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SOME WINTER 2019 BOOK READINGS



December 04, 2018: Jewish Lives: Jewish Voices. Join 8 authors on their 8 books for the Yale/Penguin series for the 8 mights (but just tonight). Featuring James Atlas as the editing moderator. Join Barry W Holtz (JTS Professor) on RABBI AKIVA; Neal Gabler on BARBRA STREISAND; Anita Shapira on DAVID BEN-GURION; Jeffrey Rosen on LOUIS D. BRANDEIS; Vivian Gornick on EMMA GOLDMAN; Mark Kurlansky on HANK GREENBERG, Francine Prose on PEGGY GUGGENHEIM; and Professor Itamar Rabinovich (Ambassador, friend of Scranton) on YITZHAK RABIN at Temple Emanu-El Steicker Center in NYC 630PM FREE (followed by 3rd night of Hanuka candle lighting) EmanuelStreickerNYC.ORG
December 05, 2018: Michael Solomonov on his new Israeli Soul cookbook, in conversation with Steven Cook, his co author. 92 St Y, NYC

January 17, 2019: The Legend of Khaybar, A Jewish “Kingdom” in the Arabian Desert. Liran Yagdar (UCLA, Tel Aviv U.). In the year 628 CE, the Jewish stronghold of Khaybar fell to the prophet's forces. It ended the refuge for Medinan Jews in the Arabian Desert. What was the legend? Was it true? How did early Zionists apply it? UCLA. Royce Hall 4PM.






















[book] In the Shadow of King Saul:
Essays on Silence and Song
(The Art of the Essay)
by Jerome Charyn
August 29, 2018
Bellevue Literary Press
In the New York Review of Books, Joyce Carol Oates expressed her admiration for an equally prolific contemporary: "Among Charyn's writerly gifts is a dazzling energy. . . . [He is] an exuberant chronicler of the mythos of American life"; the Los Angeles Times described him as "absolutely unique among American writers." In these ten essays, Charyn shares personal stories about places steeped in history and myth, including his beloved New York, and larger-than-life personalities from the Bible and from the worlds of film, literature, politics, sports, and the author's own family. Together, writes Charyn, these essays create "my own lyrical autobiography. Several of the selections are about other writers, some celebrated, some forgotten. . . . All of [whom] scalped me in some way, left their mark."

Jerome Charyn is the author of more than fifty works of fiction and nonfiction. Among other honors, Charyn has been named a Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture and received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.



























[book] The Crusader Armies:
1099–1187
by Steve Tibble
(Univ of London)
August 2018
Yale University Press
A major new history of the Crusades that illuminates the strength and sophistication of the Western and Muslim armies

During the Crusades, the Western and Muslim armies developed various highly sophisticated strategies of both attack and defense, which evolved during the course of the battles. In this ambitious new work, Steve Tibble draws on a wide range of Muslim texts and archaeological evidence as well as more commonly cited Western sources to analyze the respective armies’ strategy, adaptation, evolution, and cultural diversity and show just how sophisticated the Crusader armies were even by today’s standards.

In the first comprehensive account of the subject in sixty years, Tibble takes a fresh approach to Templars, Hospitallers, and other key Orders and makes the controversial proposition that the Crusades were driven as much by sedentary versus nomadic tribal concerns as by religious conflict. This fluently written, broad-ranging narrative provides a crucial missing piece in the study of the West’s attempts to colonize the Middle East during the Middle Ages.



























[book] BLOOD PAPA
Rwanda's New Generation
by Jean Hatzfeld
(Liberation)
Joshua David Jordan (Translator)
August 2018
FS&G
The continuation of a groundbreaking study of the Rwandan genocide, and the story of the survivor generation

In Rwanda from April to June 1994, 800,000 Tutsis were slaughtered by their Hutu neighbors in the largest and swiftest genocide since World War II. In his previous books, Jean Hatzfeld has documented the lives of the killers and victims, but after twenty years he has found that the enormity of understanding doesn’t stop with one generation. In Blood Papa, Hatzfeld returns to the hills and marshes of Nyamata to ask what has become of the children-those who never saw the machetes yet have grown up in the shadow of tragedy.

Fabrice, Sandra, Jean-Pierre, and others share the genocide as a common inheritance. Some have known only their parents’ silence and lies, enduring the harassment of classmates or the stigma of a father jailed for unspeakable crimes. Others have enjoyed a loving home and the sympathies offered to survivor children, but do so without parents or an extended family.

The young Rwandans in Blood Papa see each other in the neighborhood-they dance and gossip, frequent the same cafés, and, like teenagers everywhere, love sports, music, and fashion; they surf the Web and dream of marriage. Yet Hutu and Tutsi children rarely speak of the ghosts that haunt their lives. Here their moving first-person accounts combined with Hatzfeld’s arresting chronicles of everyday life form a testament to survival in a country devastated by the terrible crimes and trauma of the past.



























[book] The Disordered Mind:
What Unusual Brains Tell
Us About Ourselves
by Eric R. Kandel
Summer 2018
FS&G
Eric R. Kandel, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his foundational research into memory storage in the brain, is one of the pioneers of modern brain science. His work continues to shape our understanding of how learning and memory work and to break down age-old barriers between the sciences and the arts.

In his seminal new book, The Disordered Mind, Kandel draws on a lifetime of pathbreaking research and the work of many other leading neuroscientists to take us on an unusual tour of the brain. He confronts one of the most difficult questions we face: How does our mind, our individual sense of self, emerge from the physical matter of the brain? The brain’s 86 billion neurons communicate with one another through very precise connections. But sometimes those connections are disrupted. As a result, the brain processes that give rise to our mind can become disordered, resulting in diseases such as autism, depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder. While these disruptions bring great suffering, they can also reveal the mysteries of how the brain produces our most fundamental experiences and capabilities-the very nature of what it means to be human. Studies of autism illuminate the neurological foundations of our social instincts; research into depression offers important insights on emotions and the integrity of the self; and paradigm-shifting work on addiction has led to a new understanding of the relationship between pleasure and willpower.

By studying disruptions to typical brain functioning and exploring their potential treatments, we will deepen our understanding of thought, feeling, behavior, memory, and creativity. Only then can we grapple with the big question of how billions of neurons generate consciousness itself. .


























[book] Outside the Wire:
Ten Lessons I've Learned
in Everyday Courage
by Jason Kander
AUGUST 2018
Twelve

Yes, for those wondering... Jason was raised in a Jewish household.
A smart and revealing political memoir from a rising star of the Democratic Party.

"In life and in politics, the most important work is often that which happens outside the wire."

Going "outside the wire" -- military lingo for leaving the safety of a base -- has taught Jason Kander to take risks and make change rather than settling for the easy option. After you've volunteered to put your life on the line with and for your fellow Americans in Afghanistan, cynical politics and empty posturing back home just feel like an insult.

Kander understands that showing political courage really just means doing the right thing no matter what. He won a seat in the Missouri Legislature at age twenty-seven and then, at thirty-one, became the first millennial in the country elected to statewide office. An unapologetic progressive from the heartland, he rejected conventional political wisdom and stood up to the NRA in 2016 with a now-famous Senate campaign ad in which he argued for gun reform while assembling a rifle blindfolded.

That fearless commitment to service has placed him at the forefront of a new generation of American political leaders. In his final interview as President, Barack Obama pointed to Kander as the future of the Democratic Party.

"...do something rather than be something..."

In OUTSIDE THE WIRE, Jason Kander describes his journey from Midwestern suburban kid to soldier to politician and details what he's learned along the way: lessons imparted by his dad on the baseball diamond, wisdom gained outside the wire in Kabul, and cautionary tales witnessed under the Missouri Capitol dome. Kander faced down petty tyrants in Jefferson City -- no big deal after encountering real ones in Afghanistan. He put in 90,000 miles campaigning for statewide office in 2012 -- no sweat compared to the thirty-seven miles between Bagram Air Base and Camp Eggers. When confronted with a choice between what's easy and what's right, he's never hesitated.

OUTSIDE THE WIRE is a candid, practical guide for anyone thinking about public service and everyone wishing to make a difference. It's a call to action, an entertaining meditation on the demands and rewards of civic engagement, and, ultimately, a hopeful vision for America's future -- all seen through the eyes of one of its most dedicated servants.
























[book] We Regret to Inform You
by Ariel Kaplan
AUGUST 21, 2018
KNOPF
Ages 12 and up
When a high achiever is rejected by every Ivy League college--AND her safety school--her life is turned upside down. Fans of Becky Albertalli will appreciate this witty, heartfelt novel that puts college admissions in perspective.

Mischa Abramavicius is a walking, talking, top-scoring, perfectly well-rounded college application in human form. So when she's rejected not only by the Ivies, but her loathsome safety school, she is shocked and devastated. All the sacrifices her mother made to send her to prep school, the late nights cramming for tests, the blatantly résumé-padding extracurriculars (read: Students for Sober Driving) ... all that for nothing.
As Mischa grapples with the prospect of an increasingly uncertain future, she questions how this could have happened in the first place. Is it possible that her transcript was hacked? With the help of her best friend and sometimes crush, Nate, and a group of eccentric techies known as "The Ophelia Syndicate," Mischa launches an investigation that will shake the quiet community of Blanchard Prep to its stately brick foundations.
In her sophomore novel, A. E. Kaplan cranks the humor to full blast, and takes a serious look at the extreme pressure of college admissions.
"A well-written, intricately plotted, and sympathetic portrayal of the pressures that some elite college-bound kids experience during senior year. "--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
A Junior Library Guild Selection














































[book] The Eyes of Isaac:
Medical and Halachic Perspectives
on Ophthalmologic Conditions
Edited by Norman Saffra, MD FACS
Foreword by Alan Kadish
SEPTEMBER 2018
URIM PUBLICATIONS

A compilation of essays and studies from leading doctors, professors, and rabbis, The Eyes of Isaac endeavors to connect important medical and psychological issues of ophthalmology with Jewish law. Rabbis and physicians navigate the daily challenges that visual disability presents for themselves as well as for those under their care. Interspersed with personal anecdotes and stories, The Eyes of Isaac offers profound knowledge on the significant organ and diseases related to it, and how those diseases, such as glaucoma, can affect the practice of daily Jewish rituals. Included in this collection are explanations of eye diseases, considerations on how to treat them, along with the detailed process of medical surgeries in ophthalmology.


























