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|SPRING 2021 BOOK SUGGESTIONS
Welcome to MyJewishBooks.com Spring 2021 Suggestions
SOME SPRING 2021 BOOK READINGS
Nearly all in person book readings are postponed.
But if we hear of ZOOM one and other online readings, we will let you know
If any authors want to create one with us, please let us know
OUR APRIL 2021 UPDATE
Some Spring 2021 Book Releases/Recommendations Below
Be sure to visit our other pages for releases during the past WINTER 2021,
releases during the past Fall 2020,
releases for Summer 2020,
releases for Spring 2020,
releases for Winter 2020,
releases for Autumn 2019,
or browse all the rest of our pages (oFrah, Passover, Hanukkah, MLK books, Tu b'shvat books, and more).
MAZEL TOV TO THE WINNERS OF THE 2020 NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARDS. CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF WINNERS AND FINALISTS and links to book covers and readings
APRIL 2021 BOOKS
A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth
by Noa Tishby
April 6, 2021
A personal, spirited, and concise simple, easy to digest chronological timeline spanning from Biblical times to today that explores Israel.
Israel. The small strip of arid land is 5,700 miles away but remains a hot button issue and a thorny topic of debate. But while everyone seems to have a strong opinion about Israel, how many people actually know the facts?
Here to fill in the information gap is Israeli American Noa Tishby, who arrived in Hollywood two decades ago. Offering a 360-degree view, Tishby brings her straight-shooting, engaging, and slightly irreverent voice to the subject, creating an accessible and dynamic portrait of a tiny country of outsized relevance. Through bite-sized chunks of history and deeply personal stories, Tishby chronicles her homeland’s evolution, beginning in Biblical times and moving forward to cover everything from WWI to Israel’s creation to the real disputes dividing the country today.
She tells the story from the perspective of her life and family. One of her grandmothers was a founder of Israel’s first kibbutz, Degania Alef. Her grandfather, Hanan Yavor, was an envoy to several African nations. According to Tishby, if you believe in democracy, freedom of speech, human rights, women’s rights, and LGBTQ rights, you are an idiot not to support the State of Israel
ONE GOD, ONE WORLD,
By Rabbi Wayne Dosick, PhD, DD (JTS, HUC)
April 2, 2021
“Rabbi Dosick has written more theological books than this one, but none wiser or more courageous. While his idiom here is Jewish, my liberal Catholic heart is cheering.” -Jon M. Sweeney, coauthor, Meister Eckhart’s Book of the Heart, and translator, Francis of Assisi in His Own Words
Rabbi Dosick, author of several books and leader of San Diego's Jewish renewal Elijah Minyan... writes that for many, it feels as if our world is breaking apart. Long-held, comfortable beliefs are being shattered, and we face unprecedented questions and challenges. How do we heal the harsh divisions of class, race, religion, and cultures that plague us? How do we vanquish sexism, rigid fundamentalism, unabashed nationalism, senseless hatred, and violent terrorism? How do we save our precious planet from the threats to its very existence?
In this book is a bold, visionary, Spirit-filled blueprint for the redemption, transformation, and evolution of our emerging new world through radical loving and a day-to-day sense of the sacred. With age-old wisdom wrapped in contemporary garb, sweet, inspiring stories, keen insights, and gentle guidance, Radical Loving is a call to renewal and to Oneness-a promise that Earth can be Eden once again.
And a Cat from Carmel Market
by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Rotem Teplow (Illustrator)
April 1, 2021
Ages 4 – 7
Bubbe goes to the outdoor Carmel Market in Tel-Aviv to shop for Shabbat, but in addition to buying the challah, candles, chicken, tablecloth, flowers, and other necessities, she also finds herself coming home with lots of stray cats. The cats’ howling begins to disrupt the lovely Shabbat dinner she has planned, but they all calm down once Bubbe lights the Shabbat candles.
The Upside-Down Boy and the
Israeli Prime Minister
by Sherri Mandell
Robert Dunn (Illustrator)
April 1, 2021
Ages 5 – 6
Daniel likes to do things backwards and upside down. He walks on his hands, walks backwards, and eats cereal for dinner. His teacher reminds him that when he visits the Prime Minister's office, he must be on his best behavior. But when something unexpected happens, can Daniel resist his urge to do a headstand? Uh oh! What would the Prime Minister say?
Rediscovering the Herbal Traditions
of Eastern European Jews
by Deatra Cohen
April 6, 2021
North Atlantic Press
Deatra... reminds me of Mara de-atra... master of one's house.. in rabbinical decision making...
The definitive guide to medicinal plant knowledge of Ashkenazi herbal healers, from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.
Until now, the herbal traditions of the Ashkenazi people have remained unexplored and shrouded in mystery. Ashkenazi Herbalism rediscovers the forgotten legacy of the Jewish medicinal plant healers who thrived in eastern Europe's Pale of Settlement, from their beginnings in the Middle Ages through the modern era.
Including the first materia medica of 25 plants and herbs essential to Ashkenazi folk medicine, this essential guide sheds light on the preparations, medicinal profiles, and applications of a rich but previously unknown herbal tradition--one hidden by language barriers, obscured by cultural misunderstandings, and nearly lost to history. Written for new and established practitioners, it offers illustrations, provides information on comparative medicinal practices, and illuminates the important historical and cultural contexts that gave rise to eastern European Jewish herbalism.
Part I introduces a brief history of the Ashkenazim and provides an overview of traditional eastern European medicine. Part II offers descriptions of predominantly Jewish towns in the Pale, their many native plants, and the remedies applied by indigenous healers to treat a range of illnesses. This materia medica names each plant in Yiddish, English, Latin, and other relevant languages. Ashkenazi Herbalism also details a brief history of medicine; the roles of the Ba'alei shem, Feldshers, Opshprekherins, midwives, and brewers; and the seferot.
BY BLAKE BAILEY
April 6, 2021
One of Oprah Magazine's Most Anticipated Books of 2021
The renowned biographer’s definitive portrait of a literary titan.
Appointed by Philip Roth and granted independence and complete access, Blake Bailey spent years poring over Roth’s personal archive, interviewing his friends, lovers, and colleagues, and engaging Roth himself in breathtakingly candid conversations. The result is an indelible portrait of an American master and of the postwar literary scene.
Bailey shows how Roth emerged from a lower-middle-class Jewish milieu to achieve the heights of literary fame, how his career was nearly derailed by his catastrophic first marriage, and how he championed the work of dissident novelists behind the Iron Curtain.
Bailey examines Roth’s rivalrous friendships with Saul Bellow, John Updike, and William Styron, and reveals the truths of his florid love life, culminating in his almost-twenty-year relationship with actress Claire Bloom, who pilloried Roth in her 1996 memoir, Leaving a Doll’s House.
Tracing Roth’s path from realism to farce to metafiction to the tragic masterpieces of the American Trilogy, Bailey explores Roth’s engagement with nearly every aspect of postwar American culture. 100 photographs
BY IRA NADEL
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
This new biography of famed American novelist Philip Roth offers a full account of his development as a writer.
Philip Roth was much more than a Jewish writer from Newark, as this new biography reveals. His life encompassed writing some of the most original novels in American literature, publishing censored writers from Eastern Europe, surviving less than satisfactory marriages, and developing friendships with a number of the most important writers of his time from Primo Levi and Milan Kundera to Isaac Bashevis Singer, Saul Bellow and Edna O'Brien. The winner of a Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and the Man Booker International Prize, Roth maintained a remarkable productivity throughout a career that spanned almost fifty years, creating 31 works. But beneath the success was illness, angst, and anxiety often masked from his readers. This biography, drawing on archives, interviews and his books, delves into the shaded world of Philip Roth to identify the ghosts, the character, and even identity of the man.
Siggi B. Wilzig's Astonishing Journey
from Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant
to Wall Street Legend
by Joshua Greene
Deborah E. Lipstadt (Foreword)
April 6, 2021
Unstoppable recounts the fascinating life of Siggi Wilzig, who survived the hell of Hitler and Auschwitz to become one of the biggest success stories in post-World War II American business—a true embodiment of the American Dream. At a time of national division, this testament to the triumph of the human spirit over horrific tragedy through fortitude and faith offers an inspiring message that will both resonate with readers today and offer enormous hope for a better future.
Unstoppable is the story of an American hero—a man who survived the hell of Auschwitz to become one of the most successful, mesmerizing, and outrageous personalities in postwar America. Siggi Wilzig was a force of nature: a Holocaust survivor who arrived in New York penniless and without formal education at just twenty one years old yet went on to build a $4 billion oil-and-banking empire. This is the ultimate immigrant story, an epic rags-to-riches adventure that follows Siggi from starvation on death marches to dinner at the White House—a story that starts in Auschwitz and ends with one of the most lucrative bank sales in Wall Street history. A survivor’s saga in a category of its own, Unstoppable does not dwell on tragedy, but instead celebrates Siggi’s ingenuity, hope, resolve and message: no matter how cruel or unjust the world may be, humans can overcome the past to achieve a bright future.
Be sure to visit our other pages for releases during the past WINTER 2021,
releases during the past Fall 2020
The Hard Crowd:
by Rachel Kushner
April 6, 2021
Novelist Kushner, who has written for the NYT Magazine and other pubs, and wrote some not so nice stuff on Israel for Waldman and Chabon on a trip sponsored by Breaking The Silence, has collected some essays in the highly blurbed book.
In The Hard Crowd, she gathers a selection of her writing from over the course of the last two decades that addresses political, artistic, and cultural issues and the real-life issues that underpin her fiction.
In 19 essays, The Hard Crowd spans literary journalism, memoir, cultural criticism, and writing about art and literature, including pieces on Jeff Koons, Denis Johnson, and Marguerite Duras. Kushner takes us on a journey through a Palestinian refugee camp/checkpoint, an illegal motorcycle race down the Baja Peninsula, 1970s wildcat strikes in Fiat factories, her love of classic cars, and her young life in the music scene of her hometown, San Francisco. The closing, eponymous essay is her manifesto on nostalgia, doom, and writing.
“Kushner writes with startling detail, imagination, and gallows humor,” said Leah Greenblatt in Entertainment Weekly
“Kushner can really write. Her prose has a poise and wariness and moral graininess that puts you in mind of Robert Stone and Joan Didion.” —Dwight Garner, The New York Times
The Garden of Angels
by David Hewson
April 6, 2021
At his beloved Nonno Paolo's deathbed, fifteen-year-old Nico receives a gift that will change his life forever: a yellowing manuscript which tells the haunting, twisty tale of what really happened to his grandfather in Nazi-occupied Venice in 1943.
The Palazzo Colombina is home to the Uccello family: three generations of men, trapped together in the dusty palace on Venice’s Grand Canal. Awkward fifteen-year-old Nico. His distant, business-focused father. And his beloved grandfather, Paolo. Paolo is dying. But before he passes, he has secrets he’s waited his whole life to share.
When a Jewish classmate is attacked by bullies, Nico just watches – earning him a week’s suspension and a typed, yellowing manuscript from his frail Nonno Paolo. A history lesson, his grandfather says. A secret he must keep from his father. A tale of blood and madness . . .
Nico is transported back to the Venice of 1943, an occupied city seething under its Nazi overlords, and to the defining moment of his grandfather’s life: when Paolo’s support for a murdered Jewish woman brings him into the sights of the city’s underground resistance. Hooked and unsettled, Nico can’t stop reading – but he soon wonders if he ever knew his beloved grandfather at all.
THE DEAD SEA SQUIRRELS
A DUSTY DONKEY DETOUR
by Mike Nawrocki
April 6, 2021
Tyndale Christian Publishing
Ages 10 and under
From the people who gave you the Christian-children's Veggie Tales series of books comes a series about two kids and the squirrels they found near Qumran.
Merle and Pearl are still in the clutches of their squirrelnapper. The Gomez family, along with Justin and Sadie, is in hot pursuit. After a wrong turn, they receive a hint from the most unlikely of sources.
Meanwhile, Merle and Pearl are having their own adventure, riding a donkey from Bethlehem to Nazareth under the watchful eye of their abductor. As usual, their hijinks bring laughter and a few surprises-this time in the form of new friends who are also animals. And they can talk!
Will Merle and Pearl finally be rescued? Everyone learns that with God, all things are possible.
At Any Cost:
A Father's Betrayal,
a Wife's Murder,
and a Ten-Year War for Justice
by Rebecca Rosenberg
April 6, 2021
St. Martin's Press
At Any Cost unravels the twisted story of Rod Covlin, whose unrepentant greed drove him to an unspeakable act of murdering his wife, planning to murder his parents and frame a daughter, and pursued a betrayal that rocked New York City, the Upper West Side, and the Lincoln Square Synagogue Orthodox Jewish community.
Wealthy, beautiful, and brilliant, Shele Danishefsky had fulfillment at her fingertips. Having conquered Wall Street, working for a third gen family firm, she was eager to build a family with her much younger husband, promising Ivy League graduate Rod Covlin. But when his hidden vices surfaced, marital harmony gave way to a merciless divorce. He was abusive, and he did not work, choosing to live off his wife's income. Rod had long depended on Shele's income to fund his tastes for high stakes backgammon and infidelity – and she finally vowed to sever him from her will.
In late December 2009, Shele made an appointment with her lawyer to block him from her millions. She would never make it to that meeting.
Two days later, on New Year’s Eve, Shele was found dead in the bathtub of her Upper West Side apartment. Police ruled it an accident, and Shele’s deeply Orthodox Jewish family in Scarsdale quickly buried her without an autopsy on religious grounds. Rod tried to get her family to bury her in Israel, making sure she counld not be exhumed easily. Rod had a clear path to his ex-wife's fortune, but suspicions about her death lingered.
As the two families warred over custody of Shele’s children - and their inheritance - Rod concocted a series of increasingly demented schemes, even plotting to kill his own parents, so that he could get custody and cash, to secure the treasure. And as investigators closed in, Rod committed a final, desperate act to frame his own daughter for her mother’s death.
Fortunately, the NYPD figured out that Rod had strangled Shele and staged it to look like a bathroom accident. He was finally arrested in 2015, and found guilty after four years
Journalists Rebecca Rosenberg and Selim Algar reconstruct the ten years that passed between the day Shele was found dead and the day her killer faced justice in this riveting account of how one man’s irrepressible greed devolved into obsession, manipulation, and murder.
The Light of Days:
The Untold Story of
Women Resistance Fighters
in Hitler's Ghettos
by Judy Batalion
April 6, 2021
One of the most important stories of World War II, already optioned by Steven Spielberg for a major motion picture: a spectacular, searing history that brings to light the extraordinary accomplishments of brave Jewish women who became resistance fighters-a group of unknown heroes whose exploits have never been chronicled in full, until now.
Witnesses to the brutal murder of their families and neighbors and the violent destruction of their communities, a cadre of Jewish women in Poland-some still in their teens-helped transform the Jewish youth groups into resistance cells to fight the Nazis. With courage, guile, and nerves of steel, these “ghetto girls” paid off Gestapo guards, hid revolvers in loaves of bread and jars of marmalade, and helped build systems of underground bunkers. They flirted with German soldiers, bribed them with wine, whiskey, and home cooking, used their Aryan looks to seduce them, and shot and killed them. They bombed German train lines and blew up a town’s water supply. They also nursed the sick and taught children.
Yet the exploits of these courageous resistance fighters have remained virtually unknown.
