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

SOME WINTER 2016 BOOK READINGS



December 06, 2015: Soviet Songs with a Jewish Flavor, featuring Evgeny Kissing, Boris Sandler, Margarita and Nukhim Koyfman concert. YIVO NYC
December 13, 2015: Gershwin, Copland, Bernstein: Jewish Roots in American Music concert. YIVO Institute NYC

January 10, 2016: Jewish Museums in the 21st Century. Yivo Institute symposium. NYC. 2:30 PM. Featuring: Jonathan Brent; Olga Gershenson (The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow); BKG Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (for the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews); Anna Manchin (Jewish Museums in Hungary); Ruth Ellen Gruber (on Jewish Exhibitions and Synagogue Restorations in the Czech Republic); Jacob Wisse (Yeshiva University Museum); Edward Rothstein (WSJ); Norman Kleeblatt (Jewish Museum, NY); Pamela Nadell(on the National Museum of American Jewish History); and Benjamin Nathans (Penn)
January 21, 2016: Atalia Omer (Notre Dame) on Reconfiguring American Jewish Identity: The Palestine Chapter, based on interviews with Jewish Americans who are Palestine solidarity activists. UCLA Royce Hall
January 24, 2016: Israel & Water: A Conversation with Author Seth Siegel. Facilitated by Bruce Feiler. Brooklyn Heights Synagogue. Brooklyn, NY
January 29, 2016: Rabin, The Last Day. A film Directed by Amos Gitai. Open in the USA
January 31, 2016: Honoring Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller after 40 years of service to UCLA. UCLA Hillel

February 07, 2016: Start of the Annual Yeshiva University Seforim Sale. I already spent $300 there. And plan to go again.
February 08, 2016: Adam Grant. In Conversation with Dan Pink. In Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, the New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take and top-rated Wharton professor explores how to reject conformity and champion new ideas. Historic Sixth & Eye, Washington DC
February 09, 2016: Gillian Weiss, author of Captives and Corsairs: France and Slavery in the Early Modern Mediterranean, discusses “The Money Launderer's Daughter: A Sephardic Woman and a Slave Rumor in the Early Modern Med. UCLA Bunche Hall
February 9, 2016: Moatza Mekomit New York is holding its 3rd Career Fair, where companies searching for top rate candidates and job seekers meet. Israel Career Fair. Zanger Hall – 34th Street. NYC
February 15, 2016: William Shatner reads from Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man (aboit Leonard Nimoy). B&N Union Square NYC
February 17, 2016: Discussion of the film, Light out of Darkness. UCLA Royce Hall
February 18, 2016: Liora Halperin (Colorado) on her book, BABEL IN ZION, Jews Nationalism and Language Diversity in Palestine 1920-1948. UCLA Roce Hall 12 Noon
February 21, 2016: Nadav Abukksis in NYC. (a top stand up comedy artist in Israel). NYC Symphony Space.
February 21, 2016: All About Hummus. 10 samples. Screening of film: Make Hummus Not War. Rob Eshman moderates discussion with Majadi Wali, Noam Bonnie, and Dr. Trevor Graham. $45. Temple Emanuel Skirball NYC.
February 21, 2016: Rabbi Daniel Goldfarb speaks on Critical Situations and Tough Decisions. Temple Emanu El NYC Skirball
February 22, 2016: Shulem Deen, author of a recent Memoir of leaving his Hasidic life, teaches a multi-week course on writing memoirs. First night. Temple Emanuel Skirball NYC
February 23, 2016: Joel Grey In Conversation with Leon Wieseltier. The actor, producer, and director—best known for his role in Cabaret—draws back the curtain on his seven decades in entertainment in Master of Ceremonies. Historic Sixth & Eye, Washington DC
February 25, 2016: HBS Professor Amy Cuddy In Conversation with Guy Raz. The Harvard Business School social psychologist explains the science underlying power poses and other body-mind effects, and teaches us how to become self-assured in life’s most trying moments in Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges. Historic Sixth & Eye, Washington DC
February 25, 2016: UCLA Mickey Katz Endowed Chair in Jewish Music hosts the New Budapest Orpheum Society on Jewish Cabaret between Berlin and Hollywood. UCLA 8 PM

March 01, 2016: Neil W. Netanel on Jewish Law of Copyright Since the Birth of Print. UCLA Royce Hall 12 Noon
March 07, 2016: David Brooks on The Road to Character and other current events/ Temple Emanuel Skirball NYC.
March 08, 2016: Dr. Donniel Hartman of the Hartman Institute / Temple Emanuel Skirball NYC.
March 30, 2016: When Bad Things Happen To Good People. With Rabbis Artson, Kushner, Naomi Levy, Asher Lopatin, Nancy Wiener, and Rachel Cowan / Temple Emanuel Skirball 7 PM NYC.
March 31, 2016: Dan Stone (London) reads from The Liberatuon of the Camps, and hiw liberations helps one understand the history of the Holocaust
April 05, 2016: Lawrence E. Stager (Harvard) – author of Life In Biblical Israel - discusses the Rites of Spring in the Carthagian Tophet, and how the great spring festival in Phoenicia (Canaan) and Syria was like the Hebrew Passover, and coincided with spring lambs and first fruits/early shoots of barley. UCLA Royce Hall 4PM
April 07, 2016: Architect Daniel Liebeskind w. his book: Breaking Ground. / Temple Emanuel Skirball NYC.
April 10, 2016: Yale Strom performs The Polonski Concert: Soviet Jewish Songbook. UCLA Hillel
April 11, 2016: James Snyder discusses his role at The Israel Museum / Temple Emanuel Skirball NYC.
April 13, 2016: An Evening with Gloria Steinem, author of On The Road and Road to the Heart / Temple Emanuel Skirball NYC.
April 14, 2016: Author Dalia Sofer reads from The Septembers of Shiraz. UCLA Faculty Center
April 17, 2016: Saba Soomekh, Sarah A. Stein, Jessica Marglin, Gina Nahal, Shula Nazarian, and Daniel Bouskila read from “Sephardi and Mizrachi Jews in America.” Sinai Temple, Los Angeles 7 PM
April 19, 2016: Eyal Ginio (Hebrew University) on his February book – The Balkan Wars (1912-1913) and the Jewish Communities of the Ottoman Empire: Between Participation and Exclusion. UCLA Royce Hall, Los Angeles
April 22, 2016: Passover celebration begins in evening

May 03, 2016: Francine Prose on Anne Frank / Temple Emanuel Skirball NYC.
May 05, 2016: Rachel Neis (Michigan) – author of The Sense of Sight in Rabbinic Culture: Jewish Ways of Seeing in Late Antiquity – discusses “What is a Human? The Early Rabbis on Uterine Materials and the Makings of Species” UCLA – Los Angeles
May 25, 2016: Avivah Zornberg discusses Abraham and Lech Lecha / Temple Emanuel Skirball NYC.











[book] THE RAGING SKILLET
The True Life Story of Chef Rossi
by Rossi
November 10, 2015
Feminist Press
Once I began to read this on the subway, I stayed for extra stops just so I could read more pages of it. It is too funny and engrossing.

When their high-school-aged, punk, runaway daughter is found hosting a Jersey Shore hotel party in Point Pleasant, Rossi's parents feel they have no other choice: they ship her off to live with a Hasidic rabbi in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Heck... even the Lubavitcher rebbe gives her some wine to drink.

Within the confines of this restrictive culture, Rossi's big city dreams take root. Once she makes her way to Manhattan, Rossi's passion for cooking, which first began as a revolt against her mother's microwave, becomes her life mission.

The Raging Skillet is one woman's story of cooking her way through some of the most unlikely kitchens in New York City—at a "beach" in Tribeca, an East Village supper club, and a makeshift grill at ground zero in the days immediately following 9/11. Forever writing her own rules, Rossi ends up becoming the owner of one of the most sought-after catering companies in the city. This heartfelt, gritty, and hilarious memoir shows us how the creativity of the kitchen allows us to give a nod to where we come from, while simultaneously expressing everything that we are. Includes unpretentious recipes for real people everywhere (lots of hot dog recipes).

Rossi is the owner and executive chef of The Raging Skillet, described as a "rebel anti-caterer" by the New York Times. Rossi has written for many publications, including Bust, the Daily News, the New York Post, the Huffington Post, Time Out New York, and McSweeney's. She is the host of a long-running radio show in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

KIRKUS WRITES: “Growing up as an overweight Orthodox Jew, Rossi’s first introduction to cooking came about as a means to survive after her mother started microwaving all of the family food instead of creating goulashes and stews that simmered on the stove all day. “Suddenly,” she writes, “that elusive sensation of being the only one who could provide what everyone wanted was in my grasp, wedged between the kitchen mitts and the platter of cheese ravioli.” From the pizza bagels that launched her career in the kitchen, Rossi wends her way through the ups and downs and side streets of her rise to cooking fame. With a good shot of humor, a splash of self-deprecation, and a smidgen or two of sadness and regret, she chronicles her introductions to bartending and cooking, her coming out as a lesbian and non–Orthodox Jew to her family, and her rocky relationship with her mother, who, like many good Jewish mothers, used guilt as her favorite spice. Rossi intertwines character descriptions of the chefs, cooks, and waiters she’s worked with and for over the years as she moves through the decades and the numerous positions she held before she launched her own catering service. There’s Big S, who was “stirring tomato sauce, wearing nothing but a black lace bra, matching panties, and an apron,” and the French chef who abhorred having women in the kitchen, let alone a gay Jewish woman. Each of the author’s stories is well-rounded, redolent of salty sweat, sweet love, and the joy of food. The inclusion of numerous recipes related to each narrative is an added garnish to an already satisfying meal. A humorous and witty chronicle of a woman’s pulling-herself-up-by-her-bootstraps rise through the culinary ranks.”



















[book] SEPHARDI AND MIZRAHI JEWS IN AMERICA
VOLUME 13
Edited by Saba Soomekh (UCLA)
December 2015
Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews in America includes academics, artists, writers, and civic and religious leaders who contributed chapters focusing on the Sephardi and Mizrahi experience in America. Topics will address language, literature, art, diaspora identity, and civic and political engagement. When discussing identity in America, one contributor will review and explore the distinct philosophy and culture of classic Sephardic Judaism, and how that philosophy and culture represents a viable option for American Jews who seek a rich and meaningful medium through which to balance Jewish tradition and modernity. Another chapter will provide a historical perspective of Sephardi/Ashkenazi Diasporic tensions. Additionally, contributors will address the term Sephardi as a self-imposed, collective, ethnic designation that had to be learned and naturalizedand its parameters defined and negotiatedin the new context of the United States and in conversation with discussions about Sephardic identity across the globe. This volume also will look at the theme of literature, focusing on Egyptian and Iranian writers in the United States. Continuing with the Iranian Jewish community, contributors will discuss the historical and social genesis of Iranian-American Jewish participation and leadership in American civic, political, and Jewish affairs. Another chapter reviews how art is used to express Iranian Diaspora identity and nostalgia. The significance of language among Sephardi and Mizrahi communities is discussed. One chapter looks at the Ladino-speaking Sephardic Jewish population of Seattle, while another confronts the experience of Judeo-Spanish speakers in the United States and how they negotiate identity via the use of language. In addition, scholars will explore how Judeo-Spanish speakers engage in dialogue with one another from a century ago, and furthermore, how they use and modify their language when they find themselves in Spanish-speaking areas today.













[book] WHY DOES THE OTHER LINE MOVE FASTER
The Myths and Misery
Secrets and Psychology of
Waiting in Line
By David Andrews
Workman
November 2015
How we wait, why we wait, what we wait for—waiting in line is a daily indignity that we all experience, usually with a little anxiety thrown in (why is it that the other line always moves faster?!?). This smart, quirky, wide-ranging book (the perfect conversation starter) considers the surprising science and psychology—and the sheer misery—of the well-ordered line. On the way, it takes us from boot camp (where the first lesson is to teach recruits how to stand rigidly in line) to the underground bunker beneath Disneyland’s Cinderella Castle (home of the world’s most advanced, state-of-the-art queue management technologies); from the 2011 riots in London (where rioters were observed patiently taking their turns when looting shops), to the National Voluntary Wait-in-Line days in the People’s Republic of China (to help train their non-queuing populace to wait in line like Westerners in advance of the 2008 Olympics).
Citing sources ranging from Harvard Business School professors to Seinfeld, the book comes back to one underlying truth: it’s not about the time you spend waiting, but how the circumstances of the wait affect your perception of time. In other words, the other line always moves faster because you’re not in it.















[book] SIMPLY DELICIOUS
CREATIVE COOKING FOR THE KOSHER KITCHEN
BY MINDY GINSBeRG
November 2015
GEFEN
From bean stew to brandied apples, from quinoa to butterscotch brownies, Simply Delicious contains delicious recipes for all your cooking needs! Complete with an introductory guide to herbs and legumes, Simply Delicious makes cooking a delight.

Mindy Ginsberg is an imaginative cooking expert who has lovingly assembled and shared over fifty years of proven recipes. She is based in New York and Tel Aviv and has had three previous cookbooks published in Israel.
































[book] Cook, Pray, Eat Kosher
by Mia Adler Ozair
November 2015
FELDHEIM
With over 90 delicious recipes, this heartfelt volume is more than just a cookbook; it is a spiritual exploration of Jewish life and its deep connections with food. Playing on the culturally diverse nature of her own marriage, the author weaves together the culinary delights of both Ashkenazi and Sepharadi heritages offering a full range of dishes for every palate.
Included are original guides for how to prepare meals for and observe Shabbat and holidays, how to fulfill the woman's mitzvah of making and taking challah, and a profound reflection on the essential relationship between food and the Jewish soul. Cook, Pray, Eat Kosher is the newest essential ingredient for any Jewish kitchen.
"This book nourishes your body while feeding your soul. Mia makes the very real connections between the mitzvot surrounding food and the preparation of delicious dishes. Clearly a labor of love, it is a melting pot of her family's mixed heritage."
































[book] Soup for Syria
Recipes to Celebrate our
Shared Humanity
Edited by Barbara Abdeni Massaad
Interlink
The world has failed Syria's refugees and some of the world's wealthiest countries have turned their backs on this humanitarian disaster. Syria's neighbors - Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq - have together absorbed more that 3.8 million refugees. The need for food relief is great and growing.
Acclaimed chefs and cookbook authors the world over have come together to help food relief efforts to alleviate the suffering of Syrian refugees. Each has contributed a recipe to this beautifully illustrated cookbook of delicious soups from around the world. Contributors include: Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi, Anthony Bourdain, Alice Waters, Paula Wolfert, Claudia Roden, Chef Greg Malouf, Chef Alexis Coquelet, Chef Chris Borunda, Chef Alexandra Stratou, Necibe Dogru, Aglaia Kremenzi, and many others.
- Celebrity chefs contribute favorite recipes to help feed Syrian refugees
- Fabulous soups from around the world-from hearty winter warmers to chilled summer soups
- Easy-to-follow instructions with stunning color photos throughout
- Recipes made with no-fuss ingredients found in your local supermarket

All profits from the sales of the cookbook will be donated to help fund food relief efforts through various nonprofit organizations. Most Syrians hope that one day they will be able to return to their country and rebuild their lives. For now, though, what we can do is listen to their pleas. Be part of this vital work of saving lives and help us deliver essential food items to the displaced refugees.






























[book] 100 BEST JEWISH RECIPES
Traditional and Contemporary Kosher
Cuisine from Around the World
by Evelyn Rose and Judi Rose
Interlink
Modern classics from everyday meals to special occasions
100 Best Jewish Recipes is comprised of the highlights from Evelyn Rose's culinary life, which spanned several decades and earned her the recognition as one of the world's foremost Jewish food writers. Packed with mouthwatering ideas for both family meals and those special occasions when you want to impress without spending hours in the kitchen, this book contains 100 fail-safe recipes for which the author is justly celebrated.
Ideal for novices and experienced cooks alike, the easy-to-follow recipes showcase the diversity of Jewish cooking which draws influences from Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.
From soups and appetizers to desserts, breads and baking, the recipes provide inspiration for everyday cooking as well as step-by step features on entertaining through the seasons. A guide to the major Jewish festivals, such as Passover, explains the whys and hows of much-loved symbolic dishes and provides menu plans for the special occasions.
100 Best Jewish Recipes is an essential book for anyone wanting to sink their teeth into traditional as well as contemporary Jewish cooking.




























DECEMBER 2015 BOOKS





[book] Vladimir Jabotinsky's
Story of My Life
by Vladimir Jabotinsky
Edited by Brian Horowitz (Tulane)
Wayne State University Press
December 2015
Vladimir Jabotinsky is well remembered as a militant leader and father of the right-wing Revisionist Zionist movement, but he was also a Russian-Jewish intellectual, talented fiction writer, journalist, playwright, and translator of poetry into Russian and Hebrew. His autobiography, Sippur yamai, Story of My Life-written in Hebrew and published in Tel Aviv in 1936-gives a more nuanced picture of Jabotinsky than his popular image, but it was never published in English. In Vladimir Jabotinsky's Story of My Life, editors Brian Horowitz and Leonid Katsis present this much-needed translation for the first time, based on a rough draft of an English version that was discovered in Jabotinsky's archive at the Jabotinsky Institute in Tel Aviv.
Jabotinsky's volume mixes true events with myth as he offers a portrait of himself from his birth in 1880 until just after the outbreak of World War I. He describes his personal development during childhood and early adult years in Odessa, Rome, St. Petersburg, Vienna, and Istanbul, during Russia's Silver Age, a period known for spiritual searching, but also political violence, radicalism, and pogroms. He tells of his escape to Rome as a youth, his return to Odessa, and his eventual adoption of Zionism. He also depicts struggles with rivals and colleagues in both politics and journalism. The editors introduce the full text of the autobiography by discussing Jabotinsky's life, legacy, and writings in depth.
As Jabotinsky is gaining a reputation for the quality of his fictional and semi-fictional writing in the field of Israel studies, this autobiography will help reading groups and students of Zionism .















[book] Too Much of a Good Thing:
How Four Key Survival Traits Are Now Killing Us by Lee Goldman, MD
Little, Brown and Company
December 2015
Dr. Lee Goldman is dean of the medical school at Columbia University. An internationally renowned cardiologist, he developed the Goldman Criteria (a set of guidelines for healthcare professionals to determine which patients with chest pain require hospital admission) and the Goldman Index (which predicts which patients will have heart problems after surgery). He's the author of more than 480 medical articles and also the lead editor of Goldman-Cecil Medicine, the oldest continuously published medical textbook in the U.S.

Dr. Goldman explains that the traits that let humans survive and thrive are now killing us. We love high calorie carbs. We are living twice as long as in the past. But we are developing more heart disease and diabetes
Dean Goldman explains why our bodies are out of sync with today's environment and how we can correct this to save our health. Over the past 200 years, human life-expectancy has approximately doubled. Yet we face soaring worldwide rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, mental illness, heart disease, and stroke. In his fascinating new book, Dr. Lee Goldman presents a radical explanation: The key protective traits that once ensured our species' survival are now the leading global causes of illness and death. Our capacity to store food, for example, lures us into overeating, and a clotting system designed to protect us from bleeding to death now directly contributes to heart attacks and strokes. A deeply compelling narrative that puts a new spin on evolutionary biology, TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING also provides a roadmap for getting back in sync with the modern world.



















[book] Groucho Marx
The Comedy of Existence
by Lee Siegel
Yale University Press
Jewish Lives series
January 2016
Born Julius Marx in 1890, the brilliant comic actor who would later be known as Groucho was the most verbal of the famed comedy team, the Marx Brothers, his broad slapstick portrayals elevated by ingenious wordplay and double entendre. In his spirited biography of this beloved American iconoclast, Lee Siegel views the life of Groucho through the lens of his work on stage, screen, and television. The author uncovers the roots of the performer’s outrageous intellectual acuity and hilarious insolence toward convention and authority in Groucho’s early upbringing and Marx family dynamics.

The first critical biography of Groucho Marx to approach his work analytically, this fascinating study draws unique connections between Groucho’s comedy and his life, concentrating primarily on the brothers’ classic films as a means of understanding and appreciating Julius the man. Unlike previous uncritical and mostly reverential biographies, Siegel’s “bio-commentary” makes a distinctive contribution to the field of Groucho studies by attempting to tell the story of his life in terms of his work, and vice versa.















[book] Moral Disengagement:
How Good People Can Do Harm
and Feel Good About Themselves
First Edition
by Albert Bandura (Stanford)
Worth
How do otherwise considerate human beings do cruel things and still live in peace with themselves?
Drawing on his agentic theory, Dr. Bandura provides a definitive exposition of the psychosocial mechanism by which people selectively disengage their moral self-sanctions from their harmful conduct. They do so by sanctifying their harmful behavior as serving worthy causes; they absolve themselves of blame for the harm they cause by displacement and diffusion of responsibility; they minimize or deny the harmful effects of their actions; and they dehumanize those they maltreat and blame them for bringing the suffering on themselves. Dr. Bandura’s theory of moral disengagement is uniquely broad in scope. Theories of morality focus almost exclusively at the individual level. He insightfully extends the disengagement of morality to the social-system level through which wide-spread inhumanities are perpetrated. In so doing, he offers enlightening new perspectives on some of the most provocative issues of our time, addressing: Moral disengagement in all aspects of the death penalty—from public policy debates, to jury decisions, to the processes of execution

The social and moral justifications of major industries—including gun manufacturers, the entertainment industry, tobacco companies, and the world of "too big to fail" finance
Moral disengagement in terrorism, and how terrorists rationalize the use of violence as a means of social change
Climate change denial, and the strenuous efforts by some to dispute the overwhelming scientific consensus affirming the impact of human behavior on the environment




















[book] Operation Thunderbolt:
Flight 139 and the Raid on
Entebbe Airport, the Most Audacious
Hostage Rescue Mission in History
by Saul David
Little, Brown and Company
The definitive account of one of the greatest Special Forces missions ever, the Raid of Entebbe, by acclaimed military historian Saul David.
On June 27, 1976, an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris was hijacked by a group of Arab and German terrorists who demanded the release of 53 terrorists. The plane was forced to divert to Entebbe, in Uganda--ruled by the murderous despot Idi Amin, who had no interest in intervening.
Days later, Israeli commandos disguised as Ugandan soldiers assaulted the airport terminal, killed all the terrorists, and rescued all the hostages but three who were killed in the crossfire. The assault force suffered just one fatality: its commander, Yoni Netanyahu (brother of Israel's current Prime Minister.) Three of the country's greatest leaders: Ehud Barak, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin planned and pulled off one of the most astonishing military operations in history.