DECEMBER 2018





[book] The Hebrew Bible:
A Translation with Commentary (Vol. 3)
by Robert Alter
Norton
December 2018
landmark event: the complete Hebrew Bible in the award-winning translation that delivers the stunning literary power of the original.

A masterpiece of deep learning and fine sensibility, Robert Alter’s translation of the Hebrew Bible, now complete, reanimates one of the formative works of our culture. Capturing its brilliantly compact poetry and finely wrought, purposeful prose, Alter renews the Old Testament as a source of literary power and spiritual inspiration. From the family frictions of Genesis and King David’s flawed humanity to the serene wisdom of Psalms and Job’s incendiary questioning of God’s ways, these magnificent works of world literature resonate with a startling immediacy. Featuring Alter’s generous commentary, which quietly alerts readers to the literary and historical dimensions of the text, this is the definitive edition of the Hebrew Bible. 3 maps.































[book] Ike's Mystery Man:
The Secret Lives of Robert Cutler
by PETER SHINKLE
Steerforth
December 4, 2018
The Cold War, The Lavender Scare and the Untold Story of Eisenhower's First National Security Advisor

This page-turning narrative – based on a decade of research - takes readers from top-secret Cabinet Room meetings to exclusive social clubs, and into the pages of a powerful man's intimate diary. Ike's Mystery Man shows that Eisenhower's National Security Advisor (NSA) Robert "Bobby" Cutler (Retired General)-- working alongside Ike and also the Dulles brothers at the CIA and State Department -- shaped US Cold War strategy in far more consequential ways than has been previously understood. He was influential in atomic and nuclear strategy, and the coup in Iran. Cutler created the role of the NSC as honest broker of competing policies. This was at a time when Executive Order 10450 investigated gays and Communists in government; and a time when Ike had to make a deal with Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1952 (Cutler hated McCarthy, but helped craft the deal to allow Ike to win in 1952). Also included is J. Edgar Hoover's investigation into Cutler, and why he dropped it.

Bobby also left behind a six-volume 725-page diary which reveals that he was in love with a man half his age, NSC staffer Skip Koons. More like obsessed. Their friend Steve Benedict, who also is gay, became Ike's White House Security Officer. Cutler was secretive but one of Ike's closest most trusted advisers. He was a writer, poet, Harvard College and Harvard Law grad, 1916 student commencement speaker at Harvard, attorney (Herrick, Smith), campaign chair for Senator Henry Cabot Lodge Jr, Army General, bank president (Old Colony Trust), corporate counsel for Boston's mayor (Maurice Tobin), CIA-consultant, Radio Free Europe mastermind, and lifelong member of the GOP. Cutler wrote many of Ike's speeches in his campaign against Taft. He was an effective fixer who knew how to work the levers of power in DC. In addition to Bobby's diary, Ike's Mystery Man relies on thousands of personal letters, interviews, and previously classified archives to tell a gripping story that has never before been told.

Ike's Mystery Man brings a new dimension to our understanding of the inner-workings of the Eisenhower White House. It also shines a bright light on the indispensable contributions and sacrifices made by patriotic gay Americans in an era when Executive Order 10450 banned anyone suspected of "sexual perversion", i.e. homosexuality, from any government job, and gays in the government were persecuted by the likes of Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn in the Senate, and J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson at the FBI.


























[book] Left to the Mercy of
a Rude Stream:
The Bargain That Broke Adolf Hitler
and Saved My Mother
by Stanley A. Goldman
(Loyola Law)
Potomac Books
December 2018

Seven years after the death of his mother, Malka, Stanley A. Goldman traveled to Israel to visit her best friend during the Holocaust. The best friend’s daughter showed Goldman a pamphlet she had acquired from the Israeli Holocaust Museum that documented activities of one man’s negotiations with the Nazi’s interior minister and SS head, Heinrich Himmler, for the release of the Jewish women from the concentration camp at Ravensbrück. While looking through the pamphlet, the two discovered a picture that could have been their mothers being released from the camp. Wanting to know the details of how they were saved, Goldman set out on a long and difficult path to unravel the mystery.

After years of researching the pamphlet, Goldman learned that a German Jew named Norbert Masur made a treacherous journey from the safety of Sweden back into the war zone in order to secure the release of the Jewish women imprisoned at the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Masur not only succeeded in his mission against all odds but he contributed to the downfall of the Nazi hierarchy itself. This amazing, little-known story uncovers a piece of history about the undermining of the Nazi regime, the women of the Holocaust, and the strained but loving relationship between a survivor and her son.

























[book] Breakfast with Einstein:
The Exotic Physics of
Everyday Objects
by Chad Orzel
Benbella Books
December 2018

Your alarm goes off, and you head to the kitchen to make yourself some toast and a cup of coffee. Little do you know, as you savor the aroma of the steam rising from your cup, that your ordinary morning routine depends on some of the weirdest phenomena ever discovered.

The world of quantum physics is generally thought of as hopelessly esoteric. While classical physics gives us the laws governing why a ball rolls downhill, how a plane is able to fly, and so on, its quantum cousin gives us particles that are actually waves, “spooky” action at a distance, and Schrodinger’s unlucky cat. But, believe it or not, even the most mundane of everyday activities is profoundly influenced by the abstract and exotic world of the quantum.

In Breakfast with Einstein, Chad Orzel illuminates the strange phenomena lurking just beneath the surface of our ordinary lives by digging into the surprisingly complicated physics involved in his (and anyone’s) morning routine. Orzel, author of How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog, explores how quantum connects with everyday reality, and offers engaging, layperson-level explanations of the mind-bending ideas central to modern physics.

From the sun, alarm clocks, and the red glow of a toaster’s hot filaments (the glow that launched quantum mechanics) to the chemistry of food aroma, a typical day is rich with examples of quantum weirdness. Breakfast with Einstein reveals the hidden physics all around us, and after reading this book, your ordinary mornings will never seem quite as ordinary again.






























[book] Katz or Cats:
or, How Jesus Became My Rival in Love
by Curt Leviant
Dzanc Books
December 4, 2018
Katz or Cats, or How Jesus Became My Rival in Love follows John, a book editor who meets an enigmatic man named Katz on his daily commute into New York. True to form, Katz has a book to pitch-not his own, but his brother’s, an identical twin also named Katz. The novel begins with another meeting on another train: brother Katz chances on a woman named Maria, who carries a pocket Bible and is missing the top digit of her ring finger.

The two embark on a whirlwind affair, alternately driven together and apart by their passion for each other and Maria’s religious fervor. But the story seems to change as soon as Katz tells it, and Katz himself has a great confession to make. As the lies that bind the tale together grow to new proportion, John comes to doubt the line between truth and fiction, as well as everything he thinks he knows about the man beside him on the train.

With the lyrical joy and lighthearted wordplay that have won him critical acclaim, Curt Leviant’s latest novel explores the very fabric of storytelling and whether life, like fiction, can be in constant flux.




























[book] Victory City:
A History of New York and
New Yorkers during World War II
by John Strausbaugh
Twelve
December 4, 2018

From John Strausbaugh, author of City of Sedition and The Village, comes the definitive history of Gotham during the World War II era.

New York City during World War II wasn't just a place of servicemen, politicians, heroes, G.I. Joes and Rosie the Riveters, but also of quislings and saboteurs; of Nazi, Fascist, and Communist sympathizers; of war protesters and conscientious objectors; of gangsters and hookers and profiteers; of latchkey kids and bobby-soxers, poets and painters, atomic scientists and atomic spies.

While the war launched and leveled nations, spurred economic growth, and saw the rise and fall of global Fascism, New York City would eventually emerge as the new capital of the world. From the Gilded Age to VJ-Day, an array of fascinating New Yorkers rose to fame, from Mayor Fiorello La Guardia to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Langston Hughes to Joe Louis, to Robert Moses and Joe DiMaggio. In VICTORY CITY, John Strausbaugh returns to tell the story of New York City's war years with the same richness, depth, and nuance he brought to his previous books, City of Sedition and The Village, providing readers with a groundbreaking new look into the greatest city on earth during the most transformative -- and costliest -- war in human history.



























[book] Hermann Cohen:
An Intellectual Biography
by Frederick C. Beiser
Osford University Press
December 2018
This book is the first complete intellectual biography of Hermann Cohen (1842-1918) and the only work to cover all his major philosophical and Jewish writings. Frederick C. Beiser pays special attention to all phases of Cohen's intellectual development, its breaks and its continuities, throughout seven decades. The guiding goal behind Cohen's intellectual career, he argues, was the development of a radical rationalism, one committed to defending the rights of unending enquiry and unlimited criticism. Cohen's philosophy was therefore an attempt to defend and revive the Enlightenment belief in the authority of reason; his critical idealism an attempt to justify this belief and to establish a purely rational worldview. According to this interpretation, Cohen's thought is resolutely opposed to any form of irrationalism or mysticism because these would impose arbitrary and artificial limits on criticism and enquiry. It is therefore critical of those interpretations which see Cohen's philosophy as a species of proto-existentialism (Rosenzweig) or Jewish mysticism (Adelmann and Kohnke).

Hermann Cohen: An Intellectual Biography attempts to unify the two sides of Cohen's thought, his philosophy and his Judaism. Maintaining that Cohen's Judaism was not a limit to his radical rationalism but a consistent development of it, Beiser contends that his religion was one of reason. He concludes that most critical interpretations have failed to appreciate the philosophical depth and sophistication of his Judaism, a religion which committed the believer to the unending search for truth and the striving to achieve the cosmopolitan ideals of reason.




























JANUARY 2019



[book] Lonely But Not Alone:
A Spiritual Autobiography
by Nathan Lopes Cardozo
JANUARY 2019
Urim Publications
Lonely But Not Alone tells the highly unusual story of Dutch–Israeli Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo, a child of an intermarriage between a Christian woman and Jewish man who discovers Judaism in his teens and subsequently undergoes a ritual conversion. Weaving together his history and his novel approach to Judaism borne out of his unconventional experiences, Cardozo tackles the problems of religiosity, doubt, faith, and the holy land of Israel and offers his vision for an improved Judaism. This volume blends Cardozo’s personal account, testimony by his mother about concealing his father’s family during the Holocaust, seminal essays on Jewish thought, and an interview with the author.




























