Run­ning the Books

  • From the Publisher
December 1, 2016

Avi Stein­berg is stumped. After defect­ing from yeshi­va to attend Har­vard, he has noth­ing but a senior the­sis on Bugs Bun­ny to show for him­self. While his friends and class­mates advance in the world, Stein­berg remains stuck at a cross­roads, his roman­tic” exis­tence as a free­lance obit­u­ary writer no longer cut­ting it.

Seek­ing direc­tion (and den­tal insur­ance) Stein­berg takes a job run­ning the library counter at a Boston prison. He is quick­ly drawn into the com­mu­ni­ty of out­casts that forms among his book­shelves — an assort­ment of quirky reg­u­lars, includ­ing con men, pimps, minor prophets, even ghosts — all search­ing for the per­fect book and a con­nec­tion to the out­side world. Stein­berg recounts their dai­ly dra­mas with heart­break and humor in this one-of-a-kind mem­oir — a pierc­ing explo­ration of prison cul­ture and an enter­tain­ing tale of one young man’s earnest attempt to find his place in the world.

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