[book] No Mission Is Impossible:
The Death-Defying Missions of
the Israeli Special Forces
by Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal
Ecco
A riveting follow-up to Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal's account of the most memorable missions of the Mossad, No Mission is Impossible sheds light on some of the most harrowing, nail-biting operations of the Israeli Special forces
Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service brought to life the gripping, legendary missions of Israeli's national intelligence force like never before, capturing the danger of the operations and the bravery of the operatives who risked everything to complete their assignments.
Now, in No Mission Is Impossible, Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal return with the intensely absorbing, fast-paced story of thirty of the boldest missions of the Israeli Special Forces. Bar-Zohar and Mishal depict in electrifying detail major battles, raids in enemy territory, and death-defying commando missions while also sharing the personal stories of both soldiers and top commanders, revealing their hopes and fears. The stories are often of victories, but sometimes also of immense failures, and run side-by-side with the accounts of the lives and accomplishments of some of Israel's most prominent figures, including Moshe Dayan, Ariel Sharon, the brothers Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, and Avigdor Kahalani.
We follow Sharon, from his near death at the battle of Latrun in 1948, to his crossing Suez in 1973; we are with Ehud Barak, dressed in women's clothes, when he commands a daring raid in Beirut in 1973, and then when he is elected Prime Minister in 1999. Besides recounting the mesmerizing, high-stakes missions, No Mission Is Impossible includes an interview in each chapter with a major figure who took part in the mission discussed, including some of the most prominent players in Israeli politics, and stunning photographs, many published for the first time.
Captivating and eye-opening, No Mission Is Impossible is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding how these crucial missions shaped Israel, and the world at large.






















[book] REPUBLIC OF SPIN
An Inside History of
the American Presidency
by David Greenberg
WW Norton
January 11, 2016
The most powerful political tool of the modern presidency is control of the message and the image.
In Republic of Spin-a vibrant history covering more than one hundred years of politics-presidential historian David Greenberg recounts the rise of the White House spin machine, from Teddy Roosevelt to Barack Obama. His sweeping, startling narrative takes us behind the scenes to see how the tools and techniques of image making and message craft work. We meet Woodrow Wilson convening the first White House press conference, Franklin Roosevelt huddling with his private pollsters, Ronald Reagan’s aides crafting his nightly news sound bites, and George W. Bush staging his “Mission Accomplished” photo-op. We meet, too, the backstage visionaries who pioneered new ways of gauging public opinion and mastering the media-figures like George Cortelyou, TR’s brilliantly efficient press manager; 1920s ad whiz Bruce Barton; Robert Montgomery, Dwight Eisenhower’s canny TV coach; and of course the key spinmeisters of our own times, from Roger Ailes to David Axelrod.
Greenberg also examines the profound debates Americans have waged over the effect of spin on our politics. Does spin help our leaders manipulate the citizenry? Or does it allow them to engage us more fully in the democratic project? Exploring the ideas of the century’s most incisive political critics, from Walter Lippmann and H. L. Mencken to Hannah Arendt and Stephen Colbert, Republic of Spin illuminates both the power of spin and its limitations-its capacity not only to mislead but also to lead.






















[book] Deciphering the New Antisemitism
by Alvin H. Rosenfeld
January 2016
Indiana University Press
Deciphering the New Antisemitism addresses the increasing prevalence of antisemitism on a global scale. Antisemitism takes on various forms in all parts of the world, and the essays in this wide-ranging volume deal with many of them: European antisemitism, antisemitism and Islamophobia, antisemitism and anti-Zionism, and efforts to demonize and delegitimize Israel. Contributors are an international group of scholars who clarify the cultural, intellectual, political, and religious conditions that give rise to antisemitic words and deeds. These landmark essays are noteworthy for their timeliness and ability to grapple effectively with the serious issues at hand.

PW.com writes: The 18 essays assembled in this illuminating book explore what editor Rosenfeld (Resurgent Antisemitism) identifies as a recent increase in global anti-Semitism. The many thoughtful and informative articles include Bernard Harrison’s parsing of claims concerning the Holocaust’s uniqueness; Gunther Jikeli and Sina Arnold’s analyses of anti-Semitism in, respectively, France and the American left; and Eirik Eiglad’s look at connections between anarchism and anti-Zionism.

Jean Axelrad Cahan contributes an impassioned essay about how the work of social constructionists in literary theory, such as Edward Said, Erich Auberbach, and Hayden White, might delegitimize Israeli statehood by challenging its foundational national story. The essays occasionally fall into polemics, labeling opponents as idiots and crackpots, but most take pains to be fair to the individuals whose ideas the authors oppose. This volume, rich in information, is not for the casual reader, but is recommended as a valuable compilation of research and analysis that will help concerned readers track the evolution of anti-Semitism and determine which trends are most worrisome.

















[book] Excellent Daughters:
The Secret Lives of Young Women
Who Are Transforming the Arab World
by Katherine Zoepf
January 2016
Penguin
The never-before-reported story of this generation of Arab women, who are questioning authority, changing societies, and leading revolutions.
For more than a decade, Katherine Zoepf has lived in or traveled throughout the Arab world, reporting on the lives of women, whose role in the region has never been more in flux. Only a generation ago, female adolescence as we know it in the West scarcely existed in the Middle East. There were only children and married women. Today, young Arab women outnumber men in universities, and a few are beginning to face down religious and social tradition in order to live independently, to delay marriage, and to pursue professional goals. Hundreds of thousands of devout girls and women are attending Qur’anic schools—and using the training to argue for greater freedoms from an Islamic perspective. And, in 2011, young women helped to lead antigovernment protests in the Arab Spring. But their voices have not been heard. The world changes because of wars and terrorist attacks, but it also changes because daughters make different decisions than the ones their mothers made. This is an investigation into the changing lives of this generation of Arab daughters.
Excellent Daughters brings us a new understanding of the changing Arab societies—from 9/11 to Tahrir Square to the rise of ISIS—and gives voice to the remarkable women at the forefront of this change.














[book] HATTIN
By
John France
Swansea University, Professor Emeritus
USMA West Point, Visiting Professor
Oxford University Press
Great Battles series
December 2015
On July 4, 1187 the legendary Muslim leader Saladin destroyed the Crusader army of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem with a terrible slaughter at the battle of Hattin - and subsequently restored the Holy City of Jerusalem to Islamic rule.
The carnage at Hattin was the culmination of almost a century of religious wars between Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land.
It had enormous consequences for the whole medieval world because it produced an intensification of HOLY WAR between Islam and Europe for over another century and, in retrospect, marked the beginning of the end for the Crusader presence in the Middle East.
In the 20th century, memory of the battle was revived as a symbol of Arab hope for liberation from Crusader Imperialism and in the 21st, it has become a rallying cry for radical Muslim fundamentalists in their struggle for the soul of Islam.
In this new volume in the Great Battles series, John France analyzes the origins and course of this pivotal battle, illuminating the roots of the bitter hatred that underlay it and explains its significance in world history - from medieval times to the present.



























[book] Lingo:
Around Europe in Sixty Languages
by Gaston Dorren
Atlantic Monthly Press
Whether you're a frequent visitor to Europe or just an armchair traveler, the surprising and extraordinary stories in Lingo will forever change the way you think about the continent, and may even make you want to learn a new language.
Lingo spins the reader on a whirlwind tour of sixty European languages and dialects, sharing quirky moments from their histories and exploring their commonalities and differences. Most European languages are descended from a single ancestor, a language not unlike Sanskrit known as Proto-Indo-European (or PIE for short), but the continent's ever-changing borders and cultures have given rise to a linguistic and cultural diversity that is too often forgotten in discussions of Europe as a political entity. Lingo takes us into today's remote mountain villages of Switzerland, where Romansh is still the lingua franca, to formerly Soviet Belarus, a country whose language was Russified by the Bolsheviks, to Sweden, where up until the 1960s polite speaking conventions required that one never use the word "you" in conversation, leading to tiptoeing questions of the form: "Would herr generaldirektör Rexed like a biscuit?"
Spanning six millenia and sixty languages in bite-size chapters, Lingo is a hilarious and highly edifying exploration of how Europe speaks.

See page 62 for Yiddish and Ladino















[book] OSTEND
Stefan Sweig, Joseph Roth
and the Summer Before The Dark
by Volker Weidermann
translated from German by Carol Brown Janeway
Pantheon Books
January 2016
The true story of two of the twentieth century’s great writers, exiled from Nazi Germany to a Belgian seaside resort, and the world they built there: written with a novelist’s eye for pacing, chronology, and language—a dazzling work of historical nonfiction.

It’s the summer of 1936, and the writer Stefan Zweig is in crisis. His German publisher no longer wants him, his marriage is collapsing, and his home in Austria has been seized. He’s been dreaming of Ostend, the Belgian beach town—a paradise of promenades, parasols, and old friends. So he journeys there with his new lover, Lotte Altmann, and reunites with his semi-estranged fellow writer and close friend Joseph Roth, himself newly in love. For a moment, they create a fragile paradise. But as Europe begins to crumble around them, the writers find themselves trapped on vacation, in exile, watching the world burn. In Ostend, Volker Weidermann lyrically recounts “the summer before the dark,” when a coterie of artists, intellectuals, drunks, revolutionaries, and madmen found themselves in limbo while Europe teetered on the edge of fascism and total war.

















[book] ABBA EBAN
A BIOGRAPHY
By Asaf Siniver, PhD
Overlook Press
The definitive biography of Abba Eban, an Israeli diplomat often revered by every nation except the one he represented.
The book draws from a wide range of primary sources to create a complex portrait of a man who left an indelible mark on the quest for peace in the Middle East.
A skilled debater, a master of languages, and a passionate defender of Israel, Abba Eban’s diplomatic presence was in many ways a contradiction unlike any the world has seen since. While he was celebrated internationally for his exceptional wit and his moderate, reasoned worldview, these same qualities painted him as elitist and foreign in his home country.
The disparity in perception of Eban (a cousin to Oliver Sacks) at home and abroad was such that both his critics and his friends agreed that he would have been a wonderful prime minister?in any country but Israel. In Abba Eban, Asaf Siniver paints a nuanced and complete portrait of one of the most complex figures in twentieth-century foreign affairs.
We see Eban growing up and coming into his own as part of the Cambridge Union, and watch him steadily become known as “The Voice of Israel.” Siniver draws on a vast amount of interviews, writings, and other newly available material to show that, in his unceasing quest for stability and peace for Israel, Eban’s primary opposition often came from the homeland he was fighting for; no matter how many allies he gained abroad, the man never understood his own domestic politics well enough to be as effective in his pursuits as he hoped. The first examination of Eban in nearly forty years, Abba Eban is a fascinating look at a life that still offers a valuable perspective on Israel even today.

















[book] Notorious RBG:
The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
Dey Street Books
Irin Carmon: I heard you can do 20 pushups.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Yes, but we do ten at a time. And then I breathe for a bit and do the second set.

Nearly a half-century into being a feminist and legal pioneer, something funny happened to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: the octogenarian won the internet. Across America, people who weren’t even born when Ginsburg made her name are tattooing themselves with her face, setting her famously searing dissents to music, and making viral videos in tribute. In a class of its own, and much to Ginsburg’s own amusement, is the Notorious RBG Tumblr, which juxtaposes the diminutive but fierce Jewish grandmother with the 350-pound rapper featuring original artwork submitted from around the world.
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg offers a visually rich, intimate, unprecedented look at the Justice and how she changed the world. From Ginsburg’s refusal to let the slammed doors of sexism stop her to her innovative legal work, from her before-its-time feminist marriage to her perch on the nation’s highest court—with the fierce dissents to match—get to know RBG as never before. As the country struggles with the unfinished business of gender equality and civil rights, Ginsburg stands as a testament to how far we can come with a little chutzpah.




















[book] The Geography of Genius
A Search for the World’s Most
Creative {laces from Ancient Athens
To Silicon Valley
By Eric Weiner
Simon & Schuster
January 2016
Travel the world with Eric Weiner, the New York Times bestselling author of The Geography of Bliss, as he journeys from Athens to Silicon Valley—and throughout history, too—to show how creative genius flourishes in specific places at specific times.
In The Geography of Genius, acclaimed travel writer Weiner sets out to examine the connection between our surroundings and our most innovative ideas. He explores the history of places, like Vienna of 1900, Renaissance Florence, ancient Athens, Song Dynasty Hangzhou, and Silicon Valley, to show how certain urban settings are conducive to ingenuity. And, with his trademark insightful humor, he walks the same paths as the geniuses who flourished in these settings to see if the spirit of what inspired figures like Socrates, Michelangelo, and Leonardo remains. In these places, Weiner asks, “What was in the air, and can we bottle it?”
This link can be traced back through history: Darwin’s theory of evolution gelled while he was riding in a carriage. Freud did his best thinking at this favorite coffee house. Beethoven, like many geniuses, preferred long walks in the woods.
Sharp and provocative, The Geography of Genius redefines the argument about how genius came to be. His reevaluation of the importance of culture in nurturing creativity is an informed romp through history that will surely jumpstart a national conversation.



















[book] THEIR PROMISED LAND
MY GRANDPARENTS IN LOVE AND WAR
BY IAN BURUMA
January 2016
Penguin Press

A family history of surpassing beauty and power: Ian Buruma’s account of his grandparents’ enduring love through the terror and separation of two world wars. They were ‘45s’… their code word for “Jews.”

During the almost six years England was at war with Nazi Germany, Winifred and Bernard Schlesinger, Ian Buruma’s grandparents, and the film director John Schlesinger's parents, were, like so many others, thoroughly sundered from each other. Their only recourse was to write letters back and forth. And write they did, often every day. In a way they were just picking up where they left off in 1918, at the end of their first long separation because of the Great War that swept Bernard away to some of Europe’s bloodiest battlefields. The thousands of letters between them were part of an inheritance that ultimately came into the hands of their grandson, Ian Buruma. Now, in a labor of love that is also a powerful act of artistic creation, Ian Buruma has woven his own voice in with theirs to provide the context and counterpoint necessary to bring to life, not just a remarkable marriage, but a class, and an age.
Winifred and Bernard inherited the high European cultural ideals and attitudes that came of being born into prosperous German-Jewish émigré families. To young Ian, who would visit from Holland every Christmas, they seemed the very essence of England, their spacious Berkshire estate the model of genteel English country life at its most pleasant and refined. It wasn’t until years later that he discovered how much more there was to the story.
At its heart, Their Promised Land is the story of cultural assimilation. The Schlesingers were very British in the way their relatives in Germany were very German, until Hitler destroyed that option. The problems of being Jewish and facing anti-Semitism even in the country they loved were met with a kind of stoic discretion. But they showed solidarity when it mattered most. As the shadows of war lengthened again, the Schlesingers mounted a remarkable effort, which Ian Buruma describes movingly, to rescue twelve Jewish children from the Nazis and see to their upkeep in England.
Many are the books that do bad marriages justice; precious few books take readers inside a good marriage. In Their Promised Land, Buruma has done just that; introducing us to a couple whose love was sustaining through the darkest hours of the century.













[book] GERMAN JEWRY AND THE
ALLURE OF THE SEPHARDIC
BY JOHN M. EFRON (Berkeley)
January 2016
Princeton

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as German Jews struggled for legal emancipation and social acceptance, they also embarked on a program of cultural renewal, two key dimensions of which were distancing themselves from their fellow Ashkenazim in Poland and giving a special place to the Sephardim of medieval Spain. Where they saw Ashkenazic Jewry as insular and backward, a result of Christian persecution, they depicted the Sephardim as worldly, morally and intellectually superior, and beautiful, products of the tolerant Muslim environment in which they lived. In this elegantly written book, John Efron looks in depth at the special allure Sephardic aesthetics held for German Jewry.
Efron examines how German Jews idealized the sound of Sephardic Hebrew and the Sephardim's physical and moral beauty, and shows how the allure of the Sephardic found expression in neo-Moorish synagogue architecture, historical novels, and romanticized depictions of Sephardic history. He argues that the shapers of German-Jewish culture imagined medieval Iberian Jewry as an exemplary Jewish community, bound by tradition yet fully at home in the dominant culture of Muslim Spain. Efron argues that the myth of Sephardic superiority was actually an expression of withering self-critique by German Jews who, by seeking to transform Ashkenazic culture and win the acceptance of German society, hoped to enter their own golden age.




















[book] The Wise King:
A Christian Prince, Muslim Spain,
and the Birth of the Renaissance
by Simon R. Doubleday

Basic Books

“If I had been present at the Creation,” the thirteenth-century Spanish philosopher-king Alfonso X is said to have stated, “Many faults in the universe would have been avoided.” Known as El Sabio, “the Wise,” Alfonso was renowned by friends and enemies alike for his sparkling intellect and extraordinary cultural achievements. In The Wise King, celebrated historian Simon R. Doubleday traces the story of the king’s life and times, leading us deep into his emotional world and showing how his intense admiration for Spain’s rich Islamic culture paved the way for the European Renaissance.
In 1252, when Alfonso replaced his more militaristic father on the throne of Castile and León, the battle to reconquer Muslim territory on the Iberian Peninsula was raging fiercely. But even as he led his Christian soldiers onto the battlefield, Alfonso was seduced by the glories of Muslim Spain. His engagement with the Arabic-speaking culture of the South shaped his pursuit of astronomy, for which he was famed for centuries, and his profoundly humane vision of the world, which Dante, Petrarch, and later Italian humanists would inherit. A composer of lyric verses, and patron of works on board games, hunting, and the properties of stones, Alfonso is best known today for his Cantigas de Santa María (Songs of Holy Mary), which offer a remarkable window onto his world. His ongoing struggles as a king and as a man were distilled—in art, music, literature, and architecture—into something sublime that speaks to us powerfully across the centuries.
An intimate biography of the Spanish ruler in whom two cultures converged, The Wise King introduces readers to a Renaissance man before his time, whose creative energy in the face of personal turmoil and existential threats to his kingdom would transform the course of Western history.




















[book] Judas:
The Most Hated Name
in History
by Peter Stanford
Counterpoint
In this fascinating historical and cultural biography, Peter Stanford deconstructs that most vilified of Bible characters: Judas Iscariot, who famously betrayed Jesus with a kiss. Beginning with the gospel accounts, Stanford explores two thousand years of cultural and theological history to investigate how the very name Judas came to be synonymous with betrayal and, ultimately, human evil. But as the author points out, there has long been a counter-current of thought that suggests that Judas might in fact have been victim of a terrible injustice: central to Jesus' mission was his death and resurrection, and for there to have been a death, there had to be a betrayal. This thankless role fell to Judas; should we in fact be grateful to him for his role in the divine drama of salvation? "You'll have to decide," as Bob Dylan sang in the sixties, "Whether Judas Iscariot had God on his side." An essential but doomed character in the Passion narrative, and thus the entire story of Christianity, Judas and the betrayal he symbolizes continue to play out in much larger cultural histories, speaking as he does to our deepest fears about friendship, betrayal, and the problem of evil.






















[book] CALYPSO JEWS
Jewishness in the Caribbean Literary Imagination
(Literature Now)
by Sarah Phillips Casteel
January 2016
Columbia University Press
With what may seem surprising frequency, Caribbean writers have turned to Jewish Caribbean experiences of exodus and reinvention, from the arrival of Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal in the 1490s to the flight of European Jewish refugees to Trinidad and elsewhere in the 1930s. Examining this historical migration through the lens of postwar Caribbean fiction and poetry, Sarah Phillips Casteel conducts the first major study of representations of Jewishness in Caribbean literature. Bridging the gap between postcolonial and Jewish studies, Calypso Jews enriches crosscultural investigations of Caribbean creolization.

Caribbean writers invoke both the 1492 expulsion and the Holocaust as part of their literary archaeology of slavery and its legacies. Despite the unequal and sometimes fraught relations between Blacks and Jews in the Caribbean before and after emancipation, Black-Jewish literary encounters reflect sympathy and identification more than antagonism and competition. Proposing an alternative to U.S.-based critical narratives of Black-Jewish relations, Casteel reads Derek Walcott, Maryse Condé, Michelle Cliff, Jamaica Kincaid, Caryl Phillips, David Dabydeen, and Paul Gilroy, among others, to reveal a distinctive inter-diasporic relationship refracted through the creative innovations of two resilient cultures.


















[book] Good on Paper
A novel
by Rachel Cantor
January 26, 2016
Melville House / Random House
STARRED REVIEW!
The highly anticipated second novel from a writer Emily St. John Mandel calls “sharp, witty, and immensely entertaining”
Is a new life possible? Because Shira Greene’s life hasn’t quite turned out at planned. Shira is a permanent temp with a few short stories published in minor literary magazines and a PhD on Dante’s Vita Nuova that she abandoned halfway.
Her life has some happy certainties, though: she lives with her friend Ahmad, and her daughter, Andi, on MANHATTAN’S UPPER WEST SIDE. They’re an unconventional family, but a real one, with Friday night Shabbat dinner rituals, private jokes, and the shared joys and strains of any other family.
So when she gets the call from Romei, the winner of last year’s Nobel Prize and the irascible idol of grad students everywhere, and he tells her he wants HER to translate his new book, Shira is happy (since she was focusing on this before she gave up on her PHD)… but she is stunned.
Suddenly, Shira sees a new beckoning: academic glory, a career as a literary translator, and even love (with a part-time RABBI and owner of the neighborhood indie bookstore… what is better than that… to fall for a RABBI who also LOVES and SELLS BOOKS?). That is, until Romei starts sending her pages of the manuscript and she realizes that something odd is going on: his book may in fact be untranslatable.
A deft, funny, and big-hearted novel about second chances, Good on Paper is a grand novel of family, friendship, and possibility.

















From a famous Eagle Scout, Sec of Defense, and ummm.. big supporter of Binyamin Netanyahu??
[book] A PASSION FOR LEADERSHIP
Lessons on Change and
Reform from Fifty Years in Public Service
January 2016
Knopf
From the former secretary of defense and author of the acclaimed #1 best-selling memoir Duty, a characteristically direct, informed, and urgent assessment of why big institutions are failing us and how smart, committed leadership can effect real improvement regardless of scale.
Across the realms of civic and private enterprise alike, bureaucracies vitally impact our security, freedoms, and everyday life. With so much at stake, competence, efficiency, and fiscal prudence are essential, yet Americans know these institutions fall short. Many despair that they are too big and too hard to reform.
Robert Gates disagrees. Having led change successfully at three monumental organizations—the CIA, Texas A&M University, and the Department of Defense—he offers us the ultimate insider’s look at how major bureaus, organizations, and companies can be transformed, which is by turns heartening and inspiring and always instructive.
With practical, nuanced advice on tailoring reform to the operative culture (we see how Gates worked within the system to increase diversity at Texas A&M); effecting change within committees; engaging the power of compromise (“In the real world of bureaucratic institutions, you almost never get all you want when you want it”); and listening and responding to your team, Gates brings the full weight of his wisdom, candor, and devotion to civic duty to inspire others to lead desperately needed change.























[book] Israel's Edge
The Story of Talpiot,
the IDF's Most Elite Unit
by Jason Gewirtz
January 2016
Gefen
Instead of being trained only to fight, the few soldiers each year selected for Talpiot are taught how to think. In order to join this unit they have to commit to being in the army for ten years, rather than the three years a normal soldier serves. Talpiots are educated in the military applications for computer science, physics and math and they have an enormous influence on the weapons Israel develops and on the Israeli economy, through the businesses they establish after leaving the army.
The book contains dozens of interviews with Talpiot graduates and some of the early founders of the program. It explains Talpiot's highly successful recruiting methods and discloses many of the secrets of the program's success. The book also profiles some of the most successful businesses founded by Talpiot graduates including CheckPoint, Compugen, Anobit, recently bought by Apple, and XIV, recently bought by IBM.
No other military unit has had more of an impact on the State of Israel. The soldiers of Talpiot are truly unsung heroes.






















