New Books in our Collection

Click on the BOOKS to find out more!

Latest Books for March 2021

Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover
Image of cover x

Acts Of My Mother

GENRE: MEMOIRS/BIOGRAPHY

ACTS OF MY MOTHER by ANDRAS FORGACH. The book originated when Andras received a call in 2013 from a childhood friend who worked as a researcher at the secret police archive in Budapest. Forgach’s parents came from Palestine in 1947 as young idealists and settled in Budapest becoming Stalinists, lifelong anti-Zionists and spies. The story is told through flashbacks from 1940’s to the 1980’s and jumps from post war Palestine to London to Cold War Budapest. Forgach is forced to confront the truth about his cherished mother who was an informant on her acquaintances, family, friends and even her children. The book combines memoir, poetry and official records.

Image of cover x

Beauty Of What Remains

GENRE: INSPIRATIONAL/RELIGIOUS INTEREST

BEAUTY OF WHAT REMAINS by STEVE LEDER. As senior rabbi at Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, Rabbi Leder has spent many years counselling on the complexities of loss and dying. This inspiring book is based on his pastoral and personal experiences. He learnt the way death teaches us how to live with more meaning by showing us not only what we have lost but the beauty of what remains. Written with a sense of his own vulnerability after his own father’s recent death, Leder provides a heartfelt and comforting narrative. A worthy addition to literature on the end of life and death.

Image of cover x

Blessing And The Curse

GENRE: LITERARY INTEREST

BLESSING AND THE CURSE by ADAM KIRSCH. Poet and literary critic Kirsch discusses major books by over thirty writers showing how the twentieth century transformed Jewish life. His authors range from Kafka to Philip Roth, Elie Wiesel to Hannah Arendt. He includes works by Primo Levi whose books shed new light on the literature of the Holocaust and Israeli writers such as Yehuda Amichai and S. Yizhar whose writings showed the paradoxes in Israeli society. Kirsch finally discusses the great thinkers of the modern century such as Martin Buber and Mordechai Kaplan. An insightful and engaging work.

Image of cover x

Concealed

GENRE: MEMOIRS/BIOGRAPHY

CONCEALED by ESTHER AMINI. An uplifting memoir of the Amini family who fled Iran, where they lived secretly as Jews, to settle in the United States in the 60’s. Esther struggled to find her voice in a family who faced a modern world that threatened their traditions. She was prohibited from reading books or listening to talks that might corrupt her and almost forced into an early Persian marriage. She had to balance her devotion to her parents and community against her desire to pursue a college education. The central theme of concealment and visibility reveals what her parents and thousands of other Mashhadi Jews endured.

Image of cover x

Dreams Never Dreamed

GENRE: INSPIRATIONAL/RELIGIOUS INTEREST

DREAMS NEVER DREAMED by KALMAN SAMUELS. Rabbi Kalman’s inspiring and heart-warming memoir takes us on his personal journey from secular to Orthodox Judaism, his marriage to Malki and the birth of their children. When Yossi was born in 1977, he became blind and deaf after a faulty vaccination. On starting at a special school, his teacher who was herself deaf from the age of five, taught Yossi sign language, braille and to speak Hebrew. Malki had made a pledge to the Almighty that if Yossi improved she would dedicate her life to helping others. She established the “Shalva” centre for disabled children and their families in Jerusalem.

Image of cover x

The Faberge Secret

GENRE: FICTION

THE FABÉRGE SECRET by CHARLES BELFOURE. A historical novel set in Russia in the imperial court of Tsar Nicholas 11 and Tsarina Alexandra. Prince Dimitri Markov is confronted by the death and destruction of the Jews following a pogrom. He cannot believe that the Jews deserved such brutality. When he meets the educated and passionate Doctor Katya Golitsyn their unlikely affair begins. Katya feels a personal connection to the Jewish people after finding out that her great-grandfather had converted from Judaism to Christianity. Dimitri must then choose between his loyalty to Tsar Nicholas and the revolution, which will bring justice to millions of Russians.

Image of cover x

The Lost Boys

GENRE: FICTION

THE LOST BOYS by FAYE KELLERMAN. Bertram Lanz, a 35-year-old cognitively disabled man has gone missing on a field trip with staff and other residents of his care home. As Detective Peter Becker and his partner investigate, they are convinced that Bertram did not lose his way but left with Elsie Schulung, who had worked as a nurse there. These theories proof to be elusive when Elsie disappears and there are traces of blood in her kitchen. As the search continues, they discover the remains of a young man who vanished a decade earlier. The detectives need to sift through clues and evidence to find the dark secrets hidden in the woods in these two intertwined cases.

Image of cover x

Miss Graham’s Cold War Cookbook

GENRE: FICTION

MISS GRAHAM’S COLD WAR COOKBOOK by CELIA REES. Edith Graham, a 40-year-old British schoolteacher is sent to Germany to help resurrect German primary schools after the war. However, her real purpose is to send coded messages to her Secret Service handlers in the UK about war criminals and spies in post war Germany. She creates the perfect alter ego for herself as author Stella Snelling writer of a magazine cookery column. She embeds crucial intelligence within the recipes. Rees includes these and menus of the time at the beginning of most chapters. A compelling historical novel about bravery, betrayal and female friendship.

Image of cover x

Organs Of Sense

GENRE: FICTION

ORGANS OF SENSE by ADAM EHRLICH SACHS. A book for the scientifically inclined reader. In 1666 Gottfried Leibniz, the philosopher who invented calculus, travels to the Bohemian mountains to assess the sanity of a blind astronomer who has predicted an impending eclipse which would plunge Europe into temporary darkness. The astronomer whose father was Emperor Maxmilian’s Imperial Sculptor tells the story behind his strange prediction and recounts his entanglements with the Hapsburgs. These mordant and funny encounters stage the drama of reason and lunacy and influence the scepticism between the astronomer and Leibniz.

Image of cover x

Three Rings

GENRE: LITERARY INTEREST

THREE RINGS by DANIEL MENDELSOHN. In this book Mendelsohn weaves together the stories of three exiled writers who turned to the classics of the past to create masterpieces of their own. One is the scholar, Erich Auerbach, a German Jew who found refuge at a university in Istanbul in 1936. The other is Francois Fenelon exiled by the French King in the 17th Century and German novelist W.G. Sebald who self-exiled to England as a young man. Amidst these is an account of Mendelsohn’s struggle to write The Lost, a family saga of the Holocaust and a personal memoir about reading the Odyssey with his elderly father. A brilliant, captivating, intellectual achievement.

Image of cover x

The Spider

GENRE: NOTEWORTHY NON-FICTION

THE SPIDER by BARRY LEVINE. Pulitzer prize journalist Levine unearths a comprehensive account of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein’s life and criminal web including the role of Ghislaine Maxwell. He begins with Epstein’s young adulthood in Coney Island and earliest accusations of sexual misconduct. He moves onto the murky sources of his fortune, his circle of friends and socialites, his endemic procuring of underage girls for sexual needs and his ties to powerful men including Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew and Donald Trump. He concludes with his final hours in jail and the mystery surrounding his death. The book includes rare photographs.

Image of cover x

24/6

GENRE: NOTEWORTHY NON-FICTION

24/6 by TIFFANY SHLAIN. Filmmaker and internet pioneer Shlain eloquently argues the merit of unplugging from technology for one day of the week. Though secular herself she chooses Shabbat as a time for her family to recharge. They make challah, enjoy a traditional Friday meal and use it as their day of reconnection and reflection. Shlain offers lessons she has learnt practising “Technology Shabbat” over the past ten years and delves into the neuroscience, philosophy and history behind a weekly day of rest across cultures. Written with her unique wit, warmth and humour.

Image of cover x

Where To Find ME

GENRE: FICTION

WHERE TO FIND ME by ALBA ARIKHA. The paths of Flora Dobbs, an elderly widow and Hannah Karalis, a teenage girl cross when Hannah is locked out of her Notting Hill flat in 1980. Their friendship is cut short by Flora’s sudden departure. Nineteen years later Hannah receives a box of books from Flora including her notebook. She discovers that Flora had journeyed from Nazi-occupied Paris to Palestine to London in the 1950’s. In this poignant story told in dual narratives Hannah sets out to find out the truth about Flora’s life. Whereas Hannah had not suffered the same horrors and upheavals as Flora, she too experienced family betrayal and loss. Their brief encounter had long lasting consequences.



Latest Books for February 2021

Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover
Image of cover x

All This Could Be Yours

GENRE: FICTION

ALL THIS COULD BE YOURS by JAMI ATTENBERG. Victor Tuchman, a shady real estate developer suffers a heart attack in New Orleans. His immediate family gather at his deathbed struggling to make sense of their past. His wife Barbra, always stoic, remembers his transition from shy suitor to abusive husband. His daughter Alex, a newly divorced lawyer is desperate to find the truth about his criminal past and his son Gary is notably absent. Gary’s wife Twyla visits the hospital trying to conceal her own family secrets. The novel takes place in one very long day but encompasses the entirety of lifetimes. Attenberg excels in the cameos she provides in this intriguing saga about Victor and his dysfunctional family.

Image of cover x

A Bend In Stars

GENRE: FICTION

A BEND IN STARS by RACHEL BARENBAUM. Set in Kovno, Russia in 1914 two siblings strive to build their lives amidst the confusion of impending war. Miri Abramov and her fiancé Yuri are both doctors. Miri faces difficulty in a society where women surgeons are still shunned. Her brother Vanya is a brilliant scientist bent on proving Einstein’s still unpublished theory of relativity. He hopes to sell photographs showing that light bends as day turns into night to buy safe passage to America for all three. However, as the war intensifies Miri is called to the front lines and Vanya and Yuri go missing. The enthralling plot focuses on the dangers they face - Berenbaum builds multi-layered backstories for each..