As propulsive and thrilling as Hidden Figures, In the Garden of Beasts, Band of Brothers, and A Train in Winter, The Light of Days at last tells the true story of these incredible women whose courageous yet little-known feats have been eclipsed by time. Judy Batalion-the granddaughter of Polish Holocaust survivors-takes us back to 1939 and introduces us to Renia Kukielka, a weapons smuggler and messenger who risked death traveling across occupied Poland on foot and by train. Joining Renia are other women who served as couriers, armed fighters, intelligence agents, and saboteurs, all who put their lives in mortal danger to carry out their missions. Batalion follows these women through the savage destruction of the ghettos, arrest and internment in Gestapo prisons and concentration camps, and for a lucky few-like Renia, who orchestrated her own audacious escape from a brutal Nazi jail-into the late 20th century and beyond.
Powerful and inspiring, featuring twenty black-and-white photographs, The Light of Days is an unforgettable true tale of war, the fight for freedom, exceptional bravery, female friendship, and survival in the face of staggering odds.
BY YAARA SHEHORI
Translated from Hebrew by Todd Hasak-Lowy
April 13, 2021
An incredible story following two sisters, both deaf and raised in cultlike seclusion by deaf parents, and the shattering consequences that unfold when that isolation comes to an end
Sisters Lili and Dori Ackerman are deaf. Their parents-beautiful, despondent Anna; fearsome and admired Alex-are deaf too. Alex, a scrap-metal collector and sometime prophet, opposes any attempts to integrate with the world of the hearing; to escape its destructive influence, the girls are educated at home. Deafness is no disability, their father says, but an alternative way of life, preferable by far to that of the strident, hypocritical hearing.
Lili and Dori grow up semi-feral, living in a world they have created together. Lili writes down everything that happens, just the facts. And Dori, the reader, follows her. On the block where the girls spend their childhood, the family is united against a hostile and alien world. They watch the hearing like they would fish in an aquarium.
But when the outside world intrudes, the cracks that begin to form will span the rest of their lives. Separated from the family that ingrained in them a sense of uniqueness and alienation, Lili and Dori must relearn how to live, and how to tell their own stories.
Sly, surprising, and as sharp-fanged as its protagonists, Yaara Shehori's Aquarium is a stunning debut that interrogates the practices of storytelling-and storyhearing.
At the End of the World, Turn Left
by Zhanna Slor
April 13, 2021
Zhanna Slor's debut novel is the tale of two sisters, and how different generations define home. Masha remembers her childhood in the former USSR, but found her life and heart in Israel. Anna was an infant when her family fled, but yearns to find her roots. When Anna is contacted by a stranger from their homeland and then disappears, Masha is called home to Milwaukee to find her, and where the search leads changes the family forever.
The Hero Code:
Lessons Learned from Lives
by Admiral William H. McRaven (Retired, US Navy)
April 13, 2021
Grand Central Publishing
From the acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Make Your Bed—a short, inspirational book about the qualities of true, everyday heroes.
THE HERO CODE is Admiral McRaven's ringing tribute to the real, everyday heroes he's met over the years, from battlefields to hospitals to college campuses, who are doing their part to save the world.
When Bill McRaven was a young boy growing up in Texas, he dreamed of being a superhero. He longed to put on a cape and use his superpowers to save the earth from destruction. But as he grew older and traveled the world, he found real heroes everywhere he went -- and none of them had superpowers. None of them wore capes or cowls. But they all possessed qualities that gave them the power to help others, to make a difference, to save the world: courage, both physical and moral; humility; a willingness to sacrifice; and a deep sense of integrity.
THE HERO CODE is not a cypher, a puzzle, or a secret message. It is a code of conduct; lessons in virtues that can become the foundations of our character as we build a life worthy of honor and respect.
and Other Roles I've Played
by Tovah Feldshuh
April 13, 2021
A heartwarming and funny memoir from a beloved actress, Lilyville tells the story of a mother and daughter whose narrative reflects American cultural changes and the world's shifting expectations of women.
From Golda to Ginsburg, Yentl to Mama Rose, Tallulah to the Queen of Mean, Tovah Feldshuh has always played powerful women who aren't afraid to sit at the table with the big boys and rule their world. But offstage, Tovah struggled to fulfill the one role she never auditioned for-Lily Feldshuh's only daughter.
Growing up in Scarsdale, NY in the 1950s, Tovah-known then by her given name Terri Sue-lived a life of piano lessons, dance lessons, shopping trips, and white-gloved cultural trips into Manhattan. In awe of her mother's meticulous appearance and perfect manners, Tovah spent her childhood striving for Lily's approval, only to feel as though she always fell short. Lily's own dreams were beside the point; instead, she devoted herself to Tovah's father Sidney and her two children. Tovah watched Lily retreat into the roles of the perfect housewife and mother, and swore to herself, I will never do this.
When Tovah shot to stardom with the Broadway hit Yentl, winning five awards for her performance, she still did not garner her mother's approval. But, it was her success in another sphere that finally gained Lily's attention. After falling in love with a Harvard-educated lawyer and having children, Tovah found it was easier to understand her mother and the sacrifices she had made. The women's movement, the sexual revolution, and the subsequent mandate for women to "have it all."
Beloved as he had been by both women, Sidney's passing made room for the love that had failed to take root during his life. In her new independence, Lily became outspoken, witty, and profane. "Don't tell Daddy this," Lily whispered to Tovah, "but these are the best years of my life." She lived until 103.
In this insightful, compelling, often hilarious and always illuminating memoir, Tovah shares the highs and lows of a remarkable career that has spanned five decades, and shares the lessons that she has learned, often the hard way, about how to live a life in the spotlight, strive for excellence, and still get along with your mother. Through their evolving relationship we see how expectations for women changed, with a daughter performing her heart out to gain her mother's approval and a mother becoming liberated from her confining roles of wife and mother to become her full self.
A great Mother's Day or any day gift when women want a joyous and meaningful way to celebrate each other.
THE LOST NOVEL....
BY ULRICH ALEXANDER BOSCHWITZ
Translated from German by Philip Boehm
April 13, 2021
Hailed as a remarkable literary discovery, a lost novel of heart-stopping intensity and harrowing absurdity about flight and persecution in 1930s Germany
Berlin, November 1938. Jewish shops have been ransacked and looted, synagogues destroyed. As storm troopers pound on his door, Otto Silbermann, a respected businessman who fought for Germany in the Great War, is forced to sneak out the back of his own home. Turned away from establishments he had long patronized, and fearful of being exposed as a Jew despite his Aryan looks, he boards a train.
And then another. And another . . . until his flight becomes a frantic odyssey across Germany, as he searches first for information, then for help, and finally for escape. His travels bring him face-to-face with waiters and conductors, officials and fellow outcasts, seductive women and vicious thieves, a few of whom disapprove of the regime while the rest embrace it wholeheartedly.
Clinging to his existence as it was just days before, Silbermann refuses to believe what is happening even as he is beset by opportunists, betrayed by associates, and bereft of family, friends, and fortune. As his world collapses around him, he is forced to concede that his nightmare is all too real.
Twenty-three-year-old Ulrich Boschwitz wrote The Passenger at breakneck speed in 1938, fresh in the wake of the Kristallnacht pogroms, and his prose flies at the same pace. Taut, immediate, infused with acerbic Kafkaesque humor, The Passenger is an indelible portrait of a man and a society careening out of control.
On the House:
A Washington Memoir
by John Boehner
Former Speaker of the House, US Congress
April 13, 2021
St. Martin's Press
There he is on the cover. With a merlot and a smoke at the back of a bar. That is how he wanted Congress to be. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner shares colorful tales from the halls of power, the smoke-filled rooms around the halls of power, and his fabled tour bus.
John Boehner was the last of a breed (so far). At a time when the arbiters of American culture were obsessing over organic kale, cold-pressed juice, and SoulCycle, the man who stood second in line to the presidency was unapologetically smoking filtered Camels, guzzling a glass of red, and hitting the golf course whenever he could.
There could hardly have been a more diametrically opposed figure to represent the opposition party in President Barack Obama's Washington. But when Rep. Boehner announced his resignation, President Obama called to tell the outgoing Speaker that he'd miss him. "Mr. President," Boehner replied, "yes you will." He thought of himself as a "regular guy with a big job," and he enjoyed it.
In addition to his own stories of life in D.C. and of his comeback as a marijuana lobbyist after getting knocked off the leadership ladder, Boehner offers his impressions of leaders he's met and what made them successes or failures, from Ford and Reagan to Obama, Trump, and Biden, from Ted Cruz (a dangerous asshole) to Hannity to Ailes to Murdoch to the 2010 freshman class of congressman (not too bright; they were more interested in conspiracies than passing laws). He shares his views on how the Republican Party has become unrecognizable to him today; the advice--some harsh, some fatherly--he dished out to members of his own party, the opposition, the media, and others; and his often acid-tongued comments about his former colleagues. And of course he talks about golfing with five presidents.
He also tries to revise history and make it seem as if he wasn;t involved in pushing Birther conspiracies and other issues. He, like Ailes, is smoking his own weed. He praises Michelle Bachmann and her attacks on Hillary Clinton. ReallY?
Through Speaker Boehner's semi-honest and semi-self-aware reflections, you'll be reminded of his times.
NOW IN PAPERBACK, The 2020 ACCLAIMED SEMI MEMOIR
BECOMING DUTCHESS GOLDBLATT
April 13, 2021
HMH Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
First Lady Michelle Obama had BECOMING. So does Dutchess Goldblatt. One of The New York Times’ 20 Books to Read in 2020, and less expensive to buy in 2021. Great reviews from everyone from the WaPo to NPR.
“Unforgettable . . . Behind her brilliantly witty and uplifting message is a remarkable vulnerability and candor that reminds us that we are not alone in our struggles—and that we can, against all odds, get through them.”—Lori Gottlieb, New York Times best-selling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
Part memoir and part joyful romp through the fields of imagination, the story behind a beloved pseudonymous Twitter account reveals how a writer deep in grief rebuilt a life worth living. Becoming Duchess Goldblatt is two stories: that of the reclusive real-life writer who created a fictional character out of loneliness and thin air, and that of the magical Duchess Goldblatt herself, a bright light in the darkness of social media. Fans around the world are drawn to Her Grace’s voice, her wit, her life-affirming love for all humanity, and the fun and friendship of the community that’s sprung up around her.
@DuchessGoldblat (81 year-old literary icon, author of An Axe to Grind) brought people together in her name: in bookstores, museums, concerts, and coffee shops, and along the way, brought real friends home—foremost among them, Lyle Lovett.
“The only way to be reliably sure that the hero gets the girl at the end of the story is to be both the hero and the girl yourself.” — Duchess Goldblatt
Empire of Pain:
The Secret History of
the Sackler Dynasty
by Patrick Radden Keefe
April 13, 2021
A grand, devastating portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, famed for their philanthropy, whose fortune was built by Valium and whose reputation was destroyed by OxyContin, by the prize-winning, bestselling author of Say Nothing
Some people will take issue with the book and media, asking why when other companies break the law, the stories are about the company, and not the founding family. But it is a juicier story when viewed through the lens of the family.
The Sackler name adorns the walls of many storied institutions—Harvard, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oxford, the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations to the arts and the sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing a blockbuster painkiller that was the catalyst for the opioid crisis.
Empire of Pain begins with the story of three doctor brothers, Raymond, Mortimer and the incalculably energetic Arthur, who weathered the poverty of the Great Depression and appalling anti-Semitism.
Working at a barbaric mental institution, Arthur saw a better way and conducted groundbreaking research into drug treatments. He also had a genius for marketing, especially for pharmaceuticals, and bought a small ad firm.
Arthur devised the marketing for Valium, and built the first great Sackler fortune. He purchased a drug manufacturer, Purdue Frederick, which would be run by Raymond and Mortimer. The brothers began collecting art, and wives, and grand residences in exotic locales. Their children and grandchildren grew up in luxury.
Arthur died, his family sold off their share, and his two remaining brothers led the firm. Raymond’s son Richard ran the family-owned Purdue. The template Arthur Sackler created to sell Valium—co-opting doctors, influencing the FDA, downplaying the drug’s addictiveness—was employed to launch a far more potent product: OxyContin. The drug went on to generate some thirty-five billion dollars in revenue, and to launch a public health crisis in which hundreds of thousands would die. It was determined that the company's leaders purposely chose not to dissuade physicians from their wrong concept that OxyContin was safer or less addictive than the original formulation.
This is the saga of three generations of a single family and the mark they would leave on the world, a tale that moves from the bustling streets of early twentieth-century Brooklyn to the seaside palaces of Greenwich, Connecticut, and Cap d’Antibes to the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. Empire of Pain chronicles the multiple investigations of the Sacklers and their company, and the scorched-earth legal tactics that the family has used to evade accountability. The history of the Sackler dynasty is rife with drama—baroque personal lives; bitter disputes over estates; fistfights in boardrooms; glittering art collections; Machiavellian courtroom maneuvers; and the calculated use of money to burnish reputations and crush the less powerful.
Empire of Pain is a masterpiece of narrative reporting and writing, exhaustively documented and ferociously compelling. It is a portrait of the excesses of America’s second Gilded Age, a study of impunity among the super elite and a relentless investigation of the naked greed and indifference to human suffering that built one of the world’s great fortunes.
Crying in H Mart:
by Michelle Zauner
April 20, 2021
From the indie rockstar of Japanese Breakfast fame, and author of the viral 2018 New Yorker essay that shares the title of this book, an unflinching, powerful memoir about growing up Korean American and Jewish, losing her mother, and forging her own identity.
In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. With humor and heart, she tells of growing up one of the few Asian American kids at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother's particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence; of treasured months spent in her grandmother's tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food. As she grew up, moving to the East Coast for college, finding work in the restaurant industry, and performing gigs with her fledgling band--and meeting the man who would become her husband--her Koreanness began to feel ever more distant, even as she found the life she wanted to live. It was her mother's diagnosis of terminal cancer, when Michelle was twenty-five, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language, and history her mother had given her.
Vivacious and plainspoken, lyrical and honest, Zauner's voice is as radiantly alive on the page as it is onstage. Rich with intimate anecdotes that will resonate widely, and complete with family photos, Crying in H Mart is a book to cherish, share, and reread.
49 Rabbis Explore What it Means
to be an Ally through a Jewish Lens
Edited by Rabbi Mike Moskowitz, and
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum
March 23, 2021
Allyship is a deeply Jewish value. In this book, 49 Jewish spiritual / faith leaders grapple with the complexity, messiness, and human fallibility of allyship, as well its beauty, holiness, and power to restore good.
Wise, searing, and emotional, this book invites you to create new paths of human kindness and action. It challenges us to Chaver Up! and see LGBTQA and other allyship as a powerful way to repair our humanity and activate our empathy.
49 entries... like the counting of the Omer. Includes essays by Rabbis Ari Poster Moffic, David Evan Markus, Marc Margolius, Rena Singer, Rick Jacobs, Rachel Barenblat, and many more
The Next 500 Years:
Engineering Life to Reach New Worlds
by Christopher E. Mason
April 20, 2021
An argument that we have a moral duty to colonize other planets and solar systems--because human life on Earth has an expiration date.
Inevitably, life on Earth will come to an end, whether by climate disaster, cataclysmic war, or the death of the sun in a few billion years. To avoid extinction, we will have to find a new home planet, perhaps even a new solar system, to inhabit. In this provocative and fascinating book, Christopher Mason argues that we have a moral duty to do just that. As the only species aware that life on Earth has an expiration date, we have a responsibility to act as the shepherd of life-forms--not only for our species but for all species on which we depend and for those still to come (by accidental or designed evolution). Mason argues that the same capacity for ingenuity that has enabled us to build rockets and land on other planets can be applied to redesigning biology so that we can sustainably inhabit those planets. And he lays out a 500-year plan for undertaking the massively ambitious project of reengineering human genetics for life on other worlds.
