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Welcome to our pages of Summer 2014, Spring 2014, Winter 2014, Fall 2013, Summer 2013, Spring 2013, Winter 2013, Fall 2012, and oh so many more Book Suggestions. For our Home Page, Please visit MyJewishBooks.com

SOME SUMMER 2014 BOOK READINGS

May 01, 2014: Ayelet Waldman reads from Love and Treasure at Chizuk Amuno Congregation in Baltimore, hosted with the Ivy Bookshop
May 13, 2014: Ione Skye reads from My Yiddish Vacation. B&N. Farmers' Market Los Angeles
May 18-23, 2014: International Writer’s Conference. Jerusalem, Israel
The writers from the US, Argentina, UK, Vietnam, Australia, Germany, France, and Colombia will include Nicole Krauss, Maria Kodama, Ayelet (“Ya’ari, Chabon”) Waldman, Nam Le, Jake Wallis Simons, Ruby Namdar, Jan-Philip Sendker, David Foenkinos, and Laura Restrepo. Israeli authors include Assaf Gavron, Eshkol Nevo, Amos Oz, David Grossman, A.B. Yehoshua, Meir Shalev, Sayed Kashua, Etgar Keret, Shimon Adaf, Leah Aini, Lini Lapid, Nir Baram, Oudah Basharat, Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, among others. May 19, 2014: Professor Emeritus Sternlicht (Syracuse) – author of Tenements - speaks at the LOC U.S. Library of Congress. Washington DC, 12 Noon
May 29, 2014: Cartoonist Roz Chast at the 92y.org. NYC UES
May 29, 2014: CD Release Party for Golem. GolemRocks.com Joe’s Pub NYC. NYC UES
May 29-31, 2014; BEA – NYC

June 02, 2014: Jack Devine reads from Good Hunting: An American Spymaster's Story. B&N NYC UES 86th/Lex
June 03, 2014: Tikkun Leil Shavuot. All Night Study. Worldwide. And also at the jccmanhattan.org/tikkun - featuring essayists Irwin Kula, Jospeh Telushkin, Steven Cohen, Alisa Solomon, Naftali Citron, David Ingbar, Alan Mintz, Jan Uhrbach, Liz Abzug, Arnold Eisen, Michael Paley, and more. June 10, 2014: Boris Fishman reads from his novel, A Replacement Life. B&N NYC UWS
June 10, 2014: Amar'e Stoudemire (who nearly played for Tel Aviv, and helped coach a Macabi team) reads from Cooking with Amar'e: 100 Easy Recipes for Pros and Rookies in the Kitchen. B&N Citicorp NYC
June 10, 2014: Senator and Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton promotes her book, HARD CHOICES. B&N Union Square NYC 11AM
June 11, 2014: Avery Corman (Kramer vs Kramer) reads from My Old Neighborhood: A Memoir. B&N NYC UWS
June 15, 2014: Laura Silver reads from KNISH. 92Y.org 2:30 PM Battery Place. NYC
June 23, 2014: Susan Jane Gilman reads from her debut novel: The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street. B&N NYC UWS
June 30, 2014: Joan Rivers reads from Diary of a Mad Diva. B&N NYC Union Square.
June 30, 2014: The 15th season of SCRIBBLERS ON THE ROOF launches with readings by authors Tova Mirvis and Ruchama Feuerman. Ansche Chesed rooftop. West 100th and West End Ave., NYC

July 07, 2014: The 15th season of SCRIBBLERS ON THE ROOF hosts Matthue Roth and Liana Finck discussing their graphic stories. My First Kafka and the Bintel Brief. West 100th and West End Ave., NYC
July 14. 2014: Join Joshua Feldman (The Book of Jonah) and Jay Neugeboren (The American Sun and Wind Moving Pictures Company, The Stolen Jew) in a reading with The 15th season of SCRIBBLERS ON THE ROOF. Ansche Chesed roof. West 100th and West End Ave., NYC
July 15, 2014: Daniel Silva reads from The Heist: A Novel (Gabriel Allon Series #14). B&N NYC Union Square
July 15, 2014: Book Launch in NYC for Mame Loshn. The Forverts Offices at 125 Maiden Lane, NYC. Hosted by Alec Burko and Amanda Miryem-Khaye Seigel
July 16, 2014: Eldridge Street Museum NYC is the setting for a book launch for THE ACROBAT by the late Celia Dropkin (Yiddish poetry in translation; she passed away over 55 years ago)
July 21, 2014: Join Elinor Lipman (I Can’t Complain: (All too) Personal Essays; The Inn at Lake Devine) and Barry Libin (The Mystery of the Milton Manuscript) in an outdoor rooftop reading with The 15th season of SCRIBBLERS ON THE ROOF. Ansche Chesed roof. West 100th and West End Ave., NYC
July 22, 2014: Oscar-winning Actress Lee Grant reads from I Said Yes to Everything: A Memoir (Lee Grant, also known as Lyova Haskell Rosenthal). B&N NYC UWS (down the street from where she grew up on Riverside Drive)
July 28. 2014: Join Owen Lewis (Sometimes Full of Daylight) and Eve Grubin (Morning Prayer) in readings with the 15th season of SCRIBBLERS ON THE ROOF. Ansche Chesed roof. West 100th and West End Ave., NYC







SELECTED MAY 2014 BOOKS
For more, check the Spring 2014 Page





[book] My Rebbe
by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
by Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz
May 2014
Shefa Maggid
In MY REBBE, celebrated author, genius, and thinker Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz shares his firsthand account of this extraordinary individual who shaped the landscape of twentieth-century religious life.
Written over 20 years with the admiration of a close disciple and the nuanced perceptiveness of a scholar, this biography-memoir inspires us to think about our own missions and aspirations for a better world
Includes a glossary and a family tree of Chabad leaders.
He writes, “this was not an easy book to write. On the one hand, the subject is vast: the Rebbe’s accomplishments have transformed the Jewish world. On the other hand, my feelings about the great spiritual figure were – and are – emotionally intimate. With many stops and starts, this book was some two decades in the making.”
Contents include: The Enigma of the Rebbe; What is a Holy Man?; Chasidism and Chabad; The Early Years; Religious Leadership; The Heart of the Movement; The Power of Outreach; Nurturing; The Rebbe’s Religious Discourses; Dealing with Opposition; The Rebbe’s Loneliness; Connections with the Divine; The World Beyond; The Rebbe’s Immense Spiritual Mission; and The Rebbe’s Legacy.
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[book] Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?
A Memoir Hardcover
In Graphic Form
by Roz Chast
May 2014
Bloomsbury USA
In her first memoir, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of her aging Jewish parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast’s memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.
When it came to her elderly mother and father, Roz held to the practices of denial, avoidance, and distraction. But when Elizabeth Chast climbed a ladder to locate an old souvenir from the “crazy closet”—with predictable results—the tools that had served Roz well through her parents’ seventies, eighties, and into their early nineties could no longer be deployed.
While the particulars are Chast-ian in their idiosyncrasies — an anxious father who had relied heavily on his wife for stability as he slipped into dementia and a former assistant principal mother whose overbearing personality had sidelined Roz for decades — the themes are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; managing logistics; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal care.
Her parents were one step below hoarders. Intellectuals, they were educators who had Roz late in their adult lives. They were unhappy with “The Place”, the senior living community in CT they moved to from Brooklyn when they could no longer live on their own.
An amazing portrait of two lives at their end and an only child coping as best she can, Can We Talk about Something More Pleasant will show the full range of Roz Chast’s talent as cartoonist and storyteller..
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[book] To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
A Novel
by Joshua Ferris
Spring 2014
Little, Brown
A big, brilliant, profoundly observed novel about the mysteries of modern life by National Book Award Finalist Joshua Ferris, one of the most exciting voices of his generation
Paul O'Rourke is a man made of contradictions: he loves the world, but doesn't know how to live in it. He's a Luddite addicted to his iPhone, a dentist with a nicotine habit, a rabid Red Sox fan devastated by their victories, and an atheist not quite willing to let go of God.
Then someone begins to impersonate Paul online, and he watches in horror as a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account are created in his name. What begins as an outrageous violation of his privacy soon becomes something more soul-frightening: the possibility that the online "Paul" might be a better version of the real thing. As Paul's quest to learn why his identity has been stolen deepens, he is forced to confront his troubled past and his uncertain future in a life disturbingly split between the real and the virtual.
At once laugh-out-loud funny about the absurdities of the modern world, and indelibly profound about the eternal questions of the meaning of life, love and truth, TO RISE AGAIN AT A DECENT HOUR is a deeply moving and constantly surprising tour de force.
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[book] Hitchhiking with Larry David
An Accidental Tourist's Summer of
Self-Discovery in Martha's Vineyard
by Paul Samuel Dolman
May 2014
Gotham
A memoir about a broken-hearted, middle-aged man who stumbles upon solace, meaning, and Larry David while hitchhiking his way around Martha’s Vineyard
One summer day on Martha’s Vineyard Paul Samuel Dolman was hitchhiking, and none other than Larry David pulled over and asked, “You’re not a serial killer or something, are you?” The comedic writer and actor from Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm not only gave Dolman a ride, but helped him find his way during his summer of soul-searching and hitchhiking.
Dolman found himself on Martha’s Vineyard that summer having made the catastrophic mistake of visiting “The Parental Asylum” in the wake of a painful breakup. His mother is welcoming, albeit senile and neurotically rigid. But his dad “only has the social energy to be nice to humans for about 10 minutes a day.” Desperately seeking companionship, Dolman begins hitchhiking around the island and meets a wide array of characters: the super-rich and the homeless, movie stars and common folk, and, of course, Mr. David. Astonishingly, it is Dolman’s growing friendship with the famous comedian that becomes the lodestar of his spiritual quest. (Yes, Larry David gets deep!)
Written with disarming honest humor and perfectly capturing Larry David’s unique comic genius, Hitchhiking with Larry David will leave readers simultaneously laughing and crying as they ponder the mystery and spirituality of life.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book









[book] KNISH
In Search of the Jewish Soul Food
(HBI Series on Jewish Women)
by Laura Silver
May 2014
When Laura Silver’s favorite knish shop went out of business, the native New Yorker sank into mourning, but then she sprang into action. She embarked on a round-the-world quest for the origins and modern-day manifestations of the knish.
The iconic potato pie leads the author from Mrs. Stahl’s bakery in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, to an Italian pasta maker in New Jersey—and on to a hunt across three continents for the pastry that shaped her identity. Starting in New York, she tracks down heirs to several knish dynasties and discovers that her own family has roots in a Polish town named Knyszyn.
With good humor and a hunger for history, Silver mines knish lore for stories of entrepreneurship, survival, and major deliciousness. Along the way, she meets Minnesota seniors who make knishes for weekly fundraisers, foodies determined to revive the legacy of Mrs. Stahl, and even the legendary knish maker’s granddaughters, who share their joie de vivre—and their family recipe.
Knish connections to Eleanor Roosevelt and rap music?
Die-hard investigator Silver unearths those and other intriguing anecdotes involving the starchy snack once so common along Manhattan’s long-lost Knish Alley.
In a series of funny, moving, and touching episodes, Silver takes us on a knish-eye tour of worlds past and present, thus laying the foundation for a global knish renaissance.

Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book










JUNE 2014 BOOKS



[book] REBBE
The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson,
the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History
by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
June 2014
Harper Wave
Includes a glossary of Hebrew and Yiddish terms. The inspiring story of the prominent yet deeply modest leader who rebuilt a dwindling post-holocaust community into the most influential Jewish organization in the world, the late Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
From a small synagogue In Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the late Rebbe Schneerson impacted the policies of U.S. presidents and politicians, counseled some of our greatest thinkers, and spread his teachings of love and righteousness to the far corners of the world. An ambassador for Jews globally, his role was unprecedented within a fragmented religion, comprised of diverse, often divided, sects. Many Jews—especially those involved in Chabad—believed that the Rebbe was the messiah while he was still alive.
Drawn from the Rebbe’s private correspondence, Rebbe is a rich and illuminating portrait of this remarkable man who was a devoted spiritual leader and tireless counselor; controversial advocate for women’s rights and community openness; and an accomplished scholar fluent in dozens of languages. Joseph Telushkin illuminates the Rebbe’s rich private life and chronicles his achievements, from his close bond with his congregants to his influence on presidents, including Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Throughout, Telushkin pays tribute to the Rebbe’s legacy—his teachings, of love, education, and respect—which have become engrained in millions of Jews and non-Jews alike.
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[book] Supersurvivors
The Surprising Link Between Suffering and Success
by David B. Feldman and Lee Daniel Kravetz
June 2014
Harper Wave
Pressure on coal makes diamonds. Does the crucible of challenges lead to success. Is that why Outward Bound works? Is that why Israel has high tech successes from post-Army college grads?
Starting where resiliency studies leave off, two psychologists explore the science of remarkable accomplishment in the wake of trauma, revealing the surprising principles that allow people to transform their lives and achieve extraordinary things.
Over four billion people worldwide will survive a trauma during their lives. Some will experience severe post-traumatic stress. Most will eventually recover and return to life as normal. But sometimes, survivors do more than bounce back. Sometimes they bounce forward.
These are the Supersurvivors—individuals who not only rebuild their lives, but also thrive and grow in ways never previously imagined. Beginning where resilience ends, David B. Feldman and Lee Daniel Kravetz look beyond the tenets of traditional psychology for a deeper understanding of the strength of the human spirit. What they have found flies in the face of conventional wisdom—that positive thinking may hinder more than help; that perceived support can be just as good as the real thing; and that realistic expectations may be a key to great success.
They introduce the humble but powerful notion of grounded hope as the foundation for overcoming trauma. The authors interviewed dozens of men and women whose stories serve as the counterpoint to the latest scientific research. Feldman and Kravetz then brilliantly weave these extraordinary narratives with new science, creating an emotionally compelling and thought-provoking look at what is possible in the face of human tragedy. Supersurvivors will reset our thinking about how we deal with challenges, no matter how big or small.
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[book] One Land, Two States:
Israel and Palestine as Parallel States
Edited by Mark LeVine and Mathias Mossberg
Essays by Jens Bartelson, Peter Wallensteen, Nimrod Hurvitz, Dror Zeevi, Hussein Agha, Ahmad Khalidi, Raja Khalidi, Raphael Bar-El, Liam O'Mara IV, Hiba Husseini, Eyal Megged
June 2014
University of California Press
BOOK COVER: One Land, Two States imagines a new vision for Israel and Palestine in a situation where the peace process has failed to deliver an end of conflict. “If the land cannot be shared by geographical division, and if a one-state solution remains unacceptable,” the book asks, “can the land be shared in some other way?” Leading Palestinian and Israeli experts along with international diplomats and scholars answer this timely question by examining a scenario with two parallel state structures, both covering the whole territory between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, allowing for shared rather than competing claims of sovereignty. Such a political architecture would radically transform the nature and stakes of the Israel-Palestine conflict, open up for Israelis to remain in the West Bank and maintain their security position, enable Palestinians to settle in all of historic Palestine, and transform Jerusalem into a capital for both of full equality and independence—all without disturbing the demographic balance of each state. Exploring themes of security, resistance, diaspora, globalism, and religion, as well as forms of political and economic power that are not dependent on claims of exclusive territorial sovereignty, this pioneering book offers new ideas for the resolution of conflicts worldwide.
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[book] Judaism in Transition
How Economic Choices Shape Religious Tradition
by Carmel Chiswick
(Research Professor of Economics at George Washington University) June 2014
Stanford
At the core of Judaism stands a body of traditions that have remained consistent over millennia. Yet, the practice of these rituals has varied widely across historical and cultural contexts.
In Judaism in Transition, Professor Carmel U. Chiswick draws on her Jewish upbringing, her journey as a Jewish parent, and her perspective as an Economist to consider how incentives affect the ways that mainstream American Jews have navigated and continue to manage the conflicting demands of everyday life and religious observance. Arguing that economics is a blind spot in our understanding of religion, Chiswick blends her personal experiences with economic analysis to illustrate the cost of Jewish participation—financially and, more importantly, in terms of time and effort.
Jewish practice costs. There are special foods and diets, memberships, modes of dress, schools, and charities to consider. You need to live near a community, and it might be a costly area.
Should you work Saturdays? Should you work for yourself or others? Should you be a radiologist with holidays off, or an OB/GYN?
The history of American Jews is almost always told as a success story in the secular world. Chiswick recasts this story as one of innovation in order to maintain a distinctive Jewish culture while keeping pace with the steady march of American life. She shows how TRADEOFFS, often made on an individual and deeply personal level, produce the brand of Judaism which predominates in America today. Along the way, Chiswick explores salient and controversial topics—from intermarriage to immigration, from egalitarianism to connections with Israel.
At once a portrait of American Jewish culture and a work that outlines how economic decisions affect religion, Judaism in Transition shows how changes in our economic environment will affect the Jewish community for decades to come..
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[book] HAPPY COW COOKBOOK
RECIPES FROM TOP-RATED
VEGAN RESTAURANTS AROUND THE WORLD
Edited by Eric Brent and Glen Merzer
Foreword by Emily Deschanel Blurb by Mayim Bialik
June 2014
Benbella
Sample amazing vegan dishes from around the world—right in your own kitchen.
HappyCow.com helps millions of people everywhere find delicious vegan and vegetarian cuisine across the globe through the site’s extensive database of restaurants and reviews. Now, Eric Brent, creator of HappyCow, and Glen Merzer, coauthor of Better Than Vegan and Food Over Medicine, bring the HappyCow concept home with a collection of nutritious and delicious dishes from top-rated vegan restaurants around the world.
Featuring recipes from many of the world's finest and most popular vegan restaurants, The HappyCow Cookbook shares the history and evolution of each restaurant, provides Q&As with the owners, and teaches you how to make some of their mouthwatering dishes.
With entrées like Blackbird Pizzeria’s Nacho Pizza, desserts such as Sublime Restaurant’s Apple Crumble Pie à la Mode, and drinks such as El Piano’s Granada Chai tea, HappyCow fans and newcomers alike will enjoy a selection of international gourmet vegan fare from the comfort of their own kitchens. The HappyCow Cookbook is a must-have guide for vegetarians, vegans, and those who simply want to experience some of the most delicious and healthy food on the planet..
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[book] Find It in the Talmud
An Encyclopedia of Jewish Ethics and Conduct
by Mordechai Judovits
June 2014
URIM
The Talmud—an ancient and seminal text central to Rabbinic Judaism—is the focal point of this reference book. With more than 6,000 entries, this book serves as a path finder for those interested in the Talmud and a useful tool for scholars when searching for a particular Talmudic subject. The book also contains stories, anecdotes, and sayings recorded in the Talmud while placing an emphasis on topics of ethics, morality, charity, decency, and proper.
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[book] Siegfried Sassoon
Soldier, Poet, Lover, Friend
by Jean Moorcroft Wilson
June 2014
Overlook
Years in the making, biographer and foremost scholar Jean Moorcroft Wilson has written the first complete biography of arguably the greatest English-language war poet. Hailed as “invaluable” by the Times and “thorough and perceptive” by the Observer, Siegfried Sassoon encompasses the poet’s complete life and works, from his patriotic youth that led him to the frontline, and flamboyant love affairs. This single-volume opus also includes never-before-published poems that have only just come to light through the author’s work. With over a decade’s research, and unparalleled access to Sassoon’s private correspondence, Wilson presents the complete portrait, both elegant and heartfelt, of an extraordinary man, and an extraordinary poet.
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[book] A Partner in Holiness
Deepening Mindfulness, Practicing Compassion
and Enriching Our Lives through the Wisdom
of Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev's Kedushat Levi
by Rabbi Jonathan P. Slater DMin,
Rabbi Nancy Flam MA, and Dr. Arthur Green
VOLUME ONE OF TWO
June 2014
Jewish Lights
The soul yearns to feel connected to something greater and to know happiness despite personal suffering and seemingly endless need. Surprisingly, the teachings of nineteenth-century Hasidic spiritual teachers offer a radically different Jewish theology that speaks directly to contemporary spiritual seekers whose faith has been shattered by both modernity and the Holocaust. These masters taught of interdependence, interconnectedness, selflessness, service and joy, anticipating the insights of contemporary science and twenty-first-century spirituality.
Mindfulness meditation, growing in popularity and influence throughout North America, directs practitioners to focus on their life experience in each moment. The spiritual practice offers the possibility of inner peace, fearlessness and expansive concern for the wellbeing of others.
These volumes bring the two together, providing a practical mindfulness method for applying the spiritual teachings of the Hasidic masters to everyday spiritual life. Covering the Five Books of Moses, they present accessible translations (many previously unavailable in English) of selections from Kedushat Levi, the Hasidic Torah commentary of Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev, one of the most beloved Hasidic leaders. His Torah commentary emphasizes our spiritual capacity to transform consciousness and so our life experience. The selections are paired with Rabbi Jonathan Slater's commentaries to help the reader understand their message and suggestions for practice, based in mindfulness, grounding them in a contemporary life..
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[book] Good Hunting
An American Spymaster's Story
by Jack Devine and Vernon Loeb
June 3, 2014
Crichton
"A sophisticated, deeply informed account of real life in the real CIA that adds immeasurably to the public understanding of the espionage culture—the good and the bad." —Bob Woodward Jack Devine ran Charlie Wilson’s War in Afghanistan. It was the largest covert action of the Cold War, and it was Devine who put the brand-new Stinger missile into the hands of the mujahideen during their war with the Soviets, paving the way to a decisive victory against the Russians. He also pushed the CIA’s effort to run down the narcotics trafficker Pablo Escobar in Colombia. He tried to warn the director of central intelligence, George Tenet, that there was a bullet coming from Iraq with his name on it. He was in Chile when Allende fell, and he had too much to do with Iran-Contra for his own taste, though he tried to stop it. And he tangled with Rick Ames, the KGB spy inside the CIA, and hunted Robert Hanssen, the mole in the FBI.
Good Hunting: An American Spymaster’s Story is the spellbinding memoir of Devine’s time in the Central Intelligence Agency, where he served for more than thirty years, rising to become the acting deputy director of operations, responsible for all of the CIA’s spying operations. This is a story of intrigue and high-stakes maneuvering, all the more gripping when the fate of our geopolitical order hangs in the balance. But this book also sounds a warning to our nation’s decision makers: covert operations, not costly and devastating full-scale interventions, are the best safeguard of America’s interests worldwide.
Part memoir, part historical redress, Good Hunting debunks outright some of the myths surrounding the Agency and cautions against its misuses. Beneath the exotic allure—living abroad with his wife and six children, running operations in seven countries, and serving successive presidents from Nixon to Clinton—this is a realist, gimlet-eyed account of the Agency. Now, as Devine sees it, the CIA is trapped within a larger bureaucracy, losing swaths of turf to the military, and, most ominous of all, is becoming overly weighted toward paramilitary operations after a decade of war. Its capacity to do what it does best—spying and covert action—has been seriously degraded.
Good Hunting sheds light on some of the CIA’s deepest secrets and spans an illustrious tenure—and never before has an acting deputy director of operations come forth with such an account. With the historical acumen of Steve Coll’s Ghost Wars and gripping scenarios that evoke the novels of John le Carré even as they hew closely to the facts on the ground, Devine offers a master class in spycraft.
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[book] Never Say a Mean Word Again
A Tale from Medieval Spain
by Jacqueline Jules
Illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhard
June 2014
WisdomTalesPress
Ages 4 - 8
No one ignores the grand vizier. The most important advisor in the royal court, he was considered the wisest man in the kingdom. He was also Samuel’s father. “Make sure Hamza never says a mean word to you again,” he had ordered Samuel.
What should Samuel do? He couldn’t disobey his father. But how would he make sure that Hamza never insulted him again? Perhaps train a monkey to hold Hamza’s lips closed, or give him some lemon juice to make his mouth pucker?
Inspired by a powerful legend of conflict resolution in Muslim Spain, Never Say a Mean Word Again is the compelling story of a boy who is given permission to punish an enemy. What will he do?