Image of cover x

The Book Of Lost Names

GENRE: FICTION

THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES by KRISTEN HARMEL. Eva Abrahams, a semi-retired Jewish librarian in Florida reads a newspaper article about the return of rare looted books to survivors of the Holocaust. She sees a photo of a book which had previously belonged to her while in France in the 1940’s. Eva worked in the Resistance together with handsome document forger Rémy Duchamp. They provided papers for those fleeing the regime and recorded the names of these unaccompanied children by coding each one in an eighteenth century religious text. She finds the strength and courage to return to Berlin to recover this book and help decode the names of those they attempted to keep safe. She also wishes to find out the fate which befell Rémy after he was betrayed.

Image of cover x

Book Of Two Ways

GENRE: FICTION

BOOK OF TWO WAYS by JODI PICOULT. When Dawn Edelstein is on a flight which is about to make a crash landing she is forced to confront her life choices. She is married to Brian and has a beloved daughter and a job as a death doula. However, her thoughts as she prepares for this disaster are not about her family but an archaeologist, Wyatt, she knew 15 years previously when she worked on ancient burial sites in Egypt. Surviving the crash, she needs to decide whether to return to her home and family or try to reconnect with Wyatt as well as to complete her own research on the first known map of the afterlife-The Book of Two Ways.

Image of cover x

Golem Girl

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIRS

GOLEM GIRL by RIVA LEHRER. Born in 1958 with spina bifida condition, Riva Lehrer spent her childhood at the Condon School in Cincinnati with other disabled children. She underwent numerous medical interventions. She believed that she would never have a job, romantic relationship or independent life. This changed in her early adulthood when she was invited to join a group of artists, writers and performers. They saw disability as an opportunity to be creative. Riva began painting portraits of herself, others and the world around her. Golem Girl is written with the prose of a visual artist and includes her gifted art images.

Image of cover x

Happiest Man On Earth

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

HAPPIEST MAN ON EARTH by EDDIE JAKU. Published when Eddie turned 100, this is a powerful memoir of how one can find hope and happiness in the darkest of times. Growing up Eddie considered himself a German first and a Jew second. He studied electrical engineering in Leipzig before being imprisoned in several concentration camps from 1938. He witnessed innumerable horrors in Buchenwald and Auschwitz and lost his family and friends. After the war he moved to Australia where he married and had a son. Being one of the few who were fortunate to survive, Eddie wishes to pay tribute to all who were lost by telling his story and to educate the world and stamp out hatred and intolerance. He believes he is “the happiest man on earth.” The DVD is available to accompany this book.

Image of cover x

The Huntress

GENRE: FICTION

THE HUNTRESS by KATE QUINN. Told in three narratives The Huntress, includes Ian, a British war correspondent who takes on the task of finding war criminals. Intertwined is Nina, a pilot for the Soviet Union who while behind enemy lines had an encounter with the Nazi murderess, The Huntress, who trapped and killed refugees mainly children. Then the story moves to post war Boston to seventeen-year-old Jordan whose widowed father is about to marry Anneliese, a sweet German immigrant. Jordan has an uneasy feeling that her new step mother could be hiding something from her past. In the end the author links all the threads in this intense and enthralling mystery moving between decades and continents..

Image of cover x

Lady Clementine

GENRE: FICTION

LADY CLEMENTINE by MARIE BENEDICT. From this bestselling author of The Only Woman in the Room and The Other Einstein a riveting novel on the life of Clementine Churchill. Clementine was influential in advancing the woman’s suffrage movement. She used her energy and influence to counsel the often bombastic Winston in everything from speech writing to military decisions and policies. While raising their four children, she helped Winston emerge after his political disaster during WW1 and stood tirelessly beside him until his triumphant return to parliament after his campaign against the Nazis. The strength of this remarkable woman reverberates as we read of the loving 57-year marriage of these two political dynamos.

Image of cover x

Head Of The Mossad

GENRE: BOOK OF THE MONTH

HEAD OF THE MOSSAD by SHABTAI SHAVIT. This memoir deals with Shavit’s seven years in office from 1989 and provides an inside account of his intelligence philosophy and the operations he directed. It includes anecdotes about his family, colleagues and the time he spent in the United States as a graduate student and at the CIA. His tenure coincided with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the First Intifada, the Oslo Accords and the election and assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He reflects on the role that intelligence can and should play in Israel’s future against Islamist terrorism and Iran’s nuclear threat. An essential book for everyone who cares for Israel’s security and future.

Image of cover x

One Last Lunch

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIRS

ONE LAST LUNCH by ERICA HELLER. Acclaimed memoirist Heller asked family and friends of authors, artists, musicians, comedians and other personalities to imagine one last meal with someone they treasured. This compilation of short pieces includes Kirk Douglas, Nora Ephron, Groucho Marx, Oliver Sacks and Marcella Hazan. They are thought provoking with varied insights into grief, mourning, reconciliation and forgiveness. Erica Heller recognized the universal longing for one last moment with a loved one to ask those unanswered questions or share unvoiced feelings.

Image of cover x

Renia’s Diary

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

RENIA’S DIARY by RENIA SPIEGEL. An extraordinary story which unfolds when Renia began writing in her diary at the age of fourteen while living in Poland. it offers a lens into her teenage life filled with the joys of adolescence and then the encroaching horrors yet to come. Renia was tragically murdered by the Nazis in 1942. Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt provides an introduction that contextualizes Renia’s diary amidst the brutal reality of war. The diary was hidden and kept by her boyfriend Zygmund when she was taken from the ghetto. It includes a commentary by her sister Elizabeth which tells the reader how this diary made its way from a young Polish girls’ room to a safe deposit box in New York where it remained for decades until translated.

Image of cover x

How Yiddish Changed America and How America CHanged Yiddish

GENRE: BOOK OF THE MONTH

HOW YIDDISH CHANGED AMERICA AND HOW AMERICA CHANGED YIDDISH by ILAN STEVENS & JOSH LAMBERT. This book demonstrates that Yiddish is not just a language but a rich cultural identity. It starts with the arrival of the Ashkenazi immigrants to New York City’s Lower East Side and shares how Yiddish influenced Broadway, Hollywood, literature and politics. The book presents a bountiful menu of genres: essays, memoirs, poems, recipes, songs, cartoons and more. Authors in the anthology include familiar names such as Isaac Bashevis Singer, Cynthia Ozark, Michael Chabon, Grace Paley and gems from other lesser known authors. A revelation to those unfamiliar with Yiddish and for experienced Yiddish linguists a treasure.



Latest Books for January 2021

Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover
Image of cover x

Under Occupation

GENRE: FICTION

UNDER OCCUPATION by ALLAN FURST. This thriller by espionage author Furst is about crime writer Paul Richard living in occupied France. Paul found himself in a plot more dangerous than he could ever imagine. He sees a man being shot and killed by the Gestapo and just before the man dies he hands Richard a strange drawing. It appears to show a part of a military weapon. Paul began working with the Resistance, using his guise as a journalist, to travel to Germany to contact the Polish prisoners who were trying to smuggle this valuable intelligence to the French resistance. He became embroiled in a plot involving torpedoes and deadly weapons and has to deliver the plan to the Allies before it is too late.

Image of cover x

A Passion For Israel

GENRE: ISRAEL

A PASSION FOR ISRAEL by MARK WERNER. In his memoir, Werner, the son of a Holocaust survivor, shares his experiences as a non-combat volunteer serving Israeli military bases in Israel. The author who is a corporate lawyer in America has participated in the Sar-El volunteer programme for many years. The chapters are named after each base on which he was stationed from 2006 to 2019 and reflect what was happening at that moment in Israel. Werner illustrates what life is like for IDF soldiers. He shares the gratitude felt by the soldiers towards volunteers who come to support Israel and her citizens.

Image of cover x

Color of Love

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

COLOR OF LOVE by MARRA GAD. In 1970, Marra was adopted by a white Jewish family in Chicago. Her biological mother was unwed, white and Jewish and her biological father was black. The first part of this memoir deals with her childhood amidst her loving family who expelled anyone from their lives who showed signs of racism. Marra grappled with her identity as in black spaces she was not “black enough” and in Jewish spaces she was mistaken for the help. Her great aunt Nettie was not tolerant of her skin colour and ironically it was Marra who stepped in to care for her when she developed Alzheimer’s Disease. The book explores inheritance showing that despite what is stripped away love will return.

Image of cover x

Exile Music

GENRE: FICTION

EXILE MUSIC by JENNIFER STEIL. A captivating story of a family who had to flee Vienna when the Germans occupied the city in 1938. Orly had an idyllic childhood filled with music, her father played in the Philharmonic and her mother was an opera singer. Her family secured visas to leave Austria and settled in Bolivia. This was a culture shock which only Orly embraced. She learnt Spanish and delighted in all the country offered. Steil traces the challenges faced by the family initially and after the war ended. Besides the loss of their past way of life in Vienna, they now need to deal with the sight of former Nazis settling in Bolivia.

Image of cover x

Here and Now

GENRE: FICTION

HERE AND NOW by SANTA MONTEFIORE. A bittersweet contemporary novel about family, the love that holds them together and the power of memory. Marigold and Dennis are in their late sixties enjoying their golden years as their grown daughters have left home. When Suzie and Daisy move back to their parent’s home in the English village of their youth, they find that their mother is different besides being her usual kind-hearted and helpful self. This becomes harder to ignore. Dennis and his daughters now have their roles reversed as they need to support and care for Marigold. Montefiore has written a touching, realistic novel about the onset of dementia in a close knit family.

