The ProsenPeople

Six Neglected Holocaust Narratives to Preorder for Fall 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017 | Permalink

Posted by Nat Bernstein

The Holocaust: A New History by Laurence Rees

“To the Nazis, Freda Wineman’s crime was simple,” Laurence Rees’s new study of the Holocaust opens. “She was Jewish.” As a writer, filmmaker, and former Creative Director of the BBC TV History series, Rees has been the driving force behind historical literature and television programs on the Holocaust in Britain. In his newest work, Rees tackles the prevailing question of contemporary Holocaust studies—how and why did the Holocaust happen?—from a deeply human perspective, balancing historical analysis with 25 years of unpublished testimony from survivors and perpetrators of the Third Reich and the Shoah, polished and presented in Rees’s compelling prose. Wading through the individual stories of the people he has encountered over the course of his career as a historical documentarian, Rees imbues this new chronology of the darkest period in modern European history with the personal narratives—and human empathy—that are too often missing from contemporary Holocaust research.

Saving One’s Own: Jewish Rescuers During
the Holocaust
by Mordecai Paldiel

Saved from the Holocaust with his family as a young child by Simon Galley, a Catholic priest who abetted Jews in crossing the Swiss border, Mordecai Paldiel headed Yad Vashem’s Righteous Among the Nations through the turn of the twenty-first century, adding approximately 18,000 names to the roster of non-Jewish rescuers honored by Israel’s national Holocaust monument and research center. In the process of this noble work, Paldiel discovered the stories of Jewish resistors who helped their clansmen escape Europe. Feeling that a significant narrative of heroism in the face of the Shoah and the Nazi occupation has remained neglected, upon retiring from his position at Yad Vashem Paldiel dedicated himself to chronicling the stories of Jewish rescuers who risked their own lives to remain where they could conduct operations to smuggle other Jews to safety. Focusing on different regions by chapter, Paldiel introduces a wide cast of previously unacknowledged saviors, from underground network agents to partisan fighters to a Berlin rebbetzin who facilitated the safe passage of thousands of Jewish German children to Palestine.

Stealth Altruism: Forbidden Care as Jewish
Resistance in the Holocaust
by Arthur B. Shostak

Exploring another neglected narrative of Jewish resistance in the Holocaust, Arthur B. Shostak redefines the very concept of heroism to include the acts of caring for others in an environment of evil and terror. Exploring the unrecognized instances of forbidden kindness among victims of the Nazi camps—holding weak neighbors up at roll call, switching tasks with prisoners assigned to hard labor details, sharing food and clothing—Shostak reveals the largely untold history of humanity at the darkest moments of the Shoah. The author also shares some of his research findings, interviews with survivors, and Holocaust memorial and education centers at

Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots
Against Hollywood and America
by Steven. J. Ross

While the United States trained its law enforcement agencies’ focus on Soviets and communists, the plots and activities of Nazi operatives on American soil in the early 1930s went unnoticed but for one vigilante spy ring headed by Hollywood attorney Leon Lewis, “the most dangerous Jew in Los Angeles” as the Nazis would come to call him. Viewing Hollywood as the greatest propaganda machine in the world—and eying key military positions and armories along the Pacific Coast—the Nazis planned out a siege of Los Angeles, plotting to massacre the city’s Jews and hang twenty of Hollywood’s brightest stars. From 1933 through the end of World War II, Lewis and his network of military veterans—and their wives—infiltrated all Nazi and fascist activities in the City of Angels, uncovering and snuffing out the Nazi’s sinister plot to destroy Los Angeles.

Textual Silence: Unreadability and the Holocaust
by Jessica Lang

Sidestepping Theodor Adorno’s famous aphorism, “To write poetry after the Holocaust is barbaric,” Jessica Lang questions whether Holocaust literature across form and style can or even should translate the Nazi genocide to those who did not experience it themselves. Defining the expression of the limitations and barriers of language to adequately convey the horror and trauma of those who survived—blank spaces, trailing punctuation, italic, and narrative interruptions—as “textual silence,” Lang claims these critical breaks in poetry, novels, diaries, and memoirs as essential characteristics of the genre.