Based on a tale of a Jewish vizier to a Muslim monarch in Spain, and the vizier’s Jewish son, Samuel. .
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[book] A Partner in Holiness
Deepening Mindfulness, Practicing Compassion
and Enriching Our Lives through the Wisdom
of Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev's Kedushat Levi
by Rabbi Jonathan P. Slater DMin,
Rabbi Nancy Flam MA, and Dr. Arthur Green
VOLUME TWO OF TWO
June 2014
Jewish Lights
The soul yearns to feel connected to something greater and to know happiness despite personal suffering and seemingly endless need. Surprisingly, the teachings of nineteenth-century Hasidic spiritual teachers offer a radically different Jewish theology that speaks directly to contemporary spiritual seekers whose faith has been shattered by both modernity and the Holocaust. These masters taught of interdependence, interconnectedness, selflessness, service and joy, anticipating the insights of contemporary science and twenty-first-century spirituality.
Mindfulness meditation, growing in popularity and influence throughout North America, directs practitioners to focus on their life experience in each moment. The spiritual practice offers the possibility of inner peace, fearlessness and expansive concern for the wellbeing of others.
These volumes bring the two together, providing a practical mindfulness method for applying the spiritual teachings of the Hasidic masters to everyday spiritual life. Covering the Five Books of Moses, they present accessible translations (many previously unavailable in English) of selections from Kedushat Levi, the Hasidic Torah commentary of Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev, one of the most beloved Hasidic leaders. His Torah commentary emphasizes our spiritual capacity to transform consciousness and so our life experience. The selections are paired with Rabbi Jonathan Slater's commentaries to help the reader understand their message and suggestions for practice, based in mindfulness, grounding them in a contemporary life.
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[book] Mercy of a Rude Stream
The Complete Novels
by Henry Roth
Introduction by Joshua Ferris
June 2014
Liveright
This “landmark of the American literary century” (Boston Globe) is finally published as one volume, appearing with a brilliant new introduction.
When I think of this novel, I think of his portrayal of a weak Orthodox Jewish handshake. Simple words, an indelible image in my mind. Disavowing Call It Sleep, his widely celebrated masterpiece, as the work of another man, Henry Roth in 1979 began at the age of seventy-four to compose Mercy of a Rude Stream, a four-volume American epic, set between 1914 and 1928, for which he hoped to be most remembered. Hailed as “provocative as anything in the chapters of St. Augustine or Rousseau” (Los Angeles Times), Roth’s bildungsroman depicts the travails and sexual awakenings of an immigrant boy named Ira Stigman, whose twisted exploits are recalled by a haunted and chastened older man in fits of intensely lyrical, Proustian-like memory. Twenty years after the initial publication of the first volume of this “extraordinary work, one arguably unparalleled in American letters” (Philadelphia Inquirer), Mercy of a Rude Stream is, as Roth envisioned, finally unified, a powerful testament to the unflagging faith and literary genius of one of America’s greatest twentieth-century writers..
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[book] IN PRAISE OF INTRANSIGENCE
he Perils of Flexibility
by Richard H. Weisberg
(Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University)
June 2014
Oxford University Press
Flexibility is usually seen as a virtue in today's world. Even the dictionary seems to dislike those who stick too hard to their own positions. The thesaurus links "intransigence" to a whole host of words signifying a distaste for loyalty to fixed positions: intractable, stubborn, Pharisaic, close-minded, and stiff-necked, to name a few.
In this short and provocative book, constitutional law professor Richard H. Weisberg asks us to reexamine our collective cultural bias toward flexibility, open-mindedness, and compromise. He argues that flexibility has not fared well over the course of history. Indeed, emergencies both real and imagined have led people to betray their soundest traditions.
Weisberg explores the rise of flexibility, which he traces not only to the Enlightenment but further back to early Christian reinterpretation of Jewish sacred texts. He illustrates his argument with historical examples from Vichy France and the occupation of the British Channel Islands during World War II as well as post-9/11 betrayals of sound American traditions against torture, eavesdropping, unlimited detention, and drone killings.
Despite the damage wrought by Western society's incautious embrace of flexibility over the past two millennia, Weisberg does not make the case for unthinking rigidity. Rather, he argues that a willingness to embrace intransigence allows us to recognize that we have beliefs worth holding on to -- without compromise..
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[book] WHIPPING BOY
WHAT LIES WITHIN US
My Forty Year Search for My 12 Year Old Bully
by Allen Kurzweil
June 2014
Harper
You probably know Kurzweil by his children’s books about a potato chip, mysteries about a watch heist in Israel, or that famous potato chip experiment book.
Kurzweil is the child of immigrants from Austria. He grew up in Europe and the US, and graduated from Yale and Rome.
But he lived with something inside him. The memory of a bully. Don’t we all. I mean, I remember the kid who robbed me and the kid who tore a sleeve off my winter coat. But there are few who search out the bully 40 years later.
MORE DESCRIPTION TO COME
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[book] The Sixteenth of June
A Novel
by Maya Lang
June 16, 2014
Scribner
A century ago, James Joyce wrote about Leo Bloom, a Jewish man on a walk on June 16, - Bloomsday.
Here is a finely observed, wry social satire set in Philadelphia over the course of a single day, this soaring debut novel paints a moving portrait of a family at a turning point.
Leopold Portman, a young IT manager a few years out of college, dreams of settling down in Philly’s bucolic suburbs and starting a family with his fiancée, Nora. A talented singer in mourning for her mother, Nora has abandoned a promising opera career and wonders what her destiny holds. Her best friend, Stephen, Leopold’s brother, dithers in his seventh year of graduate school and privately questions Leo and Nora’s relationship. On June 16, 2004, the three are brought together—first for a funeral, then for an annual Bloomsday party. As the long-simmering tensions between them come to a head, they are forced to confront the choices of their pasts and their hopes for the future.
Clever, lyrical, and often hilarious, The Sixteenth of June is a feat of storytelling and a sharp depiction of modern American family life. It delves into the tensions and allegiances of friendships, the murky uncertainty of early adulthood, and the yearning to belong. This remarkable novel offers a nod to James Joyce's celebrated classic, Ulysses, and it is about the secrets we keep and the lengths we’ll go to for acceptance and love.
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[book] ALL FALL DOWN
A NOVEL
BY JENNIFER WEINER
June 2014
Atria
Has your drinking or drug use become a problem?
Allison Weiss got her happy ending—a handsome husband, an adorable little girl, a job she loves, and a big house in the suburbs. But when she’s in the pediatrician’s office with her daughter and a magazine flips open to a quiz about addiction, she starts to wonder whether her use of prescription pills is becoming a problem. On the one hand, it’s just prescription medication, the stuff her doctors give her. Is a Percocet at the end of a hard day really different than a glass of wine? Is it such a bad thing to pop a Vicodin after a brutal Jump & Pump class…or after your husband ignores you?
Back in the car, with her daughter safely buckled behind her, Allison opens the Altoid tin in her purse and slips a chalky white oval underneath her tongue. The pill unties her knotted muscles, erases the grime and ugliness of the city, soothes her as she frets about the truth of her looking-good life: that her husband’s becoming distant, that her daughter is acting out, that her father’s early Alzheimer’s is worsening and her mother’s barely managing to cope. She tells herself that the pills let her make it through her days…but what if her ever-increasing drug use, a habit that’s becoming expensive and hard to hide, is turning into her biggest problem of all?
All Fall Down is the story of a woman’s slide into addiction and struggle to find her way back up again. With a sparkling comedic touch and tender, true-to-life characterizations, this tale of empowerment and redemption is Jennifer Weiner’s most poignant, timely, and triumphant story yet.
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[book] THE ICE CREAM QUEEN OF ORCHARD STREET
A NOVEL
BY SUSAN JANE GILMAN
June 2014
Atria
In 1913, little Malka Treynovsky flees Russia with her family. Bedazzled by tales of gold and movie stardom, she tricks them into buying tickets for America. Yet no sooner do they land on the squalid Lower East Side of Manhattan, than Malka is crippled and abandoned in the street.
Taken in by a tough-loving Italian ices peddler, she manages to survive through cunning and inventiveness. As she learns the secrets of his trade, she begins to shape her own destiny. She falls in love with a gorgeous, illiterate radical named Albert, and they set off across America in an ice cream truck. Slowly, she transforms herself into Lillian Dunkle, "The Ice Cream Queen" -- doyenne of an empire of ice cream franchises and a celebrated television personality.
Lillian's rise to fame and fortune spans seventy years and is inextricably linked to the course of American history itself, from Prohibition to the disco days of Studio 54. Yet Lillian Dunkle is nothing like the whimsical motherly persona she crafts for herself in the media. Conniving, profane, and irreverent, she is a supremely complex woman who prefers a good stiff drink to an ice cream cone. And when her past begins to catch up with her, everything she has spent her life building is at stake.
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[book] Big Little Man
In Search of My Asian Self
by Alex Tizon
June 2014
HMH
An award-winning writer takes a groundbreaking look at the experience and psyche of the Asian American male. Alex Tizon landed in an America that saw Asian women as sexy and Asian men as sexless. Immigrating from the Philippines as a young boy, everything he saw and heard taught him to be ashamed of his face, his skin color, his height.
?His fierce and funny observations of sex and the Asian American male include his own quest for love during college in the 1980s, a tortured tutorial on stereotypes that still make it hard for Asian men to get the girl. Tizon writes: "I had to educate myself on my own worth. It was a sloppy, piecemeal education, but I had to do it because no one else was going to do it for me."
?And then, a transformation. First, Tizon’s growing understanding that shame is universal: that his own just happened to be about race. Next, seismic cultural changes – from Jerry Yang’s phenomenal success with Yahoo! Inc., to actor Ken Watanabe’s emergence in Hollywood blockbusters, to Jeremy Lin’s meteoric NBA rise.
?Finally, Tizon’s deeply original, taboo-bending investigation turns outward, tracking the unheard stories of young Asian men today, in a landscape still complex but much changed for the Asian American man.
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[book] The Chutzpah Imperative
Empowering Today's Jews for a Life That Matters
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein
Valley Beth Shalom in Encino
June 2014
Jewish Lights
Judaism assigns a uniquely important role to the human being, the role of partner with God in creating a world of oneness. This theme, the singular message of Judaism, runs throughout the Jewish tradition, but it has been largely lost to our modern day's leaning toward Jewish ethnic identity and culture.
In this clarion call for a new way to "do Judaism," award-winning spiritual leader Rabbi Edward Feinstein urges us to recover this message of Jewish self-empowerment or chutzpah to reshape the world. Feinstein begins with the early chapters of Genesis. He then describes how the idea was encoded into the Jewish national narrative through biblical law, and how the Rabbis of Talmud embraced that conviction as the center of Judaism, demonstrating the Rabbis sense of their own self-empowerment to reshape their religious tradition in response to the destruction of the Temple. Turning to the mystics of medieval Spain and the European Hasidic tradition, Feinstein shows how chutzpah found its expression in the traditions of Kabbalah. Finally, he explores the theme of empowerment in modernity, as the centerpiece of Zionism and post-Holocaust thought. Inspiring Jews of all denominations, Feinstein presents a bold reminder of the Jewish responsibility to repair the world and a new way to conceive of Jewish community life, Jewish education, prayer and religious activism.
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[book] THE GOD(s) OF JUDAISM
A Theological and Historical Journey
By Rabbi Or N. Rose
Center for Global Judaism at Hebrew College
Spring 2014
Jewish Lights
Judaism is widely regarded as the world's first great monotheistic tradition. What is not widely known is that Jewish thinkers throughout the ages have held very different views of God. Is the Divine all-powerful and all-knowing? What about evil? Can human actions impact God?
From the Hebrew Bible to Maimonides to Abraham Joshua Heschel, these questions have been answered in a variety of ways. This innovative and original anthology takes the reader on an intellectual and spiritual journey into the heart of the Jewish religious imagination. Each contributor an expert in a specific area of Jewish thought focuses on several major theological issues, explaining these concepts in a clear and thought-provoking manner, while also providing the reader with the appropriate historical context. Themes include:
Hebrew Bible
Rabbinic Literature
Medieval Jewish Philosophy
Kabbalah
Hasidism
Twentieth-century Jewish Thought
Jewish Theology Today
This singular volume deals with the subject of God both chronologically and thematically..
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[book] MOSES AND THE PATH TO LEADERSHIP
BY ZVI GRUMET (Rabbi, Lookstein Center and Pardes)
May 1, 2014
URIM PUBLICATIONS
Many believe that the stories surrounding the birth of Moses mark him from the cradle as being destined for leadership. Others argue that the track record of Moses as a leader leaves much to be desired, and that without the constant prompting by God, he would never have survived. The central proposition in this book is that neither of these polar positions reflects the profound transformations and growth of the experiences of Moses and that it is only within the turbulent space of change that he becomes a great leader, but not without his fair share of missteps along the way. It is precisely within, and from, those mistakes that Moses learns and ultimately becomes a model leader. This book traces this path to leadership and readers are given close readings of the text as stepping stones to developing themes and patterns.
As Rabbi Daniel Landes of the Pardes Institte wrote, Dr. Zvi grumet’s superb meditation on Moses’s leadership employs his real setbacks… learning and building from humiliating defeat… His exciting analysis of the Spy’s Evil Report and the social upheava; in its wake alone is worth buying and reading the book...”
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[book] BAR MITZVAH
A HISTORY
By MICHAEL HILTON
June 2014
JPS
The Jewish coming-of-age ceremony of bar mitzvah was first recorded in thirteenth-century France, where it took the form of a simple statement by the father that he was no longer responsible for his thirteen-year-old son. Today, bar mitzvah for boys and bat mitzvah for girls are more popular than at any time in history and are sometimes accompanied by lavish celebrations.
How did bar mitzvah develop over the centuries from an obscure legal ritual into a core component of Judaism? How did it capture the imagination of even non-Jewish youth? Bar Mitzvah, A History is a comprehensive account of the ceremonies and celebrations for both boys and girls. A cultural anthropology informed by rabbinic knowledge, it explores the origins and development of the most important coming-of-age milestone in Judaism. Rabbi Michael Hilton has sought out every reference to bar mitzvah in the Bible, the Talmud, and numerous other Jewish texts spanning several centuries, extracting a fascinating miscellany of information, stories, and commentary.
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[book] Why Can't They Get Along?:
A Trialogue Between a Muslim, a Jew and a Christian
by Dan Cohn-Sherbok
Daewoud El-Alami and
George Chryssides
June 2014
Lion Hudson
A fascinating dialoge between three authoritative writers exploring the question Why do Christians, Muslims, and Jews not get along, since they all stem from one man, Abraham?
Three men of faith – one Jew, one Muslim and one Christian – debate the differences between them. The result is a compelling discussion: What do their faiths teach on the big issues of life? What can be done to make for better relationships in the future? What can be done on the big global areas of conflict and tension? How can they get along? For hundreds of years, many of the biggest global conflicts have been fuelled by religious hatred and prejudice. It is evident, in the early part of the 21st century that not much has changed. Whether it is fundamentalist Muslims waging jihad in Afghanistan and Pakistan, or the perpetual low scale hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians, to the man in the street, religion seems to make people more likely to fight each other, not less. Why is this? Why Can't They Get Along? is a powerful and much needed account. Current, passionate and compelling
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[book] To Unify a Nation
My Vision for the Future of Israel
by MK Rabbi Dov Lipman (Author)
with a foreword by Yair Lapid
May 2014
URIM PUBLICATIONS
Exploring the issues of the separation between religion and state in Israel, this book by Knesset parliament member Rabbi Dov Lipman lays out his vision for the future. Lipman was elected to the Yesh Atid party, which, though largely secular, calls for a more moderate and open form of Judaism. His is a voice of reason in the religious debates and battles that have threatened to undermine Jewish unity in Israel and around the world. Lipman has observed firsthand the polarization, extremism, and discrimination that have been on the upswing in Israel, and his book examines specific practical issues rather than general theological questions in the Israeli political scene. As the only ultra-Orthodox member of the current coalition, he offers a unique insight into the internal societal struggles of the Jewish community as well as the hope for a better future for both Israel and Jews around the world.
MK Rabbi Dov Lipman is an ordained Orthodox rabbi and the first United States-born member of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in more than 30 years. He lives in Beit Shemesh, 17 miles west of Jerusalem. Yair Lapid is a former leading Israeli journalist who announced his entry into Israeli politics in 2012. In the January 2013 national elections, his new party Yesh Atid gained 19 seats, making it the second largest party in the Knesset and Lapid one of the most powerful political figures in the country.
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[book] FIELDS OF EXILE
A NOVEL
BY NORA GOLD
May 2014
Dundurn
From Nora Gold, a winner of the Canadian Jewish Book Award
Judith is a young woman who lived in Israel for a decade, was a peace activist there, and defines herself as "left-wing," yet in graduate school back in Canada, she discovers that vilification of Israel is the expected norm. When the keynote speaker for Anti-Oppression Day turns out to be a supporter of terrorist attacks not only against Israeli military targets, but also against Israeli civilians and Jews around the world, Judith protests. As a result, she is marginalized by the faculty and her peers, and her life begins to unravel. The say they are just anti Zionist, but they are anti Jewish
This is a moving novel about love, betrayal, and the courage to stand up for what one believes as well as a searing indictment of the hypocrisy and intellectual sloth that threatens the integrity of our society..
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[book] DIARY OF A JEWISH MUSLIM
AN EGYPTIAN NoVEL
By Kamal Ruhayyim, Phd
Translated by Sarah Enany
May 2014
OXFORD
Egyptian Muslims and Jews were not always at odds. Before the Arab-Israeli wars, before the mass exodus of Jews from Egypt, there was harmony.
Offering an intimate yet panoramic view of the easy coexistence of Muslims, Jews, and Christians in an old neighborhood of Cairo, this sweeping yet personal novel, spanning the 1930s to the 1960s, accompanies Galal, a young boy with a Jewish mother and a Muslim father, through his childhood and boyhood in the vibrant popular quarter of Daher. With his schoolboy crushes and teen rebellions, Galal is deeply Egyptian, knit tightly with his mother, father, and grandfather in old Cairo-a middle-class social fabric of manners and morals, values and traditions that cheerfully incorporates and as cheerfully transcends religion, but a fabric that is about to be torn apart by a bigger world of politics that will also put Galal's very identity to the test..
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JUNE 2014 BOOKS