Image of cover x

How Could She

GENRE: FICTION

HOW COULD SHE by LAUREN MECHLING. Sunny, Rachel and Geraldine met and became friends while working as junior staff at a Toronto weekly newspaper. Thereafter their paths diverged. Sunny made a career as a watercolour artist and married a New York architect. Rachel, a New Yorker, married and struggled to emerge as a young adult novelist. Geraldine was engaged to the owner of the newspaper where the friends met. When this relationship ended Geraldine moved to New York and begin a new career in podcasting. The narrative highlights the envy and affection of their friendship as they navigate careers, suitors and husbands. Mechling is insightful in this witty exploration of the ways we can and cannot escape our pasts.

Image of cover x

Lady Of The Lake

GENRE: FICTION

LADY OF THE LAKE by LAURA LIPPMAN. Madeline Schwartz is a young Jewish housewife who leaves her husband and son to pursue her ambition to be a journalist. Cleo Sherwood was an African –American cocktail waitress whose body was found in a lake many months after she disappeared. The story unfolds as Madeleine becomes obsessed with the truth about Cleo’s life and death. Throughout the narrative we are given Madeline’s point of view as well as that of Cleo’s ghost watching behind the scenes. Lippman wraps up the racism and sexism of 50 years ago in this thriller about a newsroom and the city it covers.

Image of cover x

Mazel Tov

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

MAZEL TOV by J.S. MARGOT. In 1987, a 20-year-old miniskirt-wearing student responded to a job advertisement from an Orthodox Jewish couple in Antwerp to tutor their four children. Nothing prepared her for the myriad of Jewish customs she would have to adhere to in the Schneider home. Being an atheist from a Catholic background, she knew nothing about this way of life but with time she began to embrace and understand it. J.S. Margot provides an empathetic outsiders perspective of the Orthodox traditional lifestyle. She remained the loyal friend and confidant of the Schneider children when they themselves reached maturity. Her intimate portrait of the family took thirty years to write.

Image of cover x

Moments Of The Heart

GENRE: INSPIRATIONAL READS

MOMENTS OF THE HEART by DORICE HORENSTEIN. Award winning author Horenstein provides a self-empowering road map to lead people towards the more positive aspects of their lives. Just as the heart has four chambers so we experience four different relationships as humans: with ourselves, with others, with our Creator and with unique moments that define us. Horenstein highlights how the heart has a tremendous influence on how we view life, how we act and how we interact with others. She hopes to inspire readers to live a better life through the cultivation of deeper spiritual and ethical awareness.

Image of cover x

Rabbit Girls

GENRE: FICTION

RABBIT GIRLS by ANNA ELLORY. In 1989 after the Berlin wall has fallen, Miriam Winter escapes from her abusive husband to finally care for her dying father, Henryk. When he cries out for someone named Frieda, Miriam searches for clues about her father’s past. She finds an inmate uniform from Ravensbruck among her late mother’s things with letters written by Frieda to Henryk. They are in German and French and once translated they reveal the disturbing truth about the “Rabbit Girls” who were experimented on in the camp. Miriam knew nothing of her parents being in the camps, of the love her father had for Frieda while married to her mother and the sacrifices that were made.

Image of cover x

The Rebbetzin

GENRE: RELIGIOUS INTEREST

THE REBBETZIN by RABBI NACHMAN SELTZER. The inspiring story of Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis who accomplished so much and touched so many lives. She descended from a great rabbinic dynasty. Having survived the Holocaust, Rebbetzin Jungreis devoted her life to sharing her passion for Torah and Jewish continuity thereby enriching all whom she met. Throughout her life Esther Jungreis was a surrogate mother to thousands and a gifted teacher. Rabbi Nachman, the renowned author of this biography, interviewed many to write this unforgettable story. He vividly captures the life of one of the twentieth century’s most legendary, charismatic and spiritually inspiring Rebbetzins.

Image of cover x

Reason To Believe

GENRE: RELIGIOUS INTEREST

REASON TO BELIEVE by RABBI CHAIM JACHTER. A compelling book by this internationally known rabbi to anchor and amplify the faith of those who feel secure in their Orthodox beliefs and lifestyle. Rabbi Jachter deals with the gap between Torah and science, contradictions in Biblical text as well as archaeology and the Torah. He does not shirk from troubling theological and moral questions. A recurring theme in the book is timing and Rabbi Jachter uses as his examples the Ten Commandments and the modern state of Israel The book closes with a chapter defending the difficult concepts of human suffering and the destruction of life.

Image of cover x

Stories Of Hope

GENRE: INSPIRATIONAL READS

STORIES OF HOPE by HEATHER MORRIS. An inspirational look at some of Heather Morris’s personal defining life experiences. She received worldwide acclaim for her bestselling books The Tattooist of Auschwitz and its follow up Cilka’s Journey. Heather Morris provides insight into her creative writing odyssey beginning with her great grandfather’s sharing of his war memories to her chance meeting with Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor, Lale Sokolov, who entrusted her with his unique story. Morris is an extraordinary listener with the ability to retell the unique narratives imparted to her. The book examines the beautiful life lessons she learnt from doing just this.

Image of cover x

Yitzhak Rabin

GENRE: ISRAEL

YITZHAK RABIN by ITAMAR RABINOVICH. An informative biography written by this former Israeli ambassador to the United States and Rabin’s chief negotiator to Syria. Rabinovich tracks Rabin’s career from chief of the IDF to both his tenures as the first native-born prime minister. Rabin was a realist believing that no peace could be established without resolving the issue of the West Bank. He was a highly effective defense minister. Equally compelling is Rabinovich’s account of Rabin’s assassination. Rabinovich provides an insider’s perspective on Rabin’s life, influence and the mark he left on Israeli history.



Latest Books for December 2020

Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover
Image of cover x

Eli’s Promise

GENRE: FICTION

ELI’S PROMISE by RONALD BALSON. The story begins in Nazi occupied Poland in 1939 when Eli Rosen transfers his family’s construction company to profiteer Maximilian Poleski with the understanding that he would keep the Rosen family safe. The narrative moves to a displaced person’s camp in Allied occupied Germany when Eli is waiting for visas for himself and his son while desperately searching for his wife Esther. It then moves to Eli living in Chicago during the 1960’s. Eli remains determined to find the man who had supposedly betrayed his family and to have him prosecuted. Balson, a skilled storyteller, ties all the time periods together with a thread exploring the human cost of war, mixed blessings of survival and the strength of family ties.

Image of cover x

We Fight Fascists

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

WE FIGHT FASCISTS by DANIEL SONABEND. Historian Sonabend delivers an eye opening account of the 43 Group, an organisation of British Jewish ex-servicemen who fought against Oswald Mosley after the Second World War. The soldiers returned home imagining they had defeated the forces of fascism in Europe only to find this revived movement in London. Many felt that the government and Jewish Board of Deputies were ignoring the threat and took matters into their own hands. They infiltrated meetings and broke up demonstrations. The members were women who worked undercover, returned war heroes and young Jews including Vidal Sassoon. Sondabend tells of a time in history where a small group chose not to be bystanders.

Image of cover x

Haven’t They Grown

GENRE: FICTION

HAVEN’T THEY GROWN by SOPHIE HANNAH. In this psychological mystery Beth, mother of two teenagers, drives past her former best friend’s house en route to her son’s football match. She glimpses Beth emerging from her car looking slightly older but is confronted with the shock of seeing her children who do not appear to have aged from a decade ago. Beth feels something is wrong with the family but the more she investigates the stranger the situation becomes. Hannah builds layers of suspense with each reveal offering irregular puzzle pieces that will not fit together. A reminder that we never truly understand what is going on in other people’s minds or behind closed doors.

Image of cover x

Is This Anything

GENRE: NON-FICTION

IS THIS ANYTHING by JERRY SEINFELD. Comedian Seinfeld reflects on the absurdities of life in this book which features his best work over the course of his career. He has selected his favourite material organised decade by decade and readers will witness the evolution of one of the great stand-up comedians of our time. Seinfeld inserts anecdotes such as his first gig at the N.Y.C. comedy club at age 20, working with producer Larry David till the show Seinfeld ended in 1988 and how he did ‘nothing’ for two years till he saw Chris Rock perform and was inspired to return to the stage. His monologue style jokes and seemingly effortless humour shine throughout. A must for Seinfeld fans.

Image of cover x

The Last Interview

GENRE: FICTION

THE LAST INTERVIEW by ESHKOL NEVO. In his new novel Eshkol has as his protagonist a popular Israeli writer who is answering questions sent to him by a website editor. At first they are the standard questions posed such as what inspired him to write and whether the book was autobiographical. However, as the interview continues the writer finds himself sharing profound vignettes of his life. He is no longer able to measure his answers as the fibres of his life are about to fall apart and his emotional vulnerability is revealed. The book becomes a compelling, powerful page turner exploring the many facets of the Israeli author’s identity and his conceptions of truth and fiction.

Image of cover x

Light At The End Of The Day

GENRE: FICTION

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE DAY by ELEANOR WASSERBERG. For fans of historical fiction, Wassenberg has written a powerful story set in Poland before the Nazi invasion, through the tragedy of World War 11 and beyond. The story centres on the wealthy Jewish Olderfeldt family living in Krakow and in particular a painting of their youngest daughter Alicia. The family are separated and forced to flee leaving behind their luxurious life. Alicia never forgets the portrait or the artist behind it. She resolves to find him and recover what is hers. A heart-breaking novel of exile, survival and how we remember what is lost.