For Two Thousand Years by Mihail Sebastian

Originally published under his penname in 1934, Iosif Mendel Hechter’s diary of Romania’s nascent antisemitism—growing increasingly rampant together with Hitler’s popularity in Germany and his installation as chancellor the year before—highlights the violence and injustices committed against Jewish populations throughout Europe, even within intellectual circles and institutions of higher education, long before the war began. Sebastian describes scampering around his university campus in Bucharest to avoid beatings on his way to lectures and discovering that even his closest friends and comrades believed the antisemitic propaganda proliferating throughout the continent—including the beloved mentor Sebastian asked to write the preface to this very book, which Sebastian nonetheless included in the original publication out of spite:

It is an assimilationist illusion, it is the illusion of so many Jews who sincerely believe that they are Romanian… Remember that you are Jewish!... Are you Iosif Hechter, a human being from Brăila on the Danube? No, you are a Jew from Brăila on the Danube.

Recalling the widespread adoption and impact of such beliefs—and what they led to—seems especially important in wake of recent statements made in by the White House press secretary two weeks ago, drawing condemnation from Jewish organizations and scholars, including Deborah Lipstadt.

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JBC Bookshelf: 8 New Books for Passover 5777

Tuesday, April 04, 2017 | Permalink

Posted by Nat Bernstein

With Passover just around the corner, it’s time to start stocking your bookshelves for the holiday! Slip away from your seder and sink into poetry, memoirs, and new fiction about someone else’s dysfunctional Jewish family at Passover:

Tell Me How This Ends Well

by David Samuel Levinson

David Samuel Levinson imagines a near-future in which antisemitism runs rampant and Israeli refugees roam the Globe after the world stood by and watched the annihilation of the Jewish State at the hands of its neighbors.

Ten years into the future, three siblings reunite in Los Angeles to “celebrate” Passover as a family and carry out an ill-conceived plot to murder their dad. There’s Jacob, visiting from Berlin with his German boyfriend and a sinister spare suitcase he intends to keep hidden; Edith, divorced, unstable, and facing sexual misconduct charges from an undergraduate student dissatisfied with his grade from her Ethics course; and Mo, husband, father to a set of twins and triplets each, and failed-actor-turned-reality-star in his forties hosting Passover in a mansion maintained by the network company that will be returning to film an encore of his family’s Passover seder—unbeknownst to any of his guests.

The Zookeeper’s Wife

by Diane Ackerman

Niki Caro’s movie adaptation of Diane Ackerman’s 2007 bestseller hit theaters just in time for the holiday—and the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which broke out, significantly, on the first night of Passover, 1943. Inspired by the Passover seder held by the Jews hidden in the Warsaw zoo—and its coincidence with the start of the revolt—Jewish Book Council’s new custom book club kit for The Zookeeper’s Wife features a special Passover haggadah supplement compiled in collaboration with humanitarian relief agencies—the International Rescue Committee (IRC), HIAS, and CARE—and leading Jewish organizations around the country to commemorate the the struggle for freedom that the holiday represents. Click here to download the free reading guide!

Moses: A Human Life

by Aviva Gottlieb Zornberg

What better time than Passover to read a biography of Moshe Rabbeinu—written by renowned scholar and lecturer Dr. Aviva Gottlieb Zornberg, no less—than Passover? Accessible and illuminating, Zornberg’s recent contribution to the Yale Jewish Lives series brings her signature cross-application of Jewish texts, world literature, and psychoanalytic examination to one of Tanakh’s most complex characters.

We Were the Lucky Ones

by Georgia Hunter

Based on the true story of her family’s survival of World War II as Polish Jews, Georgia Hunter’s debut novel begins and ends with two Passover seders, eight years apart. In early March of 1939, Addy Kurc—Hunter’s maternal grandfather—meanders the streets of Paris in the wee hours of the morning, turning over a letter from his mother begging him to stay in France for the upcoming holiday rather than risk the closing borders of German-occupied Poland. He writes back to answer that he is resolved to return home to Radom, but even as his parents and siblings gather around the seder table no further word arrives—and neither does Addy.

The next eight years follow the separated factions of the Kurc family from German-occupied Radom and Toulouse to Soviet-occupied Lvov and Vichy France; across the Mediterranean to Dakar and Casablanca, across Siberia to Kazakhstan and Tehran, across the Austrian Alps to the Adriatic Coast (and Allied military camps) of Italy; on to Warsaw, Krakow, Lodz, Tel Aviv, Illinois, and Rio de Janeiro, where the whole family—all three generations miraculously intact—reunites for their first Passover seder together since Kristallnacht. Of the 30,000 Jews living in their hometown of Radom, Poland before the Holocaust, fewer than 300 survived—and “luckily,” every member of the Kurc family among them.