As they are today, our frail human bodies could never survive travel to another habitable planet. Mason describes the toll that long-term space travel took on astronaut Scott Kelly, who returned from a year on the International Space Station with changes to his blood, bones, and genes. Mason proposes a ten-phase, 500-year program that would engineer the genome so that humans can tolerate the extreme environments of outer space--with the ultimate goal of achieving human settlement of new solar systems. He lays out a roadmap of which solar systems to visit first, and merges biotechnology, philosophy, and genetics to offer an unparalleled vision of the universe to come.
On Having and Being a Second Child
by Lynn Berger (PhD)
April 20, 2021
Berger, a correspondent for The Correspondent in Amsterdam, and Columbia grad writes a lovely, searching meditation on second children-on whether to have one and what it means to be one-that seamlessly weaves pieces of art and culture on the topic with scientific research and personal anecdotes
The decision to have more than one child is at least as consuming as the decision to have a child at all-and yet for all the good books that deliberate on the choice of becoming a parent, there is far less writing on the choice of becoming a parent of two, and all the questions that arise during the process. Is there any truth in the idea of character informed by birth order, or the loneliness of only children? What is the reality of sibling rivalry? What might a parent to one, or two, come to regret?
Lynn Berger is here to fill that gap with the curious, reflective Second Thoughts. Grounded in autobiography and full of considered allusion, careful investigation and generous candor, it’s an exploration specifically dedicated to second children and their particular, too often forgotten lot. Warm and wise, intimate and universal at once, it’s a must read for parents-to-be and want-to-be, parents of one, parents of two or more, and second children themselves.
The Beauty of What Remains:
How Our Greatest Fear Becomes Our Greatest Gift
by Rabbi Steve Leder
(Wilshire Boulevard Synagogue, Los Angeles)
January 5, 2021
From the author of the bestselling More Beautiful Than Before (2017) comes an inspiring book about loss based on his most popular sermon.
As the senior rabbi of one of the largest synagogues in the world, Steve Leder has learned over and over again the many ways death teaches us how to live and love more deeply by showing us not only what is gone but also the beauty of what remains.
Reading this book, for me, came after watching Disney/PIXAR's SOUL, an animated film on souls and death, as southern California is suffering from the pandemic and the unexpected deaths of so many.
Rabbi Leder has written this inspiring and comforting book about a journey through the experience of loss that is fundamental to everyone. Rabbi Leder has sat beside thousands of deathbeds, has done thousands of “INTAKES” of congregants facing death, funerals, and eulogies. He has had to be a rabbi and a human. He knows the Halacha, the law, as well as the exceptions. He has counseled those grieving, those who felt they weren't there at their loved one's death, and those who weren't there for their loved one's life. Those who buried a parent, those who buried a child.
Steve Leder the rabbi was not fully prepared for the loss of his own father, a highly critical and gruff junkyard owner, but loving Yiddishist. The death was twice as hard since he died twice Once from Alzheimer's, and once at the end. It was right before Kol Nidre. It was only then that Steve Leder the son truly learned how loss makes life beautiful by giving it meaning and touching us with love that we had not felt before. Rabbi Steve Leder became Steve Leder the son, facing his own experience of love, regret, and pain in a more personal and intimate way than ever before. What he discovered was life changing: in death we do not lose— we gain. I
“Understanding death — its rituals, its lessons, its gift to reshape love through memory, its grief, its powerful reminder that it is not what but who we have that matters — gives our lives exquisite meaning.” It is about what is important and meaningful. To most, it will be a comforting book, a quest through grief that is fundamental to everyone.
Enriched by Rabbi Leder's irreverence, vulnerability, and wicked sense of humor, this heartfelt narrative is filled with laughter and tears, the wisdom of millennia and modernity, and, most of all, an unfolding of the profound and simple truth that in loss we gain.
The Light of the Eyes:
Homilies on the Torah
by Rabbi Menachem Nahum of Chernobyl
Rabbi Arthur Green (Translator)
(Hebrew College, Boston)
January 19, 2021
POSTPONED TO MARCH 2021!
Stanford University Press
What do American Jews know of Hasidism? They know about Chabad, Satmar, and other current forms of the movement. But Rabbi Green helps us to recover the writings of an early Hasidic master
Hasidism is an influential spiritual revival movement within Judaism that began in the eighteenth century and continues to thrive today. One of the great classics of early Hasidism, The Light of the Eyes is a collection of homilies on the Torah, reading the entire Five Books of Moses as a guide to spiritual awareness and cultivation of the inner life.
This is the first English translation of any major work from Hasidism's earliest and most creative period. Arthur Green's introduction and annotations survey the history of Hasidism and outline the essential religious and moral teachings of this mystical movement. The Light of the Eyes, by Rabbi Menahem Nahum of Chernobyl, offers insights that remain as fresh and relevant for the contemporary reader as they were when first published in 1798.
You can take a course on the work, pre publication starting October 19, 2020 via zoom at Hebrew College. In an interview with JTA, Rabbi Green responded that, “...I love the Me’or Aynayim. It’s a different face of Hasidism than people see today. People who look at Hasidism today experience three kinds of Hasidism. There’s Chabad, which is very much worldly, messianically oriented. Do more mitzvahs and that will bring the redemption closer. There’s Breslov, which is also redemption-centered — have faith in me, have faith in Rebbe Nachman and he will save you. And then there’s Satmar, which is Hasidism as traditionalism. Do it exactly the same way as they did it in the 18th century. The kind of Hasidism of [the founder of the Hasidic movement] the Baal Shem Tov, which is loving and gentle and forgiving and world-embracing, that kind of Hasidism has somehow gotten lost. And the Me’or Aynayim is one of its best spokesmen. So I want to use the Me’or Aynayim in some ways to bring that gentle kind of Hasidism back into the world. You can serve God in everything you do, you find sparks of holiness everywhere, all of life is about seeking out divinity wherever you find it and raising it up and making it one again. The Me’or Aynayim is not an ascetic. He’s a very earthy guy and really believed that holiness was to be found everywhere. And if you punish yourself, you were denying God because God is in everything — all your thoughts and all your deeds. Within the 18th-century Jewish context, he was a kind of free-spirited person, which isn’t to say that he was careless about the law at all. But it was a love of life and a love of normal earthy human beings that motivated him, and in trying to find a spirituality that would work for such people... Hasidism went through very big changes. It began as a movement of radical innovation. And remember the Hasidim were condemned by the great rabbis in the 18th century. They were persecuted. But by the turn of the 19th century, the rabbis and the Hasidim both looked around and they saw a much more dangerous enemy on the horizon: modernity or haskalah [Jewish enlightenment]. And the rabbis and the Hasidim made peace with one another to fight this common enemy called the modern world.... the Baal Shem Tov and the Me’or Aynayim... wanted an intense spiritual life. At the same time, they wanted to raise families and therefore have to support those families and live in this world. And so it’s a very worldly kind of spirituality for people who want both. And since I’m one of those people, I have fallen in love with it, as you can tell. And this is about sharing that love.
Dancing in God's Earthquake:
The Coming Transformation
by Rabbi Arthur Ocean Waskow, PhD
A new book by Rabbi Waskow, who gave us the Freedom Seder, Seasons of our Joy, The Shalom Center, a defense of the Chicago 7, and so much more. Here is a book of deep wisdom from a prophetic rabbi who has for fifty years worked to promote a progressive spirit of renewal that connects Jews, Christians, and people of other faiths. We all experience earthquakes in our lives--social, personal, religious. From those earthquakes renewal and new life can come forth if we learn to dance in the midst of the earthquake.
Rabbi Waskow writes: I see Dancing in God's Earthquake as a harvest of my whole life experience in religious commitment, spiritual delight, and social transformation. Many people look on a “harvest” as a product of past sowing and growing. But I see this book as what a harvest is really supposed to be – food for the future.
If you want to invite Rabbi Waskow to your community for a schmooze/discussion, contact the Shalom Center and arrange it. You can also order bulk copies of the book at a discount … check their site.
Mark Pinsky of Orlando wrote a great review.... Excerpts are... For more than 50 years, Rabbi Arthur Waskow has been a spiritual and intellectual force of nature.... All of this exuberant effervescence is on display in Waskow’s new book... Waskow returns to the book’s title. “How can we bring grace, music, joy into that dance?” It’s not an easy question to answer, he acknowledges, given the changing times. “It’s hard to dance when the dance floor itself is dancing, shaking, whirling, changing shape.” Waskow says much of his new theology is framed and informed by ecology. He urges “Earth awareness,” finding the Divine in natural forces, like wind and rain... Instead of the word “God,” Waskow prefers variations on a new term for the Divine, “the great Name of the Interbreathing Spirit,” or simply, the “Breath of Life.” He suggests alternative forms of prayer: meditation, chanting, and dance, in particular improvisational, liturgical dance. Waskow wants to learn from the past, but not restore it unaltered. He updates or gives a new, interpretive rendition of traditional Jewish prayers and festivals in order to address the Climate Change crisis..... So he addresses the biblical practice of the Sabbatical, seventh year, when the agricultural land was supposed to rest, fences between fields torn down so grazing animals can roam. Debts were canceled. As a small gesture, Waskow suggests that during this time modern consumers switch to grass fed beef and milk, to avoid corn feed lots — eating “eco-kosher” and “eco-halal” — and use electrical rather than carbon-powered vehicles.... Refreshingly, Waskow takes pride in being schooled in changing gender roles, first by his 10-year-old daughter at the family’s Seder table and, 50 years later, by her daughter, Waskow’s oldest grandchild.... There seems to be a challenge to readers on almost every page of this book. Waskow calls his apparently utopian provocations “simply imaginings, intended to stretch our minds.” Self restraint, he writes, need not entail self denial. So he argues, “What we thought were sins now seem life-giving possibilities.”....
A RAPID RESPONSE
DUE TO THE EVENTS OF
JANUARY 6, 2021
RABBIS RESPOND TO THE EVENT
Remember and Do Not Forget:
Rabbinic Testimonies of January 6, 2021:
A Horrific Day in American History
Edited and Written by Rabbis Menachem Creditor
Rachel Timoner, Jesse Olitzky, Sharon Brous,
David Wolkenfeld, Avram Mlotek, Nicole Guzik,
Aaron Brusso, Elliot Cosgrove, as well as
Rabbis Jill Zimmerman, Adam Baldachin, Gary Creditor,
Adir Glick, Jen Gubitz, Eytan Hammerman,
Ezra Schwartz, Eli Garfinkel, Jonathan Blake, Lisa Gelber,
Joseph Maszler, David-Seth Kirszner, Jennifer Rudick Zunikoff,
Jack Moline, Ilan Glazer, Marc Labowitz,
Rachel Ain, Annie Tucker, Morris Zimbalist (Michael's brother),
Ron Fish, Avuva Fellman, Jeremy Winaker,
Neal Rose, Jeffrey Abraham, Carnie Shalom Rose, Dan Ornstein, Daniel Gropper,
Daniel Cohen, Daniel Greybar,
Yael Ridberg, David Lerner, Adina Lewittes,
Joel Mosbacher, Sydney Mintz, Sharon Kleinbaum, Ken Chasen,
Jeffrey (masc.) Salkin, Ravid Tilles, David Spinrad,
Asher Lopatin, Rachel Kobrin, and Cantor Sharon Nathanson
Former Rep. Ruth Messinger (Foreword)
January 12, 2021
We will forever remember the events of January 6, 2021. We also understand that, just like Torah, there is power in collective memory. This is especially true considering that we may remember the events of this day differently, each of us reflecting on it using our own eyes, hearts – and our unique choices of words.
Was the attack on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 a riot? A coup? Insurrection? Domestic terrorism? A protest?
Words matter, and how we remember is shaped by the words we use. As the great essayist and thinker George Orwell once observed: “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” We have done our best to collect diverse rabbinic testimonies from an indescribable moment of American history with a commitment to remember and a promise to not forget. We will not be defined by the threats of white supremacists and the acts of domestic terrorists. But they undoubtedly shape us and shape our view of the world. We are not ignorant enough to think that bigotry did not exist before the Trump era nor would we be so foolish as to suggest that it will cease once that era is over.
But we had thought that American society was in collective agreement that bigotry belonged in the sewers and gutters of society. But when the President amplified such bigotry in 240-characters at a time on his Twitter feed for four years straight, and worse yet, successfully used that bigotry to influence his supporters, he gave them permission to proudly and loudly -- and violently -- express such hateful bigotry for the world to see and incite violence. We are not ignorant enough to believe that Amalek has ceased to exist. But it is our deepest prayer that as long as we remember, as long as we continue to call out the events of this dark day for what they are, then the bigotry of Amalek will return to the sewers of society, where it belongs.
The Passover Guest
by Susan Kusel
Sean Rubin (Illustrator)
January 19, 2021
Neal Porter Books
Muriel assumes her family is too poor to hold a Passover Seder this year, but an act of kindness and a mysterious magician change everything.
It's the Spring of 1933 in Washington D.C., and the Great Depression is hitting young Muriel's family hard. Her father has lost his job, and her family barely has enough food most days, let alone for a Passover Seder. They don't even have any wine to leave out for the prophet Elijah's ceremonial cup.
With no feast to rush home to, Muriel wanders by the Lincoln Memorial, where she encounters a mysterious magician in whose hands juggled eggs become lit candles. After she makes a kind gesture, he encourages her to run home for her Seder, and when she does, she encounters a holiday miracle, a bountiful feast of brisket, soup, and matzah. But who was this mysterious benefactor? When Muriel sees Elijah's ceremonial cup is empty, she has a good idea.
This fresh retelling of the classic I.L. Peretz story, best known through Uri Shulevitz's 1973 adaptation The Magician, has been sumptuously illustrated by noted graphic novelist Sean Rubin, who based his art on photographs of D.C. in the 1930s. An author note with information about the holiday is included. Susan Kusel is a synagogue librarian and children's book buyer for an independent bookstore. She has served as a member of the Caldecott Medal selection committee and the chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee. The Passover Guest is Kusel's first picture book. She lives in Arlington, VA.
THE GREAT PASSOVER ESCAPE
BY PAMELA MORITZ
Illus by Florence Weiser
Long-suffering Chimp tries to talk his friends Ellie the Elephant and Kanga the Kangaroo out of trying to escape from the Biblical Zoo to find a Passover seder to attend, but ends up joining them in the escapade, teaching them about the Passover holiday along the way. And whose house do they turn up at for the seder? Their old friend and zookeeper, Shmulik! Droll Passover story includes lots of funny mistakes when the animals try to remember the words for Passover items and get them all wrong, needing to be corrected by Chimp. Includes back matter about Passover and the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem.
By Jamie Kiffel-Alcheh
Illis by Lauren Gallegos
"Any school-age Jewish kid who observes Passover understands the lunchroom situation in which redheaded, freckled Noa finds herself. She can’t make any food trades due to Passover dietary rules, and when she opens her lunch box, her tablemates see a large crackerlike food: 'All week long, I don’t eat bread./ Matzah’s what I eat instead.' Noa tells her friends the story of Passover, and for the rest of the week, she brings in a different matzah treat to share with her now-enthralled classmates. Kiffel-Alcheh’s couplet text gets a little wearing, and it’s hard to believe that all of Noa’s pals think that plain matzah is the greatest thing since, well, sliced bread ( '‘Mmm,’ her friends say as they munch./ ‘Matzah has a tasty crunch!’ '). But Gallegos’s peppy, animation-like illustrations feel true enough to school life, depicting an inclusive student body eager to learn-and to nosh." - Publishers Weekly
A Mother, a Child, and the
Shadow History of Adoption
by Gabrielle Glaser
January 26, 2021
You may recall the NYTIMES story on mother and son in 2015. Here is the story in depth:
Louise Wise Services, the defunct Jewish adoption agency left a lot of pain and ethical lapses in its wake.
