Your online discount Jewish Bookstore
Books for the People of the Book

Our Shelves


Winter 2015
Fall 2014
Summer 2014
Spring 2014
Winter 2014
Fall 2013
Summer 2013
Spring 2013
Winter 2013
Fall 2012
Summer 2012
Spring 2012
Winter 2012
Fall 2011
Summer 2011
Spring 2011
Winter 2011
Fall 2010
Summer 2010
Spring 2010
Winter 2010
Fall 2009
Summer 2009
Spring 2009
Winter 2009
Fall 2008
Summer 2008
Spring 2008
Winter 2008
Fall 2007
Summer 2007
Spring 2007
Winter 2007
More Fall 2006
Fall 2006
Summer 2006
Spring 2006
Winter 2006
Fall 2005
Summer 2005
Spring 2005
Winter 2005
Late Fall 2004
Fall 2004
Summer 2004
Spring 2004
Winter 2004
Late Fall 2003
Fall 2003
Summer 2003
Spring 2003
Winter 2003
FALL 2002
Summer 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
Winter 2002
Dec 2001
Nov 2001
Oct 2001
Sept 2001
Fall 2001
Summer 2001
May 2001 Books
April 2001 Books
March 2001 Books
February 2001 Books
January 2001 Books
December 2000 Books
Hanukkah Books
November 2000 Books
October 2000 Books
September 2000 Books
August 2000 Books
July 2000 Books
June 2000 Books
Spring 2000 Books
April 2000 Books
March 2000 Books
More March 2000
Winter2000 Books

Special Topics
Jewish Audio

Winners of the
National Jewish Book
Awards, 2011

Winners of the
National Jewish Book
Awards, 2010

Winners of the
National Jewish Book
Awards, ‘09

Winners of the
National Jewish Book
Awards, ‘08

Jewish Book Award Winners

OFRAH's BookClub
Jewish Book of the Week

CHAT About Books
Yiddish Culture

Jewish Themes in Classical Music
Jewish Mysteries and Science Fiction
Wrabbis Rite Books
Holocaust Studies
Jewish Bio's
Jewish Biz
Jewish Travel
Must Reads

Israel Travel
Jewish Renewal
Bibles Torah


Jewish SEX
Gay & Lesbian
Jewish Weddings
Children's Books
Bar Bat Mitzvah
BarBat Mitzvah Gifts
Art Books
Jewish Business
More Business
Asian Jewry
Miscellaneous Cholent

Jewish Textbooks

Sephardic Jewry
Southern Jewry
South American Jewry
French Jewry
Black-Jewish Relations

More Seasons
Fall99 Books
More Fall99 Books
Summer 99
Spring 99
Jan/Feb 99
Fall98 Books

HighHoliday Books
Shavuot Books
Passover Books

More Holidays
Purim Books
Tu B'Shvat Books
Jewish MLKing,Jr Day Books
Sukkah 2000 Project
HighHolyDay Books
Hanukkah Books

50% OFF NYT Best Sellers
jewish bedtime stories


Piano Music

Hollywood and Films

The Jewish Best Sellers

Our partner's Top 100 Books's Top 100 Music

Top Klezmer CD's
Top Israel Best Selling CD's


Email us at:

Jewish Book Council

NYTimes in Mandarin

NYT in Chinese

Our NEWS Links Page

Our films page on Facebook

Our books page on Facebook

Sefer Safari and are online Jewish bookstores. Orders are fulfilled by Net proceeds are donated to tzedakah

Visit our Tzedakah Page

penny harvest

Siddur Audio

heeb magazine
bar mitzvah disco
the Hasidic rebel blog about his dislikes in the Hasidic world
Yeshiva Univ Library Blog
Matt Messinger Casting

American Jewish World Service
Lend For Peace – West Bank Microfinance
Dry Bones
Urban Kvetch
Jewish Council on Urban Affairs
Elat Chayim
New Shul Scottsdale
Shalom Center
Tikkun Leil Shabbat
Times Fool
Association of Jewish Librarians Jewish Values site
Beach Hillel
Assoc of Jewish Libraries
Bikkurim - Jewish incubator
Cambridge Minyan
Workmen's Circle/Arbiter Ring
Tehillah Riverdale
DC Minyan
Darkhei Noam
Isabella Freedman
JCRC Boston
Jdub Records
Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action
Jewish Community Action
SchmoozeDance 2005
SchmoozeDance 2006
schmoozedance 2007
Jewish Funds for Justice
Selah Cohorts
Jewish Labor Committee
Jewish Organizing Initiative
Jews for Racial and Economic Justice
Jewish Social Policy Action Network
Jspot- Jewish Justice spot
Jews United for Justice
Kavana Seattle
Moishe/Kavod House Boston
Kol HaKfar
Kol Tzedek West Philly
Kol Zimrah
Minyan Tehillah Cambridge
Mitziut Chicago
Nashuva LA
network 2020
Panim Hadashot DC
Park Slope Minyan
Progressive Jewish Alliance
Rabbis for Human Rights - North America
Riverway Project Boston
Synagogue 3000
Tikkun Ha-Ir
Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies
South Jerusalem Blog by Gorenberg and Watzman

Panim Institute
Volunteers for Israel
Jewish Teen Funders Network
Jewish Heart Africa
Jcrc NY
Lisa Klug Cool Jew
Judios Latino
Israel Films
Israeli Films
Masa Israel
Birthright Israel Next
JTA News
Jewish Dly Forward
Jewish Book Council
JB Books
NY Jewish Week
Jewish Camps Fdtn

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


July 15, 2014: Daniel Silva reads from The Heist: A Novel (Gabriel Allon Series #14). B&N NYC Union Square
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)
August 30, 2014: Library of Congress Book Fest, Washington DC

September 08, 2014: Joshua Wolf Shenk of Silverlake reads from POWERS OF TWO (on our Summer books page). SIXTH & I. Washington, DC
September 08, 2014: Danielle Fishel reads from Normally, This Would be Cause for Concern Tales of Calamity and Unrelenting Awkwardness. Niether Fishel nor the character Topanga are Jewish, but it will be a fun reading. B&N NYC UES.
September 08, 2014: Sociologist and Creative Writing teacher, Reza Aslan chats about his book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. B&N NYC Union Sqaure
September 15, 2014: Danielle Fishel reads from Normally, This Would be Cause for Concern Tales of Calamity and Unrelenting Awkwardness. Neither Fishel nor the character Topanga are Jewish, but it will be a fun reading. B&N Los Angeles Farmers’ Market.
September 16, 2014: Rabbi David Wolpe in conversation about DAVID. Temple Emanu-El, Skirball Center, NYC $30 .
September 17, 2014: Jennifer McLaggin, author of BITTER. Bitter and Delicious. At the 92nd St Y in NYC.
September 18, 2014: Susan Blumberg-Kason reads from her memoir: Good Chinese Wife A Love Affair with China Gone Wrong. B&N, Princeton NJ
September 18, 2014: Betty Halbreich chats with Isaac Mizrahi about Bergdorf's shopping, and life. B&N Upper East Side NYC
September 20, 2014: Cantor Mitch reads from Kosher Cuisine For a New Generation. B&N Roseville MN
September 22, 2014: Fiddler on the Roof, 50th Anniversary Event at B&N NYC UWS 86th Street. Featuring Jerry Zaks, Austin Pendleton, Joanna Merlin and Barbara Isenberg
September 30, 2014: Lena Dunham reads from Not That Kind of Girl A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned." B&N NYC Union Square
September 30, 2014: Sayed Kashua discusses being a Palestinian author in Israel. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. 200 Fletcher 7PM
September 30, 2014: National Quitting Day. Read The Day The Crayons Quit

October 06, 2014: Peter Thiel reads from “ZERO TO ONE” JCC of San Francisco, CA.
October 09, 2014: Linda Rottenberg reads from Crazy Is a Compliment The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags. B&N NYC UWS
October 09, 2014: Sukkot, Day One
October 13, 2014: Drinks from Death & Company. 92St Y. NYC (we would list more 92nd St Y events, but they make it a pain to copy-paste from their website,
October 13, 2014: Normal Lear Norman Lear in Conversation with Jacki Lyden about Lear’s memoir. Sixth & Eye, Washington DC
October 14, 2014: Lena Dunham reads from Not That Kind of Girl A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned." B&N Farmers’ Market Los Angeles
October 15, 2014: Teach In Against Hate at Emory University, featuring Deborah Lipstadt, Andra Gillespie, Eric L. Goldstein, and Bridgette Young Ross. Steps of Admin Building 3PM
October 20, 2014: Washington DC JCC Literary Festival. The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book with author Geraldine Brooks
October 21, 2014: Washington DC JCC Literary Festival. Zachary Lazar reads from I Pity the Poor Immigrant
October 21, 2014: Washington DC JCC Literary Festival. Art Spiegelman's WORDLESS! with music by Phillip Johnston
October 22, 2014: Gary Shteyngart chats with Jonathan Safran Foer. The Great Hall of Cooper Union. NYC East Village. 730 PM $25. Co sponsored by the Genesis Philanthropy Group
October 22, 2014: Washington DC JCC Literary Festival. Hilma and Meg Wolitzer: Like Mother, Like Daughter. Moderated by Deborah Tannen
October 23, 2014: Europaeum Graduate Workshop Jews in Europe: Is there still a Question ? Kraków, 23rd – 25th October, 2014 organised with the Institute of Jewish Studies, Institute of History (Jagiellonian University) and the Galicia Jewish Museum
October 24, 2014: Washington DC JCC Literary Festival. Nick Kotz Reads from The Harness Maker's Dream: Nathan Kallison and the Rise of South Texas
October 25, 2014: Washington DC JCC Literary Festival. Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer and Jerome E. Singerman on Myths of Love: Echoes of Ancient Mythology in the Modern Romantic Imagination
October 26, 2014: NYC Skirball Center presents Atty. Alan Dershowitz, Art Shamsky, Ira Berkow, Larry Ruttman, and Donald Fehr speaking on Jews and Baseball.
October 27, 2014: Former CIA Officer Robert Baer reads from The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws for Assassins. Sixth & Eye, Washington DC
October 27, 2014: Washington DC JCC Literary Festival. Matthew Klickstein reads from Slimed!: An Oral History of Nickelodeon's Golden Age. If you go, please GRILL him about his backward attitudes on women, whites, and diversity in Nick programming
October 28, 2014: Washington DC JCC Literary Festival. Martin Goldsmith reads from Alex's Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance
October 28, 2014: Chez Mo baking. Dorie Greenspan w/ Julia Moskin. NYC
October 28, 2014: “How Jewish is the Jewish State? Religion and Society in Israel” October 28, 2014 American University, Washington, DC
October 29, 2014: Washington DC JCC Literary Festival. Gary Shteyngart in Conversation with Alan Cheuse on the paperback issue of his memoir, Little Failure: A Memoir
October 29, 2014: Yale Strom, filmmaker and musician on The Last Klezmer: The Life and Music of Leopold Kozlowski 7:00 PM UMMA Stern Auditorium, Ann Arbor
October 30, 2014: Shulamit. Performances at JCC UWS Manhattan
October 31, 2014: Penn Homecoming

November 02, 2014: Seminar at Emory University. “The Rise of the Philistines at the Seaport of Ashkelon” Professor Daniel Master (Wheaton College)
November 04, 2014: Walter Isaacson reads from THE INNOVATORS. Sixth & I, Washington DC NW
November 05, 2014: Skirball Center – NYC. Dr. Daniel Gordis talks to Ethan Bronner (NYT) and Gary Rosenblatt (NY Jewish Week) about Israel and the media.
November 05-17, 2014: Boston Jewish Film Festival.
November 07, 2014: 2Nd Annual Push and Kick Awards for Visual Excellence in Graphic Books. Society of Illustrators. NYC.
November 08, 2014: Walter Isaacson reads from THE INNOVATORS. Marcus JCC, Atlanta Georgia.
November 08, 2014: 25th Yahrzeit of Reb Shlomo Carlbach. West Side Inst. Synagogue NYC event 9:15Pm
November 09-10, 2014: Conference: World War I and the Jews Center for Jewish History, New York Sunday, November 9, 9 am – 7 pm (public sessions) Monday, November 10, 8:15 am – 6:15 pm (for college faculty and students only)
November 09-11, 2014: Dispossession. The Plundering of German Jewry, 1933-1945 and Beyond,” will take place from November 9-11, 2014. Conference at Elie Weisel Center at Boston University on Economic Racism in Perspective: Past and Present in the US and Germany.
November 13, 2014: Andy Cohen reads from The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year. B&N, Union Square.
November 16, 2014: Eliot Spitzer, disgraced former Governor of the State of New York prosecutes the biblical Abraham. Atty Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law professor emeritus and opera maven, represents the patriarch Abraham. U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan (Southern District NY) presides in a mock trial at Skirball Center, NYC. 10 AM – 2 PM.
November 18, 2014: Jewish Book Council fetes and honors Carolyn Starman Hessel at the Edison Ballroom in NYC
November 18, 2014: "At the Periphery of the Holocaust-Pillage and Killings of Jews by their Neighbors", The Jacobson Lecture. Brown University Judaic Studies, Providence RI
November 21-23, 2014: Miami International Book Festival

January 15, 2015: Mysticism and Magic in Jewish Thought Adam Mickiewicz University in Pozna? Institute of European Culture in Gniezno 15th-16th January 2015
January 26, 2015: Michèle Fitoussi reads from Helen Rubenstein: Beauty is Power. The Jewish Museum. NYC US. Coincides with opening of a new exhibit


By Russell Edwards
September 9, 2014
Glove Pequot Press
After 125 years of theorizing and speculation regarding the identity of Jack the Ripper, Russell Edwards, an amateur armchair detective, says that he is in the unique position of owning the first physical evidence relating to the crimes to have emerged since 1888. It is a shawl
This evidence is from one of the crime scenes, and has now been rigorously examined by some of the most highly-qualified forensic scientists in the country who have ascertained its true provenance.
He says that the murderous Jack the Rupper was a Jew in London. A barber. A murdering barber who was an immigrant from Poland in the late 19th Century. Mr Komisky was later sent to an asylum where he died frmi gangrene,
With the help of modern forensic techniques, Russell writes that his ground-breaking discoveries provide conclusive answers to many of the most challenging mysterious surrounding the case.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Days Between
Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart
for the Jewish High Holiday Season
(HBI Series on Jewish Women)
by Marcia Falk
Brandeis University Press
The Jewish High Holidays—the ten days beginning with the New Year Festival of Rosh Hashanah and culminating with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement—constitute the most sacred period of the Jewish year. During this season, religious as well as nonaffiliated Jews attend synagogue services in unparalleled numbers. Yet much of what they find there can be unwelcoming in its patriarchal imagery, leaving many worshipers unsatisfied.

For those seeking to connect more deeply with their Judaism, and for all readers in search of a contemplative approach to the themes of the fall season, poet and scholar Marcia Falk re-creates the holidays’ key prayers and rituals from an inclusive perspective. Among the offerings in The Days Between are Hebrew and English blessings for festive meals, prayers for synagogue services, and poems and meditations for quiet reflection. Emphasizing introspection as well as relationship to others, Falk evokes her vision of the High Holidays as “ten days of striving to keep the heart open to change.”
Accessible and welcoming to modern readers, The Days Between is steeped in traditional sources and grounded in liturgical and biblical scholarship. It will serve as a meaningful alternative or supplement to the traditional liturgy for individuals, families, synagogues, and communities small and large—that is, for all who seek fresh meaning in the High Holidays.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

By Denise Phillips
Summer 2014
Thomas Dunne
From modern spins on classics, like Schnitzel Noodle Stir Fry and Matza Granola, to make-ahead meals, like Passover Beef Lasagna, to sophisticated dishes, like Veal Chops with Mushroom Sauce, this cookbook covers it all. Suited both for home chefs looking to introduce new foods into their repertoire as well as casual cooks searching for that perfect dinner party recipe to wow their guests, The Gourmet Jewish Cookbook is the ideal source for modern, gourmet twists on classic recipes. In addition, each recipe includes a brief overview of the background and rich history of Jewish cuisine and illustrates how kosher cooking is the first example of "fusion,"as it melds local foods of the countries where Jews have lived with the dietary laws that Jews observe. Whether for entertaining with style, cooking for the family or providing the traditional dishes for the Jewish festivals, this book will prove indispensable for Jewish and non-Jewish chefs everywhere.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Gefiltefest Cookbook:
Recipes from the World's Best-Loved Jewish Cooks
Intro by Maureen Kendler
Foreword by Claudia Roden
Summer 2014
Grub Street
Everyone eats - but in the Jewish community food really matters. Eating is not a casual enjoyment but an expression of culture, history and philosophy. The Jewish communities’ tastes have developed in distinct ways according to family traditions and homeland cultures. To showcase the great variety of cooking styles the Jewish food charity Gefiltefest invited Jewish cookery writers from around the world to contribute their favorite recipes to The Gefiltefest Cookbook. In total, more than 65 internationally-renowned Jewish cooks have contributed to this collection.
Among the many well-known writers are, Nadine Abensur, Ekhlas Ahmed, Ken Albala, Michal Ansky, Tori Avey, Claire Berson, Jayne Cohen, Sibel Cuniman-Pinto, Linda Dangoor, Rachel Davies, Ovi Duri, Poopa Dweck, James and Michael Eder, Florence Fabricant, Sue Fishkoff, Jamie Geller, Tamar Genger, Sharon Glass, Stan Ginsberg, Simi Goldberg, Marcy Goldman, Joyce Goldstein, Todd Gray, Richard Grausman, Gil Hovav, Clarissa Hyman, Judy Jackson, Ruth Joseph, The Jewish Princesses, Faye Levy, Sharon Lurie, Deborah Madison, Gil Marks, Silvia Nacamulli, Helen Nash, Joan Nathan, Russell Norman, Yotam Ottolenghi, Philip Pell, Denise Phillips, Fred Plotkin, Victoria Prever, Rose Prince, Steven Raichlen, Rosalind Rathouse, Claudia Roden, Evelyn Rose, Judi Rose, Alan Rosenthal, Michael Ruhlman, Lady Sacks, Nigel Savage, Michael Shafran, Leah Shapira, Paula Shoyer, Marlena Spieler, Nanny Ten Brink-De Lieme, Eran Tibi, Fabienne Viner-Luzzato, Tina Wasserman, Michael Wex, Paula Wolfert, and Orly Ziv.
Gefiltefest’s founding patron Claudia Roden has written that ‘every recipe tells a story’. No culinary concoction exists in isolation and each has a rich history. For the Jewish community each dish reveals the writer’s roots, global wanderings and also modern practicalities and passions. The book includes a foreword by Ms Roden. The book also features an introduction by Maureen Kendler (with additional research by Claudia Prieto) discussing Jewish cookbooks from the 1840s to the present day.
Sales of the book will support the food charity, which organizes an annual London Jewish Food Festival and other events. Check Gefiltefest's website ( for more information
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Faith, Power, and Violence in
the age of Crusade and Jihad
by Brian A. Catlos
Summer 2014
An in-depth portrait of the Crusades-era Mediterranean world, and a new understanding of the forces that shaped it
Mr, Carlos begins with the story of the Jewish bureaucrat, soldier, and poet, Isma'il ibn Naghrilla, who rose to the position of prime minister of Muslim controlled Granada. His son Carlos almost became the king. From there we learn of El Cid of Valencia (a Christian in Islamic SPain), and Roger II of Sicily, who surrounded himself with Muslims.
In Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors, the award-winning scholar Brian Catlos puts us on the ground in the Mediterranean world of 1050–1200. We experience the sights and sounds of the region just as enlightened Islamic empires and primitive Christendom began to contest it. We learn about the siege tactics, theological disputes, and poetry of this enthralling time. And we see that people of different faiths coexisted far more frequently than we are commonly told.
Catlos’s meticulous reconstruction of the era allows him to stunningly overturn our most basic assumption about it: that it was defined by religious extremism. He brings to light many figures who were accepted as rulers by their ostensible foes. Samuel B. Naghrilla, a self-proclaimed Jewish messiah, became the force behind Muslim Granada. Bahram Pahlavuni, an Armenian Christian, wielded power in an Islamic caliphate. And Philip of Mahdia, a Muslim eunuch, rose to admiral in the service of Roger II, the Christian “King of Africa.”
What their lives reveal is that, then as now, politics were driven by a mix of self-interest, personality, and ideology. Catlos draws a similar lesson from his stirring chapters on the early Crusades, arguing that the notions of crusade and jihad were not causes of war but justifications. He imparts a crucial insight: the violence of the past cannot be blamed primarily on religion.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Translated by Margaret Jull Costa
Summer 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.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Marrying Out
Jewish Men, Intermarriage, and Fatherhood
by Keren R. McGinity
Summer 2014
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.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

By Joanne Lipman aand Melanie Kupchynsky
STRINGS ATTACHED is a powerful memoir about resilience in the face of unspeakable tragedy, an inspiring and poignant tale of how one man transformed his own heartache into a legacy of joy for his students.
His students knew Jerry Kupchynsky as "Mr. K" - the fierce, foot-stomping Ukrainian-born music teacher who rehearsed them until their fingers almost bled, and who made them better than they had any right to be. Away from the classroom, though, life seemed to conspire against him at every turn. STRINGS ATTACHED takes you on his remarkable journey, from his childhood on the run in Nazi Germany, to his life in America caring for his disabled wife and their two young daughters, to his search for his younger daughter after she mysteriously disappears - a search that would last for seven years.
His unforgettable story is lyrically told in alternating chapters by two childhood friends who reconnected decades later: journalist Joanne Lipman, his former student; and Chicago Symphony Orchestra violinist Melanie Kupchynsky, his daughter.
Heartbreaking yet ultimately triumphant, STRINGS ATTACHED is a testament to the astonishing power of hope -- and a celebration of the profound influence one person can have on the lives of others.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book


[book] Diary of a Mad Diva
by Joan Rivers
July 2014
Anais Nin, Anne Frank and Sylvia Plath wrote the world’s most famous diaries.
And where are they today?
But the world’s OTHER great diarist, Joan Rivers, is alive and kicking. And kvetching.


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 over.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book
See also:

An ExtraOrdinary Rabbi and a
Skeptical Seeker Confront
Life’s Greatest Mystery
March 2014
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.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] From Age-Ing to Sage-Ing
A Revolutionary Approach to Growing Older
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."
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book


[book] Feed Me Bubbe
Recipes and Wisdom from America's Favorite Online Grandmother
Bubbe and Avrom Honig
September 2011 Running Press
Feed Me Bubbe is all about taking you into Bubbe's kitchen. Based upon the popular online and televised kosher cooking show seen all over the world this book includes all of Bubbe's classic recipes, insights, and stories that are sure to touch the heart. Her voice and wisdom come across each page through a format that makes cooking fun and comfortable for any skill level. Discover Bubbe's favorite Yiddish songs and create menus that will be sure to please any palate. This is a must purchase for any fan of Feed Me Bubbe and anyone interested in experiencing the feelings, memories, and tastes of being a part of Bubbe's kitchen. So pull up a chair, sit down, have some chicken soup, and as Bubbe says at the end of every episode "Ess gezunterhait!" Eat in good health.
Picture sitting around the dining room table while your Bubbe, your grandmother, is in the kitchen cooking your absolute favorite treat. Be it the smell of chicken soup with matzo balls, the sounds of the sizzling oil as latkes are being prepared.
And the smile on her face as she would bring in that meal to the table for all to enjoy. Those memories, feelings, and moments are what the highlights of our childhood was made of. Bubbe wants you to feel that connection, revealing only need to know information, making you feel like Bubbe is adopting you into her family. This is not your typical book, yes it includes recipes but this book has a "Yiddish Word of the Day", stories, words of encouragement amongst other surprises that makes any human soul want to know more. We worked very hard to get the results that we knew the fans expected to see at the end of the day. In addition we wanted to make this book accessible to those that may not have seen the show online or on TV through JLTV in which the book is based upon. If you have not seen the show for yourself take a closer look at Bubbe's incredible world up close and personal through this book in what our fans affectionately know of as Feed Me Bubbe.

[book] Above is the official blurb. Now, for mine. Avrom Honig is a nice Jewish grandson. A college graduate, he gives great nachas to his Worcester family. He wanted to get involved in the media business after college, and was trying to make a tape/dvd/reel to show his work to prospective employers. He wasn’t happy with his sample dvd, and his father, in a fit of angst, said, why don’t you video your bubbe. And that is how his octogenarian bubbe became a media star, and part of a PBS Frontline documentary. He taped her making homey meals and giving advice, and these became an online sensation, a cable TV show, annual Beyond Bubbe Cook-off at WGBH in Boston, and, now, a cookbook
The cookbook is filled with stories, recipes, and cooking advice. There are memories of growing up in New England, marrying, and raising a family. The recipes are kosher, basic, easy, and heimisch. Each page has a Yiddish word of the day. There are recipes for latkas, blintzes, bulkelach (cinnamon rolls), chopped chicken livers, mock faux chopped liver, chopped eggs and onions (she uses olive oil), salmon puffs, chopped herring, Israeli style herring (tomato paste and apples), and pickled salmon. There is a story about a neighbor’s first taste of nova lox, the Catskills, a Boston area snowstorm and its food requirements, balancing work (she worked) and family and a daily hot meal for her growing family. Oh, there is the story of a crock pot and a frankfurter sliced lengthwise. Then there are more recipes, such as ones for pickles, black radish salad, homemade horseradish (with a story), and lime laced fruit salad. Naturally there is a recipe for chicken soup, and a gogol mogol drink that can cure you. There is fish chowder (cuz she is in New England), yellow pea soup with frankfurters (or hot dogs), meatball stew, lots of soups, bubbe’s burgers, and lettuce and tomato and onion on toasted bread. There are old family pics from the album. These are the foods your bubbe would make for you. There is baked fish cakes, sole stuffed with salmon, roasted chicken, mock gefilte fish (made of… chicken!), turkey eggrolls, turkey cacciatore (which she once flew with on a jet to California to feed at least ten relatives, because that is what bubbes do). Her brisket is to LIVE for, as is her beef or vegetarian tzimis, pitcha, cholent, pepper steak, pot roast, spaghetti and meatballs, corned beef, beef tongue, as well as kugels and desserts.

[book] Tradition!:
The Highly Improbable, Ultimately
Triumphant Broadway-to-Hollywood
Story of Fiddler on the Roof, the World's
Most Beloved Musical
by Barbara Isenberg
September 2014
Since it first opened on Broadway in September, 1964, Fiddler on the Roof has constantly been onstage somewhere, including four Broadway revivals, four productions on London’s West End and thousands of schools, army bases and countries from Argentina to Japan. Barbara Isenberg interviewed the men and women behind the original production, the film and significant revivals-- Harold Prince, Sheldon Harnick, Joseph Stein, Austin Pendleton, Joanna Merlin, Norman Jewison, Topol, Harvey Fierstein and more-- to produce a lively,?popular chronicle of the making of?Fiddler. Published?in celebration of Fiddler’s?50th anniversary, Tradition!?is the book?for?everyone who loves?Fiddler?and?can sing?along with the original?cast album

"Barbara Isenberg’s history of Fiddler on the Roof, from Sholom Aleichem’s Tevye stories to Norman Jewison’s film and beyond, is definitive. I can’t imagine anyone covering the subject more fascinatingly or eloquently. As someone who was lucky enough to be part of the saga, I applaud Tradition!"—Hal Prince "Barbara Isenberg's book about the making of Fiddler itself has all the qualities that make that musical so great: it's drenched in humanity, it's full of joy and sorrows, beautifully rendered, it's often very funny and it's almost somber in the way it appreciates the process through which unforgettable theatre has to be born. The early parts of it, which I lived through, hit me with, if I wanted to be pretentious (and I do) a truly Proustian surge; the rest of it conveyed all the richness and fascination it surely had for all those participants. I think as many people who love Fiddler on the Roof will love this book. In other words, people all over the world."—Austin Pendleton
"Great works of art seem to have been created effortlessly. They appear as whole, solid and eternal as if they'd always existed in their perfection. Fiddler on the Roof is one of those works. Every element of the story, script, music and lyrics are so naturally balanced and complete that it seems impossible to imagine the success of this piece was ever in question or that its creators ever floundered. Here, Barbara Isenberg uncovers sweat and tears behind the curtain through the stories of those who were actually there. And then, she carries us forward to this day's productions which keep Fiddler on the Roof before generation after generation of appreciative audiences. Brava, Barbara!!!!"— Harvey Fierstein
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

The text of the musical
Book by Hosepg Stein
Music by Jerry Boch
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
September 2014
Issued for the 50th anniversary
Released to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Broadway premiere, the full text and lyrics from the original production of one of the most beloved musicals of the 20th century
Fiddler on the Roof is well established as one of the great works of American musical theater. Adapted from the tales of Yiddish writer Sholom Alecheim and set in Tsarist Russia in 1905, it has proven an indelible tale of family, tradition, wit, and sorrow—all filtered through the ordeals of Tevye, a Jewish Everyman. Tevye, who lives in the fictional village Anatevka, is a hard-working milkman who clings to his faith and traditions, while dreaming of riches he'll never see. He believes he'll need a matchmaker to marry off his older daughters—but they soon force their more modern ideas about romance upon him. His celebrated journey to maintain his family and his faith amidst a rapidly changing world make for a timelessly profound read; the very definition of a classic.
This edition also preempts the next Broadway revival, scheduled for 2015.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

By Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman
September 16, 2014
Putnam Adult
An extraordinary work of detection, suspense, and supernatural mystery. I spent three days totally lost in the world Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman have created. This is brilliant, page-turning fiction with mythic underpinnings that give it a special resonance; a rare collaboration where the sum is truly greater than the parts. The book is like nothing I’ve ever read before. It sort of took my breath away.”—Stephen King
From Jonathan Kellerman, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author and master of psychological suspense, and Jesse Kellerman, the international #1 bestselling author of The Genius, comes one of the most remarkable novels of the year. A burned-out L.A. detective . . . a woman of mystery who is far more than she seems . . . a grotesque, ancient monster bent on a mission of retribution. When these three collide, a new standard of suspense is born.
The legend of the Golem of Prague has endured through the ages, a creature fashioned by a sixteenth-century rabbi to protect his congregation, now lying dormant in the garret of a synagogue. But the Golem is dormant no longer.
Detective Jacob Lev wakes one morning, dazed and confused: He seems to have picked up a beautiful woman in a bar the night before, but he can’t remember anything about the encounter, and before he knows it, she has gone. But this mystery pales in comparison to the one he’s about to be called on to solve. Newly reassigned to a Special Projects squad he didn’t even know existed, he’s sent to a murder scene far up in the hills of Hollywood Division. There is no body, only an unidentified head lying on the floor of a house. Seared into a kitchen counter nearby is a single word: the Hebrew for justice.
Detective Lev is about to embark on an odyssey—through Los Angeles, through many parts of the United States, through London and Prague, but most of all, through himself. All that he has believed to be true will be upended—and not only his world, but the world itself, will be changed.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Summer 2014
It’s April 1948 and war hangs over Jaffa. One minute seven-year-old Salim is dreaming of taking his first harvest from the family orange tree with his father; the next he is swept away by “the great catastrophe” into a life of exile. Meanwhile Jude is growing up in the north of England, a girl from a Jewish family that survived the Holocaust. When their paths collide in swinging-‘60s London and they fall in love, they think they are aware of the many challenges ahead of them, but before long they face unexpected choices. Can they defy the lessons of their childhoods, or will old seeds ripen to bitter fruits?
Ishmael’s Oranges tells the story of two cultures clashing as the relentless tides of history wash over the many crossroads of the Middle East. Spanning three generations, it follows the journeys of those cast adrift by war — as well as by their own impulses — until at last they find themselves thrown headlong into it. Through Salim, Jude, and their twins, we explore the longest conflict of our era in universally human terms: the families we build, the loyalties we owe, and the stories we pass on to our children.
Claire Hajaj shares both Palestinian and Jewish heritage. Her childhood was split between the Middle East and rural England. She has lived on four continents and worked for the United Nations in war zones from Burma to Beirut. A former journalist, she now lives in Beirut.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Isla and the Happily Ever After
A Young Adult Novel
by Stephanie Perkins
Summer 2014
Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. Isla is Christian. Josh is from a Jewish family, his father is a politician. After a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.
Josh explains how during Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, Jewish people are introspective and try to focus on how best to live their lives ethically.
Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

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

[book] If I Stay
A YA Novel
by Gayle Forman
Reprint in time for 2014 film release
Starred Review. PW writes: The last normal moment that Mia, a talented cellist, can remember is being in the car with her family. Then she is standing outside her body beside their mangled Buick and her parents' corpses, watching herself and her little brother being tended by paramedics. As she ponders her state (Am I dead? I actually have to ask myself this), Mia is whisked away to a hospital, where, her body in a coma, she reflects on the past and tries to decide whether to fight to live.
Via Mia's thoughts and flashbacks, Forman expertly explores the teenager's life, her passion for classical music and her strong relationships with her family, friends and boyfriend, Adam. Mia's singular perspective (which will recall Alice Sebold's adult novel, The Lovely Bones) also allows for powerful portraits of her friends and family as they cope: Please don't die. If you die, there's going to be one of those cheesy Princess Diana memorials at school, prays Mia's friend Kim. KIM is her JEWISH friend. She is Jewish-funny and has Friday night dinners (in the film, she is not Jewish)
I know you'd hate that kind of thing. Intensely moving, the novel will force readers to take stock of their lives and the people and things that make them worth living. Ages 14–up.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

See also:
[book] [book][book]

[book] MURDER 101
A mystery novel
By Faye Kellerman
September 2014
New York Times bestselling author Faye Kellerman’s beloved Decker and Lazarus embark on a new life in upstate New York—and find themselves entangled in deception, intrigue, and murder in picturesque elite college town.
As a detective lieutenant with the LAPD, Peter Decker witnessed enough ugliness and chaos for a lifetime. Now, he and his devoted wife Rina Lazarus are ready to enjoy the quiet beauty of upstate New York, where they can be closer to their four adult children and their foster son.
But working for the Greenbury Police department isn’t as fulfilling as Decker hoped. While Rina has adapted beautifully to their new surroundings, Decker is underwhelmed and frustrated by his new partner, Tyler McAdams, a former Harvard student and young buck with a bad ‘tude. Just when he thinks he’s made a mistake, Decker is called to his first real crime here—a possible break-in at the local cemetery.
At first, it seems like a false alarm until it’s discovered that a mausoleum’s stunning Tiffany panels have been replaced by forgeries. Then, a coed at one of the exclusive local colleges is brutally murdered. Poking into the hallowed halls of academia to find a killer, Decker and McAdams are drawn deep into a web of dark secrets, cold case crimes, international intrigue, and ruthless people who kill for sport.
Suddenly, the job is anything but boring. This case just might be too much to handle and Decker will have to draw on every ounce of experience that he has garnered in the past thirty years as a Homicide cop. And then again, even that might not be enough!.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[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.

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

Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot
September 2014
n this accessible and illuminating study of how the science of mathematics developed, a veteran math researcher and educator looks at the ways in which our evolutionary makeup is both a help and a hindrance to the study of math.
Artstein chronicles the discovery of important mathematical connections between mathematics and the real world from ancient times to the present. The author then describes some of the contemporary applications of mathematics—in probability theory, in the study of human behavior, and in combination with computers, which give mathematics unprecedented power.
The author concludes with an insightful discussion of why mathematics, for most people, is so frustrating. He argues that the rigorous logical structure of math goes against the grain of our predisposed ways of thinking as shaped by evolution, presumably because the talent needed to cope with logical mathematics gave the human race as a whole no evolutionary advantage. With this in mind, he offers ways to overcome these innate impediments in the teaching of math.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Eichmann BEFORE Jerusalem
The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer
by Bettina Stangneth
Translated by Ruth Martin
September 2014
Hannah Arendt left the impression that Eichmann was banal, a bureaucrat killing Jews like it was just an office task.
This is a total and groundbreaking reassessment of the life of Adolf Eichmann — a superb work of scholarship that reveals his activities and notoriety among a global network of National Socialists following the collapse of the Third Reich and that permanently challenges Hannah Arendt’s notion of the “banality of evil.”

Smuggled out of Europe after the collapse of Germany, Eichmann managed to live a peaceful and active exile in Argentina for years before his capture by the Mossad. Though once widely known by nicknames such as “Manager of the Holocaust,” in 1961 he was able to PORTRAY HIMSELF, from the defendant’s box in Jerusalem, as an overworked bureaucrat following orders — no more, he said, than “just a small cog in Adolf Hitler’s extermination machine.”