[book] Le Marais:
A Rare Steakhouse - Well Done
by Jose Meirelles and Mark Hennessey
January 2016
GEFEN
Although it seems as if every kosher eatery wants to publish a cookbook.
Le Marais’s is worthwhile
"Where else would a non-Jewish Portuguese immigrant open a French bistro, hire an Irish-Italian Catholic as its executive chef, and create one of the finest and most successful kosher restaurants in the United States?" As former U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman and his wife Hadassah wrote in their foreword to the Le Marais cookbook, this is "a classic New York story."
Get to know the personalities behind the Le Marais experience while learning how to create its incredible delicacies at home. In sections covering sauces; soups; salads; bread, pasta, and risotto; beef; classics; lamb; veal; poultry; fish; sides; and desserts, this beautifully illustrated cookbook gives you the techniques and recipes you'll need to bring French gourmet into the kosher kitchen (or any kitchen).
Hip and irreverent, the Le Marais cookbook is your entrée to the world of French cuisine that just happens to be fully kosher. Braised duck legs with white pearl onions and petite pois, anyone?
























[book] THE GILDED RAZOR
A MEMOIR
BY SAM LANSKY
January 2016
Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster
Sharply funny and compulsively readable, The Gilded Razor is a dazzling and harrowing memoir from debut author Sam Lansky.
The Gilded Razor is the true story of a double life. By the age of seventeen, Sam Lansky was an all-star student with Ivy League aspirations in his final year at an elite New York City prep school. But he was addicted to Adderall which made him feel like a superman and it spiraled rapidly out of control, compounded by a string of reckless affairs with older men, leaving his bright future in jeopardy. At 19, he had been through rehab seven times. After a terrifying overdose, he tried to straighten out. Yet as he journeyed from the glittering streets of Manhattan, to a wilderness boot camp in Utah, to a psych ward in New Orleans, he only found more opportunities to create chaos—until finally, he began to face himself, get sober (but go to bars and pretend to be drunk in the ineffective hope that a hot guy would take advantage of him).
He is now 26 and a deputy culture editor for Time Magazine.
In the vein of Elizabeth Wurtzel and Augusten Burroughs, Lansky scrapes away at his own life as a young addict and exposes profoundly universal anxieties. Told with remarkable sensitivity, biting humor, and unrelenting self-awareness, The Gilded Razor is a coming-of-age story of searing honesty and lyricism that introduces a powerful new voice to the confessional genre.
























[book] A Marginal Jew:
Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Volume V:
Probing the Authenticity of the Parables
by John P. Meier
January 2016
Yale
VOLUME FIVE
Since the late nineteenth century, New Testament scholars have operated on the belief that most, if not all, of the narrative parables in the Synoptic Gospels can be attributed to the historical Jesus. This book challenges that consensus and argues instead that only FOUR parables—those of the Mustard Seed, the Evil Tenants, the Talents, and the Great Supper—can be attributed to the historical Jesus with fair certitude. In this eagerly anticipated fifth volume of A Marginal Jew, John Meier approaches this controversial subject with the same rigor and insight that garnered his earlier volumes praise from such publications as the New York Times and Christianity Today. This seminal volume pushes forward his masterful body of work in his ongoing quest for the historical Jesus
























[book] A Apocalypse, Prophecy, and Pseudepigraphy:
On Jewish Apocalyptic Literature
by John J. Collins
Eerdmans
A highly regarded expert on Jewish apocalyptic texts, John J. Collins has written extensively on the subject. Nineteen of his essays written over the last fifteen years, including several previously unpublished contributions, are brought together for the first time in Apocalypse, Prophecy, and Pseudepigraphy.
After an introductory essay that revisits the problem of defining Apocalypse as a literary genre, Collins deals with a number of different topics, including the relationship between apocalypse and prophecy and the troubling ethical issues raised by apocalyptic texts. Collins also examines several specific examples to show the themes and variation present in the genre. Organized in five sections, these thematic essays complement and enrich Collins’s well-known book The Apocalyptic Imagination.























[book] The Essential New York Times Book of Cocktails
by Steve Reddicliffe
Cider Mill Press
480 pages
More than 350 drink recipes old and new with great writing from The New York Times. The cocktail hour is once again one of America’s most popular pastimes and one of our favorite ways to entertain. And what better place to find the secrets of great drink-making than The Times?
Steve Reddicliffe, the “Quiet Drink” columnist for The Times, brings his signature voice and expertise to this collection of delicious recipes from bartenders from everywhere, especially New York City. Readers will find treasured recipes they have enjoyed for years—the classics like the Martini, the Old-Fashioned, the Manhattan, the French 75, the Negroni —as well as favorites from the new generation of elixirs borne of the craft distilling boom.
Reddicliffe has carefully curated this essential collection, with memorable writing from famed New York Times journalists like Mark Bittman, Craig Claiborne, Toby Cecchini, Eric Asimov, Rosie Schaap, Robert Simonson, Melissa Clark, William L. Hamilton, Jonathan Miles, Amanda Hesser, William Grimes and many more.
This compendium is arranged by cocktail type, with engaging essays throughout. Included are notes on how to set up your bar, stock, and run it—and of course hundreds of recipes, from Bloody Marys to Irish Coffees.





















[book] Jews vs Omnibus:
Jews vs Aliens
and Jews vs Zombies
by Naomi Alderman, Daniel Polansky,
Sarah Lotz, Shimon Adaf, Rachel Swirsky,
Eric Kaplan, Rebecca Levene, Lavie Tidhar, and more
CreateSpace
Now collected into a single volume, editors Lavie Tidhar and Rebecca Levene bring you the groundbreaking anthologies Jews vs Zombies and Jews vs Aliens, which pose the two most important questions asked in the past 2000 years: what happens when the Chosen People meet aliens... or the living dead? With authors ranging from Orange Prize winner Naomi Alderman to The Big Bang Theory’s writer/producer Eric Kaplan, and from BSFA Award winner Adam Roberts to BFS Best Newcomer Sarah Lotz, the stories range from the light-hearted to the profound. “If you will it, it is no dream!” as Theodor Herzl said: and no doubt he had just these anthologies in mind. Jews vs Aliens and Jews vs Zombies are the must have anthologies of the year.




























[book] SAVING SOPHIE
A NOVEL
By Ronald Balson
From Ronald H. Balson, author of Once We Were Brothers, Saving Sophie is the powerful story of the lengths a father will go through to protect his daughter and an action-packed thriller that will take you on an unforgettable journey of murder and deception, testing the bonds of family and love.
Jack Sommers was just an ordinary accountant from Chicago-that is, until his wife passed away, his young daughter was kidnapped, and he became the main suspect in an $88 million dollar embezzlement case. Now Jack is on the run, hoping to avoid the feds long enough to rescue his daughter, Sophie, from her maternal grandfather, a suspected terrorist in Palestine.
With the help of investigative team Liam and Catherine, and a new CIA operative, a secret mission is launched to not only rescue Sophie but also to thwart a major terrorist attack in Hebron. But will being caught in the crossfires of the Palestine-Israeli conflict keep their team from accomplishing the task at hand, or can they overcome the odds and save countless lives, including their own?























[book] Sailor and Fiddler:
Reflections of a 100-Year-Old Author
by Herman Wouk
January 2016
Simon & Schuster
He actually knew Mr. Simon and Mr. Schuster

In an unprecedented literary accomplishment, Herman Wouk, one of America’s most beloved and enduring authors, reflects on his life and times from the remarkable vantage point of 100 years old. Many years ago, the great British philosopher Sir Isaiah Berlin urged Herman Wouk to write his autobiography. Wouk responded, “Why me? I’m nobody.” Berlin answered, “No, no. You’ve traveled. You’ve known many people. You have interesting ideas. It would do a lot of good.”

Now, in the same year he has celebrated his hundredth birthday, Herman Wouk finally reflects on the life experiences that inspired his most beloved novels. Among those experiences are his days writing for comedian Fred Allen’s radio show, one of the most popular shows in the history of the medium; enlisting in the US Navy during World War II; falling in love with Betty Sarah Brown, the woman who would become his wife (and literary agent) for sixty-six years; writing his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Caine Mutiny; as well as a big hit Broadway play The Caine Mutiny Court Martial; and the surprising inspirations and people behind such masterpieces as The Winds of War, War and Remembrance, Marjorie Morningstar, and Youngblood Hawke.
Written with the wisdom of a man who has lived through two centuries and the wit of someone who began his career as professional comedy writer, the first part of Wouk’s memoir (“Sailor”) refers to his Navy experience and writing career, the second (“Fiddler”) to what he’s learned from living a life of faith. Ultimately, Sailor and Fiddler is an unprecedented reflection from a vantage point few people have lived to experience.















Hoard This Book
[book] White Walls:
A Memoir About Motherhood,
Daughterhood, and the Mess In Between
by Judy Batalion
January 2016
NAL
A memoir of mothers and daughters, hoarding, and healing.
Judy Batalion grew up in a house filled with endless piles of junk and layers of crumbs and dust; suffocated by tuna fish cans, old papers and magazines, swivel chairs, tea bags, clocks, cameras, printers, VHS tapes, ballpoint pens…obsessively gathered and stored by her hoarder mother. The first chance she had, she escaped the clutter to create a new identity—one made of order, regimen, and clean white walls. Until, one day, she found herself enmeshed in life’s biggest chaos: motherhood.
Confronted with the daunting task of raising a daughter after her own dysfunctional childhood, Judy reflected on not only her own upbringing but the lives of her mother and grandmother, Jewish Polish immigrants who had escaped the Holocaust. What she discovered astonished her. The women in her family, despite their differences, were even more closely connected than she ever knew—from her grandmother Zelda to her daughter of the same name. And, despite the hardships of her own mother-daughter relationship, it was that bond that was slowly healing her old wounds. Told with heartbreaking honesty and humor, this is Judy’s poignant account of her trials negotiating the messiness of motherhood and the indelible marks that mothers and daughters make on each other’s lives.
























[book] WHEREVER THERE IS LIGHT
A NOVEL
By Peter Golden
Atria Books
From the author of Comeback Love, a sweeping, panoramic tale of twentieth-century America, chronicling the decades-long love affair between a Jewish immigrant and the granddaughter of a slave.
Julian Rose is only fifteen when he leaves his family and Germany for a new life in 1920s America. Lonely at first, he eventually finds his way—first by joining up with Longy Zwillman and becoming one of the preeminent bootleggers on the East Coast, and later by amassing a fortune in real estate.
Kendall Wakefield is a free-spirited college senior who longs to become a painter. Her mother, the daughter of a slave and founder of an African-American college in South Florida, is determined to find a suitable match for her only daughter.
One evening in 1938, Mrs. Wakefield hosts a dinner that reunites Julian with his parents—who have been rescued from Hitler’s Germany by the college—and brings him together with Kendall for the first time. From that encounter begins a thirty-year affair that will take the lovers from the beaches of Miami to the jazz clubs of Greenwich Village to postwar life in Paris, where they will mingle with Sartre, Picasso, and a host of other artists and intellectuals. Through his years serving in American intelligence and as an interrogator at the Nuremberg trials, what Julian wants most is to marry and find the joy that eluded his parents. Kendall craves her freedom, and after trading her oil paints for a Leica camera, becomes a celebrated photographer, among the first American journalists to photograph the survivors of a liberated concentration camp. Yet despite distance, their competing desires, and the rapidly changing world, their longing for each other remains a constant in the ceaseless sweep of time.
Captivating and infused with historical detail, this is the epic tale of three generations, two different but intertwined families, and one unforgettable love story.
























[book] City of Thorns:
Nine Lives in the World's
Largest Refugee Camp
by Ben Rawlence
Picador
January 2016
To the charity workers, Dadaab refugee camp is a humanitarian crisis; to the Kenyan government, it is a 'nursery for terrorists'; to the western media, it is a dangerous no-go area; but to its half a million residents, it is their last resort.

Situated hundreds of miles from any other settlement, deep within the inhospitable desert of northern Kenya where only thorn bushes grow, Dadaab is a city like no other. Its buildings are made from mud, sticks or plastic, its entire economy is grey, and its citizens survive on rations and luck. Over the course of four years, Ben Rawlence became a first-hand witness to a strange and desperate limbo-land, getting to know many of those who have come there seeking sanctuary. Among them are Guled, a former child soldier who lives for football; Nisho, who scrapes an existence by pushing a wheelbarrow and dreaming of riches; Tawane, the indomitable youth leader; and schoolgirl Kheyro, whose future hangs upon her education.
In City of Thorns, Rawlence interweaves the stories of nine individuals to show what life is like in the camp and to sketch the wider political forces that keep the refugees trapped there. Rawlence combines intimate storytelling with broad socio-political investigative journalism, doing for Dadaab what Katherinee Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers did for the Mumbai slums. Lucid, vivid and illuminating, City of Thorns is an urgent human story with deep international repercussions, brought to life through the people who call Dadaab home.



















[book] EXCELLENT DAUGHTERS
The Secret Lives of Young Women
Who Are Transforming the Arab World
By Katherine Zoepf
Penguin Press
2016
For more than a decade, Katherine Zoepf has lived in or traveled throughout the Arab world, reporting on the lives of women, whose role in the region has never been more in flux. Only a generation ago, female adolescence as we know it in the West did not exist in the Middle East. There were only children and married women. Today, young Arab women outnumber men in universities, and a few are beginning to face down religious and social tradition in order to live independently, to delay marriage, and to pursue professional goals. Hundreds of thousands of devout girls and women are attending Qur’anic schools—and using the training to argue for greater rights and freedoms from an Islamic perspective. And, in 2011, young women helped to lead antigovernment protests in the Arab Spring. But their voices have not been heard. Their stories have not been told.
In Syria, before its civil war, she documents a complex society in the midst of soul searching about its place in the world and about the role of women. In Lebanon, she documents a country that on the surface is freer than other Arab nations but whose women must balance extreme standards of self-presentation with Islamic codes of virtue. In Abu Dhabi, Zoepf reports on a generation of Arab women who’ve found freedom in work outside the home. In Saudi Arabia she chronicles driving protests and women entering the retail industry for the first time. In the aftermath of Tahrir Square, she examines the crucial role of women in Egypt's popular uprising.
Deeply informed, heartfelt, and urgent, Excellent Daughters brings us a new understanding of the changing Arab societies—from 9/11 to Tahrir Square to the rise of ISIS—and gives voice to the remarkable women at the forefront of this change.

















[book] The Hero Two Doors Down:
Based on the True Story of Friendship
Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend
by Sharon Robinson
Scholastic
January 2016
Based on the true story of a boy in Brooklyn who became neighbors and friends with his hero, Jackie Robinson. Steven Satlow is an eight-year-old boy living in Brooklyn, New York, which means he only cares about one thing-the Dodgers. Steve and his father spend hours reading the sports pages and listening to games on the radio. Aside from an occasional run-in with his teacher, life is pretty simple for Steve. But then Steve hears a rumor that an African American family is moving to his all-Jewish neighborhood. It's 1948 and some of his neighbors are against it. His hero, Jackie Robinson, broke the color barrier in baseball the year before.
Then it happens--Steve's new neighbor is none other than Jackie Robinson! Steve is beyond excited about living two doors down from the Robinson family. He can't wait to meet Jackie. This is going to be the best baseball season yet! How many kids ever get to become friends with their hero?

















[book] The Name of God Is Mercy
by Pope Francis
Translate by Oonagh Stransky (
Random House
January 2016
Can the best JEWISH BOOK of January be by the current Pope in Vatican City??

In his first book published as Pope, and in conjunction with the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis here invites all humanity to an intimate and personal dialogue on the subject closest to his heart — mercy — which has long been the cornerstone of his faith and is now the central teaching of his papacy.

In this conversation with La Stampa's Vatican reporter Andrea Tornielli, Francis explains — through memories from his youth and moving anecdotes from his experiences as a pastor — why “mercy is the first attribute of God.” God “does not want anyone to be lost. His mercy is infinitely greater than our sins,” he writes. As well, the Church cannot close the door on anyone, Francis asserts — on the contrary, its duty is to go out into the world to find its way into the consciousness of people so that they can assume responsibility for, and move away from, the bad things they have done.

The Pope writes that “Mercy is essential because all men are sinners, in need of God’s forgiveness and grace,” and it’s especially necessary today, at a time when humanity is wounded, suffering from “the many slaveries of the third millennium” — not just war and poverty and social exclusion, but also fatalism, hardheartedness and self-righteousness. He advocates for decentralizing power in the church, condemns economic injustice and calls for focusing on the needs of the marginalized and disenfranchised. He is critical of self-righteous bureaucrats who would glorify themselves rather than the teachings of the church and he deplores those “dour judges bent on rooting out every threat and deviation” from doctrine. He chastises “scholars of the law” who “live attached to the letter of the law but who neglect love; men who only know how to close doors and draw boundaries.” Instead, he urges people to think of the church as “a field hospital, where treatment is given above all to those who are most wounded.” He emphasizes moral sincerity over dogma, an understanding of the complexities of the world and individual experience over rigid doctrine. Of the poor, the homeless and those “immigrants who have survived the crossing and who land on our shores,” he says, “we touch the flesh of Christ in he who is outcast, hungry, thirsty, naked, imprisoned, ill, unemployed, persecuted, in search of refuge.” On the controversial topics of homosexuality and divorce, he proposes no doctrinal changes but, as he’s done in earlier statements and interviews, urges that the church take a welcoming approach to all — embracing understanding, tolerance and compassion. The pope is most critical of those eager to cast stones. Pride, hypocrisy and the urge to judge others in terms of “preconceived notions and ritual purity” are the targets of his ire. He has chastised church bureaucrats for their “theological narcissism,” and he says in this book that “we must avoid the attitude of someone who judges and condemns from the lofty heights of his own certainty, looking for the splinter in his brother’s eye while remaining unaware of the beam in his own.”














[book] The Invention of God
by Thomas Römer (Lausanne)
Translated by Raymond Geuss (Cambridge)
Harvard
January 2016
Who invented God? When, why, and where? Thomas Römer seeks to answer these questions about the deity of the great monotheisms-Yhwh, God, or Allah-by tracing Israelite beliefs and their context from the Bronze Age to the end of the Old Testament period in the third century BCE.
That we can address such enigmatic questions at all may come as a surprise. But as Römer makes clear, a wealth of evidence allows us to piece together a reliable account of the origins and evolution of the god of Israel. Römer draws on a long tradition of historical, philological, and exegetical work and on recent discoveries in archaeology and epigraphy to locate the origins of Yhwh in the early Iron Age, when he emerged somewhere in Edom or in the northwest of the Arabian peninsula as a god of the wilderness and of storms and war. He became the sole god of Israel and Jerusalem in fits and starts as other gods, including the mother goddess Asherah, were gradually sidelined. But it was not until a major catastrophe-the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah-that Israelites came to worship Yhwh as the one god of all, creator of heaven and earth, who nevertheless proclaimed a special relationship with Judaism.
A masterpiece of detective work and exposition by one of the world’s leading experts on the Hebrew Bible, The Invention of God casts a clear light on profoundly important questions that are too rarely asked, let alone answered.















[book] Losing Faith Mass Market
by Adam Mitzner
Pocket
From the acclaimed author of A Conflict of Interest (one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Books of 2011) comes “a tightly plotted, fast paced legal thriller...A worthy courtroom yarn that fans of John Grisham and Scott Turow will enjoy” (Kirkus Reviews).
Aaron Littman is the premier lawyer of his generation and the chairman of Cromwell Altman, the most powerful law firm in New York City, when a high-profile new client threatens all that he’s achieved—and more. Nicolai Garkov is currently the most reviled figure in America, accused of laundering funds for the Russian Mafia and financing a terrorist bombing in Red Square that killed twenty-six people, including three American students. Garkov is completely unrepentant, admitting his guilt to Aaron, but with a plan for exoneration that includes blackmailing the presiding judge, the Honorable Faith Nichols. If the judge won’t do his bidding, Garkov promises to go public with irrefutable evidence of an affair between Aaron and Faith—the consequences of which would not only destroy their reputations but quite possibly end their careers.
Garkov has made his move. Now it’s Aaron and Faith’s turn. And in an ever-shocking psychological game of power, ethics, lies, and justice, they could never have predicted where those moves will take them—or what they are prepared to do to protect the truth.
























[book] THE RIGHT WRONG MAN
John Demjanjuk and the Last
Great Nazi War Crimes Trial
by Lawrence Douglas
January 2016
Princeton University Press
In 2009, Harper’s Magazine sent war-crimes expert Lawrence Douglas to Munich to cover the last chapter of the lengthiest case ever to arise from the Holocaust: the trial of eighty-nine-year-old John Demjanjuk. Demjanjuk’s legal odyssey began in 1975, when American investigators received evidence alleging that the Cleveland autoworker and naturalized US citizen had collaborated in Nazi genocide. In the years that followed, Demjanjuk was twice stripped of his American citizenship and sentenced to death by a Jerusalem court as “Ivan the Terrible” of Treblinka—only to be cleared in one of the most notorious cases of mistaken identity in legal history.
Finally, in 2011, after eighteen months of trial, a court in Munich convicted the native Ukrainian of assisting Hitler’s SS in the murder of 28,060 Jews at Sobibor, a death camp in eastern Poland.
An award-winning novelist as well as legal scholar, Douglas offers a compulsively readable history of Demjanjuk’s bizarre case. The Right Wrong Man is both a gripping eyewitness account of the last major Holocaust trial to galvanize world attention and a vital meditation on the law’s effort to bring legal closure to the most horrific chapter in modern history.
















[book] ABC PASSOVER HUNT
By Tilda Balslay
Illustrated by Helen Poole
January 2016
Kar-Ben
A to Z, an alphabet Passover scene. Find all the letters in between! ABC Passover Hunt is a colorful, interactive, rhyming search for Passover foods, customs, and symbols.




























[book] KOPECKS FOR BLINTZES
By Judy Goldman
Illustrated by Susan Bastori
January 2016
Kar-Ben
Shavuot is approaching, but Gitele and Yankl have no money to buy ingredients for blintzes. So they come up with a plan. Every day, they'll each put a coin into the empty trunk. By Shvuot, they should have enough coins to buy the ingredients. But will they be able to stick to their plan and provide their family with delicious blintzes for Shavuot?.
























[book] NOT FOR ALL
THE HAMANTASCHEN
IN TOWN
By Laura Aron Milhander
Illustrated by Inna Chernyak
January 2016
Kar-Ben Publishing
The three little pigs, Rishon, Sheni, and Shlishi, are getting ready for the Purim carnival! They can't wait to play games, eat hamantaschen, and march in the Purim parade.
They all need crowns for their Purim costumes.
Rishon makes his paper crown very quickly. Sheni spends a little more time on his poster board crown. Slishi works hardest and longest on his wonderful papier mache crown.
But will their fun at the carnival be spoiled by the big bad wolf? After all, wolves love hamantaschen, too!

























[book] OG'S ARK
by Allison Marks and
Wayne Marks
Illustrated by Martina Peluso
January 2016
Kar-Ben Publishing
Og the giant is so big that no bed is large enough or strong enough to hold him.
He never gets a good night's sleep-but all the animals know he has a gentle heart under his groggy grumpiness.
Then a man named Noah asks for Og's help, and Og's life changes forever.
































[book] Shalom Everybodeee
Grover's Adventures In Israel
by Tilda Balsley
and Ellen FIscher
Illus Tom Leigh
January 2016
Kar-Ben Publishing
Ages 2 – 6
Journey to Israel with Grover as he visits the Western Wall, shops in the Machane Yehuda market, visits a kibbutz, hikes to the top of Masada, floats in the Dead Sea, and shares the hospitality of a Bedouin family. The fifth book in Kar-Ben's partnership with Sesame Street, including The Count's Hanukkah Countdown, I'm Sorry Grover, It's a Mitzvah, Grover, and Grover and Big Bird's Passover Celebration.
