The shocking truth about postwar adoption in America, told through the bittersweet story of one teenager, the son she was forced to relinquish, and their search to find each other
During the Baby Boom in 1960s America, women were encouraged to stay home and raise large families, but sex and childbirth were taboo subjects (as was cancer). Premarital sex was common, but birth control was hard to get and abortion was illegal. In 1961, sixteen-year-old Margaret Erle (Katz) fell in love (with George Katz, 16, the high school baseball pitcher) and became pregnant (She didn't know about sex and pregnancy, and got pregnant the first time the fumbled around and had sexual intercourse). Her enraged family (her parents were among the many Jews who fled Germany and the Nazis and found refuge in Washington Heights in Manhattan) sent her to a maternity home (Lakeview Home for Unwed Jewish Mothers, on Staten Island, NYC, which was owned by Louise Wise Services), and after she gave birth, she wasn't even allowed her to hold her own son. Social workers threatened her with jail until she signed away her parental rights. Her son vanished, his whereabouts and new identity known only to an adoption agency that would never share the slightest detail about his fate.
Claiming to be acting in the best interests of all, the adoption business was founded on secrecy and lies. American Baby lays out how a lucrative and exploitative industry removed children from their birth mothers and placed them with hopeful families, fabricating stories about infants' origins and destinations, then closing the door firmly between the parties forever. Adoption agencies and other organizations that purported to help pregnant women struck unethical deals with doctors and researchers for pseudo-scientific "assessments," and shamed millions of young women into surrendering their children.
Gabrielle Glaser dramatically demonstrates the power of the expectations and institutions that Margaret faced. Margaret went on to marry and raise a large family with David (Rosenberg)'s father, but she never stopped longing for and worrying about her firstborn. She didn't know he spent the first years of his life living just a few blocks away from her; as he grew, he wondered about where he came from and why he was given up. Their tale--one they share with millions of Americans--is one of loss, love, and the search for identity.
Adoption's closed records are being legally challenged in states nationwide. Open adoption is the rule today, but the identities of many who were adopted or who surrendered a child in the postwar decades are locked in sealed files. American Baby illuminates a dark time in our history and shows a path to reunion that can help heal the wounds inflicted by years of shame and secrecy.
Note: David is the late David Rosenberg, the beloved and celebrated cantor in Portland Oregon, who sadly passed away of thyroid cancer after meeting his birth mother. After his family moved to Toronto, where David focused on hockey and Jewish studies, he moved to Israel and served in the IDF. David's adoptive parents both died before he was 30 (his father passed away in 1978). His adoptive father was Cantor Ephraim Rosenberg, formerly of Rishon le Zion, NYC, (JTS), and Beth Sholom in Toronto. Both Ephraim and Esther survived the Shoah.
City of a Thousand Gates:
by Rebecca Sacks
February 2, 2021
A novel of great humanity, compassion, and astonishing immediacy, this inventive and unique debut captures the emotional reality of contemporary life in the West Bank and the irreconcilable Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a collage of narrative voices and different viewpoints centered on a particular set of events.
Brave and bold, this gorgeously written novel introduces a large cast of characters from various backgrounds in a setting where violence is routine and where survival is defined by boundaries, walls, and checkpoints that force people to live and love within and across them.
Hamid, a college student, has entered Israeli territory illegally for work. Rushing past soldiers, he bumps into Vera, a German journalist headed to Jerusalem to cover the story of Salem, a Palestinian boy beaten into a coma by a group of revenge-seeking Israeli teenagers. On her way to the hospital, Vera runs in front of a car that barely avoids hitting her. The driver is Ido, a new father traveling with his American wife and their baby. Ido is distracted by thoughts of a young Jewish girl murdered by a terrorist who infiltrated her settlement. Ori, a nineteen-year-old soldier from a nearby settlement, is guarding the checkpoint between Bethlehem and Jerusalem through which Samar—Hamid’s professor—must pass.
These multiple strands open this magnificent and haunting novel of present-day Israel and Palestine, following each of these diverse characters as they try to protect what they love. Their interwoven stories reveal complicated, painful truths about life in this conflicted land steeped in hope, love, hatred, terror, and blood on both sides.
City of a Thousand Gates brilliantly evokes the universal drives that motivate these individuals to think and act as they do—desires for security, for freedom, for dignity, for the future of one’s children, for land that each of us, no matter who or where we are, recognize and share.
A Family, a Photograph,
a Holocaust Massacre Revealed
by Wendy Lower
February 16, 2021
A single photograph—an exceptionally rare “action shot” documenting the horrific final moment of the murder of a family—drives a riveting process of discovery for a gifted Holocaust scholar
In 2009, the acclaimed author of Hitler’s Furies was shown a photograph just brought to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The documentation of the Holocaust is vast, but there are virtually no images of a Jewish family at the actual moment of murder, in this case by German officials and Ukrainian collaborators. A Ukrainian shooter’s rifle is inches from a woman's head, obscured in a cloud of smoke. She is bending forward, holding the hand of a barefooted little boy. And—only one of the shocking revelations of Wendy Lower’s brilliant ten-year investigation of this image—the shins of another child, slipping from the woman’s lap.
Wendy Lower’s forensic and archival detective work—in Ukraine, Germany, Slovakia, Israel, and the United States—recovers astonishing layers of detail concerning the open-air massacres in Ukraine. The identities of mother and children, of the killers—and, remarkably, of the Slovakian photographer who openly took the image, as a secret act of resistance—are dramatically uncovered. Finally, in the hands of this brilliant exceptional scholar, a single image unlocks a new understanding of the place of the family unit in the ideology of Nazi genocide.
THE SLAUGHTERMAN'S DAUGHTER
BY YANIV ICZKOVITS, PhD
Translated from Hebrew By Orr Scharf, PhD
February 23, 2021
An irresistible, picaresque tale of two Jewish sisters in late-nineteenth-century Russia, filled with "boundless imagination and a vibrant style" (David Grossman), and enough intrigue and misadventure to stupefy the Coen brothers.
With her reputation as a vilde chaya (wild animal), Fanny Keismann isn't like the other women in her shtetl in Russia's Pale of Settlement--certainly not her obedient and anxiety-ridden sister, Mende, whose "philosopher" of a husband, Zvi-Meir, has run off to Minsk, abandoning her and their two children. As a young girl, Fanny felt an inexorable pull toward her father's profession of ritual slaughterer and, under his reluctant guidance, became a master with a knife. And though she long ago gave up that unsuitable profession--she's now the wife of a cheesemaker and a mother of five--Fanny still keeps the knife tied to her right leg. Which might come in handy when, heedless of the dangers facing a Jewish woman traveling alone in czarist Russia, she sets off to track down Zvi-Meir and bring him home-- with the help of the mute and mysterious ferryman Zizek Breshov, an ex-soldier with his own sensational past.
Yaniv Iczkovits spins a family drama into a far-reaching comedy of errors that will pit the czar's army against the Russian secret police and threaten the very foundations of the Russian Empire. The Slaughterman's Daughter is a rollicking and unforgettable work of fiction.
Reclaim Your Sex Life with the
Revolutionary Multi-point System
by Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus
The Orthodox Jewish Sex Guru,
March 9, 2021
The "Queen of Vibrators" and the "Orthodox Sex Guru" shares her easy, proven system to help women have a healthy, robust sex life.
IN the series UNORTHODOX, the character os Esty has sexual and vagina issues with her husband. Dr. Marcus could have treated her vaginismus so that she could have have had healthy sex with her husband and not have had to fee to Berlin into the arms of the grandson of a former SS Nazi
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus believes a healthy, fulfilling sex life is a right for all women. But many women don't quite believe that themselves; they think that a diminished sex drive is natural, pain during sex is to be expected, and no orgasms?...well, too bad! As a veteran sex therapist, Dr. Marcus has seen everything and knows firsthand that all that is rubbish.
Most of the books you find on how to have a good sex life focus on emotional intimacy and behavior--or, like the Cosmo quizzes say, sexy lingerie and a beach vacation. But there's more to it than that. For most women, while there are relationship and emotional components that are critical to a healthy sex life, there is also a hefty physiological or medical component driving their desire. And until you know what's really going on, all the lingerie and sexy couples' time won't really help. Your sex life is complex, made up many different aspects of your life; these variables shift and change over time--and all the variables need to work together to make your sex life work.
Sex Points is the first book that helps women and identify analyze for themselves what factors are affecting their sex life and then gives a wide variety of ways to approach different problems. The book breaks down these variables in an easy-to-use system--one that uses a threshold of 100 points for a healthy sex life. Divided into four key areas--pain, arousal, libido, and orgasm--each variable has its own point value. The Sex Points Assessment helps you determine exactly what is keeping you from having a great sex life-where you are missing points. Specific chapters address the issues with practical suggestions. Whatever it is, the points system gives you a concrete picture of your situation and then gives you the tools to fix it.
Covering everything from how to choose a vibrator to recapturing orgasms, to rekindling lust, embracing taboo fantasies, and parsing complicated relationships, to what sex really means (hint: it's not just intercourse!), Sex Points is a revelatory guide to ensure women get the rich sex life they deserve.
Meet the Matzah
Hardcover – Picture Book
by Alan Silberberg
March 2, 2021
Ages 3 - 5
From the creator of Meet the Latkes comes the zaniest retelling of the Passover story starring an earnest matzah and his bready friends!
What makes this Passover different from all other Passovers?
Meet Alfie Koman. He's a matzah who really likes to hide. But Alfie also has a great story to tell his class of how the Hebrews fled Egypt to freedom. Too bad Loaf, the school sourdough bully, turns Alfie's Passover story upside-down. A pharaoh who is a giant cockroach? Moses as a mighty superhero? And Ten Plagues that include "No Wi-fi" and "Chocolate-turned-to-broccoli"?
Looks like it's up to Alfie and his best friend Challa Looyah to get the Passover story right. Alfie just has to come out of hiding first....
A follow-up to the hysterical Meet The Latkes, this Passover book is another mis-told holiday treat.
Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch
by Jake Cohen
March 9, 2021
When you think of Jewish food, a few classics come to mind: chicken soup with matzo balls, challah, maybe a babka if you’re feeling adventurous. But as food writer and nice Jewish boy Jake Cohen demonstrates in this stunning debut cookbook, Jewish food can be so much more. In Jew-ish, he reinvents the food of his Ashkenazi heritage and draws inspiration from his husband’s Persian-Iraqi traditions to offer recipes that are modern, fresh, and enticing for a whole new generation of readers. Imagine the components of an everything bagel wrapped into a flaky galette and latkes dyed vibrant yellow with saffron for a Persian spin on the potato pancake, plus best-ever hybrid desserts like Macaroon Brownies and Pumpkin Spice Babka!
From elevated, yet approachable classics (shtetl chic as he calls it) like Jake’s Perfect Challah, Roasted Tomato Brisket, Short Rib Cholent, and Iraqi Beet Kubbeh Soup to innovative creations like Cacio e Pepe Rugelach, Sabich Bagel Sandwiches, and Matzo Tiramisu, Jew-ish is a brilliant collection of delicious recipes, but it’s also much more than that. He adds saffron to his latkes. He adds chicken fat to Chex Mix. As Jake reconciles Jewish traditions with his modern times (like putting ham on challah), his recipes become a celebration of a rich and vibrant history, a love story of blending cultures, and an invitation to gather around the table and create new memories with family, friends, and loved ones.
Jake Cohen, 27, learned Mizrahi and Sephardi cuisine – like tahdig - from his husband Alex Shapiro and his family (Robina). And, alternatively, Alex learned babkas (not bupkis) from Jake. A few months into dating, Alex's mother sent a rice cooker and Persian rice cookbook to Jake as a welcome gift. Cohen is on the board of OneTable. Your can check him out on social media, even on TikTok, but avoid the anti-Jewish comments that some asshole TikTokkers leave him
Readers of Jewish Food Society essays maybe recall the one on Cohen from a few years ago. Jake's mother in law lived in Iraq, Iran, and Israel. (Many Iraqi Jews moved to Iran after the Farhud in 1941). Robina's parents moved to Israel from turmeric/cumin rich Iraq , but then to saffron-rich Iran.
Cook This Book:
Techniques That Teach and
Recipes to Repeat:
by Molly Baz
April 20, 2021
A thoroughly modern guide to becoming a better, faster, more creative cook, featuring fun, flavorful recipes anyone can make. If you seek out, celebrate, and obsess over good food but lack the skills and confidence necessary to make it at home, you’ve just won a ticket to a life filled with supreme deliciousness. Cook This Book is a new kind of foundational cookbook from Molly Baz, who’s here to teach you absolutely everything she knows and equip you with the tools to become a better, more efficient cook.
Molly breaks the essentials of cooking down to clear and uncomplicated recipes that deliver big flavor with little effort and a side of education, including dishes like Pastrami Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy Onions and Dill, Chorizo and Chickpea Carbonara, and of course, her signature Cae Sal. But this is not your average cookbook.
More than a collection of recipes, Cook This Book teaches you the invaluable superpower of improvisation though visually compelling lessons on such topics as the importance of salt and how to balance flavor, giving you all the tools necessary to make food taste great every time. Throughout, you’ll encounter dozens of QR codes, accessed through the camera app on your smartphone, that link to short technique-driven videos hosted by Molly to help illuminate some of the trickier skills.
As Molly says, “Cooking is really fun, I swear. You simply need to set yourself up for success to truly enjoy it.” Cook This Book will help you do just that, inspiring a new generation to find joy in the kitchen and take pride in putting a home-cooked meal on the table, all with the unbridled fun and spirit that only Molly could inspire.
110 Easy Recipes for
Healthy Comfort Food
by Julia Turshen
March 2, 2021
Beloved New York Times bestselling cookbook author Julia Turshen returns with her first collection of recipes featuring a healthier take on the simple, satisfying comfort food for which she’s known.
Julia Turshen has always been cooking. As a kid, she skipped the Easy-Bake Oven and went straight to the real thing. As a youth she opened a restaurant in her room. A poetry major at Barnard, this granddaughter of refugee Jewish bakers, worked on a dozen cookbooks before authoring her own. Throughout her life, cooking has remained a constant, and as fans of her popular books know, Julia’s approach to food is about so much more than putting dinner on the table—it is about love, community, connection, and nourishment of the body and soul.
In Simply Julia, readers will find 110 foolproof recipes for more nutritious takes on the simple, comforting meals Julia cooks most often. With practical chapters such as weeknight go-tos, make-ahead mains, vegan one-pot meals, chicken recipes, easy baked goods, and more, Simply Julia provides endlessly satisfying options comprised of accessible and affordable ingredients. Think dishes like Stewed Chicken with Sour Cream + Chive Dumplings, Hasselback Carrots with Smoked Paprika, and Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes—the kind of flavorful yet unfussy food everyone wants to make at home.
In addition to her tried-and-true recipes, readers will find Julia’s signature elements—her “Seven Lists” (Seven Things I Learned From Being a Private Chef that Make Home Cooking Easier; Seven Ways to Use Leftover Buttermilk; Seven Ways to Use Leftover Egg Whites or Egg Yolks), menu suggestions, and helpful adaptations for dietary needs, along with personal essays and photos and gorgeous food photography.
Like Melissa Clark’s Dinner or Ina Garten’s Modern Comfort Food, Simply Julia is sure to become an instant classic, the kind of cookbook that will inspire home cooks to create great meals for years to come.
