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Welcome to our pages of Winter 2016, Fall 2015, Summer 2015, Spring 2015, Winter 2015, Fall 2014, and oh so many more Book Suggestions. For our Home Page, Please visit


April 05, 2016: Lawrence E. Stager (Harvard) – author of Life In Biblical Israel - discusses the Rites of Spring in the Carthagian Tophet, and how the great spring festival in Phoenicia (Canaan) and Syria was like the Hebrew Passover, and coincided with spring lambs and first fruits/early shoots of barley. UCLA Royce Hall 4PM
April 07, 2016: Architect Daniel Liebeskind w. his book: Breaking Ground. / Temple Emanuel Skirball NYC.
April 10, 2016: Yale Strom performs The Polonski Concert: Soviet Jewish Songbook. UCLA Hillel
April 11, 2016: James Snyder discusses his role at The Israel Museum / Temple Emanuel Skirball NYC.
April 13, 2016: An Evening with Gloria Steinem, author of On The Road and Road to the Heart / Temple Emanuel Skirball NYC.
April 14, 2016: Author Dalia Sofer reads from The Septembers of Shiraz. UCLA Faculty Center
April 17, 2016: Saba Soomekh, Sarah A. Stein, Jessica Marglin, Gina Nahal, Shula Nazarian, and Daniel Bouskila read from “Sephardi and Mizrachi Jews in America.” Sinai Temple, Los Angeles 7 PM
April 19, 2016: Eyal Ginio (Hebrew University) on his February book – The Balkan Wars (1912-1913) and the Jewish Communities of the Ottoman Empire: Between Participation and Exclusion. UCLA Royce Hall, Los Angeles
April 22, 2016: Passover celebration begins in evening

May 03, 2016: Francine Prose on Anne Frank / Temple Emanuel Skirball NYC.
May 03, 2016: Jewish Lesbian author Leah Lax will make an appearance at the Library of Congress (101 Independence Ave., S.E.) in LM 654A on the sixth floor on Tuesday, May 3 at noon. Lax will be speaking about her book “Uncovered: How I Left Hasidic Life and Finally Came Home.”
May 05, 2016: Rachel Neis (Michigan) – author of The Sense of Sight in Rabbinic Culture: Jewish Ways of Seeing in Late Antiquity – discusses “What is a Human? The Early Rabbis on Uterine Materials and the Makings of Species” UCLA – Los Angeles
May 09, 2016: Barbara Isenberg reads from Tradition! The Story of Fiddler on the Roof. B&N Citicorp Center, Midtown East, NYC
May 11, 2016: Cartoonist Ted Rall reads from BERNIE. N&M Clifton 395 Route 3 East. Clifton, NJ
May 12, 2016: Arnold Band speaks on The First Decade of Israeli Literature. The Case of Aharon Appelfeld. UCLA Faculty Center, A CA. 4PM
May 14, 2016: Betsy Lerner reads from The Bridge Ladies. A novel. B&N Westport Post Plaza Shopping Center, CT
May 18, 2016: Canadian-Croatian investor and TV personality Robert Herjavec – who funded Mensch on a Bench – reads from You Don't Have to Be a Shark: Creating Your Own Success. B&N TriBeCa NYC 6PM
May 18, 2016: Robert L. Bernstein reads from Speaking Freely: My Life in Publishing and Human Rights. B&N UES 86th and Lex. NYC
May 18, 2016: The 2016 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature at the NYC Museum of Jewish Heritage. Featuring Winner of the 2016 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature: The Archive Thief: The Man Who Salvaged French Jewish History in the Wake of the Holocaust by Lisa Moses Leff; the Choice Award Recipient: Rav Kook: Mystic in a Time of Revolution by Yehudah Mirsky; Fellows: Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel by Dan Ephron; The Grammar of God: A Journey into the Words and Worlds of the Bible by Aviya Kushner; and The Rag Race: How Jews Sewed Their Way to Success in America and the British Empire by Adam D. Mendelsohn. Free and open to the public. Battery Park City.
May 19, 2016: Andrew Nagorski reads from Nazi Hunters. B&N UES 86th and Lex. NYC
May 22, 2016 (Sunday): Book Launch Party for Rhapsody in Schmaltz (St. Martin's Press, 2016) by Michael Wex - in conversation with Jayne Cohen. Museum of Jewish Heritage, NYC Battery Park City.
May 22, 2016: Greek Jewish Festuval. NYC’s congregation of Romaniote Jews celebrate Greek food and their Jewish culture. Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue on Broom Street in NYC (
May 23, 2016: Pulitzer Prize winner and Professor Stacy Schiff With Ciaran Hinds and Brenda Wehle from Broadway's The Crucible discuss Witches and Salem. B&N UES Lex/86th
May 24, 2016: Book launch for Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet. By Jeffrey Rosen (Yale Press) Harvard Bookstore Cambridge Mass.
May 24, 2016: Join the NYPL Public Library for "After They Closed the Gates: Jewish Illegal Immigration to the United States (1921-1965)" with Professor Libby Garland.
May 25, 2016: Avivah Zornberg discusses Abraham and Lech Lecha / Temple Emanuel Skirball NYC.
May 26, 2016: The Harbin China Jewish Experience, sort of. Yale Strom and Hot Pstromi perform with the EastRiver Ensemble at Eldridge Street synagogue/museum in NYC $25.
May 31, 2016: Eddie Huang (Fresh Off The Boat) reads from his memoir Double Cup Love: On the Trail of Family, Food, and Broken Hearts in China (you’ll never imagine him or his brothers as sweet guys again). B&N Union Square NYC
May 31, 2016: Meg Wolitzer in conversation with Emma Straub (Modern Lovers). B&N UWS 82nd/Broadway
June 01, 2016: Book launch for Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet. By Jeffrey Rosen. National Constitution Center Philadelphia, PA
June 02, 2016: Book launch for Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet. By Jeffrey Rosen. 92nd St Y, New York, NY UES
June 03, 2016: Book launch for Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet. By Jeffrey Rosen. Politics and Prose, Washington, DC
June 19: 2016: AJL 51st Annual Conference. Association of Jewish Libraries. Charleston South Carolina.
June 19, 2016: Acclaimed journalist Walter Shapiro will discuss and sign copies of Hustling Hitler: The Jewish Vaudevillian Who Fooled the Fuhrer - the true story of his great-uncle B&N Westport CT
June 19, 2016: Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas Festival. Eldridge Street NYC
June 22, 2016: Book launch for Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet. By Jeffrey Rosen. Sixth & Eye Historic Synagogue, Washington, DC
June 22: 2016: Author David Duchovny reads from Bucky F*cking Dent. B&N The Grove Los Angeles Farmers’ Market
June 27, 2016: Scribblers on the Roof. Amy Gottlieb “The Beautiful Possible” and Ben Nadler “Sea Beach Express” read from their works. Congregation Ansche Chesed rooftop, 100 & WEA. NYC 8PM

July 11, 2016: Scribblers on the Roof. Elizabeth Poliner “As Close To Us As Breathing” and Matthew Futterman “Players…” read from their works. Congregation Ansche Chesed rooftop, 100 & WEA. NYC 8PM
July 11, 2016: Daniel Silva reads from Black Widow: A Novel. B&N Union Square NYC
July 18, 2016: Scribblers on the Roof. Eileen Pollock “A Perfect Life” and Shaloch Manot (nom de plume) “His Hundred Years; A Tale” read from their works. Congregation Ansche Chesed rooftop, 100 & WEA. NYC 8PM
July 25, 2016: Scribblers on the Roof. Beth Kissileff “Questioning Return” and Joshua Halberstam “The Blind Angel: New Old Chassidic Tales” read from their works. Congregation Ansche Chesed rooftop, 100 & WEA. NYC 8PM

August 01, 2016: Scribblers on the Roof. Lynda Cohen Loigman “Two-Family House” and Jay Neugoboren “Max Baer and the Star of David” read from their works. Congregation Ansche Chesed rooftop, 100 & WEA. NYC 8PM
August 08, 2016: Scribblers on the Roof. Janice Weizman “The Wayward Moon” and Judith Claire Mitchell “A Reunion of Ghosts” read from their works. Congregation Ansche Chesed rooftop, 100 & WEA. NYC 8PM

And may their first child be a masculine child – Luca Brasi (The Godfather)
a novel
By Lynda Cohen Loigman
March 2016
St. Martin's Press
First some background. Lynda grandmother, the mother of three daughters, told Lynda how she longed for a son. It was how Jews, Italians, Chinese, and other families felt in those days. Then in 1999, Lisa Belkin, in an essay in The New York Times, wrote about how she and her husband cared about the sex of their future child... a preference, a wish, an unspoken desire...
And now the novel
Brooklyn, 1947: in the midst of a blizzard, in a two-family brownstone, two babies are born minutes apart to two women: Helen and Rose. They are sisters by marriage (to Abe and Mort) with an impenetrable bond forged before and during that dramatic night; but as the years progress, small cracks start to appear and their once deep friendship begins to unravel. Helen is the mother of four active boys. She yearns for a daughter. Rose wishes for a son for Mort (they have 3 girls). Mort is jealous of his older brother and his sons; psychologically this bars him from forming a close relationship with his own children, Oy. So of course when they are both pregnant... at the same time... and give birth on the same night... well... you can guess....
No one knows why, and no one can stop it. One misguided choice; one moment of tragedy. Can the right choice lead to a right future?? Can one choice change everyone's lives, friendships, bonds, and futures?
Heartbreak wars with happiness and almost but not quite wins.
From debut novelist Lynda Cohen Loigman comes The Two-Family House, a moving family saga filled with heart, emotion, longing, love, and mystery.

[book] Isaac Mizrahi
by Chee Pearlman
with Ulrich Lehmann, Kelly Taxter,
and Lynn Yaeger
March 2016
Yale University press
Beginning with Isaac Mizrahi’s first fashion collection, which debuted to critical acclaim in 1986, and running though the present day, this stylish, lavishly illustrated book presents his signature couture collections. Mizrahi’s exuberant couture style is classic American, inventively reimagined. He pioneered the concept of “high/low” in fashion, and was the first high-end fashion designer to create an accessibly priced mass-market line. Mizrahi approached other complex issues through his designs, as well — mixing questions of beauty and taste with those of race, religion, class, Nanook of the North, and politics.

Although Mizrahi (b. 1961) is best known for his clothing, his work in theater, film, and television is also explored. The result is a spirited discourse on high versus low, modern glamour, and contemporary culture. Three essayists discuss Mizrahi’s place in fashion history, his close connection to contemporary art, and the performative nature of his designs. New photography brings Mizrahi’s fashions to life, and an interview with the artist offers an intimate perspective on his kaleidoscopic work in diverse media.

[book] COnfessions of a Serial Songwriters
by Shelly Peiken
March 2016
Backbeat Books
In the first pages we meet Shelly. A child playing on a $150 piano in her parent's $19,000 house. She composes a song and her father says it sounds like Hatikva.
She tries for more original compositions
Confessions of a Serial Songwriter is an amusing and poignant memoir about songwriter Shelly Peiken's journey from young girl falling under the spell of magical songs to working professional songwriter writing hits of her own, penning culturally resonant, female-empowerment anthems such as Christina Aguilera's No. 1 hit, ''What A Girl Wants'' and Meredith Brooks' smash, ''Bitch''
She wrote the first number one international hit of the new millenium.
It's about growing up, the creative process the highs and the lows, the conflicts that arise between motherhood and career success, the divas and schemers, but also the talented and remarkable people she's found along the way. It's filled with stories and step-by-step advice about the songwriting process, especially collaboration. And it's about the challenge of staying relevant in a rapidly changing and youth-driven world. As Shelly so eloquently states in Confessions of a Serial Songwriter : ''If I had to come up with one X factor that I could cite as a characteristic most hit songs have in common (and this excludes hit songs that are put forth by an already well-oiled machine...that is, a recording artist who has so much notoriety and momentum that just about anything he or she releases, as long as it's 'pretty good,' will have a decent shot at succeeding), I would say it would be: A universal sentiment in a unique frame.''

Peiken has tapped the universal sentiment again and again; her songs have been recorded by such artists as Christina Aguilera, Natalie Cole, Selena Gomez, Celine Dion, the Pretenders, and others. In Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, she pulls the curtain back on the music business from the perspective of a behind-the-scenes hit creator and shares invaluable insight into the craft of songwriting.

[book] Hitler's Forgotten Children:
A True Story of the Lebensborn Program
and One Woman's Search for Her Real Identity
by Ingrid von Oelhafen and Tim Tate
Berkley / Penguin Random House
Created by Heinrich Himmler, the Lebensborn program abducted as many as half a million children from across Europe. Through a process called Germanization, they were to become the next generation of the Aryan master race in the second phase of the Final Solution.
In the summer of 1942, parents across Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia were required to submit their children to medical checks designed to assess racial purity.
One such child, Erika Matko, was nine months old when Nazi doctors declared her fit to be a “Child of Hitler.” Taken to Germany and placed with politically vetted foster parents, Erika was renamed Ingrid von Oelhafen. Her biological parents were given another child. Many years later, Ingrid began to uncover the truth of her identity.
Though the Nazis destroyed many Lebensborn records, Ingrid unearthed rare documents, including Nuremberg trial testimony about her own abduction. Following the evidence back to her place of birth, Ingrid discovered an even more shocking secret: a woman named Erika Matko, who as an infant had been given to Ingrid’s mother as a replacement child.
Hitler’s Forgotten Children is both a harrowing personal memoir and a devastating investigation into the awful crimes and monstrous scope of the Lebensborn program, including the essays by top Nazis justifying the impregnation of the wives of Nazi soldiers say in battle by the Nazi leadership.

[book] Kayla and Kugel's
Almost-Perfect Passover
by Ann Koffsky
March 2016
Apple & Honey Press
Kayla loves having Passover seder with her family and her dog, Kugel even though he almost spills the grape juice, makes a mess of the matzah, and takes off with the afikoman! This story touches on the highlights of the Passover seder with warmth and humor.
An author note at the end explores how Passover songs can lift our spirits and help us imagine how our great-, great-, great-, great-, great- (lots of greats) grandparents felt when they became free. Discussion prompts help children relate the ideas to their own lives.

[book] Sing-Along Alef Bet
by Mama Doni and Eric Lindberg
aka Doni Zasloff 
Illustrated by Rinat Gilboa
Apple and Honey Press
Come sing the alef bet Mama Doni style!
Musicians Mama Doni and Eric Lindberg s upbeat and charming lyrics form the text for this rollicking trip through the alef bet. Readers can sing along as they watch a sister, brother and their animal friends jump, climb, swing, and twirl through each letter.
Israeli artist Rinat Gilboa s illustrations are sophisticated and charming, with hidden Hebrew words, textures and color that will delight both adult and child readers. A fantastic and fun introduction to the Hebrew ABC’s.

[book] Holiday for Ari Ant
In Paperback
by Sylvia Rouss
PreK to 2
Apple & Honey Press
When a group of young kindergarteners learn about Lag B'Omer, Ari the playground ant, wants to join in too - but only after several mishaps does he get to enjoy the best of what the holiday offers: stories from the Torah and a feast. BR>

[book] Flourishing:
Why We Need Religion
in a Globalized World
by Miroslav Volf
Yale University press
More than almost anything else, globalization and the great world religions are shaping our lives, affecting everything from the public policies of political leaders and the economic decisions of industry bosses and employees, to university curricula, all the way to the inner longings of our hearts. Integral to both globalization and religions are compelling, overlapping, and sometimes competing visions of what it means to live well.
In this perceptive, deeply personal, and beautifully written book, a leading theologian sheds light on how religions and globalization have historically interacted and argues for what their relationship ought to be. Recounting how these twinned forces have intersected in his own life, he shows how world religions, despite their malfunctions, remain one of our most potent sources of moral motivation and contain within them profoundly evocative accounts of human flourishing. Globalization should be judged by how well it serves us for living out our authentic humanity as envisioned within these traditions. Through renewal and reform, religions might, in turn, shape globalization so that can be about more than bread alone.

[book] Terrible Virtue:
A Novel
by Ellen Feldman
March 22, 2016
In the spirit of The Paris Wife and Loving Frank, the provocative and compelling story of one of the most fascinating and influential figures of the twentieth century: Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood—an indomitable woman who, more than any other, and at great personal cost, shaped the sexual landscape we inhabit today.
The daughter of a hard-drinking, smooth-tongued free thinker and a mother worn down by thirteen children, Margaret Sanger vowed her life would be different. Trained as a nurse, she fought for social justice beside labor organizers, anarchists, socialists, and other progressives, eventually channeling her energy to one singular cause: legalizing contraception. It was a battle that would pit her against puritanical, patriarchal lawmakers, send her to prison again and again, force her to flee to England, and ultimately change the lives of women across the country and around the world.
This complex enigmatic revolutionary was at once vain and charismatic, generous and ruthless, sexually impulsive and coolly calculating—a competitive, self-centered woman who championed all women, a conflicted mother who suffered the worst tragedy a parent can experience. From opening the first illegal birth control clinic in America in 1916 through the founding of Planned Parenthood to the arrival of the Pill in the 1960s, Margaret Sanger sacrificed two husbands, three children, and scores of lovers in her fight for sexual equality and freedom.
With cameos by such legendary figures as Emma Goldman, John Reed, Big Bill Haywood, H. G. Wells, and the love of Margaret’s life, Havelock Ellis, this richly imagined portrait of a larger-than-life woman is at once sympathetic to her suffering and unsparing of her faults. Deeply insightful, Terrible Virtue is Margaret Sanger’s story as she herself might have told it.

[book] The Ghost Warriors
Inside Israel's Undercover War
Against Suicide Terrorism
by Samuel M. Katz
The untold story of the Ya’mas, Israel's special forces undercover team that infiltrated Palestinian terrorist strongholds during the Second Intifada.
It was the deadliest terror campaign ever mounted against a nation in modern times: the al-Aqsa, or Second, Intifada. This is the untold story of how Israel fought back with an elite force of undercover operatives, drawn from the nation’s diverse backgrounds and ethnicities—and united in their ability to walk among the enemy as no one else dared.
Beginning in late 2000, as black smoke rose from burning tires and rioters threw rocks in the streets, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Arafat’s Palestinian Authority embarked on a strategy of sending their terrorists to slip undetected into Israel’s towns and cities to set the country ablaze, unleashing suicide attacks at bus stops, discos, pizzerias—wherever people gathered.
But Israel fielded some of the most capable and cunning special operations forces in the world. The Ya’mas, Israel National Police Border Guard undercover counterterrorists special operations units, became Israel’s eyes-on-target response. Launched on intelligence provided by the Shin Bet, indigenous Arabic-speaking Dovrim, or “Speakers,” operating in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza infiltrated the treacherous confines where the terrorists lived hidden in plain sight, and set the stage for the intrepid tactical specialists who often found themselves under fire and outnumbered in their effort to apprehend those responsible for the carnage inside Israel. This is their compelling true story: a tale of daring and deception that could happen only in the powder keg of the modern Middle East.


[book] The New Mediterranean Jewish Table:
Old World Recipes
for the Modern Home
by Joyce Goldstein
April 12, 2016
University of California Press
For thousands of years, the people of the Jewish Diaspora have carried their culinary traditions and kosher laws throughout the world. In the United States, this has resulted primarily in an Ashkenazi table of matzo ball soup and knishes, brisket and gefilte fish. But Joyce Goldstein is now expanding that menu with this comprehensive collection of over four hundred recipes from the kitchens of three Mediterranean Jewish cultures: the Sephardic, the Maghrebi, and the Mizrahi.

The New Mediterranean Jewish Table is an authoritative guide to Jewish home cooking from North Africa, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, and the Middle East. It is a treasury filled with vibrant, seasonal recipes—both classic and updated—that embrace fresh fruits and vegetables; grains and legumes; small portions of meat, poultry, and fish; and a healthy mix of herbs and spices. It is also the story of how Jewish cooks successfully brought the local ingredients, techniques, and traditions of their new homelands into their kitchens. With this varied and appealing selection of Mediterranean Jewish recipes, Joyce Goldstein promises to inspire new generations of Jewish and non-Jewish home cooks alike with dishes for everyday meals and holiday celebrations.

“An incredible book written by an incredible cook! Goldstein makes Jewish Mediterranean cooking approachable, sophisticated, and downright delicious.”—Michael Solomonov, chef and owner, Zahav
“One of the most impressive recipe collections to be published in many years. Every dish may be tied to ancient traditions, but Goldstein has done such a masterful job of tweaking and updating them for contemporary cooks and tastes and putting them into historical and cultural context that every single one is an enticement to get into the kitchen and cook.”—Arthur Schwartz, author of Jewish Home Cooking: Yiddish Recipes Revisited

Joyce Goldstein was chef and owner of the groundbreaking Mediterranean restaurant Square One in San Francisco. Prior to opening Square One, she was chef at the Chez Panisse Café and visiting executive chef at the Wine Spectator Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa.

[book] The New Yiddish Kitchen:
Gluten-Free and Paleo Kosher
Recipes for the Holidays MBR> and Every Day
by Jennifer Robins and Simone Miller
Page Street Publishing. Can you make a gluten free kugel
What about a Paleo Challah?

Here are Traditional Jewish Meals Made Healthier
From two leaders in the Paleo cooking community, The New Yiddish Kitchen is a fresh and healthful take on a beloved food tradition. Packed with over 100 traditional Jewish foods plus bonus holiday menus, this book lets you celebrate the holidays and every day with delicious food that truly nourishes.
Authors Simone Miller and Jennifer Robins have selected classic dishes?like matzo balls, borscht, challah, four different bagel recipes, a variety of deli sandwiches, sweet potato latkes, apple kugel, black & white cookies and more?all adapted to be grain-, gluten-, dairy- and refined sugar-free, as well as kosher. The book is a fun mix of new and old: modern with the whole-foods Paleo philosophy, and nostalgic with the cooking tips of Jewish grandmothers just like your own bubbe.
So when you’re craving your favorite Jewish foods, don’t plotz! Simone and Jennifer have got you covered with simple recipes for delicious Yiddish dishes you can nosh on all year long.

A book by the plaintiff
[book] The Curious Case of Kiryas Joel:
The Rise of a Village Theocracy
and the Battle to Defend the
Separation of Church and State
by Louis Grumet and John M. Caher
Foreword by the late former NY State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye
April 2016
Chicago Review Press
Twenty years ago, on the last day of its session, the New York State Legislature created a publicly funded school district to cater to the interests of a religious sect living in a town called Kiryas Joel. They were a group of Satmar Hasidic Jews; they named their village for Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, their leader.
The sect had bought land in upstate New York, populated it solely with members of its faction, and created a village that exerted extraordinary political pressure over both political parties in the NY State Legislature in Albany. They could deliver votes in Brooklyn and upstate. Marking the first time in American history that a governmental unit was established for a religious group, the Legislature’s action prompted years of litigation that eventually went to the Supreme Court.
The 1994 case, The Board of Education of the Village of Kiryas Joel v. Grumet, stands as the most important legal precedent in the fight to uphold the separation of church and state.
In The Curious Case of Kiryas Joel, plaintiff Louis Grumet opens a window onto the Satmar Hasidic community and details the inside story of HIS fight for the First Amendment. This story — a blend of politics, religion, cultural clashes, and constitutional tension — is an object lesson in the ongoing debate over freedom OF religion versus freedom FROM religion.

Keep I mind that this book is written by the plaintiff. It is a tad kiss-ass with regard to the politicians who helped him, and the opposite for members of the Satmar community.

[book] After They Closed the Gates:
Jewish Illegal Immigration to
the United States, 1921-1965
1st Edition
by Libby Garland (CUNY)
University of Chicago Press
My cousin Bertha Klemow of City of Hope had to go to Mexico after the US closed itself to legal Jewish immigrants.
But what about illegal immigrants?
In 1921 and 1924, the United States passed laws to sharply reduce the influx of immigrants into the country.
By allocating only small quotas to the nations of southern and eastern Europe, and banning almost all immigration from Asia, the new laws were supposed to stem the tide of foreigners considered especially “inferior and dangerous.”
However, immigrants continued to come, sailing into the port of New York with fake passports, or from Cuba to Florida, hidden in the holds of boats loaded with contraband liquor. Jews, one of the main targets of the quota laws, figured prominently in the new international underworld of illegal immigration. However, they ultimately managed to escape permanent association with the identity of the “illegal alien” in a way that other groups, such as Mexicans, thus far, have not.

In After They Closed the Gates, Professor Libby Garland tells the untold stories of the Jewish migrants and smugglers involved in that underworld, showing how such stories contributed to growing national anxieties about illegal immigration. Garland also helps us understand how Jews were linked to, and then unlinked from, the specter of illegal immigration. By tracing this complex history, Garland offers compelling insights into the contingent nature of citizenship, belonging, and Americanness.

[book] Stars in the Ring:
Jewish Champions in the Golden Age of Boxing:
A Photographic History
by Mike Silver
Spring 2016
For more than sixty years—from the 1890s to the 1950s — boxing was an integral part of American popular culture and a major spectator sport rivaling baseball in popularity. More Jewish athletes have competed as boxers than all other professional sports combined; in the period from 1901 to 1939, 29 Jewish boxers were recognized as world champions and more than 160 Jewish boxers ranked among the top contenders in their respective weight divisions.

Boxing writer Silver looks at four centuries of Jewish pugilists, from the slums of London to the ghetto of the Lower East Side. The bare-knuckle era produced relatively few Jewish prizefighters, but their numbers included champion Daniel Mendoza, who revolutionized boxing with his defensive prowess. Only with mass immigration to the U.S. did Jewish boxers enter the ring in large numbers. For young men growing up in poverty, the sweet science offered an escape from the sweatshop and allowed them to rebut stereotypes of Jews as frail bookworms. Boxing's golden age (ca. 1920–1940) produced a host of Jewish champions, including all-time greats Benny Leonard, Barney Ross, and Lew Tendler. Post-WWII prosperity saw Jews leave boxing with the slums, but the recent diaspora from the former Soviet Union has created a few Jewish contenders. After a broad overview of boxing history, Silver lists Jewish fighters first by era and then alphabetically, leavening the capsule bios with colorful anecdotes. He also includes profiles of important Jewish figures around the sport, including promoter Mike Jacobs and The Ring publisher Nat Fleischer. Entertaining sidebars cover "Boxing Suffragettes" and "The Shanghai Ghetto," and a series of appendices includes Jewish Olympic medalists and Jewish Golden Gloves champions. The quality and expanse of this impressive survey make it an achievement unlikely to be equaled.
Stars in the Ring, by renowned boxing historian Mike Silver, presents this vibrant social history in the first illustrated encyclopedic compendium of its kind.

A book by the plaintiff
[book] Far and Away
Reporting from the Brink of Change
by Andrew Solomon
April 19, 2016
Naked, Covered in Ram's Blood, Drinking a Coke, and Feeling Pretty Good.... pictures to be posted later...
From the winner of the National Book Award and the National Books Critics’ Circle Award—and one of the most original thinkers of our time—a riveting collection of essays about places in dramatic transition.
Maybe it all started as a child with his father. When his father told him of the Holocaust and the deaths of Jews. Solomon always had an escape plan and cultivated friends that could hide him if a new attack came. Maybe this fueled his wanderlust and desire to travel and visit and make friends... and fight depression.

Far and Away collects Andrew Solomon’s writings about places undergoing seismic shifts—political, cultural, and spiritual. Chronicling his stint on the barricades in Moscow in 1991, when he joined artists in resisting the coup whose failure ended the Soviet Union, his 2002 account of the rebirth of culture in Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban, his insightful appraisal of a Myanmar seeped in contradictions as it slowly, fitfully pushes toward freedom, and many other stories of profound upheaval, this book provides a unique window onto the very idea of social change. With his signature brilliance and compassion, Solomon demonstrates both how history is altered by individuals, and how personal identities are altered when governments alter.