The Dinner Party

by Brenda Janowitz

Sylvia is planning the perfect Passover seder. Everything from the table settings to the menu to managing her helpless husband and hapless children—a son run off to Doctors Without Borders, a daughter who left medical school (and a Rothschild suitor) for the beach, a non-Jewish boyfriend dating the professionally successful one—has been accounted for. But guests comes with problems and intrigues of their own…

My Jewish Year

by Abigail Pogrebin

Abigail Pogrebin’s new personal exploration of the Jewish holidays is a wonderful companion year-round, but I was especially curious to read her reflections on Passover, given her family legacy around the holiday—her mother, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, convened the first feminist seder together with E. M. Broner, Phyllis Chesler, and Lilly Rivlin, and Abigail grew up attending this annual gathering as a “Seder daughter” over the subsequent years, seated among Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, Bea Kreloff, Edith Isaac-Rose, and others.

Indeed, a full chapter of My Jewish Year is dedicated to "The Feminist Passover: A (Third) Seder of Her Own." In the chapter before, Pogrebin sticks to the traditional seder—and pre-holiday cleaning, gaining as much from the ritual of bedikat chametz and cooking with her children as the seder itself. She shares some favorite party tricks to spark meaningful discussions around the Passover story and how it translates to the present moment, including the homemade haggadah she has compiled over the last several years—”a collection of questions rather than readings[…] that meets all the seder requirements, while inviting constant participation.” Maybe that will be her next book…

The Book of Separation (Coming September 2017)

by Tova Mirvis

Bedikat Chametz emerges as a compass of unexpected resonance for Tova Mirvis in her forthcoming memoir, as well. Celebrating Halloween for the first time at age 40, the foreign experience of trick-or-treating with her children reminds her of searching for bread crumbs with a candle, a feather, and a wooden spoon with her father the night before Passover every year.

Mirvis’s story of leaving the Orthodox world of her upbringing and marriage cuts to the quick—with especially sharp poignancy as the Jewish holidays cycle through her life. Early in her married life, Passover stood as a symbol of the balance in her relationship, and her role within it: seders spent with her parents in Memphis, in exchange for the autumn holidays in Boston with his, “squelching” challenges to her faith with religious routines—vacuuming the the mini van for any traces of chametz before the Festival of Matzah. But it is toward the end of the book, in a chapter devoted to Passover, the holiday takes on its strongest significance: recounting the story of Exodus at a small seder with only her parents and children, Mirvis begins to think of her own liberation: her divorce. At the end of the official ceremony before a Jewish court of law, she remembers, the presiding rabbi encouraged her to embrace this new start to her life, to “become the person you need to be,” and wished her mazal tov.

Open My Lips

by Rachel Barenblat

This is a story about change.
Look: the seas are parting.
It’s happening now. Open your eyes.

We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt
but God brought us out of there.
This is a story about change.

Rachel Barenblat’s poetry on “Pesach to Shavuot” continues the literary fixation on preparing for Passover from women writers.Listing everything to be done before the holiday begins—from buying canned macaroons to calling her mother “to ask again whether she cooks / matzah balls in salted water or broth, because you can”—Barenblat combines wry humor with heartbreaking memories, adding, “Realize that no matter how many you buy / there are never quite enough eggs at Pesach,” right after a memory of her grandfather confused over the loss of his wife only weeks before another Passover years ago. Another poem eulogizes the Arab Spring, and in the interim before Shavuot Barenblat meditates on counting the Omer: “Humility and splendor in a single day, / two opposites folded into one. / Roots strengthen us as we count.”

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A Week of Jewish Literary Honors

Thursday, January 12, 2017 | Permalink

Posted by Nat Bernstein

It’s been quite a week in the world of Jewish literature: Jewish Book Council and the Association of Jewish Libraries both released major announcements on the same day, naming the books and authors to receive this year’s National Jewish Book Awards and Sydney Taylor Book Award medals!