The Arabesque Table:
from the Arab World
by Reem Kassis
April 6, 2021
"The Arabesque Table is full to the brim with dishes which are rooted in tradition and at the same time creatively (and deliciously!) transcend it. It is wonderful!" -- YOTAM OTTOLENGHI
The Arabesque Table takes inspiration from the traditional food of the Arab world, weaving Reem Kassis's historic research and cultural knowledge with her contemporary interpretations of an ancient, remarkably diverse cuisine.
In her personal, engaging voice, Reem bridges past and present to open up the world of Arabic cooking today, showcasing a mosaic of 130 delicious, accessible home recipes. Organized by primary ingredient, the recipes and vivid photographs bring the dishes to life while her narrative offers not only a sense of taste, but a sense of time and place as well.
More than just a compilation of modern Arabic recipes, The Arabesque Table celebrates the evolution of Arab cuisine and the stories of cross-cultural connection it recounts, paying tribute to the history and journey that have led to this point.
With the past on full display in this heavily researched and exciting book, you will find dishes from the Golden Age of Islam: like Narjissiya (a fava bean and egg hash) and Makmoora (a layered chicken, onion and pine nut pot pie), as well as contemporary and globally inspired interpretations: like Tahini Cheesecake and Caramelized Butternut Squash Fatteh with Za'atar, revealing a cuisine that is vibrant, nourishing, and exciting, but above all, reminding us of how powerful food is in defining the relationship between people, place and identity.
March 23, 2021
#1 bestselling author Lisa Scottoline offers a sweeping and shattering epic of historical fiction fueled by shocking true events, the tale of a love triangle that unfolds in the heart of Rome...in the creeping shadow of fascism.
What war destroys, only love can heal.
Elisabetta, Marco, and Sandro grow up as the best of friends despite their differences. Elisabetta is a feisty beauty who dreams of becoming a novelist; Marco the brash and athletic son in a family of professional cyclists; and Sandro a Jewish mathematics prodigy, kind-hearted and thoughtful, the son of a lawyer and a doctor. Their friendship blossoms to love, with both Sandro and Marco hoping to win Elisabetta's heart. But in the autumn of 1937, all of that begins to change as Mussolini asserts his power, aligning Italy's Fascists with Hitler's Nazis and altering the very laws that govern Rome. In time, everything that the three hold dear--their families, their homes, and their connection to one another--is tested in ways they never could have imagined.
As anti-Semitism takes legal root and World War II erupts, the threesome realizes that Mussolini was only the beginning. The Nazis invade Rome, and with their occupation come new atrocities against the city's Jews, culminating in a final, horrific betrayal.
Against this backdrop, the intertwined fates of Elisabetta, Marco, Sandro, and their families will be decided, in a heartbreaking story of both the best and the worst that the world has to offer.
Unfolding over decades, Eternal is a tale of loyalty and loss, family and food, love and war--all set in one of the world's most beautiful cities at its darkest moment. This moving novel will be forever etched in the hearts and minds of readers.
Scottoline, Penn grad, former student of Philip Roth who turned her on to Primo Levi, former practicing attorney. For this book she took thousands of pics, saw over 40 films, and read over 300 books on the period... and bought and used a 1930 red Olivetti.
MAY 2021 BOOK RELEASES
MAY 2021 BOOK RELEASES
MAY 2021 BOOK RELEASES
Part 2 in the Cape Cod Trilogy
by Jennifer Weiner
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Summer comes another timely and deliciously twisty novel of intrigue, secrets, and the transformative power of female friendship. Hint hint... Ms. Weiner wrote this novel during #MeToo, The Kavanaugh hearing, testifying about a rape that happened years ago during high school, and having her daughter apply for a job and remembering how Weiner's first job was filled with incidents of harassment.
Daisy Shoemaker can’t sleep. With a thriving cooking business, full schedule of volunteer work, and a beautiful home in the Philadelphia suburbs, she should be content. But her teenage daughter can be a handful, her husband can be distant, her work can feel trivial, and she has lots of acquaintances, but no real friends. Still, Daisy knows she’s got it good. So why is she up all night?
While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. While Daisy’s driving carpools, Diana is chairing meetings. While Daisy’s making dinner, Diana’s making plans to reorganize corporations. Diana’s glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life is miles away from Daisy’s simpler existence. When an apology leads to an invitation, the two women meet and become friends. But, as they get closer, we learn that their connection was not completely accidental. Who IS this other woman, and what does she want with Daisy?
From the manicured Main Line of Philadelphia to the wild landscape of the Outer Cape, written with Jennifer Weiner’s signature wit and sharp observations, That Summer is a story about surviving our pasts, confronting our futures, and the sustaining bonds of friendship.
Two Against Hitler:
The Daring Mission to Save
Europe's Opera Stars from the Nazis
by Isabel Vincent
May 4, 2021
An extra .ordinary account of two British sisters whose obsession with opera became a cover for their roles in helping Jewish refugees flee the Nazis during World War II--a true story that is one part Schindler's List, one part The Sound of Music and all but forgotten, until now.
Born in the early 1900s in small-town England, the Cook sisters--Ida, a budding romance novelist, and Louise, a civil service typist-were single, like many in the Great War generation. They devoted their free time to their passion for opera, making frequent pilgrimages in the 1930s to Germany and Austria to see their favorite stars, many of them Jewish.
Along with the charismatic Austrian conductor Clemens Krauss (a favorite of Hitler's), the Cooks helped form a cabal of opera world insiders who worked in secrecy to save Jews from Hitler between 1937 and the outbreak of World War II. With their seemingly oblivious disposition and gaudy attire, the sisters eluded suspicion of Nazi spies, eventually helping over two dozen Jewish members of the opera community find safe passage to London--men and women who otherwise would have likely perished in the Holocaust.
Based on original research and packed with vivid details--many revealed here for the first time--Isabel Vincent's Two Against Hitler will join the ranks of bestselling books like Code Girls and Hidden Figures in shining the spotlight on the extraordinary contributions of women in wartime.
The Woman with the Blue Star:
A Novel Paperback
by Pam Jenoff
May 4, 2021
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris comes a riveting tale of unfathomable sacrifice and unlikely friendship during World War II.
1942. Sadie Gault is eighteen and living with her parents amid the horrors of the Kraków Ghetto during World War II. When the Nazis liquidate the ghetto, Sadie and her pregnant mother are forced to seek refuge in the perilous sewers beneath the city. One day Sadie looks up through a grate and sees a girl about her own age buying flowers.
Ella Stepanek is an affluent Polish girl living a life of relative ease with her stepmother, who has developed close alliances with the occupying Germans. Scorned by her friends and longing for her fiancé, who has gone off to war, Ella wanders Kraków restlessly. While on an errand in the market, she catches a glimpse of something moving beneath a grate in the street. Upon closer inspection, she realizes it’s a girl hiding.
Ella begins to aid Sadie and the two become close, but as the dangers of the war worsen, their lives are set on a collision course that will test them in the face of overwhelming odds. Inspired by harrowing true stories, The Woman with the Blue Star is an emotional testament to the power of friendship and the extraordinary strength of the human will to survive.
AN UNEXPECTED LIFE
BY JULIANA MARGULIES
May 4, 2021
Known for her outstanding performances on the groundbreaking television series The Good Wife and ER, Julianna Margulies deftly chronicles her life and her work in this deeply powerful memoir.
As an apple-cheeked bubbly child, Julianna was bestowed with the family nickname “Sunshine Girl.” Shuttled back and forth between her divorced parents, often on different continents, she quickly learned how to be of value to her eccentric mother and her absent father. Raised in fairly unconventional ways in various homes in Paris, England, New York, and New Hampshire, Julianna found that her role among the surrounding turmoil and uncertainty was to comfort those around her, seeking organization among the disorder, making her way in the world as a young adult and eventually an award-winning actress.
Throughout, there were complicated relationships, difficult choices, and overwhelming rejections. But there were also the moments where fate, faith, and talent aligned, leading to the unforgettable roles of a lifetime, both professionally and personally—moments when chaos had finally turned to calm.
Filled with intimate stories and revelatory moments, Sunshine Girl is at once unflinchingly honest and perceptive. It is a riveting self-portrait of a woman whose resilience in the face of turmoil will leave readers intrigued and inspired.
No One Succeeds Alone:
Learn Everything You Can
from Everyone You Can
by Robert Reffkin
May 4, 2021
HMH Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The inspirational story of Compass CEO Robert Reffkin—born black and raised Jewish—and the vital lessons he learned to help him overcome life’s daunting obstacles.
No one expected a fifteen-year-old Black kid with dreadlocks who cared more about his DJ business than his homework to grow up to become the youngest-ever White House fellow, run 50 marathons, and co-found a multibillion-dollar real estate sales company. But Robert Reffkin, raised by an Israeli immigrant single mother after his father abandoned him and his maternal grandparents disowned them, has always defied the odds.
As CEO of Compass, which he co founded with Ori Allon, America’s largest independent real estate brokerage, Reffkin distills the wisdom he’s gathered from his mother and his 100+ mentors throughout his journey. Each chapter offers a part of his life story and an actionable lesson, such as: “Love your customers more than your ideas.” “Dream out your future on paper—then tear the paper up.” And “Adapt like water and you’ll be unstoppable.”
The advice in No One Succeeds Alone will inspire you to dream bigger than you ever have before, realize your full potential, and give back by helping make someone else’s dreams come true, too.
Mergers and Acquisitions:
Or, Everything I Know About Love
I Learned on the Wedding Pages
by Cate Doty
The New York Times Vows pages
May 4, 2021
A compulsively readable behind-the-scenes memoir that takes readers inside the weddings section of The New York Times--the good, bad, and just plain weird--through the eyes of a young reporter just as she's falling in love herself.
Growing up in the south, where tradition reigns supreme, Cate Doty thought about weddings . . . a lot. She catered for them, she attended many, she imagined her own. So, when she moved to New York City in pursuit of love--and to write for The New York Times--she finds her natural home in the wedding section, a first step to her own happily-ever-after, surely. Soon Cate is thrown into the cutthroat world of the metropolitan society pages, experiencing the lengths couples go to have their announcements accepted and the lengths the writers go in fact-checking their stories; the surprising, status-signaling details that matter most to brides and grooms; and the politics of the paper at a time of vast cultural and industry changes.
Reporting weekly on couples whose relationships seem enviable--or eye-roll worthy--and dealing with WASPy grandparents and last-minute snafus, Cate is surrounded by love, or what we're told to believe is love. But when she starts to take the leap herself, she begins to ask her own questions about what it means to truly commit...
Warm, witty, and keenly observed, Mergers and Acquisitions is an enthralling dive into one of society's most esteemed institutions, its creators and subjects, and a young woman's coming-of-age.
What Would You Do If You Weren't Afraid?:
Discover a life filled with purpose
and joy through the secrets
of Jewish wisdom
by Michal Oshman
May 4, 2021
Let Michal Oshman take you on a journey of self discovery to identify what makes you you, what you were born to do and how to do it.
As a mentor for leaders in top global companies, on diversity and inclusion, Michal created a unique personal growth methodology based on the life-changing principles of Jewish wisdom and the Chassidic style of Judaism that she adheres to. It is easy to think that the daily challenges we experience in the 21st century are new and unlike any that people faced in the past. Michal draws on her own heritage and a wide range of Chassidut (Jewish teachings) to offerpractical advice for common concerns, such as a broken heart, parenting, overcoming setbacks, and getting the most out of your career.
By challenging you to explore what matters, Michal offers solutions to your everyday struggles. She will empower you as well as teach you how to adopt her self-development tools to discover who you really are and what you were born to do with your life. With its uplifting belief that you already have all the ingredients within you to lead a joyous life, Michal's unique mix of corporate culture experience and Jewish wisdom will help you reconnect with yourself.This unique book will help you to find your courage, and move forward freely, with no fear at all!
Thinking about Good and Evil:
Jewish Views from Antiquity to Modernity
(JPS Essential Judaism)
by Rabbi Wayne Allen
May 4, 2021
JEWISH PUBLICATION SOCiETY
The most comprehensive book on the topic, Thinking about Good and Evil traces the most salient Jewish ideas about why innocent people seem to suffer, why evil individuals seem to prosper, and God’s role in such matters of (in)justice, from antiquity to the present.
Starting with the Bible and Apocrypha, Rabbi Wayne Allen takes us through the Talmud; medieval Jewish philosophers and Jewish mystical sources; the Ba’al Shem Tov and his disciples; early modern thinkers such as Spinoza, Mendelssohn, and Luzzatto; and, finally, modern thinkers such as Cohen, Buber, Kaplan, and Plaskow. Each chapter analyzes individual thinkers’ arguments and synthesizes their collective ideas on the nature of good and evil and questions of justice. Allen also exposes vastly divergent Jewish thinking about the Holocaust: traditionalist (e.g., Ehrenreich), revisionist (e.g., Rubenstein, Jonas), and deflective (e.g., Soloveitchik, Wiesel).
Rabbi Allen’s engaging, accessible volume illuminates well-known, obscure, and novel Jewish solutions to the problem of good and evil.
by Francisco Goldman
May 4, 2021
Francisco Goldman’s first novel since his acclaimed, nationally bestselling Say Her Name (winner of the Prix Femina étranger), Monkey Boy is a sweeping story about the impact of divided identity- whether Jewish/Catholic, white/brown, native/expat-and one misfit’s quest to heal his damaged past and find love. Our narrator, Francisco Goldberg, an American writer, has been living in Mexico when, because of a threat provoked by his journalism, he flees to New York City, hoping to start afresh. His last relationship ended devastatingly five years before, and he may now finally be on the cusp of a new love with a young Mexican woman he meets in Brooklyn. But Francisco is soon beckoned back to his childhood home outside Boston by a high school girlfriend who witnessed his youthful humiliations, and to visit his Guatemalan mother, Yolanda, whose intermittent lucidity unearths forgotten pockets of the past. On this five-day trip, the specter of Frank’s recently deceased father, Bert, an immigrant from Ukraine – pathologically abusive, yet also at times infuriatingly endearing - as well as the dramatic Guatemalan woman who helped raise him, and the high school bullies who called him “monkey boy,” all loom.
Told in an intimate, irresistibly funny, and passionate voice, this extraordinary portrait of family and growing up “halfie,” unearths the hidden cruelties in a predominantly white, working-class Boston suburb where Francisco came of age, and explores the pressures of living between worlds all his life. Monkey Boy is a new masterpiece of fiction from one of the most important American voices in the last forty years.
Love Like Water,
Love Like Fire
by Mikhail Iossel
May 4, 2021
Bellevue Literary Press
“Love Like Water, Love Like Fire is an extraordinary book: funny and profound, moving and provocative. Rarely has life in the former USSR (or anywhere, for that matter) been portrayed with such a rich admixture of soaring observation and finely rendered detail. This is a gorgeously constructed collection by one of our wittiest and most insightful writers.” -Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans
“Mikhail Iossel is a genius, a comic visionary in the tradition of Gogol, Keret, Barthelme, and Saunders. Love Like Water, Love Like Fire is a book of surprises and delights.” -Brian Morton, author of Starting Out in the Evening and Florence Gordon
From the moment of its founding, the USSR was reviled and admired, demonized and idealized. Many Jews saw the new society ushered in by the Russian Revolution as their salvation from shtetl life with its deprivations and deadly pogroms. But Soviet Russia was rife with antisemitism, and a Jewish boy growing up in Leningrad learned early, harsh, and enduring lessons.
Unsparing and poignant, Mikhail Iossel’s twenty stories of Soviet childhood and adulthood, dissidence and subsequent immigration, are filled with wit and humor even as they describe the daily absurdities of a fickle and often perilous reality.