[book] Let's Visit Jerusalem!
Adventures of Bella & Harry
by Lisa Manzione
Kristine Lucco (Illustrator)
BellaandHarry
K – 3 Grades
Join sibling Chihuahuas Bella and Harry as they travel to Jerusalem with their family and visit Masada, the Western Wall and the Old City. Along the way, learn about local cuisine (such as shawarma and knafeh) and basic Hebrew phrases.
The Adventures of Bella & Harry is a picture book series that chronicles the escapades of a pup named Bella, her little brother Harry and their family, who travel the world exploring the sights and sounds of new, exciting cities. The “Bella & Harry” series is intended to be an informative, interactive and exciting way to introduce children to travel, different countries, customs, history and landmarks with the educational value of this book cleverly disguised amidst dozens of illustrated pages which are sure to win the hearts of young readers.
Traveling the world with these two cute and cuddly Chihuahuas will allow the young reader to gain an appreciation of the world and its cultural diversity. Happy Travels from Bella Boo and Harry too!!!
































[book] On One Foot
by Linda Glaser (
Nuria Balaguer - Illustrator
January 2016
Kar-Ben Publishing
An impatient young man comes to Jerusalem looking for someone to teach him the Torah - while standing on one foot! The city is full of learned rabbis, but none of them can help him until he meets the famous Rabbi Hillel.
































[book] One Fine Shabbat
by Chris Barash
Illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
January 2016
Kar-Ben Publishing
Brother and sister Seth and Sadie Fine love Shabbat. Join them as they spend Shabbat with their family having a picnic, visiting their farm animals, and enjoying the outdoors. It all adds up to a fine day.































[book] Passover Is Coming!
(Very First Board Books)
by Tracy Newman
Illustrated by Viviana Garofoli
January 2016
Kar-Ben Publishing
Readers join a cute family and their dog as they prepare for and celebrate the spring holiday of Passover, cleaning the house, making matzah ball soup, assembling the seder plate, saying the Four Questions, and looking for the afikomen at the end of the seder. This 12-page board book features '3D-feeling' art by Viviana Garofoli, who illustrates all the books in this Jewish holiday series including Shabbat is Coming!, Hanukkah is Coming! and Rosh Hashanah is Coming! (available Fall 2016).























[book] LESSONS OF THE
HOLOCAUST
By Michael R. Marrus
Professor Emeritus of Holocaust Studies (Toronto)
Winter 2016
University of Toronto Press
Although difficult to imagine, sixty years ago the Holocaust had practically no visibility in examinations of the Second World War. Yet today it is understood to be not only one of the defining moments of the twentieth century but also a touchstone in a quest for directions on how to avoid such catastrophes.
In Lessons of the Holocaust, the distinguished historian Michael R. Marrus challenges the notion that there are definitive lessons to be deduced from the destruction of European Jewry. Instead, drawing on decades of studying, writing about, and teaching the Holocaust, he shows how its “lessons” are constantly challenged, debated, altered, and reinterpreted.
A succinct, stimulating analysis by a world-renowned historian, Lessons of the Holocaust is the perfect guide for the general reader to the historical and moral controversies which infuse the interpretation of the Holocaust and its significance.

























[book] A Place for Elijah
by Kelly Easton Ruben
Illustrated by Joanne Friar
January 2016
Kar-Ben Publishing
As Sarah's family prepares for Passover, Sarah makes sure to save a chair at the table for the prophet Elijah who is said to visit every seder. But when the electricity goes out in the buildings across the street and the neighbors start arriving at Sarah's apartment, her parents invite each visitor to join the seder. Sarah adds another place setting for Elijah, and then another, but soon the table is full with people from her neighborhood and there are no more chairs to spare! How can Sarah honor the Passover tradition of saving a place for Elijah?























[book] Sacred Knowledge
Psychedelics and Religious Experiences
by William A. Richards
Columbia University Press
Winter 2016
Sacred Knowledge is the first well-documented, sophisticated account of the effect of psychedelics on biological processes, human consciousness, and revelatory religious experiences. Based on nearly three decades of legal research with volunteers, William A. Richards argues that, if used responsibly and legally, psychedelics have the potential to assuage suffering and constructively affect the quality of human life.

Richards's analysis contributes to social and political debates over the responsible integration of psychedelic substances into modern society. His book serves as an invaluable resource for readers who, whether spontaneously or with the facilitation of psychedelics, have encountered meaningful, inspiring, or even disturbing states of consciousness and seek clarity about their experiences. Testing the limits of language and conceptual frameworks, Richards makes the most of experiential phenomena that stretch our conception of reality, advancing new frontiers in the study of belief, spiritual awakening, psychiatric treatment, and social well-being. His findings enrich humanities and scientific scholarship, expanding work in philosophy, anthropology, theology, and religious studies and bringing depth to research in mental health, psychotherapy, and psychopharmacology.















[book] Shmulik Paints the Town
by Lisa Rose
Illustrated by Catalina Echeverri
January 2016
Kar-Ben Publishing
Israeli Independence Day is coming up and the mayor is planning a celebration. He asks Shmulik to make a mural in the park, and Shmulik agrees. But he can't decide what to paint! Maybe his dog, Ezra, can help!









































[book] The Dream of Zion:
The Story of the First
Zionist Congress
by Lawrence J. Epstein
January 14, 2016
R & L
The Dream of Zion tells the story of the Jewish political effort to restore their ancient nation. At the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, in August 1897 Theodor Herzl convened a remarkable meeting that founded what became the World Zionist Organization, defined the political goals of the movement, adopted a national anthem, created the legal and financial instruments that would lead to statehood, and ushered the reentry of the Jewish people into political history. It was there in Basel that Herzl, the man some praised and some mocked as the new Moses, became the leader.
The book provides an overview of the history that led to the Congress, an introduction to key figures in Israeli history, a discussion of the climate at the time for Jews—including the pogroms in Russia—and a discussion of themes that remain relevant today, such as the Christian reaction to the Zionist idea.
As political debates continue to swirl around Israel, this book opens a window into its founding.






















[book] FROM THE WILDERNESS
AND LEBANON
AN ISRAELI SOLDIER'S
STORY OF WAR AND RECOVERY
By Asael Lubotzky
January 2016
Toby Press / Koren Publishers
Asael Lubotzky was born in Jerusalem in 1983 and grew up in the town of Efrat. He studied at the Hesder Yeshiva in Ma ale Adumim, before enlisting in the IDF, where he served as platoon commander in the Fifty-First Battalion of the Golani Brigade. Lubotzky led his troops fighting in Gaza and Lebanon, until his severe injury in the Second Lebanon War. Following a lengthy and difficult rehabilitation, he took up studies at the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, and today works as a physician at Shaare Zedek Medical Center Jerusalem. In addition, Lubotzky addresses IDF units, as well as groups from Israel and abroad, on the subjects of Zionism, courage, and fortitude.

Asael Lubotzky was a young IDF commander during the Second Lebanon War. Leading his troops into combat, maneuvering through the deadly urban warfare of Southern Lebanon, Lubotzky was hit by a missile, irreversibly damaging both his legs. In this harrowing memoir, Lubotzky recounts the story of the two great battles of his life. The first, against Hamas and Hezbollah, when he was forced to contend with the horrors of war, the fears of his soldiers, the loss of his comrades, and the moral dilemmas of the battlefield. And the second, far more difficult one, to recover from his injuries, learn to walk again, and return to life.



























[book] JUSTIFYING GENOCIDE
Germany and the Armenians
from Bismarck to Hitler
by Stefan Ihrig
January 2016
Harvard University Press
The Armenian Genocide and the Nazi Holocaust are often thought to be separated by a large distance in time and space. But Stefan Ihrig shows that they were much more connected than previously thought. Bismarck and then Wilhelm II staked their foreign policy on close relations with a stable Ottoman Empire. To the extent that the Armenians were restless under Ottoman rule, they were a problem for Germany too. From the 1890s onward Germany became accustomed to excusing violence against Armenians, even accepting it as a foreign policy necessity. For many Germans, the Armenians represented an explicitly racial problem and despite the Armenians’ Christianity, Germans portrayed them as the “Jews of the Orient.”
As Stefan Ihrig reveals in this first comprehensive study of the subject, many Germans before World War I sympathized with the Ottomans’ longstanding repression of the Armenians and would go on to defend vigorously the Turks’ wartime program of extermination. After the war, in what Ihrig terms the “great genocide debate,” German nationalists first denied and then justified genocide in sweeping terms. The Nazis too came to see genocide as justifiable: in their version of history, the Armenian Genocide had made possible the astonishing rise of the New Turkey.
Ihrig is careful to note that this connection does not imply the Armenian Genocide somehow caused the Holocaust, nor does it make Germans any less culpable. But no history of the twentieth century should ignore the deep, direct, and disturbing connections between these two crimes.



























[book] The Pater
My Father,
My Judaism
My Childlessness
by Elliot Jager
Toby Press
From Bible stories to Hasidic folktales to contemporary media, the discourse on infertility is becoming an increasingly widespread topic for open discussion. However, it largely remains within the context of womanhood.
In THE PATER, writer and journalist Elliot Jager tackles what has until now been an almost taboo subject: what it feels like to be a childless Jewish man. After a 30-year estrangement from his Hasidic father, a halting reconciliation is overshadowed by the elderly man s desire that Jager father a male child.
The Pater, as Jager dubs the Holocaust-survivor father who abandoned him as a small child, now implores his son to visit the graves of holy men to seek Divine intervention that will surely end his childlessness. As Jager grapples with his relationship with the Pater and with the stigmas that Jewish tradition maintains towards the childless, he talks to other men single and married, gay and straight and shares their intense experiences for the first time.
Part memoir, part reportage, part self-help guide, THE PATER lifts the discussion out of the familiar rhetoric by sensitively chronicling how Jewish men process being the last in line of their family. Brave, sentimental, and uncompromisingly honest, THE PATER is a revealing personal and spiritual journey about earthly and Divine fathers and the about the meaning of life without children.

























FEBRUARY 2016 BOOKS



[book] THE YID
A NOVEL
BY PAUL GOLDBERG
February 2, 2016
Picador
It is February 1953.
We are in Moscow under Stalin.
The streets smell of Belomor cigarettes
Black Maria police vans drive at night to liquidate Stalin’s opponents
Stalin will be dead in a week.
But his final pogrom and purge against Jews is in full swing. Three Soviet agents arrive at the flat of Solomon Shimonovich Levinson in order to arrest him. He is an actor from the defunct State Jewish Theater. He is the titular Yid in Moscow. Levinson is old (nearly 60, which in 1952 is old in the USSR), retired, and a veteran of Red Army’s Soviet wars. Perhaps he is also a Yiddish and Shakespeare quoting hidden ninja with a love of Finish daggers? His response to these goons in anemia-green coats sets in motion a zany series of events.
Comrade or Komandir Levinson has a plot. To assassinate a tyrant with a ragtag group of heroes that includes Dr. Aleksandr Kogan, one of Moscow's top surgeons (accused in the Jewish Doctor’s Plot to kill Stalin) but a former machine gunner; Kima Petrova, a orphan; and Friederich Lewis, an African American who came to the USSR to build smelters and escape Jim Crow American laws but stayed as an engineer. (they don’t have immense back stories)
It is Inglorious Basterds meets Moscow and Chagall and Paul Robeson.
Violent and intellectual.

A note to readers. Stalin died in 1953, right before he planned to kill the Soviet Jewish community. Goldberg’s own parents were on the hit list to be murdered.
























[book] "How Come Boys Get to Keep Their Noses?":
Women and Jewish American Identity
in Contemporary Graphic Memoirs
(Gender and Culture Series)
by Tahneer Oksman
February 2, 2016
Columbia University Press
American comics reflect the distinct sensibilities and experiences of the Jewish American men who played an outsized role in creating them, but what about the contributions of Jewish women? Focusing on the visionary work of seven contemporary female Jewish cartoonists, Tahneer Oksman draws a remarkable connection between innovations in modes of graphic storytelling and the unstable, contradictory, and ambiguous figurations of the Jewish self in the postmodern era.

Oksman isolates the dynamic Jewishness that connects each frame in the autobiographical comics of Aline Kominsky Crumb, Vanessa Davis, Miss Lasko-Gross, Lauren Weinstein, Sarah Glidden, Miriam Libicki, and Liana Finck. Rooted in a conception of identity based as much on rebellion as identification and belonging, these artists' representations of Jewishness take shape in the spaces between how we see ourselves and how others see us. They experiment with different representations and affiliations without forgetting that identity ties the self to others. Stemming from Kominsky Crumb's iconic 1989 comic "Nose Job," in which her alter ego refuses to assimilate through cosmetic surgery, Oksman's study is an arresting exploration of invention in the face of the pressure to disappear.
























[book] SOUTH AFRICAN JEWS IN ISRAEL
ASSIMILATION IN MULTIGENERATIONAL PERSPECTIVE
BY REBECA RAIJMAN (Haifa)
February 2016
University of Nebraska
Despite consensus about the importance of multigenerational analysis for studying the long-term impact of immigration, most studies in Israel have focused on the integration of first-generation migrants, neglecting key changes (in economic, social, linguistic, and identity outcomes) that occur intergenerationally. Rebeca Raijman tackles this important but untold story with respect to Jewish South African immigration in Israel. By collecting data from three generational cohorts, Raijman analyzes assimilation from a comparative multigenerational perspective. She also combines both quantitative and qualitative evidence with in-depth interviews and participant observation, thereby providing a rich and more complete picture of the complex process of migrant assimilation.
While the migrant subpopulation of South Africa has not received the attention that immigrant populations from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia have, as English-speaking migrants they are a powerful and significant group. Given the status of English as an international language, this study has important implications for understanding the expected assimilation trajectories of Anglophone immigrants in Israel as well as in other non-English-speaking societies. South African Jews in Israel not only contributes empirical material concerning immigrants in Israeli society but also articulates theoretical understanding of the social mechanisms underlying the integration of various generations of immigrants into a variety of societal domains.


















[book] Piece of Mind
A Novel
by Michelle Adelman
WW Norton
February 2016
A funny, poignant tale for readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
At twenty-seven, Lucy knows everything about coffee, comic books, and Gus (the polar bear at the Central Park Zoo), and she possesses a rare gift for drawing. But since she suffered a traumatic brain injury at the age of three, she has had trouble relating to most people. She’s also uncommonly messy, woefully disorganized, and incapable of holding down a regular job. When her father’s unexpected death forces her out of the comfortable and protective Jewish home where he cared for her, and into a cramped studio apartment in New York City with her college-age younger brother, she must adapt to an entirely different life-one with no safety net. And when her “normal” brother snaps under the pressure and disappears, Lucy discovers that she has more strengths than she herself knew. Told with warmth and intelligence, Piece of Mind introduces one of the most endearing and heroic characters in contemporary fiction. 20 illustrations






















[book] The Ottoman Culture of Defeat:
The Balkan Wars and their Aftermath
by Eyal Ginio (Hebrew University)
Oxford University Press
February 2016
When the first Balkan War broke out in October 1912, few Ottomans anticipated that it would prove to be a watershed moment for the Empire, ending in ignominy, national catastrophe, and the loss of its remaining provinces in the Balkans. Defeat at the hands of an alliance of Balkan powers comprising Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro Ottomans set the stage for the Balkan Crisis of 1914 and would serve as a prelude to WWI. It was also a moment of deep national trauma and led to bitter soul-searching, giving rise to a so-called 'Culture of Defeat' in which condemnation and criticism flourished in a way seemingly at odds with the reformist debate which followed the Young Turk Revolution of 1908.

Eyal Ginio's clear-eyed and rigorously researched book uncovers the different visual and written products of the defeat, published in Ottoman Turkish, Arabic and Ladino, with the aim of understanding the experience of defeat - how it was perceived, analysed and commemorated by different sectors in Ottoman society - to show that it is key to understanding the actions of the Ottoman political elite during the subsequent World War and the early decades of the Turkish Republic.


















[book] STOLEN WORDS
The Nazi Plunder of Jewish Books
by Mark Glickman
February 2016
Jewish Publication Society / Nebraska
Stolen Words is an epic story about the largest collection of Jewish books in the world—tens-of millions of books that the Nazis looted from European Jewish families and institutions. Nazi soldiers and civilians emptied Jewish communal libraries, confiscated volumes from government collections, and stole from Jewish individuals, schools, and synagogues. Early in their regime, the Nazis burned some books in spectacular bonfires, but most they saved, stashing the literary loot in castles, abandoned mine shafts, and warehouses throughout Europe. It was the largest and most extensive book-looting campaign in history.

After the war, Allied forces discovered these troves of stolen books but quickly found themselves facing a barrage of questions. How could the books be identified? Where should they go? Who had the authority to make such decisions? Eventually, the army turned the books over to an organization of leading Jewish scholars called Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, Inc.—whose chairman was the acclaimed historian Salo Baron, and whose on-the-ground director was the philosopher Hannah Arendt—with the charge to establish restitution protocols.

Stolen Words is the story of how a free civilization decides what to do with the material remains of a world torn asunder, and how those remains connect survivors with their past. It is the story of Jews struggling to understand the new realities of their post-Holocaust world and of Western society’s gradual realization of the magnitude of devastation wrought by World War II. Most of all, it is the story of people —of Nazi leaders, ideologues, and Judaica experts; of Allied soldiers, scholars, and scoundrels; and of Jewish communities, librarians, and readers around the world.
















[book] A Mother's Reckoning:
Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy
by Sue Klebold
Introduction by Andrew Solomon
February 15, 2016
Crown
On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives. Klebold had read the Four Questions at an informal seder just two weeks earlier. His mother worked with diability rights and the disabled. Hate speech was not allowed. How could her son be painted as such a monster? In the days after the murders she had to deal with her grief and horror, her love, the media, intense grief, and wondered if she should even have a funeral and whether a pastor would even officiate at a private service.
For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently?
These are questions that Klebold has grappled with every day since the Columbine tragedy. She had reached out to a rabbi, a pastor, therapists, but found no help, except from a therapist who had also lost a child. Here she was, a mother who had prayed daily for her children and others, a mother who was horrified when she heard about a teen who had stolen a Stop sign that led to a fatal accident, which caused her to pray even more intensely that her sons would act well.
In “A Mother’s Reckoning,” she chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible. In the hope that the insights and understanding she has gained may help other families recognize when a child is in distress, she tells her story in full, drawing upon her personal journals, the videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and on countless interviews with mental health experts.
Filled with hard-won wisdom and compassion, A Mother’s Reckoning is a powerful and haunting book that sheds light on one of the most pressing issues of our time. And with fresh wounds from the recent Newtown and Charleston shootings, never has the need for understanding been more urgent.
All author profits from the book will be donated to research and to charitable organizations focusing on mental health issues.
























[book] LONELY BUT NOT ALONE
A Spiritual Autobiography
By Nathan Lopes Cardozo
February 2016
URIM
Lonely But Not Alone tells the highly unusual story of Dutch–Israeli Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo, a child of an intermarriage between a Christian woman and Jewish man who discovers Judaism in his teens and subsequently undergoes a ritual conversion. Weaving together his history and his novel approach to Judaism borne out of his unconventional experiences, Cardozo tackles the problems of religiosity, doubt, faith, and the holy land of Israel and offers his vision for an improved Judaism. This volume blends Cardozo’s personal account, testimony by his mother about concealing his father’s family during the Holocaust, seminal essays on Jewish thought, and an interview with the author.




























[book] Master of Ceremonies:
A Memoir
by Joel Grey
w/ Rebecca Paley
February 2016
Flatiron
Not since his profile in a 1971 copy of Playboy magazine have we learned so much about Joel Grey and his career.
Joel Grey, the enchanting Tony and Academy Award-winning Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret finally tells his remarkable life story. Born Joel David Katz to a wild and wooly Jewish American family in Cleveland, Ohio in 1932, Joel began his life in the theater at the age of 9, starting in children’s theater and then moving to the main stage. He was hooked; he wanted to be on stage to shock, expand, and make life more interesting. And for seven decades he has. His memoir charts the evolution of American entertainment - from Vaudeville performances with his father, Mickey Katz to the seedy gangster filled nightclubs of the forties, the bright lights of Broadway and dizzying glamour of Hollywood (20+ films), to juggernaut shows/plays like Cabaret, George M!, The Normal Heart, Chicago, and Wicked.

Master of Ceremonies is a memoir of a life lived in and out of the limelight, but it is also the story of the man behind the stage makeup. Coming of age in a time when being yourself tended to be not only difficult but also dangerous, Joel has to act both on and off the stage. He spends his high school years sleeping with the girls-next-door while carrying on a scandalous affair with an older man. Romances with to-die-for Vegas Showgirls are balanced with late night liaisons with like-minded guys, until finally Joel falls in love and marries a talented and beautiful female actress, starts a family, and has a pretty much picture perfect life.
(Did you know that Bob Fosse did not want Joel for the Cabaret film…and gave the producers a threat of it’s either Joel or me… and they chose Joel…. (it was an idle threat)… Fosse probably wanted the role for himself)
But 24 years later when the marriage dissolves, Joel has to once again find his place in a world that has radically changed.
Drawing back the curtain on a career filled with show-stopping numbers, larger-than-life stars and even singing in the shower with Bjork, Master of Ceremonies is also a portrait of an artist coming to terms with his evolving identity. When an actor plays a character, he has to find out what makes them who they are; their needs, dreams, and fears. It’s a difficult thing to do, but sometimes the hardest role in an actor’s life is that of himself. Deftly capturing the joy of performing as well as the pain and secrets of an era we have only just started to leave behind, Joel’s story is one of love, loss, hard-won honesty, redemption, and success.
















[book] Better Living Through Criticism
How To Think About Art,
Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth
By A. O. Scott
February 2016
Penguin
The New York Times film critic shows why we need criticism now more than ever Few could explain, let alone seek out, a career in criticism. Yet what A.O. Scott shows in Better Living Through Criticism is that we are, in fact, all critics: because critical thinking informs almost every aspect of artistic creation, of civil action, of interpersonal life. With penetrating insight and warm humor, Scott shows that while individual critics--himself included--can make mistakes and find flaws where they shouldn't, criticism as a discipline is one of the noblest, most creative, and urgent activities of modern existence.
Using his own film criticism as a starting point--everything from his infamous dismissal of the international blockbuster The Avengers to his intense affection for Pixar's animinated Ratatouille--Scott expands outward, easily guiding readers through the complexities of Rilke and Shelley, the origins of Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones, the power of Marina Abramovich and 'Ode on a Grecian Urn.' Drawing on the long tradition of criticism from Aristotle to Susan Sontag, Scott shows that real criticism was and always will be the breath of fresh air that allows true creativity to thrive. "The time for criticism is always now," Scott explains, "because the imperative to think clearly, to insist on the necessary balance of reason and passion, never goes away."




