How was this carefully crafted obfuscation possible?
How did a central architect of the Final Solution manage to disappear?
And what had he done with his time while in hiding?
Bettina Stangneth, the first to comprehensively analyze more than 1,300 pages of Eichmann’s own recently discovered written notes— as well as seventy-three extensive audio reel recordings of a crowded Nazi salon held weekly during the 1950s in a popular district of Buenos Aires—draws a chilling portrait, not of a reclusive, taciturn war criminal on the run, but of a highly skilled social manipulator with an inexhaustible ability to reinvent himself, an unrepentant murderer eager for acolytes with whom to discuss past glories while vigorously planning future goals with other like-minded fugitives.
A work that continues to garner immense international attention and acclaim, Eichmann Before Jerusalem maps out the astonishing links between innumerable past Nazis—from ace Luftwaffe pilots to SS henchmen—both in exile and in Germany, and reconstructs in detail the postwar life of one of the Holocaust’s principal organizers as no other book has done
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The News Sorority:
Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour
—and the (Ongoing, Imperfect, Complicated)
Triumph of Women in TV News
by Sheila Weller
September 2014
For decades, women battered the walls of the male fortress of television journalism, until finally – according to this author – three - Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, and Christiane Amanpour — broke through. Yes, Maurine Saunders (Toobin) and Barbara Walters broke many barriers decades earlier, but they never were the celebrities that these three became.
Drawing on exclusive interviews with their colleagues and intimates from childhood on, bestselling author Sheila Weller crafts a lively and eye-opening narrative, revealing the combination of ambition, skill, and character that enabled these three singular women to infiltrate the once impenetrable “boys club” and become cultural icons.
Raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Diane Sawyer was a driven, elegant young woman in a time of societal upheaval. Her fierce intellect, almost insuperable work ethic, and mysterious emotional intelligence would catapult Sawyer from being the first female on-air correspondent for 60 Minutes to presenting heartbreaking specials on child poverty in America while anchoring the network flagship, ABC World News Tonight.
Katie Couric, always conveniently underestimated because of her girl-next-door demeanor, brazened her way through a succession of regional TV news jobs until she finally hit it big in New York. In 1991, Couric became the Today show cohost, where over the next fifteen years she transformed the “female” slot from secondary to preeminent. Couric’s greatest triumph was inheriting the mantle of Walter Cronkite at CBS Evening News, as the first woman ever to anchor a prestigious nighttime network news program.
A glamorous Brown graduate and roommate of JFK Jr, Christiane Amanpour made a virtue of her cultivated outsider status. The daughter of a British Catholic mother and Iranian Muslim father, she joined the fledgling CNN on the bottom rung and then became its “face,” catalyzing its rise to global prominence. Her fearlessness in war zones and before presidents and despots would make her the world’s witness to some of its most acute crises and television’s chief advocate for international justice.
The author takes us behind the scenes and shows how Sawyer, Couric, and Amanpour ascended to the highest ranks of the media elite, showing that the compelling desire to report the news—a drive born of curiosity, empathy, and humanity—must be matched by guts, awesome competitive fervor, and rare strategic savvy.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] I'll Drink to That
A Life in Style, with a Twist
by Betty Halbreich
with Rebecca Paley
September 2014
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.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Education of a Value Investor
by Guy Spier
September 2014
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.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

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

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

September 2014
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.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

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

[book] The War on Women in Israel
How Religious Radicalism Is Smothering
the Voice of a Nation
by Elana Maryles Sztokman
September 2014
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.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

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

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

1945 - 1952
by Norman Kleeblatt ad Stephen Brown
September 2014
Jewish Museum / Yale
This captivating book examines two modernist painters—Lee Krasner (1908–1984) and Norman Lewis (1909–1979)—whose important contributions to Abstract Expressionism have long been underappreciated. During their lifetimes, and still to this day, Krasner and Lewis received little acknowledgment as major participants in the mainstream Abstract Expressionist scene in New York. Rather, Krasner was mainly known as the wife of Jackson Pollock and Lewis, as an African American artist, struggled for recognition.
Krasner’s and Lewis’s works from the height of the Abstract Expressionist movement share many qualities, including pictographic iconographies, allusions to writing, relatively small scales, and allover patterning. From the Margins therefore imagines a kind of conversation between these two artists, juxtaposing works from each to encourage visual and conceptual dialogues. An introductory essay delves into the challenges Krasner and Lewis faced in an artistic community dominated by white men, mainly concerning issues of identity, otherness, and marginalization in postwar American abstraction. Reasserting the influence and talent of these two significant artists, this book offers a vital and much-needed addition to the existing scholarship on modern art.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

with Dr. Jerry Toner (Cambridge)
September 2014
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
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

By Jonathan Rosenberg and Eric Schmidt
September 2014
Grand Central Publishing
Google Executive Chairman and ex-CEO Eric Schmidt and former SVP of Products Jonathan Rosenberg came to Google over a decade ago as proven technology executives. At the time, the company was already well-known for doing things differently, reflecting the visionary--and frequently contrarian--principles of founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. If Eric and Jonathan were going to succeed, they realized they would have to relearn everything they thought they knew about management and business.
Today, Google is a global icon that regularly pushes the boundaries of innovation in a variety of fields. HOW GOOGLE WORKS is an entertaining, page-turning primer containing lessons that Eric and Jonathan learned as they helped build the company. The authors explain how technology has shifted the balance of power from companies to consumers, and that the only way to succeed in this ever-changing landscape is to create superior products and attract a new breed of multifaceted employees whom Eric and Jonathan dub "smart creatives." Covering topics including corporate culture, strategy, talent, decision-making, communication, innovation, and dealing with disruption, the authors illustrate management maxims ("Consensus requires dissension," "Exile knaves but fight for divas," "Think 10X, not 10%") with numerous insider anecdotes from Google's history, many of which are shared here for the first time.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

By Lawrence Wright
September 2014
A dramatic, illuminating day-by-day account of the 1978 Camp David conference, when President Jimmy Carter convinced Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to sign a peace treaty--the first treaty in the modern Middle East, and one which endures to this day.
With his hallmark insight into the forces at play in the Middle East and his acclaimed journalistic skill, Lawrence Wright takes us through each of the thirteen days of the Camp David conference, delving deeply into the issues and enmities between the two nations, explaining the relevant background to the conflict and to all the major participants at the conference, from the three heads of state to their mostly well-known seconds working furiously behind the scenes. What emerges is not what we've come to think of as an unprecedented yet "simple" peace. Rather, Wright reveals the full extent of Carter's persistence in pushing peace forward, the extraordinary way in which the participants at the conference--many of them lifelong enemies--attained it, and the profound difficulties inherent in the process and its outcome, not the least of which has been the still unsettled struggle between the Israelis and the Palestinians. In Thirteen Days in September, Wright gives us a gripping work of history and reportage that provides an inside view of how peace is made.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

September 2014
The story of the generation of hidden child survivors told through the true experiences of three Jewish girls—from Poland, Holland, and France—who transcended their traumatic childhoods to lead remarkable lives in America.
Only one in ten Jewish children in Europe survived the Holocaust, many in hiding. In Such Good Girls, R. D. Rosen tells the story of these survivors through the true experiences of three girls.
Sophie Turner-Zaretsky, who spent the war years believing she was an anti-Semitic Catholic schoolgirl, eventually became an esteemed radiation oncologist. Flora Hogman, protected by a succession of Christians, emerged from the war a lonely, lost orphan, but became a psychologist who pioneered the study of hidden child survivors. Unlike Anne Frank, Carla Lessing made it through the war concealed with her family in the home of Dutch strangers before becoming a psychotherapist and key player in the creation of an international organization of hidden child survivors.
In braiding the stories of three women who defied death by learning to be “such good girls,” Rosen examines a silent and silenced generation—the last living cohort of Holocaust survivors. He provides rich, memorable portraits of a handful of hunted children who, as adults, were determined to deny Hitler any more victories, and he recreates the extraordinary event that lured so many hidden child survivors out of their grown-up “hiding places” and finally brought them together..
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

By Oscar Israelowitz
Visit to purchase the book for about $24.
Where can one find the Jewish Plymouth Rock • A good kosher restaurant • The oldest synagogue in North America • A Jewish museum • Historic synagogues and sites • The Jerusalem Grove • Jewish Singles • The Tenement Museum • A place to go Israeli Folk Dancing • A walking tour of the Lower East Side, Jewish Harlem, Sephardic Brooklyn, Jewish High Line, Jewish Brooklyn Bridge, Chassidic Williamsburg or a Jewish Harbor Cruise? What Jewish connections are there to the Empire State Building, 9/11 Memorial, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island Immigration Museum, High Line Park, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, United Nations, New York City Subway System, Unisphere in Flushing Meadow Park, Wintergarden in the World Financial Center, the Grand Concourse or the Queens Museum.

[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.”
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Garden of Time
by Jill Hammer and Zoe Cohen
Skinner House
September 2014
"With beautiful images and words, The Garden of Time offers a magical path through the seasons and allows the sacred breath of life to blow through all our souls. Take a walk in the garden; be refreshed and renewed." --Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, author of The Shema in the Mezuzah: Listening to Each Other
In this story based on ancient Jewish legend, Adam and Eve walk through the Garden of Eden, noticing what is happening around them and deciding what holidays they will celebrate based on what they see, smell, hear, and taste. Gorgeous text and art illuminate Judaism, the calendar, and the environment for both children and adults.
Guides to the Jewish holidays and Jewish iconography are included.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

The Hebrew Priestess
Ancient and New Visions of Jewish Women’s Spiritual Leadership 
By Rabbi Jill Hammer
(forthcoming 2014)

[book] Chanah's Voice
A Rabbi Wrestles with Gender, Commandment,
and the Women's Rituals of Baking,
Bathing, and Brightening
by Rabbi Haviva Ner-David
Ben Yehuda Press
In her first book, Life on the Fringes, Haviva Ner-David described her quest to become an Orthodox rabbi, to serve God the same way men traditionally did. Now, Rabbi Ner-David tunes in to an aspect of God she hadn't heard before, the voice of Chanah.
Chanah, the Biblical mother of Samuel, was considered by tradition to have invented prayer. Her name is also an acronym for the three commandments given to women: Challah, the taking of an offering from baking dough; Niddah, separation during menstruation followed by immersion; and Hadlakat HaNer, lighting the Sabbath candles.
In this spiritual memoir, Rabbi Ner-David explores the spirituality of domestic life while struggling with the strictures of systematized Jewish law. Combining soul-searching honesty and deep Jewish knowledge, Chanah's Voice is the compelling voice of a new generation of Jewish feminism.
"A beautiful example of how to wrestle with God, Torah, and one's self." -Brad Hirschfield, author of You Don't Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Chik Chak Shabbat
by Mara Rockliff and Kyrsten Brooker
Candlewick Press
September 2014
Up to grade 2
Celebrate Shabbat, community, and diverse traditions with this lyrical tale, illustrated with a lively and whimsical touch.
When Goldie Simcha doesn’t joyfully throw open her door to welcome everyone in to her apartment for a meal of her famous cholent, her neighbors wonder what could be wrong. Little Lali Omar knocks on the door to 5-A, only to learn that Goldie was feeling too sick on Friday to cook, and everyone knows you can’t make cholent in a hurry, right away, chik chak! But it just isn’t Shabbat without cholent. What can her neighbors do to save the day? In an uplifting story that warms more than your heart, Chik Chak Shabbat offers a cholent recipe that keeps Goldie’s sharing spirit alive.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
A YA Novel
by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Popular and a move tie-in
Nick (not Jewish) frequents New York's indie rock scene nursing a broken heart. Norah is questioning all of her assumptions about the world. She was headed to a kibbutz for a guy instead of Brown University, but the guy is a jerk, as is her other Jewish BF’s.
Nick and Nota have nothing in common except for their taste in music, until a chance encounter leads to an all-night quest to find a legendary band's secret show and ends up becoming a first date that could change both their lives.
Co-written by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, co-author of WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON with John Green (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS), NICK & NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story that reminds you how you can never be sure where the night will take you…
This movie tie-in edition also includes an 8-page photo insert from the film, as well as a map of Manhattan, detailing all of the sites Nick and Norah go to on their all-night date.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Stork's Landing (Israel)
by Tmai Lehman-Wilzig
Illustrated by Anna Shuttlewood
When a migrating stork gets tangled in a net in the fish ponds on Maya's kibbutz, Maya wonders what to do.
Can she and her father find a way to nurse it back to health and send it back into the wild or at least to Europe?
Set in Israel, one of the bird capitals of the world with the highest number of migrating birds anywhere, this story brings the beauty of nature in Israel to life and highlights an unusual part of Israeli life the kibbutz.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Here Is the World:
A Year of Jewish Holidays
by Lesléa Newman
Illustrated by Susan Gal
September 2014
Here is the world, ever changing and new,
Spinning with joy at the wonder of you!
Here Is the World is a joyous celebration of the Jewish holidays throughout the year for young children. Beginning with the weekly observance of Shabbat, readers join a family through the holidays and the corresponding seasons. From sounding the shofar on Rosh Hashanah to lighting the menorah for Chanukah to rattling a grogger for Purim, and on through the Jewish year, the joy and significance of each holiday beautifully come to life.
In addition to the narrative text, there is a description of each holiday in the back matter along with an easy craft or recipe.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

A Memoir
By Ron Perlman
September 2014
De Capo Press
The candid, hilarious, and inspiring memoir of the iconic star of Beauty and the Beast,the Hellboy movies,and Sons of Anarchy.
A classically trained actor who cut his teeth in the East Village’s Off-Broadway scene, Ron Perlman—a Golden Globe winner (Beauty and the Beast) with starring roles in the Hellboymovies, Drive, Pacific Rim, and Sons of Anarchy—has traveled an offbeat path to showbiz success. His story involves rising from New York’s tough Washington Heights neighborhood, enduring incredible hardships, and ignoring the naysayers who taunted him for his distinctive looks. It’s a tale that demonstrates the power of persistence.
With a filmography of nearly 200 credits working alongside countless stars during his forty-year career, Perlman knows the ins-and-outs of filmmaking. In Easy Street (the Hard Way), he shares his inspiring story for the next generation of performers.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] GAZA
A History
by Jean-Pierre Filiu
September 2014
Oxford University Press
Gaza has become synonymous with conflict and dispute. Though only slightly larger than Omaha, Nebraska at 140 square miles, the small territory of Gaza has been a hot spot for bitter disputes between sparring powers for millennia, from the Ancient Egyptians up until the British Empire and even today.
Wedged between the Negev and Sinai deserts on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other, Gaza was contested by the Pharaohs, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Fatimids, Mamluks, Crusaders, and Ottomans. Then in 1948, 200,000 people sought refuge in Gaza-a marginal area neither Israel nor Egypt wanted. It is here that Palestinian nationalism grew and sprouted into a dream of statehood, a journey much filled with strife.
Though small in size, Gaza's history is nothing short of monumental. Jean-Pierre Filiu's Gaza is the first complete history of the territory in any language. Beginning with the Hyksos in 18th century BC, Filiu takes readers through modern times and the ongoing disputes of the region, ending with what may be in store for the future.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Understanding the Monster in Your Family,
in Your Office, in Your Bed—in Your World
by Jeffrey Kluger
September 2014
From an award-winning senior writer at Time, an eye-opening exploration of narcissism, how to recognize it, and how to handle it.
The odds are good that you know a narcissist—probably a lot of them. The odds are also good that they are intelligent, confident, and articulate—the center of attention. They make you laugh and they make you think. The odds are also that this spell didn’t last.
Narcissists are everywhere. There are millions of them in the United States alone: entertainers, politicians, business people, your neighbors. Recognizing and understanding them is crucial to your not being overtaken by them, says Jeffrey Kluger, in his provocative new book about this insidious disorder.
With insight and wit, Kluger frames the surprising new research on narcissism and explains the complex, exasperating personality disorder. He reveals how narcissism and narcissists affect our lives at work and at home, on the road, and in the halls of government; what to do when we encounter narcissism; and how to neutralize its effects before it’s too late.
As a Time writer and science editor, Kluger knows how to take science’s new ideas and transform them into smart, accessible insights. Highly readable and deeply engaging, this book helps us understand narcissism and narcissists more fully.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

A Renowned Neurologist Explains the Mystery
and Drama of Brain Disease
By Dr. Allan H. Ropper and
Brian David Burrell
September 2014
St. Martin's Press
If you love Oliver Sacks, you will love this. Come with Harvard Professor Dr. Ropper on his rounds and see up close the inpatients with brain illnesses .
Tell the doctor where it hurts." It sounds simple enough, unless the problem affects the very organ that produces awareness and generates speech. What is it like to try to heal the body when the mind is under attack? In this book, Dr. Allan Ropper and Brian Burrell take the reader behind the scenes at Harvard Medical School’s neurology unit to show how a seasoned diagnostician faces down bizarre, life-altering afflictions. Like Alice in Wonderland, Dr. Ropper inhabits a world where absurdities abound:
A figure skater whose body has become a ticking time-bomb
A salesman who drives around and around a traffic rotary, unable to get off
A college quarterback who can’t stop calling the same play
A child molester who, after falling on the ice, is left with a brain that is very much dead inside a body that is very much alive
A mother of two young girls, diagnosed with ALS, who has to decide whether a life locked inside her own head is worth living
A paranoid young man who might be faking epileptic seizures
An aging retired physician, a Boston Brahmin, who has a lemon sized tumor
How does one begin to treat such cases, to counsel people whose lives may be changed forever? How does one train the next generation of clinicians to deal with the moral and medical aspects of brain disease? Dr. Ropper and his colleague answer these questions by taking the reader into a rarified world where lives and minds hang in the balance.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Reluctant Witnesses
Survivors, Their Children, and the Rise of Holocaust Consciousness
by Arlene Stein
September 2014
Americans now learn about the Holocaust in high school, watch films about it on television, and visit museums dedicated to preserving its memory. But for the first two decades following the end of World War II, discussion of the destruction of European Jewry was largely absent from American culture and the tragedy of the Holocaust was generally seen as irrelevant to non-Jewish Americans.
Today, the Holocaust is widely recognized as a universal moral touchstone. In Reluctant Witnesses, sociologist Arlene Stein--herself the daughter of a Holocaust survivor--mixes memoir, history, and sociological analysis to tell the story of the rise of Holocaust consciousness in the United States from the perspective of survivors and their descendants. If survivors tended to see Holocaust storytelling as mainly a private affair, their children--who reached adulthood during the heyday of identity politics--reclaimed their hidden family histories and transformed them into public stories.
Reluctant Witnesses documents how a group of people who had previously been unrecognized and misunderstood managed to find its voice. It tells this story in relation to the changing status of trauma and victimhood in American culture. At a time when a sense of Holocaust fatigue seems to be setting in and when the remaining survivors are at the end of their lives, it affirms that confronting traumatic memories and catastrophic histories can help us make our world mean something beyond ourselves.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Danielle Fishel is NOT Jewish. She is of Maltese heritage.. not to be confused with the Jew of Malta. But the book is too cute not to read. Her story of dating Lance Bass from nSYNC is too good not to read. (He was always a gentleman and was nice enough not to take her virginity after the high school prom, and to never have sex with her during their entire relationship.)
[book] Normally, This Would be Cause for Concern
Tales of Calamity and Unrelenting Awkwardness
by Danielle Fishel
better known as Topanga Lawrence on Boy Meets World
September 2014
A warm and witty memoir by Danielle Fishel, the beloved star of the ’90s sitcom Boy Meets World and the eagerly anticipated spin-off, Girl Meets World.
Best known for playing Topanga Lawrence on Boy Meets World, Danielle Fishel was many a tweenager’s first crush and the quintessential girl-next-door for seven years as she joined 10 million viewers in their living rooms every Friday from 1993 to 2000.
The real Danielle is just as entertaining and down-to-earth as the character she portrayed on her hit show.
But even life for a successful actress can be messy, from disastrous auditions to dating mishaps and awkward red carpet moments. Normally, This Would Be Cause for Concern is a fun romp through Danielle’s own imperfections and mild neuroses. It’s a book for anyone who, like Danielle, has ever tripped and fallen down a flight of stairs in a room full of people, had a romantic moment with their significant other that was ruined by horrendous gas, or taken a sexy Halloween photo without realizing there was a huge chunk of chocolate-covered strawberry in their teeth.
Here is the real, imperfect Danielle, who knows that a good sense of humor and a positive attitude makes life so much more enjoyable. Even when you’ve just face-planted in front of Ben Affleck.

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

[book] The Talmud - A Biography
Banned, censored and burned.
The book they couldn't suppress
by Harry Freedman
September 2014
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.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] DAVID
Sinai Temple, Los Angeles
September 2014
Yale University Press
Jewish Lives series
Of all the figures in the Bible, David arguably stands out as the most perplexing and enigmatic. He was many things: a warrior who subdued Goliath and the Philistines; a king who united a nation; a poet who created beautiful, sensitive verse; a loyal servant of God who proposed the great Temple and founded the Messianic line; a schemer, deceiver, and adulterer who freely indulged his very human appetites.
David Wolpe, whom Newsweek called “the most influential rabbi in America,” takes a fresh look at biblical David in an attempt to find coherence in his seemingly contradictory actions and impulses. The author questions why David holds such an exalted place in history and legend, and then proceeds to unravel his complex character based on information found in the book of Samuel and later literature. What emerges is a fascinating portrait of an exceptional human being who, despite his many flaws, was truly beloved by God.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Here Is the World
A Year of Jewish Holidays
by Lesléa Newman with Susan Gal
September 2014
Here is the world, ever changing and new,
Spinning with joy at the wonder of you!
Here Is the World is a joyous celebration of the Jewish holidays throughout the year for young children. Beginning with the weekly observance of Shabbat, readers join a family through the holidays and the corresponding seasons. From sounding the shofar on Rosh Hashanah to lighting the menorah for Chanukah to rattling a grogger for Purim, and on through the Jewish year, the joy and significance of each holiday beautifully come to life.
In addition to the narrative text, there is a description of each holiday in the back matter along with an easy craft or recipe..
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Mei-Mei is of Chinese heritage - but not Mom and Dad
When she was an infant, Mom and Dad flew all the way to the other side of the planet Earth to adopt her and bring her home. Lucky for Mei-Mei, her parents want her to know all about her roots in China's wonderful culture. That's why, on her birthday, her mom always makes her a traditional Chinese treat—long noodles, for a long and happy life. And this year, Mei-Mei is big enough to help her mom make them!
Through a simple story and bright illustrations, Mei-Mei's Lucky Birthday Noodles takes young readers through this special day, from the moment an excited Mei-Mei wakes up in the morning and puts on her favorite dress, through helping Mom measure water, clean veggies and rinse noodles, to a great birthday celebration with family and friends. After the story comes a kid-friendly recipe for this tasty traditional dish. Younger kids can help Mom or Dad—just like Mei-Mei—while older kids can make it themselves, with supervision.
Along with the birthday excitement and a great Chinese treat, readers will see the adoptive experience at its best—a lot of love and the sharing of roots, showing both parents and kids one of the many ways adopted children from all over the world can learn about the country they come from and take pride in its culture.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Betrayers
A Novel
by David Bezmozgis
September 2014
Little, Brown
Do you know how much I liked this book? I kept reading the sentences to see how they were constructed and wished I could write so simply. It looks so easy, but he is a master at his craft.
The book opens with a quote from I KINGS 11:21-22. A Hebrew wishes to return to his land from Egypt, not for any reason, but just because.
When the book opens, we are in a hotel lobby in Yalta in the Crimea. An Israeli man and his mistress are told that there is no room at the inn. It is high season. The trip has been made in haste. The hotelier is smug, cold, Russian. Kotler suggests that he and his girlfriend head to the bus station and find a home to stay in. Not the most fun way to spend a week vacation. What if the homemaker is a former Soviet Jew and recognizes Baruch Kotler - formerly Boris Solomonovich - the most famous Refusenik, who is now an Israel Knesset Minister on the run from the press... (if you think this sounds like Sharansky... well.. read on)

A compact saga of love, duty, family, and sacrifice from a rising star whose fiction is "self-assured, elegant, perceptive . . . and unflinchingly honest" (New York Times)
These incandescent pages give us one fraught, momentous day in the life of Baruch Kotler, a Soviet Jewish dissident who now finds himself a disgraced Israeli politician. When he refuses to back down from a contrary but principled stand regarding the settlements in the West Bank, his political opponents expose his affair with a mistress decades his junior, and the besieged couple escapes to Yalta, the faded Crimean resort of Kotler's youth. There, shockingly, Kotler comes face-to-face with the former friend whose denunciation sent him to the Gulag almost forty years earlier.
In a whirling twenty-four hours, Kotler must face the ultimate reckoning, both with those who have betrayed him and with those whom he has betrayed, including a teenage daughter, a son facing his own moral dilemma in the Israeli army, and the wife who once campaigned to secure his freedom and stood by him through so much.
Stubborn, wry, and self-knowing, Baruch Kotler is one of the great creations of contemporary fiction. An aging man grasping for a final passion, he is drawn inexorably into a crucible that is both personal and biblical in scope.
In prose that is elegant, sly, precise, and devastating in its awareness of the human heart, David Bezmozgis has rendered a story for the ages, an inquest into the nature of fate and consequence, love and forgiveness. The Betrayers is a high-wire act, a powerful tale of morality and sacrifice that will haunt readers long after they turn the final page.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Zone of Interest
A novel
by Martin Amis
September 2014
PW WRITES: An absolute soul-crusher of a book, the brilliant latest from Amis (Lionel Asbo: State of England) is an astoundingly bleak love story, as it were, set in a German concentration camp, which Thomsen, one of the book’s three narrators, refers to as Kat Zet. Thomsen, the nephew of Hitler’s private secretary, Martin Bormann, has a vague role as a liaison at Buna Werke, where the Germans are attempting to synthesize oil for the war effort using slave labor. He sets his sights on Hannah Doll, wife of camp commandant Paul, who is the second of three narrators as well as a drunk whose position is under threat. As Thomsen gets closer with Hannah, both of them, horrified at what’s going on, conspire to undermine Paul—Hannah at home and Thomsen around the camp. Paul, meanwhile, follows up his suspicions about his wife and Thomsen by involving Szmul, the book’s third narrator and a Jew who disposes of the corpses in the gas chamber, in a revenge plot. Amis took on the Holocaust obliquely in Time’s Arrow. Here he goes at it straight, and the result is devastating.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Another Side of Bob Dylan
A Personal History on the Road
and off the Tracks
by Victor Maymudes
finished by his son, Jacob Maymudes
September 2014
St. Martin’s Press
Fifty years ago Bob Dylan released his fourth album, Another Side of Bob Dylan. Recorded in one night, in the middle of a turbulent year in his life, the album marked a departure from Dylan's socially-conscious folk songs and began his evolution toward other directions.

During the years they spent together, few people outside of Dylan's immediate family were closer than Victor Maymudes, who was Dylan’s tour manager, personal friend, and travelling companion from the early days in 1960s Greenwich Village through the late 1990’s.
Another Side of Bob Dylan recounts landmark events including Dylan's infamous motorcycle crash; meeting the Beatles on their first US tour; his marriage to Sara Lownds, his romances with Suze Rotolo, Joan Baez, and others; fellow travelers Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Wavy Gravy, Dennis Hopper, The Band, The Traveling Wilburys, and more; memorable concerts, and insights on Dylan's songwriting process.

Sadly, on January 26th, 2001 – over 13 years ago - after recording more than 24 hours of taped memories in preparation for writing this book, Victor Maymudes suffered an aneurysm and died.

His son Jacob has written this book, using the tapes to shape the story. The result is a vivid, first-hand account of Dylan as an artist, friend, and celebrity, illustrated with never-before-seen photographs, and told by an engaging raconteur who cut his own swathe through the turbulent counterculture.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Israel
Is It Good for the Jews?
by Richard Cohen (Columnist, Washington Post)
September 2014
A very personal journey through Jewish history (and Cohen’s own), and a passionate defense of Israel’s legitimacy.
Richard Cohen’s book is part reportage, part memoir—an intimate journey through the history of Europe’s Jews, culminating in the establishment of Israel. A veteran, syndicated columnist for The Washington Post, Cohen began this journey as a skeptic, wondering in a national column whether the creation of a Jewish State was “a mistake.”
As he recounts, he delved into his own and Jewish history and fell in love with the story of the Jews and Israel, a twice-promised land—in the Bible by God, and by the world to the remnants of Europe’s Jews. This promise, he writes, was made in atonement not just for the Holocaust, but for the callous indifference that preceded World War II and followed it—and that still threatens.
Cohen’s account is full of stories—from the nineteenth century figures who imagined a Zionist country, including Theodore Herzl, who thought it might resemble Vienna with its cafes and music; to what happened in twentieth century Poland to his own relatives; and to stories of his American boyhood.
Cohen describes his relationship with Israel as a sort of marriage: one does not always get along but one is faithful.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] A Temple in Flames
The Epic Story of the Final Battle for Jerusalem
by Gershon Bar-Cochva and Ahron Horovitz
September 2014
Koren - Jerusalem
A Temple in Flames is the result of a collaboration between two authors: Dr. Gershon Bar-Cochva a military historian specializing in the study of the Roman army, particularly the war of the Jews against the Romans in the Great Revolt and Ahron Horovitz, director of Megalim, The Higher Institute of Jerusalem Studies, and the author of several popular books on ancient Jerusalem. In A Temple in Flames, Bar-Cochva presents for the first time a detailed and fascinating picture of the stages of the Roman siege on Jerusalem in a breathtaking saga that culminates with the breach of the city walls and the burning of the Temple. Alongside these depictions, Horovitz offers the reader a wealth of contemporaneous archaeological finds that have been uncovered in recent years in the City of David and ancient Jerusalem.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] JOSHUA
The Challenge of the Promised Land
By Rabbi Michael Hattin
September 2014
Koren - Jerusalem
A masterful guide to the Book of Joshua. Rabbi Hattin investigates the foundational issues: divine intervention, human initiative, and the confluence between these two; the land of Israel I nphysical terms, and its metaphysical sanctity; individual choice, and communal responsibility; and the parameters of just warfare (Jericho), as well as how a variety of tribes needed to become united into a single nation.
This incorporates traditional rabbinic interpretations and literary deconstruction to explore the biblical texts. Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

See also 1 KINGS: I Kings: Torn in Two (Maggid Studies in Tanakh) by Rabbi Alex Israel

JEREMIAH: The Fate of a Prophet. By Rabbi Binyamin Lau

[book] Changing Lives, Making History
Congregation Beit Simchat Torah
by Rabbi Ayelet S. Cohen
September 23, 2014
CBST Books
In Changing Lives, Making History: Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, Rabbi Ayelet S. Cohen recounts the ground-breaking and extraordinary journey that started on a cold Friday night in 1973 and over time grew into one of the world's most influential LGBTQS synagogues.
She draws on extensive archival research, first-hand accounts, reminiscences, and news articles, and has culled from hundreds of illustrations, documents, flyers, and photographs (four color photos throughout) to bring this amazing story to life. Her narrative paints a portrait of the people and events that have shaped CBST during its first forty years-from the devastating impact of AIDS, the hiring of a full-time rabbi after twenty years as a lay-led synagogue, to the gay baby boom, the emergence of the trans and queer movements, major advancements in achieving LGBT equality, and the successful purchase of a home of its own in the center of Manhattan.
Publishers Weekly writes: “This history of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, a thriving synagogue for gays and lesbians in New York City that is the most influential of its kind, begins with an ad in The Village Voice offering Friday night services in a church basement, takes readers through the AIDS crisis and the loss of many of the congregation's key members, and CBST's search for a rabbi and a home, among many other hurdles. The accounting ends at the 40th anniversary of its founding, by which time CBST has become one of the most intellectually serious, spiritually vibrant, and socially involved synagogues in the country by all counts, appealing to many different types of people, at all ages and stages of life. It includes an accounting of CBST's impact on gay rights, and on the acceptance of GLBT people in the general and Jewish communities. Narrated clearly, and creatively laid out, this retrospective's enormous detail is an asset rather than a burden to the reader, allowing a full appreciation of the impact of this remarkable synagogue.”
RABBI AYELET S. COHEN is a writer, teacher, and activist. In 2012 she became the inaugural Director of The Center for Jewish Living and the David H. Sonabend Center for Israel at The Jewish Community Center in Manhattan. She is an editor of Siddur B'chol L'vav'cha, a prayer book featuring queer and feminist liturgy. A graduate of Brown University, Rabbi Cohen was ordained at the Conservative Movement's Jewish Theological Seminary.
RABBI SHARON KLEINBAUM serves as spiritual leader of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. Under her leadership as senior rabbi, CBST has become a powerful voice in the movement for equality and justice for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions, and a significant force challenging the radical right's dominance over religious and political life in the United States and the world. For many years Rabbi Kleinbaum has been ranked by Newsweek as one of the top 40 rabbis in the USA
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Yom Haatzmaut & Yom Yerushalyim Machzor
September 2014
Koren - Jerusalem
Yom HaAtzma'ut and Yom Yerushalayim are, in the words of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, "the two most transformative events of modern Jewish history." These national holidays in Israel, Independence Day and Jerusalem Day, are commemorated by Jewish communities worldwide with communal prayer services and celebrations. We do so “in the faith that it is not human beings alone who shape the destiny of our people but God working in and through His children.”
This Hebrew Mahzor is based on the practices established by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel for these two days. The Tefilot are enhanced by an inspiring introduction by Rabbi Binyamin Lau, one of Israel’s leading rabbinical figures in the world of Religious Zionism today, and the inspiring commentary of Professor Dr. Yoel Rappel, Research Fellow at the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies at Boston University.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Koren Talmud Bavli Noé,
Volume 14:
Yevamot Part 1, Hebrew/English,
Prepared by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
September 2014
The Koren Talmud Bavli is a groundbreaking edition of the Talmud that fuses the innovative design of Koren Publishers Jerusalem with the incomparable scholarship of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. The Koren Talmud Bavli Standard Edition is a full-size, full-color edition that presents an enhanced Vilna page, a side-by-side English translation, photographs and illustrations, a brilliant commentary, and a multitude of learning aids to help the beginning and advanced student alike actively participate in the dynamic process of Talmud study.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

See also:
The Koren Talmud Bavli Noé, Volume 13
The Koren Talmud Bavli Noé, Volume 12
The Koren Talmud Bavli Noé, Volume 11
The Koren Talmud Bavli Noé, Volume 10
The Koren Talmud Bavli Noé, Volume 09
The Koren Talmud Bavli Noé, Volume 08
The Koren Talmud Bavli Noé, Volume 07
The Koren Talmud Bavli Noé, Volume 06

[book] Agent Storm
My Life Inside al Qaeda and the CIA
by Morten Storm with
Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister
September 2014
Atlantic Monthly Press
Morten Storm was an unlikely Jihadi. A six-foot-one red-haired Dane, Storm spent his teens in and out of trouble. A book about the Prophet Mohammed prompted his conversion to Islam, and Storm sought purpose in a community of believers. He attended a militant madrasah in Yemen, named his son Osama, and became close friends with Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born terrorist cleric. But after a decade of Jihadi life, he not only repudiated extremism but, in a quest for atonement, became a double agent for the CIA and British and Danish intelligence.
Agent Storm takes readers inside the jihadist world like never before, showing the daily life of zealous men set on mass murder, from dodging drones with al-Qaeda leaders in the Arabian desert to training in extremist gyms in Britain and performing supply drops in Kenya. The book also provides a tantalizing look at his dangerous life undercover, as Storm traveled the world for missions targeting its most dangerous terrorists , and into the world’s most powerful spy agencies: their tradecraft, rivalries, and late-night carousing, as well as their ruthless use of a beautiful blonde in an ambitious honey trap. Agent Storm is a captivating, utterly unique, real-life espionage tale.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Dataclysm
Who We Are
(When We Think No One's Looking)
by Christian Rudder
September 9, 2014
An audacious, irreverent investigation of human behavior—and a first look at a revolution in the making
Our personal data has been used to spy on us, hire and fire us, and sell us stuff we don’t need. In Dataclysm, Christian Rudder uses it to show us who we truly are.
For centuries, we’ve relied on polling or small-scale lab experiments to study human behavior. Today, a new approach is possible. As we live more of our lives online, researchers can finally observe us directly, in vast numbers, and without filters. Data scientists have become the new demographers.
In this daring and original book, Rudder explains how Facebook “likes” can predict, with surprising accuracy, a person’s sexual orientation and even intelligence; how attractive women receive exponentially more interview requests; and why you must have haters to be hot. He charts the rise and fall of America’s most reviled word through Google Search and examines the new dynamics of collaborative rage on Twitter. He shows how people express themselves, both privately and publicly. What is the least Asian thing you can say? Do people bathe more in Vermont or New Jersey? What do black women think about Simon & Garfunkel? (Hint: they don’t think about Simon & Garfunkel.) Rudder also traces human migration over time, showing how groups of people move from certain small towns to the same big cities across the globe. And he grapples with the challenge of maintaining privacy in a world where these explorations are possible.
Visually arresting and full of wit and insight, Dataclysm is a new way of seeing ourselves—a brilliant alchemy, in which math is made human and numbers become the narrative of our time.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Qur'an in Conversation
by Michael Birkel
with Su'ad Abdul Khabeer, Rashad Abdul Rahmaan, Kecia Ali, Hassan al-Qazwini
Baylor University Press
The Qur'an is God's verbatim speech for most traditional Muslims. Qur'an in Conversation reflects how this sacred text of Islam comes into dialogue with the contemporary world through the voices of the eloquent interpreters gathered in this volume.
In Qur'an in Conversation, author Michael Birkel engages North American Muslim religious leaders and academics in conversations of scriptural interpretation. Scholars, practicing imams, and younger public intellectuals wrestle with key suras of the Qur'an.
Qur'an in Conversation demonstrates a wide spectrum of interpretation and diversity of approaches in reading Islam's scripture. The discussions directly address key issues in Muslim theology--good versus evil, the nature of God, and the future of Islam. Younger North American Muslims read the Qur'an in varied ways; this is analogous to the diverse ways in which Jews and Christians have interpreted their own holy books.
Michael Birkel welcomes people of goodwill into a public conversation about the current role of Western Muslims in Islam. Qur'an in Conversation encourages non-specialists and Muslim scholars alike to imagine how the Qur'an will be interpreted among North American Muslims in years to come.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

NO! Silly.. he doesn’t mean, never buy retail, and never eat white bread and mayo with sliced meat sandwiches
[book] Judaism's Ten Best Ideas
A Brief Guide for Seekers
by Dr. Arthur Green
September 2014
Jewish Lights
A welcoming introduction to the most important ideas in Judaism.
In an age of fluid identity, many people are honestly asking the question "Why be Jewish?" Is there anything to this religious and ethnic legacy that is worth preserving? Having struggled against all odds to survive for so many centuries, does Judaism have something unique to offer a contemporary seeker who is free to choose a way of religious life and a system of values?
Here is the answer of a leading spiritual teacher who has faced this question in conversation with generations of students over five decades. In ten brief chapters, each illuminated by classical stories or personal narratives, Rabbi Green lays out his argument for ongoing commitment to Jewish memory and Judaism's unique approach to universal truth. He shows in completely accessible ways what it is that kept him loyal to the tradition passed down to him, even as he understood the great need to allow for change, including those coming from the East, in our age of diverse spiritual learning and transformation.
Drawing mainly from the Jewish mystical tradition, he presents in brief form gems of personal wisdom derived from ancient Kabbalistic writings and the Hasidic masters. The result is an inspiring door opener to timeless Jewish wisdom, one that will entice the reader to look further, both into Green's own writings and toward the original sources.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Virtually Human:
The Promise---and the Peril---of Digital Immortality
by Martine Rothblatt
Foreword by Ray Kurzweil
September 2014
St. Martin’s Press
Virtually Human explores what the not-too-distant future will look like when cyberconsciousness—simulation of the human brain via software and computer technology—becomes part of our daily lives. Meet Bina48, the world's most sentient robot, commissioned by Martine Rothblatt and created by Hanson Robotics. Bina48 is a nascent Mindclone of Martine’s wife that can engage in conversation, answer questions, and even have spontaneous thoughts that are derived from multimedia data in a Mindfile created by the real Bina. If you’re active on Twitter or Facebook, share photos through Instagram, or blogging regularly, you’re already on your way to creating a Mindfile—a digital database of your thoughts, memories, feelings, and opinions that is essentially a back-up copy of your mind. Soon, this Mindfile can be made conscious with special software—Mindware—that mimics the way human brains organize information, create emotions and achieve self-awareness. This may sound like science-fiction, but the nascent technology already exists. Thousands of software engineers across the globe are working to create cyberconsciousness based on human consciousness and the Obama administration recently announced plans to invest in a decade-long Brain Activity Map project. Virtually Human is the only book to examine the ethical issues relating to cyberconsciousness and Rothblatt, with a Ph.D. in medical ethics, is uniquely qualified to lead the dialogue.