[book] Armies of Sand:
The Past, Present, and Future
of Arab Military Effectiveness
by Kenneth M. Pollack
JANUARY 2019
Oxford University Press
Since the Second World War, Arab armed forces have consistently punched below their weight. They have lost many wars that by all rights they should have won, and in their best performances only ever achieved quite modest accomplishments. Over time, soldiers, scholars, and military experts have offered various explanations for this pattern. Reliance on Soviet military methods, the poor civil-military relations of the Arab world, the underdevelopment of the Arab states, and patterns of behavior derived from the wider Arab culture, have all been suggested as the ultimate source of Arab military difficulties.

Armies of Sand, Kenneth Pollack's powerful and riveting history of Arab armies from the end of World War Two to the present, assesses these differing explanations and isolates the most important causes. Over the course of the book, he examines the combat performance of fifteen Arab armies and air forces in virtually every Middle Eastern war, from the Jordanians and Syrians in 1948 to Hizballah in 2006 and the Iraqis and ISIS in 2014-2017. He then compares these experiences to the performance of the Argentine, Chadian, Chinese, Cuban, North Korean, and South Vietnamese armed forces in their own combat operations during the twentieth century. The book ultimately concludes that reliance on Soviet doctrine was more of a help than a hindrance to the Arabs. In contrast, politicization and underdevelopment were both important factors limiting Arab military effectiveness, but patterns of behavior derived from the dominant Arab culture was the most important factor of all. Pollack closes with a discussion of the rapid changes occurring across the Arab world--political, economic, and cultural--as well as the rapid evolution in warmaking as a result of the information revolution. He suggests that because both Arab society and warfare are changing, the problems that have bedeviled Arab armed forces in the past could dissipate or even vanish in the future, with potentially dramatic consequences for the Middle East military balance. Sweeping in its historical coverage and highly accessible, this will be the go-to reference for anyone interested in the history of warfare in the Middle East since 1945.



























I PERSONALLY am not a fan of Holocaust fiction and leveraging a popular victim of the Shoah. But you might be:

[book] ANNELIES
A NOVEL
by DAVID GILLHAM
JANUARY 2019
VIKING

A powerful and deeply humane new novel that asks the question:
What if Anne Frank survived the Holocaust?

The year is 1945, and Anne (Annelies Marie Frank) Frank is sixteen years old. Having survived the concentration camps, but lost her mother and sister, she reunites with her father, Pim, in newly liberated Amsterdam. But it’s not as easy to fit the pieces of their life back together. Anne is adrift, haunted by the ghosts of the horrors they experienced, while Pim is fixated on returning to normalcy. They represent two paths of post trauma. Anne's beloved diary has been lost, and her dreams of becoming a writer seem distant and pointless now.

As Anne struggles to overcome the brutality of memory and build a new life for herself, she grapples with heartbreak, grief, and ultimately the freedom of forgiveness. A story of trauma and redemption, Annelies honors Anne Frank’s legacy as not only a symbol of hope and perseverance, but also a complex young woman of great ambition and heart.

Anne Frank is a cultural icon whose diary painted a vivid picture of the Holocaust and made her an image of humanity in one of history’s darkest moments. But she was also a person—a precocious young girl with a rich inner life and tremendous skill as a writer. In this masterful new novel, David R. Gillham explores with breathtaking empathy the woman—and the writer—she might have become.




























[book] Refugees or Migrants:
Pre-Modern Jewish Population Movement
by Robert Chazan
JANUARY 2019
Yale
A leading historian argues that historically Jews were more often voluntary migrants than involuntary refugees

For millennia, Jews and non-Jews alike have viewed forced population movement as a core aspect of the Jewish experience. This involuntary Jewish wandering has been explained as the result of divine punishment, or as a response to maltreatment of Jews by majority populations, or as the result of Jews’ acceptance of their minority status perpetuating the maltreatment and forced migration. In this absorbing book, Robert Chazan explores these various accounts, and argues that Jewish population movement was in most cases voluntary, the result of a Jewish sense that there were alternatives available for making a better life.






























[book] Team Human
by Douglas Rushkoff
CUNY/Queens
JANUARY 2019
Norton
Team Human is a manifesto-a fiery distillation of preeminent digital theorist Douglas Rushkoff’s most urgent thoughts on civilization and human nature. In one hundred lean and incisive statements, he argues that we are essentially social creatures, and that we achieve our greatest aspirations when we work together-not as individuals. Yet today society is threatened by a vast antihuman infrastructure that undermines our ability to connect. Money, once a means of exchange, is now a means of exploitation; education, conceived as way to elevate the working class, has become another assembly line; and the internet has only further divided us into increasingly atomized and radicalized groups.

Team Human delivers a call to arms. If we are to resist and survive these destructive forces, we must recognize that being human is a team sport. In Rushkoff’s own words: “Being social may be the whole point.” Harnessing wide-ranging research on human evolution, biology, and psychology, Rushkoff shows that when we work together we realize greater happiness, productivity, and peace. If we can find the others who understand this fundamental truth and reassert our humanity-together-we can make the world a better place to be human.



























[book] Refugees or Migrants:
Pre-Modern Jewish Population Movement
by Robert Chazan
JANUARY 2019
Yale Univ Press
A leading historian argues that historically Jews were more often voluntary migrants than involuntary refugees

For millennia, Jews and non-Jews alike have viewed forced population movement as a core aspect of the Jewish experience. This involuntary Jewish wandering has been explained as the result of divine punishment, or as a response to maltreatment of Jews by majority populations, or as the result of Jews’ acceptance of their minority status perpetuating the maltreatment and forced migration. In this absorbing book, Robert Chazan explores these various accounts, and argues that Jewish population movement was in most cases voluntary, the result of a Jewish sense that there were alternatives available for making a better life.




























[book] Hitler's Pawn:
The Boy Assassin and
the Holocaust
by Stephen Koch
JANUARY 8, 2019
Counterpoint

A remarkable story of a forgotten seventeen-year-old Jew who was blamed by the Nazis for the anti-Semitic violence and terror known as the Kristallnacht, the pogrom still seen as an initiating event of the Holocaust

After learning about Nazi persecution of his family, Herschel Grynszpan (pronounced "Greenspan"), an impoverished seventeen-year-old Jew living in Paris, bought a small handgun and on November 7, 1938, went to the German embassy and shot the first German diplomat he saw. When the man died two days later, Hitler and Goebbels made the shooting their pretext for the great state-sponsored wave of anti-Semitic terror known as Kristallnacht, still seen by many as an initiating event of the Holocaust.

Overnight, Grynszpan, a bright but naive teenager-and a perfect political nobody-was front-page news and a pawn in a global power struggle. When France fell, the Nazis captured Grynszpan after a wild chase and flew him to Berlin. The boy became a privileged prisoner of the Gestapo while Hitler and Goebbels plotted a massive show trial to blame "the Jews" for starting World War II. A prisoner and alone, Grynszpan grasped Hitler’s intentions and waged a battle of wits to sabotage the trial, knowing that even if he succeeded, he would certainly be murdered. The battle of wits was close, but Grynszpan finally won. Based on the newest research, Hitler’s Pawn is the richest telling of Grynszpan’s story to date.


























[book] I Love Kosher:
Beautiful Recipes from My Kitchen
by Kim Kushner
Weldon Owen
January 2019
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper: Essential Recipes for Your Kosher Kitchen

Kosher food made cool, calm, and sexy—the essentials for cooking and entertaining with style. Author Kim Kushner shares 100+ essential recipes, techniques, tools, and tricks for preparing delicious kosher meals with ease.

This inspiring cookbook offers simple, straightforward, go-to kosher recipes—ranging from quick dinners to slow-simmered main dishes, party fare, and freezer-to-table specialities—for every meal and any occasion, with busy families in mind. Whether preparing a simple dinner for two, a full-family feast, or party menu for ten, Kim’s strategy is to draw on this essential collection of recipes, tips, and tricks to guarantee stellar results, please any crowd, and have fun along the way.

The author’s fantastic sensibility with flavor—and flair for entertaining—comes through the well-curated selection of dishes, which are organized by course and cooking time. Kim also includes her tried-and-true culinary essentials like fridge, freezer, and pantry staples, must-have tools and equipment, and signature homemade dressings and marinades for mix-and-match cooking ease. A special chapter on boards features step-by-step directions and images for how to compose a variety of visually compelling and bountiful boards for easy, elegant serving such as a crudité board with dips, a wine and cheese board, and a breakfast smorgasboard.

Sample Chapters
Board Entertaining
Appetizers & Drinks
Ready-to-go Dishes
Brunch
Quick Stovetop Mains (under 1 hour)
One Pot/Sheet Pan (1–2 hours)
Hot, Slow & Simmered (4–6 hours)
Freezer-to-Table Mains
Dishes for a Crowd
Sides
Desserts





















[book] Prince of the Press:
How One Collector Built History’s
Most Enduring and Remarkable Jewish
by Joshua Teplitsky
JANUARY 2019
Yale Univ Press
The story of one of the largest collections of Jewish books, and the man who used his collection to cultivate power, prestige, and political influence

David Oppenheim (1664–1736), chief rabbi of Prague in the early eighteenth century, built an unparalleled collection of Jewish books, all of which have survived and are housed in the Bodleian Library of Oxford. His remarkable collection testifies to the myriad connections Jews maintained with each other across political borders. Oppenheim’s world reached the great courts of European nobility, and his family ties brought him into networks of power, prestige, and opportunity that extended from Amsterdam to the Ottoman Empire. His impressive library functioned as a unique source of personal authority that gained him fame throughout Jewish society and beyond. His story brings together culture, commerce, and politics, all filtered through this extraordinary collection. Based on the careful reconstruction of an archive that is still visited by scholars today, Joshua Teplitsky’s book offers a window into the social life of books in early modern Europe.


































[book] The Rational Bible:
Genesis
by Dennis Prager
JUNE 2019
Regnery Faith publishing
The continuation of Dennis Prager's bestselling five-part commentary,The Rational Bible.

