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Welcome to our pages of Winter 2017, Fall 2016, Summer 2016, Spring 2016, 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 LATE FALL 2016 / WINTER 2017 BOOK READINGS



November 02, 2016: Vilna Shul, a Boston Center for Jewish Culture, presents author Alice Hoffman, for her launch of Faithful, a new novel
November 5-20, 2016: Atlanta GA, Marcus JCC Book Festival featuring Peter Bergen, Andy Cohenm Yael Dayan, Jonathan Safran Foer, Daniel Gordis, Shep Gordon, Alice Hoffman, Carson Kressley, Kenny Loggins, Jeffy Toobin, and more. AtlantaJCC.ORG/BookFestival
November 06-09, 2016: From Brooklyn Avenue to Cesar Chavez. Jewish Histories in Multiethnic Boyle Hieghts. UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies, LA November 10. 2016: Seth M. Siegel reads from Let There Be Water about lessons from Israel on water policy for a water-starved world. Temple Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, UWS, NYC 7PM
November 16. 2016: Authors Daniel Gordis and Jonathan Greenblatt read from their work on Israel. Skirball Center, NYC 7PM
November 20, 2016: The People vs. King David. The charge is murder. With Defense Atty Alan Dershowitz, Media personality and prosecutor Chris Cuomo, the honorable Judge Alison J. Nathan, pundit Geraldine Brooks and more. Skirball Center NYC $36.
November 29, 2016: Author Alive Hoffman reads from her works. Skirball Center NYC
November 30, 2016; An evening with Doris Kearns Goodwin. Skirball. NYC

December 08, 2016: Golda Meir. A Retrospective with E. Burkett, P Lahav, M. Medzini, S Rahabi, H. Tsoref, F. Klagsbrun& singer Yehoram Gaon. Skirball Center NYC 7PM $18
December 16, 2016: Attorney Roberta Kaplan. Human Rights Shabbat. Temple Emanu El NYC

January 08, 2017: David Makovsky with Rabbi Peter Rubinstein on the BDS movement and attitudes on American college campuses toward Israel and the Palestinian territories - the 92nd Street Y, New York, NY
January 10, 2017: Actress Jill Kargman talks to Rabbi Peter Rubinstein about Odd Mom Out, Jewish identity, and her most recent book, Sprinkle Glitter on My Grave. at the 92nd Street Y, New York, NY.
January 10, 2017: Twenty-five years after President George H.W. Bush spoke of a new world order, Peggy Noonan interviews Richard Haass on his new book, The World in Disarray. at the 92nd Street Y, New York, NY.
January 11, 2017: Bernard-Henri Lévy with Charlie Rose: Why Judaism Matters. The famed Algerian-born French philosopher explains how his ideas are shaped by the wisdom and beauty of Judaism, why Judaism and Jewish peoplehood is important to the world — and why the global resurgence of anti-Semitism poses an existential threat to us all. At the 92nd St Y, NYC, NY $38.
January 12, 2017: Roxane Gay, the author of Bad Feminist. She has two new books on the way: the short-story collection Difficult Women and Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. (last seen at University of Kentucky's Visiting Writers Series / Jewish Studies in 2015). At the 92nd St Y, NYC, NY
January 17, 2017: Sallie Krawcheck in Conversation with Karen Finerman Join Sallie Krawcheck, Columbia Business School graduate and co-founder and CEO of Ellevest. On her new book on women in the workplace and her own style of leaning in and having mentors and advocates in the Boardroom. At the 92nd St Y, NYC, NY
January 18, 2016: In his new book “Why?,” historian Peter Hayes dispels misconceptions of how the Holocaust could have occurred in a civilized Europe in the 20th century and tackles many questions continuing to vex us. At the 92nd St Y, NYC
January 18, 2017: Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg co-founders of theSkimm in conversation with Hoda Kotb at the 92nd St Y, NYC
January 18, 2017: Alexandra Wolfe reads from Valley of the Gods. A Silicon Valley novel. B&N UES NYC 86th Lex
January 24, 2-017: In his new novel, bestselling children’s author Adam Gidwitz takes on the last taboo in children’s literature — religion. The Inquisitor’s Tale. At 92nd St Y, NYC
January 24, 2017: Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine. Sarah Lohman explores how eight influential ingredients — black pepper, vanilla, curry powder, chili powder, soy sauce, garlic, MSG and Sriracha — made their way onto our dinner tables. The 92nd St Y, NYC
January 25, 2017: Jeffrey Sussman reads from Max Baer and Barney Ross: Jewish Heroes of Boxing. B&N UWS NYC
January 26, 2017: If You’re In a Dogfight, Become a Cat: Strategies for Long-Term Growth. Leonard Sherman chats on his practical advice on two of the most vexing issues facing businesses today: How can we achieve long-term profitable growth, and what can we do to break away from the pack?. 92nd St Y, NYC

January 29, 2017: An International Tribute to Elie Wiesel: A Community Reading of “Night.” Produced by the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust and National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. Featuring Elisha Wiesel, Andre Aciman, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Israel Consul General Dani Dayan, French Ambassador François Delattre, Tovah Feldshuh, Joel Grey, Sheldon Harnick, Jessica Hecht, Fanya Gottesfeld Heller, David Hyde Pierce, Bill T. Jones, Daniel and Nina Libeskind, Senator Joseph and Hadassah Lieberman, Sheila Nevins, Itzhak Perlman, Ron Rifkin, Geraldo Rivera, Daryl Roth, Consul General of Germany Brita Wagener, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, and many others. 400 free tickets. Battery Park City, Manhattan. Watch live at www.mjhnyc.org/night

January 30, 2017: Brooklyn author Paul Auster reads from 4 3 2 1 - a sweeping story of birthright and possibility which explores the life of its main character along four independent fictional paths - at the 92nd St Y, NYC
January 31, 2017: Ina Garten in Conversation with restauranteur Danny Meyer and her latest book, “Cooking for Jeffrey.” Ina Garten talks with Danny Meyer about her approach for food made with love as she shares her and her husband Jeffrey's favorite recipes and stories from their life together. At the 92nd St Y, NYC. $75. Sold Out
January 31, 2017: TV columnist Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, author of Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything, shares inside stories from the show – 92StY, NYC

February 01, 2017: Paul Auster, author of 4 3 2 1, reads. Sixth & I synagogue, Washington, DC
February – Yeshiva University Sephorim Sale. Check YU for days and times
February 05, 2017: Yaakov Katz, editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post, and author of the new book Weapon Wizards: How Israel Became a High-Tech Military Superpower, is joined by James Woolsey, former head of the CIA and foreign policy advisor to President-elect Trump, and Danny Danon, Israel's ambassador to the UN. Moderated by Jodi Rudoren, deputy international editor at The New York Times and the paper's former bureau chief in Jerusalem. At the 92StY, NYC
February 05, 2017: Eric L. Kaplan, executive producer of The Big Bang Theory (CBS-TV), Harvard astrophysicist Robert Wilson, and Marc Abrahams, creator of the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony and author of a Big Bang opera, will join New York Times science writer, Claudia Dreifus for a discussion of humor and science. At the 92STY, NYC
February 07, 2017: Former Scrantonian and Food52 co-founder Amanda Hesser and co-founder Merrill Stubbs, co-authors of A New Way to Dinner, explain the building blocks for modern meal planning with happiness guru and author Gretchen Rubin. At 92StY. NYC
February 12, 2017: Museum of Eldridge Street presents Tenement Songs: Popular Music of the Jewish Immigrants. Ethnomusicologist Mark Slobin discusses the rise of Yiddish popular music in vaudeville dives, at the Yiddish theater and on parlor pianos in tenement homes during the era of mass migration to the United States. Sing along as Miryem-Khaye Seigel, Lauren Brody and Jake Shulman-Ment bring this music to life. 3PM $14.
February 15, 2017: Elinor Lipman reads from On Turpentine Lane. B&N UWS NYC
February 16, 2017: Georgia Hunter in Conversation With Thomas Kail On Georgia Hunter's We Were the Lucky Ones. A Holocaust History. B&N UWS NYC
February 21, 2017: Author Yuval Noah Harari discusses the future of humankind and Homo Sapiens / Homo Deus with behavioral economist and bestselling author of Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely. At 92StY. NYC
February 23, 2017: An Unforgettable Night of Jewish Humor with Calvin Trillin, Patricia Marx, Adam Gopnik and Michael Krasny (author of Let There Be Laughter – A Treasury of Jewish Humor ) – Moderated by Jeffrey Toobin. At the 92St Y, NYC
February 27, 2017: J Street conference in DC

March 00, 2017: Lavendar Songs: recreation of a Weimar Berlin Cabaret with songs by many Jewish composers. with Jeremy Lawrence. Running through April at Pangea, New York City
March 00, 2017: Jewish oriented films this month at Lincoln Center’s Rendezvous with French Cinema, also The Settlers, and Love & Taxes.
March 02, 2017: David Grossman reads from A Horse Walks into a Bar - Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, Washington, DC
March 02, 2017: True rye bread — the kind that stands at the center of northern and eastern European food culture — is something very special. Learn about its history and baking methods with award-winning author Stanley Ginsberg, author of The Rye Baker. At the 92nd St Y, NYC
March 02, 2017: Join TAU and NYU Professor Itamar Rabinovich (friend of Scranton, and former Israeli Ambassador to the US) and Yitzhak Rabin’s daughter, Dalia Rabin, as they discuss the legacy and life of Yitzhak Rabin. Rabinovich is author of “Yitzhak Rabin: Soldier, Leader, Statesman,” (Yale) At the 92St Y, NYC
March 08, 2017: Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center in NYC presents an evening with Streit scion and cookbook author Michele Streit Heilbrun and chef/cookbook author David Kirschner (Matzo: 35 Recipes) . After a crash course on matzo history, complete with clips from a fascinating Streit’s documentary, you’ll get to taste some of the book’s best recipes. Moderated by food editor and culinary expert Gabriella Gershenson.
March 09, 2017: Robert Alter (Berkeley) speaks at UCLA on Anti-Prophecy in the Poetry of H. N. Bialik UCLA Faculty Center, 4PM
March 10, 2017: Deadline for students to submit a proposal for $5000 in funding for their Campus Pitch for Peace. See https://www.campuspitch.org/
March 13, 2017: NYC Temple EmanuEl Streicker Center presents Jewish Broadway. A discussion with Tovah Feldshuh
March 15, 2017: NYC Temple EmanuEl Streicker Center presents We Were Made For This: The Jewish Community’s Fight Against Racism and Anti-Semitism. 7PM. Free.
March 15, 2017: Book launch of My Jewish Year by Abigail Pogrebin, with Rabbi Joy Levitt at the Manhattan JCC 7:30PM
March 15, 2017: Bette Midler open on Broadway in Hello Dolly
March 16, 2017: Elif Batuman and Viet Thanh Nguyen read and discuss at the 92nd Street Y, New York, NY $22.
March 16, 2017: Dean and Deluca, SoHo NYC present David Kischner, co-author of MATZO: 35 Recipes for Passover and All Year Long: A Cookbook. Led and moderated by Editor in Chief of Saveur, Adam Sachs
March 17, 2017: Ariel Levy, New Yorker journalist and author of the new memoir The Rules Do Not Apply, is joined by Lena Dunham for an essential, free-ranging discussion about feminism, the shifting forces of our culture, what’s changing now and what can never change. 92St Y, NYC
March 20, 2017: Naomi Duguid shares stories and recipes from her new book, A Taste of Persia: A Cook’s Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran and Kurdistan. 92nd St Y, NYC
March 21, 2017: Author David Brooks in Conversation with author, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. David Brooks has been an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times since 2003. An international religious leader, philosopher, award-winning author and respected moral voice, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks was recently named the winner of the 2016 Templeton Prize. 92StY, NYC
March 23, 2017: Victor Ripp reads from Hell's Traces: One Murder, Two Families, Thirty-Five Holocaust Memorials. B&N UWS NYC 86th Lex
March 30-April 06, 2017: American Sephardi Federation - NY Sephardic Film Festival. NYC

April 04, 2017: Joan Nathan on her latest book, King Solomon’s Table: An Around-the-World Collection of Recipes from the Global Jewish Diaspora James Beard Award-winner Joan Nathan shares the historical details, personal histories and fantastic recipes that showcase the diversity of Jewish. 92nd St Y, New York, NY
April 05, 2017: That's the “Old Country”?: European Jewish Photographers Challenging “Traditional” Views of Jewish Society and Politics. Join author Michael Berkowitz (Jewish Photographers in Britain), Professor of modern Jewish history at University College London, as he explores European Jewish photographers in the interwar period and the Holocaust, and provides an understanding of their self-presentation and photographic practices.
April 16, 2017: Ben Platt and Michael Greif in Conversation on their new Broadway musical, Dear Evan Hansen. Join actor Ben Platt and Tony Award nominated director Michael Greif for a discussion about their new show. 92nd St Y. NYC
April 23, 2017: Lean In author and widow Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook.com) in Conversation with Adam Grant. Join Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, authors of Option B, as they talk about building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks. 92nd St Y, NYC
April 25, 2017: In conjunction with the Museum at Eldridge Street’s Historic Synagogues of Eastern Europe: Postcards from the Collection of Frantisek Banyai, the museum’s deputy director, Amy Stein-Milford, and archivist Nancy Johnson explore the history of the Eldridge Street Synagogue. 92nd St Y, NYC





SELECTED NOVEMBER 2016 BOOKS




[book] FAITHFUL
A Novel
By Alice Hoffman
(author of The Marriage of Opposites)
November 1, 2016
Simon & Schuster
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Marriage of Opposites and The Dovekeepers comes a soul-searching story about a young woman struggling to redefine herself and the power of love, family, and fate.
Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.
What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.
Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.
Alice Hoffman’s “trademark alchemy” (USA TODAY) and her ability to write about the “delicate balance between the everyday world and the extraordinary” (WBUR) make this an unforgettable story. With beautifully crafted prose, Alice Hoffman spins hope from heartbreak in this profoundly moving novel.

























[book] Frantumaglia:
A Writer's Journey
by Elena Ferrante
Translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein & others
November 1, 2016
Europa Editions
This book invites readers into Elena Ferrante’s workshop. It offers a glimpse into the drawers of her writing desk, those drawers from which emerged her three early standalone novels and the four installments of My Brilliant Friend, known in English as the Neapolitan Quartet. Consisting of over 20 years of letters, essays, reflections, and interviews, it is a unique depiction of an author who embodies a consummate passion for writing.
In these pages Ferrante answers many of her readers’ questions. She addresses her choice to stand aside and let her books live autonomous lives. She discusses her thoughts and concerns as her novels are being adapted into films. She talks about the challenge of finding concise answers to interview questions. She explains the joys and the struggles of writing, the anguish of composing a story only to discover that that story isn’t good enough. She contemplates her relationship with psychoanalysis, with the cities she has lived in, with motherhood, with feminism, and with her childhood as a storehouse for memories, impressions, and fantasies. The result is a vibrant and intimate self-portrait of a writer at work.

























[book] OUR REVOLUTION
A Future to Believe In
by Bernie Sanders
November 15, 2016
Thomas Dunne Books
When Bernie Sanders began his race for the presidency, it was considered by the political establishment and the media to be a “fringe” campaign, something not to be taken seriously. After all, he was just an independent senator from a small state with little name recognition. His campaign had no money, no political organization, and it was taking on the entire Democratic Party establishment.

By the time Sanders’s campaign came to a close, however, it was clear that the pundits had gotten it wrong. Bernie had run one of the most consequential campaigns in the modern history of the country. He had received more than 13 million votes in primaries and caucuses throughout the country, won twenty-two states, and more than 1.4 million people had attended his public meetings. Most important, he showed that the American people were prepared to take on the greed and irresponsibility of corporate America and the 1 percent.

In Our Revolution, Sanders shares his personal experiences from the campaign trail, recounting the details of his historic primary fight and the people who made it possible. And for the millions looking to continue the political revolution, he outlines a progressive economic, environmental, racial, and social justice agenda that will create jobs, raise wages, protect the environment, and provide health care for all-and ultimately transform our country and our world for the better. For him, the political revolution has just started. The campaign may be over, but the struggle goes on.



























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

























WINNER OF THE NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD!
[book] Israel:
A Concise History of
a Nation Reborn
by Daniel Gordis
(Shalem College, Distinguished Fellow)
October 18, 2016
Ecco
The first comprehensive yet accessible history of the state of Israel from its inception to present day, from Daniel Gordis, "one of the most respected Israel analysts" (The Forward) living and writing in Jerusalem.
Israel is a tiny state, and yet it has captured the world’s attention, aroused its imagination, and lately, been the object of its opprobrium. Why does such a small country speak to so many global concerns? More pressingly: Why does Israel make the decisions it does? And what lies in its future?
We cannot answer these questions until we understand Israel’s people and the questions and conflicts, the hopes and desires, that have animated their conversations and actions. Though Israel’s history is rife with conflict, these conflicts do not fully communicate the spirit of Israel and its people: they give short shrift to the dream that gave birth to the state, and to the vision for the Jewish people that was at its core. Guiding us through the milestones of Israeli history, Gordis relays the drama of the Jewish people’s story and the creation of the state. Clear-eyed and erudite, he illustrates how Israel became a cultural, economic and military powerhouse—but also explains where Israel made grave mistakes and traces the long history of Israel’s deepening isolation.
With Israel, public intellectual Daniel Gordis offers us a brief but thorough account of the cultural, economic, and political history of this complex nation, from its beginnings to the present. Accessible, levelheaded, and rigorous, Israel sheds light on the Israel’s past so we can understand its future. The result is a vivid portrait of a people, and a nation, reborn.



























[book] Competing Against Luck:
The Story of Innovation
and Customer Choice
by Clayton M. Christensen (HBS)
and Karen Dillon, Taddy Hall,
and David S. Duncan
October 4, 2016
A HORRIBLE TITLE. It would sell more if they let me change the title
The foremost authority on innovation and growth presents a path-breaking book every company needs to transform innovation from a game of chance to one in which they develop products and services customers not only want to buy, but are willing to pay PREMIUM prices for.

How do companies (or charities, or JCC’s and synagogues) know how to grow?
How can they create products that they are sure customers want to buy?
Can innovation be more than a game of hit and miss? (Do you know how many new products fail, because we think of them competing against other products IN THE PRODUCT CLASS?

Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen has the answer. A generation ago, Christensen revolutionized business with his groundbreaking theory of disruptive innovation. Now, he goes further, offering powerful new insights. After years of research, Christensen and his co-authors have come to one critical conclusion: our long held maxim -- that understanding the customer is the crux of innovation -- is wrong. Customers don't buy products or services; they "HIRE" them to do a job.
YOU DON’T BUY SHAKE at McDONALDS… You HIRE the SHAKE to do a job for you
Do you join NYC’s Temple Emanuel to pray? Or are you HIRING the synagogue and affiliating with it for much deeper needs. And what other things would that compete with?

Understanding customers does not drive innovation success, he argues. Understanding customer jobs does. The "Jobs to Be Done" approach can be seen in some of the world's most respected companies and fast-growing startups, including Amazon, Intuit, Uber, Airbnb, and Chobani yogurt, to name just a few. But this book is not about celebrating these successes--it's about predicting new ones.
Christensen, Hall, Dillon, and Duncan contend that by understanding what causes customers to "hire" a product or service, any business can improve its innovation track record, creating products that customers not only want to hire, but that they'll pay premium prices to bring into their lives. Jobs theory offers new hope for growth to companies frustrated by their hit and miss efforts. This book carefully lays down the authors' provocative framework, providing a comprehensive explanation of the theory and why it is predictive, how to use it in the real world--and, most importantly, how not to squander the insights it provides.


The book is best understood by a project for McDonald’s that was in a Harvard B School working paper in 2011. About 95 percent of new products fail. The problem often is that their creators are using an ineffective market segmentation mechanism. When they should be looking at products the way customers do: as a way to GET A JOB DONE. Why do commuters HIRE A MILK SHAKE? They found that they bought milkshakes not for the taste, but the thickness, since they were cold and last 20 minutes or more during a car commute. When planning new products, companies often start by segmenting their markets and positioning their merchandise accordingly. This segmentation involves either dividing the market into product categories, such as function or price, or dividing the customer base into target demographics, such as age, gender, education, or income level. Unfortunately, neither way works very well. “THE JOBS-TO-BE-DONE POINT OF VIEW CAUSES YOU TO CRAWL INTO THE SKIN OF YOUR CUSTOMER AND GO WITH HER AS SHE GOES ABOUT HER DAY, ALWAYS ASKING THE QUESTION AS SHE DOES SOMETHING: WHY DID SHE DO IT THAT WAY?” The problem is that consumers usually don't go about their shopping by conforming to particular segments. Rather, they take life as it comes. And when faced with a job that needs doing, they essentially "hire" a product to do that job. "The fact that you're 18 to 35 years old with a college degree does not cause you to buy a product," Christensen says. "It may be correlated with the decision, but it doesn't cause it. We developed this idea because we wanted to understand what causes us to buy a product, not what's correlated with it. We realized that the causal mechanism behind a purchase is, 'Oh, I've got a job to be done.' And it turns out that it's really effective in allowing a company to build products that people want to buy."
Background: Hiring A Milkshake
In his MBA course, Christensen shares the story of a fast-food restaurant chain that wanted to improve its milkshake sales. The company started by segmenting its market both by product (milkshakes) and by demographics (a marketer's profile of a typical milkshake drinker). Next, the marketing department asked people who fit the demographic to list the characteristics of an ideal milkshake (thick, thin, chunky, smooth, fruity, chocolaty, etc.). The would-be customers answered as honestly as they could, and the company responded to the feedback. But alas, milkshake sales did not improve.
They did win when they learned to "Integrate Around the Job to be Done." The milkshake was hired in lieu of a bagel or doughnut because it was relatively tidy and appetite-quenching, and because trying to suck a thick liquid through a thin straw gave customers something to do with their boring commute. Understanding the job to be done, the company could then respond by creating a morning milkshake that was even thicker (to last through a long commute) and more interesting (with chunks of fruit) than its predecessor. Christensen also cites the importance of "purpose branding"—building an entire brand around a particular job-to-be-done. Quite simply, purpose branding involves naming the product after the purpose it serves. Kodak, for example, has seen great success with its FunSaver brand of single-use cameras, which performs the job of preserving fun memories. Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. has cornered the market on reciprocating saws with its trademarked Sawzall, which does the job of helping consumers safely saw through pretty much anything. Its Hole-Hawg drills, which make big holes between studs and joists, are also quite popular. Furthermore, it's difficult for product developers to break the mold when many of their customers organize their store shelves around traditional marketing metrics. Christensen gives the example of a company that developed a novel tool designed to help carpenters with the daunting task of installing a door in a doorframe, a job that usually took several tools to do. But a major home goods store refused to sell the tool because its shelves were organized by product category—and there was no shelf in the store dedicated to the singular job of hanging a door. "Most organizations are already organized around product categories or customer categories," Christensen says, "and therefore people only see opportunities within this little frame that they've stuck you in. So you have to think inside of a category as opposed to getting out. You've just got to make the decision to divorce yourself from the constraints that are arbitrarily created by the design of the old org chart."














[book] DK Eyewitness Travel Guide:
Jerusalem, Israel,
Petra & Sinai
by DK
November 15, 2016
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Jerusalem, Israel, Petra & Sinai will lead you straight to the best attractions the region has to offer.
Experience this beautiful and sacred part of the world, from the green hills and sun-drenched coast of Galilee to the holy sites of Jerusalem's Old City, and from the dramatic desert of Wadi Rum to the vibrant reefs of Dahab.
Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Jerusalem, Israel, Petra & Sinai.
• Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance.
• Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.
• Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.
• Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.
• Area maps marked with sights.
• Detailed city maps each include a street finder index for easy navigation.
• Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.
• Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Jerusalem, Israel, Petra & Sinai truly shows you what others only tell you.
























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

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

























[book] MOONGLOW
A NOVEL
BY MICHAEL CHABON
November 2016
Harper Collins

Ever since Michael Chabon severely criticized the State of Israel and its policies, and embarked on a collection of writings critical of the State of Israel, his popularity among Jewish readers has diminished. But here is his latest novel. Will it be rejected by several Jewish book clubs? I wonder.

The keeping of secrets and the telling of lies; sex and desire and ordinary love; existential doubt and model rocketry - all feature in the new novel from the author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and The Yiddish Policeman's Union.

Moonglow unfolds as a deathbed confession. An old man, tongue loosened by powerful painkillers, memory stirred by the imminence of death, tells stories to his grandson, uncovering bits and pieces of a history long buried. (The novel is inspired by Chabon’s visits with his dying grandfather)

From the Jewish slums of prewar South Philadelphia to the invasion of Germany, from a Florida retirement village to the penal utopia of a New York Prison, from the heyday of the space program to the twilight of "the American Century," Moonglow collapses an era into a single life and a lifetime into a single week. A lie that tells the truth, a work of fictional non-fiction, an autobiography wrapped in a novel disguised as a memoir, Moonglow is Chabon at his most daring and his most moving.

PW writes: Chabon’s (Telegraph Avenue) charming and elegantly structured novel is presented as a memoir by a narrator named Mike who shares several autobiographical details with Chabon (for one, they’re both novelists who live in the Bay Area). Mike’s memoir is concerned less with his own life than with the lives of his deceased maternal Jewish grandparents, who remain unnamed. His grandfather—whose deathbed reminisces serve as the novel’s main narrative engine—is a WWII veteran with an anger streak (the stint he does in prison after a workplace assault is one of the novel’s finest sections) and a fascination with V-2 rockets, astronomy, space travel, and all things celestial or skyward. Mike’s grandmother, born in France, is alluring but unstable, “a source of fire, madness, and poetry” whose personal history overlaps in unclear ways with the Holocaust, and whose fits of depression and hallucination result in her institutionalization (also one of the novel’s finest sections). Chabon imbricates his characters’ particular histories with broader, detail-rich narratives of war, migration, and technological advances involving such figures as Alger Hiss and Wernher von Braun. This move can sometimes feel forced. What seduces the reader is Chabon’s language, which reinvents the world, joyously, on almost every page. Listening to his grandfather’s often-harrowing stories, Mike thinks to himself, “What I knew about shame... would fit into half a pistachio shell.”






















[book] JUDAS
A Novel
By Amos Oz
Translated from Hebrew by Nicholas de Lange
November 2016
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Winner of the International Literature Prize, the new novel by Amos Oz is his first full-length work since the best-selling A Tale of Love and Darkness.

Jerusalem, 1959. Shmuel Ash, a biblical scholar, is adrift in his young life when he finds work as a caregiver for a brilliant but cantankerous old man named Gershom Wald. There is, however, a third, mysterious presence in his new home. Atalia Abarbanel, the daughter of a deceased Zionist leader, a beautiful woman in her forties, entrances young Shmuel even as she keeps him at a distance. Piece by piece, the old Jerusalem stone house, haunted by tragic history and now home to the three misfits and their intricate relationship, reveals its secrets.

At once an exquisite love story and coming-of-age novel, an allegory for the state of Israel and for the biblical tale from which it draws its title, Judas is Amos Oz's most powerful novel in decades.

PW writes: Oz raises fundamental questions concerning Israeli politics, religion, ethics, and history in this novel about a young Jewish scholar adrift in 1959 Jerusalem. Graduate student Shmuel Ash decides to abandon his studies and perhaps leave Jerusalem; when his parents can no longer support him, his girlfriend marries her ex-boyfriend, and even his Socialist discussion group breaks up. Answering an advertisement for a live-in companion in an old Jerusalem neighborhood, Shmuel finds a welcome retreat in the home of Gershom Wald, a 70-year-old retired schoolteacher suffering from an unnamed degenerative disease. Gershom’s primary caregiver is his son’s widow, Atalia, and Shmuel’s job consists mainly in providing Gershom with spirited debate. The old man’s favorite topic—the formation of the state of Israel—proves somewhat sensitive in that Atalia’s father, David Ben-Gurion opponent Shealtiel Abravanel, had opposed the idea of establishing a Jewish state without first addressing Arab concerns adequately, a position for which he was deemed a traitor. Gershom and Shmuel also discuss the famous traitor that Shmuel has been studying, Judas Iscariot. As Shmuel researches Abravanel and Judas, Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness) suggests each might be less a traitor than an idealist with an alternate point of view. Oz’s appreciation for multiple perspectives underlies powerful descriptions of Judas at the crucifixion, the brutal murder of Atalia’s husband’s during Israel’s War of Independence, and Shmuel with Atalia at King David’s tomb. Through the story of one young man at a crossroads, Oz presents thought-provoking ideas about traitors, a moving lament for the cost of Israeli-Arab conflict, and a heartfelt call for compassion.



















[book] Last Girl Before Freeway:
The Life, Loves,
Losses, and Liberation
of Joan Rivers
by Leslie Bennetts
November 15, 2016
Little Brown
The definitive book about Joan Rivers' tumultuous, victorious, tragic, hilarious, and fascinating life.

Joan Rivers was more than a legendary comedian; she was an icon and a role model to millions, a fearless pioneer who left a legacy of expanded opportunity when she died in 2014. Her life was a dramatic roller-coaster of triumphant highs and devastating lows: the suicide of her husband, her feud with Johnny Carson, her estrangement from her daughter, her many plastic surgeries, her ferocious ambition and her massive insecurities. But Rivers' career was also hugely significant in American cultural history, breaking down barriers for her gender and pushing the boundaries of truth-telling for women in public life.

A juicy, intimate biography of one of the greatest comedians ever-a performer whose sixty year career was borne, simply, out of a desire to make people laugh so she could feel loved-LAST GIRL BEFORE FREEWAY delves into the inner workings of a woman who both reflected and redefined the world around her.
























[book] The Man Who Wanted to Know Everything:
A Novel
(Avraham Avraham Series)
by D A MISHANI
Translated from Hebrew
November 2016
Harper paperbacks
Inspector Avraham Avraham is back in this sequel to the acclaimed thrillers A Possibility of Violence and The Missing File—internationally bestselling author D. A. Mishani’s The Man Who Wanted to Know Everything is a hauntingly psychological domestic noir, perfect for fans of Alafair Burke or Liad Shoham.
Called on a stormy night to the scene of his first murder investigation as the new commander of investigations, Inspector Avraham Avraham is shocked to discover that he knows the victim: Leah Yeger, a widow found brutally murdered in her home and the victim of a rape that he investigated some years prior. But with her rapist still behind bars, Avraham’s only lead is an eyewitness claiming he saw a policeman leave the scene of the crime—a policeman who seems to have since vanished into thin air.
Risking the cooperation of his police force, Avraham is determined to follow the lead, working feverishly to solve the case—no matter the cost. But when his investigation leads him to Mazal Bengtson—a young woman struggling to escape a tortured past and salvage a marriage gone horribly wrong—the complex case takes on an even more baffling, disturbing turn...
Told through the dual perspectives of Inspector Avraham and Mazal Bengtson, The Man Who Wanted To Know Everything is a chilling investigation of secrets, family, and what happens when the people you love may not be who you think.































[book] THE MENORAH
From the Bible to Modern Israel
by Steven Fine
November 2016
The menorah, the seven-branched candelabrum, has traversed millennia as a living symbol of Judaism and the Jewish people. Naturally, it did not pass through the ages unaltered. The Menorah explores the cultural and intellectual history of the Western world’s oldest continuously used religious symbol. This meticulously researched yet deeply personal history explains how the menorah illuminates the great changes and continuities in Jewish culture, from biblical times to modern Israel.
Though the golden seven-branched menorahs of Moses and of the Jerusalem Temple are artifacts lost to history, the best-known menorah image survives on the Arch of Titus in Rome. Commemorating the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, the arch reliefs depict the spoils of the Temple, the menorah chief among them, as they appeared in Titus’s great triumphal parade in 71 CE. Steven Fine recounts how, in 2012, his team discovered the original yellow ochre paint that colored the menorah?an event that inspired his search for the history of this rich symbol from ancient Israel through classical history, the Middle Ages, and on to our own tumultuous times.
Surveying artifacts and literary sources spanning three thousand years?from the Torah and the ruins of Rome to yesterday’s news?Fine presents the menorah as a source of fascination and illumination for Jews, Samaritans, Christians, and even Freemasons. A symbol for the divine, for continuity, emancipation, national liberation, and redemption, the menorah features prominently on Israel’s state seal and continues to inspire and challenge in surprising ways.






















SELECTED DECEMBER 2016 BOOKS
See the Fall list for full results





[book] More Than Managing:
The Relentless Pursuit of Effective Jewish Leadership
Edited by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD.
Fall 2016
Jewish Lights
Jewish organizational life is inundated with publications on organizational change and effective leadership, but from mutually exclusive sources: business and organizational studies, on the one hand; and Jewish studies, on the other. One addresses leadership but not the religious soul. The other speaks from its Jewish soul but is only secondarily engaged in the study of leadership. More Than Managing thoughtfully combines both to be immediately applicable to Jewish organizational life.Inspired by thirty years of pioneering work by retail giant Leslie Wexner’s philanthropic focus on Jewish leadership, More Than Managing brings together diverse and remarkable thinkers to address challenges facing communal life and the skills and strategies demanded by them. Contributors include professors at Harvard University’s Center for Public Leadership and The Harvard Business School who have worked over the past three decades with Israel’s rising leadership in the public sector. These internationally known voices are matched by alumni and faculty of The Wexner Foundation’s professional and volunteer programs, who lead and advise Jewish communities throughout North America and Israel. The book features diverse strategies for twenty-first-century leadership, critical lessons for organizational and communal success, and the questions vital to our changing and challenging times. Questions include how leaders may overcome the mediocrity of bureaucratic organizations; how organizations can harness volunteer leadership for transformative change; and how professionals can sustain core values in the midst of daily routine. Its diverse array of writers with international reputations in their fields makes it the only book of its kind. Potential readers include leaders of any religious not-for-profits—not just Jewish. The almost 50 contributors, including Leslie Wexner, combine secular insights on leadership with innovative insights drawn from Judaism’s spiritual heritage.






















[book] Private Empire:
ExxonMobil and American Power
by Steve Coll
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
2013
Paperback
Penguin Books

Want to understand Rex Tillerson, the newest U.S. Secretary of State in 2017?

Includes a profile of the past chairman and chief executive of ExxonMobil Rex Tillerson. In this, the first hard-hitting examination of ExxonMobil—the largest and most powerful private corporation in the United States—Steve Coll reveals the true extent of its power. Private Empire pulls back the curtain, tracking the corporation’s recent history and its central role on the world stage, beginning with the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 and leading to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The action spans the globe—featuring kidnapping cases, civil wars, and high-stakes struggles at the Kremlin—and the narrative is driven by larger-than-life characters, including corporate legend Lee “Iron Ass” Raymond, ExxonMobil’s chief executive until 2005, and current chairman and chief executive Rex Tillerson. A penetrating, news-breaking study, Private Empire is a defining portrait of Big Oil in American politics and foreign policy.
























[book] A PATH TO PEAVE
A Brief History of Israeli-Palestinian
Negotiations and a Way Forward
in the Middle East
by Senator George J. Mitchell and Alon Sachar
November 27, 2016
Simon & Schuster
Finally, a way forward in the Middle East: The answer to why Israel and Palestine’s attempts at negotiation have failed and a practical roadmap for bringing peace to this complicated, troubled region.
George Mitchell knows how to bring peace to troubled regions. He was the primary architect of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement for peace in Northern Ireland. But when he served as US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace from 2009 to 2011 — working to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — diplomacy did not prevail.

Now, for the first time, Mitchell offers his insider account of how the Israelis and the Palestinians have progressed (and regressed) in their negotiations through the years and outlines the specific concessions each side must make to finally achieve lasting peace. This unflinching look at why the peace process has failed, and what must happen for it to succeed, is an important, essential, and valuable read.

There are three parts: a condensed version of the conflict with cultural and deep historical drivers and roadblocks; a detailed account of Mitchell’s efforts from 2009-2011 including Abbas’s refusal to negotiate unless there was a settlement freeze, and Israel’s building with full knowledge that it would ruin negotiations, and Netanyahu’s pre-condition that Israeli troops be allowed to remain in the West Bank for decades to come (the poison pills on both sides); and the plan for a two state solution. Also included is the inside story on Israel’s March 2010 announcement that it would build 1,600 housing units in East Jerusalem as VP Biden was visiting, which was seen as a “direct and astonishing insult” to Biden and the U.S. Yet Obama did not recall the U.S> Ambassador, plus in 2016, he agreed to a 10 year, $38 billion military aid package for Israel, America’s largest ever.
George J. Mitchell served as a Democratic senator from Maine from 1980 to 1995 and Senate majority leader from 1989 to 1995. He was the primary architect of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement for peace in Northern Ireland; chairman of The Walt Disney Company; US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace; and the author of the Mitchell Report on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball; as well as the books The Negotiator and A Path to Peace. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1999.