Note to file. Martine was born Martin, but underwent gender reassignment surgery and changer name to Martine. She is an advocate for transgender people and issue. Please she named one of her 4 children, Jenesis… very cool, no?

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

[book] The Half Has Never Been Told
Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism
by Edward E. Baptist
September 2014
Basic Books
Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution—the nation’s original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America’s later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy.
As historian Edward Baptist reveals in The Half Has Never Been Told, the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a modern, industrial, and capitalist economy. Until the Civil War, Baptist explains, the most important American economic innovations were ways to make slavery ever more profitable. Through forced migration and torture, slave owners extracted continual increases in efficiency from enslaved African Americans. Thus the United States seized control of the world market for cotton, the key raw material of the Industrial Revolution, and became a wealthy nation with global influence.
Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radical new interpretation of American history. It forces readers to reckon with the violence at the root of American supremacy, but also with the survival and resistance that brought about slavery’s end—and created a culture that sustains America’s deepest dreams of freedom.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] short stories
by jesus
The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi
by Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt)
September 2014
The renowned biblical scholar, author of The Misunderstood Jew, and general editor for The Jewish Annotated New Testament interweaves history and spiritual analysis to explore Jesus’ most popular teaching parables, exposing their misinterpretations and making them lively and relevant for modern readers.
Jesus was a skilled storyteller and perceptive teacher who used parables from everyday life to effectively convey his message and meaning. Life in first-century Palestine was very different from our world today, and many traditional interpretations of Jesus’ stories ignore this disparity and have often allowed anti-Semitism and misogyny to color their perspectives.
In this wise, entertaining, and educational book, Amy-Jill Levine offers a fresh, timely reinterpretation of Jesus’ narratives. In Short Stories by Jesus, she analyzes these “problems with parables,” taking readers back in time to understand how their original Jewish audience understood them. Levine reveals the parables’ connections to first-century economic and agricultural life, social customs and morality, Jewish scriptures and Roman culture. With this revitalized understanding, she interprets these moving stories for the contemporary reader, showing how the parables are not just about Jesus, but are also about us—and when read rightly, still challenge and provoke us two thousand years later.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Paradox of Generosity
Giving We Receive, Grasping We Lose
By Christian Smith
and Hilary Davidson
September 2014
Oxford University Press
Determining why, when, and to whom people feel compelled to be generous affords invaluable insight into positive and problematic ways of life. Organ donation, volunteering, and the funding of charities can all be illuminated by sociological and psychological perspectives on how American adults conceive of and demonstrate generosity. Focusing not only on financial giving but on the many diverse forms generosity can take, Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson show the deep impact-usually good, sometimes destructive-that giving has on individuals.
The Paradox of Generosity is the first study to make use of the cutting-edge empirical data collected in Smith's groundbreaking, multidisciplinary, five-year Science of Generosity Initiative. It draws on an extensive survey of 2,000 Americans, more than sixty in-depth interviews with individuals across twelve states, and analysis of over 1,000 photographs and other visual materials. This wealth of evidence reveals a consistent link between demonstrating generosity and leading a better life: more generous people are happier, suffer fewer illnesses and injuries, live with a greater sense of purpose, and experience less depression. Smith and Davidson also show, however, that to achieve a better life a person must practice generosity regularly-random acts of kindness are not enough.
Offering a wide range of vividly illustrative case studies, this volume will be a crucial resource for anyone seeking to understand the true impact and meaning of generosity.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Talented Tits
By Andrea Martin
September 2014

She isn't Jewish, but everyone thinks she is. So here is her funny bawdy book

A hilarious, entertaining, and often moving memoir, from the multiple Tony and Emmy-awarding winning actress and comedienne, and SCTV alum, Andrea Martin
Whether lighting up the small screen in her new TV series, Working the Engels, on NBC, or stealing scenes on the big screen in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, or starring on the stage in her recent Tony award winning role as Berthe in Pippin, Andrea Martin has long entertained audiences with her hilarious characterizations and heartwarming performances. Martin has worked stages, sets and even trapezes across North America, playing to houses packed with adoring fans, all of whom instantly recognize the star who has entertained us for nearly forty years.
In Andrea Martin's Lady Parts, Martin, for the first time, shares her fondest remembrances of a life in show business, motherhood, relationships, no relationships, family, chimps in tutus, squirrels, and why she flies to Atlanta to get her hair cut. Martin opens up her heart in a series of eclectic, human, always entertaining and often moving essays. Lady Parts will make you giggle and may make you cry. This is a powerful collection of stories by a woman with a truly storied life.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Upside of Your Dark Side
Why Being Your Whole Self--Not Just Your "Good" Self
--Drives Success and Fulfillment
by professor Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener
September 2014
Hudson Street Press
You probably recall Dr. Kashdan from his 2007 talk at the Jewish Theological Seminary on happiness and fulfilment.
In The Upside of Your Dark Side, two pioneering researchers in the field of psychology show that while mindfulness, kindness, and positivity can take us far, they cannot take us all the way. Sometimes, they can even hold us back. Emotions such as anger, anxiety, guilt, and sadness might feel uncomfortable, but it turns out that they are also incredibly useful. For instance:

• Anger fuels creativity
• Guilt sparks improvement
• Self-doubt enhances performance

In the same vein, we can become wiser and more effective when we harness the darker parts of our personality in certain situations. For instance:
• Selfishness increases courage
• Mindlessness leads to better decisions
The key lies in what the authors call “emotional, social, and mental agility,” the ability to access our full range of emotions and behavior—not just the “good” ones—in order to respond most effectively to whatever situation we might encounter.
Drawing on years of scientific research and a wide array of real-life examples including sports, the military, parenting, education, romance, business, and more, The Upside of Your Dark Side is a refreshing reality check that shows us how we can truly maximize our potential. With an appreciation of our entire psychological toolkit, we become whole—which allows us to climb the highest peaks and handle the deepest valleys.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Being Miss America
Behind the Rhinestone Curtain
by Kate Shindle
September 2014
University of Texas press
For nearly a hundred years, young women have competed for the title of Miss America—although what it means to wear the crown and be our "ideal" has changed dramatically over time.
The contestants are born people pleasers
The Miss America Pageant began as a bathing beauty contest in 1920s Atlantic City, New Jersey, sponsored by businessmen trying to extend the tourist season beyond Labor Day. In the post–World War II years, the pageant evolved into a national coronation of an idealized "girl next door," as pretty and decorous as she was rarely likely to speak her mind on issues of substance. Since the cultural upheavals of the 1960s, the pageant has struggled to find a balance between beauty and brains as it tries to remain relevant to women who aspire to become leaders in the community, not hot babes in swimsuits.
In “Being Miss America,” Kate Shindle interweaves an engrossing, witty memoir of her year as Miss America 1998 with a fascinating and insightful history of the pageant.
She explores what it means to take on the mantle of America's "ideal," especially considering the evolution of the American female identity since the pageant's inception. Shindle profiles winners and organization leaders and recounts important moments in the pageant's story, with a special focus on Miss America's iconoclasts, including Bess Myerson (1945), the only Jewish Miss America; Yolande Betbeze (1951), who crusaded against the pageant's pinup image; and Kaye Lani Rae Rafko (1987), a working-class woman from Michigan who wanted to merge her famous title with her work as an oncology nurse. Shindle's own account of her work as an AIDS activist—and finding ways to circumvent the "gown and crown" stereotypes of Miss America in order to talk honestly with high school students about safer sex—illuminates both the challenges and the opportunities that keep young women competing to become Miss America.
Shindle, who is Catholic, has appeared on stage on Broadway (Cabaret, Legally Blonde, and other shows). She also produced on Broadway, worked in Real Estate for Douglas Elliman, and even sold matzo ball soup for Artie’s (Cutler) Deli on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Bitter
A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous
Flavor, with Recipes
by Jennifer McLagan
September 16, 2014
The champion of uncelebrated foods including fat, offal, and bones, Jennifer McLagan turns her attention to a fascinating, underappreciated, and trending topic: bitterness.
What do coffee, IPA beer, dark chocolate, and radicchio all have in common? They’re bitter. While some culinary cultures, such as in Italy and parts of Asia, have an inherent appreciation for bitter flavors (think Campari and Chinese bitter melon), little attention has been given to bitterness in North America: we’re much more likely to reach for salty or sweet. However, with a surge in the popularity of craft beers; dark chocolate; coffee; greens like arugula, dandelion, radicchio, and frisée; high-quality olive oil; and cocktails made with Campari and absinthe—all foods and drinks with elements of bitterness—bitter is finally getting its due.
In this deep and fascinating exploration of bitter through science, culture, history, and 100 deliciously idiosyncratic recipes—like Cardoon Beef Tagine, White Asparagus with Blood Orange Sauce, and Campari Granita—award-winning author Jennifer McLagan makes a case for this misunderstood flavor and explains how adding a touch of bitter to a dish creates an exciting taste dimension that will bring your cooking to life.

Some of my own notes: A unique cookbook appeared in my kitchenette this week. It is BITTER by acclaimed chef Jennifer McLagan. McLagan, an Aussie who splits her time between Toronto and Paris, is the author Bones (2005), Fat (2008), and Odd Bits (2011). McLagan celebrates BITTER tastes, just like the authors of the Passover Haggadah. As British chef Sybil Kapoor wrote, “Every culinary choice we make defines who we are – and not just to ourselves, but to others.” …Whether it is following kashrut or eating bitter, I like that idea during the introspective month of Elul. McLagan writes that cultures of Asia (the land of bitter melon) and Italy (Volari, Campari) appreciate bitter flavors in ways that North Americans do not. But with the surge in popularity of arugula, radicchio, dandelion, coffee, and dark chocolate, the time is right to celebrate bitterness – a bitterness that signals toxic danger, but provides pleasure and nutrition.
Her recipes use Belgian endive, radicchio, escarole, chicori (endives), blood oranges, beer (hops), arugula, Brussels sprouts, turnips, rutabagas, rapini (broccoli raab), horseradish, seville oranges, walnuts, grapefruits, cardoon (like an artichoke), dark chocolate with high levels of cacao, white asparagus, and more (but she left out cow bile). The book grew out of the author’s memory of the bitter breakfast grapefruits of your youth. But they have been revamped by fruit marketing boards into sweet pink ones. Reading her recipes, storiesm, and analyses, you come away with the feeling that you have just earned a delightful degree in flavor, sensory cognition, and food history. BITTER: A Taste of the World’s Most Dangerous Flavor, with Recipes. by Jennifer McLagan (Ten Speed Press, September 2014) Standout recipes includes ones for Bitter Greens Ravioli; Belgian Endive Bathing in Butter (do NOT boil endive); Belgian Endive Flemish Style (uses milk and nutmeg but skip the ham); Radicchio Pie (red chicory, she tried this in Turin, but you can skip the pancetta); Radicchio and Gorgonzola Pasta Sauce (the radicchio offsets the richness of the cheese); (meat (not pork)) in Coffee Blackcurrant Sauce; Whisky Chocolate Tart; Turnip Ice Cream; White Asparagus with Blood Orange Sauce; Homemade Tonic Water (less sweet, more complex zest flavors); Tea Infused Prunes (let sit for two days); Beer Jelly; Turnip (brassica) and Fava Bean Stew (with garlic, peppers, thyme, butter and onions); Rapini and Penne (once again skip the pork); Horseradish and Avocado Quenelles (a la Moustache in Paris’ 5th arrondissement); Lamb with Dark Chocolate Pepper Sauce; and Cardoon Beef Tagine with Israeli Coucous (uses 2.5 pounds of stewing beef, 2 onions, ginger, cumin, turmeric, garlic, paprika, 1 lemon, olives, cilantro, and 2.5 pounds of cardoons).
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Fall 2014
Sterling Epicure
Take a bite of the Big Apple!
Paris may be the capital of haute cuisine, but expat Marc Grossman craves the comfort food he grew up with in New York and Brooklyn. You might know his blog
So he has lovingly recreated those iconic recipes, from blintzes, bialys, and black & white cookies to pork buns, cheeseburgers, cheesecake, matzo ball soup, and everything in between. Grossman zooms in on particular neighborhoods and their special fare, and even includes addresses of his favorite places to chow down—including Greek restaurants like Tom's and Big Nick's, kosher delis like Barney Greengrass and Murray's Sturgeon shop, or Brooklyn's café-bakeries like Four & Twenty Blackbirds and Bakeri.
MARC GROSSMAN was born and raised in Manhattan and has lived in Paris, France since 1999. He studied cinema as an undergraduate at Harvard University and considered himself a filmmaker (or « aspiring filmmaker ») until impulsively opening Bob’s Juice Bar (Paris 10e) in 2006 when what had been a rather vague fantasy for years suddenly became a reality. Almost immediately, this hole-in-the-wall vegetarian juice bar café gained a cult-like following of locals and expats looking for an alternative to typical French fare. In 2007, Marc wrote his first cookbook, Smoothies and, with the same publisher (Marabout-Hachette), has gone on to write Muffins (2008), Bagels Comme à New York (2009), Un Goûter à New York (2011), and most recently New York – Les Recettes Culte (2012). In 2009, Marc teamed up with French entrepreneur Amaury De Veyrac to open a second vegetarian juice bar café: Bob’s Kitchen (Paris 3e) and in the fall of 2013 they will open Bob’s Bake Shop (Paris 18e) a New York-style bakery café as well as Bob’s Cold Press, a bottled juice division featuring non-pasteurized premium detox juices that they are developing in collaboration with The Sporting Project.
He opens with Filtered Coffee; Challah; Donuts, Glazed Donutes, Green Smoothies; and Babka. Followed by Silver Dollar Pancakes; French Toast; Oatmeal; Buckwheat Pancakes; Blintzes; Bagels; Rice Crispy Treats; Eggs Over Easy; Rugelach; Caesar Salad; Waldorf Salad; Huevos; Eggplant Burger; Hash Browns; Latkes; Tuna Melt; Knish; Meatloaf and Gravy; Blondies; Brownies; Whoopie Pies; Oreos; Pies; and so much more. But better yet... thie pictures of each
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Sunday Suppers
Recipes + Gatherings
by Karen Mordechai
Fall 2014
Clarkson Potter
Karen grew up in a large family from Israel. They had large dinners.
She is famous for her dinner parties
Ms. Mordechai, a photographer who developed the Sunday Suppers to renew an experience recalled from the Sabbath dinners of her youth. “My favorite part of dinner is just sitting at the table talking for hours, and that doesn’t exist when you are at a restaurant,” Ms. Mordechai said. “I was born in Israel and grew up in a big, Jewish, Middle Eastern family. We think there’s nothing better than sitting around the table with family and friends.”
The point of Sunday Suppers was not originally to turn dinner parties into business, Ms. Mordechai added. “I photographed our first one and posted it to a blog. Suddenly we were getting e-mails from strangers and people from all over who, I guess, wanted that old-school dinner-party feel.”
Now the dinners, for which subscribers pay $150, sell out as soon as the reservation list is posted online. “It’s basically about making friends and hanging out,” Ms. Mordechai said. “And eating good food.”

Rediscover the art of cooking and eating communally with a beautiful, simple collection of meals for friends and family.
With her dinner series Sunday Suppers, Karen Mordechai celebrates the magic of gathering, bringing together friends and strangers to connect over the acts of cooking and sharing meals. For those who yearn to connect around the table, Karen’s simple, seasonally driven recipes, evocative photography, and understated styling form a road map to creating community in their own kitchens and in offbeat locations. This collection of gatherings will inspire a sense of adventure and community for both the novice and experienced cook alike.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Kosher Cuisine For a New Generation
by Cantor Mitch
September 2014
Red Portal Press
Fresh, simple, and entertaining – a zesty new kosher cookbook experience!
Who says the kitchen is just for cooking? Cantor Mitch brings kosher cooking to a new generation and away from the stove. With over 75 recipes and lay-flat binding, Kosher Cuisine For a New Generation is the perfect kitchen companion for anyone looking to put the chutzpa in cooking. With song and music pairings for each recipe, this is not your average cookbook. Whether you’re looking for soups, salads, or Bubbie’s favorite recipes, you're sure to find it and more in this one-of-a-kind creation from the infamous singing chef.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Not Fade Away
A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found
by Rebecca Alexander and Sascha Alper
September 2014
Gotham Books
Even a darkening world can be brilliantly lit from within.
Born with a rare genetic mutation called Usher Syndrome type III, Rebecca Alexander has been simultaneously losing both her sight and hearing since she was a child, and was told that she would likely be completely blind and deaf by age 30. Then, at 18, a fall from a window left her athletic body completely shattered.
None of us know what we would do in the face of such devastation. What Rebecca did was rise to every challenge she faced. She was losing her vision and hearing and her body was broken, but she refused to lose her drive, her zest for life and – maybe most importantly – her sense of humor. Now, at 35, with only a sliver of sight and significantly deteriorated hearing, she is a psychotherapist with two masters’ degrees from Columbia University, and an athlete who teaches spin classes and regularly competes in extreme endurance races. She greets every day as if it were a gift, with boundless energy, innate curiosity, and a strength of spirit that have led her to places we can't imagine.
In Not Fade Away, Rebecca tells her extraordinary story, by turns harrowing, funny and inspiring. She meditates on what she’s lost—from the sound of a whisper to seeing a sky full of stars, and what she’s found in return—an exquisite sense of intimacy with those she is closest to, a love of silence, a profound gratitude for everything she still has, and a joy in simple pleasures that most of us forget to notice.
Not Fade Away is both a memoir of the senses and a unique look at the obstacles we all face—physical, psychological, and philosophical—exploring the extraordinary powers of memory, love, and perseverance. It is a gripping story, an offering of hope and motivation, and an exquisite reminder to live each day to its fullest.

She will be speaking at several JCC’s. Check your local area.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Florence Gordon
A novel
by Brian Morton
September 2014
A wise and entertaining novel about a woman who has lived life on her own terms for seventy-five defiant and determined years, only to find herself suddenly thrust to the center of her family’s various catastrophes
Meet Florence Gordon: blunt, brilliant, cantankerous and passionate, feminist icon to young women, invisible to almost everyone else. At seventy-five, Florence has earned her right to set down the burdens of family and work and shape her legacy at long last. But just as she is beginning to write her long-deferred memoir, her son Daniel returns to New York from Seattle with his wife and daughter, and they embroil Florence in their dramas, clouding the clarity of her days and threatening her well-defended solitude. And then there is her left foot, which is starting to drag
With searing wit, sophisticated intelligence, and a tender respect for humanity in all its flaws, Brian Morton introduces a constellation of unforgettable characters. Chief among them, Florence, who can humble the fools surrounding her with one barbed line, but who eventually finds there are realities even she cannot outwit.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Seasons of Prayer
by Sherri Waas Shunfenthal
Edited by J. Thomas Hetrick
Illustrated by Jennifer Shunfenthal
September 2014
Seasons of Prayer offers poetic prayers and reflections for all the Jewish Holidays. Seasons change throughout the year as do the seasons of our lives. We plant in the warm Spring air, cultivate through the Summer, gather and reap in Fall. In Winter, deep stillness allows for a burst of spring growth. Judaism`s holidays follow nature`s seasons and celebrates the many seasons of our lives. There are seasons of joy, seasons of sorrow, seasons of ripeness, seasons of deepening and slow maturity, time of being a sage, time of being a learner, time for growth, time for refreshing peace, and always a time of renewal. All who are spiritual will find inspiration here. Come, travel through Seasons of Prayer…
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

By Ram Oren and Moti Kfir
With a foreword by Major General Shlomo Gazit
"There is a lack of quiet in Sylvia that craves for action.... She knows that she is special and that she possesses unusual and varied abilities." -- From the Mossad's psychological evaluation of Sylvia Rafael
When Moti Kfir, head of the Academy for Special Operations of the Mossad, first interviewed Sylvia Rafael in a coffee shop, he knew she would make a great combatant for Israel's intelligence agency. She was outgoing, resourceful, brilliant, and had a talent for bonding with others. When Kfir warned her that the mysterious job they'd met to discuss could be dangerous, she simply sat back comfortably in her chair and smiled.
Sylvia Rafael is the page-turning account of a young, dedicated agent as told by the man who trained her. Drawing on extensive research and interviews, authors Ram Oren and Moti Kfir tell the story of Rafael's rise to prominence within the Mossad and her intelligence work trying to locate Ali Hassan Salameh -- the leader of Palestine's Black September organization and the mastermind behind the murder of eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. Her team's misidentification of their mark would eventually lead to her arrest and imprisonment for murder and espionage.
Now available in English for the first time, Sylvia Rafael offers new insight into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, its history, and its human cost. It is a gripping, authentic spy story about a fearless defender of the Jewish people.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Zero to One
Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
by Peter Thiel with Blake Masters
September 2014
Listen to a free podcast from Wharton at :

Peter was born in Frankfurt, West Germany and came to the California as a toddler with his family. A stellar student at Stanford Law School (1992), he started a Libertarian publication and thought deep philosophical ideas.
He then went on to help found Paypal and other startups in the Bay Area
The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things.
Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself.
Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique.
Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.

Here are the seven questions Thiel writes “Every business must answer:"
1. Can you create breakthrough technology instead of incremental improvements?
2. Is now the right time to start your particular business?
3. Are you starting with a big share of a small market?
4. Do you have the right team?
5. Do you have a way to not just create but deliver your product?
6. Will your market position be defensible 10 and 20 years into the future?
7. Have you identified a unique opportunity that others don’t see?

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

[book] Death of a King
The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year
by Tavis Smiley with David Ritz
September 2014
Little, Brown & Company
After you get over Smiley’s use of the word, “Doc,” it is a good intro to King’s final year. It is a chronicle of the 12 months leading up to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination. On April 4, 1967, King gave a great anti-war speech on Manhattan’s Upper West Side at Riverside Church in which his criticized LBJ. After the speech, The Washington Post said that he had diminished his cause and usefulness. On April 3, 1968, he gave the Moutaintop Speech at Mason Temple. And the on April 4, exactly 12 months after Riverside, he was murdered in Memphis at the Lorraine Motel.
These days, King has been Disney-fied. He is now a caricature, a speechmaker, and a symbol; and all the anger, errors, and difficulties are forgotten due to human nature or purposeful washing.
Martin Luther King, Jr. died in one of the most shocking assassinations the world has known, but little is remembered about the life he led in his final year. Tavis Smiley recounts the final 365 days of King's life, revealing the minister's trials and tribulations -- denunciations by the press, rejection from the president, dismissal by the country's black middle class (Roy Wilkins) and militants (Stokely Carmichael), assaults on his character and infidelities, ideology, untreated depression, consideration of leaving the US and moving to the UK, theological doubts, and political tactics, to name a few -- all of which he had to rise above in order to lead and address the racism, poverty of all Americans, and the militarism that threatened to destroy our democracy.
Smiley's DEATH OF A KING paints a portrait of a leader and visionary in a narrative different from all that have come before. Here is an exceptional glimpse into King's life -- one that adds both nuance and gravitas to his legacy as an American hero.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book


FALL 2014
Some say it is Martin Amis' great work to date

Once upon a time there was a king, and the king commissioned his favorite wizard to create a magic mirror. This mirror didn’t show you your reflection. It showed you your soul—it showed you who you really were.
The wizard couldn’t look at it without turning away. The king couldn’t look at it. The courtiers couldn’t look at it. A chestful of treasure was offered to anyone who could look at it for sixty seconds without turning away. And no one could.
The Zone of Interest is a love story with a violently unromantic setting. Can love survive the mirror? Can we even meet each other’s eye, after we have seen who we really are?
Powered by both wit and compassion, and in characteristically vivid prose, Martin Amis’s unforgettable new novel excavates the depths and contradictions of the human soul.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Random House
October 7, 2014
Little Failure is the all too true story of an immigrant family betting its future on America, as told by a lifelong misfit who finally finds a place for himself in the world through books and words. In 1979, a little boy dragging a ginormous fur hat and an overcoat made from the skin of some Soviet woodland creature steps off the plane at New York’s JFK International Airport and into his new American life. His troubles are just beginning. For the former Igor Shteyngart, coming to the United States from the Soviet Union is like stumbling off a monochromatic cliff and landing in a pool of Technicolor. Careening between his Soviet home life and his American aspirations, he finds himself living in two contradictory worlds, wishing for a real home in one. He becomes so strange to his parents that his mother stops bickering with his father long enough to coin the phrase failurchka—“little failure”—which she applies to her once-promising son. With affection. Mostly. From the terrors of Hebrew School to a crash course in first love to a return visit to the homeland that is no longer home, Gary Shteyngart has crafted a ruthlessly brave and funny memoir of searching for every kind of love—family, romantic, and of the self.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Empowering Today’s Jews for a Life That Matters
By Rabbi Edward Feinstein
With a Foreword by Rabbi Laura Geller
October 8, 2014
Jewish Lights
Reconnect with Judaism's most important contribution to humanity—and redeem our world.

"The gift of Judaism is an understanding of what it means to be a human being—what we can do, what we can hope for, how we can live with purpose, what is expected of us. It is a celebration of human freedom, human possibility and human responsibility. Judaism is a way to live a heroic life, to construct a life devoted to values that are eternal, values of ultimate significance. The reward of a Jewish life is walking the world with a profound faith that you matter, your life matters, your dreams matter. I call this chutzpah." —from the Introduction
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 our world. He walks us through the history of chutzpah—from the early chapters of Genesis, Jewish biblical law and the Rabbis of the Talmud to the mystics of medieval Spain and the European Hasidic tradition, Zionism and post-Holocaust thought. By showing us the ever-presence of chutzpah in Judaism he reveals the inner story of the Jewish People’s soul as well as the meaning that Judaism’s deepest purpose and most precious treasure has for us today.

Rabbi Edward Feinstein is senior rabbi of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California. (you know… the Harold Shulweis congregation) He is an instructor in the Ziegler Rabbinical School of American Jewish University and the Wexner Heritage Program.
Rabbi Laura Geller is senior rabbi of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. She was twice named one of Newsweek's 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America and was featured in the PBS documentary Jewish Americans.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Recovery, the 12 Steps and Jewish Spirituality
Reclaiming Hope, Courage & Wholeness
by Rabbi Paul Steinberg
October 2014
Jewish Lights
A powerful new Jewish contribution to AA's 12-Step spirituality.
The disease of alcoholism and addiction affects every part of our society—including Jews. This easy-to-read exploration from a Jewish perspective is the first comprehensive approach to successfully integrate classic Jewish spirituality with the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other recovery resources. From a very personal perspective, it masterfully weaves traditional Jewish wisdom with the experience, strength and hope of AA.
With clarity and passion, Rabbi Paul Steinberg courageously shares his own personal struggles with alcoholism and addiction in a way that will help others find hope, guidance and a new life path—and stay on it. Using a variety of Jewish resources—theological, psychological and ethical—that speak to the spiritual dimension of the disease, he shows how the principles of Jewish spiritual recovery directly align with those of the AA 12 Steps.
An inspiring, practical and accessible new resource for everyone touched by the pain of alcoholism and addiction, whether in an AA program or not, it speaks to every variety of Jew, as well as to non-Jews. A major new resource for people struggling with addiction and their families, rabbis, Jewish educators and addiction counselors who need to address alcoholism and addiction in their communities or in their own homes.
Rabbi Paul Steinberg is a nationally renowned Jewish educator and a professional staff member at Beit T'Shuvah, the acclaimed recovery center in Los Angeles. Previously a rabbi at Valley Beth Shalom congregation in Encino, California, his books include the three-volume series Celebrating the Jewish Year, which won the National Jewish Book Award.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

See also:
[book] Twelve Jewish Steps to Recovery:
A Personal Guide to Turning From Alcoholism
and Other Addictions -
Drugs, Food, Gambling, Sex
The Jewish Lights Twelve Steps Series
by Dr. Stuart A. Copans MD
Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky
Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski MD
Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman, and others

[book] The Lost Matriarch
Finding Leah in the Bible and Midrash
by Jerry Rabow Ph.D
October 2014
University of Nebraska Press
The Lost Matriarch offers a unique response to the sparse and puzzling biblical treatment of the matriarch Leah. Although Leah is a major figure in the book of Genesis, the biblical text allows her only a single word of physical description and two lines of direct dialogue. The Bible tells us little about the effects of her lifelong struggles in an apparently loveless marriage to Jacob, the husband she shares with three other wives, including her beautiful younger sister, Rachel. Fortunately, two thousand years of traditional and modern commentators have produced many fascinating interpretations (midrash) that reveal the far richer story of Leah hidden within the text.

Through Jerry Rabow’s weaving of biblical text and midrash, readers learn the lessons of the remarkable Leah, who triumphed over adversity and hardship by living a life of moral heroism. The Lost Matriarch reveals Leah’s full story and invites readers into the delightful, provocative world of creative rabbinic and literary commentary. By experiencing these midrashic insights and techniques for reading “between the lines,” readers are introduced to what for many will be an exciting new method of personal Bible interpretation.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Fall 2014
Henry Holt
The untold story of the birth of the Predator drone, a wonder weapon that transformed the American military, reshaped modern warfare, and sparked a revolution in aviation.
The creation of the first weapon in history whose operators can stalk and kill an enemy on the other side of the globe was far more than clever engineering. As Richard Whittle shows in Predator, it was one of the most profound developments in the history of military and aerospace technology.
Once considered fragile toys, drones were long thought to be of limited utility. The Predator itself was resisted at nearly every turn by the military establishment, but a few iconoclasts refused to see this new technology smothered at birth. The remarkable cast of characters responsible for developing the Predator includes a former Israeli inventor who turned his Los Angeles garage into a drone laboratory, two billionaire brothers marketing a futuristic weapon to help combat Communism, a pair of fighter pilots willing to buck their white-scarf fraternity, a cunning Pentagon operator nicknamed “Snake,” and a secretive Air Force organization known as Big Safari. When an Air Force team unleashed the first lethal drone strikes in 2001 for the CIA, the military’s view of drones changed nearly overnight.
Based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews, Predator reveals the dramatic inside story of the creation of a revolutionary weapon that forever changed the way we wage war and opened the door to a new age in aviation.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Homeland
Saul's Game
A Homeland Novel
by Andrew Kaplan
October 7, 2014
I think we can safely say that if Carrie Mathison sleeps with you, you are going to be murdered. I can think of 4 men she slept with who all ended up dead. The book open as a U.S. special ops helicopter is flying low across the Iraqi desert. Carrie is off her meds so she can be clear. They are bearing down on Syria for a special operation…
A backstory for the Homeland Series
Leading a mission to capture master terrorist, Abu Nazir, CIA operations officer Carrie Mathison discovers a dangerous threat inside the Agency in this thrilling second official prequel novel to Showtime’s Emmy Award-winning hit series Homeland.
It is 2009 and Carrie is in Damascus, Syria. Carrie Mathison is leading an operation to capture or kill al Qaeda terrorist, Abu Nazir. But arriving at the compound where he was supposed to be in hiding, they find it empty. Carrie is sure that someone is leaking CIA information to the enemy and has betrayed their operation, seriously threatening American interests in the Middle East.
To expose the double agent, her boss, Saul Berenson, devises an elaborate ruse that will send her on the most dangerous mission of her life.
Saul has a very interesting background in Iran. We learn more of his backstory
This twisting tale of international intrigue takes fans deeper into the intense world of high-stakes espionage, and explores never-before-seen details of Carrie’s life as an operative in the Middle East, Saul’s past as an agent in Iran, Brody’s dark childhood and captivity, and events involving the trio—and other favorite characters, like Dar Adal—that will lead them to the present.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Perfect Kill
21 Laws for Assassins
by Robert B. Baer
October 28, 2014
Blue Rider Press
Baer is a grad of Georgetown Walsh School and the Culver military academy. As a CIA operative for decades, he learned Arabic, Farsi/Persian, French, German Russian, Tajik, and Baluch. He now writes for
What is the definition of assassination? Robert B. Baer’s boss at the CIA once told him, “It’s a bullet with a man’s name on it.” Sometimes assassination is the senseless act of a psychotic, a bloodletting without social value. Other times, it can be the sanest and most humane way to change the course of conflict—one bullet, one death, case closed. Assassination has been dramatized by literature and politicized by infamous murders throughout history, and for Robert Baer, one of the most accomplished agents to ever work for the CIA, it’s a source of endless fascination, speculation, and intrigue.
Over several decades, Baer served as an operative, from Iraq to New Delhi and beyond; notably, his career was the model for the acclaimed movie Syriana. In The Perfect Kill, he takes us on a serpentine adventure through the history of political murder; its connections to, and differences from, the ubiquitous use of drones in state-sponsored killing; his firsthand experience with political executions; and his decades-long cat-and-mouse hunt, across the Middle East and Europe, for the most effective and deadliest assassin of the modern age. A true maverick with an undeniably captivating personal story, Baer pulls back the curtain on the underbelly of world politics and the quiet murderers who operate on the fringe of our society.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

A Collection of stories
Edited by Etgar Keret and Assaf Gavron
October 2014
Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched with the summer 2004 award-winning best seller Brooklyn Noir.
Each book is comprised of all-new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city. For Tel Aviv Noir, Etgar Keret and Assaf Gavron have masterfully assembled some of Israel's top contemporary writers into a compulsively readable collection.

From the introduction by Etgar Keret:
"In spite of its outwardly warm and polite exterior, Tel Aviv has quite a bit to hide. At any club, most of the people dancing around you to the sounds of a deep-house hit dedicated to peace and love have undergone extensive automatic-weapons training and a hand-grenade tutorial...The workers washing the dishes in the fluorescent-lit kitchen of that same club are Eritrean refugees who have crossed the Egyptian border illegally, along with a group of bedouins smuggling some high-quality hash, which the deejay will soon be smoking on his little podium, right by the busy dance floor filled with drunks, coked-up lawyers, and Ukrainian call girls whose pimp keeps their passports in a safe two streets away. Don't get me wrong--Tel Aviv is a lovely, safe city. Most of the time, for most of its inhabitants. But the stories in this collection describe what happens the rest of the time, to the rest of its inhabitants. From one last cup of coffee at a café targeted by a suicide bomber, through repeat visits from a Yiddish-speaking ghost, to an organized tour of mythological crime scenes that goes terribly wrong, the stories of Tel Aviv Noir reveal the concealed, scarred face of this city that we love so much."
Featuring brand-new stories by:
Etgar Keret,
Gadi Taub,
Lavie Tidhar,
Deakla Keydar,
Matan Hermoni,
Julia Fermentto,
Gon Ben Ari,
Shimon Adaf,
Alex Epstein,
Antonio Ungar,
Gai Ad,
Assaf Gavron,
Silje Bekeng, and
Yoav Katz.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book


A Novel
By Assaf Gavron
October 28, 2014
Hailed as “The Great Israeli Novel” (Time Out Tel Aviv) and winner of the prestigious Bernstein Prize, The Hilltop is a monumental and daring work about life in a West Bank settlement from one of Israel’s most acclaimed young novelists.
On a rocky, beautiful hilltop stands Ma’aleh Hermesh C, a fledgling community flying under the radar. According to the government it doesn’t exist; according to the military it must be defended.
On this contested land, Othniel Assis—under the wary gaze of the neighboring Palestinian village—plants asparagus, arugula, and cherry tomatoes, and he installs goats—and his ever-expanding family. As Othniel cheerfully manipulates government agencies, more settlers arrive, and, amid a hodge-podge of shipping containers and mobile homes, the outpost takes root.
One of the settlement’s steadfast residents is Gabi Kupper, a one-time free spirit and kibbutz-dweller, who undergoes a religious awakening. The delicate routines of Gabi’s new life are thrown into turmoil with the sudden arrival of Roni, his prodigal brother, who, years after venturing to America in search of fortune, arrives at Gabi’s door, penniless. To the settlement’s dismay, Roni soon hatches a plan to sell the “artisanal” olive oil from the Palestinian village to Tel Aviv yuppies. When a curious Washington Post correspondent stumbles into their midst, Ma’aleh Hermesh C becomes the focus of an international diplomatic scandal and faces its greatest test yet.
By turns serious and satirical, The Hilltop brilliantly skewers the complex, often absurd reality of life in Israel, the West Bank settlers, and the nation's relationship to the United States, and makes a startling parallel between today’s settlements and the kibbutz movement of Gabi and Roni’s youth. Rich with humor and insight, Assaf Gavron’s novel is the first fiction to grapple with one of the most charged geo-political issues of our time, and he has written a masterpiece.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Translated by David Fernbach
October 7, 2014
Shlomo Sand was born in 1946, in a displaced person’s camp in Austria, to a Jewish mother and non-Jewish father; the family later migrated to Palestine. As a young man, Sand came to question his Jewish identity, even that of a “secular Jew.” With this meditative and thoughtful mixture of essay and personal recollection, he articulates the problems at the center of modern Jewish identity.
How I Stopped Being a Jew discusses the negative effects of the Israeli exploitation of the “chosen people” myth and its “holocaust industry.” Sand criticizes the fact that, in the current context, what “Jewish” means is, above all, not being Arab and reflects on the possibility of a secular, non-exclusive Israeli identity, beyond the legends of Zionism.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

The Beginning of the Holocaust
By Thomas W. Ryback
October 2014
The remarkable story of Josef Hartinger, the German prosecutor who risked everything to bring to justice the first killers of the Holocaust and whose efforts would play a key role in the Nuremberg tribunal.
Before Germany was engulfed by Nazi dictatorship, it was a constitutional republic. And just before Dachau Concentration Camp became a site of Nazi genocide, it was a state detention center for political prisoners, subject to police authority and due process. The camp began its irrevocable transformation from one to the other following the execution of four Jewish detainees in the spring of 1933. Timothy W. Ryback’s gripping and poignant historical narrative focuses on those first victims of the Holocaust and the investigation that followed, as Hartinger sought to expose these earliest cases of state-condoned atrocity.
In documenting the circumstances surrounding these first murders and Hartinger’s unrelenting pursuit of the SS perpetrators, Ryback indelibly evokes a society on the brink—one in which civil liberties are sacrificed to national security, in which citizens increasingly turn a blind eye to injustice, in which the bedrock of judicial accountability chillingly dissolves into the martial caprice of the Third Reich.
We see Hartinger, holding on to his unassailable sense of justice, doggedly resisting the rising dominance of Nazism. His efforts were only a temporary roadblock to the Nazis, but Ryback makes clear that Hartinger struck a lasting blow for justice. The forensic evidence and testimony gathered by Hartinger provided crucial evidence in the postwar trials.
Hitler’s First Victims exposes the chaos and fragility of the Nazis’ early grip on power and dramatically suggests how different history could have been had other Germans followed Hartinger’s example of personal courage in that time of collective human failure..
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

October 2014
Sal Cupertine is a legendary hit man for the Chicago Mafia, known for his ability to get in and out of a crime without a trace. Until now, that is. His first-ever mistake forces Sal to botch an assassination, killing three undercover FBI agents in the process. This puts too much heat on Sal, and he knows this botched job will be his death sentence to the Mafia. So he agrees to their radical idea to save his own skin.
A few surgeries and some intensive training later, and Sal Cupertine is gone, disappeared into the identity of Rabbi David Cohen. Leading his growing congregation in Las Vegas, overseeing the population and the temple and the new cemetery, Rabbi Cohen feels his wicked past slipping away from him, surprising even himself as he spouts quotes from the Torah or the Old Testament. Yet, as it turns out, the Mafia isn't quite done with him yet. Soon the new cemetery is being used as both a money and body-laundering scheme for the Chicago family. And that rogue FBI agent on his trail, seeking vengeance for the murder of his three fellow agents, isn't going to let Sal fade so easily into the desert.
Gangsterland is the wickedly dark and funny new novel by a writer at the height of his power – a morality tale set in a desert landscape as ruthless and barren as those who inhabit it.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

October 2014
It Books
First a joke that Alan Cumming told me. How do you get a pool full of Canadians to leave the pool party? You say, “Execuse me, can everyone please leave.”
In his unique and engaging voice, the acclaimed actor of stage and screen shares the emotional story of his complicated relationship with his father and the deeply buried family secrets that shaped his life and career.
A beloved star of stage, television, and film—“one of the most fun people in show business” (Time magazine)—Alan Cumming is a successful artist whose diversity and fearlessness is unparalleled. His success masks a painful childhood growing up under the heavy rule of an emotionally and physically abusive father — a relationship that tormented him long into adulthood.