Why do so many people think the Bible, the most influential book in world history, is outdated? Why do our friends and neighbors – and sometimes we ourselves – dismiss the Bible as irrelevant, irrational, immoral, or all of these things? This explanation of the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, will demonstrate that the Bible is not only powerfully relevant to today’s issues, but completely consistent with rational thought.
































[book] BABEL
Around the World in
Twenty Languages
by Gaston Dorren
Atlantic Monthly Press
December 4, 2018
English is the world language, except that most of the world doesn’t speak it-only one in five people does. Dorren calculates that to speak fluently with half of the world’s 7.4 billion people in their mother tongues, you would need to know no fewer than twenty languages. He sets out to explore these top twenty world languages, which range from the familiar (French, Spanish) to the surprising (Malay, Swahili, Bengali). Babel whisks the reader on a delightful journey to every continent of the world, tracing how these world languages rose to greatness while others fell away and showing how speakers today handle the foibles of their mother tongues. Whether showcasing tongue-tying phonetics or elegant but complicated writing scripts, and mind-bending quirks of grammar, Babel vividly illustrates that mother tongues are like nations: each has its own customs and beliefs that seem as self-evident to those born into it as they are surprising to the outside world.

Among many other things, Babel will teach you why modern Turks can’t read books that are a mere 75 years old, what it means in practice for Russian and English to be relatives, and how Japanese developed separate “dialects” for men and women. Dorren lets you in on his personal trials and triumphs while studying Vietnamese in Hanoi, debunks ten widespread myths about the Chinese character script, and discovers that today’s Babel is inhabited most graciously by multilingual Africans. Witty, fascinating and utterly compelling, Babel will change the way you look at and listen to the world and how it speaks.
































[book] NOT ALL DEAD WHITE MEN
Classics and Misogyny
in the Digital Age
By Donna Zuckerberg
JANUARY 2019
Harvard University Press
A disturbing exposé of how today’s Alt-Right men’s groups use ancient sources to promote a new brand of toxic masculinity online.

A virulent strain of antifeminism is thriving online that treats women’s empowerment as a mortal threat to men and to the integrity of Western civilization. Its proponents cite ancient Greek and Latin texts to support their claims-arguing that they articulate a model of masculinity that sustained generations but is now under siege.

Donna Zuckerberg dives deep into the virtual communities of the far right, where men lament their loss of power and privilege and strategize about how to reclaim them. She finds, mixed in with weightlifting tips and misogynistic vitriol, the words of the Stoics deployed to support an ideal vision of masculine life. On other sites, pickup artists quote Ovid’s Ars Amatoria to justify ignoring women’s boundaries. By appropriating the Classics, these men lend a veneer of intellectual authority and ancient wisdom to their project of patriarchal white supremacy. In defense or retaliation, feminists have also taken up the Classics online, to counter the sanctioning of violence against women.

Not All Dead White Men reveals that some of the most controversial and consequential debates about the legacy of the ancients are raging not in universities but online.






























[book] Holy Lands
a novel
by Amanda Sthers
JANUARY 22, 2019
Bloomsbury

A witty epistolary novel, both heartwarming and heart-wrenching, about a dysfunctional family--led by a Jewish pig farmer in Israel--struggling to love and accept each other.

As comic as it is deeply moving, Holy Lands chronicles several months in the lives of an estranged family of colorful eccentrics. Harry Rosenmerck is an aging Jewish cardiologist who has left his thriving medical practice in New York--to raise pigs in Israel. His ex-wife, Monique, ruminates about their once happy marriage even as she quietly battles an aggressive illness. Their son, David, an earnest and successful playwright, has vowed to reconnect with his father since coming out. Annabelle, their daughter, finds herself unmoored in Paris in the aftermath of a breakup.

Harry eschews technology, so his family, spread out around the world, must communicate with him via snail mail. Even as they grapple with challenges, their correspondence sparkles with levity. They snipe at each other, volleying quips across the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and Europe, and find joy in unexpected sources.

Holy Lands captures the humor and poignancy of an adult family striving to remain connected across time, geography, and radically different perspectives on life.


























[book] ETERNAL LIFE
A NOVEL
BY DARA HORN
JANUARY 8, 2019
Norton Paperback
What would it really mean to live forever? Rachel’s current troubles-a middle-aged son mining digital currency in her basement, a scientist granddaughter trying to peek into her genes-are only the latest in a litany spanning dozens of countries, scores of marriages, hundreds of children, and 2,000 years, going back to Roman-occupied Jerusalem. Only one person shares her immortality: an illicit lover who pursues her through the ages. But when her children develop technologies that could change her fate, Rachel must find a way out. From ancient religion to the scientific frontier, Dara Horn pits our efforts to make life last against the deeper challenge of making life worth living.



























[book] Inheritance:
A Memoir of Genealogy,
Paternity, and Love
by Dani Shapiro
January 2019
Knopf

The acclaimed and beloved author of Hourglass now gives us a new memoir about identity, paternity, and family secrets--a real-time exploration of the staggering discovery she recently made about her father, and her struggle to piece together the hidden story of her own life.

What makes us who we are?
What combination of memory, history, biology, experience, and that ineffable thing called the soul defines us?

In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that she wasn't 99 percent Jewish. WHAT? Well, it turns out that her biological father was different than the father who raised her. Her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history – the life she had lived – CRUMBLED beneath her.

Was this the reason she felt out of place with her dark haired Jewish family and community?

Inheritance is a book about secrets--secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman's urgent quest to unlock the story of her own (biological) identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history.

Her parents were no longer living, so her investigation was not as easy as asking her mother.

It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in--a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.

Timely and unforgettable, Dani Shapiro's memoir is a gripping, gut-wrenching exploration of genealogy, paternity, and love.













[book] Bookends:
Collected Intros and Outros
by Michael Chabon
January 21, 2019
Harper Perennial
A somewhat self absorbed collection of introductions (intros) and afterwords (outros) by Chabon that he would have written for some of his favorites works or that he wrote for some.



























[book] Grover Goes to Israel
Board book
by Joni Kibort Sussman
Tom Leigh (Illustrator)
January 2019
Kar Ben
Shalom! Hop aboard a plane with Grover to visit Israel in this board book from Kar-Ben featuring characters from Sesame Street. Join Grover as he tours the sights of Israel, munching on pita at Machane Yehuda and swimming in Eilat.



























FEBRUARY 2019 BOOKS



[book] A Woman First:
First Woman:
The Deeply Personal
Memoir by the Former President
by Selina Meyer
Former President of the United States
FEBRUARY 5, 2019
Abrams Press
The long-awaited memoir of her tumultuous year in office, A Woman First: First Woman is an intimate first-person account of the public and private lives of Selina Meyer, America’s first woman president. Known and beloved throughout the world as a vocal and fearless advocate for adult literacy, fighting AIDS, our military families, and as a stalwart champion of the oppressed, especially the long-suffering people of Tibet, President Meyer is considered one of the world’s most notable people. In her own words, she reveals the innermost workings of the world’s most powerful office, sharing previous secret details along with her own personal feelings about the historic events of her time.

In A Woman First: First Woman, President Selina Meyer tells the story of her times the way that only she could, Readers will gain new insights not only into Meyer herself but also the mechanics of governing and the many colorful personalities in Meyer’s orbit, including world leaders and her devoted cadre of allies and aides, many of them already familiar to the American people.



























[book] Zucked:
The Education of an Unlikely Activist
by Roger McNamee
(Yale, Tuck)
FEBRUARY 5, 2019
Penguin Press

The story of how a noted tech venture capitalist, an early mentor to Mark Zuckerberg and investor in his company, woke up to the serious damage Facebook was doing to our society and set out to try to stop it.

If you had told Roger McNamee even three years ago that he would soon be devoting himself to stopping Facebook from destroying our democracy, he would have howled with laughter. He had mentored many tech leaders in his illustrious career as an investor, but few things had made him prouder, or been better for his fund's bottom line, than his early service to Mark Zuckerberg. Still a large shareholder in Facebook, he had every good reason to stay on the bright side. Until he simply couldn't.

ZUCKED is McNamee's intimate reckoning with the catastrophic failure of the head of one of the world's most powerful companies to face up to the damage he is doing. It's a story that begins with a series of rude awakenings. First there is the author's dawning realization that the platform is being manipulated by some very bad actors. Then there is the even more unsettling realization that Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg are unable or unwilling to share his concerns, polite as they may be to his face.

And then comes the election of Donald Trump, and the emergence of one horrific piece of news after another about the malign ends to which the Facebook platform has been put. To McNamee's shock, even still Facebook's leaders duck and dissemble, viewing the matter as a public relations problem. Now thoroughly alienated, McNamee digs into the issue, and fortuitously meets up with some fellow travelers who share his concern, and help him sharpen its focus. Soon he and a dream team of Silicon Valley technologists are charging into the fray, to raise consciousness about the existential threat of Facebook, and the persuasion architecture of the attention economy more broadly -- to our public health and to our political order.

Zucked is both an enthralling personal narrative and a masterful explication of the forces that have conspired to place us all on the horns of this dilemma. This is the story of a company and its leadership, but it's also a larger tale of a business sector unmoored from normal constraints, just at a moment of political and cultural crisis, the worst possible time to be given new tools for summoning the darker angels of our nature and whipping them into a frenzy. Like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, Roger McNamee happened to be in the right place to witness a crime, and it took him some time to make sense of what he was seeing and what we ought to do about it. The result of that effort is a wise, hard-hitting, and urgently necessary account that crystallizes the issue definitively for the rest of us.


























[book] A SEDER FOR GROVER
Board book
by Joni Kibort Sussman
Tom Leigh (Illustrator)
February 2019
Kar Ben

A Seder for Grover introduces very young readers to Passover traditions with friends from Sesame Street. Big Bird, Moishe Oofnik, and Avigail join their friend Grover to celebrate the spring holiday of Passover. Together they eat matzah, read from the Haggadah, and find the afikomen.



















[book] How to Hold a Grudge:
From Resentment to Contentment-
The Power of Grudges to
Transform Your Life
by Sophie Hannah
JANUARY 2019
Scribner

The first and only comprehensive examination of the universal but widely misunderstood practice of grudge-holding that will show you how to use grudges to be your happiest, most optimistic, and most forgiving self.

