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Welcome to MyJewishBooks.com Spring 2020 Suggestions



NOTE: THIS PAGE IS BEST VIEWED IN FIREFOX AND NOT CHROME, Temporarily


SOME SPRING 2020 BOOK READINGS


Nearly all in person book readings are postponed.
But if we hear of ZOOM one and other online readings, we will let you know
If any authors want to create one with us, p=let us know






[book] THE PASSOVER MOUSE
by Joy Nelkin Wieder,
Shahar Kober (Illustrator)
January 28, 2020
Doubleday Books for Young Readers
Ages 3-7

The Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Pesachim, there is a discussion of what is a mouse, black or white, brings hametz into a house on erev Pesach...

In this charming and witty Passover story about kindness, community, tradition, and forgiveness, a white mouse disrupts a town's preparations for the holiday when it snatches a piece of leavened bread--or chometz--just as all the houses have been swept clean in time for the holiday.

It's the morning before the start of Passover, and all the villagers have swept their homes clean of leavened bread, in keeping with the traditions of the holiday. Suddenly, a small mouse steals a piece of bread and scampers through the town, spoiling everyone's hard work. But just when it seems as if the townsfolk will never be ready for their Seder, the little mouse's actions unwittingly bring everyone together, to work as a group to save the holiday.

Jewish families at Passover will embrace this rollicking, funny, and ultimately inspiring story--based on an original tale from the Talmud--that weaves together the themes of community, kindness, charity, and forgiveness. It's sure to become a modern holiday classic that's shared year after year among the generations. An afterword discusses the story from the Talmud that the author used as her inspiration and includes a glossary of terms that will be useful to young readers.






















[book] WELCOMING ELIJAH
A PASSOVER TALE WITH A TAIL
By Leslea Newman
Illus Susan Gal
January 28, 2020
Charlesbridge
Ages 5-8

Celebrated author Lesléa Newman unites a young boy and a stray kitten in a warm, lyrical story about Passover, family, and friendship.

Inside, a boy and his family sit around the dinner table to embrace the many traditions of their Passover Seder around the dinner table. Outside, a cat wonders, hungry and alone. When it's time for the symbolic Passover custom of opening the family's front door for the prophet Elijah, both the boy and the cat are in for a remarkable surprise.





















[book] MIRIAM AT THE RIVER
BY JANE YOLEN
Illus. By Khoe Le
February 4, 2020
Kar Ben
Ages 5-9

The biblical story of baby Moses as told by his big sister.

Giving her baby brother a kiss, brave little Miriam places Moses's basket into the river. With one quick push, she sends him into the water, hoping her wish will come true and her brother will be saved from Pharaoh's orders. But will Pharaoh's daughter arrive in time to rescue him?





















[book] The Promise of the Land: A Passover
Haggadah Paperback
by Ellen Bernstein
Galia Goodman (Illustrator)
February 2020
Berman House

Ellen Bernstein is the founder of Shomrei Adamah, the first national Jewish environmental organization. She is also the author of Ecology and the Jewish Spirit and The Splendor of Creation, and coauthor of Let the Earth Teach You Torah. She lives in Holyoke, MA.
Beautiful. ...Will reopen the wonder of Passover, adding a deep layer of connection to the planet that makes the old rituals new for the 21st century. ---Bill Mckibben, Co-founder of 350.org, Author of Falter: Has the Human Game begun to Play Itself Out?
Magnificent. ...An extraordinary contribution to the 21st century Jewish community. -Ruth Messinger, Global Ambassador for American Jewish World Service
This Passover, celebrate both our freedom and the role of nature in the seder and in our lives.

From the unassuming matzah that reveals the simplicity of earth, wheat, and water, to the first fruits of the soil that the Israelites offered in gratitude, the earth has always been at the center of who we are as a people.

Passover marks the Jewish people's liberation from slavery in Egypt and the coming of spring. Yet it is also a story about land and the natural world. All our biblical holidays - Passover included - originally commemorated the agrarian and pastoral soil out of which Judaism grew.

Our well-being and our freedom ultimately depend on the earth's well-being. This haggadah seeks to reveal the seder's ecological dimensions and awaken its environmental meaning.

Original and fascinating. ...A knowledgeable and heartfelt piece of work. Includes traditional liturgy with beautiful translations and wide-ranging commentary. -Rabbi Jill Hammer, Author of the Jewish Book of Days, A Companion for all Seasons































[book] The Passover Haggadah:
An Ancient Story for Modern Times
by Alana Newhouse
Tablet magazine
2020
Artisan

Each generation is called to perform a Passover Seder, a ritual designed to help us imagine personally experiencing the exodus from Egypt. But how can we do this together, when today our tables include people of different backgrounds, knowledge, and beliefs? Let this Passover Haggadah be your guide.

Both proudly traditional and blazingly modern, it is a perfect blueprint for remembering the past, living in our present, and imagining the future. Here you’ll find the entirety of the Seder text for those who don’t want to miss a thing—including Hebrew, English, and a newly developed transliteration that makes the Hebrew surprisingly accessible. And, alongside, contemporary questions, illustrations, and meditations on freedom, community, destiny, and other topics that will engage the whole group in a lively and memorable discussion, especially once you’ve started in on those obligatory four cups of wine.





























[book] Koren Youth Haggada,
Magerman Edition
(Hebrew and English Edition)
by Dr. Daniel Rose
March 1, 2020
Koren Publishers

The Koren Magerman Youth Haggada fills a unique space in this vibrant and populous market, being designed and written to speak directly to the child in appropriate and engaging language. Part of the Koren Magerman Educational Series, it's design is based on the widely used Koren Magerman Youth Siddur. It too is beautifully illustrated with educational illustrations that form their own commentary, as well as stories, quotes, questions, and reflections to engage the child and encourage connection to the haggada text.

Educational features of the Koren Magerman Youth Haggadah: The full haggada text in easy-to-read educationally typeset design. An age-appropriate adapted translation of the Hebrew text. Clear instructions for the ritual contained in the Seder night, written in age-appropriate language.

Educational illustrations using powerful imagery to explore the themes from the haggada text. An icon navigation bar to orientate the user within the structure of the Seder service. An 'experience' to have on every page to keep the child active and engaged and deepen the experiential theme of the Seder night. Reflection text: Quotes and stories that explore a theme from the haggada text. A question on every page, replicating the educational style of asking questions found in the haggada. Educator's Guide available on publishers website.

Daniel has a BA from the London School of Jewish Studies in Jewish Studies, a Master’s in Religious Education from University College London’s Institute of Education, and received a Ph.D. from the Melton Center, Hebrew University, in Education. He also studied for two years in Yeshivat HaMivtar in Israel.

























APRIL 2020 BOOKS



[book] The War of Return:
How Western Indulgence of
the Palestinian Dream Has
Obstructed the Path to Peace
by Adi Schwartz (Haaretz) and
Einat Wilf (she is a former MK, Labour Pty)
April 28, 2020
All Points Books
St Martin's Press

Two prominent Israeli liberals argue that for the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians to end with peace, Palestinians must come to terms with the fact that there will be no "right of return."
AND THESE ARE LIBERALS

In 1948, 700,000 Palestinians were forced out of their homes by the first Arab-Israeli War. More than 70 years later, most of their houses are long gone, but millions of their descendants are still registered as refugees, with many living in refugee camps. This group - unlike countless others that were displaced in the aftermath of World War II and other conflicts - has remained unsettled, demanding to settle in the State of Israel. Their belief in a "right of return" is one of the largest obstacles to successful diplomacy and lasting peace in the region.

In The War of Return, Adi Schwartz and Einat Wilf-both liberal Israelis supportive of a two-state solution-reveal the origins of the idea of a right of return, and explain how UNRWA - the very agency charged with finding a solution for the refugees - gave in to Palestinian, Arab and international political pressure to create a permanent “refugee” problem. They argue that this Palestinian demand for a “right of return” has no legal or moral basis and make an impassioned plea for the US, the UN, and the EU to recognize this fact, for the good of Israelis and Palestinians alike.

A runaway bestseller in Israel, the first English translation of The War of Return is certain to spark lively debate throughout America and abroad.






















[book] The Inevitability of Tragedy:
Henry Kissinger and His World
by Barry Gewen
April 28, 2020
WW Norton

A new portrait of Henry Kissinger focusing on the fundamental ideas underlying his policies: Realism, balance of power, and national interest. Harvard professor, teacher of world leaders, opener of China, warmaker, peacemaker, Nobel Prize recipient, Secretary of State, geopolitical realpolitik mastermind, National Book Award winner, honored foe, prolific consultant and author. You won't hear about his marriage, dates, women. You will read about his intellectual heroes. Some find his to be our century's political genius. Some think he is a war criminal. Other find it interesting that a favorite anecdote of his is... “In 1642, when Cardinal Richelieu died, Pope Urban VIII supposedly said: “If there is a God, Cardinal de Richelieu will have much to answer for. If not… well, he had a successful life.”

I once shook Kissinger's hand. In 1992. On Manhattan's Upepr West Side. I can still feel it. His was a giant fleshy hand. And I once saw this book's author ambling down Broadway, just a few blocks from the handshake. Gwen creates a portraits that I am so glad I read. It helps me to understand Kissinger and his time. It makes me yearn for a time when there were rational leaders with long term plans, wizards of chess-like diplomatic moves.



Few public officials have provoked such intense controversy as Henry Kissinger. During his time in the Nixon and Ford administrations, he came to be admired and hated in equal measure. Notoriously, he believed that foreign affairs ought to be based primarily on the power relationships of a situation, not simply on ethics. He went so far as to argue that under certain circumstances America had to protect its national interests even if that meant repressing other countries’ attempts at democracy. For this reason, many today on both the right and left dismiss him as a latter-day Machiavelli, ignoring the breadth and complexity of his thought.

With The Inevitability of Tragedy, Barry Gewen corrects this shallow view, presenting the fascinating story of Kissinger’s development as both a strategist and an intellectual and examining his unique role in government through his ideas. This book analyzes his contentious policies in Vietnam and Chile, guided by a fresh understanding of his definition of Realism, the belief that world politics is based on an inevitable, tragic competition for power.

Crucially, Gewen places Kissinger’s pessimistic thought in a European context. He considers how Kissinger was deeply impacted by his experience as a refugee from Nazi Germany, and explores the links between his notions of power and those of his mentor, Hans Morgenthau-the father of Realism-as well as those of two other German-Jewish émigrés who shared his concerns about the weaknesses of democracy: Leo Strauss and Hannah Arendt.

The Inevitability of Tragedy offers a thoughtful perspective on the origins of Kissinger’s sober worldview and argues that a reconsideration of his career is essential at a time when American foreign policy lacks direction.






















[book] Unorthodox:
The Scandalous Rejection
of My Hasidic Roots
by Deborah Feldman
Simon and Schuster reprint

Unorthodox – the book – is the basis for the popular Netflix, 4.5 episode series of the sames name. The Netflix series is LOOSELY based on this book. This memoir is of a young Jewish woman who decides to escape from the Ultra Orthodox Hasidic sect. This features a new updated epilogue by the author.

The book cover – : “As a member of the strictly religious Satmar sect of Hasidic Judaism, Deborah Feldman grew up under a code of relentlessly enforced customs governing everything from what she could wear and to whom she could speak to what she was allowed to read. Yet in spite of her repressive upbringing, Deborah grew into an independent-minded young woman whose stolen moments reading about the empowered literary characters of Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott helped her to imagine an alternative way of life among the skyscrapers of Manhattan. Trapped as a teenager in a sexually and emotionally dysfunctional marriage to a man she barely knew, the tension between Deborah’s desires and her responsibilities as a good Satmar girl grew more explosive until she gave birth at nineteen and realized that, regardless of the obstacles, she would have to forge a path—for herself and her son—to happiness and freedom.”

Remarkable and fascinating, this “sensitive and memorable coming-of-age story” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) is one you won’t be able to put down.






















[book] ALL THE HORRORS OF WAR
A JEWISH GIRL,
A BRITISH DOCTOR,
AND THE LIBERATION
OF BERGEN-BELSEN
BY BERNICE LERNER
April 14, 2020
Johns Hopkins University Press

The remarkable stories of Rachel Genuth, a poor Jewish teenager from the Hungarian provinces, and Hugh Llewelyn Glyn Hughes, a high-ranking military doctor in the British Second Army, who converge in Bergen-Belsen, where the girl fights for her life and the doctor struggles to save thousands on the brink of death.

On April 15, 1945, Brigadier H. L. Glyn Hughes entered Bergen-Belsen for the first time. Waiting for him were 10,000 unburied, putrefying corpses and 60,000 living prisoners, starving and sick. One month earlier, 15-year-old Rachel Genuth arrived at Bergen-Belsen; deported with her family from Sighet, Transylvania, in May of 1944, Rachel had by then already endured Auschwitz, the Christianstadt labor camp, and a forced march through the Sudetenland. In All the Horrors of War, Bernice Lerner follows both Hughes and Genuth as they move across Europe toward Bergen-Belsen in the final, brutal year of World War II.

The book begins at the end: with Hughes's searing testimony at the September 1945 trial of Josef Kramer, commandant of Bergen-Belsen, along with forty-four SS (Schutzstaffel) members and guards. "I have been a doctor for thirty years and seen all the horrors of war," Hughes said, "but I have never seen anything to touch it." The narrative then jumps back to the spring of 1944, following both Hughes and Rachel as they navigate their respective forms of wartime hell until confronting the worst: Christianstadt's prisoners, including Rachel, are deposited in Bergen-Belsen, and the British Second Army, having finally breached the fortress of Germany, assumes control of the ghastly camp after a negotiated surrender. Though they never met, it was Hughes's commitment to helping as many prisoners as possible that saved Rachel's life.

Drawing on a wealth of sources, including Hughes's papers, war diaries, oral histories, and interviews, this gripping volume combines scholarly research with narrative storytelling in describing the suffering of Nazi victims, the overwhelming presence of death at Bergen-Belsen, and characters who exemplify the human capacity for fortitude. Lerner, Rachel's daughter, has special insight into the torment her mother suffered. The first book to pair the story of a Holocaust victim with that of a liberator, All the Horrors of War compels readers to consider the full, complex humanity of both.
























[book] The Master of the Ladder:
The Life and Teachings of
Rabbi Yehudah Leib Ashlag
by Rabbi Avraham Gottlieb
Ms. Yedidah Cohen (Translator)
April 15, 2020
Nahorah Press

For centuries, the Kabbalah had been closed to all but a few. It was Rabbi Yehudah Leib Ashlag who opened this spiritual treasure for all. He became known as Baal HaSulam, “Master of the Ladder,” after the name of his great commentary on the Zohar, the central work of Kabbalah.

Rabbi Ashlag taught that the study of Kabbalah opens us to a spiritual path that connects soul with Source. He taught the importance of uniting outward action with inner intention; that the revealed Torah needs to join with the hidden Torah, Kabbalah. The Master of the Ladder brings you Rabbi Ashlag’s letters, his poems, and his teachings, enabling you to experience the depth and beauty of a Torah-inspired life. You, too, can feel the passion that filled Rabbi Ashlag’s heart and soul. Inviting you into the heart of Torah, The Master of the Ladder enables you to discover your own heart.

Cohen's published works have been enthusiastically endorsed by great Torah teachers, including Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. Gottlieb is one of the foremost teachers of Rabbi Ashlag’s work in Israel today. Now head of the Bircat Shalom Institute, Rabbi Gottlieb has authored more than thirty books on Rabbi Ashlag’s work. This is the first of his books to be translated into English.






















[book] Hell and Other Destinations:
A 21st-Century Memoir
by Madeleine Albright
former U.S> Secretary of State
April 14, 2020
Harper


Six-time New York Times bestselling author and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright—one of the world’s most admired and tireless public servants—reflects on the final stages of one’s career, and working productively into your later decades in this revealing, funny, and inspiring memoir.

In 2001, when Madeleine Albright was leaving office as America’s first female secretary of state, interviewers asked her how she wished to be remembered. “I don’t want to be remembered,” she answered. “I am still here and have much more I intend to do. As difficult as it might seem, I want every stage of my life to be more exciting than the last.”

In that time of transition, the former Secretary considered the possibilities: she could write, teach, travel, give speeches, start a business, fight for democracy, help to empower women, campaign for favored political candidates, spend more time with her grandchildren. Instead of choosing one or two, she decided to do it all. For nearly twenty years, Albright has been in constant motion, navigating half a dozen professions, clashing with presidents and prime ministers, learning every day. Since leaving the State Department, she has blazed her own trail—and given voice to millions who yearn for respect, regardless of gender, background, or age.

Hell and Other Destinations reveals this remarkable figure at her bluntest, funniest, most intimate, and most serious. It is the tale of our times anchored in lessons for all time, narrated by an extraordinary woman with a matchless zest for life.






















[book] I Feel Bad About My Dick:
Lamentations of Masculine Vanity
and Lists of Startling Pertinence
by Darryl Ponicsan
April 1, 2020
Pleasure Boat Studio (Press)

Darryl Ponicsán's path led from a coal mining town south of Hazleton, Pennsylvania to a teaching job in upstate New York, to the Navy, and then to a solo drive across the country in a battered TR-3, carrying little more than the manuscript of his first novel, "The Last Detail." He rolled into Los Angeles with three gallons of gas in the tank and $95.25 in his pocket. He became a social worker in south central LA just in time to become embroiled in the original Watts riot, the only white man living in a black rooming house within the curfew area.

He finished his novel and wrote a second navy novel, "Cinderella Liberty." The film versions of both novels opened on the same weekend, making him the hottest writer in Hollywood, though by that time he had already moved out of LA, first to Ojai, then Bainbridge Island, Seattle, Sonoma, and Palm Springs. Where he is now is anyone's guess.

At a library used book sale he picked up a copy of Nora Ephron's bestseller, "I Feel Bad About My Neck." It inspired him over the next several years to answer her observations from the male point of view and over a different bodily part, and to direct it to Ephron's audience. The result is "I Feel Bad About My Dick."

Jewish? No. But his Mexican-American wife thinks he is Jewish and he never disabused her of that notion that he is exotic.

Part memoir, part parody, part social analysis, the book deconstructs the battle of the sexes to its primal curiosity: "You show me yours and I'll show you mine."
























[book] WANDERING DIXIE
DISPATCHES FROM THE LOST JEWISH SOUTH
BY SUE EISENFELD
April 1, 2020
Mad Creek Books

Sue Eisenfeld is a Yankee by birth, a Virginian by choice, an urbanite who came to love the rural South, a Civil War buff, and a nonobservant Jewish woman. In Wandering Dixie, she travels to nine states, uncovering how the history of Jewish southerners converges with her personal story and the region’s complex, conflicted present. In the process, she discovers the unexpected ways that race, religion, and hidden histories intertwine.

From South Carolina to Arkansas, she explores the small towns where Jewish people once lived and thrived. She visits the site of her distant cousin and civil rights activist Andrew Goodman’s murder during 1964’s Freedom Summer. She also talks with the only Jews remaining in some of the “lost” places, from Selma to the Mississippi Delta to Natchitoches, and visits areas with no Jewish community left—except for an old temple or overgrown cemetery. Eisenfeld follows her curiosity about Jewish Confederates and casts an unflinching eye on early southern Jews’ participation in slavery. Her travels become a journey of revelation about our nation’s fraught history and a personal reckoning with the true nature of America.























[book] Camp Girls:
Fireside Lessons on Friendship,
Courage, and Loyalty
by Iris Krasnow
April 7, 2020
Grand Central

New York Times bestselling author Iris Krasnow reflects with humor and heart on her summer camp experiences and the lessons she and her follow campers learned there that have stayed with them throughout their lives.

Iris Krasnow was 8 years old when she first attended sleep-away camp, building lasting friendships and essential life skills amid the towering pine trees and open skies of Wisconsin. Decades later, she returned to Camp Agawak as a staff member to help resurrect Agalog, the camp's defunct magazine that she wrote for as a child. There, she revisits the activities she loved as a young girl: singing songs around a campfire, swimming in a pristine lake, sleeping under the stars-experiences that continue to fill her with wisdom and perspective.

A nostalgic, inspiring memoir with a universal message on the importance of long-term friendship for campers and non-campers alike, Camp Girls weaves between past and present, filling the page in delicious detail with cabin pranks, canoe trips in rainstorms, and the joy of finding both your independence and your interdependence in nature alongside your peers. Through rich storytelling, Iris shares her own and other campers' adventures and the lessons from childhood that can shape fulfilling and successful adulthoods. Ultimately, Iris powerfully demonstrates that camp is more than a place or a collection of activities: it's where we learn what it means to be human and what it feels like to truly belong to a family-not of blood, but of history, loyalty, and tradition.




















[book] The Last Bathing Beauty
by Amy Sue Nathan
April 1, 2020
paperback
Lake Union Press

A former beauty queen faces the secrets of her past—for herself and the sake of her family’s future—in a heartfelt novel about fate, choices, and second chances.

Everything seemed possible in the summer of 1951. Back then Betty Stern was an eighteen-year-old knockout working at her grandparents’ lakeside resort. The “Catskills of the Midwest” was the perfect place for Betty to prepare for bigger things. She’d head to college in New York City. Her career as a fashion editor would flourish. But first, she’d enjoy a wondrous last summer at the beach falling deeply in love with an irresistible college boy and competing in the annual Miss South Haven pageant. On the precipice of a well-planned life, Betty’s future was limitless.

Decades later, the choices of that long-ago season still reverberate for Betty, now known as Boop. Especially when her granddaughter comes to her with a dilemma that echoes Boop’s memories of first love, broken hearts, and faraway dreams. It’s time to finally face the past—for the sake of her family and her own happiness. Maybe in reconciling the life she once imagined with the life she’s lived, Boop will discover it’s never too late for a second chance.






















[book] Europe Against the Jews, 1880-1945
by Götz Aly
April 7, 2020
Metropolitan Books

From the award-winning historian of the Holocaust, Europe Against the Jews, 1880-1945 is the first book to move beyond Germany’s singular crime to the collaboration of Europe as a whole.

The Holocaust was perpetrated by the Germans, but it would not have been possible without the assistance of thousands of helpers in other countries: state officials, police, and civilians who eagerly supported the genocide. If we are to fully understand how and why the Holocaust happened, Götz Aly argues in this groundbreaking study, we must examine its prehistory throughout Europe. We must look at countries as far-flung as Romania and France, Russia and Greece, where, decades before the Nazis came to power, a deadly combination of envy, competition, nationalism, and social upheaval fueled a surge of anti-Semitism, creating the preconditions for the deportations and murder to come.

In the late nineteenth century, new opportunities for education and social advancement were opening up, and Jewish minorities took particular advantage of them, leading to widespread resentment. At the same time, newly created nation-states, especially in the east, were striving for ethnic homogeneity and national renewal, goals which they saw as inextricably linked. Drawing upon a wide range of previously unpublished sources, Aly traces the sequence of events that made persecution of Jews an increasingly acceptable European practice. Ultimately, the German architects of genocide found support for the Final Solution in nearly all the countries they occupied or were allied with. Without diminishing the guilt of German perpetrators, Aly documents the involvement of all of Europe in the destruction of the Jews, once again deepening our understanding of this most tormented history.




















[book] Mommy, Can You Stop the Rain?
by Rona Milch Novick PhD
Yeshiva University
Anna Kubaszewska (Illustrator)
April 1, 2020
Apples and Honey/Behrman

Mommy, can you stop the rain? Daddy, can you shush the thunder? Can grown-ups take away a scary storm? No, says Mommy, I cannot stop the rain. No, says Daddy, I cannot shush the thunder. But they can keep their little girl cozy and warm. They can help her grow strong and able to face the storm's scary sounds herself.

In this quietly powerful story Psychologist Rona Novick shows parents how to both comfort children and help them face their fears with the warmth and support they need. No, parents cannot take away every discomfort--but they have a large role to play in helping children work through their discomforts Young children will be encouraged and will want to visit this story again and again. For Ages 3-6.

Distraction, reassurance, and lots of love from attentive parents help a young child feel comfortable and safe during a thunderstorm. Patient parents answer each simple, innocent question the child poses honestly and with a plausible response for creating a consoling solution. Though Mommy 'cannot stop the rain,' eating sprinkled cookies while wrapped in a warm, dry towel should make the child feel better. Though Daddy cannot 'shush the thunder,' marching around the table drumming a soup pot with a spoon should mask the scary noise. And while they cannot 'turn off the lightning,' 'quiet the wind,' or 'send away the storm,' they can all be close and stay cozy and warm until the sun shines again. Illustrations washed with purple and lavender depict a dark, gloomy, stormy day and include details that indicate this white family is Jewish. There is a tzedakah box on the table to collect money for charity, Hebrew alphabet letters on the refrigerator and on the building blocks, and a Shabbat candle scene in a child's drawing on the wall. The text also uses the Yiddish Zayde and Bubbe when referencing grandparents. Beyond the visually Judaic atmosphere, the realistic strategies demonstrated can be applied to every young family dealing with a frightened child during a loud, turbulent weather episode. This calming, credible approach to diverting children from the anxiety of volatile storms is a winner. (Picture book. 3-6) --Kirkus Reviews


















[book] Worse and Worse on Noah's Ark
by Leslie Kimmelman
Vivian Mineker (Illustrator)
April 1, 2020
Apples and Honey/Behrman

The weather in Noah's neighborhood was terrible. It rained and rained and rained. It looked like it would never stop! Noah and his family crowded on board the ark. The animals got seasick. The skunks made a stink. Could things get any worse? From bad weather to hungry animals to a leak in the ark, things get worse and worse . . .and WORSE. (Ages 5-8)

Life on the ark wasn't always a lark.Noah follows God's commandment to build a really big ark with the help of his wife and his sons. In a bit of linguistic license, Mrs. Noah turns to Yiddish to complain, as do the sons. What with the constant rain, things just get 'WORSE and WORSE and WORSE.' The animals arrive, and the ark gets crowded, dirty, and throwing-up smelly. Yes, it keeps getting worse. Then the critters begin to argue among themselves and eye one another hungrily. The smells increase, and the Noah family wonders one more time, 'Could things get any worse?' They do when the ark springs a leak, but Noah has a solution: cooperation. Tranquility and a good-neighbor policy result. The flood ends, and the Noah family and the animals all happily disembark. In her notes, the author states that she has told her tale following the Judaic tradition of midrash, stories that elucidate Biblical text. She also hopes that readers of her book will learn to live in 'harmony,' with 'empathy,' and 'peacefully.' Mineker's illustrations against a white background provide amusing views of the animals; readers will chuckle at details such as the blissfully sleeping sloths and sneezing squirrels. The humans are depicted with white and brown faces. The story of Noah and the Ark provides a lesson in living together in peace. (Picture book. 4-6) --Kirkus Reviews


















[book] [book] I Am the Tree of Life:
My Jewish Yoga Book
by Rabbi Mychal Copeland
Congregation Sha'ar Zahav, San Francisco)
Andre Ceolin (Illustrator)
April 1, 2020
Apples and Honey/Behrman

Take a deep breath in . . . I am the giant fish that swallowed Jonah . . . and exhale slowly.