Alon Sachar has worked to advance Middle East peace under two US administrations. He served as an adviser to the US Ambassador to Israel, Daniel B. Shapiro in Tel Aviv from 2011-2012, and to President Obama’s Special Envoys for Middle East Peace, George J. Mitchell and David Hale, from 2009 to 2011. In those capacities, Alon participated in negotiations with Israelis, Palestinians, and Arab states. From 2006 to 2009, he served in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, focusing on the US bilateral relationships with Israel and the Palestinians as well as Arab-Israeli relations. Alon has also worked out of the US Consulate in Jerusalem, which serves as the US diplomatic mission to the Palestinians. Today, Alon is a lawyer based in California where he was born and raised.


























[book] Einstein and Twentieth-Century Politics:
'A Salutary Moral Influence'
by Richard Crockatt
December 2016
Oxford University Press
Albert Einstein, world-renowned as a physicist, was also publicly committed to radical political views. Despite the vast literature on Einstein, Einstein and Twentieth Century Politics is the first comprehensive study of his politics, covering his opinions and campaigns on pacifism, Zionism, control of nuclear weapons, world government, freedom, and racial equality. Most studies look at Einstein in isolation but here he is viewed alongside a 'liberal international' of global intellectuals, including Gandhi, Albert Schweitzer, Bertrand Russell, H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Romain Rolland, Thomas Mann, and John Dewey. Frequently called upon to join campaigns on great issues of war, peace, and social values, they all knew or corresponded with Einstein. This volume examines how Einstein and comparable intellectuals sought to exert a 'salutary influence', as Einstein put it in a letter to Freud. Close attention is given to the unique qualities Einstein brought to his interventions in political debate. His influence derived in the first instance from his celebrity status as the scientist of genius whose theory of relativity was both incomprehensible to most and seemingly relevant to many aspects of aspects of culture and the cosmos. Einstein's complex and enigmatic personality, which combined intense devotion to privacy and a capacity to perform on the public stage, also contributed to the Einstein myth. Studying Einstein's politics, it is argued here, takes us not only into the mind of Einstein but to the heart of the great public issues of the twentieth century.






















[book] The Undoing Project:
A Friendship That
Changed Our Minds
by Michael Lewis
December 2016
Oxford University Press
How a Nobel Prize–winning theory of the mind altered our perception of reality.
Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments in uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis’s own work possible. Kahneman and Tversky are more responsible than anybody for the powerful trend to mistrust human intuition and defer to algorithms.
The Undoing Project is about a compelling collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. They became heroes in the university and on the battlefield?both had important careers in the Israeli military?and their research was deeply linked to their extraordinary life experiences. Amos Tversky was a brilliant, self-confident warrior and extrovert, the center of rapt attention in any room; Kahneman, a fugitive from the Nazis in his childhood, was an introvert whose questing self-doubt was the seedbed of his ideas. They became one of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, working together so closely that they couldn’t remember whose brain originated which ideas, or who should claim credit. They flipped a coin to decide the lead authorship on the first paper they wrote, and simply alternated thereafter.
This story about the workings of the human mind is explored through the personalities of two fascinating individuals so fundamentally different from each other that they seem unlikely friends or colleagues. In the process they may well have changed, for good, mankind’s view of its own mind.






















[book] The Holocaust, Israel
and the "Jew":
Histories of Antisemitism in
Postwar Dutch Society
Edited by Remco Ensel and Evelien Gans
December 2016
Amsterdam University Press
We tend to think of the Dutch as a tolerant people, open to cultural and religious diversity. Yet in 1934 the Dutch government was forced to pass laws explicitly designed to protect Jews against attacks, just one manifestation of the antisemitism that emerged before and during World War II. Both the Shoah and Israel have become crucial points of attachment for postwar antisemitism in the Netherlands. This collection brings together a group of historians to show how that historical prejudice continued to resonate through the postwar years, from anti-Jewish chants among native Dutch at football matches to a variety of antisemitic manifestations among Dutch Moroccans and Turks that reveal the transference of traditional and new anti-Jewish stereotypes among migrant communities






















[book] Innovating:
A Doer's Manifesto for Starting
from a Hunch, Prototyping Problems,
Scaling Up, and Learning to Be
Productively Wrong
by Luis Perez-Breva
Illustrated by Nick Fuhrer
Foreword by Edward Roberts
December 2016
MIT Press
Innovation is the subject of countless books and courses, but there's very little out there about how you actually innovate. Innovation and entrepreneurship are not one and the same, although aspiring innovators often think of them that way. They are told to get an idea and a team and to build a show-and-tell for potential investors. In Innovating, Luis Perez-Breva describes another approach -- a doer's approach developed over a decade at MIT and internationally in workshops, classes, and companies. He shows that to start innovating it doesn't require an earth-shattering idea; all it takes is a hunch. Anyone can do it. By prototyping a problem and learning by being wrong, innovating can be scaled up to make an impact. Perez-Breva shows at the outset of what we later celebrate as "innovations" nothing is new.
In Innovating, the process -- illustrated by unique and dynamic artwork -- is shown to be empirical, experimental, nonlinear, and incremental. You give your hunch the structure of a problem. Anything can be a part. Your innovating accrues other people's knowledge and skills. Perez-Breva describes how to create a kit for innovating, and outlines questions that will help you think in new ways. Finally, he shows how to systematize what you've learned: to advocate, communicate, scale up, manage innovating continuously, and document -- "you need a notebook to converse with yourself," he advises. Everyone interested in innovating also needs to read this book.






















[book] Krazy:
George Herriman,
a Life in Black
and White
by Michael Tisserand
December 2016
Harper
In the tradition of Schulz and Peanuts, an epic and revelatory biography of Krazy Kat creator George Herriman that explores the turbulent time and place from which he emerged—and the deep secret he explored through his art.

The creator of the greatest comic strip in history finally gets his due—in an eye-opening biography that lays bare the truth about his art, his heritage, and his life on America’s color line. A native of nineteenth-century New Orleans, George Herriman came of age as an illustrator, journalist, and cartoonist in the boomtown of Los Angeles and the wild metropolis of New York. Appearing in the biggest newspapers of the early twentieth century—including those owned by William Randolph Hearst—Herriman’s Krazy Kat cartoons quickly propelled him to fame. Although fitfully popular with readers of the period, his work has been widely credited with elevating cartoons from daily amusements to anarchic art.

Herriman used his work to explore the human condition, creating a modernist fantasia that was inspired by the landscapes he discovered in his travels—from chaotic urban life to the Beckett-like desert vistas of the Southwest. Yet underlying his own life—and often emerging from the contours of his very public art—was a very private secret: known as "the Greek" for his swarthy complexion and curly hair, Herriman was actually African American, born to a prominent Creole family that hid its racial identity in the dangerous days of Reconstruction.

Drawing on exhaustive original research into Herriman’s family history, interviews with surviving friends and family, and deep analysis of the artist’s work and surviving written records, Michael Tisserand brings this little-understood figure to vivid life, paying homage to a visionary artist who helped shape modern culture.



















[book] Spies in Palestine:
Love, Betrayal and the
Heroic Life of Sarah Aaronsohn
by James Srodes
December 2016
Counterpoint Press
Sarah Aaronsohn was a twenty-first century woman in a nineteenth-century world. She and her siblings were born as part of the first wave of Jewish immigrants who fled the pogroms of Russia and Eastern Europe in the 1880s, settling in the province of Syria-Palestine. By the outbreak of World War I in 1914 the settlers had come a dramatic distance in creating the Eretz Israel of their Biblical prophecies. Sarah’s home village of Zichron Ya’akov brought prosperity to their lands between the Mediterranean coast and the Mount Carmel range. But when the Ottoman Turkish Empire sided with Kaiser Wilhelm II and the other Central Powers in World War I, the Jewish settlements faced cruel oppressions.

This book describes how the Aaronsohns, one of the most prominent families in the province, came to commit themselves and their comrades to the Allied side and how they formed the NILI espionage organization to spy against the Turkish Army. Late in the war, in 1917, Sarah assumed command of the spy network as the group’s penetration of the Turkish army reached a critical juncture. Sarah was idolized by T.E. Lawrence, the fabled Lawrence of Arabia who dedicated his flowery biography, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, to her.



















[book] Overcrowded:
Designing Meaningful Products in a World Awash with Ideas
(Design Thinking, Design Theory)
by Roberto Verganti
December 2016
MIT Press
The standard text on innovation advises would-be innovators to conduct creative brainstorming sessions and seek input from outsiders -- users or communities. This kind of innovating can be effective at improving products but not at capturing bigger opportunities in the marketplace. In this book Roberto Verganti offers a new approach -- one that does not set out to solve existing problems but to find breakthrough meaningful experiences. There is no brainstorming -- which produces too many ideas, unfiltered -- but a vision, subject to criticism. It does not come from outsiders but from one person's unique interpretation.
The alternate path to innovation mapped by Verganti aims to discover not how things work but why we need things. It gives customers something more meaningful -- something they can love. Verganti describes the work of companies, including Nest Labs, Apple, Yankee Candle, and Philips Healthcare, that have created successful businesses by doing just this. Nest Labs, for example, didn't create a more advanced programmable thermostat, because people don't love to program their home appliances. Nest's thermostat learns the habits of the household and bases its temperature settings accordingly. Verganti discusses principles and practices, methods and implementation. The process begins with a vision and proceeds through developmental criticism, first from a sparring partner and then from a circle of radical thinkers, then from external experts and interpreters, and only then from users.
Innovation driven by meaning is the way to create value in our current world, where ideas are abundant but novel visions are rare. If something is meaningful for both the people who create it and the people who consume it, business value follows.























[book] Love Hurts:
Buddhist Advice for
the Heartbroken
by Lodro Rinzler
December 2016
Shambhala
Buddhist-inspired advice for working through romantic breakups and other painful emotional periods--by the best-selling author of The Buddha Walks into a Bar... (What Would Sid(harta) Do)
Rinzler grew up in a Buddhist family. His mother was a co-founder of the Shambhala center in Boston. At Wesleyan, Lodro founded a Buddhist dorm. Lodro attended many seders and temple when engaged to his Jewish fiance. At the launch party in NYC for this new book, in speakers included Sharon Salzberg, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society; Ethan Nichtern, founder of the Interdependence Project; and Jon Frankel.
Buddhism has a lot to say about suffering--and there are likely few times we suffer more intensely than when we break up with a romantic partner. It feels like you may never recover sometimes. But Lodro Rinzler has news for those suffering heartbreak: the 2,500-year-old teachings of the Buddha are the ultimate antidote for emotional pain. And you don't need to be a Buddhist for them to apply to you.
In this short and compact first-aid kit for a broken heart, he walks you through the cause and cure of suffering, with much practical advice for self-care as you work to survive a breakup. The wisdom he presents applies to any kind of emotional suffering. It's a great, practical offering of consolation for someone you know who's going through a tough time, and for yourself when you're looking for the light at the end of the tunnel in your own situation.























[book] 100 Jewish Things
to Do Before
You Die
by Barbara Davis, PhD
December 2016
Pelican
Better than a bucket list—a guide to growing your faith!
The demands of modern society often create distance between Jews and their cultural heritage. Author Barbara Sheklin Davis, a New York City native and longtime Jewish educator, offers ways to embrace and uphold Jewish influences in everyday life. Suggestions range from simple activities like indulging in a Woody Allen movie marathon and noshing on pastrami on rye to more involved activities including hosting a Shabbat dinner or exploring tikkun olam to bring about social justice and repair the world. Feeling more Jew-ish than Jewish these days? Let this list of 100 tips reconnect you! Start now with #12 and call your mother—after all, she worries!
A Jewish educator for well over 50 years, Barbara Sheklin Davis has devoted her life to teaching and upholding Jewish traditions in the United States. She earned her PhD in Spanish literature from Columbia University and serves as executive editor of HaYidion, a journal of Jewish education.
























[book] Berlin Notebook:
Where Are the Refugees?
by Joshua Weiner
2016
LA Review of Books Press
The chronicle of a fall and spring in Berlin during the peak influx of refugees into Europe in 2015-16, Joshua Weiner's Berlin Notebook opens a new view on German society's attempt to cope with an impossible situation: millions of people displaced by the Syrian civil war, fleeing violence, and seeking safety and the possibilities of a new life in the west. As some Germans, feeling the burden of the nation's dark past, try to aid and shelter desperate asylum seekers, others are skeptical of the government's ability to contain the growing numbers; they feel the danger of hostile strangers, and the threat to the nation's culture and identity. Unlike other contemporary reports on the situation in Europe, Weiner's sui generis writing includes interviews not only with refugees from the east, but also everyday Berliners, natives and ex-pats – musicians, poets, shopkeepers, students, activists, RABBIS, museum guides, artists, intellectuals, and those, too, who have joined the rising far-right Alternative for Germany party, and the Pegida movement against immigration.

Intermixed with interviews, reportage, and meditations on life in Europe's fastest growing capital city, Weiner thinks about the language and literature of the country, weaving together strands of its ancient and more recent history with meditations on Goethe, Brecht, Arendt, Heidegger, Joseph Roth and others that inflect our thinking about refugees, nationhood, and our ethical connection to strangers.




















JANUARY 2017 BOOKS




[book] 4321
4 3 2 1
A Novel
By Paul Auster
January 2017
Henry Holt
The first page introduces us to a character named FERGUSON.. Could it be that old Jewish joke about the Jewish immigrant at Ellis Island who says Ich schon vergessen… and they think he says his name is Sean Ferguson? YES!

Paul Auster’s greatest, most heartbreaking and satisfying novel?a sweeping and surprising story of birthright and possibility, of love and of life itself: a masterpiece.
Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson’s life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Athletic skills and sex lives and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Each Ferguson falls under the spell of the magnificent Amy Schneiderman, yet each Amy and each Ferguson have a relationship like no other. Meanwhile, readers will take in each Ferguson’s pleasures and ache from each Ferguson’s pains, as the mortal plot of each Ferguson’s life rushes on.
As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, yet with a passion for realism and a great tenderness and fierce attachment to history and to life itself that readers have never seen from Auster before. 4 3 2 1 is a marvelous and unforgettably affecting tour de force.



















WINNER OF A NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD:


[book] BUT YOU DID NOT COME BACK
A MEMOIR
by Marceline Loridan-Ivens
Translated by Sandra Smith
Contrib from Judith Perrignon
January 2017
Grove Atlantic
paperback
You might come back, because you’re young, but I will not come back.”—Marceline Loridan-Ivens’ father, speaking to her at the Drancy internment camp, April 1944
A runaway international bestseller, But You Did Not Come Back garnered rave reviews and features on hardcover publication, including a New York Times profile on the author, now aged 89. Translated by Nemirovsky's skilled translator
Hailed as an important new addition to the library of books dealing with the Holocaust, it is the profoundly moving and poetic memoir by Marceline Loridan-Ivens, who at the age of fifteen was arrested by the Vichy government’s militia, along with her father. At the internment camp of Drancy, France, her father told her that he would not come back, preparing her for the worst. On their arrival at the camps, they were separated—her father sent to Auschwitz, she to the neighboring camp of Birkenau. The three kilometers that separated them were an insurmountable distance, and yet before he died in the camps, he managed to send her a small note, a sign of life that gave Marceline hope to go on.
In But You Did Not Come Back, Marceline writes back to her father. The book is a letter to the man she would never know as an adult, to the person whose death overshadowed her whole life. Although her grief never diminished in its intensity, Marceline ultimately found a calling, working on behalf of many disenfranchised groups, both as an activist for Algerian independence and a documentary filmmaker.
And now, as France and Europe face growing anti-Semitism, Marceline feels pessimistic about the future. Her testimony is a memorial, a confrontation, and a deeply affecting personal story of a woman whose life was shattered and never totally rebuilt.





















[book] A World in Disarray:
American Foreign Policy
and the Crisis of the Old Order
by Richard Haass
January 2017
Penguin Press
An examination of a world increasingly defined by disorder and a United States unable to shape the world in its image, from the president of the Council on Foreign Relations
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. The rules, policies, and institutions that have guided the world since World War II have largely run their course. Respect for sovereignty alone cannot uphold order in an age defined by global challenges from terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons to climate change and cyberspace. Meanwhile, great power rivalry is returning. Weak states pose problems just as confounding as strong ones. The United States remains the world’s strongest country, but American foreign policy has at times made matters worse, both by what the U.S. has done and by what it has failed to do. The Middle East is in chaos, Asia is threatened by China’s rise and a reckless North Korea, and Europe, for decades the world’s most stable region, is now anything but. As Richard Haass explains, the election of Donald Trump and the unexpected vote for “Brexit” signals that many in modern democracies reject important aspects of globalization, including borders open to trade and immigrants.
In A World in Disarray, Haass argues for an updated global operating system—call it world order 2.0—that reflects the reality that power is widely distributed and that borders count for less. One critical element of this adjustment will be adopting a new approach to sovereignty, one that embraces its obligations and responsibilities as well as its rights and protections. Haass also details how the U.S. should act towards China and Russia, as well as in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He suggests, too, what the country should do to address its dysfunctional politics, mounting debt, and the lack of agreement on the nature of its relationship with the world.
A World in Disarray is a wise examination, one rich in history, of the current world, along with how we got here and what needs doing. Haass shows that the world cannot have stability or prosperity without the United States, but that the United States cannot be a force for global stability and prosperity without its politicians and citizens reaching a new understanding.




















FINALIST FOR THE 2016 NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD
[book] CARRY ME
A Novel
by Peter Behrens
January 2017
Anchor
During Billy Lange’s childhood on the Isle of Wight, he is entranced by Karin, the wild and elusive daughter of a German-Jewish baron who employs Billy’s parents. Years later, after the upheavals of World War I, the two children are reunited on the baron’s Frankfurt estate. Billy and Karin first bond over the popular Wild West stories of Karl May, and later over their passion for jazz and Berlin nightclubs. But they also come to share a fantasy of escape from the 1930s Germany that is rapidly darkening around them—escape to the high plains of Texas and New Mexico they’d read about as children. Against the backdrop of Hitler’s rise to power, their friendship deepens into a love affair with extraordinarily high stakes. Brilliantly conceived and elegantly written, Peter Behrens’s Carry Me is both an epic love story and a lucid meditation on Europe’s violent twentieth century.
























[book] The Rabbi’s Athiest Daughter
Ernestine Rose,
International Feminist Pioneer
By Bonnie S. Anderson
Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center
January 2017
Oxford University Press
Known as "the queen of the platform," Ernestine Rose was more famous than her women's rights co-workers, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. By the 1850s, Rose had become an outstanding orator for feminism, free thought, and anti-slavery. Yet, she would gradually be erased from history for being too much of an outlier: an immigrant, a radical, and an atheist.

In The Rabbi's Atheist Daughter, Bonnie S. Anderson recovers the unique life and career of Ernestine Rose. The only child of a Polish rabbi, Ernestine Rose rejected religion at an early age, successfully sued for the return of her dowry after rejecting an arranged betrothal, and left her family, Judaism, and Poland forever. In London, she became a follower of socialist Robert Owen and met her future husband, William Rose. Together they emigrated to New York in 1836. In the United States, Ernestine Rose rapidly became a leader in movements against slavery, religion, and women's oppression and a regular on the lecture circuit, speaking in twenty-three of the thirty-one states. She challenged the radical Christianity that inspired many nineteenth-century women reformers and yet, even as she rejected Judaism, she was both a victim and critic of antisemitism, as well as nativism. In 1869, after the Civil War, she and her husband returned to England, where she continued her work for radical causes. By the time women achieved the vote, for which she tirelessly advocated throughout her long career, her pioneering contributions to women's rights had been forgotten.
























[book] The Weapon Wizards:
How Israel Became a
High-Tech Military Superpower
by Yaakov Katz and Amir Bohbot
January 2017
St. Martin's Press
From drones to satellites, missile defense systems to cyber warfare, Israel is leading the world when it comes to new technology being deployed on the modern battlefield. The Weapon Wizards shows how this tiny nation of 8 million learned to adapt to the changes in warfare and in the defense industry and become the new prototype of a 21st century superpower, not in size, but rather in innovation and efficiency-and as a result of its long war experience.
With enemies to the West, North, and East, Israel has trained its citizens tenacity and insatiable questioning of authority, tolerance of failure, and extreme informality.
Sitting on the front lines of how wars are fought in the 21st century, Israel has developed in its arms trade new weapons and retrofitted old ones so they remain effective, relevant, and deadly on a constantly-changing battlefield. While other countries begin to prepare for these challenges, they are looking to Israel-and specifically its weapons-for guidance. Israel is, in effect, a laboratory for the rest of the world.
How did Israel do it? And what are the military and geopolitical implications of these developments? These are some of the key questions Yaakov Katz and Amir Bohbot address. Drawing on a vast amount of research, and unparalleled access to the Israeli defense establishment, this book is a report directly from the front lines.
























[book] NONE FOLDS MAKE A PAPER SWAN
A NOVEL
BY RUTH GILLIGAN
January 2017
paperback edition
Tin House Books
Few people talk about the Jews of Ireland and how many got off in an Irish port before making it to Ellis Island.. And so I was drawn to this novel
Three intertwining voices span the twentieth century to tell the unknown story of the Jews in Ireland. A heartbreaking portrait of what it means to belong, and how storytelling can redeem us all.
At the start of the twentieth century, a young girl and her family emigrate from Lithuania in search of a better life in America, only to land on the Emerald Isle instead. In 1958, a mute Jewish boy locked away in a mental institution outside of Dublin forms an unlikely friendship with a man consumed by the story of the love he lost nearly two decades earlier. And in present-day London, an Irish journalist is forced to confront her conflicting notions of identity and family when her Jewish boyfriend asks her to make a true leap of faith. These three arcs, which span generations and intertwine in revelatory ways, come together to tell the haunting story of Ireland’s all-but-forgotten Jewish community. Ruth Gilligan’s beautiful and heartbreaking Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan explores the question of just how far we will go to understand who we really are, and to feel at home in the world.
























[book] If You're in a Dogfight,
Become a Cat!:
Strategies for Long-Term Growth
(Columbia Business School Publishing)
by Leonard Sherman
January 2017
Columbia University Press
When Yellow Tail wines launched in 2001, they battled 6,500 other wineries for a share of the American market. By 2007, Yellow Tail sales in the United States exceeded the sales of all French wineries combined. How did this new business enter such a crowded market and succeed?
If You're in a Dogfight, Become a Cat! explains how businesses such as Yellow Tail survive and thrive in industries embroiled in "dogfights"-intense competition among established companies for a small piece of the market. Leonard Sherman, a longtime business consultant and faculty member at Columbia Business School, has developed a three-part strategy based on years of consulting for such companies as Audi, Toyota, and United Technologies. His advice: compete on different terms to attract new customers. FedEx, Apple, Southwest Airlines, and Starbucks have thrived as cats by differentiating their businesses, aligning their goals and practices, and continuously innovating their products. Rather than compete head-on with other PC manufacturers, Apple introduced a new category of tablet devices to unlock latent demand for mobile computing. Yellow Tail turned beer- and liquor-lovers on to casual, inexpensive, drinkable wines through youthful packaging. In this book, managers of companies big and small encounter dozens of model strategies for product design and forward-thinking organization that have resulted in real long-term, profitable growth.




















[book] THE COOKING GENE
A Journey Through African-American
Culinary History in the Old South
by Michael W. Twitty
2017
Amistad
A renowned culinary historian of Jewish and African American cuisine offers a fresh perspective on our most divisive cultural issue, race, in this illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces his ancestry—both black and white—through food, from Africa to America and slavery to freedom.

Southern food is integral to the American culinary tradition, yet the question of who "owns" it is one of the most provocative touch points in our ongoing struggles over race. In this unique memoir, culinary historian Michael W. Twitty takes readers to the white-hot center of this fight, tracing the roots of his own family and the charged politics surrounding the origins of soul food, barbecue, and all Southern cuisine.
From the tobacco and rice farms of colonial times to plantation kitchens and backbreaking cotton fields, Twitty tells his family story through the foods that enabled his ancestors’ survival across three centuries. He sifts through stories, recipes, genetic tests, and historical documents, and travels from Civil War battlefields in Virginia to synagogues in Alabama to Black-owned organic farms in Georgia.
As he takes us through his ancestral culinary history, Twitty suggests that healing may come from embracing the discomfort of the Southern past. Along the way, he reveals a truth that is more than skin deep—the power that food has to bring the kin of the enslaved and their former slaveholders to the table, where they can discover the real America together.



























[book] God's Generals:
The Military Lives of Moses, the Buddha,
and Muhammad Hardcover – January 3, 2017 by Richard A. Gabriel
January 2017
Skyhorse
Examines how the military experience of three religious founders shaped their spiritual legacy.
It is one of the more startling facts of military history that the founders of three of the four “great religions”—Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam—were also accomplished field generals with extensive experience in commanding men in battle. One of these, Muhammad, fought eight battles and was wounded twice, once almost fatally. Another, Siddhartha Gautama (later to become the Buddha), witnessed so much battlefield carnage that he suffered a psychological collapse. Moses had become so much a “god-intoxicated” personality that it is a reasonable suspicion that he, like the Buddha, was murdered.
Indeed, had the experiences of these men in war not been so successful, it is quite possible that their achievements as religious leaders would never have occurred. For all three, war and religion were so closely intertwined in their personalities that it is difficult to discern where the influence of one ended and the other began.
This book attempts to explore the military lives of Moses, the Buddha, and Muhammad, and the role their war experiences played in their religious lives.
Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.




















[book] A Concert in the Sand
by Tami Shem-Tov
January 2017
Kar Ben
Ages 4 – 8
Preschool – 3rd grade
A grandma and her little grandson take a walk along a Tel-Aviv street and encounter the conductor and musicians of the Israel Philharmonic gathering for their first performance. A foreign rights acquisition from Israel, this beautiful book is based on the true story of the creation of the Israel Philharmonic just after the birth of the State of Israel.





























[book] YAFFA AND FATIMA
SHALOM, SALAAM
BY FAWZiA GILANI-WILLIAMS
Illus by Chiara Fedele
January 2017
Kar Ben
Ages 4 – 8
Preschool – 3rd grade
Two neighbors: one Jewish, one Muslim, have always been best friends. When they both fall on hard times, can they find a way to help each other?
In Fawzia Gilani-William's retelling of this folktale - which has both Jewish and Arab origins - differences are not always causes for conflict and friendship can overcome any obstacle.





























[book] Under the Sabbath Lamp
by Michael Herman
(Wedgewood Collector)
January 2017
Kar Ben
Ages 4 – 8
Preschool – 3rd grade
When Izzy and Olivia Bloom invite their neighbors over for Shabbat dinner, everyone is shocked to find out that the Blooms don't have Shabbat candles. Instead, they have something much more unusual: an antique Sabbath lamp that's been passed down from generation to generation. How did the Sabbath lamp get to America? That's a good story.





























[book] A Different Kind of Passover
Now in paperback
by Linda Leopold-Strauss
January 2017
Kar Ben
Ages 4 – 8
Preschool – 3rd grade
Jessica loves spending Passover with her grandparents. But this year, Grandpa is sick and can't lead the seder like he always does. Jessica knows Passover won't be the same. But maybe she can find a new way to include Grandpa in the seder and make the holiday as joyful as ever.





























[book] The Six-Day Hero
by Tammar Stein
January 2017
Kar Ben
Ages 10 - 13
Motti knows that war is coming. Israel is only nineteen years oldthe same age as Motti's brave older brother, Gideonand the tiny country is surrounded by enemies. It's only a matter of time before Egypt, Jordan and Syria attack. When Motti's best friend's family flees the country and his brother goes off to fight, Motti realizes this war isn't a game. His family is in danger, and Israel's very survival is at stake.

Motti knows his older brother is a hero, but through the six days of the war that will decide Israel's fate, he discovers other heroes in surprising places. He may even be a hero himself.




























[book] The Art Lesson:
A Shavuot Story
by Allison Marks
January 2017
Kar Ben
Ages 8 - 12
Shoshana loves spending time at Grandma Jacobs' art studio and for Shavuot, Grandma Jacobs has a very special art project in mind! Shoshana learns how to make papercuts by carefully folding squares of paper and cutting shapes out of them. But can she create works of art as beautiful as the ones Grandma makes?

Husband and wife Wayne and Allison Marks share a love for words and revel in a tale well-told. They enjoy spinning tales from the porch of their 100-year-old home in Akron, Ohio.





























[book] Yossi and the Monkeys:
A Shavuot Story
by Jennifer Tzivia Macleod
Illus. by Shirley Waisman
2017
Kar Ben
Ages Preschool to 3rd Grade
Reminds me of the Asian cat who waves customers into the fish store
Yossi has no money to buy the food and flowers his family needs for Shavuot. He tries selling the kippahs his wife sews, but he has no luck until a mischievous monkey shows up. The monkey's antics attract customers and win Yossi's heart . . . but did Yossi's new friend come to stay?




























[book] Talia and the Haman-TUSHIES
by Linda Elovitz Marshall
Francesca Assirelli (Illustrator)
2017
Kar Ben
Ages Preschool to 3rd Grade
Talia is at it again!
First there were the RUDE (Root) Vegetables, and the YUM (Yom) Kippur. And now this outrage.
It's almost Purim, and Talia's sure that Grandma said they're going to bake "haman-tushies."
Eww!
But as Talia helps Grandma with the recipe and learns the story of Purim—from the bravery of Queen Esther to the schemes of wicked Haman — she discovers a lot about these holiday cookies that she didn't know. The third in Marshall's play-on-words Talia stories including Talia and the Rude Vegetables and Talia and the Very YUM Kippur.

Note: Talia is so smart, she knows that a hamantaschan is based on a seed filled Persian fertility cookie of antiquity, though it is not mentioned here.


























[book] Purim Chicken
by Margery Cuyler
Puy Pinillos (Illustrator)
2017
Kar Ben
Ages Preschool to 3rd Grade
It’s Purim and the animals on the farm are planning their celebration! They decide to sing songs, wear costumes, and put on a play about Queen Esther. It’s fun until Quack the duck, the star of their show, goes missing! Cluck the hen must be brave like Queen Esther and go in search of Quack near the fox’s den. But when Cluck finds Quack, the duck's feathers are ruffled from her time with the fox. She can't perform!
Will Cluck have enough courage to play Queen Esther and save the show?




























[book] Is It Purim Yet?
by Chris Barash
and Alessandra Psacharopulo (Illustrator)
2017
Kar Ben
Ages Preschool to 3rd Grade
It’s nearly spring, which means it’s time to celebrate the cheerful Jewish holiday of Purim. Purim recounts the time when Esther, Queen of Persia, saved the Jews from the evil Haman, who wanted to execute the Jewish people. It’s a time to dress up in costumes, fill the hamantashen, swing the noisemakers, and read the Megillah scroll. Join a family as they celebrate the bravery of Queen Esther and the joy of being together.


























[book] Passover Scavenger Hunt
by Shanna Silva
2017
Kar Ben
Ages Preschool to 3rd Grade
Rachel's uncle is terrible at hiding the afikomen. It's always too easy to find!
So this year, Rachel decides to take over.
She finds the perfect hiding spot and creates a series of clues for her cousins to follow. Can you guess where the hunt will lead them?


























[book] THE PASSOVER COWBOY
by Barbara Diamond Goldin
and Gina Capaldi (Illustrator)
2017
Apples & Honey press
Ages Preschool to 3rd Grade
Last year, Jacob and his family had been in Russia, but this year they were in the new land of Argentina. Jacob hoped his new friend Benito would join them for the seder. Would he? Could a Passover meal here, with cowboys, chickens and horses, feel like home, too? Sydney Taylor Award-winning author Barbara Diamond Goldin gives us a compelling peak into a remarkable chapter in Jewish history in this historically-based, fictional story about a family integrating into the community of Argentina in the late 1800 s. Gina Capaldi brings it to life with spectacular and painterly artwork.
A note for families is included that describes the history of how in the 1800s, some Russian Jews fled persecution, and immigrated to Argentina. There they settled on ranches and built homes and a community that combined the traditional culture of their Russian homeland with their new land s customs.


























For MARCH 17, 2017:
[book] Anne of Green Bagels
by Jon Buller and Susan Schade
Preschool to Third Grade
On her first day at her new school, Anne is saddled with the nickname Anne of Green Bagels, thanks to the health-food sandwich her grandmother has made her for lunch. Can things get any worse? Already her father has left home to try out his newest crackpot invention, the Pedestrian Mobile Home, and her mother has moved them from New Mexico to the cookie-cutter community of Megatown. Then she meets Otto, who shares her interest in music and in her favorite TV show, The Blimptons.
Together they prepare to enter the school talent show with an original composition - Wolfman Stomp. When Anne sees the drawings in a childhood notebook of her father's, she wonders -- could it be that he was the real inventor of the Blimptons? And can she somehow get him to come home and claim the credit he deserves?


see also:
[book]
























[book] The Big Stick:
The Limits of Soft Power
and the Necessity of Military Force
by Eliot A. Cohen
Johns Hopkins SAIS
January 2017
Basic Books
In The Big Stick, Eliot A. Cohen argues that the United States must use military power in support of its foreign policy, but that doing so will be increasingly difficult. The United States must continue to assume primary responsibility for maintaining world order, or risk a chaotic international environment reminiscent of the 1920’s and 1930’s -- but this time with far more devastating weapons.in dangerous hands. America faces major national security challenges: a rising China, enduring jihadi movements, states like Russia and Iran that attempt to upend regions they seek then to dominate, and precarious ungoverned regions from anarchic lands such as Libya to the intangible arena of cyberspace. To confront these problems, our government must revive old concepts such as mobilization and in some cases, preemption and, more importantly, engage in original thinking about how, and under what conditions, the United States should use force – as it will undoubtedly find itself compelled to do.
Combining the scholarship of a prize-winning historian, the experience of a former senior diplomat, and the fluency of a gifted essayist, Cohen shows how America must rethink and reorder its armed strength to meet the needs of a world in flux.



















[book] Teacher:
Two Years in the
Mississippi Delta
by Michael Copperman
Univ Press of Mississippi
When Michael Copperman left Stanford University for the Mississippi Delta in 2002, he imagined he would lift underprivileged children from the narrow horizons of rural poverty. Well-meaning but naïve, the Asian American (the Japanese Hawaiian Hakka Russo Jewish American) from the West Coast soon lost his bearings in a world divided between black and white. He had no idea how to manage a classroom or help children navigate the considerable challenges they faced. In trying to help students, he often found he couldn’t afford to give what they required-sometimes with heartbreaking consequences. His desperate efforts to save child after child were misguided but sincere. He offered children the best invitations to success he could manage. But he still felt like an outsider who was failing the children and himself.
Teach For America has for a decade been the nation’s largest employer of recent college graduates but has come under increasing criticism in recent years even as it has grown exponentially. This memoir considers the distance between the idealism of the organization’s creed that “One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education and reach their full potential” and what it actually means to teach in America’s poorest and most troubled public schools.
Copperman’s memoir vividly captures his disorientation in the divided world of the Delta, even as the author marvels at the wit and resilience of the children in his classroom. To them, he is at once an authority figure and a stranger minority than even they are-a lone Asian, an outsider among outsiders. His journey is of great relevance to teachers, administrators, and parents longing for quality education in America. His frank story shows that the solutions for impoverished schools are far from simple.






















[book] The Arc of a Covenant:
The United States, Israel,
and the Fate of the Jewish People
by Walter Russell Mead
(Bard College)
2017
Knopf
From the acclaimed author of God and Gold and Special Providence, a groundbreaking new work that overturns the conventional understanding of the Israeli-American relationship and explores the fate of the Jewish people.

In this investigation, a scholar of American foreign policy contends that both pro-Zionists and anti-Zionists have unintentionally collaborated in a myth of monolithic American-Jewish support for Israel that exaggerates Jewish unity concerning Israel, overstates the influence of Jewish lobbyists, and underestimates the potential for change in the Israeli-American relationship.

Mead writes about non-Jews such as J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller who lobbied for a Jewish homeland well before the foundation of the modernist Zionist movement. He makes clear how, in contrast, many Jewish Americans feel at odds with Israel's right-wing nationalists; and how developments under both Presidents George W. Bush and Obama have driven the most heated American debate over Israel since the 1940s. Throughout, Mead's singular intelligence and lively prose penetrate layers of opaque history and politics, illuminating what the author believes is a better way forward.

The author is the James Clark Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College, Distinguished Scholar in American Strategy and Statesmanship at the Hudson Institute, and the editor-at-large of The American Interest. He served as the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow in American Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations and as a Brady-Johnson Fellow in Grand Strategy at Yale University.


















[book] Own It:
The Power of Women at Work
by Sallie Krawcheck
January 2017
Crown Business
Picking up the women and success conversation where Sheryl Sandberg left off, Krawcheck shows women how to take their careers to the next level….by playing by a new set of rules that build on their natural strengths.