[book] The Late Starters Orchestra
by Ari L. Goldman
June 2014
Algonquin
If you thought a fiddler on a roof was in a precarious position, imagine what happens when a middle-aged professor with a bad back takes up the cello. Ari Goldman (Living a Year of Kaddish) hasn’t played in twenty-five years, but he’s decided to give the cello one last chance. First he secures a seat in his eleven-year-old son’s youth orchestra, and then he’s ready for the big time: the Late Starters Orchestra of New York City—a bona fide amateur string orchestra for beginning or recently returning adult players.
We accompany Goldman to LSO rehearsals (their motto is “If you think you can play, you can”) and sit in on his son’s Suzuki lessons (where we find out that children do indeed learn differently from adults). And we wonder whether Goldman will be good enough to perform at his next birthday party. Coming to the rescue is the ghost of Goldman’s very first cello teacher, Mr. J, who continues to inspire and guide him—about music and more—through this enchanting midlife journey.
The Late Starters Orchestra reminds us that with a band of friends beside us, anything is possible.
TIPS:
Leave your instrument out to remind you to play it ;you will never compete with kids, find like minded adults to play with; consider every note of the song. Never perform, only rehearse; practice makes the impossible possible; goto concerts; spend your money on the instructor, not the instrument; learn a favorite song and play it to death.
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[book] Adam
A Novel
by Ariel Schrag
June 2014
Mariner
When Adam Freedman--a skinny, immature, and lackluster high school student from Piedmont, California--is sent by his parents to join his older sister Casey in New York City (Brooklyn), he is hopeful that his life is about to change. And it sure does.
It is the Summer of 2006--the year of gay marriage demonstrations and the rise of transgender rights--and Casey has thrust herself into New York's fringe lesbian, sexual, and political scene. Accustomed to being a social outcast, Adam now finds himself part of a wild subculture complete with underground clubs, drinking, and friendly women who take a surprisingly intense interest in him.
It takes some time for him to realize many in this new crowd assume he is transgendered - a boy who was born a girl - or else why would he always be around?
But then he meets Gillian, the red-haired girl of his dreams. If only she weren't a lesbian! And if only she didn't believe he was really a girl. Should he tell her? Should he stop wearing ace bandages with tamp down his non-existent breasts?
Ariel Schrag's scathingly funny and poignant debut novel puts a fresh spin on questions of love, attraction, self-definition, and what it takes to be at home in your own skin.
Sublots about Ethan, the trust fund roommate, and June, the roommate who is in love with Casey.
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[book] HOW NOT TO BE WRONG
The Power of Mathematical Thinking
By Jordan Ellenberg, PhD (Wisconsin)
June 2014
Penguin
The Freakonomics of math—a math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our hands
The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is: Math isn’t confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do—the whole world is shot through with it.
Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It’s a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to the airport? What does “public opinion” really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer?
How Not to Be Wrong presents the surprising revelations behind all of these questions and many more, using the mathematician’s method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman—minus the jargon. Ellenberg chases mathematical threads through a vast range of time and space, from the everyday to the cosmic, encountering, among other things, baseball, Reaganomics, daring lottery schemes, Voltaire, the replicability crisis in psychology, Italian Renaissance painting, artificial languages, the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the coming obesity apocalypse, Antonin Scalia’s views on crime and punishment, the psychology of slime molds, what Facebook can and can’t figure out about you, and the existence of God.
Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need. Math, as Ellenberg says, is “an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.” With the tools of mathematics in hand, you can understand the world in a deeper, more meaningful way. How Not to Be Wrong will show you how.Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] POKING A DEAD FROG
Conversation with Today’s Top Comedy Writers
By Mike Sacks
June 2014
Penguin
If you can’t make it as a comedy writer… just write books about comics
What makes people laugh? How do you know if a joke will “click” with the audience? And how do you get a job as a comedy writer, anyway? In Poking a Dead Frog, top humor writers like Adam McKay (Step Brothers, Talladega Nights), Michael Schur (The Office, Parks and Recreation), and Glen Charles (Cheers, Taxi)—many of whom have never before been interviewed at this length, or at all—offer insight into their influences and creative processes, their self-doubt and breakthroughs, and how they managed to succeed in the mysterious, unpredictable business of comedy. Packed with behind-the-scenes stories, from a typical day in the writers’ room at the Onion to why a sketch does or doesn’t make it onto Saturday Night Live, Poking a Dead Frog is a must-read for comedy buffs, writers, and pop culture junkies
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[book] A Replacement Life
A Novel
by Boris Fishman
June 2014
Harper
A singularly talented writer makes his literary debut with this provocative, soulful, and sometimes hilarious story of a failed journalist asked to do the unthinkable: Forge Holocaust-restitution claims for old Russian Jews in Brooklyn, New York.

Yevgeny Gelman, grandfather of Slava Gelman, “didn’t suffer in the exact way” he needs to have suffered to qualify for the restitution the German government has been paying out to Holocaust survivors. But suffer he has—as a Jew in the war; as a second-class citizen in the USSR; as an immigrant to America. So? Isn’t his grandson a “writer”?
High-minded Slava wants to put all this immigrant scraping behind him. Only the American Dream is not panning out for him. Century, the legendary magazine where he works as a researcher, wants nothing greater from him. Slava wants to be a correct, blameless American — but he wants to be a lionized writer even more.
So, when he writes one forged story to honor his grandmother, and others ex-Soviet Jews find out about his skill, Slava’s turn as the Forger of South Brooklyn teaches him that not every fact is the truth, and not every lie a falsehood.
It takes more than law-abiding to become an American; it takes the same self-reinvention in which his people excel. Intoxicated and unmoored by his inventions, Slava risks exposure. Cornered, he commits an irrevocable act that finally grants him a sense of home in America, but not before collecting a price from his family.
A Replacement Life is a dark, moving, and beautifully written novel about family, honor, and justice.
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[book] GAYSIA
Pronounced geisha
Adventures in the Queer East
by Benjamin Law
May 2014
Cleis Press
Benjamin Law considers himself pretty lucky to live in Australia: he can hold his boyfriend's hand in public and lobby his politicians to recognize same-sex marriage. But as the child of immigrants, he's also curious about how different life might have been had he grown up in Asia. So he sets off to meet his fellow Gaysians.
Law takes his investigative duties seriously, going nude where required in Balinese sex resorts, sitting backstage for hours with Thai ladyboy beauty contestants, and trying Indian yoga classes designed to cure his homosexuality. The characters he meets — from Tokyo's celebrity drag queens to HIV-positive Burmese sex workers and Malaysian ex-gay Christian fundamentalists to Chinese gays and lesbians who marry each other to please their parents — all teach him something new about being queer in Asia. At once entertaining and moving, Gaysia is a quest by a leading Australian writer. Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] The Fixer The Notorious Life of a
Front-Page Bail Bondsman
by Ira Judelson with Daniel Paisner
June 2014
Grand Central Publishing New York’s foremost bail bondsman with “over $30 million on the street” comes the story of a modern-day “fixer” who walks a fine line between hustler and humanitarian with clients ranging from the rich and famous to the mafia and gangs of New York.
With from-the-gut prose, Ira Judelson sheds light on the highs and lows of the bondsman life. But Judelson is no process server. He sees himself as a sort of modern day “macher”—using his juice as a bail bondsman to help friends old and new out of jams wherever he can. He is also a keenly observant and wildly charismatic insider who’s seen it all. Prepare to be shocked, but also informed in The Fixer as Judelson reveals the unwritten laws of the courtroom and even prison—not to mention the shameless activities of his unbelievable list of clients, including former New York Giants Plaxico Burress and Lawrence Taylor; rappers Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Ja Rule, Lil’ Wayne, and DMX; comedian Katt Williams; notorious Manhattan madam Kristin Davis; and former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. You’ll see why the New York Times describes Judelson as “an inevitable entry in the BlackBerrys of New York defense lawyers, an ATM for desperate rappers, actors, athletes, executives, and madams with pocketbooks much fatter than his.” The Fixer is a rollicking narrative that follows Judelson as he learns the ins and outs of the down-and-dirty world of bonds: which judge might let you slide, which ones have zero tolerance, which lawyers do pro bono for the right case, and the cops and DAs who believe in second chances. Judelson illuminates a world almost entirely opaque to the general public, but also entertains and informs with the inside scoop on the underbelly of the justice system.
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[book] Summer House with Swimming Pool
A Novel
by Herman Koch
June 2014
Hogarth
The blistering, compulsively readable new novel from Herman Koch, author of the instant New York Times bestseller The Dinner. The Dutch writer will be familiar to those who saw him at a recent Israel Book Fair
When a medical procedure goes horribly wrong and famous actor Ralph Meier winds up dead, Dr. Marc Schlosser needs to come up with some answers. After all, reputation is everything in this business. Personally, he’s not exactly upset that Ralph is gone, but as a high profile doctor to the stars, Marc can't hide from the truth forever. 
It all started the previous summer. Marc, his wife, and their two beautiful teenage daughters agreed to spend a week at the Meier’s extravagant summer home on the Mediterranean. Joined by Ralph and his striking wife Judith, her mother, and film director Stanley Forbes and his much younger girlfriend, the large group settles in for days of sunshine, wine tasting, and trips to the beach. But when a violent incident disrupts the idyll, darker motivations are revealed, and suddenly no one can be trusted. As the ultimate holiday soon turns into a nightmare, the circumstances surrounding Ralph’s later death begin to reveal the disturbing reality behind that summer’s tragedy. 
Featuring the razor-sharp humor and acute psychological insight that made The Dinner an international phenomenon, Summer House with Swimming Pool is a controversial, thought-provoking novel that showcases Herman Koch at his finest..
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[book] The People’s Republoic of Amnesia
Tiananmen Revisited
25 Years Later
By Louisa Lim (NPR, BBC)
June 2014
Oxford University Press
People ask how people forget world events, massacres, wars, and more.
But how many people recall Tiananmen Square ro know the real events
Despite its emergence from backward isolation into a dynamic world economic power, a quarter-century after the People's Army crushed unarmed protestors - labeled anti-revolutionaries - in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, the defining event of China's modern history remains buried. Memory is dangerous in a country built to function on national amnesia. A single act of public remembrance might expose the frailty of the state's carefully constructed edifice of accepted history, one kept aloft by strict censorship, blatant falsehood, and willful forgetting. Though the consequences of Tiananmen Square are visible everywhere throughout China, what happened there has been consigned to silence.
In The People's Republic of Amnesia, NPR's China correspondent Louisa Lim offers an insider's account of this seminal tragedy, revealing the enormous impact it had on China and the reverberations still felt today. Official hypocrisy and the government's obsession with maintaining stability and silence have deepened June 4th's impact on the nation's psyche. Lim interweaves portraits of eight individuals whose lives have been shaped by June 4 - including the two women who started Tiananmen Mothers, one of the first and most prominent grassroots organizations outside the Chinese government's control; a student survivor involved in the protests; a soldier who took part in the suppression; and a high-ranking government administrator who played a role in ordering the tanks into the square. In the process she offers a textured, intimate, and haunting look at the national tragedy and an unhealed wound.
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[book] THE PURSUIT OF THE NAZI MIND
HITLER, HESS, AND THE ANALYSES
BY DANIEL HESS, PhD (Birkbeck)
June 2014
OXFORD
The story of how psychoanalysis was used in the war against Nazi Germany - in the crucial quest to understand the Nazi mind.
Daniel Pick brings both the skills of the historian and the trained psychoanalyst to weave together the story of clinical encounters with leading Nazis and the Allies' broader interpretations of the Nazi high command and the mentality of the wider German public who supported them.
Following the bizarre capture of Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess in 1941, Pick follows closely the story of how leading British psychiatrists assessed their new charge, in an attempt to understand both the man himself and the psychological bases of his Nazi convictions. At the same time, he uncovers the story of how a team of American officers working for the OSS, the forerunner of the CIA, were engaged in an attempt to understand Hitler's personality from afar, using the theories and techniques of Sigmund Freud.
Drawing upon a large cache of archives on both sides of the Atlantic, Pick asks what such psychoanalytical and psychiatric investigations set out to do, showing how Freud's famous 'talking cure' was harnessed to the particular needs of military intelligence during the war and the task of post-war reconstruction that followed. Looking beyond this, he then shows just how deeply post-war Western understandings of how minds work and groups operate were influenced by these wartime attempts to interpret the psychopathology of Nazism..
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[book] Listen Out Loud
A Life in Music
Managing McCartney, Madonna, and Michael Jackson
by Ron Weisner with Alan Goldsher
June 2014
Lyons Press
Even hardcore music fans don’t know the name Ron Weisner . . . but they should. A high-powered manager for over four decades, Ron worked alongside Madonna, Paul McCartney, Steve Winwood, Gladys Knight, Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, and, most notably, Michael Jackson. He saw the King of Pop through his game-changing multi-platinum albums Thriller and Off the Wall. He watched M.J.'s prickly father Joe run roughshod over both his son and industry execs. He fought back as the industry tried to steer Jackson in a musical direction that would have derailed his career. And he saw Michael suffer through devastating press coverage that turned the troubled singer's world upside down.
Featuring an introduction from Quincy Jones and commentary from Winwood, Knight, and some behind-the-scenes record label power brokers, Weisner's illuminating memoir Listen Out Loud underscores the destructive changes to the industry during his forty-year career, including the shift in focus from artistic integrity to the pursuit of cold hard numbers. It's an intimate glimpse into the music world from a man with a keen eye, sharp ears, and a big heart.
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IN MEMORY OF RABBI (REB) ZALMAN SCHACTER-SHALOMI, who passed away on July 3
[book] THE DECEMBER PROJECT
An ExtraOrdinary Rabbi and a
Skeptical Seeker Confront
Life’s Greatest Mystery
March 2014
HarperOne
In the tradition of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Last Lecture, New York Times bestselling author Sara Davidson met every Friday with 89-year-old Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, the iconic founder (or birth midwife) of the Jewish Renewal movement, to discuss what he calls The December Project.
"When you can feel in your cells that you're coming to the end of your tour of duty," he said, "what is the spiritual work of this time, and how do we prepare for the mystery?"
Davidson, who has a seeker's heart and a skeptic's mind, jumped at the chance to spend time with him. She'd long feared that death would be a complete annihilation, while Reb Zalman felt certain that "something continues." He said he didn't want to convince her of anything. "What I want is to loosen your mind." Through their talks, he wanted to help people "not freak out about dying," and enable them to have a more heightened and grateful life.
For two years, they met every week, and this is Davidson's memoir of what they learned and how they changed. Interspersed with their talks are sketches from Reb Zalman's extraordinary life. He barely escaped the Nazis, became an Orthodox rabbi in the US, was married four times and had eleven children, one from a sperm donation to a lesbian rabbi, and formed friendships with leaders of other faiths, such as Thomas Merton and the Dalai Lama. Breaking with the Orthodox, he founded the Jewish Renewal Movement to encourage people to have a direct experience of God.
During their time together, Davidson was nearly killed by a suicide bomb, and Reb Zalman struggled with a steep decline in health. Together they created strategies to deal with pain and memory loss, and found tools to cultivate simplicity, fearlessness, and joy—at any age. Davidson includes twelve exercises so that readers may experience what she did—a sea change in facing what we all must face: mortality.
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[book] From Age-Ing to Sage-Ing
A Revolutionary Approach to Growing Older
NOW IN PAPERBACK
by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
and Ronald S. Miller
June 3, 2014
Grand Central Publishing
When the late Rebbe Zalman Schacter-Shalomi turned sixty, he pondered his role. He thought of the Jewish texts and human aging. He recalled that the Temple priests served til age 50 and then trained the next generation. This influenced one of his magnum opus books: From Aging to Sage-ing. What is our role as we age ?

Over two decades ago, beloved and respected rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (who passed away on July 3, 2014) felt an uneasiness. He was growing older, and fears about death and infirmity were haunting him. So he decided to embark on mission to get to the bottom of his fears. Through a series of events that included a vision quest in a secluded cabin and studying with Sufi masters, Buddhist teachers and Native-American shamans, Reb Zalman found a way to turn aging into the most meangful and joyous time in his life.

In this inspiring and informative guide, Reb Zalman shares his wisdom and experience with readers. He shows readers how to create an aging process for themselves that is full of adventure, passion, mystery, and fulfillment, rather than anxiety. Using scientific research--both neurological and psychological-- Reb Zalman offers techniques that will expand horizons beyond the narrow view of "the present" into a grand and enduring eternity. By harnessing the power of the spirit, as well as explaining exactly how to become a sage in their own community, he gives readers a helpful and moving way to use their own experiences to nurture, heal, and perhaps even save a younger generation from the prison of how we typically regard aging.

In this updated version of his popular book, Reb Zalman has added a brand new introductory chapter that provides insight into the shifts that have taken place in our culture since the first edition of this book came out in the 1990s.
Reb Zalman speaks candidly about the role the 78 million (now aging) Baby Boomers are currently playing in how we think about aging. He provides new inspiring ideas about the importance of an elder's role in shaping society, and explains how elders can embrace the power they have to provide value and wisdom to those around them. Additionally he has added a concluding chapter in which he shares his own experience with aging and the time he calls "The December Years."
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You probably remember the author William Stadiem for his earlier book – MONEYWOOD – which NYT book critic Janet Maslin said was blatant Jew-baiting. Tht ais for you the reader to decide about his previous book. In JET SET, we meet a lot of famed Jet Setters, a few of whom were of the Jewish faith.
We meet Conrad Hilton, Sari (Zsa Zsa) Gabor, Oleg Cassini, Pan Am flight attendants, the Habana Hilton, Sinatra, Pucci, Igor Cassini, Eddie Gilbert, Jack Warner, Harry Winston, Abe Fortas, Simon Rifkind, Temple Fielding in his Brioni suit, Arthur Frommer, Juan Trippe, Cubby Broccoli, Harry Saltzman, Sam Spiegel, Mary Quant, Trujillo (the “Friend to Israel?”), playboy Porfirio Rubirosa Ariza (who trashed more hotels than Keith Moon), Bella Darvi, The Wall St Express (Belgium to NYC), and even the Palestinian terrorists like Leila Khaled who closed the jetsetting era with murders.
[book] JET SET
The People, the Planes, the Glamour,
and the Romance in Aviation's Glory Years
by William Stadiem
June 2014
Ballantine
In October 1958, Pan American World Airways began making regularly scheduled flights between New York and Paris, courtesy of its newly minted wonder jet, the Boeing 707. Almost overnight, the moneyed celebrities of the era made Europe their playground. At the same time, the dream of international travel came true for thousands of ordinary Americans who longed to emulate the “jet set” lifestyle.
Bestselling author and Vanity Fair contributor William Stadiem brings that Jet Age dream to life again in the first-ever book about the glamorous decade when Americans took to the skies in massive numbers as never before, with the rich and famous elbowing their way to the front of the line. Dishy anecdotes and finely rendered character sketches re-create the world of luxurious airplanes, exclusive destinations, and beautiful, wealthy trendsetters who turned transatlantic travel into an inalienable right. It was the age of Camelot and “Come Fly with Me,” Grace Kelly at the Prince’s Palace in Monaco, and Mary Quant miniskirts on the streets of Swinging London. Men still wore hats, stewardesses showed plenty of leg, and the beach at Saint-Tropez was just a seven-hour flight away.
Jet Set reads like a who’s who of the fabulous and well connected, from the swashbuckling “skycoons” who launched the jet fleet to the playboys, moguls, and financiers who kept it flying. Among the bold-face names on the passenger manifest: Juan Trippe, the Yale-educated WASP with the Spanish-sounding name who parlayed his fraternity contacts into a tiny airmail route that became the world’s largest airline, Pan Am; couturier to the stars Oleg Cassini, the Kennedy administration’s “Secretary of Style,” and his social climbing brother Igor, who became the most powerful gossip columnist in America—then lost it all in one of the juiciest scandals of the century; Temple Fielding, the high-rolling high priest of travel guides, and his budget-conscious rival Arthur Frommer; Conrad Hilton, the New Mexico cowboy who built the most powerful luxury hotel chain on earth; and Mary Wells Lawrence, the queen bee of Madison Avenue whose suggestive ads for Braniff and other airlines brought sex appeal to the skies.
Like a superfueled episode of Mad Men, Jet Set evokes a time long gone but still vibrant in American memory. This is a rollicking, sexy romp through the ring-a-ding glory years of air travel, when escape was the ultimate aphrodisiac and the smiles were as wide as the aisles.