I am Miriam, the dancer. Feel the stories of the Bible come to life within you. I am the Tree of Life.

The Torah is called the Tree of Life. Just as a tree is always growing and changing, the Torah's ideas can help us grow and change, too. Yoda can do the same. Both can help us strengthen ourselves, calm our minds, and learn to appreciate the world around us. Written by rabbi and certified yoga instructor Mychal Copeland, I Am the Tree of Life encourages us to explore both the world of yoga and the stories of the Bible and find meaning in both.


















[book] The Way Women Are:
Transformative Opinions and
Dissents by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
by Cathy Cambron
April 7, 2020
Welcome Rain

United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime defying notions about “the way women are” and, in the process, has become a cultural icon as well as a profoundly influential jurist. This collection of some of her most significant opinions and dissents illuminates the intellect, humor, and toughness that have made “the Notorious R.B.G.” a hero to many. Included are Justice Ginsburg's majority opinions in United States v. Virginia (1996), and Sessions v. Morales-Santana (2017); her concurrence in Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt (2016); a selection from the Court's 2018–2019 term; and some of the justice's most famous dissents, such as those in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire (2007), Gonzales v. Carhart (2007), and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014). Also included are an introduction and explanatory notes that help make these writings accessible to a nonlegal audience.




















[book] Hollywood Double Agent:
The True Tale of Boris Morros,
Film Producer Turned Cold War Spy
by Jonathan Gill
April 7, 2020
Abrams Press

The Cold War and the Golden Age of Hollywood meet in this story of the remarkable career of Boris Morros, ?lm producer and Russian double agent

Boris Morros was a major figure in the 1930s and ’40s. The head of music at Paramount, nominated for Academy Awards, he then went on to produce his own films with Laurel and Hardy, Fred Astaire, Henry Fonda, and others. But as J. Edgar Hoover would discover, these successes were a cover for one of the most incredible espionage tales in the history of the Cold War—Boris Morros also worked for Russian intelligence.

Morros’s assignments took him to the White House, the Vatican, and deep behind the iron curtain. The high-level intel he provided the KGB included military secrets and compromising information on prominent Americans: his friends. But in 1947, Morros flipped. At the height of the McCarthy era, he played a leading role in a deadly tale. Jonathan Gill’s Hollywood Double Agent is an extraordinary story about Russian spies at the heart of American culture and politics, and one man caught in the middle of the Cold War.



















[book] The Story of Israel:
From Theodor Herzl to
the Dream for Peace
by Martin Gilbert
April 7, 2020
Welbeck

A leading historian, and Winston Churchill’s official biographer, tells the complete story of Israel’s birth and development as a nation.

Just over 100 years ago, Theodor Herzl launched the Zionist movement. Fifty years later, after the Holocaust, the State of Israel came into being, established so that Jews anywhere in the world could have a homeland. In the years since, five wars have tested Israel's ability to survive. Influxes of emigrants enhanced the country's cultural riches yet strained its social fabric, even as Israel's Arab neighbors sought to redress their own grievances. After more than 70 years of independence, the nation’s fascinating story is told by renowned historian Martin Gilbert, complete with images of important historical documents























[book] The Children's Block:
A Novel Based on the
True Story of an Auschwitz Survivor
by the late Otto Kraus
April 7, 2020
Pegasus

A literary event that tells story of five hundred children who lived in the Czech Family Camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau between September 1943 and June 1944.

We lived on a bunk built for four but in times of overcrowding, it slept seven and at times even eight. There was so little space on the berth that when one of us wanted to ease his hip, we all had to turn in a tangle of legs and chests and hollow bellies as if we were one many-limbed creature, a Hindu god or a centipede. We grew intimate not only in body but also in mind because we knew that though we were not born of one womb, we would certainly die together.

Alex Ehren is poet, a prisoner, and a teacher in block 31 in Auschwitz- Birkenau, also known as the Children’s Block. He spends his days trying to survive and illegally giving lessons to his young charges, all while shielding them as best he can from the impossible horrors of the camp. But trying to teach the children is not the only illicit activity that Alex is involved in. Alex is keeping a diary…


Otto Kraus was born in Prague. He and his family were deported in May 1942 to Ghetto Terezin and from there to Auschwitz, where he became one of the children’s counselors on the Kinderblock. He was married to Dita Kraus, whom knew from the Kinderblock. She (DITA KRAUS) was the character on whom The Librarian of Auschwitz is based. Otto died at home on October 5, 2000, surrounded by his family.

















[book] They Went Left
by Monica Hesse
April 7, 2020
Little, Brown – Young Readers
Ages 13 and up
A tour de force historical mystery from Monica Hesse, the bestselling and award-winning author of Girl in the Blue Coat.

Germany, 1945. The soldiers who liberated the Gross-Rosen concentration camp said the war was over, but nothing feels over to eighteen-year-old Zofia Lederman. Her body has barely begun to heal; her mind feels broken. And her life is completely shattered: Three years ago, she and her younger brother, Abek, were the only members of their family to be sent to the right, away from the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Everyone else--her parents, her grandmother, radiant Aunt Maja--they went left.

Zofia's last words to her brother were a promise: Abek to Zofia, A to Z. When I find you again, we will fill our alphabet. Now her journey to fulfill that vow takes her through Poland and Germany, and into a displaced persons camp where everyone she meets is trying to piece together a future from a painful past: Miriam, desperately searching for the twin she was separated from after they survived medical experimentation. Breine, a former heiress, who now longs only for a simple wedding with her new fiancé. And Josef, who guards his past behind a wall of secrets, and is beautiful and strange and magnetic all at once.

But the deeper Zofia digs, the more impossible her search seems. How can she find one boy in a sea of the missing? In the rubble of a broken continent, Zofia must delve into a mystery whose answers could break her--or help her rebuild her world.




















[book] The Better Half:
On the Genetic Superiority of Women
by Dr. Sharon Moalem MD PhD
April 7, 2020
FS&G

When Dr. Moalem was an adolescent, the visits to Montreal from his grandfather, a Holocaust survivor in Israel ended. He was suffering from Alzheimer's. His young grandson hypothesized that it was related to too much iron/metals in his blood. Perhaps a mutation in a gene. Years later, he was proven correct.

Moalem is an award-winning physician and scientist who presents the game-changing case that genetic females are stronger than males at every stage of life. Girls survive better in infancy. Women live longer. Women survive illnesses better, They survive famine better. They have two copies of the X. Men just have one. (And what of triple XXX?)

Women hsve stronger immune systems. They're better at fighting cancer and surviving famine, and even see the world in a wider variety of colors. They are simply stronger than men at every stage of life. Why is this? And why are we taught the opposite?

To find out, Dr. Sharon Moalem drew on his own medical experiences - treating premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit; recruiting the elderly for neurogenetic studies; tending to HIV-positive orphans in Thailand - and tried to understand why in every instance men were consistently less likely to thrive. The answer, he discovered, lies in our genetics: two X chromosomes offer a powerful survival advantage.

With clear, captivating prose that weaves together eye-opening research, case studies, diverse examples ranging from the behavior of honeybees to American pioneers, as well as experiences from his personal life and his own patients, Moalem explains why genetic females triumph over males when it comes to resiliency, intellect, stamina, immunity and much more. He also calls for a reconsideration of our male-centric, one-size-fits-all view of medical studies and even how we prescribe medications - a view that still sees women through the lens of men.

Convinced? The Better Half will make you see humanity and the survival of our species anew.




















[book] Swimming in the Dark:
A Novel
by Tomasz Jedrowski
April 28, 2020
William Morrow

Set in early 1980s Poland against the violent decline of communism, a tender and passionate story of first love between two young men who eventually find themselves on opposite sides of the political divide. When Ludwik prepares for Confirmation, he goes to Catholic camp and is infatuated with a neighbor, who turns out to be Jewish. One night the Jewish family flees, perhaps to Israel, to avoid Polish antiSemitism. A few years later, as university studies end, student Ludwik meets Janusz at a summer agricultural camp (picking beets like peasants), he is fascinated yet wary of this handsome, carefree stranger. But a chance meeting by the river soon becomes an intense, exhilarating, and all-consuming affair. After their camp duties are fulfilled, the pair spend a dreamlike few weeks camping in the countryside, bonding over an illicit copy of James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room. Inhabiting a beautiful natural world removed from society and its constraints, Ludwik and Janusz fall deeply in love. But in their repressive communist and Catholic society, the passion they share is utterly unthinkable.

Once they return to Warsaw, the charismatic Janusz quickly rises in the political ranks of the party and is rewarded with a highly-coveted position in the ministry. Ludwik is drawn toward impulsive acts of protest, unable to ignore rising food prices and the stark economic disparity around them. Their secret love and personal and political differences slowly begin to tear them apart as both men struggle to survive in a regime on the brink of collapse.

Shifting from the intoxication of first love to the quiet melancholy of growing up and growing apart, Swimming in the Dark is a potent blend of romance, post-war politics, intrigue, and history. Lyrical and sensual, immersive and intense, Tomasz Jedrowski has crafted an indelible and thought-provoking literary debut that explores freedom and love in all its incarnations.






















[book] Clarence's Topsy-Turvy Shabbat
by Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod
Jennie Poh
2020
Kar Ben
Ages 4-8

Is Clarence confused and will he create chaos on Shabbat? His special Shabbat challah recipe calls for flour, oil, honey, yeast and water, and his neighbors eagerly await their loaves. But instead he gathers a silly assortment of things. How will he bake his challah?

Kirkus Review: "Clarence the raccoon might be the anti-Amelia Bedelia. There's a long tradition of lovable fools, like Amelia Bedelia and Lazy Jack, who are so sweet that everyone adores them even when they get things hopelessly mixed up. When Amelia Bedelia dresses a chicken, it ends up wearing a charming outfit, and, in this picture book, Clarence seems to follow the same school of thought. When he's baking challah bread for the Jewish Sabbath, he comes home with a bunny instead of honey and a beast instead of yeast. But Clarence is much more cunning than his progenitors. The animals turn out to be a fantastic baking team. The beast, for example, is an 'absolutely terrific' kneader. Almost every page of the book has an unexpected twist, and the surprises are more satisfying than the actual jokes. The low point is when Clarence picks up soil instead of oil. Even the narrator often seems surprised, with comments like, 'Seriously, Clarence? WHAT are you thinking?' If those exclamations are a little too intrusive, the surprises in the artwork are wonderfully nontraditional. They reverse the usual big-head, big-eyes style of cartooning. Most of the animals have long, lanky bodies and pinprick eyes. But the best surprise is what a joyful found family the animals make at Shabbat dinner. Jaded readers will love this crafty twist on the holy fool."













[book] Judah Touro Didn't Want to be Famous
by Audrey Ades (Author)
Vivien Mildenberger (Illustrator)
2020
Kar Ben
Ages 4-8

Setting out from Boston to New Orleans in 1801, Judah Touro dreamed of becoming a successful shopkeeper. Through his skill in business, he earned a great fortune. But the harrowing experience of being injured on a battlefield during the War of 1812 showed Judah the world through new eyes. Grateful for his riches, he recognized that they could be used to help others. So humble Judah did his great philanthropic deeds, large and small, all in secret.`

"The successful business life and subsequent philanthropy of one of early America's wealthiest and most pious Jews are recounted in a picture-book biography. Raised by his uncle, Isaac Hays, a founder of Boston's first bank, Judah learned much about shipping, real estate, and trade before setting off on his own at the dawn of the 19th century. A quiet, private man, Judah made his fortune in New Orleans trading New England products. After being wounded during the War of 1812, Judah began to concentrate on putting his wealth toward charitable causes. Simply drawn illustrations in muted brown, gray, and blue hues have both a childlike feel and the look of crayons or colored pencil in combination with watercolor; this results in a humble view not often seen in representations of New Orleans and appropriately reflects the story's themes. The easy-flowing narrative tells how this son of a rabbi in a Sephardic immigrant family adhered to the Jewish tradition of giving inconspicuously, to causes both local and all over the world, hoping to avoid recognition for his good deeds. Some of these were paying for the freedom of enslaved African Americans, a few of whom are included in one illustration alongside the pale-skinned Judah. The author's notes provide some added information about the benefactor's family and his legacy. A candid introduction to a little-known figure in Jewish American history." - Kirkus Reviews (Journal)























[book] Acting with Power
Why We Are More Powerful
Than We Believe
by Deborah Gruenfeld
(Stanford University)
April 7, 2020
Currency

There is so much we get wrong about power. This eye-opening look at the true nature of power explores who has it, what it looks like, and the role it plays in our lives.

Grounded in over two decades’ worth of scientific research and inspired by the popular class of the same name at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, Acting with Power offers a new and eye-opening paradigm that overturns everything we thought we knew about the nature of power.

Although we all feel powerless sometimes, we have more power than we tend to believe. That’s because power exists in every relationship, by virtue of the roles we play in others’ lives. But it isn’t a function of status or hierarchy. Rather, it’s about how much we are needed, and the degree to which we fulfill our responsibilities. Power isn’t a tool for self-enhancement or a resource for personal consumption. It’s a part you play in someone else’s story.

We often assume that power flows to those with the loudest voice or the most commanding presence in the room. But, in fact, true power is often much quieter and more deferential than we realize. Moreover, it’s not just how much power we have but how we use it that determines how powerful we actually are.

Actors aren’t the only ones who play roles for a living. We all make choices about how to use the power that comes with our given circumstances. We aren’t always cast in the roles we desire or the ones we feel prepared to play. Some of us struggle to step up and be taken more seriously, while others have trouble standing back and ceding the spotlight. Some of us are used to hearing we are too aggressive, while others are constantly being told we are too nice. Gruenfeld shows how we can all get more comfortable with power by adopting an actor’s mindset.

We all know what it looks like to use power badly. This book is about how to use power well.





















[book] The Drive
by Yair Assulin
Jessica Cohen (Translator, from Hebrew)
April 7, 2020
New Vessel Press

This searing novel tells the journey of a young Israeli soldier at the breaking point, unable to continue carrying out his military service, yet terrified of the consequences of leaving the army. As the soldier and his father embark on a lengthy drive to meet with a military psychiatrist, Yair Assulin penetrates the torn world of the hero, whose journey is not just that of a young man facing a crucial dilemma, but a tour of the soul and depths of Israeli society and of those everywhere who resist regimentation and violence. Weary of being forced to be part of a larger collective, can one fulfill a yearning for an existence free of politics, the news cycle and the imperative of perpetual battle-readiness-without risking the respect of those we love most? A compelling story of an urgent personal quest to reconcile duty, expectations and individual instinct.























[book] Always Day One:
How the Tech Titans
Plan to Stay on Top Forever
by Alex Kantrowitz
April 7, 2020
Portfolio

You may recall Kantrowitz from Buzzfeed and the story on typing Jews run the world into Google and gettings Google to suggest ofther searches for evil Jews.

In this book, Kantrowitz, a grad of Cornell's Johnson School and an acclaimed tech reporter reveals the inner workings of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft, showing how to compete with the tech titans using their own playbook.

At Amazon, "Day One" is code for inventing like a startup, with little regard for legacy. Day Two is, in Jeff Bezos's own words, "stasis, followed by irrelevance, followed by excruciating, painful decline, followed by death."

Most companies today are set up for Day Two. They build advantages and defend them fiercely, rather than invent the future. But Amazon and fellow tech titans Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are operating in Day One: they prioritize reinvention over tradition and collaboration over ownership.

Through 130 interviews with insiders, from Mark Zuckerberg to hourly workers, Always Day One reveals the tech giants' blueprint for sustainable success in a business world where no advantage is safe. Companies today can spin up new products at record speed -- thanks to artificial intelligence and cloud computing -- and those who stand still will be picked apart. The tech giants remain dominant because they've built cultures that spark continual reinvention.

It might sound radical, but those who don't act like it's always day one do so at their own peril. Kantrowitz uncovers the engine propelling the tech giants' continued dominance at a stage when most big companies begin to decline. And he shows the way forward for everyone who wants to compete with--and beat--the titans.





















[book] Missionaries, Converts, and Rabbis:
The Evangelical Alexander McCaul
and Jewish-Christian Debate in the
Nineteenth Century
by David B. Ruderman
April 10, 2020
University of Pennsylvania Press

In Missionaries, Converts, and Rabbis, David B. Ruderman considers the life and works of prominent evangelical missionary Alexander McCaul (1799-1863), who was sent to Warsaw by the London Society for the Promotion of Christianity Amongst the Jews. He and his family resided there for nearly a decade, which afforded him the opportunity to become a scholar of Hebrew and rabbinic texts. Returning to England, he quickly rose up through the ranks of missionaries to become a leading figure and educator in the organization and eventually a professor of post-biblical studies at Kings College, London. In 1837, McCaul published The Old Paths, a powerful critique of rabbinic Judaism that, once translated into Hebrew and other languages, provoked controversy among Jews and Christians alike.

Ruderman first examines McCaul in his complexity as a Hebraist affectionately supportive of Jews while opposing the rabbis. He then focuses his attention on a larger network of his associates, both allies and foes, who interacted with him and his ideas: two converts who came under his influence but eventually broke from him; two evangelical colleagues who challenged his aggressive proselytizing among the Jews; and, lastly, three Jewish thinkers—two well-known scholars from Eastern Europe and a rabbi from Syria—who refuted his charges against the rabbis and constructed their own justifications for Judaism in the mid-nineteenth century.

Missionaries, Converts, and Rabbis reconstructs a broad transnational conversation between Christians, Jews, and those in between, opening a new vista for understanding Jewish and Christian thought and the entanglements between the two faith communities that persist in the modern era. Extending the geographical and chronological reach of his previous books, Ruderman continues his exploration of the impact of Jewish-Christian relations on Jewish self-reflection and the phenomenon of mingled identities in early modern and modern Europe.





















[book] Why We Act:
Turning Bystanders into
Moral Rebels
by Catherine A. Sanderson
(Amherst College)
April 7, 2020
Harvard

Why do good people so often do nothing when a seemingly small action could make a big difference? A pioneering social psychologist explains why moral courage is so rare-and reveals how it can be triggered or trained.

We are bombarded every day by reports of bad behavior, from sexual harassment to political corruption and bullying belligerence. It’s tempting to blame evil acts on evil people, but that leaves the rest us off the hook. Silence, after all, can perpetuate cruelty. Why We Act draws on the latest developments in psychology and neuroscience to tackle an urgent question: Why do so many of us fail to intervene when we’re needed-and what would it take to make us step up?

A renowned psychologist who has done pioneering research on social norms, Catherine Sanderson was inspired to write this book when a freshman in her son’s dorm died twenty hours after a bad fall while drinking. There were many points along the way when a decision to seek help could have saved his life. Why did no one act sooner?

Cutting-edge neuroscience offers part of the answer, showing how deviating from the group activates the same receptors in the brain that are triggered by pain. But Sanderson also points to many ways in which our faulty assumptions about what other people are thinking can paralyze us. And she shares surprisingly effective and simple strategies for resisting the pressure to conform. Moral courage, it turns out, is not innate. Small details and the right training can make a big difference. Inspiring and potentially life transforming, Why We Act reveals that while the urge to do nothing is deeply ingrained, even the most hesitant would-be bystander can learn to be a moral rebel.

























[book] The Fairest of Them All:
Snow White and 21 Tales
of Mothers and Daughters
by Maria Tatar
April 7, 2020
Harvard

We think we know the story of Snow White from Disney and the Brothers Grimm. But acclaimed folklorist Maria Tatar reveals dazzling variations from across the globe.

The story of the rivalry between a beautiful, innocent girl and her equally beautiful and cruel mother has been endlessly repeated and refashioned all over the world. In Switzerland you might hear about seven dwarfs who shelter a girl, only to be murdered by robbers. In Armenia a mother orders her husband to kill his daughter because the moon has declared her “the most beautiful of all.”

The Brothers Grimm gave this story the name by which we know it best, and in 1937 Walt Disney sweetened their somber version to make the first feature-length, animated fairy tale, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Since then the Disney film has become our cultural touchstone-the innocent heroine, her evil stepmother, the envy that divides them, and a romantic rescue from domestic drudgery and maternal persecution. But, as every fan of the story knows, there is more to Snow White than that. The magic mirror, the poisoned apple, the catatonic sleep, and the strange scene of revivification are important elements in the phantasmagoria of the Snow White universe.

Maria Tatar, an acclaimed folklorist and translator, brings to life a global melodrama of mother-daughter rivalries that play out across countries and cultures.

























[book] The Betrayal of the Duchess:
The Scandal That Unmade
the Bourbon Monarchy
and Made France Modern
By Maurice Samuels
(Yale University)
April 14, 2020
BASIC BOOKS

The dramatic tale of the duchesse de Berry's quest to retake the French throne for the Bourbons-and her betrayal at the hands of one of her closest advisors.

The year was 1832 and the French royal family was in exile, driven out by yet another revolution. From a drafty Scottish castle, the duchesse de Berry-the mother of the eleven-year-old heir to the throne-hatched a plot to restore the Bourbon dynasty. For months, she commanded a guerilla army and evaded capture by disguising herself as a man. But soon she was betrayed by her trusted advisor, Simon Deutz, the son of France's Chief Rabbi. The betrayal became a cause célèbre for Bourbon loyalists and ignited a firestorm of hate against France's Jews. By blaming an entire people for the actions of a single man, the duchess's supporters set the terms for the century of antisemitism that followed.

Brimming with intrigue and lush detail, The Betrayal of the Duchess is the riveting story of a high-spirited woman, the charming but volatile young man who double-crossed her, and the birth of one of the modern world's most deadly forms of hatred.






















STARRED REVIEW IN PW!:
[book] RED SEA SPIES
The True Story of Mossad's
Fake Diving Resort
by Raffi Berg (BBC)
April 14, 2020
ICON BOOKS

THE TRUE STORY THAT INSPIRED THE NETFLIX FILM THE RED SEA DIVING RESORT.

In the early 1980s on a remote part of the Sudanese coast, a new luxury holiday resort opened for business. Catering for divers, it attracted guests from around the world. Little did the holidaymakers know that the staff were undercover spies, working for the Mossad – the Israeli secret service.

Providing a front for covert night-time activities, the holiday village allowed the agents to carry out an operation unlike any seen before. What began with one cryptic message pleading for help (from Ferede Akkum), turned into the secret evacuation of thousands (over 28,000) of Ethiopian Jews who had been languishing in refugee camps, and the spiriting of them to Israel.

Written in collaboration with operatives (Dani) involved in the mission, endorsed as the definitive account and including an afterword from the then Mossad director, this is the complete, never-before-heard, gripping tale of a top-secret and often hazardous operation.
























[book] Dancing at the Pity Party
a graphic memoir
by Tyler Feder
April 14, 2020
DIAL BOOKS
Ages 14 and up
Although it is published for teens, I found it more for adults

Part poignant cancer memoir and part humorous reflection on a motherless life, this debut graphic novel is extraordinarily comforting and engaging.

And allow me to repeat the word Extraordinary


From before her mother's first oncology appointment through the stages of her cancer to the funeral, sitting shiva, and afterward, when she must try to make sense of her life as a motherless daughter, Tyler Feder tells her story in this graphic novel that is full of piercing--but also often funny—details.

She also shares advice on how to interact with a person who has lost a parent

She shares the important post-death firsts, such as celebrating holidays without her mom, the utter despair of cleaning out her mom's closet, ending old traditions and starting new ones, and the sting of having the "I've got to tell Mom about this" instinct and not being able to act on it. This memoir, bracingly candid and sweetly humorous, is for anyone struggling with loss who just wants someone to get it.

Note to the Jewish Book Council... I hope you will give this book serious consideration.



























[book] BETSEY JOHNSON
A MEMOIR
BY BETSEY JOHSON with Mark Vitulano
April 7, 2020
VIKING

Betsey Johnson is not Jewish, but she did make a nifty Hanukkah dreidel purse/crossbag, and she summered as a child at Camp Seneca Lake which was a ostly Jewish Camp.



Mention the name "Betsey Johnson" and almost every woman from the age of 15 to 75 can rapturously recall a favorite dress or outfit; whether worn for a prom, a wedding, or just to stand out from the crowd in a colorful way. They may also know her as a renegade single mom who palled around with Edie Sedgwick, Twiggy, and The Velvet Underground, or even as a celebrity contestant on Dancing with the Stars. Betsey is also famous for her iconic pink stores (she had 65 shops across the US) and for her habit of doing cartwheels and splits down the runway at the close of her fashion shows. Throughout her decades-long career, she's taken pride in producing fun but rule-breaking clothing at an accessible price point. What they might not know is that she built an empire from scratch, and brought stretch clothing to the masses in the 80s and 90s.

Betsey will take the reader behind the tutu and delve deeply into what it took to go from a white picket fence childhood in Connecticut to becoming an internationally known force in a tough, competitive business. The book will feature Betsey's candid memories of the fashion and downtown scene in the 60s and how she started her own business from the ground up after designing successfully for multiple other companies. She will discuss that business's ups and downs and reinventions (including bankruptcy), and her thoughts on body image, love, divorce, men, motherhood, and her bout with breast cancer. Betsey will be richly illustrated with many of her landmark clothes, fashion sketches, and personal photos--making the book the perfect memento and gift for every girl (of any age) for whom Betsey is, as a recent New York Times profile noted, "a role model still."



