So much advice for women talks about how to succeed in the static business world of yesterday and today. But that world is rapidly changing, and these changes are empowering women in unprecedented ways. Because in the increasingly complex, connected, and technology-driven world of tomorrow where communication and collaboration rule the day the skills and qualities needed for success are ones that women inherently possess: in spades.
By owning those qualities – qualities that make women amazing collaborators, extraordinary leaders and invaluable assets in the business world - you have more power and potential than you realize.
Here Krawcheck draws on her experiences at the highest levels of business, both as one of the lone women at the top rungs of the biggest boys club in the world, and as an entrepreneur, to show how women can tap into these skills – and their enormous economic power – to elevate their careers: everything from getting the raise, to new takes on networking and mentoring, to navigating career breaks and curveballs and forging non-traditional career paths, to how to initiate the “courageous conversations” about true flexibility and diversity in the workplace. We can have a more significant role than ever in shaping our companies – and building new companies – into places we want to work.
Lighting the path to complete the revolution ignited by Gloria Steinem, Krawcheck shows how each one of us can leverage our growing power to own our careers and our futures.




















[book] Power at Ground Zero:
Politics, Money, and the
Remaking of Lower Manhattan
by Lynne B. Sagalyn
(Columbia University)
2016
Oxford University Press
920 Pages! 920
Libekind, Silverstein, Newhouse, Bloomberg, Oh My
The destruction of the World Trade Center complex on 9/11 set in motion a chain of events that fundamentally transformed both the United States and the wider world. War has raged in the Middle East for a decade and a half, and Americans have become accustomed to surveillance, enhanced security, and periodic terrorist attacks. But the symbolic locus of the post-9/11 world has always been "Ground Zero"--the sixteen acres in Manhattan's financial district where the twin towers collapsed. While idealism dominated in the initial rebuilding phase, interest-group trench warfare soon ensued. Myriad battles involving all of the interests with a stake in that space-real estate interests, victims' families, politicians, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the federal government, community groups, architectural firms, and a panoply of ambitious entrepreneurs grasping for pieces of the pie-raged for over a decade, and nearly fifteen years later there are still loose ends that need resolution.
In Power at Ground Zero, Lynne Sagalyn offers the definitive account of one of the greatest reconstruction projects in modern world history. Sagalyn is America's most eminent scholar of major urban reconstruction projects, and this is the culmination of over a decade of research. Both epic in scope and granular in detail, this is at base a classic New York story. Sagalyn has an extraordinary command over all of the actors and moving parts involved in the drama: the long parade of New York and New Jersey governors involved in the project, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, various Port Authority leaders, the ubiquitous real estate magnate Larry Silverstein, and architectural superstars like Santiago Calatrava and Daniel Libeskind. As she shows, political competition at the local, state, regional, and federal level along with vast sums of money drove every aspect of the planning process. But the reconstruction project was always about more than complex real estate deals and jockeying among local politicians.
The symbolism of the reconstruction extended far beyond New York and was freighted with the twin tasks of symbolizing American resilience and projecting American power. As a result, every aspect was contested. As Sagalyn points out, while modern city building is often dismissed as cold-hearted and detached from meaning, the opposite was true at Ground Zero. Virtually every action was infused with symbolic significance and needed to be debated. The emotional dimension of 9/11 made this large-scale rebuilding effort unique; it supercharged the complexity of the rebuilding process with both sanctity and a truly unique politics. Covering all of this and more, Power at Ground Zero is sure to stand as the most important book ever written on the aftermath of arguably the most significant isolated event in the post-Cold War era.




















The Mediocrity of the Suit and Tie
[book] The Valley of the Gods:
A Silicon Valley Story
by Alexandra Wolfe
January 2017
Simon & Schuster
Some coddled and on coddled Ivy League grads come to Manhattan and work in banking and consulting. Others venture to the Bay Area to strike it rich another way. In a riveting, hilarious account, Wall Street Journal reporter and East Hampton habitue Alexandra Wolfe exposes a world that is not flat but bubbling — the men and women of Silicon Valley, whose hubris and ambition are changing the world.

Each year, young people from around the world go to Silicon Valley to hatch an idea, start a company, strike it rich, and become powerful and famous. In The Valley of the Gods, Wolfe follows three of these upstarts who have “stopped out” of college and real life to live and work in Silicon Valley in the hopes of becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk.
She documents the battle for the brightest kids, (unlike the TV series, Silicon Valley) kids whose goals are no less than making billions of dollars—and the fight they wage in turn to make it there. They embody an American cultural transformation: A move away from the East Coast hierarchy of Ivy Leagues and country clubs toward the startup life and a new social order.
Meet the billionaires who go to training clubs for thirty-minute “body slams” designed to fit in with the start-up schedule; attend parties where people devour peanut butter-and-jelly sushi rolls; and date and seduce in a romantic culture in which thick glasses, baggy jeans, and a t-shirt is the costume of any sex symbol (and where a jacket and tie symbolize mediocrity). Through Wolfe’s eyes, we discover how they date and marry, how they dress and live, how they plot and dream, and how they have created a business world and an economic order that has made us all devotees of them.
A blistering, brilliant, and hysterical examination of this new ruling class, The Valley of the Gods presents tomorrow’s strange new normal where the only outward signs of tech success are laptops and ideas.

If you enjoyed her VF profile of Thursday Night Cougar Night at the Rosewood in Menlo Park, you'll enjoy this





























[book] Loving vs. Virginia:
A Documentary Novel of the
Landmark Civil Rights Case
by Patricia Hruby Powell
Illustrated by Shadra Strickland
January 2017
Chronicle books
From acclaimed author Patricia Hruby Powell comes the story of a landmark civil rights case, told in spare and gorgeous verse. In 1955, in Caroline County, Virginia, amidst segregation and prejudice, injustice and cruelty, two teenagers fell in love. Their life together broke the law, but their determination would change it. Richard and Mildred Loving were at the heart of a Supreme Court case that legalized marriage between races, and a story of the devoted couple who faced discrimination, fought it, and won.




























[book] STEVEN SPIELBERG
A LIFE IN FILMS
By Molly Haskell
January 3, 2017
Yale University Press
– Jewish Lives series
A film-centric portrait of the extraordinarily gifted movie director whose decades-long influence on American popular culture is unprecedented
“Everything about me is in my films,” Steven Spielberg has said. Taking this as a key to understanding the hugely successful moviemaker, Molly Haskell explores the full range of Spielberg’s works for the light they shine upon the man himself. Through such powerhouse hits as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., Jurassic Park, and Indiana Jones, to lesser-known masterworks like A.I. and Empire of the Sun, to the haunting Schindler’s List, Haskell shows how Spielberg’s uniquely evocative filmmaking and story-telling reveal the many ways in which his life, work, and times are entwined.
Organizing chapters around specific films, the distinguished critic discusses how Spielberg’s childhood in non-Jewish suburbs, his parents’ traumatic divorce, his return to Judaism upon his son’s birth, and other events echo in his work. She offers a brilliant portrait of the extraordinary director—a fearful boy living through his imagination who grew into a man whose openness, generosity of spirit, and creativity have enchanted audiences for more than 40 years.































[book] I Wanna Be A Producer
How to Make a Killing on Broadway...
or Get Killed
by John Breglio
Applause
What does a ''producer'' actually do? How does one travel from that great idea for a show to a smash hit opening night on Broadway? John Breglio cannot guarantee you a hit, but he does take the reader on a fascinating journey behind-the-scenes to where he himself once stood as a child, dreaming about the theatre.

Part memoir, part handbook, I Wanna Be a Producer is a road map to the hows and wherefores, the dos and don'ts of producing a Broadway play, written by a Broadway veteran with more than 40 years of experience. This comprehensive and highly informative book features practical analysis and concepts for the producer and is filled with entertaining anecdotes from Breglio's illustrious career as a leading theatrical lawyer and producer. Breglio recounts not only his first-hand knowledge of the crucial legal and business issues faced by a producer, but also his experiences behind the scenes with literally hundreds of producers, playwrights, composers, and directors, including such theatre luminaries as Michael Bennett, Joe Papp, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Patti Lupone, and August Wilson.

Whether you are a working or aspiring producer, an investor, or are just curious about the backstage reality of the theater, Breglio shares his knowledge and experience of the industry, conveying practical information set against the real-life stories of those who have devoted their lives to the craft.

''If you have ever wanted to produce, if you have ever been interested in the nitty-gritty of what creating a Broadway show demands, this book will be an indispensable aid. Nowhere else are the details, especially the contractual details, of commercial producing laid out with such clarity and completeness.'' -- From the foreword by Oskar Eustis, Director of the Public Theater






























[book] Ernst Kantorowicz
A Life
by Robert E. Lerner
January 3, 2017
Princeton University Press
This is the first complete biography of Ernst Kantorowicz (1895-1963), an influential and controversial German-American intellectual whose colorful and dramatic life intersected with many of the great events and thinkers of his time. A medieval historian whose ideas exerted an influence far beyond his field, he is most famous for two books--a notoriously nationalistic 1927 biography of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and The King's Two Bodies (1957), a classic study of medieval politics.

Born into a wealthy Prussian-Jewish family, Kantorowicz fought on the Western Front in World War I, was wounded at Verdun, and earned an Iron Cross; later, he earned an Iron Crescent for service in Anatolia before an affair with a general's mistress led to Kantorowicz being sent home. After the war, he fought against Poles in his native Posen, Spartacists in Berlin, and communists in Munich. An ardent German nationalist during the Weimar period, Kantorowicz became a member of the elitist Stefan George circle, which nurtured a cult of the "Secret Germany." Yet as a professor in Frankfurt after the Nazis came to power, Kantorowicz bravely spoke out against the regime before an overflowing crowd. Narrowly avoiding arrest after Kristallnacht, he fled to England and then the United States, where he joined the faculty at Berkeley, only to be fired in 1950 for refusing to sign an anticommunist "loyalty oath." From there, he "fell up the ladder" to Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study, where he stayed until his death.

Drawing on many new sources, including numerous interviews and unpublished letters, Robert E. Lerner tells the story of a major intellectual whose life and times were as fascinating as his work.






















[book] Difficult Women
by Roxanne Gay
January 3, 2017
Grove Press
Award-winning author and powerhouse talent Roxane Gay burst onto the scene with An Untamed State and the New York Times bestselling essay collection Bad Feminist (Harper Perennial). Gay returns with Difficult Women, a collection of stories of rare force and beauty, of hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection.

The women in these stories live lives of privilege and of poverty, are in marriages both loving and haunted by past crimes or emotional blackmail. A pair of sisters, grown now, have been inseparable ever since they were abducted together as children, and must negotiate the elder sister's marriage. A woman married to a twin pretends not to realize when her husband and his brother impersonate each other. A stripper putting herself through college fends off the advances of an overzealous customer. A black engineer moves to Upper Michigan for a job and faces the malign curiosity of her colleagues and the difficulty of leaving her past behind. From a girls’ fight club to a wealthy subdivision in Florida where neighbors conform, compete, and spy on each other, Gay delivers a wry, beautiful, haunting vision of modern America reminiscent of Merritt Tierce, Jamie Quatro, and Miranda July.


































[book] When An Elephant
Falls in Love
By Davide Cali
Illustrated by Alice Lotti
K - 4
Chronicle books
From the bestselling author of I Didn't Do My Homework Because... comes an irresistible meditation on the quest for connection. When an elephant falls in love, he does many foolish things. He hides when the elephant-object of his affection is around. He writes dozens of letters that he will never send. And he tries to be healthy, but ends up finishing the cheesecake. This soulful book is at once relatable and revealing, a reminder that love is worth striving for, and that the very best things in life will come to those who wait.




























[book] Confessions of a Wall Street Insider
A Cautionary Tale of Rats, Feds, and Banksters
by Michael Kimelman
January 2017
Skyhorse
Although he was a suburban husband and father, living a far different life than the “Wolf of Wall Street,” Michael Kimelman had a good run as the cofounder of a hedge fund. He had left a cushy yet suffocating job at a law firm to try his hand at the high-risk life of a proprietary trader — and he did pretty well for himself. But it all came crashing down in the wee hours of November 5, 2009, when the Feds came to his door—almost taking the door off its hinges. While his wife and children were sequestered to a bedroom, Kimelman was marched off in embarrassment in view of his neighbors and TV crews who had been alerted in advance. He was arrested as part of a huge insider trading case, and while he was offered a “sweetheart” no-jail probation plea, he refused, maintaining his innocence.

The lion’s share of Confessions of a Wall Street Insider was written while Kimelman was an inmate at Lewisburg Penitentiary. In nearly two years behind bars, he reflected on his experiences before incarceration—rubbing elbows and throwing back far too many cocktails with financial titans and major figures in sports and entertainment (including Leonardo DiCaprio, Alex Rodriguez, Ben Bernanke, and Alan Greenspan, to drop a few names); making and losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in daily gambles on the Street; getting involved with the wrong people, who eventually turned on him; realizing that none of that mattered in the end. As he writes: “Stripped of family, friends, time, and humanity, if there’s ever a place to give one pause, it’s prison . . . Tomorrow is promised to no one.” In Confessions of a Wall Street Insider, he reveals the triumphs, pains, and struggles, and how, in the end, it just might have made him a better person.

























[book] The Dumpling Galaxy Cookbook
By Helen You
And Max Falkowitz
January 2017
Clarkson Potter
Recipes for one of New York City's favorite Asian dumplings purveyors, who originally started in a basement shop in Queens.
From the restaurant where adventurous foodies get the freshest dumplings in New York City, comes the ultimate Chinese cookbook with 60 recipes for classic and unexpected dumplings and dim sum-like side dishes. New York Times critic Pete Wells calls Helen You "a kind of genius for creating miniature worlds of flavor" and, indeed her recipes redefine the dumpling: Lamb and Green Squash with Sichuan pepper; Spicy Shrimp and Celery; Wood Ear Mushroom and Cabbage; and desserts such as Sweet Pumpkin and Black Sesame Tang Yuan. With information on the elements of a great dumpling, stunning photography, and detailed instructions for folding and cooking dumplings, this cookbook is a jumping-off point for creating your own galaxy of flavors.

























[book] A Really Good Day:
How Microdosing Made a Mega
Difference in My Mood,
My Marriage, and My Life
by Ayelet Waldman
January 24, 2017
Knopf
A revealing, courageous, fascinating, and funny account of the author's experiment with microdoses of LSD in an effort to treat a debilitating mood disorder, of her quest to understand a misunderstood drug, and of her search for a really good day.

When a small vial arrives in her mailbox from "Lewis Carroll," Ayelet Waldman is at a low point. Her mood storms have become intolerably severe; she has tried nearly every medication possible; her husband and children are suffering with her. So she opens the vial, places two drops on her tongue, and joins the ranks of an underground but increasingly vocal group of scientists and civilians successfully using therapeutic microdoses of LSD. As Waldman charts her experience over the course of a month--bursts of productivity, sleepless nights, a newfound sense of equanimity--she also explores the history and mythology of LSD, the cutting-edge research into the drug, and the byzantine policies that control it. Drawing on her experience as a federal public defender, and as the mother of teenagers, and her research into the therapeutic value of psychedelics, Waldman has produced a book that is eye-opening, often hilarious, and utterly enthralling.

























[book] Hey Harry, Hey Matilda:
A Novel
by Rachel Hulin
January 2017
Doubleday
Hey Harry, Hey Matilda is the story—told entirely in hilarious emails—of fraternal twins Harry and Matilda Goodman as they fumble into adulthood, telling lies and keeping secrets, and finally confronting their complicated twinship.
Matilda Goodman is an underemployed wedding photographer grappling with her failure to live as an artist and the very bad lie she has told her boyfriend (that she has a dead twin). Harry, her (totally alive) brother, is an untenured professor of literature, anxiously contemplating his publishing status (unpublished) and sleeping with a student. When Matilda invites her boyfriend home for Thanksgiving to meet the family, and when Harry makes a desperate—and unethical—move to save his career, they set off an avalanche of shame, scandal, and drunken hot tub revelations that force them to examine the truth about who they really are. A wonderfully subversive, sensitive novel of romantic entanglement and misguided ambition, Hey Harry, Hey Matilda is a joyful look at love and family in all its forms.

























[book] WHY?
EXPLAINING THE HOLOCAUST
BY PETER HAYES
January 2017
Norton
A bold new exploration that answers the most commonly asked questions about the Holocaust.
Despite the outpouring of books, movies, museums, memorials, and courses devoted to the Holocaust, a coherent explanation of why such ghastly carnage erupted from the heart of civilized Europe in the twentieth century still seems elusive even seventy years later. Numerous theories have sprouted in an attempt to console ourselves and to point the blame in emotionally satisfying directions?yet none of them are fully convincing. As witnesses to the Holocaust near the ends of their lives, it becomes that much more important to unravel what happened and to educate a new generation about the horrors inflicted by the Nazi regime on Jews and non-Jews alike.
Why? dispels many misconceptions and answers some of the most basic?yet vexing?questions that remain: why the Jews and not another ethnic group? Why the Germans? Why such a swift and sweeping extermination? Why didn’t more Jews fight back more often? Why didn’t they receive more help? While responding to the questions he has been most frequently asked by students over the decades, world-renowned Holocaust historian and professor Peter Hayes brings a wealth of scholarly research and experience to bear on conventional, popular views of the history, challenging some of the most prominent recent interpretations. He argues that there is no single theory that “explains” the Holocaust; the convergence of multiple forces at a particular moment in time led to catastrophe.
In clear prose informed by an encyclopedic knowledge of Holocaust literature in English and German, Hayes weaves together stories and statistics to heart-stopping effect. Why? is an authoritative, groundbreaking exploration of the origins of one of the most tragic events in human history.

































[book] Final Solution
The Fate of the Jews 1933-1949
by David Cesarani
St. Martin's Press
David Cesarani’s Final Solution is a magisterial work of history that chronicles the fate of Europe’s Jews. Based on decades of scholarship, documentation newly available from the opening of Soviet archives, declassification of western intelligence service records, as well as diaries and reports written in the camps, Cesarani provides a sweeping reappraisal challenging accepted explanations for the anti-Jewish politics of Nazi Germany and the inevitability of the Final Solution. The persecution of the Jews, as Cesarani sees it, was not always the Nazis’ central preoccupation, nor was it inevitable. He shows how, in German-occupied countries, it unfolded erratically, often due to local initiatives. For Cesarani, war was critical to the Jewish fate.
Military failure denied the Germans opportunities to expel Jews into a distant territory and created a crisis of resources that led to the starvation of the ghettos and intensified anti-Jewish measures. Looking at the historical record, he disputes the iconic role of railways and deportation trains. From prisoner diaries, he exposes the extent of sexual violence and abuse of Jewish women and follows the journey of some Jewish prisoners to displaced persons camps. David Cesarani’s Final Solution is the new standard chronicle of the fate of a heroic people caught in the hell that was Hitler’s Germany.

































[book] THE PATRIOTS
A Novel
by Sana Krasikov
January 2017
Spiegel & Grau
An astonishing first novel, epic in scope—that takes us from Brooklyn in the 1930s to Soviet Moscow and Siberia, and back to New York in the 1980s and beyond—about the price of loyalty, the lure of betrayal, and the bonds between a mother and a son

A sweeping multigenerational debut novel about idealism, betrayal, and family secrets that takes us from Brooklyn in the 1930s to Soviet Russia to post-Cold War America
When the Great Depression hits, Florence Fein leaves Brooklyn College for what appears to be a plum job in Moscow—and the promise of love and independence. But once in Russia, she quickly becomes entangled in a country she can’t escape. Many years later, Florence’s son, Julian, will make the opposite journey, immigrating back to the United States. His work in the oil industry takes him on frequent visits to Moscow, and when he learns that Florence’s KGB file has been opened, he arranges a business trip to uncover the truth about his mother, and to convince his son, Lenny, who is trying to make his fortune in the new Russia, to return home. What he discovers is both chilling and heartbreaking: an untold story of what happened to a generation of Americans abandoned by their country.
The Patriots is a riveting evocation of the Cold War years, told with brilliant insight and extraordinary skill. Alternating between Florence’s and Julian’s perspectives, it is at once a mother-son story and a tale of two countries bound in a dialectic dance; a love story and a spy story; both a grand, old-fashioned epic and a contemporary novel of ideas. Through the history of one family moving back and forth between continents over three generations, The Patriots is a poignant tale of the power of love, the rewards and risks of friendship, and the secrets parents and children keep from one another.























[book] Storm in a Teacup:
The Physics of Everyday Life
by Helen Czerski
(BBC Focus, Univ College London)
January 2017
Norton
A physicist explains daily phenomena from the mundane to the magisterial. Take a look up at the stars on a clear night and you get a sense that the universe is vast and untouchable, full of mysteries beyond comprehension. But did you know that the key to unveiling the secrets of the cosmos is as close as the nearest toaster?
Our home here on Earth is messy, mutable, and full of humdrum things that we touch and modify without much thought every day. But these familiar surroundings are just the place to look if you’re interested in what makes the universe tick. In Storm in a Teacup, Helen Czerski provides the tools to alter the way we see everything around us by linking ordinary objects and occurrences, like popcorn popping, coffee stains, and fridge magnets, to big ideas like climate change, the energy crisis, or innovative medical testing. She guides us through the principles of gases (“Explosions in the kitchen are generally considered a bad idea. But just occasionally a small one can produce something delicious”); gravity (drop some raisins in a bottle of carbonated lemonade and watch the whoosh of bubbles and the dancing raisins at the bottom bumping into each other); size (Czerski explains the action of the water molecules that cause the crime-scene stain left by a puddle of dried coffee); and time (why it takes so long for ketchup to come out of a bottle).
Along the way, she provides answers to vexing questions: How does water travel from the roots of a redwood tree to its crown? How do ducks keep their feet warm when walking on ice? Why does milk, when added to tea, look like billowing storm clouds? In an engaging voice at once warm and witty, Czerski shares her stunning breadth of knowledge to lift the veil of familiarity from the ordinary. You may never look at your toaster the same way.



















[book] American Hookup:
The New Culture of
Sex on Campus
by Lisa Wade
Occidental College
January 2017
Norton
The hookup is now part of college life. Yet the drunken encounter we always hear about tells only a fraction of the story. Rising above misinformation and moralizing, Lisa Wade offers the definitive account of this new sexual culture and demonstrates that the truth is both more heartening and more harrowing than we thought.
What should Jewish students expect at college. How will hookup culture affect their dorm years, psychology, feelings of self esteem, and later lives.
Should be read be all Jewish educators and social leaders working on campuses

Offering invaluable insights for parents, educators, and students, Wade situates hookup culture within the history of sexuality, the evolution of higher education, and the unfinished feminist revolution. Using new research, she maps out a punishing emotional landscape marked by unequal pleasures, competition for status, and sexual violence. She discovers that the most privileged students tend to like hookup culture the most, and she considers its effects on racial and sexual minorities, students who “opt out,” and those who participate ambivalently.

Accessible and open-minded, compassionate and brutally honest, American Hookup explains where we are and how we got here, asking not “How do we go back?” but “Where do we go from here?”
























[book] Friendship in the Hebrew Bible
By Saul M. Olyan
(Brown University)
January 2017
Oxford University Press
For the academic community
The first comprehensive study of friendship in the Hebrew Bible
Friendship, though a topic of considerable humanistic and cross disciplinary interest in contemporary scholarship, has been largely ignored by scholars of the Hebrew Bible, possibly because of its complexity and elusiveness. Filling a significant gap in our knowledge and understanding of biblical texts, Saul M. Olyan provides this original, accessible analysis of a key form of social relationship. In this thorough and compelling assessment, Olyan analyzes a wide range of texts, including prose narratives, prophetic materials, psalms, pre-Hellenistic wisdom collections, and the Hellenistic-era wisdom book Ben Sira. This in-depth, contextually sensitive, and theoretically engaged study explores how the expectations of friends and family members overlap and differ, examining, among other things, characteristics that make the friend a distinct social actor; failed friendship; and friendships in narratives such as those of Ruth and Naomi, and Jonathan and David. Olyan presents a comprehensive look at what constitutes friendship in the Hebrew Bible.
Saul M. Olyan is the Samuel Ungerleider Jr. Professor of Judaic Studies and professor of religious studies at Brown University. He serves on the editorial board of the Anchor Yale Bible series. He lives in Providence, RI.
























[book] The Genius of Judaism
By Bernard-Henri Levy
January 2017
Translated from French
Random House
From world-renowned public intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy comes an incisive and provocative look at the heart of Judaism.

For more than four decades, Bernard-Henri Lévy has been a singular figure on the world stage—one of the great moral voices of our time. Now Europe's foremost philosopher and activist confronts his spiritual roots and the religion that has always inspired and shaped him—but that he has never fully reckoned with.

The Genius of Judaism is a breathtaking new vision and understanding of what it means to be a Jew, a vision quite different from the one we’re used to. It is rooted in the Talmudic traditions of argument and conflict, rather than biblical commandments, borne out in struggle and study, not in blind observance. At the very heart of the matter is an obligation to the other, to the dispossessed, and to the forgotten, an obligation that, as Lévy vividly recounts, he has sought to embody over decades of championing “lost causes,” from Bosnia to Africa’s forgotten wars, from Libya to the Kurdish Peshmerga’s desperate fight against the Islamic State, a battle raging as we speak. Lévy offers a fresh, surprising critique of a new and stealthy form of anti-Semitism on the rise as well as a provocative defense of Israel from the left. He reveals the overlooked Jewish roots of Western democratic ideals and confronts the current Islamist threat while intellectually dismantling it. Jews are not a “chosen people,” Lévy explains, but a “treasure” whose spirit must continue to inform moral thinking and courage today.

Lévy’s most passionate book, and in many ways his most personal, The Genius of Judaism is a great, profound, and hypnotic intellectual reckoning—indeed a call to arms—by one of the keenest and most insightful writers in the world.















Read what Bernard-Henri is currently reading:

[book] [book] [book]
























































[book] THE PATRIOTS
A NOVEL
BY SANA KRASIKOV
(Winner of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature)
January 24, 2017
Spiegel & Grau
A sweeping multigenerational debut novel about idealism, betrayal, and family secrets that takes us from Brooklyn in the 1930s to Soviet Russia to post-Cold War America

When the Great Depression hits, Florence Fein leaves Brooklyn College for what appears to be a plum job in Moscow—and the promise of love and independence. But once in Russia, she quickly becomes entangled in a country she can’t escape. Many years later, Florence’s son, Julian, will make the opposite journey, immigrating back to the United States. His work in the oil industry takes him on frequent visits to Moscow, and when he learns that Florence’s KGB file has been opened, he arranges a business trip to uncover the truth about his mother, and to convince his son, Lenny, who is trying to make his fortune in the new Russia, to return home. What he discovers is both chilling and heartbreaking: an untold story of what happened to a generation of Americans abandoned by their country.

The Patriots is a riveting evocation of the Cold War years, told with brilliant insight and extraordinary skill. Alternating between Florence’s and Julian’s perspectives, it is at once a mother-son story and a tale of two countries bound in a dialectic dance; a love story and a spy story; both a grand, old-fashioned epic and a contemporary novel of ideas. Through the history of one family moving back and forth between continents over three generations, The Patriots is a poignant tale of the power of love, the rewards and risks of friendship, and the secrets parents and children keep from one another.

Advance praise for The Patriots
“I found on every page an observation so acute, a sentence of such truth and shining detail, that it demanded re-reading for the sheer pleasure of it. The Patriots has convinced me that Krasikov belongs among the totemic young writers of her era.”—Khaled Hosseini, author of And the Mountains Echoed and The Kite Runner






















[book] A CONSEQUENTIAL PRESIDENT
THE LEGACY OF BARACK OBAMA
by Michael D'Antonio
January 2017
Thomas Dunne Books
Barack Obama was once a most unlikely candidate, but his successful campaign for the White House made him a worldwide sensation and a transformative figure even before he was inaugurated. Elected as the Iraq War and the Great Recession had discouraged millions of Americans, Obama made a promise of hope that revived the national spirit. Soon after he occupied the White House, Congress approved his economic-recovery act and his program to save the U.S. auto industry. Both worked better than any observer predicted, and together they powered a recovery that has seen growth return and unemployment reduced to below five percent. Today the American economy is again the most vibrant in the world and its recovery has far outpaced Western Europe's.

Had he only saved the U.S. economy, Barack Obama would be considered a truly successful president. However, he has achieved so much more, against ferocious opposition---including some who challenged his claim to being an American citizen---that he can be counted as one of the most consequential presidents in history. With health care reform he ended a long-running crisis of escalating costs and inadequate access of treatment that threatened the well-being of 50 million people. His energy policies drove down the cost of power generated by the sun, the wind, and even fossil fuels. His efforts on climate change produced the first treaty to address global warming in a meaningful way---the Paris Agreement---and his diplomacy produced a dramatic reduction in the nuclear threat posed by Iran. Add the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, the normalization of relations with Cuba, and his “pivot” toward Asia, and Obama's successes abroad match those at home.

flochery In A Consequential President, Michael D'Antonio tallies President Obama’s long record of achievement, recalling both his major successes and less-noticed ones that nevertheless contribute to his legacy. The record includes Obama's role as a inspirational leader who was required to navigate race relations as the first black president and had to function in an atmosphere that included both racial acrimony from his critics and unfair expectations among supporters. In light of these conditions, Obama's greatest achievement came as he restored dignity and ethics to the office of the president, and serve as proof that he has delivered the hope and the change he promised eight years before.






















[book] ATTENDING
Medicine, Mindfulness, and Humanity
by Dr. Ronald Epstein M.D.
(Univ of Rochester)
January 2017
Scribner
The first book for the general public about mindfulness and medical practice, a groundbreaking, intimate exploration of how doctors think and what matters most—safe, effective, patient-centered, compassionate care—from the foremost expert in the field.

As a third-year Harvard Medical student doing a clinical rotation in surgery, Ronald Epstein watched an experienced surgeon fail to notice his patient’s kidney turning an ominous shade of blue. In that same rotation, Epstein was awestruck by another surgeon’s ability to slow down and shift between autopilot and intentionality. The difference between these two doctors left a lasting impression on Epstein and set the stage for his life’s work—to identify the qualities and habits that distinguish masterful doctors from those who are merely competent. The secret, he learned, was mindfulness.

In Attending, his first book, Dr. Epstein builds on his world-renowned, innovative programs in mindful practice and uses gripping and deeply human stories from clinical practice to give patients a language to describe what they most value in health care and to outline a road map for doctors and other health care professionals to refocus their approach to medicine. Drawing on his clinical experiences and current research and exploring four foundations of mindfulness—Attention, Curiosity, Beginner’s Mind, and Presence—Dr. Epstein introduces a revolutionary concept: by looking inward, health care practitioners can grow their capacity to provide high-quality care and the resilience to be there when their patients need them.

The commodification of health care has shifted the doctors' focus away from the healing of patients to the bottom line. Clinician burnout is at an all-time high. Attending is the antidote. With intelligence and compassion, Epstein offers a crucial, timely book that shows us how we can restore humanity to medicine, guides us toward a better overall quality of care, and reminds us of what matters most.

























[book] Mitford at the Hollywood Zoo
by Donald Robertson
@drawberston
(of Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown, MAC, Conde Nast)
January 2017
Penguin Random House
Age 3 - 7
Mitford is a giraffe. But not your everyday, live-on-the-savanna giraffe. Mitford works at Cover magazine (sort of like Vogue), in one of the biggest cities in the world! (think NYC).
Mitford knows how to handle fashionistas. Shark Jacobs... Michael Boars... But does does he know about Tinseltown? Angelina Collie, Brad Pittbull, Ryan Seahorse, BEE YONSAY (she likes butterflies)
But now another city needs Mitford, and soon the chic giraffe is surrounded by palm trees and super-famous celebrities! It would be great to sunbathe by the pool, but it's the day of the Academy Zoowards and these movie stars must have the most fabulous dress or tux ever.
Can Mitford deliver everyone's fashion demands on time?
























[book] Mad Toffs:
The British Upper Classes
at Their Best and Worst
by Patrick Scrivenor
John Blake
January 2017
'This book is a record of the British upper classes - and a few others - at their best (sometimes their worst), displaying a sort of unhinged blitheness of manner that leads them to say and do strangely unexpected things. It is a quality of innocent insolence, or maybe guileless arrogance, which belongs only to the very rich, the very privileged and the very idle.' Consider Lord Hartington, son and heir of the seventh Duke of Devonshire, who contrived to shoot dead a pheasant flying low through a gate and the retriever that was pursuing it, while also peppering (a) the retriever's owner, and (b) the chef from Chatsworth House. When asked if he regretted taking this risky shot, Hartington replied, 'Well of course. If I had killed Chef we'd have had no dinner'. Or the first Earl of Durham who, in the early nineteenth century, remarked that 'GBP40,000 a year is a moderate income - such as one man might jog along with.' He was not speaking from experience, his own annual income being a healthy GBP80,000 a year at the time - or between GBP6 million and GBP8 million in today's money.Or the third Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, to whom it was tentatively suggested by his advisers that perhaps employing six chefs was excessive, and one, the pastry cook, might possibly be dispensed with, as an economy. The Duke gazed bleakly at his straitened future. 'Can't a chap have a biscuit?' he complained. Patrick Scrivenor has combed the annals of the British aristocracy to provide an illuminating - and wildly funny - portrait of people who, though often talented in their own fields, courteous and well-meaning, generous and even liberal-minded, none the less display a certain disconnectedness from the realities that tend to afflict the less elevated echelons of society. The result is clear evidence that what many call 'eccentricity', the more rational would probably describe as 'plain bonkers'.























[book] 100 Tricks to Appear
Smart in Meetings:
How to Get By Without
Even Trying
by Sarah Cooper
Andrews McMeel
Funny because it's true. From the creator of the viral sensation "10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings" (5+ million views and hundreds of thousands of shares) comes the must-have book you never knew you needed, 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings. In it, you will learn how to appear smart in less than half the time it takes to actually learn anything.

Are we asking the right questions?

You know those subtle tricks your coworkers are all guilty of? The constant nodding, pretend concentration, useless rhetorical questions? These tricks make them seem like they know what they're doing when in fact they have no clue. This behavior is so ingrained, so subtle, and so often mistaken for true intelligence that identifying it, calling it out, or compiling it into an exhaustive digest has never been attempted. Until now.
Complete with illustrated tips, examples, and scenarios, 100 Tricks gives you actionable ways to use words like "actionable," in order to sound smart. Every type of meeting is covered, from general meetings where you stopped paying attention almost immediately, to one-on-one meetings you zoned out on, to impromptu meetings you were painfully subjected to at the last minute. It's all here.
Open this book to any page and find an easy-to-digest trick with an even easier-to-digest illustration, guiding you on:
how to nail the big meeting by pacing and nodding
most effective ways to listen to your coworkers while still completely ignoring them
the key to making your presentations "interactive."

If you hadn't noticed these behaviors before, you will see them now--from your colleagues, your managers, and soon yourself. Each trick is a mirror to the reality of what happens in meetings, told in the form of hilariously bad advice--advice that you might just want to take. But probably not. But maybe.






















[book] The Making of the
President 2016:
How Donald Trump
Orchestrated a Revolution
by Roger Stone
January 31, 2017
Skyhorse Publishing
A new book from one of the most despised authors and political consultants in the United States. Roger Stone authored a book against LBJ, saying he killed JFK; against Bill and Hillary Clinton; against Jeb Bush; and one against Richard Nixon.

In this book, the GOP strategist and close friend and advisor to Donald J. Trump examines from his Point of View how Trump’s campaign tapped into the national mood to deliver a stunning (or surprise) victory that few expected. Stone criticizes the “torrent of invective from the mainstream media,” but shies away from the hate upon which the Trump campaign was based. He writes that it was the the “silent majority” shifted the election to Donald Trump in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, thus handing him the presidency, even though the popular vote went to Clinton.
Stone gives the reader his “inside story” of how Donald Trump almost single-handedly harnessed discontent among “Forgotten Americans” despite running a guerrilla-style grass roots campaign to compete with the smooth running and free-spending Clinton political machine.

You can decide for yourself if the story is fiction and willful thinking or all SPIN

Stoenalso shovel shit about his views on Julian Assange, Wikileaks, Clinton campaign chief John Podesta, Huma Abedin, Anthony Weiner, his persona of Carlos Danger, Doug Band, Jeffery Epstein, and what Stone says were the efforts to “hide the former first lady’s infirmities and health problems.” Stone goes on to say that it was a phony narrative that Trump was helped by Vladimir Putin.

Saying the Roger Stone's analysis is akin to Theodore H. White’s seminal book “The Making of the President 1960,” is like saying that spit is akin to champagne…. But you can decide for yourself.
