A journalist and essayist of remarkable perception and prescience, Solomon captures the essence of these cultures. Ranging across seven continents and twenty-five years, Far and Away takes a magnificent journey into the heart of extraordinarily diverse experiences, yet Solomon finds a common humanity wherever he travels. Illuminating the development of his own genius, his stories are always intimate and often both funny and deeply moving.

[book] The Dinner Party:
A Novel
by Brenda Janowitz
April 2016
St. Martin’s Griffin
This Passover Seder is not just any Passover Seder. Yes, there will be a quick service and then a festive meal afterwards, but this night is different from all other nights. This will be the night the Golds of Greenwich meet the Rothschilds of New York City.

The Rothschilds are the stuff of legends. They control banks, own vineyards in Napa, diamond mines in Africa, and even an organic farm somewhere in the Midwest that produces the most popular Romaine lettuce consumed in this country. And now, Sylvia Gold's daughter is dating one of them.

When Sylvia finds out that her youngest of three is going to bring her new boyfriend to the Seder, she's giddy. When she finds out that his parents are coming, too, she darn near faints. Making a good impression is all she thinks about. Well, almost. She still has to consider her other daughter, Sarah, who'll be coming with her less than appropriate beau and his overly dramatic Italian mother. But the drama won't stop there. Because despite the food and the wine, despite the new linen and the fresh flowers, the holidays are about family.
Long forgotten memories come to the surface.
Old grievances play out.
And Sylvia Gold has to learn how to let her family go.

[book] The Rav Pam Haggadah and Shir Hashirim
by Rabbi Meir Pam
April 2016
From Feldheim: HaRav HaGaon R' Avraham Yaakov HaKohen Pam, zt"l, over a period spanning more than six decades, served as rebbi and moreh derech (life-guide) not only for Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, but for all of Klal Yisrael. Through the weekly talks he delivered in the yeshiva, and through countless public addresses, Rav Pam molded his students and elevated his audiences. Rav Pam would speak in a soft tone, with a wonderful sweetness of expression, which endeared him to his listeners. His words, however, were aflame with the passion of his ahavas Hashem (Love of Hashem) and ahavas haTorah. Strong and passionate, yet gentle and sweet, for sixty years and more, Rav Pam's voice transmitted the pure mesorah of the D'var Hashem to the Klal Yisrael.
With the publication six years ago of the Hebrew commentary Mareh Kohen Haggadah, the public was reintroduced to this beloved voice. Culled from Rav Pam's shiurim and from his private notes, the commentary contained a wide selection of divrei Torah and hashkafah insights, arranged according to the topics and text of the Haggadah. This collection addressed a broad range of topics, such as Rav Pam's outlook on world events, his advice to individuals, the responsibilities of the Torah community, and divrei chizuk to help a person improve in his avodas Hashem.
Feldheim presents this English edition of the Mareh Kohen Haggadah, making this treasure trove of Torah thought available to the English-speaking public. The English edition contains the same wide range of content as the Hebrew edition, and includes, as well, an extensive index of the various topics discussed therein. English readers now have the opportunity to "hear" the original Torah and mussar of Rav Pam, and to be uplifted by his unique "voice."

[book] Haggadah Petucha:
The Lieberman Open Orthodox Haggadah
Hebrew Edition
by Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld
April 2016
The Lieberman Open Orthodox Haggadah addresses some of the burning issues of our times through the lens of the rituals and texts of the Seder night. As we recognize that in every generation we are to seek liberation and freedom, this Haggadah demonstrates an activism that stems from rather than being stymied by our ancient traditions.
Open Orthodoxy is a stream of Orthodoxy that combines a strict adherence to Jewish law with an openness and flexibility on certain contemporary issues. With contributions from prominent and original thinkers and an introduction to the term Open Orthodoxy from Rabbi Avi Weiss, this Haggadah discusses some of these cutting-edge concerns such as women as clergy within Orthodoxy (i.e., the Maharat phenomenon), the agunah crisis, and the interaction between Jews and their non-Jewish neighbors.

[book] The Dry Bones Passover Haggadah
by Yaakov Kirschen
with Editing from S. Kim Glassman,
Emanuel Cohn, and Kezia Raffel Pride
With Hashem's loving grace, I had the special privilege of reviewing the Dry Bones Haggadah, so masterfully done by my esteemed and cherished friend, Yaakov Kirschen of Dry Bones fame. Yaakov's wit, artistry, love of Judaism and his love of the Jewish People graces every page of this delightful English-Hebrew Haggada, which will certainly gladden the hearts of all those who use it. What's more, this Haggadah is a wonderful outreach tool in making Seder night - what some perceive to be a heavy burden - into an accessible and enjoyable experience. May the Almighty bless Yaakov with success in this endeavor, good health and long life, so he can continue to do many more wonderful things for the Jewish People. With blessings and very best wishes, Rabbi Lazer Brody, Ashdod, Israel, --Rabbi Lazer Brody

Dry Bones Passover Haggadah Kirschen's Haggadah is a combination of the traditional (all the Hebrew text, with directions and explanations) and the innovative (some old Passover-related cartoons, some new ones, and his ubiquitous Uncle Shuldig figure, the Jewish people s Greek chorus). The Haggadah should be something that brings us all together, Kirschen says in a telephone interview from his Tel Aviv home. The Haggadah is the only book that is in every Jewish home. And many of them are illustrated. It is the graphic novel of the Jewish people. He says the readers of Dry Bones range from extreme progressives to the most black-hat haredim. And that, says Kirschen, a graduate of Queens College, is what the Dry Bones Haggadah is shooting for. There's no political or religious agenda in it just the serious Yom Tov themes presented in a light way. I needed to create a Haggadah that speaks to people the way Dry Bones speaks to people, Kirschen says. --NY Jewish Week Newspaper

Veteran creator of 'Dry Bones' cartoons creates a 'guidebook' relevant for Jews of every stripe and every generation. Each page of this brand-new, self-published Hebrew-English Haggadah is framed by graphics and Dry Bones cartoons, many featuring the beloved character of Uncle Shuldig. Its structure, says Kirschen, is modeled on the Talmud, with the main text appearing in the middle of the page and surrounded by commentary in this case, various elements of contemporary relevance and wit in the more than 3,000-year-old story of the Exodus from Egypt. --Haaretz Newspaper About the Author.

[book] Nurture the WOW:
Finding Spirituality in the Frustration,
Boredom, Tears, Poop, Desperation, Wonder,
and Radical Amazement of Parenting
by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg
April 2016
Flatiron Books
Every day, parents are bombarded by demands. The pressures of work and life are relentless; our children’s needs are often impossible to meet; and we rarely, if ever, allow ourselves the time and attention necessary to satisfy our own inner longings. Parenthood is difficult, demanding, and draining. And yet, argues Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, if we can approach it from a different mindset, perhaps the work of parenting itself can offer the solace we seek.
Rooted in Judaism but incorporating a wide-range of religious and literary traditions, Nurture the Wow asks, Can ancient ideas about relationships, drudgery, pain, devotion, and purpose help make the hard parts of a parent’s job easier and the magical stuff even more so? Ruttenberg shows how parenting can be considered a spiritual practice?and how seeing it that way can lead to transformation. This is a parenthood book, not a parenting book; it shows how the experiences we have as parents can change us for the better.
Enlightening, uplifting, and laugh-out-loud funny, Nurture the Wow reveals how parenthood?in all its crazy-making, rage-inducing, awe and joy-filled moments?can actually be the path to living fully, authentically, and soulfully.

[book] Good for the Money:
My Fight to Pay Back America (AIG)
by Robert Benmosche
April 2016
St. Martin's Press
In 2009, at the peak of the financial crisis, AIG - the American insurance behemoth - was sinking fast. It was the peg upon which the nation hung its ire and resentment during the financial crisis: the pinnacle of Wall Street arrogance and greed. When Bob Benmosche climbed aboard as CEO, it was widely assumed that he would go down with his ship. In mere months, he turned things around, pulling AIG from the brink of financial collapse and restoring its profitability. Before three years were up, AIG had fully repaid its staggering debt to the U.S. government - with interest.
Good for the Money is an unyielding leader's memoir of a career spent fixing companies through thoughtful, unconventional strategy. With his brash, no-holds-barred approach to the job, Benmosche restored AIG's employee morale and good name. His is a story of perseverance, told with refreshing irreverence in unpretentious terms.
Called "an American hero" by Andrew Ross Sorkin, author of Too Big to Fail, Benmosche was a self-made man who never forgot what life is like for the nation's 99-percent; again and again, he pushed back against obstinate colleagues to salvage American jobs and industry. Good for the Money affords you a front-row seat for Benmosche's heated battles with major players from Geithner to Obama to Cuomo, and offers incomparable lessons in leadership from the legendary CEO who changed the way Wall Street does business.

By Christopher New
April 2016
Delphinium Books
The Kaminsky Cure is a poignant yet comedic novel of a half Jewish/half Christian family caught up in the machinery of Hitler’s final solution.
The matriarch, Gabi, was born Jewish but converted to Christianity in her teens. The patriarch, Willibald, is a Lutheran minister who, on one hand is an admirer of Hitler, but on the other hand, the conflicted father of children who are half-Jewish. Mindful and resentful of her husband’s ambivalence, Gabi is determined to make sure her children are educated, devising schemes to keep them in school even after learning that any child less than 100% Aryan will eventually be kept from completing education. She even hires tutors who are willing to teach half-Jewish children and in this way comes to hire Fraulein Kaminsky who shows Gabi how to cure her frustration and rage: to keep her mouth filled with water until the urge to scream or rant has passed.

[book] Orchestra of Exiles:
The Story of Bronislaw Huberman,
the Israel Philharmonic, and
the One Thousand Jews He Saved from Nazi Horrors
by Josh Aronson and Denise George
April 2016
The compelling biography of the violinist who founded the Palestine Symphony Orchestra and saved hundreds of people from Hitler—as seen in Josh Aronson’s documentary Orchestra of Exiles.
“The true artist does not create art as an end in itself. He creates art for human beings. Humanity is the goal.”—Bronislaw Huberman
At fourteen, Bronislaw Huberman played the Brahms Violin Concerto in Vienna— winning high praise from the composer himself, who was there. Instantly famous, Huberman began touring all over the world and received invitations to play for royalty across Europe. But after witnessing the tragedy of World War I, he committed his phenomenal talent and celebrity to aid humanity.
After studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, Huberman joined the ranks of Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein in calling for peace through the Pan European Movement. But when hope for their noble vision was destroyed by the rise of Nazism, Huberman began a crusade that would become his greatest legacy—the creation, in 1936, of the Palestine Symphony, which twelve years later became the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
In creating this world-level orchestra, Huberman miraculously arranged for the very best Jewish musicians and their families to emigrate from Nazi-threatened territories. His tireless campaigning for the project—including a marathon fundraising concert tour across America—ultimately saved nearly a thousand Jews from the approaching Holocaust. Inviting the great Arturo Toscanini to conduct the orchestra’s first concert, Huberman’s clarion call of art over cruelty was heard around the world. His story contains estraordinary adventures, riches and royalty, politicians and broken promises, losses and triumphs. Against near impossible obstacles, Huberman refused to give up on his dream to create a unique and life-saving orchestra of exiles which was one of the great cultural achievements of the 20th century.

[book] A Jewish Guide in the
Holy Land: How Christian
Pilgrims Made Me Israeli
by Jackie Feldman
Lecturer at Ben Gurion University
April 2016
Indiana Univerity Press
For many Evangelical Christians, a trip to the Holy Land is an integral part of practicing their faith. Arriving in groups, most of these pilgrims are guided by Jewish Israeli tour guides. For more than three decades, Jackie Feldman - born into an Orthodox Jewish family in New York, now an Israeli citizen, scholar, and licensed guide-has been leading tours, interpreting Biblical landscapes, and fielding questions about religion and current politics.
In this book, (a sociology jargon filled book) he draws on pilgrimage and tourism STUDIES, his own experiences, and interviews with other guides, Palestinian drivers and travel agents, and Christian pastors to examine the complex interactions through which guides and tourists "co-produce" the Bible Land.
He uncovers the implicit politics of travel brochures and religious souvenirs. Feldman asks what it means when Jewish-Israeli guides get caught up in their own performances or participate in Christian rituals, and reflects on how his interactions with Christian tourists have changed his understanding of himself and his views of religion.
I think academics will like this book more than the general readers. Sorry.

[book] The Last Goodnight
A World War II Story of
Espionage, Adventure, and Betrayal
by Howard Blum
April 2016
The New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Dark Invasion, channels Erik Larson and Ben Macintyre in this riveting biography of Betty Pack, the dazzling American debutante who became an Allied spy during WWII and was hailed by OSS chief General “Wild Bill" Donovan as “the greatest unsung heroine of the war.”
Betty Pack was charming, beautiful, and intelligent—and she knew it. As an agent for Britain’s MI-6 and then America’s OSS during World War II, these qualities proved crucial to her success. This is the remarkable story of this “Mata Hari from Minnesota” (Time) and the passions that ruled her tempestuous life—a life filled with dangerous liaisons and death-defying missions vital to the Allied victory.
For decades, much of Betty’s career working for MI-6 and the OSS remained classified. Through access to recently unclassified files, Howard Blum discovers the truth about the attractive blond, codenamed “Cynthia,” who seduced diplomats and military attachés across the globe in exchange for ciphers and secrets; cracked embassy safes to steal codes; and obtained the Polish notebooks that proved key to Alan Turing’s success with Operation Ultra.
Beneath Betty’s cool, professional determination, Blum reveals a troubled woman conflicted by the very traits that made her successful: her lack of deep emotional connections and her readiness to risk everything. The Last Goodnight is a mesmerizing, provocative, and moving portrait of an exceptional heroine whose undaunted courage helped to save the world.

By Neal Gabler
April 2016
Jewish Lives Series
Yale University Press
Barbra Streisand has been called the “most successful...talented performer of her generation” by Vanity Fair, and her voice, said pianist Glenn Gould, is “one of the natural wonders of the age.” Streisand scaled the heights of entertainment—from a popular vocalist to a first-rank Broadway star in Funny Girl to an Oscar-winning actress to a producer and director. But she has also become a cultural icon who has transcended show business. To achieve her success, Brooklyn-born Streisand had to overcome tremendous odds, not the least of which was her Jewishness. Dismissed, insulted, even reviled when she embarked on a show business career for acting too Jewish and looking too Jewish, she brilliantly converted her Jewishness into a metaphor for outsiderness that would eventually make her the avenger for anyone who felt marginalized and powerless.

Neal Gabler examines Streisand’s life and career through this prism of otherness—a Jew in a gentile world, a self-proclaimed homely girl in a world of glamour, a kooky girl in a world of convention—and shows how central it was to Streisand’s triumph as one of the voices of her age.

See also… now in paperback:
[book] [book]

[book] [book]

(Son of Thomas Mann)
By Frederic Spotts
March 2016
Yale University Press
Son of the famous Thomas Mann, homosexual, drug-addicted, and forced to flee from his fatherland, the gifted writer Klaus Mann’s comparatively short life was as artistically productive as it was devastatingly dislocated. Best-known today as the author of Mephisto, the literary enfant terrible of the Weimar era produced seven novels, a dozen plays, four biographies, and three autobiographies—among them the first works in Germany to tackle gay issues—amidst a prodigious artistic output. He was among the first to take up his pen against the Nazis, as a reward for which he was blacklisted and denounced as a dangerous half-Jew, his books burnt in public squares around Germany, and his citizenship revoked. Having served with the U.S. military in Italy, he was nevertheless undone by anti-Communist fanatics in Cold War-era America and Germany, dying in France (though not, as all other books contend, by his own hand) at age forty-two.

Powerful, revealing, and compulsively readable, this first English-language biography of Klaus Mann charts the effects of reactionary politics on art and literature and tells the moving story of a supreme talent destroyed by personal circumstance and the seismic events of the twentieth century.

And Other STEM Delusions
By Andrew Hacker
The New Press
March 2016
Andrew Hacker’s 2012 New York Times op-ed questioning the requirement of advanced mathematics in our schools instantly became one of the paper’s most widely circulated articles. Why, he wondered, do we inflict a full menu of mathematics—algebra, geometry, trigonometry, even calculus—on all young Americans, regardless of their interests or aptitudes?
The Math Myth expands Hacker’s scrutiny of many widely held assumptions, like the notions that mathematics broadens our minds, that mastery of azimuths and asymptotes will be needed for most jobs, that the entire Common Core syllabus should be required of every student. He worries that a frenzied emphasis on STEM is diverting attention from other pursuits and subverting the spirit of the country.
In fact, Hacker honors mathematics as a calling (he has been a professor of mathematics) and extols its glories and its goals. Yet he shows how mandating it for everyone prevents other talents from being developed and acts as an irrational barrier to graduation and careers. He proposes alternatives, including teaching facility with figures, quantitative reasoning, and understanding statistics. The Math Myth is sure to spark a heated and needed national conversation not just about mathematics but about the kind of people and society we want to be.

[book] Miss Fortune:
Fresh Perspectives on Having
It All from Someone Who Is Not Okay
by Lauren Weedman
March 2016
Lauren Weedman is not okay.
She’s living what should be the good life in sunny Los Angeles. After a gig as a correspondent with The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, she scored parts in blockbuster movies, which led to memorable recurring roles on HBO’s Hung and Looking. She had a loving husband and an adorable baby boy.

In these comedic essays, she turns a piercingly observant, darkly funny lens on the ways her life is actually Not Okay. She tells the story of her husband’s affair with their babysitter, her first and only threesome, a tattoo gone horribly awry, and how the birth of her son caused mama drama with her own mother and birth mother with laugh-out-loud wit and a powerful undercurrent of vulnerability that pulls off a stunning balance between comedy and tragedy.

[book] How to Weep in Public:
Feeble Offerings on Depression
from One Who Knows
by Jacqueline Novak
Three Rivers
March 2016
In her hilarious memoir-meets-guide-to-life, comedian (and depressed person) Jacqueline Novak reveals depression’s hidden pleasures, advises readers on how to make most of a cat hair-covered life, and helps them summon the strength to shed that bathrobe and face the world.
Exhausted? Rundown? Filled with a vague sense of ennui, an occasional twinge of regret, or a hell of a lot of mood stabilizers? Then this is the book for you.
How to Weep in Public is both a tongue-in-cheek advice guide (from a person who has no business giving advice to anyone!) and one woman’s breathless journey to consistently put on pants, or at least get out of bed in the morning. Beginning with her earliest blue moments of infancy, and hop-scotching through her exploration of the world of pharmaceuticals, before bounding right back to her parents' couch, Jacqueline Novak will introduce you to the ABC's (Adderall! Benzos! Catatonia!) of depression and reveal, funnily enough, that a lot can happen even when you're standing still.
Or, as it happens, lying down.
Whether you’re coping with the occasional down day, or thrive fully in Picasso’s blue period, How to Weep in Public is the perfect place to regroup between those nagging Tony Robbins tapes and that exhausting amount of Leaning In. So sit back, relax, and let Jacqueline Novak teach you how to carpe depressem with the rest of them.

[book] The Best Place on Earth
by Ayelet Tsabari
Random House
March 2016
Reminiscent of the early work of Jhumpa Lahiri, Ayelet Tsabari’s award-winning debut collection of stories is global in scope yet intimate in feel, beautifully written, and emotionally powerful. From Israel to India to Canada, Tsabari’s indelible characters grapple with love, violence, faith, the slipperiness of identity, and the challenges of balancing old traditions with modern times.
These eleven spellbinding stories often focus on Israel’s Mizrahi Jews, featuring mothers and children, soldiers and bohemians, lovers and best friends, all searching for their place in the world. In “Tikkun,” a man crosses paths with his free-spirited ex-girlfriend—now a married Orthodox Jew—and minutes later barely escapes tragedy. In “Brit Milah,” a mother travels from Israel to visit her daughter in Canada and is stunned by her grandson’s upbringing. A young medic in the Israeli army bends the rules to potentially dangerous consequence in “Casualties.” After her mom passes away, a teenage girl comes to live with her aunt outside Tel Aviv and has her first experience with unrequited love in “Say It Again, Say Something Else.” And in the moving title story, two estranged sisters—one whose marriage is ending, the other whose relationship is just beginning—try to recapture the close bond they had as kids.
Absorbing, tender, and sharply observed, The Best Place on Earth infuses moments of sorrow with small moments of grace: a boy composes poetry in a bomb shelter, an old photo helps a girl make sense of her mother’s rootless past. Tsabari’s voice is gentle yet wise, illuminating the burdens of history, the strength of the heart, and our universal desire to belong.

[book] As Close To Us As Beathing
by Elizabeth Poliner
March 2016
A Lee Bourdreux Book
Little, Brown & Company
Readers who like Allegra Goodman may like this
A multigenerational family saga about the long-lasting reverberations of one tragic summer by "a wonderful talent [who] should be read widely" (Edward P. Jones).
In 1948, a small stretch of the Woodmont, Connecticut shoreline, affectionately named "Bagel Beach," has long been a summer destination for Jewish families. Here sisters Ada, Vivie, and Bec assemble at their beloved family cottage, with children in tow and weekend-only husbands who arrive each Friday in time for the Sabbath meal.
During the weekdays, freedom reigns. Ada, the family beauty, relaxes and grows more playful, unimpeded by her rule-driven, religious husband. Vivie, once terribly wronged by her sister, is now the family diplomat and an increasingly inventive chef. Unmarried Bec finds herself forced to choose between the family-centric life she's always known and a passion-filled life with the married man with whom she's had a secret years-long affair.
But when a terrible accident occurs on the sisters' watch, a summer of hope and self-discovery transforms into a lifetime of atonement and loss for members of this close-knit clan. Seen through the eyes of Molly, who was twelve years old when she witnessed the accident, this is the story of a tragedy and its aftermath, of expanding lives painfully collapsed. Can Molly, decades after the event, draw from her aunt Bec's hard-won wisdom and free herself from the burden that destroyed so many others?
Elizabeth Poliner is a masterful storyteller, a brilliant observer of human nature, and in As Close to Us as Breathing she has created an unforgettable meditation on grief, guilt, and the boundaries of identity and love.

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The Novel Politician
By David Cesarani
April 2016
Jewish Lives Series
Yale University Press
Lauded as a “great Jew,” excoriated by antisemites, and one of Britain’s most renowned prime ministers, Benjamin Disraeli has been widely celebrated for his role in Jewish history. But is the perception of him as a Jewish hero accurate? In what ways did he contribute to Jewish causes? In this groundbreaking, lucid investigation of Disraeli’s life and accomplishments, David Cesarani draws a new portrait of one of Europe’s leading nineteenth-century statesmen, a complicated, driven, opportunistic man.

While acknowledging that Disraeli never denied his Jewish lineage, boasted of Jewish achievements, and argued for Jewish civil rights while serving as MP, Cesarani challenges the assumption that Disraeli truly cared about Jewish issues. Instead, his driving personal ambition required him to confront his Jewishness at the same time as he acted opportunistically. By creating a myth of aristocratic Jewish origins for himself, and by arguing that Jews were a superior race, Disraeli boosted his own career but also contributed to the consolidation of some of the most fundamental stereotypes of modern antisemitism.

[book] A Distant Heartbeat:
A War, a Disappearance,
and a Family's Secrets
by Eunice Lipton
April 2016
University of New Mexico Press
On May 20, 1938, a young man from the Bronx informs his parents that he is leaving for the Catskills to begin his new job as a waiter. Instead, he sails for Europe to join the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War, the opening round in the fight against Hitler and Mussolini. The man, Dave Lipton--the author's uncle--sends letter after letter home detailing his hopes and begging for forgiveness. He never receives a reply.
Decades later, Eunice Lipton stumbles upon clues for this silence, uncovering details of Dave's exhilarating political life in New York, his shuttered romantic life, and his deep friendship with another volunteer. A Distant Heartbeat tells a tale of passion and heroism, centered on a fierce competition between brothers, a packet of missing letters, and the unforeseen results of family betrayal.

[book] Kosher USA:
How Coke Became Kosher
and Other Tales of Modern Food
(Arts and Traditions of the Table:
Perspectives on Culinary History)
by Roger Horowitz
Columbia University Press
April 2016
Kosher USA follows the fascinating and surprising journey of kosher food through the modern industrial food system. Drawing on episodes from the lives of the author's own family, it traces how iconic products such as Coca-Cola and Jell-O tried to become kosher; the contentious debates among rabbis over the incorporation of modern science into Jewish law; how Manischewitz wine became the first kosher product to win over non-Jewish consumers (principally African Americans); the techniques used by Orthodox rabbinical organizations to embed kosher requirements into food manufacturing; and the difficulties encountered by kosher meat and other kosher foods that fell outside of the American culinary consensus.

With stories about the key figures in this process, Kosher USA presents a tale of great accomplishments and stubborn limitations. Drawing on a range of sources, Roger Horowitz's history is filled with big personalities, rare archival finds, and surprising influences: the Atlanta rabbi Tobias Geffen, who made Coke kosher; the lay chemist and kosher-certification pioneer Abraham Goldstein; the kosher-meat magnate Harry Kassel; and the animal-rights advocate Temple Grandin, a strong supporter of shechita. By exploring the complex encounter between ancient religious principles and modern industrial methods, this book adds a significant chapter to the story of Judaism's interaction with non-Jewish cultures and the history of modern Jewish American life, as well as American foodways.

Winner of the 2015 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
[book] Challenger Deep
by Neal Shusterman
Illustrated by his son, Brendan Shusterman
April 2016
Harper Teen
First some background… Neal is a father of four children. Brendan, now 26, suffers from a mental illness. When Brendan was in the Second Grade, Neal helped him with a report on the Pacific Ocean’s Marianas Trench. Challenger Deep, its deepest trench, thought Neal, was a fabulous title for a book. Nearly two decades later, with the permission and cooperation of his son, Neal has written a novel with this title. It is a story of a teen who begins to experience the effects – hallucinations, voices, anxieties - of schizophrenia.

It is a captivating novel about mental illness that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman.
Caden Bosch is on a ship that's headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.
Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.
Caden Bosch is designated the ship's artist in residence to document the journey with images.
Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.
Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.
Caden Bosch is torn.

Challenger Deep is a deeply powerful and personal novel from one of today's most admired writers for teens. Laurie Halse Anderson, award-winning author of Speak, calls Challenger Deep "a brilliant journey across the dark sea of the mind; frightening, sensitive, and powerful. Simply extraordinary."

There is a craze for coloring books.
There is no Jerusalem coloring book yet to meet this fad
Here is the next best thing…
[book] Till We Have Built Jerusalem:
Architects of a New City
by Adina Hoffman
April 5, 2016
Equal parts biographical puzzle, architectural meditation, and probing detective story, Adina Hoffman's Till We Have Built Jerusalem offers a prismatic view into one of the world's most beloved and troubled cities. Panoramic yet intimate, this portrait of three architects who helped build modern Jerusalem is also a gripping exploration of the ways in which politics and aesthetics clash in a place of constant conflict.

The book opens with the arrival in 1930s Jerusalem of the celebrated Berlin architect Erich Mendelsohn, who, as a refugee from Hitler's Germany, has to reckon with a complex new Middle Eastern reality. Next we meet Austen St. Barbe Harrison, Palestine's chief government architect from 1922 to 1937. Steeped in the traditions of Byzantine and Islamic building, he's forced to work in the often stifling and violent context of British rule. And in the riveting final section, Hoffman herself sets out through the battered streets of today's Jerusalem looking for traces of a possibly Greek, possibly Arab architect named Spyro Houris. Once renowned around town, Houris is now utterly forgotten, though his buildings still stand, a ghostly testimony to his presence.

A beautifully written rumination on memory and forgetting, place and displacement, Till We Have Built Jerusalem uncovers ramifying levels of one great city's buried history as it asks what it means, everywhere, to be foreign and to belong.