He says that acting came naturally to him since from childhood, he needed to act out roles in order to avoid abuse
When television producers in the UK approached him to appear on a popular celebrity genealogy show in 2010, Alan enthusiastically agreed. He hoped the show would solve a family mystery involving his maternal grandfather, a celebrated WWII hero – a reckless man - who disappeared in the Far East. But as the truth of his family ancestors revealed itself, Alan learned far more than he bargained for about himself, his past, and his own father.
(I will not ruin the surprise details, even though he mentioned it in a few book reading speeches
With ribald humor, wit, and incredible insight, Alan seamlessly moves back and forth in time, integrating stories from his childhood in Scotland and his experiences today as a film, television, and theater star. At times suspenseful, deeply moving, and wickedly funny, Not My Father’s Son will make readers laugh even as it breaks their hearts.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Don't Wait for the Next War
A Strategy for American Growth and
Global Leadership
by Wesley K. Clark (General Retired, US Army)
October 7, 2014
Former candidate for U.S. President goes to Africa and is intrigued by Iraelis who set up pseudo moshavim to help release capitalism and self actualization.

With the end of the Cold War came not the end of history, but the end of America’s sense of its strategic purpose in the world. Then, after a decade of drift, the US was violently dragged back into international conflict. Its armed forces responded magnificently but its leaders’ objectives were substantially flawed. We fought the wrong war—twice—for reasons that were opaque, and few American citizens understood the cause for which their sons and daughters were fighting and dying.

War is a poor substitute for strategic vision, and decisions made in the heat of imminent conflict are often limited by the emotions of the moment. In Don’t Wait for the Next War, Wesley K. Clark, a retired four-star general of the US army and former Democratic candidate for president, presents a compelling argument for continued American global leadership and the basis on which it can succeed—a new American strategy. America needs both new power and deeper perspective. The platform for American leadership is to use America’s energy resources to spark sustainable economic growth, building new strength to deal with pressing domestic issues like the deficit as well as the longer term challenges to US security—terrorism, cyber threats, the next financial crisis, China’s rising power, and climate change.
Such a strategy is not only achievable but essential, and it is urgently needed. This is the true test of American leadership for the next two decades, but it must start now, so America has the power and vision to deal with the acute crises that will inevitably come—in the Mideast, Europe, or Asia
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

October 2014
Penguin Press
The dynamic and always controversial television producer shares fifty years of show business and politics, with all the candor and wisdom expected from the creator of All in the Family
The legendary creator of iconic television programs All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons, and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Norman Lear remade our television culture—while leading a life of unparalleled political, civic, and social involvement. Sharing the wealth of Lear’s ninety years, Even This I Get to Experience is a memoir as touching and remarkable as the life he has led.
In the nineteen seventies, Lear’s comedies were viewed by one hundred and twenty million people per week—yes, one hundred and twenty million— with stories that reflected the most serious issues of their lives and still left them howling. But before this, Lear led a charmed life throughout postwar Hollywood’s golden years, befriending the likes of Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks; writing and directing Frank Sinatra, Robert Redford, Dick Van Dyke, and Martha Raye; becoming the highest paid comic writer in the country while working for Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. Not to mention, Lear flew some fifty bombing missions over Germany with the Fifteenth Air Force.
Shamelessly in love with the country the Founding Fathers laid out for him while his own father was serving time, Lear won the first American Legion Oratorical Contest speaking about the Constitution. He later founded People For the American Way, a national organization to protect the civil rights and liberties of us all, and bought an original copy of the Declaration of Independence, printed the night of July 4, 1776, not to hang on a wall in his home, but to travel across the country to schools, and libraries, and public institutions to be shared with citizens everywhere.
Married three times and the father of six children ranging from nineteen to sixty-eight, Lear’s penetrating look at family life, parenthood, and marriage is a volume in itself. Told with the charm and candor of one of the century’s greatest storytellers, Even This I Get To Experience is nothing less than a profound gift, endlessly readable and characteristically unforgettable..
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

How The Ancient Wisdom of Biblical Scholars and Doctors
Can Help You Lose Weight
and Change Your Life FOREVER
by David Zulberg
October 2014
Rodale Press
In his own personal weight-loss struggle, David Zulberg turned to the wisdom of Maimonides, a medieval Jewish philosopher, physician, and rabbi to find consensus on ideal nutrition and optimum physical and emotional health.
After a decade of studying the RAMBAM, Zulberg was able to distill the teachings of the bible and humanity’s greatest doctors, and he discovered something amazing—ancient doctors already knew what today’s medical findings are rediscovering about what’s best for human health, weight loss, disease prevention, and psychological well-being.
The 5 Skinny Habits (seems like a great rebranding of his 2013 diet book) explains the ancient understanding of health and its application to our lives in the 21st century and its supersize proportions. Zulberg refers to legendary thinkers as Master Physicians and, through a close study of Maimonides, integrates the spiritual, emotional, and physical components of health and weight loss. With an easy five-step plan, Zulberg tells readers how to incorporate one habit each week for 5 weeks to achieve a healthier lifestyle. His five steps streamline and simplify the process of becoming fit, ensuring that change is made for good. as readers are gradually led through the plan, they become more accustomed to livin as prescribed by the ancient health experts. A simple diet diary with positive affirmations makes self-monitoring an effective and enjoyable part of the discovery. By the end of the journey, readers have incorporated the habits into their routines so completely that they are no longer "dieting" but simply living a healthier life
Zulberg's 2013 diet book sold 20,000 copies. A South African, he studied in Israel for seven years and also attended Columbia and Reading. He is a certified health coach.
You can read his bio at
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] SECTION 60:
October 2014
While On Hallowed Ground chronicled the history of the cemetery, Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery is the powerful contemporary biography of a five-acre plot where many of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been laid to rest alongside service members from earlier wars.
Gifted writer and reporter Robert Poole opens the story with preparations for Memorial Day, Arlington’s biggest event, when thousands of families come to visit those buried in the 624-acre cemetery, legions of Rolling Thunder motorcyclists patrol the streets with fluttering POW flags, and service members place miniature flags before each of Arlington’s graves. What emerges is a portrait of our national cemetery as a living, breathing community, and a narrative about how improvised explosive devices, suicide bombs, and enemies who blend in with local populations have changed the nature and aftermath of conflict. Several of the newest recruits for Section 60 have been brought there by suicide or post-traumatic stress disorder, a war injury newly described but dating to ancient times.
I especially recommend Chapter 5, focusing on the Malachowski family, Staff Sgt. Jimmy (James Michael) Malachowski, and the funeral of Cpl. Ian M. Muller, and then the funeral of their own son, Jimmy.

Using Section 60 as a window into the latest wars, Poole recounts stories of courage and sacrifices by fallen heroes, and explores the ways in which soldiers’ comrades, friends, and families honor and remember those lost to war—carrying on with life in the aftermath of wartime tragedy. Section 60 is a moving tribute to those who have fought and died for our country, and to those who love them.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols &
Other Typographical Marks
October 2014
Norton Paperback
A charming and indispensable tour of two thousand years of the written word, Shady Characters weaves a fascinating trail across the parallel histories of language and typography. Whether investigating the asterisk (*) and dagger (†)—which alternately illuminated and skewered heretical verses of the early Bible—or the at sign (@), which languished in obscurity for centuries until rescued by the Internet, Keith Houston draws on myriad sources to chart the life and times of these enigmatic squiggles, both exotic (¶) and everyday (&).
From the Library of Alexandria to the halls of Bell Labs, figures as diverse as Charlemagne, Vladimir Nabokov, and George W. Bush cross paths with marks as obscure as the interrobang (?) and as divisive as the dash (—). Ancient Roman graffiti, Venetian trading shorthand, Cold War double agents, and Madison Avenue round out an ever more diverse set of episodes, characters, and artifacts.
Richly illustrated, ranging across time, typographies, and countries, Shady Characters will delight and entertain all who cherish the unpredictable and surprising in the writing life.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

September 2014
Yale University Press
Jewish Lives series
Leonard Bernstein stood at the epicenter of twentieth-century American musical life. His creative gifts knew no boundaries as he moved easily from the podium, to the piano, to television with his nationally celebrated Young People’s Concerts, which introduced an entire generation to the joy of classical music. In this fascinating new biography, the breadth of Bernstein’s musical composition is explored, through the spectacular range of music he composed—from West Side Story to Kaddish and beyond—and through his intensely public role as an internationally celebrated conductor. For the first time, the composer’s life and work receive a fully integrated analysis, offering a comprehensive appreciation of a multi-faceted musical genius who continued to grow as an artist well into his final days. .
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Executive Chef of Oceana
with Stephanie Lyness
September 2014
From the acclaimed executive chef of a Michelin-starred seafood restaurant comes a comprehensive, beautifully designed guide to cooking fish, for home cooks of all skill levels.
School of Fish is an all-encompassing culinary education in one handy—not to mention gorgeously photographed—cookbook. Ben Pollinger, executive chef of upscale Manhattan restaurant Oceana, distills years of experience working in some of the world’s best restaurants in this no-nonsense book that demystifies the art of cooking seafood.
With more than 100 recipes organized by technique from the easiest to the most advanced, Pollinger takes you through the ins and outs of baking, roasting, braising, broiling, steaming, poaching, grilling, frying, sautéing, and of course seasoning. In addition, he offers up terrific recipes for basics (like Homemade Hot Sauce and Fish Fumet); dressed fish (from ceviche to tartars); salads, pasta, rice, and sides (such as Salmon Salad with Spinach, Dill, and Mustard Vinaigrette); soups and chowders (including Gazpacho with Seared Scallops); and one-pot meals (like Caribbean Fish Stew and Thai-Style Bouillabaisse). And to round out your seafood education, School of Fish includes a Fish-ionary, a Guide to Unusual Ingredients, and detailed step-by-step photos to complement the 100 photographed recipes.
As appealing in its presentation as it is useful, this guide outlines all the skills you need for perfecting your culinary craft. So whether you’re a home cook trying something new or an experienced “afishionado,” School of Fish will turn you into a better cook and an authority on all things seafood.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Midnight at the Pera Palace
The Birth of Modern Istanbul
by Charles King
Fall 2014
WW Norton
With all the talk of Turkey and Russia and Crimea… it is a great time to read this history of 20th Century Turkey. When the Ottoman Empire collapsed, so many spies mingled in the lobby of Istanbul’s Pera Palace Hotel that the manager posted a sign asking them to relinquish seats to paying guests.
As the multi-ethnic empire became a Turkish republic, Russian émigrés sold family heirlooms, an African American impresario founded a jazz club, Miss Turkey became the first Muslim beauty queen, and a Boston professor unveiled the lost treasures of the Hagia Sophia. Turkey’s president Kemal Atatürk, Muslim feminist Halide Edip, the exiled Leon Trotsky, and the future Pope John XXIII fought for new visions of human freedom. During World War II, German intellectuals ran from the Nazis while Jewish activists spirited refugees out of occupied Europe. In this pioneering portrait of urban reinvention, Charles King re-creates an era when an ancient city became a global crossroads—a forgotten moment when Europe’s closest Muslim metropolis became its vital port of refuge.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Not That Kind of Girl
A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned"
by Lena Dunham
September 2014
Random House
For readers of Nora Ephron, Tina Fey, and David Sedaris, this hilarious, poignant, and extremely frank collection of personal essays confirms Lena Dunham—the acclaimed creator, producer, and star of HBO’s Girls—as one of the brightest and most original writers working today.

I listened to one of her essays in May 2014 from this book and it was so simple, yet so genius. She thought this book would be a mixture of very personal history, social commentary and cultural criticism, but her father said that one line about not liking “Mad Men” did not make the book a cultural criticism.
In the essay I heard before publication, a simple line about how at Oberlin she found a Helen Gurley Brown book in a thrift shop was actually very deep and philosophical. Helen wrote that women should have a lot of sex so they can deal with it in future relationships and always be blow job ready, but had a lot of less crazy ideas. Lena wrote that she shopped in the maternity section since those items fit her better...
“If I can take what I’ve learned in this life and make one treacherous relationship or degrading job easier for you, perhaps even prevent you from becoming temporarily vegan, then every misstep of mine will have been worthwhile. This book contains stories about wonderful nights with terrible boys and terrible days with wonderful friends, about ambition and the two existential crises I had before the age of twenty. About fashion and its many discontents. About publicly sharing your body, having to prove yourself in a meeting full of fifty-year-old men, and the health fears (tinnitus, lamp dust, infertility) that keep me up at night. I’m already predicting my future shame at thinking I had anything to offer you with this book, but also my future glory in having stopped you from trying an expensive juice cleanse or having the kind of sexual encounter where you keep your sneakers on. No, I am not a sexpert, a psychologist, or a registered dietician. I am not a married mother of three or the owner of a successful hosiery franchise. But I am a girl with a keen interest in self-actualization, sending hopeful dispatches from the front lines of that struggle.”

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

October 2014
Beacon Press
An eloquent, controversial argument that says, for the first time in their long history, Jews are free to live in a Jewish state—or lead secure and productive lives outside it.
To validate life in Diaspora has been akin to heresy for many Jewish thinkers since the beginnings of Zionism in the nineteenth century. Zionist thinkers wrote with disdain and even cruelty of Jews living their lives outside Israel (“a life of pointless struggle and futile suffering”), and even after the Holocaust, many Zionists wrote disparagingly of those Jews who hadn’t left Europe before the war. This thinking, in a more understated but no less pernicious form, continues to the present: only in Israel is it possible for Jews to lead fully Jewish, and, hence, human, lives.
In At Home in Exile, one of our most distinguished public intellectuals, Alan Wolfe, writing for the first time about his own heritage, argues that not only have Jews living outside the Jewish state flourished but their universalistic outlook is desperately needed if Israel is to survive. Wolfe’s book turns our attention away from the Jewish state, where half of world Jewry lives, toward the pluralistic and vibrant places the other half have made their home.

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

October 2014
Fordham University Press
Orientalism and the Figure of the Jew proposes a new way of understanding modern Orientalism. Tracing a path of modern Orientalist thought in German across crucial writings from the late eighteenth to the mid twentieth centuries, Librett argues that Orientalism and anti-Judaism are inextricably entangled.
Librett suggests, further, that the Western assertion of "material " power, in terms of which Orientalism is often read, is overdetermined by a "spiritual" weakness: an anxiety about the absence of absolute foundations and values that coincides with Western modernity itself. The modern West, he shows, posits an Oriental origin as a fetish to fill the absent place of lacking foundations. This fetish is appropriated as Western through a quasi-secularized application of Christian typology. Further, the Western appropriation of the "good" Orient always leaves behind the remainder of the "bad," inassimilable Orient.
The book traces variations on this theme through historicist and idealist texts of the nineteenth century and then shows how high modernists like Buber, Kafka, Mann, and Freud place this historicist narrative in question. The book concludes with the outlines of a cultural historiography that would distance itself from the metaphysics of historicism, confronting instead its underlying anxieties.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] A Voice Still Heard
Selected Essays of Irving Howe
by Irving Howe
Edited by Nina Howe
Foreword by Morris Dickstein
October 2014
Yale University Press
Man of letters, political critic, public intellectual, Irving Howe was one of America’s most exemplary and embattled writers. Since his death in 1993 at age 72, Howe’s work and his personal example of commitment to high principle, both literary and political, have had a vigorous afterlife. This posthumous and capacious collection includes twenty-six essays that originally appeared in such publications as the New York Review of Books, the New Republic, and the Nation. Taken together, they reveal the depth and breadth of Howe’s enthusiasms and range over politics, literature, Judaism, and the tumults of American society.
A Voice Still Heard is essential to the understanding of the passionate and skeptical spirit of this lucid writer. The book forms a bridge between the two parallel enterprises of culture and politics. It shows how politics justifies itself by culture, and how the latter prompts the former. Howe’s voice is ever sharp, relentless, often scathingly funny, revealing Howe as that rarest of critics—a real reader and writer, one whose clarity of style is a result of his disciplined and candid mind.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

By Kirstin DOwney
Fall 2014
King Ferdinand and Queeen Isabella. The Inquisition against Non Catholics. The funding of Columbus. You mean it wasn't Ferdinand? It was Isabella who was the real person in control? Read on

An engrossing and revolutionary biography of Isabella of Castile, the controversial Queen of Spain who sponsored Christopher Columbus's journey to the New World, established the Spanish Inquisition, and became one of the most influential female rulers in history.
Born at a time when Christianity was dying out and the Ottoman Empire was aggressively expanding, Isabella was inspired in her youth by tales of Joan of Arc, a devout young woman who unified her people and led them to victory against foreign invaders.
In 1474, when most women were almost powerless, 23 year old Isabella defied a hostile brother and a mercurial husband to seize control of Castile and León. Her subsequent feats were legendary. She ended a twenty-four-generation struggle between Muslims and Christians, forcing North African invaders back over the Mediterranean Sea.
She laid the foundation for a unified Spain.
She sponsored Columbus's trip to the Indies and negotiated Spanish control over much of the New World with the help of Rodrigo Borgia, the infamous Pope Alexander VI.
She annihilated all who stood against her by establishing a bloody religious Inquisition that would darken Spain's reputation for centuries.
No female leader has done more to shape the modern world, in which millions of people in two hemispheres speak Spanish and practice Catholicism. Yet history has all but forgotten Isabella's influence, due to hundreds of years of misreporting that often attributed her accomplishments to Ferdinand, the bold and philandering husband she adored. Using new scholarship, Downey's luminous biography tells the story of this brilliant, fervent, forgotten woman, the faith that propelled her through life, and the land of ancient conflicts and intrigue she brought under her command.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

A YA Young Adult Novel
By Lila Perl
Lizzie Skurnick Books,
Fall 2014
Middle grades. Ages 10-14
Donna Rosenblum, in School Library Journal wrote: “Isabel Brandt is a typical 12-year-girl who dreams of Frank Sinatra, boys, and being popular in school. But it is 1942, and the war in Europe and the Pacific becomes very significant for this Jewish girl from the Bronx. As her family begins their summer vacation in the Catskills, Isabel meets Helga, her new roommate. She is the niece of her mother's best friend, Mrs. Frankfurter, and a refugee from Germany.
Helga is very attractive and Isabel can't understand why she doesn't enjoy all the attention. Instead she is shy, distant, and almost remorseful, as if she's harboring a dark secret from her past that she can't escape. When Isabel's brother enlists in the army, it forces the family to return to the Bronx. Shortly after, Mrs. Frankfurter becomes seriously ill and Helga must live with Isabel and her family. Things are awkward at first, but the experience enables Isabel to expand her horizons. Published posthumously, Perl's work is a skillfully woven and poignant story dealing with important themes, such as belonging, friendship, self-worth, betrayal, and discrimination. As Isabel learns about the war and the treatment of Jews by Nazis, her relationship with Helga and her outlook on life radically changes. Readers will identify with the protagonist as she discovers what things are truly important.”

This is one of the last novels by Lila Perl, the daughter of Russian immigrants fleeing anti-Semitism, who published over 60 volumes of fiction and nonfiction for young readers. She recipient of the Sidney Taylor Award for Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story. She passed way in 2013 at the age of 92. This book and sabels Quest are her last two books.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Andy Kaufman
The Truth, Finally
(as in … did he fake his own death?)
by Bob Zmuda and Lynne Margulies
October 2014
Benbella Books
Bon Zmuda and Lynne Margulies appear to have created an industry around writing books on Andy Kaufman. But why not, they loved him, people are interested, and it pays the bills.
In the 1970’s and Eighties, there was a popular comedian named Andy Kaufman. He became famous in the USA through his appearances on SNL and as a cast member of the highest rated television show, “Taxi”
An ultimate prankster he impersonated Elvis and Mighty Mouse and also had a popular wrestling shtick and a lounge lizard alter ego named Tony Clifton. Life professional wrestlers, he was excellent at creating a hoax and taking it to the grave, if necessary
In 1984, he died. But some say he performed the ultimate vanishing act. A biographical film was made on his life, and insurance policies were paid out upon his death.

Bob Zmuda, Andy’s writer and best friend, and Lynn Margulies, the love of Andy’s life, say that now that Kaufman’s parents have passed away, they can tell all.
Plus it is 30 years after his death, and in conversations with Andy for three years prior to his death, he said that the hoax would last at the most for thirty years
This book says it separates fact from fiction, and includes a candid inside take on the Milos Forman film “Man on the Moon,” which starred Jim Carrey as Andy, Paul Giamatti as Zmuda, Courtney Love as Margulies and Danny DeVito as Andy’s manager, George Shapiro.

Andy liked the idea of not having to pay George a commission for 30 years.
Zmuda and Margulies reveal what was truthful (does truthful differ from truth?) and what wasn’t and share their behind-the-scenes Kaufmanesque antics they concocted with actor Jim Carrey, keeping him in character, at times, much to the chagrin of studio chiefs.
The book also shares intrigues of some of the biggest names in Hollywood.


Finally, Bob Zmuda shares — in detail — the reasons he believes Andy Kaufman faked his death, how he did it, and why Andy will return in 2014. Were his cancer x-rays his own, or were they from another patient. Or on the other hand, although Andy wanted to fake his death and talked about it for years, and even though his closest friends thought he would pop out of the casket at his funeral in 1984, Bob shares his fear that MAYBE it wasn’t a hoax, and maybe Andy’s “fake cancer” was a carcinoma related of AIDS, a disease that he perhaps contracted at The Mustang Ranch or with gay men he picked up in the Castro. Maybe he was the first celebrity to die of AIDS, a year before Rock Hudson died. Maybe - Zmuda confides - Zmuda’s own homophobia forces him to believe that Andy faked his death and did not actually die of AIDS.

A breezy fun read, and soon we will know whether Andy is resurrected or not.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Chop Suey, USA:
The Story of Chinese Food in America
by Yong Chen
October 2014
Columbia University Press
American diners began flocking to Chinese restaurants more than a century ago, making Chinese cuisine the first mass-consumed food in the United States. By 1980, it had become the country's most popular ethnic cuisine. Chop Suey, USA is the first comprehensive analysis of the forces that made Chinese food ubiquitous in the American gastronomic landscape and turned the country into an empire of consumption.
Chinese food's transpacific migration and commercial success is both an epic story of global cultural exchange and a history of the socioeconomic, political, and cultural developments that shaped the American appetite for fast food and cheap labor in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Americans fell in love with Chinese food not because of its gastronomic excellence. They chose quick and simple dishes like chop suey over China's haute cuisine, and the affordability of such Chinese food democratized the once-exclusive dining-out experience for underprivileged groups, such as marginalized Anglos, African Americans, and Jews. The mass production of food in Chinese restaurants also extended the role of Chinese Americans as a virtual service labor force and marked the racialized division of the American population into laborers and consumers.
The rise of Chinese food was also a result of the ingenuity of Chinese American restaurant workers, who developed the concept of the open kitchen and popularized the practice of home delivery. They effectively streamlined certain Chinese dishes, turning them into nationally recognized brand names, including chop suey, the "Big Mac" of the pre-McDonald's era. Those who engineered the epic tale of Chinese food were a politically disfranchised, numerically small, and economically exploited group, embodying a classic American story of immigrant entrepreneurship and perseverance.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Jewish Meaning in a World of Choice
Studies in Tradition and Modernity
(A JPS Scholar of Distinction Book)
by Rabbi David Ellenson Ph.D. (HUC JIR)
October 2014
University of Nebraska Press
Internationally recognized scholar David Ellenson shares twenty-three of his most representative essays, drawing on three decades of scholarship and demonstrating the consistency of the intellectual-religious interests that have animated him throughout his lifetime.
These essays center on a description and examination of the complex push and pull between Jewish tradition and Western culture. Ellenson addresses gender equality, women’s rights, conversion, issues relating to who is a Jew, the future of the rabbinate, Jewish day schools, and other emerging trends in American Jewish life. As an outspoken advocate for a strong Israel that is faithful to the democratic and Jewish values that informed its founders, he also writes about religious tolerance and pluralism in the Jewish state.
The former president of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, the primary seminary of the Reform movement, Ellenson is widely respected for his vision of advancing Jewish unity and of preparing leadership for a contemporary Judaism that balances tradition with the demands of a changing world.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] ME, INC.
Build an Army of One,
Unleash Your Inner Rock God,
Win in Life and Business Hardcover
by Gene Simmons
October 2014
The quintessential self-made man, master of brand identity, New York Times bestselling author, and award-winning executive—KISS’s Gene Simmons—shares his manifesto for business success.
KISS did not become one of the most successful rock bands in history by accident. Long before they first took the stage, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley had a clear-cut operating plan for their business. Over the past forty years, KISS has sold over 100 million CDs and DVDs worldwide and manages over 3,000 licensed merchandise items. In addition to KISS, Simmons’ lucrative ventures include two hit reality shows, a professional sports team, a restaurant chain, and a record company. A recipient of the Forbes lifetime achievement award, this brilliant executive runs all of his businesses on his own—no personal assistant, few handlers, and as little red tape as possible.
In Me, Inc., the marketing and finance wizard gives aspiring entrepreneurs the critical tools they need to succeed. Simmons teaches you how to build a solid business strategy, harness the countless tools available in the digital age, network like hell, and be the architect for the business entity that is you. Inspired by The Art of War, Me, Inc. is organized around thirteen specific, easy-to-understand principles for success, drawn from Simmons’s own triumphs and failures. From finding the confidence necessary to get started, to surrounding yourself with the right people, to knowing when to pull the plug and when to double-down, these principles can help you attain the freedom and wealth of your dreams.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

by Richard Branson (Virgin)
Fall 2014
While building the Virgin Group over forty years, Richard Branson has never shied away from seemingly outlandish challenges that others (including his own colleagues on several occasions) considered sheer lunacy. He has taken on giants like British Airways and won, and monsters like Coca-Cola and lost.
Now Branson gives an inside look at his strikingly different swashbuckling style of leadership. Learn how fun, family, passion, and the dying art of listening are key components to what his extended family of employees around the world have always dubbed (with a wink) the “Virgin Way.”
This unique perspective comes from a man who dropped out of school at sixteen, suffers from dyslexia, and has never worked for anyone but himself. He may be famous for thinking outside the box—an expression he despises—but Branson asserts that “you’ll never have to think outside the box if you refuse to let anyone build one around you.”
This is a unique book on leadership from someone who readily admits he has never read a book on leadership in his life. So expect the unexpected.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Thug Kitchen
Eat Like You Give a F*ck
by Thug Kitchen
(Matt Hollaway and Michelle Davis)
October 2014
Thug Kitchen started their wildly popular web site to inspire people to eat some Goddamn vegetables and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Beloved by Gwyneth Paltrow (“This might be my favorite thing ever”) and named Saveur’s Best New Food blog of 2013—with half a million Facebook fans and counting—Thug Kitchen wants to show everyone how to take charge of their plates and cook up some real f*cking food.

Quick note: many of their book readings in October 2014 were canceled when book retailers found out that the authors were blondish. They feared protests and some critics send that this is “digital blackface” and that saying curse-words is a “black thing” and that the authors had mis-appropriated this. So are you saying that “thug” has more meaning than criminal? The criticisms are very confusing… the critics seem to be racist when calling the authors and publisher racists.

Plenty of blogs and cookbooks preach about how to eat more kale, why ginger fights inflammation, and how to cook with microgreens and nettles. But they are dull or pretentious as hell—and most people can’t afford the hype.
Thug Kitchen lives in the real world. In their first cookbook, they’re throwing down more than 100 recipes for their best-loved meals, snacks, and sides for beginning cooks to home chefs. (Roasted Beer and Lime Cauliflower Tacos? Pumpkin Chili? Grilled Peach Salsa? Believe that sh*t.) Plus they’re going to arm you with all the info and techniques you need to shop on a budget and go and kick a bunch of ass on your own.
This book is an invitation to everyone who wants to do better to elevate their kitchen game. No more ketchup and pizza counting as vegetables. No more drive-thru lines. No more avoiding the produce corner of the supermarket.
Sh*t is about to get real.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Portlandia Cookbook
Cook Like a Local
by Fred Armisen
Carrie Brownstein
And Jonathan Krisel
October 2014
Potter Clarkson
The cookbook is informative, easy to follow, creative, and funny. There is a bird on the cover, too. The book opens with a notice from the Portland Allergy Council. They approved it, but you should proceed with caution, nevertheless, and call the council during business hours, if necessary. It also opens with a map of 33 noteworthy restaurants in Portland. The chapters are segmented into these groupings: 01 Small Plates; 02 Main Courses; 03 Desserts; 04 Drinks; and 05 Brunch. Throughout the book are comments from the various Portlandia characters, and some very funny items, like the ad from a guy who can come 24/7 and help you split a check (non drinkers shouldn't have to pay for drinks, should you split it by vegetarian vs. non-veg)

To give you an inkling into some of the most standout recipes, here are a few.
Wild Mushroom and Artichoke Tartines;
Baked Manchego-Cheese-filled Dates with Marcona Almonds;
Claire's co-worker's Sichuan Chicken Wings;
Doug & Claire's Nacho Cheese Popcorn;
Spyke's Grilled Fruit Summer Rolls;
Marco's Borscht with Pickles, Eggs & Horseradish Cream (B.I.B: Borscht Is Beets);
Bird in a Grilled Cheese Nest (egg in the middle of the cutout bread);
Cream Cheese filled Pumpkin French Toast with Pecans;
Fruit Semifreddo (sugar, eggs, gelatin, cream, fruit);
Babysitter's Mac & Cheese; Slamburger on Brioche;
Kath & Dave's Paella Valencia;
Kale & Quinoa Bowl with Tofu and Mushrooms;
Alexandra's No Fuss Lasagna;
Mr. Mayor's Jamaican Jerk Chicken;
Stu's Stew's featuring Donald's Korean Short Rib Stew;
a dish with foraged greens with a hilarious story of how one couple foraged in neighbors' yards;
and Peter + Nance's Butterflied Chicken Roasted Over Bread with Japanese Eggplants and Sicilian Green Olives (you roast it an hour and then you transfer it to a broiler)...
and oh.. the chicken was free range and named Colin..
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Plenty More
Vibrant Vegetable Cooking
from London's Ottolenghi
by Yotam Ottolenghi
October 2014
Ten Speed Press
The hotly anticipated follow-up to Jerusalem-born, London chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s bestselling and award-winning cookbook Plenty, featuring more than 150 vegetarian dishes organized by cooking method.
Yotam Ottolenghi is one of the world’s most beloved culinary talents. In this follow-up to his bestselling Plenty, he continues to explore the diverse realm of vegetarian food with a wholly original approach. Organized by cooking method, more than 150 dazzling recipes emphasize spices, seasonality, and bold flavors. From inspired salads to hearty main dishes and luscious desserts, Plenty More is a must-have for vegetarians and omnivores alike. This visually stunning collection will change the way you cook and eat vegetables

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

[book] Jewish Soul Food
From Minsk to Marrakesh,
More Than 100 Unforgettable Dishes
Updated for Today's Kitchen
by Janna Gur
October 2014
The author of the acclaimed The Book of New Israeli Food returns with a cookbook devoted to the culinary masterpieces of Jewish grandmothers from Minsk to Marrakesh: recipes that have traveled across continents and cultural borders and are now brought to life for a new generation.
For more than two thousand years, Jews all over the world developed cuisines that were suited to their needs (kashruth, holidays, Shabbat) but that also reflected the influences of their neighbors and that carried memories from their past wanderings. These cuisines may now be on the verge of extinction, however, because almost none of the Jewish communities in which they developed and thrived still exist. But they continue to be viable in Israel, where there are still cooks from the immigrant generations who know and love these dishes. Israel has become a living laboratory for this beloved and endangered Jewish food.
The more than one hundred original, wide-ranging recipes in Jewish Soul Food—from Kubaneh, a surprising Yemenite version of a brioche, to Ushpa-lau, a hearty Bukharan pilaf—were chosen not by an editor or a chef but, rather, by what Janna Gur calls “natural selection.” These are the dishes that, though rooted in their original Diaspora provenance, have been embraced by Israelis and have become part of the country’s culinary landscape. The premise of Jewish Soul Food is that the only way to preserve traditional cuisine for future generations is to cook it, and Janna Gur gives us recipes that continue to charm with their practicality, relevance, and deliciousness. Here are the best of the best: recipes from a fascinatingly diverse food culture that will give you a chance to enrich your own cooking repertoire and to preserve a valuable element of the Jewish heritage and of its collective soul.

“Janna Gur’s gorgeous new book is both prequel and sequel to Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s Jerusalem. The title alone makes me swoon. There is much to learn here. I have never seen, eaten, or made many of these dishes: her Sabich is gorgeous, as is the Hamin Macaroni, Mafroum, Feta-Stuffed Pepper ‘Cutlets,’ and tantalizing Fluden for dessert. In a world cluttered with cookbooks, this is a standout, a poignant narrative of authenticity cast in a contemporary light.”—Rozanne Gold, author of the Radically Simple: Brilliant Flavors with Breathtaking Ease

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

[book] Make It Ahead
A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
by Ina Garten (Ina Rosenberg Garten)
October 2014
Clarksen Potter
For the first time, trusted and beloved cookbook author Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, answers the number one question she receives from cooks: Can I make it ahead?
If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in front of the stove at your own party, scrambling to get everything to the table at just the right moment, Ina is here to let you in on her secrets! Thanks to twenty years of running a specialty food store and fifteen years writing cookbooks, she has learned exactly which dishes you can prep, assemble, or cook ahead of time. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply making dinner on a hectic weeknight, Ina gives you lots of amazing recipes that taste just as good—or even better!—when they’re made in advance.
In Make It Ahead, each recipe includes clear instructions for what you can do ahead of time, and how far in advance, so you can cook with confidence and eliminate last-minute surprises. Make a pitcher of Summer Rosé Sangria filled with red berries, let it chill overnight for the flavors to develop, and you have a delicious drink to offer your friends the minute they arrive. Simmer a pot of Wild Mushroom & Farro Soup, enjoy a bowl for lunch, and freeze the rest for a chilly evening. You can prep the kale, Brussels sprouts, and lemon vinaigrette for Winter Slaw ahead of time and simply toss them together before serving. Assemble French Chicken Pot Pies filled with artichokes and fresh tarragon a day in advance and then pop them in the oven half an hour before dinner. And for dessert, everyone needs the recipe for Ina’s Decadent (gluten-free!) Chocolate Cake topped with Make-Ahead Whipped Cream. Ina also includes recipes for the biggest cooking day of the year—Thanksgiving! Her Ultimate Make-Ahead Roast Turkey and Gravy with Onions & Sage may just change your life.
With beautiful photographs and hundreds of invaluable make-ahead tips, this is your new go-to guide for preparing meals that are stress-free yet filled with those fabulously satisfying flavors that you have come to expect from the Barefoot Contessa.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

by Aaron Rezny and Jordan Schaps
Introduction by the late Joan Rivers
Foreword by actor/singer/dancer/eater Fyvush Finkel
Fall 2014
powerHouse Books
This is not really a cookbook. The recipes are few, and their instructions are very general. This is a CELEBRATION of the Jewish foods that gained fame around Delancey Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side. The book is a joy to possess and to own. It is filled with memories of foods and growing up in the 20th Century. I would suggest that anyone who buys this book should add pages of their own memories and those of their family members. For example, I will add how I had my birthday party at Ratner's as well as a family reunion many years ago, how they had great onion rolls (you can now get them at Peck's in Brooklyn), how I once hated the counterman at Katz's, drank tea in a glass with a sugar cube at the Grand Dairy, and more.
The book is Jewish food porn at its best, with full page color portraits of chubs, kugels, sletzer bottles, halvah, brisket, bialys, a meat grinder, a Tschicken Markt, chicken soup, herring. Rollmops, pletzels, mini hot dogs, and more. There is a page for “Delancey on Screen.” In the Introduction by the late Joan Rivers, she shares her love of Jewish food, which was bought on the Lower East Side by family, since they were not cooks. She loved Yonah Schimmel's knishes on Houston St. Her daughter and grandson just don;t understand her love of noodle kugel and gefilte fish. Fyvush Finkel tells his story of cooking for his family when his wife worked. He shares his memories of pushcarts, the Cafe Royal, and the Second Avenue Deli.
There are lots of memories from personalities including Paul Goldberg'er, Rabbi Seth Limmer, Calvin Trillin, Mel Brooks, Lisa Gutkin, Laurie Wolf, Steven Lutvak, Arthur Schwartz, Theodore “Ratner's” Peck, David Rothkopf, Fred Goldrich, Jackie Mason, Jack (Matzo) Streit, Ellen (Yonah Schimmels) Anistratov, Irwin Corey (Professor), Janna (Ritz Brothers) Ritz, Michael (Woodstock) Lang, Jeff Kagan, Joshua Bell,, Abbe Aronson, Robert Klein, Isaac Mizrahi, Don Rickles, Bette (I am a Vegan) Midler, Dr. Miles Galin, Freddie Roman, Jonathan (colonic) Ames, Caroline (Caroline's) Hirsch, Milton Glaser, and dozens more.
As for recipes... they are not so descriptive, by includes those for Hamataschen, the Second Avenue Deli's Latkes, Matzo Balls, and Mushroom Barley Soup, Chrain, Ratner's Mock Chopped Liver, Rice Pudding, Cheese Blintzes, and Gefilte Fish, Sam Schap's Matzo Brei, Yonah Schimmel's kasha knish, chicken soup, Iris Burnett's Brown Challah, kreplach, Sammy's Roumanian's skirt steak and sweetbreaks (take sweetbreads, grill them, add lemon), Arthur Schwartz's p'tcha, sweet & sour flanken, stuffed cabbage, and borscht, Katz's reuben, Bubbe Bella and Molly Rezn's tzimmes, Jordan Schap's Gribenes, Renee Silver's Kasha Varnishkes, a cheesecake, a noodle kugel, and a pot of chicken fricassee with potted meatballs.