Mikhail Iossel immigrated to the United States in 1986 from the former USSR and is an associate professor of English at Concordia University in Montreal. His stories and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, Best American Short Stories, and elsewhere.
DAVID AND AMEENA
BY AMI RAO
May 4, 2021
Modern-day New York, a subway train: David, an American-Jewish jazz musician, torn between his dreams and his parents’ expectations, sees a woman across the car. Ameena, a British-Pakistani artist who left Manchester to escape the pressure from her conservative family, sees David. When a moment of sublime beauty occurs unexpectedly, the two connect, moved by their shared experience. From this flows a love that it appears will triumph above all. But as David and Ameena navigate their relationship, their ambitions and the city they love, they discover the external world is not so easy to keep at bay. Ami Rao’s masterful debut novel picks apart the lives of two people, stripping them of their collective identities and, in doing so, facing up to the challenge of today: can love give us the freedom to accept our differences?
A Fortress in Brooklyn:
Race, Real Estate, and the
Making of Hasidic Williamsburg
by Nathaniel Deutsch
May 11, 2021
Yale University Press
The epic story of Hasidic Williamsburg, Brooklyn from the decline of New York to the gentrification of Brooklyn
Hasidic Williamsburg is famous as one of the most separatist, intensely religious, and politically savvy communities in the entire United States. Less known is how the community survived in one of New York City’s toughest neighborhoods during an era of steep decline, only to later oppose and also participate in the unprecedented gentrification of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Nathaniel Deutsch and Michael Casper unravel the fascinating history of how a community of determined Holocaust survivors encountered, shaped, and sometimes fiercely resisted the urban processes that transformed their gritty neighborhood, from white flight and the construction of public housing to rising crime, divestment of city services, and, ultimately, extreme gentrification. By showing how Williamsburg’s Hasidim avoided assimilation, Deutsch and Casper present both a provocative counter-history of American Jewry and a novel look at how race, real estate, and religion intersected in the creation of a quintessential, and yet deeply misunderstood, New York neighborhood.
May 11, 2021
A collection of funny personal essays from one of the writers of Superbad and Pineapple Express and one of the producers of The Disaster Artist, Neighbors, and The Boys. (All of these words have been added to help this book show up in people’s searches using the wonders of algorithmic technology. Thanks for bearing with us!) Hi! I’m Seth! I was asked to describe my book, Yearbook, for the inside flap (which is a gross phrase) and for websites and shit like that, so… here it goes!!!
Yearbook is a collection of true stories that I desperately hope are just funny at worst, and life-changingly amazing at best. (I understand that it’s likely the former, which is a fancy “book” way of saying “the first one.”)
I talk about my grandparents, doing stand-up comedy as a teenager, bar mitzvahs, and Jewish summer camp, and tell way more stories about doing drugs than my mother would like. I also talk about some of my adventures in Los Angeles, and surely say things about other famous people that will create a wildly awkward conversation for me at a party one day.
I hope you enjoy the book should you buy it, and if you don’t enjoy it, I’m sorry. If you ever see me on the street and explain the situation, I’ll do my best to make it up to you.
How to Be a Feminist Dad
by Jordan Shapiro, PhD
May 11, 2021
Little Brown Spark
From digital-age parenting expert Jordan Shapiro, a thoughtful and long-overdue exploration of fatherhood and masculinity in the 21st century.
There are hundreds of books on parenting, and with good reason—becoming a parent is scary, difficult, and life-changing. But when it comes to books about parenting identity, rather than the nuts and bolts of raising children, nearly all are about what it's like to be a mother.
Drawing on research in sociology, economics, philosophy, gender studies, and the author's own experiences, Father Figure sets out to fill that gap. It's an exploration of the psychology of fatherhood from an archetypal perspective as well as a cultural history that challenges familiar assumptions about the origins of so-called traditional parenting roles. What paradoxes and contradictions are inherent in our common understanding of dads? Might it be time to rethink some aspects of fatherhood?
Gender norms are changing, and old economic models are facing disruption. As a result, parenthood and family life are undergoing an existential transformation. And yet, the narratives and images of dads available to us are wholly inadequate for this transition. Victorian and Industrial Age tropes about fathers not only dominate the media, but also contour most people's lived experience. Father Figure offers a badly needed update to our collective understanding of fatherhood—and masculinity in general. It teaches dads how to embrace the joys of fathering while guiding them toward an image of manliness for the modern world.
While Justice Sleeps:
by Stacey Abrams
May 11, 2021
"Stacey Abrams is a true novelist, and While Justice Sleeps is a first-class legal thriller, favorably compared to many of the best, starting with The Pelican Brief, which it brings to mind. It’s fast-paced and full of surprises—a terrific read." —Scott Turow, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Presumed Innocent and The Last Trial
Avery Keene, a brilliant young law clerk for the legendary Justice Howard Wynn, is doing her best to hold her life together—excelling in an arduous job with the court while also dealing with a troubled family. When the shocking news breaks that Justice Wynn—the cantankerous swing vote on many current high-profile cases—has slipped into a coma, Avery’s life turns upside down. She is immediately notified that Justice Wynn has left instructions for her to serve as his legal guardian and power of attorney. Plunged into an explosive role she never anticipated, Avery finds that Justice Wynn had been secretly researching one of the most controversial cases before the court—a proposed merger between an American biotech company and an Indian genetics firm, which promises to unleash breathtaking results in the medical field. She also discovers that Wynn suspected a dangerously related conspiracy that infiltrates the highest power corridors of Washington.
As political wrangling ensues in Washington to potentially replace the ailing judge whose life and survival Avery controls, she begins to unravel a carefully constructed, chesslike sequence of clues left behind by Wynn. She comes to see that Wynn had a much more personal stake in the controversial case and realizes his complex puzzle will lead her directly into harm’s way in order to find the truth. While Justice Sleeps is a cunningly crafted, sophisticated novel, layered with myriad twists and a vibrant cast of characters. Drawing on her astute inside knowledge of the court and political landscape, Stacey Abrams shows herself to be not only a force for good in politics and voter fairness but also a major new talent in suspense fiction.
Cooking the History.
Recipes of the Jews of Spain
and the Diaspora, from the 13th Century Onwards
by Chef Hélène Jawhara Piñer, Phd
May 11, 2021
Cherry Orchard Books
In this extraordinary cookbook, chef and scholar Hélène Jawhara-Piñer combines rich culinary history and Jewish heritage to serve up over fifty culturally significant recipes. Steeped in the history of the Sephardic Jews (Jews of Spain) and their diaspora, these recipes are expertly collected from such diverse sources as medieval cookbooks, Inquisition trials, medical treatises, poems, and literature. Original sources ranging from the thirteenth century onwards and written in Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Occitan, Italian, and Hebrew, are here presented in English translation, bearing witness to the culinary diversity of the Sephardim, who brought their cuisine with them and kept it alive wherever they went. Jawhara-Piñer provides enlightening commentary for each recipe, revealing underlying societal issues from anti-Semitism to social order. In addition, the author provides several of her own recipes inspired by her research and academic studies.
Each creation and bite of the dishes herein are guaranteed to transport the reader to the most deeply moving and intriguing aspects of Jewish history. Jawhara-Piñer reminds us that eating is a way to commemorate the past.
Modern Recipes Inspired by the Middle East
by Ori Menashe,
Genevieve Gergis, Lesley Suter
May 25, 2021
Ten Speed Press
From the acclaimed chefs behind award-winning Los Angeles restaurant Bavel comes a gorgeous cookbook featuring personal stories and more than eighty recipes that celebrate the diversity of Middle Eastern cuisines.
“Ori and Genevieve manage to pull off a style of cooking that is both familiar (and therefore comforting) but also new (and therefore fresh and exciting). This is the sort of food I could live on.”—Yotam Ottolenghi
When chef Ori Menashe and pastry chef Genevieve Gergis opened their first Los Angeles restaurant, Bestia, the city fell in love. By the time they launched their second restaurant, Bavel, the love affair had expanded to cooks and food lovers nationwide. Bavel, the cookbook, invites home cooks to explore the broad and varied cuisines of the Middle East through fragrant spice blends; sublime zhougs, tahini, labneh, and hummus; rainbows of crisp-pickled vegetables; tender, oven-baked flatbreads; fall-off-the-bone meats and tagines; buttery pastries and tarts; and so much more.
Bavel—pronounced bah-VELLE, the Hebrew name for Babel—is a metaphor for the myriad cultural, spiritual, and political differences that divide us. The food of Bavel tells the many stories of the countries defined as “the Middle East.” These recipes are influenced by the flavors and techniques from all corners of the region, and many, such as Tomato with Smoked Harissa, Turmeric Chicken with Toum, and Date-Walnut Tart, are inspired by Menashe’s Israeli upbringing and Gergis’s Egyptian roots. Bavel celebrates the freedom to cook what we love without loyalty to any specific country, and represents a world before the region was divided into separate nations. This is cooking without borders.
The Unfinished Presidency
of Jimmy Carter
by Kai Bird
May 11, 2021
Jimmy Carter... he thought Menachem Begin was a psycho at Camp David
A re-evaluation of the triumphs and tragedies of Jimmy Carter's presidential legacy—from the expert biographer and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Prometheus on Oppenheimer
Four decades after Ronald Reagan’s landslide win in 1980, Jimmy Carter’s one-term presidency is often labeled a failure; indeed, many Americans view Carter as the only ex-president to have used the White House as a stepping-stone to greater achievements. But in retrospect the Carter political odyssey is a rich and human story, marked by both formidable accomplishments and painful political adversity. In this deeply researched, brilliantly written account, Kai Bird expertly unfolds the Carter saga as a tragic tipping point in American history.
As president, Carter was not merely an OUTSIDER, but an OUTLIER. He was the only president in a century to grow up in the heart of the Deep South, and his born-again Christianity made him the most openly religious president in memory. This outlier brought to the White House a rare mix of humility, candor—and unnerving self-confidence that neither Washington nor America embraced.
Decades before today’s public reckoning with the vast gulf between America’s ethos and its actions, Carter looked out on a nation torn by race and demoralized by Watergate and Vietnam and prescribed a radical self-examination from which voters recoiled. The cost of his unshakable belief in doing the right thing would be a second term—and the ascendance of Reagan.
In these remarkable pages, Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer Bird traces the arc of Carter’s administration, from his aggressive domestic agenda to his controversial foreign policy record, taking readers inside the Oval Office and through Carter’s battles with both a political establishment and a Washington press corps that proved as adversarial as any foreign power. Bird shows how issues still hotly debated today—from national health care to growing inequality and racism to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—burned at the heart of Carter’s America, and consumed a president who found a moral duty in solving them.
Drawing on interviews with Carter and members of his administration and recently declassified documents, Bird delivers a profound, clear-eyed evaluation of a leader whose legacy has been deeply misunderstood. The Outlier is the definitive account of an enigmatic presidency—both as it really happened and as it is remembered in the American consciousness.
The Spirit of Green:
The Economics of Collisions
and Contagions in a Crowded World
by William D. Nordhaus
May 18, 2021
Princeton University Press
From a Nobel Prize–winning pioneer in environmental economics, an innovative account of how and why “green thinking” could cure many of the world’s most serious problems-from global warming to pandemics
Solving the world’s biggest problems-from climate catastrophe and pandemics to wildfires and corporate malfeasance-requires, more than anything else, coming up with new ways to manage the powerful interactions that surround us. For carbon emissions and other environmental damage, this means ensuring that those responsible pay their full costs rather than continuing to pass them along to others, including future generations. In The Spirit of Green, Nobel Prize–winning economist William Nordhaus describes a new way of green thinking that would help us overcome our biggest challenges without sacrificing economic prosperity, in large part by accounting for the spillover costs of economic collisions.
In a discussion that ranges from the history of the environmental movement to the Green New Deal, Nordhaus explains how the spirit of green thinking provides a compelling and hopeful new perspective on modern life. At the heart of green thinking is a recognition that the globalized world is shaped not by isolated individuals but rather by innumerable interactions inside and outside the economy. He shows how rethinking economic efficiency, sustainability, politics, profits, taxes, individual ethics, corporate social responsibility, finance, and more would improve the effectiveness and equity of our society. And he offers specific solutions-on how to price carbon, how to pursue low-carbon technologies, how to design an efficient tax system, and how to foster international cooperation through climate clubs.
The result is a groundbreaking new vision of how we can have our environment and our economy too.
Last Summer at the Golden Hotel
by Elyssa Friedland
May 18, 2021
A family reunion for the ages when two clans convene for the summer at their beloved getaway in the Catskills—perfect for fans of Dirty Dancing and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel—from the acclaimed author of The Floating Feldmans.
In its heyday, The Golden Hotel was the crown jewel of the hotter-than-hot Catskills vacation scene. For more than sixty years, the Goldman and Weingold families – best friends and business partners – have presided over this glamorous resort which served as a second home for well-heeled guests and celebrities. But the Catskills are not what they used to be – and neither is the relationship between the Goldmanqqqqs and the Weingolds. As the facilities and management begin to fall apart, a tempting offer to sell forces the two families together again to make a heart-wrenching decision. Can they save their beloved Golden or is it too late?
Long-buried secrets emerge, new dramas and financial scandal erupt, and everyone from the traditional grandparents to the millennial grandchildren wants a say in the hotel’s future. Business and pleasure clash in this fast-paced, hilarious, nostalgia-filled story, where the hotel owners rediscover the magic of a bygone era of nonstop fun even as they grapple with what may be their last resort.
What Data Reveals About Billion-Dollar Startups
by Ali Tamaseb
May 18, 2021
University of Tehran and Stanford grad, Ali Tamaseb, writes in Super Founders that using a data-driven approach to understand what really differentiates billion-dollar startups from the rest—revealing that nearly everything we thought was true about them is false
Ali Tamaseb has spent thousands of hours manually (he should have used Excel.. it would have been faster) amassing a dataset on startups, comparing billion-dollar startups with those that failed to become one — 30,000 data points on nearly every factor: number of competitors, market size, the founder’s age, his or her university’s ranking, quality of investors, fundraising time, and many more.
And what he found looked far different than he had hypothesized and expected. Just to mention a few:
Most unicorn FOUNDER had no industry experience;
There's no disadvantage to being a solo founder or to being a non-technical CEO;
Fewer than 15% of FOUNDERS went through any kind of accelerator program;
Over half had strong competitors when starting – thus being first to market with an idea does not adversely affect the growth of the new firm.
You will also hear the stories of the early days of billion-dollar startups first-hand. The book includes exclusive interviews with the founders/investors of Zoom, Instacart, PayPal, Nest, Github, Flatiron Health, Kite Pharma, Facebook, Stripe, Airbnb, YouTube, LinkedIn, Lyft, DoorDash, Coinbase, and Square, venture capital investors like Elad Gil, Peter Thiel, Alfred Lin from Sequoia Capital and Keith Rabois of Founders Fund, as well as previously untold stories about the early days of ByteDance (TikTok), WhatsApp, Dropbox, Discord, DiDi, Flipkart, Instagram, Careem, Peloton, and SpaceX.
Packed with counterintuitive insights and inside stories from people who have built massively successful companies, Super Founders is a paradigm-shifting and actionable guide for entrepreneurs, investors, and anyone interested in what makes a startup successful.
A Door Behind A Door
by Yelena Moskovich
May 18, 2021
Two Dollar Radio Press
"Moskovich (Virtuoso) mystifies with this vivid story of a pair of estranged siblings who immigrated to Milwaukee from the Soviet Union as children in 1991... The dynamic style and psychological depth make this an engaging mind bender." -Publishers Weekly
In Yelena Moskovich's spellbinding new novel, A Door Behind A Door, we meet Olga, who immigrates as part of the Soviet diaspora of ’91 to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There she grows up and meets a girl and falls in love, beginning to believe that she can settle down. But a phone call from a bad man from her past brings to life a haunted childhood in an apartment building in the Soviet Union: an unexplained murder in her block, a supernatural stray dog, and the mystery of her beloved brother Moshe, who lost an eye and later vanished. We get pulled into Olga’s past as she puzzles her way through an underground Midwestern Russian mafia, in pursuit of a string of mathematical stabbings.
