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Welcome to MyJewishBooks.com, where we list new, diverse, and eclectic books of Jewish interest and sort them by publication date (we do not categorize by fiction and non-fiction). All net proceeds go to tzedaka. Look at the hyperlinks to the left for books by publication data or season.

Be sure to visit our pages for releases in Summer 2017, releases in Spring 2017, releases in Winter 2017, Fall 2016, Summer 2016, Spring 2016, Winter 2016, and all the rest of our pages (oFrah, Passover, Hanukkah, MLK books, Tu b'shvat books, and more).







[book] SWELL
A Novel
by Jill Eisenstadt
Little, Brown
June 2017
Thirty years after “From Rockaway” ("A great first novel" --Harper's Bazaar), Jill Eisenstadt returns with a darkly funny new work of fiction that exposes a city and a family at their most vulnerable.
When Sue Glassman's family needs a new home, Sue relents, after years of resisting, and agrees to convert to Judaism. In return, Sue's father-in-law, Sy, buys the family--Sue, Dan, and their two daughters--a capacious but ramshackle beachfront house in Rockaway, Queens, a world away from the Glassmans' cramped Tribeca apartment.

The catch? Sy is moving in, too. And the house is haunted.

On the weekend of Sue's conversion party, ninety-year-old Rose, who (literally) got away with murder on the premises years earlier, shows up uninvited. Towing a suitcase-sized pocketbook, having escaped an assisted living facility in Forest Hills, Rose seems intent on moving back in. Enter neighbor Tim--formerly Timmy (see From Rockaway), a former lifeguard, former firefighter, and reformed alcoholic--who feels, for reasons even he can't explain, inordinately protective of the Glassmans. The collective nervous breakdown occasioned by Rose's return SWELLS LIKE THE OCEAN’S RISING TIDE to operatic heights in a novel that charms and surprises on every page as it unflinchingly addresses the perils of living in a world rife with uncertainty.



























[book] The Weight of Ink
a novel
by Rachel Kadish
HMH
June 2017
An intellectual and emotional jigsaw puzzle of a novel for readers of A. S. Byatt’s Possession and Geraldine Brooks’s People of the Book

Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history.

As the novel opens, Helen has been summoned by a former student to view a cache of seventeenth-century Jewish documents newly discovered in his home during a renovation. Enlisting the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and in a race with another fast-moving team of historians, Helen embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents’ scribe, the elusive “Aleph.”

Electrifying and ambitious, sweeping in scope and intimate in tone, The Weight of Ink is a sophisticated work of historical fiction about women separated by centuries, and the choices and sacrifices they must make in order to reconcile the life of the heart and mind.



























[book] OPTION B:
Facing Adversity,
Building Resilience and
Finding Joy
by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
April 24, 2017
Knopf
A book on grief and loss and recovery, complementing her website and non profit on the same OPTION B theme

From the Facebook COO and one of Wharton’s top-rated professor, the #1 New York Times best-selling authors of Lean In and Originals: a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks.

In 2015 Sheryl Sandberg was on an adults-only vacation with her husband, Dave Goldberg, in Mexico. Their two young children were staying with the grandparents in California. She and Goldberg were friends for six years before dating. Goldberg had quipped that he had to wait nearly six years for Sheryl to realize she was dating jerks (including a former Navy SEAL who slept with a loaded gun) and finally date and marry him. Sheryl fell asleep at the pool, and Dave went to the gym. In a freak accident, he fell at the gym and bled; he died suddenly at the age of 48. Sandberg and her two young children were devastated, and she was certain that their lives would never have real joy or meaning again. Shiva was numbing, later that year, Sheryl needed her mother and sister’s help to make it through her daughter’s birthday party

Just weeks later, after shiva, Sandberg was talking with a friend about the first father-child activity without a father. They came up with a plan for someone to fill in. “But I want Dave,” she cried. She doubted herself and her own parenting skills. Her friend put his arm around her and said, “Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of Option B.”

Everyone experiences some form of Option B. We all deal with loss: jobs lost, loves lost, lives lost. The question is not whether these things will happen but how we face them when they do.