[book] MAX BAER
THE STAR OF DAVID
A NOVEL
By Jay Neugeboran
February 2016
When Jay Neugeboren's first novel, Big Man, was published, James Michener called it "as good a sports novel as has ever been written." Now, nearly a half-century later, Neugeboren is publishingMAX BAER AND THE STAR OF DAVID (Mandel Vilar Press Trade Paperback Original; February 9, 2016), his 22nd book--a remarkable novel that is centered on the life of the world heavyweight champion Max Baer. In 1933, Baer--who was one-quarter Jewish and wore a Star of David on his boxing trunks--won the greatest fight of his career, defeating Nazi Germany's heavyweight champion, Max Schmeling, before a crowd of 60,000 fans at Yankee Stadium. A year later, he earned the heavyweight title, defeating Primo Carnera in front of 50,000 fans at Madison Square Garden Bowl. Baer was a flashy performer and showman who entertained America during the Great Depression. At the height of his fame, he starred in more than a dozen movies, played the vaudeville circuits, and was romantically involved with innumerable actresses, starlets, show girls, and socialites.




























[book] NATIVE
DISPATCHES FROM AN
Israeli-Palestinian Life
By Sayed Kashua
Translated from Hebrew by Ralph Mandel
February 2016
Grove
Sayed Kashua has been praised by the New York Times as “a master of subtle nuance in dealing with both Arab and Jewish society.” An Arab-Israeli who lived in Jerusalem for most of his life, Kashua started writing with the hope of creating one story that both Palestinians and Israelis could relate to, rather than two that cannot coexist together. He devoted his novels and his satirical weekly column published in Haaretz to telling the Palestinian story and exploring the contradictions of modern Israel, while also capturing the nuances of everyday family life in all its tenderness and chaos.

With an intimate tone fueled by deep-seated apprehension and razor-sharp ironic wit, Kashua has been documenting his own life as well as that of society at large: he writes about his children’s upbringing and encounters with racism, about fatherhood and married life, the Jewish-Arab conflict, his professional ambitions, travels around the world as an author, and—more than anything—his love of books and literature. He brings forth a series of brilliant, caustic, wry, and fearless reflections on social and cultural dynamics as experienced by someone who straddles two societies. Written between 2006 and 2014, Native reads like an unrestrained, profoundly thoughtful personal journal.





















[book] THE PLACE I LIVE
THE PEOPLE I KNOW
Profiles of the Eastern Mediterranean
BY LORI MENDEL
Archway
February 2016
Everyone has a unique life story to tell. In The Place I Live The People I Know, author Lori Mendel shares stories from people she knows, gathered from Eilat in the south to Kibbutz Ne'ot Mordecai in the north near the Syrian border. There's Bishara from Nazereth, Edna from Beer Sheba, Ilan from Jerusalem, Noa from Tel Aviv, Sara from Kibbutz Ashdot Yaakov, and many more. Some escaped the Holocaust, some are sabras-born in Israel, some are new immigrants; Jews, Arabs, Christians, and Druze living in this extraordinary country, full of passions and contradictions.
Praise for The Place I Live The People I Know
"Lori Mendel's vibrant experiment in oral history helps us to understand the amazing diversity of the Jewish state" -Patrick Tyler, Author, Fortress Israel
"A gold mine of memories, the drama of Israel through the stories of those who live it. Lori Mendel has performed a valuable service, collecting the life stories of dozens of people, a true cross-section of that fascinating nation - moving, real and illuminating" -Martin Fletcher, NBC News and PBS Special Correspondent and author of Walking Israel, winner of the National Jewish Book Award.

PW Booklife writes: n her debut, Mendel sketches portraits of the important people she has come to know in Israel. Most of the people Mendel profiles, ranging in age from 27 to 88, have compelling stories, such as Berliner Abe Rosenfeld, who escaped from Germany to what was then Palestine during WWII, and Erika Peitzer Miron, who survived life in the Warsaw ghetto. More recent immigrants include Americans such as Eva Shaibe Rockman, who moved because she didn’t want to marry a non-Jew, and New Yorker Stanley Rubenstein, spurred to immigrate because of the upheavals in the U.S. during the 1960s and early ’70s. Many came with high hopes for the Israeli state, only to be disappointed: in the words of one, “I am... apprehensive.... We have to reach a compromise with our neighbors.” Yet for all the potentially fascinating narratives, and despite liberal, lively use of exclamation points, the accounts tend to read like transcripts: each participant answered a list of identical questions, and their responses were then compiled into this anthology. One wishes Mendel had followed up with in-depth interviews of at least some of the responders. Many, especially the older Israelis, have stories that deserve to be expanded.




















[book] LIT UP
One Reporter. Three Schools.
Twenty-Four Books That Can Change Lives.
by David Denby
February 2016
Henry Holt
A bestselling author and distinguished critic goes back to high school to find out whether books can shape lives
It's no secret that millions of American teenagers, caught up in social media, television, movies, and games, don't read seriously-they associate sustained reading with duty or work, not with pleasure. This indifference has become a grievous loss to our standing as a great nation--and a personal loss, too, for millions of teenagers who may turn into adults with limited understanding of themselves and the world.
Can teenagers be turned on to serious reading? What kind of teachers can do it, and what books?
To find out, Denby sat in on a tenth-grade English class in a demanding Manhattan public school (BEACON) for an entire academic year, and made frequent visits to a troubled inner-city public school in New Haven (HILLHOUSE) and to a respected public school in MAMARONECK (Westchester county, NY).
He read all the stories, poems, plays, and novels that the kids were reading, and creates an impassioned portrait of charismatic teachers at work, classroom dramas large and small, and fresh and inspiring encounters with the books themselves, including The Scarlet Letter, Brave New World, 1984, Slaughterhouse-Five, Notes From Underground, Long Way Gone and many more. Lit Up is a dramatic narrative that traces awkward and baffled beginnings but also exciting breakthroughs and the emergence of pleasure in reading. In a sea of bad news about education and the fate of the book, Denby reaffirms the power of great teachers and the importance and inspiration of great books.





















[book] Hitler's Forgotten Children
A True Story of the Lebensborn
Program and One Woman's Search
for her Real Identity
By Ingrid von Oelhafen and Tim Tate
February 2016
Created by Heinrich Himmler, the Lebensborn program abducted as many as half a million children from across Europe. Through a process called Germanization, they were to become the next generation of the Aryan master race in the second phase of the Final Solution.
In the summer of 1942, parents across Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia were required to submit their children to medical checks designed to assess racial purity. One such child, Erika Matko, was nine months old when Nazi doctors declared her fit to be a “Child of Hitler.” Taken to Germany and placed with politically vetted foster parents, Erika was renamed Ingrid von Oelhafen. Many years later, Ingrid began to uncover the truth of her identity.
Though the Nazis destroyed many Lebensborn records, Ingrid unearthed rare documents, including Nuremberg trial testimony about her own abduction. Following the evidence back to her place of birth, Ingrid discovered an even more shocking secret: a woman named Erika Matko, who as an infant had been given to Ingrid’s mother as a replacement child.
Hitler’s Forgotten Children is both a harrowing personal memoir and a devastating investigation into the awful crimes and monstrous scope of the Lebensborn program.



























[book] The Private Heinrich Himmler
Letters of a Mass Murderer
Edited and with commentary by Katrin Himmler
and Michael Wildt
Translated from German by Thomas S. Hansen, Ph.D
and Abby J. Hansen, Ph.D

St. Martin's Press
2016
At the end of World War II, it was assumed that the letters of Heinrich Himmler were lost. Yet sixty years after Himmler's capture by British troops and subsequent suicide, the letters mysteriously turned up in Tel Aviv and, in early 2014, excerpts were published for the first time by the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot providing a rare, if jarring, glimpse into the family life of one of Hitler's top lieutenants while he was busy organizing the mass extermination of the Jews.

It was generally held that Himmler, once appointed head of the SS, blended seamlessly into the Nazi hierarchy. The image that emerges, however, is more subtle. Himmler is seen here as a man whose observations can often be characterized by their unpleasant banality; a man whose obsession with family life ran alongside a brutal detachment from all things human, a serial killer who oversaw the persecution and extermination of all Jews and other non-Aryans, and those opposed to the regime.

His bizarre letters to his wife, Marga, reveal a total disconnect from his life as a monstrous war criminal. He wallows in banal references to the vegetable and poultry farm she tends as he fulfills his evil mission and signs off with egocentric, sloppy and sentimental expressions of his love. She was older than he and a divorcee when they met. She hated people and the doctors for whom she worked. Himmler, mostly a virgin when they met on a train, fell for her and her sexual prowess. ‘All that is filthy is kept far from our home – our castle. You sweet woman, I kiss you so sweetly and endlessly. Your Heini’, the mass murderer writes
His letters remove any doubt that he was the architect of the Final Solution, and a man who was much closer to Hitler than many historians previously thought. The letters in this edition were arranged by Katrin Himmler, the great-niece of Heinrich and Marga Himmler, and Michael Wildt, a renowned expert on the Nazi regime, who also provide historical context to the letters and their author. The entire work was translated by Thomas S. Hansen and Abby J. Hansen.




















[book] AND THEN ALL HELL
BROKE LOOSE
TWO DECADES IN THE MIDDLE EAST
BY RICHARD ENGEL
NBC NEWS Correspondent
February 2016
Simon & Schuster
Based on two decades of reporting, NBC’s chief foreign correspondent’s riveting story of the Middle East revolutions, the Arab Spring, war, and terrorism seen up-close—sometimes dangerously so.

As a young boy, in a hotel lobby in Morocco, Richard enjoyed reading the IHT. His mother commented that he would perhaps become a foreign reporter. He liked that idea. So when he was just twenty-three, a recent graduate of Stanford University, Richard Engel set off to Cairo with $2,000 and dreams of being a reporter. He studied Arabic, lived in a walk up, befriended neighbors, and after a mass walkout, snagged a job working freelance for a newspaper. Serving ravioli to a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, he was perceived as poor (wince he did not serve meat) and was befriended by the Brotherhood. One day he got a call that a busload of Italian tourists were massacred at a Cairo museum. This is his first view of the grotesque, psychopathic carnage these years would pile on.

Over two decades Engel has been under fire, blown out of hotel beds, taken hostage. He has watched Mubarak and Morsi in Egypt arrested and condemned, reported from Jerusalem, been through the Lebanese war, covered the whole shooting match in Iraq, interviewed Libyan rebels who toppled Gaddafi, reported from Syria as Al-Qaeda stepped in, was kidnapped in the Syrian crosscurrents of fighting. He goes into Afghanistan with the Taliban and to Iraq with ISIS. In the page-turning And Then All Hell Broke Loose, he shares his adventure tale.

Engel takes chances, though not reckless ones, keeps a level head and a sense of humor, as well as a grasp of history in the making. Reporting as NBC’s Chief-Foreign Correspondent, he reveals his unparalleled access to the major figures, the gritty soldiers, and the helpless victims in the Middle East during this watershed time. We can experience the unforgettable suffering and despair of the local populations. Engel’s vivid description is intimate and personal. Importantly, it is a succinct and authoritative account of the ever-changing currents in that dangerous land.




















[book] CHICKPEAS
Sweet and Savory Recipes
From Hummus to Dessert
By Chef Einat Mazor
February 2016
Imagine
Hummus: the delicious, nutritious treat!
With more than seventy recipes included, Chickpeas offers everything from spreads to dips to entrees. Concoct a dish perfect for any occasion, with recipes ranging from a snack of buttery-flavored spread with pine nuts to a refreshing salad with oranges and clementines—perfect for Sunday brunch.
Spice up your meals and take your health in your own hands with these easy, delicious dishes that are a feast for the eyes as well as the palate!
This beautiful, photo-illustrated cookbook makes it easy to prepare healthy and delicious hummus to accompany every meal.























[book] SHYLOCK IS MY NAME
A Novel
By Howard Jacobson
February 2016
Hogarth
They say Jacobson is one of the greatest writers of our time. All I can tell you is that from the first paragraph, reading this book draws you in and the wave of language is overwhelmingly fabulous.
Man Booker Prize-winner Howard Jacobson brings his singular brilliance to this modern re-imagining of one of Shakespeare’s most unforgettable characters: Shylock

Winter, a cemetery, Shylock. In this provocative and profound interpretation of “The Merchant of Venice,” Shylock is juxtaposed against his present-day counterpart in the character of art dealer and conflicted father Simon Strulovitch. With characteristic irony, Jacobson presents Shylock as a man of incisive wit and passion, concerned still with questions of identity, parenthood, anti-Semitism and revenge. While Strulovich struggles to reconcile himself to his daughter Beatrice's “betrayal” of her family and heritage – as she is carried away by the excitement of Manchester high society, and into the arms of a footballer notorious for giving a Nazi salute on the field – Shylock alternates grief for his beloved wife with rage against his own daughter's rejection of her Jewish upbringing. Culminating in a shocking twist on Shylock’s demand for the infamous pound of flesh, Jacobson’s insightful retelling examines contemporary, acutely relevant questions of Jewish identity while maintaining a poignant sympathy for its characters and a genuine spiritual kinship with its antecedent—a drama which Jacobson himself considers to be “the most troubling of Shakespeare’s plays for anyone, but, for an English novelist who happens to be Jewish, also the most challenging.”




















[book] NATIVE
Dispatches from an
Israeli-Palestinian Life
by Sayed Kashua
February 2016
Grove
Sayed Kashua has been praised by the New York Times as “a master of subtle nuance in dealing with both Arab and Jewish society.” An Arab-Israeli who lived in Jerusalem for most of his life, Kashua started writing with the hope of creating one story that both Palestinians and Israelis could relate to, rather than two that cannot coexist together. He devoted his novels and his satirical weekly column published in Haaretz to telling the Palestinian story and exploring the contradictions of modern Israel, while also capturing the nuances of everyday family life in all its tenderness and chaos.
With an intimate tone fueled by deep-seated apprehension and razor-sharp ironic wit, Kashua has been documenting his own life as well as that of society at large: he writes about his children’s upbringing and encounters with racism, about fatherhood and married life, the Jewish-Arab conflict, his professional ambitions, travels around the world as an author, and—more than anything—his love of books and literature. He brings forth a series of brilliant, caustic, wry, and fearless reflections on social and cultural dynamics as experienced by someone who straddles two societies. Written between 2006 and 2014, Native reads like an unrestrained, profoundly thoughtful personal journal.




















[book] The German War:
A Nation Under Arms, 1939–1945
by Nicholas Stargardt
Basic Books

As early as 1941, Allied victory in World War II seemed all but assured. How and why, then, did the Germans prolong the barbaric conflict for three and a half more years?
In The German War, acclaimed historian Nicholas Stargardt draws on an extraordinary range of primary source materials—personal diaries, court records, and military correspondence—to answer this question. He offers an unprecedented portrait of wartime Germany, bringing the hopes and expectations of the German people—from infantrymen and tank commanders on the Eastern front to civilians on the home front—to vivid life. While most historians identify the German defeat at Stalingrad as the moment when the average German citizen turned against the war effort, Stargardt demonstrates that the Wehrmacht in fact retained the staunch support of the patriotic German populace until the bitter end.
Astonishing in its breadth and humanity, The German War is a groundbreaking new interpretation of what drove the Germans to fight—and keep fighting—for a lost cause.


















[book] Carry Me
A Novel
by Peter Behrens
Pantheon
February 2016
The award-winning author of The O'Briens and The Law of Dreams now gives us a devastating novel of love and family set in the violent years between 1914 and 1938 as Europe staggers between two world wars.

Our narrator is Billy: born to a German father and Irish mother on the Isle of Wight summer estate of the German-Jewish Baron von Weinbrenner. This is the story of Billy and the baron's entrancing daughter, Karin, and the dangerous paths they travel as their childhood attachment deepens to a complex love overshadowed by the rise of the Nazis. Their story takes us from a golden Edwardian summer on the Isle of Wight to London under Zeppelin attack to Ireland on the brink of its War of Independence and at last to Germany in the darkening Weimar period, where Billy and Karin come of age in a country wounded by war and seething with hatreds. On Baron von Weinbrenner's stud farm outside Frankfurt, they share a passion for racehorses and for the Wild West novels of Karl May, whose dream of escape to El Llano Estacado, a richly imagined New Mexico landscape, becomes a powerful beacon of freedom as Germany marches toward Hitler, war, and the Holocaust. Richly imagined, deeply researched, and profoundly moving, Carry Me is a love story, a historical epic, and a powerful meditation on the violence of Europe's 20th century.




















[book] PUTTING GOD SECOND
HOW TO SAVE RELIGION FROM ITSELF
By RABBI DONNIEL HARTMAN
(Shalom Hartman Institute, president)
Beacon
February 2016
Why have the monotheistic religions failed to produce societies that live up to their ethical ideals? A prominent rabbi answers this question by looking at his own faith and offering a way for religion to heal itself. In Putting God Second, Rabbi Donniel Hartman tackles one of modern life’s most urgent and vexing questions: Why are the great monotheistic faiths—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—chronically unable to fulfill their own self-professed goal of creating individuals infused with moral sensitivity and societies governed by the highest ethical standards?
To answer this question, Hartman takes a sober look at the moral peaks and valleys of his own tradition, Judaism, and diagnoses it with clarity, creativity, and erudition. He rejects both the sweeping denouncements of those who view religion as an inherent impediment to moral progress and the apologetics of fundamentalists who proclaim religion’s moral perfection against all evidence to the contrary.
Hartman identifies the primary source of religion’s moral failure in what he terms its “autoimmune disease,” or the way religions so often undermine their own deepest values. While God obligates the good and calls us into its service, Hartman argues, God simultaneously and inadvertently makes us morally blind. The nature of this self-defeating condition is that the human religious desire to live in relationship with God often distracts religious believers from their traditions’ core moral truths.
The answer Hartman offers is this: put God second. In order to fulfill religion’s true vision for humanity—an uncompromising focus on the ethical treatment of others—religious believers must hold their traditions accountable to the highest independent moral standards. Decency toward one’s neighbor must always take precedence over acts of religious devotion, and ethical piety must trump ritual piety. For as long as devotion to God comes first, responsibility to other people will trail far, far behind.
In this book, Judaism serves as a template for how the challenge might be addressed by those of other faiths, whose sacred scriptures similarly evoke both the sublime heights of human aspiration and the depths of narcissistic moral blindness. In Putting God Second, Rabbi Hartman offers a lucid analysis of religion’s flaws, as well as a compelling resource, and vision, for its repair.




















[book] Small Data:
The Tiny Clues That
Uncover Huge Trends
by Martin Lindstrom
February 23, 2016
St. Martin's Press
Martin Lindstrom, a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, harnesses the power of “small data” in his quest to discover the next big thing
Hired by the world's leading brands to find out what makes their customers tick, Martin Lindstrom spends 300 nights a year in strangers’ homes, carefully observing every detail in order to uncover their hidden desires, and, ultimately, the clues to a multi-million dollar product.
Lindstrom connects the dots in this globetrotting narrative that will enthrall enterprising marketers, as well as anyone with a curiosity about the endless variations of human behavior. You’ll learn…

• How a noise reduction headset at 35,000 feet led to the creation of Pepsi’s new trademarked signature sound.
• How a worn down sneaker discovered in the home of an 11-year-old German boy led to LEGO’s incredible turnaround.
• How a magnet found on a fridge in Siberia resulted in a U.S. supermarket revolution.
• How a toy stuffed bear in a girl’s bedroom helped revolutionize a fashion retailer’s 1,000 stores in 20 different countries.
• How an ordinary bracelet helped Jenny Craig increase customer loyalty by 159% in less than a year.
• How the ergonomic layout of a car dashboard led to the redesign of the Roomba vacuum.
















[book] In the Land of Armadillos
Stories
by Helen Maryles Shankman
February 2016
Scribner
A radiant debut collection of linked stories from a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, set in a German-occupied town in Poland, where mythic tales of Jewish folklore meet the real-life monsters of the Nazi invasion.
Titles include The Partizans; The Messiah; They Were Life Family To Me; The Jew Hater; The Golem of Zukow; A Decent Man; and New York City 1989.
The stories oipen with a love letter written by a man to his wife and child. Quickly you figure out … moving past the romance and lovely words… the he is a Nazi commander in charge of Jewish work details…

1942. With the Nazi Party at the height of its power, the occupying army empties Poland’s towns and cities of their Jewish populations. As neighbor turns on neighbor and survival often demands unthinkable choices, Poland has become a moral quagmire—a place of shifting truths and blinding ambiguities.
Blending folklore and fact, Helen Maryles Shankman shows us the people of Wlodawa, a remote Polish town: we meet a cold-blooded SS officer dedicated to rescuing the Jewish creator of his son’s favorite picture book, even as he helps exterminate the artist’s friends and family; a Messiah who appears in a little boy’s bedroom to announce that he is quitting; a young Jewish girl who is hidden by the town’s most outspoken anti-Semite—and his talking dog. And walking among these tales are two unforgettable figures: the enigmatic and silver-tongued Willy Reinhart, Commandant of the forced labor camp who has grand schemes to protect “his” Jews, and Soroka, the Jewish saddlemaker and his family, struggling to survive.
Channeling the mythic magic of classic storytellers like Sholem Aleichem and Isaac Bashevis Singer and the psychological acuity of modern-day masters like Nicole Krauss and Nathan Englander, In the Land of Armadillos is a testament to the persistence of humanity in the most inhuman conditions.















[book] Presence:
Bringing Your Boldest Self
to Your Biggest Challenges
by Amy Cuddy (Harvard Business School)
Little Brown
Have you ever left a nerve-racking challenge and immediately wished for a do over? Maybe after a job interview, a performance, or a difficult conversation? The very moments that require us to be genuine and commanding can instead cause us to feel phony and powerless. Too often we approach our lives' biggest hurdles with dread, execute them with anxiety, and leave them with regret.
By accessing our personal power, we can achieve "presence," the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we're making on others and instead adjust the impression we've been making on ourselves. As Harvard professor Amy Cuddy's revolutionary book reveals, we don't need to embark on a grand spiritual quest or complete an inner transformation to harness the power of presence. Instead, we need to nudge ourselves, moment by moment, by tweaking our body language, behavior, and mind-set in our day-to-day lives.
Amy Cuddy has galvanized tens of millions of viewers around the world with her TED talk about "power poses." Now she presents the enthralling science underlying these and many other fascinating body-mind effects, and teaches us how to use simple techniques to liberate ourselves from fear in high-pressure moments, perform at our best, and connect with and empower others to do the same.
Brilliantly researched, impassioned, and accessible, Presence is filled with stories of individuals who learned how to flourish during the stressful moments that once terrified them. Every reader will learn how to approach their biggest challenges with confidence instead of dread, and to leave them with satisfaction instead of regret.



















[book] The Battle for Room 314
My Year of Hope and Despair
in a New York City High School
by Ed Boland
Grand Central
February 2016
In a fit of idealism, Ed Boland left a twenty-year career as a non-profit executive, volleyball player, and Fordham/Yale recruiter, to teach in a tough New York City public high school. But his hopes quickly collided headlong with the appalling reality of his students' lives and a hobbled education system unable to help them: Freddy runs a drug ring for his incarcerated brother; Nee-cole is homeschooled on the subway by her brilliant homeless mother; and Byron's Ivy League dream is dashed because he is undocumented.
In the end, Boland isn't hoisted on his students' shoulders and no one passes Advanced Placement AP-anything.
This is no urban fairy tale of at-risk kids saved by a Hollywood hero, but a searing indictment of schools that claim to be progressive, but still fail their students. Told with compassion, humor, and a keen eye, Boland's story is sure to ignite debate about the future of American education and attempts to reform it.
Boland, an exec with Prep for Prep, resides in NYC and is married to filmmaker Samuel Zalutsky.