WINNER OF THE 2016 NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD FOR POETRY
[book] Almost Complete Poems
by Stanley Moss
January 26, 2017
Now in paperback
Seven Stories Press & Carcanet Press
Moss is oceanic: his poems rise, crest, crash, and rise again like waves.
His voice echoes the boom of the Old Testament, the fluty trill of Greek mythology, and the gongs of Chinese rituals as he writes about love, nature, war, oppression, and the miracle of language.
He addresses the God of the Jews, of the Christians, and of the Muslims with awe and familiarity, and chants to lesser gods of his own invention. In every surprising poem, every song to life, beautiful life, Moss, by turns giddy and sorrowful, expresses a sacred sensuality and an earthy holiness.
Or putting it another way: here is a mind operating in open air, unimpeded by fashion or forced thematic focus, profoundly catholic in perspective, at once accessible and erudite, inevitably compelling. All of which is to recommend Moss's ability to participate in and control thoroughly these poems while resisting the impulse to center himself in them. This differentiates his beautiful work from much contemporary breast-beating. Moss is an artist who embraces the possibilities of exultation, appreciation, reconciliation, of extreme tenderness. As such he lays down a commitment to a common, worldly morality toward which all beings gravitate..
























[book] The Afterlife of Stars
by Joseph Kertes
January 2017
Little, Brown and Company
A Brother's Love is Forever

As Russian tanks roll through the cobblestone streets of Budapest and shots ring out, young Robert and Attila Beck, inseparable brothers, peer from the boot of a toppled statue of Stalin at the first grisly signs of revolution. The year is 1956. That October day, Russian soldiers will storm their family home, prompting the boys' hurried escape from the city with their parents, grandmother, and two cousins. Not all will survive. Their immediate destination is Paris, and the town house of Hermina, their great-aunt, once a renowned opera singer, now a recluse who wears long gloves to preserve her dignity against a past scarred by an unspeakable violence.

Along the way, these two brothers encounter mysterious fellow travelers, witness the bewildering sights of a nation in transition, and grapple with rivalry and loss, while never losing their capacity for joy or their appreciation of humor, and each other, as they stare down the unaccountable and the absurd. Robert, the younger, idolizes the fiery Attila, whose growing edge of anger and rebellion threatens to endanger them both. As exiles in Paris, they seek adventure and whatever semblance of home they might find, from the unfamiliar streets to the labyrinthine sewers beneath. When the duo uncovers a long-held family secret involving a double agent and a daring Holocaust rescue, this novel hurtles toward its cataclysmic conclusion. A fleeting decision by Attila has consequences that will last a lifetime, and the bond that has proved unbreakable may be the brothers' undoing.

With dazzling storytelling and a firm belief in the power of humor in the face of turmoil, Joseph Kertes has crafted a fierce saga of identity and love that resonates through its final page. The Afterlife of Stars is not only a stirring account of one displaced family's possibilities for salvation, but also an extraordinary tale of the singular and enduring ties of brotherhood.

























[book] Light Comes Shining
The Transformations of Bob Dylan
by Andrew McCarron
January 2017
Oxford University Press
Bob Dylan is the prince of self-reinvention and deflection. Whether it's the folkies of Greenwich Village, the student movement of the 1960s and 1970s, Born Again Christians, the Chabad Lubavitch community, or English Department postmodernists, specific intellectual and sociopolitical groups have repeatedly claimed Bob Dylan as their spokesperson. But in the words of filmmaker Todd Haynes, who cast six actors to depict different facets of Dylan's life and artistic personae in his 2009 film I'm Not There, "The minute you try to grab hold of Dylan, he's no longer where he was."
In Light Come Shining, writer Andrew McCarron uses psychological tools to examine three major turning points - or transformations - in Bob Dylan's life: the aftermath of his 1966 motorcycle "accident," his Born Again conversion in 1978, and his recommitment to songwriting and performing in 1987. With fascinating insight, McCarron reveals how a common script undergirds Dylan's self-explanations of these changes; and, at the heart of this script, illuminates a fascinating story of spiritual death and rebirth that has captivated us all for generations.























FEBRUARY 2017 BOOKS




[book] The Man Who Never Stopped Sleeping:
A Novel
by Aharon Appelfeld
Translated from Hebrew by Jeffrey Green
February 2017
Schocken
From the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author (“One of the greatest writers of the age”—The Guardian): a young Holocaust survivor takes his first steps toward creating a new life in the newly established state of Israel.
Erwin doesn’t remember much about his journey across Europe when the war finally ended because he spent most of it asleep, carried by other survivors as they emerged from their hiding places or were liberated from the camps and made their way to the shores of Naples,where they filled refugee camps and wondered what was to become of them. As he struggles to stay awake, Erwin becomes part of a group of boys being rigorously trained both physically and mentally by an emissary from Palestine for life in their new home. The fog of sleep slowly begins to lift, and when Erwin and his fellow clandestine immigrants are released by British authorities from the detention camp in Atlit, he and his comrades are assigned to a kibbutz, where they learn how to tend to the land and speak their new language. But a part of Erwin desperately clings to the past—to memories of his parents, to his mother tongue, to the Ukrainian city where he was born—and he knows that despite what he is being told, who he was is just as important as who he is now becoming.
When he is wounded in an engagement with snipers, Erwin must spend long months recovering from multiple surgeries and trying to regain the use of his legs. As he exercises his body, he exercises his mind as well, copying passages from the Bible in his newly acquired Hebrew and working up the courage to create his own texts in this language both old and new, hoping to succeed as a writer where his beloved, tormented father had failed. With the support of his friends and of other survivors, and with the encouragement of his mother (who visits him in his dreams), Erwin takes his first tentative steps with his crutches—and with his pen. Once again, Aharon Appelfeld mines heartrending personal experience to create dazzling, masterly fiction with a universal resonance.

























[book] This Close to Happy:
A Reckoning with Depression
by Daphne Merkin
February 7, 2017
Schocken
A New York Times Book Review Favorite Read of 2016. A gifted and audacious writer confronts her lifelong battle with depression and her search for release. This Close to Happy is the rare, vividly personal account of what it feels like to suffer from clinical depression, written from a woman’s perspective and informed by an acute understanding of the implications of this disease over a lifetime.

Taking off from essays on depression she has written for The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine, Daphne Merkin casts her eye back to her beginnings to try to sort out the root causes of her affliction. She recounts the travails of growing up in a large, affluent Orthodox Jewish family on Manhattan’s Upper East Side where there was an extreme lack of love and of basics such as food and clothing despite the presence of a chauffeur and a cook. Her mother starved the kids, because she felt guilty that her Israeli relatives were living poor and underfed. Her mother hired an abusive nanny for the kids, so the kids would never love the nanny more than their mother. Merkin fantasized about killing both her parents.
Merkin goes on to recount her early hospitalization for depression in poignant detail, as well as more about her complex relationship with her mercurial, withholding mother. Along the way Merkin also discusses her early, redemptive love of reading and gradual emergence as a writer. She eventually marries, has a child, and suffers severe postpartum depression, for which she is again hospitalized. Merkin also discusses her visits to various therapists and psychopharmocologists, which enables her to probe the causes of depression and its various treatments. The book ends in the present, where the writer has learned how to navigate her depression, if not “cure” it, after a third hospitalization in the wake of her mother’s death.

























[book] A World Erased
A Grandson's Search for His
Family's Holocaust Secrets
by Noah Lederman
February 7, 2017
Rowman & Littlefield
This poignant memoir by Noah Lederman, the grandson of Holocaust survivors, transports readers from his grandparents’ kitchen table in Brooklyn to World War II Poland. In the 1950s, Noah’s grandparents raised their children on Holocaust stories. But because tales of rebellion and death camps gave his father and aunt constant nightmares, in Noah’s adolescence Grandma would only recount the PG version. Noah, however, craved the uncensored truth and always felt one right question away from their pasts. But when Poppy died at the end of the millennium, it seemed the Holocaust stories died with him. In the years that followed, without the love of her life by her side, Grandma could do little more than mourn.

After college, Noah, a travel writer, roamed the world for fifteen months with just one rule: avoid Poland. A few missteps in Europe, however, landed him in his grandparents’ country. When he returned home, he cautiously told Grandma about his time in Warsaw, fearing that the past would bring up memories too painful for her to relive. But, instead, remembering the Holocaust unexpectedly rejuvenated her, ending five years of mourning her husband. Together, they explored the memories—of Auschwitz and a half-dozen other camps, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and the displaced persons camps—that his grandmother had buried for decades. And the woman he had playfully mocked as a child became his hero.

I was left with the stories—the ones that had been hidden, the ones that offered catharsis, the ones that gave me a second hero, the ones that resurrected a family, the ones that survived even death. Their shared journey profoundly illuminates the transformative power of never forgetting.
























[book] Needles and Haystacks:
Smart Thinking in the
Age of New Data

New Title: Everybody Lies:
Big Data, New Data, and
What the Internet Can Tell
Us About Who We Really Are
by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
February 2017
Morrow – Dey Street
Seth is an Op-Ed contributor for The New York Times and former data scientist for Google. He has his PhD from Harvard and another degree from Stanford. This is a story of finding or uncovering insights in big data.

In 2013, as a PhD student in economics at Harvard, he wrote a dissertation claiming that Google searches could improve measurements of racism and child abuse and predict voter turnout. Based on these insights, Google hired him. Dr. Stephens-Davidowitz has used Google searches to measure son preference, self-induced abortion, sexual insecurity, depression, and therapy usage. He has also used Google searches to estimate how many men are gay; explore why we tell jokes; and learn how politicians can successfully calm an angry mob. He used Facebook likes to measure the key ages in child development; scraped Wikipedia to find what cities are best for producing superstars; analyzed the demographics of America's largest hate site; and studied ancestry.com data to learn what it really takes to make the NBA. He also knows how to juggle and has a passion for the Mets and Leonard Cohen.

























[book] A NARROW BRIDGE
by J.J. Gesher
with Joyce Gittlin and
Janet B. Fattal
February 2017
Prospect Park Books
Shortly after Orthodox Jewish Brooklynite Jacob Fischer puts his young family on a bus to visit relatives, the bus explodes in a stunning act of terrorism. HIs faith shattered, Jacob flees the comforts of his community and disappears. He lands up in a predominantly black town in rural Alabama, where he meets Rosie, the single mother of a young son. Their developing relationship, along with the rekindling of his love of music, precipitate events that will change both their lives. This debut novel is a powerful page-turner that follows a complex man on a journey of salvation after tragedy.

J.J. Gesher is the pen name for co-authors Joyce Gittlin and Janet B. Fattal. Together, Janet and Joyce have won several prestigious screenwriting awards, including the Geller Prize and the Screenwriting Award at the Austin Film Festival. Their first screenwriting collaboration was produced as a Lifetime Television feature.
























[book] High Noon:
The Hollywood Blacklist and
the Making of an American Classic
by Glenn Frankel
February 2017
Bloomsbury USA
Many politicians cite HIGH NOON as their favorite film.
It was difficult to produce and was made for a very low budget. It starred Gary Cooper and Grace Kelley. For 1953, it won four Academy Awards. It became a quintessential post-War American film. It celebrated moral fortitude and American moral strength. A sheriff cannot get his town to help him fight the bad guys. It is a story of McCarthyism and HUAC.
What is overlooked and forgotten is that it was written by a blacklisted writer who would NOT name names. He was exiled from Hollywood and America (and co-wrote The Bridge of the River Kwai, 1957 (uncredited)
This is the story of Carl Foreman (the son of Fanny (Rozin) and Isidore Foreman), and the film, and its producers, and how it evolved from idea to draft to final script, and its allegorical weight in light of the McCarthy hunt for Communist influence in Hollywood.






















[book] We'll Always Have Casablanca:
The Life, Legend, and Afterlife
of Hollywood's Most Beloved Movie
by Noah Isenberg
(The New School)
February 2017
WW Norton and Company
For the 75th anniversary of its premiere?the incredible story of how Casablanca was made and why it remains the most beloved of Hollywood films.

Casablanca was first released in 1942, just two weeks after the city of Casablanca itself surrendered to American troops led by General Patton. Featuring a pitch-perfect screenplay, a classic soundtrack, and unforgettable performances by Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and a deep supporting cast, Casablanca was hailed in the New York Times as “a picture that makes the spine tingle and the heart take a leap.” The film won Oscars for best picture, best director, and best screenplay, and would go on to enjoy more revival screenings than any other movie in history. It became so firmly ensconced in the cultural imagination that, as Umberto Eco once said, Casablanca is “not one movie; it is ‘movies.’ ”

We’ll Always Have Casablanca is celebrated film historian Noah Isenberg’s rich account of this most beloved movie’s origins. Through extensive research and interviews with filmmakers, film critics, family members of the cast and crew, and diehard fans, Isenberg reveals the myths and realities behind Casablanca’s production, exploring the transformation of the unproduced stage play into the classic screenplay, the controversial casting decisions, the battles with Production Code censors, and the effect of the war’s progress on the movie’s reception. Isenberg particularly focuses on the central role refugees from Hitler’s Europe played in the production (nearly all of the actors and actresses cast in Casablanca were immigrants).

Finally, Isenberg turns to Casablanca’s long afterlife and the reasons it remains so revered. From the Marx Brothers’ 1946 spoof hit, A Night in Casablanca, to loving parodies in New Yorker cartoons, Saturday Night Live skits, and Simpsons episodes, Isenberg delves into the ways the movie has lodged itself in the American psyche.

Filled with fresh insights into Casablanca’s creation, production, and legacy, We’ll Always Have Casablanca is a magnificent account of what made the movie so popular and why it continues to dazzle audiences seventy-five years after its release.






















[book] Traveling with Ghosts:
A Memoir
by Shannon Leone Fowler
February 2017
Simon and Schuster
From grief to reckoning to reflection to solace, a marine biologist shares the solo journey she took—through war-ravaged Eastern Europe, Israel, and beyond—to find peace after her fiancé suffered a fatal attack by a box jellyfish in Thailand.
In the summer of 2002, Shannon Leone Fowler, a twenty-eight-year-old marine biologist, was backpacking with her fiancé and love of her life, Sean. Sean was a tall, blue-eyed, warmhearted Australian, and he and Shannon planned to return to Australia after their excursion to Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand. Their plans, however, were devastatingly derailed when a box jellyfish — the most venomous animal in the world — wrapped around Sean’s leg, stinging and killing him in a matter of minutes as Shannon helplessly watched. The book opens as he sort of can’t stand, feels weird after being stung, and dies within minutes. Two Israeli women sit with the author as she tries to make plans and face Sean’s death, telling off Thai authorities to respect the body.
Rejecting the Thai authorities attempt to label Sean’s death a “drunk drowning,” Shannon ferried his body home to his stunned family—a family to which she suddenly no longer belonged. Shattered and un-tethered, Shannon’s life paused indefinitely so that she could travel around the world to find healing. Travel had forged her relationship with Sean, and she hoped it could also aid in processing his death. Though Sean wasn’t with Shannon, he was everywhere she went—among the places she visited were O?wi?cim, Poland (the site of Auschwitz); war-torn Israel; shelled-out Bosnia; poverty-stricken Romania; and finally to Barcelona, where she first met Sean years before. Ultimately, Shannon had to confront the ocean after her life’s first great love took her second great love away.
Cheryl Strayed’s Wild meets Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk in this beautiful, profoundly moving memorial to those we have lost on our journeys and the unexpected ways their presence echoes in all places—and voyages—big and small.

























[book] Extreme Measures:
Finding a Better Path
to the End of Life
by Jessica Nutik Zitter MD MPH
(one of America’s foremost palliative care physicians)
February 21, 2017
Penguin Random House Avery
A popular speaker at Lehrhaus, Dr. Zitter says that in medical school, no one teaches you how to let a patient die. Jessica Zitter became a doctor because she wanted to be a hero. She elected to specialize in critical care—to become an ICU physician—and imagined herself swooping in to rescue patients from the brink of death. But then during her first code she found herself cracking the ribs of a patient so old and frail it was unimaginable he would ever come back to life. She began to question her choice.

Extreme Measures charts Zitter’s journey from wanting to be one kind of hero to becoming another—a doctor who prioritizes the patient’s values and preferences in an environment where the default choice is the extreme use of technology. In our current medical culture, the old and the ill are put on what she terms the End-of-Life Conveyor belt. They are intubated, catheterized, and even shelved away in care facilities to suffer their final days alone, confused, and often in pain. In her work Zitter has learned what patients fear more than death itself: the prospect of dying badly. She builds bridges between patients and caregivers, formulates plans to allay patients’ pain and anxiety, and enlists the support of loved ones so that life can end well, even beautifully.

Filled with rich patient stories that make a compelling medical narrative, Extreme Measures enlarges the national conversation as it thoughtfully and compassionately examines an experience that defines being human.

NOTE: If this is not your cup of tea, I recommend that you read her short essay in the March 2017 issue of The Forward on her palliative care and a Holocaust survivor of the Mengele twins experiments... : HERE

























[book] I'll Be Damned:
How My Young and Restless
Life Led Me to America's #1
Daytime Drama
by Eric Braeden
February 7, 2017
Dey Street Books
In this startling candid and poignant memoir, the legendary Emmy Award-winning star of The Young and The Restless, America's #1 soap opera, chronicles his amazing life, from his birth in World War II Germany to a Nazi family to his arrival in America to his rise to humanitarian and daytime superstar for the past thirty-five years, as well as his honors from Yad Vashem.

For nearly four decades, fans have welcomed the star of television’s number-one daytime show, The Young and the Restless, into their living rooms. While they’ve come to know and love the suave Victor Newman, few truly know the man behind the character, the supremely talented Eric Braeden. I'll Be Damned is his story—a startling and uplifting true tale of war, deprivation, determination, fame, and social commitment that spans from Nazi Germany to modern Hollywood.

Braeden’s journey from a hospital basement in Kiel to the soundstages of Los Angeles has taught him more about joy, heartbreak, fear, dignity, loss, love, loneliness, exhilaration, courage, persecution, and profound responsibility to the global community than he could have hoped to learn in several lifetimes. Growing up in the years after Germany’s defeat, Braeden knew very little about the atrocities of his parents’ generation (his father was a town mayor), until he arrived in America as a teenager—a discovery that horrified and transformed him. Trying to redress the wrongs of his homeland, he has dedicated his life to humanitarian work—even forming the German American Culture Society—working for decades to show the world that what we share as humans is far more important than what separates us from one another.

Told with openness, candor, humor, heart, and occasional raw vulnerability, I’ll Be Damned reveals a man committed to making the world a better, more loving place. Filled with sixteen pages of photos from his decorated life and career, I’ll Be Damned will be a treasured keepsake for Y&R fans, and is an inspiring testament to the goodness within us all.



























[book] A Horse Walks into a Bar
A novel
by David Grossman
Translated from Hebrew by Jessica Cohen
February 21, 2017
Knopf
The acclaimed author of To the End of the Land now gives us a searing short novel about the life of a standup comic as revealed in the course of one evening's performance--comedy that will lean inexorably toward tragedy.
In a little dive in a small Israeli city, Dov Greenstein, a comedian a bit past his prime, is doing a night of standup. In the audience is a district court justice, Avishai Lazar, whom Dov knew as a boy, along with a few others who remember Dov as the awkward, scrawny kid who walked on his hands to confound the neighborhood bullies. Gradually, teetering between hilarity and hysteria, Dov's patter becomes a kind of memoir, taking us back into the terrors of his childhood--his beautiful flower of a mother, a Holocaust survivor in need of constant monitoring; his punishing father, a striver who had little understanding of his creative son. Finally, recalling his week at a military camp for youth--where Lazar witnessed what became the central event of Dov's childhood--Dov describes the indescribable while Lazar wrestles with his own part in the comedian's story of loss and survival. A beautiful performance by Grossman (jokes in questionable taste included).



























[book] The Fortunate Ones:
A Novel
by Ellen Umansky
February 2017
Morrow
One very special work of art—a Chaim Soutine painting—will connect the lives and fates of two different women, generations apart, in this enthralling and transporting debut novel that moves from World War II Vienna to contemporary Los Angeles.
It is 1939 in Vienna, and as the specter of war darkens Europe, Rose Zimmer’s parents are desperate. Unable to get out of Austria, they manage to secure passage for their young daughter on a kindertransport, and send her to live with strangers in England.
Six years later, the war finally over, a grief-stricken Rose attempts to build a life for herself. Alone in London, devastated, she cannot help but try to search out one piece of her childhood: the Chaim Soutine painting her mother had cherished.

Many years later, the painting finds its way to America. In modern-day Los Angeles, Lizzie Goldstein has returned home for her father’s funeral. Newly single and unsure of her path, she also carries a burden of guilt that cannot be displaced. Years ago, as a teenager, Lizzie threw a party at her father’s house with unexpected but far-reaching consequences. The Soutine painting that she loved and had provided lasting comfort to her after her own mother had died was stolen, and has never been recovered.

This painting will bring Lizzie and Rose close together and ignite an unexpected friendship, eventually revealing long-held secrets that hold painful truths.
Spanning decades and unfolding in crystalline, atmospheric prose, The Fortunate Ones is a haunting story of longing, devastation, and forgiveness, and a deep examination of the bonds and desires that map our private histories.





























[book] The Islamic Jesus:
How the King of the Jews
Became a Prophet of the Muslims
by Mustafa Akyol
February 2017
St. Martin’s Press
When Reza Aslan’s bestseller Zealot came out in 2013, there was criticism that he hadn’t addressed his Muslim faith while writing the origin story of Christianity. In fact, Ross Douthat of The New York Times wrote that “if Aslan had actually written in defense of the Islamic view of Jesus, that would have been something provocative and new.”

Mustafa Akyol’s The Islamic Jesus is that book.

The Islamic Jesus reveals startling new truths about Islam in the context of the first Muslims and the early origins of Christianity. Muslims and the first Christians?the Jewish followers of Jesus?saw Jesus as not divine but rather as a prophet and human Messiah and that salvation comes from faith and good works, not merely as faith, as Christians would later emphasize. What Akyol seeks to reveal are how these core beliefs of Jewish Christianity, which got lost in history as a heresy, emerged in a new religion born in 7th Arabia: Islam.

Akyol exposes this extraordinary historical connection between Judaism, Jewish Christianity and Islam?a major mystery unexplored by academia. From Jesus’ Jewish followers to the Nazarenes and Ebionites to the Qu’ran’s stories of Mary and Jesus, The Islamic Jesus will reveal links between religions that seem so contrary today. It will also call on Muslims to discover their own Jesus, at a time when they are troubled by their own Pharisees and Zealots.
























[book] ISRAEL MATTERS
Why Christians Must Think
Differently about the People
And The Land
By Gerald R. McDermott
(Anglican priest)
Winter 2017
Brazos Press
Widely respected theologian Gerald McDermott has spent two decades investigating the meaning of Israel and Judaism. What he has learned has required him to rethink many of his previous assumptions.
Israel Matters addresses the perennially important issue of the relationship between Christianity and the people and land of Israel, offering a unique and compelling "third way" between typical approaches and correcting common misunderstandings along the way. This book challenges the widespread Christian assumption that since Jesus came to earth, Jews are no longer special to God as a people, and the land of Israel is no longer theologically significant. It traces the author's journey from thinking those things to discovering that the New Testament authors believed the opposite of both. It also shows that contrary to what many Christians believe, the church is not the new Israel, and both the people and the land of Israel are important to God and the future of redemption.
McDermott offers an accessible but robust defense of a "New Christian Zionism" for pastors and laypeople interested in Israel and Christian-Jewish relations. His approach will also spark a conversation among theologians and biblical scholars.






























[book] ISRAEL’S EDGE
The Story of the IDF’s
Most Elite Unit – Talpiot
By Jason Gewirtz
February 2017
Gefen
How will Israel keep its strategic edge over an increasingly dangerous Iran? Israel has been preparing for this day by creating a special and secretive IDF unit called Talpiot. Instead of being trained 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 taught advanced level physics, math and computer science as they train with soldiers from every other branch of the IDF. The result: young men and women become research and development machines. Talpiots have developed battle ready weapons that only Israel's top military officers and political leaders know about. They have also dramatically improved much of the weapons already in Israel's arsenal.

Talpiot has been tasked with keeping Israel a generation ahead of a rapidly strengthening and technologically capable Iran. Talpiots contribute to all of the areas that will be most important to the IDF as Iran becomes even more powerful including missile technology, anti-missile defense, cyber-warfare, intelligence, satellite technology and high powered imaging. Talpiot soldiers have also been a major factor in the never ending fight against Israel's other enemies and many have left the R&D lab to fly fighter planes, serve in the field as commanders of elite army ground units and at sea commanding Israel's fleet of naval ships.

After leaving the army, Talpiots have become a major force in the Israeli economy, developing some of Israel's most famous and powerful companies.

Israel's Edge 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 and no other unit will have more of an impact in the years ahead. The soldiers of Talpiot are truly unsung heroes.



























[book] WORTH IT
Your Life,
Your Money,
Your Terms
By Amanda Steinberg
February 2017
North Star Way
Amanda Steinberg graduated Columbia almost two decades ago. She was in her twenties, married, big house, successful, but spending a lot also. After building sites and strategies for the ACLU and other groups, she decided to start a personal finance blog and site. This morphed into DailyWorth.com - a go-to financial site for women with more than one million subscribers. Her book defines the relationship between women, self-worth, and money. Worth It shows women how to view money as a source of personal power and freedom—and live life on their terms.
Millions of women want to create financial stability and abundance in their lives, but they don’t know how. They are stuck in overwhelming confusion and guilt, driven by internalized “money stories” that have nothing to do with what is really possible. As the founder of DailyWorth.com, a financial media and education platform, Amanda Steinberg encounters these smart, ambitious women every day. With this book, she helps them face their money stories head on and wake up to the prosperity that awaits them.
Worth It outlines the essential financial information women need—and everything the institutions and advisors don’t spell out. Steinberg gets to the bottom of why women are stressed and anxious when it comes to their finances and teaches them to stay away from strict budgeting and other harsh austerity practices. Instead, she makes money relatable, while sharing strategies she uses herself to build confidence and ease in her own financial life. Through her first-hand experiences and the stories from other women who’ve woken up, Steinberg’s powerful and encouraging advice can help women of any age and income view money as a source of freedom and independence—and create bright financial futures.



























[book] We Were the Lucky Ones
A novel
by Georgia Hunter
February 2017
Viking
300 of Radom’s 30,000 Jews survived the war
But Hunter’s family survived… scattered, but alive
This story was a mystery to Hunter, until she heard a snippet of the Kurc family survival story at a family reunion in 2000. Eight years later, she set off to research it, and it became the basis for this novel

Reading Georgia Hunter’s We Were the Lucky Ones is like being swung heart first into history. . . . A brave and mesmerizing debut, and a truly tremendous accomplishment.” —Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife

An extraordinary, propulsive novel based on the true story of a family of Polish Jews who are separated at the start of the Second World War, determined to survive—and to reunite
It is the spring of 1939 and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships threatening Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. But soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable and the Kurcs will be flung to the far corners of the world, each desperately trying to navigate his or her own path to safety.
As one sibling is forced into exile, another attempts to flee the continent, while others struggle to escape certain death, either by working grueling hours on empty stomachs in the factories of the ghetto or by hiding as gentiles in plain sight. Driven by an unwavering will to survive and by the fear that they may never see one another again, the Kurcs must rely on hope, ingenuity, and inner strength to persevere.
A novel of breathtaking sweep and scope that spans five continents and six years and transports readers from the jazz clubs of Paris to Kraków’s most brutal prison to the ports of Northern Africa and the farthest reaches of the Siberian gulag, We Were the Lucky Ones demonstrates how in the face of the twentieth century’s darkest moment, the human spirit can find a way to survive, and even triumph.






















[book] A WORLD ERASED
A Grandson’s Search
For His Family’s
Holocaust Secrets
By Noah Lederman
February 2017
Rowman & Littlefield
This poignant memoir by Noah Lederman, the grandson of Holocaust survivors, transports readers from his grandparents’ kitchen table in Brooklyn to World War II Poland. In the 1950s, Noah’s grandparents raised their children on Holocaust stories. But because tales of rebellion and death camps gave his father and aunt constant nightmares, in Noah’s adolescence Grandma would only recount the PG version. Noah, however, craved the uncensored truth and always felt one right question away from their pasts. But when Poppy died at the end of the millennium, it seemed the Holocaust stories died with him. In the years that followed, without the love of her life by her side, Grandma could do little more than mourn.
After college, Noah, a travel writer, roamed the world for fifteen months with just one rule: avoid Poland. A few missteps in Europe, however, landed him in his grandparents’ country. When he returned home, he cautiously told Grandma about his time in Warsaw, fearing that the past would bring up memories too painful for her to relive. But, instead, remembering the Holocaust unexpectedly rejuvenated her, ending five years of mourning her husband. Together, they explored the memories—of Auschwitz and a half-dozen other camps, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and the displaced persons camps—that his grandmother had buried for decades. And the woman he had playfully mocked as a child became his hero.
I was left with the stories—the ones that had been hidden, the ones that offered catharsis, the ones that gave me a second hero, the ones that resurrected a family, the ones that survived even death. Their shared journey profoundly illuminates the transformative power of never forgetting.



























[book] Schadenfreude, A Love Story:
Me, the Germans, and 20 Years
of Attempted Transformations,
Unfortunate Miscommunications,
and Humiliating Situations That
Only They Have Words For
by Rebecca Schuman
February 2017
Flatiron
You know that feeling you get watching a pompous jerk whine into his cell as he’s booted out of a restaurant? When the elevator doors slide shut just before your sadistic boss can step in beside you? There’s a word for this mix of malice and joy, and the Germans (of course) invented it. It’s Schadenfreude, deriving pleasure from others’ misfortune, and with Slate columnist Rebecca Schuman, the Teutons have a stern, self-satisfied blast at her expense.

Rebecca is just your average chronically misunderstood 90’s teenager, with a passion for Pearl Jam and Ethan Hawke circa Reality Bites, until two men walk into her high school Civics class: Dylan Gellner, with deep brown eyes and an even deeper soul, and Franz Kafka, hitching a ride in Dylan’s backpack. These two men are the axe to the frozen sea that is Rebecca’s spirit, and what flows forth is a passion for all things German (even though, as everyone is quick to remind her, Kafka wasn’t German at all). Dreamy Dylan might leave the second he gets accepted to a better college than Rebecca does, but Kafka is forever, and in pursuit of this elusive love she will spend two decades stuttering and stumbling through broken German sentences, trying to win over a people who don’t want to be bothered.

At once a snapshot of a young woman finding herself, and a country slowly starting to stitch itself back together after nearly a century of war (both hot and cold), Schadenfreude, A Love Story is an exhilarating, hilarious, and yes, maybe even heartfelt memoir proving that sometimes the truest loves play hard to get.



























[book] Kafka:
The Early Years
by Reiner Stach
Shelley Frisch (Translator)
2016
Princeton University Press
How did Kafka become Kafka? This eagerly anticipated third and final volume of Reiner Stach's definitive biography of the writer answers that question with more facts and insight than ever before, describing the complex personal, political, and cultural circumstances that shaped the young Franz Kafka (1883-1924). It tells the story of the years from his birth in Prague to the beginning of his professional and literary career in 1910, taking the reader up to just before the breakthrough that resulted in his first masterpieces, including "The Metamorphosis." Brimming with vivid and often startling details, Stach's narrative invites readers deep inside this neglected period of Kafka's life. The book's richly atmospheric portrait of his German Jewish merchant family and his education, psychological development, and sexual maturation draws on numerous sources, some still unpublished, including family letters, schoolmates' memoirs, and early diaries of his close friend Max Brod.
The biography also provides a colorful panorama of Kafka's wider world, especially the convoluted politics and culture of Prague. Before World War I, Kafka lived in a society at the threshold of modernity but torn by conflict, and Stach provides poignant details of how the adolescent Kafka witnessed violent outbreaks of anti-Semitism and nationalism. The reader also learns how he developed a passionate interest in new technologies, particularly movies and airplanes, and why another interest--his predilection for the back-to-nature movement--stemmed from his "nervous" surroundings rather than personal eccentricity.
The crowning volume to a masterly biography, this is an unmatched account of how a boy who grew up in an old Central European monarchy became a writer who helped create modern literature.




























[book] The Orphan's Tale
a novel
By Pam Jenoff
February 2017
Mira
A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan's Tale introduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival
Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.
Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.






















[book] A Country Between:
Making a Home Where
Both Sides of Jerusalem Collide
by Stephanie Saldaña
February 7, 2017
Sourcebooks
Behind every dark moment, there is another hidden world. The trick is to hold out long enough to make it there."
When American writer Stephanie Saldaña finds herself in an empty house at the beginning of Nablus Road, the dividing line between East and West Jerusalem, she is a new wife trying to navigate a fragile terrain, both within her marriage and throughout the country in which she has chosen to live.
Pregnant with her first child, Stephanie struggles to protect her family, their faith, and herself from the cracks of Middle Eastern conflict that threaten to shatter the world around her. But as her due date approaches, she must reconcile herself with her choice to bring a child into a dangerous world. Determined to piece together life from the brokenness, she sets out to uncover small instances of beauty to balance the delicate coexistence between love, motherhood, and a country so often at war.
In an urban valley in Jerusalem, A Country Between captures the fragile ecosystem of the Middle East and the difficult first years of motherhood in the midst of a conflict-torn city. What unfolds is a celebration of faith, language, family, and love that fills the space between what was shattered, leaving us whole once more.






















[book] The Brain Defense:
Murder in Manhattan and
the Dawn of Neuroscience
in America's Courtrooms
by Kevin Davis
February 14, 2017
Penguin
In 1991, the police were called to East 72nd St. in Manhattan, where a woman's body had fallen from a twelfth-story window. The woman’s husband, Herbert Weinstein, soon confessed to having hit and strangled his wife after an argument, then dropping her body out of their apartment window to make it look like a suicide. The 65-year-old Weinstein, a quiet, unassuming retired advertising executive, had no criminal record, no history of violent behavior—not even a short temper. How, then, to explain this horrific act?

Journalist Kevin Davis uses the perplexing story of the Weinstein murder to present a riveting, deeply researched exploration of the intersection of neuroscience and criminal justice. Shortly after Weinstein was arrested, an MRI revealed a cyst the size of an orange on his brain’s frontal lobe, the part of the brain that governs judgment and impulse control. Weinstein’s lawyer seized on that discovery, arguing that the cyst had impaired Weinstein’s judgment and that he should not be held criminally responsible for the murder. It was the first case in the United States in which a judge allowed a scan showing a defendant’s brain activity to be admitted as evidence to support a claim of innocence.

The Weinstein case marked the dawn of a new era in America's courtrooms, raising complex and often troubling questions about how we define responsibility and free will, how we view the purpose of punishment, and how strongly we are willing to bring scientific evidence to bear on moral questions. Davis brings to light not only the intricacies of the Weinstein case but also the broader history linking brain injuries and aberrant behavior, from the bizarre stories of Phineas Gage and Charles Whitman, perpetrator of the 1966 Texas Tower massacre, to the role that brain damage may play in violence carried out by football players and troubled veterans of America’s twenty-first century wars. The Weinstein case opened the door for a novel defense that continues to transform the legal system: Criminal lawyers are increasingly turning to neuroscience and introducing the effects of brain injuries—whether caused by trauma or by tumors, cancer, or drug or alcohol abuse—and arguing that such damage should be considered in determining guilt or innocence, the death penalty or years behind bars. As he takes stock of the past, present and future of neuroscience in the courts, Davis offers a powerful account of its potential and its hazards.

Thought-provoking and brilliantly crafted, The Brain Defense marries a murder mystery complete with colorful characters and courtroom drama with a sophisticated discussion of how our legal system has changed—and must continue to change—as we broaden our understanding of the human mind.






















[book] Curse on This Country:
The Rebellious Army of Imperial Japan
by Danny Orbach
Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
February 14, 2017
Cornell University Press
Imperial Japanese soldiers were notorious for blindly following orders, and their enemies in the Pacific War derided them as "cattle to the slaughter." But, in fact, the Japanese Army had a long history as one of the most DISOBEDIENT armies in the world. Officers repeatedly staged coups d'états, violent insurrections, and political assassinations; their associates defied orders given by both the government and the general staff, launched independent military operations against other countries, and in two notorious cases conspired to assassinate foreign leaders despite direct orders to the contrary.

In Curse on This Country, Danny Orbach explains the culture of rebellion in the Japanese armed forces. It was a culture created by a series of seemingly innocent decisions, each reasonable in its own right, which led to a gradual weakening of Japanese GOVERNMENT CONTROL over its army and navy.

The consequences were dire, as the armed forces dragged the government into more and more of China across the 1930s - a culture of rebellion that made the Pacific War (WWII in the Pacific) possible. Orbach argues that brazen defiance, rather than blind obedience, was the motive force of modern Japanese history.