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[book] The Glass Closet
Why Coming Out is Good Business
by Sir John Browne (Former CEO of BP)
June 2014
HarperBusiness
Sean Strub writes on Amazon that, “The Glass Closet is an excellent insight into what it means to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender in a corporate environment. John Browne shares key lessons through relating incidents experienced by LGBT people who work in business, ranging from blatant discrimination and stigmatization to more subtle expressions of heterosexual privilege that even straight people who are pro equality will find instructive. But the narrative that ties the book together, to which Browne returns throughout the book, is his own journey that eventually results in a spectacular scandal-infused outing that was not his choice. The themes of shame and fear are familiar, but written in an interesting way, from the perspective of a fast-rising corporate star. But the part of the book that most struck me was how reflective Browne became after he was outed in such a painful manner ("I wish I had been brave enough to come out earlier…") and then shares and explains his understanding how a corporate workplace that is safe and supportive of LGBT is good business, ultimately leading to greater profitability. The book is well-written, very readable, carrying me from chapter to chapter with ease, thorough (the sections on transgender issues are addressed in a sophisticated and appropriate manner) and all that much more interesting because it is coming from an unlikely activist voice. This is the first book I've read about LGBT issues in the workplace that is truly current, reflecting the vast changes in the cultural from even the past few years. A corporate HR department that doesn't make The Glass Closet required reading for their team is an HR office that is lagging behind.”
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Over the past year, I had the opportunity to attend several Jewish dance compositions at Sarah Lawrence College, some of them by Yehuda Hyman, the choreographer, so this book made for an interesting read.
[book] DANCING JEWISH
Jewish Identity in American Modern
and Postmodern Dance
by Rebecca Rossen
(University of Texas at Austin)
June 3, 2014
Oxford University Press
While Jews are commonly referred to as the "people of the book," American Jewish choreographers have consistently turned to dance as a means to articulate personal and collective identities; tangle with stereotypes; advance social and political agendas; and imagine new possibilities for themselves as individuals, artists, and Jews. Dancing Jewish delineates this rich history, demonstrating that Jewish choreographers have not only been vital contributors to American modern and postmodern dance, but that they have also played a critical and unacknowledged role in the history of Jews in the United States.
A dancer and choreographer, as well as an historian, author Rebecca Rossen offers evocative analyses of dances while asserting the importance of embodied methodologies to academic research.
Featuring over fifty images, a companion website, and key works from 1930 to 2005 by a wide range of artists - including David Dorfman, Dan Froot, David Gordon, Hadassah, Margaret Jenkins, Pauline Koner, Dvora Lapson, Liz Lerman, Sophie Maslow, Anna Sokolow, and Benjamin Zemach - Dancing Jewish offers a comprehensive framework for interpreting performance and establishes dance as a crucial site in which American Jews have grappled with cultural belonging, personal and collective histories, and the values that bind and pull them apart.
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[book] The Tailors of Tomaszow:
A Memoir of Polish Jews
by Rena Margulies Chernoff and Allan Chernoff
2014
Texas Tech University Press
TTUpress.org
Preserving the collective memory of a community that is no more Seven decades after the Nazis annihilated the Jewish community of Tomaszow-Mazowiecki, Poland, comes a gripping eyewitness narrative told by one of the youngest survivors of the Holocaust, as well as through first-hand accounts of other Tomaszow survivors. This unique communal memoir presents a rare view of Eastern European Jewry, before, during, and after World War II. It is both the memoir of a child and of a lost Jewish community, an unvarnished story in which disputes, controversy, and scandal all play a role in capturing the true flavor of life in this time and place.
Nearly 14,000 Jews, one-third of the town’s population, resided in Tomaszow-Mazowiecki before World War II, many making their living as tailors and seamstresses. Only 250 of them survived the Holocaust, in part because of their skill with a needle and thread.
Engaging and highly accessible, The Tailors of Tomaszow is a powerful resource for educators and a compelling read for anyone wishing to gain a deeper, more personal understanding of Eastern European Jewry and the Holocaust.
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JULY 2014 BOOKS



[book] LIKE NO OTHER
By Una LaMarche
July 2014
Razorbill YA Young Adult
ON DOZENS OF SUMMER READING LISTS
Fate brought them together. Will life tear them apart?
Devorah Blum is a consummate good girl who has never challenged the ways of her strict Hasidic upbringing. Jaxon Hunte is a fun-loving, West Indian book-smart Straight-A nerd – who wants to be smooth - who has never been comfortable around girls (unless you count his four younger sisters). They've spent their entire lives in Brooklyn, on opposite sides of the same street. Their paths never crossed . . . until one day, they did. When a hurricane strikes the Northeast, the pair becomes stranded in an elevator together, where fate leaves them no choice but to make an otherwise risky connection. Though their relation is strictly forbidden, Devorah and Jax arrange secret meetings and risk everything to be together. But how far can they go? Just how much are they willing to give up?
In the timeless tradition of West Side Story, this thoroughly modern take on romance will inspire laughter, tears, and the belief that love can happen when and where you least expect it.
Note: you might get pissed off when Devorah's hasidic brother in law calls Jaxon a piece of trash, or when Jaxon's boss at a fast food restaurant says hasidim are different and don;t like “us”... but it is an honest portrait of current Brooklyn. And if you think that the Shomrim beating Jaxon bloody as if he is Rodney King doesnt ring true, then read the papers about the latest arrest of Shomrim who beat and blinded a non white kid in Brooklyn.
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[book] Mame-loshn (Yiddish Edition)
By Nahum Stutchkoff
July 2014
Nahum Stutchkoff's program "Mame-loshn" aired Sunday afternoons on the "Forverts" radio station WEVD in New York in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In "Mame-loshn" he made accessible to the broad public the great riches of Yiddish phraseology included in his Thesaurus of the Yiddish Language. Stutchkoff is ever entertaining and informative, a wonderful resource for advanced students and all those who wish to deepen their knowledge of the language.
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FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY:
[book] Founding Faith
How Our Founding Fathers Forged
a Radical New Approach to Religious Liberty
by Steven Waldman
Random House trade paperback
WAS AMERICA ALWAYS SO OPEN TO RELIGIONS? NO
WAS THERE ALWAYS SEPARATion BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE? NO WAY
Did you know that a Baptist congregation in CT was angry with President Jefferson since he did not have national days of prayer and fasting as other Presidents proclaimed?
Did you know that a woman was executed in Boston Commons for becoming a Quaker?
The culture wars have distorted the dramatic story of how Americans came to worship freely. Many activists on the right maintain that the United States was founded as a “Christian nation.” Many on the left contend that the First Amendment was designed to boldly separate church and state. Neither of these claims is true, argues Beliefnet.com editor in chief Steven Waldman. With refreshing objectivity, Waldman narrates the real story of how our nation’s Founders forged a new approach to religious liberty.
Founding Faith vividly describes the religious development of five Founders. Benjamin Franklin melded the Puritan theology of his youth and the Enlightenment philosophy of his adulthood. John Adams’s pungent views on religion stoked his revolutionary fervor and shaped his political strategy. George Washington came to view religious tolerance as a military necessity. Thomas Jefferson pursued a dramatic quest to “rescue” Jesus, in part by editing the Bible. Finally, it was James Madison who crafted an integrated vision of how to prevent tyranny while encouraging religious vibrancy.
The spiritual custody battle over the Founding Fathers and the role of religion in America continues today. Waldman at last sets the record straight, revealing the real history of religious freedom to be dramatic, unexpected, paradoxical, and inspiring.
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TRADITION was not the opening song for Fiddler. Jerome Robbins hated the first song. After arguing with Harnick and Bock, Bock blurted out Tradition. Did you know the Butcher had a great song in Fiddler? It was cut because the center of focus had to be on Tevye, and the song became TO LIFE.
[book] SHELDON HARNICK
HIDDEN TREASURES: 1949 - 2013
Featuring Audra McDonald (Artist), Charlotte Rae (Artist), David Baker (Artist), Jerry Bock (Artist), Danny Meehan (Artist), Brian d'Arcy James (Artist), Margery Grey (Artist), Sheldon Harnick (Artist), Buster Davis (Artist)
Format: Audio CD
2014
Ever wonder how songwriters come up with a musical? You get a fantastic glimpse into the process with Sheldon Harnick: Hidden Treasures (1949-2013) from Harbinger Records. Culled from Harnick's personal archives, this two-disc set covers his career from his early days when he was contributing material to Broadway revues to his later big hits, like Fiorello! and Fiddler on the Roof. A lot of the tracks are of songs that went unused or were cut from musicals, such as one that Harnick wrote with his partner Jerry Bock to open "Fiddler" (hint: It's not "Tradition") and a beautiful ballad that the men wrote for Tenderloin, "I Wonder What It's Like." The CDs are complemented by a substantial booklet with notes written by Harnick himself, making it feel like you're sitting down for a one-on-one with a great man of the theater while you're enjoying this splendid collection. --Broadway Direct
With a clutch of new original cast albums from this season's Broadway musicals crowding the counter, I made the mistake of tearing open the wrapping of "Sheldon Harnick: Hidden Treasures, 1949-2013" [Harbinger]. Looking at the content list within the booklet, I made the further mistake of picking a track that I needed to hear immediately. I've spent the rest of my time this week listening to the 52 selections on two discs. All those new cast albums will just have to wait. --Steven Suskin, June 2014

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[book] PRISONERS OF WAR: SEASON ONE
A DVD
The Series on which HOMELAND is based
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Shout! Factory
Bonus: An Open Wound. The Making of the series
After 17 years in captivity, three Israeli soldiers are finally returned to their families: one of them in a coffin. The first season of this award-winning and controversial series follows the former captives and their families as they try to reconnect with each other. But the adjustment is painful, and when secrets of the years gone by begin coming to light, betrayal, resentment and suspicion threaten to destroy their lives all over again.
This deeply moving, intense and thrilling series was adapted into the acclaimed drama Homeland.
Feature all 10 episodes from Season One. Three DVD set
Since 2011, the number 1 drama in Israel. Starring Yoran Tolledano, Yael Abecassis, Ishai Golan, Mili Avital, Assi Cohen and Adi Ezroni.
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[book] The New Arabs
How the Millennial Generation
is Changing the Middle East
by Juan Cole
July 2014
Simon and Schuster
The renowned blogger and Middle East expert Juan Cole illuminates the role of today’s Arab youth—who they are, what they want, and how they will affect world politics.
Beginning in January 2011, the revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests, riots, and civil wars that comprised what many call “the Arab Spring” shook the world. These upheavals were spearheaded by youth movements, and yet the crucial role they played is relatively unknown. Middle East expert Juan Cole is here to share their stories.
For three decades, Cole has sought to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context. In The New Arabs he outlines the history that led to the dramatic changes in the region, and explores how a new generation of men and women are using innovative notions of personal rights to challenge the authoritarianism, corruption, and stagnation that had afflicted their societies.
Not all big cohorts of teenagers and twenty-somethings necessarily produce movements centered on their identity as youth, with a generational set of organizations, symbols, and demands rooted at least partially in the distinctive problems besetting people of their age. The Arab Millennials did. And, in a provocative and optimistic argument about the future of the Arab world, The New Arabs shows just how they did it.
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[book] MAKING DAVID INTO GOLIATH
How The World Turned Against Israel
By Joshua Muravchik
Fellow, SAIS Johns Hopkins
July 2014
perseus
During the Six Day War of 1967, polls showed that Americans favored the Israelis over the Arabs by overwhelming margins. In Europe, support for Israel ran even higher. In the United Nations Security Council, a British resolution essentially gave Israel the terms of peace it sought and when the Arabs and their Soviet supporters tried to override the resolution in the General Assembly, they fell short of the necessary votes.
Fast forward 40 years and Israel has become perhaps the most reviled country in the world. Although Americans have remained constant in their sympathy for the Jewish state, almost all of the rest of the world treats Israel as a pariah.
What caused this remarkable turnabout? Making David into Goliath traces the process by which material pressures and intellectual fashions reshaped world opinion of Israel. Initially, terrorism, oil blackmail, and the sheer size of Arab and Muslim populations gave the world powerful inducements to back the Arab cause. Then, a prevalent new paradigm of Leftist orthodoxy, in which class struggle was supplanted by the noble struggles of people of color, created a lexicon of rationales for taking sides against Israel. Thus, nations can behave cravenly while striking a high-minded pose in aligning themselves on the Middle East conflict..
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[book] I Said Yes to Everything
A Memoir
by Lee Grant
Oscar-winning actress
July 2014
Blue Rider Press
Born Lyova Haskell Rosenthal in New York City, actress Lee Grant spent her youth accumulating more experiences than most people have in a lifetime: from student at the famed Neighborhood Playhouse to member of the legendary Actors Studio; from celebrated Broadway star to Vogue “It Girl.” At age twenty-four, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Detective Story, and a year later found herself married and a mother for the first time, her career on the rise.
And then she lost it all. (One reason was her blacklisting)


The book opens with Rosenthal's parents. Her father was a graduate of Columbia and the beloved leader of the Jewish “Y” in the Bronx. Her mother came to the Y to teach ballet, fell off her chair during the interview with Rosenthal, and ended up marrying him after he lifted her up from the floor. Lee (Grant) was born and inherited her parents intellect and creativity.

Later, as an adult, when her name landed on the Hollywood blacklist, her offers for film and television roles ground to a halt; then her marriage fell apart (the Communism was due to her husband's involvement in the movement).
Finding reserves of strength she didn’t know she had, Grant took action against anti-Communist witch hunts in the arts. She threw herself into work, accepting every theater or teaching job that came her way. She met a man ten years her junior and began a wild, liberating fling that she never expected would last a lifetime.

After twelve years of fighting the blacklist, she was finally exonerated. With courage and style, Grant rebuilt her life on her own terms: first stop, a starring role on Peyton Place, and then leads in Valley of the Dolls, In the Heat of the Night, and Shampoo, for which she won her first Oscar.
Set amid the New York theater scene of the fifties and the star-studded parties of Malibu in the seventies, I Said Yes to Everything evokes a world of political passion and movie-star glamour. Grant tells endlessly delightful tales of costars and friends such as Warren Beatty, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, and Sidney Poitier, and writes with the verve and candor befitting such a seductive and beloved star.
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[book] The Acrobat
By the late Celia Dropkin
July 2014
Tebot Bach
elia Dropkin (1887-1956) was a Yiddish poet. The explicitly sexual imagery and themes of Celia Dropkin's poems redefined the ways modern Yiddish poetry could depict relationships between women and men. Beautifully crafted lyrics, Dropkin's poems undo the poetic conventions implicit in their very forms and, with their anger and passion, call into question societal assumptions about love. These poems open up a woman's psyche in a voice that sounds contemporary today. Best known for her poetry, Dropkin also published short stories and was an accomplished visual artist.
if you are in New York City on July 16, 2014, visit the Eldridge Street Synagogue Museum for a book launch party. Translators Faith Jones, Jennifer Kronovet and Samuel Solomon bring the works of Lower East Side Yiddish poet Celia Dropkin to an English-speaking audience. Their keen translation captures the lyrical and emotional quality of Dropkin’s poems, which were originally written in the 1920s and 1930s. Jones and Solomon will read from the book.
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[book] My Old Neighborhood Remembered
A Memoir
by Avery Corman
July 2014
Barricade
My Old Neighborhood Remembered is a lyrical remembrance of neighborhood life that has vanished from the culture.
Best-selling author Avery Corman vividly recreates the vibrant, colorful neighborhood where he grew up – in the Bronx of the 1940s and 1950s. He recalls candy stores and bookmakers, egg creams and double feature movies, street games like stickball and Johnny- on-the-pony, school days of a different era, social mores that have disappeared.
His was the generation of children of the home front during World War II, and he recounts how the war was embedded in daily life, and how children became literate through newspaper coverage of the war, and through Dick and Jane and comic books. He remembers in his neighborhood a deep sense of community and shared experience.
My Old Neighborhood Remembered is a memoir that is urban history. Featured are 16 vintage photographs. Avery Corman also discusses the factors that altered the Bronx, in a decline that was particularly rapid and vast, before the area began to rebuild.
As the author of Kramer vs. Kramer, a common assumption has been that Avery Corman was himself divorced; he was not. He was, however, a child of divorce at a time and place when divorce was rare, an experience woven through the narrative.
My Old Neighborhood Remembered is told with the storytelling skills that have made Avery Corman a critically acclaimed author whose books have been published throughout the world
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[book] LENA FINKLE'S MAGIC BARREL
A Graphic Novel
By Anya Ulinich
July 2014
Penguin Random House
A darkly funny graphic novel from the acclaimed author of Petropolis
Ulinich earned her literary stripes with her debut novel, Petropolis, and gained wide recognition for her “textured characters” (BUST Magazine) and “beautiful, far-ranging voice” (Gary Shteyngart). Ulinich’s long-awaited second work of fiction, the graphic novel Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel, evokes Louis C.K.’s sensibilities and Amy Winehouse’s longing and anguish—often in the same frame—as Ulinich turns her sharp eye toward the strange, sometimes unmooring world of “grown-up” dating.
After fifteen years of marriage, thirty-seven-year-old Lena embarks on a string of online dates and receives a brutally eye-opening education in love, sex, and loss while raising her two teenage daughters.
With references to Bernard Malamud and Chekhov along the way, this is a smart, funny story told beautifully through Ulinich’s text and drawings.
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[book] The Angel of Losses
A Novel
by Stephanie Feldman
July 2014
ecco
The Tiger’s Wife meets A History of Love in this inventive, lushly imagined debut novel that explores the intersections of family secrets, Jewish myths, the legacy of war and history, and the bonds between sisters.
When Eli Burke dies, he leaves behind a mysterious notebook full of stories about a magical figure named The White Rebbe, a miracle worker in league with the enigmatic Angel of Losses, protector of things gone astray, and guardian of the lost letter of the alphabet, which completes the secret name of God.
When his granddaughter, Marjorie, discovers Eli’s notebook, everything she thought she knew about her grandfather—and her family—comes undone. To find the truth about Eli’s origins and unlock the secrets he kept, she embarks on an odyssey that takes her deep into the past, from 18th century Europe to Nazi-occupied Lithuania, and back to the present, to New York City and her estranged sister Holly, whom she must save from the consequences of Eli’s past.
Interweaving history, theology, and both real and imagined Jewish folktales, The Angel of Losses is a family story of what lasts, and of what we can—and cannot—escape.
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A STELLAR SEQUEL TO THE MISSING FILE
[book] A Possibility of Violence
A Thriller Mystery Novel
by D. A. Mishani
July 2014
Harper
Haunted by the past and his own limitations, Israeli Detective Avraham Avraham must stop a criminal ruthless enough to target children in this evocative and gripping tale of mystery and psychological suspense that is the follow-up to The Missing File, the acclaimed first novel in D. A. Mishani’s literary crime series that was shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger Award.
An explosive device is found in a suitcase near a daycare center in a quiet suburb of Tel Aviv. A few hours later, a threat is received: the suitcase was only the beginning.
Inspector Avraham Avraham, back in Israel after a much-needed vacation, is assigned to the investigation. Tormented by the trauma and failure of his past case, Avraham is determined not to make the same mistakes—especially with innocent lives at stake. He may have a break when one of the suspects, a father of two, appears to have gone on the run. Is he the terrorist behind the threat? Is he trying to escape Avraham’s intense investigation? Or perhaps he’s fleeing a far more terrible crime that no one knows has been committed?
No matter how much Avraham wants to atone for the past, redemption may not be possible—not when he’s entangled in a case more deceptive and abominable than any he’s ever faced.
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[book] ALL I LOVE AND KNOW
A Novel
By Judith Frank
July 2014
Wm. Morrow
Told with the storytelling power and emotional fidelity of Wally Lamb, this is a searing drama of a modern American family on the brink of dissolution, one that explores adoption, gay marriage, and love lost and found.
For years, Matthew Greene and Daniel Rosen have enjoyed a quiet domestic life together in Northampton, Massachusetts. Opposites in many ways, they have grown together and made their relationship work. But when they learn that Daniel’s twin brother and sister-in-law have been killed in a bombing in Jerusalem, their lives are suddenly, utterly transformed.
In dealing with their families and the need to make a decision about who will raise the deceased couple’s two children, both Matthew and Daniel are confronted with challenges that strike at the very heart of their relationship. What is Matthew’s place in an extended family that does not completely accept him or the commitment he and Daniel have made? How do Daniel’s questions about his identity as a Jewish man affect his life as a gay American? Tensions only intensify when they learn that the deceased parents wanted Matthew and Daniel to adopt the children—six-year-old Gal, and baby Noam.
The impact this instant new family has on Matthew, Daniel, and their relationship is subtle and heartbreaking, yet not without glimmers of hope. They must learn to reinvent and redefine their bond in profound, sometimes painful ways. What kind of parents can these two men really be? How does a family become strong enough to stay together and endure? And are there limits to honesty or commitment—or love?
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[book] The Heist
A Novel
(A Gabriel Allon Mystery)
by Daniel Silva
July 2014
Harper
Gabriel Allon, art restorer and occasional spy, searches for a stolen masterpiece by Caravaggio in #1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva’s latest action-packed tale of high stakes international intrigue.
Sometimes the best way to find a stolen masterpiece is to steal another one
Master novelist Daniel Silva has thrilled readers with sixteen thoughtful and gripping spy novels featuring a diverse cast of compelling characters and ingenious plots that have taken them around the globe and back—from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East. His brilliant creation, Gabriel Allon—art restorer, assassin, spy—has joined the pantheon of great fictional secret agents, including George Smiley, Jack Ryan, Jason Bourne, and Simon Templar.
Following the success of his smash hit The English Girl, Daniel Silva returns with another powerhouse of a novel that showcases his outstanding skill and brilliant imagination
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[book] Diary of a Mad Diva
by Joan Rivers
July 2014
THIS IS FROM THE INSIDE FLAP:
Anais Nin, Anne Frank and Sylvia Plath wrote the world’s most famous diaries.
And where are they today?
Dead.
But the world’s OTHER great diarist, Joan Rivers, is alive and kicking. And kvetching.