[book] A Street Divided:
Stories From Jerusalem's Alley of God
by Dion Nissenbaum, WSJ
St. Martin’s Press
It has been the home to priests and prostitutes, poets and spies. It has been the stage for an improbable flirtation between an Israeli girl and a Palestinian boy living on opposite sides of the barbed wire that separated enemy nations. It has even been the scene of an unsolved international murder. This one-time shepherd's path between Jerusalem and Bethlehem has been a dividing line for decades. Arab families called it "al Mantiqa Haram." Jewish residents knew it as "shetach hefker." In both languages, in both Israel and Jordan, it meant the same thing: "the Forbidden Area." Peacekeepers that monitored the steep fault line dubbed it "Barbed Wire Alley." To folks on either side of the border, it was the same thing: A dangerous no-man's land separating warring nations and feuding cultures in the Middle East. The barbed wire came down in 1967. But it was soon supplanted by evermore formidable cultural, emotional and political barriers separating Arab and Jew.

For nearly two decades, coils of barbed wire ran right down the middle of what became Assael Street, marking the fissure between Israeli-controlled West Jerusalem and Jordanian-controlled East Jerusalem. In a beautiful narrative, Dion Nissenbaum's A Street Divided offers a more intimate look at one road at the heart of the conflict, where inches really do matter.

[book] GHETTO
The Invention of Place,
The History of an Idea
By Mitchell Duneier
April 2016
On March 29, 1516, the city council of Venice issued a decree forcing Jews to live in il geto's closed quarter named for the copper foundry that once occupied the area. The term stuck. In this sweeping and original interpretation, Mitchell Duneier traces the idea of the ghetto from its beginnings in the sixteenth century and its revival by the Nazis to the present. As Duneier shows, we cannot understand the entanglements of race, poverty, and place in America today without recalling the history of the ghetto in Europe, as well as later efforts to understand the problems of the American city.
This is the story of the scholars and activists who tried to achieve that understanding. Their efforts to wrestle with race and poverty in their times cannot be divorced from their individual biographies, which often included direct encounters with prejudice and discrimination in the academy and elsewhere. Using new and forgotten sources, Duneier introduces us to Horace Cayton and St. Clair Drake, graduate students whose conception of the South Side of Chicago established a new paradigm for thinking about Northern racism and poverty in the 1940s. We learn how the psychologist Kenneth Clark subsequently linked Harlem’s slum conditions with the persistence of black powerlessness in the civil rights era, and we follow the controversy over Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report on the black family. We see how the sociologist William Julius Wilson redefined the debate about urban America as middle-class African Americans increasingly escaped the ghetto and the country retreated from racially specific remedies. And we trace the education reformer Geoffrey Canada’s efforts to transform the lives of inner-city children with ambitious interventions, even as other reformers sought to help families escape their neighborhoods altogether.
Ghetto offers a clear-eyed assessment of the thinkers and doers who have shaped American ideas about urban poverty?and the ghetto. The result is a valuable new understanding of an age-old concept.

[book] A None's Story
Searching for Meaning Inside Christianity,
Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam
by Corinna Nicolaou
April 2016
Columbia University Press
The rising population known as "nones" for its members' lack of religious affiliation is changing American society, politics, and culture. Many nones believe in God and even visit places of worship, but they do not identify with a specific faith or belong to a spiritual community. Corinna Nicolaou is a none, and in this layered narrative, she describes what it is like for her and thousands of others to live without religion or to be spiritual without committing to a specific faith.
Nicolaou tours America's major traditional religions to see what, if anything, one might lack without God. She moves through Christianity's denominations, learning their tenets and worshiping alongside their followers. She travels to Los Angeles to immerse herself in Judaism, Berkeley to educate herself about Buddhism, and Dallas and Washington, D.C., to familiarize herself with Islam. She explores what light they can shed on the fears and failings of her past, and these encounters prove the significant role religion still plays in modern life. They also exemplify the vibrant relationship between religion and American culture and the enduring value it provides to immigrants and outsiders. Though she remains a devout none, Nicolaou's experiences reveal points of contact between the religious and the unaffiliated, suggesting that nones may be radically revising the practice of faith in contemporary times.

Eighteen Writers on the Spirit and Significance
of Squares Around the World
With 93 Photographs
April 2016
In this important collection, eighteen renowned writers, including David Remnick, Zadie Smith, Rebecca Skloot, Rory Stewart, and Adam Gopnik evoke the spirit and history of some of the world’s most recognized and significant city squares, accompanied by illustrations from equally distinguished photographers.
Over half of the world’s citizens now live in cities, and this number is rapidly growing. At the heart of these municipalities is the square—the defining urban public space since the dawn of democracy in Ancient Greece. Each square stands for a larger theme in history: cultural, geopolitical, anthropological, or architectural, and each of the eighteen luminary writers has contributed his or her own innate talent, prodigious research, and local knowledge.
Divided into three parts: Culture, Geopolitics, History, headlined by Michael Kimmelman, David Remnick, and George Packer, this significant anthology shows the city square in new light. Jehane Noujaim, award-winning filmmaker, takes the reader through her return to Tahrir Square during the 2011 protest; Rory Stewart, diplomat and author, chronicles a square in Kabul which has come and gone several times over five centuries; Ari Shavit describes the dramatic changes of central Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square; Rick Stengel, editor, author, and journalist, recounts the power of Mandela’s choice of the Grand Parade, Cape Town, a huge market square to speak to the world right after his release from twenty-seven years in prison; while award-winning journalist Gillian Tett explores the concept of the virtual square in the age of social media.
This collection is an important lesson in history, a portrait of the world we live in today, as well as an exercise in thinking about the future. Evocative and compelling, City Squares will change the way you walk through a city.
Contributors include:
David Adjaye on Jemma e-Fnna, Marrakech • Anne Applebaum on Red Square, Moscow and Grand Market Square, Krakow • Chrystia Freeland on Euromaiden, Kiev • Adam Gopnik on Place des Vosges, Paris
Jehane Noujaim on Tahrir Square, Cairo • Evan Osnos on Tiananmen Square, Beijing • Andrew Roberts on Residential Squares, London • Elif Shafak on Taksim Square, Istanbul • Rebecca Skloot on American Town Squares • Ari Shavit on Rabin Square, Tel Aviv • Zadie Smith on the grand piazzas of Rome and Venice • and more

A Soldier's Story
by Matti Friedman
May 3, 2016
Algonquin Books
Pumpkinflowers – Pumpkin Flowers
Friedman’s first book won several Jewish book awards.
Kai Bird write that this book is “Destined to become a classic text on the absurdities of war. . . A beautifully written account of a young Israeli soldier's experience. A stunning achievement.”

Yossi Klein Halevi writes, “Inspiring, heartbreaking, illuminating. Matti Friedman’s brilliant account of a forgotten war seen through the lens of a simple soldier is at once a coming-of-age story and an essential chronicle about how the twenty-first century was born.”

It was one small hilltop in a small, unnamed war in the late 1990s, but it would send out ripples still felt worldwide today. The hill, in Lebanon, was called the Pumpkin; flowers was the military code word for “casualties.” Award-winning writer Matti Friedman re-creates the harrowing experience of a band of young soldiers -- the author among them -- charged with holding this remote outpost, a task that changed them forever and foreshadowed the unwinnable conflicts the United States would soon confront in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
Part memoir, part reportage, part military history, this powerful narrative captures the birth of today’s chaotic Middle East and the rise of a twenty-first-century type of war in which there is never a clear victor, and media images can be as important as the battle itself.
Raw and beautifully rendered, Pumpkinflowers will take its place among classic war narratives by George Orwell, Philip Caputo, and Vasily Grossman. It is an unflinching look at the way we conduct war today.

BY Jonathan Levi
April 2016
A strange and magical picaresque romance, Jonathan Levi's first novel since 1992's critically acclaimed A Guide For the Perplexed
The novel opens in England in the mid 17th Century where a young man named Isaac is sitting in an orchard with perhaps a Jewish friend or bromance buddy. An apple falls. Is it Eden? Is it Newton?
Next we are in a church tower. On an idyllic spring afternoon in 1978 in the loft of a church outside Cambridge, England, an organ tuner named Malory loses his virginity to a dyslexic math genius named Louiza. When Louiza disappears, Malory follows her trail to Rome.
There, the quest to find his love gets sidetracked when he discovers he is the heir to the Kingdom of Septimania, given by Charlemagne to the Jews of 8th-century France. In the midst of a Rome reeling from the kidnappings and bombs of the Red Brigades, Malory is crowned King of the Jews, Holy Roman Emperor and possibly Caliph of All Islam.
Over the next fifty years, Malory’s search for Louiza leads to encounters with Aldo Moro, Pope John Paul II, a band of lost Romanians, a magical Bernini statue, Haroun al Rashid of Arabian Nights fame, an elephant that changes color, a shadowy U.S. spy agency and one of the 9/11 bombers, an appleseed from the original Tree of Knowledge, and the secret history of Isaac Newton and his discovery of a Grand Unified Theory that explains everything.
But most of all, Septimania is the quest of a Candide for love and knowledge, and the ultimate discovery that they may be unified after all.

[book] The Path:
What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach
Us About the Good Life
by Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh
Simon & Schuster
April 2016
For the first time an award-winning Harvard professor shares his wildly popular course on classical Chinese philosophy, showing you how these ancient ideas can guide you on the path to a good life today.
Why is a course on ancient Chinese philosophers one of the most popular at Harvard?
It’s because the course challenges all our modern assumptions about what it takes to flourish. This is why Professor Michael Puett says to his students, “The encounter with these ideas will change your life.” As one of them told his collaborator, author Christine Gross-Loh, “You can open yourself up to possibilities you never imagined were even possible.”
These astonishing teachings emerged two thousand years ago through the work of a succession of Chinese scholars exploring how humans can improve themselves and their society. And what are these counterintuitive ideas? Good relationships come not from being sincere and authentic, but from the rituals we perform within them. Influence comes not from wielding power but from holding back. Excellence comes from what we choose to do, not our natural abilities. A good life emerges not from planning it out, but through training ourselves to respond well to small moments. Transformation comes not from looking within for a true self, but from creating conditions that produce new possibilities.
In other words, The Path upends everything we are told about how to lead a good life. Above all, unlike most books on the subject, its most radical idea is that there is no path to follow in the first place—just a journey we create anew at every moment by seeing and doing things differently.
Sometimes voices from the past can offer possibilities for thinking afresh about the future.

[book] SCREAM
A Memoir of Glamour and Dysfunction
By Tama Janowitz
April 2016
Morrow/Dey Street
In this darkly funny, surprising memoir, the original “Lit Girl” and author of the era-defining Slaves of New York considers her life in and outside of New York City, from the heyday of the 1980s to her life today in a tiny upstate town that proves that fact is always stranger than fiction.
With the publication of her acclaimed short story collection Slaves of New York, Tama Janowitz was crowned the Lit Girl of New York. Celebrated in rarified literary and social circles, she was hailed, alongside Mark Lindquist, Bret Easton Ellis, and Jay McInerney, as one of the original “Brat Pack” writers—a wave of young minimalist authors whose wry, urbane sensibility captured the zeitgeist of the time, propelling them to the forefront of American culture.
In Scream, her first memoir, Janowitz recalls the quirky literary world of young downtown New York in the go-go 1980s and reflects on her life today far away from the city indelible to her work. As in Slaves of New York and A Certain Age, Janowitz turns a critical eye towards life, this time her own, recounting the vagaries of fame and fortune as a writer devoted to her art. Here, too, is Tama as daughter, wife, and mother, wrestling with aging, loss, and angst, both adolescent (her daughter) and middle aged (her own) as she cares for a mother plagued by dementia, battles a brother who questions her choices, and endures the criticism of a surly teenager.
Filled with a very real, very personal cast of characters, Scream is an intimate, scorching memoir rife with the humor, insight, and experience of a writer with a surgeon’s eye for detail, and a skill for cutting straight to the strangest parts of life.

EMAILS WITH GLORIE? (Tuesdays w/ Morrie)
And Other Life Lessons I Learned
From My Mom
By Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt
April 2016
I once met Anderson Cooper, and he mentioned that his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, loved to talk about everything, including sex and her lovers. She sounded fascinating. Now he has written a book on the lessons he learned from her about life, race, overcoming tragedies and defeats, love, and everything in between.
This intimate collection of correspondence between Anderson Cooper and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, offers timeless wisdom and a revealing glimpse into their lives. Anderson Cooper’s intensely busy career as a journalist for CNN and CBS’ 60 Minutes affords him little time to spend with his 91 year old mother. After she briefly fell ill, he and Gloria began a conversation through e-mail unlike any they had ever had before — a correspondence of surprising honesty and depth in which they discussed their lives, the things that matter to them, and what they still want to learn about each other.
Both a son’s love letter to his mother in her final years and an unconventional mother’s life lessons for her grown son, The Rainbow Comes and Goes offers a rare window into their close relationship and fascinating lives. In these often hilarious and touching exchanges, they share their most private thoughts and the hard-earned truths they’ve learned along the way. Throughout, their distinctive personalities shine through—Anderson’s darker outlook on the world is a brilliant contrast to his mother’s idealism and unwavering optimism.
An appealing blend of memoir and inspirational advice, The Rainbow Comes and Goes is a beautiful and affectionate celebration of the profound and universal bond between a parent and child, and, like Tuesdays with Morrie, a thoughtful reflection on life and love, reminding us of the precious knowledge and insight that remains to be shared, no matter what age we are.

[book] Lies, Incorporated
The World of Post-Truth Politics
by Ari Rabin-Havt
and Media Matters for America
April 2016
Ari Rabin-Havt, alum of Brandeis, GWU, Penn&Schoen, Kerry for President and Harry Reid unravels the distortions of truth that are transformed into “common knowledge” by a powerful network of special-interest groups and politicians.

It is the story of POST TRUTH
In today’s post-truth political landscape, there is a carefully concealed but ever-growing industry of organized misinformation, paid to create and disseminate lies in the service of political agendas.
Ari Rabin-Havt presents a revelatory history of this industry of public deception, which he dubs Lies, Incorporated, and uncovers the ideological groups that have shaped American politics via coordinated assaults on the truth. For more than sixty years, these organizations have successfully obscured the facts, manufactured controversies, and, ultimately, crippled legislative progress on issues including tobacco regulation, public health care, climate change, gun control, immigration, abortion, and same-sex marriage. In an age when deep-pocketed individuals and corporations have the ear of major media outlets—and those media outlets can directly influence policy—Lies, Incorporated is essential reading.

[book] America's War for the Greater Middle East:
A Military History
by Andrew J. Bacevich
Random House
April 5, 2016
Bacevich, a rofessor at Boston University, graduated from West Point, received a PhD from Princeton, and rose to the rank of Colonel before returning from the US Army after over two decades of service. In this book he reassesses U.S. military policy in the Middle East over the past four decades.
From the end of World War II until 1980, virtually no American soldiers were killed in action while serving in the Greater Middle East. Since 1990, virtually no American soldiers have been killed in action anywhere else. What caused this shift? Andrew J. Bacevich, one of the country’s most respected voices on foreign affairs, offers an incisive critical history of this ongoing military enterprise—now more than thirty years old and with no end in sight.
During the 1980s, Bacevich argues, a great transition occurred.
As the Cold War wound down, the United States initiated a new conflict — a War for the Greater Middle East — that continues to the present day. The long twilight struggle with the Soviet Union had involved only occasional and sporadic fighting. But as this new war unfolded, hostilities became persistent. From the Balkans and East Africa to the Persian Gulf and Central Asia, U.S. forces embarked upon a seemingly endless series of campaigns across the Islamic world.
Few achieved anything remotely like conclusive success. Instead, actions undertaken with expectations of promoting peace and stability produced just the opposite. As a consequence, phrases like “permanent war” and “open-ended war” have become part of everyday discourse.
Connecting the dots in a way no other historian has done before, Bacevich weaves a compelling narrative out of episodes as varied as the Beirut bombing of 1983, the Mogadishu firefight of 1993, the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the rise of ISIS in the present decade. Understanding what America’s costly military exertions have wrought requires seeing these seemingly discrete events as parts of a single war. It also requires identifying the errors of judgment made by political leaders in both parties and by senior military officers who share responsibility for what has become a monumental march to folly. This Bacevich unflinchingly does.
A twenty-year army veteran who served in Vietnam, Andrew J. Bacevich brings the full weight of his expertise to this vitally important subject. America’s War for the Greater Middle East is a bracing after-action report from the front lines of history. It will fundamentally change the way we view America’s engagement in the world’s most volatile region.

Reviving Pluralism in the Middle East
By Nicolas Pelham
Jerusalem correspondent, The Economist
Columbia Global Report
April 2016
When the Ottoman Empire fell apart, colonial powers drew straight lines on the map to create a new region — the Middle East — made up of new countries filled with multiple religious sects and ethnicities. Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, for example, all contained a kaleidoscope of Sunnis, Kurds, Shias, Circassians, Druze and Armenians. Israel was the first to establish a state in which one sect and ethnicity dominated others. Sixty years later, others are following suit, like the Kurds in northern Iraq, the Sunnis with ISIS, the Alawites in Syria, and the Shias in Baghdad and northern Yemen.
The rise of irredentist states threatens to condemn the region to decades of conflict along new communal fault lines. In this book, Economist correspondent and New York Review of Books contributor Nicolas Pelham looks at how and why the world's most tolerant region degenerated into its least tolerant. Pelham reports from cities in Israel, Kurdistan, Iraq and Syria on how triumphant sects treat their ethnic and sectarian minorities, and he searches for hope — for a possible path back to the beauty that the region used to and can still radiate.

How a Young CIA Case Officer
Penetrated the Taliban and Al-Qaeda
by Ralph Pezzullo
St. Martin's Press
April 2016
On September 11, 2001, John Smith was a freshman in college, on the path to becoming a doctor. But with the fall of the Twin Towers came a turning point in his life. After graduating he joined the Central Intelligence Agency, determined to get himself to Afghanistan and into the center of the action. Through persistence and hard work he was fast-tracked to a clandestine operations position overseas. Dropped into a remote region of Afghanistan, he received his baptism by fire. Frustrated by bureaucratic red tape, a widespread lack of knowledge of the local customs and culture and an attitude of complacency that hindered his ability to combat the local Taliban, John confounded his peers by dressing like a native and mastering the local dialect, making contact and building sources within several deadly terrorist networks. His new approach resulted in unprecedented successes, including the uncovering the largest IED network in the world, responsible for killing hundreds of US soldiers. Meanwhile, John had to keep up false pretenses with his family, girlfriend and friends--nobody could know what he did for a living--and deal with the emotional turbulence of constantly living a lie. His double life was building to an explosive resolution, with repercussions that would have far reaching consequences.

By Kate SIegel
Crown - Archetype
April 2016
Based on the wildly popular Instagram account @CrazyJewishMom, Kate Siegel's essay collection about life with the woman who redefined the term "helicopter mom"
There is nothing more wonderful than a mother’s love. There is also nothing more annoying. Who else can proudly insist that you’re perfect while simultaneously making you question every career, fashion, and relationship decision you have ever made?
No one understands the delicate mother-daughter dynamic better than Kate Siegel—her own mother drove her so crazy that she decided to broadcast their hilarious conversations on Instagram. Soon, hundreds of thousands of people were following their daily text exchanges, eager to see what outrageous thing Kate’s mom would do next. Now, in Mother, Can You NOT?, Kate pays tribute to the woman who invented the concept of drone parenting.
From embarrassing moments (like crashing Kate's gynecological exams) to outrageous stories (like the time she made Kate steal a cat from the pound) to hilarious celebrations (including but not limited to parties for Kate's menstrual cycles), Mother, Can you NOT? lovingly lampoons the lengths to which our mothers will go to better our lives (even if it feels like they’re ruining them in the process).

[book] The Gender Creative Child:
Pathways for Nurturing and Supporting
Children Who Live Outside
Gender Boxes
by Diane Ehrensaft PhD
Foreword by Norman Spack MD
The Experiment
April 2016
Where is gender.
It is between your ears, not your thighs
One day it might be arcane to ask a pregnant person the gender of their child
Developmental and clinical psychologist Diane Ehrensaft, PhD, has devoted her career to the care of children and teens who do not abide by the gender binary, either in their gender identities or expressions. In her first book, Gender Born, Gender Made, she coined the phrase “gender creative” to replace what the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, at the time, still officially termed a “disorder.”

Now, in The Gender Creative Child, Dr. Ehrensaft gives families, teachers, and therapists a totally up-to-date, comprehensive resource to caring for children whose gender expression is fluid or who question the gender they were assigned at birth. In nine easily digestible chapters, she encourages both parents and professionals to listen to the children, support their quest for their authentic gender selves, undertake a highly nuanced assessment of their particular needs, and advocate for a gender-expansive world.

A thought leader and champion of gender-creative identity, Dr. Ehrensaft illuminates the many routes that children may take and answers the many questions that parents and others will have.

The Hebrew Bible's Framework for Deciding
By Rabbi Dennis S. Ross
Jewish Lights Press
April 2016
Rabbi Ross serves at Congregation Beth Emeth in Albany, New York and directs Concerned Clergy for Choice at Family Planning Advocates of New York State. He travels widely to speak about spirituality with Jewish groups and many other faith communities. His web site is
Sometimes telling a lie is the most truthful thing a person can do. The Hebrew Bible gives us a framework for determining when that is.
Is omitting the truth the same as lying? Why is lying OK when life is at stake? Do I have to be honest about a friend's new tie or dress? Do kids need to be told the whole truth? Can a small lie serve a greater truth?
Taking ancient Jewish teaching as a prism to daily living, this provocative yet compassionate examination of ethical decision making draws on the Hebrew Bible to address fine distinctions surrounding common but complicated personal situations and shows how a smaller lie can sometimes serve a higher moral purpose.
The Hebrew Bible is true and wants us to tell the truth, even as people behave in less than truthful ways. What’s more, where some of the lies people tell in the Hebrew Bible stories are punished, others are ignored and still others are rewarded. The Hebrew Bible’s mixed-message of "Do as I say, not as they do" shows that lies-little and big, whether told to protect or advance oneself or when intended to preserve the peace-often occur under involved circumstances and demand careful consideration. By viewing an array of situations in light of the Hebrew Bible-from the routine but delicate to the once-in-a-lifetime dilemma-this book will make a difference in how you think and live.
Ideal for Jews of all denominations in individual study or Torah study groups, as well as progressive Christian clergy and social justice activists interested in exploring the religious basis for personal decision making, conscience and moral agency.

[book] A Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism Reader
(JPS Anthologies of Jewish Thought)
by Rabbi Daniel M. Horwitz
JPS Jewish Publication Society
April 2016
From the chapel rabbi of Beth Yeshurun in Houston, Texas, comes this annotated anthology of Jewish mystical works, concepts, and experiences, A Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism Reader explores issues relating to what has compelled Jews to seek a more intimate relationship with God. It does this by providing readings from the most important mystical texts, accompanied by Daniel M. Horwitz’s insightful introductions and commentary. It is carefully designed to make the basic concepts and teachings of Jewish mysticism accessible to a wide audience and to ground these ideas within the broader Jewish tradition.
Horwitz’s introduction describes five major types of Jewish mysticism and includes a brief chronology of its development, with a timeline. He begins with biblical prophecy and proceeds through the early mystical movements up through current beliefs. Chapters on key subjects characterize mystical expression through the ages, such as Creation and deveikut (“cleaving to God”); the role of Torah; the erotic; inclinations toward good and evil; magic; prayer and ritual; and more. Later chapters deal with Hasidism, the great mystical revival, and twentieth-century mystics, including Abraham Isaac Kook, Kalonymous Kalman Shapira, and Abraham Joshua Heschel. A final chapter addresses today’s controversies concerning mysticism’s place within Judaism and its potential for enriching the religion.

BY ANDREW J. BACEVICH, Colonel Retired
USMA, Boston
Random House
April 2016
Retired army colonel and New York Times bestselling author Andrew J. Bacevich provides a searing reassessment of U.S. military policy in the Middle East over the past four decades.
From the end of World War II until 1980, virtually no American soldiers were killed in action while serving in the Greater Middle East. Since 1990, virtually no American soldiers have been killed in action anywhere else. What caused this shift? Andrew J. Bacevich, one of the country’s most respected voices on foreign affairs, offers an incisive critical history of this ongoing military enterprise—now more than thirty years old and with no end in sight.
During the 1980s, Bacevich argues, a great transition occurred. As the Cold War wound down, the United States initiated a new conflict—a War for the Greater Middle East—that continues to the present day. The long twilight struggle with the Soviet Union had involved only occasional and sporadic fighting. But as this new war unfolded, hostilities became persistent. From the Balkans and East Africa to the Persian Gulf and Central Asia, U.S. forces embarked upon a seemingly endless series of campaigns across the Islamic world. Few achieved anything remotely like conclusive success. Instead, actions undertaken with expectations of promoting peace and stability produced just the opposite. As a consequence, phrases like “permanent war” and “open-ended war” have become part of everyday discourse.
Connecting the dots in a way no other historian has done before, Bacevich weaves a compelling narrative out of episodes as varied as the Beirut bombing of 1983, the Mogadishu firefight of 1993, the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the rise of ISIS in the present decade. Understanding what America’s costly military exertions have wrought requires seeing these seemingly discrete events as parts of a single war. It also requires identifying the errors of judgment made by political leaders in both parties and by senior military officers who share responsibility for what has become a monumental march to folly. This Bacevich unflinchingly does.
A twenty-year army veteran who served in Vietnam, Andrew J. Bacevich brings the full weight of his expertise to this vitally important subject. America’s War for the Greater Middle East is a bracing after-action report from the front lines of history. It will fundamentally change the way we view America’s engagement in the world’s most volatile region.

[book] It's All Easy:
Delicious Weekday Recipes for
the Super-Busy Home Cook
by Gwyneth Paltrow
with Thea Baumann
and amazing photos by Ditte Isager abd Jorgen Asmussen
April 2016
goop press
Grand Central Life & Style

Just in time for your Passover seders, actress and mom, Gwyneth Paltrow, publishes a new cookbook, a follow up to her best selling “It's All Good.”
Platrow, is the great great granddaughter of Rabbi Simcha Paltrovich, author of “Keter Tzvi,” Simcha father, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh of Novogrod Polandwas a noted rabbi and kabbalist.


Do you have a FOMO. A Fear of Missing Out? So many activities and messages. You need to relax more. And you need to be able to prepare healthy meals quickly and easily so you reduce your FOMO. In her new cookbook, GP (Paltrow) shares 125+ of her favorite recipes that can be made in the time it would take to order takeout. These recipes are low in processed items, sugar, fat, or gluten.
Recipes include Chocolate Cinnamon Overnight Oats, Ginger Chia Pudding, Acai Bowl, BiBimBap Salad (Paltrow is a kimchi junkie and adds it to many items in her personal life), Pan Bagnat (a nicoise salad on a roll), Taquitos, Tuna Poke Bowl (Hawaiian style raw tuna bowl), Zucchini “noodles” with Spinack Pesto (can be made into a kugel too), cilantro (or parsley) hummus, Tikka Masala Roast Chicken, Coconut Key Lime Tarts, Coffee Granita, Asparagus Mimosa (the yellow and white mimosa flowers, not the drink), Soft Polenta with Cherry Tomatoes, Pita Bread Pizzas, Quick Sesame Noodles, and more. Plus, an innovative chapter for "on-the-go" meals (Moroccan Chicken Salad Wrap) that you can take for lunch to work or school, to a picnic, or to eat while watching your Apple or Moses at soccer practice.