Curse on This Country follows a series of dramatic events: assassinations in the dark corners of Tokyo, the famous rebellion of Saig? Takamori, the “accidental” invasion of Taiwan, the Japanese ambassador’s plot to murder the queen of Korea, and the military-political crisis in which the Japanese prime minister “changed colors.” Finally, through the sinister plots of the clandestine Cherry Blossom Society, we follow the deterioration of Japan into chaos, fascism, and world war.

See also his book: The Plots Against Hitler

































[book] Chee-Kee:
A Panda in Bearland
by Sujean Rim
Winter 2017
Ages 4 – 8 Little, Brown for Young Readers

Will Chee-Kee ever fit in?
The Loo family has traveled very far to start a new life. For little Chee-Kee Loo, everything is strange--he looks and feels so different. But when some bears find themselves in a jam, Chee-Kee might be just the right panda to save the day.
In this heartfelt and lovable story, meet Chee-Kee the panda, a one-of-a-kind in all the best ways.



























[book] Two Worlds Exist
by Yehoshua November
Orison Books

Finalist for the 2016 National Jewish Book Award in Poetry
Yehoshua November's second poetry collection, Two Worlds Exist, movingly examines the harmonies and dissonances involved in practicing an ancient religious tradition in contemporary America. November's beautiful and profound meditations on work and family life, and the intersections of the sacred and the secular, invite the reader--regardless of background--to imaginatively inhabit a life of religious devotion in the midst of our society's commotion.





























[book] Pretend I'm Not Here:
How I Worked with Three
Newspaper Icons, One Powerful
First Lady, and Still Managed
to Dig Myself Out of
the Washington Swamp
by Barbara Feinman Todd
March 2017
William Morrow
From the author of the definitive book on the life and murder of Daniel Pearl…
An accomplished former ghostwriter and book researcher who worked with Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Ben Bradlee, and Hillary Clinton goes behind-the-scenes of the national’s capital to tell the story of how she survived the exciting, but self-important and self-promoting world of the Beltway.

Barbara Feinman Todd – a nice Jewish girl from Chicago - has spent a lifetime helping other people tell their stories. In the early 1980s, she worked for Bob Woodward, first as his research assistant in the paper’s (Washington Post) investigative unit and, later, as his personal researcher for Veil, his bestselling book about the CIA.
Next she helped Carl Bernstein, who was struggling to finish his memoir, Loyalties.
She then assisted legendary WP editor Ben Bradlee on his acclaimed autobiography A Good Life, and she worked with Hillary Clinton on her bestselling It Takes a Village.
Feinman Todd’s involvement with Mrs. Clinton made headlines when the First Lady neglected to acknowledge her role in the book’s creation, and later, when a disclosure to Woodward about the Clinton White House appeared in one of his books. These events haunted Feinman Todd for the next two decades until she confronted her past and discovered something startling.
Revealing what it’s like to get into the heads and hearts of some of Washington’s most compelling and powerful figures, Feinman Todd offers authentic portraits that go beyond the carefully polished public personas that are the standard fare of the Washington publicity factory. At its heart, Pretend I’m Not Here is a funny and forthcoming story of a young woman in a male-dominated world trying to find her own voice while eloquently speaking for others.
























[book] Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?:
And Other Questions You Should
Have Answers to When You Work in the White House
by Alyssa Mastromonaco
with Lauren Oyler
March 2017
Twelve
If your funny older sister were the former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, her behind-the-scenes political memoir would look something like this. WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? is an intimate and admiring portrait of a president, a candid book of advice for young women, and a promising debut from a savvy political star.
































[book] On Turpentine Lane
by Elinor Lipman
February 2017
HMH
Woman drops silly Jewish bf and finds an Italian American guy?
Just kidding...
An endearing romantic comedy from the beloved best-selling author of The Family Man and The View from Penthouse B. At thirty-two, Faith Frankel has returned to her claustro-suburban hometown of Everton, Massachusetts, where she writes institutional thank-you notes for her alma mater as a professional fundraiser. It's a peaceful life, really, and surely with her recent purchase of a sweet bungalow on Turpentine Lane her life is finally on track. Never mind that her fiancé (Levine) is off on a crowdfunded cross-country walk with her creditcard, too busy to return her texts (but not too busy to post photos of himself with a different woman in every state). And never mind her witless boss, or a mother who lives too close, or a philandering father who thinks he's Chagall.

When she finds some mysterious artifacts in the attic of her new home, she wonders whether anything in her life is as it seems. What good fortune, then, that Faith has found a friend in affable, collegial NICK FRANCONI, officemate par excellence... and...

Elinor Lipman may well have invented the screwball romantic comedy for our era, and here she is at her sharpest and best. On Turpentine Lane is funny, poignant, and a little bit outrageous.
































[book] I Am Not Your Negro:
A Companion Edition to the
Documentary Film
by James Baldwin
Raoul Peck
February 2017
Vintage
Baldwin was famous for saying that Jews were not the cause of Harlem, but the Negroes” knew Jews in Harlem only as the shopkeepers, rent collectors, and pawnbrokers and saw them as exploitative as other whites in some cases

To compose his stunning documentary film I Am Not Your Negro, acclaimed filmmaker Raoul Peck mined James Baldwin’s published and unpublished oeuvre, selecting passages from his books, essays, letters, notes, and interviews that are every bit as incisive and pertinent now as they have ever been. Weaving these texts together, Peck brilliantly imagines the book that Baldwin never wrote. In his final years, Baldwin had envisioned a book about his three assassinated friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King. His deeply personal notes for the project have never been published before. Peck’s film uses them to jump through time, juxtaposing Baldwin’s private words with his public statements, in a blazing examination of the tragic history of race in America.



























[book] Make Your Kid A Money Genius
(Even If You're Not):
A Parents’ Guide for
Kids 3 to 23
by Beth Kobliner
February 2017
Simon & Schuster
From Beth Kobliner, the author of the bestselling personal finance bible Get a Financial Life—a new, must-have guide showing parents how to teach their children (from toddlers to young adults) to manage money in a smart way.
Many of us think we can have the “money talk” when our kids are old enough to get it…which won’t be for years, right? But get this: Research shows that even preschoolers can understand basic money concepts, and a study from Cambridge University confirmed that basic money habits are formed by the age of seven. Oh, and research shows the number one influence on kids’ financial behaviors is mom and dad. Clearly, we can’t afford to wait.
Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not) is a jargon-free, step-by-step guide to help parents of all income levels teach their kids—from ages three to twenty-three—about money. It turns out the key to raising a money genius isn’t to teach that four quarters equal a dollar or how to pick a stock. Instead, it’s about instilling values that have been proven to make people successful—not just financially, but in life: delaying gratification, working hard, living within your means, getting a good education, and acting generously toward others. More specifically, you’ll learn why allowance isn’t the Holy Grail when teaching your kid to handle money, and why after-school jobs aren’t always the answer either. You’ll discover the right age to give your kid a credit card, and learn why doling out a wad of cash can actually be a good parenting move.
You don’t need to be a money genius to make your kid a money genius. Regardless of your comfort level with finance—or your family’s income—this charming and fun book is an essential guide for passing along enduring financial principles, making your kids wise beyond their years—and peers—when it comes to money.

Beth is a graduate of Brown and worked for Money and Sylvia Porter. A past consultant on children's money education to CTW Sesame Street, she is married to a hedge fund manager.




















[book] The Fourth Turning:
An American Prophecy -
What the Cycles of History
Tell Us About America's Next
Rendezvous with Destiny
by William Strauss and Neil Howe
1997
Broadway Books
Because the White House leadership loves this book, it is important to be aware of it. According to the authors, “First came the postwar High, then the Awakening of the '60s and '70s, and now the Unraveling.” This provocative book tells us what to expect… the Fourth Turning

In The Fourth Turning, they apply their generational theories to the cycles of history and locate America in the middle of an unraveling period, on the brink of a crisis.

How you prepare for this crisis -- the Fourth Turning -- is intimately connected to the mood and attitude of your particular generation. Are you one of the can-do "GI generation," who triumphed in the last crisis? Do you belong to the mediating "Silent Majority," who enjoyed the 1950s High? Do you fall into the "awakened" Boomer category of the 1970s and 1980s, or are you a Gen-Xer struggling to adapt to our splintering world? Whatever your stage of life, The Fourth Turning offers bold predictions about how all of us can prepare, individually and collectively, for America's next rendezvous with destiny.

Though Strauss and Howe predicted a major “crisis” by around 2010, the late Strauss (a Harvard grad famous for his political satires) maintained optimism that Millennials would be able to rise to the challenge.























[book] The Girl at the Baggage Claim:
Explaining the East-West
Culture Gap
by Gish Jen
February 28, 2017
Knopf
A provocative and important study of the different ideas Easterners and Westerners have about the self and society and what this means for current debates in art, education, geopolitics, and business.

Never have East and West come as close as they are today, yet we are still baffled by one another. Is our mantra "To thine own self be true"? Or do we believe we belong to something larger than ourselves--a family, a religion, a troop--that claims our first allegiance? Gish Jen--drawing on a treasure trove of stories and personal anecdotes, as well as cutting-edge research in cultural psychology--reveals how this difference shapes what we perceive and remember, what we say and do and make--how it shapes everything from our ideas about copying and talking in class to the difference between Apple and Alibaba. As engaging as it is illuminating, this is a book that stands to profoundly enrich our understanding of ourselves and of our world.

























[book] Tales of a Silver-Haired Volunteer:
Going Far and Giving Back
by Carole Howard
paperback
2016
Gatekeeper Press


When she retired, Carole Howard took a surprising – some might call it radical – giant step out of her comfort zone. With little idea of what to expect, she overcame her usual risk-aversion and volunteered with her husband to be management consultants for a non-profit in Senegal, West Africa.
Did I mention it was with AMERICAN JEWISH WORLD SERVICE
The experience was so life-affirming they did it again the following year in Uganda. And then three more times after that, in Namibia, Thailand, and Ghana, each time for two months. Her adventure was simultaneously an outward journey (of miles and cultures) and an inward journey (of small victories and self-discovery). While she knew she couldn’t save the world, she found that doing one thing for one person or organization in one place is the next best thing. TALES OF A SILVER-HAIRED VOLUNTEER is a personal memoir that is inspiring, written with a light (sometimes hilarious) touch.



























[book] Something Is Rotten in Fettig:
A Satire
by Jere Krakoff
paperback
2016
Anaphora Literary Press


Told in a wry, understated voice, "Something Is Rotten in Fettig" satirizes the travails of Leopold Plotkin, a failing kosher butcher with a pathological aversion to conflict. After Plotkin commits an act that ignites a crisis in his Republic, he is propelled into conflicts with every branch of government. When he refuses the government's demands to undo what he did, he is indicted by a Secret Blind Jury, arrested by the National Constabulary, and consigned to the notorious Purgatory House of Detention, where he languishes next to a defrocked insane lawyer whose nocturnal machinations threaten to drive him crazy. After months of languishing in prison, Plotkin is prosecuted by the Republic's ethically-challenged Prosecutor General, tried before a congenitally pro-prosecution judge, and defended by a reclusive lawyer who has never been in a courtroom. The butcher's only witness in the highly anticipated trial is an unhinged resident of the Warehouse for the Purportedly Insane. Everybody, including Plotkin and his small circle of supporters, expects a conviction and imposition of the longest sentence allowed by law, if not longer. Among other things, the novel lampoons prosecutors, public defenders, judges, juries, expert witnesses, high courts, low courts, trials, and potential perjurers. The caricatures that accompany chapters are drawn by the author.

























[book] Waking Lions
a novel
by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
February 2017
Little, Brown and Company
(Asya Muchnick, agent)
A Moral Thriller in Israel & the Immigration Crisis
After one night's deadly mistake, a man will go to any lengths to save his family and his reputation… and perhaps to return to the safety of bland ignorance.
Neurosurgeon Dr. Eitan Green has the perfect life--married to a beautiful police officer and father of two young boys. Then, speeding along a deserted moonlit road after an exhausting hospital shift, he hits someone. Seeing that the man, an Eritrean/African migrant, is beyond help, he flees the scene. The man is one of the tens of thousands of African illegal migrants now working in Israel.
When the victim's widow knocks at Eitan's door the next day, holding his wallet and divulging that she knows what happened, Eitan discovers that her price for silence is not money. It is something else entirely, something that will shatter Eitan's safe existence and take him into a world of secrets and lies he could never have anticipated. And guess who is the lead investigator on the case…. Perhaps his wife, the detective?
WAKING LIONS is a gripping, suspenseful, and morally devastating drama of guilt and survival, shame and desire from a remarkable young author on the rise.

Do you think it is fiction?
A decade ago, Ayelet was traveling in the Himalayas when she met a man who said that he had accidentally hit someone (a homeless man) with a vehicle and fled the scene.






















[book] Trotsky in New York, 1917:
Portrait of a Radical on the Eve of Revolution
by Kenneth D. Ackerman
Counterpoint
Lev Davidovich Trotsky burst onto the world stage in November 1917 as co-leader of a Marxist Revolution seizing power in Russia. It made him one of the most recognized personalities of the Twentieth Century, a global icon of radical change. Yet just months earlier, this same Lev Trotsky was a nobody, a refugee expelled from Europe, writing obscure pamphlets and speeches, barely noticed outside a small circle of fellow travelers. Where had he come from to topple Russia and change the world?
Where else?
New York City.
Along with so many other Russian Jews

Between January and March 1917, Trotsky found refuge in the United States. America had kept itself out of the European Great War, leaving New York the freest city on earth.
During his time there— just over ten weeks —Trotsky immersed himself in the local scene. He settled his family in the BRONX, edited a radical left wing tabloid in Greenwich Village, sampled the lifestyle, and plunged headlong into local politics. His clashes with leading New York socialists over the question of US entry into World War I would reshape the American left for the next fifty years.

























[book] MARCH 1917
ON THE BRINK OF WAR
AnD REVOLUTION
by Will Eglund
WW Norton
A riveting history of the month that transformed the world’s greatest nations as Russia faced revolution and America entered World War I.

“We are provincials no longer,” declared Woodrow Wilson on March 5, 1917, at his second inauguration. He spoke on the eve of America’s entrance into World War I, just as Russia teetered between autocracy and democracy. In the face of chaos and turmoil in Europe, Wilson was determined to move America away from the isolationism that had defined the nation’s foreign policy since its inception and to embrace an active role in shaping world affairs.

Just ten days later, Tsar Nicholas II abdicated the Russian throne, ending a three-centuries-long dynasty and plunging his country into a new era of uncertainty, ultimately paving the way for the creation of a Soviet empire.

Within a few short weeks, at Wilson’s urging, Congress voted to declare war on Germany, asserting the United States’ new role as a global power and its commitment to spreading American ideals abroad. Yet at home it remained a Jim Crow nation, and African Americans had their own struggle to pursue. American women were agitating for the vote and a greater role in society, and labor strife was rampant. As a consequence of the war that followed, the United States and Russia were to endure a century of wariness and hostility that flickers and flares to this day.

March 1917 reexamines these tumultuous events and their consequences in a compelling new analysis. Drawing on a wealth of contemporary Russian and American diaries, memoirs, oral histories, and newspaper accounts, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Will Englund creates a highly detailed and textured account of the month that transformed the world’s greatest nations. March 1917 considers the dreams of that year’s warriors, pacifists, activists, revolutionaries, and reactionaries, and demonstrates how their successes and failures constitute the origin story of our complex modern world.

























Not yet in English:
AT KEY POINTS OF TIME
A MEMOIR
By Shlomo Gazit
Major General, IDF, (Retired)
Gazit joins several other top Israeli generals in publishing their memoirs. The great part of Gazit is that he kept diaries, from the days of the Palmach to the 1976 Entebbe Raid to his role (or his lack of a role, having been locked out) in 1977 in the peace initiative with Anwar Sadat. .




[book] GOOD PEOPLE
a novel
by Nir Baram
Text Publishing Company
[Baram] asks what kind of people would choose to serve…empires of falsehood with their eyes open and their minds sharp. Not monsters or even cynics, he answers in a pacey, plot-heavy novel of dramatic events and big ideas, but gifted storytellers fuelled by ordinary motives of love, loyalty or ambition.’—Economist
'Written with great talent, momentum and ingenuity.'—Amos Oz
'One of the most intriguing writers in Israeli literature today.'—Haaretz

It's late 1938. Thomas Heiselberg has built a career in Berlin as a market researcher for an American advertising company.
In Leningrad, twenty-two-year-old Sasha Weissberg has grown up eavesdropping on the intellectual conversations in her parents' literary salon.
They each have grand plans for their lives. Neither of them thinks about politics too much, but after catastrophe strikes they will have no choice.
Thomas puts his research skills to work elaborating Nazi propaganda. Sasha persuades herself that working as a literary editor of confessions for Stalin's secret police is the only way to save her family.
When destiny brings them together, they will have to face the consequences of the decisions they have made.
Good People is a tour de force that has been showered with praise in many countries.
Nir Baram was born into a political family in Jerusalem in 1976. He has worked as a journalist and an editor, and as an advocate for equal rights for Palestinians. He began publishing fiction when he was twenty-two, and is the author of five novels in Hebrew. Several have been translated into more than ten languages and received critical acclaim around the world. In 2010 he received the Prime Minister's Award for Hebrew Literature.


















[book] The Secret Book of Kings:
A Novel
by Yochi Brandes
Translated by Yardenne Greenspan
Saint Martin's Press
In the tradition of The Red Tent from internationally bestselling author Yochi Brandes comes the stories of the struggles of King David and King Saul in the early days of the Kingdom of Israel, seen through the eyes of Michal, Saul’s daughter and David’s abandoned queen
Stories are deadlier than swords. Swords kill only those who stand before them, stories decide who will live and die in generations to come.
Shelomoam, a young man from the tribe of Ephraim, has grown up in the shadow of dark secrets. He wonders why his father is deathly afraid of the King’s soldiers and why his mother has lied about the identities of those closest to him. Shelomoam is determined to unearth his mysterious past, never imagining where his quest will ultimately lead him.
The Secret Book of Kings upends conventions of biblical novels, engaging with the canonized stories of the founding of the Kingdom of Israel and turning them on their heads. Presented for the first time are the heretofore unknown stories of the House of Saul and of the northern Kingdom of Israel, stories that were artfully concealed by the House of David and the scribes of the southern Kingdom of Judah.
Yochi Brandes, one of Israel’s all-time bestselling novelists, enlists her unique background in both academic Jewish scholarship and traditional religious commentaries to read the Bible in an utterly new way. In this book, a major publishing phenomenon in Israel and one of the bestselling novels in the history of the country, she uncovers vibrant characters, especially women, buried deep within the scriptures, and asks the loaded question: to what extent can we really know our past when history is written by the victors?























[book] America’s Dream Palace:
Middle East Expertise and the
Rise of the National Security State
by Osamah F. Khalil
Syracuse University Press
Harvard University Press
In T. E. Lawrence’s classic memoir Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Lawrence of Arabia claimed that he inspired a “dream palace” of Arab nationalism. What he really inspired, however, was an American idea of the area now called the Middle East that has shaped U.S. interventions over the course of a century, with sometimes tragic consequences. America’s Dream Palace brings into sharp focus the ways U.S. foreign policy has shaped the emergence of expertise concerning this crucial, often turbulent, and misunderstood part of the world.
America’s growing stature as a global power created a need for expert knowledge about different regions. When it came to the Middle East, the U.S. government was initially content to rely on Christian missionaries and Orientalist scholars. After World War II, however, as Washington’s national security establishment required professional expertise in Middle Eastern affairs, it began to cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship with academic institutions. Newly created programs at Harvard, Princeton, and other universities became integral to Washington’s policymaking in the region. The National Defense Education Act of 1958, which aligned America’s educational goals with Cold War security concerns, proved a boon for Middle Eastern studies.
But charges of anti-Americanism within the academy soon strained this cozy relationship. Federal funding for area studies declined, while independent think tanks with ties to the government flourished. By the time the Bush administration declared its Global War on Terror, Osamah Khalil writes, think tanks that actively pursued agendas aligned with neoconservative goals were the drivers of America’s foreign policy.
























[book] Pontius Pilate:
Deciphering a Memory
by Aldo Schiavone
Translated by Jeremy Carden
Liveright
February 2017

I have an idea. Let’s write a book that shows the character of Pontius Pilate as a strategist and not a fool; and also show tha the blame is on the Jews.

A world-renowned classicist presents a groundbreaking biography of the man who sent Jesus of Nazareth to the Cross. The Roman prefect Pontius Pilate has been cloaked in rumor and myth since the first century, but what do we actually know of the man who condemned Jesus of Nazareth to the Cross? In this breakthrough, revisionist biography of one of the Bible’s most controversial figures, Italian classicist Aldo Schiavone explains what might have happened in that brief meeting between the governor and Jesus, and why the Gospels?and history itself?have made Pilate a figure of immense ambiguity.

Pontius Pilate lived during a turning point in both religious and Roman history. Though little is known of the his life before the Passion, two first-century intellectuals?Flavius Josephus and Philo of Alexandria?chronicled significant moments in Pilate’s rule in Judaea, which shaped the principal elements that have come to define him. By carefully dissecting the complex politics of the Roman governor’s Jewish critics, Schiavone suggests concerns and sensitivities among the people that may have informed their widely influential claims, especially as the beginnings of Christianity neared.
Against this historical backdrop, Schiavone offers a dramatic reexamination of Pilate and Jesus’s moment of contact, indicating what was likely said between them and identifying lines of dialogue in the Gospels that are arguably fictive. Teasing out subtle but significant contradictions in details, Schiavone shows how certain gestures and utterances have had inestimable consequences over the years. What emerges is a humanizing portrait of Pilate that reveals how he reacted in the face of an almost impossible dilemma: on one hand wishing to spare Jesus’s life and on the other hoping to satisfy the Jewish priests who demanded his execution. Simultaneously exploring Jesus’s own thought process, the author reaches a stunning conclusion?one that has never previously been argued?about Pilate’s intuitions regarding Jesus.
While we know almost nothing about what came before or after, for a few hours on the eve of the Passover Pilate deliberated over a fate that would spark an entirely new religion and lift up a weary prisoner forever as the Son of God. Groundbreaking in its analysis and evocative in its narrative exposition, Pontius Pilate is an absorbing portrait of a man who has been relegated to the borders of history and legend for over two thousand years. 3 maps






















[book] The Book Thieves:
The Nazi Looting of Europe's
Libraries and the Race to
Return a Literary Inheritance
by Anders Rydell
Translated by Henning Koch
Random House
February 2017

For readers of The Monuments Men and The Hare with Amber Eyes, the story of the Nazis' systematic pillaging of Europe's libraries, and the small team of heroic librarians now working to return the stolen books to their rightful owners.
While the Nazi party was being condemned by much of the world for burning books, they were already hard at work perpetrating an even greater literary crime. Through extensive new research that included records saved by the Monuments Men themselves—Anders Rydell tells the untold story of Nazi book theft, as he himself joins the effort to return the stolen books. When the Nazi soldiers ransacked Europe’s libraries and bookshops, large and small, the books they stole were not burned. Instead, the Nazis began to compile a library of their own that they could use to wage an intellectual war on literature and history. In this secret war, the libraries of Jews, Communists, Liberal politicians, LGBT activists, Catholics, Freemasons, and many other opposition groups were appropriated for Nazi research, and used as an intellectual weapon against their owners. But when the war was over, most of the books were never returned. Instead many found their way into the public library system, where they remain to this day.
Now, Rydell finds himself entrusted with one of these stolen volumes, setting out to return it to its rightful owner. It was passed to him by the small team of heroic librarians who have begun the monumental task of combing through Berlin’s public libraries to identify the looted books and reunite them with the families of their original owners. For those who lost relatives in the Holocaust, these books are often the only remaining possession of their relatives they have ever held. And as Rydell travels to return the volume he was given, he shows just how much a single book can mean to those who own it.






















I remember hearing of rabbinical students in NYC who would go to Riverside Church to hear a greater orator and learn from him; or Jewish students at Harvard who would go to church to listen to a great sermon…
Taking lessons from other congregations: [book] [book]




































[book] Early Years:
The Formative Years of the
Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson
Edited by Rabbi Elkanah Shmotkin
and Rabbi Boruch Oberlander
February 2017
Kehot Press
From the publisher: The product of an exhaustive, years-long, worldwide research project, EARLY YEARS tells the riveting story of the early life of the man who, as much as anyone else, set the course of Jewish history in the twentieth century. What was his childhood like? What type of schooling did he receive? Who were his mentors and teachers? When did he first meet his father-in-law and predecessor, and what was the relationship between them like? At what point did the ideas that were to transform the landscape of post-Holocaust Jewry begin to take form in his mind? These questions and others about the Rebbe's early life have never been answered comprehensively.
Presenting newly-uncovered government documents, private journals, letters and diaries, Rabbis Boruch Oberlander and Elkanah Shmotkin have produced a highly-engaging account which offers an unimpeded view of the formative years of modern Judaism's most recognized personality. Over 450 documents and photographs are beautifully reproduced in full color, illuminating and informing the text. Meticulously researched and engagingly presented, Early Years tells the fascinating story of the Rebbe's early life, including newly-uncovered details of: The Rebbe's first meeting with his future father-in-law, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn of Lubavitch. How the match between the Rebbe and Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak's middle daughter, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, came about. The identity of the Rebbe's childhood teacher who lived in his home and whom he described as "a great Torah scholar." The details of the Rebbe and the Rebbetzin's wedding in Warsaw, and of the simultaneous celebrations across the globe marking the event. The Rebbe's life in Berlin, where he lived with Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, hundreds of miles from his father-inlaw and the seat of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement..





























June 2017, five decades after the war:
[book] The Six-Day War:
The Breaking of the Middle East
by Guy Laron
(Hebrew Univ)
March 2017
Yale University Press
An enthralling, big-picture history that examines the Six-Day War, its causes, and its enduring consequences against its global context
One fateful week in June 1967 redrew the map of the Middle East. Many scholars have documented how the Six-Day War unfolded, but little has been done to explain why the conflict happened at all. As we approach its fiftieth anniversary, Guy Laron refutes the widely accepted belief that the war was merely the result of regional friction, revealing the crucial roles played by American and Soviet policies in the face of an encroaching global economic crisis, and restoring Syria’s often overlooked centrality to events leading up to the hostilities.
The Six-Day War effectively sowed the seeds for the downfall of Arab nationalism, the growth of Islamic extremism, and the animosity between Jews and Palestinians. In this important new work, Laron’s fresh interdisciplinary perspective and extensive archival research offer a significant reassessment of a conflict—and the trigger-happy generals behind it—that continues to shape the modern world.















MARCH 2017 BOOKS




[book] Yitzhak Rabin:
Soldier, Leader, Statesman
Jewish Lives series
by Itamar Rabinovich, PhD
Former Ambassador of Israel to USA
Former chief negotiator with Syria
March 2017
Yale University Press
An insider’s perspective on the life and influence of Israel’s first native-born prime minister, his bold peace initiatives, and his tragic assassination
More than two decades have passed since prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination in 1995, yet he remains an unusually intriguing and admired modern leader. A native-born Israeli, Rabin became an inextricable part of his nation’s pre-state history and subsequent evolution. This revealing account of his life, character, and contributions draws not only on original research but also on the author’s recollections as one of Rabin’s closest aides.
An awkward politician who became a statesman, a soldier who became a peacemaker, Rabin is best remembered for his valiant efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for the Oslo Accords. Itamar Rabinovich provides extraordinary new insights into Rabin’s relationships with powerful leaders including Bill Clinton, Jordan’s King Hussein, and Henry Kissinger, his desire for an Israeli-Syrian peace plan, and the political developments that shaped his tenure. The author also assesses the repercussions of Rabin’s murder: Netanyahu’s ensuing election and the rise of Israel’s radical right wing





























[book] Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen:
Between War and Peace
(Modern Jewish Lives, Volume 5)
Edited by Yechiel Frish, Yedidya HaCohen
Translated by Irene Lancaster
March 2017
URIM Publications
Although mainly known as the chief rabbi of Haifa, Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, born in the year 1927, has lived an intriguing life, playing an important role in the establishment of the state of Israel. As the son of Rabbi David Cohen (1887-1972), the legendary Nazirite of Jerusalem, Rabbi Cohen grew up among some of Israel’s greatest rabbis.

Destined to become a Nazirite until the age of sixteen, Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen studied under the influence of Rav Kook. During the 1948 War of Independence, Rabbi Cohen fought to defend the Old City of Jerusalem, until he was severely wounded and taken to Jordan as a prisoner of war. After his return he became Chief Rabbi of the Israel Air Force, and then governed as the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem with Teddy Kollek. Rabbi Cohen served as the Chief Rabbi of Haifa and President of their rabbinical courts for 36 years.
The details of his achievements and captivating life in this biography are further encapsulated in excerpts of his diary, which include vivid details of the battles he fought in and his imprisonment in Jordan.





























[book] Books of the People:
Revisiting Classic Works
of Jewish Thought
by Yeshiva University Straus Center
Edited by Stuart Halpern
March 2017
Koren / Maggid
The Jews have ever been a people molded by the written word. It is no coincidence, therefore, that certain texts have come to play key roles in the continuum of Jewish discourse. Books of the People: Revisiting Classic Works of Jewish Thought presents ten foundational books written between the tenth and the twentieth centuries that have dramatically influenced the development of Jewish thought, examined by contemporary scholars of Jewish studies. Each scholar revisits a particularly salient work and discusses its themes, its historical context, the circumstances and background of its author, and its relevance to contemporary society. A thousand years of Jewish thought, seen through the lens of modern thinkers, in one accessible volume:
Rav Saadia Gaon's Emunot VeDeot,
Rabbi Judah Halevi's Kuzari,
Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed,
Rabbi Joseph Albo's Sefer HaIkkarim,
Maharal's Gevurot Hashem,
Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi's Tanya,
Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav's Tales,
Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch's Nineteen Letters,
Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin's Haamek Davar,
Rav Abraham Isaac Kook's Orot HaTeshuva,
Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik's Halakhic Man, and
Rabbi Isaac Hutner's Pahad Yitzhak





























[book] Sefer ha-Bahir:
Selections from The Book
of Brilliance, The Classic
Text of Early Kabbalah
by Geoffrey W. Dennis
March 2017
Llewellyn Press
Discover the Kabbalah classic that reveals the divine feminine, reincarnation, and the power of being human. This remarkable collection of fifty-one teachings from Sefer ha-Bahir features facing-page commentary by Geoffrey W. Dennis for easy understanding and readability.

Enrich your spirituality with these fascinating entries, specifically chosen to help you learn the principle ideas and themes of Jewish mysticism. By translating the most stimulating and accessible passages from Sefer ha-Bahir with concise literary and spiritual commentary, Geoffrey W. Dennis modernizes each entry and brings the wisdom of the ancient text to the contemporary world. This compelling collection shows you the full scope of the Bahir and will give you a new appreciation for its teachings.

“Geoffrey Dennis’s Sefer ha-Bahir is the best translation available of one of the hardest, yet most rewarding, texts of Kabbalah. Forget the pop stuff; this is the real thing, in all its lucidity, opacity, simplicity, and complexity. Best of all, Dennis’s renderings and commentary give the text room both to breathe and to mystify. Highly recommended.”?Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson, author of Everything Is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism and director of the Elat Chayyim Meditation Program

“[Dennis] supplies a fluent translation of fifty-one key passages from [Sefer ha-Bahir], complete with annotations, commentary, and introductions that are both accessible to the general reader and insightful. A masterful achievement.”?Richard S. Sarason, The Deutsch Family Professor of Rabbinics and Liturgy at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion




























[book] The Devil and Webster
A novel
by Jean Hanff Korelitz
March 2017
Grand Central Publishing
From the New York Times bestselling author of You Should Have Known and Admission, a twisty new novel about a college president, a baffling student protest, and some of the most hot-button issues on today's college campuses.
Naomi Roth is the first female (Jewish) president of Webster College, a once conservative school now known for producing fired-up, progressive graduates. So Naomi isn't surprised or unduly alarmed when Webster students begin the fall semester with an outdoor encampment around "The Stump" - a traditional campus gathering place for generations of student activists - to protest a popular African American professor's denial of tenure. A former student radical herself, Naomi Roth admires the protestors' passion, especially when her own daughter, Hannah, joins their ranks. But now Naomi is the Establishment, and the students and her daughter are not open to her words.
Then Omar Khayal, a charismatic Palestinian student with a devastating personal history, emerges as the group's leader, and the demonstration begins to consume Naomi's life, destabilizing Webster College from the inside out.
It gets dense
As the crisis slips beyond her control, Naomi must take increasingly desperate measures to protect her friends, colleagues, and family from an unknowable adversary. Is it a story of campus politics? Is it a story of a mother and daughter cutting a chord? Both? Neither?
Touching on some of the most topical and controversial concerns at the heart of our society, this riveting novel examines the fragility that lies behind who we think we are-and what we think we believe





























[book] The Story of Hebrew
(Library of Jewish Ideas)
by Lewis Glinert, PhD
(Dartmouth)
March 2017
Princeton University Press
This book explores the extraordinary hold that Hebrew has had on Jews and Christians, who have invested it with a symbolic power far beyond that of any other language in history. Preserved by the Jews across two millennia, Hebrew endured long after it ceased to be a mother tongue, resulting in one of the most intense textual cultures ever known. It was a bridge to Greek and Arab science. It unlocked the biblical sources for Jerome and the Reformation. Kabbalists and humanists sought philosophical truth in it, and Colonial Americans used it to shape their own Israelite political identity. Today, it is the first language of millions of Israelis.

The Story of Hebrew takes readers from the opening verses of Genesis--which seemingly describe the creation of Hebrew itself--to the reincarnation of Hebrew as the everyday language of the Jewish state. Lewis Glinert explains the uses and meanings of Hebrew in ancient Israel and its role as a medium for wisdom and prayer. He describes the early rabbis' preservation of Hebrew following the Babylonian exile, the challenges posed by Arabic, and the prolific use of Hebrew in Diaspora art, spirituality, and science. Glinert looks at the conflicted relationship Christians had with Hebrew from the Renaissance to the Counter-Reformation, the language's fatal rivalry with Yiddish, the dreamers and schemers that made modern Hebrew a reality, and how a lost pre-Holocaust textual ethos is being renewed today by Orthodox Jews.

A major work of scholarship, The Story of Hebrew is an unforgettable account of what one language has meant to those possessing it.





























[book] For This We Left Egypt?:
A Passover Haggadah for Jews
and Those Who Love Them
by Dave Barry, Alan Zweibel, and
Adam Mansbach
March 2017
Flatiron Books
The book you hold before you is no ordinary Haggadah. If you’ve ever suffered through a Seder, you’re well aware of the fact that the entire evening can last as long as the exodus from Egypt itself. There are countless stories, dozens of blessings, and far too many handwashings while the meal turns cold. Now prepare to be entertained by another version of the book that’s responsible for this interminable tradition.

With this hilarious parody Haggadah from the comedic minds of Dave Barry, Alan Zweibel, and Adam Mansbach, good Jews everywhere will no longer have to sit (and sleep) through a lengthy and boring Seder. In For This We Left Egypt?, the authors will be take you through every step of the Seder, from getting rid of all the chametz in your home by setting it on fire with a kosher blowtorch to a retelling of the Passover story starring Pharaoh Schmuck and a burning bush that sounds kind of like Morgan Freeman, set against the backdrop of the Promised Land?which turned out not to be a land of milk and honey but rather one of rocks and venomous scorpions the size of Yorkshire terriers. You then eat a celebratory brisket and wrap up the whole evening by taking at least forty-five minutes to say good-bye to everyone.

So gather all the Jews in your life (even the few who don’t appear to be long-suffering) and settle in for a fun way to pass the time while waiting for Elijah to show up.





























[book] My Jewish Year:
18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew
by Abigail Pogrebin
Foreword by (our distant cousin) A.J. Jacobs
March 2017
Fig Tree
The much-dissected Pew Research Center study of 2013, “A Portrait of Jewish Americans,” revealed that most U.S. Jews locate their Jewishness in their ancestry and culture not in religion. Abigail Pogrebin wondered if perhaps that’s because we haven’t all looked at religion closely enough.
Although she grew up following some holiday rituals, Pogrebin realized how little she knew about their foundational purpose and current relevance. She wanted to understand what had kept these holidays alive and vibrant, in some cases for thousands of years. Her curiosity led her to embark on an entire year of intensive research, observation, and writing about the milestones on the Jewish calendar.
My Jewish Year travels through this calendar’s signposts with candor, humor, and a trove of information, capturing the arc of Jewish observance through the eyes of a relatable, wandering and wondering Jew. The chapters are interspersed with brief reflections from prominent rabbis and Jewish thinkers.
Maybe you’re seeking an accessible, digestible roadmap for Jewish life. Maybe you’d appreciate a fresh exploration of what you’ve mastered. Whatever your motivation, you’ll be educated, entertained, and inspired by Pogrebin’s unusual journey and by My Jewish Year.





