EATING DELANCEY conjures up an entire world of Yiddishkeit, "The quality of being Jewish; the Jewish way of life or its customs and practices." Delancey, and the streets that cross it in the Lower East Side—Ludlow, Essex, Orchard, Rivington, and its "sister" street to the north, Houston Street—are the historical home of Jewish immigrants and thus a cradle of that unique Jewish experience.
All the foods that were brought to America in the early 20th century by Jews during the great emigration from Europe came to the Lower East Side: knishes, bagels, lox, pastrami, whitefish, dill pickles, kasha, herring (in multiple variations), egg creams, and much more. It is an area that continues to undergo rapid change but Eating Delancey hopes to capture forever the Jewish cuisine of the Lower East Side.
Eating Delancey is a compilation of gorgeous photographs of classic Jewish food, with profiles and receipes from classic LES Jewish eateries such as Sammy's Roumanian Steakhouse, Russ & Daughters Appetizers, Katz's Delicatessen, Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery, and Ratner's. These are complimented by celebrity reminiscences from Bette Midler, Jackie Mason, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Don Rickles, Fyvush Finkel, Isaac Mizrahi, Lou Reed, Arthur Schwartz and Milton Glaser.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] OUTPOST
Life on the Frontlines
Of American Diplomacy
By Christopher R. Hill
October 2014
Simon & Schuster
Several years ago, I took the Foreign Service Officer series of exams and completed the applications and scored high enough to be invited for interviews in Foggy Bottom at the State Department in Washington DC. I think I scored a 4.9 on the interviews and I needed a 4.2 to pass to he next phase of job offer, so I returned to NYC and
If you can’t serve in an embassy, then OUTPOST is the next best thing

Ambassador Hill provides an “inside the room” memoir he was sent to some of the most interesting and life threatening outposts of American diplomacy. From the wars in the Balkans to North Korea to the endless war in Iraq, he is a career diplomat’s diplomat
. Hill was on the front lines in the Balkans at the breakup of Yugoslavia. He takes us from one-on-one meetings with the dictator Milosevic, to Bosnia and Kosovo, to the Dayton conference, where a truce was brokered. Hill draws upon lessons learned as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon early on in his career and details his prodigious experience as a US ambassador. He was the first American Ambassador to Macedonia; Ambassador to Poland, where he also served in the depth of the cold war; Ambassador to South Korea and chief disarmament negotiator in North Korea; and Hillary Clinton’s hand-picked Ambassador to Iraq. Hill’s account is an adventure story of danger, loss of comrades, high stakes negotiations, and imperfect options. There are fascinating portraits of war criminals (Mladic, Karadzic), of presidents and vice presidents (Clinton, Bush and Cheney, and Obama), of Secretaries of State (Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Hillary Clinton), of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and of Ambassadors Richard Holbrooke and Lawrence Eagleburger. Hill writes bluntly about the bureaucratic warfare in DC and expresses strong criticism of America’s aggressive interventions and wars of choice.
He will not be getting a blurb from Dick Cheney or any other neoconservative
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

October 2014
Simon & Schuster
I was hooked by the end of paragraph one. The book opens with a story of the author's mother. Having survived the Auschwitz death camp, she makes it back to Belgium and is slowly nursed back to health. As Diane's mother, she was strict, nurturing, and pushed her daughter to be independent and strong. Her mother put her on a train to Paris – alone – as a young child. It was scary and exhilirating and made her into the women she wanted to be
One of the most influential, admired, and innovative women of our time: fashion designer, philanthropist, wife, mother, and grandmother, Diane von Furstenberg offers a book about becoming the woman she wanted to be.
Diane von Furstenberg started out with a suitcase full of jersey dresses and an idea of who she wanted to be—in her words, “the kind of woman who is independent and who doesn’t rely on a man to pay her bills.” She has since become that woman, establishing herself as a global brand and a major force in the fashion industry, all the while raising a family and maintaining “my children are my greatest creation.”
In The Woman I Wanted to Be, von Furstenberg reflects on her extraordinary life—from childhood in Brussels to her days as a young, jet-set princess, to creating the dress that came to symbolize independence and power for an entire generation of women. With remarkable honesty and wisdom, von Furstenberg mines the rich territory of what it means to be a woman. She opens up about her family and career, overcoming cancer, building a global brand, and devoting herself to empowering other women, writing, “I want every woman to know that she can be the woman she wants to be.”
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

This is how she sets the record straight? Sorry but I don’t buy it. She manufactures issues to fit into her thesis
Defying the Nazis in Vichy France
by Caroline Moorehead
October 2014
Harper Collins
From the author of the New York Times bestseller “A Train in Winter” comes the story of a French village that helped save thousands hunted by the Gestapo during World War II — told in full for the first time.

Publishers Weekly hailed it as “deeply researched” and “the definitive account” of the rescue effort
Kirkus Reviews wrote that it is “one of the most engrossing survival stories of World War II.”

The cover: Le Chambon-sur-Lignon is a small village of scattered houses high in the mountains of the Ardèche, one of the most remote and inaccessible parts of Eastern France. During the Second World War, the inhabitants of this tiny mountain village and its parishes saved thousands wanted by the Gestapo: resisters, freemasons, communists, OSS and SOE agents, and Jews. Many of those they protected were orphaned children and babies whose parents had been deported to concentration camps.
With unprecedented access to newly opened archives in France, Britain, and Germany, and interviews with some of the villagers from the period who are still alive, Caroline Moorehead paints an inspiring portrait of courage and determination: of what was accomplished when a small group of people banded together to oppose their Nazi occupiers. A thrilling and atmospheric tale of silence and complicity, Village of Secrets reveals how every one of the inhabitants of Chambon remained silent in a country infamous for collaboration. Yet it is also a story about mythmaking, and the fallibility of memory.
A major contribution to WWII history, illustrated with black-and-white photos, Village of Secrets sets the record straight about the events in Chambon, and pays tribute to a group of heroic individuals, most of them women, for whom saving others became more important than their own lives.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Nazis Next Door
How America Became a Safe Haven
for Hitler's Men
by Eric Lichtblau
October 28, 2014
The shocking story of how America became one of the world’s safest postwar havens for Nazis.
Thousands of Nazis — from concentration camp guards to high-level officers in the Third Reich — came to the United States after World War II and quietly settled into new lives. They had little trouble getting in. With scant scrutiny, many gained entry on their own as self-styled war "refugees," their pasts easily disguised and their war crimes soon forgotten. But some had help and protection from the U.S. government. The CIA, the FBI, and the military all put Hitler's minions to work as spies, intelligence assets, and leading scientists and engineers, whitewashing their histories.
For the first time, once-secret government records and interviews tell the full story not only of the Nazi scientists brought to America, but of the German spies and con men who followed them and lived for decades as ordinary citizens. Only years after their arrival did private sleuths and government prosecutors begin trying to identify the hidden Nazis. But even then, American intelligence agencies secretly worked to protect a number of their prized spies from exposure. Today, a few Nazis still remain on our soil.
Investigative reporter Eric Lichtblau, relying on a trove of newly discovered documents and scores of interviews with participants in this little-known chapter of postwar history, tells the shocking and shameful story of how America became a safe haven for Hitler's men.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

October 2014
One woman’s journey to find the lost love her grandfather left behind when he fled pre-World War II Europe, and an exploration into family identity, myth, and memory.
Years after her grandfather’s death, journalist Sarah Wildman stumbled upon a cache of his letters in a file labeled “Correspondence: Patients A–G.” What she found inside weren’t dry medical histories; instead what was written opened a path into the destroyed world that was her family’s prewar Vienna. One woman’s letters stood out: those from Valy—Valerie Scheftel. Her grandfather’s lover who had remained behind when he fled Europe six months after the Nazis annexed Austria.
Valy’s name wasn’t unknown to her—Wildman had once asked her grandmother about a dark-haired young woman whose images she found in an old photo album. “She was your grandfather’s true love,” her grandmother said at the time, and refused any other questions. But now, with the help of the letters, Wildman started to piece together Valy’s story. They revealed a woman desparate to escape and clinging to the memory of a love that defined her years of freedom.
Obsessed with Valy’s story, Wildman began a quest that lasted years and spanned continents. She discovered, to her shock, an entire world of other people searching for the same woman. On in the course of discovering Valy’s ultimate fate, she was forced to reexamine the story of her grandfather’s triumphant escape and how this history fit within her own life and in the process, she rescues a life seemingly lost to history.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Pollan Family Table:
The Best Recipes and Kitchen Wisdom
for Delicious, Healthy Family Meals
by Tracy Pollan, (Mom)Corky Pollan,
Lori Pollan, and Dana Pollan
Foreword by Michael Pollan
October 2014
A gorgeous, fully illustrated collection of recipes, cooking techniques, and pantry wisdom for delicious, healthy, and harmonious family meals from the incredible Pollan family—with a foreword from Michael Pollan.
In The Pollan Family Table, Corky, Lori, Dana, and Tracy Pollan invite you into their warm, inspiring kitchens, sharing more than 100 of their family’s best recipes. For generations, the Pollans have used fresh, local ingredients to cook healthy, irresistible meals. Michael Pollan, whose bestselling books have changed our culture and the way we think about food, writes in his foreword about how the family meals he ate growing up shaped his worldview. This stunning and practical cookbook gives readers the tools they need to implement the Pollan food philosophy in their everyday lives and to make great, nourishing, delectable meals that bring families back to the table.
Standouts like Grand Marnier Citrus Roasted Chicken, Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Chips, and Key Lime Pie with Walnut Oatmeal Crust are easy to make yet sophisticated enough to dazzle family and friends.
Other interested recipes are:
the pollan signature salad that includes mesculun, walnuts, pear, and a mustard, raspberry vinegar, olive oil, balsamic veingar dressing
golden baby artichokes with lemon zest
grandma mary's grand marnier orange cake (her version of Jewish nut cake, Lori used to make it and sell it on martha's vineyard
grandma mary's mandelbrot cookies
sam's applesauce spice cookies
aquinnah and schuyler's chocolate cream pie
isaac's mexican wedding cookies
chickpea salad with manchego cheese, dijon, red wine vinegar, and arugula
farro vegetable pilaf
fusilli with oven roasted vegetables and parmesan
spinach and ricotta malfatti with kosher salt (hehe)
panfried halibut with chimichurri sauce
bistro burger (but u can leave out the cold unsalted butter
turkey burgers (but they use cheese and unsalted butter
speedy skillet beef with pineapple and peppers
hunter's chicken stew (their italian take on a polish dish, with chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes, thyme, sage, chicken broth, white wine and garlic

The Pollan's recommend that we get over our performance anxiety for family dinners. Don't push to be a professional restaurant chef. Don't worry if you don't cut an onion like they do on TV. These are family dinners. As Michael Pollan says, they are sophisticated recipes that use approachable techniques. And you don't have to cook family meals every night. Start slowly. Try one night a week or less. And grow from there, or not.
Speaking of technique, there are "Sage Advice" pointers. For example: Read the whole recipe from start to finish before starting. It isn't a movie, you don't want a surprise ending. You should assemble all the ingredients before beginning. Roasting a chicken? Put the legs at the back of the oven where it is hottest (who knew?). Boil a vegetable in already boiling water; but when boiling a starch, such as a potato, start the vegetable in a pot cold water and bring it to a boil.
With hundreds of exquisite color photographs, The Pollan Family Table includes the Pollan’s top cooking tips and techniques, time-tested shortcuts, advice for those just starting out and market and pantry lists that make shopping for and preparing dinner stress-free. This instant kitchen classic will help readers create incredible meals and cultivate traditions that improve health, well-being, and family happiness.

Plus a blurb from actor/producer/philanthropist Michael J. Fox: "Tracy’s family set a place for me at the Pollan Family Table, over 25 years ago now. This gorgeous book brings to mind so many holiday meals and other family gatherings as well as countless smaller moments when we could have just had a meal on the fly but instead made time to sit together and share. This is what my life tastes like. Enjoy."
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] A Land of Aching Hearts
The Middle East in the Great War
by Leila Tarazi Fawaz
October 2014
Harvard University Press
The Great War transformed the Middle East, bringing to an end four hundred years of Ottoman rule in Arab lands while giving rise to the Middle East as we know it today. A century later, the experiences of ordinary men and women during those calamitous years have faded from memory. A Land of Aching Hearts traverses ethnic, class, and national borders to recover the personal stories of the civilians and soldiers who endured this cataclysmic event.
Among those who suffered were the people of Greater Syria—comprising modern Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine—as well as the people of Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt. Beyond the shifting fortunes of the battlefield, the region was devastated by a British and French naval blockade made worse by Ottoman war measures. Famine, disease, inflation, and an influx of refugees were everyday realities. But the local populations were not passive victims. Fawaz chronicles the initiative and resilience of civilian émigrés, entrepreneurs, draft-dodgers, soldiers, villagers, and townsmen determined to survive the war as best they could. The right mix of ingenuity and practicality often meant the difference between life and death.
The war’s aftermath proved bitter for many survivors. Nationalist aspirations were quashed as Britain and France divided the Middle East along artificial borders that still cause resentment. The misery of the Great War, and a profound sense of huge sacrifices made in vain, would color people’s views of politics and the West for the century to come.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Beautiful Yetta's Hanukkah Kitten
by Daniel Pinkwater and Jill Pinkwater
October 2014
Feiwel & Friends
Ages 3 – 7
Yetta is a lovely Yiddish speaking chicken. She is like a grandmother to everyone, including the free parrots of Brooklyn who speak espanol. Yetta finds a kitten. What does a kitten eat? We don’t know. Yetta gets the parrots – who are wary of an outsider – to help the kitten. They speak Spanish with English translations, while Yetta speaks Yiddish with English translations and transliterations (Yale Strom did the Yiddish). They go to their local Jewish grandmother who is preparing for Hanukkah for help
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Who Swallowed a Dreidel
By Caryn Yacowitz
Illustrated by David Slonim
Ages 4-8
You've never seen Hanukkah or the "I Know an Old Lady" story like this before . . . through hilarious takes on the world's greatest works of art!
A family drives through the snow to visit their beloved bubbe, who spreads out a Chanukah supper for everyone to enjoy. But one dish goes a little wrong:
"I know an old lady who swallowed a dreidel
A Chanukah dreidel she thought was a bagel...
Perhaps it's fatal."

Indeed, Bubbe's first bite leads to an insatiable taste for oil, latkes, applesauce, gelt -- even menorahs! But as the family tries to distract her from her gluttony, the items she devours grow ever larger. Will they be able to reconnect with her and bring her home for the last night of Chanukah -- or will her feasting in fact be fatal?
Beyond the joy of a Jewish take on this most American of folk songs, the illustrations here offer hilarious parodies of great works of art by da Vinci, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hopper, Rockwell, Matisse, Picasso, and other masters--adding a whole new layer of humor and culture to the familiar tune. You'll love this old lady, and want to visit her every Chanukah for years to come.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

By Simone Bloom Nathan
Illustrated by Brian Barber
Ages 4-8
Sophie has a Christian father and Jewish mother, so she has a Hanukkiah and a Christmas Tree. Her house has Christmas lights and a tree, but her grandmother also has a dreidel, latkes, and a menorah. Tommy, her neighbor, says she is lucky since she can celebrate two holidays.

By Martha Deif Simpson
Illust by Durga Yael Bernhard
Wisdom Tales
Dreidel won't spin for greedy children.
Dreidel will spin for good, simple, kids who know the story of the holiday
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Uncontainable:
How Passion, Commitment, and Conscious Capitalism
Built a Business Where Everyone Thrives
by Kip Tindell, founder of The Container Store
with Casey Shilling and Paul Keegan
October 2014
Back in 1978, Kip Tindell (Chairman & CEO of The Container Store) and his partners had the vision that people were eager to find solutions to save both space and time - and they were definitely onto something. A new category of the retailing industry was born - storage and organization. Today, with stores nationwide and with more than 5,000 loyal employees, the company couldn't be stronger. Over the years, The Container Store has been lauded for its commitment to its employees and focus on its original concept and inventory mix as the formula for its success. But for Tindell, the goal never has been growth for growth's sake. Rather, it is to adhere to the company's values-based business philosophies, which center on an employee-first culture, superior customer service and strict merchandising. The Container Store has been named on Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies To Work For" list for 15 consecutive years. Even better, The Container Store has millions of loyal customers.
Tindell was a college roommate of John Mackay - the founder of Whole Foods
The Container Store was acquired by Sokoloff’f Leonard Green & Partners which owned J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, Petco, Topshop.
In Uncontainable, Tindell reveals his approach for building a business where everyone associated with it thrives through embodying the tenets of Conscious Capitalism. Tindell's seven Foundation Principles are the roadmap that drives everyone at The Container Store to achieve the goals of the company. Uncontainable shows how other businesses can adapt this approach toward what Tindell calls the most profitable, sustainable and fun way of doing business. Tindell is that rare CEO who fully embraces the "Golden Rule" of business - where all stakeholders - employees, customers, vendors, shareholder, the community - are successful through a harmonic balance of win-wins.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

A True Story of Twin Sisters Reunitied
By Asais Bordier and Samantha Futerman
With Lisa Pulitzer
October 2014
Reminds me of the story of the Korean American rapper, Dan Matthews, @DanAkaDan – who decided to find his birth parent(s) in Korea and ended up find not only his parents, but a twin brother who also was a rapper, albeit taller.
Samantha Futerman grew up in New Jersey. Adopted from Korea by a family with two biologically born boys, Samantha pursued a career in acting and appeared in a few film and youtube videos, including some with posse of internet stars like Wongfu productions, Kevjumba and JustinChon. Parisian Anais Bordier, also a Korean adoptee, was studying in London and was alerted the how she looked so similar to Samantha the actress. After stalking her on the internet a bit, Anais saw that Futerman was born in a Busan (Pusan) on November 19, 1987—the exact same location and day that Anaïs was born. Anais emailed Samantha and inquired about the potentially that they were biologically related.
Guess what? Of course you know, since this is the title of the book. They are twin sisters.

So, imagine @SamFuterman (the actress, not the butcher). One day, she opens Facebook and reads a message from @AnaisFBordier, a stranger, that says, “I think we might be twins…don’t freak out…”
Was she a phisher / scammer?
Thus begins their remarkable journey to build a relationship as sisters, continents apart. Over Facebook, Twitter, and Skype, they learned that they shared much more than a strikingly similar appearance. Eventually, they traveled to Korea together to discover more about the land of their separation. Separated @ Birth is a story that spans the world and peels back some of the complex and emotional layers of foreign adoption.
See also the doc film,
Sam and Anais, with actress Jenna Ushkowitz (another half Jewish Asian actress), founded
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Simon & Schuster
The vibrant story of America’s great metropolis, told through 101 distinctive objects that span the history of New York, all reproduced in luscious, full color.
A wooden water barrel and an elevator brake. A Checker taxicab and a conductor’s baton. An oyster and a mastodon tusk. Inspired by A History of the World in 100 Objects, The New York Times’ Sam Roberts chose fifty objects that embody the narrative of New York for a feature article in the paper. Many more suggestions came from readers, and so Roberts has expanded the list to 101. Here are just a few of what this keepsake volume offers:

· The Flushing Remonstrance, a 1657 petition for religious freedom that was a precursor to the First Amendment to the Constitution.
· Beads from the African Burial Ground, 1700s. Slavery was legal in New York until 1827, although many free blacks lived in the city. The African Burial Ground closed in 1792 and was only recently rediscovered.
· The bagel, early 1900s. The quintessential and undisputed New York food (excepting perhaps the pizza).
· The Automat vending machine, 1912. Put a nickel in the slot and get a cup of coffee or a piece of pie. It was the early twentieth century version of fast food.
· The “I Love NY” logo designed by Milton Glaser in 1977 for a campaign to increase tourism. Along with Saul Steinberg’s famous New Yorker cover depicting a New Yorker’s view of the world, it was perhaps the most famous and most frequently reproduced graphic symbol of the time.
#47 The Black and White Cookie. A simple cookie, but Roberts spins a tale of Seinfeld, the Obama campaign, racial unity, and Hemstrough's Bakery
#35 A Toll Ticket. The Brooklyn Bridge had tolls until 1911 (1 cent for pedestrians, 2 cents for sheep), which prompted con men to try to sell others the Brooklyn Bridge.
#94 The Con Ed steam chimney that one sees around the city.. letting off steam
Unique, sometimes whimsical, always important, A History of New York in 101 Objects is a beautiful chronicle of the remarkable history of the Big Apple that will enrich your mind and rekindle memories.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] We Called Him Rabbi Abraham
Lincoln and American Jewry
a Documentary History
by Gary Phillip Zola (HUC Professor)
Southern Illinois University Press
Over the course of American history, Jews have held many American leaders in high esteem, but they maintain a unique emotional bond with Abraham Lincoln.
From the time of his presidency to the present day, American Jews have persistently viewed Lincoln as one of their own, casting him as a Jewish sojourner and, in certain respects, a Jewish role model. This pioneering compendium— The first volume of annotated documents to focus on the history of Lincoln’s image, influence, and reputation among American Jews— considers how Lincoln acquired his exceptional status and how, over the past century and a half, this fascinating relationship has evolved.
Organized into twelve chronological and thematic chapters, these little-known primary source documents—many never before published and some translated into English for the first time—consist of newspaper clippings, journal articles, letters, poems, and sermons, and provide insight into a wide variety of issues relating to Lincoln’s Jewish connection.
Topics include Lincoln’s early encounters with Central European Jewish immigrants living in the Old Northwest; Lincoln’s Jewish political allies; his encounters with Jews and the Jewish community as President; Lincoln’s response to the Jewish chaplain controversy; General U. S. Grant’s General Orders No. 11 expelling “Jews, as a class” from the Military Department of Tennessee; the question of amending the U.S. Constitution to legislate the country’s so-called Christian national character; and Jewish eulogies after Lincoln’s assassination. Other chapters consider the crisis of conscience that arose when President Andrew Johnson proclaimed a national day of mourning for Lincoln on the festival of Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks), a day when Jewish law enjoins Jews to rejoice and not to mourn; Lincoln’s Jewish detractors contrasted to his boosters; how American Jews have intentionally “Judaized” Lincoln ever since his death; the leading role that American Jews have played in in crafting Lincoln’s image and in preserving his memory for the American nation; American Jewish reflections on the question “What Would Lincoln Do?”; and how Lincoln, for America’s Jewish citizenry, became the avatar of America’s highest moral aspirations.
With thoughtful chapter introductions that provide readers with a context for the annotated documents that follow, this volume provides a fascinating chronicle of American Jewry’s unfolding historical encounter with the life and symbolic image of Abraham Lincoln, shedding light on how the cultural interchange between American ideals and Jewish traditions influences the dynamics of the American Jewish experience.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Dictionary of Untranslatables
A Philosophical Lexicon
Edited by Barbara Cassin, Emily Apter,
Jacques Lezra, and Michael Wood
Princeton University Press
My brain exploded trying to read the first 5 pages.

This is an encyclopedic dictionary of close to 400 important philosophical, literary, and political terms and concepts that defy easy--or any--translation from one language and culture to another. Drawn from more than a dozen languages, terms such as Dasein (German), pravda (Russian), saudade (Portuguese), and stato (Italian) are thoroughly examined in all their cross-linguistic and cross-cultural complexities. Spanning the classical, medieval, early modern, modern, and contemporary periods, these are terms that influence thinking across the humanities. The entries, written by more than 150 distinguished scholars, describe the origins and meanings of each term, the history and context of its usage, its translations into other languages, and its use in notable texts. The dictionary also includes essays on the special characteristics of particular languages--English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
Originally published in French, this one-of-a-kind reference work is now available in English for the first time, with new contributions from Judith Butler, Daniel Heller-Roazen, Ben Kafka, Kevin McLaughlin, Kenneth Reinhard, Stella Sandford, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Jane Tylus, Anthony Vidler, Susan Wolfson, Robert J. C. Young, and many more.The result is an invaluable reference for students, scholars, and general readers interested in the multilingual lives of some of our most influential words and ideas.
•Covers close to 400 important philosophical, literary, and political terms that defy easy translation between languages and cultures
•Includes terms from more than a dozen languages
•Entries written by more than 150 distinguished thinkers
•Available in English for the first time, with new contributions by Judith Butler, Daniel Heller-Roazen, Ben Kafka, Kevin McLaughlin, Kenneth Reinhard, Stella Sandford, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Jane Tylus, Anthony Vidler, Susan Wolfson, Robert J. C. Young, and many more
•Contains extensive cross-references and bibliographies
•An invaluable resource for students and scholars across the humanities
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

A Memoir
By Charles Blow
October 2014
Captivating from the first page. Among my favorite memoirs - Manchild in the Promised Land; With Roots in Heaven; The Color of Water - are those that recountlives that were not pretty. If I wanted pretty, I would stick to Disney. Blow's memoir opens with him racing down a highway in a car with a gun. He has homicide on his mind and tears in his eyes. It was hard to put down the book after that opening scene. And all the while, as I read, I wondered if - as they say - if you see a gun in Scene 1, it will be fired by Scene 3.
The title may remind you of the passage from Jeremiah in which the prophet wants to suppress his prophecy, but his words are like a burning "fire / Shut up in my bones." He can't hold it in or endure it anymore and must let it out. And let it out, Blow does. At first I thought the story might be taking place in the pre-1960's South, and I was surprised when I learned that the accounts were recent. Blow paints scenes that will be hard to forget: dazed cattle; a loving uncle; a not so loving relative; a naked, tender, true exchange with his mother on a car trip; a frat election; his mutual spoon feeding of each other's narcissism with Greta; a confused lie detector in Virginia; a splashy baptism; and a lot of waving guns.
More than a simple memoir, Blow's story is a primer in coming to terms with one's soul and following a principled path.

A gorgeous, moving memoir of how one of America's most innovative and respected journalists found his voice by coming to terms with a painful past
New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow mines the compelling poetry of the out-of-time African-American Louisiana town where he grew up -- a place where slavery's legacy felt astonishingly close, reverberating in the elders' stories and in the near-constant wash of violence.
Blow's attachment to his mother -- a fiercely driven woman with five sons, brass knuckles in her glove box, a job plucking poultry at a nearby factory, a soon-to-be-ex husband, and a love of newspapers and learning -- cannot protect him from secret abuse at the hands of an older cousin. It's damage that triggers years of anger and searing self-questioning.
Finally, Blow escapes to a nearby state university, where he joins a black fraternity after a passage of brutal hazing, and then enters a world of racial and sexual privilege that feels like everything he's ever needed and wanted, until he's called upon, himself, to become the one perpetuating the shocking abuse.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Luminous Heart of Jonah S.
A novel
by Gina B. Nahai
October 2014
From Tehran to Los Angeles, The Luminous Heart of Jonah S. is a sweeping saga that tells the story of the Soleymans, an Iranian Jewish family tormented for decades by Raphael's Son, a crafty and unscrupulous financier who has futilely claimed to be an heir to the family's fortune. Forty years later in contemporary Los Angeles, Raphael's Son has nearly achieved his goal--until he suddenly disappears, presumed by many to have been murdered. The possible suspects are legion: his long-suffering wife; numerous members of the Soleyman clan exacting revenge; the scores of investors he bankrupted in a Ponzi scheme; or perhaps even his disgruntled bookkeeper and longtime confidant.
Award-winning novelist Gina B. Nahai pulls back the curtain on a close-knit community that survived centuries of persecution in Iran before settling and thriving in the United States, but now finds itself divided to the core by one of its own members. By turns hilarious and affecting, The Luminous Heart of Jonah S. examines the eternal bonds of family and community, and the lasting scars of exile.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Journeys into the Disappearing
Religions of the Middle East
By Gerard Russell
October 2014
Basic Books
Despite its reputation for religious intolerance, the Middle East has long sheltered many distinctive and strange faiths: one regards the Greek prophets as incarnations of God, another reveres Lucifer in the form of a peacock, and yet another believes that their followers are reincarnated beings who have existed in various forms for thousands of years. These religions represent the last vestiges of the magnificent civilizations in ancient history: Persia, Babylon, Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs. Their followers have learned how to survive foreign attacks and the perils of assimilation. But today, with the Middle East in turmoil, they face greater challenges than ever before.
In Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms, former diplomat Gerard Russell ventures to the distant, nearly impassable regions where these mysterious religions still cling to survival. He lives alongside the Mandaeans and Ezidis of Iraq, the Zoroastrians of Iran, the Copts of Egypt, and others. He learns their histories, participates in their rituals, and comes to understand the threats to their communities. Historically a tolerant faith, Islam has, since the early 20th century, witnessed the rise of militant, extremist sects. This development, along with the rippling effects of Western invasion, now pose existential threats to these minority faiths. And as more and more of their youth flee to the West in search of greater freedoms and job prospects, these religions face the dire possibility of extinction.
Drawing on his extensive travels and archival research, Russell provides an essential record of the past, present, and perilous future of these remarkable religions.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

BY Karen Armstrong
FALL 2014
From the renowned and best-selling author of A History of God, a sweeping exploration of religion and the history of human violence.
For the first time, religious self-identification is on the decline in American. Some analysts have cited as cause a post-9/11perception: that faith in general is a source of aggression, intolerance, and divisiveness—something bad for society. But how accurate is that view? With deep learning and sympathetic understanding, Karen Armstrong sets out to discover the truth about religion and violence in each of the world’s great traditions, taking us on an astonishing journey from prehistoric times to the present.
While many historians have looked at violence in connection with particular religious manifestations (jihad in Islam or Christianity’s Crusades), Armstrong looks at each faith—not only Christianity and Islam, but also Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Judaism—in its totality over time. As she describes, each arose in an agrarian society with plenty powerful landowners brutalizing peasants while also warring among themselves over land, then the only real source of wealth. In this world, religion was not the discrete and personal matter it would become for us but rather something that permeated all aspects of society. And so it was that agrarian aggression, and the warrior ethos it begot, became bound up with observances of the sacred.
In each tradition, however, a counterbalance to the warrior code also developed. Around sages, prophets, and mystics there grew up communities protesting the injustice and bloodshed endemic to agrarian society, the violence to which religion had become heir. And so by the time the great confessional faiths came of age, all understood themselves as ultimately devoted to peace, equality, and reconciliation, whatever the acts of violence perpetrated in their name.
Industrialization and modernity have ushered in an epoch of spectacular and unexampled violence, although, as Armstrong explains, relatively little of it can be ascribed directly to religion. Nevertheless, she shows us how and in what measure religions, in their relative maturity, came to absorb modern belligerence—and what hope there might be for peace among believers of different creeds in our time.
At a moment of rising geopolitical chaos, the imperative of mutual understanding between nations and faith communities has never been more urgent, the dangers of action based on misunderstanding never greater. Informed by Armstrong’s sweeping erudition and personal commitment to the promotion of compassion, Fields of Blood makes vividly clear that religion is not the problem
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Madame Ambassador:
Behind the Scenes with a Candid Israeli Diplomat
by Tova Herzl
FALL 2014
Madame Ambassador is an intimate description of what being an ambassador is really like. Tova Herzl draws on her twenty-one year career and shares her unique experiences as a single, Jewish orthodox woman serving as Israel’s Ambassador to paint a vivid, entertaining picture of the lives and work of contemporary diplomats. She addresses major political events in which she was closely involved, such as the 2001 UN Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa, and discusses ethical and private issues, such as dealing with illness or practicing her religion.
The book also uncovers the personal side of diplomacy, including the challenges of giving speeches and interviews, access to expense accounts and household staff, relations within the diplomatic corps, and life under the watchful eye of a bodyguard.
Tova Herzl was Israel's first ambassador to the recently independent Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), as well as her country's ambassador to South Africa. She served two stints as Congressional liaison in Israel's embassy in Washington, D.C.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The City of Abraham
History, Myth and Memory:
A Journey through Hebron
by Edward Platt
FALL 2014
paperback edition
Pan Macmillan
A journey to the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and an account of the shared roots of the three great monotheistic religions of the Middle East
One of the world's most divided cities, Hebron is the only place in the West Bank where Palestinians and Israelis live side by side. This book's journey begins with a hill called Tel Rumeida, the site of ancient Hebron, where the patriarch Abraham—father of the Jews and the Arabs—was supposed to have lived when he arrived in the Promised Land. Through a mixture of travel writing, reportage, and interviews, Edward Platt tells the history of the hill and the city in which it stands, and explores the mythic roots of the struggle to control the land. He meets the Palestinian residents of Tel Rumeida, and the messianic settlers who have made their homes in a block of flats that stands on stilts on an excavated corner of the site. He meets the archeologists who have attempted to reconstruct the history of the hill. He meets the soldiers who serve in Hebron, and the intermediaries who try to keep the peace in the divided city. This book explores the ways in which Hebron's past continues to inform its tumultuous present, and illuminates the lives of the people at the heart of the most intractable conflict in the world.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] GABRIEL
FALL 2014
A potential recipient of the 2014 National Book Award

In 2011, the 22 year old son of Edward Hirsch died – most likely from a drug laced cocktail at an anonymous party he attended in Jersey City, NJ. Edward Hirsch took a leave from his position at the Guggenheim, moved from NYC to Atlanta, and began a journal

Never has there been a book of poems quite like Gabriel, in which a short life, a bewildering death, and the unanswerable sorrow of a father come together in such a sustained elegy. This unabashed sequence speaks directly from Hirsch’s heart to our own, without sentimentality. From its opening lines
“The funeral director opened the coffin /
And there he was alone /
From the waist up”

Because it wwas not Gabriel
It was just some poor kid
Whose face looked like a room
That had been vacated

Hirsch’s account is poignantly direct and open to the strange vicissitudes and tricks of grief. In propulsive three-line stanzas, he tells the story of how a once unstoppable child, who suffered from various developmental disorders, turned into an irreverent young adult, funny, rebellious, impulsive.

It didn’t matter his disabilities
Were not on the list
And so the police refused to help us.

Hirsch mixes his tale of Gabriel with the stories of other poets through the centuries who have also lost children, and expresses his feelings through theirs. His landmark poem enters the broad stream of human grief and raises in us the strange hope, even consolation, that we find in the writer’s act of witnessing and transformation.