RELEASED JUST WEEKS BEFORE THE TRAGEDY:
THIS JOAN RIVERS LATEST BOOK

This is an intimate and enriching glimpse into the mind of the hardest working comedienne I know.
When her daughter (Penn grad) Melissa gives her a diary for CHRISTMAS (are you fucking serious??), at first Joan is horrified — who the hell does Melissa think she is? That fat pig, Bridget Jones? But as Joan, being both beautiful and introspective, begins to record her day-to-day musings, she realizes she has a lot to say and say and criticize and say some more
About everything. And everyone
The result?
A vicious and always hilarious look at the everyday life of the ultimate diva who could have decorated Versailles had she lived two centuries ago and been French. Follow Joan on a family vacation in Mexico and on trips between New York and Los Angeles where she mingles with the stars, never missing a beat as she delivers blistering critiques on current events, and excoriating insights about life, pop culture, and celebrities (from A to D list), all in her relentlessly funny signature style.
This is the Diary of a Mad Diva. For the first time in a century, a diary by someone that’s actually both worth reading and worth suing.
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See also:
[book] JOAN RIVERS:
A PIECE OF WORK
ON DVD






















[book] Helena Rubinstein:
The Woman Who Invented Beauty
by Michèle Fitoussi
Translated by Kate Bignold and Lakshmi Ramakrishnan Iyer
July 2014
"This vivid account pops with fascinating detail and reads like fiction. Wonderfully, it isn't."—Elle
She understood women. She understood beauty. And she started a revolution.
Helena Rubinstein was born in 1872 into a poor Polish Jewish family in Krakow's Kazimierz Jewish section at the end of the nineteenth century; by the time of her death in 1965 she had built a cosmetics empire that spanned the world. At the age of 24 she set off for Australia with a parasol, 12 jars of face cream and a lot of chutzpah. Her scientific approach to beauty was an instant sensation. Women couldn't get enough of her innovative advice on skincare, and her beauty products were constantly sold out. This is her amazing life story.

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[book] All The World
Universalism, Particularism and the High Holy Days
(Prayers of Awe)
by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman PhD, HUC/JIR
July 2014
Jewish Lights
Rosh Hashanah is just one of two surviving Jewish new years from antiquity, the other being the month in which Passover falls. The two are exactly six months apart, proper symbolism of the age-old Jewish struggle to balance two contrasting principles: universalism and particularism. Passover's central theme is the particularistic tale of the Jewish People released from servitude in Egypt to fulfill its historic destiny. The message of Rosh Hashanah, by contrast, is the universalistic definition of that destiny, the role that every Jew must play simply by virtue of being human, and the role of Judaism in helping Jews play that role with proper passion and commitment.
All the World combines the particularistic concern for Israel as a People called by God with the universalistic proclamation that Israel is called for universal ends. It assembles some forty contributors—scholars, rabbis, artists and thinkers from Canada, France, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, the UK and USA—to launch the crucial discussion of what the High Holy Days have to say about universalism and particularism in Judaism.
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[book] UNRULY PLACES
Lost Spaces, Secret Cities
And Other Inscrutable Grographies
By Alastair Bonnett
July 2014
HMH
The real-life answers to Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, Unruly Places explores the most extraordinary, off-grid, offbeat places on the planet. Alastair Bonnett’s tour of the planet’s most unlikely micro-nations, moving villages, secret cities, and no man’s lands shows us the modern world from surprising new vantage points, bound to inspire urban explorers, off-the-beaten-trail wanderers, and armchair travelers. He connects what we see on maps to what’s happening in the world by looking at the places that are hardest to pin down: inaccessible zones, improvised settlements, multiple cities sharing the same space.
Consider Sealand, an abandoned gun platform off the English coast that a British citizen claimed as his own sovereign nation, issuing passports and making his wife a princess. Or Baarle, a patchwork city of Dutch and Flemish enclaves where crossing the street can involve traversing national borders. Or Sandy Island, which appeared on maps well into 2012 despite the fact it never existed. ?
Illustrated with original maps and drawings, Unruly Places gives readers a new way of understanding the places we occupy, including Twayil Aby Jarwal.
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[book] YOU ARE NOT MUCH USE TO ANYONE
A NOVEL
BY DAVID SHAPIRO, Esq 2B
July 2014
New Harvest
David is a freshly minted NYU grad who’s working a not-quite-entry-level job, falling in love, and telling his parents he’s studying for the LSAT. He starts a Tumblr blog, typing out posts on his BlackBerry under his desk—a blog that becomes wildly popular and brings him to the attention of major media (The New York Times) as well as the White House. But his outward fame doesn’t quell his confusion about the world and his direction in it.
This semiautobiographical debut novel is a coming-of-age story perfect for our time. In A Sense of Direction author Gideon Lewis-Kraus’s words, “If Tao Lin had been born to Gary Shteyngart’s parents and spent his early twenties slaving for pageviews at NewYorker.com, he would have written something like this, the Bright Lights, Big City of the click-here-now generation.”
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[book] The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl
How Two Brave Scientists Battled Typhus
and Sabotaged the Nazis
by Arthur Allen
July 2014
WW Norton
From a surrealistic lab in wartime Poland comes one of the great untold accounts of moral and intellectual heroism of World War II.
Few diseases are more gruesome than typhus. Transmitted by body lice, it afflicts the desperate: refugees, soldiers, and ghettoized peoples. The Nazis, who equated the louse with “parasitic, subhuman” Jews, so feared the disease that they granted special status to an eccentric Polish scientist named Rudolf Weigl, the only one who could make an effective vaccine. In his laboratory, Weigl hid members of the intelligentsia, protecting them from the Gestapo. Employing mathematicians, writers, doctors, and other thinkers, Weigl’s lab became an epicenter of intellectual activity and resistance.
Among Weigl’s assistants was Ludwik Fleck, a gifted Jewish immunologist later sent to Buchenwald, where he deceived the Nazis and undermined their sadistic medical trials.
Drawing on extensive research and interviews with survivors, Arthur Allen tells a harrowing story of two brave scientists, a Christian and a Jew, shattered by the war, who nevertheless put their training to the best possible use, at the highest personal risk..
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[book] DOUBLE AGENT
The First Hero of World War II
and How The FBI Outwitted and
Destroyed a Nazi Spy Ring
July 2014
Scribner
The never-before-told tale of the German-American who spearheaded a covert mission to infiltrate New York’s Nazi underground in the days leading up to World War II—the most successful counterespionage operation in US history.
From the time Adolf Hitler came into power in 1933, German spies were active in New York. In 1937, a German national living in Queens stole the blueprints for the country’s most precious secret, the Norden Bombsight, delivering them to the German military two years before World War II started in Europe and four years before the US joined the fight. When the FBI uncovered a ring of Nazi spies in the city, President Franklin Roosevelt formally declared J. Edgar Hoover as America’s spymaster with responsibility for overseeing all investigations. As war began in Europe in 1939, a naturalized German-American was recruited by the Nazis to set up a radio transmitter and collect messages from spies active in the city to send back to Nazi spymasters in Hamburg. This German-American, William G. Sebold, approached the FBI and became the first double agent in the Bureau’s history, the center of a sixteen-month investigation that led to the arrest of a colorful cast of thirty-three enemy agents, among them a South African adventurer with an exotic accent and a monocle and a Jewish femme fatale, Lilly Stein, who escaped Nazi Vienna by offering to seduce US military men into whispering secrets into her ear.
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[book] This Movie Will Require Dinosaurs
by C. W. Neill
July 2014
Perigee
With This Movie Will Require Dinosaurs, C.W. Neill provides a unique and rare glimpse into the psyche and creative process of a struggling screenwriter. From the most basic of introductory scenes, to gigantic blockbuster action films, C.W.'s imagination spans across all genres and emotions.
And he's never even made it to page 2.
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[book] CORRELATED
Surprising Connections Between Seemingly Unrelated Things
By Shaun Gallagher
July 2014
Perigee
Mind-blowing statistics and crazy connections—from the number-crunching genius behind a popular blog. Based on findings on Correlated.org, this surprising and very funny book presents bizarre-but-true correlations between seemingly unrelated things.
Based on daily polls and statistical analysis, Gallagher reveals:
• People who prefer Miss Piggy to Kermit the Frog are more than twice as likely than average to have tattoos
• People with body piercings are twice as likely as the average person to have deployed a fire extinguisher
• People with bumper stickers on their car are more likely than average to have square danced
You’ll never look at poll results or scientific sound bites the same way again!.
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[book] BERNSTEIN MEETS BROADWAY
Collaborative Art In a Time of War
By Carol Oja (Harvard)
Summer 2014
OXFORD
When Leonard Bernstein first arrived in New York, he was an unknown artist getting to know other twenty-somethings like Jerome Robbins, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green. Yet by the end of the 1940s, these aspiring artists were world famous. Their collaborations defied artistic boundaries, subtly pushed a progressive political agenda, and forever altered the landscape of musical theater, ballet, and nightclub comedy.
In Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War, award-winning author and scholar Carol J. Oja examines the early days of Bernstein's career at the height of World War II. As a composer and conductor, Bernstein had a meteoric rise to fame, thanks in no small part to his visionary collaborations. While Rodgers and Hammerstein imagined an idealized countryside, Bernstein focused on urban contemporary life and popular culture. His shows featured the iterant sailors who bore the brunt of military service, causing them quickly to stand out. Rather than accepting traditional distinctions between high and low art, his music was wide-open, inspired by everything from opera to jazz. To the dismay of some critics--and the delight of others--Bernstein freely coupled a reference to Rossini or Tchaikovsky with a hit song. Bernstein was not only provocative artistically but politically as well. In a time of race riots and Japanese internment camps, he and his colleagues promoted racial equality by featuring African-American and Asian-American performers.
Professor Oja combines a thorough exploration of Bernstein's collaborative work with rich descriptions of the time period that influenced him at the beginning of his career. Bernstein Meets Broadway is an indispensable work for any fan of Broadway musicals, dance, and cultural history.
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We all know the gestapo from films and television shows. But just how efficient and all-knowing were they?
[book] GESTAPO
POWER AND TERROR IN THE THIRD REICH
By Carsten Dams and Michael Stolle
Summer 2014
OXFORD
The Gestapo was the most feared instrument of political terror in the Third Reich, brutally hunting down and destroying anyone it regarded as an enemy of the Nazi regime: socialists, Communists, Jews, homosexuals, and anyone else deemed to be an 'anti-social element'. Its prisons soon became infamous -- many of those who disappeared into them were never seen again -- and it has been remembered ever since as the sinister epitome of Nazi terror and persecution.
But how accurate is it to view the Gestapo as an all-pervasive, all-powerful, all-knowing instrument of terror? How much did it depend upon the cooperation and help of ordinary Germans? And did its networks extend further into the everyday life of German society than most Germans after 1945 ever wanted to admit? Answering these questions and more, this book uses the very latest research to tell the true story behind this secretive and fearsome institution. Tracing the history of the organization from its origins in the Weimar Republic, through the crimes of the Nazi period, to the fate of former Gestapo officers after World War II, Carsten Dams and Michael Stolle investigate how the Gestapo really worked - and question many of the myths that have long surrounded it
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[book] Panic in a Suitcase
A Novel
by Yelena Akhtiorskaya
July 2014
Riverhead
THE UKRAINE, JEWS, AND ALIENATION… what more can you ask for?
A dazzling debut novel about a Russian immigrant family living in Brooklyn and their struggle to learn the new rules of the American Dream.
In this account of two decades in the life of an immigrant household, the fall of communism and the rise of globalization are artfully reflected in the experience of a single family. Ironies, subtle and glaring, are revealed: the Nasmertovs left Odessa for Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, with a huge sense of finality, only to find that the divide between the old world and the new is not nearly as clear-cut as they thought. The dissolution of the Soviet Union makes returning just a matter of a plane ticket, and the Russian-owned shops in their adopted neighborhood stock even the most obscure comforts of home. Pursuing the American Dream once meant giving up everything, but does the dream still work if the past is always within reach?
If the Nasmertov parents can afford only to look forward, learning the rules of aspiration, the family’s youngest, Frida, can only look back.
In striking, arresting prose loaded with fresh and inventive turns of phrase, Yelena Akhtiorskaya has written the first great novel of Brighton Beach: a searing portrait of hope and ambition, and a profound exploration of the power and limits of language itself, its ability to make connections across cultures and generations.
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[book] Clinton, Inc.
The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine
by Daniel Halper
July 2014
Broadside
How did the Clinton's recreate their base and network for 2016
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[book] scale
Seven Proven Principles to Grow Your
Business and Get Your Life Back
by Jeff Hoffman and David Finkel
July 2014
Penguin Portfolio
A concrete road map to rapidly grow your business without overextending yourself
Business owners want growth, but they fear that growth will take over their lives. The surprising truth is that the only way to truly scale your company is to reduce its reliance on you. This means that, done right, you get growth without sacrificing your life.
Jeff Hoffman (a co founder of Priceline (Priceline Yardsale) and David Finkel (a coach, Maui Mastermind)offer a blueprint to rapidly grow your existing business while also gaining more freedom. Their three-level action plan, based on their own experiences starting, scaling, and effectively exiting from multiple successful companies, helps you determine the best strategy for growth in your own company. More important, they provide practical advice on how to execute in the face of conflicting demands and multiple responsibilities. By breaking down the path to scaling into seven principles, any owner can increase profits and their own freedom. Scale is for entrepreneurs who wonder if they really own their business, or if their business owns them.
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NOT A JEWISH BOOK… BUT IT IS BASED IN THE HOLY CIT YOF SCRANTON, PENNA, SO IT QUALIFIES…
[book] Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night
A novel
by Barbara J. Taylor
July 2014
Kaylie
Inspired by a haunting family story, Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night (Welsh for if you sing in happiness in the morning, you will be crying about tragedy in the night) blends real life incidents with fiction to show how grace can be found in the midst of tragedy. In real life, th sister of the author’s grandmother died tragically from a Fourth of July sparkler accident over 100 years ago. The little girl sang hymns for three days before passing away, and neighbors from around the Scranton area came to hear her sing. Also, Scrantonians swore that they were saved from a blizzard tragedy because they attended a church rally with Billy Sunday… and from there we get this novel…

Almost everyone in town blames eight-year-old Violet Morgan for the death of her nine-year-old sister, Daisy. Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night opens on September 4, 1913, two months after the Fourth of July tragedy. Owen, the girls’ father, “turns to drink” and abandons his family. Their mother Grace falls victim to the seductive powers of Grief, an imagined figure who has seduced her off-and-on since childhood. Violet forms an unlikely friendship with Stanley Adamski, a motherless outcast who works in the mines as a breaker boy.
During an unexpected blizzard, Grace goes into premature labor at home and is forced to rely on Violet, while Owen is “off being saved” at a Billy Sunday Revival.
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[book] The Aura of Torah
A Kabbalistic-Hasidic Commentary
to the Weekly Readings
by Rabbi Larry Tabick
July 2014
JPS
Because a welter of details sometimes conceals the Torah’s aura of holiness, Jewish mystics and spiritual teachers for centuries have attempted to reveal that aura through creative interpretation. The Aura of Torah explores these attempts in an effort to bridge the gap between the Torah text and the modern Jewish spiritual quest.
The book collects a wide variety of interpretations of Torah passages, commentaries, and midrash rooted in the mystical side of Jewish tradition, translated by Rabbi Larry Tabick, with original Hebrew and Aramaic texts included. The quoted authors span many centuries and speak from many schools of thought: kabbalists writing within the tradition of the Zohar and other gnostic works; Hasidic teachers from the modern movement founded by the Ba’al Shem Tov in eighteenth-century Ukraine; and German pietists, or Hasidei Ashkenaz, of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Tabick examines how these texts build on the underlying principles of the Torah—the supremacy of God, the interconnectedness of nature and morality, and the unique (though not exclusive) role of the Jewish people in the divine plan for all humanity—to point to a deep spiritual truth in the world of the divine and the soul. .
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[book] GOOD CHINESE WIFE
A Love Affair with China Gone Wrong
by Susan Blumberg-Kason
July 2014
sourcebooks
Jewish woman goes to Hong Kong to study
She is shy, from Chicago, loves Chinese culture, and has issues with confidence
She meets a Chinese scholar with a son from a prior relationship
She falls for him
He proposes marriage by just asking if she has bad habits
He fails to mention his bad habits might include a lot of consumption of porn and STD(s) from gay or other relationships
Six months after arrival, she is married
They moved back to the US in 1998, pregnant with their child. But with the birth of her son Jake, she was thrown head first into man yue, the Chinese post-partum custom of staying indoors and not bathing for a month. And then her in-laws moved in for a year to care for Jake, the only heir they counted. Her husband felt isolated in the US and couldn’t find work and hated American culture. Susan supported the five of them on an administrative assistant’s salary.
Her husband threatens to take their child back to China...
The story of a woman in China who brings back a Chinese husband and the issues that arise, both cultural and marital
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[book] How To Really Ruin Your
Financial Life and Portfolio
by Ben Stein
July 2014
Wiley
Hilarious advice on what NOT to do with money, from financial funny man Ben Stein
Everyone's searching for the secrets to financial success, but what about the best ways to lose money . . . fast?! In How To Really Ruin Your Financial Life and Portfolio, bestselling author, economist, financial commentator, and media personality Ben Stein explains exactly what to do . . . to go bust! The ultimate "how-NOT-to" guide, the book gives readers invaluable tips that should be avoided at all costs. Written in Stein's own inimitable style, this hilarious guide provides essential financial advice on what not to do when it comes to managing money.
From reading and acting upon investing newsletters to trading on a margin, from investing in bonds to breathlessly following CNBC, and from buying stock in firms you do not understand to believing in your own genius at stock picking to keeping as little cash on hand as possible, Stein presents the rules that every would-be investor needs to know, so they can do the exact opposite and actually make money. Fully revised and updated, this new edition presents all-new missteps that can destroy any portfolio.
Fully revised and updated edition of the tongue-in-cheek bestseller that shows investors what not to do with their money. Written by acclaimed author economist, financial commentator, and media personality Ben Stein Loaded with indispensable pieces of bad advice that readers should avoid at all costs
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[book] Almost Perfect
by Orly Krauss-Winer
(Best selling mystery author in Israel)
July 2014
A Saturday off-road outing leads to a burned-out car with a man's body inside: a young and successful lawyer found dead, with no known enemies. Three women, all deeply connected in some way to the victim, are swept into the investigation, involving a post-WWII love affair, an embezzlement case, and a brilliant police detective. When the truth is revealed, secrets are exposed – they must all face a difficult, complex, and unexpected reality. Almost Perfect is a light thriller, which does not require a thorough reading to trace the hidden details… You will find a sophisticated, intriguing story, variety in the narration, and many secondary stories (interesting in themselves), connecting to a harmonious overall picture. It has humanity and longing for warmth and love. The writer sets her stories in the real world, where the smells, tastes and feelings are known and accessible to the reader. These make the book enjoyable, thrilling, and allow the reader to connect with the characters.
Orly Krauss-Winer published thirteen books, all best sellers in Israel, many based on her personal stories, and those of her family and friends. She currently lives in Tel-Aviv.
"A multifaceted book, full of sweeping changes, its plot is woven into the here and now. Like Orly Krauss–Winer's other books, the genres of thriller and romance are mixed together and the characters are reliable and familiar, as if they are walking among us". Nurita, Israel
"In conclusion, we can say that if you fancy a mystery which combines romance, politics and intrigue, you have found it." Bookwatch, Israel
"This book is written with grace!" Haaretz, Israel
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[book] Torah Lights
Devarim
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
July 2014
Koren – Jerusalem
For Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the Torah is the essential guidebook to human life. In this highly acclaimed five-volume collection of essays, Rabbi Riskin explores the weekly Torah readings, mining the text for lessons both timeless and contemporary, fundamentally Jewish and deeply personal.

Israel Drazin reviewing the book on Amazon.com wrote: “This is a book of sermons on the eleven biblical portions of the fifth book of the Torah, Devarim, Deuteronomy in English… This volume on Devarim is the fifth in his series of biblical commentaries in which he comments upon the weekly Torah readings. He offers as many as a dozen different, incisive, thought-provoking commentaries on each of the eleven biblical portions that are read in synagogues from the book of Deuteronomy. The essays are well-written and generally combine modern concerns with a traditional approach to the Bible. There are many references to current events and time-honored and long-established Bible commentaries. He stresses the relevance of the Torah: that it speaks to every generation. He has, for example, eleven different discussions on the biblical portion Re’eh. The titles are clever and eye-catching, such as “Voodoo Rabbis,” “Is our Money Really Ours,” and “The Third Covenant.” In the discussion called “Can Bad Things Happen to Good People,” for example, he accepts the traditional view that God rewards and punishes, but writes that it does not happen right away. However, he adds that “This world is largely a result of human action and natural happenstance.” He concludes, “To the extent that we develop our spiritual selves in our lifetime – in deed and in thought – we prepare for ourselves a continued eternal life in the dimension of the divine.” In “The Third Covenant,” to cite another example, among much else, he tells readers that Christian women wearing crosses who are visiting Jewish home on the Shabbat may join the Jewish women in lighting Shabbat candles because “the Shabbat candles express household peace, which has universal application.” … In “Voodoo Rabbis,” he decries religious leaders who think they know what will occur in the future. In short, this is an informative, thought-provoking, interesting, and relevant Bible commentary by a leader of modern Orthodoxy.”