[book] They Knew They Were Pilgrims:
Plymouth Colony and the
Contest for American Liberty
by John G. Turner
April 7, 2020
YALE

An ambitious new history of the Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony, published for the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s landing

In 1620, separatists from the Church of England set sail across the Atlantic aboard the Mayflower. Understanding themselves as spiritual pilgrims, they left to preserve their liberty to worship God in accordance with their understanding of the Bible.

There exists, however, an alternative, more dispiriting version of their story. In it, the Pilgrims are religious zealots who persecuted dissenters and decimated the Native peoples through warfare and by stealing their land. The Pilgrims’ definition of liberty was, in practice, very narrow.

Drawing on original research using underutilized sources, John G. Turner moves beyond these familiar narratives in his sweeping and authoritative new history of Plymouth Colony. Instead of depicting the Pilgrims as otherworldly saints or extraordinary sinners, he tells how a variety of English settlers and Native peoples engaged in a contest for the meaning of American liberty.























[book] CONCEALED
A MEMOIR OF A JEWISH/IRANIAN DAUGHTER
CAUGHT BETWEEN THE CHADOR AND AMERICA
BY ESTHER AMINI
April 21, 2020


You may be familiar with the writings of Esther Amini from her show “Saffron and Rosewater,” Tablet Magazine, Lilith, Barnard, or Elle. In this collection of stories, she recalls growing up in Mashhad, Iran. Esther's mother Hana was orphaned as a child and married off at the age of 14 to a man 20 years her senior. They posed as Shiite muslims and blended in. After WWII, they moved to America where Esther was born. She avoided a pre arranged marriage by enrolling at Barnard in Manhattan, which prompted her father to threaten suicide. An honest, insightful, humourous collection.

Esther Amini grew up in Queens, New York, during the freewheeling 1960s. She also grew up in a Persian-Jewish household, the American-born daughter of parents who had fled Mashhad, Iran. In Concealed, she tells the story of being caught between these two worlds: the dutiful daughter of tradition-bound parents who hungers for more self-determination than tradition allows.

Exploring the roots of her father's deep silences and explosive temper, her mother's flamboyance and flights from home, and her own sense of indebtedness to her Iranian-born brothers, Amini uncovers the story of her parents' early years in Mashhad, Iran's holiest Muslim city; the little-known history of Mashhad's underground Jews; the incident that steeled her mother's resolve to leave; and her parents' arduous journey to the U.S., where they faced a new threat to their traditions: the threat of freedom. Determined to protect his daughter from corruption, Amini's father prohibits talk, books, education, and pushes an early Persian marriage instead. Can she resist? Should she? Focused intently on what she stands to gain, Amini comes to see what she also stands to lose: a family and community bound by food, celebrations, sibling escapades, and unexpected acts of devotion by parents to whom she feels invisible.

In this poignant, funny, entertaining, and uplifting memoir, Amini documents with keen eye, quick wit, and warm heart how family members build, buoy, wound, and save one another across generations; how lives are shaped by the demands and burdens of loyalty and legacy; and how she rose to the challenge of deciding what to keep and what to discard.



















[book] Stan Lee:
A Life in Comics
(Jewish Lives)
by Liel Leibovitz
April 21, 2020
Yale University Press

From the prizewinning Jewish Lives series, a meditation on the deeply Jewish and surprisingly spiritual roots of Stan Lee and Marvel Comics

Few artists have had as much of an impact on American popular culture as Stan Lee. The characters he created—Spider-Man and Iron Man, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four—occupy Hollywood’s imagination and production schedules, generate billions at the box office, and come as close as anything we have to a shared American mythology.

This illuminating biography focuses as much on Lee’s ideas as it does on his unlikely rise to stardom. It surveys his cultural and religious upbringing and draws surprising connections between celebrated comic book heroes and the ancient tales of the Bible, the Talmud, and Jewish mysticism. Was Spider-Man just a reincarnation of Cain? Is the Incredible Hulk simply Adam by another name? From close readings of Lee’s work to little-known anecdotes from Marvel’s history, the book paints a portrait of Lee that goes much deeper than one of his signature onscreen cameos.

About Jewish Lives:

Jewish Lives is a prizewinning series of interpretative biography designed to explore the many facets of Jewish identity. Individual volumes illuminate the imprint of Jewish figures upon literature, religion, philosophy, politics, cultural and economic life, and the arts and sciences. Subjects are paired with authors to elicit lively, deeply informed books that explore the range and depth of the Jewish experience from antiquity to the present.

In 2014, the Jewish Book Council named Jewish Lives the winner of its Jewish Book of the Year Award, the first series ever to receive this award.

























[book] Trejo's Tacos:
Recipes and Stories from L.A.:
A Cookbook
by Danny Trejo
April 21, 2020
Clarkson Potter

From the legendary actor and L.A. restaurateur comes a cookbook featuring 75 badass recipes, from lowrider donuts and award-winning vegan cauliflower tacos to a sweet and spicy brisket inspired by Danny's mom's barbacoa.

Throughout Danny's life, sharing good food has always been essential--whether it was home-cooked meals made by his mom while imagining the menu for their dream restaurant or whipping up post-wrap celebratory tacos for his Hollywood friends.

The idea for a Trejo’s restaurant was conceived with Trejo on the set of Bad Ass 3: Bad Asses on the Bayou. One of his chefs is Mason Royal, a twenty something who got his love of food from his Jewish mother's and grandmother's briskets and latkes.

Trajo's restaurant empire is growing; Danny shares his favorite recipes for bold, fun, and versatile Mexican food by way of L.A. You'll come away with the know-how and skills for cooking… chiles for unbelievably flavorful carnitas, turning spiced fried chicken or Mexi-falafel into tacos and burritos, and how to make cotija and chile mashed potatoes that will impress all your friends (especially when served with brisket!).

The book also includes stories about Danny's lifelong love of food, from the meals his mom made when he was growing up in the San Fernando Valley to a map of his favorite restaurants and hangouts in Los Angeles, how his time in prison led to his acting career and opening a restaurant, and his journey of becoming an AA/NA counselor. Like Danny's restaurants, Trejo's Tacos is generous, hospitable, and symbolic of L.A.'s vibrant Latino culture.

























[book] The Ralph Nader and Family Cookbook:
Classic Recipes from
Lebanon and Beyond
by Ralph Nader
April 7, 2020
Akashic

"Nader's parents owned and operated a restaurant called the Highland Arms in Connecticut, where they served classic American food by day, but they mostly ate Lebanese food at home, and here Nader shares many of his mother's traditional Lebanese recipes for hummus, tabouleh, and kibbe (meatballs formed from onions, bulgur, and ground lamb), along with some surprising dishes, such as a creamy apple parsnip soup with cardamon, baked eggplant stuffed with ground lamb and pine nuts, and a light and lemony apple cake." --Publishers Weekly

"Rose Nader not only prepared the cuisine of my family's homeland to perfection, she infused it with heritage. Whenever she brought me a magical plate of Lebanese goodies, she was sure to remind me, in Arabic, of that old motto of the Lebanese kitchen: An empty hand is a dirty hand." --Marlo Thomas, actress, author of Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny

Ralph Nader is best-known for his social critiques and his efforts to increase government and corporate accountability, but what some might not know about him is his lifelong commitment to healthy eating. Born in Connecticut to Lebanese parents, Nader's appreciation of food began at an early age, when his parents, Rose and Nathra, owned an eatery, bakery, and delicatessen called the Highland Arms Restaurant. The family eschewed processed foods and ate only a moderate amount of lean red meat.

Nowadays, the Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest on the planet, but in the 1930s and '40s of Nader's youth it was considered by many Americans as simply strange. Luckily for Nader and his siblings, this didn't prevent their mother, Rose, from serving the family homemade, healthy meals--dishes from her homeland of Lebanon. Rose didn't simply encourage her children to eat well, she took time to discuss and explain her approach to food; she used the family meals to connect all of her children to the traditions of their ancestors.

The Ralph Nader and Family Cookbook shares the cuisine of Nader's upbringing, presenting Lebanese dishes inspired by Rose's recipes that will be both known to many, including hummus and baba ghanoush, as well as others that may be lesser known, such as kibbe, the extremely versatile national dish of Lebanon, and sheikh al-mahshi--"the 'king' of stuffed foods." The cookbook includes an introduction by Nader and anecdotes throughout. The Ralph Nader and Family Cookbook will entice one's taste buds, while sharing a side of Ralph Nader that may not be commonly known, though will not surprise anyone familiar with his decades of activism and involvement in consumer protection advocacy.

















[book] The Goldbergs Cookbook
by Beverly Goldberg (the character)
with Jenn Fujikawa
and an Afterword by Adam F. Goldberg (the show runner)
April 7, 2020
Rizzoli

This official cookbook features totally eighties dishes from the hit TV show.

Fans have been clamoring for the recipes created by television's favorite (s)Mother, Beverly Goldberg, and The Goldbergs Cookbook delivers.

This is more joke book thn cookbook.. and chesse is on everything

Played by actress Wendi McLendon-Covey and based on creator and show-runner Adam F. Goldberg's real mother, Beverly Goldberg takes every opportunity to cook for her family, putting forth her philosophy: food is love-- and a way to manipulate.

These seventy recipes, most taken from the same recipe box prominently featured in the show's sixth season, give hungry fans their best chance to cook like Beverly, who uses outlandish quantities of cheeses and meats (with veggies few and far between)--and who doles out unwanted help and snuggies to her ungrateful kids as she goes.

Note... it isnt kosher

Recipes include Beverly's infamous Shrimp Parm -- and many other Parms, since Parming is her thing;
meaty family favorites such as Rib Pot Pie (No Peas, No Carrots),
7-Meat Meatloaf,
and Big Tasty Pork;
and recipes Bev makes with good (unsolicited) intentions, including Barry's Special Power Chili and Bran Muffins to Help You Make, among many others (note.. “MAKE” is a very Jewish term that many are surprised is not a universally understood English word).
Retro food photographs accompany many of the recipes and show stills will showcase the entire Goldberg family in all of their high-strung glory.



























[book] The Ladies' Village Improvement Society Cookbook:
Eating and Entertaining in East Hampton
by Florence Fabricant w/
Doug Young (Photographer)
Martha Stewart (Foreword)
Ina Garten, Eli Zabar
April 7, 2020
Rizzoli

A delicious melding of traditional taste with the flavors of the Hamptons, this cookbook offers 100 recipes for entertaining as well as for everyday meals.

Gifted with waters brimming with local fish and with farmland that produces a bounty of fruit and vegetables, the Hamptons have long been a destination for food lovers. Now, one of the most historic organizations on the island pairs with legendary food writer Florence Fabricant to capture the local color through a collection of recipes from members of the Ladies' Village Improvement Society, renowned chefs and celebrities who live or vacation in East Hampton (including Martha Stewart, Ina Garten, Hilaria Baldwin, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Eli Zabar), and favorite local figures like farmers and vintners.

Organized into twenty menus, including "Dinner After the Movies," "Autumn Catch," and "Lunch by the Pool," the recipes encompass the uniquely broad range of gatherings, from special-occasion celebrations to casual family meals or big beach picnics for a crowd. Vibrant original photographs shine a light on the freshness and originality of the food and the local spots from beaches to farm stands, while historical photographs and anecdotes from the Ladies' Village Improvement Society archives and local newspapers express the best of Hamptons eating.





















[book] Salvage Poetics:
Post-Holocaust American
Jewish Folk Ethnographies
by Sheila E. Jelen
April 14, 2020
Wayne State University Press

Salvage Poetics: Post-Holocaust American Jewish Folk Ethnographies explores how American Jewish post-Holocaust writers, scholars, and editors adapted pre-Holocaust works, such as Yiddish fiction and documentary photography, for popular consumption by American Jews in the post-Holocaust decades. These texts, Jelen argues, served to help clarify the role of East European Jewish identity in the construction of a post-Holocaust American one. In her analysis of a variety of "hybrid" texts-those that exist on the border between ethnography and art-Jelen traces the gradual shift from verbal to visual Jewish literacy among Jewish Americans after the Holocaust.

S. Ansky's ethnographic expedition (1912-1914) and Martin Buber's adaptation and compilation of Hasidic tales (1906-1935) are presented as a means of contextualizing the role of an ethnographic consciousness in modern Jewish experience and the way in which literary adaptations and mediations create opportunities for the creation of folk ethnographic hybrid texts. Salvage Poetics looks at classical texts of the American Jewish experience in the second half of the twentieth century, such as Maurice Samuel's The World of Sholem Aleichem (1944), Abraham Joshua Heschel's The Earth Is the Lord's (1950), Elizabeth Herzog and Mark Zborowski's Life Is with People (1952), Lucy Dawidowicz's The Golden Tradition (1967), and Roman Vishniac's A Vanished World (1983), alongside other texts that consider the symbiotic relationship between pre-Holocaust aesthetic artifacts and their postwar reframings and reconsiderations.

Salvage Poetics is particularly attentive to how literary scholars deploy the notion of "ethnography" in their readings of literature in languages and/or cultures that are considered "dead" or "dying" and how their definition of an "ethnographic" literary text speaks to and enhance the scientific discipline of ethnography. This book makes a fresh contribution to the fields of American Jewish cultural and literary studies and art history.

















[book] My Wife Said You May
Want to Marry Me:
A Memoir
by Jason B. Rosenthal
April 21, 2020

An inspiring memoir of life, love, loss, and new beginnings by the widower of bestselling children’s author and filmmaker Amy Krouse Rosenthal, whose last of act of love before her death was setting the stage for her husband’s life without her in a column in the New York Times.

On March 3, 2017, Amy Krouse Rosenthal penned an op-ed piece for the New York Times’ “Modern Love” column —”You May Want to Marry My Husband.” It appeared ten days before her death from ovarian cancer. A heartbreaking, wry, brutally honest, and creative play on a personal ad—in which a dying wife encouraged her husband to go on and find happiness after her demise—the column quickly went viral, reaching more than five million people worldwide.

In My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me, Jason describes what came next: his commitment to respecting Amy’s wish, even as he struggled with her loss. Surveying his life before, with, and after Amy, Jason ruminates on love, the pain of watching a loved one suffer, and what it means to heal—how he and their three children, despite their profound sorrow, went on. Jason’s emotional journey offers insights on dying and death and the excruciating pain of losing a soulmate, and illuminates the lessons he learned.

As he reflects on Amy’s gift to him—a fresh start to fill his empty space with a new story—Jason describes how he continues to honor Amy’s life and her last wish, and how he seeks to appreciate every day and live in the moment while trying to help others coping with loss. My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me is the poignant, unreserved, and inspiring story of a great love, the aftermath of a marriage ended too soon, and how a surviving partner eventually found a new perspective on life’s joys in the wake of tremendous loss.


























[book] The Good Assassin:
How a Mossad Agent and a
Band of Survivors Hunted
Down the Butcher of Latvia
by Stephan Talty
April 21, 2020
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


The untold story of an Israeli spy’s epic journey to bring the notorious Butcher of Latvia to justice—a case that altered the fates of all ex-Nazis.

Before World War II, Herbert Cukurs was a famous figure in his small Latvian city, the “Charles Lindbergh of his country.” But by 1945, he was the Butcher of Latvia, a man who murdered some thirty thousand Latvian Jews. Somehow, he dodged the Nuremberg trials, fleeing to South America after war’s end.

By 1965, as a statute of limitations on all Nazi war crimes threatened to expire, Germany sought to welcome previous concentration camp commanders, pogrom leaders, and executioners, as citizens. The global pursuit of Nazi criminals escalated to beat the looming deadline, and Mossad, the Israeli national intelligence agency, joined the cause. Yaakov Meidad, the brilliant Mossad agent who had kidnapped Adolf Eichmann three years earlier, led the mission to assassinate Cukurs in a desperate bid to block the amnesty. In a thrilling undercover operation unrivaled by even the most ambitious spy novels, Meidad traveled to Brazil in an elaborate disguise, befriended Cukurs and earned his trust, while negotiations over the Nazi pardon neared a boiling point.

The Good Assassin uncovers this little-known chapter of Holocaust history and the pulse-pounding undercover operation that brought Cukurs to justice.

























[book] No Shadows in the Desert:
Murder, Vengeance, and Espionage
in the War Against ISIS
by Samuel M. Katz
April 21, 2020
Hanover Square Press

The inside story of the covert operation that took down the heads of ISIS

No Shadows in the Desert reveals the untold story of the behind-the-scenes fight against ISIS—one coordinated by heads of state and ultimately fought in the alleyways and open deserts of the Middle Eastern battlefield by spies and soldiers. Samuel M. Katz draws upon his sources within the global intelligence and counterterrorism community, as well as the international special operations and espionage fraternity, to tell the story of the covert campaign against ISIS by the operatives who ventured deeply and secretly into enemy territory.

In this first-ever look at the secret inner workings of an Arab secret service, Katz tells the story of Jordan’s GID, the masters of human intelligence on the espionage battlefields of the Middle East, who proved pivotal and crucial go-to allies of the CIA and America’s other intelligence agencies in the war against ISIS and the war on terror. With the revealing and intimate insight of the intelligence officers who fought ISIS, No Shadows in the Desert is a rare glimpse into how a strategic partnership helped change how terrorism is fought in the Middle East and beyond.

























[book] The King of Warsaw:
A Novel - Paperback
by Szczepan Twardoch
Sean Gasper Bye (Translator)
April 21, 2020
Amazon

A city ignited by hate. A man in thrall to power. The ferociously original award-winning bestseller by Poland’s literary phenomenon—his first to be translated into English.

It’s 1937. Poland is about to catch fire.

In the boxing ring, Jakub Szapiro commands respect, revered as a hero by the Jewish community. Outside, he instills fear as he muscles through Warsaw as enforcer for a powerful crime lord. Murder and intimidation have their rewards. He revels in luxury, spends lavishly, and indulges in all the pleasures that barbarity offers. For a man battling to be king of the underworld, life is good. Especially when it’s a frightening time to be alive.

Hitler is rising. Fascism is escalating. As a specter of violence hangs over Poland like a black cloud, its marginalized and vilified Jewish population hopes for a promise of sanctuary in Palestine. Jakub isn’t blind to the changing tide. What’s unimaginable to him is abandoning the city he feels destined to rule. With the raging instincts that guide him in the ring and on the streets, Jakub feels untouchable. He must maintain the order he knows—even as a new world order threatens to consume him.

























[book] What’s Wrong with Economics?:
A Primer for the Perplexed
by Robert Skidelsky (Baron Skidelsky)
April 21, 2020
Yale University Press

A passionate and informed critique of mainstream economics from one of the leading economic thinkers of our time

This insightful book looks at how mainstream economics’ quest for scientific certainty has led to a narrowing of vision and a convergence on an orthodoxy that is unhealthy for the field, not to mention the societies which base policy decisions on the advice of flawed economic models. Noted economic thinker Robert Skidelsky explains the circumstances that have brought about this constriction and proposes an approach to economics which includes philosophy, history, sociology, and politics.

Skidelsky’s clearly written and compelling critique takes aim at the way that economics is taught in today’s universities, where a focus on modelling leaves students ill-equipped to grapple with what is important and true about human life. He argues for a return to the ideal set out by John Maynard Keynes that the economist must be a “mathematician, historian, statesman, [and] philosopher” in equal measure.

























[book] The Christians Who Became Jews:
Acts of the Apostles
and Ethnicity in the Roman City
by Christopher Stroup
April 21, 2020
Synkrisis

A fresh look at Acts of the Apostles and its depiction of Jewish identity within the larger Roman era

When considering Jewish identity in Acts of the Apostles, scholars have often emphasized Jewish and Christian religious difference, an emphasis that masks the intersections of civic, ethnic, and religious identifications in antiquity. Christopher Stroup’s innovative work explores the depiction of Jewish and Christian identity by analyzing ethnicity within a broader material and epigraphic context. Examining Acts through a new lens, he shows that the text presents Jews and Jewish identity in multiple, complex ways, in order to legitimate the Jewishness of Christians.

























[book] THE ACT OF LIVING
WHAT THE GREAT PSYCHOLOGISTS
CAN TEACH US ABOUT
FINDING FULFILLMENT
BY FRANK TALLIS
April 16, 2020
BASIC BOOKS

What the leading theories of mind can teach us about the search for meaning

For most of us, the major questions of life continue to perplex: Who am I? Why am I here? How should I live? In the late nineteenth century, a class of thinkers emerged who made solving these problems central to their work. They understood that human questions demand human answers and that without understanding what it means to be human, there are no answers.

Through the biographies and theories of luminaries ranging from Sigmund Freud to Erich Fromm, Frank Tallis shows us how to think about companionship and parenting, identity and aging, and much more. Accessible yet erudite, The Act of Living is essential reading for anyone seeking answers to life’s biggest questions.






















[book] The Convert:
A Novel
by Stefan Hertmans
David McKay (Translator)
February 4, 2020
Pantheon
Translated from Dutch

In this dazzling work of historical fiction, the Man Booker International–long-listed author of War and Turpentine reconstructs the tragic story of a medieval noblewoman who leaves her home and family for the love of a Jewish boy.

In eleventh-century France, Vigdis Adelaïs, a young woman from a prosperous Christian family, falls in love with David Todros, a rabbi’s son and yeshiva student. To be together, the couple must flee their city, and Vigdis must renounce her life of privilege and comfort. Pursued by her father’s knights and in constant danger of betrayal, the lovers embark on a dangerous journey to the south of France, only to find their brief happiness destroyed by the vicious wave of anti-Semitism sweeping through Europe with the onset of the First Crusade.

What begins as a story of forbidden love evolves into a globe-trotting trek spanning continents, as Vigdis undertakes an epic journey to Cairo and back, enduring the unimaginable in hopes of finding her lost children.

Based on two fragments from the Cairo Genizah—a repository of more than three hundred thousand manuscripts and documents stored in the upper chamber of a synagogue in Old Cairo—Stefan Hertmans has pieced together a remarkable work of imagination, re-creating the tragic story of two star-crossed lovers whose steps he retraces almost a millennium later. Blending fact and fiction, and with immense imagination and stylistic ingenuity, Hertmans painstakingly depicts Vigdis’s terrible trials, bringing the Middle Ages to life and illuminating a chaotic world of love and hate.






















[book] [book] PREPARE MY PRAYER
(Recipes to Awaken the Soul)
by Rabbi Dov Singer
February 20, 2020
MAGGID

NOTE: Rabbi Dov Singer contracted Coronavirus in Feb/March 2020 during his book tour in the USA. He is recovering in Israel

Prepare My Prayer is a unique attempt to develop a dedicated language for the worship of the heart, the language of prayer. In a unique style, inspired by recipe books, this volume offers a variety of concise and practical recipes for prayer by one of Israel's most popular religious educators.

Rabbi Dov Singer is a recognized trailblazer in Israeli education and Jewish spirituality. He has attracted thousands of Jews of all backgrounds to workshops and prayer events to explore and enhance spirituality while going beyond ritual choreography. He has taught generations of students, young and old, how to talk and listen to one another, and as a result, how to do the same with God. His new book, Prepare My Prayer: Recipes to Awaken the Soul, invites readers to taste his unique insight.

Rabbi Singer sees humans as “Homo-mitpalelos”- praying beings, rather than “Homo-sapiens” – thinking beings. He claims that all of humanity, and in a sense, all of creation prays instinctively. He guides his readers on how to let go of all the questions – “to whom am I praying? Why I am praying? Does it even work?” and to learn how to harness their spiritual instinct for prayer.

In his debut book in English, translated from the successful, bestselling, Hebrew edition, Tikon Tefillati, Rabbi Singer seeks to engage readers and encourage them to take practical steps and actions to actively influence their prayer experience. In the style of a cookbook, Rabbi Singer includes short recipes as a means to develop and enhance one’s skillset – the mechanisms we use when we pray. Modeled on techniques Rabbi Singer has implemented in his popular workshops that attract people of varied backgrounds, Prepare My Prayer emphasizes one’s concentration, one’s emotional and spiritual connection with God, and one’s personal engagement with the Divine.

Comprising eleven chapters broken down into concise, accessible sections, each “recipe” begins with short, powerful quotes ranging from traditional Jewish texts from the Bible to the Talmud to Hassidic masters like Rebbe Nac?man. Rabbi Singer’s poetic narrative then focuses on and guides readers in a particular practical aspect of prayer encouraging readers to take what’s being shared and practice it.

This book is for anyone who prays, who wants to pray, or who wants to want to pray.

Rabbi Dov Singer, head of Yeshivat Makor Chaim and the Study Center for Renewal, is an educational innovator and a leader of the modern Israeli revival of Hassidut. He is well known in Israel and the US for his inspiring teacher training and prayer workshops.























[book] Apeirogon:
A Novel
by Colum McCann
February 25, 2020
Random House

From the National Book Award–winning and bestselling author of Let the Great World Spin comes an epic novel rooted in the real-life friendship between two men united by loss.

“Staggering . . . Writing at the top of his game, Colum McCann brings us a book that we sorely need.”—Elizabeth Strout

Colum McCann’s most ambitious work to date, Apeirogon—named for a shape with a countably infinite number of sides—is a tour de force concerning friendship, love, loss, and belonging.

Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. They inhabit a world of conflict that colors every aspect of their daily lives, from the roads they are allowed to drive on, to the schools their daughters, Abir and Smadar, each attend, to the checkpoints, both physical and emotional, they must negotiate.

Their worlds shift irreparably after ten-year-old Abir is killed by a rubber bullet and thirteen-year-old Smadar becomes the victim of suicide bombers. When Bassam and Rami learn of each other’s stories, they recognize the loss that connects them and they attempt to use their grief as a weapon for peace.

McCann crafts Apeirogon out of a universe of fictional and nonfictional material. He crosses centuries and continents, stitching together time, art, history, nature, and politics in a tale both heartbreaking and hopeful. Musical, cinematic, muscular, delicate, and soaring, Apeirogon is a novel for our time.

























[book] Eat Something:
A Wise Sons Cookbook
for Jews Who Like Food
and Food Lovers Who Like Jews
by Evan Bloom
Rachel Levin
and George McCalman (Illustrator)
March 3, 2020
Chronicle Books

From nationally recognized Jewish brand Wise Sons, the cookbook Eat Something features over 60 recipes for salads, soups, baked goods, holiday dishes, and more.