I will not forgive you /
Indifferent God /
Until you give me back my son

That’s why it takes courage
To get out of bed in the morning
And climb into the day

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


[book] The Liar's Ball
The Extraordinary Saga of How One Building
Broke the World's Toughest Tycoons
by Vicky Ward
Fall 2014
Towering and talented, they are rich, powerful, driven dreamers. They are also tortured, vindictive, neurotic. Scathingly successful, these flamboyant real estate tycoons share a voracious desire and joust for a plot of land and its gleaming white fortress, the most expensive office building in America: the General Motors Building.
New York Times bestselling author Vicky Ward reveals the high-stakes gamesmanship, risky sleight-of-hand bets, brutal deceptions, foolish betrayals, and broken spirits among the over-reachers and titans. Beginning with Tammany Hall scoundrel William Magear “Boss” Tweed and including Harry Macklowe, Donald J. Trump, William Zeckendorf, Mort Zuckerman, Stephen C. Hilbert, Disque D. Deane, Lord Max Rayne, Cecilia Benattar, Estee and Leonard Lauder (tenants), Ira Millstein, Atty. Martin Ginsberg, Marjorie Schlesinger, Barbara Koz, Fred Tump, Abraham Wallach, George Ross (Trump), Robert Horowitz (Trump), Samuel Zell (Trump), Sheldon Solow, Steven Mnuchin, Steven Roth, Steven Cherniak, Andrew Fabricant, Carl Icahn, partners at Weil Gotshal & Manges, Zhang Xiu, the Safra Family, and Harry S. Black, their rise-and-fall stories span 150 years. Dream chasing, it turns out, in the world of global real estate is far dirtier than even she—a veteran investigative reporter and the author of a book on Wall Street—could ever have imagined.
One as good as killed his wife with cruelty.
Another helicoptered five miles to work each day, and married a woman who jumped nearly naked out of a cake.
The colorful, indefatigable “housewife tycoon” chief executive brazenly battled New York’s social and business elite. All went to bewildering, extraordinary lengths to pursue their goals.
The boorish behavior at The Liar’s Ball, the annual gala that the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) throws itself, had intrigued Ward when she attended. It paled in comparison to the roughness she unearthed in over 200 interviews for this book with her crowd of “rough riders” (as the New York real estate dealmakers were once called).
And yet tempering the grotesque intemperance was the humanity, the vulnerability that these characters—for the most part—revealed. They are fascinating in their insecurities as much as in their ambitions, and Ward masterfully brings together their intrigues and ironies in a gripping story alive with all the complexities of human nature — a book as compelling and absolutely absorbing as the charismatic leaders of the dance at The Liar’s Ball.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

by Rose Levy Beranbaum
November 2014
The latest and most comprehensive baking book yet from best-selling author and “diva of desserts” Rose Levy Beranbaum
Legendary baker Rose Levy Beranbaum is back with her most extensive “bible” yet. With all-new recipes for the best cakes, pies, tarts, cookies, candies, pastries, breads, and more, this magnum opus draws from Rose’s passion and expertise in every category of baking. As is to be expected from the woman who’s been called “the most meticulous cook who ever lived,” each sumptuous recipe is truly foolproof—with detail-oriented instructions that eliminate guesswork, “plan-aheads,” ingenious tips, and highlights for success. From simple everyday crowd-pleasers (Coffee Crumb Cake Muffins, Gingersnaps, Gooseberry Crisp) to show-stopping stunners (Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Tart, Mango Bango Cheesecake, White Christmas Peppermint Cake) to bakery-style pastries developed for the home kitchen (the famous French Kouign Amann), every recipe proves that delicious perfection is within reach for any baker.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Early Prophets
Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings
The Schocken Bible, Volume II
Translated by Dr. Everett Fox
November 2014
880 pages
The story of ancient Israel, from the arrival in Canaan to the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah and the Babylonian exile some six centuries later: the highly anticipated second volume in Everett Fox’s landmark translation of the Hebrew Bible.
The personalities who appear in the pages of The Early Prophets, and the political and moral dilemmas their stories illuminate, are part of the living consciousness of the Western world. From Joshua and the tumbling walls of Jericho to Samson and Delilah, the prophet Samuel and the tragic King Saul, David and Goliath, Bathsheba and Absalom, King Solomon’s temple, Elijah and the chariot of fire, Ahab and Jezebel—the stories of these men and women are deeply etched into Western culture because of their ability to beautifully encapsulate the human experience. The four books that comprise The Early Prophets look at tribal rivalries, dramatic changes in leadership, and the intrusions of neighboring empires through the prism of a Divine-human relationship. Over the centuries, the faithful have read these narratives as demonstrations of the perils of disobeying God’s will, and time and again the Jews in exile found that they spoke to their own situations of cultural assimilation, destruction, and the reformulation of identity. They have had an equally indelible impact on generations of Christians, who have seen in many of the stories foreshadowings of the life and death of Jesus, as well as models for their own lives and the careers of their leaders.
But beyond its importance as a foundational religious document, The Early Prophets is a great work of literature, a powerful and distinctive narrative history that seeks meaning in the midst of national catastrophe. Accompanied by illuminating commentary, notes, and maps, Everett Fox’s masterly translation re-creates the echoes, allusions, alliterations, and wordplays of the Hebrew original that rhetorically underscore its meaning and are intrinsic to a timeless text meant to be both studied and read aloud.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

See also Volume 1:

[book] After the Holocaust the Bells Still Ring
by Joseph Polak
Foreword by Elie Wiesel
November 2014
URIM Publishing
This memoir is a fascinating portrait of mother and child who miraculously survive two concentration camps, then, after the war, battle demons of the past, societal rejection, disbelief, and invalidation as they struggle to reenter the world of the living. It is the tale of how one newly takes on the world, having lived in the midst of corpses strewn about in the scores of thousands, and how one can possibly resume life in the aftermath of such experiences. It is the story of the child who decides, upon growing up, that the only career that makes sense for him in light of these years of horror is to become someone sensitive to the deepest flaws of humanity, a teacher of God’s role in history amidst the traditions that attempt to understand it—and to become a rabbi.
Readers will not emerge unscathed from this searing work, written by a distinguished, Boston-based rabbi and academic.

Professor Robert Krell, MD wrote, "I have a thought about why this particular memoir, of all memoirs, deserves to be read, indeed, must be read. World-wide, Anne Frank is considered to be the authentic voice from within the Holocaust. Her diary is indeed precious and incredibly touching. And yet it ends with her deportation to Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen where she dies a gruesome death. That is not part of her diary. The reader is left in a void. From that same hideous place that claims her life emerges a little boy to continue the story. Joseph's voice originates from within Bergen-Belsen, and perhaps poses the questions and challenges to G-d that Anne might have posed, had she survived. His story and her story merge. These two youngsters from Holland, Anne forever a teenager, Joseph approaching the status of elder, provide a perspective of unusual insight from within the Holocaust, and from within survival. Surely Joseph's sensitive portrayal of this brief period of his life illustrates dramatically that for Jewish children, liberation was not particularly liberating. By reading this memoir and savoring its wisdom and lessons, perhaps we can assume a degree of [Joseph’s] burden and confer meaning upon it by sharing its insights with our children and grandchildren.”
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Henna House
A Novel
by Nomi Eve
An evocative and stirring novel about a young woman living in the fascinating and rarely portrayed community of Yemenite Jews of the mid-twentieth century, from the acclaimed author of The Family Orchard.
In the tradition of Anita Diamant's The Red Tent, Henna House is the enthralling story of a woman, her family, their community, and the rituals that bind them.
Nomi Eve’s vivid saga begins in Yemen in 1920, when Adela Damari’s parents desperately seek a future husband for their young daughter. After passage of the Orphan’s Decree, any unbetrothed Jewish child left orphaned will be instantly adopted by the local Muslim community. With her parents’ health failing, and no spousal prospects in sight, Adela’s situation looks dire until her uncle arrives from a faraway city, bringing with him a cousin and aunt who introduce Adela to the powerful rituals of henna tattooing. Suddenly, Adela’s eyes are opened to the world, and she begins to understand what it means to love another and one’s heritage. She is imperiled, however, when her parents die and a prolonged drought threatens their long-established way of life. She and her extended family flee to the city of Aden where Adela encounters old loves, discovers her true calling, and is ultimately betrayed by the people and customs she once held dear.
Henna House is an intimate family portrait and a panorama of history. From the traditions of the Yemenite Jews, to the far-ranging devastation of the Holocaust, to the birth of the State of Israel, Eve offers an unforgettable coming-of-age story and a textured chronicle of a fascinating period in the twentieth century.
Henna House is a rich, spirited, and sensuous tale of love, loss, betrayal, forgiveness, and the dyes that adorn the skin and pierce the heart.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Queen of Thieves
The True Story of "Marm" Mandelbaum and
Her Gangs of New York
by J. North Conway
November 2014
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.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

With David Ritz
November 2014
An outrageously raw, painfully funny memoir recounting the comedian’s meteoric rise, spectacular fall, and possible return.
In this uncensored autobiography, Andrew Dice Clay (aka Andrew Silverstein) is ready to set the record straight. He writes that he was the 1980’s answer to Lenny Bruce, with material that stretched the boundaries of decency and good taste to their breaking point, and in turn became the most vilified stand-up comic of all time.
(Some would take issue of the comparison to Lenny Bruce, who was more cerebral than raunchy)
(Other might say he was a parody of the stupid arrogant macho male Brooklyn archetype)
In 1978, he auditioned at Pips, a local comedy club in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, as "Andrew Clay." “Clay” graduated to the major Manhattan comedy clubs, including The Improv, Catch a Rising Star and Dangerfield's. His move to Los Angeles came in 1980. He was "adopted" there by Mitzi Shore, owner of the famed Comedy Store. His work at the Store led to appearances on M*A*S*H and Diff'rent Strokes. He later landed roles in Making the Grade (1984), Pretty in Pink (1986) and Casual Sex? (1988), and Crime Story (1986 to 1988). He eventually turned from acting to pursue a career in stand-up, focusing on the character "Dice" from Making the Grade.
From humble beginnings Andrew Dice Clay roared to fame, becoming the only comedian of his time to sell out Madison Square Garden two nights in a row, but his edgy material quickly caught up to him. His billboards were defaced; the premiere of his film The Adventures of Ford Fairlane was cancelled; some of the cast members of Saturday Night Live threatened to walk off when he guest-hosted the program; and he was famously banned for life from MTV. For almost twenty years he stayed out of the spotlight, but like a real life Rocky, Dice would not stay down. Spurred by a role written for him by the creator of Entourage and a critically acclaimed starring role in Woody Allen’s film Blue Jasmine, Dice is back in the spotlight and selling out theaters.
He shares never-before-shared stories from his comedic career as well as information on his friendships with Howard Stern, Sam Kinison, Mickey Rourke, Sylvester Stallone, Slash, and many others, The Filthy Truth delivers a knockout punch.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

By Peter Longerich
Translated from German
November 2014
Random House
From renowned German Holocaust historian Peter Longerich comes the definitive one-volume biography of Adolf Hitler’s malevolent minister of propaganda.
In life, and in the grisly manner of his death, Joseph Goebbels was one of Adolf Hitler’s most loyal acolytes. By the end, no one in the Berlin bunker was closer to the Führer than his devoted Reich minister for public enlightenment and propaganda. But how did this clubfooted son of a factory worker rise from obscurity to become Hitler’s most trusted lieutenant and personally anointed successor?
In this ground-breaking biography, Peter Longerich sifts through the historical record—and thirty thousand pages of Goebbels’s own diary entries—to provide the answer to that question. Longerich, the first historian to make use of the Goebbels diaries in a biographical work, engages and challenges the self-serving portrait the propaganda chief left behind. Spanning thirty years, the diaries paint a chilling picture of a man driven by a narcissistic desire for recognition who found the personal affirmation he craved within the virulently racist National Socialist movement. Delving into the mind of his subject, Longerich reveals how Goebbels’s lifelong search for a charismatic father figure inexorably led him to Hitler, to whom he ascribed almost godlike powers.
This comprehensive biography documents Goebbels’s ascent through the ranks of the Nazi Party, where he became a member of the Führer’s inner circle and launched a brutal campaign of anti-Semitic propaganda. Though endowed with near-dictatorial control of the media—film, radio, press, and the fine arts—Longerich’s Goebbels is a man dogged by insecurities and beset by bureaucratic infighting. He feuds with his bitter rivals Hermann Göring and Alfred Rosenberg, unsuccessfully advocates for a more radical line of “total war,” and is thwarted in his attempt to pursue a separate peace with the Allies during the waning days of World War II. This book also reveals, as never before, Goebbels’s twisted personal life—his mawkish sentimentality, manipulative nature, and voracious sexual appetite.
A harrowing look at the life of one of history’s greatest monsters, Goebbels delivers fresh insight into how the Nazi message of hate was conceived, nurtured, and disseminated. This complete portrait of the man behind that message is sure to become a standard for historians and students of the Holocaust for decades to come.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] In God's Path
The Arab Conquests and the Creation
of an Islamic Empire
(Ancient Warfare and Civilization)
by Robert G. Hoyland
November 2014
Oxford University Press
In just over a hundred years--from the death of Muhammad in 632 to the beginning of the Abbasid Caliphate in 750--the followers of the Prophet swept across the whole of the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain. Their armies threatened states as far flung as the Franks in Western Europe and the Tang Empire in China. The conquered territory was larger than the Roman Empire at its greatest expansion, and it was claimed for the Arabs in roughly half the time. How this collection of Arabian tribes was able to engulf so many empires, states, and armies in such a short period has perplexed historians for centuries. Most accounts of the Arab invasions have been based almost solely on the early Muslim sources, which were composed centuries later to illustrate the divinely chosen status of the Arabs.
Robert Hoyland's groundbreaking new history assimilates not only the rich biographical information of the early Muslim sources but also the many non-Arabic sources, contemporaneous or near-contemporaneous with the conquests. In God's Path begins with a broad picture of the Late Antique world prior to the Prophet's arrival, a world dominated by two superpowers: Byzantium and Sasanian Persia. In between these empires, emerged a distinct Arabian identity, which helped forge the inhabitants of western Arabia into a formidable fighting force. The Arabs are the principal actors in this drama yet, as Hoyland shows, the peoples along the edges of Byzantium and Persia--the Khazars, Bulgars, Avars, and Turks--all played critical roles in the remaking of the old world order. The new faith propagated by Muhammad and his successors made it possible for many of the conquered peoples to join the Arabs in creating the first Islamic Empire. Well-paced, comprehensive, and eminently readable, In God's Path presents a sweeping narrative of a transformational period in world history..
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Ravensbruck
Life and Death in Hitler's
Concentration Camp for Women
by Sarah Helm
November 2014
Nan A. Talese
A groundbreaking, masterful, and absorbing account of the last hidden atrocity of World War II—Ravensbrück—the largest female-only concentration camp, where more than 100,000 women consisting of more than twenty nationalities were imprisoned.
Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS and the architect of the Holocaust, oversaw the construction of a special concentration camp just fifty miles north of Berlin. He called it Ravensbrück, and during the years that followed thousands of people died there after enduring brutal forms of torture. All were women. There are a handful of studies and memoirs that reference Ravensbrück, but until now no one has written a full account of this atrocity, perhaps due to the mostly masculine narrative of war, or perhaps because it lacks the Jewish context of most mainstream Holocaust history. Ninety percent of Ravensbrück's prisoners were not Jewish. Rather, they were political prisoners, Resistance fighters, lesbians, prostitutes, even the sister of New York's Mayor LaGuardia. In a perverse twist, most of the guards were women themselves. Sarah Helm's groundbreaking work sheds much-needed light on an aspect of World War II that has remained in the shadows for decades. Using research into German and newly opened Russian archives, as well as interviews with survivors, Helm has produced a landmark achievement that weaves together various accounts, allowing us to follow characters on both sides of the prisoner/guard divide. Chilling, compelling, and deeply unsettling, Ravensbrück is essential reading for anyone concerned with Nazi history.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

by “John LeFevre” @GSelevator
November 2014
Over the past three years, the notorious @GSElevator Twitter feed has offered a hilarious, shamelessly voyeuristic look into the real world of international finance. Hundreds of thousands followed the account, Goldman Sachs launched an internal investigation, and when the true identity of the man behind it all was revealed in February, it created a national media sensation—but that’s only part of the story. Where @GSElevator captured the essence of the banking elite with curated jokes and submissions overheard by readers, Straight to Hell adds John LeFevre’s own story—an unapologetic and darkly funny account of a career as a globe-conquering investment banker spanning New York, London, and Hong Kong. Straight to Hell pulls back the curtain on a world that is both hated and envied, taking readers from trading floors and roadshows to private planes and after-hours overindulgence. Full of shocking lawlessness and win-at-all-costs antics, this is the definitive take on the deviant, dysfunctional, and absolutely excessive world of finance.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] A Backpack, a Bear, and
Eight Crates of Vodka
A Memoir
by Lev Golinkin
November 2014
A compelling story of two intertwined journeys: a Jewish refugee family fleeing persecution and a young man seeking to reclaim a shattered past. In the twilight of the Cold War (the late 1980s), nine-year old Lev Golinkin and his family cross the Soviet border with only ten suitcases, $600, and the vague promise of help awaiting in Vienna. Years later, Lev, now an American adult, sets out to retrace his family's long trek, locate the strangers who fought for his freedom, and in the process, gain a future by understanding his past.
Lev Golinkin's memoir is the vivid, darkly comic, and poignant story of a young boy in the confusing and often chilling final decade of the Soviet Union. It's also the story of Lev Golinkin, the American man who finally confronts his buried past by returning to Austria and Eastern Europe to track down the strangers who made his escape possible . . . and say thank you. Written with biting, acerbic wit and emotional honesty in the vein of Gary Shteyngart, Jonathan Safran Foer, and David Bezmozgis, Golinkin's search for personal identity set against the relentless currents of history is more than a memoir—it's a portrait of a lost era. This is a thrilling tale of escape and survival, a deeply personal look at the life of a Jewish child caught in the last gasp of the Soviet Union, and a provocative investigation into the power of hatred and the search for belonging. Lev Golinkin achieves an amazing feat—and it marks the debut of a fiercely intelligent, defiant, and unforgettable new voice.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Tel Aviv University
November 2014
Yale University Press
Jewish Lives series
David Ben-Gurion cast an enormous shadow across his world, and his legacy in the Middle East and beyond continues to be hotly debated to this day. There have been many books written about the life and accomplishments of the Zionist icon and founder of modern Israel, but this new biography by eminent Israeli historian Anita Shapira is the first to get to the core of the complex man who would become the face of a new nation.
Shapira tells the Ben-Gurion story anew, focusing especially on the period in 1948 immediately following Israel’s declaration of independence, a time few historians have concentrated on and none have explored in such intimate detail. Through her intensive research and access to Ben-Gurion’s personal archives and rarely viewed documents and letters, the author gained powerful insights into his private persona. Her fascinating literary portrait of David Ben-Gurion bares the flesh-and-blood man inside the influential historical figure who brought the Zionist dream to full fruition.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] NEW YORK 1, TEL AVIV 0
By Shelly Oria
November 2014
Sharply observed, beautifully rendered stories about gender, sexuality, and nationality by a fresh new voice
The stories in New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 speak to a contemporary generation and explore the tension between an anonymous, globalized world and an irrepressible lust for connection. The result is an intimate document of niche moments, when relationships either run their course, take flight, or enter holding patterns. Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Babel in Zion
Jews, Nationalism, and Language Diversity
in Palestine, 1920-1948
by Prof. Liora R. Halperin
November 2014
Yale University Press
The promotion and vernacularization of Hebrew, traditionally a language of Jewish liturgy and study, was a central accomplishment of the Zionist movement in Palestine in the years following World War I. Viewing twentieth-century history through the lens of language, author Liora Halperin questions the accepted scholarly narrative of a Zionist move away from multilingualism, demonstrating how Jews in Palestine remained connected linguistically by both preference and necessity to a world outside the boundaries of the pro-Hebrew community even as it promoted Hebrew and achieved that language’s dominance. The story of language encounters in Jewish Palestine is a fascinating tale of shifting power relationships, both locally and globally. Halperin’s absorbing study explores how a young national community was compelled to modify the dictates of Hebrew exclusivity as it negotiated its relationships with its Jewish population, Palestinian Arabs, the British, and others outside the margins of the national project and ultimately came to terms with the limitations of its hegemony in an interconnected world.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

November 2014
Riverhead - Penguin Press
An unlikely journalist, a murder case in Mississippi, and a fascinating literary true crime story in the style of Jon Ronson.
A notorious white supremacist named Richard Barrett was brutally murdered in Mississippi in 2010 by a young black man named Vincent McGee. At first the murder seemed a twist on old Deep South race crimes. But then new revelations and
complications came to light. Maybe it was a dispute over money rather than race—or, maybe and intriguingly, over sex.
John Safran, a young white Jewish Australian documentarian, had been in Mississippi and interviewed Barrett for a film on race. When he learned of Barrett’s murder, he returned to find out what happened and became caught up in the twists and turns of the case. During his time in Mississippi, Safran got deeper and deeper into this gothic southern world, becoming entwined in the lives of those connected with the murder—white separatist frenemies, black lawyers, police investigators, oddball neighbors, the stunned families, even the killer himself. And the more he talked with them, the less simple the crime—and the people involved—seemed to be. In the end, he discovered how profoundly and indelibly complex the truth about someone’s life—and death—can be.
This is a brilliant, haunting, hilarious, unsettling story about race, money, sex, and power in the modern American South from an outsider’s point of view.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Good War:
Why We Couldn’t Win the War
or the Peace in Afghanistan
by Jack Fairweather
(Washington Post, Dly Telegraph)
Fall 2014
Basic Books
In its earliest days, the American-led war in Afghanistan appeared to be a triumph—a “good war”—in comparison to the debacle in Iraq. It has since turned into one of the longest and most costly wars in U.S. history. The story of how this good war went so bad may well turn out to be a defining tragedy of the 21st century—yet as acclaimed war correspondent Jack Fairweather explains, it should also give us reason to hope for an outcome grounded in Afghan reality, rather than our own.
In The Good War, Fairweather provides the first full narrative history of the war in Afghanistan, from its inception after 9/11 to the drawdown in 2014. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, previously unpublished archives, and months of reporting in Afghanistan, Fairweather explores the righteous intentions and astounding hubris that caused the American strategy in Afghanistan to flounder, refuting the long-held notion that the war could have been won with more troops and cash. Fairweather argues that only by accepting the limitations in Afghanistan—from the presence of the Taliban to the ubiquity of the opium trade to the country’s unsuitability for rapid, Western-style development—can America help to restore peace in this shattered land.
A timely lesson in the perils of nation-building and a sobering reminder of the limits of American power, The Good War leads readers from the White House situation room to American military outposts, from warlords’ palaces to insurgents’ dens, to explain how the U.S. and its allies might have salvaged the Afghan campaign—and how we must rethink other “good” wars in the future.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Knife Fights
A Memoir of Modern War in
Theory and Practice
by John A. Nagl
Fall 2014
From one of the most important army officers of his generation, a memoir of the revolution in warfare he helped lead, in combat and in Washington
When John Nagl was an army tank commander in the first Gulf War of 1991, fresh out of West Point and Oxford, he could already see that America’s military superiority meant that the age of conventional combat was nearing an end. Nagl was an early convert to the view that America’s greatest future threats would come from asymmetric warfare—guerrillas, terrorists, and insurgents. But that made him an outsider within the army; and as if to double down on his dissidence, he scorned the conventional path to a general’s stars and got the military to send him back to Oxford to study the history of counterinsurgency in earnest, searching for guideposts for America. The result would become the bible of the counterinsurgency movement, a book called Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife.
But it would take the events of 9/11 and the botched aftermath of the Iraq invasion to give counterinsurgency urgent contemporary relevance. John Nagl’s ideas finally met their war. But even as his book began ricocheting around the Pentagon, Nagl, now operations officer of a tank battalion of the 1st Infantry Division, deployed to a particularly unsettled quadrant of Iraq. Here theory met practice, violently. No one knew how messy even the most successful counterinsurgency campaign is better than Nagl, and his experience in Anbar Province cemented his view. After a year’s hard fighting, Nagl was sent to the Pentagon to work for Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, where he was tapped by General David Petraeus to coauthor the new army and marine counterinsurgency field manual, rewriting core army doctrine in the middle of two bloody land wars and helping the new ideas win acceptance in one of the planet’s most conservative bureaucracies. That doctrine changed the course of two wars and the thinking of an army.
Nagl is not blind to the costs or consequences of counterinsurgency, a policy he compared to “eating soup with a knife.” The men who died under his command in Iraq will haunt him to his grave. When it comes to war, there are only bad choices; the question is only which ones are better and which worse. Nagl’s memoir is a profound education in modern war—in theory, in practice, and in the often tortured relationship between the two. It is essential reading for anyone who cares about the fate of America’s soldiers and the purposes for which their lives are put at risk.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

October 2014
Globe Pequot
As the morning sunlight crept over the limestone walls of Jerusalem’s old city, two young Americans flagged down a bus and got on. It was 6:45 am, February 25, 1996—an otherwise ordinary Sunday in Israel. Sara Duker and Matthew Eisenfeld settled into their seats as the door closed on Jerusalem’s Number 18 bus which would take them across the spine of this ancient city of hills. On this day, they had risen earlier than normal in the hope of touring an archaeological site. After a few more stops, their bus turned on Jerusalem’s Jaffa Road and rolled up a slight hill and stopped again. A young man, who seemed to be a student and was carrying a black duffle bag, got on. No one paid much attention to him, witnesses said later. Students carrying duffle bags or backpacks are a common sight in Jerusalem. But this man was no student. He took a seat. After several more stops, he stood and pushed a button attached to his duffle bag—and set off a huge bomb. Sara and Matthew died in the explosion. So did 24 others, along with the bomber. Their grieving families of the Americans set out to get answers and justice.
So begins the story of “The Bus on Jaffa Road.” The narrative weaves from the streets of Jerusalem to a West Bank refugee camp to the White House, the Congress and a U.S. courtroom where the victims’ families filed a lawsuit against Iran for financing the bombing—then to a prison in the Negev desert in Israel where the author confronts the man who build the bomb on the Jaffa Road bus. It is a story that prefigures many of the difficulties of America’s “war on terrorism” and reminds us of the intractable nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that continues to this day..
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

If you are planning to visit CHARTRES CATHEDRAL, read this book first to understand the imagery of Jews/Hebrews
The Medieval Origins of Anti-Jewish Iconography
by Sara Lipton
November 2014
In Dark Mirror, Sara Lipton offers a fascinating examination of the emergence of anti-Semitic iconography in the Middle Ages
The straggly beard, the hooked nose, the bag of coins, and gaudy apparel—the religious artists of medieval Christendom had no shortage of virulent symbols for identifying Jews. Yet, hateful as these depictions were, the story they tell is not as simple as it first appears.
Drawing on a wide range of primary sources, Lipton argues that these visual stereotypes were neither an inevitable outgrowth of Christian theology nor a simple reflection of medieval prejudices. Instead, she maps out the complex relationship between medieval Christians’ religious ideas, social experience, and developing artistic practices that drove their depiction of Jews from benign, if exoticized, figures connoting ancient wisdom to increasingly vicious portrayals inspired by (and designed to provoke) fear and hostility.
At the heart of this lushly illustrated and meticulously researched work are questions that have occupied scholars for ages—why did Jews becomes such powerful and poisonous symbols in medieval art? Why were Jews associated with certain objects, symbols, actions, and deficiencies? And what were the effects of such portrayals—not only in medieval society, but throughout Western history? What we find is that the image of the Jew in medieval art was not a portrait of actual neighbors or even imagined others, but a cloudy glass into which Christendom gazed to find a distorted, phantasmagoric rendering of itself.

Chapters include:
The Birth of Jewish Iconography, ca. 1015-1100
Blinded Light and Blinkered Witness, ca 1100-1160
Loveless Looking and Unlovely Christ, ca. 1160-1220
Jews and the Mirror of Society, ca. 1220-1300
The Jews Face: Flesh, Sight, Sovereignty, ca. 1230-1350
Where are the Jewish Women?
The Jew in the Crowd. Surveillance and Civic Vision, ca. 1350-1500

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

November 2014
C2C Publishing
Hatred of Jews is the most diagnosed and least treated of all social diseases. Why is this so? Antisemitism cannot be understood merely by examining the evil designs of ruthless tyrants or ignorant people. Rather it is often a useful tool of powerful social forces. It invariably also involves both its victims and its perpetrators in ways that are not always transparent. To suggest that Jews are in some way involved in the offenses perpetrated against them is not to blame the victim but rather to understand antisemitism as a dynamic force, one in which both Jews and those who discriminate against them are engaged in a macabre and often fatal dance. Jews are interstitial. Enmeshed in a larger social fabric, they have often become victims of tensions and conflict they neither understand nor control. By studying how individual Jews as well as entire Jewish communities have responded to the interstitial dilemma, the appeal of antisemitism can be better understood and confronted. Finally, the writings of Benedict Spinoza are seen as a relevant response to the interstitial analysis. This philosopher, who lived almost four hundred years ago, offers rich insights into the problems that confront not only the Jewish community but all of humanity.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

(Universite de Caen)
November 2014
Yale University Press
Jewish Lives series
Mark Rothko was not only one of the most influential American painters of the twentieth century; he was a scholar, an educator, and a deeply spiritual human being. Born Marcus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz, he emigrated from the Russian Empire to the United States at age ten, already well educated in the Talmud and carrying with him bitter memories of the pogroms and persecutions visited upon the Jews of Lithuania. Few artists have achieved success as quickly, and by the mid-twentieth century, Rothko’s artwork was being displayed in major museums throughout the world. In May 2012 his painting Orange, Red, Yellow was auctioned for nearly $87 million, setting a new Christie’s record.
Working closely with the artist’s son, author Annie Cohen-Solal was granted unprecedented access to personal materials no previous biographer had seen. As a result, her book is an extraordinarily detailed portrait of Rothko the man and the artist, an uncommonly successful painter who was never comfortable with the idea of his art as a commodity.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] I Must Say
My Life as Humble Comedy Legend
by Martin Short
November 2014
Martin Short is not Jewish. His cousin is half Jewish. That is good enough for me. Short is from Hamilton Ontario, born to an Irish family. His cousin once told Short's father, “I am half Irish and half Jewish.” Martin's father replied, “We have a word for those who are half Jewish and half Irish... we call them a Jew.”
Short told me that theatre is his first love, followed by film films, and TV, and then his family... but seriously, Short was an orphan by 20, and a widower at 60. He has a lot of stories to share.

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

BY Zac Bissonnette
November 2014
A bestselling journalist delivers the never-before-told story of the plush animal craze that became the tulip mania of the 1990s
In the annals of consumer crazes, nothing compares to Beanie Babies. In just three years, collectors who saw the toys as a means of speculation made creator Ty Warner, an eccentric college dropout, a billionaire—without advertising or big-box distribution. Beanie Babies were ten percent of eBay’s sales in its early days, with an average selling price of $30—six times the retail price. At the peak of the bubble in 1999, Warner reported a personal income of $662 million—more than Hasbro and Mattel combined.
The end of the craze was swift and devastating, with “rare” Beanie Babies deemed worthless as quickly as they’d once been deemed priceless.
Bissonnette draws on hundreds of interviews (including a visit to a man who lives with his 40,000 Ty products and an in-prison interview with a guy who killed a coworker over a Beanie Baby debt) for the first book on the strangest speculative mania of all time.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Taking Smart Risks in the Pursuit of Big Dreams
Zigging When Everyone Else Zags
By Linda Rottenberg
Fall 2014
While Bruce Feiler was out WALKING THE BIBLE, his spouse :inda was building companies
In the tradition of both The Lean Startup and Lean In, a manifesto about taking smart risks in pursuit of big dreams.
Linda Rottenberg has spent her career helping innovators think big. “If people aren’t calling you crazy, you aren’t thinking big enough,” she says. These days taking chances isn’t just for young college dropouts in hoodies. Whether you work at a Fortune 500 company, a non-profit, or a mom-andpop store, everybody needs to think and act like a changemaker. We all need to be nimble, adaptive, daring, and maybe even a little crazy, or risk being left behind.
But how do you take smart risks and still achieve big success? That’s Rottenberg’s expertise as the CEO and cofounder of Endeavor, the world’s leading organization devoted to identifying, mentoring, and investing in fast-growing businesses. Since 1997, Endeavor has screened 40,000 candidates and handpicked 1,000 entrepreneurs in 20 countries —then helped them take the crucial steps to grow their organizations and transform their communities. In 2012, Endeavor entrepreneurs generated $6 billion in revenues and provided 225,000 jobs.
Now Rottenberg draws on her unique experience to show how we can all take manageable steps to achieve our dreams. Crazy Is a Compliment offers a blend of inspiring stories and practical tools for getting started, going bigger, and integrating work and family. As she writes, “Since everybody has to take risks these days, we all need to be able to derisk risk.”
Written with wisdom, wit, and passion, Crazy is a Compliment is a rallying cry for a new approach to business and a blueprint for personal change. The good news is that anybody can initiate those changes. “There are no admission criteria. There is no wardrobe requirement. There is no secret vote. Entrepreneurship is for everyone.”
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[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.

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

[book] Helena Rubinstein
Beauty Is Power (Jewish Museum)
by Mason Klein
Fall 2014
In support of the Jewish Museum (NYC) exhibit
Helena Rubinstein (1872–1965) broke free from the constraints of her 19th-century, small-town, Polish Jewish background to become a cosmetics industry giant and a household name. She produced and marketed the means for ordinary women to transform themselves and to discover and express their own individuality. Through her conception of the beauty salon as a place of modernist display, she empowered the modern woman to define herself through her choices in taste and décor.

Helena Rubinstein: Beauty Is Power concentrates on Rubinstein as an art collector and patron, as well as discusses her little-known role in integrating the notion of style—reflected in her wide-ranging tastes—within the overarching culture and industry of beauty. In tracing how her brand name became associated with the woman herself, the book examines the various ways Rubinstein controlled and defined her remarkable image.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Holy Resilience
The Bible's Traumatic Origins
by David M. Carr
(Union Theological)
Fall 2014
Human trauma gave birth to the Bible, suggests eminent religious scholar David Carr. The Bible’s ability to speak to suffering is a major reason why the sacred texts of Judaism and Christianity have retained their relevance for thousands of years. In his fascinating and provocative reinterpretation of the Bible’s origins, the author tells the story of how the Jewish people and Christian community had to adapt to survive multiple catastrophes and how their holy scriptures both reflected and reinforced each religion’s resilient nature.
Carr’s thought-provoking analysis demonstrates how many of the central tenets of biblical religion, including monotheism and the idea of suffering as God’s retribution, are factors that provided Judaism and Christianity with the strength and flexibility to endure in the face of disaster. In addition, the author explains how the Jewish Bible was deeply shaped by the Jewish exile in Babylon, an event that it rarely describes, and how the Christian Bible was likewise shaped by the unspeakable shame of having a crucified savior. .
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] SHEYMES
A Family Album after the Holocaust
by Elizabeth Wajnberg (McGill)
November 2014
MQUP McGill Queens University Press

Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book
The daughter of Holocaust survivors, Elizabeth Wajnberg was born in postwar Poland. Evoking the past from the present, she gathers her family's history as it moves from the prewar years through the war to their arrival in Montreal. She traces through their own voices the memories that echo and have shaped their lives to present a portrait of a family whose bonds were both soldered and sundered by their wartime experiences. The people in this book are living sheymes - fragments of a holy book that are not to be discarded when old, but buried in consecrated ground. While embodying the world they have lost and the remnants that they carried with them, Wajnberg follows her family through their last decades. As her parents age and the author becomes their active and anxious caregiver, the book changes its perspective to accent the present - now the scene of trauma - when her parents join another demeaned group. Knowing their history, she senses that society turns away from the elderly the same way it looks away from the details of the Holocaust. Rich with humour and Yiddish idioms, Sheymes is a compelling and beautifully written memoir. In its illumination of the legacy of the Holocaust and the universal aspect of Jewish suffering, it resonates far beyond her family.