Awarded in roughly twenty different categories each year, the National Jewish Book Awards honor authors of outstanding Jewish literature across a wide range of genre and subjects. Academic press winners for the 2016 National Jewish Book Awards include Michael Bazyler's Holocaust, Genocide, and the Law: A Quest for Justice in a Post-Holocaust World (Oxford University Press), Never Better!: The Modern Jewish Picaresque by Miriam Udel (University of Michigan Press), Anti-Jewish Riots in the Crown of Aragon and the Royal Response, 1391 – 1392 by Benjamin R. Gampel (Cambridge University Press), Extraterritorial Dreams: European Citizenship, Sephardi Jews, and the Ottoman Twentieth Century by Sarah Abrevaya Stein (University of Chicago Press), Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece by Devin E. Naar (Stanford University Press), Kosher USA: How Coke Became Kosher and Other Tales of Modern Food by Roger Horowitz (Columbia University Press), and Makers of Jewish Modernity: Thinkers, Artists, Leaders, and the World They Made (Princeton University Press).

Daniel Gordis’s Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn received the Everett Family Foundation Award for Jewish Book of the Year, and Michael Chabon was awarded Jewish Book Council’s Modern Literary Achievement Award for his lifetime contribution to Jewish Literature.

In fiction, winners included Rose Tremain for The Gustav Sonata (W. W. Norton & Company), Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit (Knopf Books for Young Readers) for Debut Fiction, and Lauren Belfer’s And After the Fire (Harper) won the inaugural Debby and Ken Miller Award for Book Club titles. Stanly Moss’s Almost Complete Poems (Seven Stories Press) received newly dedicated Berru Award in Memory of Ruth and Bernie Weinflash for Poetry, and awards for Young Adult and Children’s Literature went to On Blackberry Hill, a self-published novel by Rachel Mann, and I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy and Elizabeth Baddeley (Simon & Schuster).

CLICK HERE for the full list of 2016 National Jewish Book Award Winners and Finalists

Debbie Levy and Elizabeth Baddeley also received the Syndey Taylor Award Gold Medal for their children’s illustrated biography of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as did Gavriel Savit for his YA crossover debut. The Gold Medal was also awarded to Adam Gidwitz and Hatem Aly for The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog (Dutton Children’s Books). Silver Medalists included Richard Michelson’s Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy (Knopf Books for Young Readers), illustrated by Edel Rodriguez; A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love by Michelle Edwards and illustrated by G. Brian Karas (Schwartz & Wade); A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher (Viking Books for Young Readers); and 2016 – 2017 JBC Network author Joel Ben Izzy’s novel Dreidels on the Brain. For the full list of 2017 Sydney Taylor Award winners, honorees, and finalists, read the official press release here.

Last week, the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize 2017 Shortlist was announced, naming 2015 National Jewish Book Award-winner The Crime and the Silence by Anna Bikont (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen (Little, Brown & Company), Final Solution: The Fate of the Jews 1933 – 1949 by David Cesarani (St. Martin’s Press), All for Nothing by Walter Kempowski, and Philippe Sands’s East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, a 2016 – 2017 JBC Network book.

Jewish Book Council also recently launched the Natan Book Award, a two-stage prize to encourage writers in writing and promoting their work before it has been published. Do you have a forthcoming book of interest to Jewish audiences? Find out more about Jewish Book Council’s programs, resources, and awards for 2017!

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Summer 2016 Book Releases

Thursday, June 30, 2016 | Permalink

Summer is officially here, and it's time to plan your reading lists for the long daylight hours!

Still need to catch up on all those books you meant to read last season? Refresh your memory with our earlier preview of Spring 2016 Releases. Or scroll below to find new and upcoming titles!

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

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Spring 2016 Book Preview

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 | Permalink

Posted by Nat Bernstein

January 2016

Primo Levi's Resistance by Sergio Luzzatto (Metropolitan Books)

The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration by Sherri Mandell (The Toby Press)

White Walls by Judy Batalion (Penguin Random House)

David's Sling by Victoria C. Gardner Coates (Encounter Books)

The Lightkeepers by Abby Geni (Counterpoint)

Groucho Marx: The Comedy of Existence by Lee Siegel (Yale University Press)

The Book of Love by Roger Rosenblatt (Ecco)

Repercussions by Anthony Schneider (The Permanent Press)

Good on Paper by Rachel Cantor (Melville House)

Breakdown: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman (Ballantine)

The Hero Two Doors Down: Based on the True Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend by Sharon Robinson (Scholastic)