"Yelena Moskovich returns with her latest work, A Door Behind a Door, bearing many of the hallmarks – the post-Soviet diaspora, the mesmeric blending of past and present, desire and violence – of her previous novels, Virtuoso and The Natashas. This time we are in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where the protagonist Olga receives a phone call opening up a Pandora’s box of haunting memories and unsolved puzzles from her Soviet past." -Matt Janney, The Calvert Journal, "Books to look forward to in 2021"
A Flaw in Human Judgment
by Daniel Kahneman,
Olivier Sibony, and
Cass R. Sunstein
May 18, 2021
From the Nobel Prize-winning author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, coauthor of Nudge, and author of You Are About to Make a Terrible Mistake!, Noise is a revolutionary exploration of why people make bad judgments, "full of novel insights, rigorous evidence, engaging writing, and practical applications” (Adam Grant).
Imagine a rabbi gives you advice, but it would be different if given in the afternoon or morning.
Imagine that two doctors in the same city give different diagnoses to identical patients — or that two judges in the same courthouse give markedly different sentences to people who have committed the same crime. The only difference is the day of the week.
What if when a company is handling customer complaints, the resolution depends on who happens to answer the phone.
These are examples of noise: variability in judgments that should be identical. In Noise, Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass R. Sunstein show the detrimental effects of noise in many fields, including medicine, law, economic forecasting, forensic science, bail, child protection, strategy, performance reviews, and personnel selection. Wherever there is judgment, there is noise. Yet, most of the time, individuals and organizations alike are unaware of it. They neglect noise. With a few simple remedies, people can reduce both noise and bias, and so make far better decisions.
Packed with original ideas, and offering the same kinds of research-based insights that made Thinking, Fast and Slow and Nudge groundbreaking New York Times bestsellers, Noise explains how and why humans are so susceptible to noise in judgment—and what we can do about it.
An '80s Story
by Andrew McCarthy
May 11, 2021
Grand Central Publishing
Fans of Patti Smith's Just Kids and Rob Lowe's StoriesI Only Tell My Friends will love this beautifully written, entertaining, and emotionally honest memoir by an actor, director, and author who found his start as an 80s Brat pack member.
Most people know Andrew McCarthy from his movie roles in Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo's Fire, Weekend at Bernie's, and Less than Zero, and as a charter member of Hollywood's Brat Pack. That iconic group of ingenues and heartthrobs included Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, and Demi Moore, and has come to represent both a genre of film and an era of pop culture.
In his memoir Brat: An '80s Story, McCarthy focuses his gaze on that singular moment in time. The result is a revealing look at coming of age in a maelstrom, reckoning with conflicted ambition, innocence, addiction, and masculinity. New York City of the 1980s is brought to vivid life in these pages, from scoring loose joints in Washington Square Park to skipping school in favor of the dark revival houses of the Village where he fell in love with the movies that would change his life.
Filled with personal revelations of innocence lost to heady days in Hollywood with John Hughes and an iconic cast of characters, Brat is a surprising and intimate story of an outsider caught up in a most unwitting success.
The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II
by Leah Garrett
May 25, 2021
"Brilliantly researched, utterly gripping history: the first full account of a remarkable group of Jewish refugees—a top-secret band of brothers—who waged war on Hitler."—Alex Kershaw, New York Times best-selling author of The Longest Winter and TheLiberator
The incredible World War II saga of the German-Jewish commandos who fought in Britain’s most secretive special-forces unit—but whose story has gone untold until now
June 1942. The shadow of the Third Reich has fallen across the European continent. In desperation, Winston Churchill and his chief of staff form an unusual plan: a new commando unit made up of Jewish refugees who have escaped to Britain. The resulting volunteers are a motley group of intellectuals, artists, and athletes, most from Germany and Austria. Many have been interned as enemy aliens, and have lost their families, their homes—their whole worlds. They will stop at nothing to defeat the Nazis. Trained in counterintelligence and advanced combat, this top secret unit becomes known as X Troop. Some simply call them a suicide squad.
Drawing on extensive original research, including interviews with the last surviving members, Leah Garrett follows this unique band of brothers from Germany to England and back again, with stops at British internment camps, the beaches of Normandy, the battlefields of Italy and Holland, and the hellscape of Terezin concentration camp—the scene of one of the most dramatic, untold rescues of the war. For the first time, X Troop tells the astonishing story of these secret shock troops and their devastating blows against the Nazis.
“Garrett’s detective work is stunning, and her storytelling is masterful. This is an original account of Jewish rescue, resistance, and revenge.”—Wendy Lower, author of The Ravine and National Book Award finalist Hitler’s Furies
The True Story of a Band of
Women Who Survived the Worst
of Nazi Germany
by Gwen Strauss
May 4, 2021
"A compelling, beautifully written story of resilience, friendship and survival. The story of Women’s resistance during World War II needs to be told and The Nine accomplishes this in spades." -Heather Morris, New York Times bestselling author of Cilka's Journey
The Nine follows the true story of the author’s great aunt Hélène Podliasky, who led a band of nine female resistance fighters as they escaped a German forced labor camp and made a ten-day journey across the front lines of WWII from Germany back to Paris.
The nine women were all under thirty when they joined the resistance. They smuggled arms through Europe, harbored parachuting agents, coordinated communications between regional sectors, trekked escape routes to Spain and hid Jewish children in scattered apartments. They were arrested by French police, interrogated and tortured by the Gestapo. They were subjected to a series of French prisons and deported to Germany. The group formed along the way, meeting at different points, in prison, in transit, and at Ravensbrück. By the time they were enslaved at the labor camp in Leipzig, they were a close-knit group of friends. During the final days of the war, forced onto a death march, the nine chose their moment and made a daring escape.
Drawing on incredible research, this powerful, heart-stopping narrative from Gwen Strauss is a moving tribute to the power of humanity and friendship in the darkest of times.
LETTERS TO CAMONDO
BY EDMUND De WAAL
May 11, 2021
A tragic family history told in a collection of imaginary letters to a famed collector, Moise de Camondo
Letters to Camondo is a collection of imaginary letters from Edmund de Waal to Moise de Camondo, the banker and art collector who created a spectacular house in Paris, now the Musée Nissim de Camondo, and filled it with the greatest private collection of French eighteenth-century art.
The Camondos were a Jewish family from Constantinople, “the Rothschilds of the East,” who made their home in Paris in the 1870s and became philanthropists, art collectors, and fixtures of Belle Époque high society, as well as being targets of antisemitism-much like de Waal's relations, the Ephrussi family, to whom they were connected. Moise de Camondo created a spectacular house and filled it with art for his son, Nissim; after Nissim was killed in the First World War, the house was bequeathed to the French state. Eventually, the Camondos were murdered by the Nazis.
After de Waal, one of the world’s greatest ceramic artists, was invited to make an exhibition in the Camondo house, he began to write letters to Moise de Camondo. These fifty letters are deeply personal reflections on assimilation, melancholy, family, art, the vicissitudes of history, and the value of memory.
BY MATTIAS BERG
May 23, 2021
Erasmus Levine has a job like no other. He travels with the President of the United States at all times, and holds in his hands the power to obliterate life as we know it.
Levine is the man with the nuclear briefcase, part of a crack team of top-secret operatives established after 9/11, led by a man code- named Edelweiss. But not even Edelweiss knows the identity of their ultimate authority, Alpha.
But Levine has a secret, for years he has been receiving cryptic messages from Alpha, an elaborate communication that began with the words: "we two against the world." Now he's thinking of escape and his chance comes during an official visit to Sweden.
But Alpha has other plans. From their first meeting in a network of tunnels and bunkers beneath the city, Levine is drawn into a plan to eliminate the world's nuclear arsenals. But is controlled demolition really the endgame? Could he be working towards a controlled apocalypse designed to wipe humanity from the face of the earth?
The Plight of Jewish Deserted Wives, 1851–1900:
A Social History of East European Agunah
by Haim Sperber
(Western Galilee College)
JUNE 1, 2021
Agunot (Agunah, sing., meaning ‘anchored’ in Hebrew) is a Jewish term describing women who cannot remarry because their husband has disappeared. According to Jewish law (Halacha) a woman can get out of the marriage only if the husband releases her by granting a divorce writ (Get), if he dies, or if his whereabouts is not known. Women whose husbands cannot be located, and who have not been granted a Get, are considered Agunot. The Agunah phenomenon was of major concern in East European Jewry and much referred to in Hebrew and Yiddish media and fiction.
Most nineteenth-century Agunot cases came from Eastern Europe, where most Jews resided (twentieth-century Agunot were primarily in North America, and will be the subject of a forthcoming book).
Seven variations of Agunot have been identified: Deserted wives; women who refused to receive, or were not granted, a Get; widowed women whose brothers-in-law refused to grant them permission to marry someone else (Halitza); women whose husbands’ remains were not found; improperly or incorrectly written Gets; women whose husbands became mentally ill and were not competent to grant a Get; women refused a Get by husbands who had converted to Christianity or Islam.
The book explores the reasons for desertion and the plight of the left-alone wife. Key is the change from a legal issue to a social one, with changing attitudes to philanthropy and public opinion at the fore of explanation. A statistical database of circa 5000 identified Agunot is to be published simultaneously in a separate companion volume.
Hasidism, Suffering, and Renewal:
The Prewar and Holocaust Legacy
of Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira
(SUNY series in Contemporary Jewish Thought)
Edited by Don Seeman, Daniel Reiser,
Ariel Evan Mayse
JUNE 1, 2021
Reconsiders the legacy of an important Hasidic mystic, leader, and educator who confronted the dilemmas of modernity after World War I and whose writing constitutes a unique testimony to religious experience and its rupture in the Warsaw Ghetto.
Kalonymus Kalman Shapira (1889–1943) was a remarkable Hasidic mystic, leader, and educator. He confronted the secularization and dislocation of Polish Jews after World War I, the failure of the traditional educational system, and the devastation of the Holocaust, in which he lost all his close family and eventually his own life.
Thanks to a new critical edition of his Warsaw Ghetto sermons, scholars have begun to reassess the relationship between Shapira’s literary and educational attainments, his prewar mysticism, and his Holocaust experience, and to reexamine the question of faith-or its collapse-in the Warsaw Ghetto. This interdisciplinary volume, the first such work devoted to a twentieth-century Hasidic leader, integrates social and intellectual history along with theological, literary, and anthropological analyses of Shapira’s legacy. It raises theoretical and methodological questions related to the study of Jewish thought and mysticism, but also contributes to contemporary conversations about topics such as spiritual renewal and radical religious experience, the literature of suffering, and perhaps most pressingly, the question of faith and meaning-or their rupture-in the wake of genocide.
AN AMERICN TRAGEDY
BY ANNE SEBBA
JUNE 8, 2021
New York Times bestselling author Anne Sebba's moving biography of Ethel Rosenberg, the wife and mother whose execution for espionage-related crimes defined the Cold War and horrified the world.
In June 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, a couple with two young sons, were led separately from their prison cells on Death Row and electrocuted moments apart. Both had been convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage for the Soviet Union, despite the fact that the US government was aware that the evidence against Ethel was shaky at best and based on the perjury of her own brother.
This book is the first to focus on one half of that couple for more than thirty years, and much new evidence has surfaced since then. Ethel was a bright girl who might have fulfilled her personal dream of becoming an opera singer, but instead found herself struggling with the social mores of the 1950’s. She longed to be a good wife and perfect mother, while battling the political paranoia of the McCarthy era, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and a mother who never valued her. Because of her profound love for and loyalty to her husband, she refused to incriminate him, despite government pressure on her to do so. Instead, she courageously faced the death penalty for a crime she hadn’t committed, orphaning her children.
Seventy years after her trial, this is the first time Ethel’s story has been told with the full use of the dramatic and tragic prison letters she exchanged with her husband, her lawyer and her psychotherapist over a three-year period, two of them in solitary confinement. Hers is the resonant story of what happens when a government motivated by fear tramples on the rights of its citizens.
HERE, RIGHT MATTERS
An American Story
Alexander S. Vindman,
Ret Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army
JUNE 15, 2021
Former U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman tells the story of his childhood as a Ukranian immigrant in Brooklyn, his choice to pursue a career in service of his new home in war and at the highest levels of the National Security Council, and his decision to report the infamous phone call that led to a presidential impeachment.
0900, Thursday, July 25, 2019: President Trump called Ukraine’s President Zelensky, supposedly to congratulate him on his recent victory. In the months to follow, the American public would learn what only Alexander Vindman was courageous enough to bring to light: on that call, the President of the United States extorted a foreign ally to bring down a political challenger at home. Vindman’s actions would lead to Trump’s impeachment. It would also lead to the end of Vindman’s decorated career in the US Army, in retribution for his public testimony before Congress.
Here, Right Matters is the story of Vindman’s family, his career, and the moment of truth he faced for his nation. As an immigrant, raised by a father who fled the Soviet Union in pursuit of a better life for his children, Vindman learned about respect for truth and fact throughout his education and military training in his new home country. Speaking up about what happened on July 25th was never a choice: it was Vindman’s duty, as a naturalized citizen and member of the armed forces. And far louder than the partisan attacks he endured in the wake of his testimony was an extraordinary chorus of support from citizens who were collectively intent on reaffirming an abiding American commitment to integrity.
In the face of a sure-fire career derailment and public excoriation, Vindman heeded the lessons from the people and institutions who instilled in him the moral compass and the courage to act decisively. Like so many other American immigrant families, the Vindmans had to learn to build a life from scratch and take big risks to achieve important goals. Here, Right Matters is about the quiet heroes who keep us safe; but, above all, it is a call to arms for those of us who refuse to let America betray its true self.
by Joshua Henkin
JUNE 15, 2021
A tender, powerful, and big-hearted novel about love in the face of loss, from the award-winning author of The World Without You and Matrimony
When Ohio-born Pru Steiner arrives in New York in 1976 after graduating from Yale, she follows in a long tradition of young people determined to take the city by storm. She is escaping the strict Orthodox Jewish family in Ohio. When she falls in love with Spence Robin, her hotshot young Shakespeare professor, her life takes a turn she couldn’t have anticipated.
Thirty years later, in 2006, something is wrong with Spence, now 57. The Great Man can’t concentrate; he falls asleep reading The New York Review of Books. It is most likely early onset Alzheimer's. With their daughter Sarah away at medical school, Pru must struggle on her own. One day, feeling particularly isolated, Pru meets a man, and the possibility of new romance blooms. Meanwhile, Spence’s estranged son from his first marriage has come back into their lives (he did spend two years with them as a teen, and loved his father and hip step mother). Arlo Zackheim, a wealthy entrepreneur who invests in biotech, may be his father’s last, best hope (his mother, was a narcissistic vagabond who left Arlo with a deep void, always seeking love.
Morningside Heights is a sweeping and compassionate novel about a marriage surviving hardship. It’s about the love between women and men and children and parents, about the things we give up in the face of adversity, about what endures when life turns out differently from what we thought we signed up for.
by Joshua Cohen
NY Review Bks
JUNE 22, 2021
A job interview goes awry for the exiled patriarch of Israel's First Family in this novel from one of contemporary fiction's most brilliant and audacious writers.