Here's a fanatical, pathological, humorous take on Jewish food obsession, with photos, illustrations, shared recipes, and schmaltz.

This long-awaited cookbook (the first one for Wise Sons!) is packed with homey recipes and relatable humor; it is as much a delicious, lighthearted, and nostalgic cookbook as it is a lively celebration of Jewish culture.

Stemming from the thesis that Jews eat by occasion, the book is organized into 19 different events and celebrations chronicling a Jewish life in food, including: bris, Shabbat, Passover and other high holidays, first meal home from college, J-dating, wedding, and more.

• Both a Jewish humor book and a cookbook
• Recipes are drawn from the menus of their beloved Bay Area restaurants, as well as all the occasions when Jews gather around the table.
• Includes short essays, illustrations, memorabilia, and stylish plated food photography.

Wise Sons is a nationally recognized deli and Jewish food brand with a unique Bay Area ethos—inspired by the past but entirely contemporary, they make traditional Jewish foods California-style with great ingredients.

Recipes include Braided Challah,
Big Macher Burger, Wise Sons' Brisket,
Chinese Chicken Salad, Chicken Salad, Smoked Fish Salad, Tuna Salad, Egg Salad,
Oven Poached Salmon,
“Jewish Chicken” with onion powder and garlic powder,
Challah Onion Rolls
DIY Cured Fish,
Fall Vegetable Hash,
Honey Cake from the Box (using Betty Corcker Super Moist French Vanilla mix as a starter),
Challah Apple Fritter Monkey Bread,
Apricot Chicken,
Not a Lower East Side Knish,

Challah Strawberry Shortcake,
Chicken Schnitzel with Lemon-Caper Mayo
Roumanian Skirt Steak with Scallion-Garlic Sauce,
Chopped Liver Toast, Kreplach Wontons, and Silver Dollar Potatoes,
Green Bean Casserole, Rugelach, Russian Dressing,
Carrot Tzimmes, and Morning After Matzoquiles,
while essays include Confessions of a First-Time Seder Host,
So, You Didn't Marry a Jew,
and Iconic Chinese Restaurants, As Chosen by the Chosen People.

• The perfect gift for Wise Sons fans of all ages, lovers of Jewish food and humor, as well as gift-givers young and old looking for Jewish-themed gifts for bar mitzvahs, birthdays, weddings, and more
• Great for those who enjoyed Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking by Michael Solomonov, The 100 Most Jewish Foods: A Highly Debatable List by Alana Newhouse, and Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House That Herring Built by Mark Russ Federman
• A must for anyone looking to expand their knowledge of Jewish cuisine and culture










THE OPPOSITE OF THE DELI ABOVE...


[book] THE DAIRY RESTAURANT
(Jewish Encounters Series)
by Ben Katchor
March 10, 2020
Schocken Books

From the award-winning author and illustrator and innovative thinker BEN KATCHOR< who gave us Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer; The Jew of New York; and cartoon strips in THE FORWARD comes a unique history of a beloved New York culinary institution that emerged in the late 19th century and had all but disappeared by the end of the 20th.

AND YES... The GARDEN DAIRY RESTAURANT and its menu is in there around Page 410... and so is Rapoport's and Ratner's and the B&H which still exists

For The Dairy Restaurant, Ben Katchor retells the history of where we choose to eat--a history that starts with the first man allowed to enter a walled garden and encouraged by the garden's owner to enjoy it's fruits. In this brilliant, sui generis (Unique, a class of its own) book, Ben Katchor illuminates the unique historical confluence of events and ideas that led to the proliferation of the dairy restaurant in New York City.

In words and his inimitable drawings, he begins with Adam, entering Eden and eating the fruits therein. He examines ancient protocols for offerings to the gods and the kosher milk-meat taboo. He describes the first vegetarian practice, the development of inns offering food to travelers, the invention of the restaurant, the rise of various food fads, and the intersection between culinary practice and radical politics. Here, too, is an encyclopedic directory of dairy restaurants that once thrived in New York City and its environs, evoked by Katchor's illustrations of classified advertisements, matchbooks, menus, and phone directory listings. And he ends on an elegiac note as he recollects his own experiences in many of these unique restaurants just before they disappeared--as have almost all the dairy restaurants in the New York metropolitan area.
PART OF THE JEWISH ENCOUNTERS SERIES















[book] Feeding Women of the Bible,
Feeding Ourselves:
A Jewish Food Hero Cookbook
by Kenden Alfond
March 10, 2020
Turner Books

Feeding Women of the Bible cookbook features a short compelling narrative of 20 female biblical heroines from the Hebrew bible, paired with two healthy plant-based kosher pareve recipes inspired by the character’s experience.

You learn about these extraordinary women through:

Their Stories: a concise summary of the female biblical character’s narrative.

Verses: key quotations from the Hebrew Bible relating to the biblical character’s narrative. All quotations are from The Hebrew Bible: A Translation and Commentary by Robert Alter.

Themes: essential emotional, mental, physical, social themes that define the heroine’s narrative or role.

Midrash: a modern commentary, uplifting the voice of the biblical heroine without attempting to neutralise their imperfections, flaws or struggles.

Prompts: meaningful questions arising from her story, to inspire further reflection for women today.

Food Offerings: two plant-based recipes developed to honour the biblical heroines.

This is a community cookbook by Kenden Alfond and is the co-creation of 40 Jewish women. The twenty biblical narratives are contributed by Rabbis, Rabbinical students, Jewish teachers and emerging thought leaders. The forty-one plant-based recipes were developed by professional chefs, homecooks who are elementary school students, and great-grandmothers.




















[book] COOL BEANS
The ULTIMATE Guide to Cooking
with the World's Most Versatile
Plant-Based Protein, with 125 Recipes
[A Cookbook]
by Joe Yonan
2020

Joe Yonan is a longtime vegetarian who cooks a pot of beans for himself and his husband each week
His sister Rebecca is a former hippie, macrobiotic writer who taught Joe a lot about beans
Yonan and his WaPo deputy-editor Bonnie Benwick also care about Jewish food. Yonan isnt an MOT (he is the grandchild of Assyrian refugees), but Benwick and Cathy Barrow teach him what he needs to know.

This is a fresh, modern look at the diverse world of beans, chickpeas, lentils, pulses, and more--featuring 125 recipes for globally inspired vegetarian mains, snacks, soups, and desserts, from a James Beard Award-winning food writer and editor for The Washington Post

Beans are emerging from their hippie roots to be embraced for what they truly are: a delicious, versatile, and environmentally friendly form of protein. With heirloom varieties now widely available across the United States, this nutritious and hearty staple is poised to take over your diet.

Enter Joe Yonan, food editor of The Washington Post, who provides a master base recipe for cooking any sort of bean in any sort of appliance--Instant Pot®, slow cooker, or stovetop--as well as 125 recipes for using them in daily life, from Harissa-Roasted Carrot and White Bean Dip to Crunchy Spiced Chickpeas to Smoky Black Bean and Plantain Chili. Drawing on the culinary traditions of the Middle East, the Mediterranean, South America, and the American South, and with beautiful photography throughout, this book has recipes for everyone. With fresh flavors, vibrant spices, and clever techniques, Yonan shows how beans can save you from boring dinners, lunches, breakfasts--and even desserts!

























[book] Always Home:
A Daughter's Recipes & Stories:
Foreword by Alice Waters
y Fanny Singer
Alice Waters (Foreword)
March 31, 2020
Knopf

A cookbook and culinary memoir about growing up as the daughter of revered chef/restaurateur Alice Waters: a story of food, family, and the need for beauty in all aspects of life.

In this extraordinarily intimate portrait of her mother--and herself--Fanny Singer, daughter of food icon and activist Alice Waters, chronicles a unique world of food, wine, and travel; a world filled with colorful characters, mouth-watering traditions, and sumptuous feasts. Across dozens of vignettes with accompanying recipes, she shares the story of her own culinary coming of age and reveals a side of her legendary mother that has never been seen before. A charming, smart translation of Alice Waters's ideals and attitudes about food for a new generation, Always Home is a loving, often funny, unsentimental, and exquisitely written look at a life defined in so many ways by food, as well as the bond between mother and daughter.























[book] FALASTIN:
A COOKBOOK
by Sami Tamimi with
Tara Wigley, and a foreword
by Yotam Ottolenghi
Spring 2020
(July 14, 2020)
Ten Speed Press.

A soulful tour of Palestinian cooking today that opens minds and mouths... from the Ottolenghi restaurants’ executive chef and partner — over 110 recipes shaped by his personal story as well as the history of Palestine.
“This is a beautiful book and I want to cook every single recipe in it.”—Nigella Lawson

Yotam Ottolenghi has written several very popular, best selling cookbooks, and his restaurants in London are prime destinations for tourists and locals. But the co author and chef behind a lot has been Sami Tamimi, who, like Yotam, was born in Jerusalem and is queer. He left his Jerusalem home and 11 siblings and half-siblings at the age of 17 and cooked in Tel Aviv for a dozen years, five of them at Lilith. In London, he worked at Baker & Spice where he met Yotam. By the time he returned to his family after a 17 year gap, he had 30 nephews and nieces. Now he has penned his own cookbook where he gets the top billing and shares his stories, ecipes, and stories of family.

The story of Palestine’s food is really the story of its people. When the events of 1948 forced residents from all regions of Palestine together into one compressed land, recipes that were once closely guarded family secrets were shared and passed between different groups in an effort to ensure that they were not lost forever.

In Falastin (pronounced “fa-la-steen”), Sami Tamimi retraces the lineage and evolution of his country’s cuisine, born of its agriculturally optimal geography, its distinct culinary traditions, and Palestinian cooks’ ingenuity and resourcefulness. Tamimi covers the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River—East Jerusalem and the West Bank, up north to the Galilee and the coastal cities of Haifa and Akko, inland to Nazareth, and then south to Hebron and the coastal Gaza Strip—recounting his upbringing with eleven siblings and his decision to leave home at seventeen to cook in West Jerusalem, where he met and first worked with Yotam Ottolenghi. It encompasses recipes of the people of the North, Arabs of the Negev, Gazans, refugees, 48ers, Arab Israelis, Israeli Arabs, Palestinians, and other identities.

From refugee-camp cooks to the home kitchens of Gaza and the mill of a master tahini maker, Tamimi teases out the vestiges of an ancient culinary tradition as he records the derivations of a dynamic cuisine and people in more than 130 transporting photographs and 120 recipes, including:

• A fascinating story on Sami and Tar's visit to a chef/restaurant in Haifa's lower port road and in Nazareth, and the politics of food (or not).. (and how even if you studied amazing seafood techniques in Sweden, the customer still just wants a kids menu and basic linguini with seafood.
• Hassan’s Easy Eggs with Za’atar and Lemon, an homage to his late father, Hassan. Use a high quality oilve oil if you can, and Aleppo chili flakes and avocado cubes.
• Fresh herb omelette, which uses baking powder and flour and fried in olive oil
• Red Shakshuka and Green Shakshuka
• Hummus (two types)
• A story of the village of Battir and its eggplant
• Labneh and the women of Bethlehem
• Beet and Sweet Potato dip
• Muhammarah
• Butternut squash m' tabbal … with an explantion on how m'tabbal and baba ganoush differ.
• Roasted figs and onions with radicchio and goat cheese
• Mashed Turnip with greens, carmelized onions, and feta
• Chilled cucumber and Tahini soup; Besara soup with fava beans, charred eggplant and lemon soup
• Meatballs and Peas in Tomato sauce
• Fish Kofta with Yogurt, Sumac, and Chile
• Pulled-Lamb Schwarma Sandwich
• Labneh Cheesecake with Roasted Apricots, Honey, and Cardamom


Named after the Palestinian newspaper that brought together a diverse people, Falastin is a vision of a cuisine, a culture, and a way of life as experienced by one influential chef.


SEE ALSO: [book] [book]



































[book] [book] Fresh from Poland:
New Vegetarian Cooking
from the Old Country
by Michal Korkosz
March 17, 2020
The Experiment

Authentically Polish. All vegetarian.

There’s so much more to Polish food than kielbasa and schnitzel: Poland is home to beautiful fruits, vegetables, and grains—and a rich cooking tradition that makes the most of them. In Fresh from Poland, Saveur award winner Micha? Korkosz celebrates recipes from his mother and grandmother—with modern, personal touches and gorgeous photos that capture his passion for cooking. Vegetables are his stars, but Micha? doesn’t shy away from butter, flour, and sugar; the ingredients that make food—and life—more rozkoszny (delightful)! The result? Over eighty comforting dishes for every occasion.

Indulgent breakfasts:
Brown Butter Scrambled Eggs; Apple Fritters; Buckwheat Blini with Sour Cream and Pickled Red Onion
Hearty vegetarian mains:
Barley Risotto with Asparagus, Cider, and Goat Cheese; Potato Fritters with Rosemary and Horseradish Sauce; Stuffed Tomatoes with Millet, Cinnamon, and Almonds, Blueberry Pierogis, Rye Crumble with Honey Fruit
Breathtaking baked goods:
Sourdough Rye Bread; Sweet Blueberry Buns with Streusel; Honey Cake with Prunes and Sour Cream
Pierogi of all kinds:
From savory Spinach, Goat Cheese, and Salted Almonds to sweet Plums and Cinnamon-Honey Butter

Still not convinced... visit his blog at https://rozkoszny.pl/en/



















[book] THE YELLOW BIRD SINGS
A NOVEL
BY JENNIFER ROSNER
March 3, 2020
Flatiron Press


In Poland, as World War II rages, a mother hides with her young daughter, a musical prodigy whose slightest sound may cost them their lives.

As Nazi soldiers round up the Jews in their town, Róza and her 5-year-old daughter, Shira, flee, seeking shelter in a neighbor’s barn. Hidden in the hayloft day and night, Shira struggles to stay still and quiet, as music pulses through her and the farmyard outside beckons. To soothe her daughter and pass the time, Róza tells her a story about a girl in an enchanted garden:

The girl is forbidden from making a sound, so the yellow bird sings. He sings whatever the girl composes in her head: high-pitched trills of piccolo; low-throated growls of contrabassoon. Music helps the flowers bloom.

In this make-believe world, Róza can shield Shira from the horrors that surround them. But the day comes when their haven is no longer safe, and Róza must make an impossible choice: whether to keep Shira by her side or give her the chance to survive apart.

Inspired by the true stories of Jewish children hidden during World War II, Jennifer Rosner’s debut is a breathtaking novel about the unbreakable bond between a mother and a daughter. Beautiful and riveting, The Yellow Bird Sings is a testament to the triumph of hope-a whispered story, a bird’s song-in even the darkest of times.






















[book] I WANT YOU TO KNOW
WE'RE STILL HERE:
A Post-Holocaust Memoir
by Esther Safran Foer
March 31, 2020
Tim Duggan Books
Penguin Random House

In 2020, 75 years after the liberation of the death camps, this is an important book to read. I even referred to it at a Thanksgiving dinner, when a sister in law mentioned that she was sad that she did not query her grandmother more about her escapes during WWII. I replied that it was doubtful that her maternal grandmother would have shared her experiences with her, since she never spoke of the wartime.. ever. Which brings me to this important memoir....

Esther Safran Foer is the past CEO and co-creator of the famed SIXTH AND I historic synagogue space and cultural hub in Washington DC. Among her major accomplishments is parenting some famous writers, including Jonathan Safran Foer, Franklin Safran Foer and Joshua Safran Foer. TALK ABOUT MEMORY?? Joshua, a science writer, was the U.S. MEMORY Champion in 2006. Frank' is a historian. And Jonathan authored EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED... a fictional search for a shtetl. And Esther collects MEMORY JARS in her home.. labeled jars on the mantel filled with items such as soil from her trips. (Her husband Bert wrote many articles on antitrust issues)

This is a memory-obsessed family.

While Jonathan wrote the fictional account of a shtetl, his mother, Esther, has written a factual account, a riveting memoir of family, the Holocaust, and the search for truth.

Esther Safran Foer grew up in a home where the past was too terrible to speak of.

The child of parents who were each the sole survivors of their respective families, for Esther the Holocaust loomed in the backdrop of daily life, felt but never discussed. SILENCE. The result was a childhood marked by painful silences and continued tragedy. Even as she built a successful career, married, and raised three children, Esther always felt herself searching.

So when Esther’s mother casually mentions an astonishing revelation—that her father had a previous wife and daughter (who would be Esther's half sister), both killed in the Holocaust—Esther resolves to find out who they were, and how her father survived. Armed with only a black-and-white photo and a hand-drawn map, she travels to Ukraine, determined to find the shtetl where her father hid during the war. What she finds – THE SEARCH TOOK TWENTY YEARS and included the help of an FBI agent - reshapes her identity and gives her the opportunity to finally mourn. She also finds a family who knew her father's family (70 yrs after the Holocaust)

I Want You to Know We’re Still Here is the poignant and deeply moving story not only of Esther’s journey but of four generations living in the shadow of the Holocaust. They are four generations of survivors, storytellers, and memory keepers, determined not just to keep the past alive but to imbue the present with life and more life.

Note to file: You may recall that in the novel and film, Everything is Illuminated, the character searches for the shtetl TROCHENBROD. It was destroyed in reality and the novel. But once the novel became a best seller and the film as screened worldwide, people who remembered TROCHENBROD came out of the woodwork, and shared memories with the Safran Foer family. So 11 years after the real trip that Princeton student Jonathan Safran Foer took, his mother was able to take her own, more reality-informed trip.














[book] My Wild Garden:
Notes from a Writer's Eden
by Meir Shalev
Joanna Chen (Translator)
March 31, 2020
Schocken

A colorfully illustrated round of the season in the garden of the best-selling novelist, memoirist, and champion putterer with a wheelbarrow

On the perimeter of Israel’s Jezreel Valley, with the Carmel mountains rising up in the west, Meir Shalev has a beloved garden, “neither neatly organized nor well kept,” as he cheerfully explains. Often covered in mud and scrapes, Shalev cultivates both nomadic plants and “house dwellers,” using his own quirky techniques. He extolls the virtues of the lemon tree, rescues a precious variety of purple snapdragon from the Jerusalem–Tel Aviv highway, and does battle with a saboteur mole rat. He even gives us his superior private recipe for curing olives.

Informed by Shalev’s literary sensibility, his sometime riotous humor, and his deep curiosity about the land, My Wild Garden abounds with appreciation for the joy of living, quite literally, on Earth. Our borrowed time on any particular patch of it is enhanced, the author reminds us, by our honest, respectful dealings with all manner of beings who inhabit it with us.
























[book] APROPOS OF NOTHING AUTOBIOGRAPHY
BY WOODY ALLEN
March 23, 2020
Was supposed to be Hachette,
But then picked up by Skyhorse Publishing/Arcade

The long-awaited memoir by Woody Allen, the beloved filmmaker and comedy writer, who was much loved until he wasn't, and is mostly a rejected pariah. So controversial was dealing with him, that weeks before publication, staff members at Hachette had a walkout, and son, Ronan Farrow threatened Hachette, so the book was then sold to another publisher (Skyhorse) which agreed to distribute the book.
Although a funnyman and great filmmaker, he is deep down a misanthrope who has contempt for his fans.

FROM THE PUBLISHER: In this candid and often hilarious memoir, the celebrated director, comedian, writer, and actor offers a comprehensive, personal look at his tumultuous life. Beginning with his Brooklyn childhood and his stint as a writer for the Sid Caesar variety show in the early days of television, working alongside comedy greats, Allen tells of his difficult early days doing standup before he achieved recognition and success. With his unique storytelling pizzazz, he recounts his departure into moviemaking, with such slapstick comedies as Take the Money and Run, and revisits his entire, sixty-year-long, and enormously productive career as a writer and director, from his classics Annie Hall, Manhattan, and Annie and Her Sisters to his most recent films, including Midnight in Paris. Along the way, he discusses his marriages, his romances and famous friendships, his jazz playing, and his books and plays. We learn about his demons, his mistakes, his successes, and those he loved, worked with, and learned from in equal measure. This is a hugely entertaining, deeply honest, rich and brilliant self-portrait of a celebrated artist who is ranked among the greatest filmmakers of our time.


Of this book, PETER BART wrote, “the book exhibits the same absence of order and discipline that has haunted both his films and his personal life. Indeed, it has re-ignited a predictable torrent of criticism about the scandals without adding new information or insight. Titled Apropos of Nothing, the memoir is actually three books: One is a hilarious account of his Brooklyn upbringing; the second is a superbly revealing analysis of triumphs and flaws in his filmmaking; and the third is a baffling and unhinged report of his personal encounters, which reads like a bad parody of a Dostoevsky novel, with subtitles by Freud. Readers might be surprised by Allen’s candor but, as he explains, “when you view something as an innocent person you relish the close looks because you have nothing to hide.”” A footnote: In his book, Allen reiterates that Ronan is likely his son, not Frank Sinatra’s, as has been widely accepted. Mia Farrow, who indisputably is his mother, allegedly brainwashed Ronan from early childhood to hate his father. According to the memoir, she also slept in the nude with him until he was 11 – at least according to housekeepers. Despite the confusions and secondhand insinuations, it would have been tragic had Apropos of Nothing been buried by the omniscient career-cancellation corps. Allen himself, while condemning “guilt by accusation,” would confess: “Being a misanthropist has its saving grace: People can never disappoint you.” “Rather than live in the hearts and minds of the public, I prefer to live in my apartment.”





















DO NOT NOT NOT CONFUSE THIS WITH SAM ROBERTS' OR STEPHEN DUBNER's BOOKS on the “GREENGLASS” family.
[book] HOUSE OF GLASS
THE STORY OF SECRETS OF
A TWENTIETH CENTURY JEWISH FAMILY
By HADLEY FREEMAN
March 5, 2020
Simon and Schuster

A writer investigates her family’s secret history, uncovering a story that spans a century, two World Wars, and three generations.

Hadley Freeman knew her grandmother Sara lived in France just as Hitler started to gain power, but rarely did anyone in her family talk about it. Long after her grandmother’s death, she found a shoebox tucked in the closet containing photographs of her grandmother with a mysterious stranger, a cryptic telegram from the Red Cross, and a drawing signed by Picasso.

This discovery sent Freeman on a decade-long quest to uncover the significance of these keepsakes, taking her from Picasso’s archives in Paris to a secret room in a farmhouse in Auvergne to Long Island to Auschwitz. Freeman pieces together the puzzle of her family’s past, discovering more about the lives of her grandmother and her three brothers, Jacques, Henri, and Alex. Their stories sometimes typical, sometimes astonishing—reveal the broad range of experiences of Eastern European Jews during Holocaust.

This thrilling family saga is filled with extraordinary twists, vivid characters, and famous cameos, illuminating the Jewish and immigrant experience in the World War II era. Addressing themes of assimilation, identity, and home, this powerful story about the past echoes issues that remain relevant today.



























[book] The Jerusalem Assassin
A NOVEL THRILLER
by Joel C. Rosenberg
March 17, 2020
Tyndale House (Christian) Publishing

The newest thriller mystery from Joel Rosenberg, a prolific Christian author who focuses on stories about Israel. In THE JERUSALEM ASSASSIN the President of Russia - President Aleksandr Luganov – dies. Iran attempt to buy nuclear warhead fails. American President Andrew Clarke decides the moment has come to unveil his comprehensive proposal to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

However, when a series of senior American officials involved in the peace process are assassinated, Clarke orders Marcus Ryker and a team of CIA operatives to hunt down those responsible and bring the killing spree to an end.

What Marcus Ryker uncovers is a plot to kill the American president, but at first, it’s unclear who is the driving force behind the plot. Is it the Russians, seeking payback for the assassination of Luganov? Is it the Iranians, in retaliation for the American operation to keep Tehran from acquiring nukes? Or is it another conspirator altogether (OF COURSE), someone plotting to strike a blow against American hegemony in the Middle East and seize the leadership of the entire Sunni Muslim world (UH OH.. that sort of gives away the plot)?

By the time Ryker and his team fully understand the plot and who’s behind it, they find they have less than 96 hours to disrupt a terrible evil that has been set in motion.




























[book] The Passover Haggadah:
A Biography
(Lives of Great Religious Books)
by Vanessa L. Ochs
March 3, 2020
Princeton University The life and times of a treasured book read by generations of Jewish families at the seder table

Every year at Passover, Jews around the world gather for the seder, a festive meal where family and friends come together to sing, pray, and enjoy traditional food while retelling the biblical story of the Exodus. The Passover Haggadah provides the script for the meal and is a religious text unlike any other. It is the only sacred book available in so many varieties-from the Maxwell House edition of the 1930s to the countercultural Freedom Seder-and it is the rare liturgical work that allows people with limited knowledge to conduct a complex religious service. The Haggadah is also the only religious book given away for free at grocery stores as a promotion. Vanessa Ochs tells the story of this beloved book, from its emergence in antiquity as an oral practice to its vibrant proliferation today.

Ochs provides a lively and incisive account of how the foundational Jewish narrative of liberation is remembered in the Haggadah. She discusses the book's origins in biblical and rabbinical literature, its flourishing in illuminated manuscripts in the medieval period, and its mass production with the advent of the printing press. She looks at Haggadot created on the kibbutz, those reflecting the Holocaust, feminist and LGBTQ-themed Haggadot, and even one featuring a popular television show, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Ochs shows how this enduring work of liturgy that once served to transmit Jewish identity in Jewish settings continues to be reinterpreted and reimagined to share the message of freedom for all.



