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[book] Teach Them Diligently
The Personal Story of a Community Rabbi
by Rabbi Berel Wein
2014
Koren – Jerusalem
Rabbi Berel Wein,rabbi and historian, writer and lecturer, kashrut supervisor and rosh yeshiva,looks back at the dramatic events of his life. From religious controversies and educational dilemmas, through challenges of community building and synagogue politics, to encounters with great rabbis and travels throughout the Jewish world, Rabbi Wein's tale is one of Jewish leadership in twentieth-century America, at once highly public and deeply personal. With great humor and disarming honesty, Teach Them Diligently tells the story of the trials and the triumphs, the struggles and the joys of a life devoted to Jewish community service.
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[book] With All Your Possessions:
Jewish Ethics and Economic Life
by Meir Tamari (Rabbi)
2014
Koren – Jerusalem
In the face of the age-old slander against Jewish business ethics, noted economist and rabbinic scholar Meir Tamari puts forth a rigorous defense of Jewish economy as a highly ethical system combining free-market practices with social welfare, competition with compassion. From the biblical story of Ruth to modern taxation responsa, With All Your Possessions demonstrates how the Jew's economic life, attitude toward material assets, and mercantile conduct all reflect strict ethical principles. Detailing the history, laws, and customs of Jewish economic activity, Tamari presents an overview of the world's oldest system of economics still in use and the uncompromising moral code that underlies it.
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[book] Happier Endings
A Meditation on Life and Death
by Erica Brown, PhD
2014
Simon & Schuster
“Extreme empathy with extreme tough-mindedness.” That’s how David Brooks, of The New York Times, describes Erica Brown. In Happier Endings, she helps us confront our fears about death—for ourselves and our loved ones—and demonstrates how the last days of life can be among the most inspiring if we learn to leave a legacy of words and values, to forgive and apologize, and to make important decisions.
Along the way, she introduces us to people of all faiths who deal with death in enlightening ways, including a mother who arranged for her children to sprinkle her ashes on a favorite ski slope; an ex-nun who prepares people to die; a group of women who ritually wash their dead; and a family whose grandfather’s ethical will is read by his survivors each year. After reading Happier Endings, you will have a greater understanding of what a good death can be and what a life well lived looks like.
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AUGUST 2014 BOOKS



THE JEWISH BOOK AWARD WINNER IS NOW IN PAPERBACK
[book] ISRAEL
A HISTORY
BY ANITA SHAPIRA
August 2014
Brandeis University Press / Schusterman Series
UPNE – University Press of New England
Written by one of Israel’s most notable scholars, this volume provides a breathtaking history of Israel from the origins of the Zionist movement in the late nineteenth century to the present day.
Organized chronologically, the volume explores the emergence of Zionism in Europe against the backdrop of relations among Jews, Arabs, and Turks, and the earliest pioneer settlements in Palestine under Ottoman rule. Weaving together political, social, and cultural developments in Palestine under the British mandate, Shapira creates a tapestry through which to understand the challenges of Israeli nation building, including mass immigration, shifting cultural norms, the politics of war and world diplomacy, and the creation of democratic institutions and a civil society. References to contemporary diaries, memoirs, and literature bring a human dimension to this narrative history of Israel from its declaration of independence in 1948 through successive decades of waging war, negotiating peace, and building a modern state with a vibrant society and culture.
Based on archival sources and the most up-to-date scholarly research, this authoritative history is a must-read for anyone with a passionate interest in Israel. Israel: A History will be the gold standard in the field for years to come.
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[book] LATKE, THE LUCKY DOG
BY ELLEN FISCHER
Illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke
August 2014
Kar Ben
Ages 2 – 7
Latke was rescued from an animal shelter on the first night of Hanukkah. The puppy joins its new family on the first night of the celebration. He is one Lucky dog. He gets into problems, and does not learn the house rule quickly enough. The story is told from Latke's Point of View.
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[book] RABBI BENJAMIN’S BUTTONS
By Alice B. McGinty
Illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt
August 2014
Charlesbridge
Ages 4 – 8
As a sign of affection for their warm-hearted rabbi, the families of the congregation make Rabbi Benjamin a special holiday vest, complete with four shiny silver buttons. Throughout the year—Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Chanukah, and Passover—the rabbi celebrates with his congregation, unable to resist their delicious home-cooked food. But with each holiday his vest grows tight, tighter, until . . . POP!
Yes, the rabbi and his followers are besotted with others, and all that Jewish food at holidays expands his girth.
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[book] Matzo Frogs
by Sally Rosenthal and David Sheldon
2014
New South
When kindhearted Minnie spills the matzo ball soup she is making for Shabbat dinner, the frogs who live in a nearby pond spring into action. They decide to save Minnie's Shabbat by making a new pot of soup while she is out-a mitzvah from one neighbor to another. Together, the frogs work through the recipe, meeting every challenge with an amphibian solution: chopping carrots by playing leapfrog, using a long, sticky tongue to pull a cookbook off a shelf, and giving each other a helping hop wherever they can.
With creativity and froggy flair, the cold-water chefs make the soup and save Minnie's dinner. Warm and whimsical, Matzo Frogs conveys an enduring message about the importance of mitzvot, community, and teamwork.
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[book] The Crocodile Who Didn't like Water
by Gemma Merino
2014
NorthSouth
Meet a most unusual crocodile!
Everybody knows that crocodiles love water, but this little crocodile is different—he doesn't like it at all! He tries to his best to change, but when attempt at swimming causes a shiver then a sneeze—could it be that this little crocodile isn't a crocodile at all? A hilarious and uplifting story about being yourself from a talented debut author-illustrator!.
Honestly, I have an issue since (SPOILER SPOILER)… the Crocodile turns out to be a fire breathing dragon with wings. This is a cop out. Rather than being different, and dealing with it, he turns out to be a different species
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[book] Ninja Red Riding Hood
by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Dan Santat
2014
Putnam
Companion to the hit The Three Ninja Pigs, this fractured fairy tale is a sure-fire storytime hit.
Wolf just can’t catch a break! Ever since the three little pigs started teaching everyone Ninja skills, huffing and puffing just hasn’t been enough to scare up a good meal.
His craving for meat sends Wolf to classes at the dojo, and soon he’s ready to try out his new moves. A little girl and her tiny granny should be easy targets—right?
Not if Little Red has anything to say about it!
SPOILER SPOILER. I also have an issue with the premise. The wold is beaten by Red and her grandmother who also study martial arts, as does the wolf. They turn him into a Vegan. So what.. are you saying that a wolf can no longer be a carnivore.. and we must therefore assimilate into the primary culture?
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[book] APPLE DAYS
A Rosh Hashanah Story
by Allison Sarnoff Soffer
Illustrated by Bob McMahon
August 2014
Kar Ben
Ages 2 – 7
Katy's favorite holiday is the Jewish New yEar, Rosh HaShanah. The gets to pick apples and make apple sauce with her parent. But a new baby cousin has arrived and her plans and expectations are interrupted. Katy is no longer the center of the family's attention. Will she overcome this change in family focus and priorities?
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[book] STORK'S LANDING
BY TAMI LEHMAN-WILZIG
Illustrated by Anna Shuttlewood
August 2014
Kar Ben
Ages 2 – 7
Maya lives on a kibbutz. Birds migrate over the kibbutz each season. When a migrating stork gets tangled in the nets if a kibbutz fish pond, Maya wonders what to do. She and her fathr nurse the bird back to health, without a kupat holim card. The book highlights the beauty of nature, Israel's role in bird migration, and the life on a kibbutz
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Are you thinking what I am? I suppose we can expect a book for each letter of the alphabet
[book] ALEF IS FOR ABBA
By Rebecca Kavka
Illustrated by Costanza Basaluzza
August 2014
Kar Ben
Ages 2 – 7
Children will learn 20 words in Hebrew that begin with the letter ALEF.
This is a unique flip book... flip in the following way. On the right side IMMA (mom ) starts with Alef shows an Alef word. On the left side of the page, daddy / Abba (dad) also shows off an Alef word. For example, Abba shows off Ozen (ear) on the left and mom (imma) shows off Eryeh (lion) on the right as their child plays with a stuffed plush lion
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[book] BUBBE's BELATED BAT MITZVAH
By Isabel Pinson
Illustrated by Valeria Cis
August 2014
Kar Ben
Ages 2 – 7
Naomi has convinced her great grandmother – at age 95 – that it is not too late to have a ceremony to celebrate that she became a bat mitvah, or in venacular terms, have a bat mitzvah. All of Naomi's cousins pitch in to help Bubbe celebrate her big day. Bubbe taught Naomi a lot, but now it is time for Naomi to teach Bubbe
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[book] Goldie Takes A Stand
Golda Meir's First Crusade
by Barbara Krasner
Illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley
August 2014
Kar Ben
Ages 2 – 7
Krasner tells the reader that even as a child Golda Meir was a leader. At the age of nine in Milwaukee, little Goldie took a stand. As the president of the American Young Sisters Society, she and her classmates raised cash to pay for books for their poorer classmates. This shows a glimpse of the early life of the woman who would become a popular, famed Prime Minister of early Israel. Based on a true episode.
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[book] NEW MONTH, NEW MOON
By Allison Ofanansky
Photos by Eliyahu Alpern
August 2014
Kar Ben
Ages 3-8
To celebrate Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of a new month in the Jewish calendar, a family camps out in the desert and learns about the phases of the moon and their relationship to the Jewish calendar. A photo essay. Instructions for building a papier mache moon are included. The author was born in the USA and now resides in Kaditah near Safed in Israel. The phographer lived in Chicago and now resides in Israel.
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[book] Sadie, Ori, and Nuggles
Go To Camp
by Jamie Korngold
Illustrated by Julie Fortenberry
August 2014
Kar Ben
Ages 2-6
Sadie’s little brother Ori will be joining her at sleep-away camp. He’s excited, but he wants to bring Nuggles, his favorite “stuffy,” and is worried that his bunkmates will make fun of him. Is he ever in for a surprise!
The fifth book in the Sadie and Ori series. The author is a rabbi in Boulder CO. She is known as the Adventure Rabbi.
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[book] SAMIE SPIDER'S FIRST MITZVAH
By Sylvia A. Rouss
Illustrated by K. J. Kahn
August 2014
Kar Ben
Ages 2-6
Sammy Spider is back in his 15th adventure story, learning about Jewish holidays and values with his buddy Josh Shapiro.
Josh gets a cold. He sneezes. Moti delivers some chicken soup to him It is a mitzvah. Sammy Spider learns about visiting the sick, And he learns the Hebrew word for “Gesund Heit”
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[book] SHAI'S SHABBAT WALK
by Ellie B. Gellman
Illustrated by Holli Conger
August 2014
Kar Ben
Ages 1 – 4
A sweet board book in which a little boy celebrates Chabbat by going for a walkm appreciating the blessings of those he meets on the way – family, friends, and animals.
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[book] JEWISH MOTHERS NEVER DIE
BY Natalie David -Weill
August 2014
Arcade
The mothers of some of the most illustrious Jewish men in recent history—Albert Einstein, Marcel Proust, Sigmund Freud, Woody Allen, the Marx Brothers—are chatting in heaven. The subject: their respective sons—and their undying love for their mothers. Each one, as before in life, engages in one-upmanship toward the others when speaking about her own renowned offspring, and no opportunity to boast can ever be missed:
“He loves me so much that for my last birthday he bought me a fabulous fur coat.”
“Oh! Mine topped that. He saved money for an entire year and treated me to a fantastic trip to the Caribbean.”
“As for me, imagine, three times a week he actually pays a psychiatrist to talk about me.”
Each woman insists on being the force, the savior, the raison d’être of her son’s career and success. We follow the intricacies of each woman’s marriage and details of her social environment, but more specifically, the relationship with her “unique” child.
Written with a delicate touch, Jewish Mothers Never Die reveals in tender, funny, and searing portraits how some women continue to live through their children—even after death. Every reader will have a good chuckle, and all will enjoy this utterly charming and entertaining novel.
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[book] Jewish Antiques
From Menorahs to Seltzer Bottles
by Tsadik Kaplan
Summer 2014
http://www.schifferbooks.com/
You know you would like to own a Jewish object or ceremonial antique, a kiddush cup, a hanukkiah, a spice, or more. But I implore you to read this book before you do. Take the advice. You really need to know the market before you purchase or invest, and Kaplan has done all the legwork and given you the market knowledge, history, and status of so many object and collectibles.
For example, I attended an auction at Sotheby’s in 2013 and desired a certain Judaica book. But with greater knowledge, I found out that the item had a sibling item in another recent auction that that its value was less than the auction’s lower appraised bidding value
Also the pictures in the book are amazing
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Jewish institutions can learn a lot from Professor Tichy
[book] SUCCESSION
Mastering the Make or Break Process of
Leadership Transition
By Noel Tichy (Michigan)
Summer 2014
Penguin Portfolio
An insider’s look at how a successful leadership pipeline can make or break a company
Starting out at GE, where he headed up the company’s leadership institute and revamped the leadership pipeline under Jack Welch, Noel Tichy has served as a trusted advisor on management succession to such leading companies as Royal Dutch Shell, Nokia, Intel, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Merck and Caterpillar.
Now Tichy draws on decades of hands-on experience working with CEOs and boards to provide a framework for building a smart, effective transition pipeline, whether for a multi-billion dollar conglomerate, a family business, a small start-up, or a non-profit.
Through revealing case studies like Hewlett Packard, IBM, Yahoo, P&G, Intel, and J.C. Penney, he examines why some companies fail and others succeed in training and sustaining the next generation of senior leaders. He highlights the common mistakes that can generate embarrassing headlines and may even call an organization’s survival into question, and reveals the best practices of those who got it right. Tichy also positions leadership talent development and succession where they belong: at the top of every leader’s agenda..
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[book] THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF
HEBREW VERSIFICATION
Essays in Comparative Prosody
By Benjamin Harshav
(Yale University and TAU)
August 2014
Yale University Press
In this unparalleled study of the forms of Hebrew poetry, preeminent authority Benjamin Harshav examines Hebrew verse during three millennia of changing historical and cultural contexts. He takes us around the world of the Jewish Diaspora, comparing the changes in Hebrew verse as it came into contact with the Canaanite, Greek, Arabic, Italian, German, Russian, Yiddish, and English poetic forms.
Harshav explores the types and constraints of free rhythms, the meanings of sound patterns, the historical and linguistic frameworks that produced the first accentual iambs in English, German, Russian, and Hebrew, and the discovery of these iambs in a Yiddish romance written in Venice in 1508/09. In each chapter, the author presents an innovative analytical theory on a particular poetic domain, drawing on his close study of thousands of Hebrew poems
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[book] Unlikely Warrior
A Pacifist Rabbi's Journey from the Pulpit to Iwo Jima
by Lee Mandel
August 2014
Pelican
Roland Gittelsohn, of Cleveland, Ohio, was an outspoken pacifist and social activist during the 1930s. After the United States entered World War II, he nonetheless joined the U.S. Navy and became the first Jewish chaplain assigned to the U.S. Marine Corps. Gittelsohn's remarkable story, told here from his voluminous surviving notes, serves as an account of an average American who demonstrated that he truly belonged to "the Greatest Generation."
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[book] MARRYING OUT
JEWISH MEN, Intermarriage, and father hood By Keren R. Mc Ginity
August 2014
Indiana University press
When American Jewish men intermarry, goes the common assumption, they and their families are "lost" to the Jewish religion. In this provocative book, Keren R. McGinity shows that it is not necessarily so. She looks at intermarriage and parenthood through the eyes of a post-World War II cohort of Jewish men and discovers what intermarriage has meant to them and their families. She finds that these husbands strive to bring up their children as Jewish without losing their heritage. Marrying Out argues that the "gendered ethnicity" of intermarried Jewish men, growing out of their religious and cultural background, enables them to raise Jewish children. McGinity’s book is a major breakthrough in understanding Jewish men’s experiences as husbands and fathers, how Christian women navigate their roles and identities while married to them, and what needs to change for American Jewry to flourish. Marrying Out is a must read for Jewish men and all the women who love them
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[book] Auschwitz and After
Second Edition
by Charlotte Delbo
Translated by Rosette C. Lamont
Introduction by Lawrence L. Langer
August 2014
Yale
Written by a member of the French resistance who became an important literary figure in postwar France, this moving memoir of life and death in Auschwitz and the postwar experiences of women survivors has become a key text for Holocaust studies classes. This second edition includes an updated and expanded introduction and new bibliography by Holocaust scholar Lawrence L. Langer.
“Delbo’s exquisite and unflinching account of life and death under Nazi atrocity grows fiercer and richer with time. The superb new introduction by Lawrence L. Langer illuminates the subtlety and complexity of Delbo’s meditation on memory, time, culpability, and survival, in the context of what Langer calls the ‘afterdeath’ of the Holocaust. Delbo’s powerful trilogy belongs on every bookshelf.”—Sara R. Horowitz, York University

Winner of the 1995 American Literary Translators Association Award
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[book] Diary of the Fall
by Michel Laub
Translated by Margaret Jull Costa
August 2014
Other Press
A cruel schoolboy prank leaves the only Catholic boy in an elite Jewish school in Porto Alegre terribly injured. Years later, one of his classmates revisits that episode, trying to come to terms with the choices he made then and his present demons.
DIARY OF THE FALL is the story of three generations: a man's struggle for forgiveness; a father with Alzheimer's, for whom recording every memory has become an obsession; and a grandfather who survived Auschwitz, filling notebook after notebook with the false memories of someone desperate to forget.
Beautiful and brave, Michel Laub's novel asks the most basic--and yet the most complex--questions about history and identity, exploring what stories we choose to tell about ourselves and how we become the people we are.
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[book] Violins of Hope
Violins of the Holocaust
Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind's Darkest Hour
Paperback by James A. Grymes
August 2014
HarperCollins
I would love to organize a book reading for this and bring along one or two famous or upandcoming Israeli violinists