[book] The Price of Illusion:
A Memoir
by Joan Juliet Buck
March 2017
Atria Books
From Joan Juliet Buck, former editor-in-chief of Paris Vogue comes her dazzling, compulsively readable memoir: a fabulous account of four decades spent in the creative heart of London, New York, Los Angeles, and Paris, chronicling her quest to discover the difference between glitter and gold, illusion and reality, and what looks like happiness from the thing itself.

Born into a world of make-believe as the daughter of a larger-than-life film producer, Joan Juliet Buck’s childhood was a whirlwind of famous faces, ever-changing home addresses, and a fascination with the shiny surfaces of things. When Joan became the first and only American woman ever to fill Paris Vogue's coveted position of Editor in Chief, a “figurehead in the cult of fashion and beauty,” she had the means to recreate for her aging father, now a widower, the life he’d enjoyed during his high-flying years, a splendid illusion of glamorous excess that could not be sustained indefinitely.

Joan’s memoir tells the story of a life lived in the best places at the most interesting times: London and New York in the swinging 1960s, Rome and Milan in the dangerous 1970s, Paris in the heady 1980s and 1990s. But when her fantasy life at Vogue came to an end, she had to find out who she was after all those years of make-believe. She chronicles this journey in beautiful and at times heartbreaking prose, taking the reader through the wild parties and the fashion, the celebrities and creative geniuses as well as love, loss, and the loneliness of getting everything you thought you wanted and finding it’s not what you’d imagined. While Joan’s story is unique, her journey toward self-discovery is refreshing and universal.





























[book] Laughter in Hell:
The Use of Humor During the Holocaust
by Steve Lipman
1993
Jason Aronson Books
Lipman shows how humor manifested itself among the Jews of Europe during WWII--in jokes, art, poetry, and cabaret routines--despite political attempts to suppress it.
And he observes the surprising nature of this humor, which, far from being bitter 'gallows' humor, was defiant, almost smug.






See also:

[book] [book]



































[book] Justice for All:
How the Jewish Bible
Revolutionized Ethics
by Jeremiah Unterman Ph.D
Herzl Institute, Jerusalem
March 2017
Jewish Publication Society
Justice for All demonstrates that the Jewish Bible, by radically changing the course of ethical thought, came to exercise enormous influence on Jewish thought and law and also laid the basis for Christian ethics and the broader development of modern Western civilization.
Jeremiah Unterman shows us persuasively that the ethics of the Jewish Bible represent a significant moral advance over Ancient Near East cultures. Moreover, he elucidates how the Bible’s unique conception of ethical monotheism, innovative understanding of covenantal law, and revolutionary messages from the prophets form the foundation of many Western civilization ideals. Justice for All connects these timeless biblical texts to the persistent themes of our times: immigration policy, forgiveness and reconciliation, care for the less privileged, and attaining hope for the future despite destruction and exile in this world.






























[book] Down City:
A Daughter's Story of Love,
Memory, and Murder
by Leah Carroll
March 2017
Grand Central
Like James Ellroy's, My Dark Places, DOWN CITY is a gripping narrative built of memory and reportage, and Leah Carroll's portrait of Rhode Island is sure to take a place next Mary Karr's portrayal of her childhood in East Texas and David Simon's gritty Baltimore.
Leah Carroll's mother, a gifted amateur photographer, was murdered by two drug dealers with Mafia connections when Leah was four years old. Her father, a charming alcoholic who hurtled between depression and mania, was dead by the time she was eighteen. Why did her mother have to die? Why did the man who killed her receive such a light sentence? What darkness did Leah inherit from her parents? Leah was left to put together her own future and, now in her memoir, she explores the mystery of her parents' lives, through interviews, photos, and police records. DOWN CITY is a raw, wrenching memoir of a broken family and an indelible portrait of Rhode Island- a tiny state where the ghosts of mafia kingpins live alongside the feisty, stubborn people working hard just to get by. Heartbreaking, and mesmerizing, it's the story of a resilient young woman's determination to discover the truth about a mother she never knew and the deeply troubled father who raised her-a man who was, Leah writes, "both my greatest champion and biggest obstacle."






























[book] MATZO
35 RECIPES FOR PASSOVER
AND ALL YEAR LONG
By Michele STREIT Heilbrun
March 2017
Clarkson Potter
The preeminent fine Kosher food company with a 90-year history, Streit's, presents 35 recipes for enjoying matzo during the eight days of Passover and all year long.

Matzo and the story of its creation are the centerpiece of both the meals and the observance of Passover; it is eaten in place of bread and other leavened products for the holiday's eight day duration. Michele (Mikie) Heilbrun is the co-owner of Streit's, one of the top two matzo companies in the world. Now, she is sharing 35 recipes-- both from her family and fresh favorites-- for ways to cook with matzo that are so good, readers will want to make them all year round. Dishes like Matzo Granola, Caesar Salad with Matzo Croutons, and Matzo Spanikopita show readers just how delicious and versatile this ingredient can be. With its bright photography and fun package, this book is sure to become an instant seder (and anytime) must-have.






























[book] Journey through Jerusalem
by Amanda Benjamin and
Tamar Blumenfeld (Illustrator
2017
Apples & Honey Press
What city has . . . a bridge made of strings? . . . a golden dome marking a sacred spot? . . .a wall of stones, holding thousands of notes?
See Jerusalem through the eyes of a mother cat and her three kittens during a fun-filled romp that introduces children to some of this ancient city s most iconic places.
Olivia and her three kittens adventurous Mirri, serious Jem and shy Bex find themselves on the go in Jerusalem, after escaping the confines of their travelling basket. From the Windmill to the Wall, the Dome of the Rock to via Dolorosa, Christ's tomb to the Light Rail, and including visits to the Jewish shuk, parliament, museum and Biblical Zoo, the cats scamper around the city as if it were their personal playground, arriving safely back at their moshav after an unexpectedly exhilarating day out.
This informative and fun 24-page book celebrates the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem as seen through the eyes of a mother cat and her three kittens, displaying the city s iconic structures through a combination of photographic and illustrative images/elements.
Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim) is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City in the aftermath of the June 1967 Six-Day War. May 24, 2017 will mark the 50th anniversary of the reunification.

'One doesn't go to Jerusalem, one returns to it. That's one of its mysteries.' --Elie Wiesel
























[book] How It's Made: Matzah
by Allison Ofanansky
Photos by Eliyahu Alpern
2017
Apples & Honey Press
Meet the people who make matzah by hand or in factories and see how they keep to the strict 18-minute time limit, mirroring the Israelites race against time over 2,000 years ago! Find out how making matzah is more than just mixing flour and water it shows us the value of working together!
Bake your own matzah, decorate an Elijah s cup and grow your own greens. Watch it all unfold with more than 100 stunning photos that reveal a fascinating world behind the scenes.
This is the second in a series of photographic picture books. The first book is How it's Made: Torah Scroll, which was published in Fall 2016.


























[book] The Wandering Jew
Has Arrived
by Albert Londres
March 2017
Gefen
In 1929 Albert Londres, a non-Jew and renowned journalist, set out to document the lives of Jews at this time. His travels to England, Eastern Europe and finally Palestine produced the literary masterpiece, The Wandering Jew has Arrived. In the East End of London, Londres is moved by the unswerving faith of the Jews. In Eastern Europe he is astounded by the misery and plight he witnesses. The bleak picture is redeemed by his gentle humor, sharp observations and the unforgettable portraits he paints of the exotic individuals he encounters along his way. Londres vividly depicts the birth of Zionism and the wave of pogroms that propelled Jewish immigration to Palestine at the turn of the 20th century. In Palestine, he discovers the new metamorphosed Jew, and his succinct, harrowing descriptions of the Arab massacres of the Jews of Hebron and Safed expose an age-old animosity that is still very much alive today. Presciently, Londres investigation provides startling insight into how the unthinkable the Holocaust could happen, sweeping across Europe barely a decade after the publication of his book. His evocative, passionately and very personally told story transports readers back to a pivotal moment in history and offers an invaluable perspective on Jewish life in the early twentieth century, on the nascent days of the State of Israel, and on the ongoing strife that has engulfed the region ever since. The Wandering Jew Has Arrived is as relevant today as when first penned.



























If you meet actress Natalie Portman... be sure to ask her how much she loves this cookbook!
And if you meet me, ask me about their THAI-BOULLEH
[book] THE PALOmAR COOKBOOK
MODERN ISRAELI CUISINE
By Layo Paskin and Tomer Amedi
(Palomar restaurant, Soho, London)
March 2017
Clarkson Potter
Rule One; If you have an Israeli restaurant in London, you get to write a cookbook and it will be a bestseller
Modern Israeli recipes influenced by flavors from Southern Spain, North Africa, and the Levant

The Michelin Bib Gourmand-winning London restaurant The Palomar has won fans the world over for its elevated Middle Eastern cooking inspired by the colorful, flavorful cuisines of the region. From Beet Carpaccio with Burnt Goat Cheese and Date Syrup to Pork Belly Tajine with Ras el Hanout and Israeli couscous, these innovative dishes explore delicious ingredients like za’atar, labneh, pomegranate syrup, and tahini in everything from sharable mezze to dessert. Tucked in the middle of the book is a special cocktail section with a selection of stand-out concoctions such as Lion’s Milk and the Drunken Botanist. Brimming over with lively photographs, The Palomar Cookbook shares a new way to explore this acclaimed restaurant and its unique take on the vibrant foods of the Middle East.

PW writes: Paskin, creative director, and Amedi, chef, of London’s acclaimed Palomar restaurant, share this vibrant and exciting collection centered on modern Israeli cuisine. The recipes are easy, quick to prepare, beautiful, and tasty. The authors provide a helpful pantry section for those new to the cuisine and include several mezzes such as a simple but flavorful tapenade, red onions and sumac, hand-chopped chicken liver, and falafel. They dedicate a chapter to raw foods, including Moroccan oysters, beef carpaccio, and a vibrant fattoush salad. Main dishes include shakshuka, a satisfying combination of eggs poached in stew; polenta Jerusalem style; and spinach gnocchi. Also included is an illustrated cocktail section by Marco Torre with signature drinks from the restaurant. Desserts are memorable, including vanilla and caramelized pine nut ice cream, Stilton cheesecake, reverse Earl Grey chocolate fondue, and a delightful dish called Jerusalem Mess, a combination of cream, almond crumble, apple jelly, and strawberry coulis. This inventive and deeply appealing book will introduce the wonders of Israeli cooking to a wide new audience.

If you are in London, drop by the eatery. It is a hop from Leicester Square on Rupert Street. Of course, The Palomar Cookbook is not for everyone, but if you read and loved Yotam Ottolenghi or Honey & Co., you have to read this. Their restaurant, which is almost three years old was named the best place to eat in Britain by GQ and Tatler magazines. The Palomar came about after Paskin, then a DJ, went to a restaurant in Jerusalem called MACHNEYUDA in Mahane Yehuda (Beit Ya'akov St #10). He had not long closed a nightclub he ran, The End, and he struck up a deal with the owners to open a restaurant in London; in return, they sent two of their best young chefs, Tomer and Yael Amedi.

Example
VELVET TOMATOES
A fresh tomato dip in the restaurant with our kubaneh bread. A mix between a gazpacho and a Yemeni grated tomato sauce
Red tomatoes 500g, (ripe and a bit soft are the best), cut into quarters
green chilli ½ -1
cumin seeds 1 tsp, toasted and ground
extra virgin olive oil 4-5 tbsp
salt to taste
Put the tomatoes, chilli and cumin into the most powerful blender you can get your hands on. Blend until smooth. Then while continuing to blend, add the olive oil gradually. The mixture will emulsify and give you that velvety texture you want. Add salt to taste, and then comes the most important part: strain through the finest sieve you have (in the restaurant we use a chinois), as we don’t want any stray tomato skins. I prefer to enjoy this the same day, but it will keep fresh in a sterilised airtight container in the fridge for 2 days, or you can store it for up to 5 days and use in any sauces for pasta and other dishes.


















[book] Jack's Wife Freda:
Cooking From New York's West Village
by Dean Jankelowitz and
Maya Jankelowitz
and Julia Jaksic
March 2017
Blue Rider Press
From Jack's Wife Freda, the New York City neighborhood restaurants with a worldwide following, a gorgeously illustrated cookbook filled with beloved recipes for accessible, delicious, and inventive Jewish comfort-food cooking at home.

Jack's Wife Freda, @jackswifefreda - a pair of downtown restaurants whose signs bear the illustrated face of their namesake grandma, have become part of the epicenter of Jewish comfort-food dining in New York's Greenwich Village. With their communal, casual vibe and detailed coziness, the restaurants feel like home, and everyone--from the many local regulars to thousands of tourists just passing through--is greeted like family by owners Maya and Dean Jankelowitz, and their staff. And the food is another reason you never want to leave. A tempting and imaginative meld of Jewish immigrant traditions and recipes, the menu crafted by chef Julia Jaksic borrows from the Ashkenazi and Sephardic dishes of the Jankelowitz's respective childhoods, along with the flavors of South African and Israeli cooking. Fans line up on Carmine and Lafayette Streets each morning for a taste of the legendary spicy baked Shakshuka, Eggs Benny with Beet Hollandaise, or Rosewater Waffles with Honey Syrup. The bustling lunch crowd digs into classics like Matzoh Ball Soup, paired with new favorites like Peri-Peri Chicken Wings infused with African bird's eye chili, and Maya's Grain Bowl with Turmeric Tahini Dressing. Refreshing daytime drinks including Cantaloupe Juice and Nana Tea give way to a signature New York Sour at five o'clock, alongside an appetizer of Fried Zucchini Chips with Smoked Paprika Aioli or Haloumi with Grapes. Dinnertime brings delectable crowd-pleasers that home cooks will turn to again and again: Spiced Rack of Lamb with Herbed Israeli Couscous, Duck Tagine, and Freda's Fish Balls. Malva Pudding, Yogurt Panna Cotta with Rose Syrup and more are a perfect end to any meal.

Good food enjoyed with friends and family is the foundation of Jack's Wife Freda, and Maya and Dean bring the same vibrant energy and love of great cooking and healthful eating to their first cookbook. Whether you live around the corner and pop in regularly for a favorite meal or look forward to an out-of-town visit, this beautifully illustrated and user-friendly book makes it easy to eat from Jack's Wife Freda all day, every day.






























[book] The One-Cent Magenta:
Inside the Quest to Own
the Most Valuable Stamp in the World
by James Barron
March 2017
Algonquin
An inside look at the obsessive, secretive, and often bizarre world of high-profile stamp collecting, told through the journey of the world’s most sought-after stamp.

When it was issued in 1856, it cost a penny. In 2014, this tiny square of faded red paper sold at Sotheby’s for nearly $9.5 million, the largest amount ever paid for a postage stamp at auction. Through the stories of the eccentric characters who have bought, owned, and sold the one-cent magenta in the years in between, James Barron delivers a fascinating tale of global history and immense wealth, and of the human desire to collect.
One-cent magentas were provisional stamps, printed quickly in what was then British Guiana when a shipment of official stamps from London did not arrive. They were intended for periodicals, and most were thrown out with the newspapers. But one stamp survived. The singular one-cent magenta has had only nine owners since a twelve-year-old boy discovered it in 1873 as he sorted through papers in his uncle’s house. He soon sold it for what would be $17 today. (That’s been called the worst stamp deal in history.) Among later owners was a Jewish man in Wilkes Barre, PA; a fabulously wealthy Frenchman who hid the stamp from almost everyone (even King George V of England couldn’t get a peek); a businessman who traveled with the stamp in a briefcase he handcuffed to his wrist; and John E. du Pont, an heir to the chemical fortune, who died while serving a thirty-year sentence for the murder of Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz.






























[book] Hell's Traces:
One Murder, Two Families,
Thirty-Five Holocaust Memorials
by Victor Ripp
March 2017
FSG
An unsentimental meditation on memory and loss that recounts the author’s search for a Holocaust memorial that speaks to the death of his young cousin
In July 1942, the French police in Paris, acting for the German military government, arrested Victor Ripp’s three-year-old cousin. Two months later, Alexandre was killed in Auschwitz. To try to make sense of this act, Ripp looks at it through the prism of family history. In addition to Alexandre, ten members of Ripp’s family on his father’s side died in the Holocaust. The family on his mother’s side, numbering thirty people, was in Berlin when Hitler came to power. Without exception they escaped the Final Solution.
Hell’s Traces tells the story of the two families’ divergent paths not as distant history but as something experienced directly. To spark the past to life, Ripp visited Holocaust memorials throughout Europe. A memorial in Warsaw that included a boxcar like the ones that carried Jews to Auschwitz made him contemplate the horror of Alexandre’s ride to his death. A memorial in Berlin invoked the anti-Jewish laws of 1930s. This allowed Ripp to better understand how the family there escaped the Nazi trap.
Ripp saw thirty-five memorials in six countries. He encountered the artists who designed the memorials, historians who recalled the events that the memorials honor, and Holocaust survivors with their own stories to tell. Hell’s Traces is structured like a travel book where each destination provides an example of how memorials can recover and also make sense of the past.






























[book] The Big Life:
Embrace the Mess,
Work Your Side Hustle,
Find a Monumental Relationship,
and Become the Badass Babe
You Were Meant to Be
by Ann Shoket
Foreword by Michelle Phan
March 2017
Rodale
Millennial women are changing what it means to be powerful and successful in the world-for everyone. Forever. You want The Big Life-that delicious cocktail of passion, career, work, ambition, respect, money, and a monumental relationship. And you want it on your own terms. Forget climbing some corporate ladder, you want a career with twists and turns and adventure. For you, success only matters if it’s meaningful. Ann Shoket knows the evolving values of young women more than anyone. She’s the voice behind the popular Badass Babes community, a sisterhood of young, hungry, ambitious women who are helping each other through the most complex issues around becoming who you’re meant to be. As the trailblazing editor-in-chief of Seventeen for the better part of a decade, Shoket led provocative conversations that helped young women navigate the tricky terrain of adolescence and become smart, confident, self-assured young women. Now that they are adding muscle to the frame work of their lives, she’s continuing the conversation with The Big Life.

The Big Life is packed with actionable guidance combined with personal advice from high-profile millennial women who have already achieved tremendous success, plus intimate conversations with a cast of compelling characters and Shoket’s own stories on her quest for The Big Life. You’ll learn to tackle all of the issues on heavy rotation in your mind such as:
· How to craft a career that’s also a passion.
· How to get respect from a boss who thinks you’re a lazy, entitled, and self-obsessed millennial
· Why you need a “squad” of people who support you as you build your Big Life
· How a side hustle will make you smarter, hotter, and more in control of your destiny.
· Why work/life balance is a sham and your need to embrace the mess.
· How to find a partner whose eyes light up when you talk about your ambition.

Written in Shoket’s friendly and authoritative style, The Big Life will help you recognize your power, tap into your ambition, and create your own version of The Big Life.






























[book] Was Revolution Inevitable?:
Turning Points of the
Russian Revolution
by Tony Brenton
March 2017
Oxford University Press
Communism's rise and eventual fall in Eastern Europe is one of the great stories of the 20th century. Within this context, the Russian Revolution's role and legacy overshadows all else. In Was Revolution Inevitable?, former British Ambassador to Russia Sir Tony Brenton has gathered essays by leading historians to trace the events that led to the overthrow of the Tsarist regime and to pinpoint moments when those events could have unfolded in a drastically different way. What would the world be like had Fanny Kaplan succeeded in assassinating Vladimir Lenin in 1918? What if the Bolsheviks had never imposed the brutal "War Communism" initiatives that devastated the Russian peasants? What if Rasputin had talked Nicholas II out of involvement in World War One, which effectively led to the Revolution and sealed the demise of the Romanov dynasty?
Preeminent scholars, including Orlando Figes, Richard Pipes, Douglas Smith, and Martin Sixsmith, ruminate on these questions and many others, assembling a series of pivotal moments that reveal what might have gone differently, and, if so, what the repercussions would have been. The contributors take a variety of approaches, from imagining an alternate history, to carefully studying a precarious moment of contingency, to disproving popular imagined alternatives. All of the chapters, however, shed light on Lenin's rise to power and the proliferation of his agenda, while assessing the influence of the revolution's pivotal moments on Russian-and global-politics.
Provocative and illuminating, Was Revolution Inevitable? provides an in-depth exploration of the conflict that for nearly a century has shaped world history. The Russian Revolution put totalitarian communism into power, fueled Nazism and the Second World War, and forged one of the West's greatest antagonists. Here is a book that scrutinizes how the past, present, and future of global history could have been remarkably different had the events of 1917 unfolded differently and in the process deepens our understanding of what did happen and why.






































[book] Boss Bitch:
A Simple 12-Step Plan to Take
Charge of Your Career
by Nicole Lapin
March 2017
Crown Business
You don’t need dozens or hundreds of employees to be a boss, says financial expert and serial entrepreneur Nicole Lapin. Hell, you don’t even need one. You just need to find your inner Boss Bitch — your most confident, savvy, ambitious self — and own it.
A Boss Bitch is the she-ro of her own story. She is someone who takes charge of her future and embraces being a “boss” in all aspects of the word: whether as the boss of her own life, family and career, the literal boss at work, or, as the boss of her own company. Whichever she chooses (or all three), a Boss Bitch is someone who gets out there and makes her success happen — and so can you.
Lapin draws on raw and often hilariously real stories from her own career — the good, the bad, and the ugly — to show what it means to be a "boss" in twelve easy steps. In her refreshingly accessible and relatable style, she first shows how to embrace the “boss of you" mentality by seizing the power that comes from believing in yourself and expanding your skillset. Then she offers candid no-nonsense advice for how to kill it at as the “boss at work” whether you have a high-up role or not. And finally, for those who want to take the plunge as an entrepreneur, she lays out the nuts and bolts of how to be the “boss of your own business” from raising money and getting it off the ground to hiring a kickass staff and dealing office drama to turning a profit.
Being a badass in your career is something that should be worn as a badge of honor, says Lapin. Here, she inspires us to rise to the occasion and celebrate our successes — and then keep killing it like the Boss Bitches we are!






























[book] The Doorposts of Your
House and on Your Gates:
A Novel
by Jacob Bacharach
March 2017
Liveright/Norton
The biblical story of Abraham and Isaac is transposed into a modern world even madder than the ancient Middle East in Jacob Bacharach’s hilarious novel.

Does any family better fit the Anna Karenina principle? that happy families are alike but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way?better than the patriarchs of the Book of Genesis? Is there any worse (or crazier) father than Abraham? These are some of the questions The Doorposts of Your House and on Your Gates asks, replacing the biblical Ur with New York and the land of Canaan with the rugged hills and rusted river valleys of western Pennsylvania. Fleeing a failed relationship, Isabel Giordani leaves New York and moves across the Appalachians to Pittsburgh, where she soon begins to insinuate herself into the lives of Isaac Mayer and his father, Abbie, an architect turned crooked real estate developer. As Isabel learns this family’s weird, often sordid, and occasionally violent history, her own motives for entering their lives are called into question, in Jacob Bacharach’s new novel that considers love, family, God, and, of course, real estate.


























[book] DINNER
CHANGING THE GAME
BY MELISSA CLARK
March 2017
Clarkson Potter
From Melissa Clark, the New York Times bestselling author and one of the most beloved food and recipe writers of our generation, comes a comprehensive and practical cookbook. With more than 250 all new recipes and abundant four-color photography, these inherently simple recipes make for the kind of easy cooking that can turn anyone into a better and more confident cook.
Dinner is all about options: inventive, unfussy food with unexpected flavor (and plenty of make ahead ideas, too): a sheetpan chicken laced with spicy harissa; burgers amped with chorizo; curried lentils with poached eggs, to name a few. Here, too, are easy flourishes that make dinner exceptional: stirring charred lemon into pasta, tossing a Caesar-like dressing on a grain bowl, adding fresh ricotta and demerara sugar to stovetop mac and cheese; lavishing a dollop of chili paste just about anywhere.
Clark’s mission is to help anyone—whether a novice with just a single pan or the experienced (and, perhaps jaded) home cook, figure out what to make any night of the week, without settling on fallbacks. Each recipe in this book is meant to be dinner—one fantastic dish that is so satisfying and flavor-forward it can stand alone or sit with just a little something else, such as green beans with caper vinaigrette, a citrus salad with olives, coconut rice, or skillet brown butter cornbread. Or maybe all you need is some baguette and the simplest green salad.
Dinner has the range and authority—and the author’s trademark warmth—of an instant classic.






























[book] Perfect for Pesach:
Passover recipes you'll want
to make all year
by Naomi Nachman
and Miriam Pascal
March 2, 2017
Artscroll/mesorah
In this debut cookbook, Naomi Nachman shares her popular recipes from over two decades of cooking and catering for Passover. Perfect for Pesach presents easy recipes that use innovative flavor combinations to create fabulous gourmet meals to enhance your holiday table. My goal is to help home cooks prepare delicious meals without making the process too complicated or exhausting , Naomi says. I want you to be as excited about cooking for Pesach as I am. These recipes are so delicious, your family and friends will be asking for them all year long.
Each of the more than 125 delicious recipes features a beautifully photographed picture by kosher blogger and cookbook author, Miriam Pascal. In addition, Naomi provides numerous Cook's Tips culled from her years of professional experience. She also includes Freezer Tips, Prep Ahead, How-to information, and recommendations for basic kitchen equipment.
From appetizers and starters, to main dishes and desserts, Perfect for Pesach has everything needed to create and serve the perfect holiday meal.
Vivid photograph accompanies every recipe
Cooking Tips culled from Naomi's years of professional experience
Freezing Tips ensure ease of prep-ahead cooking
Guides to basic ingredients and kitchen equipment
120 gluten free, non-gebrochts recipes





























[book] Candy is Magic:
Real Ingredients, Modern Recipes
by Jami Curl
Owner of Quin, Portland OR
March 14, 2017
Ten Speed
This game-changing candy cookbook from the owner of Quin, a popular Portland-based candy company, offers more than 200 achievable recipes using real, natural ingredients for everything from flavor-packed fruit lollipops to light-as-air marshmallows.

Jami Curl, candy-maker extraordinaire and owner of the candy company Quin has been called the "new Willy Wonka" by Bon Appetit. Her debut book, This is Candy, includes the recipes that have made Quin a favorite with local and national media, foodies, chefs, and bloggers. But This is Candy is not just a candy book. Instead, Jami's approach to candy forms the foundation for a world of other confections--from bacon glazed with maple and black pepper caramel to a clever Chocolate Magic Dust that can be turned into chocolate pudding, chocolate sauce, and even a chocolate lollipop. Packed with more than 200 recipes for totally original confections like Whole Roasted Strawberry Lollipops, Bergamot Caramels, Fig & Coffee Gumdrops, and Pinot Noir cotton candy, as well as serious tips and advice for making amazing candy at home.





















[book] The Rules Do Not Apply:
A Memoir
by Ariel Levy
March 2017
Random House
Profound. Intimate
When 38 year old New Yorker writer Ariel Levy left for a reporting trip to Mongolia in 2012, she was pregnant, married, financially secure, and successful on her own terms.

A month later, none of that was true.

Levy picks you up and hurls you through the story of how she built an unconventional life and then watched it fall apart with astonishing speed. Like much of her generation, she was raised to resist conventional rules—about work, about love, and about womanhood.
“I wanted what we all want: everything. We want a mate who feels like family and a lover who is exotic, surprising. We want to be youthful adventurers and middle-aged mothers. We want intimacy and autonomy, safety and stimulation, reassurance and novelty, coziness and thrills. But we can’t have it all.”
In this profound and beautiful memoir, Levy chronicles the adventure and heartbreak of being “a woman who is free to do whatever she chooses.” Her own story of resilience becomes an unforgettable portrait of the shifting forces in our culture, of what has changed—and of what is eternal.

































[book] Thunder in the Mountains:
Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard,
and the Nez Perce War
by Daniel J. Sharfstein
(Vanderbilt)
Spring 2017
Norton
The epic clash of two American legends-their brutal war and a battle of ideas that defined America after Reconstruction.
Oliver Otis Howard thought he was a man of destiny. Chosen to lead the Freedmen’s Bureau after the Civil War, the Union Army general was entrusted with the era’s most crucial task: helping millions of former slaves claim the rights of citizens. He was energized by the belief that abolition and Reconstruction, the country’s great struggles for liberty and equality, were God’s plan for himself and the nation. To honor his righteous commitment to a new American freedom, Howard University was named for him.
But as the nation’s politics curdled in the 1870s, General Howard exiled himself from Washington, D.C., rejoined the army, and was sent across the continent to command forces in the Pacific Northwest. Shattered by Reconstruction’s collapse, he assumed a new mission: forcing Native Americans to become Christian farmers on government reservations.
Howard’s plans for redemption in the West ran headlong into the resistance of Chief Joseph, a young Nez Perce leader in northeastern Oregon who refused to leave his ancestral land. Claiming equal rights for Native Americans, Joseph was determined to find his way to the center of American power and convince the government to acknowledge his people’s humanity and capacity for citizenship. Although his words echoed the very ideas about liberty and equality that Howard had championed during Reconstruction, in the summer of 1877 the general and his troops ruthlessly pursued hundreds of Nez Perce families through the stark and unforgiving Northern Rockies. An odyssey and a tragedy, their devastating war transfixed the nation and immortalized Chief Joseph as a hero to generations of Americans.
Recreating the Nez Perce War through the voices of its survivors, Daniel J. Sharfstein’s visionary history of the West casts Howard’s turn away from civil rights alongside the nation’s rejection of racial equality and embrace of empire. The conflict becomes a pivotal struggle over who gets to claim the American dream: a battle of ideas about the meaning of freedom and equality, the mechanics of American power, and the limits of what the government can and should do for its people. The war that Howard and Joseph fought is one that Americans continue to fight today.


































[book] The Lies They Tell
by Tuvia Tenenbom
March 2017
Gefen Publishing House

From the Author of CATCH THE JEW, Tuvia Tenenbom writes about his trip in America.
Welcome to the real America, a place you call home but don't yet know! The USA is the world's empire and its actions will influence us all for generations to come. But who are the Americans, the people who make up America?

Tuvia Tenenbom travels through America to find out. His wanderings take him across regional frontiers, partisan lines, and socioeconomic boundaries in a fearless quest for the flesh-and-blood American. He visits black ghettos and white gated communities, megachurches and Indian reservations. He schmoozes with robbers who teach him the true meaning of love and meets Jews who dedicate day and night to hatred of their brethren. He finagles his way into a prison where skinheads pray, goes to the Senate where no Senator seems to be working, experiments with drugs on American streets and ponders the deeper meaning of life with rednecks. He mingles with soldiers who teach him how to invade foreign countries and intellectuals who teach him the beautiful nature of Mother Earth, the goodness of man, and the sadism of the Israeli.
The characters he encounters, the adventures he eagerly embraces and the findings of his journey are always unique and often unexpected.



























[book] Eyes Wide Open:
Overcoming Obstacles and Recognizing
Opportunities in a World
That Can't See Clearly
by Isaac Lidsky
March 14, 2017
In Eyes Wide Open, Isaac Lidsky draws on his experience of achieving immense success, joy, and fulfillment while losing his sight to a blinding disease to show us that it isn’t external circumstances, but how we perceive and respond to them, that governs our reality.

Fear has a tendency to give us tunnel vision—we fill the unknown with our worst imaginings and cling to what’s familiar. But when confronted with new challenges, we need to think more broadly and adapt. When Isaac Lidsky learned that he was beginning to go blind at age thirteen, eventually losing his sight entirely by the time he was twenty-five, he initially thought that blindness would mean an end to his early success and his hopes for the future. Paradoxically, losing his sight gave him the vision to take responsibility for his reality and thrive. Lidsky graduated from Harvard College at age nineteen, served as a Supreme Court law clerk, fathered four children, and turned a failing construction subcontractor into a highly profitable business.

Whether we’re blind or not, our vision is limited by our past experiences, biases, and emotions. Lidsky shows us how we can overcome paralyzing fears, avoid falling prey to our own assumptions and faulty leaps of logic, silence our inner critic, harness our strength, and live with open hearts and minds. In sharing his hard-won insights, Lidsky shows us how we too can confront life's trials with initiative, humor, and grace.

[book][book]Note: Lidsky is the son of Cuban norn Jewish parents. He did his first TV commercials before he was two years old (for diapers). As a teen, he was cast in Saved By The Bell The New Class (reboot) as Barton 'Weasel' Wyzell

























[book] SEW JEWISH
The 18 Projects You Need
for Jewish Holidays, Weddings,
Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebrations,
and Home
by M. Bywater
(Founder of Huppahs.com, rental biz)
March 2017
With these 18 beginner-level projects, you can set your holiday table, bring a personal touch to weddings and bar/bat mitzvah celebrations, and decorate your home with the warmth of Jewish tradition. Sew your own tallit prayer shawl, challah cover, wedding chuppah, and more. A mix of modern projects and classic Judaica reinterpreted for today's sewing enthusiasts. With 100 illustrations to guide you, a section on basic techniques, and expert tips throughout. Flavored with interesting tidbits about the teachings and history behind classic Judaica and Jewish traditions. If you can set your machine to straight and zigzag stitches, you can make all the projects in this book.

Library Journal: “… The "Shabbat and Holidays" section includes an appliquéd challah cover, a Havdalah spice pouch for Shabbat, and more. "Celebrations" features a wedding huppah, a kippah, a tallit with tzitzit strings, and tallit and tefillin bags. "Home" offers a mezuzah case with a vinyl covering, as well as several home decor items. The instructions are easy to follow, and additional information about the history and significance behind each of the items is provided. VERDICT The combination of handcrafting and Jewish tradition adds further value and meaning to these projects, and Bywater's approach is both thoughtful and celebratory. - Cathy Perlmutter, President, International Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework”





















[book] THREE STONES MAKE A WALL
THE STORY OF ARCHAEOLOGY
BY ERIC H. CLINE
Princeton University Press
March 2017
In 1922, Howard Carter peered into Tutankhamun's tomb for the first time, the only light coming from the candle in his outstretched hand. Urged to tell what he was seeing through the small opening he had cut in the door to the tomb, the Egyptologist famously replied, "I see wonderful things." Carter's fabulous discovery is just one of the many spellbinding stories told in Three Stones Make a Wall.
Written by Eric Cline, an archaeologist with more than thirty seasons of excavation experience, Three Stones Make a Wall traces the history of archaeology from an amateur pursuit to the cutting-edge science it is today by taking the reader on a tour of major archaeological sites and discoveries, from Pompeii to Petra, Troy to the Terracotta Warriors, and Mycenae to Megiddo and Masada. Cline brings to life the personalities behind these digs, including Heinrich Schliemann, the former businessman who excavated Troy, and Mary Leakey, whose discoveries advanced our understanding of human origins. The discovery of the peoples and civilizations of the past is presented in vivid detail, from the Hittites and Minoans to the Inca, Aztec, and Moche. Along the way, the book addresses the questions archaeologists are asked most often: How do you know where to dig? How are excavations actually done? How do you know how old something is? Who gets to keep what is found?
Taking readers from the pioneering digs of the eighteenth century to the exciting new discoveries being made today, Three Stones Make a Wall is a lively and essential introduction to the story of archaeology.






























[book] THE BOOK OF GREEK AND ROMAN
FOLKTALES, LEGENDS, and MYTHS
Edited, Translated and Intro
by William Hansen
Professor Emeritus
Princeton University Press
March 2017
Captured centaurs and satyrs, talking animals, people who suddenly change sex, men who give birth, the temporarily insane and the permanently thick-witted, delicate sensualists, incompetent seers, a woman who remembers too much, a man who cannot laugh--these are just some of the colorful characters who feature in the unforgettable stories that ancient Greeks and Romans told in their daily lives. Together they created an incredibly rich body of popular oral stories that include, but range well beyond, mythology--from heroic legends, fairy tales, and fables to ghost stories, urban legends, and jokes. This unique anthology presents the largest collection of these tales ever assembled. Featuring nearly four hundred stories in authoritative and highly readable translations, this is the first book to offer a representative selection of the entire range of traditional classical storytelling.
Set mostly in the world of humans, not gods, these stories focus on figures such as lovers, tricksters, philosophers, merchants, rulers, athletes, artists, and soldiers. The narratives range from the well-known--for example, Cupid and Psyche, Diogenes and his lantern, and the tortoise and the hare--to lesser-known tales that deserve wider attention. Entertaining and fascinating, they offer a unique window into the fantasies, anxieties, humor, and passions of the people who told them.
Complete with beautiful illustrations by Glynnis Fawkes, a comprehensive introduction, notes, and more, this one-of-a-kind anthology will delight general readers as well as students of classics, fairy tales, and folklore.







































[book] ORDINARY JEWS
Choice and Survival during the Holocaust
By Evgeny Finkel
GW University
Princeton University Press
March 2017
Focusing on the choices and actions of Jews during the Holocaust, Ordinary Jews examines the different patterns of behavior of civilians targeted by mass violence. Relying on rich archival material and hundreds of survivors' testimonies, Evgeny Finkel presents a new framework for understanding the survival strategies in which Jews engaged: cooperation and collaboration, coping and compliance, evasion, and resistance. Finkel compares Jews' behavior in three Jewish ghettos--Minsk, Kraków, and Bia?ystok--and shows that Jews' responses to Nazi genocide varied based on their experiences with prewar policies that either promoted or discouraged their integration into non-Jewish society.