Paltrow opens with an Acai Bowl. It adds in coconut oil, a mejdol date, rice milk, goji berries and chia seeds. See also her pitaya (dragon fruit) bowls on P 17. She prefers simple lemon crepes, her son likes the Nutella/banana ones. Her fried egg sandwich is inspired by the one from LA's Huckleberry Bakery and Cafe. It uses Gruyere, arugula and “Cheats' Aiolo (p 248). Her Tex Mex Migas uses tortillas, eggs, queso fresco, cilantro, and salsa. Her simple scrambled eggs are made elegant with parmigiana and arugula.
She and Goop introduce us to Noodle Pots. You place ingredients into a Mason jar. Later in the day, you just add boiling water. She shares two: Tortilla Soup Noodle Pot and Thai Curry Noodle Pot. In her chapter “Pick-Me-Ups,” sitting at a small table under a chandelier, she shares recipes for three kinds of Avocado Toast (she is a queen of avocado toast). It uses Vegenaise and sriracha. Her beet chips do not have the guilt of potato chips. They are baked. These are followed by several teas and tisanes. “In a Pinch” recipes include those for a simple black bean soup that uses chicken stock, chili powder, onion, cumin, and beans; dinner pancakes; bucatini carnbonara (shh,, we can skip the bacon); and an easy tomato soup. GP grills cheese the British way. Under a Broiler, and using grated gruyere. The bread gets toasted first and then broil the cheese atop it. Using chicken stock, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and eggs, she makes congee (rice porridge). She recommends Furikake seasoning (toasted nori sheets, sesame seeds, coconut sugar crumbled together. (Her sesame noodles can outperform any NYC Chinese takeout restaurant... they use tamari, mirin, sesame oil, and Furikake seasoning). Her zucchini Cacio E Pepe uses a spiralizer to make the zucchini “noodles”
Her “Cozy Evenings” recipes unclude a Kobacha Squash roasted in coconut oil and maple syrup; a non virtuous guiltless cauliflower mac n' cheese; a chicken pho with zucchini; Miso Turnips with Maple Syrup and Miso Paste(she uses small Tokyo Turnips under a broiler); and Rapini Pasta with Garlic and Toppings. Her Turkey Meatloaf “Serves 4 (with leftwovers)” is very reheatable. It adds in rolled oats, ketchup, an egg, and other otems. Her “Summer Nightrs” recipes start wuth Vietnamese Bo Bun Salad; Cauliflower Tabbouleh with Aleppo Pepper; Giant Wok Made Chicken Chow Mein with Broccolini and Peanut Oil; Chicken Piccata (her father's favorite item to cook); Falafel Over Spring Fattoush Salad (where u do not need to soak the chickpeas overnight); Salmon Skewers with North African Chermoula Marinade and Sauce; Soft Polenta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes; Green Beans Spicy Szechuan Style a la NYC's Joe's Shanghai (sans pork); and Eggplant and Ground Turkey Stir Fry.
For unexpected guests, she recommends a Bagna Cuada Salad Piedmont Style; Crispy Potatoes with Lemon and Parsley; Cauliflower and Kimchi “Fried Rice” (no rice included, the cauliflower is pulsed to the size of couscous); Asian Steamed Halibut with Scallions and Bok Choy; Three Mustard (grainy, wasabi, Dijon) Chicken; Shishito Peppers; Singapore Rice Noodles (Eden bifun); Pissaladiere Socca pancakes with Tomatoes and Olives; Za'atar Roasted Carrot and Avocado with Socca Pancakes; and Burrata (Cheese) and Shaved Veggies; (shout out to Izrael in the Marais on rue Francois Miron). The book ends with Sweet items such as Balsamic-Macerated Berries with Cashew Cream; Chocolate Mouse that uses an avocado, almond milk, maple syrup, brown rice syrup; truffles; coconut key lime tarts; coconut puddings with Kuzu; and more.

Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes
from an Ancient City
by Katie Parla and Kristina Gill
Spring 2016
Clarkson Potter

A love letter from two Americans to their adopted city, showcasing modern dishes influenced by tradition, as well as the rich culture of their surroundings.
Even 150 years after unification, Italy is still a divided nation where individual regions are defined by their local cuisine-- mirrors of their culture, history, and geography. But the cucina romana is the country’s greatest standout.
In Tasting Rome, journalist Katie Parla and photographer Kristina Gill capture Rome's unique character and truly evolved food culture-- a culmination of two thousand years of history. As Mario Batali writes I nthe intro, we receive insights thanks to the authors and the generous sharings from Rome’s chefs and bakers.
The recipes here, each selected for the story it tells, acknowledge the foundations of the cuisine and demonstrate how it has transitioned to the variations found today: cacio e pepe is not only a peppery condiment for pasta, but also a filling for suppli, fried rice balls; pollo alla romana is served as a summer platter of peppers stewed with chicken, but also deboned and on hearty sandwiches. Parla and Gill focus, too, on cucina ebraica to highlight the role Rome's Jewish communities have had, bringing dishes such as hraimi con couscous, which incorporates spicy amberjack, and matzoh fritters, pizzarelle, with honey and pine nuts; celebrate the authentic quinto quarto ("the fifth quarter") offal, and luscious verdure, which grow all over; acknowledge the baked pizzas and breads that anchor everyday eating; and explore the ever-changing culture of sweets and cocktails.
At Page 105, the focus on Cucina Ebraina Romanesca shares cuisines of Rome’e Jews, Jews who were confined to the Ghetto from 1555 to 1870. Hebrew cuisine was influenced by kashrut, seasonality, and the influx of Iberian Jews after the Inquisition (and their spices). By seasonality, I mean globe artichokes, lettuces, salt cod, Tiber fish, and starcotti (slow cooking of cheap cuts of meat)
The book includes recipes for CONCIA (fried and marinated zucchini); SPAGHETI CON CICORIA E BOTTARGA (with dandelion greens and fish roe) which is an addition from the jews of Libya who moved to Rome in the 1960’s; HRAIMI CON COUSCOUS (spicy fish with couscous) a la Libyan Jews; and TRIGLIE CON CIPOLIE PINOLI E UVETTA (red mullet with onion, pine nuts and raisins), a Yom Kippur tradition.
Other recipes include BISCOTTI CON MANDORLE E CONNELLA (Almond and Cinnamon Biscotti) which are biscotti unique to the Jewish Ghetto and inspired by Bicione “Il Forno del Ghetto”; SCALOPPINE CON LATTUGA RIPIENA (veal scallopini with stuffed lettuces, frisee, chard, and greens); ALICIOTTI CON L’INDIVIA (Anchovy and Frisee Casserole) – a Ghetto staple that reflects that Jews were not allowed to buy expensive fish; POLLO ALLA ROMANA (Chicken with Tomatoes and red and yellow Bell Peppers), a dish long associated with Ferragosto, and reflect the colors of the local flag and the AS Roma team; PICCHIAPO (Beef with Tomatoes and Onion); CACIO E PEPE DI LEONARDO VIGONLI (Pasta with Pecorino Romano sauce as made by Leonardo Vignoli); FILETTI DI BACCALA (Fried Cod Filets) as per the Jewish Ghetto with salt and lemon; FRITTATA DI ZUCCA (Pumpkin Frittata), a Rosh Hashana tradition; PIZZARELLA (Honey Soaked Matzo Fritters), in the tradition of Il Forno del Ghetto on Via Portico d’Ottavia, which sells them just a few days a year; POLPETTE DI POLLO IN BIANCO (Chicken Meatballs in White Wine), as inspired by Ghetto cuisine although nowadays we use more meat than bread; and BRODO DI PESCE (Fish Soup) based on the 800 year old fish market at the Ghetto’s edge.

[book] stir
My Broken Brain
and the Meals
That Brought Me Home
by Jessica Fechtor
now in paperback
Penguin Random House
April 2016
A national bestseller and winner of a 2015 Living Now Book Award, Stir is an exquisite memoir about how food connects us to ourselves, our lives, and each other.
At 28, Jessica Fechtor was happily immersed in graduate school and her young marriage, and thinking about starting a family. Then one day, she went for a run and an aneurysm burst in her brain. She nearly died. She lost her sense of smell, the sight in her left eye, and was forced to the sidelines of the life she loved.
Jessica’s journey to recovery began in the kitchen as soon as she was able to stand at the stovetop and stir. There, she drew strength from the restorative power of cooking and baking. Written with intelligence, humor, and warmth, Stir is a heartfelt examination of what it means to nourish and be nourished.
Woven throughout the narrative are 27 recipes for dishes that comfort and delight. For readers of M.F.K.Fisher, Molly Wizenberg, and Tamar Adler, as well as Oliver Sacks, Jill Bolte Taylor, and Susannah Cahalan, Stir is sure to inspire, and send you straight to the kitchen.

Lessons from Leaders on Raising
The Next Generation of Empowered Women
By Nina Tassler
(CBS Entertainment, Chairman)
With Cynthia Littleton
Atria Books
April 5, 2016
In What I Told My Daughter, entertainment executive Nina Tassler has brought together a powerful, diverse group of women—from Madeleine Albright to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, from Dr. Susan Love to Whoopi Goldberg—to reflect on the best advice and counsel they have given their daughters either by example, throughout their lives, or in character-building, teachable moments between parent and child.
A college president teaches her daughter, by example, the importance of being a leader who connects with everyone—from the ground up, literally—in an organization. A popular entertainer and former child star urges her daughter to walk in her own truth, to not break glass ceilings if she yearns to nurture a family as a stay-at-home mother or to abandon a career if that’s her calling. One of the country’s only female police chiefs teaches her daughter the meaning of courage, how to respond to danger but more importantly how not to let fear stop her from experiencing all that life has to offer. A bestselling writer who has deliberated for years on empowering girls, wonders if we’re unintentionally leading them to believe they can never make mistakes, when “resiliency is more important than perfection.”
Contributors include: Rabbi Sharon Brous, Peggy Orenstein, Debora Black, Ayelet Waldman, Madeleine Albright, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Dr. Karen Antman, MD, Dr. Amy Antman Gelfand, MD, Cheryl Saban (the wife of Haim Saban, not the successful Paul Hastings attorney), Pat Benatar, Whoopi Goldberg, Dr. Susan Love, Nancy Pelosi, Geena Davis, Cecile Richards, Dolores Huerta, Alexandra Pelosi, Marie Osmond, Dr. Juliet Garcia, Jehan Sadat, Ph.D, Joanna Kerns, Gloria Estefan, Nannerl O. Keohane, Jennifer Dulski, Dr. Marcia McNutt, Pamela Fryman, Brooke Shields, Laura Bush, Mona Sinha, Gloria Allred, Joy Marcus, Judy Vredenburgh, Sharon Osbourne, Beverly Johnson, Michelle King, Mary Steenburgen, Kimberley Hatchett, C. Noel Bairey Merz, Alex Guarneschelli, Dana Walden, Mia Hamm, Margaret Abe-Koga, Roma Downey, Chirlane McCray, Blythe Danner, Sheila Bair, Ruth W. Messinger, Norah O’Donnell, Donna de Varona, Nancy Josephson, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Jeanne Newman, and Christine Baranski.
In a time when childhood seems at once more fraught and more precious than ever, What I Told My Daughter is a book no one concerned with connecting with a young girl can afford to miss.

Tassler is the former Chairman of CBS Entertainment (The Good Wife, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, CSI, NCIS). She has a daughter as well as a son with Jerry Levine

[book] Disrupted
My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
by Dan Lyons
April 5, 2016
For 25 years, Dan Lyons,52, was a magazine writer at the top of his profession--until one Friday morning when he received a phone call: Poof. His job no longer existed. "I think they just want to hire younger people," his boss at Newsweek told him. Fifty years old and with a non working spouse and two young twin children, Dan was, in a word, screwed… and he needed healthcare benefits.
Then an idea hit.
Dan had long reported on Silicon Valley and the tech explosion. Why not join it? HubSpot, a Boston start-up, was flush with $100 million in venture capital. They offered Dan a pile of stock options (tranche) for the vague role of "marketing fellow." What could go wrong?

HubSpotters were true believers: They were making the world a better place ... by selling email spam. The office vibe was frat house meets cult compound: The party began at four thirty on Friday and lasted well into the night; "shower pods" became hook-up dens; a push-up club met at noon in the lobby, while nearby, in the "content factory," Nerf gun fights raged.

Groups went on "walking meetings," and Dan's absentee boss sent cryptic emails about employees who had "graduated" (read: been fired). In the middle of all this was Dan, exactly twice the age of the average HubSpot employee, and literally old enough to be the father of most of his co-workers, sitting at his desk on his bouncy-ball "chair." They called in Grandpa Buzz. He was cynical to begin with as a reporter. But at least this gave him fodder to write for “Silocon Valley.”

Mixed in with Lyons's uproarious tale of his rise and fall at Hubspot is a trenchant analysis of the start-up world, a de facto conspiracy between those who start companies and those who fund them, a world where bad ideas are rewarded with hefty investments, where companies blow money lavishing perks on their post-collegiate workforces, and where everybody is trying to hang on just long enough to reach an IPO and cash out. With a cast of characters that includes devilish angel investors, fad-chasing venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and
bloggers and
brogrammers, social climbers and sociopaths,
Disrupted is a gripping and definitive account of life in the (second) tech bubble.

[book] The Houseguest
A Novel
by Kim Brooks
April 2016
It is the summer of 1941 and Abe Auer, a Russian immigrant and small-town junkyard owner, has become disenchanted with his life. So when his friend Max Hoffman, a local rabbi with a dark past, asks Abe to take in a European refugee, he agrees, unaware that the woman coming to live with him is a volatile and alluring actress named Ana Beidler. Ana regales the Auer family with tales of her lost stardom and charms and mystifies Abe with her glamour and unabashed sexuality, forcing him to confront his own desire as well as the ghost of his dead brother.
As news filters out of Europe, American Jews struggle to make sense of the atrocities. Some want to bury their heads in the sand while others want to create a Jewish army that would fight Hitler and promote bold, wide-spread rescue initiatives. And when a popular Manhattan synagogue is burned to the ground, our characters begin to feel the drumbeat of war is marching ever closer to home.
Set on the eve of America’s involvement in World War II, The Houseguest examines a little-known aspect of the war and highlights the network of organizations seeking to help Jews abroad, just as masses of people seeking to escape Europe are turned away from American shores. It moves seamlessly from the Yiddish theaters of Second Avenue to the junkyards of Utica to the covert world of political activists, Jewish immigrants, and the stars and discontents of New York’s Yiddish stage. Ultimately, The Houseguest is a moving story about identity, family, and the decisions that define who we will become.

[book] The Less You Know,
The Better You Sleep:
Russia's Road to Terror and
Dictatorship under Yeltsin and Putin
by David Satter
In December 2013, David Satter became the first American journalist to be expelled from Russia since the Cold War. The Moscow Times said it was not surprising he was expelled, “it was surprising it took so long.” Satter is known in Russia for having written that the apartment bombings in 1999, which were blamed on Chechens and brought Putin to power, were actually carried out by the Russian FSB security police.
In this book, Satter tells the story of the apartment bombings and how Boris Yeltsin presided over the criminalization of Russia, why Vladimir Putin was chosen as his sucessor, and how Putin has suppressed all opposition while retaining the appreance of a pluralist state. As the threat represented by Russia becomes increasingly clear, Satter’s description of where Russia is and how it got there will be of vital interest to anyone concerned about the dangers facing the world today.

[book] BERNIE
by Ted Rall
Seven Stories Press
Now a NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, Bernie is the must-have guidebook to the Bernie Sanders campaign -- and the uncompromising candidate behind it. Insightful, funny, and accessible, this biography-in-graphic-novel-form of the presidential candidate explains both his early life and political rise, but also shows the broader political shift that made it possible for a Jewish socialist to rally voters and become a real presidential contender.
Political cartoonist and Kennedy Award winner Ted Rall interviewed Bernie Sanders at length for this book and delved deep into his background to create this one-of-a-kind biography.
Sanders' upbringing in a struggling working-class family in a hardscrabble section of Brooklyn during the 1950s taught him that poverty is a disease, one that affects us all. Incredibly, the lessons he learned back then are revolutionizing the political process this year, marking the resurgence of political progressivism on the left at the same time as the two-party system seems to be on the way out. From McGovern’s 1972 loss to Nixon to the Occupy movement, Rall shows readers exactly how the American public was primed to embrace a socialist calling for a political revolution.

[book] Ghetto:
The Invention of a Place,
the History of an Idea
by Mitchell Duneier
April 2016
On March 29, 1516, the city council of Venice issued a decree forcing Jews to live in il geto-a closed quarter named for the copper foundry that once occupied the area. The term stuck.
In this sweeping and original interpretation, Mitchell Duneier traces the idea of the ghetto from its beginnings in the sixteenth century and its revival by the Nazis to the present. As Duneier shows, we cannot understand the entanglements of race, poverty, and place in America today without recalling the history of the ghetto in Europe, as well as later efforts to understand the problems of the American city.
This is the story of the scholars and activists who tried to achieve that understanding. Their efforts to wrestle with race and poverty in their times cannot be divorced from their individual biographies, which often included direct encounters with prejudice and discrimination in the academy and elsewhere. Using new and forgotten sources, Duneier introduces us to Horace Cayton and St. Clair Drake, graduate students whose conception of the South Side of Chicago established a new paradigm for thinking about Northern racism and poverty in the 1940s. We learn how the psychologist Kenneth Clark subsequently linked Harlem’s slum conditions with the persistence of black powerlessness in the civil rights era, and we follow the controversy over Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report on the black family. We see how the sociologist William Julius Wilson redefined the debate about urban America as middle-class African Americans increasingly escaped the ghetto and the country retreated from racially specific remedies. And we trace the education reformer Geoffrey Canada’s efforts to transform the lives of inner-city children with ambitious interventions, even as other reformers sought to help families escape their neighborhoods altogether.
Ghetto offers a clear-eyed assessment of the thinkers and doers who have shaped American ideas about urban poverty-and the ghetto. The result is a valuable new understanding of an age-old concept.

[book] The Magic Cup:
A Business Parable About a Leader,
a Team, and the Power of Putting
People and Values First
by Howard Behar
Foreword by Jeffrey Brotman
Center Street
Spring 2016
Some say that Starbucks leaders are good at creating tear generating fairy tales, like the tale where staffers get free tuition as long as they work many hours, but managers are rewarded to keep them from being full time in their hours. But anyway....
We all love the fairy tales we grew up on, creating a world in which good always wins over evil, where those whose hearts are true and who do the right thing come out on top. But, grown-up competition for success is rough, even cutthroat, and we've often heard that nice guys finish last.
Not according to Howard Behar, whose career as one of the three leaders who built the Starbucks organization most definitely proves that nice guys finish first. In THE MAGIC CUP, Behar spins an engaging corporate tale to teach us exactly how we can do the same thing.
The story revolves around Vince Steadfast, the newly named CEO of imaginary manufacturer Verity Glassworks, which has fallen on difficult times. Vince is hired to help the once iconic company return to its glory days, and he brings with him a parting gift from his mentor and former boss: a stunning crystal coffee cup from Verity's halcyon days. The cup turns out to be magic - truly - and helps him come to understand and reinvigorate the values that Verity has misplaced along the way.
As Vince and his new team make their way to (and through) many challenges, including the aptly named Worthy Way, Perilous Passage and Arduous Stair, the cup fills with a gold elixir and the universal truths that they learn to embrace - such as Responsibility, Forgiveness and Courage - magically become engraved in the glass.
In the tradition of great parable writers throughout history, Behar quickly involves us in an engrossing fantasy, continually challenging us to compare each situation with our own real-life experiences. The story of THE MAGIC CUP helps each of us discover that only by acting on sound moral principles can we fill our own cups with the personal and professional success and satisfaction we seek.

[book] Jane Jacobs:
The Last Interview:
and Other Conversations
by Jane Jacobs
Melville House
April 2016
Many assume Jane Jacobs, born 100 years ago on May 4, 1916, was Jewish. She wasn’t. She was Christian and from Scranton PA. She and her husband (Jacobs, Jr.) resided in Manhattan’s West Village on Hudson Street, from where she fought Robert Moses, and authored The Life and Death of Great American Cities.
Hailed by the New York Times Book Review as “perhaps the single most influential work in the history of town planning,” Jane Jacobs’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities was instantly recognized as a masterpiece upon its publication in 1961. In the decades that followed, Jacobs remained a brilliant and revered commentator on architecture, urban life, and economics until her death in 2006. In the late Sixties, she moved to Toronto to protest the Vietnam War and allow her two sons to avoid the draft. In this book, the interviews capture Jacobs at her very best and are an essential reminder of why Jacobs was — and remains — unrivaled in her analyses and her ability to cut through received wisdom.

The Hebrew Bible's
Framework for Deciding
by Rabbi Dennis Ross
Congregation Beth Emeth in Albany, New York
Jewish Lights
April 2016
The difference between truth and falsehood is often clear and simple. But when life gets complicated, the Hebrew Bible can help.
The Hebrew Bible is true and wants us to tell the truth, even as biblical characters behave in less than truthful ways. What's more, where some of the lies people tell in the Hebrew Bible stories are punished, others are ignored and still others are rewarded. The Hebrew Bible’s mixed-message of "Do as I say, not as they do" shows that lies-little and big, whether told to protect or advance oneself or when intended to preserve the peace-often occur under involved circumstances and demand careful consideration. By viewing an array of situations in light of the Hebrew Bible-from the routine but delicate to the once-in-a-lifetime dilemma-this book will make a difference in how you think and live.
This candid look at religion and truthfulness is ideal for anyone interested in exploring the religious basis for personal decision making, conscience and morality, including Jews of all denominations personally or in Torah study groups, Christians and social justice activists.

[book] The Salome Ensemble:
Rose Pastor Stokes, Anzia Yezierska,
Sonya Levien, and Jetta Goudal
(New York State Series)
by Alan Robert Ginsberg
(Columbia University)
Syracuse University Press
April 2016
The Salome Ensemble probes the entangled lives, works, and passions of a political activist, a novelist, a screenwriter, and a movie actress who collaborated in 1920s New York City.
Together they created the shape-shifting, genre-crossing Salome of the Tenements, first a popular novel and then a Hollywood movie. The title character was a combination Cinderella and Salome like the women who conceived her. Rose Pastor Stokes was the role model.
Anzia Yezierska wrote the novel. Sonya Levien wrote the screenplay. Jetta Goudal played her on the silver screen.
Ginsberg considers the women individually and collectively, exploring how they shaped and reflected their cultural landscape. These European Jewish immigrants pursued their own versions of the American dream, escaped the squalor of sweatshops, knew romance and heartache, and achieved prominence in politics, fashion, journalism, literature, and film.

[book] Finding Recovery and
Yourself in Torah:
A Daily Spiritual Path
to Wholeness
by Rabbi Mark Borovitz
Afterword by Harriet Rossetto
Foreword by Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky
Jewish Lights
Torah can help you recover your soul-if you are willing to ask yourself the right questions.
"If the Torah is the all-encompassing moral compass that it claims to be, and I believe it to be so, then we can find anything in it, including the support needed for recovery…. In it are the remedies for all spiritual maladies-we just have to probe the text, dig deeply in it and drink of its life-giving waters." -from the Foreword
In this soul-restoring resource, Rabbi Mark Borovitz combines his knowledge of Judaism and his experience as a leader in the field of recovery to help you find in the Five Books of Moses the deeper meaning, wisdom and guidance for living well in the moment.
For each Torah portion, he provides seven days of teachings and reflection questions to help you reconnect with your sacred self, discover solutions to life's challenges and to help you heal.

[book] Because of Eva:
A Jewish Genealogical Journey
by Susan J. Gordon
Syracuse University Press
April 15, 2016
In Because of Eva, an American Jewish woman travels to Eastern Europe and Israel to solve mysteries in her family's past by delving into World War II and Holocaust history. What began as a seemingly simple search for "Eva," the elderly relative who had signed Gordon's grandfather's death certificate in New York long ago, became a journey of discovery when Gordon found her in Tel Aviv. There, she heard Eva's stories of survival during the Holocaust, especially in Nazi-occupied Budapest. Eventually, Gordon would retrace Eva's steps in Budapest and visit ancestral towns in Ukraine to bear witness to the slaughter of entire populations of Jews. Amid remnants of loss and destruction in the small town where her grandfather was born, Gordon also uncovered details of her family's world before relatives immigrated to America. Gordon's journey into her past provided the deep sense of connection and belonging she needed as an adult child of divorce and abuse. Gaining insight about her family's history, Gordon reconciles issues of betrayal and loyalty, and finally finds her place in Judaism. Part memoir, part detective story, Because of Eva is an intimate tale of one woman's history within the epic sweep of world events in the twentieth century.


[book] The Last Days of Stalin
by Joshua Rubenstein
May 2016
Joshua Rubenstein’s riveting account takes us back to the second half of 1952 when no one could foresee an end to Joseph Stalin’s murderous regime. He was poised to challenge the newly elected U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower with armed force, and was also broadening a vicious campaign against Soviet Jews. Stalin’s sudden collapse and death in March 1953 was as dramatic and mysterious as his life. It is no overstatement to say that his passing marked a major turning point in the twentieth century.

The Last Days of Stalin is an engaging, briskly told account of the dictator’s final active months, the vigil at his deathbed, and the unfolding of Soviet and international events in the months after his death. Rubenstein throws fresh light on
· the devious plotting of Beria, Malenkov, Khrushchev, and other “comrades in arms” who well understood the significance of the dictator’s impending death;
· the witness-documented events of his death as compared to official published versions;
· Stalin’s rumored plans to forcibly exile Soviet Jews;
· the responses of Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles to the Kremlin’s conciliatory gestures after Stalin’s death; and
· the momentous repercussions when Stalin’s regime of terror was cut short.

By Agata Tuszyanka
May 2016
Every family has its own history. Many families carry a tragic past. Like the author’s mother, many Poles did not tell their children a complete story of their wartime exploits—of the underground Home Army, the tragedy of the Warsaw Uprising, the civil war against the Communists. Years had to pass before the stories of suffering and heroism could be told.
In Family History of Fear, Agata Tuszy?ska, one of Poland’s most admired poets and cultural historians, writes of the stories she heard from her mother about her secret past.
Tuszy?ska, author of Vera Gran (“a book of extraordinary depth and power”—Richard Eder, The Boston Globe; “captivating”—Newsweek; “darkly absorbing, shrewd, and sharply etched”—Publishers Weekly), has written a powerful memoir about growing up after the Second World War in Communist Poland—blonde, blue-eyed, and Catholic.
The author was nineteen years old and living in Warsaw when her mother told her the truth—that she was Jewish—and began to tell her stories of the family’s secret past in Poland. Tuszy?ska, who grew up in a country beset by anti-Semitism, rarely hearing the word “Jew” (only from her Polish Catholic father, and then, always in derision), was unhinged, ashamed, and humiliated. The author writes of how she skillfully erased the truth within herself, refusing to admit the existence of her other half.
In this profoundly moving and resonant book, Tuszy?ska investigates her past and writes of her journey to uncover her family’s history during World War II—of her mother at age eight and her mother, entering the Warsaw Ghetto for two years as conditions grew more desperate, and finally escaping just before the uprising, and then living “hidden on the other side.” She writes of her father, one of five thousand Polish soldiers taken prisoner in 1939, becoming, later, the country’s most famous radio sports announcer; and of her relatives and their mysterious pasts, as she tries to make sense of the hatred of Jews in her country. She writes of her discoveries and of her willingness to accept a radically different definition of self, reading the works of Isaac Bashevis Singer, opening up for her a world of Polish Jewry as he became her guide, and then writing about his life and work, circling her Jewish self in Lost Landscapes: In Search of Isaac Bashevis Singer and the Jews of Poland.
A beautiful and affecting book of discovery and acceptance; a searing, insightful portrait of Polish Jewish life, lived before and after Hitler’s Third Reich.