Secretly, we all hold grudges, but most of us probably think we shouldn’t, and many of us deny that we do. To bear a grudge is too negative, right? Shouldn’t we just forgive and move on? Wrong, says self-appointed grudge guru Sophie Hannah, in her groundbreaking and irreverent self-help guide. Yes, it’s essential to think positively if we want to live happy lives, but even more crucial is how we get to the positive. Denying our negative emotions and experiences is likely to lead only to more pain, conflict, and stress.

What if our grudges are good for us? What if we could embrace them, and use them to help ourselves and others, instead of feeling ashamed of our inability to banish negative emotions and memories from our lives? With contributions from expert psychotherapists as well as extracts from her own extensive catalog of grudges, Sophie Hannah investigates the psychological origins of grudges and also offers not-so-obvious insights into how we should acknowledge—and embrace—them in order to improve the quality of our interpersonal relationships and senses of self. Grudges do not have to fill us with hate or make us toxic, bitter, and miserable. If we approach the practice of grudge-holding in an enlightened way, it will do the opposite—we will become more forgiving.

Practical, compassionate, and downright funny, How to Hold a Grudge reveals everything we need to know about the many different forms of grudge, the difference between a grudge and not-a-grudge (not as obvious as it seems), when we should let a grudge go, and how to honor a grudge and distill lessons from it that will turn us into better, happier people—for our own benefit and for the sake of spreading good and limiting harm in the world.



























[book] Zaitoun:
Recipes from the Palestinian Kitchen
by Yasmin Khan
Food52, Saffron
FEBRUARY 2019
Norton

A dazzling celebration of Palestinian cuisine, featuring more than 80 modern recipes, captivating stories and stunning travel photography.

"Yasmin Khan draws on her vast experience as a storyteller, cook, human rights activist, itinerant traveler and writer to create a moving, empathetic, hugely knowledgeable and utterly delicious book." -Anthony Bourdain

British cook Yasmin Khan unlocks the flavors and fragrances of modern Palestine, from the sun-kissed pomegranate stalls of Akka, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, through evergreen oases of date plantations in the Jordan Valley, to the fading fish markets of Gaza City.

Palestinian food is winningly fresh and bright, centered around colorful mezze dishes that feature the region’s bountiful eggplants, peppers, artichokes, and green beans; slow-cooked stews of chicken and lamb flavored with Palestinian barahat spice blends; and the marriage of local olive oil with earthy za’atar, served in small bowls to accompany toasted breads. It has evolved over several millennia through the influences of Arabic, Jewish, Armenian, Persian, Turkish, and Bedouin cultures and civilizations that have ruled over, or lived in, the area known as ancient Palestine.

In each place she visits, Khan enters the kitchens of Palestinians of all ages and backgrounds, discovering the secrets of their cuisine and sharing heartlifting stories.


























[book] Willa & Hesper
by Amy Feltman
FEBRUARY 5, 2019
Grand Central Publishing
For fans of What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell and The Futures by Anna Pitoniak, a soul-piercing debut that explores the intertwining of past and present, queerness, and coming of age in uncertain times.

Willa's darkness enters Hesper's light late one night in Brooklyn. Theirs is a whirlwind romance until Willa starts to know Hesper too well, to crawl into her hidden spaces, and Hesper shuts her out. She runs, following her fractured family back to her grandfather's hometown of Tbilisi, Georgia, looking for the origin story that he is no longer able to tell. But once in Tbilisi, cracks appear in her grandfather's history-and a massive flood is heading toward Georgia, threatening any hope for repair.

Meanwhile, heartbroken Willa is so desperate to leave New York that she joins a group trip for Jewish twentysomethings to visit Holocaust sites in Germany and Poland, hoping to override her emotional state. When it proves to be more fraught than home, she must come to terms with her past-the ancestral past, her romantic past, and the past that can lead her forward.

Told from alternating perspectives, and ending in the shadow of Trump's presidency, WILLA & HESPER is a deeply moving, cerebral, and timely debut



























[book] TOGETHER
A Memoir of a Marriage
and a Medical Mishap
by Judy Goldman
FEBRUARY 12, 2019
Nan A. Talese
A routine procedure left novelist, memoirist, and poet Judy Goldman's husband paralyzed. Together is her unforgettable account of the struggle to regain their "normal" life and a nuanced portrait of a marriage tested.

When Judy Goldman's husband of almost four decades reads a newspaper ad for an injection to alleviate back pain, the outpatient procedure sounds like the answer to his longtime backaches. But rather than restoring his tennis game, the procedure leaves him paralyzed from the waist down--a phenomenon none of the doctors the family consults can explain. Overnight, Goldman's world is turned upside down. Though she has always thought of herself as the polite, demure wife opposite her strong, brave husband, Goldman finds herself thrown into a new role as his advocate, navigating byzantine hospital policies, demanding and refusing treatments, seeking solutions to help him win back his independence.

Along the way, Goldman flashes back to her memories of their life together. As she tries envision her family's future, she discovers a new, more resilient version of herself. Together is a story of the life we imagine versus the life we lead--an elegant and empathetic meditation on partnership, aging, and, of course, love.



























[book] Savage Feast:
Three Generations, Two Continents,
and a Dinner Table
(a Memoir with Recipes)
by Boris Fishman
February 2019
Harper

The acclaimed author of A Replacement Life shifts between heartbreak and humor in this gorgeously told, recipe-filled memoir. A family story, an immigrant story, a love story, and an epic meal, Savage Feast explores the challenges of navigating two cultures from an unusual angle.

A revealing personal story and family memoir told through meals and recipes, Savage Feast begins with Boris’s childhood in Soviet Belarus, where good food was often worth more than money. He describes the unlikely dish that brought his parents together and how years of Holocaust hunger left his grandmother so obsessed with bread that she always kept five loaves on hand. She was the stove magician and Boris’ grandfather the master black marketer who supplied her, evading at least one firing squad on the way. These spoils kept Boris’ family—Jews who lived under threat of discrimination and violence—provided-for and protected.

Despite its abundance, food becomes even more important in America, which Boris’ family reaches after an emigration through Vienna and Rome filled with marvel, despair, and bratwurst. How to remain connected to one’s roots while shedding their trauma? The ambrosial cooking of Oksana, Boris’s grandfather’s Ukrainian home aide, begins to show him the way. His quest takes him to a farm in the Hudson River Valley, the kitchen of a Russian restaurant on the Lower East Side, a Native American reservation in South Dakota, and back to Oksana’s kitchen in Brooklyn. His relationships with women—troubled, he realizes, for reasons that go back many generations—unfold concurrently, finally bringing him, after many misadventures, to an American soulmate.

Savage Feast is Boris’ tribute to food, that secret passage to an intimate conversation about identity, belonging, family, displacement, and love.































[book] Willa & Hesper
A Novel
by Amy Feltman
FEBRUARY 5, 2019
Grand Central Publishing

For fans of What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell and The Futures by Anna Pitoniak, a soul-piercing debut that explores the intertwining of past and present, queerness, and coming of age in uncertain times.

Willa's darkness enters Hesper's light late one night in Brooklyn. Theirs is a whirlwind romance until Willa starts to know Hesper too well, to crawl into her hidden spaces, and Hesper shuts her out. She runs, following her fractured family back to her grandfather's hometown of Tbilisi, Georgia, looking for the origin story that he is no longer able to tell. But once in Tbilisi, cracks appear in her grandfather's history-and a massive flood is heading toward Georgia, threatening any hope for repair.

Meanwhile, heartbroken Willa is so desperate to leave New York that she joins a group trip for Jewish twentysomethings to visit Holocaust sites in Germany and Poland, hoping to override her emotional state. When it proves to be more fraught than home, she must come to terms with her past-the ancestral past, her romantic past, and the past that can lead her forward.

Told from alternating perspectives, and ending in the shadow of Trump's presidency, WILLA & HESPER is a deeply moving, cerebral, and timely debut


























[book] I.M.
A Memoir
by Isaac Mizrahi
February 2019
Flatiron Books

Isaac Mizrahi is a designer, cabaret performer, talk-show host, a TV celebrity. Yet ever since he shot to fame in the late 1980s, the private Isaac Mizrahi has remained under wraps. Until now.

In I.M., Isaac Mizrahi offers a poignant, candid, and touching look back on his life so far. Growing up gay in a sheltered Syrian Jewish Orthodox family, Isaac had unique talents that ultimately drew him into fashion and later into celebrity circles that read like a who’s who of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries: Richard Avedon, Audrey Hepburn, Anna Wintour, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Meryl Streep, and Oprah Winfrey, to name only a few.

In his elegant memoir, Isaac delves into his lifelong battles with weight, insomnia, and depression. He tells what it was like to be an out gay man in a homophobic age and to witness the ravaging effects of the AIDS epidemic. Brimming with intimate details and inimitable wit, Isaac's narrative reveals not just the glamour of his years, but the grit beneath the glitz. Rich with memorable stories from in and out of the spotlight, I.M. illuminates deep emotional truths.
























[book] Brave New Work:
Are You Ready to
Reinvent Your Organization?
by Aaron Dignan
February 2019
Portfolio

Are you ready to eliminate red tape, kill bureaucracy, and do the best work of your life?

Nearly every client Aaron Dignan meets, from Wall Street to Silicon Valley, points to the same frustrations: lack of trust, bottlenecks in decision making, siloed functions and teams, meeting and email overload, tiresome budgeting, short-term thinking, and more.

Is there any hope for a solution? Haven't countless business gurus promised the answer, yet changed almost nothing about the way we work?

That's because we fail to recognize that organizations aren't machines to be predicted and controlled. They're complex human systems full of potential waiting to be released.

Dignan says you can't fix a team, department, or organization by tinkering around the edges. Over the years, he has helped his clients completely reinvent their operating systems--the fundamental principles and practices that shape their culture--with extraordinary success. And they're not alone.

Imagine a bank that abandoned traditional budgeting, only to outperform its competition for decades. An appliance manufacturer that divided itself into 2,000 autonomous teams, resulting not in chaos but rapid growth. A healthcare provider with a headquarters of just 50 people supporting over 14,000 in the field--named "best place to work" year after year. And even a team that saved $3 million per year by cancelling one monthly meeting.