[book] INSIDE THE MIDDLE EAST
MAKING SENSE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS
AND COMPLICATED REGION ON EARTH
By Avi Melamed
Skyhorse Publishing
February 2016
Avi Melamed, an Israeli intelligence analyst, has spent more than thirty years interpreting Middle East affairs. As a former Senior Israeli Official on Arab Affairs, he spent most of his intelligence career in Arab speaking areas. He is a Eisenhower Institute Fellow and sought after speaker. He also gives intelligence related tours to tourists in Israel. During the first Intifada he was appointed the youngest-ever Deputy Advisor on Arab affairs to the Mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek, and later he served in the Ehud Olmert administration as Senior Advisor. He was instrumental in developing Israeli policy in and around Jerusalem and represented the city in local and international forums.
His book challenges widely-accepted perceptions and provides a gripping and uniquely enlightening guide to make sense of the events unfolding in the region—to answer how the Arab world got to this point, what is currently happening, what the ramifications will be, how they will affect Israel, and what actions must immediately be undertaken, including how Western leaders need to respond.
Melamed considers all the major power players in the Middle East, explains the underlying issues, and creates a three-dimensional picture, an illustration that connects the dots and provides a fascinating roadmap. He elucidates developments such as the Arab Spring, the downfall of the Muslim Brotherhood, the rise of ISIS, the epic Sunni-Shiite animosity, the essence of the war in Syria, the role of the Caliphate and Jihad, and the looming nuclear arms race. He also provides a rare opportunity to journey into the psyche of Arab society. Look through the lens of its leaders and its most ruthless terrorists. See what makes them tick and what they want. Discover how they can be overtaken.
This unparalleled volume is a milestone in our understanding of the Middle East. It is the untold story of the struggles that will shape the region, and the world, for decades to come, and a groundbreaking guide that will shake you to the core, force you to reevalute your outlook, and give you tips to navigate the future.














[book] A ROOM
BY YOUVAL SIMONI
Translated from the hebew by Michael Sharp
Dalkey Archive/Columbia
February 2016
596 PAGES!
First published in Israel in 1999
A bedraggled detective is dispatched to an IDF base where a man was burned alive while soldiers were making a training / recruitment film. This is the first 400 pages of the novel
In the second part, told in second person, an art student in Paris breaks into a morgue to recreate Mantegna's Lamentation of Christ. In part three, the shortest and best section, a scripture (with commentary!) tells of a mythical nation uniting to construct a monument to their deity, HUAN, then falling into chaos when no one can agree on its precise form or dimensions.
Hailed from publication as one of the finest novels ever written in Hebrew, A Room is in the league of Gravity's Rainbow or The Recognitions: a monumental, subversive classic of twentieth-century literature.

























[book] LEONARD
MY Fifty-Year Friendship
with a Remarkable Man
by William Shatner
Thomas Dunne
February 2016
Who knew?
According to William Shatner, the late Leonard Nimoy and he first crossed paths as actors on the set of The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Little did they know that their next roles, in a new science fiction television series, would shape their lives in ways no one could have anticipated. In seventy-nine television episodes and six feature films, they grew to know each other more than most friends could ever imagine.
Over the course of half a century, Shatner and Nimoy saw each other through personal and professional highs and lows.
In this powerfully emotional book, Shatner tells the story of a man who was his friend for five decades, recounting anecdotes and untold stories of their lives on and off set, as well as gathering stories from others who knew Nimoy well, to present a full picture of a rich life. Includes issues over acting as a craft, Shatner's wife's death, addictyion, alchoholism, the deaths of parents.

As much a biography of Nimoy as a story of their friendship, Leonard is a uniquely heartfelt book written by one legendary actor in celebration of another.


























[book] United States of Jihad
Investigating America's
Homegrown Terrorists
by Peter Bergen
Thomas Dunne
February 2, 2016
A riveting, panoramic look at “homegrown” Islamist terrorism from 9/11 to the present
Since 9/11, more than three hundred Americans—born and raised in Minnesota, Alabama, New Jersey, and elsewhere—have been indicted or convicted of terrorism charges. Some have taken the fight abroad: an American was among those who planned the attacks in Mumbai, and more than eighty U.S. citizens have been charged with ISIS-related crimes. Others have acted on American soil, as with the attacks at Fort Hood, the Boston Marathon, and in San Bernardino. What motivates them, how are they trained, and what do we sacrifice in our efforts to track them?
Paced like a detective story, United States of Jihad tells the entwined stories of the key actors on the American front. Among the perpetrators are Anwar al-Awlaki, the New Mexico-born radical cleric who became the first American citizen killed by a CIA drone and who mentored the Charlie Hebdo shooters; Samir Khan, whose Inspire webzine has rallied terrorists around the world, including the Tsarnaev brothers; and Omar Hammami, an Alabama native and hip hop fan who became a fixture in al Shabaab’s propaganda videos until fatally displeasing his superiors.
Drawing on his extensive network of intelligence contacts, from the National Counterterrorism Center and the FBI to the NYPD, Peter Bergen also offers an inside look at the controversial tactics of the agencies tracking potential terrorists—from infiltrating mosques to massive surveillance; at the bias experienced by innocent observant Muslims at the hands of law enforcement; at the critics and defenders of U.S. policies on terrorism; and at how social media has revolutionized terrorism.
Lucid and rigorously researched, United States of Jihad is an essential new analysis of the Americans who have embraced militant Islam both here and abroad.























[book] Strange Gods:
A Secular History of Conversion
by Susan Jacoby
Pantheon
February 2016
In a groundbreaking historical work that addresses religious conversion in the West from an uncompromisingly secular perspective, Susan Jacoby challenges the conventional narrative of conversion as a purely spiritual journey. From the transformation on the road to Damascus of the Jew Saul into the Christian evangelist Paul to a twenty-first-century “religious marketplace” in which half of Americans have changed faiths at least once, nothing has been more important in the struggle for reason than the right to believe in the God of one’s choice or to reject belief in God altogether.
Focusing on the long, tense convergence of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—each claiming possession of absolute truth—Jacoby examines conversions within a social and economic framework that includes theocratic coercion (unto torture and death) and the more friendly persuasion of political advantage, economic opportunism, and interreligious marriage. Moving through time, continents, and cultures—the triumph of Christianity over paganism in late antiquity, the Spanish Inquisition, John Calvin’s dour theocracy, Southern plantations where African slaves had to accept their masters’ religion—the narrative is punctuated by portraits of individual converts embodying the sacred and profane. The cast includes Augustine of Hippo; John Donne; the German Jew Edith Stein, whose conversion to Catholicism did not save her from Auschwitz; boxing champion Muhammad Ali; and former President George W. Bush. The story also encompasses conversions to rigid secular ideologies, notably Stalinist Communism, with their own truth claims.
Finally, Jacoby offers a powerful case for religious choice as a product of the secular Enlightenment. In a forthright and unsettling conclusion linking the present with the most violent parts of the West’s religious past, she reminds us that in the absence of Enlightenment values, radical Islamists are persecuting Christians, many other Muslims, and atheists in ways that recall the worst of the Middle Ages.

























[book] Biblical Literalism:
A Gentile Heresy:
A Journey into a New Christianity
Through the Doorway of Matthew's Gospel
by John Shelby Spong, Bishop (retired)
HarperONE
February 2016
A global and pioneering leader of progressive Christianity and the bestselling author of Why Christianity Must Change or Die and Eternal Life explains why a literal reading of the Gospels is actually heretical, and how this mistaken notion only entered the church once Gentiles had pushed out all the early Jewish followers of Jesus.
A man who has consciously and deliberately walked the path of Christ, John Shelby Spong has lived his entire life inside the Christian Church. In this profound and considered work, he offers a radical new way to look at the gospels today as he shows just how deeply Jewish the Christian Gospels are and how much they reflect the Jewish scriptures, history, and patterns of worship. Pulling back the layers of a long-standing Gentile ignorance, he reveals how the church’s literal reading of the Bible is so far removed from these original Jewish authors’ intent that it is an act of heresy.
Using the Gospel of Matthew as a guide, Spong explores the Bible’s literary and liturgical roots—its grounding in Jewish culture, symbols, icons, and storytelling tradition—to explain how the events of Jesus’ life, including the virgin birth, the miracles, the details of the passion story, and the resurrection and ascension, would have been understood by both the Jewish authors of the various gospels and by the Jewish audiences for which they were originally written. Spong makes clear that it was only after the church became fully Gentile that readers of the Gospels took these stories to be factual, distorting their original meaning.
In Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy, Spong illuminates the gospels as never before and provides a better blueprint for the future than where the church’s leaden and heretical reading of the story of Jesus has led us—one that allows the faithful to live inside the Christian story in the modern world.

























[book] UNITED
Thoughts on Finding Common Ground
and Advancing the Common Good
Memoir
By U.S. Senator Cory Booker
Former Mayor of Newark NJ
Ballantine
February 2016
United States Senator Cory Booker makes the case that the virtues of empathy, responsibility, and action must guide our nation toward a brighter future. Raised in northern New Jersey, Cory Booker went to Stanford University on a football scholarship, accepted a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, then studied at Yale Law School. Graduating from Yale, his options were limitless. He chose public service. Isn’t he great?
He chose to move to a rough neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey, where he worked as a tenants’ rights lawyer before winning a seat on the City Council. In 2006, he was elected mayor, and for more than seven years he was the public face of an American city that had gone decades with too little positive national attention and investment. In 2013, Booker became the first perceived African American elected to represent New Jersey in the U.S. Senate. In United, Cory Booker draws on personal experience to issue a stirring call to reorient our nation and our politics around the principles of compassion and solidarity. He speaks of rising above despair to engage with hope, pursuing our shared mission, and embracing our common destiny.
Here is his account of his own political education, the moments—some entertaining, some heartbreaking, all of them enlightening—that have shaped his civic vision. Here are the lessons Booker learned from the remarkable people who inspired him to serve, men and women whose example fueled his desire to create opportunities for others. Here also are his observations on the issues he cares about most deeply, from race and crime and the crisis of mass incarceration to economic and environmental justice.
“Hope is the active conviction that despair will never have the last word,” Booker writes in this galvanizing book. In a world where we too easily lose touch with our neighbors, he argues, we must remember that we all rise or fall together—and that we must move beyond mere tolerance for one another toward a deeper connection: love.

























[book] Private Citizens
A Novel
by Tony Tulathimutte
William Morrow
February 2016
An Amazon Best Book of the Month
A Buzzfeed “Most Exciting” Book of 2016
From a brilliant new literary talent comes a sweeping comic portrait of privilege, ambition, and friendship in millennial San Francisco. With the social acuity of Adelle Waldman and the murderous wit of Martin Amis, Tony Tulathimutte’s Private Citizens is a brainy, irreverent debut—This Side of Paradise for a new era.
Capturing the anxious, self-aware mood of young college grads in the aughts, Private Citizens embraces the contradictions of our new century: call it a loving satire. A gleefully rude comedy of manners. Middlemarch for Millennials. The novel's four whip-smart narrators—idealistic Cory, Internet-lurking Will, awkward Henrik, and vicious Linda—are torn between fixing the world and cannibalizing it. In boisterous prose that ricochets between humor and pain, the four estranged friends stagger through the Bay Area’s maze of tech startups, protestors, gentrifiers, karaoke bars, house parties, and cultish self-help seminars, washing up in each other’s lives once again.
A wise and searching depiction of a generation grappling with privilege and finding grace in failure, Private Citizens is as expansively intelligent as it is full of heart.

The quartet of protagonists in Tony Tulathimutte’s first novel, Private Citizens, are a set that could only have been brought together by the diabolical forces that conjure undergraduate dormitory assignments. The college in question is Stanford, class of 2005, and the core ensemble is ripe for a type-by-type satire of down-at-the-heel elite 20-somethings in the last days of the Bush administration. There are Linda, a tattoo-sleeved hedonist in flight from writer’s block who weaves a semi-professional path through parties and sex dungeons, fueled and numbed by alcohol and various powders; Henrik, a burnt-out, laboratory-bound grad student with a secret history of manic-depressive breakdown; Will, an Asian-American freelance coder with a porn addiction almost as debilitating as his identity-based inferiority complex; and Cory, a dreadlocked, Jewish, queer-curious, and lonely liberal activist with an eating disorder and a habit of checking her privilege to the point of personal stasis. Tulathimutte is a slapstick curmudgeon who goes hard on his characters, setting in store for them sufferings that run to extremes of physical disfigurement. The novel is as funny as it is dark, and things get very dark, indeed. Eyeballs are amputated — the technical term is enucleation — and the hyperbolic elements occasionally make the reader’s eyes roll, but who ever said realism was worth it for the laughs? On a deeper level, it’s about four people passing through the jungle of what they can’t help but think of as “piddling” 20-something dramas on the way to figuring out who the people are beneath their personal brands.























[book] Kosher By Design
Brings It Home:
picture-perfect food inspired
by my travels
by Susie Fishbein
Me So Rah
February 29, 2016
Chicken Adobo a la Manila anyone?
In this LATEST (or final) installment in her bestselling Kosher by Design cookbook series, Susie Fishbein presents fresh new recipes culled from her 15-year culinary journey.
Along with many poignant stories gleaned from her cooking demos, Susie also shares tantalizingly delicious recipes learned from the great chefs she encountered in Italy, France, Mexico, Israel, and across North America.
This stunning cookbook offers a magnificent full-color photo to accompany each of the 113 cross-cultural recipes. It is seasoned with entertaining anecdotes and finely spiced recipes such as: Coconut Lime Pargiyot Skewers, Tuna Ceviche Tostados, Moroccan Harira Soup, Herbed Halibut & White Beans, Mujadara, Korean Short Ribs, and Tuscan Square Roast.
Kosher by Design Brings It Home is Susie's superlative conclusion to the cookbooks that elevated kosher cooking to world-class taste and presentation. You will find appealing options for everyday as well as special occasion cooking, including a cornucopia of delicious desserts, such as the updated classic, New Fishbein Brownies, and the tantalizing new combination, Halvah Baklava.













See also:











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[book] The Holocaust Averted
An Alternate History of
American Jewry, 1938-1967
by Jeffrey S. Gurock
(Yeshiva University)
Rutgers University Press
The increasingly popular genre of “alternative histories” has captivated audiences by asking questions like “what if the South had won the Civil War?” Such speculation can be instructive, heighten our interest in a topic, and shed light on accepted history. In The Holocaust Averted, Jeffrey Gurock imagines what might have happened to the Jewish community in the United States if the Holocaust had never occurred and forces readers to contemplate how the road to acceptance and empowerment for today’s American Jews could have been harder than it actually was.

Based on reasonable alternatives grounded in what is known of the time, places, and participants, Professor Gurock presents a concise narrative of his imagined war-time saga and the events that followed Hitler’s military failures. While German Jews did suffer under Nazism, the millions of Jews in Eastern Europe survived and were able to maintain their communities.
Since few people were concerned with the safety of European Jews, Zionism never became popular in the United States and social antisemitism kept Jews on the margins of society. By the late 1960s, American Jewish communities were far from vibrant.
This alternate history — where, among many scenarios, Hitler is assassinated, Japan does not bomb Pearl Harbor, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt is succeeded after two terms by Robert A. Taft — causes the reader to review and better appreciate history.
As Gurock tells his tale, he concludes every chapter with a short section that describes what actually happened and, thus, further educates the reader.























[book] Practicing Piety
in Medieval Ashkenaz:
Men, Women, and Everyday
Religious Observance
by Elisheva Baumgarten
University of Pennsylvania Press
In the urban communities of medieval Germany and northern France, the beliefs, observances, and practices of Jews allowed them to create and define their communities on their own terms as well as in relation to the surrounding Christian society. Although medieval Jewish texts were written by a learned elite, the laity also observed many religious rituals as part of their everyday life. In Practicing Piety in Medieval Ashkenaz, Elisheva Baumgarten asks how Jews, especially those who were not learned, expressed their belonging to a minority community and how their convictions and deeds were made apparent to both their Jewish peers and the Christian majority.
Practicing Piety in Medieval Ashkenaz provides a social history of religious practice in context, particularly with regard to the ways Jews and Christians, separately and jointly, treated their male and female members. Medieval Jews often shared practices and beliefs with their Christian neighbors, and numerous notions and norms were appropriated by one community from the other. By depicting a dynamic interfaith landscape and a diverse representation of believers, Baumgarten offers a fresh assessment of Jewish practice and the shared elements that composed the piety of Jews in relation to their Christian neighbors.























[book] On the Margins of a Minority:
Leprosy, Madness, and Disability
Among the Jews of Medieval Europe
by Ephraim Shoham-Steiner
Translated by Haim Watzman
Wayne State University Press
In medieval Europe, the much larger Christian population regarded Jews as their inferiors, but how did both Christians and Jews feel about those who were marginalized within the Ashkenazi Jewish community? In On the Margins of a Minority: Leprosy, Madness, and Disability among the Jews of Medieval Europe, author Ephraim Shoham-Steiner explores the life and plight of three of these groups. Shoham-Steiner draws on a wide variety of late-tenth- to fifteenth-century material from both internal (Jewish) as well as external (non-Jewish) sources to reconstruct social attitudes toward these "others," including lepers, madmen, and the physically impaired. Shoham-Steiner considers how the outsiders were treated by their respective communities, while also maintaining a delicate balance with the surrounding non-Jewish community.
On the Margins of a Minority is structured in three pairs of chapters addressing each of these three marginal groups. The first pair deals with the moral attitude toward leprosy and its sufferers; the second with the manifestations of madness and its causes as seen by medieval men and women, and the effect these signs had on the treatment of the insane; the third with impaired and disabled individuals, including those with limited mobility, manual dysfunction, deafness, and blindness. Shoham-Steiner also addresses questions of the religious meaning of impairment in light of religious conceptions of the ideal body. He concludes with a bibliography of sources and studies that informed the research, including useful midrashic, exegetical, homiletic, ethical, and guidance literature, and texts from responsa and halakhic rulings.
Understanding and exploring attitudes toward groups and individuals considered "other" by mainstream society provides us with information about marginalized groups, as well as the inner social mechanisms at work in a larger society. On the Margins of a Minority will appeal to scholars of Jewish medieval history as well as readers interested in the growing field of disability studies.























[book] The Shtiebelization of Modern Jewry:
Studies in Custom and Ritual in
the Judaic Tradition:
Social-Anthropological Perspectives
(Judaism and Jewish Life)
by Simcha Fishbane
Academic Press
Jewish custom and ritual, or their Hebrew equivalent, minhag, has intrigued rabbis and scholars for generations. The majority of the rabbinical works devoted to minhag primarily encompass lists of sources and reporting of old and new customs. Some have explored the historical development of the minhag. Here, Simcha Fishbane treats minhag from a socio-anthropological perspective.
The Shtiebelization of Modern Jewry discusses the theory and model of minhagim using the Mishnah Berurah and the Arukh Hashulkhan, analyzes rabbinic texts concerned with custom, and describes current rituals from a socio-anthropological viewpoint, enabling both scholars and general readers to come to a better understanding of minhagim in Jewish culture.























[book] Masking and Unmasking Ourselves:
Interpreting Biblical Texts
on Clothing & Identity
by Dr. Norman J. Cohen
Jewish Lights
Our clothes conceal our naked bodies but what do they reveal about our souls?
"Clothes assume a primary importance as a vehicle that suggests character, provides insights into a person's identity and even governs it…. But the problem is that if Oscar Wilde is correct that 'if you give a man a mask, he will tell you the truth,' then what exactly conveys the truth? Is it the person him or herself or is it the mask, the clothing that he or she wears, that reveals deeper images of self?" -from the Introduction
In this highly engaging look at clothing and identity in the Bible, renowned teacher and scholar Norman Cohen presents ten Bible stories that involve clothing in an essential way, as a means of learning about the text, its characters and their interactions. But he also shows us how these stories help us confront our own life dramas, our own stories, ourselves. In doing so, he once again presents the Bible as a mirror, reflecting back to us our own personalities, ambivalences, struggles and potential for growth. By helping us uncover the garments of the Bible, Cohen shows us how to shed our own layers of insulation to reveal our authentic selves.























[book] The House at the Center of the World
Poetic Midrash on Sacred Space
by Abe Mezrich
Ben Yehuda Press
February 2016

"According to the mystics, the Torah was engraved with black fire on white fire. These poetic midrash too." - Jay Michaelson, author of The Gate of Tears: Sadness and the Spiritual Path

In his piercing debut collection, The House at the Center of the World, poet and scholar Abe Mezrich offers a series of beautifully composed short insights on some of the most elusive passages of the Torah: the second half of Exodus, the entirety of Leviticus, and the beginning of Numbers. At once powerful close readings of the text and deeply spiritual literature, these roughly seventy short pieces "carry ethical implications all the way from the ancient era right to the present day" (Dan Friedman, Managing Editor of The Forward). "Direct and accessible," these poems "remind us that our Creator is forgiving, that the spiritual and physical can inform one another, and that the supernatural can be carried into the everyday." (Yehoshua November, author of God's Optimism)



















MARCH 2016 BOOKS




[book] WHY BE JEWISH
A TESTAMENT
BY EDGAR M. BRONFMAN
Hachette / Twelve
March 2016
Edgar Bronfman's clarion call to a generation of secular, disaffected and unaffiliated Jews, WHY BE JEWISH? addresses the most critical question confronting Judaism worldwide. Completed in December 2013, just weeks before he passed away, WHY BE JEWISH? expresses Edgar Bronfman's awe, respect, and deep love for his faith and heritage. Bronfman walks readers through the major tenets and ideas in Jewish life, fleshing out their meaning and offering proof texts from the Jewish tradition gleaned over his many years of study with some of the greatest teachers in the Jewish world. In WHY BE JEWISH?, with honesty, poignancy, and passion, Bronfman shares insights gleaned from his own personal journey and makes a compelling case for the meaning and transcendence of a secular Judaism that is still steeped in deep moral values, authentic Jewish texts, and a focus on deed over creed or dogma.























[book] The New Mediterranean Jewish Table:
Old World Recipes for the Modern Home
by Joyce Goldstein
March 2016
University of California Press
For thousands of years, the people of the Jewish Diaspora have carried their culinary traditions and kosher laws throughout the world. In the United States, this has resulted primarily in an Ashkenazi table of matzo ball soup and knishes, brisket and gefilte fish. But Joyce Goldstein is now expanding that menu with this comprehensive collection of over four hundred recipes from the kitchens of three Mediterranean Jewish cultures: the Sephardic, the Maghrebi, and the Mizrahi.
The New Mediterranean Jewish Table is an authoritative guide to Jewish home cooking from North Africa, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, and the Middle East. It is a treasury filled with vibrant, seasonal recipes—both classic and updated—that embrace fresh fruits and vegetables; grains and legumes; small portions of meat, poultry, and fish; and a healthy mix of herbs and spices. It is also the story of how Jewish cooks successfully brought the local ingredients, techniques, and traditions of their new homelands into their kitchens. With this varied and appealing selection of Mediterranean Jewish recipes, Joyce Goldstein promises to inspire new generations of Jewish and non-Jewish home cooks alike with dishes for everyday meals and holiday celebrations.