[book] In the Shadow of Zion
Promised Lands Before Israel
by Adam L. Rovner
November 2014
From the late nineteenth century through the post-Holocaust era, the world was divided between countries that tried to expel their Jewish populations and those that refused to let them in. The plight of these traumatized refugees inspired numerous proposals for Jewish states. Jews and Christians, authors and adventurers, politicians and playwrights, and rabbis and revolutionaries all worked to carve out autonomous Jewish territories in remote and often hostile locations across the globe. The would-be founding fathers of these imaginary Zions dispatched scientific expeditions to far-flung regions and filed reports on the dream states they planned to create. But only Israel emerged from dream to reality. Israel’s successful foundation has long obscured the fact that eminent Jewish figures, including Zionism’s prophet, Theodor Herzl, seriously considered establishing enclaves beyond the Middle East.
In the Shadow of Zion brings to life the amazing true stories of six exotic visions of a Jewish national home outside of the biblical land of Israel. It is the only book to detail the connections between these schemes, which in turn explain the trajectory of modern Zionism. A gripping narrative drawn from archives the world over, In the Shadow of Zion recovers the mostly forgotten history of the Jewish territorialist movement, and the stories of the fascinating but now obscure figures who championed it.
Provocative, thoroughly researched, and written to appeal to a broad audience, In the Shadow of Zion offers a timely perspective on Jewish power and powerlessness.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Becoming Un-Orthodox
Stories of Ex-Hasidic Jews
by Lynn Davidman
Beren Distinguished Professor of Modern Jewish Studies
And Professor of Sociology, University of Kansas
November 2014
Oxford University Press

Beliefs or Habitual Practices or Both?
Leaving a religion is not merely a matter of losing or rejecting faith. For many, it involves dramatic changes of everyday routines and personal habits.
Davidman bases her analysis on in-depth conversations with forty ex-Hasidic individuals. From these conversations emerge accounts of the great fear, angst, and sense of danger that come of leaving a highly bounded enclave community. Many of those interviewed spoke of feeling marginal in their own communities; of strain in their homes due to death, divorce, or their parents' profound religious differences; experienced sexual, physical, or verbal abuse; or expressed an acute awareness of gender inequality, the dissimilar lives of their secular relatives, and forbidden television shows, movies, websites, and books.
Becoming Un-Orthodox draws much-needed attention to the vital role of the body and bodily behavior in religious practices. It is through physical rituals and routines that the members of a religion, particularly a highly conservative one, constantly create, perform, and reinforce the culture of the religion. Because of the many observances and daily rituals required by their faith, Hasidic defectors are an exemplary case study for exploring the centrality of the body in shaping, maintaining, and shedding religions.
This book provides both a moving narrative of the struggles of Hasidic defectors and a compelling call for greater collective understanding of the complex significance of the body in society.
Professor Davidman was raised in a Modern Orthodox home, but after the death of her mother, Davidman began to question her beliefs and faith. Over time she became a critic of the moral hypocrisy she witnessed in her community. At Barnard as an undergrad, she decided to lives in the dorms, and was later disinherited by her family for leaving the house. She much much more able to survive and comport herself outside of the community than Hardim, who are raised much more insular.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Like Dreamers
The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who
Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation
by Yossi Klein Halevi
Now in paperback
November 2014
In Like Dreamers, acclaimed journalist Yossi Klein Halevi interweaves the stories of a group of 1967 paratroopers who reunited Jerusalem, tracing the history of Israel and the divergent ideologies shaping it from the Six-Day War to the present.
Following the lives of seven young members from the 55th Paratroopers Reserve Brigade, the unit responsible for restoring Jewish sovereignty to Jerusalem, Halevi reveals how this band of brothers played pivotal roles in shaping Israel’s destiny long after their historic victory. While they worked together to reunite their country in 1967, these men harbored drastically different visions for Israel’s future.
One emerges at the forefront of the religious settlement movement, while another is instrumental in the 2005 unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. One becomes a driving force in the growth of Israel’s capitalist economy, while another ardently defends the socialist kibbutzim. One is a leading peace activist, while another helps create an anti-Zionist terror underground in Damascus.
Featuring an eight pages of black-and-white photos and maps, Like Dreamers is a nuanced, in-depth look at these diverse men and the conflicting beliefs that have helped to define modern Israel and the Middle East.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

by Yossi Klein Halevi
Now in paperback for the first time
Fall 2014
Now available in paperback for the first time, with a new introduction, the poignant and insightful memoir from Yossi Klein Halevi, the award-winning journalist and author of the acclaimed Like Dreamers—a coming-of-age story about a traumatic family history, radical politics, and spiritual transformation that speaks to a new generation struggling to understand what it means to be Jewish in America.
The child of a Holocaust survivor, Yossi Klein Halevi grew up in 1960s Brooklyn perceiving reality through the lens of his family’s brutal past. Increasingly identifying with their history of suffering, he regarded the non-Jewish world with fear and loathing. Determined to take action—and seek retribution—he became a disciple of the late rabbi Meir Kahane and a member of the radical fringe of the American Jewish community.
In this wry and moving account, Halevi explores the deep-rooted anger of his adolescence and early adulthood that fueled his increasingly aggressive activism. He reveals how he started to question his beliefs—and his self-inflicted suffering as a hostage of history—and see the world from his own clear perspective.
As a journalist and author, Halevi has dedicated himself to fostering interfaith reconciliation. Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist explains how such a transformation can happen—giving hope that peaceful coexistence between faiths is possible..
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Against the Tide
Rickover's Leadership Principles and
the Rise of the Nuclear Navy
by Rear Admiral Dave Oliver USN (Ret.)
November 2014
Naval Institute Press
Against the Tide is a leadership book that illustrates how Adm. Hyman Rickover made a unique impact on American and Navy culture. Dave Oliver is the first former nuclear submarine commander who sailed for the venerable admiral to write about Rickover's management techniques. Oliver draws upon a wealth of untold stories to show how one man changed American and Navy culture while altering the course of history.
The driving force behind America's nuclear submarine navy, Rickover revolutionized naval warfare while concurrently proving to be a wellspring of innovation that drove American technology in the latter half of the twentieth-century. As a testament to his success, Rickover's single-minded focus on safety protected both American citizens and sailors from nuclear contamination, a record that is in stark contrast to the dozens of nuclear reactor accidents suffered by the Russians.
While Rickover has been the subject of a number of biographies, little has been written about his unique management practices that changed the culture of a two-hundred-year-old institution and affected the outcome of the Cold War. Rickover's achievements have been obscured because they were largely conducted in secret and because he possessed a demanding and abrasive personality that alienated many potential supporters. Nevertheless he was an extraordinary manager with significant lessons for all those in decision-making positions.
The author had the good fortune to know and to serve under Rickover during much of his thirty-year career in the Navy and is singularly qualified to demonstrate the management and leadership principles behind Rickover's success.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] HOOKED
November 2014
The Penguin re-issue of this book by Israeli Born biz consultant
How do successful companies create products people can’t put down? Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us?
Nir Eyal answers these questions (and many more) by explaining the Hook Model—a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behavior. Through consecutive “hook cycles,” these products reach their ultimate goal of bringing users back again and again without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging.
Hooked is based on Eyal’s years of research, consulting, and practical experience. He wrote the book he wished had been available to him as a start-up founder—not abstract theory, but a how-to guide for building better products. Hooked is written for product managers, designers, marketers, start-up founders, and anyone who seeks to understand how products influence our behavior.
Eyal provides readers with:
• Practical insights to create user habits that stick.
• Actionable steps for building products people love.
• Fascinating examples from the iPhone to Twitter, Pinterest to the Bible App, and many other habit-forming products.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The People in Between
The Paradox of Jewish Interstitiality
by Robert Marx
November 18, 2014
Cover To Cover
Hatred of Jews is the most diagnosed and least treated of all social diseases. Why is this so? Antisemitism cannot be understood merely by examining the evil designs of ruthless tyrants or ignorant people. Rather it is often a useful tool of powerful social forces. It invariably also involves both its victims and its perpetrators in ways that are not always transparent. To suggest that Jews are in some way involved in the offenses perpetrated against them is not to blame the victim but rather to understand antisemitism as a dynamic force, one in which both Jews and those who discriminate against them are engaged in a macabre and often fatal dance. Jews are interstitial. Enmeshed in a larger social fabric, they have often become victims of tensions and conflict they neither understand nor control. By studying how individual Jews as well as entire Jewish communities have responded to the interstitial dilemma, the appeal of antisemitism can be better understood and confronted. Finally, the writings of Benedict Spinoza are seen as a relevant response to the interstitial analysis. This philosopher, who lived almost four hundred years ago, offers rich insights into the problems that confront not only the Jewish community but all of humanity.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Andy Cohen Diaries
A Deep Look at a Shallow Year
by Andy Cohen
November 2014
Henry Holt
Sure people say the guy is SHALLOW. So he is smart. He capitalizes on it.
A year in the whirlwind life of the beloved pop icon Andy Cohen, in his own cheeky, candid, and irreverent words
As a TV Producer and host of the smash late night show Watch What Happens Live, Andy Cohen has a front row seat to an exciting world not many get to see. In this dishy, detailed diary of one year in his life, Andy goes out on the town, drops names, hosts a ton of shows, becomes codependent with Real Housewives, makes trouble, calls his mom, drops some more names, and, while searching for love, finds it with a dog. We learn everything from which celebrity peed in her WWHL dressing room to which Housewives are causing trouble and how. Nothing is off limits – including dating. We see Andy at home and with close friends and family (including his beloved and unforgettable mom). Throughout, Andy tells us not only what goes down, but exactly what he thinks about it. Inspired by the diaries of another celebrity-obsessed Andy (Warhol), this honest, irreverent, and laugh-out-loud funny book is a one-of-a-kind account of the whos and whats of pop culture in the 21st century.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Who is from Chicago who does not know Rabbi Marx? Mayor Rahm Emanuel says that his vision continues to reach across the constructs that separate people. Rabbi Mar fights against becoming weary in the struggle for social justice and understanding
[book] The People in Between
The Paradox of Jewish Interstitiality
by Robert Marx, Phd (and Rabbi)
November 2014
Cover to Cover
Interstitiality is the understanding of the ways that Jews occupy unique foles between the larger segments of American society: wealth, income, richness, poorness, power, powerlessness, religious belief, racial group. Hatred of Jews is the most diagnosed and least treated of all social diseases.
Why is this so? Anti-Semitism cannot be understood merely by examining the evil designs of ruthless tyrants or ignorant people. Rather it is often a useful tool of powerful social forces. It invariably also involves both its victims and its perpetrators in ways that are not always transparent.
To suggest that Jews are in some way involved in the offenses perpetrated against them is not to blame the victim but rather to understand anti-Semitism as a dynamic force, one in which both Jews and those who discriminate against them are engaged in a macabre and often fatal dance.
Jews are interstitial. Enmeshed in a larger social fabric, they have often become victims of tensions and conflict they neither understand nor control. By studying how individual Jews as well as entire Jewish communities have responded to the interstitial dilemma, the appeal of anti-Semitism can be better understood and confronted.
Finally, the writings of Benedict Spinoza are seen as a relevant response to the interstitial analysis. This philosopher, who lived almost four hundred years ago, offers rich insights into the problems that confront not only the Jewish community but all of humanity.
The idea for this book germinated 6 decades ago when Max was working on his doctorate at Yale. (It was Marx, a rabbi from HUC, who facilitated Reverend MLK, Jr.’s visits to Chicago, and marched with him at Selma.)
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Three Minutes in Poland:
Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film
by Glenn Kurtz
November 11, 2014
The author’s search for the annihilated Polish community captured in his grandfather’s 1938 home movie
Traveling in Europe in August 1938, one year before the outbreak of World War II, David Kurtz, the author’s grandfather, captured three minutes of ordinary life in a small, predominantly Jewish town in Poland on 16 mm Kodachrome color film. More than seventy years later, through the brutal twists of history, these few minutes of home-movie footage would become a memorial to an entire community—an entire culture—that was annihilated in the Holocaust.
Three Minutes in Poland traces Glenn Kurtz’s remarkable four-year journey to identify the people in his grandfather’s haunting images. His search takes him across the United States; to Canada, England, Poland, and Israel; to archives, film preservation laboratories, and an abandoned Luftwaffe airfield. Ultimately, Kurtz locates seven living survivors from this lost town, including an eighty-six-year-old man who appears in the film as a thirteen-year-old boy.
Painstakingly assembled from interviews, photographs, documents, and artifacts, Three Minutes in Poland tells the rich, funny, harrowing, and surprisingly intertwined stories of these seven survivors and their Polish hometown. Originally a travel souvenir, David Kurtz’s home movie became the sole remaining record of a vibrant town on the brink of catastrophe. From this brief film, Glenn Kurtz creates a riveting exploration of memory, loss, and improbable survival—a monument to a lost world.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

EUROPE 1517 – 1648
By Mark Greengrass,
Emeritus Professor Univ of Shefield
November 2014
Penguin Random House
A remarkable new volume in the critically acclaimed Penguin History of Europe series
From peasants to princes, no one was untouched by the spiritual and intellectual upheaval of the sixteenth century. Martin Luther’s challenge to church authority.
forced Christians to examine their beliefs in ways that shook the foundations of their religion. The subsequent divisions, fed by dynastic rivalries and military changes, fundamentally altered the relations between ruler and ruled. Geographical and scientific discoveries challenged the unity of Christendom as a belief community. Europe, with all its divisions, emerged instead as a geographical projection. Chronicling these dramatic changes, Thomas More, Shakespeare, Montaigne, and Cervantes created works that continue to resonate with us. Spanning the years 1517 to 1648, Christendom Destroyed is Mark Greengrass’s magnum opus: a rich tapestry that fosters a deeper understanding of Europe’s identity today.
Professor Greengrass presently lives in Paris and is affiliated with University of Paris IV (Centre Roland Mousnier)
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Theodor Herzl and the Foundation of the Jewish State
By Shlomo Avineri (Hebrew University)
November 2014
Theodor Herzl had been a successful Viennese journalist and a less successful playwright with no political ambitions. That changed in 1896, when he published The Jewish State. In response to the wide resonance that the book received, Herzl convened the first Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, in 1897, which founded the Zionist Organization in order to establish a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, recognized and guaranteed by public international law. As he transformed himself in just a few years from fin-de-siècle writer and editor into the leader of an international political movement, Herzl learned politics and diplomacy on the run. And while he was not the first to call for the establishment of a Jewish nation-state, his activity was crucial in creating the institutional and organizational structure which helped to bring the idea of a Jewish state to the attention of world leaders and international public opinion.
In his efforts to gain broad support for his vision, Herzl met with the Ottoman Sultan; the German Emperor Wilhelm II; Pope Pius X; British, Russian, and German ministers; as well as an enormous number of other government and public opinion leaders of most European countries. By the time of his early death in 1904 at the age of forty-four, Herzl had transformed Jewish public discourse and made the idea of a Return to Zion into a reality, albeit still a weak one, in world politics.
In this concise, illuminating biography, the renowned Israeli political scientist and public intellectual Shlomo Avineri portraits Herzl’s intellectual and spiritual odyssey from a private and marginal individual into a Jewish political leader and shows how it was the political crisis of the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg Empire, torn apart by contending national movements, which convinced Herzl of the need for a Jewish polity. Drawing extensively on Herzl’s diaries as well as his published works, Avineri tells the story of how Herzl became, with the Zionist movement that he founded, a player in international politics, and how he harnessed the power of the word to his goals as no other statesman before him had done. Combining a visionary idea with practical action, Theodor Herzl fashioned the policies and institutions that paved the way for the Jewish state.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Resilience Dividend
Being Strong in a World Where Things Go Wrong
by Judith Rodin
November 2014
Building resilience—the ability to bounce back more quickly and effectively—is an urgent social and economic issue. Our interconnected world is susceptible to sudden and dramatic shocks and stresses: a cyber-attack, a new strain of virus, a structural failure, a violent storm, a civil disturbance, an economic blow.
Through an astonishing range of stories, Judith Rodin shows how people, organizations, businesses, communities, and cities have developed resilience in the face of otherwise catastrophic challenges:

• Medellin, Colombia, was once the drug and murder capital of South America. Now it’s host to international conferences and an emerging vacation destination.
• Tulsa, Oklahoma, cracked the code of rapid urban development in a floodplain.
• Airbnb, Toyota, Ikea, Coca-Cola, and other companies have realized the value of reducing vulnerabilities and potential threats to customers, employees, and their bottom line.
• In the Mau Forest of Kenya, bottom-up solutions are critical for dealing with climate change, environmental degradation, and displacement of locals.
• Following Superstorm Sandy, the Rockaway Surf Club in New York played a vital role in distributing emergency supplies.

As we grow more adept at managing disruption and more skilled at resilience-building, Rodin reveals how we are able to create and take advantage of new economic and social opportunities that offer us the capacity to recover after catastrophes and grow strong in times of relative calm.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Translated from Fench by Howard Curtis
November 2014
From one of the top antiquarian book sellers in Tel Aviv and former IDF intelligence staffer, a novel...
The poet Francois Villon has been condemned to death by Louis XI, and to escape execution, he enters into a questionable relationship with a bishop in the pay of Louis XI. All Villon has to do to earn his freedom is to convince a printer and bookseller to move from Mayence to Paris, telling him that by doing so he'll be better able to circulate progressive ideas that aren't approved of in Rome. But, not surprisngly, Villon's task is not as simple as it sounds. In this riveting tale of plots and counterplots that takes place in Jerusalem, France, and Italy, Raphael Jerusalmy leaves readers out of breath and with their heads spinning.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Surrendering Oz
A Life in Essays
by Bonnie Friedman
November 2014
Surrendering Oz is a memoir in essays that charts the emotional awakening of a bookish Bronx girl. From her early job as a proofreader at The Guinness Book of World Records through a series of dominating and liberating friendships and secret connections, the author takes charge of her life as a Texas professor, writer, and wise student of her own soul.
Reader’s Digest says reading Surrendering Oz “is like having a conversation with a bracingly honest but fundamentally kind friend. In 15 pitch-perfect essays, she chronicles her hard-earned rejection of the cultural fairytales of womanhood as she comes fully into possession of her life.”
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

November 2014
On Bittersweet Place is the powerful coming-of-age story of Lena Czernitski, a young Russian Jew whose family flees their homeland in the Ukraine after the October Revolution. The story unfolds in Chicago during the Jazz Age of the 1920's, where Lena's impoverished family has settled and where she must traverse the early years of adolescence. Lena's new world is large and beautiful and full of promise, but it is also cold and unwelcoming and laden with danger. Ronna Wineberg delivers a moving, universal story of family, self-discovery, young love, and the always relevant experience of the immigrant, the refugee, the outsider struggling to create a new home and a better life in an unfamiliar place.

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

The Untold Story of Sibling Survival
By Carine McCandless
November 2014
Everyone I know read INTO THE WILD, the best selling story of Chris McCandless, who went to the wilderness of Alaska, ate incorrectly, and died in an abandoned bus. Why Why why... people thought. Now here is the backstory by his sister.

The spellbinding story of Chris McCandless, who gave away his savings, hitchhiked to Alaska, walked into the wilderness alone, and starved to death in 1992, fascinated not just New York Times bestselling author Jon Krakauer, but also the rest of the nation. Krakauer's book, Into the Wild, became an international bestseller, translated into thirty-one languages, and Sean Penn's inspirational film by the same name further skyrocketed Chris McCandless to global fame. But the real story of Chris’s life and his journey has not yet been told - until now. The missing pieces are finally revealed in The Wild Truth, written by Carine McCandless, Chris's beloved and trusted sister. Featured in both the book and film, Carine has wrestled for more than twenty years with the legacy of her brother's journey to self-discovery, and now tells her own story while filling in the blanks of his. Carine was Chris's best friend, the person with whom he had the closest bond, and who witnessed firsthand the dysfunctional and violent family dynamic that made Chris willing to embrace the harsh wilderness of Alaska. Growing up in the same troubled household, Carine speaks candidly about the deeper reality of life in the McCandless family. In the many years since the tragedy of Chris's death, Carine has searched for some kind of redemption. In this touching and deeply personal memoir, she reveals how she has learned that real redemption can only come from speaking the truth.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

I thought the title would be THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
[book] HOPE
By Richard Zoglin
November 2014
Simon and Schuster
The first definitive biography of Bob Hope, featuring exclusive and extensive reporting that makes the persuasive case that he was most important entertainer of the twentieth century.... plus the tell-all (or not all) info on his extramarital hobbies
Born in 1903, and until his death in 2003, Bob Hope was the only entertainer to achieve top-rated success in every major mass-entertainment medium, from vaudeville to television and everything in between. He virtually invented modern stand-up comedy. His tours to entertain US troops and patriotic radio broadcasts, along with his all-American, brash-but-cowardly movie character, helped to ease the nation’s jitters during the stressful days of World War II. He helped redefine the very notion of what it means to be a star: a savvy businessman and investor, pioneer of the brand extension (churning out books, writing a newspaper column, hosting a golf tournament), and public-spirited entertainer whose Christmas military tours and tireless work for charity set the standard for public service in Hollywood. But he became a polarizing figure during the Vietnam War, and the book sheds new light on his close relationship with President Richard Nixon during those embattled years.
Bob (Leslie Towns) Hope is a household name. However, as Richard Zoglin shows in this revelatory biography, there is still much to be learned about this most public of figures, from his secret first marriage and his stint in reform school, to his indiscriminate womanizing and his ambivalent relationship with Bing Crosby and Johnny Carson.
Let's not forget, he host nearly 2 dozen Academy Award telecasts, and he succeeded in radio, films, and tv at a time when Berle, Marx, and Jack Benny were competitors.
Bob Hope could be cold, self-centered, tight with a buck, and perhaps the least introspective man in Hollywood. But he was also a dogged worker, gracious with fans, and generous with friends.
Hope is both a celebration of an entertainer whose vast contribution has never been properly appreciated, and a complex portrait of a gifted but flawed man, who, unlike many Hollywood stars, truly loved being famous, appreciated its responsibilities, and handled celebrity with extraordinary grace.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Translated by Mark Polizzotti
November 2014
Yale University Press
In this essential trilogy of novellas by the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, French author Patrick Modiano reaches back in time, opening the corridors of memory and exploring the mysteries to be encountered there. Each novella in the volume--Afterimage, Suspended Sentences, and Flowers of Ruin—represents a sterling example of the author’s originality and appeal, while Mark Polizzotti’s superb English-language translations capture not only Modiano’s distinctive narrative voice but also the matchless grace and spare beauty of his prose.
Although originally published separately, Modiano’s three novellas form a single, compelling whole, haunted by the same gauzy sense of place and characters. Modiano draws on his own experiences, blended with the real or invented stories of others, to present a dreamlike autobiography that is also the biography of a place. Orphaned children, mysterious parents, forgotten friends, enigmatic strangers—each appears in this three-part love song to a Paris that no longer exists.
Shadowed by the dark period of the Nazi Occupation, these novellas reveal Modiano’s fascination with the lost, obscure, or mysterious: a young person’s confusion over adult behavior; the repercussions of a chance encounter; the search for a missing father; the aftershock of a fatal affair. To read Modiano’s trilogy is to enter his world of uncertainties and the almost accidental way in which people find their fates.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

November 2014
Henry Holt

The surprising, deliciously dramatic, and ultimately heartbreaking story of King George III’s radical pursuit of happiness in his private life with Queen Charlotte and their 15 children

Note... combine this with Cecil Roth;s History of Jews in the UK for info on 18th Century Jewish life and their relations with the monarchy

In the U.S., Britain's George III, the protagonist of A Royal Experiment, is known as the king from whom Americans won their independence and as "the mad king," but in Janice Hadlow’s groundbreaking and entertaining new biography, he is another character altogether—compelling and relatable.
He was the first of Britain’s three Hanoverian kings to be born in England, the first to identify as native of the nation he ruled. But this was far from the only difference between him and his predecessors. Neither of the previous Georges was faithful to his wife, nor to his mistresses. Both hated their own sons. And, overall, their children were angry, jealous, and disaffected schemers, whose palace shenanigans kick off Hadlow's juicy narrative and also made their lives unhappy ones.
Pained by his childhood amid this cruel and feuding family, George came to the throne aspiring to be a new kind of king—a force for moral good. And to be that new kind of king, he had to be a new kind of man. Against his irresistibly awful family background—of brutal royal intrigue, infidelity, and betrayal—George fervently pursued a radical domestic dream: he would have a faithful marriage and raise loving, educated, and resilient children.
The struggle of King George—along with his wife, Queen Charlotte, and their 15 children—to pursue a passion for family will surprise history buffs and delight a broad swath of biography readers and royal watchers.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Family Politics:
Domestic Life, Devastation and Survival, 1900-1950
by Paul Ginsborg
November 2014
Yale University Press
Ataturk was an appalling husband, an emotional cripple who spent the first night of his honeymoon drinking with his male friends. Stalin, abused as a boy, persecuted his own family. Mussolini’s loveless home life was as shallow and ramshackle as his regime. The Goebbels family was apparently the epitome of cloyingly sentimental Nazi values. But the parents killed six of their seven children and then themselves in Hitler’s bunker as the Third Reich collapsed. “Family Politics”, a haunting, vivid and thought-provoking new work of social history, explores the family lives of the strongmen and their henchmen and uses the prism of family life to make sense of the first half of the 20th century
In this masterly twentieth-century history, Paul Ginsborg places the family at center stage, a novel perspective from which to examine key moments of revolution and dictatorship. His groundbreaking book spans 1900 to 1950 and encompasses five nation states in the throes of dramatic transition: Russia in revolutionary passage from Empire to Soviet Union; Turkey in transition from Ottoman Empire to modern Republic; Italy, from liberalism to fascism; Spain during the Second Republic and Civil War; and Germany from the failure of the Weimar Republic to the National Socialist state.
Ginsborg explores the effects of political upheaval and radical social policies on family life and, in turn, the impact of families on revolutionary change itself. Families, he shows, do not simply experience the effects of political power, but are themselves actors in the historical process. The author brings human and personal elements to the fore with biographical details and individual family histories, along with a fascinating selection of family photographs and portraits.
From WWI—an indelible backdrop and imprinting force on the first half of the twentieth century—to post-war dictatorial power and family engineering initiatives, to the conclusion of WWII, this book shines new light on the profound relations among revolution, dictatorship, and family.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

BY Leila Tarazi Fawaz
November 2014
Harvard University Press
The Great War transformed the Middle East, bringing to an end four hundred years of Ottoman rule in Arab lands while giving rise to the Middle East as we know it today. A century later, the experiences of ordinary men and women during those calamitous years have faded from memory. A Land of Aching Hearts traverses ethnic, class, and national borders to recover the personal stories of the civilians and soldiers who endured this cataclysmic event.

Among those who suffered were the people of Greater Syria—comprising modern Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine—as well as the people of Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt. Beyond the shifting fortunes of the battlefield, the region was devastated by a British and French naval blockade made worse by Ottoman war measures. Famine, disease, inflation, and an influx of refugees were everyday realities. But the local populations were not passive victims. Fawaz chronicles the initiative and resilience of civilian émigrés, entrepreneurs, draft-dodgers, soldiers, villagers, and townsmen determined to survive the war as best they could. The right mix of ingenuity and practicality often meant the difference between life and death.

The war’s aftermath proved bitter for many survivors. Nationalist aspirations were quashed as Britain and France divided the Middle East along artificial borders that still cause resentment. The misery of the Great War, and a profound sense of huge sacrifices made in vain, would color people’s views of politics and the West for the century to come.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Lives in Common
Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem,
Jaffa and Hebron
by Menachem Klein (Bar Ilan University)
November 1, 2014
Oxford University Press
Most books dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict see events through the eyes of policy-makers, generals or diplomats.
Menachem Klein offers an illuminating alternative by telling the intertwined histories, from street level upwards, of three cities-Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Hebron-and their intermingled Jewish, Muslim and Christian inhabitants, from the nineteenth century to the present.
Each of them was and still is a mixed city. Jerusalem and Hebron are holy places, while Jaffa till 1948 was Palestine's principal city and main port of entry. Klein portrays a society in the late Ottoman period in which Jewish-Arab interactions were intense, frequent, and meaningful, before the onset of segregation and separation gradually occurred in the Mandate era. The unequal power relations and increasing violence between Jews and Arabs from 1948 onwards are also scrutinised. Throughout, Klein bases his writing not on the official record but rather on a hitherto hidden private world of Jewish-Arab encounters, including marriages and squabbles, kindnesses and cruelties, as set out in dozens of memoirs, diaries, biographies and testimonies.

Lives in Common brings together the voices of Jews and Arabs in a mosaic of fascinating stories, of lived experiences and of the major personalities that shaped them over the last 150 years.
Most books dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict see events through the eyes of policy-makers, generals or diplomats. Menachem Klein offers an illuminating alternative by telling the intertwined histories, from street level upwards, of three cities-Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Hebron-and their intermingled Jewish, Muslim and Christian inhabitants, from the nineteenth century to the present. Each of them was and still is a mixed city. Jerusalem and Hebron are holy places, while Jaffa till 1948 was Palestine's principal city and main port of entry.
Klein portrays a society in the late Ottoman period in which Jewish-Arab interactions were intense, frequent, and meaningful, before the onset of segregation and separation gradually occurred in the Mandate era. The unequal power relations and increasing violence between Jews and Arabs from 1948 onwards are also scrutinised. Throughout, Klein bases his writing not on the official record but rather on a hitherto hidden private world of Jewish-Arab encounters, including marriages and squabbles, kindnesses and cruelties, as set out in dozens of memoirs, diaries, biographies and testimonies. Lives in Common brings together the voices of Jews and Arabs

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

[book] The Jew Who Defeated Hitler:
Henry Morgenthau Jr., FDR, and
How We Won the War
by Peter Moreira
November 4, 2014
President Franklin D. Roosevelt coined the slogan “The Arsenal of Democracy” to describe American might during the grim years of World War II. The man who financed that arsenal was his Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau Jr. This is the first book to focus on the wartime achievements of this unlikely hero—a dyslexic college dropout who turned himself into a forceful and efficient administrator and then exceeded even Roosevelt in his determination to defeat the Nazis.
Based on extensive research at the FDR Library in Hyde Park, NY, author Peter Moreira describes Morgenthau’s truly breathtaking accomplishments: He led the greatest financial program the world has ever seen, raising $310 billion (over $4.8 trillion in today’s dollars) to finance the war effort. This was largely done without the help of Wall Street by appealing to the patriotism of the average citizen through the sale of war bonds. In addition, he championed aid to Britain before America entered the war; initiated and oversaw the War Refugee Board, spearheading the rescue of 200,000 Jews from the Nazis; and became the architect of the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, which produced the modern economic paradigm.
The book also chronicles Morgenthau’s many challenges, ranging from anti-Semitism to the postwar “Morgenthau Plan” that was his undoing.
This is a captivating story about an understated and often overlooked member of the Roosevelt cabinet who played a pivotal role in the American war effort to defeat the Nazis.

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

[book] Timeless
Love, Morgenthau, and Me
by Lucinda Franks
Sarah Crichton Books
"Words by the millions have been printed about you, but none have revealed your real life, your secret life—–which is that you belong to me."
In this beautifully rendered literary memoir, Lucinda Franks, a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, tells the intimate story of her marriage to Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, one of the great men of our time. After Lucinda interviewed Bob for The New York Times in 1973, the two took a while to understand that they had fallen in love. Franks was a self-styled radical who marched with protesters and chained herself to fences. Morgenthau was a famous lawyer, a symbol of the establishment, who could have helped put her in jail. She was twenty-six. He was fifty-three. Now, thirty-six years into a marriage that was never supposed to happen, one between two people as deeply in love as they are different, they are living proof that opposites can forge an unbreakable life bond.
In Timeless, Franks offers a confidential tour of their unconventional years together, years that are both hilarious and interlaced with suspense. At the same time, she takes us behind the scenes to reveal the untold stories behind some of Morgenthau’s most famous cases, many of which she helped him brainstorm for.
A compelling memoir that calls to mind Ann Patchett’s This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, with piercing insights into how a relationship grows and develops over a lifetime, Timeless grants us an enlightening window into one of New York’s most famous yet defiant and iconoclastic couples, and the trials and successes of their union.

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

[book] The New Anti-Semitism
by Phyllis Chesler
Fall 2014
Gefen Publishing
Anyone who wants to understand the connection between anti-Semitism, Islamic terrorism, the role of propaganda and appeasement must read this book.” –Natan Sharansky, author, The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror

“Passionate and beautifully written.… This book will make you weep. It will also make you angry and frightened.” –Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law School; author, The Case for Israel
“Absolutely amazing, troubling, fierce. An indispensable guide to apocalyptic sandstorms our world now faces.… I am stunned by the book; it’s brilliant, and must be read and debated. Our lives may depend on it.” –Erica Jong, poet and novelist, Fear of Flying and Sappho’s Leap
A dangerous worldwide coalition of Islamic terrorists, well-intentioned but misinformed students, right-wing fascists, left-wing ideologues, academics, feminists, European politicians, journalists, and international human rights organizations have joined together to again scapegoat the Jews and the Jewish state for crimes they did not commit and for whatever ails the world. In this intensely passionate and compelling book, the best-selling and prize-winning Jewish feminist author Dr. Phyllis Chesler demonstrates how old-fashioned anti-Semitism – now often seen in the form of anti-Zionism – has become fashionable and even politically correct, and how this plague threatens the Jews of the world, Israel, America, and Western civilization.
The 2003 edition of this book was a pioneering work that has stood the test of time. This new edition updates, expands, and strengthens the original analysis and also has a new introduction, resource section, and the answers to the twenty most frequently asked questions.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book


[book] The Boston Girl
A Novel
by Anita Diamant
December 09, 2014
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Red Tent and Day After Night, comes an unforgettable novel about family ties and values, friendship and feminism told through the eyes of a young Jewish woman growing up in Boston in the early twentieth century.
Addie Baum is The Boston Girl, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for and suspicious of America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie’s intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can’t imagine—a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture, and new opportunities for women. Addie wants to finish high school and dreams of going to college. She wants a career and to find true love.
Eighty-five-year-old Addie tells the story of her life to her twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, who has asked her “How did you get to be the woman you are today.” She begins in 1915, the year she found her voice and made friends who would help shape the course of her life. From the one-room tenement apartment she shared with her parents and two sisters, to the library group for girls she joins at a neighborhood settlement house, to her first, disastrous love affair, Addie recalls her adventures with compassion for the naïve girl she was and a wicked sense of humor.
Written with the same attention to historical detail and emotional resonance that made Anita Diamant’s previous novels bestsellers, The Boston Girl is a moving portrait of one woman’s complicated life in twentieth century America, and a fascinating look at a generation of women finding their places in a changing world.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] THE WALL
(Hans Gunther Adler)
Translated by Peter Fikins
630 Pages, Third in his Shoah Trilogy
December 09, 2014
Random House
Compared by critics to Kafka, Joyce, and Musil, H. G. Adler is becoming recognized as one of the towering figures of twentieth-century fiction. Nobel Prize winner Elias Canetti wrote that “Adler has restored hope to modern literature,” and the first two novels rediscovered after his death in 1988, Panorama and The Journey, were acclaimed as “modernist masterpieces” by The New Yorker.
Now his magnum opus, The Wall, the final installment of Adler’s Shoah trilogy and his crowning achievement as a novelist, is available for the first time in English.
Drawing upon Adler’s own experiences in the Holocaust (A Jew who grew up in Prague's German/Czech culture, he survived Theresienstadt and Auschwitz) and his postwar life, The Wall, like the other works in the trilogy, nonetheless avoids detailed historical specifics. The novel tells the story of Arthur Landau, survivor of a wartime atrocity, a man struggling with his nightmares and his memories of the past as he strives to forge a new life for himself. Haunted by the death of his wife, Franziska, he returns to the city of his youth and receives confirmation of his parents’ fates, then crosses the border and leaves his homeland for good.
Embarking on a life of exile, he continues searching for his place within the world. He attempts to publish his study of the victims of the war, yet he is treated with curiosity, competitiveness, and contempt by fellow intellectuals who escaped the conflict unscathed. Afflicted with survivor’s guilt, Arthur tries to leave behind the horrors of the past and find a foothold in the present. Ultimately, it is the love of his second wife, Johanna, and his two children that allows him to reaffirm his humanity while remembering all he’s left behind.
The Wall is a magnificent epic of survival and redemption, powerfully told through stream of consciousness and suffused with daydream, fantasy, memory, nightmare, and pure imagination. More than a portrait of a Holocaust survivor’s journey, it is a universal novel about recovering from the traumas of the past and finding a way to live again.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Reckoning
Death and Intrigue in the Promised Land
A True Detective Story
by Patrick Bishop
December 2014
One of Britain's most renowned military historians revisits a controversial murder: that of Zionist leader Avraham Stern, head of Israel's notorious Stern Gang, in Tel Aviv during WWII.
Militant Zionist Avraham Stern believed he was destined to be the Jewish liberator of British Palestine.
As the ringleader of the infamous Stern Gang, also known as Lehi, he masterminded a series of high-profile terrorist attacks in pursuit of his dream. On the run from British authorities who'd put a bounty on his head, Stern was hiding in an attic in Tel Aviv when he was killed by Assistant Superintendent Geoffrey Morton, a British colonial policeman assigned to capture him.
Morton claimed Stern was trying to escape. But witnesses insisted he was executed in cold blood. His controversial death inspired a cult of martyrdom that gave new life to Lehi, helping to destroy hopes of a detente between the British, the Arabs, and the Jews.

“The Reckoning” is the story of Patrick Bishop's quest to discover the truth. Based on extensive research—including access to Morton's private archive and eyewitness interviews—it recounts this seismic event in full, without bias, placing it within the context of its turbulent time.
Bishop's gripping, groundbreaking narrative brings to life two men similar in ambition and dedication, chronicles the events that led to their fatal meeting, and explores how the impact of Stern's death reverberated through the final years of British rule and the birth of Israel.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

by Marilyn Ida Horowitz
December 2014
The Book of Zev is a political thriller that tells the story of two gentle people who change the course of history. Zev Bronfman, a strapping 32-year old-virgin, angry atheist, refugee from a religious Jewish life, and former engineer for the U.S. Patent Office in Alexandria, Virginia, drives a cab and sleeps around in New York City. After a bitter divorce, Sarah Hirshbaum, a beautiful, redheaded, depressed, God-hating kosher chef, seesaws between yoga and too much red wine. Independently, the two consult the same psychic who inadvertently sends Sarah Zev’s session tape. When Sarah contacts Zev to pick up the recording, a series of events forces them to connect with a powerful terrorist in order to thwart his plans to destroy the UN and Israel. (Marilyn Horowitz)

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

[book] The Wolf and The Lamb
A Jerusalem Mystery
By Frederick Ramsey
December 2014
Poisoned Pen Press
Ramsey, based in Arizona, has penned over a dozen novels, many of the set in Jerusalem. PW gave this book a starred review.
It’s Passover.
Gamaliel, and his physician friend, Loukas, are crime-solving a third time — reluctantly.
Pontius Pilate has been accused of murder. He denies the crime. If convicted, he might escape death but would be removed from Judea. Those rejoicing urge the Rabban to mind his own business. But Gamaliel is a Just Man which is, as Pilate points out, “your weakness and also your strength.”
Knowing that exonerating the Roman could cost him his position, possibly his life, Gamaliel, as would Sherlock Holmes centuries later, examines evidence and sorts through tangled threads, teasing out suspects who include assassins, Roman nobles, Pilate’s wife, rogue legionnaires, slaves, servants, thespians, and a race horse named Pegasus. Unusually, justice triumphs over enmity. Gamaliel is satisfied, High Priest Caiphas is irate, Loukas accepts an apprentice from Tarsus, and few notice the events of what will later be known as Easter. Ramsay’s plausible narrative answers some questions which have puzzled Biblical scholars for centuries.
Why did Pilate hear the case against Jesus? Why invent a tradition that required one prisoner be released at Passover? Having done so, why offer the most terrifying criminal in the country, Barabbas, as the substitute for Jesus when two better, less dangerous prisoners were at hand? And we ask, why could Caiphas not heed Gamaliel’s warnings not to martyr the man?
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Asylum City:
A Novel
by Liad Shoham
December 9, 2014
Translated from Hebrew by Sara Kitai
I am starting to get confused by all the Shoham book covers.
The latest in his series of mysteries
In this edgy thriller from the #1 international bestselling author of Lineup, which was described by New York Times bestselling author Joseph Finder as "a marvel of tight plotting, spare prose, and relentless pacing," a young police officer's investigation of a murder plunges her into the dark underworld of Tel Aviv.