Image of cover x

Lying Life Of Adults

GENRE: FICTION

LYING LIFE OF ADULTS by ELENA FERRANTE. When 12-year-old Giovanna, previously a diligent student and affectionate daughter, hears her father make a disparaging remark about her looks and compares her to his sister, the abhorred Aunt Vittoria, she decides to seek out her aunt. She embarks on an odyssey of detection and discovery through areas of Naples from which she has been shielded by her educated parents. As the story unfolds she finds that her parents have lied to her and are unreliable and her happy childhood dissolves together with her parent’s marriage. Ferrante visits themes of violence against women, female friendships, class disparities and is a superb analyst of the way families distort children’s lives.

Image of cover x

Moonflower Murders

GENRE: FICTION

MOONFLOWER MURDERS by ANTHONY HOROWITZ. In this brilliant sequel to Magpie Murders this bestselling author will keep you guessing with each twist and revelation. Susan Ryeland, who misses her work as a book editor, is visited by the Treherne’s at her hotel in Crete. They require her to help them find their missing daughter Cecily. She disappeared after calling her parents and telling them that the man, accused of committing a murder at their upmarket Suffolk hotel on her wedding day, is innocent. She claimed that she found this after reading a book by deceased author Alan Conway, one of Susan’s clients.

Image of cover x

Nesting Dolls

GENRE: FICTION

NESTING DOLLS by ALINA ADAMS. A family saga centering on three generations of women in one Russian Jewish family. In Odessa in 1931, Daria is forced to marry an unrefined man in Stalin’s oppressive Soviet State. During the 70’s, her granddaughter Natasha who is brilliant at mathematics is not allowed to attend Odessa University and this leads her into the path of a dangerous young man. In 2019, Zoe tries to leave the Russian speaking enclave of Brighton Beach but finds that this narrow minded place may eventually lead to her true happiness. A heart breaking story about these dynamic women who face hardships and compromise their dreams as they fight to fulfil their destinies.

Image of cover x

Never Alone

GENRE: JEWISH INTEREST

NEVER ALONE by NATAN SHARANSKY. This new biography reveals how political activist Sharansky was prepared for his public life by the nine years he spent in the KGB prison. His story is infused with reflections on his time as a political prisoner and his long and active public career in politics. As head of the Jewish Agency and an Israeli politician he was able to agitate for Israel to accept 400,00 Soviet Jews and enrich Israel with scientists, doctors, engineers, musicians and chess players. Written with frankness and profound insights from a man who embraced the human struggle but ultimately found his voice, faith and the people to whom he could belong.

Image of cover x

Our People

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

OUR PEOPLE by EFRAIM ZUROFF. A meticulously researched book written by trained historian and Nazi hunter Zuroff and Lithuanian writer Ruth Vanagaite. Ruth discovered that her grandfather had complied lists of Jews to be executed during the Nazi occupation and this led her to meet Zuroff and journey throughout Lithuania. The authors, who were at first sceptical of each other, were personally linked to many of the sites through family history. They were shattered by their discoveries. A powerful exploration of the murder of Lithuanian Jews by Lithuanian nationals by the granddaughter of perpetrators and the grandnephew of a murdered Jew. After writing this book with Efraim Zuroff, Ruth had to live in exile in Jerusalem.

Image of cover x

Schmegoogle

GENRE: YIDDISH LANGUAGE

SCHMEGOOGLE: YIDDISH WORDS FOR MODERN TIMES by DANIEL KLEIN. For lovers of Yiddish and books such as Born to Kvetch by Michael Wex this book is for you. Klein introduces more than 200 new terms rooted in real Yiddish accompanied by sentence usage examples and entertaining etymology. His subjects include technology, family, dating, anxiety and more. He blends classic Yiddish with modern topics such as if you are bothered by too many emails piling up-e-chazari or stuffed by food and worry –gifiltered. This hilarious book shows how Yiddish has expressions to reflect the fast changing world we live in. Our need for the wonders of Yiddish have never been greater.

Image of cover x

Sontag

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

SONTAG by BENJAMIN MOSER. A portrait of Susan Sontag, one of the twentieth century’s greatest intellectual celebrities, who lived a romantic yet anguished life. Drawing on interviews, featuring many images and based on newly available personal papers, Moser explores the woman hidden behind the public face. Sontag made thinking exciting and her essays are alive to this day. Born Susan Rosenblatt she was tormented throughout her life by feelings of inadequacy. Moser recounts her education, friendships, sexual encounters and stormy private life. A skilled, lively portrait of a legendary author.

Image of cover x

Talking Until Nightfall

GENRE: HISTORY/HOLOCAUST

TALKING UNTIL NIGHTFALL by ISAAC MATARASSO. When the Nazis occupied Greece in 1941 it was the beginning of a horror that would last for generations. Isaac, a Jewish doctor together with his teenage son escaped imprisonment and torture and joined the Resistance. After liberation he returned to rebuild Salonica with other survivors amidst their feelings of grief and guilt for returning home. His story is interwoven with his son Robert’s memories of the time. The book has an afterword by his grandson Francois that looks at his family’s place in history. A wrenching account of love, loss and survival that ensure the Jews of Salonica are never forgotten.



Latest Books for November 2020

Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover
Image of cover x

Beyond The Ghetto Gate

GENRE: FICTION

BEYOND THE GHETTO GATE by MICHELLE CAMERON. This novel is set during Napoleon’s eighteenth century Italian campaign when the Jews of Ancona are freed from their ghetto. Mirelle, the daughter of a famous ketubah artist must choose between her duty to marry a wealthy Jewish merchant and her love for a dashing Catholic soldier. A parallel story focuses on Francesca, a devout Christian who must decide if she will honour her marriage vows to an abusive husband who has enmeshed their family in the theft of a miraculous painting of the Madonna. Cameron paints a vivid tableau of this historical time with great authenticity.

Image of cover x

Catching Tadpoles

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

CATCHING TADPOLES by RONNIE KASRILS. In this frank new memoir Kasrils takes us back into the first twenty years of his life in Johannesburg and then Durban where he joined Umkhonto we Sizwe before fleeing the country. He details his childhood in the Jewish world of Yeoville in a household filled with women clairvoyants with a wicked sense of humour. He will beguile readers as he peers back into his formative years as a Yeoville boy with Yiddish roots who will later reject authoritarianism and wider society to become an activist. He writes with humour and flair about his social and political awakening..

Image of cover x

Florence Adler Swims Forever

GENRE: FICTION

FLORENCE ADLER SWIMS FOREVER by RACHEL BEANLAND. Florence Adler tragically drowns in Atlantic City while at the beach with her parents, niece and a young Jewish refugee while she practises for her attempt to swim the Channel. As her sister Fannie is in hospital due to a risky pregnancy her mother Esther makes the shocking decision to hide this truth until the birth of Fannie’s baby. This pulls all those who witnessed this into a web of lies and deceit. Beanland focuses on each family member and those connected to Florence who dealt with this loss in different ways. This historical family saga is a portrait of how far we will go to protect our loved ones.

Image of cover x

Hidden Heretics

GENRE: JEWISH INTEREST

HIDDEN HERETICS by AYALA FADER. A revealing book about the double lives of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men and women who publicly observe Jewish laws for their families’ sake but often violate it in secret. They vary in age and use the internet to explore secular worlds both online and in person. Ayala reveals the stress they experience including the difficulties their choices may pose for their wives, husbands and children. She delves into the universal quandaries of faith, scepticism and social change in the digital age. Ayala explores the moral compromises and divided loyalties of individuals facing the crossroads between their religious belief and self-fulfilment.

Image of cover x

House Of Glass

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

HOUSE OF GLASS by HADLEY FREEMAN. Hadley finds a shoebox of keepsakes belonging to her late grandmother Sala containing photographs of her with a stranger, a cryptic telegram from the Red Cross and a drawing signed by Picasso. She feels compelled to piece together her grandmother’s past. She traces the lives of the Glass family siblings who grew up in Poland but moved to France for safety before the Nazi invasion. Alex, became a fashion designer and friend of Dior and Chagall; Jacques a patriot for his adopted country and brilliant Henri pioneered the use of microfilm. Sala managed to escape from Nazi occupied France to America.

Image of cover x

Anti-Semitism

GENRE: BOOKS OF THE MONTH

ANTI-SEMITISM by BARI WEISS. This book by New York Times writer Weiss shares a powerful message of the alarming rise of antisemitism in the United States. She sees this new high level of antisemitism coming from the far right and the far left and examines each threat with a balanced view of their goals and tactics. She does not suggest we protest nor write press releases but urges us to embrace Judaism with its rich historical legacy. She traces anti-Jewish actions and attitudes throughout history with its aim of eliminating the Jewish people as well as currently the destruction of the State of Israel. Weiss’s book is a must read for those seeking to understand and stop the rise of this pernicious ideology.

Image of cover x

The Lives Of Isaac Stern

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

THE LIVES OF ISAAC STERN by DAVID SCHOENBAUM. This American virtuoso was one of the twentieth century’s greatest musicians. His Russian Jewish parents brought him to America when he was ten months old. His musical talent led him to perform at Carnegie Hall. He developed young musicians including Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman and Yo-Yo Ma. He played on five continents and his friends included Frank Sinatra and Isiah Berlin. Schoenbaum traces Stern’s career providing an intimate portrait of this artist who left a lasting inheritance to the world. Music lovers will enjoy this celebration of a cultural treasure.

Image of cover x

The Last Bathing Beauty

GENRE: FICTION

THE LAST BATHING BEAUTY by AMY SUE NATHAN. Betty Claire Stern is spending her last summer before college at the family’s summer resort. She is thinking of romance and competing in a beauty pageant. Her life is well planned and her future limitless. Decades later her granddaughter comes to her with a dilemma that echoes memories of Betty’s past, first love and broken dreams. She now has to face this and reconcile the life she once imagined with the life she’s lived. Family secrets are discovered through the alternating timelines of her past and Betty now known as Boop will find it is never too late for second chance in life.