Thoughtful, honest, revealing and warm (with footnotes and interviews). For example footnotes referring to “Resilience to Loss and Chronic Grief” or “Family Structure and Children’s Success: A Comparison of Widowed and Divorced Single Mother Families”), Option B weaves Sandberg’s experiences coping with adversity with new findings from Adam Grant and other social scientists. The book features stories of people who recovered from personal and professional hardship, including illness, injury, divorce, job loss, sexual assault and imprisonment. These people did more than recover—many of them became stronger.

Option B offers compelling insights for dealing with hardships in our own lives and helping others in crisis. It turns out that post-traumatic growth is common—even after the most devastating experiences many people don’t just bounce back but actually bounce forward. And pre-traumatic growth is also possible: people can build resilience even if they have not experienced tragedy. Sandberg and Grant explore how we can raise strong children, create resilient communities and workplaces, and find meaning, love and joy in our lives.
Her rabbi in Redwood, CA counseled that friends be supportive and “Lean in to the suck,” don;t avoid grief. Encourage it. Mark Zuckerberg, her colleague, boss, and friend, gave her the room to grieve at work and was supportive, even if she would weep in a meeting. And added bereavement leave to Facebook's corproaate policy)
“Dave’s death changed me in very profound ways,” Sandberg writes. “I learned about the depths of sadness and the brutality of loss. But I also learned that when life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface and breathe again.”








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

The cover tells the story: a variation of a challah roll (an Ethiopian Sabbath bread) lying atop an embossed map of the nations of the world. Joan Nathan, a tireless, curious, multilingual cookbook goddess, was in the Paradesi Synagogue in Kochi, Kerala, India, researching a book when she noted a sign that said Jewish people had been in India since the time of King Solomon. Whether it is myth, legend, or fact, she pondered how so many Jewish merchant seamen and traders traveled from the Middle East to other ports for business, spices, and spouses; and they created relationships and families, and “mashed-up” their Jewish food traditions with local customs, foodways and ingredients. She changed her plans and wrote this cookbook, her eleventh, instead.

In it, Ms. Nathan travels – like these ancient mariners - from country to country, and finds she Jewish mash-ups, whether it is Jewish foods from Europe that ended up in Dayton, or Turkish staples in Cuba, or the foods of Babylonia in FSU Georgia. As she once said, “When I lived in Israel, I saw not a clash but a coming together of civilizations. You know, for me, Jewish food was my mother’s matzoh ball soup. Then I went there and I saw stuffed vegetables and all kinds of salads that were different… I realized then that food was culture, and it was not restaurant culture. It was ethnic culture.”

The title? It is said that Solomon had 700 wives and half as many girlfriends, and they had many food traditions. He learned from them, they learned from him, and there was a sharing of recipes and other things. It was "tabletop Judaism." In this spirit, Nathan shares over 170 uniquely Jewish recipes from El Salvador to Israel, from Morocco to Cuba, Siberia to Canada, and Sri Lanka (you know the Rambam’s brother lived there...) to Romania.

The book opens with a quote from Genesis: When woman ate of the tree of wisdom, she took of its fruit and ate, and shared some with her husband, and he ate. This is followed by a 16 page introduction to Solomon, Babylon, Judea, and the roots of Jewish foods; and 11 pages on pantry spices. There are sections for Morning (16 recipes); Starters (21 recipes), Salads (16 recipes), Soups and Their Dumplings (13 recipes), Breads (7 Sabbath breads, 4 Weekday breads), Grains and Such (10 recipes), Vegetables (15), Fish (15), Poultry (10), Meat (14), and Sweets (23).

The aleph recipe is an Azerbaijani Kukusa with Swiss Chard and Herbs, which is easy and herb-infused and a living vestige of Jewish life in Babylonia and Persia and an example of how a Jewish dish traveled from southern France to North Africa and back to France, morphed to Azerbaijan and then to Brooklyn. The Tof "closing recipe" is a Libyan Saefra, King Solomon Cake (how often have you used Cream of Wheat and Orange zest in a recipe?).