When young social activist Michal Poleg is found dead in her Tel Aviv apartment, her body showing signs of severe violence, officer Anat Nachmias is given the lead on her first murder investigation. Eager to find answers, the talented and sensitive cop looks to the victim's past for clues, focusing on the last days before her death. Could one of the asylum seekers Michal worked with be behind this crime?
Then a young African man confesses to the murder, and Anat's commanders say the case is closed. But the cop isn't convinced. She believes that Michal, a tiny girl with a gift for irritating people, got involved in something far too big and dangerous for her to handle.
Joined by Michal's clumsy yet charming boss, Anat is pulled deep into a perplexing shadow world where war victims and criminals, angels and demons, idealists and cynics, aid organizations and criminal syndicates intersect. But the truth may be more than Anat can handle, bringing her face to face with an evil she's never before experienced.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Judge This
by Chip Kidd
December 2014
Simon & Schuster
A fun, playful look at the importance of first impressions—in design and in life—from acclaimed book designer Chip Kidd.
First impressions are everything. They dictate whether something stands out, how we engage with it, whether we buy it, and how we feel. In Judge This, renowned designer Chip Kidd takes us through his day as he takes in first impressions of all kinds. We follow this visual journey as Kidd encounters and engages with everyday design, breaking down the good, the bad, the absurd, and the brilliant as only someone with a critical, trained eye can. From the design of your morning paper to the subway ticket machine to the books you browse to the smartphone you use to the packaging for the chocolate bar you buy as an afternoon treat, Kidd reveals the hidden secrets behind each of the design choices, with a healthy dose of humor, expertise, and of course, judgment as he goes.
Judge This is a design love story, exposing the often invisible beauty and betrayal in simple design choices—ones most of us never even think to notice. And with each object, Kidd proves that first impressions, whether we realize it or not, have a huge impact on the way we perceive the world.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book


[book] The Rag Race:
How Jews Sewed Their Way to Success
in America and the British Empire
by Adam D. Mendelsohn
December 2014
The majority of Jewish immigrants who made their way to the United States between 1820 and 1924 arrived nearly penniless; yet today their descendants stand out as exceptionally successful. How can we explain their dramatic economic ascent? Have Jews been successful because of cultural factors distinct to them as a group, or because of the particular circumstances that they encountered in America?
The Rag Race argues that the Jews who flocked to the United States during the age of mass migration were aided appreciably by their association with a particular corner of the American economy: the rag trade. From humble beginnings, Jews rode the coattails of the clothing trade from the margins of economic life to a position of unusual promise and prominence, shaping both their societal status and the clothing industry as a whole.
Comparing the history of Jewish participation within the clothing trade in the United States with that of Jews in the same business in England, The Rag Race demonstrates that differences within the garment industry on either side of the Atlantic contributed to a very real divergence in social and economic outcomes for Jews in each setting.
In few other areas of the modern economy did Jews play such a central role. As The Rag Race shows, their involvement in the clothing trade left a significant legacy for both American economic and modern Jewish history.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

December 2014
The first comprehensive history of modern American evangelicalism to appear in a generation, American Apocalypse shows how a group of radical Protestants, anticipating the end of the world, paradoxically transformed it.
Matthew Avery Sutton draws on extensive archival research to document the ways an initially obscure network of charismatic preachers and their followers reshaped American religion, at home and abroad, for over a century. Perceiving the United States as besieged by Satanic forces—communism and secularism, family breakdown and government encroachment—Billy Sunday, Charles Fuller, Billy Graham, and others took to the pulpit and airwaves to explain how Biblical end-times prophecy made sense of a world ravaged by global wars, genocide, and the threat of nuclear extinction. Believing Armageddon was nigh, these preachers used what little time was left to warn of the coming Antichrist, save souls, and prepare the nation for God’s final judgment.
By the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan and conservative Republicans appropriated evangelical ideas to create a morally infused political agenda that challenged the pragmatic tradition of governance through compromise and consensus. Following 9/11, the politics of apocalypse continued to resonate with an anxious populace seeking a roadmap through a world spinning out of control. Premillennialist evangelicals have erected mega-churches, shaped the culture wars, made and destroyed presidential hopefuls, and brought meaning to millions of believers. Narrating the story of modern evangelicalism from the perspective of the faithful, Sutton demonstrates how apocalyptic thinking continues to exert enormous influence over the American mainstream today.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] God, Faith & Identity from the Ashes
Reflections of Children and
Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors
Edited by Menachem Z. Rosensaft
Featuring Elie Wiesel
December 2014
Jewish Lights
A powerful, life-affirming new perspective on the Holocaust—available to coincide with the seventieth anniversary of the end of WWII and the liberation of the Nazi death and concentration camps by Allied troops.
For the children and grandchildren of Holocaust (Shoah) survivors and refugees from Nazi persecution, the suffering and survival of their immediate ancestors and the annihilation of virtually their entire families have in large part shaped their perspectives on God, faith and Jewish identity. Their reflections on the memories transmitted to them and its effect on their lives will inform, challenge and inspire people of all faiths and backgrounds.
While the collective legacy of Holocaust survivors and refugees belongs to the entire Jewish people, as well as all humankind, on an individual level this extremely personal and often idiosyncratic legacy was transmitted first and foremost by the survivors to their own children and grandchildren. There is no one form of this legacy. Some survivors spoke about their experiences in the ghettos and camps; others enveloped themselves and their families in a cloud of silence, shrouding their past in an aura of mystery and secrecy.
There have been many books and studies about children of survivors—the so-called Second and Third Generations—with a psycho-social focus. This book is different. It is intended to reflect what they believe, who they are and how that informs what they are doing with their lives.
There are eighty-eight contributors from a broad range of occupations and professions—from theologians, scholars and spiritual leaders to authors, artists, political and community leaders and media personalities—in sixteen countries on six continents. They represent the widest possible religious, political and ideological spectrum.
Despite the contributor's diversity, common themes shine through. Intended for a popular audience of people of all faiths and backgrounds, these emotionally powerful, deeply moving statements will have a profound effect on the way our and future generations understand and shape their understanding of the Holocaust and their own personal identity in years to come.
Contributors include:
Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella
Ilya Altman
NYT Reporter and author Joseph Berger
Eleonora Bergman, Vivian Bernstein, Michael Brenner, Novelist and poet Lily Brett, New York Times deputy national news editor and former Jerusalem bureau chief?Ethan Bronner, Stephanie Butnick, Rabbi Chaim Ze'ev Citron, Dr. Stephen Comite, Elaine Culbertson, Former Israeli Minister of Internal Security and Shin Bet director Avi Dichter, Atty Israel Lawrence Elbaum, Alexis Fishman, Shimon Fogel, Dr. Eva Fogelman, Associate Judge Karen "Chaya" ?Friedman, Natalie Friedman, Michael Grunberger, David Harris, Eva Hoffman, Rabbi Abie Ingber, Josef Joffe, Rabbi Lody van de Kamp, Rabbi Lilly Kaufman, Aviva Kempner, Dr. David N. Kenigsberg, Yossi Klein Halevi, Stephan Kramer, Attorney Faina Kukliansky, Rabbi Benny Lau, Amichai Lau-Lavie, Philanthropist Jeanette Lerman-?Neubauer, Hariete Levy, Annette Lévy-Willard, Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Rabbi Dov Lipman (MP), Rabbi Michael Marmur, Julius Meinl, Merav Michaeli MP, David Miliband, Tali Nates, Eric Nelson, Atty. Eddy Neumann, Matt Nosanchuk, Aliza Olmert, Esther Perel, Sylvia Posner, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Dr. Richard Prasquier, Professor Richard Primus, Professor Shulamit Reinharz, Jochevet Ritz-Olewski, Moshe Ronen, Thane Rosenbaum, Rabbi Bernhard Rosenberg, Jean Bloch Rosensaft, Menachem Z. Rosensaft, Hannah Rosenthal, Rabbi Judith Schindler, Clarence Schwab, Cantor Azi Schwartz, Ghita Schwarz, Dr. David Senesh, Mayor Florence Shapiro, Rabbi Kinneret Shiryon, David Silberklang, André Singer, Robert Singer, Dr. Yaffa Singer, Sam Sokol, Alexander Soros, Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz, Michael Stein, Rabbi Kenneth Stern, Maram Stern, Carol Kahn Strauss, Aviva Tal, Professor Katrin Tenenbaum, Dr. Mark Tykocinski, Rabbi Moshe Waldoks, Dr. Diana Wang, Ilana Weiser-Senesh, Leon Wieseltier, and more
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book


By Hasia Diner (NYU)
January 2015
Yale University Press
Between the late 1700s and the 1920s, nearly one-third of the world’s Jews emigrated to new lands. Crossing borders and often oceans, they followed paths paved by intrepid peddlers who preceded them. This book is the first to tell the remarkable story of the Jewish men who put packs on their backs and traveled forth, house to house, farm to farm, mining camp to mining camp, to sell their goods to peoples across the world. Persistent and resourceful, these peddlers propelled a mass migration of Jewish families out of central and eastern Europe, north Africa, and the Ottoman Empire to destinations as far-flung as the United States, Great Britain, South Africa, and Latin America.
Hasia Diner tells the story of millions of discontented young Jewish men who sought opportunity abroad, leaving parents, wives, and sweethearts behind. Wherever they went, they learned unfamiliar languages and customs, endured loneliness, battled the elements, and proffered goods from the metropolis to people of the hinterlands. In the Irish Midlands, the Adirondacks of New York, the mining camps of New South Wales, and so many other places, these traveling men brought change—to themselves and the families who later followed, to the women whose homes and communities they entered, and ultimately to the geography of Jewish history.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Leonid Yakobson and Ballet as
Resistance in Soviet Russia
by Janice Ross (Stanford University)
Foreword as Ms. Lynn Garafola
January 13, 2015
Yale University Press
Everyone has heard of George Balanchine. Few outside Russia know of Leonid Yakobson, Balanchine’s contemporary, who remained in Lenin’s Russia and survived censorship during the darkest days of Stalin. Like Shostakovich, Yakobson suffered for his art and yet managed to create a singular body of revolutionary dances that spoke to the Soviet condition. His work was often considered so culturally explosive that it was described as “like a bomb going off.”
Based on untapped archival collections of photographs, films, and writings about Yakobson’s work in Moscow and St. Petersburg for the Bolshoi and Kirov ballets, as well as interviews with former dancers, family, and audience members, this illuminating and beautifully written biography brings to life a hidden history of artistic resistance in the USSR through this brave artist, who struggled against officially sanctioned anti-Semitism while offering a vista of hope.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

January 2015

From everyone's favorite New York Times columnist ?...

An intimate memoir of modern Jewish identity, following the diaspora of the author's own family to assay the impact of memory, displacement, and disquiet.

The award-winning New York Times columnist and former foreign correspondent from the Balkans and Europe turns a compassionate - yet discerning - eye on the legacy of his own family - most notably his mother's - in order to understand more profoundly the nature of modern Jewish experience.
The fact that the blurbs are from Fritz Stern and Jo lelyveld is telling

Through his emotionally lucid prose, we relive the anomie of European Jews after the Holocaust, following them from Lithuania to South Africa, England, the United States, and Israel.
(What?? The ANOMIE of Pst Holocaust Jews?? Is he saying the Jewish were lawless and lacked social norms??

He illuminates the uneasy resonance of the racism his family witnessed living in apartheid-era South Africa and the ambivalence felt by his Israeli cousin when tasked with policing the occupied West Bank.
(So because his Israeli cousin is ambivalent, then all Israelis are corrupt?

He explores the pervasive Jewish sense of "otherness" and finds it has been a significant factor in his family's history of manic depression.
(so wait... he is blaming his family's mental illness on the state of Jewish life?

This tale of remembrance and repression, suicide and resilience, moral ambivalence and uneasily evolving loyalties (religious, ethnic, national) both tells an unflinching personal story and contributes an important chapter to the ongoing narrative of Jewish life. Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Global War on Morris
A Novel
by Steve Israel, U.S. Congressman
January 2015
Simon & Schuster
A political satire ripped from the headlines and written by Congressman Steve Israel, who’s met the characters, heard the conversations, and seen the plot twists firsthand.
Meet Morris Feldstein, a pharmaceutical salesman living and working in western Long Island who loves the Mets, loves his wife Rona, and loves things just the way they are. He doesn’t enjoy the news; he doesn’t like to argue. Rona may want to change the world; Morris wants the world to leave him alone. Morris does not make waves.
But one day Morris is seduced by a lonely, lovesick receptionist at one of the doctors’ offices along his sales route, and in a moment of weakness charges a non-business expense to his company credit card. No big deal, you might think. Easy mistake. But the government’s top-secret surveillance program, anchored by a giant, complex supercomputer known as NICK, thinks differently. Eventually NICK begins to thread together the largely disparate and tenuously connected strands of Morris’s life—his friends, family, friends’ friends, his traffic violations, his daughter’s political leanings, his wife’s new patients, and even his failed romantic endeavors—and Morris becomes the US government’s new public enemy number one.
A hilarious, debut novel from a charismatic author, The Global War on Morris toes the line between recent breaking headlines and a future that is not that difficult to imagine.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Edited and with an Introduction by
Fran Markowitz, Stephen Sharot, and
Moshe Shokeid
(Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Tel Aviv Univ.) With an Afterword by Alex Weingrod
January 2015
University of Nebraska Press
Toward an Anthropology of Nation Building and Unbuilding in Israel presents twenty-two original essays offering a critical survey of the anthropology of Israel inspired by Alex Weingrod, emeritus professor and pioneering scholar of Israeli anthropology. In the late 1950s Weingrod’s groundbreaking ethnographic research of Israel’s underpopulated south complicated the dominant social science discourse and government policy of the day by focusing on the ironies inherent in the project of Israeli nation building and on the process of migration prompted by social change.
Drawing from Weingrod’s perspective, this collection considers the gaps, ruptures, and juxtapositions in Israeli society and the cultural categories undergirding and subverting these divisions.
Organized into four parts, the volume examines our understanding of Israel as
a place of difference,
the disruptions and integrations of diaspora,
the various permutations of Judaism, and
the role of symbol in the national landscape and in Middle Eastern studies considered from a comparative perspective.
These essays illuminate the key issues pervading, motivating, and frustrating Israel’s complex ethnoscape..
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

By Miranda Richmond Mouillot
January 2015
A young woman moves across an ocean to uncover the truth about her grandparents' mysterious estrangement and pieces together the extraordinary story of their wartime experiences
In 1948, after surviving World War II by escaping Nazi-occupied France for refugee camps in Switzerland, the author's grandparents, Anna and Armand, bought an old stone house in a remote, picturesque village in the South of France. Five years later, Anna packed her bags and walked out on Armand, taking the typewriter and their children. Aside from one brief encounter, the two never saw or spoke to each other again, never remarried, and never revealed what had divided them forever.
A Fifty-Year Silence is the deeply involving account of Miranda Richmond Mouillot's journey to find out what happened between her grandmother, a physician, and her grandfather, an interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials, who refused to utter his wife's name aloud after she left him. To discover the roots of their embittered and entrenched silence, Miranda abandons her plans for the future and moves to their stone house, now a crumbling ruin; immerses herself in letters, archival materials, and secondary sources; and teases stories out of her reticent, and declining, grandparents. As she reconstructs how Anna and Armand braved overwhelming odds and how the knowledge her grandfather acquired at Nuremberg destroyed their relationship, Miranda wrestles with the legacy of trauma, the burden of history, and the complexities of memory. She also finds herself learning how not only to survive but to thrive – making a home in the village and falling in love.
With warmth, humor, and rich, evocative details that bring her grandparents' outsize characters and their daily struggles vividly to life, A Fifty-Year Silence is a heartbreaking, uplifting love story spanning two continents and three generations.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] God'll Cut You Down
The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist,
a Black Hustler, a Murder, and How I Lost
a Year in Mississippi
by John Safran
December 2014
An unlikely journalist, a murder case in Mississippi, and a fascinating literary true crime story in the style of Jon Ronson.
A notorious white supremacist named Richard Barrett was brutally murdered in Mississippi in 2010 by a young black man named Vincent McGee. At first the murder seemed a twist on old Deep South race crimes. But then new revelations and complications came to light. Maybe it was a dispute over money rather than race—or, maybe and intriguingly, over sex.
John Safran, a young white Jewish Australian documentarian, had been in Mississippi and interviewed Barrett for a film on race. When he learned of Barrett’s murder, he returned to find out what happened and became caught up in the twists and turns of the case. During his time in Mississippi, Safran got deeper and deeper into this gothic southern world, becoming entwined in the lives of those connected with the murder—white separatist frenemies, black lawyers, police investigators, oddball neighbors, the stunned families, even the killer himself. And the more he talked with them, the less simple the crime—and the people involved—seemed to be. In the end, he discovered how profoundly and indelibly complex the truth about someone’s life—and death—can be.
This is a brilliant, haunting, hilarious, unsettling story about race, money, sex, and power in the modern American South from an outsider’s point of view.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Congress and the Shaping of the Middle East
by Kirk Beattie
Simmons College
January 13, 2015
Seven Stories Press
The upside-down logic of US policy in the Middle East is one of the great foreign policy conundrums today precisely because it touches on so many different problematic areas. The March 2006 article by Walt and Meersheimer that appeared under the title The Israel Lobby in the London Review of Books, and the bestselling book that followed, attributed our pro-Israel policy to the power of the lobby itself. Others, including Chomsky, have criticized this approach as overly simplistic. Longtime Middle East watcher Professor Kirk Beattie seeks to arrive at a deeper understanding by looking closely at the inner workings of Congress. Beattie analyzes staffing, campaign funding, bipartisan alliances within the Senate and the House, and the agenda-driven allocation of foreign aid.
He addresses the many internal and external pressures that impact such processes. His findings, based on interviews with members of Congress and their staff and years of research, are laid out in straight-talking prose that untangles the complexity of the issue.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

By Kerri P. Steinberg
January 2015
Rutgers University Press
It is easy to dismiss advertising as simply the background chatter of modern life, often annoying, sometimes hilarious, and ultimately meaningless. But Kerri P. Steinberg argues that a careful study of the history of advertising can reveal a wealth of insight into a culture. In Jewish Mad Men, Steinberg looks specifically at how advertising helped shape the evolution of American Jewish life and culture over the past one hundred years.
Drawing on case studies of famous advertising campaigns—from Levy’s Rye Bread (“You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s”) to Hebrew National hot dogs (“We answer to a higher authority”)—Steinberg examines advertisements from the late nineteenth-century in New York, the center of advertising in the United States, to trace changes in Jewish life there and across the entire country. She looks at ads aimed at the immigrant population, at suburbanites in midcentury, and at hipster and post-denominational Jews today.
In addition to discussing campaigns for everything from Manischewitz wine to matzoh, Jewish Mad Men also portrays the legendary Jewish figures in advertising—like Albert Lasker and Bill Bernbach—and lesser known “Mad Men” like Joseph Jacobs, whose pioneering agency created the brilliantly successful Maxwell House Coffee Haggadah. Throughout, Steinberg uses the lens of advertising to illuminate the Jewish trajectory from outsider to insider, and the related arc of immigration, acculturation, upward mobility, and suburbanization.
Anchored in the illustrations, photographs, jingles, and taglines of advertising, Jewish Mad Men features a dozen color advertisements and many black-and-white images. Lively and insightful, this book offers a unique look at both advertising and Jewish life in the United States.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Young T. E. Lawrence
by Anthony Sattin
January 2015
An intimate biography of the years that turned T. E. Lawrence into Lawrence of Arabia.
Lawrence of Arabia's heroism during the Arab revolt and his disgust at the subsequent betrayal of the Arabs in the postwar negotiations have become the stuff of legend.
But T. E. Lawrence’s adventures in the Levant began long before the outbreak of war. This intimate biography is the first to focus on Lawrence in his twenties, the untold story of the awkward archaeologist from Oxford who, on first visiting "The East," fell in love with Arab culture and found his life's mission.
Lawrence was not always styled ‘T.E.’ or even ‘Edward’. As a child, he was called plain ‘Ned.’ Obsessed with notions of chivalry, he spent his summer holidays cycling around England, making brass rubbings of crusaders’ tombs; his boyhood bedroom was ‘hung with treasures found on these outings… life-size figures of knights in armor and priests in elaborate vestments’. Later he took up archaeology at a time when teens could bribe workmen into giving them antiquities for the local museum.
Before graduating college, he rode his bike 2400 miles across France and also in Syria to explore castles. He had a chaste bro-mance with a Syrian man named Ahmad, who later dies of Typhus. He was secretive and clever and arrogant and brashe. Perfectly suited for work in military intelligence.
Few people realize that Lawrence’s classic autobiography, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, was not the first book to carry that iconic title. Lawrence himself burned his original draft. Anthony Sattin here uncovers the story Lawrence wanted to conceal: the truth of his birth, his tortuous relationship with a dominant mother, his deep affection for an Arab boy, and the personal reasons that drove him from student to spy.
Drawing on surviving letters, diaries, and accounts from close confidantes, Sattin brings a biographer’s eye for detail and a travel writer's verve to Lawrence's extraordinary journeys through the region with which his name is forever connected. In a masterful parallel narrative, The Young T. E. Lawrence charts the maturation of the man and the incipient countries he treasured, both coming of age at a time when the world’s foundations were coming undone.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Memory Unearthed
The Lódz Ghetto Holocaust Photographs of Henryk Ross
Edited and authored by Bernice Eisenstein, Robert Jan van Pelt
Michael Mitchell, Eric Beck Rubin
and Maia-Mari Sutnik
February 2015
From 1941 to 1944, the Polish Jewish photographer Henryk Ross (1910–1991) was a member of an official team documenting the implementation of Nazi policies in the Lódz Ghetto in Poland. Covertly, he captured on film scores of both quotidian and intimate moments of Jewish life. In 1944, he buried thousands of negatives in an attempt to save this secret record. After the war, Ross returned to Poland to retrieve them. Although some were destroyed by nature and time, many negatives survived.
Memory Unearthed presents a selection of the nearly 3,000 surviving images—along with original prints and other archival material including curfew notices and newspapers—from the permanent collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Ross’s images offer a startling and moving new representation of one of humanity’s greatest tragedies. Striking for both their historical content and artistic quality, his photographs have a raw intimacy and emotional power that remain undiminished. .
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] Bewilderments
Reflections on the Book of Numbers
by Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg
February 2015
From one of the most acclaimed biblical commentators at work today, the third book in her award-winning series of commentaries on the Hebrew Bible.
The Book of Numbers is the narrative of a great failure. What should have been for the Israelites a brief journey from Mount Sinai to the Holy Land becomes a forty-year death march. Both before and after the devastating report of the spies, the narrative centers on the people's desire to return to Egypt, to undo the miraculous work of the Exodus. At its heart are speeches of complaint and lament, expressing a profound existential skepticism. But by contrast, in the narrative of the Book of Numbers that is found in mystical and Hassidic sources, the generation of the wilderness emerges as one of extraordinary spiritual experience, receivers of the Torah to the fullest extent, fed on miracles and nurtured directly by God: a generation of ecstatic faith. Its true subject is the greatness of a people impassioned by God, human partners in an unprecedented conversation with the Deity. Drawing on kabbalistic sources, the Hassidic commentators on the Book of Numbers depict a people who transcend prudential considerations in order to follow God into the wilderness, and whose spiritual yearning comes to full expression there.
This view of the wilderness history invites us to a different kind of listening to the many cries of distrust, lament, resentment that issue from the Israelites throughout the Book of Numbers. Is there a way to integrate this narrative of dark murmurings, of obsessive fantasies of return to Egypt, with the celebration of a love-intoxicated wilderness discourse? The question touches not only on the language the Israelites speak but also on the very nature of human utterance. Who are these people? Who are we who listen to them? What effect does the cumulative trauma of slavery, the miracles of Exodus, the revelation at Sinai have on a nation that is beginning to speak? In Bewilderments, Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg posits fascinating answers to these questions through the magnificent literary, scholarly, and psychological analysis of the text that is her trademark.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

See Also The Beginnings of Desire. Reflections on Genesis
The Particulars of Rapture. Reflections on Exodus

[book] Screening Room
Family Pictures
by Alan Lightman
February 2015
From the acclaimed author of the international best seller Einstein’s Dreams, here is a lyrical memoir of Memphis from the 1930s through the 1960s: the music and the racism, the early days of the movies, and a powerful grandfather whose ghost continues to haunt the family.
  Alan Lightman’s grandfather M.A. Lightman was the family’s undisputed patriarch: it was his movie theater empire that catapulted the family to prominence in the South; his fearless success that both galvanized and paralyzed his descendants, haunting them for a half century after his death. In this lyrical and impressionistic memoir, Lightman writes about returning to Memphis in an attempt to understand the people he so eagerly left behind forty years earlier. As aging uncles and aunts begin telling family stories, Lightman rediscovers his southern roots and slowly realizes the errors in his perceptions of his grandfather and of his own father, who had been crushed by M.A. Here is a family saga set against a throbbing century of Memphis—the rhythm and blues, the barbecue and pecan pie, and the segregated society—that includes personal encounters with Elvis, Martin Luther King, Jr., and E. H. “Boss” Crump. At the heart of it all is a family haunted by the ghost of the domineering M.A., and the struggle of the author to understand his conflicted loyalties to his father and grandfather.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

200,000 COPIES WERE SOLD SWEDEN… and that is not a big country
We are all on the road from Auschwitz
BY Göran Rosenberg
February 24, 2015
The Other Press
Volksrant said the “Rosenberg is a new Primo Levi”
The New Republic wrote it “is an unforgettable book about memory, grief, and fate.”
All of Göran’s books start in the same place. With him and his father.
Göran Jakob Rosenberg is a Swedish journalist and author. He is the son of David and Hala Rosenberg from ?ódz in Poland, who both came to Sweden after having survived concentration camps during World War II. The were teeage lovers in the ghetto, and in 1946, found that they both had survived. This shattering memoir is about Goran’s father’s attempt to survive the aftermath of Auschwitz in a small industrial town in Sweden won the prestigious August Prize
On August 2, 1947 a young man gets off a train in a small Swedish town to begin his life anew. Having endured the ghetto of ?ódz, the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the slave camps and transports during the final months of Nazi Germany, his final challenge is to SURVIVE THE SURVIVAL. He had no youth. He had no childhood. He had no family members left. He had no hometown. He had no memory except the shadows of persecution. He had to begin anew. He had to strive to light and future and not shadows. He survived for 15 years.
In this intelligent and deeply moving book, Göran Rosenberg returns to his own childhood to tell the story of his father: walking at his side, holding his hand, trying to get close to him. It is also the story of the chasm between the world of the child, permeated by the optimism, progress, and collective oblivion of postwar Sweden, and the world of the father, darkened by the long shadows of the past.
Did I mention that Goran’s mother gave him his father’s letters from 1946, and this was the enlightenment.

See a video here:

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

By Janet Gyatso (Harvard)
February 2015
Columbia University Press
Critically exploring scientific thought and its relation to religion in traditional Tibetan medicine, Being Human expands our sense of Tibetan cultural history, unpacking the intersection of early modern sensibilities and religious ideals during the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama. Studying the adaptation of Buddhist concepts and values to medical concerns, the book also advances an appreciation of Buddhism's role in the development of Asian and global civilization.
Through its unique focus and sophisticated reading of source materials, Being Human captures the religious character of medicine in Tibet during a period when it facilitated a singular involvement in issues associated with modernity and empirical science, all without discernible influence from the European Enlightenment. The book opens with the bold achievements of medical illustration, commentary, and institution building, then looks back to the work of earlier thinkers, tracing a subtle dialectic between scriptural and empirical authority on questions of history and the nature of human anatomy. It follows key differences between medicine and Buddhism in attitudes toward gender and sex, and the shaping of medical ethics to serve both the physician and the patient's well-being. Being Human ultimately finds that Tibetan medical scholars absorbed ethical and epistemological categories from Buddhism yet shied away from ideal system and absolutes, embracing instead the imperfectability of the human condition.
Jew-Bu scholar, Professor Gyatso is the Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies at Harvard and Harvard Divinity
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The European Union,
Antiseimitism, and the
Politics of Denial
by Amy Elman
January 2015
University of Nebraska Press
Copublished with the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, this study asks if the European Union (EU) has the capacity or the will to counter antisemitism. The desire to counter antisemitism was a significant impetus toward the formation of the EU in the twentieth century and now prejudice against Jews threatens to subvert that goal in the twenty-first. The European Union, Antisemitism, and the Politics of Denial offers an overview of the circumstances that obliged European political institutions to take action against antisemitism and considers the effectiveness of these interventions by considering two seemingly dissimilar EU states, Austria and Sweden.
This examination of the European Union’s strategy for countering antisemitism discloses escalating prejudice within the EU in the aftermath of 9/11. The author contends that Europe’s political actors have responded to the challenge and provocation of antisemitism with only sporadic rhetoric and inconsistent commitment, a halfhearted strategy for countering antisemitism that exacerbates skepticism toward EU institutions and their commitments to equality and justice. This exposition of the insipid character of the EU’s response simultaneously suggests alternatives that might mitigate the subtle and potentially devastating creep of antisemitism in Europe.
This study offers a new approach insofar as scholarly considerations of the EU’s attempts to combat racism rarely focus on antisemitism, while scholarship on antisemitism rarely considers the political context of the European Union.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Coming in 2015

[book] Unlikely Warrior
A Jewish Soldier in Hitler's Army
by Georg Rauch
February 2015
The 2006 memoir of George Rauch, who was one quarter Jewish in Vienna and helped his mother hide Jews. Drafter into the German army in WWII, he served on the Russian front reluctantly and battled more for his own survival than for Hitler. Rauch passed away in 2006.
Rauch finds himself near death many times, but his talents as a shortwave radio operator, chef, and even harmonica player all play a role in his survival. Captured by the Russians in the autumn of 1944, Rauch faces brutality and near-fatal illness as a POW. Recruitment for Russian espionage saves his life this time, but his story isn't over yet. Based on eighty letters sent home from the Russian trenches, a riveting tale of paradox and survival during World War II.

[book] Mastering the West
Rome and Carthage at War
by Dexter Hoyos
February 2015
Oxford University Press
To say the Punic Wars (264-146 BC) were a turning point in world history is a vast understatement. This bloody and protracted conflict pitted two flourishing Mediterranean powers against one another, leaving one an unrivalled giant and the other a literal pile of ash. To later observers, a collision between these civilizations seemed inevitable and yet to the Romans and Carthaginians at the time hostilities first erupted seemingly out of nowhere, with what were expected to be inconsequential results.
Mastering the West offers a thoroughly engrossing narrative of this century of battle in the western Mediterranean, while treating a full range of themes: the antagonists' military, naval, economic, and demographic resources; the political structures of both republics; and the postwar impact of the conflicts on the participants and victims. The narrative also investigates questions of leadership and the contributions and mistakes of leaders like Hannibal, Fabius the Delayer, Scipio Africanus, Masinissa, and Scipio Aemilianus. Dexter Hoyos, a leading expert of the period, treats the two great powers evenly, without neglecting the important roles played by Syracuse, Macedon, and especially Numidia.
Written with verve in a clear, accessible style, with a range of illustrations and newly-commissioned maps, Mastering the West will be the most reliable and engaging narrative of this pivotal era in ancient history.

March 2015
Atria Books
From the bestselling author of Istanbul Passage—called a “fast-moving thinking man’s thriller” by The Wall Street Journal—comes a sweeping, atmospheric novel of postwar East Berlin, a city caught between political idealism and the harsh realities of Soviet occupation.
Berlin 1948. Almost four years after the war’s end, the city is still in ruins, a physical wasteland and a political symbol about to rupture. In the West, a defiant, blockaded city is barely surviving on airlifted supplies; in the East, the heady early days of political reconstruction are being undermined by the murky compromises of the Cold War. Espionage, like the black market, is a fact of life. Even culture has become a battleground, with German intellectuals being lured back from exile to add credibility to the competing sectors.
Alex Meier, a young Jewish writer, fled the Nazis for America before the war. But the politics of his youth have now put him in the crosshairs of the McCarthy witch-hunts. Faced with deportation and the loss of his family, he makes a desperate bargain with the fledgling CIA: he will earn his way back to America by acting as their agent in his native Berlin. But almost from the start things go fatally wrong. A kidnapping misfires, an East German agent is killed, and Alex finds himself a wanted man. Worse, he discovers his real assignment—to spy on the woman he left behind, the only woman he has ever loved. Changing sides in Berlin is as easy as crossing a sector border. But where do we draw the lines of our moral boundaries? Betrayal? Survival? Murder?

March 2015
Pantheon Books
A sweeping, gorgeously written debut novel of duty to family and country, passion, and blood ties that unravel in the charged political climate of Berlin between the wars.
Lev Pearlmutter, an assimilated, cultured German Jew, enlists to fight in World War I, leaving behind his gentile wife Josephine and their children, Franz and Vicki. Moving between Lev's and Josephine's viewpoints, Part I of the novel focuses on Lev's experiences on the Eastern Front—both in war and in love—which render his life at home a pale aftermath by comparison. Part II picks up in Berlin in 1927–1928: the Pearlmutter children, now young adults, grapple with their own questions: Franz, drawn into the Brown Shirt movement, struggling with his unexpressed homosexuality; and Vicki, seduced by jazz, bobbed hair, and falling in love with a young man who wants to take her to Palestine. Unlike most historical novels of this kind, The Empire of the Senses is not about the Holocaust but rather about the brew that led to it, and about why it was unimaginable to ordinary people like Lev and his wife. Plotted with meticulous precision and populated by characters who feel and dream to the fullest, it holds us rapt as cultural loss and ethnic hatred come to coexist with love, passion, and the power of the human spirit.

[book] Prayers for the Living
A Novel
by Alan Cheuse
March 2015
Fig Tree Books
Prayers for the Living is a novel both grandiose in its vision and loving in its familiarity. Presented in a series of conversations between grandmother Minnie Bloch and her companions, Alan Cheuse, National Public Radio commentator on All Things Considered, unfolds a layered family portrait of three generations of the Bloch family, whose members are collapsing under everyday burdens and brutal betrayals. Her son Manny is a renowned, almost legendary rabbi. Respected by his congregants and surrounded by family, no one suspects that he yearns for a life of greater personal glory, but when an oracular bird delivers what Manny believes to be a message from his deceased father, he abandons his congregation in pursuit of a life in business and his entire life spirals out of control.

As Manny’s fortunes rise in the corporate realm, he falls deeper into an affair with a congregant, a Holocaust survivor, his wife sinks deeper into alcoholism and depression and his daughter, traumatized by a sexual scandal at college, makes Manny the target of a plot to shatter his newly-found empire. The devoted family matriarch, Minnie, observes and recounts the tragic downfall of her family, unable to save them from themselves.

[book] Strong As Death Is Love
The Song of Songs, Ruth, Esther,
Jonah, and Daniel, A Translation
with Commentary
by Robert Alter (Translator)
March 2015
An award-winning translation brings new immediacy to these beloved books of the Bible. Read them for the first time, again. These five late biblical books offer readers a range of pleasures not usually associated with the Bible. They are artful, entertaining literary works—innovative, even startling. Women often stand center stage. Song of Songs is a celebration of young love, frankly sensuous, with no reference to God or covenant. It offers some of the most beautiful love poems of the ancient world. The story of Queen Esther’s shrewd triumph is a secular entertainment that mixes farce with sly sexual comedy. The character of Ruth embodies the virtues of loyalty, love, and charity in a harmonious world. Enigma replaces harmony in Daniel, whose feverish night dreams envision the end of time. And the traditions of prophecy are recast in the tale of a fish that, on God’s command, swallows Jonah and imprisons him in its dark wet innards for three days. Alter’s translation restores the original power of these popular books

March 2015
Fig Tree Books
Foreword by Tova Mirvis
Prayers for the Living is a novel both grandiose in its vision and loving in its familiarity. Presented in a series of conversations between grandmother Minnie Bloch and her companions, Alan Cheuse, National Public Radio commentator on All Things Considered, unfolds a layered family portrait of three generations of the Bloch family, whose members are collapsing under everyday burdens and brutal betrayals. Her son Manny is a renowned, almost legendary rabbi. Respected by his congregants and surrounded by family, no one suspects that he yearns for a life of greater personal glory, but when an oracular bird delivers what Manny believes to be a message from his deceased father, he abandons his congregation in pursuit of a life in business and his entire life spirals out of control.
As Manny’s fortunes rise in the corporate realm, he falls deeper into an affair with a congregant, a Holocaust survivor, his wife sinks deeper into alcoholism and depression and his daughter, traumatized by a sexual scandal at college, makes Manny the target of a plot to shatter his newly-found empire. The devoted family matriarch, Minnie, observes and recounts the tragic downfall of her family, unable to save them from themselves.

By Jeff and Jodie Morgan
Covenant Winery
March 2015
Schocken Books – OU Press
A kosher cookbook
From Hummus with Toppings and Pita Bread to Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Garlic and Curry Oil, Gefilte Quenelles with Braised Leeks, Gnocchi with Sage Butter, Spiced Lamb Tagine with Currants and Israeli Couscous, and Chile Chocolate Soufflé, here are more than 100 mouthwatering recipes complete with suggested wine pairings, from the veteran cookbook authors and owners of the acclaimed Covenant Winery in California.
Filled with the flavors of Italy, Provence, North Africa, Asia, California, and Israel, these original, easy-to-prepare recipes for appetizers, salads, soups, side dishes, main courses, and desserts take kosher dining to a new, upscale level. With more than two decades of professional food-writing and wine-making experience, Jeff and Jodie Morgan share their favorite recipes and—in a first for a kosher cookbook—detailed suggested wine pairings, to give us a cookbook that respects Jewish customs, gives traditional food creative culinary makeovers, and introduces flavorful new dishes that will quickly become family favorites. The Covenant Kitchen includes informative sidebars on how to select the right wine for any occasion, on the requirements for kosher food preparation, and on how to prepare the basics (chicken stock, vegetable stock, mayonnaise, pesto sauce). Also included are sample menus for Jewish holidays throughout the year—from Braised Beef Short Ribs with Root Vegetables and Garlic Confit Mashed Potatoes for the Passover Seder to Latkes with Sour Cream, Green Onions, and Masago for Chanukah to Mocha Cheesecake for Shavuot—and the fascinating story of wine production and consumption in ancient Israel and throughout Jewish history.
With more than 75 beautiful, full-color food and wine-country photographs, The Covenant Kitchen puts a fresh spin on one of the world's oldest culinary traditions. It will be a delicious addition to any kitchen bookshelf.

Jodie and Jeff Morgan co-own Covenant Winery. Jeff taught of CIA – Culinary Institute of America and wrote for Wine Spectator. They reside near Berkeley

Garden-Fresh Recipes Rediscovered and
Adapted for Today's Kitchen
Translated from Yiddish and
Annotated by Eve Jochnowitz
May 2015
Schocken Books
Beautifully translated for a new generation of devotees of delicious and healthy eating: a groundbreaking, mouthwatering vegetarian cookbook originally published in Yiddish in pre–World War II Vilna and miraculously rediscovered more than half a century later.
In 1938, Fania Lewando, the proprietor of a popular vegetarian restaurant in Vilna, Lithuania, published a Yiddish vegetarian cookbook unlike any that had come before. Its 400 recipes ranged from traditional Jewish dishes (kugel, blintzes, fruit compote, borscht) to vegetarian versions of Jewish holiday staples (cholent, kishke, schnitzel) to appetizers, soups, main courses, and desserts that introduced vegetables and fruits that had not traditionally been part of the repertoire of the Jewish homemaker (Chickpea Cutlets, Jerusalem Artichoke Soup; Leek Frittata; Apple Charlotte with Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs). Also included were impassioned essays by Lewando and by a physician about the benefits of vegetarianism. Accompanying the recipes were lush full-color drawings of vegetables and fruit that had originally appeared on bilingual (Yiddish and English) seed packets. Lewando's cookbook was sold throughout Europe.
Lewando and her husband died during World War II, and it was assumed that all but a few family-owned and archival copies of her cookbook vanished along with most of European Jewry. But in 1995 a couple attending an antiquarian book fair in England came upon a copy of Lewando's cookbook. Recognizing its historical value, they purchased it and donated it to the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York City, the premier repository for books and artifacts relating to prewar European Jewry. Enchanted by the book's contents and by its backstory, YIVO commissioned a translation of the book that will make Lewando's charming, delicious, and practical recipes available to an audience beyond the wildest dreams of the visionary woman who created them.

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

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

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


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



USE THE "SEARCH" FUNCTION BELOW to find any other books that interest you, or click the top frame to see the other books that Sefer Safari can offer.

Books Music Enter keywords...
                     logo -- Revised: 01/29/2015
Copyright © 1996-2015

LE FastCounter

Disclaimer: We provide this data as a service to readers. We are not responsible for the results of the use or misuse of the data and/or the review of the works above. fulfills book orders