Image of cover x

On The Run In Nazi Berlin

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

ON THE RUN IN NAZI BERLIN by BEV SALTZMAN LEWYN. A riveting biography of Bert Lewyn written by his daughter in law. He was taken by the Nazis together with his parents from their Berlin apartment in 1942. He was enslaved at a machine gun factory and when tipped off about workers being sent to the camps went underground. Although resourceful he was eventually captured but mistaken for a British spy and placed in a Berlin prison. When the Russian forces liberated Berlin he was about to be shot until one of them, who was Jewish, confirmed Bert was not a Nazi because he had read a textbook his uncle had written.

Image of cover x

Palestine Posts

GENRE: JEWISH INTEREST

PALESTINE POSTS by DANIEL CHERTOFF. When Daniel disposed of his father’s estate he found a box of moving letters, post cards and photographs that he had never seen before. The correspondence was between Mordecai, Daniel’s father and his family in the United States. Mordecai came to Palestine in 1947 as a twenty-five-year-old to contribute to the emerging Jewish state. He wrote for the Palestine Post and was a soldier in the Haganah and resident of Jerusalem. The correspondence provides first person accounts of historic events and encounters with famous people. We accompany Daniel on his journey to penetrate the mind of his father and understand this period in time.

Image of cover x

The Drive

GENRE: FICTION

THE DRIVE by YAIR ASSULIN. This award winning Israeli novel tells of the journey of a young religious Israeli soldier who is unable to carry on with his military service yet terrified of the consequences of leaving the IDF. The unnamed narrator drives with his father from Haifa to Tel Hashomer hospital to meet a military psychiatrist. He is internally tortured and dissatisfied with his assignment to military intelligence and almost impelled to harm himself. Assulin reveals facets of Israeli culture in which the young must serve in the army which values conformity at a time when they wish for independence.

Image of cover x

Virus In The Age Of Madness

GENRE: BOOKS OF THE MONTH

VIRUS IN THE AGE OF MADNESS by BERNARD-HENRI LÉVY. French philosopher, Lévy writes an essay on the social, moral and political consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. He claims that fear is causing rejection of globalization and a retreat into isolation thereby ignoring worldwide famine, poverty and oppression. While complex safety measures are needed he scorns those who insist that the virus sends an environmental or religious message. Levy shows how autocrats are using it for their own authoritarian agendas. His discourse is incisive as he examines the metaphors assigned to the pandemic and what they tell us about ourselves.



Latest Books for October 2020

Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover
Image of cover x

The Pink Line

GENRE: SOUTH AFRICAN INTEREST

THE PINK LINE by MARK GEVISSER. Taking seven years to research Gevisser has written a ground-breaking analysis of how the issues of sexuality and gender identity divide the world today. His compassionate persona stories include a trans Malawian refugee granted asylum in South Africa; a lesbian couple who started a café after the Arab Spring; a trans woman fighting for custody of her child in Moscow. While same sex marriage and gender transition are celebrated in some parts of the world, laws criminalize homosexuality in others. Gevisser recounts the suffering and triumph of queer people throughout the world.

Image of cover x

Apeirogon

GENRE: FICTION

APEIROGON by COLUM McCANN. A novel which is heart-breaking and hopeful based on the real-life friendship between Palestinian, Bassam Aramin and Israeli Rami Elhanan. They are united through the tragic experiences of the loss of their young daughters. Smadar was a victim of a suicide bombing and Abir was killed by an Israeli soldier. The story pivots on a single day when they travel to meet the Parents Circle bereavement group. Colum has structured his novel into numerous chapters some with a single sentence providing a kaleidoscopic effect. The title represents a shape with infinite number of sides.

Image of cover x

Children Of The Stars

GENRE: FICTION

CHILDREN OF THE STARS by MARIO ESCOBAR. Brothers Jacob and Morris Stein live with their aunt in Paris while their parents, German playwrights have been in hiding looking for a safer place for their family. The brothers are picked up in a raid and sent to the Velodromo de Invierno with Jews about to be sent to camps in the Reich. They manage to flee while facing the danger of gendarmes and collaborators in Occupied France. They find refuge in Le-Chambon-sur-Lignon where heroic residents risk their lives to help them find their missing parents, who are not near Lyon as thought but in Argentina.

Image of cover x

My Sister’s Tattoo

GENRE: FICTION

MY SISTER’S TATTOO by ELLEN MEEROPOL. Esther and Rosa Levin close sisters who grew up in a liberal home are torn apart during a protest rally against the Vietnam war. When arrested Rosa sees this as an opportunity to contrast an injured policeman with thousands of murdered Vietnamese. Esther would rather accept a plea bargain even if it means testifying against Rosa. The book explores the thorny intersection of family loyalty and political decisions and follows the paths chosen by the two sisters over time. Ellen Meeropol is married to the younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.

Image of cover x

In Pursuit Of Godliness

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

IN PURSUIT OF GODLINESS by EDWARD FEINSTEIN. A biography of America’s influential Rabbi Harold Schulweis written by his devoted “disciple” Feinstein. His innovations reshaped congregations introducing synagogue havurot, para-professional counselling programs, outreach to alienated Jews, opening the traditional services to gay and lesbian Jews as well as families who have children with special needs. At the heart of Rabbi Schulweis theological message was his call to faith and he spent his entire life in search of a meaningful connection to Judaism and its people. Feinstein shows us he found what he was looking for.

Image of cover x

My Wife Said You may Want To Marry Me

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

MY WIFE SAID YOU MAY WANT TO MARRY ME by JASON ROSENTHAL. In 2017, the New York Times published an essay by Amy Rosenthal titled “You May Want to Marry My Husband.” In this moving profile Amy writes about the man she had been happily married to for 26 years. This was read by 5 million people and she died ten days later from ovarian cancer. Jason’s memoir following Amy’s passing is poignant and inspiring as we read of his profound love for his wife and the tapestry of their life together. A candid look at a husband’s grief as Jason struggles to heal with his family using the final gift Amy gave them and their journey to find happiness again in their lives..

Image of cover x

The Nite Through The Wire

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

THE NOTE THROUGH THE WIRE by DOUG GOLD. This book tells of the love between Bruce Murray, a New Zealand soldier and Josefine Lobnik, a Yugoslav partisan heroine. Bruce was sent to Greece when he volunteered to fight during the war. He was arrested and sent to a prisoner of war camp in Slovenia. The two met when Bruce was standing at the camp’s wire and handed a crumpled note by a woman searching for her lost brother. The book intertwines Bruce’s life in the camp with Josefine’s dangerous career as a courier.

Image of cover x

On Division

GENRE: FICTION

ON DIVISION by GOLDIE GOLDBLOOM. When 57-year-old Surie Eckstein becomes pregnant she is shocked and ashamed. She fears the negative response of her Chassidic community. She cannot share the news with her husband as they were looking forward to having time to themselves. This is another secret to hide. She is still struggling with the loss of her son Lipa four years previously who was gay. Throughout the book the reader feels sympathy for Suri who has to struggle with ambivalent feelings towards long held beliefs. Goldbloom, a Chassidic mother herself writes with depth and compassion.

Image of cover x

The Slaughterman’s Daughter

GENRE: FICTION

THE SLAUGHTERMAN’S DAUGHTER by YANIV ICZKOVITS. A historical novel set in the Russian Pale in the 1890’s. Fanny Keismann, daughter of a schochet and devoted wife and mother disappears in the middle of the night shocking the townsfolk of Motal. She is rumoured to be a vilde chaya who has run away to Minsk to find her sister’s missing husband. She travels with Zizek Breshov the town’s eccentric; Shleiml, the cantor and an anti-Semitic innkeeper from the Crimean war. Thought to be linked to a roadside murder they are pursued by the Russian secret police. Yaniv uses a patchwork-quilt of individual stories.

Image of cover x

SS Officer’s Armchair

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

SS OFFICER’S ARMCHAIR by DANIEL LEE. Historian Lee has written part investigative story and part biography on S.S. Officer Robert Griesinger. Daniel’s interest was piqued when asked by an acquaintance to examine swastika covered documents hidden in the cushion of an armchair. He linked the cache to this Gestapo lawyer who had lived in Stuttgart. Daniel’s research led him to meet Griesinger’s surviving daughters; review his SS file and trace his paternal roots to nineteenth century Louisiana. Daniel stumbles on the unforeseen connection between Griesinger and the murder of his relatives.

Image of cover x

Starlite Memories

GENRE: SOUTH AFRICAN INTEREST

STARLITE MEMORIES by DOV FEDLER. The second volume of the autobiography of cartoonist Fedler written during the current lockdown. It focuses on the time he spent in the 1980’s directing a movie, which was his lifelong dream. He shares the many pitfalls he experienced at the time. His cast was not allowed to speak English and he spoke no isiZulu, the producer may have been a suspected criminal and Dov had no idea the apartheid government was providing the funding. He includes a humorous portrait of his family who dictate what he should do with his life to be a good Jewish son.

Image of cover x

The Order

GENRE: FICTION

THE ORDER by DANIEL SILVA. Art restorer and head of Israeli intelligence Gabriel Allon is taking a vacation with his wife Chiara in Venice. He is recruited by his friend Archbishop Luigi Donati to investigate the suspicious nature of the death of Pope Pietro Lucchesi. Together they uncover the threat of the clandestine neo-Nazi organization, the Order of St. Helena. They suspect that the alleged gospel of Pilate kept in the Vatican Secret Archives proving the Christian lie of deicide by the Jews could have led to the Pope’s murder. Another well researched thriller by this prolific author full of his usual intrigue.