A Memoir
by Betsy Lerner
Harper Wave
May 2016
A fifty-year-old Bridge game provides an unexpected way to cross the generational divide between a daughter and her mother. Betsy Lerner takes us on a powerfully personal literary journey, where we learn a little about Bridge and a lot about life.
After a lifetime defining herself in contrast to her mother’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” generation, Lerner finds herself back in her childhood home, not five miles from the mother she spent decades avoiding. When Roz needs help after surgery, it falls to Betsy to take care of her. She expected a week of tense civility; what she got instead were the Bridge Ladies. Impressed by their loyalty, she saw something her generation lacked. Facebook was great, but it wouldn’t deliver a pot roast.
Tentatively at first, Betsy becomes a regular at her mother’s Monday Bridge club. Through her friendships with the ladies, she is finally able to face years of misunderstandings and family tragedy, the Bridge table becoming the common ground she and Roz never had.
By turns darkly funny and deeply moving, The Bridge Ladies is the unforgettable story of a hard-won—but never-too-late—bond between mother and daughter.

[book] The Less You Know, The Better You Sleep
Russia’s Road To Terror and
Dictatorship under Yeltsin and Putin
By David Satter
May 2016
In December 2013, David Satter became the first American journalist to be expelled from Russia since the Cold War. The Moscow Times said it was not surprising he was expelled, “it was surprising it took so long.” Satter is known in Russia for having written that the apartment bombings in 1999, which were blamed on Chechens and brought Putin to power, were actually carried out by the Russian FSB security police.
In this book, Satter tells the story of the apartment bombings and how Boris Yeltsin presided over the criminalization of Russia, why Vladimir Putin was chosen as his sucessor, and how Putin has suppressed all opposition while retaining the appreance of a pluralist state. As the threat represented by Russia becomes increasingly clear, Satter’s description of where Russia is and how it got there will be of vital interest to anyone concerned about the dangers facing the world today.

[book] Bellow's People:
How Saul Bellow Made Life Into Art
by David Mikics
May 2016
A leading literary critic’s innovative study of how the Nobel Prize–winning author turned life into art.
Saul Bellow was the most lauded American writer of the twentieth century-the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, and the only novelist to be awarded the National Book Award in Fiction three times. Preeminently a novelist of personality in all its wrinkles, its glories and shortcomings, Bellow filled his work with vibrant, garrulous, particular people-people who are somehow exceptionally alive on the page.
In Bellow’s People, literary historian and critic David Mikics explores Bellow’s life and work through the real-life relationships and friendships that Bellow transmuted into the genius of his art. Mikics covers ten of the extraordinary people who mattered most to Bellow, such as his irascible older brother, Morrie, a key inspiration for The Adventures of Augie March; the writer Delmore Schwartz and the philosopher Allan Bloom, who were the originals for the protagonists of Humboldt’s Gift and Ravelstein; the novelist Ralph Ellison, with whom he shared a house every summer in the late 1950s, when Ellison was coming off the mammoth success of Invisible Man and Bellow was trying to write Herzog; and Bellow’s wife, Sondra Tschacbasov, and his best friend, Jack Ludwig, whose love affair Bellow fictionalized in Herzog.

A perfect introduction to Bellow’s life and work, Bellow’s People is an incisive critical study of the novelist and a memorable account of a vibrant and tempestuous circle of midcentury American intellectuals.

Edited by Michael W. Jennings
Translated from German by Edmund Jephcott
Preface by Greil Marcus
May 2016
One-Way Street is a thoroughfare unlike anything else in literature?by turns exhilarating and bewildering, requiring mental agility and a special kind of urban literacy. Presented here in a new edition with expanded notes, this genre-defying meditation on the semiotics of late-1920s Weimar culture offers a fresh opportunity to encounter Walter Benjamin at his most virtuosic and experimental, writing in a vein that anticipates later masterpieces such as “On the Concept of History” and The Arcades Project.

Composed of sixty short prose pieces
that vary wildly in style and theme,
One-Way Street evokes a dense cityscape of
shops, cafes, and apartments, alive with
the hubbub of social interactions and papered over with public inscriptions of all kinds: advertisements, signs, posters, slogans. Benjamin avoids all semblance of linear narrative, enticing readers with a seemingly random sequence of aphorisms, reminiscences, jokes, off-the-cuff observations, dreamlike fantasias, serious philosophical inquiries, apparently unserious philosophical parodies, and trenchant political commentaries. Providing remarkable insight into the occluded meanings of everyday things, Benjamin time and again proves himself the unrivalled interpreter of what he called “the soul of the commodity.”

Despite the diversity of its individual sections, Benjamin’s text is far from formless. Drawing on the avant-garde aesthetics of Dada, Constructivism, and Surrealism, its unusual construction implies a practice of reading that cannot be reduced to simple formulas. Still refractory, still radical, One-Way Street is a work in perpetual progress.

The Enigma of the Nazi War Criminals
By Joel E. Dimsdale
May 2016
When the ashes had settled after World War II and the Allies convened an international war crimes trial in Nuremberg, a psychiatrist, Douglas Kelley, and a psychologist, Gustave Gilbert, tried to fathom the psychology of the Nazi leaders, using extensive psychiatric interviews, IQ tests, and Rorschach inkblot tests. Never before nor since has there been such a detailed study of governmental leaders who orchestrated mass killings.
Before the war crimes trial began, it was self-evident to most people that the Nazi leaders were demonic maniacs. But when the interviews and psychological tests were completed, the answer was no longer so clear. The findings were so disconcerting that portions of the data were hidden away for decades and the research became a topic for vituperative disputes. Gilbert thought the war criminals’ malice stemmed from depraved psychopathology. Kelley viewed them as ordinary men who were creatures of their environment. Who was right?
Drawing on his decades of experience as a psychiatrist and the dramatic advances within psychiatry, psychology, and neuroscience since Nuremberg, Joel E. Dimsdale looks anew at the findings and examines in detail four of the war criminals, Robert Ley, Hermann Goering, Julius Streicher, and Rudolf Hess. Using increasingly precise diagnostic tools, he discovers a remarkably broad spectrum of pathology. Anatomy of Malice takes us on a complex and troubling quest to make sense of the most extreme evil.

On the Origins of "Genocide"
and "Crimes Against Humanity"
by Philippe Sands
and Weidenfeld & Nicolson in the UK
May 2016
In 2010, Philippe Sands was invited to give a lecture on genocide and crimes against humanity at Lviv University in Ukraine, which he accepted with the intent of learning about the extraordinary city that was home to his maternal grandfather, a Galician Jew who had been born there a century before and who'd moved to Vienna at the outbreak of the First World War, married, had a child (the author's mother), and then moved to Paris after the German annexation of Austria in 1938. It was a life that had been shrouded in secrecy with many questions not to be asked and fewer answers offered if they were.

As the author uncovered, clue by clue, the deliberately obscured story of his grandfather's mysterious life and of his mother's journey (alone?) as a child surviving Nazi occupation, Sands realized that his own field of humanitarian law had been forged by two men--Rafael Lemkin and Hersch Lauterpacht--each of whom had studied law with the same professors, in the city of his grandfather's birth, at Lviv University
Lemkin and Lauterpacht had not known one another at school and yet at parallel times had forged diametrically opposed revolutionary concepts of humanitarian law that had changed the world--and, Sands writes, that each had dedicated his life to having his legal concept incorporated as a centerpiece for the prosecution of Nazi war criminals
The author writes of a third man, Hans Frank, Hitler's personal lawyer, who, as governor-general of Nazi-occupied Poland, ordered the death of more than a million Jews and Poles, among them the families of the author, and of Lemkin and Lauterpacht.
Sands pieces together how all three lives converged in October 1946, in courtroom 600 of the Palace of Justice at the International Military Tribunals at Nuremberg.

Praised by John le Carré as 'a monumental achievement: profoundly personal, told with love, anger and great precision', EAST WEST STREET: ON THE ORIGINS OF GENOCIDE AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY is a uniquely personal exploration of the origins of international law, centering on the Nuremberg Trials and a secret family history. Sands’ has written powerful meditation on the way memory, crime and guilt leave scars across generations, and the haunting gaps left by the secrets of others. Philippe Sands says: 'Over six years I have chased two interweaving, untold stories – a personal one about my family, a professional one about the origins of 'crimes against humanity' and 'genocide'. A series of most unexpected discoveries, and even more remarkable coincidences.’ Philippe Sands (QC) is Professor of Law at University College London and a practicing barrister at Matrix Chambers. He frequently appears before international courts, including the International Criminal Court and the World Court in The Hague, and has been involved in many of the most important cases of recent years, including Pinochet, Congo, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Iraq and Guantanamo. His documentary film MY NAZI LEGACY: WHAT OUR FATHER DID premiered at London Film Festival on 11 October 2015. It follows Philippe as he travels with Niklas Frank and Horst von Wachter, the septuagenarian sons of Nazi leaders featured in EAST WEST STREET. The film explores their opposing views on the legacy of their fathers' actions.

[book] The Season of Pepsi Meyers
A paperback novel
by Abie Rotenberg
Audley Street Books
The year is 2040 and it’s been thirteen years since the New York Yankees played post-season baseball. With the number one pick in the draft, they choose a remarkably gifted ballplayer from the Binghamton, New York area, named Pepsi Meyers.

Although just eighteen years old, Pepsi earns a place on the Major League roster and revitalizes the Yankees with his spectacular play. Pepsi also happens to be Jewish. As the season progresses, the city is energized by the newfound success of its beloved team. At the same time, Pepsi and his family discover a world they never knew existed, as they are exposed for the first time, to Torah and the way of life it endorses.

Pepsi’s struggle with the tug-of-war between the spiritual and the mundane and how it affects him, his teammates and the City of New York is both an entertaining baseball tale, and a study into the priorities and meaningful choices we all have to make in our lives.

[book] Bright, Infinite Future:
A Generational Memoir on the
Rise of Progressive Patriotism
by Mark Green
May 2016
St. Martin's Press
Blending the historical, biographical and political, the wide-ranging Bright, Infinite Future describes how the values of the '60s are creating a new progressive majority in '16. The multi-faceted Mark Green - bestselling author, public interest lawyer and former elected official - is our guide through contemporary American politics as Nader launches the modern consumer movement; Clinton wins the 1992 New York primary and therefore the nomination; and Green loses the closest NYC mayoral election in a century to Bloomberg after 9/11 in a perfect storm of money, terrorism, and race.
(Yes.... let's blame it on money terror and race.... god forbid it was about a dislike of Mr. Green by the voters)

As Public Advocate, Green was seen by himself and others as Mayor Giuiliani's bête noir, exposing NYPD's racial profiling, killing off Joe Camel, and then running against what he calls a "Murderer's Row" of Cuomo, de Blasio, Schumer, and Bloomberg.
Starting with the consequential movements of the '60s, Green shows how a rising tide of minority and millennial voters, GOP's lurch from mainstream to extreme, and the contrast between the presidencies of Bush and Clinton Obama are leading to a new era of "Progressive Patriotism" built on four cornerstones: an Economy-for-All, Democracy-for-All, Compact on Race & Justice, and Sustainable Climate.

Full of behind-the-scenes stories about bold-faced names, this will be the 2016 book for liberals looking to a "bright, infinite future" (Leonard Bernstein), conservatives wanting to know what they're up against, and readers who want to know "what-it-takes" in the arena.

The Arabs, The British, and the Remaking
Of the Middle East in WWI
By Neil Faulkner
May 2016
Rarely is a book published that revises our understanding of an entire world region and the history that has defined it. This groundbreaking volume makes just such a contribution. Neil Faulkner draws on ten years of field research to offer the first truly multidisciplinary history of the conflicts that raged in Sinai, Arabia, Palestine, and Syria during the First World War.
In Lawrence of Arabia’s War, the author rewrites the history of T. E. Lawrence’s legendary military campaigns in the context of the Arab Revolt. He explores the intersections among the declining Ottoman Empire, the Bedouin tribes, nascent Arab nationalism, and Western imperial ambition. The book provides a new analysis of Ottoman resilience in the face of modern industrialized warfare, and it assesses the relative weight of conventional operations in Palestine and irregular warfare in Syria. Faulkner thus reassesses the historic roots of today’s divided, fractious, war-torn Middle East.

May 2016
Agate B2
In 2013, Joan got a call. It was three decades since she started Gymboree and six CEOs since she led the firm. It was the new CEO of the firm. No CEO had ever contacted her. She was busy prepping for a seder. So was the current CEO. Haha. Such was the kernel of the idea to write this book
Play It Forward details the remarkable journey of Joan Barnes, founder and former CEO of Gymboree, and how she learned to align her inner life with outward success. Forty years ago, Joan Barnes founded a play center in a church basement with $3,000. Determined to enable women to achieve personal and entrepreneurial success, Barnes led Gymboree to become an innovative leader in a new industry: activity-based early childhood development. The company eventually became a global billion-dollar brand.... all because she was unhappy with her job-share at a local JCC
But this dramatic entrepreneurial memoir is also a cautionary tale and redemption story. When Gymboree’s IPO became a phenomenal success story, Barnes was nowhere near Wall Street. She had left the company because of an eating disorder that threatened to destroy her and everything she built.
Barnes overcame the disorder, charting a path that replaced demons with an enduring sense of worth and hope. She eventually resumed her business career on healthier terms with a line of yoga studios in an inspiring example of how women can triumph through reinvention.
Published to coincide with Gymboree’s 40th anniversary, Play It Forward offers readers a deeply honest perspective of the challenges of business building and seeking a work-life balance in tune with personal values.

[book] Central Station
by Lavie Tidhar
May 2016
A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. The city is a weed, its growth left unchecked. Life is cheap and data is cheaper.
When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris’s ex-lover Miriam is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap into the data stream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin Isobel is infatuated with a robotnik—a cyborg ex-Israeli soldier who might well be begging for parts. Even his old flame Carmel—a hunted data-vampire—has followed him back to a planet where she is forbidden to return.
Rising above all is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv; a powerful virtual arena and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful entities who, through the Conversation—a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness—are just the beginning of irrevocable change.

A novel
by Lavie Tidhar
March 2016
Melville House

The novel that stunned—and scandalized—Europe comes to America
Wolf, a low-rent private detective, roams London’s gloomy, grimy streets, haunted by dark visions of a future that could have been—and a dangerous present populated by British Fascists and Nazis escaping Germany. Shomer, a pulp fiction writer, lies in a concentration camp, imagining another world. And when Wolf and Shomer's stories converge, we find ourselves drawn into a novel both shocking and profoundly haunting.
At once a perfectly pitched hard-boiled noir thriller (with an utterly shocking twist) and a “Holocaust novel like no other” (The Guardian), A Man Lies Dreaming is a masterful, unforgettable literary experiment from “one of our best and most adventurous writers” (Locus).

[book] The Beautiful Possible:
A Novel
by Amy Gottlieb
Harper Perennial
This epic, enthralling debut novel—in the vein of Nicole Krauss’ The History of Love—follows a postwar love triangle between an American rabbi, his wife, and a German-Jewish refugee.

Spanning seventy years and several continents—from a refugee’s shattered dreams in 1938 Berlin, to a discontented American couple in the 1950s, to a young woman’s life in modern-day Jerusalem—this epic, enthralling novel tells the braided love story of three unforgettable characters. In 1946, Walter Westhaus, a German Jew who spent the war years at Tagore’s ashram in India, arrives at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, where he meets Sol Kerem, a promising rabbinical student. A brilliant nonbeliever, Walter is the perfect foil for Sol’s spiritual questions—and their extraordinary connection is too wonderful not to share with Sol’s free-spirited fiancée Rosalie.

Soon Walter and Rosalie are exchanging notes, sketches, and secrets, and begin a transcendent love affair in his attic room, a temple of dusty tomes and whispered poetry. Months later they shatter their impossible bond, retreating to opposite sides of the country—Walter to pursue an academic career in Berkeley and Rosalie and Sol to lead a congregation in suburban New York. A chance meeting years later reconnects Walter, Sol, and Rosalie—catching three hearts and minds in a complex web of desire, heartbreak, and redemption. With extraordinary empathy and virtuosic skill, The Beautiful Possible considers the hidden boundaries of marriage and faith, and the mysterious ways we negotiate our desires.

May 2016
Translated from Hebrew
Author of Duet in Beirut
What does it take for a Mossad agent to defy his bosses? What will they do to bring him back?
Yogev Ben-Ari has been sent to St. Petersburg by the Mossad--ostensibly to network and set up business connections. His life is solitary, ordered, and lonely, until he meets Anna. Neither is quite what they seem to be, but while her identity may be mysterious, there is no doubt about the love they feel for each other.
The affair, impassioned as it is, is not part of the Mossad plan and so the agency must hatch a dark scheme to drive the two apart. What began as a quiet, solitary mission has become a perilous exercise in survival, and Ben-Ari has no time to discover the truth about Anna’s real identity before the Mossad resolves the issue for him. Amid the shadowy manipulations of the secret services, the anguished agent finds himself at an impossible crossroads.
Written with the masterful skill of a seasoned novelist, and bringing to bear his years of experience as a Mossad agent himself, Ben-David once again delivers a powerful look into the mysterious Israeli intelligence agency in this action-packed page-turner.
Mishka Ben-David was born in 1952 in Israel. He holds an MA in comparative literature from the University of Wisconsin and a PhD in Hebrew literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Ben-David served in the Mossad for twelve years, becoming a high-ranking officer, and he is now a full-time novelist living outside Jerusalem.

[book] The Winter Fortress:
The Epic Mission to Sabotage
Hitler’s Atomic Bomb
by Neal Bascomb
May 2016
From the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of Hunting Eichmann and The Perfect Mile, an epic adventure and spy story about the greatest act of sabotage in all of World War II.
It’s 1942 and the Nazis are racing to be the first to build a weapon unlike any known before. They have the physicists, they have the uranium, and now all their plans depend on amassing a single ingredient: heavy water, which is produced in Norway’s Vemork, the lone plant in all the world that makes this rare substance. Under threat of death, Vemork’s engineers push production into overdrive.
For the Allies, the plant must be destroyed. But how would they reach the castle fortress set on a precipitous gorge in one of the coldest, most inhospitable places on Earth?
Based on a trove of top secret documents and never-before-seen diaries and letters of the saboteurs, The Winter Fortress is an arresting chronicle of a brilliant scientist, a band of spies on skies, perilous survival in the wild, sacrifice for one’s country, Gestapo manhunts, soul-crushing setbacks, and a last-minute operation that would end any chance Hitler could obtain the atomic bomb—and alter the course of the war.

[book] Pumpkinflowers:
A Soldier's Story
by Matti Friedman
May 2016
From the author of ALEPPO CODEX
Destined to become a classic text on the absurdities of war. . . A beautifully written account of a young Israeli soldier's experience. A stunning achievement.” —Kai Bird, Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer and New York Times bestselling author of The Good Spy
It was one small hilltop in a small, unnamed war in the late 1990s, but it would send out ripples still felt worldwide today. The hill, in Lebanon, was called the Pumpkin; flowers was the military code word for “casualties.” Award-winning writer Matti Friedman re-creates the harrowing experience of a band of young soldiers--the author among them--charged with holding this remote outpost, a task that changed them forever and foreshadowed the unwinnable conflicts the United States would soon confront in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
Part memoir, part reportage, part military history, this powerful narrative captures the birth of today’s chaotic Middle East and the rise of a twenty-first-century type of war in which there is never a clear victor, and media images can be as important as the battle itself. Raw and beautifully rendered, Pumpkinflowers will take its place among classic war narratives by George Orwell, Philip Caputo, and Vasily Grossman. It is an unflinching look at the way we conduct war today.
“Inspiring, heartbreaking, illuminating. Matti Friedman’s brilliant account of a forgotten war seen through the lens of a simple soldier is at once a coming-of-age story and an essential chronicle about how the twenty-first century was born.” —Yossi Klein Halevi, author of Like Dreamers

[book] The Fractured Repulic
Renewing America's Social Contract
in the Age of Individualism
May 2016
Basic Books
21st century America is anxious and discontented. Our economy is sluggish, our culture is always at war with itself, our governing institutions are frequently paralyzed, and our politics seems incapable of rising to these challenges. The resulting frustration runs broad and deep: It fans populist anger while driving elites to despair. It persuades progressives that America is stuck while convincing conservatives that we are rushing in the wrong direction. It manages to make people on all sides of most issues feel as though they are under siege simultaneously.
Why should this be? And how can we overcome our frustration? In this groundbreaking exploration of America’s 21st-century challenges, Yuval Levin argues that our anxiety is rooted in a failure of diagnosis. Our politics is drenched in nostalgia, with Democrats always living in 1965 and Republicans in 1981, and is therefore blind to the profound transformations of the last half century. America’s midcentury order was dominated by large, interconnected institutions: big government, big business, big labor, big media, big universities, mass culture. But in every arena of our national life—or at least every arena except government, for now—we have witnessed the centrifugal forces of diffusion, diversity, individualism, and decentralization pulling these large institutions apart. These forces have liberated many Americans from oppressive social constraints but also estranged many from families, communities, work, and faith. They have set loose a profusion of options in every part of life but also unraveled the social order and economic security of an earlier era. They have loosened the reins of cultural conformity but also sharpened our differences and weakened the roots of mutual trust.
Building on our strengths while healing our wounds, Levin argues, would require a politics better adapted to the society we have become—a politics rooted in neither an ethic of centralized power nor a spirit of radical individualism but a regard for the potential of a modernized subsidiarity and civil society.

(University of Chicago)
May 2016
Oxford University Press
We live in a culture of apology and forgiveness. But while there are a few thinkers who criticize forgiveness in favor of retribution, philosopher and intellectual Martha C. Nussbaum is unique in criticizing the supposed virtue from the other side: forgiveness, Nussbaum asserts, is at its heart inquisitorial and disciplinary.
In this book based on her 2014 Locke Lectures, Nussbaum hones in first on anger and then on forgiveness, so vigorously championed today as a replacement emotion. Arguing that anger includes not only the idea of a serious wrong but also the idea that it would be a good thing if the wrongdoer suffered some bad consequence, Nussbaum asserts that anger, so understood, is always normatively problematic in one or the other of two possible ways. One way makes the mistake of thinking that the suffering of the wrongdoer restores the thing that was damaged. The other requires the victim to see the injury as about relative status and only about that. While anger is sometimes useful as a signal that things have gone wrong, as a motive to address them, and as a deterrent to wrongdoing, its core ideas are profoundly flawed: either incoherent in the first case, or normatively ugly in the second. Neither is anger as useful as it is often taken to be.
Nussbaum goes on to strip the notion of forgiveness down to its Judeo-Christian roots, where the primary moral relationship is that between an omniscient score-keeping God and erring, penitent mortals. The relationship between a wronged human and another is, she says, based on this primary God-human relationship. Nussbaum agrees with Nietzsche in seeing in Judeo-Christian forgiveness a displaced vindictiveness and a concealed resentment that are ungenerous and unhelpful in human relations. The process of forgiveness can bolster a narcissistic resentment better eschewed in favor of a new paradigm based on generosity, justice, and truth.

[book] Song of Exile:
The Enduring Mystery of Psalm 137
by David W. Stowe
(Michigan State University)
May 2, 2016
Oxford University Press
Oft-referenced and frequently set to music, Psalm 137 - which begins "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion" - has become something of a cultural touchstone for music and Christianity across the Atlantic world.
It has been a top single more than once in the 20th century, from Don McLean's haunting Anglo-American folk cover to Boney M's West Indian disco mix. In Song of Exile, David Stowe uses a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary approach that combines personal interviews, historical overview, and textual analysis to demonstrate the psalm's enduring place in popular culture.

The line that begins Psalm 137 - one of the most lyrical of the Hebrew Bible - has been used since its genesis to evoke the grief and protest of exiled, displaced, or marginalized communities. Despite the psalm's popularity, little has been written about its reception during the more than 2,500 years since the Babylonian exile. Stowe locates its use in the American Revolution and the Civil Rights movement, and internationally by anti-colonial Jamaican Rastafari and immigrants from Ireland, Korea, and Cuba. He studies musical references ranging from the Melodians' Rivers of Babylon to the score in Kazakh film Tulpan.
Stowe concludes by exploring the presence and absence in modern culture of the often-ignored final words: "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones." Usually excised from liturgy and forgotten by scholars, Stowe finds these words echoed in modern occurrences of genocide and ethnic cleansing, and more generally in the culture of vengeance that has existed in North America from the earliest conflicts with Native Americans.
Based on numerous interviews with musicians, theologians, and writers, Stowe reconstructs the rich and varied reception history of this widely used, yet mysterious, text.

[book] Extra Virgin
Recipes & Love from
Our Tuscan Kitchen
by Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar
May 2016
Clarkson Potter
DEBI MAZAR and GABRIELE CORCOS are ambassadors of contemporary Tuscan cooking. In Extra Virgin, food, family, and style come together in a celebration of the pleasures of the rustic Italian table with 120 recipes for simple yet exquisite meals that are accessible, full of fresh flavor, and easy to prepare. Gabriele is a traditional Italian with a big heart, and Debi is an outgoing, brash New York City girl.
Mazar, a Brooklyn based actress did make-up for a Madonna video and was invited to a Madonna wedding as a friend. She was then invited to take a vacation to Italy. At her dinner the first night, after an insanely delayed flight, she met Gabriele Corcos, a military school dropout. That first night, Corcos reportedly told Mazar that they would have children together. And now they have two daughters and a large kitchen

Their sassy and playful exchanges illuminate what’s important in everyday life: good food and a lot of love. Ranging from traditional antipasti and soups to their spin on entrees, pizzas, and desserts, recipes include Pecorino and Honey Dip, a sweet and salty way to start a meal; tangy, luscious Grilled Apricots with Goat Cheese Ricotta, inspired by wild Tuscan apricot trees. There are Braised Artichokes softened in guanciale-infused oil, Breakfast Pizza, and Coffee Granita just as Italians make it.
So flag these recipes, get sauce on them, let splashes of olive oil mark the pages—and invite Debi and Gabriele’s charisma and passion for cooking to spill into your kitchen.

[book] The Nazi Hunters
by Andrew Nagorski
May 10, 2016
Simon & Schuster
More than seven decades after the end of the Second World War, the era of the Nazi Hunters is drawing to a close as they and the hunted die off. Their saga can now be told almost in its entirety.
After the Nuremberg trials and the start of the Cold War, most of the victors in World War II lost interest in prosecuting Nazi war criminals. Many of the lower-ranking perpetrators quickly blended in with the millions who were seeking to rebuild their lives in a new Europe, while those who felt most at risk fled the continent. The Nazi Hunters focuses on the small band of men and women who refused to allow their crimes to be forgotten—and who were determined to track them down to the furthest corners of the earth.
The Nazi Hunters reveals the experiences of the young American prosecutors in the Nuremberg and Dachau trials, Benjamin Ferencz and William Denson; the Polish investigating judge Jan Sehn, who handled the case of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss; Germany’s judge and prosecutor Fritz Bauer, who repeatedly forced his countrymen to confront their country’s record of mass murder; the Mossad agent Rafi Eitan, who was in charge of the Israeli team that nabbed Eichmann; and Eli Rosenbaum, who rose to head the US Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations that belatedly sought to expel war criminals who were living quietly in the United States. But some of the Nazi hunters’ most controversial actions involved the more ambiguous cases, such as former UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim’s attempt to cover up his wartime history. Or the fate of concentration camp guards who have lived into their nineties, long past the time when reliable eyewitnesses could be found to pinpoint their exact roles.
The story of the Nazi hunters is coming to a natural end. It was unprecedented in so many ways, especially the degree to which the initial impulse of revenge was transformed into a struggle for justice. The Nazi hunters have transformed our fundamental notions of right and wrong. Andrew Nagorski’s book is a richly reconstructed odyssey and an unforgettable tale of gritty determination, at times reckless behavior, and relentless pursuit.

