It’s the first week of Jan­u­ary, a.k.a. time to com­pile our read­ing lists for the year ahead. There are so many amaz­ing Jew­ish-inter­est books com­ing out in 2018…We have a lot of read­ing to do! Here’s just a small selec­tion of forth­com­ing releas­es that we’re par­tic­u­lar­ly excit­ed about.

The Mag­nif­i­cent Esme Wells (April) is set in the thrilling and mer­ci­less ear­ly days of the inter­twined worlds of Las Vegas casi­nos and Hol­ly­wood stu­dios, when both were dom­i­nat­ed by ruth­less, pow­er-wield­ing Jew­ish mob­sters. An aspir­ing Vegas head­lin­er and her pre­co­cious daugh­ter (that’s Esme) are the focus of this com­pelling sto­ry that brings to life an impor­tant, fas­ci­nat­ing era. —Car­ol Kauf­man, Edi­to­r­i­al Director

Sad­ness is a White Bird (Feb­ru­ary) is the sto­ry of a young Israeli-Amer­i­can man who, as he is prepar­ing to join the IDF, befriends two Pales­tin­ian sib­lings, and is forced to con­front his own iden­ti­ty; this includes an attempt to under­stand his grand­fa­ther’s fam­i­ly his­to­ry and com­mit­ment to the cre­ation of the State of Israel after his com­mu­ni­ty in Saloni­ca is destroyed by the Nazis. —Nao­mi Fire­stone-Teeter, Exec­u­tive Director

I’m look­ing for­ward to the release of The Chateau by Paul Gold­berg (Feb­ru­ary). Who could­n’t relate to a nov­el about a crooked con­do board? On the lighter side, We Are Gath­ered (June) by debut nov­el­ist Jamie Weis­man is a ten­der and fun­ny sto­ry that describes an inter­faith wed­ding in Atlanta from the per­spec­tives of its (ador­ing, envi­ous, resent­ful, hilar­i­ous) guests. —Ste­fanie Shul­man, Asso­ciate Direc­tor, Sami Rohr Prize for Jew­ish Literature

This Nar­row Space (Jan­u­ary) is the very intense and well-writ­ten mem­oir of an Amer­i­can doc­tor about his expe­ri­ences in Israel. The Last Watch­man of Cairo (March) is an out­stand­ing sto­ry about the reign, over many gen­er­a­tions, of the watch­men of the major syn­a­gogue in Cairo. —Car­olyn Star­man Hes­sel, Direc­tor, Sami Rohr Prize 

I’m excit­ed to read The Iron Sea­son (Octo­ber), the sequel to Helene Weck­ers his­tor­i­cal fiction/​fantasy nov­el The Golem and the Jin­ni. —Suzanne Swift, Direc­tor, JBC Network

The Dia­mond Set­ter by Moshe Sakal (March) is the tale of a famous blue dia­mond, a love tri­an­gle between three men from Tel Aviv and Dam­as­cus, and an inti­mate yet wide-reach­ing evo­ca­tion of the Mid­dle East through­out the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry. It’s been a best­seller in Israel, and I’m thrilled to see it trans­lat­ed into Eng­lish by Jes­si­ca Cohen. —Bec­ca Kan­tor, Man­ag­ing Editor