With summer nearly upon us, the JBC staff is excited to dive into some incredible reads. From thrilling real-life capers to surreal short stories set in Israel, we have your summer reading covered!
I really like contemporary Israeli fiction, so I’m starting Jerusalem Beach, a collection of short stories by Iddo Gefen. The book won a major prize in Israel when it came out in 2017, and it’s being compared to Etgar Keret, whose work I love.
On my summer reading list: Marina Jarre’s memoir Distant Fathers, translated from the Italian by one of Jewish Book Council’s favorite translators, Ann Goldstein (of The Neapolitan Novels and The Complete Works of Primo Levi). I had previously been unfamiliar with Jarre — born in Riga in 1925, and exiled to Italy from 1935 until her death in 2016 — and this work promises to explore questions of “time, language, womanhood, belonging, estrangement, and homeland.”
So many fascinating graphic memoirs about body image have come out recently, and I can’t wait to add Chunky by Yehudi Mercado — a whimsical middle-grade story about a Mexican Jewish boy torn between baseball and comedy — to my pile.
I’m excited to dive into Ava Reid’s The Wolf and the Woodsman—a haunting look at power, magic, and personal autonomy set in a world seeped in Jewish folklore. And take a look at the author’s explanation of why her novel can’t be labeled a fairy tale retelling.
I love Dahlia Adler’s voice and storytelling, and in Cool for the Summer she is in top form — her writing is so engaging, you won’t want the book to end! Follow Lara as she gets everything (and everyone!) she thinks she wants, only to discover she might need someone else entirely. And check out an interview with the author here.
Simona is the Jewish Book Council’s digital content and marketing manager. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in English and History and studied abroad in India and England. Prior to the JBC she worked at Oxford University Press. Her writing has been featured in Lilith, The Normal School, Barnstorm, Digging through the Fat, and other publications. She is an MFA candidate in fiction at The New School.