Finkel demonstrates that while possible survival strategies were the same for everyone, individuals' choices varied across and within communities. In more cohesive and robust Jewish communities, coping--confronting the danger and trying to survive without leaving--was more organized and successful, while collaboration with the Nazis and attempts to escape the ghetto were minimal. In more heterogeneous Jewish communities, collaboration with the Nazis was more pervasive, while coping was disorganized. In localities with a history of peaceful interethnic relations, evasion was more widespread than in places where interethnic relations were hostile. State repression before WWII, to which local communities were subject, determined the viability of anti-Nazi Jewish resistance.

Exploring the critical influences shaping the decisions made by Jews in Nazi-occupied eastern Europe, Ordinary Jews sheds new light on the dynamics of collective violence and genocide.







































[book] THE DANCE OF THE VIOLIN
by Kathy Stinson
and Dušan Petri?i? (Illustrator)
annick press / pgw
March 2017
Grades K - 3
Ages 5 – 8
As a young student of the violin, Joshua Bell learns about an international competition to be held in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He chooses a piece of music, which his teacher suggests may be too difficult, but Joshua is determined. It’s a piece of music he loves. At the competition, Joshua experiences the usual jitters. Once his name is called, he strides to the stage and begins to play, but almost immediately, he makes a mistake. As he is about to walk off the stage, he asks the judges if could try again. They agree, and this time, the playing is impeccable. Dušan Petricic’s brilliant illustrations full of movement and color, capture the sounds made by Joshua’s violin, from the missed notes to the swirling, uplifting strains of the perfectly executed piece.

Children will readily empathize with Joshua’s misstep, but they will also learn that there is always a second chance.






























[book] Mikhail and Margarita:
A Novel
by Julie Himes
Europa Editions / Penguin
March 2017
Fiction, although based on the life of the Warsaw born Soviet Jewish poet.
A love triangle involving Mikhail Bulgakov, famed author of The Master and Margarita, an agent of Stalin's secret police, and the bewitching Margarita has inescapable consequences for all three in 1930s Russia.

It is 1933 and Mikhail Bulgakov's enviable career is on the brink of being dismantled. His friend and mentor, the poet Osip Mandelstam, has been arrested, tortured, and sent into exile. Meanwhile, a mysterious agent of the secret police has developed a growing obsession with exposing Bulgakov as an enemy of the state. To make matters worse, Bulgakov has fallen in love with the dangerously outspoken Margarita. Facing imminent arrest, infatuated with Margarita, he is inspired to write his masterpiece, The Master and Margarita, a satirical novel that is scathingly critical of power and the powerful.

Ranging between lively readings in the homes of Moscow's literary elite to the Siberian Gulag, Mikhail and Margarita recounts a passionate love triangle while painting a portrait of a country with a towering literary tradition confronting a dictatorship that does not tolerate dissent. Margarita is a strong, idealistic woman, who is fiercely loved by two very different men, both of whom will fail in their attempts to shield her from the machinations of a regime hungry for human sacrifice. Himes launches a rousing defense of art and the artist during a time of systematic deception and she movingly portrays the ineluctable consequences of love for one of history's most enigmatic literary figures.






























[book] THE GOLEM OF PRAGUE
by Irène Cohen-Janca
Illustrated by Maurizio A.C. Quarello
Translated by Brigitte Waisberg
annick press / pgw
March 2017
Grades 4-7
Ages 9 – 12
The legend of the Golem dates back to the 1500s when the Jews of Prague were being viciously persecuted. Their spiritual leader, Rabbi Loew, also known as The Maharal of Prague, created a formidable creature out of clay whose mission it was to protect the Jews of the city. This beautiful picture book with its lyrical text and evocative illustrations, retells the story of the Golem through the eyes of a young boy, Frantz. Despite warnings to never enter the attic in the synagogue, Frantz climbs up. There, he is transported back to the time when the Golem was created, and eventually destroyed. A blend of mysticism, the supernatural, and even romance makes this a haunting picture book for children ages 8 to 12.







































[book] The First Love Story:
Adam, Eve, and Us
by Bruce Feiler
Penguin Press
March 2017
From the New York Times bestselling author of Walking the Bible and Abraham comes a revelatory journey across four continents and 4,000 years exploring how Adam and Eve introduced the idea of love into the world, and how they continue to shape our deepest feelings about relationships, family, and togetherness.
Since antiquity, one story has stood at the center of every conversation about men and women. One couple has been the battleground for human relationships and sexual identity. That couple is Adam and Eve. Yet instead of celebrating them, history has blamed them for bringing sin, deceit, and death into the world.
In this fresh retelling of their story, New York Times columnist and PBS host Bruce Feiler travels from the Garden of Eden in Iraq to the Sistine Chapel in Rome, from John Milton’s London to Mae West’s Hollywood, discovering how Adam and Eve should be hailed as exemplars of a long-term, healthy, resilient relationship. At a time of discord and fear over the strength of our social fabric, Feiler shows how history’s first couple can again be role models for unity, forgiveness, and love.
Containing all the humor, insight, and wisdom that have endeared Bruce Feiler to readers around the world, The First Love Story is an unforgettable journey that restores Adam and Eve to their rightful place as central figures in our culture's imagination and reminds us that even our most familiar stories still have the ability to surprise, inspire, and guide us today.






























[book] You Say to Brick:
The Life of Louis Kahn
by Wendy Lesser
FS&G
March 2017
Itze-Leib Schmuilowsky, was born into a poor Jewish family in Pärnu, (Now Estonia). He spent his early childhood in Kuressaare on the island of Saaremaa (Livonian Governorate) At the age of three, he suffered facial scars from burning coals. In 1906, his family emigrated to the United States, as they feared that his father would be recalled into the military during the Russo-Japanese War. As a youth in America, he earned money by playing piano to accompany silent movies in theaters. He became a naturalized citizen on May 15, 1914. His father changed their name to Kahn in 1915. But by the time of his mysterious death in 1974, Louis Kahn was widely recognized as one of the greatest architects of his era. Yet this enormous reputation was based on only a handful of masterpieces, all built during the last fifteen years of his life.

Wendy Lesser’s You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn is a major exploration of the architect’s life and work. Kahn, perhaps more than any other twentieth-century American architect, was a “public” architect. Rather than focusing on corporate commissions, he devoted himself to designing research facilities, government centers, museums, libraries, and other structures that would serve the public good. But this warm, captivating person, beloved by students and admired by colleagues, was also a secretive man hiding under a series of masks (albeit a mask with facial scars).

Kahn himself, however, is not the only complex subject that comes vividly to life in these pages. His signature achievements?like the Salk Institute in La Jolla, the National Assembly Building of Bangladesh, and the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad?can at first seem as enigmatic and beguiling as the man who designed them. In attempts to describe these structures, we are often forced to speak in contradictions and paradoxes: structures that seem at once unmistakably modern and ancient; enormous built spaces that offer a sense of intimate containment; designs in which light itself seems tangible, a raw material as tactile as travertine or Kahn’s beloved concrete. This is where Lesser’s talents as one of our most original and gifted cultural critics come into play. Interspersed throughout her account of Kahn’s life and career are exhilarating “in situ” descriptions of what it feels like to move through his built structures.

Drawing on extensive original research, lengthy interviews with his children, his colleagues, and his students, and travel to the far-flung sites of his career-defining buildings, Lesser has written a landmark biography of this elusive genius, revealing the mind behind some of the twentieth century’s most celebrated architecture.





















[book] Blitzed:
Drugs in the Third Reich
by Norman Ohler
Shaun Whiteside (Translator)
HMH
March 7, 2017
The story of Nazi Germany’s reliance on drugs.
The Nazi regime preached an ideology of physical, mental, and moral purity. But as Norman Ohler reveals, the Third Reich was saturated with drugs. On the eve of World War II, Germany was a pharmaceutical powerhouse, and companies such as Merck and Bayer cooked up cocaine, opiates, and, most of all, methamphetamines (similar form of Crystal Meth), to be consumed by everyone from factory workers to housewives to millions of German soldiers. Childbirth? Take some drugs. Troops? Received crystal meth rations to elevate energy and feelings of invincibility associated with the high even help to explain certain German military victories. Suicide missions? Cocaine was supplied. Nazi salute hurts your arm? Hitler took glucose shots. Candy for girlfriends? Drugs added to each piece.
Ohler writes that drug abuse seeped all the way up to the Nazi high command and, especially, to Hitler himself. Over the course of the war, Hitler became increasingly dependent on injections of a cocktail of drugs — including a form of heroin — administered by his personal doctor. While drugs alone cannot explain the Nazis’ toxic racial theories or the events of World War II, Ohler’s investigation makes an overwhelming case that, if drugs are not taken into account, our understanding of the Third Reich is fundamentally incomplete. Is it some sort of attempt to excuse actions? No. It is just careful research.





































[book] Marilyn in Manhattan:
Her Year of Joy
by Elizabeth Winder
March 2017
Flatiron Books
A city, a movie star, and one magical year.
In November of 1954 a young woman dressed plainly in a white oxford, dark sunglasses and a black pageboy wig boards a midnight flight from Los Angeles to New York. As the plane’s engines rev she breathes a sigh of relief, lights a cigarette and slips off her wig revealing a tangle of fluffy blonde curls. Marilyn Monroe was leaving Hollywood behind, and along with it a failed marriage and a frustrating career. She needed a break from the scrutiny and insanity of LA. She needed Manhattan.
In Manhattan, the most famous woman in the world can wander the streets unbothered, spend hours at the Met getting lost in art, and afternoons buried in the stacks of the Strand. Marilyn begins to live a life of the mind in New York; she dates Arthur Miller, dances with Truman Capote and drinks with Carson McCullers. Even though she had never lived there before, in New York, Marilyn is home.
In Marilyn in Manhattan, the iconic blonde bombshell is not only happy, but successful. She breaks her contract with Fox Studios to form her own production company, a groundbreaking move that makes her the highest paid actress in history and revolutionizes the entertainment industry. A true love letter to Marilyn, and a joyous portrait of a city bursting with life and art, Marilyn in Manhattan is a beautifully written, lively look at two American treasures: New York and Marilyn Monroe, and sheds new light on one of our most enduring icons.



























APRIL 2017 BOOKS




[book] King Solomon's Table:
A Culinary Exploration of
Jewish Cooking from Around the World
by Joan Nathan
April 4, 2017
Knopf
From the James Beard Award-winning, much-loved cookbook author and authority: an around-the-world collection of recipes from the global Jewish diaspora--an essential book of cooking and culture.

Driven by a passion for discovery, King Solomon is said to have sent ships to all corners of the ancient world, initiating a mass cross-pollination of culinary cultures that continues to bear fruit today. With King Solomon's appetites and explorations in mind, here celebrated author Joan Nathan gathers more than 170 recipes that span the millennia: from classics like Yemenite Chicken Soup with Dill, Cilantro, and Parsley; Spinach and Feta Bourekas; Hummus with Preserved Lemon and Cumin; and Hamantaschen with Poppy Seed or Chocolate Filling...to contemporary riffs on traditional dishes such as Smokey Shakshuka with Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplant; Homemade Herbed Labneh with Beets and Puy Lentils; Baghdadi Chicken with Rice, Coconut, and Cilantro; and Roman Ricotta Cheese Torte.

We travel with Joan from India to France, from Italy to Mexico, from El Salvador to Israel and, of course, all across North America, in a gorgeously illustrated culinary exploration that is filled with fascinating historical details, personal histories, and fantastic recipes that showcase the diversity of Jewish cuisine. It is the most ambitious and satisfying book of Joan Nathan's stellar, four decades-long career.





























[book] What To Do About The Solomons
A novel
by Bethany Ball
April 2017
Atlantic Monthly Press
From a remarkable new voice in fiction, Bethany Ball, comes a transporting debut; a hilarious multigenerational family saga set in Israel, New York, and Los Angeles that explores the secrets and gossip-filled lives of a kibbutz community near Jerusalem

Meet Marc Solomon, an Israeli ex-Navy commando now living in L.A., who is falsely accused of money laundering through his asset management firm. As the Solomons’ Santa Monica home is raided, Marc’s American wife, Carolyn—concealing her own dark past—makes hopeless attempts to hold their family of five together. But news of the scandal makes its way from America to the rest of the Solomon clan on the kibbutz in the Jordan River Valley. There we encounter various members of the family and the community—from Marc’s self-absorbed movie actress sister, Shira, and her forgotten son Joseph; to his rich and powerful construction magnate father, Yakov; to his former star-crossed love, Maya; and his brother-in-law Guy Gever, a local ranger turned “artist.” As the secrets and rumors of the kibbutz are revealed through various memories and tales, we witness the things that keep the Solomons together, and those that tear them apart.



























[book] The Widow of Wall Street:
A Novel
by Randy Susan Meyers
April 2017
Atria Books
A provocative new novel by bestselling author Randy Susan Meyers about the seemingly blind love of a wife for her husband as he conquers Wall Street, and her extraordinary, perhaps foolish, loyalty during his precipitous fall.
Phoebe recognizes fire in Jake Pierce’s belly from the moment they meet as teenagers. As he creates a financial dynasty, she trusts him without hesitation—unaware his hunger for success hides a dark talent for deception.
When Phoebe learns her husband’s triumph and vast reach rests on an elaborate Ponzi scheme her world unravels. As Jake’s crime is uncovered, the world obsesses about Phoebe. Did she know her life was fabricated by fraud? Was she his accomplice?
While Jake is trapped in the web of his deceit, Phoebe is caught in an unbearable choice. Her children refuse to see her if she remains at their father’s side, but abandoning him feels cruel and impossible.
From penthouse to prison, with tragic consequences rippling well beyond Wall Street, Randy Susan Meyers’s latest novel exposes a woman struggling to survive and then redefine her life as her world crumbles.





























[book] Option B:
Facing Adversity,
Building Resilience and
Finding Joy
by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
April 24, 2017
Knopf
From the Facebook COO and Wharton’s top-rated professor, the #1 New York Times best-selling authors of Lean In and Originals: a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks.
In 2015 Sheryl Sandberg’s husband, Dave Goldberg, died suddenly at the age of forty-eight. Sandberg and her two young children were devastated, and she was certain that their lives would never have real joy or meaning again.
Just weeks later, Sandberg was talking with a friend about the first father-child activity without a father. They came up with a plan for someone to fill in. “But I want Dave,” she cried. Her friend put his arm around her and said, “Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of Option B.”
Everyone experiences some form of Option B. We all deal with loss: jobs lost, loves lost, lives lost. The question is not whether these things will happen but how we face them when they do.
Thoughtful, honest, revealing and warm, Option B weaves Sandberg’s experiences coping with adversity with new findings from Adam Grant and other social scientists. The book features stories of people who recovered from personal and professional hardship, including illness, injury, divorce, job loss, sexual assault and imprisonment. These people did more than recover—many of them became stronger.
Option B offers compelling insights for dealing with hardships in our own lives and helping others in crisis. It turns out that post-traumatic growth is common—even after the most devastating experiences many people don’t just bounce back but actually bounce forward. And pre-traumatic growth is also possible: people can build resilience even if they have not experienced tragedy. Sandberg and Grant explore how we can raise strong children, create resilient communities and workplaces, and find meaning, love and joy in our lives.
“Dave’s death changed me in very profound ways,” Sandberg writes. “I learned about the depths of sadness and the brutality of loss. But I also learned that when life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface and breathe again.”





























[book] A TABLE AGAINST
MINE ENEMIES
Israel on the LawFare Front
By Larry M. Goldstein
April 2017
Gefen
The world is in the midst of a revolution in military affairs, caused by a shift from symmetric to asymmetric war

the digitization and globalization of information, and
the automation of war by robotics and cyber aggression.

In this modern environment, a new weapon known as lawfare plays an essential role. Lawfare is the use, or more correctly the misuse, of law as a weapon of combat to embarrass Western countries, to constrain their armies, and in this way to achieve military objectives. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the world's leading conflict on this new battlefront. Drawing on the personal stories of soldiers in the Israeli, UK and US armies, and on the filings at the International Criminal Court, A Table Against Mine Enemies:

defines lawfare and related terms through personal stories;
explains the four fundamental laws of war on which lawfare attacks are based;
details Israel-based examples of lawfare in the separation barrier, the disputed territories, and flotilla attempts to break the blockade against importation of weapons to Gaza; and
presents scenarios for the future of war and of lawfare, based on advanced electronics, robotics, cyber attacks, and machine autonomy.

Lawfare is in the news every week, and will continue to appear over the coming decades. A Table Against Mine Enemies provides the information essential to understanding this new and revolutionary weapon of war.



























[book] The Islamic Enlightenment:
The Struggle Between Faith
and Reason, 1798 to Modern Times
by Christopher de Bellaigue
April 2017
Liveright/Norton
A revelatory and game-changing narrative that rewrites everything we thought we knew about the modern history of the Islamic world.
With majestic prose, Christopher de Bellaigue presents an absorbing account of the political and social reformations that transformed the lands of Islam in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Structuring his groundbreaking history around Istanbul, Cairo, and Tehran, the three main loci of Islamic culture, The Islamic Enlightenment challenges the ossified perceptions in Western culture that self-righteously condemn the Muslim world as hopelessly benighted. This false perception belies the fact that Islamic civilization has been undergoing its own anguished transformation over the last two hundred years and that the violence of an infinitesimally small minority is the blowback from this process. In reclaiming the stories of the nineteenth-century philosophers, anti-clerics, journalists, and feminists who opened up their societies to political and intellectual emancipation, The Islamic Enlightenment shows the folly of Westerners demanding modernity from people whose lives are already drenched in it. 8 pages of color and 8 pages of black-and-white illustrations


























[book] Mexican Ice Cream:
Beloved Recipes and Stories
by Fany Gerson
April 2017
Ten Speed
A collection of 60+ flavor-packed recipes for ice creams and frozen treats rooted in Mexico's rich and revered ice cream traditions. Fany Gerson—the Mexican-Jewish dessert genius behind Dough and La Newyorkina. She is the mother of the Doughka... the Mexican Jewish Babka Donut

This new offering from the incredibly popular baker and sweets maker Fany Gerson, the powerhouse behind Brooklyn's La Newyorkina and Dough, showcases the incredibly diverse flavors of Mexican ice cream while exploring the cultural aspects of preparing and consuming ice cream in Mexico. Gerson uses unique ingredients to create exciting and fresh flavors like Red Prickly Pear Ice Cream, Oaxacan-style Lime Sorbet, Avocado-Chocolate Ice Cream, and Rice-Almond Ice Cream with Cinnamon. All recipes are created with the home cook in mind, and written in Fany's knowledgeable but accessible voice. Mexican Ice Cream features vibrant location photography and captures the authentic Mexican heladerias that Gerson has been visiting for decades. For anyone looking to up their summer ice cream game, this is the book.

























[book] LEADING LADY
SHERRY LANSING AND THE
MAKING OF A HOLLYWOOD GROUNDBREAKER
By Stephen Galloway
April 2017
Crown Archetype
The definitive biography of movie executive and philanthropist Sherry Lansing traces her groundbreaking journey to become the first female head of a major motion picture studio, shares behind-the-scenes tales from movie sets and Hollywood boardrooms, and explains what inspired her to walk away from it all to start the Sherry Lansing Foundation.

























[book] Imaginary Cities:
A Tour of Dream Cities,
Nightmare Cities,
and Everywhere in Between
by Darran Anderson
April 2017
A best-seller throughout Europe. For as long as humans have gathered in cities, those cities have had their shining—or shadowy—counterparts. Imaginary cities, potential cities, future cities, perfect cities. It is as if the city itself, its inescapable gritty reality and elbow-to-elbow nature, demands we call into being some alternative, yearned-for better place.

This book is about those cities. It’s neither a history of grand plans nor a literary exploration of the utopian impulse, but rather something different, hybrid, idiosyncratic. It’s a magpie’s book, full of characters and incidents and ideas drawn from cities real and imagined around the globe and throughout history. Thomas More’s allegorical island shares space with Soviet mega-planning; Marco Polo links up with James Joyce’s meticulously imagined Dublin; the medieval land of Cockaigne meets the hopeful future of Star Trek. With Darran Anderson as our guide, we find common themes and recurring dreams, tied to the seemingly ineluctable problems of our actual cities, of poverty and exclusion and waste and destruction. And that’s where Imaginary Cities becomes more than a mere—if ecstatically entertaining—intellectual exercise: for, as Anderson says, “If a city can be imagined into being, it can be re-imagined.” Every architect, philosopher, artist, writer, planner, or citizen who dreams up an imaginary city offers lessons for our real ones; harnessing those flights of hopeful fancy can help us improve the streets where we live.

Though it shares DNA with books as disparate as Calvino’s Invisible Cities and Jane Jacobs’s Death and Life of Great American Cities, there’s no other book quite like Imaginary Cities. After reading it, you’ll walk the streets of your city—real or imagined—with fresh eyes.



























[book] THE GOLDEN PASSPORT
Harvard Business School HBS
The Limits of Capitalism
and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite
by Duff McDonald
April 2017
Harper
(did you ever work with a HBS grad? While the top are amazing, the middle 68% are quite unimpressive... but I digress
A riveting and timely intellectual history of one of our most important capitalist institutions, Harvard Business School, from the bestselling author of The Firm.
With The Firm, financial journalist Duff McDonald pulled back the curtain on consulting giant McKinsey & Company. In The Golden Passport, he reveals the inner workings of a singular nexus of power, ambition, and influence: Harvard Business School.
Harvard University occupies a unique place in the public’s imagination, but HBS has arguably eclipsed its parent in terms of its influence on modern society. A Harvard degree guarantees respect. An HBS degree is, as the New York Times proclaimed in 1978, "the golden passport to life in the upper class." Those holding Harvard MBAs are near-guaranteed entrance into Western capitalism’s most powerful realm—the corner office.
Most people have a vague knowledge of the power of the HBS network, but few understand the dynamics that have made HBS an indestructible and powerful force for almost a century. As McDonald explores these dynamics, he also reveals how, despite HBS’s enormous success, it has failed with respect to the stated goal of its founders: "the multiplication of men who will handle their current business problems in socially constructive ways." While HBS graduates tend to be very good at whatever they do, that is rarely the doing of good.
In addition to teasing out the essence of this exclusive, if not necessarily "secret" club, McDonald explores two important questions: Has the school failed at reaching the goals it set for itself? And is HBS therefore complicit in the moral failings of Western capitalism? At a time of pronounced economic disparity and political unrest, this hard-hitting yet fair portrait offers a much-needed look at an institution that has a profound influence on the shape of our society and all our lives.

























[book] California Dreamin':
Cass Elliot Before the
Mamas & the Papas
by Pénélope Bagieu
March 2017
First Second
Before she became the legendary Mama Cass?one quarter of the mega-huge folk group The Mamas and the Papas?Cass Eliot was a girl from Baltimore trying to make it in the big city. After losing parts to stars like Barbra Streisand on the Broadway circuit, Cass found her place in the music world with an unlikely group of cohorts.

The Mamas and the Papas released five studio albums in their three years of existence. It was at once one of the most productive (and profitable) three years any band has ever had, and also one of the most bizarre and dysfunctional groups of people to ever come together to make music. Through it all, Cass struggled to keep sight of her dreams?and her very identity.






























[book] The Gatekeepers:
How the White House Chiefs
of Staff Define Every Presidency
by Chris Whipple
April 2017
Crown
The first in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at how the American presidency has hinged on the effectiveness of the White House chiefs of staff, and how their decisions have dictated the course of our country

What do Dick Cheney and Rahm Emanuel have in common? Aside from polarizing personalities, both served as chief of staff to the president of the United States—as did Donald Rumsfeld, Leon Panetta, and a relative handful of others. The chiefs of staff, often referred to as "the gatekeepers," wield tremendous power in Washington and beyond; they decide who is allowed to see the president, negotiate with Congress to push POTUS's agenda, and—most crucially—are the first in line to the leader of the free world's ear. Award-winning producer and journalist Chris Whipple demonstrates how those appointed to this lofty position have often served as de facto prime ministers, and the surprising extent to which their tenures have set the tone for our political climate. Through extensive, intimate interviews with all 20 living chiefs of staff and two former presidents, The Gatekeepers pulls back the curtain to expose how the nation's levers of power are operated by these right-hand advisors, and what each appointment reveals about its respective president.






























[book] Tell Me How This Ends Well:
A Novel
by David Samuel Levinson
April 2017
Crown
An ambitious, gripping, darkly funny family drama about the reckoning of three adult siblings with their profoundly flawed parents, set during Passover in a near-future America rife with anti-Semitism and terror, from an award-winning short-story writer

It is 2022, and Jewish Americans face problems in America. The Jacobson family gathers in Los Angeles for Passover. Mo, Jacob, and Edith are in despair and coming apart at the seams. They each relate how they were abused by their father Julian, and they are gathering for a PASSOVER PLOT… to murder their father, Will God help them put their bickering aside so they can work as a united front…





























[book] Teach Like Finland:
33 Simple Strategies
for Joyful Classrooms
by Timothy D. Walker
April 4, 2017
Norton

Are you listening Solomon Schecter??

Easy-to-implement classroom lessons from the world’s premier educational system.
Finland shocked the world when its fifteen-year-olds scored highest on the first Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a set of tests touted for evaluating critical-thinking skills in math, science, and reading. That was in 2001; but even today, this tiny Nordic nation continues to amaze. How does Finnish education?with short school days, light homework loads, and little standardized testing?produce students who match the PISA scores of high-powered, stressed-out kids in Asia?
When Timothy D. Walker started teaching fifth graders at a Helsinki public school, he began a search for the secrets behind the success of Finland’s schools. Walker has already written about several of those discoveries, and his Atlantic article on this topic received more than 500,000 shares. Here, he gathers all he has learned and reveals how any American teacher can implement these simple practices, which integrate seamlessly with educational standards in the United States.

























[book] STARTUP
A NOVEL
By Doree Shafrir
(Buzzfeed News)
April 2017
Little, Brown and Company
Mack McAllister has a $600 million dollar idea. His mindfulness app, TakeOff, is already the hottest thing in tech and he's about to launch a new and improved version that promises to bring investors running and may turn his brainchild into a $1 billion dollar business--in startup parlance, an elusive unicorn.
Katya Pasternack is hungry for a scoop that will drive traffic. An ambitious young journalist at a gossipy tech blog, Katya knows that she needs more than another PR friendly puff piece to make her the go-to byline for industry news.
Sabrina Choe Blum just wants to stay afloat. The exhausted mother of two and failed creative writer is trying to escape from her credit card debt and an inattentive husband-who also happens to be Katya's boss-as she rejoins a work force that has gotten younger, hipper, and much more computer literate since she's been away.
Before the ink on Mack's latest round of funding is dry, an errant text message hints that he may be working a bit too closely for comfort with a young social media manager in his office. When Mack's bad behavior collides with Katya's search for a salacious post, Sabrina gets caught in the middle as TakeOff goes viral for all the wrong reasons. As the fallout from Mack's scandal engulfs the lower Manhattan office building where all three work, it's up to Katya and Sabrina to write the story the men in their lives would prefer remain untold.
An assured, observant debut from the veteran online journalist Doree Shafrir, Startup is a sharp, hugely entertaining story of youth, ambition, love, money and technology's inability to hack human nature.


























[book] Wherever You Go,
There They Are:
Stories About My Family
You Might Relate To
by Annabelle Gurwitch
April 18, 2017
Blie Rider Press

A hysterically funny and slyly insightful new collection of essays from New York Times bestselling author Annabelle Gurwitch, about her own family of scam artists and hucksters, as well as the sisterhoods, temporary tribes, communities, and cults who have become surrogates along the way.

When Annabelle Gurwitch was a child, surrounded by a cast of epically dysfunctional relatives, she secretly prayed that it was all a terrible mistake. Maybe she was a long lost daughter of Joni Mitchell or a reincarnation of the Russian princess, Anastasia. A family of bootleggers, gamblers, and philanderers, the Gurwitches have always been a bit vague on the standard ideal of a loving and supportive family. Their definition includes people you can count on to borrow money from, hold a grudge against, or blackmail. One day, unfortunately, Gurwitch woke up to realize that she'd made similar, if not the same, mistakes as everyone else before her--just in a new zip code. Wherever she went, there they were.
With her wry wit and hard-learned wisdom, Gurwitch explores the inescapable, yet rewarding, realities of life with her relatives and her southern Jewish roots, as well as her flirtation with surrogate families including theater folk, pet people, the sisterhood, and the ladies who brunch at Tel Aviv Gardens Retirement Home in Miami, Florida. She's learned that for better or for worse (you can guess which) it's worth celebrating the traditions, rituals, and recipes that come with a shared mythology and legacy, even if her own inheritance amounts to a small plot of land split between five relatives on an ill-fated sliver of sand known as Massacre Island.
Written with haunting detail, poignant family moments, laugh out loud comedy and social commentary, Gurwitch delivers a provocative treatise on the importance and insanity of family. Wherever You Go, There They Are is a must-read for anyone who's even occasionally been frustrated by the people they share carbohydrate-laden meals with every year.




















[book] Maybe It's You:
Cut the Crap.
Face Your Fears.
Love Your Life.
by Lauren Handel Zander
April 4, 2017
Hachette
Foreword by Mark Hyman, MD
Maybe It's You picks up where You Are a Badass leaves off--it's a no-nonsense, practical manual to help readers figure out not just what they want out of life, but how to actually get there. Featuring a foreword from #1 New York Times bestselling author Mark Hyman.

In Maybe It's You, celebrity life-coach Lauren Handel Zander walks readers through the innovative step-by-step process that has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of her clients, and explains how anyone can achieve amazing things when we stop lying and finally start keeping the promises we make to ourselves. Whether readers want to find love, succeed at work, fix a fractured relationship, or lose weight, Zander's method will offer a road map to finally get there. Filled with practical exercises, inspiring client stories, and Lauren's own hard-won lessons, this book enables readers to identify, articulate, and account for their own setbacks so they can transform them into strengths.


























[book] Nevertheless:
A Memoir
by Alec Baldwin
(actor)
April 2017
Harper

I once saw Alec Baldwin choke a guy on the corner of Broadway and 96th Street. Must have been when he had issues of sobriety. Also was once at a party and listened to him on the JFK conspiracies. He is quite interesting, crazed, and talented.

Here is his story according to him:
One of the most accomplished and outspoken actors today chronicles the highs and lows of his life in this beautifully written, candid memoir.
Over the past three decades, Alec Baldwin has established himself as one of Hollywood’s most gifted, hilarious, and controversial leading men. From his work in popular movies, including Beetlejuice, Working Girl, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Cooler, and Martin Scorsese’s The Departed to his role as Jack Donaghy on Tina Fey’s irreverent series 30 Rock—for which he won two Emmys, three Golden Globes, and seven Screen Actors Guild Awards—and as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, he’s both a household name and a deeply respected actor.
In Nevertheless, Baldwin transcends his public persona, making public facets of his life he has long kept private. In this honest, affecting memoir, he introduces us to the Long Island child who felt burdened by his family’s financial strains and his parents’ unhappy marriage; the Washington, DC, college student gearing up for a career in politics; the self-named "Love Taxi" who helped friends solve their romantic problems while neglecting his own; the young soap actor learning from giants of the theatre; the addict drawn to drugs and alcohol who struggles with sobriety; the husband and father who acknowledges his failings and battles to overcome them; and the consummate professional for whom the work is everything. Throughout Nevertheless, one constant emerges: the fearlessness that defines and drives Baldwin’s life.
Told with his signature candor, astute observational savvy, and devastating wit, Nevertheless reveals an Alec Baldwin we have never fully seen before.




























[book] The Schmuck in My Office:
How to Deal Effectively with
Difficult People at Work
by Jody Foster and Michelle Joy
April 2017
St. Martin’s Press
Everyone has a “schmuck” in their office - a difficult, disruptive person who upsets the workplace, confuses their co-workers and causes concern. No one is safe from a schmuck. They come in many sizes and shapes, such as:
- Narcissus: the self-centered, condescending, attention-seeking peacock who tramples on others
- The Flytrap: the bringer of chaos who can flip from angry to happy in an instant creating an office maelstrom
- The Bean Counter: the orderly perfectionist who never gives up control even when it’s full-steam-ahead to disaster
- The Robot: the inflexible stone wall who is incapable of adapting, even in the face of much-needed change

Sound like anyone you know? These are just a few of the more prominent schmucks. In her new book, Dr. Jody Foster explains the entire spectrum of schmucks, how they can decrease productivity, and generally make everyone else unhappy. After delineating the various types of schmucks, she looks at personality traits and explains how interactions among coworkers can become maladaptive leading to workplace disasters. She helps readers understand the schmuck as a person, figure out how to help him or her, and effect a positive solution. Dr. Foster also helps readers understand the most difficult thing of all: sometime you are the “schmuck.” Let Dr. Jody Foster show you how to help the schmuck, know if you are the schmuck, and make your workplace a happy and productive one.





























[book] The Givers:
Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy
in a New Gilded Age
by David Callahan, PhD
April 11, 2017
Knopf
There are 90,000 private foundations with money to donate
There are 250,000 donor-advised funds
35,000 households, many of them Jewish, have a net worth over $30 million
Since 2005, the net worth of the Koch brothers increased by $75 billion
Since 2010, 150 billionaires joined the Giving Pledge
The way one makes their fortune shapes the way they give their money away. Eli Broad and Michael Bloomberg give very differently than Brin and Zuckerberg.
The new givers seek to shape public policy and not just perform medical research and poverty alleviation

This is an inside look at the secretive world of elite philanthropists--and how they're quietly wielding ever more power to shape American life in ways both good and bad.

While media attention focuses on famous philanthropists such as Bill Gates and Charles Koch, thousands of donors are at work below the radar promoting a wide range of causes. David Callahan charts the rise of these new power players and the ways they are converting the fortunes of a second Gilded Age into influence. He shows how this elite works behind the scenes on education, the environment, science, LGBT rights, and many other issues--with deep impact on government policy. Above all, he shows that the influence of the Givers is only just beginning, as new waves of billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg turn to philanthropy. Based on extensive research and interviews with countless donors and policy experts, this is not a brief for or against the Givers, but a fascinating investigation of a power shift in American society that has implications for us all.


















[book] Saving One's Own:
Jewish Rescuers during
the Holocaust
by Mordecai Paldiel
April 2017
JPS
In this remarkable, historically significant book, Mordecai Paldiel recounts in vivid detail the many ways in which, at great risk to their own lives, Jews rescued other Jews during the Holocaust. In so doing he puts to rest the widely held belief that all Jews in Nazi-dominated Europe wore blinders and allowed themselves to be led like “lambs to the slaughter.” Paldiel documents how brave Jewish men and women saved thousands of their fellow Jews through efforts unprecedented in Jewish history.
Encyclopedic in scope and organized by country, Saving One’s Own tells the stories of hundreds of Jewish activists who created rescue networks, escape routes, safe havens, and partisan fighting groups to save beleaguered Jewish men, women, and children from the Nazis. The rescuers’ dramatic stories are often shared in their own words, and Paldiel provides extensive historical background and documentation.
The untold story of these Jewish heroes, who displayed inventiveness and courage in outwitting the enemy—and in saving literally thousands of Jews—is finally revealed.






































MAY 2017 BOOKS




[book] [book] ARE YOU ANYBODY
A MEMOIR
BY JEFFREY TAMBOR
May 9, 2017
Crown Archetype
From the Jewish kid with a lisp to a celebrated actor
It's rare that an actor embodies even one memorable character over the arc of a career. Jeffrey Tambor has managed to create three, beginning with Hank "Hey Now!" Kingsley on The Larry Sanders Show, the series created by Garry Shandling, Jeffrey’s first mentor in television. He went on to find two more show creators, Mitch Hurwitz of Arrested Development and Jill Soloway of Transparent, who shared a love of actors and taught him a lot about acting along the way.

Are You Anybody is Tambor's chance to discuss his creative process and immense accomplishments from a life lived onscreen. Drawing from his formative childhood years, in which he describes himself as a fat Hungarian-Jewish kid with a lisp and a depressive father to how he drew inspiration from his life to create these characters, Tambor's memoir is funny, insightful, and uplifting, touching on comedy and the enduring chutzpah required to make it through life.
