[book] After One-Hundred-and-Twenty:
Reflecting on Death, Mourning, and
the Afterlife in the Jewish Tradition
(Library of Jewish Ideas)
by Hillel Halkin
May 3, 2016
Princeton University Press
After One-Hundred-and-Twenty provides a richly nuanced and deeply personal look at Jewish attitudes and practices regarding death, mourning, and the afterlife as they have existed and evolved from biblical times to today. Taking its title from the Hebrew and Yiddish blessing to live to a ripe old age--Moses is said to have been 120 years old when he died--the book explores how the Bible's original reticence about an afterlife gave way to views about personal judgment and reward after death, the resurrection of the body, and even reincarnation.

It examines Talmudic perspectives on grief, burial, and the afterlife, shows how Jewish approaches to death changed in the Middle Ages with thinkers like Maimonides and in the mystical writings of the Zohar, and delves into such things as the origins of the custom of reciting Kaddish for the deceased and beliefs about encountering the dead in visions and dreams.

After One-Hundred-and-Twenty is also Hillel Halkin's eloquent and disarmingly candid reflection on his own mortality, the deaths of those he has known and loved, and the comfort he has and has not derived from Jewish tradition.

[book] Speaking Freely:
My Life in Publishing and Human Rights
by Robert L. Bernstein
Foreword by Toni Morrison
May 10, 2016
New Press
What do Dr. Seuss, William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Andrei Sakharov, and James Michener have in common? They were all published by Bob Bernstein during his twenty-five-year run as president of Random House, before he brought the dissidents Liu Binyan, Jacobo Timerman, Natan Sharansky, and Václav Havel to worldwide attention in his role as the father of modern human rights.
Starting as an office boy at Simon & Schuster in 1946, Bernstein moved to Random House in 1956 and succeeded Bennett Cerf as president ten years later. The rest is publishing and human rights history.
In a charming and self-effacing work, Bernstein reflects for the first time on his fairy tale publishing career, hobnobbing with Truman Capote and E.L. Doctorow; conspiring with Kay Thompson on the Eloise series; attending a rally for Random House author George McGovern with film star Claudette Colbert; and working with publishing luminaries including Dick Simon, Alfred Knopf, Robert Gottlieb, André Schiffrin, Peter Osnos, Susan Peterson, and Jason Epstein as Bernstein grew Random House from a $40 million to an $800 million–plus “money making juggernaut,” as Thomas Maier called it in his biography of Random House owner Si Newhouse. In a book sure to be savored by anyone who has worked in the publishing industry, fought for human rights, or wondered how Theodor Geisel became Dr. Seuss, Speaking Freely beautifully captures a bygone era in the book industry and the first crucial years of a worldwide movement to protect free speech and challenge tyranny around the globe.
Robert L. Bernstein served as the president of Random House for twenty-five years. After being sent to Moscow as part of a delegation of American publishers in 1973, Bernstein established the organization that became Human Rights Watch. He lives in New York.

FROM THE SHARK who funded Mensch on a Bench…
[book] You Don't Have to Be a Shark:
Creating Your Own Success
by Robert Herjavec
May 2016
St. Martin’s Press
Many people assume that effective sales ability demands a unique personality and an aggressive attitude. It's not true, and Robert Herjavec is proof.
Known as the "Nice Shark" on the ABC's Emmy Award-winning hit show SHARK TANK, Croatian-Canadian Robert Herjavec is loved by viewers, who respond to his affable nature. He has developed an honest and genuine approach to life and selling that has set him apart from his cut-throat colleagues, and rewarded him with a degree of wealth measured in hundreds of millions of dollars.
In You Don't Have to Be a Shark, Robert transcends pure sales technique and teaches "non-business people" what they need to know in order to sell themselves successfully. We are each our own greatest asset, and in order to achieve our goals, we need to be able to communicate with others, position ourselves and even look the part. Robert's philosophy is simple: Great salespeople are made, not born, and no one achieves success in life without knowing how to sell. Entertaining, enlightening and effective, You Don't Have to Be a Shark will reveal the secrets of one of North America's most successful businessmen, who also happens to be one of today's most prominent TV personalities, delivered in a friendly, down-to-earth manner, and filled with anecdotes and observations to support its hard-nosed advice.

[book] Short Order Dad
One Guy’s Guide to Making
Food Fun and Hassle-Free
by Robert Rosenthal
May 2016
Robert Rosenthal presented creative ideas around the world as an award-winning international advertising executive, performed his standup routine in NYC’s top comedy clubs, and earned a professional cooking degree from the prestigious Institute of Culinary Education. Ad Age calls him, “undoubtedly one of the industry’s most colorful characters.” His video program runs weekly on The Daily Meal, where he is the resident “food humorist.”
He writes that There is a new kind of dad, and he’s doing far more domestic duty than at any time in history, including cooking. Although it’s written with a sense of humor, this book is a serious resource for dads and anyone else interested in upping their game to make great tasting food at home, even if they have never used a chef’s knife or a roasting pan before.
Rosenthal teaches basic techniques and presents a playbook of simple recipes that achieve the most taste with the fewest ingredients and the least effort.™ The dishes are sophisticated enough for entertaining, yet family table tested as well. Short Order Dad covers all the essentials, from shopping ingredients and cooking tools to appetizers, soups and salads, snacks, entrees, sauces and dressings, sides, desserts, cocktails and more, to make anyone a successful chef.
Good cooking doesn’t have to be complicated to be great. In fact, it’s just the opposite. So whether you’re clueless in the kitchen, pan-fry phobic, or already a skilled cook, Short Order Dad is here to help turn your kitchen into a place to play.

[book] Executing the Rosenbergs:
Death and Diplomacy
in a Cold War World
by Lori Clune
Cal State Fresno
May 2016
In 1950, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were arrested for allegedly passing information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union, an affair FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover labeled the "crime of the century." Their case became an international sensation, inspiring petitions, letters of support, newspaper editorials, and protests in countries around the world. Nevertheless, the Rosenbergs were executed after years of appeals, making them the only civilians ever put to death for conspiracy-related activities. Yet even after their executions, protests continued. The Rosenberg case quickly transformed into legend, while the media spotlight shifted to their two orphaned sons.
In Executing the Rosenbergs, Lori Clune demonstrates that the Rosenberg case played a pivotal role in the world's perception of the United States. Based on newly discovered documents from the State Department, Clune narrates the widespread dissent against the Rosenberg decision in 80 cities and 48 countries. Even as the Truman and Eisenhower administrations attempted to turn the case into pro-democracy propaganda, U.S. allies and potential allies questioned whether the United States had the moral authority to win the Cold War. Meanwhile, the death of Stalin in 1953 also raised the stakes of the executions; without a clear hero and villain, the struggle between democracy and communism shifted into morally ambiguous terrain.
Transcending questions of guilt or innocence, Clune weaves the case -and its aftermath -into the fabric of the Cold War, revealing its far-reaching global effects. An original approach to one of the most fascinating episodes in Cold War history, Executing the Rosenbergs broadens a quintessentially American story into a global one.

[book] Anatomy of Malice:
The Enigma of the
Nazi War Criminals
by Joel E. Dimsdale
May 2016
When the ashes had settled after World War II and the Allies convened an international war crimes trial in Nuremberg, a psychiatrist, Douglas Kelley, and a psychologist, Gustave Gilbert, tried to fathom the psychology of the Nazi leaders, using extensive psychiatric interviews, IQ tests, and Rorschach inkblot tests. Never before or since has there been such a detailed study of governmental leaders who orchestrated mass killings.
Before the war crimes trial began, it was self-evident to most people that the Nazi leaders were demonic maniacs. But when the interviews and psychological tests were completed, the answer was no longer so clear. The findings were so disconcerting that portions of the data were hidden away for decades and the research became a topic for vituperative disputes. Gilbert thought that the war criminals’ malice stemmed from depraved psychopathology. Kelley viewed them as morally flawed, ordinary men who were creatures of their environment. Who was right?
Drawing on his decades of experience as a psychiatrist and the dramatic advances within psychiatry, psychology, and neuroscience since Nuremberg, Joel E. Dimsdale looks anew at the findings and examines in detail four of the war criminals, Robert Ley, Hermann Göring, Julius Streicher, and Rudolf Hess. Using increasingly precise diagnostic tools, he discovers a remarkably broad spectrum of pathology. Anatomy of Malice takes us on a complex and troubling quest to make sense of the most extreme evil.

Not a Jewish memoir, but interesting nevertheless… [book] Veronica's Grave:
A Daughter's Memoir
by Barbara Bracht Donsky
May 2016
As a child, Barbara Bracht’s mother disappeared one day. Pictures of her disappeared. Mention of her stopped. Barbara and her father went to live with her Nana in Yonkers, along with her newborn brother. Barbara’s father remarried, and Barbara was told to call her mother and not refer to Veronica, her birth mother. Barbara thought her mother would return one day and be mad if she called another woman, “mom.”
Then at age eight, a nine year old cousin told her that her mother was dead. She had died during childbirth. She had been buried in an un marked grave at Gate of Heaven. Barbara went on to graduate from St Barnabas, wondered what it would have been like if she had had a supportive living mother, and continued on to work hard for success.

COVER: When Barbara Bracht's mother disappears, no one tells the young girl that her mother has died-- not even her father. She is left a confused child whose father is intent upon erasing any memory of the mother. Forced to keep the secret of their mother's existence from her younger brother, Eddie, Barbara struggles to keep from being crushed under the weight of family secrets as she comes of age and tries to educate herself, despite her father's stance against women's education.
A story of loss and resilience, Veronica's Grave likewise shows the power of literature?from Little Orphan Annie and Prince Valiant to the incomparable Nancy Drew?to offer hope where there is little. Touching the hearts of anyone who has dealt with loss at a young age, this story -- painful to remember, too important to forget -- offers the reader a clearer, more optimistic perspective on life. Told with true literary sensibility, this captivating memoir asks us to consider what it is that parents owe their children, and how far a child need go to make things right for her family.

[book] The Art of Tough:
Fearlessly Facing Politics and Life
by Barbara Levy Boxer
by Senator Barbara Boxer
retiring US Senator (D, California)
May 30, 2016
13 years in the Senate, a decade in the House.
One goal of this memoir is to inspire people to fight for change. It takes what I call the Art of Tough and I've had to do it all my life."- Senator Barbara Boxer
Barbara Boxer has made her mark, combining compassionate advocacy with scrappiness in a political career spanning more than three decades. Now, retiring from the Senate, she continues the work to which she's dedicated 30 years in Congress. Her memoir, THE ART OF TOUGH, shares her provocative and touching recollections of service, and cements her commitment to the fight for women, families, quality, environmental protection, all in a peaceful world.
Sometimes lauded, sometimes vilified, but always standing tough, Boxer has fought for what is right even when her personal convictions conflicted with her party or the majority rule.

[book] IT’S NOT OKAY
Turning Heartbreak into
Happily Ever After
By Andi Dorfman
May 17, 2016
Gallery Books / Simon & Schuster
Andi Dorfman, the beloved finalist of season eighteen of The Bachelor who infamously rejected Juan Pablo and went on to star on season ten of The Bachelorette, dishes about what it’s like to live out a love story—and its collapse—in front of the cameras, offering hard-won advice for moving on after a break-up, public or not.
Atlanta born Dorfman received a law degree at Wake Forest and worked as an Asst. District Attorney in suburban Atlanta
Dorfman, a star of The Bachelor (Season 18) and The Bachelorette (Season 10), talks candidly about what it’s like to be courted by twenty-five handsome, single men in this juicy, insider’s peek at dating—and breaking up—on national TV.
She shares entertaining and heartfelt stories about her fellow Bachelor alums—many of whom are still close friends—comes clean about calling out Bachelor #18 Juan Pablo for bad behavior, and reflects on her personal challenges and uplifting experiences in love that she hopes will help you get through your own break-ups with grace and style!

Over 200 of the Best Canned, Jammed,
Pickled, and Preserved Recipes
A cookbook
May 2016
Oops. My review got overwritten. Darn. Here is another one until I have time to re-read the book. The name Ball is synonymous with its famous mason jar, and the folks who wrote the canon on canning offer an updated introduction to “tried and true methods” for putting up food. In this primer, the Jarden Home Brands experts present 200 recipes reflecting “globally inspired” flavors of the “modern palate” that focus on today’s healthy, local fare.
The information-rich source features step-by-step photos, basic gear lists, and explanations of the science behind six major canning and preserving methods: water bath, fermenting, pressure canning, freezing, dehydrating, and smoking and curing. There are instructional charts on preparing fruits, vegetables, and meats for each of the processes, as well as a home canning planning guide. Jams and jellies go from classic to high end with recipes for curried yellow tomatoes or orange-date-cardamom preserves.
Pickled fennel with oranges is kicked up with turmeric and ginger. Asian pomegranate barbecue sauce doubles as a stir-fry sauce, and there’s a tangy green tomato chutney with Thai notes. Recipes incorporating canned concoctions appear within chapters. This canning bible is organized by technique, which makes finding particular dishes a challenge. The information science and convenience of preserving foods, while nothing new, captures much of today’s sustainable foods philosophy in a jar.

[book] The Silver Platter:
Simple to Spectacular Wholesome,
Family-Friendly Recipes
by Daniella Silver and Norene Gilletz
A cookbook
May 6, 2016
Daniella Silver, an exciting new personality in the world of Jewish cooking, combines an amazing sense of style and presentation with an understanding of what makes food wholesome and nutritious and of what families want to eat. In The Silver Platter she brings us more than 160 recipes that allow us to explore new dishes, tastes, and presentations, all while keeping our families happy with great-tasting and wholesome food.
Working closely with Norene Gilletz - the "matriarch" of kosher cuisine whose cookbooks appear regularly on bestseller lists Daniella creates dishes that are a delight to prepare, to serve, and, of course, to eat. Daniella has an extraordinary sense of color and presentation, while Norene possesses a wealth of understanding and knowledge of kosher cooking techniques. Bring them together, and it's like having two gourmet chefs with you in your kitchen!
Every recipe includes easily-accessible ingredients, clear instructions, a gorgeous photograph, "Norene's Notes" with tips and techniques, as well as full nutritional information for every dish listed in an appendix. More than 80 recipes are gluten-free, perfect for Passover and for those on gluten-free diets.
The Silver Platter features recipes for every occasion, from quick weeknight suppers to holiday celebrations. From the bold, unusual appetizers to the delectable desserts, and everything in-between, here are foods that are healthy to eat, spectacular to serve and surprisingly easy to prepare. So... get cooking!

Stories, Parables
and Problems
by Adam Ehrlich Sachs
May 3, 2016
Regan Arts
A son receives an inheritance from his father and tries to dispose of it before it destroys him. Inherited Disorders tells this elemental story in over 100 hilarious, witty variations. Adam Ehrlich Sachs’s Inherited Disorders is a rueful, absurd, and endlessly entertaining look at a most serious subject—the eternally vexed relations between fathers and sons. In a hundred and seventeen shrewd, surreal vignettes, Sachs lays bare the petty rivalries, thwarted affection, and mutual bafflement that have characterized the filial bond since the days of Davidic kings.

A philosopher’s son kills his father and explains his aphorisms to death. A father bequeaths to his son his jacket, deodorant, and political beliefs. England’s most famous medium becomes possessed by the spirit of his skeptical father—who questions, in front of the nation, his son’s choice of career. A Czech pianist amputates his fingers one by one to thwart his father, who will not stop composing concertos for him.
A nineteenth-century Italian nobleman wills his ill-conceived flying contraption—incapable of actual flight—to his newborn son. In West Hollywood, an aspiring screenwriter must contend with the judgmental visage of his father, a respected public intellectual whose frozen head, clearly disappointed in him, he keeps in his freezer.
Keenly inventive, but painfully familiar, these surprisingly tender stories signal the arrival of a brilliant new comic voice—and fresh hope for fathers and sons the world over.

The Book of Departure and Caring
for People at the End of Life
Translated by Rabbi Joel H Baron and
Rabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow
Foreword by Dr. Rabbi Arthur Green
May 2016
Jewish Lights
From two Boston area rabbis who work with death and illness on a daily basis, we learn that death is a time of life that holds meaning for the dying, their families and friends, their community - and us.
Students of the Hasidic masters wrote down the stories of the last months, days, hours and moments of the lives of their rebbes. A compilation of their experiences, called The Book of Departure (Sefer haHistalkut), first published in Hebrew in 1930, brings together the rich end-of-life stories of forty-two holy men who died between 1760 and 1904, as well as their philosophical forebearer, Isaac Luria.
Featuring new pastoral commentary in a unique facing-page format, this English presentation of heart-touching deathbed tales sheds light on Jewish traditions about death, the afterlife and how to care for people in their final days

"Most of Torah's teaching is about how to live. But there is a special section within its wisdom that also speaks to us about how to die. Since we are all mortals, our lives fashioned somehow around the awareness that death is inevitably to come, this is one of the important lessons…. There is something profound to be learned about the way of dying, and it is best learned from the wisdom and stories of those who have gone before us." -from the Foreword

[book] Fifty Shades of Talmud:
What the First Rabbis Had
to Say About You-Know-What
by Maggie Anton
Banot Press
From the author of Rashi’s Daughters
Amusing. Seductive. Stimulating.
We're talking about the Talmud? That's right.
Take fifty actual Talmudic discussions, mix in pithy sayings (appropriate and inappropriate) by luminaries from Mae West and Amy Schumer to George Washington and Gandhi, add a few cartoons, and voila delighted and enlightened readers will come away with a new perspective on what the ancient Jewish sages say about our most intimate relationships.
In this lighthearted, in-depth tour of sexuality within the Talmud, come eavesdrop at the first rabbis' locker-room door as they discuss every aspect of sexual relations how, when, where, with whom often in startlingly explicit fashion. Author Maggie Anton reveals how Jewish tradition is more progressive in many respects, and more bawdy, than one might think. The award-winning historical novelist's first foray into nonfiction is likely to leave her fans going OMG, WTF, and even LOL.

By Marla Brettschnieder
Univ of New Hampshire
SUNY Press
"Jewish Feminism and Intersectionality" explores a range of opportunities to apply and build intersectionality studies from within the life and work of Jewish feminism in the United States today. Marla Brettschneider builds on the best of what has been done in the field and offers a constructive internal critique. Working from a nonidentitarian paradigm, Brettschneider uses a Jewish critical lens to discuss the ways different politically salient identity signifiers cocreate and mutually constitute each other. She also includes analyses of matters of import in queer, critical race, and class-based feminist studies. This book is designed to demonstrate a range of ways that Jewish feminist work can operate with the full breadth of what intersectionality studies has to offer.

[book] Bringing Zion Home
Israel in American Jewish
Culture, 1948-1967
by Emily Alice Katz
(US Irvine)
SUNY Press
Demonstrates how American Jews used culture—art, dance, music, fashion, literature—to win the hearts and minds of postwar Americans to the cause of Israel.
Bringing Zion Home examines the role of culture in the establishment of the “special relationship” between the United States and Israel in the immediate postwar decades. Many American Jews first encountered Israel through their roles as tastemakers, consumers, and cultural impresarios—that is, by writing and reading about Israel; dancing Israeli folk dances; promoting and purchasing Israeli goods; and presenting Israeli art and music. It was precisely by means of these cultural practices, argues Emily Alice Katz, that American Jews insisted on Israel’s “natural” place in American culture, a phenomenon that continues to shape America’s relationship with Israel today.
Katz shows that American Jews’ promotion and consumption of Israel in the cultural realm was bound up with multiple agendas, including the quest for Jewish authenticity in a postimmigrant milieu and the desire of upwardly mobile Jews to polish their status in American society. And, crucially, as influential cultural and political elites positioned “culture” as both an engine of American dominance and as a purveyor of peace in the Cold War, many of Israel’s American Jewish impresarios proclaimed publicly that cultural patronage of and exchange with Israel advanced America’s interests in the Middle East and helped spread the “American way” in the postwar world. Bringing Zion Home is the first book to shine a light squarely upon the role and importance of Israel in the arts, popular culture, and material culture of postwar America.

[book] AN: TO EAT:
Recipes and Stories from
a Vietnamese Family Kitchen
by Helene An and Jacqueline An
May 2016
Running Press
In Vietnamese, “AN” means “TO EAT,” a happy coincidence, since the An family has built an award-winning restaurant empire— including the renowned celebrity favorite Crustacean Beverly Hills—that has been toasted by leading food press, including Bon Appétit, Gourmet, InStyle and the Food Network. Helene An, executive chef and matriarch of the House of An, is hailed as the “mother of fusion” and was inducted into the Smithsonian Institute for her signature style that brings together Vietnamese, French, and California- fresh influences. Now her daughter Jacqueline tells the family story and shares her mother’s delicious and previously “secret” recipes, including “Mama’s” Beef Pho, Drunken Crab, and Oven-Roasted Lemongrass Chicken.
Helene’s transformation from pampered “princess” in French Colonial Vietnam, to refugee then restaurateur, and her journey from Indochina’s lush fields to family kitchen gardens in California are beautifully chronicled throughout the book. The result is a fascinating peek at a lost world, and the evolution of an extraordinary cuisine. The 100 recipes in An: To Eat feature clean flavors, simple techniques, and unique twists that could only have come from Helene’s personal story.


American Prophet
By Jeffrey Rosen
June 2016
Jewish Lives Series
Yale University Press
According to Jeffrey Rosen, Louis D. Brandeis was “the Jewish Jefferson,” the greatest critic of what he called “the curse of bigness,” in business and government, since the author of the Declaration of Independence. Published to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of his Supreme Court confirmation on June 1, 1916, Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet argues that Brandeis was the most farseeing constitutional philosopher of the twentieth century. In addition to writing the most famous article on the right to privacy, he also wrote the most important Supreme Court opinions about free speech, freedom from government surveillance, and freedom of thought and opinion. And as the leader of the American Zionist movement, he convinced Woodrow Wilson and the British government to recognize a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Combining narrative biography with a passionate argument for why Brandeis matters today, Rosen explores what Brandeis, the Jeffersonian prophet, can teach us about historic and contemporary questions involving the Constitution, monopoly, corporate and federal power, technology, privacy, free speech, and Zionism.

[book] Diane Arbus:
Portrait of a Photographer
by Arthur Lubow
June 2016
The definitive biography of the beguiling Diane Arbus, one of the most influential and important photographers of the twentieth century, a brilliant and absorbing exposition that links the extraordinary arc of her life to her iconic photographs.
Diane Arbus brings to life the full story of one of the greatest American artists of the twentieth century, a visionary who revolutionized photography and altered the course of contemporary art with her striking, now iconic images. Arbus comes startlingly to life on these pages, a strong-minded child of unnerving originality who grew into a formidable artist and forged an intimacy with her subjects that has inspired generations of artists. Arresting, unsettling, and poignant, her photographs stick in our minds. Why did these people fascinate her? And what was it about her that captivated them?
It is impossible to understand the transfixing power of Arbus’s photographs without understanding her life story. Arthur Lubow draws on exclusive interviews with Arbus’s friends, lovers, and colleagues, on previously unknown letters, and on his own profound critical understanding of photography, to explore Arbus’s unique perspective. He deftly traces Arbus’s development from a wealthy, sexually precocious free spirit into first a successful New York fashion photographer, and then a singular artist who coaxed hidden truths from her subjects. Lubow reveals that Arbus’s profound need not only to see her subjects but to be seen by them drove her to forge unusually close bonds with these people, helping her discover the fantasies, pain, and heroism within each of them.
Diane Arbus is the definitive biography of this unique, hugely influential artist. This magnificently absorbing, sensitive treatment of a singular personality brushes aside the clichés that have long surrounded Arbus and her work to capture a brilliant portrait of this seminal artist whose work has immeasurably shaped art and modern culture.
Lubow’s Diane Arbus finally does justice to Arbus, and brings to life the story and art of one of the greatest American artists in history.
Diane Arbus includes a 16-page black-and-white photo insert.

[book] Judenstaat
by Simone Zelitch
June 21, 2016
On April 4th, 1948 the sovereign state of Judenstaat was created in the territory of Saxony, bordering Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia .
Forty years later, Jewish historian Judit Klemmer is making a documentary portraying Judenstaat's history from the time of its founding to the present. She is haunted by the ghost of her dead husband, Hans, a Saxon, shot by a sniper as he conducted the National Symphony. With the grief always fresh, Judit lives a half-life, until confronted by a mysterious, flesh-and-blood ghost from her past who leaves her controversial footage on one of Judenstaat's founding fathers--and a note:
"They lied about the murder."
Judit's research into the footage, and what really happened to Hans, embroils her in controversy and conspiracy, collective memory and national amnesia, and answers far more horrific than she imagined.

[book] Ratf**ked:
How the Democrats Won the
Presidency But Lost America
by David Daley
June 2016
With Barack Obama’s historic election in 2008, pundits proclaimed the Republicans as dead as the Whigs of yesteryear. Yet even as Democrats swooned, a small cadre of Republican operatives, including Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie, and Chris Jankowski began plotting their comeback with a simple yet ingenious plan. These men had devised a way to take a tradition of dirty tricks-known to political insiders as “ratf**king”-to a whole new, unprecedented level. Flooding state races with a gold rush of dark money made possible by Citizens United, the Republicans reshaped state legislatures, where the power to redistrict is held. Reconstructing this never- told-before story, David Daley examines the far-reaching effects of this so-called REDMAP program, which has radically altered America’s electoral map and created a firewall in the House, insulating the party and its wealthy donors from popular democracy. Ratf**ked pulls back the curtain on one of the greatest heists in American political history. 5 maps

The German Army in the Third Reich
By Ben H. Shepherd
June 2016
Yale University Press
For decades after 1945, it was generally believed that the German army, professional and morally decent, had largely stood apart from the SS, Gestapo, and other corps of the Nazi machine. Ben Shepherd draws on a wealth of primary sources and recent scholarship to convey a much darker, more complex picture. For the first time, the German army is examined throughout the Second World War, across all combat theaters and occupied regions, and from multiple perspectives: its battle performance, social composition, relationship with the Nazi state, and involvement in war crimes and military occupation.
This was a true people’s army, drawn from across German society and reflecting that society as it existed under the Nazis. Without the army and its conquests abroad, Shepherd explains, the Nazi regime could not have perpetrated its crimes against Jews, prisoners of war, and civilians in occupied countries. The author examines how the army was complicit in these crimes and why some soldiers, units, and higher commands were more complicit than others. Shepherd also reveals the reasons for the army’s early battlefield successes and its mounting defeats up to 1945, the latter due not only to Allied superiority and Hitler’s mismanagement as commander-in-chief, but also to the failings—moral, political, economic, strategic, and operational—of the army’s own leadership.

[book] The Book of Esther
A Novel
by Emily Barton
June 14, 2016
Tim Duggan Books
What if an empire of Jewish warriors that really existed in the Middle Ages had never fallen—and was the only thing standing between Hitler and his conquest of Russia?
Eastern Europe, August 1942. The Khazar kaganate, an isolated nation of Turkic warrior Jews, lies between the Pontus Euxinus (the Black Sea) and the Khazar Sea (the Caspian). It also happens to lie between a belligerent nation to the west that the Khazars call Germania—and a city the rest of the world calls Stalingrad.
After years of Jewish refugees streaming across the border from Europa, fleeing the war, Germania launches its siege of Khazaria. Only Esther, the daughter of the nation’s chief policy adviser, sees the ominous implications of Germania's disregard for Jewish lives. Only she realizes that this isn’t just another war but an existential threat. After witnessing the enemy warplanes’ first foray into sovereign Khazar territory, Esther knows she must fight for her country. But as the elder daughter in a traditional home, her urgent question is how.
Before daybreak one fateful morning, she embarks on a perilous journey across the open steppe. She seeks a fabled village of Kabbalists who may hold the key to her destiny: their rumored ability to change her into a man so that she may convince her entire nation to join in the fight for its very existence against an enemy like none Khazaria has ever faced before.
The Book of Esther is a profound saga of war, technology, mysticism, power, and faith. This novel—simultaneously a steampunk Joan of Arc and a genre-bending tale of a counterfactual Jewish state by a writer who invents worlds “out of Calvino or Borges” (The New Yorker)—is a stunning achievement. Reminiscent of Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union and Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America, The Book of Esther reaffirms Barton’s place as one of her generation’s most gifted storytellers.