Their stories may sound improbable, but in Brave New Work you'll learn exactly how they and other organizations are inventing a smarter, healthier, andmore effective way to work. Not through top-down mandates, but through a groundswell of autonomy, trust, and transparency.

Whether you lead a team of ten or ten thousand, improving your operating system is the single most powerful thing you can do. The only question is, are you ready?
























[book] Stalin's Scribe:
Literature, Ambition, and Survival:
The Life of Mikhail Sholokhov
by Brian Boeck
February 2019
Pegasus
A masterful and definitive biography of one of the most misunderstood and controversial writers in Russian literature.

Mikhail Sholokhov is arguable one of the most contentious recipients of the Nobel Prize in Literature. As a young man, Sholokhov’s epic novel, Quiet Don, became an unprecedented overnight success.

Stalin’s Scribe is the first biography of a man who was once one of the Soviet Union’s most prominent political figures. Thanks to the opening of Russia’s archives, Brian Boeck discovers that Sholokhov’s official Soviet biography is actually a tangled web of legends, half-truths, and contradictions. Boeck examines the complex connection between an author and a dictator, revealing how a Stalinist courtier became an ideological acrobat and consummate politician in order to stay in favor and remain relevant after the dictator’s death.

Stalin's Scribe is remarkable biography that both reinforces and clashes with our understanding of the Soviet system. It reveals a Sholokhov who is bold, uncompromising, and sympathetic-and reconciles him with the vindictive and mean-spirited man described in so many accounts of late Soviet history.

Shockingly, at the height of the terror, which claimed over a million lives, Sholokhov became a member of the most minuscule subset of the Soviet Union’s population-the handful of individuals whom Stalin personally intervened to save.

























[book] The Pianist from Syria:
A Memoir
by Aeham Ahmad
Emanuel Bergmann (Translator)
February 12, 2019
Atria Books

An astonishing but true account of a pianist’s escape from war-torn Syria to Germany offers a deeply personal perspective on the most devastating refugee crisis of this century.

Aeham Ahmad was born a second-generation refugee—the son of a blind violinist and carpenter who recognized Aeham's talent and taught him how to play piano and love music from an early age.

When his grandparents and father were forced to flee Israel and seek refuge from the Israeli–Palestinian conflict ravaging their home, Aeham’s family built a life in Yarmouk, an unofficial camp to more than 160,000 Palestinian refugees in Damascus. They raised a new generation in Syria while waiting for the conflict to be resolved so they could return to their homeland. Instead, another fight overtook their asylum. Their only haven was in music and in each other.

Forced to leave his family behind, Aeham sought out a safe place for them to call home and build a better life, taking solace in the indestructible bond between fathers and sons to keep moving forward. Heart-wrenching yet ultimately full of hope, and told in a raw and poignant voice, The Pianist from Syria is a gripping portrait of one man’s search for a peaceful life for his family and of a country being torn apart as the world watches in horror.
























[book] Savage Feast:
Three Generations, Two Continents,
and a Dinner Table (a Memoir with Recipes)
by Boris Fishman
February 26, 2019
Harper

The acclaimed author of A Replacement Life shifts between heartbreak and humor in this gorgeously told, recipe-filled memoir. A family story, an immigrant story, a love story, and an epic meal, Savage Feast explores the challenges of navigating two cultures from an unusual angle.

A revealing personal story and family memoir told through meals and recipes, Savage Feast begins with Boris’s childhood in Soviet Belarus, where good food was often worth more than money. He describes the unlikely dish that brought his parents together and how years of Holocaust hunger left his grandmother so obsessed with bread that she always kept five loaves on hand. She was the stove magician and Boris’ grandfather the master black marketer who supplied her, evading at least one firing squad on the way. These spoils kept Boris’ family—Jews who lived under threat of discrimination and violence—provided-for and protected.

Despite its abundance, food becomes even more important in America, which Boris’ family reaches after an emigration through Vienna and Rome filled with marvel, despair, and bratwurst. How to remain connected to one’s roots while shedding their trauma? The ambrosial cooking of Oksana, Boris’s grandfather’s Ukrainian home aide, begins to show him the way. His quest takes him to a farm in the Hudson River Valley, the kitchen of a Russian restaurant on the Lower East Side, a Native American reservation in South Dakota, and back to Oksana’s kitchen in Brooklyn. His relationships with women—troubled, he realizes, for reasons that go back many generations—unfold concurrently, finally bringing him, after many misadventures, to an American soulmate.

Savage Feast is Boris’ tribute to food, that secret passage to an intimate conversation about identity, belonging, family, displacement, and love.





















[book] TO NIGHT OWL FROM DOGFISH
By Meg Wolitzer and Holly Goldberg Sloan
February 2019
Dial Books
Ages 10 and up

From two extraordinary authors comes a moving, exuberant, laugh-out-loud novel about friendship and family, told entirely in emails and letters.

Avery Bloom, who's bookish, intense, and afraid of many things, particularly deep water, lives in New York City. Bett Devlin, who's fearless, outgoing, and loves all animals as well as the ocean, lives in California. What they have in common is that they are both twelve years old, and are both being raised by single, gay dads.

When their dads fall in love, Bett and Avery are sent, against their will, to the same sleepaway camp. Their dads hope that they will find common ground and become friends--and possibly, one day, even sisters.

But things soon go off the rails for the girls (and for their dads too), and they find themselves on a summer adventure that neither of them could have predicted. Now that they can't imagine life without each other, will the two girls (who sometimes call themselves Night Owl and Dogfish) figure out a way to be a family?
























[book] Companions in Conflict:
Animals in Occupied Palestine
by Penny Johnson
February 2019
Melville Books

An award-winning author explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a surprising lens: the animals trying to survive in occupied hotspots

In August of 2016, Israeli police officers arrested a Palestinian donkey in the Jordan Valley. The charge? Not having the correct paperwork.

It's an image as sad (and strangely common) as it is symbolic: No creature great or small is free from the absurdities of the Occupied Territories.

Companions in Conflict is a surprising investigation into the deeply intertwined lives of the region's human and animal populations: From camel beauty contests, to a heard of "illegal" Palestinain cows hunted down by Israeli soldiers; from a hyena in a wolf pack that becomes a symbol of Middle East peace, to the tragic story of the now-taxidermied inhabitants of the West Bank's only zoo--who were frightened to death by Israeli explosive devices.

Drawing on three decades of living in the region, Penny Johnson's Insightful writing reveals what these and many other animals' fates tell us about the current state of Israel and Palestine. What's more, looking forward, she introduces a new generation of environmental activists to us, who represent the region's best hope for conservation, collaboration, and justice for all creatures.





















[book] [book] Shtetl in the Sun:
Andy Sweet's South
Beach 1977-1980
by the late photographer Andy Sweet
February 2019
Letter16 Press

In the late 70s and early 80's, Miami Beach was in transition... it seems as if it transitions every 20 years.

Andy Sweet graduated from college and drove to his hometown of Miami Beach. He started to photograph the elderly Jews of Miami Beach and South Beach, in saturated vibrant colors, as they loved retirement, found joy, danced, partied, swam, prayed, loved, and sat on porches and benches. It was a brief period of time that fast evaporated as poverty, crime, dilapidation, and death came to the area. Miami Beach and Miami descended into the Miami Vice period of cocaine and drugs and murders. The Paradise was Lost. Sweet was then murdered brutally in 1982; his photos, which the family stored at art warehouse were lost in a move. Decades later, some contact sheets were found and newer digital technologies allowed the pics to be recreated. SHTETL IN THE SON, like the documentary THE LAST RESORT, brings his works to life.

From the publisher: Forget the jokes about late ‘70s South Beach being the Yiddish-speaking section of “God’s Waiting Room”; yes, upwards of 20,000 elderly Jews made up nearly half of its population in those days — all crammed into an area of barely two square miles like a modern-day shtetl, the small, tightly knit Eastern European villages that defined so much of pre-World War II Jewry. But these New York transplants and Holocaust survivors all still had plenty of living, laughing and loving to do, as strikingly portrayed in Shtetl in the Sun, which features previously unseen photographs documenting South Beach’s once-thriving and now-vanished Jewish world — a project that American photographer Andy Sweet (1953–82) began in 1977 after receiving his MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a driving passion until his tragic death.

Sweet’s photos capture this community’s daily rhythms in all their beach-strolling, cafeteria-noshing and klezmer-dancing glory. “They were strong, humorous, and beautiful images,” fellow photographer Mary Ellen Mark, who worked closely with Sweet, remarked after his passing. “He may have been younger, but I considered him every bit an equal.” The book includes a foreword by award-winning Miami arts journalist Brett Sokol and an introductory essay by National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Lauren Groff.

"I can’t recall exactly where I first discovered Andy Sweet’s photos but it wasn’t long after moving north, probably in some bookstore in Boston. After you get some distance from a place, you realize there were some things you liked after all. And one of those things for me was the Miami Beach that is represented in Sweet’s photography. If only, back when I was out there on Ocean Drive, with my Pentax K-1000, if only I could have stumbled into Andy Sweet’s photographs."



















[book] DEATH IS HARD WORK
A NOVEL
BY KHALED KHALIFA
Translated from Arabic
February 2019
FSG

A dogged, absurd quest through the nightmare of the Syrian civil war Khaled Khalifa’s Death Is Hard Work is the new novel from the greatest chronicler of Syria’s ongoing and catastrophic civil war: a tale of three ordinary people facing down the stuff of nightmares armed with little more than simple determination.

Abdel Latif, an old man from the Aleppo region, dies peacefully in a hospital bed in Damascus. His final wish, conveyed to his youngest son, Bolbol, is to be buried in the family plot in their ancestral village of Anabiya. Though Abdel was hardly an ideal father, and though Bolbol is estranged from his siblings, this conscientious son persuades his older brother Hussein and his sister Fatima to accompany him and the body to Anabiya, which is-after all-only a two-hour drive from Damascus.

There’s only one problem: Their country is a war zone.

With the landscape of their childhood now a labyrinth of competing armies whose actions are at once arbitrary and lethal, the siblings’ decision to set aside their differences and honor their father’s request quickly balloons from a minor commitment into an epic and life-threatening quest. Syria, however, is no longer a place for heroes, and the decisions the family must make along the way-as they find themselves captured and recaptured, interrogated, imprisoned, and bombed-will prove to have enormous consequences for all of them.

