One of the fascinating aspects of this book is that each recipe has a priceless shared story and an amazing photo. To me, it is a keepsake. Smoky Shakshuka with Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplant comes with a story of colonial Williamsburg and its first Jewish resident, Dr. de Sequeyra, who introduced tomato-eating to his neighbors and patients. A Matzo Brei recipe comes with a cook-off story than ranges from Zamosc Poland to DC to the residence of the late Sheila Lukins (author of Silver Palate Cookbook). A recipe for Chilaquiles (Mexican Matzo Brei) is delivered with a story from LA's Jonathan Gold. Her “New Old Fashioned Bagel” recipe is akin to Montreal style ones of Mark Furstenberg’s "Bread Furst." Speaking of Canada, there is a recipe for Toronto-style Shtritzlach, as well as Siberian Chremsel. The Socca (chickpea pancake) recipe may change your life, as will Caponata Siciliana di Melanzane alla Giudia (many say that the Jews introduced eggplants to Sicily). Her Hummus with Preserved Lemon and Cumin recipe is matched with a Hebrew translation story on whether it was ‘vinegar’ or ‘hummus’ that Boaz served his workers in The Book of Ruth.

Other highlights (just mentioning a few) include: Corfu/Italian Huevos Haminados con Spinaci (Long-Cooked Eggs with Spinach) from Daisy Dente Modigliani; Halleq (Persian Haroset); Ferrara Haroset (using banana, pear, and apple); Bene Israel Fish Curry with Fresh Ginger, Tamarind, and Cilantro (from Babu of Ernakulam, India); Matbucha; Curried Beet Borscht with Apples and Ginger; Yemenite Chicken Soup with Dill, Cilantro and Parsley, Persian Cucumber and Radish Salad with Hungarian Paprika; Salonikan MelitzanoSalata; Tchav; Honduran/CrownHeights mashup Winter Squash Soup with Hot Pepper and Coconut Milk; Perugia-style Cod with Tomatoes, Dried Plums, Onions, and Pine Nuts; Abgoosht with Gundi; Suellen Lazarus’ Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup with Ghee; Concia; T’beet (Baghdadi Sabbath Overight Spiced Chicken with Rice and Coconut Chutney); Karaite-style Spiced Fried Matzo with Celery Seed and Tumeric; Kosher-Brined Roast Turkey with Challah-Chestnut-Cranberry Stuffing; Bulgarian Pashtida (from Spain Greece, the Balkans); Kubbanah, Ka’ak; Pletzel; Parpikas Krumpli (Hungarian Roasted Potatoes with Onions); Fideos Tostados with Cinnamon-Spiked Tomato Sauce (coupled with an essay on Rabbi Mussana and his concordance to the 1140 CE HeAruch); Slightly Sweet and Sour Cabbage (via Cuba by way of Ladino speakers of Turkey); Hand Cured Corned Beef; Indian Chicken with Cardamom, Cumin and Cilantro; David Tanis’ Dayton, Ohio-inspired Poached Salmon with Ginger-Cilantro Butter and Spinach; Macedonian Leek and Meat Patties; Roman Ricotta Cheese Crostata with Cherries or Chocolate; and El Salvador Schokoladenwurst.

P.S. - Remove the dust jacket and there is a pic of Hummus and a pic of Crostata. Can King Solomon figure out any puzzle or meanings?? (It all began with hummus?)












MAZAL TOV TO THE RECIPIENTS OF THE 2016 NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD from the Jewish Book Council. Awards were announced January 11, 2017, and awards were accepted at a ceremony in Manhattan in March 2017

Honorees include:

[gordis bookcover] [moonglow bookcover] [boh bookcover]














[modernity bookcover] [but u did not bookcover] [inthedarkroom bookcover]














[and after the fire bookcover] [i dissent bookcover] [rabbi jaffee bookcover]














[ bookcover] [  bookcover] [love finer wine bookcover]
















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

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
























[book] Survivors Club:
The True Story of a Very Young
Prisoner of Auschwitz
by Michael Bornstein and
Debbie Bornstein Holinstat
FS&G
March 2017
In 1945, in a now-famous piece of World War II archival footage, four-year-old Michael Bornstein was filmed by Soviet soldiers as he was carried out of Auschwitz in his grandmother’s arms. Survivors Club tells the unforgettable story of how a father’s courageous wit, a mother’s fierce love, and one perfectly timed illness saved his life, and how others in his family from Zarki, Poland, dodged death at the hands of the Nazis time and again with incredible deftness. Working from his own recollections as well as extensive interviews with relatives and survivors who knew the family, Michael relates his inspirational Holocaust survival story with the help of his daughter, Debbie Bornstein Holinstat. Shocking, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting, this narrative nonfiction offers an indelible depiction of what happened to one Polish village in the wake of the German invasion in 1939.
This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum.



