The Dirt Cure: Growing Healthy Kids with Food Straight from Soil by Maya Shetreat-Klein (Atria Books)

Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

February 2016

Stolen Words by Mark Glickman (University of Nebraska Press)

The Bible Doesn't Say That by Dr. Joel M. Hoffman (Thomas Dunne Books)

The Yid by Paul Goldberg (Picador)

In the Land of Armadillos by Helen Maryles Shankman (Scribner)

The Photographer's Wife by Suzanne Joinson (Bloomsbury)

Exit Right: The People Who Left the Left and Reshaped the American Century by Daniel Oppenheimer (Simon & Schuster)

The Beautiful Possible: A Novel by Amy Gottlieb (Harper Perennial)

Kafka's Son by Curt Leviant (Dzanc Books)

Piece of Mind by Michelle Adelman (W.W. Norton & Company)

The Ghost Warriors: Inside Israel's Undercover War Against Suicide Terrorism by Samuel M. Katz (Berkley Caliber)

Shylock is my Name by Howard Jacobson (Hogarth)

Max Baer and the Star of David by Jay Neugeboren (Mandel Vilar Press)

Putting God Second by Rabbi Donniel Hartman (Beacon Press)

And So Is the Bus by Yossel Birstein (Dryad Press)

Green on Blue by Elliot Ackerman (Scribner)

An Undisturbed Peace by Mary Glickman (Open Road)

March 2016

Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo by Boris Fishman (Harper)

The Lost Book of Moses: The Hunt for the World's Oldest Bible by Chanan Tigay (HarperCollins)

Letter from a Young Poet by Hyam Plutzik (Books & Books Press)

The Daughter Who Got Away by Leora Freedman (Yotzeret Publishing)

Raoul Wallenberg: The Heroic Life and Mysterious Disappearance of the Man Who Saved Thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust by Ingrid Carlberg (Quercus Piblushing)

Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land by Sandy Tolan (Bloomsbury)

The Image of the Jews in Greek Literature: The Hellenistic Period by Bezalel Bar-Kochva (University of California Press)

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz (Simon & Schuster)

All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister (Simon & Schuster)

Mrs. Houdini by Victoria Kelly (Atria Books)

Cursed Legacy: The Tragic Life of Klaus Mann by Frederic Spotts (Yale University Press)

The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman (St. Martin’s Press)

A Man Lies Dreaming by Lavie Tidar (Melville House)

Scary Old Sex by Arlene Heyman (Bloomsbury)

Alligator Candy by David Kushner (Simon & Schuster)

1915 Diary of S. An-sky by S. A. An-sky (Indiana University)

The New Mediterranean Jewish Table by Joyce Goldstein (University of California)

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Pursuit of War Criminals from Nuremberg to the War on Terror by Eric Stover, Victor Peskin, and K. Alexa Koenig (University of California Press)

April 2016

Kosher USA by Roger Horowitz (Columbia University Press)

Casting Lots by Susan Silverman (Da Capo Press)

Orchestra of Exiles by Josh Aronson and Denise George (Penguin Random House)

Modern Girls by Jennifer S. Brown (Penguin Random House)

Utter Chaos by Sammy Gronemann (Indiana University)

Because of Eva: A Jewish Genealogical Journey by Susan J. Gordon (Syracuse University Press)

The Salome Ensemble: Rose Pastor Stokes, Anzia Yezierska, Sonya Levien, and Jetta Goudal by Alan Robert Ginsberg (Syracuse University Press)

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher (BLUE RIDER PRESS)

Texts in Transit in the Medieval Mediterranean by Y. Tzvi Langermann and Robert G. Morrison, eds. (Penn State University Press)

Barbra Streisand: Redefining Beauty, Femininity, and Power by Neal Gabler (Yale University Press)

The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically by Peter Singer (Yale University Press)

Till We Have Built Jerusalem: Architects of a New City by Adina Hoffman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

The Houseguest by Kim Brooks (Counterpoint)

Fever at Dawn by Peter Gardos (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

The Dinner Party: A Novel by Brenda Janowitz (St. Martin’s Press)

Can You Keep a Secret? by R. L. Stine (St. Martin’s Press)

Rhapsody in Schmaltz by Michael Wex (St. Martin's Press)