[book] How God Became God:
What Scholars Are Really
Saying About God and the Bible
by Richard M. Smoley (Gnosis)
June 2016
Penguin Random House Tarcher Perigree
This epic, thrilling journey through Bible scholarship and ancient religion shows how much of Scripture is historically false--yet the ancient writings also resound with theologies that crisscrossed the primeval world and that direct us today toward a deep, inner, authentic experience of the truly sacred.
From a historical perspective, the Bible is shockingly, provably wrong--a point supported by today's best archaeological and historical scholarship but not well understood by (or communicated to) the public. Yet this emphatically does not mean that the Bible isn't, in some very real measure, true, argues scholar of mysticism Richard Smoley.
Smoley reviews the most authoritative historical evidence to demonstrate that figures such as Moses, Abraham, and Jesus are not only unlikely to have existed, but bear strong composite resemblances to other Near Eastern religious icons. Likewise, the geopolitical and military events of Scripture fail to mesh with the largely settled historical time line and social structures. Smoley meticulously shows how our concepts of the Hebrew and Christian God, and the creation of Christ himself, are an assemblage of ideas that were altered, argued over, and edited--until their canonization. This process, to a large degree, gave Western civilization its consensus view of God.
But these conclusions are not cause for nihilism or disbelief. Rather, beneath the metaphorical figures and mythical historicism of Scripture appears an extraordinary, truly transcendent theology born from the most sacred and fully realized spiritual and human insights of the antique Eastern world. Far from being "untrue," the Bible is remarkably, extraordinarily true as it connects us to the sublime insights of our ancient ancestors and points to a unifying ethic behind many of the world's faiths.

Coercion and Consensus in Nazi Germany
By Nathan Stoltzfus
June 2016
Yale University Press
History has focused on Hitler’s use of charisma and terror, asserting that the dictator made few concessions to maintain power. Nathan Stoltzfus, the award-winning author of Resistance of Heart: Intermarriage and the Rosenstrasse Protest in Germany, challenges this notion, assessing the surprisingly frequent tactical compromises Hitler made in order to preempt hostility and win the German people’s complete fealty.
As part of his strategy to secure a “1,000-year Reich,” Hitler sought to convince the German people to believe in Nazism so they would perpetuate it permanently and actively shun those who were out of step with society. When widespread public dissent occurred at home—which most often happened when policies conflicted with popular traditions or encroached on private life—Hitler made careful calculations and acted strategically to maintain his popular image. Extending from the 1920s to the regime’s collapse, this revealing history makes a powerful and original argument that will inspire a major rethinking of Hitler’s rule.

A novel
By Tamar Cohen
June 2016 (USA)
Dan and Sasha are Josh and Hannah's closest friends, and lately they all seem to spend more time with each other than they do apart. But cozy weekends together quickly dissolve into a bitter game of tug-of-war when Dan utters three treacherous little words: I'm leaving her.
Dan fully expects Josh to defend his choices—and that includes welcoming the sexy young model he's suddenly dating. Meanwhile, Dan's soon-to-be-ex-wife Sasha is devastated—dangerously so—by his betrayal, and she leans heavily on Hannah for support. Though Josh and Hannah try desperately to avoid the fallout of their friends' battle, they're quickly engulfed by the poisonous fog of attack lawyers, ugly accusations and untimely revelations. Soon they're suffocating in Dan and Sasha's secrets…and their own.
Darkly witty and utterly chilling, The Fallout exposes the volatile nature of divorce—and the new lovers, obsessions and broken relationships that are left in its wake.

A Family Saga of Coney Island
The American Dream
And the Search for the Perfect Hot Dog
By Lloyd Handwerker
June 21, 2016… the first day of Summer, of course
Beginning with just five feet of counter space on Coney Island in 1916, Nathan’s Famous - based on the basic principles of quality ingredients, hard work and a price everyone could afford -soon stretched across the globe, launching the hotdog as an American food staple and Nathan Handwerker to national fame. But the story behind the dog is even tastier...
Fleeing Eastern Europe as the shadow of WWI looms large with nothing but twenty dollars in his socks, Nathan arrives in New York with the insatiable desire to make a better life, and within two years he sets up a shop of his own, hawking frankfurters for five cents at the sleepy little beach retreat of Coney Island. As New York booms, pushing trains and patrons to the shore, so too do Nathan's humble hotdogs. Within ten years he has the whole corner, and a brand as recognizable as Coca-Cola and Cracker Jack. Nathan's is famous.
But with success comes difficulties, and as Nathan's two sons vie to inherit the family dynasty a story of Biblical proportions plays out, mirroring the corporatization of the American food industry.
Written by Nathan's own grandson, and at once a portrait of a man, a family and the changing face of a nation through a century of promise and progress, Famous Nathan is a dog's tale that snaps and satisfies with every page.

[book] GRUNT
The Curious Science of Humans at War
by Mary Roach
June 2016
Best-selling author Mary Roach explores the science of keeping human beings intact, awake, sane, uninfected, and un-infested in the bizarre and extreme circumstances of war.
Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier’s most challenging adversaries?panic, exhaustion, heat, noise?and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. Mary Roach dodges hostile fire with the U.S. Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat. She visits the fashion design studio of U.S. Army Natick Labs and learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper. She visits a repurposed movie studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds.
At Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti, in East Africa, we learn how diarrhea can be a threat to national security.
The author samples caffeinated meat, sniffs an archival sample of a World War II stink bomb, and stays up all night with the crew tending the missiles on the nuclear submarine USS Tennessee.
She answers questions not found in any other book on the military: Why is DARPA interested in ducks? How is a wedding gown like a bomb suit? Why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks? Take a tour of duty with Roach, and you’ll never see our nation’s defenders in the same way again.

The Quest for Meaning, Morality and a
Deeper Relationship with God
Jewish Lights Press
June 2016
From Seattle bred Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Shearith Israel in Manhattan, now leader of
A profound examination of the evolution of King Solomon's wisdom-from philosophical to moralistic to spiritual-and its meaning for our own searching spirits.
The modern age is characterized by radical change, spiritual malaise and societal turmoil. We are barraged by more information and misinformation than earlier generations and although we seem to have access to more data, we also seem to feel less comfortable about the meaning of our lives. We sometimes do not take the time to ponder the really important questions of life: Why are we here? What is the purpose of our lives? How can we attain genuine wisdom? What are the basic foundations of morality? How can we come closer to God?
In this fascinating search for answers, Rabbi Marc D. Angel, PhD, draws on the teachings of the Hebrew Bible’s model of wisdom, King Solomon. Beginning with passages from Ecclesiastes, Rabbi Angel probes the questions of life’s meaning and mission, the significance of each human being in the vastness of space and eternity of time. Using Proverbs, he offers reflections on ethics and righteousness. He concludes with passages from Song of Songs, with meditations on love, spirituality and relationship with God.
More than biblical commentary, Rabbi Angel offers a series of intriguing contemporary reflections inspired by the issues raised in the wisdom texts attributed to the ancient King Solomon. Readers who seek a thoughtful, challenging and spiritually vibrant approach to life will find this book to be a valuable guide, a book to be read again and again.

[book] Grace Without God
The Search for Meaning,
Purpose, and Belonging in a Secular Age
by Katherine Ozment
Harper Wave
June 2016
Meet “the Nones”—In this thought-provoking exploration of secular America, celebrated journalist Katherine Ozment takes readers on a quest to understand the trends and ramifications of a nation in flight from organized religion. Studies show that religion makes us happier, healthier and more giving, connecting us to our past and creating tight communal bonds. Most Americans are raised in a religious tradition, but in recent decades many have begun to leave religion, and with it their ancient rituals, mythic narratives, and sense of belonging.
So how do the nonreligious fill the need for ritual, story, community, and, above all, purpose and meaning without the one-stop shop of religion? What do they do with the space left after religion? With Nones swelling to one-fourth of American adults, and more than one-third of those under thirty, these questions have never been more urgent.
Writer, journalist, and secular mother of three Katherine Ozment came face-to-face with the fundamental issue of the Nones when her son asked her the simplest of questions: “what are we?” Unsettled by her reply—“Nothing”—she set out on a journey to find a better answer. She traversed the frontier of American secular life, sought guidance in science and the humanities, talked with noted scholars, and wrestled with her own family’s attempts to find meaning and connection after religion.
Insightful, surprising, and compelling, Grace Without God is both a personal and critical exploration of the many ways nonreligious Americans create their own meaning and purpose in an increasingly secular age.

[book] The Drone Eats with Me
A Gaza Diary
by Atef Abu Saif, PhD
Beacon Press
July 5, 2016
An ordinary Gazan's (if a Phd in political and social studies is ordinary) chronicle of the surviving during Israel’s 2014 invasion of Gaza.
The fifty-day Israel-Gaza conflict that began in early July of 2014 left over 2,100 dead. Over 13,000 were wounded, and 17,200 homes/apartments/flats in Gaza were demolished during the fighting.
These statistics are sadly familiar, as is the political rhetoric from Israeli and Palestinian authorities alike
Atef Abu Saif, a writer and teacher from Jabalia refugee camp, whose eyewitness accounts (published in the Guardian, New York Times, and elsewhere) offered a window into the conflict for Western readers. Here, Abu Saif’s complete diaries of the war allow us to witness the events of 2014 from the perspective of a young father, fearing for his family’s safety. In The Drone Eats with Me, Abu Saif brings readers a glimpse of life during wartime, as he, his wife, and his two young children attempt to live their lives with a sense of normalcy, in spite of the ever-present danger and carnage that is swallowing the place they call home.

[book] Barons of the Beltway:
Inside the Princely World of Our
Washington Elite--and
How to Overthrow Them
by Michelle Fields
June 21, 2016
Crown Forum

On March 8, 2016, the author of this book was covering the Donald Trump campaign for Breitbart when Trump's campaign manager accosted her and grabbed her. The campaign denied it. But videos showed it was true. Assault charges against Corey Lewandowski were dropped (don't forget he isnt some country bumpkin campaign manager.... just google his name with convicted felon Jack Abramoff). Breitbart was wishywashy, so Fields quit their wussy organization. The incident only reinforced the scams and entitlements of campaigns, politicians and media personalities and organizations.
Which is the thesis of her book

From reporter and Fox News contributor Michelle Fields, a revelation of how the corruption and waste in American politics begins with our elected politicians, and how to take the country back from those that extort its values for personal gain.
Our Founding Fathers rejected the notion of royalty and fought against extravagance, pomp, and circumstance. But today in Washington, members of the United States government enjoy lifestyle perks that would make Marie Antoinette envious. Our public servants are chauffeured to their Capitol Hill offices by town cars even when they live only two blocks away. They enjoy their own taxpayer-subsidized Senate Hair Care Services, vacation with their families in exotic locations for free, and exempt themselves and their friends from the laws that they create.
In Barons of the Beltway, Fox News contributor Michelle Fields exposes the hidden perks, the freebies, and the ego stroking that define life for a political class that is out of touch and out to lunch. Put under the spotlight are figures such as Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, and Vice President Joe Biden, who continue to abuse their power, build their personal fortunes, and climb up the Washington ladder. And, while our Founding Fathers started a revolution to break away from a monarchy, it's clear that America is beginning to have one of its own.
Barons of the Beltway reveals how to overthrow our political class in order to return to the principles the Founding Fathers originally envisioned for America—a country of greater opportunity that we can pass onto the next generations.

[book] The Way to the Spring:
Life and Death in Palestine
by Ben Ehrenreich
June 2016
From an award-winning journalist, a brave and necessary immersion into the everyday life of Palestinians
Over the past three years, American writer Ben Ehrenreich has been traveling to and living in the West Bank, staying with Palestinian families in its largest cities and its smallest villages. Along the way he has written major stories for American outlets, including a New York Times Magazine cover story. Now comes the new work that has always been his ultimate goal, The Way to the Spring.
We are familiar with brave journalists who travel to bleak or war-torn places on a mission to listen and understand, to gather the stories: Katherine Boo, Ryszard Kapu?ci?ski, Ted Conover, and Philip Gourevitch among them.
In Ehrenreich’s POV and world view, Palestine isruled by the Israeli military and Israeli settlers harass Palestinians; fences are suffocating; as are checkpoints, which create barriers in life and limit access to fields, homes, schools, stores, families. The book blurb says that the author is brave and empathetic. Ben Ehrenreich, by placing us in the footsteps of ordinary Palestinians, tells a story with grace.

[book] Kanye West Owes Me $300:
And Other True Stories from a
White Rapper Who Almost Made It Big
by Jensen Karp
Penguin Random House
June 2016
also known as
And Other True Stories from a
Jewish Rapper Who Almost Made It Big
After Vanilla Ice, but before Eminem, there was "Hot Karl," the Jewish kid from the L.A. suburbs who became a rap battling legend—and then almost became a star.
When 12-year old Jensen Karp got his first taste of rapping for crowds at his friend's bar mitzvah in 1991, little did he know that he was taking his first step on a crazy journey—one that would end with a failed million-dollar recording and publishing deal with Interscope Records when he was only 19. Now, in Kanye West Owes Me $300, Karp finally tells the true story of his wild ride as "Hot Karl," the most famous white rapper you've never heard of.
On his way to (almost) celebrity, Jensen shares his childhood run-ins with rock-listening, southern California classmates, who tell him that "rap is for black people," and then recounts his record-breaking rap battling streak on popular radio contest “The Roll Call”—a run that caught the eye of a music industry hungry for new rap voices in the early ‘00s. He also introduces his rap partner, Rickye, who constitutes the second half of their group XTra Large; his supportive mom, who performs with him onstage; and the soon-to-be-household-name artists he records with, including Kanye West, Redman, Fabolous, Mya, and Finally, he reveals why his album never saw the light of day (two words: Slim Shady), the downward spiral he suffered after, and what he found instead of rap glory.
Full of rollicking stories from his close brush with fame, Karp’s hilarious memoir is the ultimate fish-out-of-water story about a guy who follows an unlikely passion—trying to crack the rap game—despite what everyone else says. It’s 30 Rock for the rap set; 8 Mile for the suburbs; and quite the journey for a white kid from the valley.


[book] Critics, Monsters, Fanatics,
and Other Literary Essays
by Cynthia Ozick
July 2016
In a collection that includes new essays written explicitly for this volume, one of our sharpest and most influential critics confronts the past, present, and future of literary culture.
If every outlet for book criticism suddenly disappeared — if all we had were reviews that treated books like any other commodity — could the novel survive? In a gauntlet-throwing essay at the start of this brilliant assemblage, Cynthia Ozick stakes the claim that, just as surely as critics require a steady supply of new fiction, novelists need great critics to build a vibrant community on the foundation of literary history. For decades, Ozick herself has been one of our great critics, as these essays so clearly display. She offers models of critical analysis of writers from the mid-twentieth century to today, from Saul Bellow, Bernard Malamud, and Kafka, to William Gass and Martin Amis, all assembled in provocatively named groups: Fanatics, Monsters, Figures, and others. Uncompromising and brimming with insight, these essays are essential reading for anyone facing the future of literature in the digital age.

[book] Comparing Judaism and Christianity:
Common Judaism, Paul, and the
Inner and the Outer in Ancient Religion
by E. P. Sanders
Summer 2016
Few scholars have so shaped the contemporary debate on the relation of early Christianity to early Judaism as E. P. Sanders, and no one has produced a clearer or more distinctive vision of that relationship" as it was expressed in the figures of Jesus of Nazareth and Paul the apostle. Gathered for the first time within one cover, here Sanders presents formative essays that show the structure of his approach and the insights it produces into Paul's relationship to Judaism and the Jewish law. Sanders addresses matters of definition ("common Judaism," "covenantal nomism"), diversity (the Judaism of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Diaspora), and key exegetical and historical questions relative to Jesus, Paul, and Christian origins in relationship to early Judaism. These essays show a leading scholar at his most erudite as he carries forward and elaborates many of the insights that have become touchstones in New Testament interpretation.

[book] Seinfeldia
How a Show About Nothing
Changed Everything
by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
July 2016
Simon & Schuster
The hilarious behind-the-scenes story of two guys who went out for coffee and dreamed up Seinfeld—the cultural sensation that changed television and bled into the real world, altering the lives of everyone it touched.
Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly forty million Americans were tuning in weekly.
In Seinfeldia, acclaimed TV historian and entertainment writer Jennifer Keishin Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!”, Joe Davola gets questioned every day about his sanity, Kenny Kramer makes his living giving tours of New York sights from the show, and fans dress up in Jerry’s famous puffy shirt, dance like Elaine, and imagine plotlines for Seinfeld if it were still on TV.

[book] Bradstreet Gate:
A Novel
by Robin Kirman
July 2016
Kirman resides in Tel Aviv and NYC> She is a graduate of Yale and Columbia. This novel is highly rated and a tour de force about three friends affected by a campus murder, for readers of Donna Tartt, Meg Wolitzer, and Jeffrey Eugenides.
Georgia, Charlie and Alice each arrive at Harvard with hopeful visions of what the future will hold. But when, just before graduation, a classmate is found murdered on campus, they find themselves facing a cruel and unanticipated new reality. Moreover, a charismatic professor who has loomed large in their lives is suspected of the crime. Though his guilt or innocence remains uncertain, the unsettling questions raised by the case force the three friends to take a deeper look at their tangled relationship. Their bond has been defined by the secrets they’ve kept from one another—Charlie’s love and Alice’s envy, Georgia’s mysterious affair—and over the course of the next decade, as they grapple with the challenges of adulthood and witness the unraveling of a teacher's once-charmed life, they must reckon with their own deceits and shortcomings, each desperately in search of answers and the chance to be forgiven.

[book] The Burning Bush:
Writings on Jews and Judaism
by Vladimir Solovyov
Edited and Translated by Gregory Yuri Glazov
July 31, 2016
University of Notre Dame
Vladimir Solovyov, one of nineteenth-century Russia's greatest Christian philosophers, was renowned as the leading defender of Jewish civil rights in tsarist Russia in the 1880s. The Burning Bush: Writings on Jews and Judaism presents an annotated translation of Solovyov's complete oeuvre on the Jewish question, elucidating his terminology and identifying his references to persons, places, and texts, especially from biblical and rabbinic writings. Many texts are provided in English translation by Gregory Yuri Glazov for the first time, including Solovyov's obituary for Joseph Rabinovitch, a pioneer of modern Messianic Judaism, and his letter in the London Times of 1890 advocating for greater Jewish civil rights in Russia, printed alongside a similar petition by Cardinal Manning.
Glazov's introduction presents a summary of Solovyov's life, explains how the texts in this collection were chosen, and provides a survey of Russian Jewish history to help the reader understand the context and evaluate the significance of Solovyov's work. In his extensive commentary in Part II, which draws on key memoirs from family and friends, Glazov paints a rich portrait of Solovyov's encounters with Jews and Judaism and of the religious-philosophical ideas that he both brought to and derived from those encounters. The Burning Bush explains why Jews posthumously accorded Solovyov the accolade of a "righteous gentile," and why his ecumenical hopes and struggles to reconcile Judaism and Christianity and persuade secular authorities to respect conscience and religious freedom still bear prophetic vitality.

By Guenter Lewy (UMass-Amherst)
July 2016
Oxford University Press
Like every authoritarian regime in history, Nazi Germany tried to control intellectual freedom through book censorship. Between 1933 and 1945, Hitler's party orchestrated a massive campaign to take control of all forms of communication in the nation. Book burnings abounded - in 1933 alone, there were 93 book burnings in 70 German cities. Indeed, Werner Schlegel, an official in the Ministry of Propaganda, called the book burnings "a symbol of the revolution." Bookstores, libraries, and universities were pillaged, while German authors were targeted by the regime. Yet surprisingly, Nazi book censorship has been largely overlooked by modern historians.
In Harmful and Undesirable, Guenter Lewy analyzes the various strategies that the Nazis employed to enact censorship and the people, including Martin Bormann, Philipp Bouhler, Joseph Goebbels, and Alfred Rosenberg, who led the attack on intellectual life. The Propaganda Ministry played a leading role in the censorship campaign, supported by an array of organizations at both the local and state levels. Because of the many overlapping jurisdictions and organizations, censorship was disorderly and erratic.
Beyond the implementation of censorship, Lewy also describes the plight of authors, publishers, and bookstores who clashed with the Nazi regime. Some authors were imprisoned, tortured, and even killed. Meanwhile others, such as Gottfried Benn, Gerhart Hauptmann, Ernst Jünger, Jochen Klepper, and Ernst Wiechert became controversial "inner emigrants" who chose to remain in Germany and criticize the Nazi regime through allegories and parables. Ultimately, Lewy paints a fascinating portrait of intellectual life under the Nazi dictatorship, revealing the fate of those who were caught in the wheels of censorship.

[book] The Mixed-Up Truck
by Stephen Savage
July 5, 2016
Roaring Brook Press
Ages 2 - 6
It's Cement Mixer's first day on the job and he doesn't want to make any mistakes. How can he help the other trucks on the construction site? By mixing some powdery white cement, of course!
He mixes it up, adds a little water, and presto . . . a cake?! He must have mixed flour instead of cement.
Not to worry, he'll try again . . . and presto! Frosting?! He'll keep trying until he gets it just right and it's time for one more mixing: a bubble

PW writes: It’s a cement mixer’s first day on the job, and with his bright eyes and peppermint-stripe drum, he’s ready to make a good impression on the no-nonsense trucks on site. But things go downhill quickly. Told to get “some powdery white cement,” he goes first to a flour factory, then to a sugar factory, and ends up building a huge, multi-tiered frosted cake that nobody wants. Third time’s the charm, though—he gets the right white powder at the cement factory and “presto! A building!” Savage (Supertruck) creates a sunny cast of vehicular characters, and his brief text is equally upbeat, punctuated by fun repetition (“presto!” is also used ironically to herald the cement mixer’s mishaps), and a play on words involving mix-up and mixed up. It’s a sweet lesson in managing employees and seeing a job through to the end. The cement mixer’s colleagues are miffed but stay calm, even when they’re being swallowed up by pink frosting; they know the new guy will get it right eventually, and he does.

[book] Life Moves Pretty Fast:
The Lessons We Learned from
Eighties Movies (and Why We Don't
Learn Them from Movies Anymore)
by Hadley Freeman
Now In Paperback
June 2016
Simon & Schuster
From Vogue contributor and Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman, a personalized guide to eighties movies that describes why they changed movie-making forever—featuring exclusive interviews with the producers, directors, writers and stars of the best cult classics.
For Hadley Freeman, movies of the 1980s have simply got it all. Comedy in Three Men and a Baby, Hannah and Her Sisters, Ghostbusters, and Back to the Future; all a teenager needs to know in Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Say Anything, The Breakfast Club, and Mystic Pizza; the ultimate in action from Top Gun, Die Hard, Beverly Hills Cop, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; love and sex in 9 1/2 Weeks, Splash, About Last Night, The Big Chill, and Bull Durham; and family fun in The Little Mermaid, ET, Big, Parenthood, and Lean On Me.
In Life Moves Pretty Fast, Hadley puts her obsessive movie geekery to good use, detailing the decade’s key players, genres, and tropes. She looks back on a cinematic world in which bankers are invariably evil, where children are always wiser than adults, where science is embraced with an intense enthusiasm, and the future viewed with giddy excitement. And, she considers how the changes between movies then and movies today say so much about society’s changing expectations of women, young people, and art—and explains why Pretty in Pink should be put on school syllabuses immediately.
From how John Hughes discovered Molly Ringwald, to how the friendship between Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi influenced the evolution of comedy, and how Eddie Murphy made America believe that race can be transcended, this is a “highly personal, witty love letter to eighties movies, but also an intellectually vigorous, well-researched take on the changing times of the film industry” (The Guardian).

[book] Brazillionaires:
Wealth, Power, Decadence,
and Hope in an American Country
by Alex Cuadros
August 2016
Spiegel & Grau
For readers of Michael Lewis comes an engrossing tale of global financial inequality—intertwined with the story of Brazil’s wealthiest citizen, Eike Batista—that begins to answer the question: Who exactly are our new hyperwealthy plutocrats, and should we welcome or fear them?
When Bloomberg News invited the young American journalist Alex Cuadros to report on Brazil’s emerging class of billionaires at the height of the historic Brazilian boom, he was poised to cover two of the biggest business stories of our time: how the giants of the developing world were triumphantly taking their place at the center of global capitalism, and how wealth inequality was changing societies everywhere. The billionaires of Brazil and their massive fortunes resided at the very top of their country’s economic pyramid, and whether they quietly accumulated exceptional power or extravagantly displayed their decadence, they formed a potent microcosm of the world’s richest .001 percent.
Eike Batista, a flamboyant and charismatic evangelist for the country’s new gospel of wealth, epitomized much of this rarefied sphere: In 2012, Batista ranked as the eighth-richest person in the world, was famous for his marriage to a beauty queen, and was a fixture in the Brazilian press. His constantly repeated ambition was to become the world’s richest man and to bring Brazil along with him to the top.
But by 2015, Batista was bankrupt, his son Thor had been indicted for manslaughter, and Brazil—its president facing impeachment, its provinces combating an epidemic, and its business and political class torn apart by scandal—had become a cautionary tale of a country run aground by its elites.
Over the four years Cuadros was on the billionaire beat, he reported on media moguls and televangelists, energy barons and shadowy figures from the years of military dictatorship, soy barons who lived on the outskirts of the Amazon, and new-economy billionaires spinning money from speculation. He learned just how deeply they all reached into Brazilian life. They held sway over the economy, government, media, and stewardship of the environment; they determined the spiritual fates and populated the imaginations of their countrymen. Cuadros’s zealous reporting takes us from penthouses to courtrooms, from favelas to extravagant art fairs, from scenes of unimaginable wealth to desperate, massive street protests. Within a business narrative that deftly explains and dramatizes the volatility of the global economy, Cuadros offers us literary journalism with a grand sweep: a universal story of hubris and tragedy that uncovers the deeper meaning of this era of billionaires for us all.

[book] The Chosen Ones:
A Novel
by Steve Sem-Sandberg
Translated from German by Anna Paterson
August 2016
The Am Spiegelgrund clinic, in glittering Vienna, masqueraded as a well-intentioned reform school for wayward boys and girls and a home for chronically ill children. The reality, however, was very different: in the wake of Germany's annexation of Austria on the eve of World War II, its doctors, nurses, and teachers created a monstrous parody of the institution's benign-sounding brief. The Nazi regime's euthanasia program would come to determine the fate of many of the clinic's inhabitants.
Through the eyes of a child inmate, Adrian Ziegler, and a nurse, Anna Katschenka, Steve Sem-Sandberg, the author of the award-winning The Emperor of Lies, explores the very meaning of survival. An absorbing, emotionally overwhelming novel, rich in incident and character, The Chosen Ones is obliquely illuminated by the author's sharp sense of the absurd. Passionately serious, meticulously researched, and deeply profound, this extraordinary and dramatic novel bears witness to oppression and injustice, and offers invaluable and necessary insight into an intolerable chapter in Austria’s past.

[book] Company Confessions:
Secrets, Memoirs, and the CIA
by Christopher R. Moran
Foreword by Tony Mendez
August 2016
Thomas Dunne
Spies are supposed to keep quiet, never betraying their agents nor discussing their operations. Somehow, this doesn’t apply to the CIA, which routinely vets, and approves, dozens of books by former officers. Many of these memoirs command huge advances and attract enormous publicity.