Latest Books for September 2020

Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover
Image of cover x

The Year Of Facing Fire

GENRE: MEMOIR

THE YEAR OF FACING FIRE by HELENA KRIEL. Set in the 1990’s in South Africa this biography zooms in on an intense year in the writer’s life. It centres around the Kriel family: Maya the mother; Lexi the sister; Ross the younger brother and Helena herself. Central to the story is her other brother Evan who has been diagnosed with AIDS and has kept it a shameful secret. This all happens while Helena is in India researching a screenplay. Evan becomes paralysed and blind but becomes insightful as death comes closer. Helena learns all she needs about love as Evan eventually leads the family through the fire.

Image of cover x

The Child On Platform One

GENRE: FICTION

THE CHILD ON PLATFORM ONE by GILL THOMPSON. The book begins in Prague in 1930 when young Eva is late returning home from a music lesson during curfew. What follows is crucial to the rest of the book. In 1939 Eva makes the harrowing decision to keep her daughter Miriam safe after the Nazis invade. Miriam is sent on the Kindertransport to London. She is taken to the home of Pamela, a volunteer who helps children rescued by Nicholas Winton. As the war continues Pamela realises that Miriam may never see her own family again. Pamela too faces losing her only son who has enlisted in the RAF.

Image of cover x

Franci’s War

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

FRANCI’S WAR by FRANCI RABINEK EPSTEIN. An engrossing memoir of the mother of well-known author Helen Epstein. Franci’s writings remained unpublished for 50 years until her daughter felt the time was right to share it with others. At 22, Franci was taken from her home in Prague and imprisoned in Terezin, Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen. Her testimony sheds light on alliances, love affairs and sexual barters during the Holocaust. After liberation she married, went to New York and became a successful dress designer. An insight into her resilience and courage.

Image of cover x

Hannah’s War

GENRE: FICTION

HANNAH’S WAR by JAN ELIASBERG. Dr Hannah Weiss is a physicist in Berlin in 1938 and on the verge of helping create the world’s first nuclear weapon. As a Jewish woman under the rule of the Reich her work is belittled and she escapes to New Mexico. She begins to work with the Americans on the atom bomb but is falsely accused of being a spy and sending secrets to a scientist in Germany. She has to convince the lead investigator, Jack Delaney of her innocence. Jack who has had a painful past finds they have more in common than he realised. An unforgettable story about an exceptional brilliant woman.

Image of cover x

I Want You To Know We’re Still Here

GENRE: MEMOIR

I WANT YOU TO KNOW WE’RE STILL HERE by ESTHER SAFRAN FOER. In this poignant memoir, Esther documents her journey to gather information about her family during the Holocaust. She knew her mother had wondered through Russia for three years and that her father had been hidden by a Christian family but not that he had a previous wife and daughter who were murdered. She travels to the Ukraine to locate the family who hid her father and find the identity of her deceased half-sister. The narrative is a companion piece to her son Jonathan’s novel Everything is Illuminated.

Image of cover x

Leaving Word

GENRE: FICTION

LEAVING WORD by STEVEN BOYKEY SIDLEY. The book is about the mystery surrounding the death of Buddy Rappaport, CEO of a major publishing house. Investigating this crime is his former editor, Joelle Jesson, who was fired just before his death. She is determined to find whether he was murdered or committed suicide. Jesson suspects an author who sent her a manuscript with a plot similar to the exact circumstances of Buddy’s death. Another person of interest is Buddy’s dark inscrutable brother. This thriller written by a South African wordsmith of literary fiction will appeal to lovers of crime and mystery.

Image of cover x

The Lost Roses

GENRE: FICTION

THE LOST ROSES by MARTHA HALL KELLY. In this prequel to The Lilac Girls, Kelly features Caroline’s mother socialite Eliza Ferriday. The story is set in 1914 and follows the lives of three indomitable women. When Austria declares war on Serbia and Russian’s Imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes from St Petersburg to America to help Russian nobility. Intertwined in the story is Sofya, a close friend of Eliza who is a cousin of the Romanovs and Varinka, a peasant girl who comes to work for Sofya’s family. From St. Petersburg to Paris their profound stories intersect bringing history to life.

Image of cover x

Morality

GENRE: BOOKS OF THE MONTH

MORALITY by RABBI JONATHAN SACKS. In his new work of moral philosophy, Rabbi Sacks argues that we have moved from a society that rested on covenants, trust and commitments to one that relies on contracts ensuring our own self-interests. He traces today’s crisis to loss of a shared moral code as we have allowed family life to break down and social media make us less deeply connected to others. He leads the reader from Ancient Greece to the Enlightenment to present day to show that there is no liberty without morality. He shares his inspiring vision of how we can all find our place and face the future without fear if we reconstruct a shared framework of virtues and values again.

Image of cover x

Nobody Will Tell You This But Me

GENRE: MEMOIR

NOBODY WILL TELL YOU THIS BUT ME by BESS KALB. An unconventional charming debut memoir written by this Emmy-nominated TV writer honouring her grandmother’s legacy. She writes in her grandmother Bobby’s voice. Bess saved every voice mail her grandmother sent her and shares the content of their frequent phone calls. Her grandmother recounts their family history and secrets bringing the reader closer to four generations of indomitable women and the men who loved them. The narrative captures Bobby’s wit, worldly advice, well-intentional meddling and love for her granddaughter.

Image of cover x

The Ratline

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

THE RATLINE by PHILLIPE SANDS. This renowned author uncovers the life of Nazi Otto von Wächter, the Governor of Galicia, responsible for the death of Jews and Poles including Phillipe’s grandfather. In 1945 Otto evaded capture and spent time in the Austrian Alps before being protected by a Vatican bishop. He was preparing to travel on the “ratline” to Argentina but died unexpectedly. His son Horst looked to Sands providing documentation to help defend his father’s honour. An unlikely friendship develops between Philippe and Horst but ultimately Otto remains a war criminal with blood on his hands.

Image of cover x

She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Story of heredity, it’s past, present and future

GENRE: BOOKS OF THE MONTH

SHE HAS HER MOTHER’S LAUGH: The Story of heredity, it’s past, present and future by CARL ZIMMER. One of the world’s leading scientists Zimmer presents his definition that genetic inheritance extends far beyond parent- to –offspring transmission of DNA. Zimmer takes on controversial topics like the genetics of race and that it is impossible to draw significant conclusions about the roles that genes play in overall intelligence. Weaving historical and scientific research, including his own personal experiences with his two daughters Zimmer unpacks the long-standing presumptions we held about who we really are alongside new medical technologies which are set to shape our future more radically. His writing is rich and enlightening.

Image of cover x

Three Bodies

GENRE: FICTION

THREE BODIES by NR BRODIE. This is the second novel featuring the same characters from Brodie’s book Knucklebone. The mutilated bodies of three unidentified women are found at separate crime scenes. Captain Reshama Patel and former police officer Ian Jack begin to investigate. When a fourth woman is abducted they need to figure out whether these murders are related to cash heists or the work of a serial killer. Included in the investigation is Ian’s sangoma friend MaRejoice. This well researched thriller weaves together organised crime and the criminal syndicates who have infiltrated the police.



Latest Books for August 2020

Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover
Image of cover x

Trouble With My Aunt

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

TROUBLE WITH MY AUNT by HEDI LAMPERT. Leah Fine, a single career woman, finds her life turned upside down by an unplanned pregnancy. Her aunt Viv is intellectually challenged and she fears that this may be heredity. While searching for answers she uncovers truths that changes her perception of those she trusts. Her beloved aunt was born with Fragile X syndrome in an era where little was known of the causes of this condition. Hedi has researched this syndrome extensively and shares the sacrifices families make in to hide and protect loved ones from prejudices. Written with humour and insight.

Image of cover x

Smile Dammit

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

SMILE DAMMIT by HOWARD FELDMAN. Written by leading South Arica entrepreneur, global business strategist, key note speaker and author of Carry-on Baggage and Tightrope…Musings of Circus South Africa. His latest book is about optimism and hope and finding a happy ending even if the journey is difficult. He urges you to not be too critical about yourself and to harness your positivity as life is not lived through a social media feed. With his sense of humour and academic knowledge Howard uses his personal experience to entertain and educate. A must read in these times.

Image of cover x

One Day In Bethlehem

GENRE: NON-FICTION

ONE DAY IN BETHLEHEM by JONNY STEINBERG. The meticulously researched retelling of the story of Fusi Mofokeng jailed for a crime he did not remember committing. Though not at the scene of the murder, he was charged as an accomplice and imprisoned. For nineteen years he fought for his release appearing before the TRC whilst schooling himself in law. He was failed by the apartheid justice system, framed in court but his real betrayal was by the Human Rights Commission. He survived through sheer optimism but found on his release a world changed beyond his recognition, a world in which he had to endure the grief of having no remaining family.

Image of cover x

Museum Of Desire

GENRE: FICTION

MUSEUM OF DESIRE by JONATHAN KELLERMAN. LAPD detective Milo Sturgis together with psychologist Alex Delaware are called in to investigate the brutal murder of four people in a limousine at the scene of a party. All the victims are dressed in black and drenched in blood. The chauffeur has a bullet to his head and in the back a lone female holds a male body part. They find nothing linking the bodies and each has been killed in heinously different violent ways. In his true Kellerman style, he draws the reader into the twisted webs of sexual desire, greed and revenge found in the Los Angeles art world. As suspects come and go the climatic end is unforeseen.

