritative writers exploring the question Why do Christians, Muslims, and Jews not get along, since they all stem from one man, Abraham?
Three men of faith – one Jew, one Muslim and one Christian – debate the differences between them. The result is a compelling discussion: What do their faiths teach on the big issues of life? What can be done to make for better relationships in the future? What can be done on the big global areas of conflict and tension? How can they get along? For hundreds of years, many of the biggest global conflicts have been fuelled by religious hatred and prejudice. It is evident, in the early part of the 21st century that not much has changed. Whether it is fundamentalist Muslims waging jihad in Afghanistan and Pakistan, or the perpetual low scale hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians, to the man in the street, religion seems to make people more likely to fight each other, not less. Why is this? Why Can't They Get Along? is a powerful and much needed account. Current, passionate and compelling
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[book] To Unify a Nation
My Vision for the Future of Israel
by MK Rabbi Dov Lipman (Author)
with a foreword by Yair Lapid
May 2014
URIM PUBLICATIONS
Exploring the issues of the separation between religion and state in Israel, this book by Knesset parliament member Rabbi Dov Lipman lays out his vision for the future. Lipman was elected to the Yesh Atid party, which, though largely secular, calls for a more moderate and open form of Judaism. His is a voice of reason in the religious debates and battles that have threatened to undermine Jewish unity in Israel and around the world. Lipman has observed firsthand the polarization, extremism, and discrimination that have been on the upswing in Israel, and his book examines specific practical issues rather than general theological questions in the Israeli political scene. As the only ultra-Orthodox member of the current coalition, he offers a unique insight into the internal societal struggles of the Jewish community as well as the hope for a better future for both Israel and Jews around the world.
MK Rabbi Dov Lipman is an ordained Orthodox rabbi and the first United States-born member of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in more than 30 years. He lives in Beit Shemesh, 17 miles west of Jerusalem. Yair Lapid is a former leading Israeli journalist who announced his entry into Israeli politics in 2012. In the January 2013 national elections, his new party Yesh Atid gained 19 seats, making it the second largest party in the Knesset and Lapid one of the most powerful political figures in the country.
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[book] FIELDS OF EXILE
A NOVEL
BY NORA GOLD
May 2014
Dundurn
From Nora Gold, a winner of the Canadian Jewish Book Award
Judith is a young woman who lived in Israel for a decade, was a peace activist there, and defines herself as "left-wing," yet in graduate school back in Canada, she discovers that vilification of Israel is the expected norm. When the keynote speaker for Anti-Oppression Day turns out to be a supporter of terrorist attacks not only against Israeli military targets, but also against Israeli civilians and Jews around the world, Judith protests. As a result, she is marginalized by the faculty and her peers, and her life begins to unravel. The say they are just anti Zionist, but they are anti Jewish
This is a moving novel about love, betrayal, and the courage to stand up for what one believes as well as a searing indictment of the hypocrisy and intellectual sloth that threatens the integrity of our society..
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[book] DIARY OF A JEWISH MUSLIM
AN EGYPTIAN NoVEL
By Kamal Ruhayyim, Phd
Translated by Sarah Enany
May 2014
OXFORD
Egyptian Muslims and Jews were not always at odds. Before the Arab-Israeli wars, before the mass exodus of Jews from Egypt, there was harmony.
Offering an intimate yet panoramic view of the easy coexistence of Muslims, Jews, and Christians in an old neighborhood of Cairo, this sweeping yet personal novel, spanning the 1930s to the 1960s, accompanies Galal, a young boy with a Jewish mother and a Muslim father, through his childhood and boyhood in the vibrant popular quarter of Daher. With his schoolboy crushes and teen rebellions, Galal is deeply Egyptian, knit tightly with his mother, father, and grandfather in old Cairo-a middle-class social fabric of manners and morals, values and traditions that cheerfully incorporates and as cheerfully transcends religion, but a fabric that is about to be torn apart by a bigger world of politics that will also put Galal's very identity to the test..
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QUESTION: Dear MyJewishBooks.com – I heard that the It Get’s Better campaign will be a book. Will it be a Jewish book?

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




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

ANSWER: WE RECOMMEND:

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