Although… what if it is all fake to throw off the truth. Haha

Take Valerie Plame, the CIA officer whose identity was leaked by the Bush White House in 2003 and who reportedly received $2 million for her book Fair Game. Or former CIA director George Tenet whose 2007 memoir reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. If the CIA director is allowed to publish his story, it is little wonder that regular agents are choosing to tell theirs.
Company Confessions delves into the motivations those spies that write memoirs as well as the politics and policies of the CIA Publication Review Board. Astonishing facts include: the steps taken by the agency to counter such leaks including breaking into publishing houses, putting authors on trial, and secretly authorizing pro-agency "memoirs" to repair damage to its reputation.
Based on interviews, private correspondence, and declassified files, Christopher Moran examines why America’s spies are so happy to spill the beans and looks at the damage done when they leak the nation’s secrets.

[book] The Angel
The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel
by Uri Bar-Joseph
(University of Haifa)
August 2016
A gripping feat of reportage that exposes—for the first time in English—the sensational life and mysterious death of Ashraf Marwan, an Egyptian senior official who spied for Israel, offering new insight into the turbulent modern history of the Middle East.
As the son-in-law of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and a close advisor to his successor, Anwar Sadat, Ashraf Marwan had access to the deepest secrets of the country’s government. But Marwan himself had a secret: He was a spy for the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service. Under the codename “The Angel,” Marwan turned Egypt into an open book for the Israeli intelligence services—and, by alerting the Mossad in advance of the joint Egyptian-Syrian attack on Yom Kippur, saved Israel from a devastating defeat.
Drawing on meticulous research and interviews with many key participants, Uri Bar Joseph pieces together Marwan’s story. In the process, he sheds new light on this volatile time in modern Egyptian and Middle Eastern history, culminating in 2011’s Arab Spring. The Angel also chronicles the discord within the Israeli government that brought down Prime Minister Golda Meir.
However, this nail-biting narrative doesn’t end with Israel’s victory in the Yom Kippur War. Marwan eluded Egypt’s ruthless secret services for many years, but then somebody talked. Five years later, in 2007, his body was found in the garden of his London apartment building. Police suspected he had been thrown from his fifth-floor balcony, and thanks to explosive new evidence, Bar-Joseph can finally reveal who, how, and why.

[book] The Senility of Vladimir P.
A Novel
by Michael Honig
August 2016
A biting satire of a particular despot and a deeply humane allegory of the fragility of goodness and the contagion of unchecked power.
Set twenty-odd years from now, it opens on Patient Number One-Vladimir Putin, largely forgotten in his presidential dacha, serviced by a small coterie of house staff, drifting in and out of his memories of the past. His nurse, charged with the twenty-four-hour care of his patient, is blissfully unaware that his colleagues are using their various positions to skim money, in extraordinarily creative ways, from the top of their employer’s seemingly inexhaustible riches. But when a family tragedy means that the nurse suddenly needs to find a fantastical sum of money fast, the dacha’s chef lets him in on the secret world of backhanders and bribes going on around him, and opens his eyes to a brewing war between the staff and the new housekeeper, the ruthless new sheriff in town.
A brilliantly cast modern-day Animal Farm, The Senility of Vladimir P. is a coruscating political fable that shows, through an honest man slipping his ethical moorings, how Putin has not only bankrupted his nation economically, but has also diminished it culturally and spiritually. It is angry, funny, page-turning, and surprisingly moving.

[book] The English Teacher
A Novel
by Yiftach Reicher Atir
Translated by Philip Simpson
August 30, 2016
For readers of John Le Carré and viewers of Homeland, a slow-burning psychological spy-thriller by a former brigadier general of intelligence in the Israeli army
After attending her father’s funeral, former Mossad agent Rachel Goldschmitt empties her bank account and disappears. But when she makes a cryptic phone call to her former handler, Ehud, the Mossad sends him to track her down. Finding no leads, he must retrace her career as a spy to figure out why she abandoned Mossad before she can do any damage to Israel. But he soon discovers that after living under cover for so long, an agent’s assumed identity and her real one can blur, catching loyalty, love, and truth between them. In the midst of a high-risk, high-stakes investigation, Ehud begins to question whether he ever knew his agent at all.
In The English Teacher, Yiftach R. Atir drew on his own experience in intelligence to weave a psychologically nuanced thriller that explores the pressures of living under an assumed identity for months at a time.
Yiftach Reicher Atir was born in 1949 on Kibbutz Shoval, in the south of Israel. As a young commando officer, he participated in Operation Entebbe and other military and intelligence operations before retirement with the rank of Brigadier General (Intelligence). The English Teacher is his third novel.

[book] Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law
by Rabbi Ethan Tucker and
Rabbi Micha'el Rosenberg
September 14, 2016
URIM Publications
As gender equality has spread throughout society, including its religiously observant sectors, traditional communities turn to their guiding sources to re-examine old questions. This book opens the reader’s eyes to the wealth of Jewish legal material surrounding gender and prayer, with a particular focus on who can lead the prayers in a traditional service and who can constitute the communal quorum—or minyan—that they require. With honesty, transparency, and rigor, Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law is a powerful resource for grappling with these complex questions. The authors not only explore this specific issue in depth, but they also model how we can mine the Jewish legal tradition for its underlying values, enabling its complex sources to serve as effective guides for contemporary communal decision-making.

[book] HERE I AM
By Jonathan Safran Foer
September 6, 2016
Not since his book on prostates; Everything Is Illuminated; and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has a book been so interesting.

In the book of Genesis, when God calls out, “Abraham!” before ordering him to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham responds, “Here I am.” Later, when Isaac calls out, “My father!” before asking him why there is no animal to slaughter, Abraham responds, “Here I am.”

How do we fulfill our conflicting duties as father, husband, and son; wife and mother; child and adult? Jew and American? How can we claim our own identities when our lives are linked so closely to others’? These are the questions at the heart of Jonathan Safran Foer’s first novel in eleven years--a work of extraordinary scope and heartbreaking intimacy.

Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks in present-day Washington, D.C. (where Foer is from), “Here I Am” is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis (Foer went through a divorce). As Jacob and Julia and their three sons (Foer is one of 3 sons) are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East. Israel is in peril. At stake is the very meaning of home--and the fundamental question of how much aliveness one can bear.

Showcasing the same high-energy inventiveness, hilarious irreverence, and emotional urgency that readers and critics loved in his earlier work, Here I Am is Foer’s most searching, hard-hitting, and grandly entertaining novel yet. It not only confirms Foer’s stature as a dazzling literary talent but reveals a mature novelist who has fully come into his own as one of the most important writers of his generation.

[book] The Gefilte Manifesto
New Recipes for
Old World Jewish Foods
by Jeffrey Yoskowitz and Liz Alpern
September 13, 2016
Flatiron Books
The founders of the world-famous Gefilteria revitalize beloved old-world foods with ingenious new approaches in their debut cookbook.
Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz are on a mission to reclaim and revolutionize Ashkenazi cuisine. Combining the inventive spirit of a new generation and respect for their culinary tradition, they present more than a hundred recipes pulled deep from the kitchens of Eastern Europe and the diaspora community of North America. Their recipes highlight the best of Ashkenazi home and storefront cuisine, tapping into the enduring Jewish values of resourcefulness and seasonality.
Drawing inspiration from aromatic Jewish bakeries (Classic Challah with a Marble Rye Twist, Seeded Honey Rye Pull-Apart Rolls), neighborhood delis (Home-Cured Corned Beef and Pastrami, Rustic Matzo Balls, and Old World Stuffed Gefilte Fish), old-fashioned pickle shops (Crisp Garlic Dilly Beans, Ashkenazi Kimchi), and, of course, their own childhood kitchens, Yoskowitz and Alpern rediscover old-world food traditions, helping you bring simple and comforting recipes into your home.
Dishes like Spiced Blueberry Soup, Kasha Varnishkes with Brussels Sprouts, and Sweet Lokshen Kugel with Plums celebrate flavors passed down from generation to generation in recipes reimagined for the contemporary kitchen. Other recipes take a playful approach to the Old World, like Fried Sour Pickles with Garlic Aioli and Sour Dill Martinis. The Gefilte Manifesto is more than a cookbook. It’s a call to action, a reclamation of time-honored techniques and ingredients, from the mind-blowingly easy Classic Sour Dill Pickles to the Crispy Honey-Glazed Chicken with Tsimmes. Make a stand. Cook the Manifesto. The results are radically delicious.

[book] Aphrodite and the Rabbis:
How the Jews Adapted Roman Culture
to Create Judaism As We Know It
by Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky
September 13, 2016
St. Martin’s Books
I knew that the seder is modeled on a Roman/Greco banquet/symposium (but no slave, no vomitorium), but is there more?

Professor Visotzky teaches us that The Talmud rabbis presented themselves as Stoic philosophers; Synagogue buildings were modeled on Roman basilicas; Hellenistic rhetoric professors educated sons of well-to-do Jews; Zeus-Helios is depicted in synagogue mosaics across ancient Israel; The Jewish courts were named after the Roman political institution, the Sanhedrin; and In Israel there were synagogues where the prayers were recited in ancient Greek.

Historians have long debated the (re)birth of Judaism in the wake of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple cult by the Romans in 70 CE. What replaced that sacrificial cult was at once something new–indebted to the very culture of the Roman overlords–even as it also sought to preserve what little it could of the old Israelite religion. The Greco-Roman culture in which rabbinic Judaism grew in the first five centuries of the Common Era nurtured the development of Judaism as we still know and celebrate it today.

Arguing that its transformation from a Jerusalem-centered cult to a world religion was made possible by the Roman Empire, Rabbi Burton Visotzky presents Judaism as a distinctly Roman religion. Full of fascinating detail from the daily life and culture of Jewish communities across the Hellenistic world, Aphrodite and the Rabbis will appeal to anyone interested in the development of Judaism, religion, history, art and architecture.
BURTON L. VISOTZKY is Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

By Susan Tarcov
Illustrated by Ana Ochoa
Ages 4–9. PreK-3
It's a sunny fall day in Maya's neighborhood, and all her neighbors are busy with outdoor activities. But Maya learns that today is Shemini Atzeret, when the Jewish community prays for rain, which puts her in a quandary. Will her neighbor's plans be ruined? Maya rushes to warn them about the rain. Her rabbi explains though, that she need not worry…

[book] Sky-High Sukkah
by Rachel Packer
Illustrated by Deborah Zemke
August 2016
Apples and Honey Press
Leah lives high up in an apartment building overlooking the city, and dreams of having a sukkah of her own. But there is no place to build it. With some help from the neighbors, Leah and her friend Ari find a way to have their own sukkah on the roof.
An author s note at the end explores the Jewish value of kehilla, community, and invites children to think about why kehilla is important and what activities they can do to build kehilla.

By Tracy Newman
Illustrated by Viviana Garofoli
Ages 1-4.
A sweet board book
A family celebrates
The geese call
As golden leaves fall
Lots of counds as
they make their challot round

[book] Yosef's Dream
by Sylvia Rouss
Illustrated by Tamar Blumenfeld
Apples and Honey Press
Behrman House
Now a young man in Israel, Yosef remembers his past in Ethiopia, and the dream he had as a child, in which he was given a choice. Should he climb mountains with Gazelle, never belonging anywhere? Hide in the shadows, with Hyena? Or grab hold of Eagle s wings and be taken far, far away? Yosef chooses the last, along with his family to fly to Israel, the land of their ancestors fulfilling their long-held dream.
An author s note provides background about the Jews of Ethiopia and the 1991 rescue mission, called Operation Solomon, in which 14,000 Ethiopian Jews were flown to Israel.

By Joel Edward Stein
Illustrated by Elisa Vavouri
Ages 3-8.
Misha, a poor artist, has no one to celebrate Hanukkah with until he discovers a hungry cat in his barn. The lucky little cat, whom Misha names Mazel, inspires Misha to turn each night of Hanukkah into something special. He doesn't have money for Hanukkah candles, but he can use his artistic skills to bring light to his home - as Mazel brings good luck to his life.

[book] Babel
by Marc Lumer, Chaim Burston
and DovBer Naiditch
Apples and Honey Press
Where do children play tower games with tower pieces, wear tower hats and eat tower cakes? In the city of Babel, of course! There, the people are building a tower that will reach up to the heavens. The tower is the most important thing in the world to them. But what will happen when they realize that a tower is just tower? In this contemporary retelling of the biblical Tower of Babel story, the people of Babel are presented though the lens of a very relatable family and their neighborhood. Illustrated with a fantastic attention to detail, each corner of the city and tower are filled with new discoveries that will delight every reader.

By Susan Schnur and Anna Schnur-Fishman
Illustrated by Alex Steele-Morgan
Ages 5-9.
Annie leads her family on a nighttime journey around their farm to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah. At each stop along the way Annie uses riddles (and potatoes) to mark old traditions and start new ones. At each stop along the way (the Old log, Squeezy Cave, Billy Goat Bridge… Annie shares a riddle. At Turtle Rock Creek, they give thanks for the light, warmth, and potaoes, and for each other

By Leslea Newman
Illustrated by Amy Husband
Ages 1-4.
Bunnies and their friends celebrate Hanukkah in a rhyming board book describing many rituals of the holiday, like chocolate gelt and dreidels.

[book] Avi the Ambulance to the Rescue
by Claudia Carlson
Illustrated by CB Decker
Apples and Honey Press
he second book in the Avi the Ambulance series!
Avi want to help people like the other rescue vehicles, such as Hila the helicopter and Motti the medicycle. But his Mom, the command car, has assigned him and his medic Zach to restock supplies. But along the way to delivering them, there is an emergency...and it is Avi to the rescue! Our favorite ambulance gets to help someone that he never expected would need him.
The story touches on several Jewish values, including caring for animals, Tza'ar Baalei Chaim, (yes, that someone Avi helps is a cute cat named Yoffi!) and helping the injured, P’ikuach Nefesh,..

[book] L’DOR VADOR
By Judy Freeman
Ages 6 and up
A keepsake collection of beautiful black-and-white coloring pages for parents, children and grandparents to color together and share, featuring Hebrew letters and Judaica images by well-known ketubah artist Judy Freeman. Lay-flat binding for easy coloring.

By Eric A. Kimmel
Illustrated by Maria Surducan
Ages 4 – 9
A mysterious soldier appears at the door hands Gabriel a tarnished horn. As the years go by, Gabriel's family prospers and they, in turn, help their neighbors. Could their good luck have something to do with the horn?

[book] Little Red Rosie
by Eric Kimmel
Illustrated by Monica Gutierrez
Apples and Honey Press
In this playful version of The Little Red Hen, a young girl enlists her animal friends to help make the challah for Rosh Hashanah. With humorous, lively illustrations, this story captures the values of imagination, responsibility, and welcoming guests.

By Meryl G. Gordon
Illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown
Ages 4-9
Emma can't wait for her cousin Hannah's wedding. She's going to be the flower girl. That means she'll wear a celery dress and walk down the aisle with the ring bear, leading the way for the happy bride and groom. Or at least, that's what Emma assumes. But nothing turns out to be quite what she's expecting (cuz it is another bride).

[book] Oy Vey, Life in a Shoe
by Bonnie Grubman
Illustrated by Dave Mottram
Apples and Honey Press
Follow Lou as he appeals to the Rabbi for answers on how to solve his overcrowding problem!
A contemporary mash-up of the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe with the traditional Jewish folktale about a family getting unexpected wisdom from the Rabbi, this high-energy adventure is chock-full of animals, kids, humor, whimsy and silliness. Mottram s illustrations add another level of fun as the animals wear Lou s glasses, gnaw on the furniture, and add to the clutter and mischief.
A laugh-out-loud romp, this tale serves as a fun reminder that sometimes things have to go from bad to worse, before you realize they were wonderful all along!

By Sylvia A. Rouss
Illustrated by Katherine Janus Kahn
Ages 4-9
Josh's cousin Ben is having his bar mitzvah, and Sammy Spider ends up coming along! He gets a view of the Torah readings, the blessings . . . and one tradition that gets this silly little spider into even more trouble than usual.
(Can you throw a spider instead of hard candy??)

Why do they make grandmother’s look like they are over 70, when most grandmother’s I know are in their mid fifties?
[book] Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup
By Pamela Mayer
Illustrated by Deborah Melman
Ages 4-9
Two grandmas. Two delicious recipes. Sophie loves Bubbe's Jewish chicken soup, made with kreplach. She also loves Nai Nai's Chinese chicken soup, with wonton. But don't tell Bubbe and Nai Nai that their soups are the same!

[book] The Cricket and the Ant
A Shabbat Story
By Naomi Ben-Gur
Illustrated by Shahar Kober
Ages 3-8
The fun-loving Cricket neglects his Shabbat tasks while the industrious Ant does hers, but Cricket surprises her by coming to the rescue just in time to save her Shabbat celebration. Originally published in Hebrew

By Becky LAFF
Ages 5-9
Joseph is his father's favorite son, and he has amazing dreams unlike anyone else's. But when Joseph's jealous brothers decide enough is enough, Joseph finds himself a prisoner in a foreign land, where he must draw strength from within. The well-known Bible story told in graphic novel format!

Classic Breads from Europe and America
by Stanley Ginsberg
(The New York Bakers)
September 27, 2016
To many Americans, rye bread is a bland, store-bought loaf with an oval cross-section and, sometimes, a sprinkling of caraway. But true rye bread? the kind that stands at the center of northern and eastern European food culture?is so much more. In The Rye Baker, Stanley Ginsberg brings this overlooked grain into the culinary limelight, introducing readers to the rich and unimaginably diverse world of rye bread.
Readers will find more than 70 classic recipes that span rye’s regions and terroir, from dark, intense Russian Borodinsky and orange-infused Swedish Gotland Rye to near-black Westphalian Pumpernickel (which gets its musky sweetness from a 24-hour bake), Spiced Honey Rye from France’s Auvergne, and the rye breads of America’s melting-pot, such as Boston Brown Bread and Old Milwaukee Rye. Chapters detailing rye’s history, unique chemistry, and centuries-old baking methods round out The Rye Baker, making it the definitive resource for professional and home bakers alike.

[book] Two She-Bears
A Novel
by Meir Shalev
Translated from Hebrew by Stuart Schoffman
September 13, 2016
One of Israel's most celebrated novelists—the acclaimed author of A Pigeon and a Boy — now gives us a story of village love and vengeance in the early days of British Palestine that is still being played out two generations later.

“In the year 1930, three farmers committed suicide here . . . but contrary to the chronicles of our committee and the conclusions of the British policeman, the people of the moshava knew that only two of the suicides had actually taken their own lives, whereas the third suicide had been murdered.” This is the contention of Ruta Tavori, a high school teacher and independent thinker in this small farming community, writing seventy years later about that murder and about two charismatic men she loves and is trying to forgive—her grandfather and her husband—and her son, whom she mourns and misses. In a story rich with the grit, humor, and near-magical evocation of Israeli rural life for which Meir Shalev is beloved by readers, Ruta weaves a tale of friendship between men, of love and betrayal, that carries us from British Palestine to present-day Israel, where forgiveness, atonement, and understanding can finally happen.

[book] Selling Hitler
Propaganda and the Nazi Brand
by Nicholas O'Shaughnessy
September 2016
Hitler was one of the few politicians who understood that persuasion was everything, deployed to anchor an entire regime in the confections of imagery, rhetoric and dramaturgy. The Nazis pursued propaganda not just as a tool, an instrument of government, but also as the totality, the raison d'être, the medium through which power itself was exercised. Moreover, Nicholas O'Shaughnessy argues, Hitler, not Goebbels, was the prime mover in the propaganda regime of the Third Reich - its editor and first author.

Under the Reich everything was a propaganda medium, a building-block of public consciousness, from typography to communiqués, to architecture, to weapons design. There were groups to initiate rumours and groups to spread graffiti. Everything could be interrogated for its propaganda potential, every surface inscribed with polemical meaning, whether an enemy city's name, an historical epic or the poster on a neighbourhood wall. But Hitler was in no sense an innovator - his ideas were always second-hand.
Rather his expertise was as a packager, fashioning from the accumulated mass of icons and ideas, the historic debris, the labyrinths and byways of the German mind, a modern and brilliant political show articulated through deftly managed symbols and rituals. The Reich would have been unthinkable without propaganda - it would not have been the Reich.

[book] A Hat for Mrs. Goldman:
A Story About Knitting and Love
by Michelle Edwards
Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
October 2016
Schwartz and Wade
Here’s a heartwarming winter picture book that’s sure to appeal to families who love knitting.
Mrs. Goldman always knits hats for everyone in the neighborhood, and Sophia, who thinks knitting is too hard, helps by making the pom-poms. But now winter is here, and Mrs. Goldman herself doesn’t have a hat—she’s too busy making hats for everyone else! It’s up to Sophia to buckle down and knit a hat for Mrs. Goldman. But try as Sophia might, the hat turns out lumpy, the stitches aren’t even, and there are holes where there shouldn’t be holes. Sophia is devastated until she gets an idea that will make Mrs. Goldman’s hat the most wonderful of all. Readers both young and old will relate to Sophia’s frustrations, as well as her delight in making something special for someone she loves.
A knitting pattern is included in the back of the book.

[book] My Brother's Keeper:
Christians Who Risked All to
Protect Jewish Targets of the Nazi Holocaust
by Rod Gragg (Coastal Carolina)
October 2016

Thirty captivating profiles of Christians who risked everything to rescue their Jewish neighbors from Nazi terror during the Holocaust.
MY BROTHER'S KEEPER unfolds powerful stories of Christians from across denominations who gave everything they had to save the Jewish people from the evils of the Holocaust. This unlikely group of believers, later honored by the nation of Israel as "The Righteous Among the Nations," includes ordinary teenage girls, pastors, priests, a German army officer, a former Italian fascist, an international spy, and even a princess.
In one gripping profile after another, these extraordinary historical accounts offer stories of steadfast believers who together helped thousands of Jewish individuals and families to safety. Many of these everyday heroes perished alongside the very people they were trying to protect. There is no doubt that all of their stories showcase the best of humanity--even in the face of unthinkable evil.

By Jonathan Raab
October 2016
It grabbed me from the first page
A moving novel about a Holocaust survivor's unconventional journey back to a new normal in 1940s Savannah, Georgia.
Think Driving Miss Daisy meets survivorship.
In late summer 1947, two years after the end of WWII, 31 year old Yitzhak Goldah, a Nazi death camp survivor, arrives in Savannah, Georgia at the train station to live with his only remaining relatives. They are Abe and Pearl Jesler, older, childless, and an integral part of the thriving Jewish and commercial community that has been in Georgia since the founding of the colony.
Abe drives Yitzhak to their home, but first shows off the Jewish owned stores as well as his. Black workers are fixing up the front.
In Savannah, Yitzhak discovers a fractured world, where Reform and Conservative Jews live separate lives -- distinctions, to him, that are meaningless given what he has been through. He further complicates things when, much to the Jeslers' dismay, he falls in love with Eva, a young widow within the Reform community. Then, when a woman from Yitzhak's past suddenly appears -- one who is even more shattered by the Holocaust than he is -- Yitzhak must choose between a dark and tortured familiarity and the promise of a bright new life (Didn’t IB Singer have a book like this?).
Set amid the backdrop of America's postwar (and civil rights) South, AMONG THE LIVING (or Among the Loving) grapples with questions of identity and belonging, and steps beyond the Jewish experience as it situates Yitzhak's story during the last gasp of the Jim Crow era.
Yitzhak begins to find echoes of his own experience in the lives of the black family who work for the Jeslers--an affinity he does not share with the Jeslers themselves. This realization both surprises and convinces Yitzhak that his choices are not as clear-cut as he might have thought.

Recipes from the Culinary Heart of China
By Fuchsia Dunlop
October 2016
Most American and Israeli Jews are familiar with Szechuan, Hunan, Mongolian, and Cantonese/HK cuisines of China. But few known Jiangnan. And even fewer know the coastal cuisine where Technion is building a Chinese campus.
Dunlop’s book is a good introduction.
The lower Yangtze region, or JIANGNAN, with its modern capital Shanghai, has been known since ancient times as a “land of fish and rice.” For centuries, local cooks have harvested the bounty of its lakes, rivers, fields, and mountains to create a cuisine renowned for its delicacy and beauty. In Land of Fish and Rice, Fuchsia Dunlop draws on years of study and exploration to present the recipes, techniques, and ingredients of the Jiangnan kitchen.
You will be inspired to try classic dishes such as Beggar’s Chicken and Clear-Steamed Sea Bass and Fresh Soybeans with Pickled Greens. Evocatively written and featuring stunning recipe photography, this is an important new work celebrating one of China’s most fascinating culinary regions

Fellini, Loren, Pucci,
Paparazzi, and the Swingin High Life
Of 1950’s Rome
By Shawn Levy
October 2016
From Penn grad, author, and former film critic for The Oregonian, comes a romp through the worlds where fashion, film, art, vespas, post-War journalism, and food intersected. In the 1950s, Rome rose from the ashes of World War II to become a movable feast for film, fashion, creative energy, tabloid media, and bold-faced libertinism that made “Italian” a global synonym for taste, style, and flair. Old money, new stars, fast cars, wanton libidos, and brazen news photographers created a way of life captured and exposed in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. Rome was a playground for film stars (Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Ava Gardner, Sophia Loren), fashionistas, exiles, moguls, and martyrs, all of whom wanted a chance to experience and indulge in the sweet life. It became one of the great cultural capitals of the world?with more than just a trace of the city of the Caesars or the Borgias. Dolce Vita Confidential re-creates Rome’s stunning ascent with vivid and compelling tales of its glitterati and artists, down to every last outrageous detail of the city’s magnificent transformation. Shawn is author of Rat Pack Confidential.

[book] Have I Got a Story for You
More Than a Century of Fiction
from the Forward
Edited by Ezra Glinter
Intro by Dara Horn
November 1, 2016
Forty-two stories from America’s most famous Yiddish newspaper, published in English for the first time.
The Forward is the most renowned Yiddish newspaper in the world. It welcomed generations of immigrants to the United States, brought them news of Europe and the Middle East, and provided them with everything from comic strips to noodle kugel recipes. It also published some of the most acclaimed Yiddish fiction writers of all time, including Nobel Prize laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer, Forward editor Abraham Cahan, and novelists Sholem Asch and Chaim Grade. Ezra Glinter and the Forward staff have combed through the archives to find the best stories published during the newspaper’s 120-year history, from wartime novellas to avant-garde fiction to satirical sketches about immigrant life in New York. These stories, now in English for the first time, expressed the concerns of Yiddish writers and their millions of readers, including the challenges of immigration, both World Wars, and changing forms of Jewish identity.

[book] Where Memory Leads:
My Life
by Professor Saul Friedländer
November 8, 2016
Other Press
Imagine decided to embark on a memory when you have a Senior moment and cant remember the Hebrew for eggplant salad while in a Paris hotel…

A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian's return to memoir, a tale of intellectual coming-of-age on three continents, published in tandem with his classic work of Holocaust literature, When Memory Comes
Forty years after his acclaimed, poignant first memoir, Friedländer returns with WHEN MEMORY COMES: THE LATER YEARS, bridging the gap between the ordeals of his childhood and his present-day towering reputation in the field of Holocaust studies. After abandoning his youthful conversion to Catholicism, he rediscovers his Jewish roots as a teenager and builds a new life in Israeli politics.
Friedländer's initial loyalty to Israel turns into a lifelong fascination with Jewish life and history. He struggles to process the ubiquitous effects of European anti-Semitism while searching for a more measured approach to the Zionism that surrounds him. Friedländer goes on to spend his adulthood shuttling between Israel, Europe, and the United States, armed with his talent for language and an expansive intellect. His prestige inevitably throws him up against other intellectual heavyweights. In his early years in Israel, he rubs shoulders with the architects of the fledgling state and brilliant minds such as Gershom Scholem and Carlo Ginzburg, among others.
Most importantly, this memoir led Friedländer to reflect on the wrenching events that induced him to devote sixteen years of his life to writing his Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945.

QUESTION: Dear – I heard that the It Get’s Better campaign will be a book. Will it be a Jewish book?

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

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


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



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