Image of cover x

The Yellow Bird Sings

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

THE YELLOW BIRD SINGS by JENNIFER ROSNER. During the Holocaust in Poland a mother has to hide with her five-year-old daughter, a music prodigy. They are sheltered in a barn by a farmer and to keep Shira quiet during the day her mother tells her the tale of a little girl who is forbidden to make a sound in an enchanted forest. Only the yellow bird may sing and make the flowers bloom. When Roza is offered a chance to hide Shira in an orphanage she is torn between her daughter’s survival and her wish to keep her close. Rosner examines the way art and imagination may sustain us.

Image of cover x

TWO MONTHS

GENRE: NOVEL

TWO MONTHS by GAIL SCHIMMEL. Erica, a confident school teacher with a loving husband wakes up to find that she can no longer recall two months of her life. As the story unravels she finds that her life has changed and cannot understand nor remember all the events leading up to this. She suspects that her husband is hiding something. Having suffered at school from vicious bullying due to her weight, memories of these painful episodes begin to unfold. Schimmel’s gripping narrative explores Erica’s past and her current reality fractures on reuniting with” friends” who shaped her teens.

Image of cover x

31 Years To Peel A Banana

GENRE: MEMOIR

31 YEARS TO PEEL A BANANA by PHYLLIS WOOLF. The inspiring memoir of Phyllis, who has been afflicted with cerebral palsy her entire life. Though wheelchair bound she has had a zest for living life to the full and thriving. She obtained a degree and travelled the world. The title is most touching as it took her 31years to peel a banana given that she has only partial use of her left hand and the rest of her body is inert. Phyllis believes she has much to share with able-bodied people and speaks of her compassion and kindness towards them. She now shares her journey at the age of 70.

Image of cover x

Kadian Journal

GENRE: MEMOIR

KADIAN JOURNAL by THOMAS HARDING. This well-known author of House by the Lake; Hanns and Rudolf and Legacy has written a moving account of his son’s tragic death. In 2012 fourteen-year-old Kadian was killed in a bicycle accident. Within this journal Harding draws in the reader with revealing views of his marriage, parenting of his two children and the raw grief they suffered after the tragedy. This sensitive intimate account provides an insight into how it was for a father to lose a boy so unique in his eyes and loved by everyone. Both eloquent and heart-rending Harding’s book is a testament of love to Kadian and reminds the reader of the fragility of life.

Image of cover x

A Delayed Life

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

A DELAYED LIFE by DITA KRAUS. After the publication of the fictional novel, The Librarian of Auschwitz, Dita decided at 90 to write her memoir. Born in Prague in 1929 she writes of the horrors of a life impacted by the Holocaust. From her earliest joyous childhood memories before the war, to her family being sent to the ghetto at Terezin, to her imprisonment at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen and life after liberation. She writes about her role in the children’s block as the keeper of the precious books prisoners smuggled past the guards. She married a survivor Otto and they began afresh in Israel.

Image of cover x

Yes To Life: In Spite Of Everything

GENRE: SELF-HELP

YES TO LIFE: IN SPITE OF EVERYTHING by VIKTOR E. FRANKL. A companion to Frankl’s seminal masterpiece “Man’s search for meaning.” Eleven months after being liberated from the Nazi camps Frankl held a series of public lectures in Vienna explaining his central thoughts on meaning, resilience and the importance of embracing life in the face of adversity. These have been published for the first time in English and his words resonate as much today as we face a coronavirus pandemic as they did in 1946. The essays are preceded by an introduction by psychologist and author Daniel Goleman.

Image of cover x

The Sisters Of Auschwitz

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

THE SISTERS OF AUSCHWITZ by ROXANE VAN IPEREN. When Roxane moved into her house known as The High Nest in 2012 she was unaware of the tragic history hidden behind the walls. This is an account of the two sisters Lien and Janny Brilleslijper from a liberal Jewish family who risked their lives hiding Dutch Jews as Hitler’s shadow moved over Amsterdam. Lien and Janny were eventually sent to Auschwitz but their anti-fascist credentials saved them being sent directly to the gas chambers. The book’s appeal is the courage and resilience of the sisters who saved many in the face of adversity.

Image of cover x

The Infinite Game

GENRE: SELF-HELP

THE INFINITE GAME by SIMON SINEK. Throughout the book, Sinek leads you to question any tenant of how to create a successful business providing examples of innovative companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Kodak. Leaders should embrace an infinite mind-set to build stronger and inspiring organizations. In an ever changing world there are no winners or losers only those who lag behind. One needs a vision for the future to create purpose in order to survive. Business is not a game with a final clock, you may change how you play at any time. Sinek has written a philosophy book to help chart your journey through today’s unpredictable marketplace.



Latest Books for July 2020

Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover
Image of cover x

The Persian Gamble

GENRE: NOVEL

THE PERSIAN GABLE by JOEL ROSENBERG. The Russian president has been assassinated with the head of Russia’s secret service. The killer is his son-in-law Oleg Kraskin. Marcus Ryker, former US secret agent, is in Moscow to help Kraskin defect and both are helped by CIA agent Jennifer Morris. Ryker tries to convince his contacts about the dangerous deal that places nuclear weapons inside Iran’s grasp.

Image of cover x

The German House

GENRE: NOVEL

THE GERMAN HOUSE by ANNETTE HESS. In this historical novel Eva Bruhn is hired as a German interpreter to translate at the Frankfurt-Auschwitz trials. Eva’s growing awareness of the atrocities perpetuated by the Auschwitz defendants leads her to question why her parents, owners of the German House restaurant, did not care about the trial. She slowly begins to uncover buried family secrets.

Image of cover x

Independence Square

GENRE: FICTION

INDEPENDENCE SQUARE by A.D. MILLER. A story of corruption and political betrayals during the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine. British diplomat Simon Davey stationed in Kiev gives aid to dissidents in Independence Square with fatal consequences. Years later after being abandoned by his family he sees his former contact Oleysa Zarchenko on the London subway and is plunged back into his past.

Image of cover x

The Grace Kelly Dress

GENRE: NOVEL

THE GRACE KELLY DRESS by BRENDA JANOWITZ. In 1958 Paris, Rose a seamstress has been entrusted to sew a Grace Kelly look-alike gown for a wealthy bride. When she finds herself falling in love with the bride’s brother, she makes a decision that puts her career at risk. Sixty years later Rachel is encouraged to wear this dress by her mother without realising the secret that changed her mother’s life.

Image of cover x

Mavericks, Mystics & False Messiahs

GENRE: JEWISH INTEREST

MAVERICKS, MYSTICS & FALSE MESSIAHS by RABBI PINNI DUNNER. Renowned Orthodox rabbi Dunner details sages together with sinners and charlatans. He includes Shabbetai Tzvi who claimed to be the Messiah; rabbis searching for subversive meanings of Amulets; the Get of Cleves case from 1766 and Hungarian born con man Avraham Schwarz, the ultimate Jewish maverick of modern times.

Image of cover x

Incredible! 2

GENRE: JEWISH INTEREST

INCREDIBLE! 2 by RABBI NACHMAN SELTZER. This book is filled with more inspiring personalities from Rabbi Wallis’s dynamic life. We read about his first steps to Torah observance where he experiences mysterious encounters. He writes of the African prince who became a religious Jew, the reporter who went to an Arachim seminar to prove it was a scam and the 89-year old “bar mitzvah boy.”

Image of cover x

In This Hour

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

IN THIS HOUR by ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL. A collection of English translations of Heschel’s writings from his time in Nazi-ruled Germany to his exile in London before finding refuge in the United States. It reflects this superb historian’s teachings; essays on rabbis of Mishnaic period; biography of Don Yitzhak Abravanel and four recently found meditations on suffering, prayer, spirituality and God.

Image of cover x

When Time Stopped

GENRE: MEMOIR

WHEN TIME STOPPED by ARIANA NEUMANN. After her father Hans’s death in Venezuela Ariana receives a file of documents, letters and diaries revealing his Jewish roots. She never knew this before. Correspondence from Terezin reveals that many family members perished. She opens with images of his 297 pocket watches, his metaphorical attempt to replace time stolen by Hitler.

Image of cover x

Last Stop Auschwitz

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

LAST STOP AUSCHWITZ by EDDY DE WIND. The author, a young Dutch doctor was sent to Auschwitz with his young wife Friedel in 1943 from Westerbork in the Netherlands. Being a nurse she worked in the block where medical experiments took place. A touching theme throughout are the appalling things de Wind witnessed daily while risking his life to see her. An eloquent account of love and suffering.

Image of cover x

The Nine Hundred

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

THE NINE HUNDRED by HEATHER MACADAM. In 1942 almost one thousand young and unmarried Jewish women boarded a train in Slovakia believing they were going to work in a factory but were on the first “official transport” to Auschwitz. Using copious interviews with survivors, historians, relatives and Shoah archive testimonies, Macadam tells their tragic story as only a few were able to survive.

Image of cover x

The Unwanted

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

THE UNWANTED by MICHAEL DOBBS. The small Jewish community of Kippenheim in Germany were interned in concentration camps in France. They desperately sought visas to escape but only one in four gained entry to America. Dobbs intersperses text with haunting pictures- a shattered synagogue, Germans deporting Kippenheim refugees, a father’s final scribbled message to his daughter in 1942.

Image of cover x

Red Sea Spies

GENRE: JEWISH INTEREST

RED SEA SPIES by RAFFI BERG. An in-depth look at the Mossad’s daring undercover operation in the 80’s using a holiday resort in the Sudan to rescue Ethiopian Jewry. Berg bases his book on interviews with operatives involved in the mission and offers insight into Menachem Begin’s anguish over the fate of the Ethiopian Jews and key decisions of Mossad. A heroic mission that reads like a spy novel.