A stirring testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of music, Violins of Hope tells the remarkable stories of violins played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust, and the Israeli violin maker dedicated to bringing these inspirational instruments back to life.
The violin has formed an important aspect of Jewish culture for centuries, both as a popular instrument with classical Jewish musicians—Jascha Heifetz, Yehudi Menuhin, Itzhak Perlman—and also a central factor of social life as part of the enduring Klezmer tradition. But during the Holocaust, the violin assumed extraordinary new roles within the Jewish community. For some musicians, the instrument was a liberator; for others, it was a savior that spared their lives. For many, the violin provided comfort in mankind’s darkest hour, and, in at least one case, helped avenge murdered family members. Above all, the violins of the Holocaust represented strength and optimism for the future.
In Violins of Hope, music historian James A. Grymes tells the amazing, horrifying, and inspiring story of the violins of the Holocaust, and of Amnon Weinstein, the renowned Israeli violinmaker who has devoted the past twenty years to restoring these instruments in tribute to those who were lost, including 400 members of his own family. Juxtaposing tales of individual violins with one man’s harrowing struggle to reconcile his own family’s history and the history of his people, it is a poignant, affecting, and ultimately uplifting look at the Holocaust and its enduring impact..
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[book] Warburg in Rome
A Novel
by James Carroll (A
August 2014
Houghton Mifflin
Publishers Weekly writes, "Carroll, who explored the history of Catholic anti-Semitism in the nonfiction account Constantine’s Sword, returns to this theme with a suspenseful historical drama set in Rome at the end of WWII and centering on Vatican complicity in the flight of Nazi fugitives to Argentina. David Warburg, a U.S. Treasury Department lawyer, is sent to the city to organize the War Refugee Board, a front for aiding Jewish refugees and helping to create their hoped-for homeland in Palestine. While in Rome, Warburg meets ruthless OSS counterintelligence head Col. Peter Mates, who is opposing Soviet domination of Central Europe through covert means. Warburg and Mates draw Father Kevin Deane, an American priest, and Marguerite d’Erasmo, a French-Italian Red Cross worker, into their plans, not realizing that both have hidden allegiances and motives. As Carroll cleverly weaves these characters among an assortment of liars, schemers, and charlatans, one character sums it all up: “None of us here is innocent.” While high-placed Catholic officials aid escaped war criminals, other factions seek revenge for wartime brutality, and still others begin the bloody struggle for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. And at the heart of all the treachery, murder, and tragedy is the Eternal City."
David Warburg, newly minted director of the U.S. War Refugee Board, arrives in Rome at war’s end, determined to bring aid to the destitute European Jews streaming into the city. Marguerite d’Erasmo, a French-Italian Red Cross worker with a shadowed past, is initially Warburg’s guide to a complicated Rome; while a charismatic young American Catholic priest, Monsignor Kevin Deane, seems equally committed to aiding Italian Jews. But the city is a labyrinth of desperate fugitives, runaway Nazis, Jewish resisters, and criminal Church figures. Marguerite, caught between justice and revenge, is forced to play a double game. At the center of the maze, Warburg discovers one of history’s great scandals—the Vatican ratline, a clandestine escape route maintained by Church officials and providing scores of Nazi war criminals with secret passage to Argentina. Warburg’s disillusionment is complete when, turning to American intelligence officials, he learns that the dark secret is not so secret, and that even those he trusts may betray him.
James Carroll delivers an authoritative, stirring novel that reckons powerfully with the postwar complexities of good and evil in the Eternal City.
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[book] THE ROOMMATES
True Tales of Friendship, Rivalry,
Romance, and Disturbingly Close Quarters
Edited by Stephanie Wu
August 2014
Picador
I was hoping that the book was a collection of celebrities and their roommates. It isnt. But it is nevertheless funny and sad.
ONE OF LIFE'S TRICKIEST RITES OF PASSAGE COLLECTED INTO AN UNFORGETTABLE VOLUME OF TRUE TALES
The fraught relationship among roommates is a true cultural obsession. Shows like Friends, The Golden Girls, The Odd Couple, and New Girl have held us rapt for decades, simultaneously delighting and disconcerting us with their depictions of mismatched couples, cringe-worthy awkwardness, and against-all-odds friendship. Maybe it’s that uniquely unnatural experience of living with a total stranger that ignites our curiosity or just that almost all of us, for better or worse, have had a roommate of our own.
In Roommates, people of all ages reveal their disastrous, hilarious, and sometimes moving stories of making their best friend for life or lifelong nemesis. Learn what it’s like to share a room in places as unusual as a thirty-person beach house, a reality show mansion, a billionaire’s yacht, and a retirement hotel, and those as familiar as sleepaway camp, a boarding school, and a college dorm. Put down your roommate’s dirty dishes and passive-aggressive Post-its for this eye-opening glimpse into how people live together in the modern age.
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[book] YOUR FACE IN MINE
A NOVEL
BY JESS ROW
August 2014
Riverhead
Racial dysphoria??
Sure. What is – like geneder issues – you think you are in the wrong religion and need to change it?
One afternoon, not long after Kelly Thorndike has moved back to his hometown of Baltimore, an African American man he doesn’t recognize calls out to him. To Kelly’s shock, the man identifies himself as Martin, who was one of Kelly’s closest friends in high school—and, before his disappearance nearly twenty years before, skinny, white, and Jewish.
Martin then tells an astonishing story:
After years of immersing himself in black culture, he’s had a plastic surgeon perform “racial reassignment surgery”—altering his hair, skin, and physiognomy to allow him to pass as African American. Unknown to his family or childhood friends, Martin has been living a new life ever since.
Now, however, Martin feels he can no longer keep his new identity a secret; he wants Kelly to help him ignite a controversy that will help sell racial reassignment surgery to the world. Kelly, still recovering from the death of his wife and child and looking for a way to begin anew, agrees, and things quickly begin to spiral out of control.
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[book] Forbidden Music
The Jewish Composers Banned by the Nazis
Now in Paperback
by Michael Haas
August 2014
Yale
When National Socialism arrived in Germany in 1933, Jews were dominating music more than virtually any other sector, making it the most important cultural front in the Nazi fight for German identity. The party's policy on music brought about a cultural holocaust, with far-reaching consequences for the history and development of music during the twentieth century. The conventional view is that the Third Reich's rejection of atonality was an act of anti-semitism. Yet although Jewish musicians and composers were responsible for countless original ideas applied to both the popular and serious music of the day, as well as becoming the experimenters who would represent the starting point of the century's most daring avant-garde, they were also by 1933 almost uniquely the principal conveyors of Germany's historic traditions and the ideals of German culture. The isolation, exile and persecution of Austro-German Jewish musicians by the Nazis became an act of musical self-mutilation. Michael Haas looks at the actual contribution of Jewish composers in Germany and Austria before 1933, at their increasingly precarious position between then and 1939, at the forced emigration of composers and performers before and during the war, and at the emaciated post-war musical life of Germany and Austria, while many of the exiled composers and musicians flourished in Britian, the United States, and elsewhere.
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[book] DRIVING HONDA
INSIDE THE WORLD’S MOST
INNNOVATIVE CAR COMPANY
By Jeffrey Rothdeder
August 2014
Penguin
I enjoyed the book so much, that on a visit to Georgia, I took a detour to Alabama to visit the Honda plant.
For decades there have been two iconic Japanese auto companies. One has been endlessly studied and written about. The other has been generally underappreciated and misunderstood. Until now.
Since its birth as a motorcycle company in 1949, Honda has steadily grown into the world’s fifth largest automaker and top engine manufacturer, as well as one of the most beloved, most profitable, and most consistently innovative multinational corporations. What drives the company that keeps creating and improving award-winning and bestselling models like the Civic, Accord, Odyssey, CR-V, and Pilot?
According to Jeffrey Rothfeder, what truly distinguishes Honda from its competitors, especially archrival Toyota, is a deep commitment to a set of unorthodox management tenets. The Honda Way, as insiders call it, is notable for decentralization over corporate control, simplicity over complexity, experimentation over Six Sigma–driven efficiency, and unyielding cynicism toward the status quo and whatever is assumed to be the truth. Honda believes in freely borrowing from the past as a bridge to “innovative discontinuity” in the present. And those are just a few of the ideas that the company’s colorful founder, Soichiro Honda, embedded in the DNA of his start-up sixty-five years ago.
As the first journalist allowed behind Honda’s infamously private doors, Rothfeder interviewed dozens of executives, engineers, and frontline employees about its management practices and global strategy. He shows how the company has developed and maintained its unmatched culture of innovation, resilience, and flexibility—and how it exported that culture to other countries that are strikingly different from Japan, establishing locally controlled operations in each region where it lays down roots.
For instance, Rothfeder reports on life at a Honda factory in the tiny town of Lincoln, Alabama, and what happened when American workers were trained to follow the Honda Way, as a self-sufficient outpost of the global company. Could they master Honda’s three core principles:
Embrace Paradox: Honda encourages respectful disagreement and debate between opposing viewpoints, on matters large and small. New ideas often emerge from conflict.
Real Place, Real Part, Real Knowledge: Honda teaches people to argue using facts, not assumptions. One must go to the factory floor, the showroom, the parking lot, the driver’s seat, or the truck bed—whatever it takes—to get the facts and make a decision that can be supported with data.
Respect Individualism: Honda often hires people with unusual backgrounds and independent streaks. It promotes those who question the status quo and who would probably struggle in organizations that focus on rigid rules and systems.
Rothfeder shows how the Alabama plant became a new model for manufacturing in America. It can turn out several different types of cars on any given day and up to 300,000 vehicles and engines a year. Its flexible model enables unparalleled responsiveness to market changes and recovery from mistakes. As Soichiro Honda himself liked to say, “Success can be achieved only through repeated failure and introspection. In fact, success represents one percent of your work, which results only from the ninety-nine percent that is called failure.
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[book] Swimming in the Daylight
An American Student, a Soviet-Jewish Dissident,
and the Gift of Hope
by Lisa C. Paul
August 2014
Skyhorse
In September 1984, Lisa Paul, an American college student living in Moscow and working as a nanny, enters Inna Meiman’s house for her first Russian language lesson. And so begins a two-year friendship and fight for Inna’s life. Swimming in the Daylight chronicles Inna’s struggle to shed her refusenik status and to be granted a visa to travel to America, seeking medical treatment for the cancer that is slowly killing her.
Inna reveals an indomitable spirit as she endures a perverse reality as a citizen of the Soviet Union—she must deny invitations from countries in the West to receive life-saving cancer treatment due to her inability to receive a visa from her own government. This refusal, Inna explains to Lisa, is the Soviet authorities’ way of persecuting her and her husband Naum, a member of the Moscow Helsinki Watch Group fighting for human rights in the USSR. Spurred by outrage and the desire to help her friend, Lisa returns to the United States, vowing to do all she can to get Inna out of Moscow. Lisa stages a hunger strike, holds a press conference, and galvanizes American politicians to fight for Inna’s freedom. All these efforts eventually succeed in pursuing Mikhail Gorbachev to issue Inna a visa in December 1986, and she finally steps foot on American soil. At a time when international strife seems insurmountable and worries at home seem to paralyze, this story will teach people everywhere that it is the courage inside that defines a person and can change the future.
Contains a new foreword by Natan Sharanksy.
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[book] The Birth of Korean Cool
How One Nation Is Conquering the
World Through Pop Culture
by Euny Hong
August 2014
Picador
WHY HASN’T ISRAELI CULTURE TAKEN OFF ?
Why are there no Israeli boy bands?
Why is Harel Moyal and Harel Skaat not Rain and Psy?
Why is there no Israeli EAT YOUR KIMCHI YouTube show?
I don’t know

By now, everyone in the world knows the song “Gangnam Style” and Psy, an instantly recognizable star. But the song’s international popularity is no passing fad. “Gangnam Style” is only one tool in South Korea’s extraordinarily elaborate and effective strategy to become a major world superpower by first becoming the world’s number one pop culture exporter.
As a child, Euny Hong moved from America to the Gangnam neighbourhood in Seoul. She was a witness to the most accelerated part of South Korea’s economic development, during which time it leapfrogged from third-world military dictatorship to first-world liberal democracy on the cutting edge of global technology.
Euny Hong recounts how South Korea vaulted itself into the twenty-first century, becoming a global leader in business, technology, education, and pop culture. Featuring lively, in-depth reporting and numerous interviews with Koreans working in all areas of government and society, The Birth of Korean Cool reveals how a really uncool country became cool, and how a nation that once banned miniskirts, long hair on men, and rock ‘n’ roll could come to mass produce boy bands, soap operas, and the world’s most important smart phone.
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[book] Hate Crimes in Cyberspace
by Danielle Keats Citron
August 2014
Harvard
Most Internet users are familiar with trolling—aggressive, foul-mouthed posts designed to elicit angry responses in a site’s comments. Less familiar but far more serious is the way some use networked technologies to target real people, subjecting them, by name and address, to vicious, often terrifying, online abuse. In an in-depth investigation of a problem that is too often trivialized by lawmakers and the media, Danielle Keats Citron exposes the startling extent of personal cyber-attacks and proposes practical, lawful ways to prevent and punish online harassment. A refutation of those who claim that these attacks are legal, or at least impossible to stop, Hate Crimes in Cyberspace reveals the serious emotional, professional, and financial harms incurred by victims.
Persistent online attacks disproportionately target women and frequently include detailed fantasies of rape as well as reputation-ruining lies and sexually explicit photographs. And if dealing with a single attacker’s “revenge porn” were not enough, harassing posts that make their way onto social media sites often feed on one another, turning lone instigators into cyber-mobs.
Hate Crimes in Cyberspace rejects the view of the Internet as an anarchic Wild West, where those who venture online must be thick-skinned enough to endure all manner of verbal assault in the name of free speech protection, no matter how distasteful or abusive. Cyber-harassment is a matter of civil rights law, Citron contends, and legal precedents as well as social norms of decency and civility must be leveraged to stop it.
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[book] Business Adventures:
Twelve Classic Tales from the
World of Wall Street
by John Brooks (
WHEN BILL GATES SAID THIS WAS THE BEST BIZ BOOK… SALES SKYROCKETED AFTER IT WAS REPRINTED
From Wall Street to Main Street, John Brooks, longtime contributor to the New Yorker, brings to life in vivid fashion twelve classic and timeless tales of corporate and financial life in America
What do the $350 million Ford Motor Company disaster known as the Edsel, the fast and incredible rise of Xerox, and the unbelievable scandals at General Electric and Texas Gulf Sulphur have in common? Each is an example of how an iconic company was defined by a particular moment of fame or notoriety; these notable and fascinating accounts are as relevant today to understanding the intricacies of corporate life as they were when the events happened.
Stories about Wall Street are infused with drama and adventure and reveal the machinations and volatile nature of the world of finance. John Brooks’s insightful reportage is so full of personality and critical detail that whether he is looking at the astounding market crash of 1962, the collapse of a well-known brokerage firm, or the bold attempt by American bankers to save the British pound, one gets the sense that history repeats itself.
Five additional stories on equally fascinating subjects round out this wonderful collection that will both entertain and inform readers . . . Business Adventures is truly financial journalism at its liveliest and best.
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FORGET THE LONE GENIUS
Lennon and McCartney
Trey Parker and Matt Stone
Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg
Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger
Wasserstein and Perella
David and Jonathan; Jacob and Esau
Ralph David Abernathy and Martin Luther King, Jr.
[book] POWERS OF TWO
Finding the Essence of Innovation
in Creative Pairs
By Joshua Wolf Shenk
HMH
August 2014
A revelatory synthesis of cultural history and social psychology that shows how one-to-one collaboration drives creative success
Weaving the lives of scores of creative duos—from John Lennon and Paul McCartney to Marie and Pierre Curie to Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak — Joshua Wolf Shenk identifies the core qualities of that dizzying experience we call "chemistry."
Revealing the six essential stages through which creative intimacy unfolds, Shenk draws on new scientific research and builds an argument for the social foundations of creativity—and the pair as its primary embodiment. Along the way, he reveals how pairs begin to talk, think, and even look like each other; how the most successful ones thrive on conflict; and why some pairs flame out while others endure.
When it comes to shaping the culture, Shenk argues, two is the magic number, not just because of the dyads behind everything from South Park to the American Civil Rights movement to Starry Night, but because of the nature of creative thinking. Even when we're alone, we are in a sense "collaborating" with a voice inside our head. At once intuitive and surprising, Powers of Two will change the way we think about innovation.
Shenk told JewishBoston.com: “One person does tend to take the dominant position—it was John Lennon in his partnership with Paul McCartney—but there needs to be fluidity in the exchange. One dramatic illustration is to look at a CEO like Barbara Corcoran and her assistant. It’s obviously not a symmetrical relationship, but it is immensely creative. One reason we don’t understand creative intimacy nearly as well as we should is that we think if there’s collaboration, everything needs to be 50/50 in every respect: power, credit and so on. But that’s not true at all. There are immense varieties of relationships, which I lay out in the book. I find it really helpful to see these variations because they make me realize how many choices I have about how to bring more exchange into my life.”
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SEPTEMBER 2014 BOOKS

[book] The Mathematician's Shiva
A Novel
by Stuart Rojstaczer
September 2014
Penguin paperback
A comic, bittersweet tale of family evocative of The Yiddish Policemen's Union and Everything Is Illuminated
Alexander "Sasha" Karnokovitch and his family would like to mourn the passing of his mother, Rachela, with modesty and dignity. But Rachela, a famous Polish émigré mathematician and professor at the University of Wisconsin, is rumored to have solved the million-dollar, Navier-Stokes Millennium Prize problem. Rumor also has it that she spitefully took the solution to her grave. To Sasha's chagrin, a ragtag group of socially challenged mathematicians arrives in Madison and crashes the shiva, vowing to do whatever it takes to find the solution--even if it means prying up the floorboards for Rachela's notes.
Written by a Ph.D. geophysicist, this hilarious and multi-layered debut novel brims with colorful characters and brilliantly captures humanity's drive not just to survive, but to solve the impossible.

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[book] I'll Drink to That
A Life in Style, with a Twist
by Betty Halbreich
with Rebecca Paley
September 2014
Penguin
If I were Elaine Stritch, I would be pissed off at this title, since I would want it for my own memoir, but so be it…
Betty Halbreich – 86 years old - is a true original.
She is a tough broad who could have stepped straight out of Stephen Sondheim’s repertoire; for nearly 40 years she has been a the legendary personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman. She worked with socialites, stars, and ordinary women off the street.
She has helped many find their true selves through clothes, frank advice, and her own brand of wisdom. She is trusted by the most discriminating persons — including Hollywood’s top stylists — to tell them what looks best. But Halbreich’s personal transformation from a cosseted young Jewish woman in Chicago girl to a fearless truth teller is the greatest makeover of her career.

Truth be told… Lena Dunham is working on a script based on Halbriech’s life for HBO