[book] IMPERFECT SOLO
a dark comedy novel of
random misfortune
By Steven Boykey Sidley
February 2019
Arcade

Meyer is filled with dread. His fading musical aspirations, his tyrannical CEO, his ex-wives, his exiting girlfriend, his aging father, his beloved and troublesome children and his confused and bewildered life all bear witness to the sky that he is convinced will soon fall on his head.

And then it does.

This is the story of a man adrift in anxiety, ill-fortune, and comic mishap, buffeted by the existential and prosaic concerns that modern life in Los Angeles inflicts. Forty years old, caught in the netherworld between the reckless optimism of youth and the resignation of age, Meyer tries to find handrails and ballast. Funny, intellectually probing, and poignant, the story follows the flailing and hapless Meyer seeking hope and redemption as his world unravels around him. Surrounded by the absurdity of a waning America, the affection of flawed but well-meaning friends and family, and the randomness of everyday life, Meyer tries gamely to stay afloat.

He must navigate love lost and found and lost, the indignities of aging, the courage to stand up to assholes and the search for the perfect sax solo. Will Meyer find his grace? Can he, or we, ever?


























MARCH 2019 BOOKS



[book] Kaddish.com:
A novel
by Nathan Englander
March 2019
Knopf
The Pulitzer finalist delivers his best work yet--a brilliant, streamlined comic novel, reminiscent of early Philip Roth and of his own most masterful stories, about a son's failure to say Kaddish for his father.

Larry is an atheist, an apostate from his Brooklyn born Orthodox Jewish family. He is staying at his sister's home in Memphis, locked in for the seven days of shiva for their departed father, a father who was maybe the only one who “got” and understood Larry, who assured him that he was destined for heaven no matter what he though t about himself. And so, in Chapter 1, Larry is stuck in a house, feeling that all the mourners who visit are judging him, staring at him. His claustrophobic feelings are amplified by sleeping in his skinny, small, nephew's bed in his sister's home.

As the only son in a conservative Orthodox family, it is Larry's responsibility to recite the Kaddish prayer for his father, each day for eleven months. To the horror and dismay of Larry's widowed mother and his sisters, Larry refuses – thus imperiling the fate of his father's departed soul. Larry is quite self-absorbed. To appease his family, and in penance for failing to mourn his father correctly, he hatches a plan. He will hire a stranger through a website called kaddish.com to recite the daily prayer.

This is Nathan Englander's freshest and funniest work to date--a satire that touches, lightly and with unforgettable humor, on the conflict between religious and secular worlds, and the hypocrisies that run through both. A novel about atonement; about spiritual redemption; and about the soul-sickening temptations of the internet, which, like God, is everywhere.





















[book] SPIES OF NO COUNTRY
Secret Lives at the
Birth of Israel
By Matti Friedman
March 2019
Algonquin

From the author of the critically acclaimed PumpkinFlowers.... THE UNSUNG Horoes of 1948... those who lived undercover... Matti Friedman’s report of the State of Israel’s first spies has all the tropes of an espionage novel, including duplicity, betrayal, disguise, clandestine meetings, the bluff, and the double bluff--but it’s all true.

The four spies at the center of this story were part of a ragtag unit known as the Arab Section, conceived during World War II by British spies and Jewish militia leaders in Palestine. Intended to gather intelligence and carry out sabotage and assassinations, the unit consisted of Jews who were native to the Arab world and could thus easily assume Arab identities. In 1948, with Israel’s existence in the balance during the War of Independence, our spies went undercover in Beirut, where they spent the next two years operating out of a kiosk, collecting intelligence, and sending messages back to Israel via a radio whose antenna was disguised as a clothesline. While performing their dangerous work these men were often unsure to whom they were reporting, and sometimes even who they’d become. Of the dozen spies in the Arab Section at the war’s outbreak, five were caught and executed. But in the end the Arab Section would emerge, improbably, as the nucleus of the Mossad, Israel’s vaunted intelligence agency.

Spies of No Country is about the slippery identities of these young spies, but it’s also about Israel’s own complicated and fascinating identity. Israel sees itself and presents itself as a Western nation, when in fact more than half the country has Middle Eastern roots and traditions, like the spies of this story. And, according to Friedman, that goes a long way toward explaining the life and politics of the country, and why it often baffles the West. For anyone interested in real-life spies and the paradoxes of the Middle East, Spies of No Country is an intimate story with global significance.






















[book] Getting Good at Getting Older:
A New Jewish Catalog
by the late Richard Siegel (Jewish Catalog)
and his widow Rabbi Laura Geller
March 2019
Behrman House

We came of age in the '60s and '70s, through civil rights, anti-war protests, and the rise of feminism. We've raised families and had careers. We've been around the world, figuratively if not literally. We've done a lot.

And we're getting older. So we might as well get good at it.

Getting Good at Getting Older: A Jewish Catalog for a New Age is a tour for all of us "of a certain age" through the resources and skills we need to navigate the years between maturity and old age. Getting Good at Getting Older brings humor, warmth, and 4,000 years of Jewish experience to the question of how to shape this new stage of life.
























[book] How to Be a Capitalist
Without Any Capital:
The Four Rules You Must
Break To Get Rich
by Nathan Latka
March 5, 2019
Portfolio

I don;t agree with his advice or family's ideas. I just like the surname of this Loudoun County guy who started a firm in his Virginia dorm room and got funding for projects from a Virginia billionaire. The host of a popular ENTREPRENEUR podcast, here are his thoughts on how to succeed monetarily.

He writes, “At nineteen, I founded a software company with $119 in my bank account. Five years later, it was valued at $10.5 million. I don't consider myself exceptionally brilliant. I just realized something few people know: You don't need lots of money or an original idea to get really rich. Now, I make more than $100,000 in passive income every month, while also running my own private equity firm and hosting The Top Entrepreneurs podcast, which has more than 10 million downloads. This book will show you how I went from college dropout to member of the New Rich. And I'm holding nothing back. You'll see my tax returns, my profit and loss statements, my email negotiations when buying and selling companies. It's time to forget your grandfather's advice. I'll teach you how to be a modern opportunist--investor, entrepreneur, or side hustler--by breaking these four golden rules of the old guard:

1. Focus on one skill: Wrong. Don't cultivate one great skill to get ahead. In today's business world, success goes to the multitaskers.
2. Be unique: Wrong. The way to get rich is not by launching a new idea but by aggressively copying others and then adding your own twist.
3. Focus on one goal: Wrong. Focus instead on creating a system to produce the outcome you want, not just once, but over and over again.
4. Appeal to the masses: Wrong. The masses are broke ($4k average net worth in America?). Let others cut a trail through the jungle so you can peacefully walk in and capitalize on their hard work.
By rejecting these defunct rules and following my unconventional path, you can copy other people's ideas shamelessly, bootstrap a start-up with almost no funding, invest in small local businesses for huge payoffs, and reap all the benefits.






















[book] How We Fight White Supremacy:
A Field Guide to Black Resistance
by Akiba Solomon
and Kenrya Rankin
March 26, 2019
NationBooks

This celebration of Black resistance, from protests to art to sermons to joy, offers a blueprint for the fight for freedom and justice-and ideas for how each of us can contribute

Many of us are facing unprecedented attacks on our democracy, our privacy, and our hard-won civil rights. If you're Black in the US, this is not new. As Colorlines editors Akiba Solomon and Kenrya Rankin show, Black Americans subvert and resist life-threatening forces as a matter of course. In these pages, leading organizers, artists, journalists, comedians, and filmmakers offer wisdom on how they fight White supremacy. It's a must-read for anyone new to resistance work, and for the next generation of leaders building a better future.` Featuring contributions from: Ta-Nehisi Coates Tarana Burke Harry Belafonte adrienne maree brown Alicia Garza Patrisse Khan-Cullors Reverend Dr. Valerie Bridgeman Kiese Laymon Jamilah Lemieux Robin DG Kelley Damon Young Michael Arceneaux



















[book] Giraffes on Horseback Salad:
Salvador Dali, the Marx Brothers,
and the Strangest Movie Never Made
by Josh Frank and Tim Heidecker
Manuela Pertega (Illustrator)
March 2019
Quirk
Surrealism meets Hollywood meets film history in this graphic novel, which turns an unproduced script by Salvador Dali into a fantastic comedy starring Groucho, Chico, and Harpo Marx.

Grab some popcorn and take a seat...The curtain is about to rise on a film like no other! But first, the real-life backstory: Giraffes on Horseback Salad was a Marx Brothers film written by modern art icon Salvador Dali, who’d befriended Harpo. Rejected by MGM, the script was thought lost forever. But author Josh Frank found it, and with comedian Tim Heidecker and Spanish comics creator Manuela Pertega, he’s re-created the film as a graphic novel in all its gorgeous full-color, cinematic, surreal glory. In the story, a businessman named Jimmy (played by Harpo) is drawn to the mysterious Surrealist Woman, whose very presence changes humdrum reality into Dali-esque fantasy. With the help of Groucho and Chico, Jimmy seeks to join her fantastical world—but forces of normalcy threaten to end their romance. Includes new Marx Brothers songs and antics, plus the real-world story behind the historic collaboration.


















[book] A Woman Is No Man:
A Novel
by Etaf Rum
March 2019
HarperCollins

Three generations of Palestinian-American women living in Brooklyn are torn between individual desire and the strict mores of Arab culture in this powerful debut—a heart-wrenching story of love, intrigue, courage, and betrayal that will resonate with women from all backgrounds, giving voice to the silenced and agency to the oppressed.

"Where I come from, we’ve learned to silence ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence will save us. Where I come from, we keep these stories to ourselves. To tell them to the outside world is unheard of—dangerous, the ultimate shame.”

Palestine, 1990. Seventeen-year-old Isra prefers reading books to entertaining the suitors her father has chosen for her. Over the course of a week, the naïve and dreamy girl finds herself quickly betrothed and married, and is soon living in Brooklyn. There Isra struggles to adapt to the expectations of her oppressive mother-in-law Fareeda and strange new husband Adam, a pressure that intensifies as she begins to have children—four daughters instead of the sons Fareeda tells Isra she must bear.