The Lady with the Borzoi: Blanche Knopf by Laura Claridge (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Six Memos from the Last Millennium: A Novelist Reads the Talmud by Joseph Skibell (University of Texas)

Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea by Mitchell Duneier (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Nurture the Wow: Finding Spirituality in the Frustration, Boredom, Tears, Poop, Desperation, Wonder, and Radical Amazement of Parenting by Dayna Ruttenberg (Flatiron Books)

Disraeli: The Novel Politician by David Cesarani (Yale University Press)

May 2016

100 Years: Wisdom from Famous Writers on Every Year of Your Life by Joshua Prager and Milton Glaser (W. W. Norton & Company)

Travels in Translation: Sea Tales and the Source of Jewish Fiction by Ken Frieden (Syracuse University Press)

Literary Hasidism: The Life and Works of Michael Levi Rodkinson by Jonatan Meir (Syracuse University Press)

We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to Covergirl, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement by Andi Zeisler (Public Affairs Books)

Our Separate Ways: The Fight for the Future of the US-Israel Alliance by Dana H. Alling and Steven N. Simon (Public Affairs Books)

Walter Benjamin and Theology by Colby Dickinson and Stéphane Symons, ed. (Fordham University Press)

One-Way Street by Walter Benjamin (Harvard University Press)

The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler's Atomic Bomb by Neal Baswcomb (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

The Last Days of Stalin by Joshua Rubenstein (Yale University Press)

Anatomy of Malice: The Enigma of Nazi War Criminals by Joel E. Dimsdale (Yale University Press)

Possession: The Curious History of Private Collectors from Antiquity to the Present by Erin Thompson (Yale University Press)

Diaries: 1955-1970 by Eva Hesse (Yale University Press)

Bellow's People: How Saul Bellow Made Life into Art by David Mikics (W. W. Norton & Company)

We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman (HMH Children's)

She Made Me Laugh: My Friend Nora Ephron by Richard Cohen (Simon & Schuster)

The Nazi Hunters by Andrew Nagorsky (Simon & Schuster)

Central Station by Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon Publications)

Another Little Piece of My Heart: My Life of Rock and Revolution in the '60s by Richard Goldstein (Bloomsbury)

Song of Exile: The Enduring Mystery of Psalm 137 by David W. Stowe (Oxford University Press)

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub (Riverhead)

Divine Nothingness: Poems by Gerald Stern (W. W. Norton & Company)

Buckley and Mailer: The Difficult Friendship That Shaped the Sixties by Kevin M. Schultz (W. W. Norton & Company)

Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story by Matti Friedman (Algonquin Books)

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Summer 2015 Jewish Books Preview

Wednesday, July 08, 2015 | Permalink

Posted by Miri Pomerantz Dauber

With summer now in full swing, it's time to start your summer reading! Choose a hot-off-the-press June release or one of the forthcoming July or August books, head to a beach or pull up a deck chair and lose yourself in one of these great new titles. Look out for follow up books from Julia Dahl and Judy Brown, two new memoirs (with recipes!) that explore the power of cooking, and new books from Etgar Keret, Joshua Cohen, Pam Jenoff, Talia Carner, and Alice Hoffman among many others. Explore the land of the midnight sun, revisit the early 20th century and meet the stars of the Modernist era in England or the characters roaming New York City's Bowery in the Jazz Age. Whichever books you choose, happy reading!






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Spring 2015 Jewish Book Preview

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 | Permalink
2015 Jewish Book Preview

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

We were overwhelmed with amazing Jewish books and authors in 2014, and, considering the pile of 2015 books already towering on our desks, it looks like 2015 will bring the same punch. With Saul Bellow's 100th birthday approaching in June, be on the lookout for three new Bellow-themed books coming out over the next few months, listed below. Additionally, two of our Unpacking the Book authors have debut novels coming out in March: Daniel Torday (The Last Flight of Poxl West) and Alexis Landau (The Empire of the Senses). 

Looking for some great new cookbooks? Well, we already have six mouth-watering options on the horizon. And if you're looking to hear from some crowd favorites we have new books by Jonathan D. Sarna, Steve Stern, and Elisa Albert coming your way as well. 

You'll also have the opportunity to hear from twelve of the below authors on our Visiting Scribe series—including Shulem Deen, author of the forthcoming memoir All Who Do Not Return—where they'll share more about their work, the backstory, reading lists, and more. Plus, there are some great book club reads that you'll be hearing more about over the coming months (The Nightingale and A Reunion of Ghosts, to name just two). 