A Chicago native, Halbreich moved to Manhattan at twenty after marrying the dashing Sonny Halbreich, a true character right out of Damon Runyon who liked the nightlife of New York in the fifties. The met in Miami, and Sonny hit on her, followed her back to Chicago, and finally got her father to approve of his courting her. Wait… wasn;t his eyes even wandering to the bodies of other owmen even when he was dating Betty?? Well.. maybe we are being paranoid, but seriously.. .he was.. he was a cad.
On the surface, they were a great match, but looks can be deceiving; an unfaithful Sonny was emotionally distant while Halbreich became increasingly anguished.
After two decades, the fraying marriage finally came undone done a cheap blouse that is not sold at Bergdorf’s. Bereft without Sonny and her identity as his wife, she attempted suicide.
After she began the frightening process of reclaiming herself and started therapy, Halbreich was offered a lifeline in the form of a job at the legendary luxury store Bergdorf Goodman. Soon, she was asked to run the store’s first personal shopping service. It was a perfect fit.
Meticulous, impeccable, hardworking, elegant, and—most of all—delightfully funny, Halbreich has never been afraid to tell it to her clients straight. She won’t sell something just to sell it. If an outfit or shoe or purse is too expensive, she’ll dissuade you from buying it. As Halbreich says, “There are two things nobody wants to face: their closet and their mirror.” She helps women do both, every day.
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[book] The Education of a Value Investor
by Guy Spier
September 2014
Palgrave
What happens when a young hedge fund manager spends a small fortune to have lunch with Warren Buffett?
He becomes a true value investor.
You probably remember Spier…. The guy who paid over $650K to charity for the chance to eat lunch with Warren Buffett
This book traces the arc of a transformation. Author Guy Spier started his career as a Gordon Gekko wannabe -- brash, short-sighted and entirely out for himself.
Then, a series of transformations and self-realizations led him from an investment banking job with a third-rate firm to managing his own fund, which generated very high returns for his investors. His journey began with the discovery of Ben Graham's The Intelligent Investor, then took him on a path to a life-changing meeting with the renowned investor Mohnish Pabrai, followed by his famous lunch with Warren Buffett. That $650,100 meal proved to be a bargain, teaching Spier some of the most valuable lessons of his life.
Along the way, he has gained many powerful insights about investing and business, including: why the right mentors and role models are the key to long-term success as an investor; how a top-notch education can get in your way; why self-knowledge is so critical to becoming a great investor; and how Buffett taught him that the ultimate goal in life is to be true to yourself.
Spier is a leader of EO – Entrepreneur’s Organization, and helped to set one up in Israel.
This book is a candid memoir that takes the reader into some of the darkest corners of Wall Street. It's also a remarkably smart and practical guide to what it takes to become a successful investor. Most important, Guy Spier provides those who want to take a different path with the insight, guidance and inspiration they need to succeed on their own terms.
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[book] The Song of Songs
Love Lyrics from the Bible
By Marcia Falk
September 2014
Brandeis University Press
Striking in its appeal to the senses, the Song of Songs—the Bible's only book of love poems—is remarkable for its lack of sexual stereotyping and its expression of mutuality in relationships between men and women. Marcia Falk's rich and lyrical translation, praised by poets and scholars alike, is paired here with the original Hebrew text.
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[book] THE SWEETNESS
A Novel / Paperback
by Sande Boritz Berger
September 2014
SW Press
Early in The Sweetness, an inquisitive young girl asks her grandmother why she is carrying nothing but a jug of lemons and water when they are forced by the Germans to evacuate their Vilna ghetto. "Something to remind me of the sweetness," the wise woman tells her, setting the theme for what they must remember to survive. Set during World War II, the novel is the parallel tale of two Jewish girls, cousins, living on separate continents, whose strikingly different lives promise to converge. Brooklyn-born Mira Kane is the eighteen-year-old daughter of a well-to-do manufacturer of women's knitwear in New York. Her cousin, eight-year-old Rosha Kaninsky, is the lone survivor of a family in Vilna exterminated by the invading Nazis. Yet, unbeknownst to her American relatives, though orphaned, Rosha did not perish. Desperate to save his child during a round-up, her father thrust the girl into the arms of a Polish Catholic candle maker, who hides her in a root cellar?putting her entire family at risk. The headstrong and talented Mira, who dreams of escaping Brooklyn for a career as a fashion designer, finds her ambitions abruptly thwarted when, traumatized at the fate of his European relatives, her father becomes intent on safeguarding his loved ones from the threats of a brutal world. All the family must challenge his injurious and spiraling survivor guilt. Though the Kanes endure the experience of the Jews who got out, they reveal how even in the safety of our lives, we are profoundly affected by the dire circumstances of others.
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[book] ENCHANTRESS
A NOVEL OF RAV HISDA'S DAUGHTER
BY MAGGIE ANTON
September 2014
Plume
Fantastic tales of demons and the Evil Eye, magical incantations, and powerful attractions abound in Enchantress, a novel that weaves together Talmudic lore, ancient Jewish magic, and a timeless love story set in fourth-century Babylonia.
One of the most powerful practitioner of these mysterious arts is Rav Hisda’s daughter, whose innate awareness allows her to possess the skills men lack. With her husband, Rava--whose arcane knowledge of the secret Torah enables him to create a “man” out of earth and to resurrect another rabbi from death--the two brave an evil sorceress, Ashmedai the Demon King, and even the Angel of Death in their quest to safeguard their people, even while putting their romance at risk.
The author of the acclaimed Rashi’s Daughters series and the award-winning Rav Hisda’s Daughter: Apprentice has conjured literary magic in the land where “abracadabra” originated. Based on five years of research and populated with characters from the Talmud, Enchantress brings a pivotal era of Jewish and Christian history to life from the perspective of a courageous and passionate woman.
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[book] The Talmud - A Biography:
Banned, censored and burned.
The book they couldn't suppress
by Harry Freedman
September 2014
Bloomsbury USA
Containing nearly two million words in thirty-seven volumes, the Talmud covers topics as diverse as law, faith, medicine, magic, ethics, sex, humor, and prayer. It is a highly complex, profoundly logical, and frequently impenetrable work with a history like no other. In its fifteen-hundred-year history, the Talmud has been banned, censored, and burned; dissected by scholars and rabbis; probed by philosophers, poets, politicians, and kings.
In The Talmud, Jewish scholar Harry Freedman tells the engrossing story of an ancient classic, the legal and mystical pillar of Judaism, and recounts the story of a chronicle that, in many ways, parallels the history of the Jewish people. From its origins as a record of discussions among scholars in towns and villages close to modern-day Baghdad, Freedman traces the spiraling paths of the Jewish diaspora and explores the story of the Talmud, its role during the Enlightenment, and its influence over traditional Judaism. A compelling fusion of law, storytelling, and spirituality, the Talmud’s story provides fascinating insight into the history of Judaism, and Harry Freedman’s The Talmud – A Biography is a remarkable account of one of the most important cultural, historical, and religious works of our time.
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[book] The War on Women in Israel
How Religious Radicalism Is Smothering
the Voice of a Nation
by Elana Maryles Sztokman
September 2014
sourcebooks
Dr. Elana Maryles Sztokman is the Executive Director of JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, and a leading writer on issues of feminism, Judaism, Orthodoxy and education. Elana holds a doctorate in education and sociology from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and wrote her dissertation on the identity development of adolescent religious girls in school. She is the author of “The Men's Section: Orthodox Jewish men in an egalitarian world,” which won the 2012 National Jewish Book Council award in the area of Women's Studies. In this book, she writes the for many American’s Israel is a center of democracy in the Middle East, a country that had Golda Meir as its PM, a place where men and women serve in the army side by side. But across Israel, women are being harassed by a rising faction of Orthodox Jews who seek to suppress them, segregate them in public life, and literally erase them from newspapers, public media, and ads. This book weaves together research and interviews and proposes solutions for creating a more egalitarian vision for religious culture in Israeli society and around the planet Earth.
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[book] Queen of Thieves
The True Story of "Marm" Mandelbaum and
Her Gangs of New York
by J. North Conway
November 2014
Skyhorse
Queen of Thieves is the gritty, fast-paced story of Fredericka “Marm” Mandelbaum, a poor Jewish woman who rose to the top of her profession in organized crime during the Gilded Age in New York City. During her more than twenty-five-year reign as the country’s top receiver of stolen goods, she accumulated great wealth and power inconceivable for women engaged in business, legitimate or otherwise. The New York Times called Mandelbaum “the nucleus and center of the whole organization of crime in New York City.”
Having emigrated from Germany in 1850, she began her climb to the top of the crime world as a peddler on the rough-and-tumble, crowded streets of the city. By 1880, she had amassed a fortune estimated at more than $1 million. Mandelbaum was known for running an orderly criminal enterprise. She enlisted the services of an extensive network of criminals of every ilk and bribed police officials, politicians, and judges. If someone wanted to move stolen goods, needed protection from the law, or sought money to finance a caper, Marm was the person to see.
In 1884, Mandelbaum escaped from the clutches of Pinkerton detectives, who were casing her house, and fled to Canada. Mandelbaum lived out the rest of her life in luxury on a small farm with her family and ill-got fortune. Hundreds of people turned out for her funeral. Dozens of people later reported to police that they had their pockets picked at the service.
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[book] The Marshmallow Test
Mastering Self-Control
by Walter Mischel
Columbia Univ
Fall 2014
Little Brown
Renowned psychologist Walter Mischel, designer of the famous Marshmallow Test, explains what self-control is and how to master it.
A child is presented with a marshmallow and given a choice: Eat this one now, or wait and enjoy two later. What will she do? And what are the implications for her behavior later in life?
The world's leading expert on self-control, Walter Mischel has proven that the ability to delay gratification is critical for a successful life, predicting higher SAT scores, better social and cognitive functioning, a healthier lifestyle and a greater sense of self-worth. But is willpower prewired, or can it be taught?
In The Marshmallow Test, Mischel explains how self-control can be mastered and applied to challenges in everyday life--from weight control to quitting smoking, overcoming heartbreak, making major decisions, and planning for retirement. With profound implications for the choices we make in parenting, education, public policy and self-care, The Marshmallow Test will change the way you think about who we are and what we can be.

Professor Mischel told the following story in 2010 at Hebrew University:
he was 8 years old in Nazi occupied Vienna
“I was 8 years old but it’s still vivid in memory—the heavy curtains fully drawn, the lights dim, the voices during the service almost whispers. Outside, the Nazis had been having their pre-Passover fun all day, making Orthodox Jews scrub the gutters into which they had painted the star of David and forcing them to eat ham. We ended the service with the usual ‘next year in Yerushaleiem.’ Although I have no memory for earlier Seders, I never forgot that one. It’s one of many reasons that makes being in Jerusalem 72 years later to receive this honor from this great university especially meaningful and moving for me.”
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[book] It Won’t Always Be This Great
A Novel
by Peter Mehlman
September 2014
Bancroft Press
A Moment of Rage in Suburbia...
In the crushing complacency of suburbia, mid-life crises pop in on men's lives unannounced. For one middle-aged Long Island Jewish podiatrist, it takes an impromptu act of vandalism just to make him aware of his own being. Walking home in the sub-zero wind chill of a Friday night, he stumbles on a bottle of horseradish and mindlessly hurls it through the window of a popular store selling over-sexed Tween fashions. This one tiny, out-of-character impulse turns his life vivid and terrifying, triggering waves of fear, crooked cops, and suspicions of anti-Semitism, both accurate and paranoid.

(if this sound like a Seinfeldian episode, please note that the author is Emmy nominated Peter Mehlman, who wrote for Seinfeld (and became an executive producer, no less), and led the writing team on “Yada Yada,” “shrinkage,” double-dipping,” and “sponge-worthy.”

The story is told by this same podiatrist, an often hysterical, endearingly wide-eyed, and entirely nameless narrator, to what he regards as the perfect audience: a comatose college friend. Yet, our narrator’s most unique quality lies simply in his glowing love for his wife Alyse, the girl of his dreams whom he met in college and still can’t quite believe he attained. She is the mother of his two children, Esme and Charlie, who are just starting to come into their own minds and experiencing their first encounters with prejudice.

Prior to the horseradish bottle throwing incident, our narrator had just enough going on to keep him interested in his own life. Now he’s way too interested. Friends and neighbors push his new intrigue-filled existence into wildly unpredictable places, especially nineteen year old Audra Uziel, a long-time patient whose plantar warts have given way to brilliance, rebelliousness, sexiness, and a taste for happily married men.

And oh: Audra also happens to be the daughter of Nat Uziel, self-proclaimed neighborhood patriarch business owner and owner of the store whose window the horseradish bottle smashed. Nat, always loudly on the lookout for anti-Semitism, doesn't know the true culprit but doesn't let that stop him from whipping his neighborhood into a frenzy, forcing our narrator into hiding in plain sight.
Pushed to the edge by his own desires, despairs, and disappointments, our narrator is about to find out what it is like to become a criminal, and what his excruciatingly dull neighborhood looks like when it’s been turned upside down.
Chock full of heart and humor, It Won't Always Be This Great, the debut novel of former Seinfeld writer Peter Mehlman, shows how one man's story is never really his story alone it's the story of his family, of his friends, of those he neglected, of those he remembers, of his enemies, and of his hopes, failures, dreams, and realities. And how one snap decision can change the course of a life..
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[book] THE PIOUS ONES
The World of Hasidim and
Their Battles With America
by Joseph Berger
September 2014
Harper Perennial paperback
As the population of ultra-Orthodox Jews in the United States increases to astonishing proportions, veteran New York Times journalist Joseph Berger takes us inside the notoriously insular world of the Hasidim to explore their origins, beliefs, and struggles—and the social and political implications of their expanding presence in America.
Though the Hasidic way of life was nearly extinguished in the Holocaust, today the Hasidim—“the pious ones”—have become one of the most prominent religious subcultures in America. In The Pious Ones, New York Times journalist Joseph Berger traces their origins in eighteenth-century Eastern Europe, illuminating their dynamics and core beliefs that remain so enigmatic to outsiders. He analyzes the Hasidim’s codified lifestyle, revealing its fascinating secrets, complexities, and paradoxes, and provides a nuanced and insightful portrayal of how their all-encompassing faith dictates nearly every aspect of life—including work, education, food, sex, clothing, and social relations—sustaining a sense of connection and purpose in a changing world.
From the intense sectarian politics to the conflicts that arise over housing, transportation, schooling, and gender roles, The Pious Ones also chronicles the ways in which the fabric of Hasidic daily life is threatened by exposure to the wider world and also by internal fissures within its growing population.
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[book] THE ROMAN GUIDE TO SLAVE MANAGEMENT
BY MARCUS SIDONIUS FALX
with Dr. Jerry Toner (Cambridge)
September 2014
Overlook
Marcus Sidonius Falx is just an average Roman citizen. Born of a relatively well-off noble family, he lives on a palatial estate in Campania, dines with senators and generals, and, like all of his ancestors before him, owns countless slaves. Having spent his entire life studying how best to exploit and control the slaves on his land—many of them prisoners of war from Rome’s numerous conquests—Falx decided to write an owner’s manual of sorts for his friends and countrymen.
The result, “coauthored” by Dr. Jerry Toner, a distinguished historian at Cambridge, is The Roman Guide to Slave Management, which offers an unvarnished and, believe it or not, darkly comic tour of Roman institutional slavery. Falx explains where and how to buy slaves even though the practice is officially banned throughout the Empire, how to tell a productive slave from a problematic one, and what to do in the event of an uprising. He also offers guidance on the delicate subject of when you should let your slaves engage in amorous relations with each other—or with their master. Provocative and uncompromising, this is the Roman Empire as you’ve never seen it before
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[book] WONDER OF WONDERS
A CULTURAL HISTORY OF FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
BY ALISA SOLOMON
October 2013
Metropolitan Books
EVEN IF you only read the intro, the book is worth the purchase price
Since when did Tevye and Fiddler on the Roof, a 50-year-old musical based on 100 year old short stories come to represent the nostalgia and idea of shtetl Jewish life and Jewish life before the mass American immigration
This is a sparkling and eye-opening history of the Broadway musical that changed the world.
In the half-century since its premiere, Fiddler on the Roof has had an astonishing global impact. Beloved by audiences the world over, performed from rural high schools to grand state theaters, Fiddler is a supremely potent cultural landmark.
In a history as captivating as its subject, award-winning drama critic Alisa Solomon traces how and why the story of Tevye the milkman, the creation of the great Yiddish writer Sholem-Aleichem, was reborn as blockbuster entertainment and a cultural touchstone, not only for Jews and not only in America. It is a story of the theater, following Tevye from his humble appearance on the New York Yiddish stage, through his adoption by leftist dramatists as a symbol of oppression, to his Broadway debut in one of the last big book musicals, and his ultimate destination—a major Hollywood picture.
Solomon reveals how the show spoke to the deepest conflicts and desires of its time: the fraying of tradition, generational tension, the loss of roots. Audiences everywhere found in Fiddler immediate resonance and a usable past, whether in Warsaw, where it unlocked the taboo subject of Jewish history, or in Tokyo, where the producer asked how Americans could understand a story that is “so Japanese.”
Rich, entertaining, and original, Wonder of Wonders reveals the surprising and enduring legacy of a show about tradition that itself became a tradition.







[book][book] Eating the Bible
Over 50 Delicious Recipes to Feed Your Body and Nourish Your Soul
by Rena Rossner (you know her from the Jerusalem Post)
November 2013
SkyHorse Press
Feed your body, challenge your mind, and nourish your soul
One weekend, a decade ago, author Rena Rossner was served a bowl of lentil soup at dinner. The portion of the Bible that had been discussed that week was the chapter in which Esau sells his birthright to his brother Jacob for a bowl of red lentil soup. Rossner was struck by the ability to bring the Bible alive in such a tactile way and decided on the spot to see whether she could incorporate the Bible into a meal each week. And so she has. The result, Eating the Bible, is an innovative cookbook with original, easy-to-prepare recipes that will ignite table conversation while pleasing the stomach. Every meal will become both a tactile and intellectual experience as the recipes enrich both the soul of the cook and the palates of those at the table.
Every cook must glance at a recipe countless times before completing a dish. Often recipes involve five- to ten-minute periods during which one must wait for the water to boil, the soup to simmer, or the onions to sauté. It is Rossner’s goal to help enrich those moments with biblical verse and commentary, to enable cooks to feed their souls as they work to feed the members of the household and guests. From the zesty “Garden of Eden Salad” to the “Honey Coriander Manna Bread,” each recipe will delight the palate and spark the mind.
213 color photographs
Rena Rossner has written extensively for the Jerusalem Post and the Jerusalem Report. Her Jerusalem Post cooking column, “The Weekly Portion,” combined recipes with biblical verse. As a mom to five kids, she is always looking for ways to bring more meaning to her family’s meals, and she blogs about this process at eatingthebibleblog.wordpress.com. She holds an MA in history from McGill University and a BA in nonfiction writing from Johns Hopkins University’s Writing Seminars program. Her poetry and short stories have been published in various print and online magazines. Raised in Miami, she also lived in Canada and Ireland before making her home with her family in Jerusalem, but she still travels extensively to North America and the United Kingdom.
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[book] My Basmati Bat Mitzvah
by Paula J. Freedman
October 2013
Amulet
During the fall leading up to her bat mitzvah, Tara (Hindi for "star") Feinstein has a lot more than her Torah portion on her mind. Between Hebrew school and study sessions with the rabbi, there doesn't seem to be enough time to hang out with her best friend Ben-O--who might also be her boyfriend--and her other best friend, Rebecca, who's getting a little too cozy with the snotty Sheila Rosenberg.
Not to mention working on her robotics project with the class clown Ryan Berger, or figuring out what to do with a priceless heirloom sari that she accidentally ruined.
Amid all this drama, Tara considers how to balance her Indian and Jewish identities and what it means to have a bat mitzvah while questioning her faith. With the cross-cultural charm of Bend It Like Beckham, this delightful debut novel is a classic coming-of-age story and young romance with universal appeal.















[book] BALABOOSTA
A Cookbook
by Einat Admony
September 2013
Einat Admony is a 21st-century balaboosta (Yiddish for “perfect housewife”). She’s a mother and wife, but also a chef busy running three bustling New York City restaurants: Taim, and Balaboosta.
I must mention that everytime I go to Taim, the takeout Israeli cuisine is quite above average, but they have so much staff attitude that I usually avoid the place. That is why I like the cookbook better; you get the food and nice feelings, without the unnecessary snide attitude.
This is Admony’s debut cookbook and it contains over 130 recipes she cooks for the people she loves. Here, Einat’s mixed Israeli heritage (Yemenite, Persian) seamlessly blends with the fresh, sophisticated Mediterranean palate she honed while working in some of New York City’s most beloved kitchens. The result is a melting pot of meals for every need and occasion: exotic and exciting dinner-party dishes (harissa-spiced Moroccan fish, beet gnocchi), meals just for kids (chicken schnitzel, root veggie chips), healthy options (butternut squash and saffron soup, quinoa salad with preserved lemon and chickpeas), satisfying comfort food (creamy, cheesy potatoes, spicy chili), and so much more.
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[book] My Mother's Brisket & Other Love Songs
By Rick Moranis
So it isn’t a book, so kill me, it is a CD
Summer 2013
Rick Moranis, nominated for a Grammy for Best Comedy Album in 1983 and 2005, presents a collection of songs for 2013, this time derived from his Jewish roots and upbringing. My Mother s Brisket & Other Love Songs is an eclectic blend of klezmer, rumba, folk and jazz covering themes of family, food, religious traditions, more food, love, and dessert.
Music has always been a big part of Moranis career. He started spinning records on Toronto radio in the 70s, then went on to do stand-up comedy, always appearing with his guitar. On the Emmy award-winning TV series SCTV, Moranis did musical impressions, parodies, and characters. And starred in a list of still loved 80s comedy films including Ghostbusters, Spaceballs, Parenthood, Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, the cult-favorite McKenzie Brothers' film Strange Brew, and one of his most beloved, the musical Little Shop Of Horrors.
With this album, Moranis goes back to where he started: "When I first began writing jokes and sketches with various Jewish partners one of us would inevitably stop at some point and announce, "Too Jewish!" Too Jewish for the star, the show, the network, or the audience. The songs on this album are all in that category. I grew up hearing the Allan Sherman and the You Don't Have To Be Jewish albums in the 60s. Now I m in my 60s."

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[book] THE BOOK OF SCHMALTZ
Love Song to a Forgotten Fat
by Michael Ruhlman
Photos by Donna Turner Ruhlman (some relation)
2013
From the famed cookbook author and judge from Iron Chef, a definitive book on schmaltz--a staple in Jewish cuisine and a "thread in a great tapestry," by one of America's most respected culinary writers.
For culinary expert Michael Ruhlman, the ultimate goal in cooking is flavor, and for certain dishes nothing introduces it half as well as schmaltz. A staple ingredient in traditional Jewish cuisine, schmaltz (or rendered chicken fat), is at risk of disappearing from use due to modern dietary trends and misperceptions about this versatile and flavor-packed ingredient.
THE BOOK OF SCHMALTZ acts as a primer on schmaltz, taking a fresh look at traditional dishes like kugel, kishke, and kreplach, and also venturing into contemporary recipes that take advantage of the versatility of this marvelous fat. Potatoes cooked with schmaltz take on a crispness and satisfying flavor that vegetable oil can't produce. Meats and starches have a depth and complexity that set them apart from the same dishes prepared with olive oil or butter.
What's more, schmaltz provides a unique link to the past that ought to be preserved. "Schmaltz is like a thread that runs through a great tapestry," says Ruhlman's neighbor Lois, whose cooking inspired his own journey into the world of schmaltz. "It's a secret handshake among Jews who love to cook and eat."
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[book] Sobre el cielo y la tierra
ON HEAVEN AND EARTH
(Spanish Edition)
By Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ and Rabbi Abraham Skorka
Sudamerica Press, Argentina
December 2010, paperback edition

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (now known as Pope Francis I), the highest authority of the Catholic Church in Argentina, and Rabbi Abraham Skorka, rector of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary, two tenacious promoters of interfaith dialogue, through which they seek to build common horizons and undiluted particularities that characterize them.
“About the heaven and earth” is the result of a series of deep conversations alternately held at the headquarters of the Episcopate and in the Jewish B'nai Tikvah synagogue
In his meetings they discussed the most varied theological and worldly issues: God, fundamentalism, atheists, death, the Holocaust, homosexuality, capitalism, and so much more.

If you want to read it for free: http://books.google.com/books?id=gmlCmEW9MOYC&pg=PP5&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false
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[book] The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization
Volume 10: 1973-2005
Edited by Deborah Dash Moore and Nurith Gertz
December 2012
Yale University Press
This first published volume in the Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization introduces readers to the diversity of Jewish civilization since 1973. The volume vividly demonstrates the interaction of Jewish ideas and themes across continents and languages, revealing the complex transnational character of Jewish life and cultural production. With hundreds of examples from literature, visual arts, and popular culture, as well as intellectual and spiritual works, the volume adopts a deliberately pluralistic perspective. High and low, elite and popular, folk and mass, famous and obscure—all have a place in this groundbreaking anthology.
Readers will quickly come to appreciate the impact on Jewish culture of major social, political, and economic events during the past quarter century—the feminist movement, Israeli politics after the Yom Kippur War, Russian Jewish emigration, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, the rise of identity politics in the United States, South American revolutions and dictatorships, and North African emigration to France, among many others. Offering a rich encounter with an array of expressions of Jewish identity, the anthology reflects the exuberance, diversity, and vigor of Jewish culture in the decades since 1973.
Among the hundreds of noted figures in Volume 10 are Bellow, Blume, Dershowitz, Doctorow, Englander, Gehry, Bader Ginsburg, Thomas L. Friedman, Allegra Goodman, Grossman, Malamud, Memet, Nevelson, Ozick, Roth, Sontag, and Wasserstein
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