Posted by Arie Monas
Read what the staff of the Jewish Book Council has been reading for the month of August!
“This month, I’m reading The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach by Pam Jenoff. I’ve read all her other books and I enjoy her style of writing. I’m in the beginning of the book so I don’t have too much to say. It takes place in WWII, which is interesting to me. It’s a well-written book. I recommend it to people who like the time period of WWII.”
“The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein is about two Jewish New Yorkers, a 21-year-old woman from Manhattan and a Russian born boy who has recently graduated high school. They both find themselves in Norway in the summertime. The nights there are unusual. The sun doesn’t full set, which leaves a beautiful scenery. The author does a great job of incorporating beautiful imagery into a very readable plotline. I definitely recommend it to everyone.”
I’m reading Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk. It’s a book about a young girl coming of age in the 1930’s. I’m re-reading it because it’s interesting to see the differences between young adults now and then.
“I’m reading two books this month. The first one is Book of Numbers by Joshua Cohen. It’s an absorbing, mind-bending novel that has caused me to miss my subway stop more than once! Cohen plays with science fiction, technology, and personal identity in his signature engrossing, thoroughly Jewish-postmodern voice.
“The second book is Ongoingness: The End of a Diary by Sara Monguso. As somebody who has also journaled for many years, Monguso’s reflections on her own diaries truly resonate with me.”
“I’m reading Thresholds: How to Thrive Through Life’s Transitions and to Live Fearlessly and Regret-Free by Sherre Hirsch. Hirsch talks about how we all have times of transitions. She says that we have many in our lives and need to find a new way of “thinking, feeling and being.” Being a parent, watching my last child go to a far way college and the reality of becoming an empty nester, is one of those thresholds of my life. Hirsch’s book gives us the tools to help cross those thresholds both major and minor and to be strong as we go from one room in our lives to the next.”
“One of Green’s lesser known books, An Abundance of Katherines, is an exciting adventure of a road trip to nowhere — where friendships are tested and limits are broken. A book that gives us the realization that there is freedom in not having all the answers.”
“Having recently enjoyed a lively Persian Shabbat dinner in LA, I’ve taken a dive into some of the incredible stories that focus on the Persian Jewish community. Of particular note is this recently published novel by JBC Network author Parnaz Foroutan set in in early twentieth-century Iran and contemporary LA. The Girl from the Garden is Foroutan’s debut novel and focuses on family legacy.”
“This month, I’m reading As a Driven Leaf by Milton Steinberg. This is an unbelievable book and a must-read for everyone. If you haven’t read it yet, I strongly recommend it.”
“This month, I’m reading An Improbable Friendship by Anthony David. Anthony David’s biography of Ruth Dayan and Raymonda Tawil is amazing. He manages to tell each woman’s story in her own voice against the backdrop of the history they lived as Israel struggled to become a nation. They reveal heartbreaking stories that often conflict with the stories we have come to hold as true. And yet, through it all, these two women fight not only for self determination, but for the rights of all women. That they forged a friendship during those years of war is itself amazing. That they fought to hold on to each other and their shared vision for peace should give us all hope that their dream could become a reality.”