[book] Set in Stone:
America's Embrace of the Ten Commandments
by Jenna Weissman Joselit
(George Washington University)
May 2017
Oxford University Press
From a winner of a National Jewish Book Award… a story on the Ten Commandments in American life.
When Cecil B. DeMille's epic, The Ten Commandments, came out in 1956, lines of people crowded into theaters across America to admire the movie's spectacular special effects. Thanks to DeMille, the commandments now had fans as well as adherents. But the country's fascination with the Ten Commandments goes well beyond the colossal scenes of this Hollywood classic.
In this vividly rendered narrative, Jenna Weissman Joselit situates the Ten Commandments within the fabric of American history. Her subjects range from the 1860 tale of the amateur who claimed to have discovered ancient holy stones inside a burial mound in Ohio to the San Francisco congregation of Sherith Israel, which commissioned a luminous piece of stained glass depicting Moses in Yosemite for its sanctuary; from the Kansas politician Charles Walter, who in the late nineteenth century proposed codifying each commandment into state law, to the radio commentator Laura Schlessinger, who popularized the Ten Commandments as a psychotherapeutic tool in the 1990s.
At once text and object, celestial and earthbound, Judaic and Christian, the Ten Commandments were not just a theological imperative in the New World; they also provoked heated discussions around key issues such as national identity, inclusion, and pluralism. In a country as diverse and heterogeneous as the United States, the Ten Commandments offered common ground and held out the promise of order and stability, becoming the lodestar of American identity. While archaeologists, theologians, and devotees across the world still wonder what became of the tablets that Moses received on Mount Sinai, Weissman Joselit offers a surprising answer: they landed in the United States.




























[book] The Only Language They Understand:
Forcing Compromise in
Israel and Palestine
by Nathan Thrall
May 2017
Metropolitan Books
In a myth-busting analysis of the world's most intractable conflict, a star of Middle East reporting, "one of the most important writers" in the field (The New York Times), argues that only one weapon has yielded progress: force.
Scattered over the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea lie the remnants of failed peace proposals, international summits, secret negotiations, UN resolutions, and state-building efforts. The conventional story is that these well-meaning attempts at peacemaking were repeatedly, perhaps terminally, thwarted by violence.
Through a rich interweaving of reportage, historical narrative, and powerful analysis, Nathan Thrall presents a startling counter-history. He shows that force-including but not limited to violence-has impelled each side to make its largest concessions, from Palestinian acceptance of a two-state solution to Israeli territorial withdrawals. This simple fact has been neglected by the world powers, which have expended countless resources on initiatives meant to diminish friction between the parties. By quashing any hint of confrontation, promising an imminent negotiated solution, facilitating security cooperation, developing the institutions of a still unborn Palestinian state, and providing bounteous economic and military assistance, the United States and Europe have merely entrenched the conflict by lessening the incentives to end it. Thrall’s important book upends the beliefs steering these failed policies, revealing how the aversion of pain, not the promise of peace, has driven compromise for Israelis and Palestinians alike.
Published as Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza reaches its fiftieth anniversary, which is also the centenary of the Balfour Declaration that first promised a Jewish national home in Palestine, The Only Language They Understand advances a bold thesis that shatters ingrained positions of both left and right and provides a new and eye-opening understanding of this most vexed of lands.

“These are the toughest criticisms anywhere of decades of Israeli policy. The failings of the Palestinians are here as well-but the arrows are aimed at Jerusalem. Serious supporters of Israel should have their answers ready-or be prepared to lose debates to opponents quoting Nathan Thrall.” - Elliott Abrams, Deputy National Security Advisor, George W. Bush administration, and offical in Reagan Administration and recently rejected Asst Sec of State (Tillerson and Kushner wanted him, DJT did not) in Trump administration.


























[book] Humanitarians at War:
The Red Cross in the
Shadow of the Holocaust
by Gerald Steinacher
May 2017
Oxford University Press
The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is one of the world's oldest, most prominent, and revered aid organizations. But at the end of World War II things could not have looked more different. Under fire for its failure to speak out against the Holocaust or to extend substantial assistance to Jews trapped in Nazi camps across Europe, the ICRC desperately needed to salvage its reputation in order to remain relevant in the post-war world. Indeed, the whole future of Switzerland's humanitarian flagship looked to hang in the balance at this time.
Torn between defending Swiss neutrality and battling Communist critics in the early Cold War, the Red Cross leadership in Geneva emerged from the world war with a new commitment to protecting civilians caught in the crossfire of conflict. Yet they did so while interfering with Allied de-nazification efforts in Germany and elsewhere, and coming to the defense of former Nazis at the Nuremberg Trials. Not least, they provided the tools for many of Hitler's former henchmen, notorious figures such as Joseph Mengele and Adolf Eichmann, to slip out of Europe and escape prosecution-behavior which did little to silence those critics in the Allied powers who unfavorably compared the 'shabby' neutrality of the Swiss with the 'good neutrality' of the Swedes, their eager rivals for leadership in international humanitarian initiatives.
However, in spite of all this, by the end of the decade, the ICRC had emerged triumphant from its moment of existential crisis, navigating the new global order to reaffirm its leadership in world humanitarian affairs against the challenge of the Swedes, and playing a formative role in rewriting the rules of war in the Geneva Conventions of 1949. This uncompromising new history tells the remarkable and intriguing story of how the ICRC achieved this - successfully escaping the shadow of its ambiguous wartime record to forge a new role and a new identity in the post-1945 world.
































[book] Al Franken,
Giant of the Senate
by U.S. Senator Al Franken (D, MN)
May 30, 2017
Hachette/twelve

AL FRANKEN, GIANT OF THE SENATE is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect. It's a book about what happens when the nation's foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it. It's a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast. In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics.























[book] Power and Glory:
France’s Secret Wars with
Britain and America, 1945-2016
by R. T. Howard
(George Washington University)
May 2017
BiteBack

Really?

Since 1945, France has pursued a clandestine rivalry with Great Britain and the United States. It has been jealous and resentful of the power and status of the English-speaking world, genuinely fearing that its rivals will steal or undermine its colonial possessions or influence. This book tells the story of that curious tension through the prism of the France's 'secret wars.'

R. T. Howard is an editor of the international intelligence magazine Eye Spy, and has written extensively on intelligence-related issues for Jane's Intelligence Review, Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, The Guardian, The Times, Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail.
























[book] THE BEGINNING OF POLITICS
Power in the Biblical Book of Samuel
By Moshe Halbertal and
Stephen Holmes
Princeton University Press
May 2017
The Book of Samuel is universally acknowledged as one of the supreme achievements of biblical literature. Yet the book's anonymous author was more than an inspired storyteller. The author was also an uncannily astute observer of political life and the moral compromises and contradictions that the struggle for power inevitably entails. The Beginning of Politics mines the story of Israel's first two kings to unearth a natural history of power, providing a forceful new reading of what is arguably the first and greatest work of Western political thought.
Moshe Halbertal and Stephen Holmes show how the beautifully crafted narratives of Saul and David cut to the core of politics, exploring themes that resonate wherever political power is at stake. Through stories such as Saul's madness, David's murder of Uriah, the rape of Tamar, and the rebellion of Absalom, the book's author deepens our understanding not only of the necessity of sovereign rule but also of its costs--to the people it is intended to protect and to those who wield it. What emerges from the meticulous analysis of these narratives includes such themes as the corrosive grip of power on those who hold and compete for power; the ways in which political violence unleashed by the sovereign on his own subjects is rooted in the paranoia of the isolated ruler and the deniability fostered by hierarchical action through proxies; and the intensity with which the tragic conflict between political loyalty and family loyalty explodes when the ruler's bloodline is made into the guarantor of the all-important continuity of sovereign power.
The Beginning of Politics is a timely meditation on the dark side of sovereign power and the enduring dilemmas of statecraft. Moshe Halbertal is the Gruss Professor of Law at New York University, the John and Golda Cohen Professor of Jewish Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and professor of law at IDC Herzliya in Israel. Stephen Holmes is the Walter E. Meyer Professor of Law at New York University.







































[book] THE MANY DEATHS OF JEW SUSS
The Notorious Trial and Execution
Of an Eighteenth Century Court Jew
By Yair Mintzker
(Princeton University)
Princeton University Press
May 2017
Joseph Süss Oppenheimer--"Jew Süss"--is one of the most iconic figures in the history of anti-Semitism. In 1733, Oppenheimer became the "court Jew" of Carl Alexander, the duke of the small German state of Württemberg. When Carl Alexander died unexpectedly, the Württemberg authorities arrested Oppenheimer, put him on trial, and condemned him to death for unspecified "misdeeds." On February 4, 1738, Oppenheimer was hanged in front of a large crowd just outside Stuttgart. He is most often remembered today through several works of fiction, chief among them a vicious Nazi propaganda movie made in 1940 at the behest of Joseph Goebbels.
The Many Deaths of Jew Süss is a compelling new account of Oppenheimer's notorious trial. Drawing on a wealth of rare archival evidence, Yair Mintzker investigates conflicting versions of Oppenheimer's life and death as told by four contemporaries: the leading inquisitor in the criminal investigation, the most important eyewitness to Oppenheimer's final days, a fellow court Jew who was permitted to visit Oppenheimer on the eve of his execution, and one of Oppenheimer's earliest biographers. What emerges is a lurid tale of greed, sex, violence, and disgrace--but are these narrators to be trusted? Meticulously reconstructing the social world in which they lived, and taking nothing they say at face value, Mintzker conjures an unforgettable picture of "Jew Süss" in his final days that is at once moving, disturbing, and profound.
The Many Deaths of Jew Süss is a masterfully innovative work of history, and an illuminating parable about Jewish life in the fraught transition to modernity.







































[book] Beating the Odds:
Jump-Starting Developing
Countries
by Justin Yifu Lin
and Célestin Monga
Princeton University Press
May 2017

Lessons like Mali and the Negev

Contrary to conventional wisdom, countries that ignite a process of rapid economic growth almost always do so while lacking what experts say are the essential preconditions for development, such as good infrastructure and institutions. In Beating the Odds, two of the world's leading development economists begin with this paradox to explain what is wrong with mainstream development thinking--and to offer a practical blueprint for moving poor countries out of the low-income trap regardless of their circumstances.
Justin Yifu Lin, the former chief economist of the World Bank, and Célestin Monga, the chief economist of the African Development Bank, propose a development strategy that encourages poor countries to leap directly into the global economy by building industrial parks and export-processing zones linked to global markets. Countries can leverage these zones to attract light manufacturing from more advanced economies, as East Asian countries did in the 1960s and China did in the 1980s. By attracting foreign investment and firms, poor countries can improve their trade logistics, increase the knowledge and skills of local entrepreneurs, gain the confidence of international buyers, and gradually make local firms competitive. This strategy is already being used with great success in Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and other countries. And the strategy need not be limited to traditional manufacturing but can also include agriculture, the service sector, and other activities.
Beating the Odds shows how poor countries can ignite growth without waiting for global action or the creation of ideal local conditions.

























IN-CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION
[book] The Sum of Small Things:
A Theory of the Aspirational Class
by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett
Princeton University Press
May 2017
In today's world, the leisure class has been replaced by a new elite. Highly educated and defined by cultural capital rather than income bracket, these individuals earnestly buy organic, carry NPR tote bags, and breast-feed their babies. They care about discreet, inconspicuous consumption--like eating free-range chicken and heirloom tomatoes, wearing organic cotton shirts and TOMS shoes, and listening to the Serial podcast. They use their purchasing power to hire nannies and housekeepers, to cultivate their children's growth, and to practice yoga and Pilates. In The Sum of Small Things, Elizabeth Currid-Halkett dubs this segment of society "the Aspirational Class" and discusses how, through deft decisions about education, health, parenting, and retirement, the Aspirational Class reproduces wealth and upward mobility, deepening the ever-wider class divide.
Exploring the rise of the Aspirational Class, Currid-Halkett considers how much has changed since the 1899 publication of Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class. In that inflammatory classic, which coined the phrase "conspicuous consumption," Veblen described upper-class frivolities: men who used walking sticks for show, and women who bought silver flatware despite the effectiveness of cheaper aluminum utensils. Now, Currid-Halkett argues, the power of material goods as symbols of social position has diminished due to their accessibility. As a result, the Aspirational Class has altered its consumer habits away from overt materialism to more subtle expenditures that reveal status and knowledge. And these transformations influence how we all make choices.
With a rich narrative and extensive interviews and research, The Sum of Small Things illustrates how cultural capital leads to lifestyle shifts and what this forecasts, not just for the Aspirational Class but for everyone.

























[book] The Hue and Cry
at Our House
A year Remembered
By Benjamin Taylor
Penguin
May 2017
After John F. Kennedy’s speech in front of the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth on November 22, 1963, he was greeted by, among others, an 11-year-old Benjamin Taylor and his mother waiting to shake his hand. Only a few hours later, Taylor’s teacher called the class in from recess and, through tears, told them of the president’s assassination.

From there Taylor traces a path through the next twelve months, recalling the tumult as he saw everything he had once considered stable begin to grow more complex. Looking back on the love and tension within his family, the childhood friendships that lasted and those that didn’t, his memories of summer camp and family trips, he reflects upon the outsized impact our larger American story had on his own.

Benjamin Taylor is one of the most talented writers working today. In lyrical, translucent prose, he thoughtfully extends the story of twelve months into the years before and after, painting a portrait of the artist not simply as a young (gifted, upper-middle-class, gay, Jewish, Asperger-y, Fort Worth) man, but across his whole life. As he writes, “[A]ny twelve months could stand for the whole. Our years are so implicated in one another that the least important is important enough . . . Any year I chose would show the same mettle, the same frailties stamping me at eleven and twelve.”





















[book] REBEL POWER
Why National Movements
Compete, Fight, and Win
By Peter Krause
Cornell University Press
May 2017
Many of the world's states-from Algeria to Ireland to the United States-are the result of robust national movements that achieved independence. Many other national movements have failed in their attempts to achieve statehood, including the Basques, the Kurds, and the Palestinians. In Rebel Power, Peter Krause offers a powerful new theory to explain this variation focusing on the internal balance of power among nationalist groups, who cooperate with each other to establish a new state while simultaneously competing to lead it. The most powerful groups push to achieve states while they are in position to rule them, whereas weaker groups unlikely to gain the spoils of office are likely to become spoilers, employing risky, escalatory violence to forestall victory while they improve their position in the movement hierarchy. Hegemonic movements with one dominant group are therefore more likely to achieve statehood than internally competitive, fragmented movements due to their greater pursuit of victory and lesser use of counterproductive violence.

Krause conducted years of fieldwork in government and nationalist group archives in the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, as well as more than 150 interviews with participants in the Palestinian, Zionist, Algerian, and Irish national movements. This research generated comparative longitudinal analyses of these four national movements involving 40 groups in 44 campaigns over a combined 140 years of struggle. Krause identifies new turning points in the history of these movements and provides fresh explanations for their use of violent and nonviolent strategies, as well as their numerous successes and failures. Rebel Power is essential reading for understanding not only the history of national movements but also the causes and consequences of contentious collective action today, from the Arab Spring to the civil wars and insurgencies in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond.

























[book] Salt Houses
A novel
by Hala Alyan
HMH
June 2017
From a dazzling new literary voice, a debut novel about a Palestinian family caught between present and past, between displacement and home

On the eve of her daughter Alia’s wedding, Salma reads the girl’s future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel, and luck. While she chooses to keep her predictions to herself that day, they will all soon come to pass when the family is uprooted in the wake of the Six-Day War of 1967.

Salma is forced to leave her home in Nablus; Alia’s brother gets pulled into a politically militarized world he can’t escape; and Alia and her gentle-spirited husband move to Kuwait City, where they reluctantly build a life with their three children. When Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait in 1990, Alia and her family once again lose their home, their land, and their story as they know it, scattering to Beirut, Paris, Boston, and beyond. Soon Alia’s children begin families of their own, once again navigating the burdens (and blessings) of assimilation in foreign cities.

Lyrical and heartbreaking, Salt Houses is a remarkable debut novel that challenges and humanizes an age-old conflict we might think we understand—one that asks us to confront that most devastating of all truths: you can’t go home again.


















[book] Israel Matters:
Why Christians Must Think
Differently about the People
and the Land
by Gerald R. McDermott
Brazos Press
May 30, 2017
Widely respected theologian Gerald McDermott has spent two decades investigating the meaning of Israel and Judaism. What he has learned has required him to rethink many of his previous assumptions.
Israel Matters addresses the perennially important issue of the relationship between Christianity and the people and land of Israel, offering a unique and compelling "third way" between typical approaches and correcting common misunderstandings along the way. This book challenges the widespread Christian assumption that since Jesus came to earth, Jews are no longer special to God as a people, and the land of Israel is no longer theologically significant. It traces the author's journey from thinking those things to discovering that the New Testament authors believed the opposite of both. It also shows that contrary to what many Christians believe, the church is not the new Israel, and both the people and the land of Israel are important to God and the future of redemption.
McDermott offers an accessible but robust defense of a "New Christian Zionism" for pastors and laypeople interested in Israel and Christian-Jewish relations. His approach will also spark a conversation among theologians and biblical scholars.



























[book] City on a Hilltop:
American Jews and the
Israeli Settler Movement
by Sara Yael Hirschhorn
Harvard University Press
May 2017
Since 1967, more than 60,000 Jewish-Americans have settled in the territories captured by the State of Israel during the Six Day War. Comprising 15 percent of the settler population today, these immigrants have established major communities, transformed domestic politics and international relations, and committed shocking acts of terrorism. They demand attention in both Israel and the United States, but little is known about who they are and why they chose to leave America to live at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In this deeply researched, engaging work, Sara Yael Hirschhorn unsettles stereotypes, showing that the 1960s generation who moved to the occupied territories were not messianic zealots or right-wing extremists but idealists engaged in liberal causes. They did not abandon their progressive heritage when they crossed the Green Line. Rather, they saw a historic opportunity to create new communities to serve as a beacon?a “city on a hilltop”?to Jews across the globe. This pioneering vision was realized in their ventures at Yamit in the Sinai and Efrat and Tekoa in the West Bank. Later, the movement mobilized the rhetoric of civil rights to rebrand itself, especially in the wake of the 1994 Hebron massacre perpetrated by Baruch Goldstein, one of their own.

On the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 war, Hirschhorn illuminates the changing face of the settlements and the clash between liberal values and political realities at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

























JUNE 2017 BOOKS




[book] The Origin of the Jews:
The Quest for Roots
in a Rootless Age
by Steven Weitzman
(University of Pennsylvania)
Princeton University Press
June 2017
The Jews have one of the longest continuously recorded histories of any people in the world, but what do we actually know about their origins? While many think the answer to this question can be found in the Bible, others look to archaeology or genetics. Some skeptics have even sought to debunk the very idea that the Jews have a common origin. In this book, Steven Weitzman takes a learned and lively look at what we know--or think we know--about where the Jews came from, when they arose, and how they came to be.
Scholars have written hundreds of books on the topic and come up with scores of explanations, theories, and historical reconstructions, but this is the first book to trace the history of the different approaches that have been applied to the question, including genealogy, linguistics, archaeology, psychology, sociology, and genetics. Weitzman shows how this quest has been fraught since its inception with religious and political agendas, how anti-Semitism cast its long shadow over generations of learning, and how recent claims about Jewish origins have been difficult to disentangle from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He does not offer neatly packaged conclusions but invites readers on an intellectual adventure, shedding new light on the assumptions and biases of those seeking answers--and the challenges that have made finding answers so elusive.
Spanning more than two centuries and drawing on the latest findings, The Origin of the Jews brings needed clarity and historical context to this enduring and often divisive topic.

Steven Weitzman is the Abraham M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literatures and Ella Darivoff Director of the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include Solomon: The Lure of Wisdom and Surviving Sacrilege: Cultural Persistence in Jewish Antiquity.


















[book] If I Understood You,
Would I Have This Look on My Face?:
My Adventures in the Art and
Science of Relating and Communicating
by Alan Alda
Random House
June 2017
From iconic actor and bestselling author Alan Alda, an indispensable guide to communicating better—based on his experience with acting, improv, science, and storytelling

I read this book after a day of not speaking up. It resonated. And lo and behold, the Intro tells the story of Alda not speaking up one day -- at his dentist. The dentist performed a procedure, but did not explain it well, and even bullied the actor into pretending he understood it. It resulted in a temporary inability to smile.. which for an actor can be a problem. Later we learn that Alda, who started out in acting and improv, realized that he was a poor communicator

Alda (not Jewish, but since his last name is that of a city in Italy.... who knows?) shares fascinating and powerful lessons from the art and science of communication, and teaches readers to improve the way they relate to others using improvisation games, storytelling, and their own innate ability to read what’s probably going on in the minds of others.
With his trademark humor and frankness, Alan Alda explains what makes the out-of-the-box techniques he developed after his years as the host of Scientific American Frontiers so effective. This book reveals what it means to be a true communicator, and how we can communicate better, in every aspect of our lives—with our friends, lovers, and families, with our doctors, in business settings, and beyond.


















[book] GastroPhysics
The New Science of Eating
by Charles Spence
(University of Oxford)
Viking
June 2017
Why do we consume 35 percent more food when eating with one other person, and 75 percent more when dining with three?
Why is a berry sweeter on a white plate than on a black plate
How do we explain the fact that people who like strong coffee drink more of it under bright lighting? And why does green ketchup just not work?
Why does pasta eaten with Italian music and posters taste better than without
Do small plates reduce your food intake by 10%
Coffee tastes twice as intense from a white mug than from a clear glass one
Why cant 1% of the population smell vanilla?
Why does 20% of the population think cilantro tastes of soap?
Why did Coke in a white can in 2011 taste different than when placed in a red can

The science behind a good meal: all the sounds, sights, and tastes that make us like what we're eating—and want to eat more.

The answer is gastrophysics, the new area of sensory science pioneered by Oxford professor Charles Spence. Now he's stepping out of his lab to lift the lid on the entire eating experience—how the taste, the aroma, and our overall enjoyment of food are influenced by all of our senses, as well as by our mood and expectations.
The pleasures of food lie mostly in the mind, not in the mouth. Get that straight and you can start to understand what really makes food enjoyable, stimulating, and, most important, memorable. Spence reveals in amusing detail the importance of all the “off the plate” elements of a meal: the weight of cutlery, the color of the plate, the background music, and much more. Whether we’re dining alone or at a dinner party, on a plane or in front of the TV, he reveals how to understand what we’re tasting and influence what others experience.
This is accessible science at its best, fascinating to anyone in possession of an appetite. Crammed with discoveries about our everyday sensory lives, Gastrophysics is a book guaranteed to make you look at your plate in a whole new way.






















CANCELED ++++++++ Was scheduled for March 2017 and then June 2017, but was canceled in February 2017
[book] Dangerous
by Milo Yiannopoulos
(Breitbart dot com)
Threshold Editions
June 2017

Amazon says this is in the “Political Humor” genre of books
Maybe they don;t have a section for racist tracts

The author got notoriety by writing for Breitbart.com and being a vocal supporter of Donald Trump. He has made odious statements against liberals and non whites; he appears to enjoy provocations. He suggests that he is not racist since he mainly has sex with men who are non white (perhaos he fetishizes black gay men). The former writer for a British Catholic media site suggests that he isnt anti_jewish since his mother was raised Jewish. He says that saying Jews control the bank and media is not anti_jewish since it is a fact.

And now he has a book deal

The cover blurb says: (well it doesnt say anything yet. It just says there will be a June book by this author.





























[book] Mapping Israel, Mapping Palestine:
How Occupied Landscapes
Shape Scientific Knowledge
by Jess Bier
MIT Press
Spring 2017
Maps are widely believed to be objective, and data-rich computer-made maps are iconic examples of digital knowledge. It is often claimed that digital maps, and rational boundaries, can solve political conflict. But in Mapping Israel, Mapping Palestine, Jess Bier challenges the view that digital maps are universal and value-free. She examines the ways that maps are made in Palestine and Israel to show how social and political landscapes shape the practice of science and technology.

How can two scientific cartographers look at the same geographic feature and see fundamentally different things? In part, Bier argues, because knowledge about the Israeli military occupation is shaped by the occupation itself. Ongoing injustices -- including checkpoints, roadblocks, and summary arrests -- mean that Palestinian and Israeli cartographers have different experiences of the landscape. Palestinian forms of empirical knowledge, including maps, continue to be discounted. Bier examines three representative cases of population, governance, and urban maps. She analyzes Israeli population maps from 1967 to 1995, when Palestinian areas were left blank; Palestinian state maps of the late 1990s and early 2000s, which were influenced by Israeli raids on Palestinian offices and the legacy of British colonial maps; and urban maps after the Second Intifada, which show how segregated observers produce dramatically different maps of the same area. The geographic production of knowledge, including what and who are considered scientifically legitimate, can change across space and time. Bier argues that greater attention to these changes, and to related issues of power, will open up more heterogeneous ways of engaging with the world.



























[book] Hell and Its Rivals:
Death and Retribution among
Christians, Jews, and Muslims
in the Early Middle Ages
by Alan E. Bernstein
(University of Arizona)
Cornell University Press
June 2017
The idea of punishment after death-whereby the souls of the wicked are consigned to Hell (Gehenna, Gehinnom, or Jahannam)-emerged out of beliefs found across the Mediterranean, from ancient Egypt to Zoroastrian Persia, and became fundamental to the Abrahamic religions. Once Hell achieved doctrinal expression in the New Testament, the Talmud, and the Qur'an, thinkers began to question Hell’s eternity, and to consider possible alternatives-hell’s rivals. Some imagined outright escape, others periodic but temporary relief within the torments. One option, including Purgatory and, in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, the Middle State, was to consider the punishments to be temporary and purifying. Despite these moral and theological hesitations, the idea of Hell has remained a historical and theological force until the present.
In Hell and Its Rivals, Alan E. Bernstein examines an array of sources from within and beyond the three Abrahamic faiths-including theology, chronicles, legal charters, edifying tales, and narratives of near-death experiences-to analyze the origins and evolution of belief in Hell. Key social institutions, including slavery, capital punishment, and monarchy, also affected the afterlife beliefs of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Reflection on hell encouraged a stigmatization of "the other" that in turn emphasized the differences between these religions. Yet, despite these rivalries, each community proclaimed eternal punishment and answered related challenges to it in similar terms. For all that divided them, they agreed on the need for-and fact of-Hell.


















[book] Where the Line Is Drawn:
A Tale of Crossings,
Friendships, and
Fifty Years of Occupation
in Israel-Palestine
by Raja Shehadeh
New press
June 13, 2017
An account of one man’s border crossings — both literal and figurative — by the award-winning author of Palestinian Walks, published on the fiftieth anniversary of the Six Day War in 1967
In Where the Line Is Drawn, Shehadeh explores how occupation has affected him personally, chronicling the various crossings that he undertook into Israel over a period of forty years to visit friends and family, to enjoy the sea, to argue before the Israeli courts, and to negotiate failed peace agreements.
Those forty years also saw him develop a close friendship with Henry, a Canadian Jew who immigrated to Israel at around the same time Shehadeh returned to Palestine from studying in London. While offering an unforgettably poignant exploration of Palestinian-Israeli relationships, Where the Line Is Drawn also provides an anatomy of friendship and an exploration of whether, in the bleakest of circumstances, it is possible for bonds to transcend political divisions.





















[book] Popular:
The Power of Likability
in a Status-Obsessed World
by Mitch Prinstein
(UNC Chapel Hill)
Penguin Random House
June 2017
Freudians were said to look to the mother's role in a child's development. After WWII, Army studies found tht something else was a major influence on children and adults. Likability and Popularity. Middle grade/Grammar School roles were a great predictor of future success. The author recalls a playground “tag – like” game, in which the solution when offered by the unpopular child were ignored, and only accepted from the popular boy and girl. By first grade, the popularity hierarchy is already established in school.

Is this why popularity matters to adults as much as it did when they were in high school? Is this why people try to show off in their school reunions? Is popularity a major motivator of behavior?

How we all can avoid the pitfalls that come with the wrong type of popularity

Popular examines why popularity plays such a key role in our development and, ultimately, our happiness. Surprisingly, the most conventionally popular people are often not among the happiest. There is more than one type of popularity, and many of us still wish for the wrong one. As children, we strive to be likable, which can offer real benefits throughout our lives. In adolescence, however, a new form of popularity suddenly emerges that reflects status, power, influence, and notoriety that can be quantified by Facebook likes or YouTube hits and is often addictive. Children can be Accepted, Rejected, Neglected, Controversial, or Average. Adolescents might behave in wrong and dangerous ways just to obtain or maintain their level of popularity.

We cannot realistically ignore our natural human social impulses to be included and well regarded by others, but we can learn to manage them in beneficial and gratifying ways. Popular shows how to achieve the healthy type of popularity, not only for yourself but also for your children. Some believe that popularity can affect DNA, in which a DNA that is hyper-sensitive to social rejection grows in number.

More than childhood intellect, family background, or prior psychological symptoms, psychology has begun to discover that it’s our genuine popularity and likability in our early years that predict how happy we grow up to be. Adults who have memories of being well liked in childhood are the most likely to report that their marriages are better and their work relationships are stronger, and they feel like flourishing members of society. Likable children also grow up to have greater academic success, get married earlier, make more money, and even live longer while those who were consumed with status are at much greater risk for substance abuse, poor quality relationships, and even loneliness.


















[book] Tokyo Geek's Guide:
Manga, Anime, Gaming,
Cosplay, Toys, Idols & More
by Gianni Simone
Tuttle
June 2017

Tokyo is ground zero for Japan's popular "Geek" or otaku culture—a phenomenon that has now swept across the globe.
This is the most comprehensive guide ever produced to Tokyo's geeky underworld. It provides a comprehensive run-down on each major Tokyo district where geeks congregate, shop, play and hangout—from hi-tech Akihabara and trendy Harajuku to newer and lesser-known haunts like chic Shimo-Kita and working-class Ikebukuro.
Dozens of iconic shops, restaurants, cafes and clubs in each area are described in loving detail with precise directions how to get to each location. Maps, URLs, opening hours and over 400 fascinating color photographs bring you around Tokyo on an unforgettable trip to the centers of Japanese manga, anime and geek culture. Interviews with local otaku experts and street people let you see the world from their perspective and provide insights on what is currently happening in Tokyo now which will eventually impact the rest of the world!
Japan's geek culture in its myriad forms is more popular today than ever before—with Japanese manga filling every bookstore; anime cartoons on TV; transformer toys and video games like Pokemon Go played by tens of millions of people. Swarms of visitors come to Tokyo each year on a personal quest to soak in all the otaku-related sights and enjoy Japanese manga, anime, gaming and idol culture at its very source. This is the book they have to get!




























[book] Power-Up:
Unlocking the Hidden Mathematics
in Video Games
by Matthew Lane
(Co-founder of RITHM)
Princeton University Press
June 2017
Did you know that every time you pick up the controller to your PlayStation or Xbox, you are entering a game world steeped in mathematics? Power-Up reveals the hidden mathematics in many of today's most popular video games and explains why mathematical learning doesn't just happen in the classroom or from books--you're doing it without even realizing it when you play games on your cell phone.
In this lively and entertaining book, Matthew Lane discusses how gamers are engaging with the traveling salesman problem when they play Assassin's Creed, why it is mathematically impossible for Mario to jump through the Mushroom Kingdom in Super Mario Bros., and how The Sims teaches us the mathematical costs of maintaining relationships. He looks at mathematical pursuit problems in classic games like Missile Command and Ms. Pac-Man, and how each time you play Tetris, you're grappling with one of the most famous unsolved problems in all of mathematics and computer science. Along the way, Lane discusses why Family Feud and Pictionary make for ho-hum video games, how realism in video games (or the lack of it) influences learning, what video games can teach us about the mathematics of voting, the mathematics of designing video games, and much more.
Power-Up shows how the world of video games is an unexpectedly rich medium for learning about the beautiful mathematical ideas that touch all aspects of our lives--including our virtual ones.







































[book] The Calculus of Happiness:
How a Mathematical Approach
to Life Adds Up to Health,
Wealth, and Love
by Oscar E. Fernandez
Wellesley
Princeton University Press
June 2017
What's the best diet for overall health and weight management? How can we change our finances to retire earlier? How can we maximize our chances of finding our soul mate?
In The Calculus of Happiness, Oscar Fernandez shows us that math yields powerful insights into health, wealth, and love. Using only high-school-level math (precalculus with a dash of calculus), Fernandez guides us through several of the surprising results, including an easy rule of thumb for choosing foods that lower our risk for developing diabetes (and that help us lose weight too), simple "all-weather" investment portfolios with great returns, and math-backed strategies for achieving financial independence and searching for our soul mate. Moreover, the important formulas are linked to a dozen free online interactive calculators on the book's website, allowing one to personalize the equations.
Fernandez uses everyday experiences--such as visiting a coffee shop--to provide context for his mathematical insights, making the math discussed more accessible, real-world, and relevant to our daily lives. Every chapter ends with a summary of essential lessons and takeaways, and for advanced math fans, Fernandez includes the mathematical derivations in the appendices. A nutrition, personal finance, and relationship how-to guide all in one, The Calculus of Happiness invites you to discover how empowering mathematics can be.





























[book] Is it OK to Laugh About it?:
Holocaust Humour,
Satire and Parody in
Israeli Culture
by Liat Steir-Livny
Vallentine Mitchell
Dr. Liat Steir-Livny is a Senior lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the Department of Culture, Sapir Academic College, Israel. She is a tutor and course coordinator at the M.A program in Cultural Studies and at the department of literature, language and the arts, and the academic coordinator of the M.A program in Cultural Studies, the Open University, Israel.







































[book] Overmapped and Uncharted
This is Not a Border
Ten Years of Writing and
Reportage and Reflection from
The Palestine Festival of Literature
Edited by Ahdaf Soueif
FS&G
July 2017

Writers from Richard Ford to Alice Walker, Michael Ondaatje to Claire Messud share their thoughts.
The Palestine Festival of Literature was established in 2008 by authors Ahdaf Soueif, Brigid Keenan, and Omar Robert Hamilton. Bringing writers from all corners of the globe, it aimed to strengthen artistic links with the rest of the world, and to reaffirm, in the words of Edward Said, "the power of culture over the culture of power."

Obviously there is a political reason for this for all things distill to this, and they have a POV, namely they are against Israel, indentify with Palestine, want to show solidarity with Palestine and they see Israel as a military occupier.

This book honors the tenth anniversary of PalFest
Contributing authors include J. M. Coetzee, China Miéville, Alice Walker, Geoff Dyer, Claire Messud, Henning Mankell, Michael Ondaatje, Kamila Shamsie, Michael Palin, Deborah Moggach, Mohammed Hanif, Richard Ford, Gillian Slovo, Adam Foulds, Susan Abulhawa, Ahdaf Soueif, Jeremy Harding, Brigid Keenan, Rachel Holmes, Suad Amiry, Gary Younge, Jamal Mahjoub, Molly Crabapple, Najwan Darwish, Nathalie Handal, Omar Robert Hamilton, Pankaj Mishra, Raja Shehadeh, Selma Dabbagh, William Sutcliffe, Atef Abu Saif, Yasmin El-Rifae, Sabrina Mahfouz, Alaa Abd El Fattah, Mercedes Kemp, Ru Freeman.























[book] A Dictionary of RAF Slang
International Edition
By Eric Partridge
Michael Joseph
August 2017

from 1945. reprint
whizzbang
Drop your visiting cards, put aside your beer-lever, stop being a half-pint hero and discover the gloriously funny slang which was part of everyday life in two world wars. Passion-killers: Airwomen's service knickers, whether twilights (the lighter, summer-weight variety) or black-outs (the navy-blue winter-weights). A wise directive has purposely made them as unromantic in colour and in design as a wise directive could imagine. Thanks to the work of Eric Partridge in 1945, the hilarious slang of the Royal Air Force during the first two World Wars has been preserved for generations to come. While some phrases like 'chocks away!' have lasted to this day, others deserve to be rediscovered... Beer-lever: From pub-bars, meaning the 'Joystick' of an aircraft. Canteen cowboy: A ladies' man. Half-pint hero: A boaster. One who exemplifies the virtue of Dutch courage without having the trouble of going into action. Tin fish: A torpedo. Umbrella man: A parachutist. Visiting-card: A bomb. Wheels down: Get ready - especially to leave a bus, tram, train. From lowering the wheels, preparatory to landing. Whistled: In a state of intoxication wherein one tends to whistle cheerfully and perhaps discordantly. The Dictionary of RAF Slang is a funny and fascinating insight into the lives of our RAF heroes, in a time gone by.



















SADNESS IS A WHITE BIRD
A Novel by Moriel Rothman-Zecher
Spring 2018
Atria Books
Spring 2018 is the expected date on an English translation of this debut novel by Moriel Rothman-Zecher, a MacDowell fellow. The novel concerns “a young Israeli man trying to reconcile his connection to two Palestinian siblings with his deeply ingrained loyalties to family and country as his military draft date approaches.” In 2015, the author published an op-ed in the New York Times about Israelis who refuse to serve in the nation’s military.




















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