[book] At The Maggid's Seder
Stories and Insights of
Grandeur and Redemption
by Rabbi Paysach Krohn
Artscroll Mesorah
March 2020

The commandment of "Sipur Yetziyas Mitzrayim,"" to recount the miracles of our Exodus from Egypt, is one of the most beloved of mitzvos. What better way can we find to fulfill this command than by telling over stories of courage, emunah, compassion and spiritual heroism? And what better person can we find to tell us those stories than Rabbi Paysach Krohn, the famed "American Maggid"? In At the Maggid's Seder, we are treated to Rabbi Krohn's incisive and absorbing comments on the Haggadah. And more: This unique commentary also includes close to 100 (!) stories, told in a way that only Rabbi Paysach Krohn call tell them. Why did the lovely silver dish become a symbol of maror, of the bitterness of exile? How did Rav Hutner react at the Seder when a student spilled wine all over the Rosh Yeshivah's kittel? How did a young man's search for truth end up in a beautiful shidduch? In story after story, we see how many of the themes of the Seder play out in our own lives. We gain a better, deeper understanding of slavery and liberation, of faith and devotion. In this unique commentary, Rabbi Krohn invites us to enjoy a "virtual Seder" with him. In his own words: "..It is my hope and prayer that the stories and insights in this Haggadah will elevate and enhance your Seder, so that all at your table will take with them an exhilarating feeling of awe, joy, and gratitude " So come and join Rabbi Krohn At the Maggid's Seder, and see how much this Haggadah will enhance and enrich your own Seder as well.




























MAY 2020 BOOKS



[book] Poland 1939:
The Outbreak of World War II
by Roger Moorhouse
May 5, 2020
Postponed to July 14, 2020
Basic Books

A gripping history of the September Campaign and the onset of World War II

For Americans, World War II began in December of 1941, with the bombing of Pearl Harbor; but for Poland, the war began on September 1, 1939, when Hitler's soldiers invaded, followed later that month by Stalin's Red Army. The conflict that followed saw the debut of many of the features that would come to define the later war-blitzkrieg, the targeting of civilians, ethnic cleansing, and indiscriminate aerial bombing-yet it is routinely overlooked by historians.

In Poland 1939, Roger Moorhouse reexamines the least understood campaign of World War II, using original archival sources to provide a harrowing and very human account of the events that set the bloody tone for the conflict to come.





















NOW IN PAPERBACK
[book] America's Jewish Women:
A History from Colonial
Times to Today
by Pamela Nadell
May 5, 2020
Norton Paperback

A groundbreaking history of how Jewish women maintained their identity and influenced social activism as they wrote themselves into American history.

What does it mean to be a Jewish woman in America? In a gripping historical narrative, Pamela S. Nadell weaves together the stories of a diverse group of extraordinary people-from the colonial-era matriarch Grace Nathan and her great-granddaughter, poet Emma Lazarus, to labor organizer Bessie Hillman and the great justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to scores of other activists, workers, wives, and mothers who helped carve out a Jewish American identity.

The twin threads binding these women together, she argues, are a strong sense of self and a resolute commitment to making the world a better place. Nadell recounts how Jewish women have been at the forefront of causes for centuries, fighting for suffrage, trade unions, civil rights, and feminism, and hoisting banners for Jewish rights around the world. Informed by shared values of America’s founding and Jewish identity, these women’s lives have left deep footprints in the history of the nation they call home.





















[book] Trumpocalypse:
Restoring American Democracy
by David Frum
May 26, 2020
Harper

A huge swath of Americans see the rest of the country building a future that doesn’t have a place for them. It’s no wonder they’d rather burn it all down. But the fire can be stopped by Americans who act now to protect their country and its democracy.

President Trump has undermined America’s democratic traditions. At every step, he was aided by Republicans who have given up on winning power the democratic way. Polls have repeatedly shown that about a third of the electorate refuses to abandon Donald Trump, no matter what he does. Those voters aren’t looking for policy wins. They’re seeking cultural revenge.

In Trumpocalypse, David Frum looks at the causes of our tragic national fragmentation and lays out a plan to restore a democracy at home—and renew American leadership abroad. It is not enough to defeat Donald Trump on election day 2020. Even if Trump peacefully departs office, the trauma he inflicted will distort American and world politics for years to come.

Americans can do better. David Frum shows how—and inspires all readers of all points of view to believe again in the possibilities of American life. Trumpocalypse is both a warning of danger and a guide to reform that will be read and discussed for years to come.




























[book] Economic Dignity
by Gene Sperling
May 5, 2020
Penguin Press

From one of our wisest and most influential economic thinkers, the only person to serve as Director of the National Economic Council under two Presidents, a profound big-picture vision of why the promotion of dignity should be the singular end goal by which we chart America's economic future

When Gene Sperling was in charge of coordinating the shaping and execution of the US government's economic policy in the Obama White House, he found himself surprised and dismayed when serious people in Washington worried out loud to him that the Obama focus on health care was a distraction because it was "not focused on the economy." How, he asked, was millions of Americans' fear that they were a single pink slip or a loved one's serious illness away from financial ruin somehow not considered an economic issue? To him, it was just one more example of a more profound truth he witnessed in his many years in our national economic debate: that when it comes to America's economic policy, there is too little focus on what the end goal should be.

Too often, he found that our economic debate confused ends and means; that we measured economic success by metrics like GDP instead of whether the economy was succeeding in lifting up the sense of meaning, purpose, fulfillment, and security of people. Too often, he found debates framed by old divisions or pro-market ideology that increasingly failed to capture whether economic policy was fostering exploitation, economic insecurity, and disillusionment that were too often invisible within our current framework. Now more than ever, at a moment when the very capacity of modern capitalism to avoid accelerating inequality, a hollowed-out middle class, and structural poverty is being questioned, we need to step back and reflect on our ultimate goals.

Economic Dignity is Sperling's effort to do just that - to frame our thinking about the way forward in a time of wrenching economic change. His argument combines moral and intellectual seriousness with actual high-level policy experience. Economic dignity, Sperling maintains, can be seen as resting on three pillars. The first: the capacity to care for family without economic deprivation denying people the capacity to experience its greatest joys - the birth of one's children, the companionship of a loving partner, the love of family and friends, the fulfillment that comes from providing. The second: the right to the pursuit of potential and purpose, including the right to first and second chances - the right to a life of active striving. The third: economic participation with respect and without domination and humiliation. All three pillars are rooted in the highest and most noble values of the American project. But getting there is the rub, and in Economic Dignity, Sperling offers paths that policymakers and citizens can follow for years to come. As he puts it, if you live in times when major steps forward are needed, it is important to be clear on your destination - or at least to know the North Star that is guiding you. His answer, in two words, is economic dignity.





















[book] Those Who Forget:
My Family's Story in Nazi Europe
– A Memoir, A History, A Warning
by Geraldine Schwarz
Laura Marris (Translator)
May 5, 2020
Postponed to September 22, 2020
Scribner

Those Who Forget, published to international awards and acclaim, is journalist Géraldine Schwarz’s riveting account of her German and French grandparents’ lives during World War II, an in-depth history of Europe’s post-war reckoning with fascism, and an urgent appeal to remember as a defense against today’s rise of far-right nationalism.

During World War II, Géraldine Schwarz’s German grandparents were neither heroes nor villains; they were merely Mitlaüfer—those who followed the current. Once the war ended, they wanted to bury the past under the wreckage of the Third Reich.

Decades later, while delving through filing cabinets in the basement of their apartment building in Mannheim, Schwarz discovers that in 1938, her paternal grandfather Karl took advantage of Nazi policies to buy a business from a Jewish family for a low price. She finds letters from the only survivor of this family (all the others perished in Auschwitz), demanding reparations. But Karl Schwarz refused to acknowledge his responsibility. Géraldine starts to question the past: How guilty were her grandparents? What makes us complicit? On her mother’s side, she investigates the role of her French grandfather, a policeman in Vichy.

Weaving together the threads of three generations of her family story with Europe’s process of post-war reckoning, Schwarz explores how millions were seduced by ideology, overcome by a fog of denial after the war, and, in Germany at least, eventually managed to transform collective guilt into democratic responsibility. She asks: How can nations learn from history? And she observes that countries that avoid confronting the past are especially vulnerable to extremism. Searing and unforgettable, Those Who Forget is a riveting memoir, an illuminating history, and an urgent call for remembering.





















[book] The Book of V.:
A Novel
by Anna Solomon
May 5, 2020
Henry Holt and Co.

For fans of The Hours and Fates and Furies, a bold, kaleidoscopic novel intertwining the lives of three women across three centuries as their stories of sex, power, and desire finally converge in the present day.

Lily is a mother and a daughter. And a second wife. And a writer, maybe? Or she was going to be, before she had children. Now, in her rented Brooklyn apartment she’s grappling with her sexual and intellectual desires, while also trying to manage her roles as a mother and a wife in 2016.

Vivian Barr seems to be the perfect political wife, dedicated to helping her charismatic and ambitious husband find success in Watergate-era Washington D.C. But one night he demands a humiliating favor, and her refusal to obey changes the course of her life-along with the lives of others.

Esther is a fiercely independent young woman in ancient Persia, where she and her uncle’s tribe live a tenuous existence outside the palace walls. When an innocent mistake results in devastating consequences for her people, she is offered up as a sacrifice to please the King, in the hopes that she will save them all.

In Anna Solomon's The Book of V., these three characters' riveting stories overlap and ultimately collide, illuminating how women’s lives have and have not changed over thousands of years.





















[book] THE BOY WHO FOLLOWED HIS FATHER
IN AUSCHWITZ: A TRUE STORY
OF FAMILY AND SURVIVAL
By Jeremy Dronfield
May 26, 2020
Harper

The #1 Sunday Times bestseller—a remarkable story of the heroic and unbreakable bond between a father and son that is as inspirational as The Tattooist of Auschwitz and as mesmerizing as The Choice.

Where there is family, there is hope

In 1939, Gustav Kleinmann, a Jewish upholster from Vienna, and his sixteen-year-old son Fritz are arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Germany. Imprisoned in the Buchenwald concentration camp, they miraculously survive the Nazis’ murderous brutality.

Then Gustav learns he is being sent to Auschwitz—and certain death.

For Fritz, letting his father go is unthinkable. Desperate to remain together, Fritz makes an incredible choice: he insists he must go too. To the Nazis, one death camp is the same as another, and so the boy is allowed to follow.

Throughout the six years of horror they witness and immeasurable suffering they endure as victims of the camps, one constant keeps them alive: their love and hope for the future.

Based on the secret diary that Gustav kept as well as meticulous archival research and interviews with members of the Kleinmann family, including Fritz’s younger brother Kurt, sent to the United States at age eleven to escape the war, The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz is Gustav and Fritz’s story—an extraordinary account of courage, loyalty, survival, and love that is unforgettable.





















[book] The Room Where It Happened:
A White House Memoir
by John Bolton
postponed to May 12, 2020
postponed to June 23, 2020
Simon and Schuster

John Bolton served as National Security Advisor to President Donald J. Trump for 519 days, until resigning or being dismissed.
A seasoned public servant who had previously worked for Presidents Reagan, Bush #41, and Bush #43, Bolton brought to the administration thirty years of experience in international issues and a reputation for tough, blunt talk. Too some he was an Iran Hawk who was accused of pushing for confrontations and war.

In his memoir, he offers a substantive and factual account of his time “in the room where it happened.” (a lyric from the popular Broadway musical, HAMILTON).






















[book] Itzhak:
Boy Who Loved the Violin
by Tracy Newman
Abigail Halpin (Illustrator)
May 12, 2020
Abrams
Preschool - 3rd Grade

This picture-book biography of violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman will inspire young readers to follow the melody within themselves

Before becoming one of the greatest violinists of all time, Itzhak Perlman was simply a boy who loved music. Raised by a poor immigrant family in a tiny Tel Aviv apartment, baby Itzhak was transformed by the sounds from his family’s kitchen radio—graceful classical symphonies, lively klezmer tunes, and soulful cantorial chants. The rich melodies and vibrant rhythms spoke to him like magic, filling his mind with vivid rainbows of color. After begging his parents for an instrument, Itzhak threw his heart and soul into playing the violin. Despite enormous obstacles—including a near-fatal bout of polio that left him crippled for life—Itzhak persevered, honing his extraordinary gift. When he performed on the Ed Sullivan Show sat only 13, audiences around the world were mesmerized by the warmth, joy, and passion in every note. Gorgeously illustrated with extensive back matter, this picture-book biography recounts Itzhak’s childhood journey—from a boy with a dream to an internationally acclaimed violin virtuoso.




















[book] Magda Nachman:
An Artist in Exile
by Lina Bernstein
(Franklin & Marshall)
May 26, 2020
Modern Biographies

The political and social turmoil of the twentieth century took Magda Nachman from a privileged childhood in St. Petersburg at the close of the nineteenth century, artistic studies with Léon Bakst and Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin at the Zvantseva Art Academy, and participation in the dynamic symbolist/modernist artistic ferment in pre-Revolutionary Russia to a refugee existence in the Russian countryside during the Russian Civil War followed by marriage to a prominent Indian nationalist, then with her husband to the hardships of émigré Berlin in the 1920s and 1930s, and finally to Bombay, where she established herself as an important artist and a mentor to a new generation of modern Indian artists.





















[book] This Is Not My Memoir
by André Gregory
with Todd London
May 5, 2020
Postponed until November 17, 2020
FS&G

The autobiography-of-sorts of André Gregory, an iconic figure in American theater and the star of My Dinner with André

Remember My Dinner with Andre? All the wild stories that Andre shared with Wallace Shawn? Well here is his life story

This is Not My Memoir tells the life story of André Gregory, iconic theatre director, writer, and actor. For the first time, Gregory shares memories from a life lived for art, including stories from the making of My Dinner with André. Taking on the dizzying, wondrous nature of a fever dream, This is Not My Memoir includes fantastic and fantastical stories that take the reader from wartime Paris to golden-age Hollywood, from avant-garde theaters to monasteries in India. Along the way we meet Jerzy Grotowski, Helene Weigel, Gregory Peck, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, Wallace Shawn, and many other larger-than-life personalities.

The book opens with young Gregory and his globe trotting parents. He makes it to America and is enrolled in St Bernard's prep school. The family says they are escaped aristocratic Russians and not Jews, and the school either believes them or was desperate for tuition from Andre and his brother. Andre discovers the power of theater. The family summers in Westwood, Los Angeles, at a time when it was undeveloped. They rent from Thomas Mann and other Jewish emigres. His mother has a few affairs with celebrities, including Errol Flynn, who back in NYC, his mother has to rouse from his hotel bed where he is passed out with a prostitute. At Harvard he gets a job in a theater working for a stipper.

This is Not My Memoir is a collaboration between Gregory and Todd London who together create a portrait of an artist confronting his later years. Here, too, are the reflections of a man who rehearses shows for decades, and only recently learned how to love. What does it mean to create art in a world that often places little value on the process of creating it? And what does it mean to confront the process of aging when your greatest work of art may well be your own life?





















[book] Exile Music:
A Novel
By Jennifer Steil
May 5, 2020
Penguin Random House

Based on an unexplored slice of World War II history, Exile Music is the captivating story of a young Jewish girl whose family flees refined and urbane Vienna for safe harbor in the mountains of Bolivia

As a young girl growing up in Vienna in the 1930s, Orly has an idyllic childhood filled with music. Her father plays the viola in the Philharmonic, her mother is a well-regarded opera singer, her beloved and charismatic older brother holds the neighborhood in his thrall, and most of her eccentric and wonderful extended family live nearby. Only vaguely aware of Hitler's rise or how her Jewish heritage will define her family's identity, Orly spends her days immersed in play with her best friend and upstairs neighbor, Anneliese. Together they dream up vivid and elaborate worlds, where they can escape the growing tensions around them.

But in 1938, Orly's peaceful life is shattered when the Germans arrive. Her older brother flees Vienna first, and soon Orly, her father, and her mother procure refugee visas for La Paz, a city high up in the Bolivian Andes. Even as the number of Jewish refugees in the small community grows, her family is haunted by the music that can no longer be their livelihood, and by the family and friends they left behind. While Orly and her father find their footing in the mountains, Orly's mother grows even more distant, harboring a secret that could put their family at risk again. Years pass, the war ends, and Orly must decide: Is the love and adventure she has found in La Paz what defines home, or is the pull of her past in Europe--and the piece of her heart she left with Anneliese--too strong to ignore?





















[book] The Arab Winter:
A Tragedy
by Noah Feldman
(Harvard Law School)
May 12, 2020
Princeton Univ Press

Why the conventional wisdom about the Arab Spring is wrong

The Arab Spring promised to end dictatorship and bring self-government to people across the Middle East. Yet everywhere except Tunisia it led to either renewed dictatorship, civil war, extremist terror, or all three. In The Arab Winter, Noah Feldman argues that the Arab Spring was nevertheless not an unmitigated failure, much less an inevitable one. Rather, it was a noble, tragic series of events in which, for the first time in recent Middle Eastern history, Arabic-speaking peoples took free, collective political action as they sought to achieve self-determination.

Focusing on the Egyptian revolution and counterrevolution, the Syrian civil war, the rise and fall of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and the Tunisian struggle toward Islamic constitutionalism, Feldman provides an original account of the political consequences of the Arab Spring, including the reaffirmation of pan-Arab identity, the devastation of Arab nationalisms, and the death of political Islam with the collapse of ISIS. He also challenges commentators who say that the Arab Spring was never truly transformative, that Arab popular self-determination was a mirage, and even that Arabs or Muslims are less capable of democracy than other peoples.

Above all, The Arab Winter shows that we must not let the tragic outcome of the Arab Spring disguise its inherent human worth. People whose political lives had been determined from the outside tried, and for a time succeeded, in making politics for themselves. That this did not result in constitutional democracy or a better life for most of those affected doesn't mean the effort didn't matter. To the contrary, it matters for history-and it matters for the future.





















[book] The Man Who Ran Washington:
The Life and Times of James A. Baker III
by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser
May 12, 2020
postponed to September 29, 2020
Doubleday

From two of America's most revered political journalists comes the definitive biography of legendary White House chief of staff and secretary of state James A. Baker III: the man who ran Washington when Washington ran the world.

For a quarter-century, from the end of Watergate to the aftermath of the Cold War, no Republican won the presidency without his help or ran the White House without his advice. James Addison Baker III was the indispensable man for four presidents because he understood better than anyone how to make Washington work at a time when America was shaping events around the world. The Man Who Ran Washington is a page-turning portrait of a power broker who influenced America's destiny for generations.

A scion of Texas aristocracy who became George H. W. Bush's best friend on the tennis courts of the Houston Country Club, Baker had never even worked in Washington until a devastating family tragedy struck when he was thirty-nine. Within a few years, he was leading Gerald Ford's campaign and would go on to manage a total of five presidential races and win a sixth for George W. Bush in a Florida recount. He ran Ronald Reagan's White House and became the most consequential secretary of state since Henry Kissinger. He negotiated with Democrats at home and Soviets abroad, rewrote the tax code, assembled the coalition that won the Gulf War, brokered the reunification of Germany and helped bring a decades-long nuclear superpower standoff to an end. Ruthlessly partisan during campaign season, Baker governed as the avatar of pragmatism over purity and deal-making over division, a lost art in today's fractured nation.

His story is a case study in the acquisition, exercise, and preservation of power in late twentieth-century America and the story of Washington and the world in the modern era--how it once worked and how it has transformed into an era of gridlock and polarization. This masterly biography by two brilliant observers of the American political scene is destined to become a classic.



























[book] Tomboy:
The Surprising History and Future
of Girls Who Dare to Be Different
by Lisa Selin Davis
May 5, 2020
postponed to August 11, 2020
Hachette

You probably recall the author from her essay on finding out she was “Jewish” in the second grade, and her exploration of her hippie parents views on Jewishness, and her grandparents (and brother's) view of being “Jew-ish” and her exploration of Judaism at Hampshire. Also, her op-ed in The New York Times caught the zeitgeist, when she wrote about her geneder non conforming daughter... Strong Is the New Pretty meets All the Single Ladies in this heartfelt celebration and exploration of the tomboy phenomenon and the future of girlhood, based on the author's viral New York Times op-ed.

Inspired by her thought-provoking op-ed for the New York Times, Lisa Selin Davis's Tomboy explores the history and imagines the future of girls who defy societal expectations based on their gender. Tomboy is a revealing dive into the forces that have shifted and narrowed our ideas of what's normal for boys and girls, and for kids who don't fall neatly into either category. It looks at tomboyism from a Victorian ideal to a twenty-first century fashion statement, chronicling the evolution of the pink/blue divide and what motivates those who cross or straddle it to gender independence -- and who they grow up to be. Davis critically investigates the word "tomboy," but lauds the ideas and ideals it represents.

Davis talks to experts from clothing designers to psychologists, historians to neuroscientists, and tomboys from eight to eighty, to illuminate debates about what is masculine and feminine; what is biological versus socially constructed; what constitutes the categories of boy and girl; and the connection between tomboyism, gender identity, and sexuality.

In Tomboy, Davis tackles an intellectual and emotional makeover of notions of gender, ultimately finding that gender nonconformity can be -- and often is -- a true gift. Ultimately, this book is a celebration not just of tomboys but of gender diversity itself, and of those who resist the pressure of gender norms and summon the courage to live as their true selves.





















[book] Queer Palestine and
the Empire of Critique
by Mr. Sa'ed Atshan
(Swarthmore College)
May 2020
Stanford University Press

From Ramallah to New York, Tel Aviv to Porto Alegre, people around the world celebrate a formidable, transnational Palestinian LGBTQ social movement. Solidarity with Palestinians has become a salient domain of global queer politics. Yet LGBTQ Palestinians, even as they fight patriarchy and imperialism, are themselves subjected to an "empire of critique" from Israeli and their own Palestinian institutions, Western academics, journalists and filmmakers, and even fellow activists.

With this book, Sa'ed Atshan asks how transnational progressive social movements can balance struggles for liberation along more than one axis. He explores critical junctures in the history of Palestinian LGBTQ activism, revealing the queer Palestinian spirit of agency, defiance, and creativity, in the face of daunting pressures and forces working to constrict it. Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique explores the necessity of connecting the struggles for Palestinian freedom with the struggle against homophobia.


























[book] The Fixed Stars
a novel
by Molly Wizenberg
May 12, 2020
postponed to August 4, 2020
Abrams Press

From a bestselling memoirist, a thoughtful and provocative story of changing identity, complex sexuality, and enduring family relationships

At age 36, while serving on a jury, author Molly Wizenberg found herself drawn to a female attorney she hardly knew. Married to a man for nearly a decade and mother to a toddler, Wizenberg tried to return to her life as she knew it, but something inside her had changed irredeemably. Instead, she would discover that the trajectory of our lives is rarely as smooth or as logical as we’d like to believe.

Like many of us, Wizenberg had long understood sexual orientation as a stable part of ourselves: we’re “born this way.” Suddenly she realized that her story was more complicated. Who was she, she wondered, if something at her very core could change so radically? The Fixed Stars is a taut, electrifying memoir exploring timely and timeless questions about desire, identity, and the limits and possibilities of family. In honest and searing prose, Wizenberg forges a new path: through the murk of separation and divorce, coming out to family and friends, learning to co-parent a young child, and realizing a new vision of love. The result is a frank and moving story about letting go of rigid definitions and ideals that no longer fit, and learning instead who we really are.

























[book] No Rules Rules:
Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention
by Reed Hastings (Netflix)
Erin Meyer (INSEAD)
May 12, 2020
Postponed to September 8, 2020
Penguin Press

Netflix cofounder Reed Hastings reveals for the first time the unorthodox culture behind one of the world's most innovative, imaginative, and successful companies

There's never before been a company like Netflix. Not only because it has led a revolution in the entertainment industries; or because it generates billions of dollars in annual revenue; or even because it is watched by hundreds of millions of people in nearly 200 countries. When Reed Hastings co-founded Netflix, he developed a set of counterintuitive and radical management principles, defying all tradition and expectation, which would allow the company to reinvent itself over and over on the way to becoming one of the most loved brands in the world.

Rejecting the conventional wisdom under which other companies operate, Reed set new standards, valuing people over process, emphasizing innovation over efficiency, and giving employees context, not controls. At Netflix, adequate performance gets a generous severance and hard work is irrelevant. At Netflix, you don't try to please your boss, you give candid feedback instead. At Netflix, employees never need approval, and the company always pays top of market. When Hastings and his team first devised these principles, the implications were unknown and untested, but over just a short period of time they have led to unprecedented flexibility, speed, and boldness. The culture of freedom and responsibility has allowed the company to constantly grow and change as the world, and its members' needs, have also transformed.

Here for the first time, Hastings and Erin Meyer, bestselling author of The Culture Map and one of the world's most influential business thinkers, dive deep into the controversial philosophies at the heart of the Netflix psyche, which have generated results that are the envy of the business world. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with current and past Netflix employees from around the globe and never-before-told stories of trial and error from his own career, No Rules Rules is the full, fascinating, and untold story of a unique company making its mark on the world.

























[book] The Unfathomable Ascent:
How Hitler Came to Power
by Peter Ross Range
May 12, 2020
Postponed to August 11, 2020
Little, Brown and Co

The chilling and little-known story of Adolf Hitler's eight-year march to the pinnacle of German politics.

On the night of January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler leaned out of a spotlit window of the Reich chancellery in Berlin, bursting with joy. The moment seemed unbelievable, even to Hitler. After an improbable political journey that came close to faltering on many occasions, his march to power had finally succeeded.

While the path of Hitler's rise has been told in books covering larger portions of his life, no previous work has focused solely on his eight-year climb to rule: 1925-1933. Renowned author Peter Ross Range brings this period back to startling life with a narrative history that describes brushes with power, quests for revenge, nonstop electioneering, American-style campaign tactics, and-for Hitler-moments of gloating triumph followed by abject humiliation.

Indeed, this is the tale of a high-school dropout's climb from the infamy of a failed coup to the highest office in Europe's largest country. It is a saga of personal growth and lavish living, a melodrama rife with love affairs and even suicide attempts. But it is also the definitive account of Hitler's unrelenting struggle for control over his raucous movement, as he fought off challenges, built and bullied coalitions, quelled internecine feuds and neutralized his enemies-all culminating in the creation of the Third Reich and the western world's descent into darkness. One of the most dramatic and important stories in world history, Hitler's ascent spans Germany's wobbly recovery from World War I through years of growing prosperity and, finally, into crippling depression.

























[book] BIG SUMMER
A Novel
by JENNIFER WEINER
MAY 5, 2020
ATRIA BOOKS

#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner is back with a powerful tale of friendship and forgiveness set on Cape Cod during the disastrous wedding of an old friend.