We're really excited about the year ahead and hope that you'll continue to check back here to learn more about these titles and their creators—and perhaps even win a book or two!







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JBC Bookshelf: Summer 2014 Jewish Book Preview

Thursday, May 01, 2014 | Permalink

Now that almost all of the books from our spring preview are available at your local bookstore, we're picking up where the last JBC Bookshelf left off with a few highlights from the summer list. We're excited to share a peek into next season's books! Look out for a biography of the Lubavitcher Rebbe from Rabbi Joseph Telushkin; the next Jewish Book World book club pick, Boris Fishman's A Replacement Life; a fascinating history of two scientists who used their work toward a cure for typhus to sabotage the Nazis; Stephanie Feldman's novel, The Angel of Losses, described as The Tiger's Wife meets History of Love; and a slew of other great books. 

Now there's another reason to look forward to summer!




JBC Bookshelf: Spring 2014 Jewish Book Preview

Tuesday, January 07, 2014 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Inspired by The Millions' Great 2014 Book Preview, I thought I'd create a Jewish-slanted winter/spring 2014 book preview for JBC readers (obviously there's some crossover). But before we begin, a little "happy pub day" is in order for the following authors, who all have a January 7th pub date:

As if those weren't enough, the next several months bring us a long list of incredible fiction and nonfiction by some our favorite established and emerging writers in the field. So, even if this polar vortex (!) forces (many of) us to remain indoors, at least we won't run out of good reads (not that we were too worried . . .).

January (post-7th)





JBC Bookshelf: Valentine's Day

Thursday, February 14, 2013 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

It's been two years since a Valentine's Day edition of JBC Bookshelf. In 2011, we highlighted six titles. Today, we highlight a wide-range of titles from JBC past. Whether your love is a city, a meal, an individual, an animal, or an idea, we're confident that you'll find at least one title below to warm your heart this Valentine's Day:

Heart of the City: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York, Ariel Sabar (2011, Da Capo Press)
Ariel Sabar explores nine real-life urban romances, each set against the backdrop of an iconic New York City public space

Paris: A Love Story, Kati Marton (2012, Simon & Schuster)
Kati Marton’s newest memoir is a candid exploration of many kinds of love, as well as a love letter to the city of Paris itself

Until Our Last Breath: A Holocaust Story of Love and Partisan Resistance, Michael Bart and Laurel Corona (2008, St. Martin's Press)
A love story that flourished despite the privations of the Ghetto and the partners’ disparate ages and social status

Crossing the Borders of Time: A True Story of War, Exile, and Love Reclaimed, Leslie Maitland (2012, Other Press)
Leslie Maitland traces the love story of two young people caught up in war-torn France

Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler: A True Love Story Rediscovered, Trudy Kanter (2012, Scribner)
Trudi Kanter relates the emotional roller coaster she was on in attempting to get to England with her parents and the love of her life

A Titanic Love Story: Ida and Isidor Straus, June Hall McCash (2012, Mercer University Press)
June Hall McCash tells the story of Ida and Isidor Straus, who went to their deaths together on the maiden voyage of the Titanic

If You Awaken Love, Emuna Elon (2007, Toby Press)
A story of unrequited love set in Israel

The Making of Henry, Howard Jacobson (2004, Anchor Books)
A surprising love story involving a sympathetic shiksa and a Henry Nagel's dog

The Lost Wife, Alyson Richman (2011, Berkley)
A powerful love story set in Prague as World War II begins

Shosha: A Novel, Isaac Bashevis Singer (1978, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Shosha is a hauntingly lyrical love story set in Jewish Warsaw on the eve of its annihilation

All Other Nights, Dara Horn (2009, W. W. Norton & Company)
An intelligent love story set during the Civil War

Aimée & Jaguar: A Love Story, Berlin 1943, Erica Fischer (1998, Alyson Books)
A unique and tragic love story between two women, set against the Holocaust

Dinner: A Love Story, Jenny Rosenstrach (2012, HarperCollins)
This is a love story about one woman, a family and a ritual

The Brisket Book: A Love Story with Recipes, Stephanie Pierson (2011, Andrews McMeel Publishing)
More than “just” a cookbook, The Brisket Book, includes stories, jokes, cartoons, and photographs