Corbin College, not-quite-upstate New York, winter 1959-1960: Ruben Blum, a Jewish historian—but not an historian of the Jews—is co-opted onto a hiring committee to review the application of an exiled Israeli scholar specializing in the Spanish Inquisition.
When Benzion Netanyahu shows up for an interview, family unexpectedly in tow, Blum plays the reluctant host, to guests who proceed to lay waste to his American complacencies. Mixing fiction with non-fiction, the campus novel with the lecture, The Netanyahus is a wildly inventive, genre-bending comedy of blending, identity, and politics—“An Account of A Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family” that finds Joshua Cohen at the height of his powers.
by Francine Prose
JUNE 29, 2021
“Francine Prose is a powerhouse. The Vixen will fascinate and complicate the histories that haunt our present moments. Like Coney Island’s Cyclone, this story tumbles and tangles a reader’s grip of reality. It’s told with the heart, humor and daring of a true artist. Prose’s Vixen is a triumph and a trip though the solid magic that books make real.”—Samantha Hunt
“A rollicking trickster of a novel, wondrously funny and wickedly addictive.”—Maria Semple
Critically acclaimed, bestselling author Francine Prose returns with a dazzling new novel set in the glamorous world of 1950s New York publishing, the story of a young man tasked with editing a steamy bodice-ripper based on the recent trial and execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg—an assignment that will reveal the true cost of entering that seductive, dangerous new world.
It’s 1953, and Simon Putnam, a recent Harvard graduate newly hired by a distinguished New York publishing firm, has entered a glittering world of three-martini lunches, exclusive literary parties, and old-money aristocrats in exquisitely tailored suits, a far cry from his loving, middle-class Jewish family in Coney Island.
But Simon’s first assignment—editing The Vixen, the Patriot and the Fanatic, a lurid bodice-ripper improbably based on the recent trial and execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, a potboiler intended to shore up the firm’s failing finances—makes him question the cost of admission. Because Simon has a secret that, at the height of the Red Scare and the McCarthy hearings, he cannot reveal: his beloved mother was a childhood friend of Ethel Rosenberg’s. His parents mourn Ethel’s death.
Simon’s dilemma grows thornier when he meets The Vixen’s author, the startlingly beautiful, reckless, seductive Anya Partridge, ensconced in her opium-scented boudoir in a luxury Hudson River mental asylum. As mysteries deepen, as the confluence of sex, money, politics and power spirals out of Simon’s control, he must face what he’s lost by exchanging the loving safety of his middle-class Jewish parents’ Coney Island apartment for the witty, whiskey-soaked orbit of his charismatic boss, the legendary Warren Landry. Gradually Simon realizes that the people around him are not what they seem, that everyone is keeping secrets, that ordinary events may conceal a diabolical plot—and that these crises may steer him toward a brighter future.
At once domestic and political, contemporary and historic, funny and heartbreaking, enlivened by surprising plot turns and passages from Anya’s hilariously bad novel, The Vixen illuminates a period of history with eerily striking similarities to the current moment. Meanwhile it asks timeless questions: How do we balance ambition and conscience? What do social mobility and cultural assimilation require us to sacrifice? How do we develop an authentic self, discover a vocation, and learn to live with the mysteries of love, family, art, life and loss?
Linda McCartney's Family Kitchen:
Over 90 Plant-Based Recipes to
Save the Planet and Nourish the Soul
by the late Linda McCartney
Paul McCartney, Stella McCartney,
and Mary McCartney
JUNE 29, 2021
Over thirty years ago, Linda McCartney first blazed the trail for meat-free cooking, and around the table of the family home in East Sussex, she shared the pleasure that eating compassionately could bring. Now Paul, Mary and Stella bring Linda's kitchen up to date, re-inventing her best-loved recipes for the plant-based cook, alongside their favorite family stories and the dishes that they now eat at home.
The original food pioneer and photographer, Linda McCartney believed in great tasting, wholesome, meat-free food, and embraced kindness and compassion in everything she did. She was raised in Scarsdale, NY (Her father was Lee (Epstein)Eastman and mother Louise Lindner). Her legacy lives on in Linda McCartney's Family Kitchen, a collection of 100 simple, fresh and inventive plant-based recipes that fit perfectly with how we want to eat now.
In Linda McCartney's Family Kitchen, Paul, Mary and Stella have re-imagined Linda's classic recipes, bringing them up to date for the modern, plant-based cook. Because how we eat is changing, with more and more people choosing a meat- and dairy-free diet, even if only for one or two days a week.
Alongside family favorites such as Pancakes, Chilled Avocado and Chili Soup, Aubergine Caponata and Shepherd's Pie, Paul, Mary and Stella share the dishes they cook most at home: Pad Thai, Pulled Jackfruit Burgers, Italian Tomato and Bread Salad and Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookies to name just a few of the simple, nourishing and sustainable recipes included in this stylish book.
Complete with personal stories and intimate family photos spanning three decades, is not only good for you, but for the planet too.
The Cult of We:
WeWork, Adam Neumann, and
the Great Startup Delusion
by Eliot Brown, Maureen Farrell
JUNE 1, 2021
The definitive inside story of WeWork, its audacious founder, and what the company's epic unraveling exposes about Silicon Valley's delusions and the financial system's desperate hunger to cash in--from the Wall Street Journal reporters whose scoops hastened the company's downfall.
In 2001, Adam Neumann arrived in New York after five years as a conscript in the Israeli navy. Just over fifteen years later, he had transformed himself into the charismatic CEO of a company worth $47 billion--at least on paper. With his long hair and feel-good mantras, the 6-foot-five Neumann, who grew up in part on a kibbutz, looked the part of a messianic Silicon Valley entrepreneur. The vision he offered was mesmerizing: a radical reimagining of work space for a new generation, with its fluid jobs and lax office culture. He called it WeWork. Though the company was merely subleasing "amenity"-filled office space to freelancers and small startups, Neumann marketed it like a revolutionary product--and investors swooned.
As billions of funding dollars poured in, Neumann's ambitions grew limitless. WeWork wasn't just an office space provider, he boasted. It would build schools, create WeWork cities, even colonize Mars. Could he, Neumann wondered from the ice bath he'd installed in his office, become the first trillionaire or a world leader? In pursuit of its founder's grandiose vision, the company spent money faster than it could bring it in. From his private jet, sometimes clouded with marijuana smoke, the CEO scoured the globe for more capital. In late 2019, just weeks before WeWork's highly publicized IPO, a Hail Mary effort to raise cash, everything fell apart. Neumann was ousted from his company--but still was poised to walk away a billionaire.
Calling to mind the recent demise of Theranos and the hubris of the dotcom era bust, WeWork's extraordinary rise and staggering implosion were fueled by disparate characters in a financial system blind to its risks, from a Japanese billionaire with designs on becoming the Warren Buffet of tech, to leaders at JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs who seemed intoxicated by a Silicon Valley culture where sensible business models lost out to youthful CEOs who promised "disruption." Why did some of the biggest names in banking and venture capital buy the hype? And what does the future hold for Silicon Valley "unicorns"? Wall Street Journal reporters Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell explore these questions in this definitive account of WeWork's unraveling.
The books series without free refills
The Rational Bible:
by Dennis Prager
Expected on June 8, 2021
From the co author of Questions People Ask About Judaism, author of over a dozen other other books, and syndicated radio talk show host, come his latest volume in a series on bible commentary.
Is the Bible, the most influential book in world history, still relevant? Why do people dismiss it as being irrelevant, irrational, immoral, or all of these things?
This explanation of the Book of Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the Bible, will demonstrate how it remains profoundly relevant—both to the great issues of our day and to each individual life.
Do you doubt the existence of God because you think believing in God is irrational? This book will cause you to reexamine your doubts.
The title of this commentary is The Rational Bible because its approach is entirely reason-based. The reader is never asked to accept anything on faith alone. In Dennis Prager’s words, “If something I write is not rational, I have not done my job.”
The Rational Bible is the fruit of Prager’s forty years of teaching to people of every faith and no faith at all. On virtually every page, you will discover how the text relates to the contemporary world in general and to you on a personal level.
His goal: to change your mind, and, as a result, to change your life.
The Forest of Vanishing Stars:
by Kristin Harmel
JULY 6, 2021
The New York Times bestselling author of the “heart-stopping tale of survival and heroism” (People) The Book of Lost Names returns with an evocative coming-of-age World War II story about a young woman who uses her knowledge of the wilderness to help Jewish refugees escape the Nazis—until a secret from her past threatens everything.
After being stolen from her wealthy German parents and raised in the unforgiving wilderness of eastern Europe, a young woman finds herself alone in 1941 after her kidnapper dies. Her solitary existence is interrupted, however, when she happens upon a group of Jews fleeing the Nazi terror. Stunned to learn what’s happening in the outside world, she vows to teach the group all she can about surviving in the forest—and in turn, they teach her some surprising lessons about opening her heart after years of isolation. But when she is betrayed and escapes into a German-occupied village, her past and present come together in a shocking collision that could change everything.
Inspired by incredible true stories of survival against staggering odds, and suffused with the journey-from-the-wilderness elements that made Where the Crawdads Sing a worldwide phenomenon, The Forest of Vanishing Stars is a heart-wrenching and suspenseful novel from the #1 internationally bestselling author whose writing has been hailed as “sweeping and magnificent” (Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author), “immersive and evocative” (Publishers Weekly), and “gripping” (Tampa Bay Times).
The Happiest Man on Earth
by Eddie Jaku
JULY 6, 2021
Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. It is up to you. Eddie Jaku always considered himself a German first, a Jew second. He was proud of his country. But all of that changed in November 1938, when he was beaten, arrested, and taken to a concentration camp. Over the next seven years, Eddie faced unimaginable horrors every day, first in Buchenwald, then in Auschwitz, then on a Nazi death march. He lost family, friends, his country. Because he survived, Eddie made the vow to smile every day. He pays tribute to those who were lost by telling his story, sharing his wisdom, and living his best possible life. He now believes he is the "happiest man on earth." Published as Eddie turns 100, this is a powerful, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful memoir of how happiness can be found even in the darkest of times.
BEING JEWISH TODAY
CONFRONTING THE REAL ISSUE
Rabbi Tony Bayfield, PhD
JULY 13, 2021
Reissued from 2019
This is a book which understands and faces the impact of modernity on the Jewish community today. Being Jewish Today gives an account of both the journey of a particular British Jew and the journey of millions of women and men through today's perplexing and difficult world. With honesty and integrity Rabbi Tony Bayfield breaks new ground in exploring the meaning of Jewish identity and its relationship to Jewish tradition and belief. He does so from the perspective of a person fully integrated into the modern Western world. The rigorous questions he asks of his Jewishness, Judaism and the Jewish God are therefore substantially the same as those asked by all faiths and none.
Beginning with an account of the journey of Jewish people and thought from ancient times to the present day, Bayfield goes on to consider Jewish identity, Israel as land and the scourge of anti-Semitism. He then turns to the twin concerns of Torah: Halakhah – practice, and Aggadah – ethics, along with the matter of belief in a world faced with global extinction. Finally, in addressing the manifest injustice of life, Rabbi Bayfield confronts the widely evaded questions of universal suffering and divine inaction.
Drawing on key religious and secular thinkers who contribute to the force of his argument, Bayfield's masterful, challenging and urgent book will appeal to all Jews, whether religious or cultural, and to anyone curious about the nature of Judaism and religion today.
(Gabriel Allon, #21)
by Daniel Silva
JULY 13, 2021
Master of international intrigue Daniel Silva follows up his acclaimed #1 New York Times bestsellers The Order, The New Girl, and The Other Woman with this riveting, action-packed tale of espionage and suspense featuring art restorer and spy Gabriel Allon.
The fatal poisoning of a Russian billionaire sends Gabriel Allon on a dangerous journey across Europe and into the orbit of a musical virtuoso who may hold the key to the truth about his friend’s death. The plot Allon uncovers leads to secret channels of money and influence that go to the very heart of Western democracy and threaten the stability of the global order. The Cellist is a breathtaking entry in Daniel Silva’s “outstanding series” (People magazine) and reveals once more his superb artistry and genius for invention—and demonstrates why he belongs “firmly alongside le Carré and Forsyth as one of the greatest spy novelists of all time” (The Real Book Spy).
A KID IN THE NEWSROOM
BY CARL BERNSTEIN
August 10, 2021
The Pulitzer Prize-winning co-author of All the President’s Men-the chronicle of the investigative report about the Watergate break-in and resultant political scandal which led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation-recalls his formative years as a teenage newspaper reporter in JFK’s Washington-a tale of adventures, scrapes, clever escapes, and the opportunity of a lifetime.
With these words, the sixteen-year-old senior at Montgomery Blair High School set himself apart from the high school crowd and set himself on a track that would define his life. Carl Bernstein was far from the best student in his class-in fact, he was in danger of not graduating at all-but he had a talent for writing, a burning desire to know things that other people didn’t, and a flair for being in the right place at the right time. Those qualities got him inside the newsroom at the Washington Star, the afternoon paper in the nation’s capital, in the summer of 1960, a pivotal time for America, for Washington, D.C., and for a young man in a hurry on the cusp of adulthood.
Chasing History opens up the world of the early 1960s as Bernstein experienced it, chasing after grisly crimes with the paper’s police reporter, gathering colorful details at a John F. Kennedy campaign rally, running afoul of union rules, and confronting racial tensions as the civil rights movement gained strength. We learn alongside him as he comes to understand the life of a newspaperman, and we share his pride as he hunts down information, gets his first byline, and discovers that he has a talent for the job after all.
By turns exhilarating, funny, tense, and poignant, Chasing History shows us a country coming into its own maturity along with young Carl Bernstein, and when he strikes out on his own after five years at the Star, his hard-won knowledge and experience feels like ours as well.
The Secret History of Food:
Strange but True Stories
About the Origins of Everything We Eat
by Matt Siegel
August 31, 2021
An irreverent, surprising, and entirely entertaining look at the little-known history surrounding the foods we know and love
Is Italian olive oil really Italian, or are we dipping our bread in lamp oil? Why are we masochistically drawn to foods that can hurt us, like hot peppers? Far from being a classic American dish, is apple pie actually . . . English?
“As a species, we’re hardwired to obsess over food,” Matt Siegel explains as he sets out “to uncover the hidden side of everything we put in our mouths.” Siegel also probes subjects ranging from the myths—and realities—of food as aphrodisiac, to how one of the rarest and most exotic spices in all the world (vanilla) became a synonym for uninspired sexual proclivities, to the role of food in fairy- and morality tales. He even makes a well-argued case for how ice cream helped defeat the Nazis.
The Secret History of Food is a rich and satisfying exploration of the historical, cultural, scientific, sexual, and, yes, culinary subcultures of this most essential realm. Siegel is an armchair Anthony Bourdain, armed not with a chef’s knife but with knowledge derived from medieval food-related manuscripts, ancient Chinese scrolls, and obscure culinary journals. Funny and fascinating, The Secret History of Food is essential reading for all foodies.
By Jared Kushner
Kushner, a former senior advisor in the Trump White House will write about his White House experiences, including his role in negotiating normalization deals between Israel and selected Arab nations, including United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco (Abraham Accords); criticisms over his family's 666 Fifth Avenue bailout by an Arab country investment; U.S. prison reform; bilateral trade deals; U.S-China policies; the White House response to the coronavirus pandemic; Russia’s interference in the 2016 election; the two times that President Trump, his father-in-law, was impeached; the issues related to immigration and the Mexican border and the caging and separation of children; his views on the murder by police of George Floyd in Minneapolis; the 2020 election results; the Trump-related siege on January 6, 2021 on the Congress; and his family's move from Washington DC to Miami in 2021.
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