After giving her readers the family saga across generations that was MRS EVERYTHING, Weiner is back with a warm, funny, insightful book on female friendships and how we return to those we have known since childhood

The prologue opens in 1989. Christina asks her widowed father for the Cape Code house near Truro Beach. He is angry when she informs him that she is staying there since she is pregnant (with the child of a married man with no intention of ever leaving his wife), but he relents, and she makes a life for herself and her son Aidan, scraping by in a creaky cottage. The novel then opens three decades later... where we meet Daphne BERG, a young woman making a career for herself in Manhattan, while trying to afford to live in NYC.

Daphne has grown from an insecure, younger woman.... and now, feels good, on most days, about where she is in life and where she is headed. Behind her are her attempts to be thin. She is strong and accepts her fatter form and empowers others to do the same. She is “adorbs.” Her posts have thousands of followers. She (and her dog Bingo) are climbing the ranks as online influencers; she posts her outfit of the day (OOTD), linking the outfits to where they can be purchased. But then an old friend who has said mean things about her weight in the past (since 6th grade) – Drue Lathrop Cavanaugh - contacts her with a HUGE FAVOR to ask, and this old frenemy is acting all friendly-and-nice now. (But she has been in WASP therapy, so maybe she has actually changed for the better). Will Daphne agree to the hige favor and travel to Cape Cod in June?

This is a story of a woman's BIG SUMMER on CAPE COD and about old friendships and powerful friendships... for better or worse, til beach reads do us part.

Note to file.... I picked up the book on a Sunday... and... could not put it down until 12 hours later, and discovered why Jennifer Weiner is an amazing novelist.


















[book] No, You Shut Up:
Speaking Truth to Power
and Reclaiming America
by Symone D. Sanders
MAY 19, 2020
Harper

In this rousing call to leadership, the self-described millennial spokesperson for the culture, CNN’s designated "woke AF" former commentator, and the youngest national press secretary in the history of the United States shares her take-no-prisoners approach to life, politics, and career success, and shows a new generation how to be loud and powerful in their own right.

Many people-most notably white older men-may try to stop Symone Sanders from speaking up and out. But Symone will NOT shut up. And neither should you. In this inspiring call-to-action, Symone tells stories from her own life of not-shutting-up alongside loud young revolutionaries who came before her to help you find your authentic voice and use it to your advantage; to fight ideological battles more effectively; and to resist those who try to silence you.

We are all gurus, masterminds, artists, entrepreneurs-we are the change agents we have been waiting for. IT IS US. And the time is RIGHT NOW. I know you’re wondering, “But HOW?” And we don’t have all the answers! Symone is the first to admit we’re all winging it in one way or another. But the point is we’re out there doing it. So get started. Open your mouth and start talking. Loudly.

No You Shut Up goes beyond the surplus of “Vote-Or-Die” books we’ve seen before. Because change doesn’t just happen at the ballot box. We need people fighting oppression, injustice, and inequality-in the workplace, on the cultural battlefield, in government, in every corner of the world. With spirited storytelling filtered through a voice that cannot and will not be ignored, Symone inspires you to start now. You don’t need to have all the answers, or wait your turn to help create the change you want to see. All you need is a new toolbox, an unshakeable commitment, and the confidence and guidance to wield those tools effectively.


















[book][book] A City in Fragments:
Urban Text in Modern Jerusalem
by Yair Wallach
MAY 19, 2020
Postponed to June 30, 2020
Stanford University Press

Jerusalem-born Yair Wallach is an independent writer, researcher and analyst based in London. He has recently completed his PhD at the University of London, on the use of Arabic and Hebrew “public texts” (street signs, inscriptions and graffiti) in modern Jerusalem, 1858-1948.

In the mid-nineteenth century, Jerusalem was rich with urban texts inscribed in marble, gold, and cloth, investing holy sites with divine meaning. Ottoman modernization and British colonial rule transformed the city; new texts became a key means to organize society and subjectivity. Stone inscriptions, pilgrims' graffiti, and sacred banners gave way to street markers, shop signs, identity papers, and visiting cards that each sought to define and categorize urban space and people.

A City in Fragments tells the modern history of a city overwhelmed by its religious and symbolic significance. Yair Wallach walked the streets of Jerusalem to consider the graffiti, logos, inscriptions, official signs, and ephemera that transformed the city over the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As these urban texts became a tool in the service of capitalism, nationalism, and colonialism, the affinities of Arabic and Hebrew were forgotten and these sister-languages found themselves locked in a bitter war. Looking at the writing of-and literally on-Jerusalem, Wallach offers a creative and expansive history of the city, a fresh take on modern urban texts, and a new reading of the Israel/Palestine conflict through its material culture.

























[book] Children of Ash and Elm:
A History of the Vikings
by Neil Price
May 12, 2020
Postponed to August 25, 2020
Basic Books

A definitive new history of the Vikings

The definitive history of the Vikings -- from arts and culture to politics and cosmology -- by a distinguished archaeologist with decades of expertise

The Viking Age -- from 750 to 1050 -- saw an unprecedented expansion of the Scandinavian peoples into the wider world. As traders and raiders, explorers and colonists, they ranged from eastern North America to the Asian steppe. But for centuries, the Vikings have been seen through the eyes of others, distorted to suit the tastes of medieval clerics and Elizabethan playwrights, Victorian imperialists, Nazis, and more. None of these appropriations capture the real Vikings, or the richness and sophistication of their culture.

Based on the latest archaeological and textual evidence, Children of Ash and Elm tells the story of the Vikings on their own terms: their politics, their cosmology and religion, their material world. Known today for a stereotype of maritime violence, the Vikings exported new ideas, technologies, beliefs, and practices to the lands they discovered and the peoples they encountered, and in the process were themselves changed. From Eirík Bloodaxe, who fought his way to a kingdom, to Gudrid Thorbjarnardóttir, the most traveled woman in the world, Children of Ash and Elm is the definitive history of the Vikings and their time.






















[book] This Is What America Looks Like:
My Journey from
Refugee to Congresswoman by Ilhan Omar
MAY 26, 2020
Dey Street Books

FROM THE COVER:
An intimate and rousing memoir by progressive trailblazer Ilhan Omar—the first African refugee, the first Somali-American, and one of the first Muslim women, elected to Congress.

Ilhan Omar was only eight years old when war broke out in Somalia. The youngest of seven children, her mother had died while Ilhan was still a little girl. She was being raised by her father and grandfather when armed gunmen attacked their compound and the family decided to flee Mogadishu. They ended up in a refugee camp in Kenya, where Ilhan says she came to understand the deep meaning of hunger and death. Four years later, after a painstaking vetting process, her family achieved refugee status and arrived in Arlington, Virginia.

Aged twelve, penniless, speaking only Somali and having missed out on years of schooling, … In under two decades she became a grassroots organizer, graduated from college and was elected to congress with a record-breaking turnout by the people of Minnesota—ready to keep pushing boundaries and restore moral clarity in Washington D.C.

“A beacon of positivity in dark times, Congresswoman Omar has weathered many political storms and yet maintained her signature grace, wit and love of country—all the while speaking up for her beliefs. Similarly, in chronicling her remarkable personal journey, Ilhan is both lyrical and unsentimental, and her irrepressible spirit, patriotism, friendship and faith are visible on every page. As a result, This is What America Looks Like is both the inspiring coming of age story of a refugee and a multidimensional tale of the hopes and aspirations, disappointments and failures, successes, sacrifices and surprises, of a devoted public servant with unshakable faith in the promise of America.”

























[book] THE HABSBURGS
TO RULES THE WORLD
BY MARTYN RADY
(UCL London)
MAY 2020
Postponed to August 25, 2020 BASIC BOOKS

In The Habsburgs, Martyn Rady tells the epic story of a dynasty and the world they built -- and then lost -- over nearly a millennium. From modest origins, the Habsburgs gained control of the Holy Roman Empire in the fifteenth century. Then, in just a few decades, their possessions rapidly expanded to take in a large part of Europe, stretching from Hungary to Spain, and parts of the New World and the Far East. The Habsburgs continued to dominate Central Europe through the First World War.

Historians often depict the Habsburgs as leaders of a ramshackle empire. But Rady reveals their enduring power, driven by the belief that they were destined to rule the world as defenders of the Roman Catholic Church, guarantors of peace, and patrons of learning. The Habsburgs is the definitive history of a remarkable dynasty that forever changed Europe and the world.






















[book] Music by Max Steiner:
The Epic Life of Hollywood's
Most Influential Composer
by Steven C. Smith
MAY 1, 2020
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

During a seven-decade career that spanned from 19th century Vienna to 1920s Broadway to the golden age of Hollywood, three-time Academy Award winner Max Steiner did more than any other composer to introduce and establish the language of film music. Indeed, revered contemporary film composers like John Williams and Danny Elfman use the same techniques that Steiner himself perfected in his iconic work for such classics as Casablanca, King Kong, Gone with the Wind, The Searchers, Now, Voyager, the Astaire-Rogers musicals, and over 200 other titles. And Steiner's private life was a drama all its own. Born into a legendary Austrian theatrical dynasty, he became one of Hollywood's top-paid composers. But he was also constantly in debt--the inevitable result of gambling, financial mismanagement, four marriages, and the actions of his emotionally troubled son.

Throughout his chaotic life, Steiner was buoyed by an innate optimism, a quick wit, and an instinctive gift for melody, all of which would come to the fore as he met and worked with luminaries like Richard Strauss, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, the Warner Bros., David O. Selznick, Bette Davis, Frank Sinatra, and Frank Capra. In Music by Max Steiner, the first full biography of Steiner, author Steven C. Smith interweaves the dramatic incidents of Steiner's personal life with an accessible exploration of his composing methods and experiences, bringing to life the previously untold story of a musical pioneer and master dramatist who helped create a vital new art with some of the greatest film scores in cinema history.
























[book] Champions Day:
The End of Old Shanghai
by James Carter
June 16, 2020
Norton

A triptych of a single day revealing the history and foreshadowing the future of a complex and cosmopolitan city in a world at war.

November 12, 1941: war and revolution are in the air. At the Shanghai Race Club, the city’s elite prepare to face off their best horses and most nimble jockeys in the annual Champions Day races. Across town and amid tight security, others celebrated the birth of Sun Yat-Sen in a new city center meant to challenge European imperialism. Thousands more Shanghai residents from all walks of life attended the funeral of China’s wealthiest woman, the Chinese- French widow of a Baghdadi Jewish businessman. But the biggest crowd of all gathered at the track; no one knew it, but Champions Day heralded the end of a European Shanghai.

Through this colorful snapshotof the day’s events, the rich and complex history that led to them, and a cast of characters as diverse as the city itself, James Carter provides a kaleidoscopic portrait of a time and a place that still speaks to relations between China and the West today.




























[book] I Belong to Vienna:
A Jewish Family's
Story of Exile and Return
by Anna Goldenberg
Alta L. Price (Translator)
June 9, 2020
New Vessel Press

"A must-read for a new understanding of the Holocaust in Vienna."
-Esther Safran Foer, author of I Want You to Know We're Still Here

A defiant memoir from contemporary Europe: In autumn 1942, Anna Goldenberg’s great-grandparents and one of their sons are deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Hans, their elder son, survives by hiding in an apartment in the middle of Nazi-controlled Vienna. But this is no Anne Frank-like existence; teenage Hans passes time in the municipal library and buys standing room tickets to the Vienna State Opera. He never sees his family again. Goldenberg reconstructs this unique story in magnificent reportage.

She also portrays Vienna’s undying allure-although they tried living in the United States after World War Two, both grandparents eventually returned to the Austrian capital. The author, too, has returned to her native Vienna after living in New York herself, and her fierce attachment to her birthplace enlivens her engrossing biographical history. A probing tale of heroism, resilience, identity and belonging, marked by a surprising freshness as a new generation comes to terms with history’s darkest era.




























[book] Startup Myths and Models:
What You Won't Learn in Business School
by Rizwan Virk
(MIT)
June 2, 2020
Columbia Business School Press

Budding entrepreneurs face a challenging road. The path isn’t made any easier by all the clichés they hear about how to make a startup succeed-from platitudes and conventional wisdom to downright contradictions.

This witty and wise guide to the dilemmas of entrepreneurship debunks widespread misconceptions about how the world of startups works and offers hard-earned advice for every step of the journey. Instead of startup myths-legends spun from a fantasy version of Silicon Valley-Rizwan Virk provides startup models-frameworks that help make thoughtful decisions about starting, growing, managing, and selling a business. Rather than dispensing simplistic rules, he mentors readers in the development of a mental toolkit for approaching challenges based on how startup markets evolve in real life.

In snappy prose with savvy pop culture and real-world examples, Virk recasts entrepreneurship as a grand adventure. He points out the pitfalls that appear along the way and offers insights into how to avoid them, sharing the secrets of founding a startup, raising money, hiring and firing, when to enter a market and when to exit, and how to value a company.

Virk combines lessons learned the hard way during his twenty-five years of founding, investing in, and advising startups with reflections from well-known venture capitalists and experts. His candid advice makes Startup Myths and Models an ideal companion for readers from those just embarking on the startup life to those looking for their next adventure.





















[book] Hold Your Breath, China
(An Inspector Chen mystery)
by Qiu Xiaolong
June 2, 2020
Severn

Inspector Chen is on the case of a serial murderer when he is called away to report on environmentalists trying to tackle the pollution issues in China.

Chief Inspector Chen and Detective Yu Guangming are brought into a serial murder case when the Homicide squad proves incapable of solving it. But before Chen can make a start, he is called away by a high-ranking Party member for a special assignment: to infiltrate a group of environmental activists meeting to discuss the pollution levels in the country and how to prompt the government into action.

Chen knows it will be a far from simple task, especially when he discovers the leader of the group is a woman from his past. Meanwhile, Yu is left to investigate a serial murder case on his own.

Both Chen and Yu face pressure from those above to resolve the cases in a satisfactory way . . . even if that means innocents face the punishment.





















[book] You Exist Too Much:
A Novel
by Zaina Arafat
June 9, 2020
Catapult

A “provocative and seductive debut” of desire and doubleness that follows the life of a young Palestinian American woman caught between cultural, religious, and sexual identities as she tries to lead an authentic life (O, The Oprah Magazine)

On a hot day in Bethlehem, a 12-year-old Palestinian-American girl is yelled at by a group of men outside the Church of the Nativity. She has exposed her legs in a biblical city, an act they deem forbidden, and their judgement will echo on through her adolescence. When our narrator finally admits to her mother that she is queer, her mother’s response only intensifies a sense of shame: “You exist too much,” she tells her daughter.

Told in vignettes that flash between the U.S. and the Middle East-from New York to Jordan, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Territories - Zaina Arafat’s debut novel traces her protagonist’s progress from blushing teen to sought-after DJ and aspiring writer. In Brooklyn, she moves into an apartment with her first serious girlfriend and tries to content herself with their comfortable relationship. But soon her longings, so closely hidden during her teenage years, explode out into reckless romantic encounters and obsessions with other people. Her desire to thwart her own destructive impulses will eventually lead her to The Ledge, an unconventional treatment center that identifies her affliction as “love addiction.” In this strange, enclosed society she will start to consider the unnerving similarities between her own internal traumas and divisions and those of the places that have formed her.

Opening up the fantasies and desires of one young woman caught between cultural, religious, and sexual identities, You Exist Too Much is a captivating story charting two of our most intense longings-for love, and a place to call home.






























[book] The S.S. Officer's Armchair:
Uncovering the Hidden Life of a Nazi
by Daniel Lee
June 16, 2020
Hachette

Based on documents discovered concealed within a simple chair for seventy years, this gripping investigation into the life of an S.S. officer encapsulates the tragic experience of a generation of Europeans in WWII.

One night at a dinner party in Florence, historian Daniel Lee was told about a remarkable discovery. An upholsterer in Amsterdam had found a bundle of swastika-covered documents inside the cushion of an armchair he was repairing. They belonged to Dr. Robert Griesinger, a lawyer from Stuttgart, who joined the S.S. and worked at the Reich's Ministry of Economics and Labour in Occupied Prague during the war. An expert in the history of the Holocaust, Lee was fascinated to know what circumstances and choices had led to the man's dreadful fate -- and how his most precious documents ended up hidden inside a chair, hundreds of miles from Prague and Stuttgart.

In The S.S. Officer's Armchair, Lee weaves detection with biography to tell an astonishing narrative of ambition and intimacy in the Third Reich. He uncovers Griesinger's American backstory -- his father was born in New Orleans and the family had ties to the plantations and music halls of nineteenth century Louisiana. As Lee follows the footsteps of a rank and file Nazi official seventy years later, and chronicles what became of him and his family at the war's end, Griesinger's role in Nazi crimes comes into focus. When Lee stumbles on an unforeseen connection between Griesinger and the murder of his own relatives in the Holocaust, he must grapple with potent questions about blame, manipulation, and responsibility.

The S.S. Officer's Armchair is an enthralling detective story and a reconsideration of daily life in the Third Reich. It provides a window into the life of Hitler's millions of nameless followers and into the mechanisms through which ordinary people enacted history's most extraordinary atrocity.

























[book] Mother Daughter Widow Wife:
A Novel
by Robin Wasserman
June 23, 2020
Scribner

“Wasserman has a unique gift for describing the turbulent intersection of love and need, hinting that the freedom we seek may only be the freedom to change.” —Liz Phair, author of Horror Stories
From the author of Girls on Fire comes a psychologically riveting novel centered around a woman with no memory, the scientists invested in studying her, and the daughter who longs to understand.

Who is Wendy Doe? The woman, found on a Peter Pan Bus to Philadelphia, has no money, no ID, and no memory of who she is, where she was going, or what she might have done. She’s assigned a name and diagnosis by the state: Dissociative fugue, a temporary amnesia that could lift at any moment—or never at all. When Dr. Benjamin Strauss invites her to submit herself for experimental observation at his Meadowlark Institute for Memory Research, she feels like she has no other choice.

To Dr. Strauss, Wendy is a female body, subject to his investigation and control. To Strauss’s ambitious student, Lizzie Epstein, she’s an object of fascination, a mirror of Lizzie’s own desires, and an invitation to wonder: once a woman is untethered from all past and present obligations of womanhood, who is she allowed to become?

To Alice, the daughter she left behind, Wendy Doe is an absence so present it threatens to tear Alice’s world apart. Through their attempts to untangle the mystery of Wendy’s identity—as well as Wendy’s own struggle to construct a new self—Wasserman has crafted a jaw-dropping, multi-voiced journey of discovery, reckoning, and reclamation.

Searing, propulsive, and compassionate, Mother Daughter Widow Wife is an ambitious exploration of selfhood from an expert and enthralling storyteller. c























[book] The Room Where It Happened:
A White House Memoir
by John Bolton
postponed to May 12, 2020
postponed to June 23, 2020
Simon and Schuster

John Bolton served as National Security Advisor to President Donald J. Trump for 519 days, until resigning or being dismissed.
A seasoned public servant who had previously worked for Presidents Reagan, Bush #41, and Bush #43, Bolton brought to the administration thirty years of experience in international issues and a reputation for tough, blunt talk. Too some he was an Iran Hawk who was accused of pushing for confrontations and war.

In his memoir, he offers a substantive and factual account of his time “in the room where it happened.” (a lyric from the popular Broadway musical, HAMILTON).






















[book] Stitching a Life:
An Immigration Story
by Mary Helen Fein
June 9, 2020
She Writes Press
Ages 12 - 18

It’s 1900, and sixteen-year-old Helen comes alone in steerage across the Atlantic from a small village in Lithuania, fleeing terrible anti-Semitism and persecution. She arrives at Ellis Island, and finds a place to live in the colorful Lower East Side of New York. She quickly finds a job in the thriving garment industry and, like millions of others who are coming to America during this time, devotes herself to bringing the rest of her family to join her in the New World, refusing to rest until her family is safe in New York.

A few at a time, Helen’s family members arrive.

Each goes to work with the same fervor she has and contributes everything to bringing over their remaining beloved family members in a chain of migration. Helen meanwhile, makes friends and-once the whole family is safe in New York-falls in love with a man who introduces her to a different New York-a New York of wonder, beauty, and possibility.



























[book] An Ocean Without a Shore,
A Novel
(Part 2 ?)
by Scott Spencer
June 16, 2020
Ecco

A wildly entertaining and occasionally heartbreaking story of frustrated longing, and the lengths we will go for those we love—even if they don’t love us in return

An Ocean Without a Shore, from the bestselling, critically acclaimed author of Endless Love and Man in the Woods, is a beautifully rendered exploration of that most timeless of human dilemmas: the one in which your love is left unreturned.

Since their college days, Kip Woods has been infatuated with Thaddeus Kaufman (the son of a Jewish Trotskyite bookseller), who, years later, is a married father of two children and desperately trying to revive a failing career. Kip’s devotion to Thaddeus has been life-defining and destiny-altering, but it has been one that Thaddeus has either failed to notice or refused to acknowledge. But over the course of this heated and mesmerizing novel, set against a background of privilege and affluence in Manhattan and the Hudson Valley, Kip will be forced to reckon with the prison of his own making and decide how much he is willing to sacrifice for a love that may never be shared.

Picking up where his most recent novel, River Under the Road, left off, but writing squarely in the vein of Endless Love, his classic novel of passion and obsession, Scott Spencer gives us an intimate, immersive, and unsettling portrait of the devastation we will wreak in the name of love, and the bitterness of a friendship ravaged by fathomless yearning.




























[book] I Was Told It Would Get Easier
by Abbi Waxman
June 16, 2020
Berkley

Squashed among a bus full of strangers, mother-daughter duo Jessica and Emily Burnstein watch their carefully mapped-out college tour devolve into a series of off-roading misadventures, from the USA Today bestselling author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.

Jessica and Emily Burnstein have very different ideas of how this college tour should go.

For Emily, it's a preview of freedom, exploring the possibility of her new and more exciting future. Not that she's sure she even wants to go to college, but let's ignore that for now. And maybe the other kids on the tour will like her more than the ones at school. . . . They have to, right?

For Jessica, it's a chance to bond with the daughter she seems to have lost. They used to be so close, but then Goldfish crackers and Play-Doh were no longer enough of a draw. She isn't even sure if Emily likes her anymore. To be honest, Jessica isn't sure she likes herself.

Together with a dozen strangers--and two familiar enemies--Jessica and Emily travel the East Coast, meeting up with family and old friends along the way. Surprises and secrets threaten their relationship and, in the end, change it forever.































[book] Ghost Citizens:
Jewish Return to a Postwar City
by Professor Lukasz Krzyzanowski
June 16, 2020
Harvard

The poignant story of Holocaust survivors who returned to their hometown in Poland and tried to pick up the pieces of a shattered world. In the immediate aftermath of World War II, the lives of Polish Jews were marked by violence and emigration. But some of those who had survived the Nazi genocide returned to their hometowns and tried to start their lives anew. Lukasz Krzyzanowski recounts the story of this largely forgotten group of Holocaust survivors. Focusing on Radom, an industrial city about sixty miles south of Warsaw, he tells the story of what happened throughout provincial Poland as returnees faced new struggles along with massive political, social, and legal change.

Non-Jewish locals mostly viewed the survivors with contempt and hostility. Many Jews left immediately, escaping antisemitic violence inflicted by new communist authorities and ordinary Poles. Those who stayed created a small, isolated community. Amid the devastation of Poland, recurring violence, and bureaucratic hurdles, they tried to start over. They attempted to rebuild local Jewish life, recover their homes and workplaces, and reclaim property appropriated by non-Jewish Poles or the state. At times they turned on their own. Krzyzanowski recounts stories of Jewish gangs bent on depriving returnees of their prewar possessions and of survivors shunned for their wartime conduct.

The experiences of returning Jews provide important insights into the dynamics of post-genocide recovery. Drawing on a rare collection of documents-including the postwar Radom Jewish Committee records, which were discovered by the secret police in 1974-Ghost Citizens is the moving story of Holocaust survivors and their struggle to restore their lives in a place that was no longer home.






























[book] The Third Walpurgis Night:
The Complete Text
(The Margellos World Republic of Letters)
by Karl Kraus
Fred Bridgham and Edward Timms(Translator)
Marjorie Perloff (Foreword)
June 23, 2020
YALE

The first complete English translation of a far-seeing polemic, written in 1933 by the preeminent German-language satirist, unmasking the Nazi seizure of power

Now available in English for the first time, Austrian satirist and polemicist Karl Kraus’s Third Walpurgis Night was written in immediate response to the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 but withheld from publication for fear of reprisals against Jews trapped in Germany. Acclaimed when finally published by Kösel Verlag in 1952, it is a devastatingly prescient exposure, giving special attention to the regime’s corruption of language as masterminded by Joseph Goebbels. Bertolt Brecht wrote to Kraus that, in his indictment of Nazism, “You have disclosed the atrocities of intonation and created an ethics of language.” This masterful translation, by the prizewinning translators of Kraus’s The Last Days of Mankind, aims for clarity where Kraus had good reason to be cautious and obscure.
































[book] The Light of Days:
The Untold Story of Women
Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos
by Judy Batalion
June 23, 2020
William Morrow

One of the most important stories of World War II, already optioned by Steven Spielberg for a major motion picture: a spectacular, searing history that brings to light the extraordinary accomplishments of brave Jewish women who became resistance fighters-a group of unknown heroes whose exploits have never been chronicled in full, until now.

Witnesses to the brutal murder of their families and neighbors and the violent destruction of their communities, a cadre of Jewish women in Poland-some still in their teens-helped transform the Jewish youth groups into resistance cells to fight the Nazis. With courage, guile, and nerves of steel, these “ghetto girls” paid off Gestapo guards, hid revolvers in loaves of bread and jars of marmalade, and helped build systems of underground bunkers. They flirted with German soldiers, bribed them with wine, whiskey, and home cooking, used their Aryan looks to seduce them, and shot and killed them. They bombed German train lines and blew up a town’s water supply. They also nursed the sick and taught children.

Yet the exploits of these courageous resistance fighters have remained virtually unknown.