[book] SCARY OLD SEX
BY ARLENE HEYMAN
March 2016
BLOOMSBURY
For fans of Alice Munro and Edith Pearlman, a stunning debut collection of short stories about aging, relationships, and intimacy.

SCARY OLD SEX was written and rewritten over a period of thirty years. In her youth, Arlene Heyman had been a promising writer, studying with Bernard Malamud at Bennington College, earning an M.A. from the Syracuse University writing program, teaching literature, publishing stories. But her life changed course once she entered medical school; although she always wrote in quiet moments, she went on to work as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst while raising her sons. Now Bloomsbury is bringing to light these mature and accomplished stories, the fruit of a lifetime.

In this taboo-breaking debut, Heyman gives us what really goes on in some people's minds and relationships--those things left unspoken in much of society, about sex between older people, or about sex and love when one person is very ill, or when the age difference makes the relationship practically illegal. Love and sex in these stories are sometimes seen through the wide-open eyes of women, with women often in dominant roles in relationships. Looking behind the curtain at the intimacies we usually keep to ourselves, a few of the stories are raw, many are unsettling, but all are insightful and at times comical.

Not intended to be titillating, Heyman's stories give us the lives we all live: shocking, sloppy, human.














[book] CASTING LOTS
Creating a Family in a
Beautiful Broken World
by Rabbi Susan Silverman
March 2016
Da Capo Press
On Purim, we recall the casting of lots to determine the date of destruction…
As a child, Susan Silverman was surrounded by a loving family in New Hampshire; although her parents weren't happily married, they were devoted to their kids. In a vibrant, funny, voice (think Anne Lamott meets Katrina Kenison), Rabbi Silverman tells of a family's evolution — from her parents' devastating loss of their infant son to raising bright and wildly unique daughters.
It's also the creation story of her own family — raising her own bright and wildly unique daughters and taking a journey to adopt two boys from Ethiopia.
It is a story of her road to the rabbinate (I mean how do you go to HUC in Jerusalem and not know Hebrew ?? hehe). It is meditation on identity, faith, and belonging, peppered with laugh-out-loud moments. It will make you laugh. It will make you mad at the Bet Din in DC. It will make you wonder about omens and plans (Was a child found in Adar on Purim?)
Casting Lots will resonate with anyone who has struggled to find their place in the world, to understand the significance of that place, and to sustain a family amid the world's chaos.
Note: You can see why her younger sister, Sarah Silverman, became a cutting edge comedian





















I’m Only Here For The Violence
[book] BULLIES
A Friendship
by Alex Abramovich
March 2016
The powerful account of one writer's unlikely friendship with his childhood bully, now the president of a motorcycle club in one of America's most dangerous cities.
Once upon a time, Alex Abramovich and Trevor Latham were mortal enemies: miniature outlaws in a Long Island elementary school, perpetually at each other's throats. Then they lost track of each other. Decades later, when they met again, Abramovich was a writer and Latham had become President of the East Bay Rats, a motorcycle club in Oakland.
In 2010, Abramovich moved to California to immerse himself in Latham's world - one of fight clubs, booze-filled nights, and beat-downs on the city's streets. But dangerous, dysfunctional Oakland was also becoming one of America's most rapidly gentrifying cities, and the questions Abramovich had arrived with were thrown into brutal relief: How do we live with the burden of violence? How do we overcome it? Do we overcome it?
As Trevor, the Rats, and the city they live in careen between crises and moments of renaissance, Abramovich explores issues of friendship, family, history, and destiny - and looks at what happens when those things fail. Bullies is at once a vivid, visceral narrative of an unusual friendship and an incisive portrait of a beautiful, terrible city.





















[book] Hell's Angels:
The True Story of the
303rd Bomb Group in World War II
by Jay A. Stout (Lt. Colonel (Ret))
2016
Berkley Publishing Group

The true story of the 8th Air Force’s legendary 303rd bomb group. Let us remember all the brave soliders and pilots, including Mel Alderman, who was killed on his final mission; Howard George Weinberg, who was KIA; Major Schulstad; and so many many more

Although the United States declared war against Germany in December 1941, a successful assault on Nazi-occupied Europe could not happen until Germany’s industrial and military might were crippled. The first target was the Luftwaffe—the most powerful and battle-hardened air force in the world. The United States Army Air Forces joined with Great Britain’s already-engaged Royal Air Force to launch a strategic air campaign that ultimately brought the Luftwaffe to its knees. One of the standout units of this campaign was the legendary 303rd Bomb Group—Hell’s Angels.
This is the 303rd’s story, as told by the men who made it what it was. Taking their name from their B-17 of the same name, they became one of the most distinguished and important air combat units in history. The dramatic and terrible air battles they fought against Germany ultimately changed the course of the war.













[book] Shabbat Hiccups
by Tracy Newman
Illustrated by Ilana Exelby
2016
Albert Whitman

Ages Preschool to 8.
Jonah loves Shabbat. But this week, as he helps his family set the table for dinner, something unexpected happens: he gets the hiccups! His sister, grandma, mom, cousin, and dad all suggest remedies, but no matter what Jonah does--eat sugar, hold his breath, have someone shout, "Boo!"--those hiccups simply won't go away. Will his uncontrollable hiccups disrupt the festivities?

























The Language of the Enemy
By Stuart Friebert
Black Mountain Press
Semi-autobiographical stories, half based on exchange-student days in Germany (1949-50), as one of the 1st US students to study there post WW II. Stories center on an interwoven group of German-Jewish characters from the 1st world war through the second.





[book] THE NEW YIDDISH KITCHEN:
Gluten-Free and Paleo KOSHER
Recipes for the Holidays and Everyday
by Jennifer Robins and Simone Miller
March 2016
Page Street Publishing
Co-author Jennifer Robins knows a thing or two about the health benefits of eating Paleo. Robins’ passion for healthy eating began in 2008 when she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, a condition that results in inflammation. She told the Jewish Food Experience that she saw a cardiologist, nephrologist, general practitioners, neurologist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, herbalist and more. Robins said, “For my immune system to function right, I needed the right building-block nutrients. I needed to avoid foods that were inflammatory and tipping the scales too far one way or the other.” So in 2013, she started a “paleo” diet, and experienced positive results. “The biggest reason I wanted to write a blog (and this book) is that we see these food intolerances growing in the general population and especially so in the Jewish population,” Robins said. Her dedication reads: “To bubbes everywhere, past, present and future. May your traditions continue to be passed down for generations to come.” Each recipe will have a photo of the authors’ grandmothers, and a great-grandmother as well.

The New Yiddish Kitchen is a modern take on the great Jewish cooking tradition. It's a lifesaver for Jewish home cooks around the world who have cut processed grains and/or dairy from their diets. With 100 traditional Jewish foods adapted for the Paleo diet, photos to go with each and bonus practical guides, readers will enjoy the holidays and everyday meals stress-free.

Some example recipes in the book are grain-free Challah, Matzo Balls, Sweet Potato Latkes, Smoked Squash Hummus, Everything Bagels with Cashew Cream Cheese and Blintzes with Blueberry Topping. Of course, you don't have to be Jewish to love homemade bagels or matzo ball soup, so even non-Jewish readers will enjoy the variety of Paleo and gluten-free dishes. No Jewish grandmother or mother will want to miss out on this essential, fun cookbook.





















[book] Bubbe and Me in the Kitchen:
A Kosher Cookbook of Beloved
Recipes and Modern Twists
A Kosher Cookbook
by Sonoma Press
March 2016
Sonoma Press
Jerry Seinfeld’s fictional dentist Tim Whatley famously converted to Judaism “for the jokes,” but if there’s one thing that defines Jewish culture as much as humor it’s food. This touching, hilarious, and versatile cookbook celebrates the storied and flavorful kosher recipes that characterize and continue to reinvent Jewish food culture from the perspective of a bubbe (grandmother) and her granddaughter.
It includes:
• Generational perspectives on keeping kosher and how observance and the foods we eat have changed through the years
• Two versions of every recipe—one traditional and one modern—for a total of 150 recipes
• Recipes written with common dietary restrictions and adaptations in mind, including vegetarian/vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free
• Sample holiday menus that offer recipe suggestions for a traditional meal, a modern meal, and a meal that offers a mix of both

Whether you like it bubbe’s way or prefer fresh and healthy takes on keeping kosher, you’ll find both here in this very special cookbook written by and for the family.














IF YOU HAVE TO ASK... IT'S TREYF
CHOLENT AND ITS CHILDREN
Rokeach or Ro-kay-ach
AS THE CHOLENT COOKS (the name of a new tv show?)
[book] Rhapsody in Schmaltz
Yiddish Food and Why We
Can't Stop Eating It
by Michael Wex
April 12, 2016
St. Martin’s Press
Bagels, deli sandwiches and gefilte fish are only a few of the Jewish foods to have crossed into American culture and onto American plates. Rhapsody in Schmaltz traces the history and social impact of the cuisine that Yiddish-speaking Jews from Central and Eastern Europe brought to the U.S. and that their American descendants developed and refined. The book looks at how and where these dishes came to be, how they varied from region to region, the role they played in Jewish culture in Europe, and the role that they play in Jewish and more general American culture and foodways today.
Rhapsody in Schmaltz traces the pathways of Jewish food from the Bible and Talmud, to Eastern Europe, to its popular landing pads in North America today. With an eye for detail and a healthy dose of humor, Michael Wex also examines how these impact modern culture, from temple to television. He looks at Diane Keaton's pastrami sandwich in Annie Hall, Andy Kaufman's stint as Latke on Taxi and Larry David's Passover seder on Curb Your Enthusiasm, shedding light on how Jewish food permeates our modern imaginations.
Rhapsody in Schmaltz is a journey into the sociology, humor, history, and traditions of food and Judaism.




















[book] ALLIGATOR CANDY
A MEMOIR
BY DAVID KUSHNER
March 2016
Simon & Schuster
From journalist David Kushner, a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and other premiere outlets, Alligator Candy is a reported memoir in the vein of The Night of the Gun about how a family survives an unthinkable tragedy.
David sat in a synagogue, twirling his tallis strings. His father looked down. He tickled him with the tallis, then stood to say kaddish for a son. David didnt understand...

David Kushner grew up in the suburbs of Florida in the early 1970s, running wild with his friends, exploring, riding bikes, and disappearing into the nearby woods for hours at a time. One morning in 1973, however, everything changed. David’s older brother Jon, making a trip to the local convenience store, vanished. This is the story of Jon’s murder at the hands of two sadistic drifters…and everything that happened after.
Alligator Candy isn’t only the chronicle of Jon’s death, it is also the story of how parenting in America changed, casting light on the transition between two generations of children—one raised on freedom, the other on fear. Jon’s death was one of the first in what turned out to be a rash of child abductions and murders that dominated headlines for much of the 1970s and 80s. It was around this time that milk cartons began to feature the images of missing children, and newscasters began asking, “It’s 10:00, do you know where you children are?”
When one of Jon’s killers received a parole hearing, David revisited the case that had so haunted him. Marshalling his skills as a journalist, he compiled all the details that he was sheltered from as a child, interviewing neighbors, reporters, cops, and his own family, and combing through yellowed news clippings. Haunting and intimate, Alligator Candy is a moving, disturbing, insightful, and inspiring meditation on grief, growth, family, and survival.














[book] THE VIOLET HOUR
Great Writers at the End
BY KATIE ROIPHE
March 2016
Random House
From one of our most perceptive and provocative voices comes a deeply researched account of the last days of Susan Sontag, Sigmund Freud, John Updike, Dylan Thomas, and Maurice Sendak—an arresting and wholly original meditation on mortality.
In The Violet Hour, Katie Roiphe takes an unexpected and liberating approach to the most unavoidable of subjects. She investigates the last days of five great thinkers, writers, and artists as they come to terms with the reality of approaching death, or what T. S. Eliot called “the evening hour that strives Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea.”
Roiphe draws on her own extraordinary research and access to the family, friends, and caretakers of her subjects. Here is Susan Sontag, the consummate public intellectual, who finds her commitment to rational thinking tested during her third bout with cancer. Roiphe takes us to the hospital room where, after receiving the worst possible diagnosis, seventy-six-year-old John Updike begins writing a poem. She vividly re-creates the fortnight of almost suicidal excess that culminated in Dylan Thomas’s fatal collapse on the floor of a Greenwich Village tavern. She gives us a bracing portrait of Sigmund Freud fleeing Nazi-occupied Vienna only to continue in his London exile the compulsive cigar smoking that he knows will hasten his decline. And she shows us how Maurice Sendak’s beloved books for children are infused with his lifelong obsession with death, if you know where to look.
The Violet Hour is a book filled with intimate and surprising revelations. In the final acts of each of these creative geniuses are examples of courage, passion, self-delusion, pointless suffering, and superb devotion. There are also moments of sublime insight and understanding where the mind creates its own comfort. As the author writes, “If it’s nearly impossible to capture the approach of death in words, who would have the most hope of doing it?” By bringing these great writers’ final days to urgent, unsentimental life, Katie Roiphe helps us to look boldly in the face of death and be less afraid.














[book] Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo:
A Novel
by Boris Fishman
March 1, 2016
HarperCollins
The author of the critically admired, award-winning A Replacement Life turns to a different kind of story—an evocative, nuanced portrait of marriage and family, a woman reckoning with what she’s given up to make both work, and the universal question of how we reconcile who we are and whom the world wants us to be.
Maya Shulman and Alex Rubin met in 1992, when she was a Ukrainian exchange student with “a devil in [her] head” about becoming a chef instead of a medical worker, and he the coddled son of Russian immigrants wanting to toe the water of a less predictable life.
Twenty years later, Maya Rubin is a medical worker in suburban New Jersey, and Alex his father’s second in the family business. The great dislocation of their lives is their eight-year-old son Max—adopted from two teenagers in Montana despite Alex’s view that “adopted children are second-class.”
At once a salvation and a mystery to his parents—with whom Max’s biological mother left the child with the cryptic exhortation “don’t let my baby do rodeo”—Max suddenly turns feral, consorting with wild animals, eating grass, and running away to sit face down in a river.
Searching for answers, Maya convinces Alex to embark on a cross-country trip to Montana to track down Max’s birth parents—the first drive west of New Jersey of their American lives. But it’s Maya who’s illuminated by the journey, her own erstwhile wildness summoned for a reckoning by the unsparing landscape, with seismic consequences for herself and her family.
Don’ t Let My Baby Do Rodeo is a novel about the mystery of inheritance and what exactly it means to belong.














[book] APOSTLE
Travels Among the Tombs of the Twelve
by Tom Bissell
March 2016
Pantheon
In this profound and moving journey into the heart of Christianity, the widely acclaimed author of The Disaster Artist explores the mysterious and often paradoxical lives and legacies of the Twelve Apostles—a book both for those of the Christian faith and those who want to understand it from the outside in.
Peter, Matthew, Thomas, John: Who were these men? What was their relationship to Jesus? Tom Bissell gives us rich and deeply informed answers to these ancient and surprisingly elusive questions. He examines not just who these men were (and weren't), but how their identities have taken shape over the course of two millennia. He makes clear that, ultimately, their story is the story of Christianity and its growth from an obscure Jewish sect to the global faith we know today. Bissell has visited sites from Rome and Jerusalem to Turkey, India, and Kyrgyzstan, and he vividly captures the rich diversity of Christianity's global reach. Written with warmth, humor, and rare acumen, Apostle is a brilliant synthesis of travel writing, biblical history, and a deep lifelong relationship with Christianity. The result is an unusual, erudite, at times hilarious book—a religious, intellectual, and personal adventure.

























[book] CITIES THAT BUILT THE BIBLE
By Robert Cargill (Iowa)
March 2016
HarperOne.
For many, the names Bethlehem, Babylon, and Jerusalem are known as the setting for epic stories from the Bible featuring rustic mangers, soaring towers, and wooden crosses. What often gets missed is that these cities are far more than just the setting for the Bible and its characters—they were instrumental to the creation of the Bible as we know it today. Robert Cargill, Assistant Professor of Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Iowa, is an archeologist, Bible scholar, and host of numerous television documentaries, such as the History Channel series Bible Secrets Revealed. Taking us behind-the-scenes of the Bible, Cargill blends archaeology, biblical history, and personal journey as he explores these cities and their role in the creation of the Bible. He reveals surprising facts such as what the Bible says about the birth of Jesus and how Mary’s Virgin Birth caused problems for the early church. We’ll also see how the God of the Old Testament was influenced by other deities, that there were numerous non-biblical books written about Moses, Jacob, and Jesus in antiquity, and how far more books were left out of the Bible than were let in during the messy, political canonization process.
The Cities That Built the Bible is a magnificent tour through fourteen cities: the Phoenicia cities of Tyre, Sidon, and Byblos, Ugarit, Nineveh, Babylon, Megiddo, Athens, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Qumran, Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Rome. Along the way, Cargill includes photos of artifacts, dig sites, ruins, and relics, taking readers on a far-reaching journey from the Grotto of the Nativity to the battlegrounds of Megiddo, from the towering Acropolis of Athens to the caves in Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.
An exciting adventure through time, The Cities That Built the Bible is a fresh, fascinating exploration that sheds new light on the Bible.























[book] THE GREAT DEPARTURE
Mass Migration from Eastern Europe
and The Making of the Free World
by Tara Zahra
WW Norton
March 2016
Between 1846 and 1940, more than 50 million Europeans moved to the Americas, irrevocably changing both their new homes and the ones they left behind. In this groundbreaking study, Tara Zahra explores the deeper story of this astonishing movement of people-one of the largest in human history.
The great exodus out of Eastern Europe hollowed out villages with dizzying speed. As villages emptied and the fear of depopulation ran rampant, anxiety over “American fever” prevailed, leading to the scapegoating of Jewish emigration agents. Yet others saw vast opportunity: to seed colonies of migrants like the Polish community in Argentina, to gain economic advantage from an inflow of foreign currency, or to reshape their communities in a new land. In the United States, their migration fostered the notion of the “land of the free.” Globally, the policies that gave shape to this migration provided the precedent for future events such as the Holocaust, the closing of the Iron Curtain, and the tragedies of ethnic cleansing.
A sweeping history of the most consequential social phenomenon of the twentieth century, The Great Departure gives poignant attention to the individuals whose lives were transformed by these decades of mass departure, and a keen historical perspective on their continuing legacy.



















[book] AMERICAN GENEROSITY
WHO GIVES AND WHY
By Patricia Snell Herzog and Heather Price
March 2016
Oxford University Press
How much do people give?
Who gives?
Where are they giving?
Why are they giving?

American charitable giving veers from the hyperbolically generous to the hyperbolically stingy. On some days, no one has a quarter to spare; in times of disaster, Americans will put their lives on hold to build houses for those displaced by hurricanes. The crucial question of who gives and why they do it lies at the heart of American Generosity.
Patricia Snell Herzog and Heather E. Price, sociologists who focus on philanthropy, draw on findings from the groundbreaking Science of Generosity initiative, which combines a nationally representative survey of adult Americans with in-depth interviews and case studies. For most Americans, they find, the important forms of giving are: donating money, volunteering time, and taking political action. Focusing on these three types of activity, the authors go on to examine and analyze multiple dimensions of resources, social status, regional cultural norms, different approaches to giving, social-psychological orientation, and the relational contexts of generosity. Herzog and Price conclude that giving is supported by "circles of generosity," which ripple outward in their reach to targets of giving. The book offers not just analysis, but practical tips for readers who want to increase their own giving, for parents modeling giving to their children, spouses desiring alignment in their giving, and friends and community members seeking to support giving by others. The authors also provide explicit fundraising ideas for nonprofits, foundations, and religious leaders.
Thought-provoking and accessibly written, American Generosity lays out a broad yet nuanced explanation of giving that sheds important new light on a topic that touches all of us in one way or another.





















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














[book] THE LOST BOOK OF MOSES
By Chanan Tigay (SFSU)
March 2016
Ecco / HarperCollins
A gripping account of one man's quest to find the oldest Bible in the world and solve the riddle of the brilliant, doomed antiquities dealer accused of forging it.
In the summer of 1883, Moses Wilhelm Shapira -- archaeological treasure hunter, inveterate social climber, and denizen of Jerusalem's bustling marketplace -- arrived unannounced in London (British Museum) claiming to have discovered the world's oldest Bible scroll.
Written centuries earlier in the barren plains east of the Dead Sea and stashed away in caves, the mysterious scrolls called into question the divine authorship of the scriptures, taking three thousand years of religious faith and turning them upside down. When news of the discovery leaked to the excited English press, Shapira became a household name. But before the British Museum could acquire them, Shapira's nemesis, French archaeologist Charles Clermont-Ganneau, denounced his find as a fraud.
Humiliated, Shapira fled England. Six months later he was dead; his corpse was found in a Rotterdam hotel.
In 1947, the eerily similar Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Investigators reopened the case, wondering whether SHAPIRA had, in fact, discovered the first Dead Sea Scroll, decades before the rest. But by then Shapira's scrolls had vanished.
Tigay, award-winning journalist and son of a renowned Bible scholar, (Professor Jeffrey Tigay, Emeritus A.M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania; shout out to Williams Hall, 8th Floor) set out to find the scrolls and determine Shapira's guilt or innocence for himself. His father told him about the scrolls during a family dinner. Tigay was hooked, obsessed. The globetrotting hunt that follows vibrates with the suspense of a classic detective tale. Weaving meticulous research into fast-paced storytelling, Tigay spins a remarkable tale of history and theology; intrigue and scandal; greed, ambition, and the struggle for authenticity.
With a brilliant eye for detail, Tigay takes us from restricted storerooms at the Louvre to musty English attics to a flooded Jordanian gorge--and to the German countryside where he meets Shapira's aggrieved descendants.
At once historical drama and modern-day mystery, The Lost Book of Moses brings to life 19th century London and Jerusalem and a cast of rogues, reverends, and relic hunters at whose center sits Moses Wilhelm Shapira, a flamboyant, ingenious, and ultimately tragic personality.














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

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





















[book] More Than Enough
by April Halprin Wayland
Illustrated by Katie Kath
March 2016
Dial Books
A family's Passover celebration is equal parts warmth and charm in this cozy picture book, with the traditional seder song “Dayenu” as the grateful refrain.

In this story told in spare, lyrical prose, a Jewish family prepares for their Passover seder, visiting the farmer's market for walnuts, lilacs, and honey (and adopting a kitten along the way!), then chopping apples for the charoset, and getting dressed up before walking to Nana's house. The refrain throughout is “Dayenu”—a mind-set of thankfulness, a reminder to be aware of the blessings in each moment. At Nana's, there's matzo ball soup, chicken, coconut macaroons, and of course, the hidden afikomen. After opening the door for Elijah and singing the verses of “Chad Gadya,”Nana tucks the children in for a special Passover sleepover.

This warm, affectionate story embraces Passover in the spirit of dayenu, and offers a comprehensive glossary—it’s a perfect read for the entire family in anticipation and celebration of the holiday.