Brooklyn, 2008. Eighteen-year-old Deya, Isra’s oldest daughter, must meet with potential husbands at her grandmother Fareeda’s insistence, though her only desire is to go to college. Deya can’t help but wonder if her options would have been different had her parents survived the car crash that killed them when Deya was only eight. But her grandmother is firm on the matter: the only way to secure a worthy future for Deya is through marriage to the right man.

But fate has a will of its own, and soon Deya will find herself on an unexpected path that leads her to shocking truths about her family—knowledge that will force her to question everything she thought she knew about her parents, the past, and her own future.

Set in an America at once foreign to many and staggeringly close at hand, A Woman Is No Man is a story of culture and honor, secrets and betrayals, love and violence. It is an intimate glimpse into a controlling and closed cultural world, and a universal tale about family and the ways silence and shame can destroy those we have sworn to protect.






























[book] AMERICA'S JEWISH WOMEN
A History from Colonial Times to Today
(or maybe til 2018)
By Pamela S. Nadell
American University
March 2019
Norton

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

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

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































[book] The Altruists:
A Novel
by Andrew Ridker
March 5, 2019
VIKING

A vibrant and perceptive novel about a father's plot to win back his children's inheritance

Arthur Alter is in trouble. A middling professor at a Midwestern college, he can't afford his mortgage, he's exasperated his much-younger girlfriend, and his kids won't speak to him. And then there's the money--the small fortune his late wife Francine kept secret, which she bequeathed directly to his children.

Those children are Ethan, an anxious recluse living off his mother's money on a choice plot of Brooklyn real estate; and Maggie, a would-be do-gooder trying to fashion herself a noble life of self-imposed poverty. On the verge of losing the family home, Arthur invites his children back to St. Louis under the guise of a reconciliation. But in doing so, he unwittingly unleashes a Pandora's box of age-old resentments and long-buried memories--memories that orbit Francine, the matriarch whose life may hold the key to keeping them together.

Spanning New York, Paris, Boston, St. Louis, and a small desert outpost in Zimbabwe, The Altruists is a darkly funny (and ultimately tender) family saga in the tradition of Jonathan Franzen and Jeffrey Eugenides, with shades of Philip Roth and Zadie Smith. It's a novel about money, privilege, politics, campus culture, dating, talk therapy, rural sanitation, infidelity, kink, the American beer industry, and what it means to be a "good person."






















[book] When Brooklyn Was Queer:
A History
by Hugh Ryan
March 2019
St. Martin's Press

The never-before-told story of Brooklyn’s vibrant and forgotten queer history, from the mid-1850s up to the present day.

Hugh Ryan’s When Brooklyn Was Queer is a groundbreaking exploration of the LGBT history of Brooklyn, from the early days of Walt Whitman in the 1850s up through the queer women who worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II, and beyond. No other book, movie, or exhibition has ever told this sweeping story. Not only has Brooklyn always lived in the shadow of queer Manhattan neighborhoods like Greenwich Village and Harlem, but there has also been a systematic erasure of its queer history-a great forgetting.

Ryan is here to unearth that history for the first time. In intimate, evocative, moving prose he discusses in new light the fundamental questions of what history is, who tells it, and how we can only make sense of ourselves through its retelling; and shows how the formation of the Brooklyn we know today is inextricably linked to the stories of the incredible people who created its diverse neighborhoods and cultures. Through them, When Brooklyn Was Queer brings Brooklyn’s queer past to life.
“Meticulous research and wonderfully skillful storytelling make Hugh Ryan’s book a revelation of queer history as well as a joy to read.” -Cleve Jones, Lambda award winning author of When We Rise






















[book] STONE MEN
The Palestinians Who
Built Israel
by Andrew Ross
NYU, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis
March 2019
Verso Books

The Story of Palestine's Stonemasons and the Building of Israel

Andrew Ross, a social activist, social activist, and author of essays in The Nation and defunct Village Voice, writes, "They demolish our houses while we build theirs." This is how a Palestinian stonemason, in line at a checkpoint outside a Jerusalem suburb, described his life to Andrew Ross. Palestinian "stone men", utilizing some of the best quality dolomitic limestone deposits in the world and drawing on generations of artisanal knowledge, have built almost every state in the Middle East except their own. Today the business of quarrying, cutting, fabrication, and dressing is Palestine's largest employer and generator of revenue, supplying the construction industry in Israel, along with other Middle East countries and even more overseas.

Drawing on hundreds of interviews, Ross writes about Palestinian labor, and how Palestinians worked at constructions sites that built the state of Israel, but how the industry generates revenue that is used to fight Israel – or as Ross writes, Arab labor built that separation barriers. Ross asks how the record of achievement and labor can be recognized.

Note: in 2015, Professor Ross was barred by UAE from visiting NYU's Abu Dhabi's campus, most likely due to his research into the labor conditions of migrant laborers in Abu Dhabi.

























[book] The Book of David:
David Horowitz:
Dean of United Nations Press Corps
and Founder: United Israel World Union
by Ralph E Buntyn
James D Tabor (Foreword)
March 2019
Innerquest

For 10 years, author Ralph Buntyn spent many hours with renowned United Nations correspondent and United Israel founder David Horowitz. They engaged in lengthy discussions about his foundational views drawn from his experience and unique vantage point in the two world bodies. The Book of David is based on his personal notes, extensive archival records and reflections from these conversations.

In Horowitz's autobiography Thirty-three Candles published in 1956, he wrote: "Thirty-three Candles undoubtedly calls for a sequel because much has occurred on the world scene since 1944, most of it confirming its major thesis. I feel I shall have to bow to this demand." The Book of David is dedicated to fulfilling Horowitz's request for a historical accounting of the period that followed.

This book documents the life and legacy of David Horowitz and stands as a permanent accounting of the unfolding events in his life and his role in the affairs of the United Nations, the State of Israel, and United Israel World Union during the latter half of the twentieth century.






























[book] I'm Not Really a Waitress:
How One Woman Took Over
the Beauty Industry One
Color at a Time
by Suzi Weiss-Fischmann
with Catherine Knepper
March 2019
SEAL PRESS

Known worldwide as the “First Lady of Nails,” OPI Co-Founder & Brand Ambassador Suzi Weiss-Fischmann initially made her mark on the beauty industry in 1989, when she created the first 30 OPI nail lacquers. She also pioneered the development of OPI partnerships, elevating consumers’ overall brand experience. Born in post-war, Communist Hungary to Holocaust survivors, Suzi immigrated to Israel before settling in the U.S. Personally, Suzi places a strong emphasis on Tzedakah contributions through her Fischmann Family Foundation – She serves on the Board of Directors of the Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School

Today, OPI is known as a global beauty icon, famous for its trend-setting colors, unforgettable shade names, and celebrity collaborations with the biggest stars from film, television, music, and sports. But behind all the glamour is the little-known tale of OPI's unlikely origins-an intimate and inspiring story of a timid schoolgirl who arrives in this country with little money and no English and becomes the business leader and industry game-changer known worldwide as "Suzi, the First Lady of Nails."

In I'm Not Really a Waitress--titled after OPI's top-selling nail color--Suzi reveals the events that led her family to flee Communist Hungary and eventually come to New York City in pursuit of the American dream. She shares how those early experiences gave rise to OPI's revolutionary vision of freedom and empowerment, and how Suzi transformed an industry by celebrating the power of color-and of women themselves.



























[book] MAYBE YOU SHOULD TALK TO SOMEONE
A Therapist, HER Therapist,
and Our Lives Revealed
By Lori Gottlieb
April 2019
HMH
From a New York Times best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a hilarious, thought-provoking, and surprising new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapist’s world—where her patients are looking for answers (and so is she).

One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose office she suddenly lands. As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients’ lives—a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a twenty-something who can’t stop hooking up with the wrong guys—she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell: about desire and need, guilt and redemption, meaning and mortality, loneliness and love.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is revolutionary in its candor, pulling back the curtain on the therapeutic process and offering the rarest of gifts: an entertaining, illuminating, and quite possibly life-changing account of our own mysterious lives and our power to transform them. With humor and warmth, Gottlieb reveals the ultimate truth: we are all human, and we grow in connection with others.



























The Jewish Founding Father:
Alexander Hamilton’s Hidden Life
by Andrew Porwancher, Phd.
(Univ of Oklahoma School of Law)
Harvard University Press
forthcoming 2019
Jewish …? most say no. Yes, he studied in a Jewish school... but he was Christian? Wasn't he? Porwancher seeks to prove otherwise. Why? Hamilton’s mother, Rachel Faucette, was married to Jewish merchant Johann Michael Lavien (aka Levine) in St. Croix in 1745, at a time that Danish law would have required her conversion to Judaism. She left him within a decade, a lived with James Hamilton in Nevis (BWI). She bore Alexander around 1755, and having been born out of wedlock, attended a Jewish school... either out of necessity since he was not baptised or because his mother was considered Jewish...













[book] The Post-Widget Society:
Economic Possibilities for
Our Children
by Lawrence H. Summers
May 2019
FS&G Books
From Professors Anita and Bob Summers son, former U.S. Sec of Treasury Lawrence H. Summers, a presentation of a new paradigm for thinking about the current economic and technological revolution

We are buffeted by the sense that everything is accelerating: Digital technology is changing the way we work, shop, and socialize. And yet for all the talk about disruptive innovations, economic growth is largely stagnant. We are told that with new technologies average citizens are empowered as never before, and yet wide swaths of the population feel powerless and can no longer count on stable careers and a better life for their children. As Lawrence H. Summers shows in The Post-Widget Society, these are the paradoxes that define the economic revolution that is transforming our world.

At the heart of this revolution are two dramatic developments in Western economies: the declining significance of widgets (mass-produced goods) and the rise of design goods (products that cost a lot to design but little to produce); and the controversial prospect of secular stagnation, the long-term phenomenon of negligible economic growth and depressed employment in a dynamic market economy. Summers’s trenchant analysis of these trends reveals that they have profound implications not only for the future of jobs and widening income inequality but also for the nature of the state and the very stability of society.

A bold, pathbreaking book by one of our most important economists, The Post-Widget Society is necessary reading for every American concerned about our economic and political future.
















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