As propulsive and thrilling as Hidden Figures, In the Garden of Beasts, Band of Brothers, and A Train in Winter, The Light of Days at last tells the true story of these incredible women whose courageous yet little-known feats have been eclipsed by time. Judy Batalion-the granddaughter of Polish Holocaust survivors-takes us back to 1939 and introduces us to Renia Kukielka, a weapons smuggler and messenger who risked death traveling across occupied Poland on foot and by train. Joining Renia are other women who served as couriers, armed fighters, intelligence agents, and saboteurs, all who put their lives in mortal danger to carry out their missions. Batalion follows these women through the savage destruction of the ghettos, arrest and internment in Gestapo prisons and concentration camps, and for a lucky few-like Renia, who orchestrated her own audacious escape from a brutal Nazi jail-into the late 20th century and beyond.

Powerful and inspiring, featuring twenty black-and-white photographs, The Light of Days is an unforgettable true tale of war, the fight for freedom, exceptional bravery, female friendship, and survival in the face of staggering odds.



























[book] The Lives of Isaac Stern
by David Schoenbaum
June 23, 2020
WW Norton and Company

A centennial celebration of the career and legacy of the first made-in-America violin virtuoso and one of the twentieth century’s greatest musicians.

No single American could personify what Henry Luce called the American Century. But over his eighty-one years, Isaac Stern came closer than most. Russian-Jewish parents brought him to San Francisco at ten months; practice and talent got him to Carnegie Hall, critical acclaim, and the attention of the legendary impresario Sol Hurok at twenty-five.

As America came of age, so too did Stern. He would go on to make music on five continents, records in formats from 78 rpm to digital, and friends as different as Frank Sinatra and Sir Isaiah Berlin. An unofficial cultural ambassador for Cold War America, he toured the world from Tokyo to Tehran and Tbilisi. He also shaped public policy from New York and Washington to Jerusalem and Shanghai. His passion for developing young talents-including Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Yo-Yo Ma, and Midori-led him to loan instruments to needy players, broker gigs for Soviet émigrés, and reply in person to inquiring fifth-graders.

As the first historian to mine his papers at the Library of Congress, David Schoenbaum traces Stern’s sixty-year career from his formative years in San Francisco to concurrent careers as an activist, public citizen, chairman, and cultural leader in the Jewish community. Wide-ranging yet intimate, The Lives of Isaac Stern is a portrait of an artist and statesman who began as an American dreamer and left a lasting inheritance to his art, profession, and the world.






























[book] Head Over Heels:
A Novel
by Hannah Orenstein
June 23, 2020
Atria Books

From the author of the Love at First Like and Playing with Matches, an electrifying rom-com set in the high stakes world of competitive gymnastics, full of Hannah Orenstein’s signature “charm, whimsy, and giddy romantic tension” (BuzzFeed).

The past seven years have been hard on Avery Abrams: After training her entire life to make the Olympic gymnastics team, a disastrous performance ended her athletic career for good. Her best friend and teammate, Jasmine, went on to become an Olympic champion, then committed the ultimate betrayal by marrying their emotionally abusive coach, Dimitri.

Now, reeling from a breakup with her football star boyfriend, Avery returns to her Massachusetts hometown, where new coach Ryan asks her to help him train a promising young gymnast with Olympic aspirations. Despite her misgivings and worries about the memories it will evoke, Avery agrees. Back in the gym, she’s surprised to find sparks flying with Ryan. But when a shocking scandal in the gymnastics world breaks, it has shattering effects not only for the sport but also for Avery and her old friend Jasmine.
































[book] Self Care:
A Novel
by Leigh Stein
June 30, 2020
Penguin Press

The female co-founders of a wellness start-up struggle to find balance between being good people and doing good business, while trying to stay BFFs.

Maren Gelb is on a company-imposed digital detox. She tweeted something terrible about the President's daughter, and as the COO of Richual, “the most inclusive online community platform for women to cultivate the practice of self-care and change the world by changing ourselves,” it's a PR nightmare. Not only is CEO Devin Avery counting on Maren to be fully present for their next round of funding, but indispensable employee Khadijah Walker has been keeping a secret that will reveal just how feminist Richual’s values actually are, and former Bachelorette contestant and Richual board member Evan Wiley is about to be embroiled in a sexual misconduct scandal that could destroy the company forever.

Have you ever scrolled through Instagram and seen countless influencers who seem like experts at caring for themselves—from their yoga crop tops to their well-lit clean meals to their serumed skin and erudite-but-color-coded reading stack? Self Care delves into the lives and psyches of people working in the wellness industry and exposes the world behind the filter.


























[book] Hello Darkness,
My Old Friend:
How Daring Dreams and Unyielding
Friendship Turned One Man's Blindness
into an Extraordinary Vision for Life
by Sanford D. Greenberg, PhD
Art Garfunkel (Introduction)
Margaret Atwood (Afterword)
SCOTUS Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
June 30, 2020
Post Hill Press

The remarkable and inspiring story of a 19 year old Columbia University undergrad from a poor Jewish family who, after losing his eyesight to disease during his junior year, finds the power to break through the darkness and fulfill his vision for a life of great professional success and distinguished public service.

It’s a bitterly cold February in 1961, and Sandy Greenberg lies in a hospital bed in Detroit, newly blind. A junior at Columbia University from a Jewish family that struggled to stay above the poverty line, Sandy had just started to see the world open up to him. Now, instead of his plans for a bright future—Harvard Law and politics—Sandy faces a new reality, one defined by a cane or companion dog, menial work, and a cautious path through life.

But that’s not how this story ends.

In the depth of his new darkness, Sandy faces a choice—play it “safe” by staying in his native Buffalo or return to Columbia to pursue his dreams. With the loving devotion of his girlfriend (and now wife) Sue and the selflessness of best friends Art Garfunkel and Jerry Speyer, Sandy endures unimaginable adversity while forging a life of exceptional achievement.

From his time in the White House working for President Lyndon B. Johnson to his graduate studies at Harvard and Oxford under luminaries such as Archibald Cox, Sir Arthur Goodhart, and Samuel Huntington, and through the guidance of his invaluable mentor David Rockefeller, Sandy fills his life and the lives of those around him with a radiant light of philanthropy, entrepreneurship, art, and innovation.


























[book] Night of the Assassins:
The Untold Story of Hitler's Plot
to Kill FDR, Churchill, and Stalin
by Howard Blum
Harper
June 2, 2020


The actor Leslie Howard was killed when his plane was shot down flying from Lisbon to London. Nazis thought Churchill was on board and tried to kill him
Hitler, Schellenberg, Skorenzy, and Canarsis wanted to kill FDR to secure a better peace
Torpedos targeted FDR as he crossed the Atlantic
How the Secret Service, Mike Reilly and Russians were alerted to assassins in Tehran who were plotting to kill FDR.
Who was the female Nazi spy who betrayed her lover and told the U.S. Secret service about the plot
Stalin's attack on 38 Nazi commandos who parachuted into Tehran to kills the Allied leaders.

The New York Times bestselling author returns with a tale as riveting and suspenseful as any thriller: the true story of the Nazi plot to kill the leaders of the United States, Great Britain, and the U.S.S.R. during World War II. The mission: to kill the three most important and heavily guarded men in the world. The assassins: a specially trained team headed by the killer known as The Most Dangerous Man in Europe. The stakes: nothing less than the future of the Western world.

The year is 1943 and the three Allied leaders—Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin—are meeting for the first time at a top-secret conference in Tehran. But the Nazis have learned about the meeting and Hitler sees it as his last chance to turn the tide. Although the war is undoubtedly lost, the Germans believe that perhaps a new set of Allied leaders might be willing to make a more reasonable peace in its aftermath. And so a plan is devised—code name Operation Long Jump—to assassinate FDR, Churchill, and Stalin.

Immediately, a highly trained, hand-picked team of Nazi commandos is assembled, trained, armed with special weapons, and parachuted into Iran. They have six days to complete the daring assignment before the statesmen will return home. With no margin for error and little time to spare, Mike Reilly, the head of FDR’s Secret Service detail—a man from a Montana silver mining town who describes himself as “an Irish cop with more muscle than brains”—must overcome his suspicions and instincts to work with a Soviet agent from the NKVD (the precursor to the KGB) to save the three most powerful men in the world.

Filled with eight pages of black-and-white photographs, Night of the Assassins is a suspenseful true-life tale about an impossible mission, a ticking clock, and one man who stepped up to the challenge and prevented a world catastrophe.




























[book] One by One by One:
Making a Small Difference
Amid a Billion Problems
by Aaron Berkowitz, MD
HarperOne
June 2, 2020

In the spirit of Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains, and joining the ranks of works by Bryan Stevenson, Matthew Desmond, Abraham Verghese and Oliver Sacks, the inspiring story of a young American neurologist's struggle to make a difference in Haiti by treating one patient at a time--a story of social justice, clashing cultures, and what it means to treat strangers as members of our family.

Dr. Aaron Berkowitz had just finished his neurology training when he was sent to Haiti on his first assignment with Partners In Health. There, he meets Janel, a 23-year-old man with the largest brain tumor Berkowitz or any of his neurosurgeon colleagues at Harvard Medical School have ever seen. Determined to live up to Partners In Health's mission statement "to bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need," Berkowitz tries to save Janel's life by bringing him back to Boston for a 12-hour surgery. In One by One by One, Berkowitz traces what he learns and grapples with as a young doctor trying to bridge the gap between one of the world's richest countries and one of the world's poorest to make the first big save of his medical career.

As Janel and Berkowitz travel back and forth between the high-tech neurosurgical operating rooms of Harvard's hospitals and Janel's dirt-floored hut in rural Haiti, they face countless heart-wrenching twists and turns. Janel remains comatose for months after his surgery. It's not clear he will recover enough to return to Haiti and be able to survive there. So he goes for a second brain surgery, a third, a fourth. Berkowitz brings the reader to the front lines of global humanitarian work as he struggles to overcome the challenges that arise when well-meaning intentions give rise to unintended consequences, when cultures and belief systems clash, and when it's not clear what the right thing to do is, let alone the right way to do it.

One by One by One is a gripping account of the triumphs, tragedies, and confusing spaces in between as an idealistic young doctor learns the hard but necessary lessons of living by the Haitian proverb tout moun se moun--every person is a person.



























[book] In the Name of God:
The Role of Religion in
the Modern World:
A History of Judeo-Christian
and Islamic Tolerance
by Selina O'Grady
Pegasus
June 2, 2020

A groundbreaking book on the history of religious tolerance and intolerance that offers an essential narrative to understanding Islam and the West today.

Never has this book been more timely. Religious intolerance, the resurgence of fundamentalism, hate crimes, repressive laws, and mass shootings are pervasive in today’s world. Selina O’Grady asks how and why our societies came to be as tolerant or intolerant as they are; whether tolerance can be expected to heal today’s festering wound between Islam and the post-Christian West; or whether something deeper than tolerance is needed.

From Umar, the seventh century Islamic caliph who led what became the greatest empire the world has ever known, to King John (of Magna Carta fame) who almost converted to Islam; from Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, who created the religious-military alliance with the House of Saud that still survives today, to the bloody Thirty Years’ War that cured Europe of murderous intra-Christian violence (but probably killed God in the process), Selina O’Grady takes the reader through the intertwined histories of the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish faiths.

In the Name of God is an original and thought-provoking history of monotheistic religions and their ever-shifting relationship with each other.






















[book] The Last Kings of Shanghai:
The Rival Jewish Dynasties
That Helped Create Modern China
by Jonathan Kaufman
(Northeastern University)
June 2, 2020
VIKING

An epic, multigenerational story of two rival dynasties who flourished in Shanghai and Hong Kong as twentieth-century China surged into the modern era, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

Shanghai, 1936. The Cathay Hotel, located on the city's famous waterfront, is one of the most glamorous in the world. Built by Victor Sassoon--billionaire playboy and scion of the Sassoon dynasty--the hotel hosts a who's who of global celebrities: Noel Coward has written a draft of Private Lives in his suite, Charlie Chaplin entertained his wife-to-be. The American socialite Wallis Simpson reportedly posed for dirty photographs. The city is notorious for easy money and loose morals. And a few miles away, Mao and the nascent communist party have been plotting revolution.

By the 1930's, the Sassoons had been doing business in China for a century, rivaled in wealth and influence by only one other dynasty--the Kadoories. These two Jewish families, both originally from Baghdad, stood astride Chinese business and politics for more than one hundred seventy-five years, profiting from the Opium Wars; surviving Japanese occupation; courting Chiang Kai-shek; and losing nearly everything as the Communists swept into power. In The Last Kings of Shanghai, Jonathan Kaufman tells the remarkable history of how these families participated in an economic boom that opened China to the world, but remained blind to the country's deep inequality and to the political turmoil at their doorsteps. In a story stretching from Baghdad to Hong Kong to Shanghai to London, Kaufman enters the lives and minds of these ambitious men and women to forge a tale of opium smuggling, family rivalry, political intrigue, and survival.

The book lays bare the moral compromises of the Kadoories and the Sassoons--and their exceptional foresight, success and generosity. At the height of World War II, they joined together to rescue and protect eighteen thousand Jewish refugees fleeing Nazism. Though their stay in China started out as a business opportunity, the country became a home that they were reluctant to leave, even on the eve of revolution. The lavish buildings they built and booming businesses they nurtured continue to define Shanghai and Hong Kong to this day. As the United States confronts China's rise, and China grapples with the pressures of breakneck modernization and global power, the long-hidden odysseys of the Sassoons and the Kadoories hold a key to understanding the present moment.

























[book] Jewish Christianity:
The Making of the Christianity-Judaism Divide
(The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)
by Matt Jackson-McCabe
June 23, 2020


A fresh exploration of the category Jewish Christianity, from its invention in the Enlightenment to contemporary debates

In this provocative work, Matt Jackson-McCabe argues that the concept of Jewish Christianity represents an enduring legacy of Christian apologetics. Freethinkers of the English Enlightenment created the category of Jewish Christianity as a means of isolating a true and distinctly Christian religion from the Jewish culture of Jesus and the apostles. Jackson-McCabe skillfully shows how a category that began as a way to reimagine the apologetic notion of an authoritative “original Christianity” continues to cause problems in the contemporary study of Jewish and Christian antiquity.




























[book] The House of Fragile Things:
A History of Jewish
Art Collectors in France, 1870 - 1945
by James McAuley, PhD (Oxford)
June 23, 2020
YALE

In the dramatic years between 1870 and the end of World War II, a number of prominent French Jews—pillars of an embattled community—invested their fortunes in France’s cultural artifacts, sacrificed their sons to the country’s army, and were ultimately rewarded by seeing their collections plundered and their families deported to Nazi concentration camps.

In this rich, evocative account, James McAuley explores the central role that art and material culture played in the assimilation and identity of French Jews in the fin-de-siècle. Weaving together narratives of various figures, some familiar from the works of Marcel Proust and the diaries of Jules and Edmond Goncourt—the Camondos, the Rothschilds, the Ephrussis, the Cahens d'Anvers—McAuley shows how Jewish art collectors contended with a powerful strain of anti-Semitism: they were often accused of “invading” France’s cultural patrimony. The collections these families left behind—many ultimately donated to the French state—were their response, tragic attempts to celebrate a nation that later betrayed them.
























[book] Lot Six:
A Memoir by David Adjmi
June 23, 2020
Harper

In a world where everyone is inventing a self, curating a feed and performing a fantasy of life, what does it mean to be a person? With his grandly entertaining debut memoir, playwright David Adjmi explores how human beings create themselves, and how artists make their lives into art.

Brooklyn, 1970s. Born into the ruins of a Syrian Jewish family that once had it all, David is painfully displaced. Trapped in an insular religious community that excludes him and a family coming apart at the seams, he is plunged into suicidal depression by the age of eight. Through adolescence, David tries to suppress his homosexual feelings and fit in, but when pushed to the breaking point, he makes the bold decision to cut off his family, erase his past, and leave everything he knows behind. There's only one problem: who should he be? Bouncing between identities he steals from the pages of fashion magazines, tomes of philosophy, sitcoms and foreign films, and practically everyone he meets--from Rastafarians to French preppies--David begins to piece together an entirely new adult self. But is this the foundation for a life, or just a kind of quicksand?

Moving from the glamour and dysfunction of 1970s Brooklyn, to the sybaritic materialism of Reagan's 1980s to post-9/11 New York, Lot Six offers a quintessentially American tale of an outsider striving to reshape himself in the funhouse mirror of American culture. Adjmi's memoir is a genre bending Künstlerroman in the spirit of Charles Dickens and Alison Bechdel, a portrait of the artist in the throes of a life and death crisis of identity. Raw and lyrical, and written in gleaming prose that veers effortlessly between hilarity and heartbreak, Lot Six charts Adjmi's search for belonging, identity, and what it takes to be an artist in America.
























[book] Soviet Judgment at Nuremberg:
A New History of the International
Military Tribunal after World War II
by Francine Hirsch
Wisconsin
June 1, 2020
Oxford University Press

The Nuremberg Trials (IMT), most notable for their aim to bring perpetrators of Nazi war crimes to justice in the wake of World War II, paved the way for global conversations about genocide, justice, and human rights that continue to this day. As Francine Hirsch reveals in this new history of the trials, a central part of the story has been ignored or forgotten: the critical role the Soviet Union played in making them happen in the first place. While there were practical reasons for this omission--until recently, critical Soviet documents about Nuremberg were buried in the former Soviet archives, and even Russian researchers had limited access--Hirsch shows that there were political reasons as well. The Soviet Union was regarded by its wartime Allies not just as a fellow victor but a rival, and it was not in the interests of the Western powers to highlight the Soviet contribution to postwar justice. Stalin's Show Trials of the 1930s had both provided a model for Nuremberg and made a mockery of it, undermining any pretense of fairness and justice. Further complicating matters was the fact that the Soviets had allied with the Nazis before being invaded by them. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 hung over the courtroom, as did the fact that the everyone knew that the Soviet prosecution had presented the court with falsified evidence about the Katyn massacre of Polish officers, attempting to pin one of their own major war crimes on the Nazis. For lead American prosecutor Robert Jackson and his colleagues, focusing too much on the Soviet role in the trials threatened the overall credibility of the IMT and possibly even the collective memory of the war.

Soviet Justice at Nuremberg illuminates the ironies of Stalin's henchmen presiding in moral judgment over the Nazis. In effect, the Nazis had learned mass-suppression and mass-murder techniques from the Soviets, their former allies, and now the latter were judging them for crimes they had themselves committed. Yet the Soviets had borne the brunt of the fighting--and the losses--in World War II, and this gave them undeniable authority. Moreover, Soviet jurists were the first to conceive of a legal framework for viewing war as a crime, and without that framework the IMT would have had no basis. In short, there would be no denying their place at the tribunal, nor their determination to make the most of it. Illuminating the shifting relationships between the four countries involved (the U.S., Great Britain, France, and the U.S.S.R.) Hirsch's book shows how each was not just facing off against the Nazi defendants, but against each other and offers a new history of Nuremberg.





















[book] Hitler's True Believers:
How Ordinary People Became Nazis
by Robert Gellately
Florida State University
June 1, 2020
Oxford University Press

Understanding Adolf Hitler's ideology provides insights into the mental world of an extremist politics that, over the course of the Third Reich, developed explosive energies culminating in the Second World War and the Holocaust. Too often the theories underlying National Socialism or Nazism are dismissed as an irrational hodge-podge of ideas. Yet that ideology drove Hitler's quest for power in 1933, colored everything in the Third Reich, and transformed him, however briefly, into the most powerful leader in the world.

How did he discover that ideology? How was it that cohorts of leaders, followers, and ordinary citizens adopted aspects of National Socialism without experiencing the "leader" first-hand or reading his works? They shared a collective desire to create a harmonious, racially select, "community of the people" to build on Germany's socialist-oriented political culture and to seek national renewal. If we wish to understand the rise of the Nazi Party and the new dictatorship's remarkable staying power, we have to take the nationalist and socialist aspects of this ideology seriously.

Hitler became a kind of representative figure for ideas, emotions, and aims that he shared with thousands, and eventually millions, of true believers who were of like mind . They projected onto him the properties of the "necessary leader," a commanding figure at the head of a uniformed corps that would rally the masses and storm the barricades. It remains remarkable that millions of people in a well-educated and cultured nation eventually came to accept or accommodate themselves to the tenants of an extremist ideology laced with hatred and laden with such obvious murderous implications.





















[book] Fodor's Essential Israel
(Full-color Travel Guide)
by Fodor's Travel Guides
June 23, 2020
Fodor's Books

Whether you want to visit Jerusalem’s Old City, float in the Dead Sea, or party in Tel Aviv, the local Fodor’s travel experts in Israel are here to help! Fodor’s Essential Israel is part of the award-winning Fodor’s Essential series recognized by Booklist as the “Best Travel Guide in 2019.” guidebook is packed with maps, carefully curated recommendations, and everything else you need to simplify your trip-planning process and make the most of your time.

This new edition has been fully-redesigned with an easy-to-read layout, fresh information, and beautiful color photos.

Fodor’s Essential Israel includes: AN ILLUSTRATED ULTIMATE EXPERIENCES GUIDE to the top things to see and do MULTIPLE ITINERARIES to effectively organize your days and maximize your time MORE THAN 40 DETAILED MAPS to help you navigate confidently COLOR PHOTOS throughout to spark your wanderlust!
UP-TO-DATE and HONEST RECOMMENDATIONS for the best sights, restaurants, hotels, nightlife, shopping, performing arts, activities, side-trips, and more PHOTO-FILLED “BEST OF” FEATURES on “Most Sacred Sites,” “Best Museums,” and “Israel’s Natural Wonders”
TRIP-PLANNING TOOLS AND PRACTICAL TIPS including when to go, getting around, beating the crowds, and saving time and money
SPECIAL FEATURES on “Israel Through the Ages,” “Jerusalem: Keeping the Faith,” “The Dead Sea, A Natural Wonder,” “Masada: Desert Fortress,” “The Wines of Israel,” and “Jesus in the Galilee”
HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL INSIGHTS providing rich context on the local people, politics, art, architecture, cuisine, geography and more
LOCAL WRITERS to help you find the under-the-radar gems
HEBREW AND PALESTINIAN ARABIC LANGUAGE PRIMERS with useful words and essential phrases
COVERS: Jerusalem, Jaffa, Bethlehem, Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea, Masada, Haifa, Nazareth, Tiberias, the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights, Eilat, the Negev, Beersheva, Petra, and more


*Important note for digital editions: The digital edition of this guide does not contain all the images or text included in the physical edition.










[book] Nine Quarters of Jerusalem:
New Paths Through the Old City
by Matthew Teller
June 23, 2020
New Internationalist

FROM A BBC REPORTER. THEIR SYNOPSIS:
In Jerusalem, what you see and what is true are two different things. Beyond the crush and frenzy of a few tourist sites, the Old City within its medieval walls remains largely unknown to visitors, its people ignored and its stories untold. Nine Quarters of Jerusalem lets the Palestinian and other communities of the Old City speak for themselves. Ranging from past to present, highlighting stories and personalities across faiths and outlooks, it evokes the depth and cultural diversity of Palestinian Jerusalem.

Around the time the British arrived in the Holy Land, the idea began to spread that the ancient Old City could be divided by straight lines into four neat quarters, each defined by a faith community. The idea was false. Jerusalem’s people had always clustered together according to religious belief or ethnicity or geographic origin, but the city was undivided.

Nonetheless, those divisions suited successive rulers, so today – more than a century on – they have become entrenched. Maps show ‘Christian Quarter’ or ‘Muslim Quarter’ as if they were real, defined places within borders. They are not. The reality of Jerusalem is a diversity and inclusion that belies imposed narratives of opposition, separation and exclusivity.

This book evokes a sense of place through Jerusalem’s other, ignored quarters – its African and Indian voices, its Greek and Armenian and Syriac communities, its downtrodden Gypsy families, its Sufi mystics and its lost Moroccan Quarter. It discusses the sources of the city’s holiness and the ideas – often startlingly secular – that have shaped lives within its walls. It links discussions of the city’s finest mosques, libraries, churches and monuments through personal stories that, in many cases, have never been told before in English, and certainly not in an accessible, marketable form.





















[book] Fifty Miles Wide
Cylcing Through Israel and Palestine
by Mr. Julian Sayarer
July 16, 2020
Arcadia

Ten years after breaking a world record for cycling around the world, award-winning travel writer Julian Sayarer returns to two wheels on the roads of Israel and the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

His route weaves from the ancient hills of Galilee, along the blockaded walls of the Gaza Strip and down to the Bedouin villages of the Negev/Naqab Desert. He speaks with Palestinian hip-hop artists who wonder if music can change their world, Israelis hoping that kibbutz life can, and Palestinian cycling club members who make a point of criticizing Israeli soldiers and civilians.

As the miles pass, the journey becomes a meditation on making change – how people in dark times keep their spirit, and go on believing that a different world is possible. As you can tell from the synopsis... it is not a book too favorable to Israel




























[book] Florence Adler Swims Forever:
A Novel
by Rachel Beanland
July 7, 2020
Simon & Schuster

Over the course of one summer that begins with a shocking tragedy, three generations of the Adler family grapple with heartbreak, romance, and the weight of family secrets in this stunning debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Manhattan Beach and The Dollhouse.

“Rachel Beanland is a writer of uncommon wit and wisdom, with a sharp and empathetic eye for character. She’ll win you over in the most old fashioned of ways: She simply tells a hell of a story.” —Rebecca Makkai, Pulitzer Finalist for The Great Believers

Atlantic City, 1934. Every summer, Esther and Joseph Adler rent their house out to vacationers escaping to “America’s Playground” and move into the small apartment above their bakery. Despite the cramped quarters, this is the apartment where they raised their two daughters, Fannie and Florence, and it always feels like home.

Now Florence has returned from college, determined to spend the summer training to swim the English Channel, and Fannie, pregnant again after recently losing a baby, is on bedrest for the duration of her pregnancy. After Joseph insists they take in a mysterious young woman whom he recently helped emigrate from Nazi Germany, the apartment is bursting at the seams.

Esther only wants to keep her daughters close and safe but some matters are beyond her control: there’s Fannie’s risky pregnancy—not to mention her always-scheming husband, Isaac—and the fact that the handsome heir of a hotel notorious for its anti-Semitic policies, seems to be in love with Florence.