[book] The Devil's Diary:
Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen
Secrets of the Third Reich
by Robert K. Wittman and David Kinney
March 2016
Harper
This exploration of the private wartime diary of Alfred Rosenberg—Hitler’s “chief philosopher” and architect of Nazi ideology—interweaves the story of its recent discovery with the revelation of its never-before-published contents, which are contextualized by the authors: The result is a unprecedented, page-turning narrative of the Nazi rise to power, the Holocaust, and Hitler’s post-invasion plans for Russia.
A groundbreaking historical contribution, The Devil’s Diary is a chilling window into the mind of Adolf Hitler’s “chief social philosopher,” Alfred Rosenberg, who formulated some of the guiding principles behind the Third Reich’s genocidal crusade. It also chronicles the thrilling detective hunt for the diary, which disappeared after the Nuremburg Trials and remained lost for almost three quarters of a century, until Robert Wittman, a former FBI special agent who founded the Bureau’s Art Crimes Team, played an important role and tells his story now for the first time.
The authors expertly and deftly contextualize more than 400 pages of entries stretching from 1936 through 1944, in which the loyal Hitler advisor recounts internal meetings with the Fürher and his close associates Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler; describes the post-invasion occupation of the Soviet Union; considers the “solution” to the “Jewish question;” and discusses his overseeing of the mass seizure and cataloguing of books and artwork from homes, libraries, and museums across occupied Europe. An eyewitness to events, this narrative of Rosenberg’s diary offers provocative and intimate insights into pivotal moments in the war and the notorious Nazi who laid the philosophical foundations of the Third Reich.

















[book] Crowdsourced Health
How What You Do on
the Internet Will
Improve Medicine
by Elad Yom-Tov
Technion-Israel, Microsoft Research, (Yahoo and IBM)
March 2016
The MIT Press
Doesn't everyone you know google their symptoms before seeing a doctor.
Can google scientists look for trends in what people are searching for by geogrpahy and predict outbreaks?

Most of us have gone online to search for information about health. What are the symptoms of a migraine? How effective is this drug? Where can I find more resources for cancer patients? Could I have an STD? Am I fat? A Pew survey reports more than 80 percent of American Internet users have logged on to ask questions like these. But what if the digital traces left by our searches could show doctors and medical researchers something new and interesting? What if the data generated by our searches could reveal information about health that would be difficult to gather in other ways? In this book, Elad Yom-Tov argues that Internet data could change the way medical research is done, supplementing traditional tools to provide insights not otherwise available. He describes how studies of Internet searches have, among other things, already helped researchers track to side effects of prescription drugs, to understand the information needs of cancer patients and their families, and to recognize some of the causes of anorexia.

Yom-Tov shows that the information collected can benefit humanity without sacrificing individual privacy. He explains why people go to the Internet with health questions; for one thing, it seems to be a safe place to ask anonymously about such matters as obesity, sex, and pregnancy. He describes in detrimental effects of "pro-anorexia" online content; tells how computer scientists can scour search engine data to improve public health by, for example, identifying risk factors for disease and centers of contagion; and tells how analyses of how people deal with upsetting diagnoses help doctors to treat patients and patients to understand their conditions.























[book] Leaning on the Arc:
A Personal History of
Criminal Defense
by M. Gerald Schwartzbach
Ankerwycke
March 2016
Leaning on the Arc: A Personal History of Criminal Defense is a memoir by renowned trial lawyer M. Gerald Schwartzbach, who is perhaps best known for successfully defending actor Robert Blake against charges he had murdered his wife. Each chapter details a different trial in the author's illustrious career that run the gamut from murder to malpractice, sexual assault to domestic abuse, from protecting the right of dissent to advocating expanded rights for defendants. Schwartzbach stands at the intersection of some of the key issues of our time and demonstrates how true justice can only happen when we refuse to objectify the defendant, whoever he or she may be, whatever his or her alleged crime






















[book] GONE WITH THE MIND
A NOVEL
By Mark Leyner
Little, Brown and Company
March 2016
The blazingly inventive, fictional autobiography of Mark Leyner, one of America's "rare, true original voices." (Gary Shteyngart)
Dizzyingly brilliant and raucously funny, GONE WITH THE MIND is the story of Mark Leyner's life, told as only Mark Leyner can.
In this utterly unconventional, autobiographical novel, Mark Leyner gives a reading in the food court of a mall. Besides Mark's mother, who's driven him to the mall and introduces him before he begins, and a few employees of fast food chain Panda Express who ask a handful of questions, the reading is completely without audience. The action of GONE WITH THE MIND takes place exclusively at the food court, but the territory covered on these pages has no bounds.
Existential, self-aware, and very much concerned with the relationship between a complicated mother and an even more complicated son, Leyner's story--with its bold, experimental structure--is a moving work of genius.




















Hmmm.. Who wants to knock off this book and ask dozens of diverse rabbis to answer questions?
[book] Dear Pope Francis:
The Pope Answers Letters
from Children Around the World
by Pope Francis, SJ
Loyola Press
Winter 2016
If you could ask Pope Francis one question, what would it be?
Children have questions and struggles just like adults, but rarely are they given the chance to voice their concerns and ask the big questions resting deep in their hearts. In Dear Pope Francis, Pope Francis gives them that chance and celebrates their spiritual depth by directly answering questions from children around the world. Some are fun. Some are serious. And some will quietly break your heart. But all of them are from children who deserve to know and feel God’s unconditional love.
Also available in Spanish as Querido Papa Francisco.
"Feels akin to sitting in on a series of intimate conversations." -Publishers Weekly




















[book] The Star and the Stripes:
A History of the Foreign Policies
of American Jews
by Michael N. Barnett
March 15, 2016
Princeton University Press
How do American Jews envision their role in the world?
Are they tribal--a people whose obligations extend solely to their own? Or are they prophetic--a light unto nations, working to repair the world?
The Star and the Stripes is an original, provocative interpretation of the effects of these worldviews on the foreign policy beliefs of American Jews since the nineteenth century. Michael Barnett argues that it all begins with the political identity of American Jews. As Jews, they are committed to their people's survival. As Americans, they identify with, and believe their survival depends on, the American principles of liberalism, religious freedom, and pluralism. This identity and search for inclusion form a political theology of prophetic Judaism that emphasizes the historic mission of Jews to help create a world of peace and justice.
The political theology of prophetic Judaism accounts for two enduring features of the foreign policy beliefs of American Jews. They exhibit a cosmopolitan sensibility, advocating on behalf of human rights, humanitarianism, and international law and organizations. They also are suspicious of nationalism--including their own. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that American Jews are natural-born Jewish nationalists, Barnett charts a long history of ambivalence; this ambivalence connects their early rejection of Zionism with the current debate regarding their attachment to Israel. And, Barnett contends, this growing ambivalence also explains the rising popularity of humanitarian and social justice movements among American Jews.
Rooted in the understanding of how history shapes a political community's sense of the world, The Star and the Stripes is a bold reading of the past, present, and possible future foreign policies of American Jews.



















[book] Landscapes of Communism:
A History Through Buildings
by Owen Hatherley
March 2016
The New Press
When communism took power in Eastern Europe it remade cities in its own image, transforming everyday life and creating sweeping boulevards and vast, epic housing estates in an emphatic declaration of a noncapitalist idea. The regimes that built them are now dead and long gone, but from Warsaw to Berlin, Moscow to post-revolutionary Kiev, the buildings remain, often populated by people whose lives were scattered by the collapse of communism.
Landscapes of Communism is a journey of historical discovery, plunging us into the lost world of socialist architecture. Owen Hatherley, a brilliant, witty, young urban critic shows how power was wielded in these societies by tracing the sharp, sudden zigzags of official communist architectural style: the superstitious despotic rococo of high Stalinism, with its jingoistic memorials, palaces, and secret policemen’s castles; East Germany’s obsession with prefabricated concrete panels; and the metro systems of Moscow and Prague, a spectacular vindication of public space that went further than any avant-garde ever dared. Throughout his journeys across the former Soviet empire, Hatherley asks what, if anything, can be reclaimed from the ruins of Communism—what residue can inform our contemporary ideas of urban life?



















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



















[book] The Finest Traditions of My Calling
One Physician’s Search for the Renewal of Medicine
By Abraham M. Nussbaum, MD
March 2016
Yale
Patients and doctors alike are keenly aware that the medical world is in the midst of great change. We live in an era of continuous healthcare reforms, many of which focus on high volume, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. This compelling, thoughtful book is the response of a practicing physician who explains how population-based reforms have diminished the relationship between doctors and patients, to the detriment of both. As an antidote to failed reforms and an alternative to stubbornly held traditions, Dr. Abraham M. Nussbaum suggests ways that doctors and patients can learn what it means to be ill and to seek medical assistance.

Using a variety of riveting stories from his own and others' experiences, the author develops a series of metaphors to explore a doctor's role in different healthcare reform scenarios: scientist, technician, author, gardener, teacher, servant, and witness. Each role influences what a physician sees when examining a person as a patient. Dr. Nussbaum cautions that true healthcare reform can happen only when those who practice medicine can see, and be seen by, their patients as fellow creatures. His memoir makes a hopeful appeal for change, and his insights reveal the direction that change must take.



















[book] THE MYTH OF RACE
The Troubling Persistence of an Unscientific Idea
By Robert Wald Sussman
Washington Univ in St Louis
March 14, 2016
Harvard University Press
Although eugenics is now widely discredited, some groups and individuals claim a new scientific basis for old racist assumptions. Pondering the continuing influence of racist pseudoscientific research and thought, despite all evidence to the contrary, Robert Sussman explains why-when it comes to race-too many people still mistake bigotry for science.

Biological races do not exist—and never have. This view is shared by all scientists who study variation in human populations. Yet racial prejudice and intolerance based on the myth of race remain deeply ingrained in Western society. In his powerful examination of a persistent, false, and poisonous idea, Robert Sussman explores how race emerged as a social construct from early biblical justifications to the pseudoscientific studies of today.
The Myth of Race traces the origins of modern racist ideology to the Spanish Inquisition, revealing how sixteenth-century theories of racial degeneration became a crucial justification for Western imperialism and slavery. In the nineteenth century, these theories fused with Darwinism to produce the highly influential and pernicious eugenics movement. Believing that traits from cranial shape to raw intelligence were immutable, eugenicists developed hierarchies that classified certain races, especially fair-skinned “Aryans,” as superior to others. These ideologues proposed programs of intelligence testing, selective breeding, and human sterilization—policies that fed straight into Nazi genocide. Sussman examines how opponents of eugenics, guided by the German-American anthropologist Franz Boas’s new, scientifically supported concept of culture, exposed fallacies in racist thinking.
Although eugenics is now widely discredited, some groups and individuals today claim a new scientific basis for old racist assumptions. Pondering the continuing influence of racist research and thought, despite all evidence to the contrary, Sussman explains why—when it comes to race—too many people still mistake bigotry for science.





















[book] A MAN LIES DREAMING
A novel
by Lavie Tidhar
March 2016
Melville House

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























[book] The Syrian Jihad
Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State
and the Evolution of an Insurgency
by Charles R. Lister
March 2016
Oxford University Press
The eruption of the anti-Assad revolution in Syria has had many unintended consequences, among which is the opportunity it offered Sunni jihadists to establish a foothold in the heart of the Middle East. That Syria's ongoing civil war is so brutal and protracted has only compounded the situation, as have developments in Iraq and Lebanon. Ranging across the battlefields and international borders have been dozens of jihadi Islamist fighting groups, of which some coalesced into significant factions such as Jabhat al Nusra and the Islamic State.
This book assesses and explains the emergence since 2011 of Sunni jihadist organizations in Syria's fledgling insurgency, charts their evolution and situates them within the global Islamist project. Unprecedented numbers of foreign fighters have joined such groups, who will almost certainly continue to host them. Thus, external factors in their emergence are scrutinized, including the strategic and tactical lessons learned from other jihadist conflict zones and the complex interplay between Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State and how it has influenced the jihadist sphere in Syria. Tensions between and conflict within such groups also feature in this indispensable volume.



















[book] THE FEVER OF 1721
The Endemic That Revolutionized
Medicine and American Politics
by Stephen Coss
Simon & Schuster
March 2016
More than fifty years before the American Revolution, Boston was in revolt against the tyrannies of the Crown, Puritan Authority, and Superstition. This is the story of a fateful year that prefigured the events of 1776. In The Fever of 1721, Stephen Coss brings to life an amazing cast of characters in a year that changed the course of medical history, American journalism, and colonial revolution, including Cotton Mather, the great Puritan preacher, son of the president of Harvard College; Zabdiel Boylston, a doctor whose name is on one of Boston’s grand avenues; James and his younger brother Benjamin Franklin; and Elisha Cooke and his protégé Samuel Adams.

During the worst smallpox epidemic in Boston history Cotton Mather convinced Doctor Zabdiel Boylston to try a procedure that he believed would prevent death — by making an incision in the arm of a healthy person and implanting it with smallpox. “INOCULATION” led to vaccination, one of the most profound medical discoveries in history.
Public outrage forced Boylston into hiding,
and Mather’s house was set afire
A political fever also raged. Elisha Cooke was challenging the Crown for control of the colony and finally forced Royal Governor Samuel Shute to flee Massachusetts. Samuel Adams and the Patriots would build on this to resist the British in the run-up to the American Revolution. And a bold young printer James Franklin (who was on the wrong side of the controversy on inoculation), launched America’s first independent newspaper and landed in jail. His teenage brother and apprentice, Benjamin Franklin, however, learned his trade in James’s shop and became a father of the Independence movement.
One by one, the atmosphere in Boston in 1721 simmered and ultimately boiled over, leading to the full drama of the American Revolution.



















[book] MOVIE FREAK
MY LIFE WATCHING MOVIES
By Owen Gleiberman
Winter 2016
Hachette
Entertainment Weekly's controversial critic of more than two decades looks back at a life told through the films he loved and loathed.
Owen Gleiberman has spent his life watching movies-first at the drive-in, where his parents took him to see wildly inappropriate adult fare like Rosemary's Baby when he was a wide-eyed 9 year old, then as a possessed cinemaniac who became a film critic right out of college. In Movie Freak, his enthrallingly candid, funny, and eye-opening memoir, Gleiberman captures what it's like to live life through the movies, existing in thrall to a virtual reality that becomes, over time, more real than reality itself.
Gleiberman paints a bittersweet portrait of his complicated and ultimately doomed friendship with Pauline Kael, the legendary New Yorker film critic who was his mentor and muse. He also offers an unprecedented inside look at what the experience of being a critic is really all about, detailing his stint at The Boston Phoenix and then, starting in 1990, at EW, where he becomes a voice of obsession battling-to a fault-to cling to his independence.
Gleiberman explores the movies that shaped him, from the films that first made him want to be a critic (Nashville and Carrie), to what he hails as the sublime dark trilogy of the 1980s (Blue Velvet, Sid and Nancy, and Manhunter), to the scruffy humanity of Dazed and Confused, to the brilliant madness of Natural Born Killers, to the transcendence of Breaking the Waves, to the pop rapture of Moulin Rouge! He explores his partnership with Lisa Schwarzbaum and his friendships and encounters with such figures as Oliver Stone, Russell Crowe, Richard Linklater, and Ben Affleck. He also writes with confessional intimacy about his romantic relationships and how they echoed the behavior of his bullying, philandering father. And he talks about what film criticism is becoming in the digital age: a cacophony of voices threatened by an insidious new kind of groupthink.
Ultimately, Movie Freak is about the primal pleasure of film and the enigmatic dynamic between critic and screen. For Gleiberman, the moving image has a talismanic power, but it also represents a kind of sweet sickness, a magnificent obsession that both consumes and propels him.














[book] THE SECRET LIFE OF THE
AMERICAN MUSICAL
How Broadway Shows Are Built
by Jack Viertel
March 2016
FS&G
For almost a century, Americans have been losing their hearts and losing their minds in an insatiable love affair with the American musical. It often begins in childhood in a darkened theater, grows into something more serious for high school actors, and reaches its passionate zenith when it comes time for love, marriage, and children, who will start the cycle all over again. Americans love musicals. Americans invented musicals. Americans perfected musicals. But what, exactly, is a musical?
In The Secret Life of the American Musical, Jack Viertel takes them apart, puts them back together, sings their praises, marvels at their unflagging inventiveness, and occasionally despairs over their more embarrassing shortcomings. In the process, he invites us to fall in love all over again by showing us how musicals happen, what makes them work, how they captivate audiences, and how one landmark show leads to the next-by design or by accident, by emulation or by rebellion-from Oklahoma! to Hamilton and onward.
Structured like a musical, The Secret Life of the American Musical begins with an overture and concludes with a curtain call, with stops in between for “I Want” songs, “conditional” love songs, production numbers, star turns, and finales. The ultimate insider, Viertel has spent three decades on Broadway, working on dozens of shows old and new as a conceiver, producer, dramaturg, and general creative force; he has his own unique way of looking at the process and at the people who collaborate to make musicals a reality. He shows us patterns in the architecture of classic shows and charts the inevitable evolution that has taken place in musical theater as America itself has evolved socially and politically.
The Secret Life of the American Musical makes you feel as though you’ve been there in the rehearsal room, in the front row of the theater, and in the working offices of theater owners and producers as they pursue their own love affair with that rare and elusive beast-the Broadway hit.














[book] Playing to the Edge:
American Intelligence in the
Age of Terror
by Michael V. Hayden
Winter 2016
Penguin
Reading this book during the same week that I saw Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Ya'Alon at the Wilson Center was an overload of humorless sober analysis and criticm. You probably know 4 star General Hayden (USA, Retired) from his stints on Fox News as a contributing analyst. He has many axes to grind, criticism for Democrats and his enemiee; and it is important to read this book to get a perspective of his ideaology and style, because one day you might be President of the United States and you need to know how to manage alternative views

Hayden ran the CIA and the NSA during a time of terror and waterboarding. He not only plays on the edge, but as some say, he plays on the line and gets chalk on his dress shoes.
"Play to the edge" was Hayden's guiding principle when he ran the National Security Agency, and it remained so when he ran CIA. In his view, many shortsighted and uninformed people (the hated media with their own agendas and hate, Democratic senators and members of Congress) are quick to criticize, and this book will give them much to chew on but little easy comfort; it is an unapologetic insider's look told from the perspective of the people who faced awesome responsibilities head on, in the moment.
How did American intelligence respond to terrorism, a major war and the most sweeping technological revolution in the last 500 years? What was NSA before 9/11 and how did it change in its aftermath? Why did NSA begin the controversial terrorist surveillance program that included the acquisition of domestic phone records? What else was set in motion during this period that formed the backdrop for the infamous Snowden revelations in 2013?
As Director of CIA in the last three years of the Bush administration, Hayden had to deal with the rendition, detention and interrogation program as bequeathed to him by his predecessors. He also had to ramp up the agency to support its role in the targeted killing program that began to dramatically increase in July 2008. This was a time of great crisis at CIA, and some agency veterans have credited Hayden with actually saving the agency. He himself won't go that far, but he freely acknowledges that CIA helped turn the American security establishment into the most effective killing machine in the history of armed conflict.
For 10 years, then, General Michael Hayden was a participant in some of the most telling events in the annals of American national security. General Hayden's goals are in writing this book are simple and unwavering: No apologies. No excuses. Just what happened. And why. As he writes, "There is a story here that deserves to be told, without varnish and without spin. My view is my view, and others will certainly have different perspectives, but this view deserves to be told to create as complete a history as possible of these turbulent times. I bear no grudges, or at least not many, but I do want this to be a straightforward and readable history for that slice of the American population who depend on and appreciate intelligence, but who do not have the time to master its many obscure characteristics."












< BR>


APRIL 2016 BOOKS



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

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
















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

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
















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

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

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
















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

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

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






















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






















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

















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





















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

















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
















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


























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

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




















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

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
























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
























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

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


























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


























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






















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












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

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






















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
























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

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
























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

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

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






















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

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

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




















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

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
























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



















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
























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



















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

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

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


















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





















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


















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





















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





















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

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


















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



















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
























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






















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





















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

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

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





















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




















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




















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
















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

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

KEEP EASY

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

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





















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




















MAY 2016 BOOKS






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

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





















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





















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

























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





















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

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



















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

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

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
























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





















AS A PRELUDE TO THE 70TH ANNIV OF THE NUREMBERG TRIALS
[book] EAST WEST STREET
On the Origins of "Genocide"
and "Crimes Against Humanity"
by Philippe Sands
Knopf
and Weidenfeld & Nicolson in the UK
May 2016
In 2010, Philippe Sands was invited to give a lecture on genocide and crimes against humanity at Lviv University in Ukraine, which he accepted with the intent of learning about the extraordinary city that was home to his maternal grandfather, a Galician Jew who had been born there a century before and who'd moved to Vienna at the outbreak of the First World War, married, had a child (the author's mother), and then moved to Paris after the German annexation of Austria in 1938. It was a life that had been shrouded in secrecy with many questions not to be asked and fewer answers offered if they were.

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

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


















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

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

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
























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



















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






















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























[book] A MAN LIES DREAMING
A novel
by Lavie Tidhar
March 2016
Melville House

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























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




















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

























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






















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






















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






















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

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






















[book] THE ALL NEW BALL BOOK
OF CANNING AND PRESERVING
Over 200 of the Best Canned, Jammed,
Pickled, and Preserved Recipes
A cookbook
May 2016
Oxmoor
I should have bought stock in Jardin a decade ago. Sigh. Oh well.
From the makers of the BALL brand of canning supplies and jars and lids, a decade in the making, is the all NEW book of canning and preserving.
Organized by technique, The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving covers water bath and pressure canning, pickling, fermenting, freezing, dehydrating, and smoking. Straightforward instructions and step-by-step photos ensure success for beginners, while practiced home canners will find more advanced methods and inspiring ingredient twists.
Tested for quality and SAFETY, recipes range from much-loved classics - Tart Lemon Jelly, Tomato-Herb Jam, Ploughman's Pickles - to fresh flavors such as Asian Pear Kimchi, and homemade Kombucha. Make the most of your preserves with delicious dishes including Grapefruit Marmalade; Citrus-Glazed Roast Chicken; =Blod Orange-Ginger Marmalade; Tamarind Chutney; Chow Chow; Eastern Shore Corn Relish; Beet Relish with Horseradish; five different salsa recipes that use water bath canning; and traditional Strawberry-Rhubarb Hand Pies. You can use canned applesauce and make a applesauce streussel cake (page 169); or poach peaches in sweet tea. You learn how to make your own Dijon Mustar (p 190) or Peach-Ale Mustard which you can apply to smoked salmon/lox. Did you ever wonder how to can your own tomato sauce (no salt, but use citric acid); or pickle cucumbers (pickles), beans, asparagus, yellow beets, okra, fennel with oranges, watermelon, carrots with coriander, cherries, onions, lime radishes, ginger, curried cauliflower, carrot-and-daikon, and much more. Special sidebars highlight seasonal fruits and vegetables, while handy charts cover processing times, temperatures, and recipe formulas for fast preparation.



















JUNE 2016 BOOKS




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






















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




















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






















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






















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






















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






















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





















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




















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






















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




















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




















JULY 2016 BOOKS




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




















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






















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
























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




















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






























HiNENI
HERE I AM
A Novel
By Jonathan Safran Foer
Expected September 2016
Farrar, Straus & Giroux (FS&G) Forthcoming. A novel of a Jewish man in Washington DC wth a wife and three sons (wait, Foer grew up in DC and was one of 3 sons). The marriage falters, a drama unfolds. (Foer also recently went through a divorce). Israel is attacked, an earthquake erupts, the Middle East is aflame in passion. Rosh Hashana falls in September. The akedah is read. Abraham is called upon to sacrifice his beloved child…. How do we come to terms with a natural and man-made world on fire.






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

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




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

ANSWER: WE RECOMMEND:

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









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