[book] MY OWN WORDS
By Ruth Bader Ginsburg
U.S. Supreme Court Justice
With Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams
2016
Simon and Schuster
The first book from Ruth Bader Ginsburg since becoming a Supreme Court Justice in 1993—a witty, engaging, serious, and playful collection of writings and speeches from the woman who has had a powerful and enduring influence on law, women’s rights, and popular culture.
My Own Words offers Justice Ginsburg on wide-ranging topics, including gender equality, the workways of the Supreme Court, being Jewish, law and lawyers in opera, and the value of looking beyond US shores when interpreting the US Constitution. Throughout her life Justice Ginsburg has been (and continues to be) a prolific writer and public speaker. This book’s sampling is selected by Justice Ginsburg and her authorized biographers Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams. Justice Ginsburg has written an introduction to the book, and Hartnett and Williams introduce each chapter, giving biographical context and quotes gleaned from hundreds of interviews they have conducted. This is a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of America’s most influential women.


































[book] HUNGRY HEART
Adventures in Life,
Love, and Writing
by Jennifer Weiner
October 2016
Atria
Jennifer Weiner is many things: a best-selling author, a Twitter phenomenon, and an "unlikely feminist enforcer" (The New Yorker). She's also a mom, a daughter, and a sister, a former rower and current clumsy yogini, a wife, a friend, and a reality-TV devotee. In her first essay collection, she takes the raw stuff of her life and spins it into a collection of tales of modern-day womanhood as uproariously funny and moving as the best of Nora Ephron and Tina Fey. Born in Louisiana, raised in Connecticut, educated at Princeton, Jennifer spent years feeling like an outsider ("a Lane Bryant outtake in an Abercrombie & Fitch world") before finding her people in newsrooms, and her voice as a novelist, activist, and New York Times columnist.
< No subject is off-limits in these intimate and honest stories: sex, weight, envy, money, her mother's coming out of the closet, her estranged father's death. From lonely adolescence to modern childbirth to hearing her six-year-old daughter say the f-word—fat—for the first time, Jen dives deep into the heart of female experience, with the wit and candor that have endeared her to readers all over the world.
Hilarious and moving, Hungry Heart is about yearning and fulfillment, loss and love, and a woman who searched for her place in the world, and found it as a storyteller.



































The deli... a place where uncouth could be uncouth, and waiters could treat customers with complete disdain and arrogance. Made Jewish people feel at home :-)
[book] PASTRAMI ON RYE
An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli
by Ted Merwin
Associate Professor of Religion
and Judaic Studies at Dickinson College
September 2015
NYU Press
For much of the twentieth century, the New York Jewish deli was an iconic institution in both Jewish and American life. As a social space it rivaled—and in some ways surpassed—the synagogue as the primary gathering place for the Jewish community. In popular culture it has been the setting for classics like When Harry Met Sally. And today, after a long period languishing in the trenches of the hopelessly old-fashioned, it is experiencing a nostalgic resurgence.

Pastrami on Rye is the first full-length history of the New York Jewish deli. The deli, argues Ted Merwin, reached its full flowering not in the immigrant period, as some might assume, but in the interwar era, when the children of Jewish immigrants celebrated the first flush of their success in America by downing sandwiches and cheesecake in theater district delis. But it was the kosher deli that followed Jews as they settled in the outer boroughs of the city, and that became the most tangible symbol of their continuing desire to maintain a connection to their heritage. Ultimately, upwardly mobile American Jews discarded the deli as they transitioned from outsider to insider status in the middle of the century. Now contemporary Jews are returning the deli to cult status as they seek to reclaim their cultural identities.

Richly researched and compellingly told, Pastrami on Rye gives us the surprising story of a quintessential New York institution..








































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