When tragedy strikes, Esther makes the shocking decision to hide the truth—at least until Fannie’s baby is born—and pulls the family into an elaborate web of secret-keeping and lies, bringing long-buried tensions to the surface that reveal how quickly the act of protecting those we love can turn into betrayal.

Based on a true story and told in the vein of J. Courtney Sullivan’s Saints for All Occasions and Anita Diamant’s The Boston Girl, Beanland’s family saga is a breathtaking portrait of just how far we will go to in order to protect our loved ones and an uplifting portrayal of how the human spirit can endure—and even thrive—after tragedy.




























[book] The Influence of Soros:
Politics, Power, and the
Struggle for an Open Society
by Emily Tamkin
July 7, 2020
HARPER

A seasoned journalist probes one of the right-wing’s favorite targets, Hungarian-American investor and philanthropist George Soros, to explore the genesis of his influence and the truth of the conspiracies that surround him.

For years, hedge fund tycoon George Soros has been demonized by GOP politicians, fringe outlets, and right-wing media personalities, who claim Soros often manipulates the global economy and masterminds the radical left. He has been accused of using his billions to foment violence, support “white genocide,” and pay migrants to seek asylum in the United States. Right-wing media personalities have described him as working to hijack our democracy and undermine sovereignty. Left-leaning outlets, meanwhile, have suggested that his philanthropy is a distraction from the economic misery he himself has made.

But who is George Soros? How did he make his money? What causes does he actually support? How did this billionaire become the right’s favorite target—used by elected officials sympathetic to the idea that their country’s opposition can be blamed on one man in the endless messaging war? How much of the hatred is driven by rising antisemitism?

Though his name appears often in the media, most people know little about Soros. Weaving biography, cultural commentary, and investigative reporting, Emily Tamkin brings into focus the man and his myth to examine how much influence he actually has on politics. Is Soros simply a left-wing version of the Koch brothers? Or is he genuinely trying to make the world a better place?

The Influence of Soros offers an understanding of the man and his money, his contributions and donations, and his true sway over our politics, elections, and our societies. Ultimately, Tamkin asks, can a truly open society exist if any one man can have the kind of power Soros wields?




























[book] Stepchildren of the Shtetl:
The Destitute, Disabled,
and Mad of Jewish Eastern Europe, 1800-1939
by Natan M. Meir
(Stanford University)
July 14, 2020
Stanford University Press

Memoirs of Jewish life in the east European shtetl often recall the hekdesh (town poorhouse) and its residents: beggars, madmen and madwomen, disabled people, and poor orphans. Stepchildren of the Shtetl tells the story of these marginalized figures from the dawn of modernity to the eve of the Holocaust.

Combining archival research with analysis of literary, cultural, and religious texts, Natan M. Meir recovers the lived experience of Jewish society's outcasts and reveals the central role that they came to play in the drama of modernization. Those on the margins were often made to bear the burden of the nation as a whole, whether as scapegoats in moments of crisis or as symbols of degeneration, ripe for transformation by reformers, philanthropists, and nationalists. Shining a light into the darkest corners of Jewish society in eastern Europe-from the often squalid poorhouse of the shtetl to the slums and insane asylums of Warsaw and Odessa, from the conscription of poor orphans during the reign of Nicholas I to the cholera wedding, a magical ritual in which an epidemic was halted by marrying outcasts to each other in the town cemetery-Stepchildren of the Shtetl reconsiders the place of the lowliest members of an already stigmatized minority.




























[book] Poland 1939:
The Outbreak of World War II
by Roger Moorhouse
May 5, 2020
Postponed to July 14, 2020
Basic Books

A gripping history of the September Campaign and the onset of World War II

For Americans, World War II began in December of 1941, with the bombing of Pearl Harbor; but for Poland, the war began on September 1, 1939, when Hitler's soldiers invaded, followed later that month by Stalin's Red Army. The conflict that followed saw the debut of many of the features that would come to define the later war-blitzkrieg, the targeting of civilians, ethnic cleansing, and indiscriminate aerial bombing-yet it is routinely overlooked by historians.

In Poland 1939, Roger Moorhouse reexamines the least understood campaign of World War II, using original archival sources to provide a harrowing and very human account of the events that set the bloody tone for the conflict to come.





















[book] THE ORDER
A NOVEL
Book 20
By Daniel Silva
July 14, 2020
HARPER

From Daniel Silva, author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers The New Girl and The Other Woman, comes a stunning new action-packed thriller of high stakes international intrigue featuring the enigmatic art restorer and master spy Gabriel Allon.

Master of the spy thriller Silva has entertained readers with twenty-two thoughtful and gripping suspense novels featuring a diverse cast of compelling characters and ingenious plots that have taken them around the globe and back-from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East.

He returns with another blockbuster-a powerhouse novel that showcases his outstanding skill and brilliant imagination, destined to be a must read for both his multitudes of fans and growing legions of converts.






























[book] GERMAN AS A JEWISH PROBLEM
THE LANGUAGE POLITICS OF JEWISH NATIONALISM
BY MARC VOLOVICI
(University of London)
July 14, 2020
Stanford University Press

The German language holds an ambivalent and controversial place in the modern history of European Jews, representing different-often conflicting-historical currents. It was the language of the German classics, of German Jewish writers and scientists, of Central European Jewish culture, and of Herzl and the Zionist movement. But it was also the language of Hitler, Goebbels, and the German guards in Nazi concentration camps. The crucial role of German in the formation of Jewish national culture and politics in the late nineteenth century has been largely overshadowed by the catastrophic events that befell Jews under Nazi rule.

German as a Jewish Problem tells the Jewish history of the German language, focusing on Jewish national movements in Central and Eastern Europe and Palestine/Israel. Marc Volovici considers key writers and activists whose work reflected the multilingual nature of the Jewish national sphere and the centrality of the German language within it, and argues that it is impossible to understand the histories of modern Hebrew and Yiddish without situating them in relation to German. This book offers a new understanding of the language problem in modern Jewish history, turning to German to illuminate the questions and dilemmas that largely defined the experience of European Jews in the age of nationalism.


























[book] The Bohemians:
The Lovers Who Led Germany’s
Resistance Against the Nazis
by Norman Ohler
July 14, 2020
HMH

From the New York Times best-selling author of Blitzed, the incredible true story of two idealistic young lovers who led the anti-Nazi resistance in the darkening heart of Berlin

Summertime, 1935. On a lake near Berlin, a young man is out sailing when he glimpses a woman reclining in the prow of a passing boat. Their eyes meet—and one of history’s greatest conspiracies is born.

Harro Schulze-Boysen already had shed blood in the fight against Nazism by the time he and Libertas Haas-Heye began their whirlwind romance. She joined the cause, and soon the two lovers were leading a network of antifascist fighters that stretched across Berlin’s bohemian underworld. Harro himself infiltrated German intelligence and began funneling Nazi battle plans to the Allies, including the details of Hitler’s surprise attack on the Soviet Union. But nothing could prepare Harro and Libertas for the betrayals they would suffer in this war of secrets—a struggle in which friend could be indistinguishable from foe. Drawing on unpublished diaries, letters, and Gestapo files, Norman Ohler spins an unforgettable tale of love, heroism, and sacrifice in The Bohemians.






























[book] The Perfect Fascist:
A Story of Love, Power,
and Morality in Mussolini’s Italy
by Victoria De Grazia
July 14, 2020
Harvard University Press

Through the story of one exemplary fascist-a war hero turned commander of Mussolini’s Black Shirts-the award-winning author of How Fascism Ruled Women reveals how the personal became political in the fascist quest for manhood and power.

When Attilio Teruzzi, Mussolini’s handsome political enforcer, married a striking young American opera star, his good fortune seemed settled. The wedding was a carefully stage-managed affair, capped with a blessing by Mussolini himself. Yet only three years later, after being promoted to commander of the Black Shirts, Teruzzi renounced his wife. In fascist Italy, a Catholic country with no divorce law, he could only dissolve the marriage by filing for an annulment through the medieval procedures of the Church Court.

The proceedings took an ominous turn when Mussolini joined Hitler: Lilliana Teruzzi was Jewish, and fascist Italy would soon introduce its first race laws.

The Perfect Fascist pivots from the intimate story of an inconvenient marriage-brilliantly reconstructed through family letters and court records-to a riveting account of Mussolini’s rise and fall. It invites us to see in the vain, loyal, lecherous, and impetuous Attilio Teruzzi, a decorated military officer with few scruples and a penchant for parades, an exemplar of fascism’s New Man. Why did he abruptly discard the woman he had so eagerly courted? And why, when the time came to find another partner, did he choose another Jewish woman as his would-be wife? In Victoria de Grazia’s engrossing account, we see him vacillating between the will of his Duce and the dictates of his heart.

De Grazia’s landmark history captures the seductive appeal of fascism and shows us how, in his moral pieties and intimate betrayals, his violence and opportunism, Teruzzi is a forefather of the illiberal politicians of today.





























[book] WITH US MORE THAN EVER
MAKING THE ABSENT REBBE
PRESENT IN MESSIANIC CHABAD
BY YORAM BILU
(HEBREW UNIVERSITY)
July 23, 2020
Stanford University Press

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson was the charismatic leader of the Chabad Hasidic movement and its designated Messiah. Yet when he died in 1994, the messianic fervor he inspired did not subside. Through traditional means and digital technologies, a group of radical Hasidim, the Meshichistim, still keep the Rebbe palpably close-engaging in ongoing dialogue, participating in specific rituals, and developing an ever-expanding visual culture of portraits and videos. With Us More Than Ever focuses on this group to explore how religious practice can sustain the belief that a messianic figure is both present and accessible.

Yoram Bilu documents a unique religious experience that is distinctly modern. The rallying point of the Meshichistim-that the Rebbe is "with us more than ever"-is sustained through an elaborate system that creates the sense of his constant and pervasive presence in the lives of his followers. The virtual Rebbe that emerges is multiple, visible, accessible, and highly decentralized, the epicenter of a truly messianic movement in the twenty-first century. Combining ethnographic fieldwork and cognitive science with nuanced analysis, Bilu documents the birth and development of a new religious faith, describing the emergence of new spiritual horizons, a process common to various religious movements old and new.






















[book] Forging Ties, Forging Passports:
Migration and the Modern
Sephardi Diaspora
(Stanford Studies in Jewish History and Culture)
by Devi Mays
(University of Michigan, Judaic Studies)
August 25, 2020
Stanford University Press

"Forging Ties, Forging Passports explores the history of Ottoman Sephardic Jews who emigrated to the Americas-and especially, to Mexico-in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the complex relationships they maintained to legal documentation during their migration and as they settled in new homes. Through the stories of individual women, men, and families who navigated these transitions, Devi Mays considers broader questions of belonging, nationality, and citizenship. In the aftermath of World War I and the Mexican Revolution, migrants navigated new layers of bureaucracy and authority, as borders and political regimes changed around them.

In this period of upheaval and possibility, the meanings ascribed to nationality, class, race, and gender were in flux. Mays argues that Ottoman Sephardi migrants in Mexico were caught up in a process of defining citizenship and national belonging: they resisted classification as either Ottoman expatriates or unequivocal Mexicans by maintaining a diasporic consciousness linking them with Sephardim in formerly Ottoman lands, France, Cuba, and the United States. Drawing on these transnational commercial and family networks, Sephardic migrants maintained a geographic and social mobility that challenged the physical borders of the state and the conceptual boundaries of the nation"

























[book] GRIEF
The Biography of a Holocaust Photograph
by David Shneer
University of Colorado – Boulder
August 3, 2020
Oxford University Press

In January 1942, Soviet press photographers came upon a scene like none they had ever documented. That day, they took pictures of the first liberation of a German mass atrocity, where an estimated 7,000 Jews and others were executed at an anti-tank trench near Kerch on the Crimean peninsula. Dmitri Baltermants, a photojournalist working for the Soviet newspaper Izvestiia, took photos that day that would have a long life in shaping the image of Nazi genocide in and against the Soviet Union. Presenting never before seen photographs, Grief: The Biography of a Holocaust Photograph shows how Baltermants used the image of a grieving woman to render this gruesome mass atrocity into a transcendentally human tragedy.

David Shneer tells the story of how that one photograph from the series Baltermants took that day in 1942 near Kerch became much more widely known than the others, eventually being titled "Grief." Baltermants turned this shocking wartime atrocity photograph into a Cold War era artistic meditation on the profundity and horror of war that today can be found in Holocaust photo archives as well as in art museums and at art auctions. Although the journalist documented murdered Jews in other pictures he took at Kerch, in "Grief" there are likely no Jews among the dead or the living, save for the possible NKVD soldier securing the site. Nonetheless, Shneer shows that this photograph must be seen as an iconic Holocaust photograph. Unlike images of emaciated camp survivors or barbed wire fences, Shneer argues, the Holocaust by bullets in the Soviet Union make "Grief" a quintessential Soviet image of Nazi genocide.






















[book] 27 Essential Principles of Story:
Master the Secrets of Great
Storytelling, from Shakespeare
to South Park
by Daniel Joshua Rubin
August 3, 2020
Workman Publishing

Open your notebook, take out your pen, and welcome a bold new approach to teaching the art of great storytelling. In 27 lessons, drawn from 27 critical moments at the heart of 27 diverse narratives—from plays, novels, movies, television, and even songs and video games—Daniel Joshua Rubin unlocks the secrets of what makes a story work and then teaches us how to understand and use each principle in our own storytelling.

Rubin, an incisive and no BS teacher, writing consultant, and founder of the Story 27 Studio, expands our understanding of narrative by drilling into examples ranging from Hamlet to The Godfather, Parts I and II, from Harry Potter to an episode of South Park, and unearthing exactly what makes each scene tick. The result is a collection of priceless advice: Escalate Risk, with an example from Pulp Fiction. Write Characters to the Top of Their Intelligence, from the Eminem song “Stan.” Explore All Endings, from HBO’s The Night Of. Attack Your Theme, from The Brothers Karamazov. Peel the Onion, from Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies. Clash Expectation with Reality, from Breaking Bad. After each principle comes a lesson in how to do it, plus a Mini Final Exam and Related Principles from other sources.

Rubin’s writing is the writing we all aspire to: insightful, encouraging, filled with attitude; the examples are relatable, contemporary, and fresh. For writers, storytellers, filmmakers, video game designers, podcasters, writing teachers, and anyone interested in how story works, it’s a guide that turns the traditional writing manual on its head, drawing from a world of diverse voices and sources and media. In other words, from where contemporary storytellers find their inspiration.






















[book] The Fixed Stars
a novel
by Molly Wizenberg
May 12, 2020
postponed to August 4, 2020
Abrams Press

From a bestselling memoirist, a thoughtful and provocative story of changing identity, complex sexuality, and enduring family relationships

At age 36, while serving on a jury, author Molly Wizenberg found herself drawn to a female attorney she hardly knew. Married to a man for nearly a decade and mother to a toddler, Wizenberg tried to return to her life as she knew it, but something inside her had changed irredeemably. Instead, she would discover that the trajectory of our lives is rarely as smooth or as logical as we’d like to believe.

Like many of us, Wizenberg had long understood sexual orientation as a stable part of ourselves: we’re “born this way.” Suddenly she realized that her story was more complicated. Who was she, she wondered, if something at her very core could change so radically? The Fixed Stars is a taut, electrifying memoir exploring timely and timeless questions about desire, identity, and the limits and possibilities of family. In honest and searing prose, Wizenberg forges a new path: through the murk of separation and divorce, coming out to family and friends, learning to co-parent a young child, and realizing a new vision of love. The result is a frank and moving story about letting go of rigid definitions and ideals that no longer fit, and learning instead who we really are.

























[book] Tomboy:
The Surprising History and Future
of Girls Who Dare to Be Different
by Lisa Selin Davis
May 5, 2020
postponed to August 11, 2020
Hachette

You probably recall the author from her essay on finding out she was “Jewish” in the second grade, and her exploration of her hippie parents views on Jewishness, and her grandparents (and brother's) view of being “Jew-ish” and her exploration of Judaism at Hampshire. Also, her op-ed in The New York Times caught the zeitgeist, when she wrote about her geneder non conforming daughter... Strong Is the New Pretty meets All the Single Ladies in this heartfelt celebration and exploration of the tomboy phenomenon and the future of girlhood, based on the author's viral New York Times op-ed.

Inspired by her thought-provoking op-ed for the New York Times, Lisa Selin Davis's Tomboy explores the history and imagines the future of girls who defy societal expectations based on their gender. Tomboy is a revealing dive into the forces that have shifted and narrowed our ideas of what's normal for boys and girls, and for kids who don't fall neatly into either category. It looks at tomboyism from a Victorian ideal to a twenty-first century fashion statement, chronicling the evolution of the pink/blue divide and what motivates those who cross or straddle it to gender independence -- and who they grow up to be. Davis critically investigates the word "tomboy," but lauds the ideas and ideals it represents.

Davis talks to experts from clothing designers to psychologists, historians to neuroscientists, and tomboys from eight to eighty, to illuminate debates about what is masculine and feminine; what is biological versus socially constructed; what constitutes the categories of boy and girl; and the connection between tomboyism, gender identity, and sexuality.

In Tomboy, Davis tackles an intellectual and emotional makeover of notions of gender, ultimately finding that gender nonconformity can be -- and often is -- a true gift. Ultimately, this book is a celebration not just of tomboys but of gender diversity itself, and of those who resist the pressure of gender norms and summon the courage to live as their true selves.





















[book] ANOTHER MODERNITY
Elia Benamozegh’s Jewish
Universalism
by Clémence Boulouque
(Columbia University)
August 25, 2020
Stanford University Press

Another Modernity is a rich study of the life and thought of Elia Benamozegh, a nineteenth-century rabbi and philosopher whose work profoundly influenced Christian-Jewish dialogue in twentieth-century Europe. Benamozegh, a Livornese rabbi of Moroccan descent, was a prolific writer and transnational thinker who corresponded widely with religious and intellectual figures in France, the Maghreb, and the Middle East. This idiosyncratic figure, who argued for the universalism of Judaism and for interreligious engagement, came to influence a spectrum of religious thinkers so varied that it includes proponents of the ecumenical Second Vatican Council, American evangelists, and right-wing Zionists in Israel.

What Benamozegh proposed was unprecedented: that the Jewish tradition presented a solution to the religious crisis of modernity. According to Benamozegh, the defining features of Judaism were universalism, a capacity to foster interreligious engagement, and the political power and mythical allure of its theosophical tradition, Kabbalah-all of which made the Jewish tradition uniquely equipped to assuage the post-Enlightenment tensions between religion and reason.

In this book, Clémence Boulouque presents a wide-ranging and nuanced investigation of Benamozegh's published and unpublished work and his continuing legacy, considering his impact on Christian-Jewish dialogue as well as on far-right Christians and right-wing religious Zionists.




















[book] Eli's Promise:
A Novel
by Ronald H. Balson
September 22, 2020
ST. Martin's Press

A "fixer" in a Polish town during World War II, his betrayal of a Jewish family, and a search for justice 25 years later-by the winner of the National Jewish Book Award.

Eli’s Promise is a masterful work of historical fiction spanning three eras?Nazi-occupied Poland, the American Zone of post-war Germany, and Chicago at the height of the Vietnam War. Award-winning author Ronald H. Balson explores the human cost of war, the mixed blessings of survival, and the enduring strength of family bonds.

1939: Eli Rosen lives with his wife Esther and their young son in the Polish town of Lublin, where his family owns a construction company. As a consequence of the Nazi occupation, Eli’s company is Aryanized, appropriated and transferred to Maximilian Poleski an unprincipled profiteer who peddles favors to Lublin’s subjugated residents. An uneasy alliance is formed; Poleski will keep the Rosen family safe if Eli will manage the business. Will Poleski honor his promise or will their relationship end in betrayal and tragedy?

1946: Eli resides with his son in a displaced persons camp in Allied-occupied Germany hoping for a visa to America. His wife has been missing since the war. One man is sneaking around the camps selling illegal visas; might he know what has happened to her?

1965: Eli rents a room in Albany Park, Chicago. He is on a mission. With patience, cunning, and relentless focus, he navigates unfamiliar streets and dangerous political backrooms, searching for the truth. Powerful and emotional, Ronald H. Balson's Eli’s Promise is a rich, rewarding novel of World War II and a husband’s quest for justice.





















[book] The Man Who Ran Washington:
The Life and Times of James A. Baker III
by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser
May 12, 2020
postponed to September 29, 2020
Doubleday

From two of America's most revered political journalists comes the definitive biography of legendary White House chief of staff and secretary of state James A. Baker III: the man who ran Washington when Washington ran the world.

For a quarter-century, from the end of Watergate to the aftermath of the Cold War, no Republican won the presidency without his help or ran the White House without his advice. James Addison Baker III was the indispensable man for four presidents because he understood better than anyone how to make Washington work at a time when America was shaping events around the world. The Man Who Ran Washington is a page-turning portrait of a power broker who influenced America's destiny for generations.

A scion of Texas aristocracy who became George H. W. Bush's best friend on the tennis courts of the Houston Country Club, Baker had never even worked in Washington until a devastating family tragedy struck when he was thirty-nine. Within a few years, he was leading Gerald Ford's campaign and would go on to manage a total of five presidential races and win a sixth for George W. Bush in a Florida recount. He ran Ronald Reagan's White House and became the most consequential secretary of state since Henry Kissinger. He negotiated with Democrats at home and Soviets abroad, rewrote the tax code, assembled the coalition that won the Gulf War, brokered the reunification of Germany and helped bring a decades-long nuclear superpower standoff to an end. Ruthlessly partisan during campaign season, Baker governed as the avatar of pragmatism over purity and deal-making over division, a lost art in today's fractured nation.

His story is a case study in the acquisition, exercise, and preservation of power in late twentieth-century America and the story of Washington and the world in the modern era--how it once worked and how it has transformed into an era of gridlock and polarization. This masterly biography by two brilliant observers of the American political scene is destined to become a classic.



































[book] Morality:
Restoring the Common Good
in Divided Times
by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
Former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and Commonweath
September 1, 2020
Basic Books

A distinguished religious leader's stirring case for reconstructing a shared framework of virtues and values

With liberal democracy embattled, public discourse grown toxic, family life breaking down, and drug abuse and depression on the rise, many fear what the future holds.

In Morality, respected faith leader and public intellectual Jonathan Sacks traces today's crisis to our loss of a strong, shared moral code and our elevation of self-interest over the common good. We have outsourced morality to the market and the state, but neither is capable of showing us how to live. Sacks leads readers from ancient Greece to the Enlightenment to the present day to show that there is no liberty without morality and no freedom without responsibility, arguing that we must all must play our part in rebuilding a common moral foundation.

A major work of moral philosophy, Morality is an inspiring vision of a world in which we can all find our place and face the future without fear.




















[book] Those Who Forget:
My Family's Story in Nazi Europe
– A Memoir, A History, A Warning
by Geraldine Schwarz
Laura Marris (Translator)
May 5, 2020
Postponed to September 22, 2020
Scribner

Those Who Forget, published to international awards and acclaim, is journalist Géraldine Schwarz’s riveting account of her German and French grandparents’ lives during World War II, an in-depth history of Europe’s post-war reckoning with fascism, and an urgent appeal to remember as a defense against today’s rise of far-right nationalism.

During World War II, Géraldine Schwarz’s German grandparents were neither heroes nor villains; they were merely Mitlaüfer—those who followed the current. Once the war ended, they wanted to bury the past under the wreckage of the Third Reich.

Decades later, while delving through filing cabinets in the basement of their apartment building in Mannheim, Schwarz discovers that in 1938, her paternal grandfather Karl took advantage of Nazi policies to buy a business from a Jewish family for a low price. She finds letters from the only survivor of this family (all the others perished in Auschwitz), demanding reparations. But Karl Schwarz refused to acknowledge his responsibility. Géraldine starts to question the past: How guilty were her grandparents? What makes us complicit? On her mother’s side, she investigates the role of her French grandfather, a policeman in Vichy.

Weaving together the threads of three generations of her family story with Europe’s process of post-war reckoning, Schwarz explores how millions were seduced by ideology, overcome by a fog of denial after the war, and, in Germany at least, eventually managed to transform collective guilt into democratic responsibility. She asks: How can nations learn from history? And she observes that countries that avoid confronting the past are especially vulnerable to extremism. Searing and unforgettable, Those Who Forget is a riveting memoir, an illuminating history, and an urgent call for remembering.











[book] This Is Not My Memoir
by André Gregory
with Todd London
May 5, 2020
Postponed until November 17, 2020
FS&G

The autobiography-of-sorts of André Gregory, an iconic figure in American theater and the star of My Dinner with André

Remember My Dinner with Andre? All the wild stories that Andre shared with Wallace Shawn? Well here is his life story

This is Not My Memoir tells the life story of André Gregory, iconic theatre director, writer, and actor. For the first time, Gregory shares memories from a life lived for art, including stories from the making of My Dinner with André. Taking on the dizzying, wondrous nature of a fever dream, This is Not My Memoir includes fantastic and fantastical stories that take the reader from wartime Paris to golden-age Hollywood, from avant-garde theaters to monasteries in India. Along the way we meet Jerzy Grotowski, Helene Weigel, Gregory Peck, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, Wallace Shawn, and many other larger-than-life personalities.

The book opens with young Gregory and his globe trotting parents. He makes it to America and is enrolled in St Bernard's prep school. The family says they are escaped aristocratic Russians and not Jews, and the school either believes them or was desperate for tuition from Andre and his brother. Andre discovers the power of theater. The family summers in Westwood, Los Angeles, at a time when it was undeveloped. They rent from Thomas Mann and other Jewish emigres. His mother has a few affairs with celebrities, including Errol Flynn, who back in NYC, his mother has to rouse from his hotel bed where he is passed out with a prostitute. At Harvard he gets a job in a theater working for a stipper.

This is Not My Memoir is a collaboration between Gregory and Todd London who together create a portrait of an artist confronting his later years. Here, too, are the reflections of a man who rehearses shows for decades, and only recently learned how to love. What does it mean to create art in a world that often places little value on the process of creating it? And what does it mean to confront the process of aging when your greatest work of art may well be your own life?









































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