Image of cover x

Theran Children

GENRE: JEWISH HISTORY

THERAN CHILDREN by MIKHAL DEKEL. An absorbing account of the refugee children evacuated by the Polish military to Iran during the Holocaust. They became part of the Persian Jewish community. A group of Zionist caregivers brought them via India to Palestine in 1943. They were known as the “Tehran Children”, amongst whom were Mikhal’s father and aunt. Dekel blends memoir with history.

Image of cover x

God Is In The Crowd

GENRE: JEWISH INTEREST

GOD IS IN THE CROWD by TAL KEINAN. A thoughtful assessment of the current state of Judaism. Kienan provides the intimate story of his Aliyah and service in the Israeli Air Force. Jews today face different threats such as dwindling Jewish population, complacency, fundamental divisions and intermarriage. These may change our survival. He hopes that by redefining Judaism we will keep it alive.

Image of cover x

A River Could Be A Tree

GENRE: JEWISH INTEREST

A RIVER COULD BE A TREE by ANGELA HIMSEL. Raised in Indiana as a fundamentalist Christian, Angela celebrated the Sabbath, Passover and Sukkot without knowing they were Jewish holidays. Her connection to Judaism grew through Jewish friends and her faith in her parent’s church waned. A Jewish boyfriend and a pregnancy forced the issue of her conversion, leading to a new spiritual journey.



Latest Books for June 2020

Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover
Image of cover x

A Non Swimmer Considers Her Mikvah

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

A NON SWIMMER CONSIDERS HER MIKVAH by MARY E. CARTER. This is the life changing, intimate journey of Mary Carter who travelled on her path to Judaism at the age of fifty. Her open and honest reflections convey universal messages as she presents the story of her conversion. She takes the reader through her process of self-reflection and growth offering insights into her family. Her talent as a visual artist shows in her vignettes, snapshots and episodes as the uncovers the kaleidoscope of her becoming a Jew. At the end of the book when she makes her commitment at the mikvah the reader may feel as if they have emerged from the waters alongside Mary.

Image of cover x

The Age Of Surveillance Capitalism

GENRE: NON-FICTION

THE AGE OF SURVEILLANCE CAPITALISM by SHOSHANA ZUBOFF. An examination of the threat of unprecedented power free from oversight. Shoshana feels that society is at a turning point as tech companies gather our information online and sell to the highest bidder. At this critical juncture we may still ensure that we are the masters of the digital age and not its slaves. The challenges posed to humanity by this power called “surveillance capitalism” may threaten human behaviour in the twenty-first century. Do we allow it to dominate and shape our future or can we protect ourselves.

Image of cover x

Blood On Her Hands

GENRE: NON-FICTION

BLOOD ON HER HANDS by TANYA FARBER. Award winning journalist Farber tells the stories of nine women who were South Africa’s most notorious murderers. She unpacks their lives, minds and motivations. Her book includes Daisy de Melker, a nurse who poisoned her victims; Najwa Petersen who is still behind bars for the murder of husband Taliep; Chané van Heerden who bizarrely kept her victims facial skin in the freezer. She sets each crime against the background of the time they were committed. The reader will be fascinated and shocked by the intrigue of these criminal female masterminds.

Image of cover x

Death March Escape

GENRE: NON-FICTION

DEATH MARCH ESCAPE by JACK HERSCH. David Hersch was imprisoned at Mauthausen camp in Austria. His son Jack shares the horrors of the Holocaust and his father’s two escapes at the age of 18 before the end of the war. David was recaptured after his first escape but he managed to escape while on a second death march. He was sheltered by a sympathetic family until rescued by American soldiers. Only after his father’s death did Jack learn that David had returned to the site of his torment. This led him to journey back to retrace his father’s footsteps and visit the Friedmann family who hid David. Jack not only learns more about his father but about himself.

Image of cover x

Primo Levi: The Elements of Life

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

PRIMO LEVI: THE ELEMENTS OF LIFE by IAN THOMSON. The author meticulously researches Levi’s life keeping a critical distance while sharing a memoir of an acclaimed writer of our time. Levi proved to be a gifted but a deeply troubled Italian Jewish writer. He took his own life in 1987 angering many of his fellow Holocaust survivors. His works were first rejected by publishers and a public who wanted to forget the historical realities they detailed. Some saw his suicide as one of the few acts of freedom in his controlled life. Through his writing Thomson has shared the rich life of this remarkable man.

Image of cover x

Finding Meaning

GENRE: PSYCHOLOGY

FINDING MEANING by DAVID KESSLER. An inspiring book on grief and how to cope with life after loss. Kessler has written with the iconic author Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and spent decades teaching about the end of life, trauma and grief. Kessler’s life changed when he experienced the sudden passing of his 21-year-old son. Kessler shares how he had come to terms with this devastating personal tragedy. He offers a roadmap to remembering those who have died with more love than pain and how to transform this into a more peaceful experience. Written as a tool to offer solace and comfort.

Image of cover x

First The Jews

GENRE: JEWISH INTEREST

FIRST THE JEWS by EVAN MOFFIC. Rabbi Moffic has written an essential guide to the painful history and present reality of anti-Semitism. He offers new insights and perspectives into the recent pressing developments in the contemporary world. He believes that the present generation may see Israel as an aggressor state rather than a haven rising from the ashes of the Holocaust. He addresses the question of the Jews being the object of universal hatred in history and the difference between anti-Semitism in the past versus today. He advocates all people to combat actions and words of hate.

Image of cover x

House On Fire

GENRE: NOVEL

HOUSE ON FIRE by JOSEPH FINDER. Private investigator Nick Heller is hired by Sukie Kimball, daughter of the owner of a large pharmaceutical company to investigate her father. Nick agrees to help her as his friend Sean, who served in Afghanistan with him, has died from an overdose of the opioid manufactured by this company. Sukie has asked him to attend a party as her date and to steal the documents proving that the drug failed the clinical trials. However, the stakes rise when he goes undercover and finds himself investigating a murder. A twisting thriller uncovering family intrigue.

Image of cover x

Love Is A Rebellious Bird

GENRE: NOVEL

LOVE IS A REBELLIOUS BIRD by ELAYNE KLASSON. An artistic novel focusing on a lifelong love affair. Judith met Elliot in the Jewish neighbourhood of Chicago in the 1950’s. Elliot would become her lover, friend and permanent addiction. During their lives they perused different paths with Elliot becoming a most renowned attorney and Judith a social worker. Through letters and cross country trips they remained in each other’s lives. Her deep feelings for him impinged on every other relationship in her life. After sixty years she frames a love letter to him telling her deepest thoughts.

Image of cover x

Return To The Reich

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

RETURN TO THE REICH by ERIC LICHTBLAU. Fred Meyer grew up in Germany but his parents saw the threat of Nazi power and fled to the United States in 1938 when he was sixteen. He tried enlisting after Pearl Harbour but was rejected as an “enemy alien.” He appealed against this and was recruited into the Office of Strategic Services and sent on an assignment to go behind enemy lines. He returned into the heart of Nazi territory together with a Dutch-born Morse code expert and an Austrian defector. Lichtblau recounts their successful mission dispatching reports that provided key intelligence.

Image of cover x

Rules Of Civility

GENRE: NOVEL

RULES OF CIVILITY by AMOR TOWLES. In this saga two young roommates Eve and Kate meet a sophisticated banker Tinker at a jazz club in Manhattan in the 1930’s. Both are attracted to him but after a tragic event Tinker decides to remain with Eve. Kate works her way up the career ladder but soon realises that New York’s wealthy use their money to influence and manipulate lives. When Tinker comes back into her life she belatedly sees what he is. Tinker will remind the reader of Fitzgerald’s Gatsby. Towles renowned for his book A Gentleman in Moscow provides once again a beautiful narrative.

Image of cover x

The Survivors

GENRE: MEMOIR

THE SURVIVORS by ADAM FRANKEL. A multigenerational memoir by this former Obama speechwriter. Adam’s maternal grandparents were Holocaust survivors who he adored. His mother Ellen suffered from emotional instability marked by the saga of her parents. When Adam decided to dig further into his mother’s past he discovered a life-changing secret relating to his own identity. In his candid narrative he depicts his inward search to determine the essence of what his family’s history meant for him. Adam shares the way the pain of the past haunts our future and the resilience we may find after trauma.

Image of cover x

The Tunnel

GENRE: FICTION

THE TUNNEL by A.B. YEHOSHUA. From acclaimed Israeli author, the poignant story of a retired engineer Zvi Luria who has begun to lose his memory at 73. He decides to volunteer to help the army build a tunnel in the Negev desert. This is a secret military project and they are surprised to find a Palestinian family living on the route under the protection of an archaeological preservationist. Zvi has to confront his illness and consider for the first time the entwined identities of Israeli Jews and Palestinians. Yehoshua provides a vital social commentary while sharing the love between Zvi and his family.

Image of cover x

Track Changes

GENRE: NOVEL

TRACK CHANGES by SAYED KASHUA. In this novel gifted storyteller Kashua writes about an Arab-Israeli man dealing with the mistake that determined the course of his life. Having emigrated to America years ago Saeed is a ghost-writer penning memories for clients. He leaves Illinois and returns to Jerusalem as his father is dying. As few are happy he is back including his wife, he feels geographically and emotionally displaced. His crime turns out to be a story he published as a young man which brought apparent shame to his hometown community. A poignant exploration of love, identity and memory.

Image of cover x

Walking The Exodus

GENRE: JEWISH INTEREST

WALKING THE EXODUS by MARGARET MALKA RAWICZ. Leading scholars and archaeologists have argued about the actual path of Moses and the Israelites from Egypt three and a half millennia ago. Along with her Bedouin guide, Rabia, Margaret wanders through treacherous deserts and areas to discover and identify the sites of the first fifteen Israelite camps. She explores another eighteen encampments in the Sinai desert and nine in Jordan. Through her research she seeks to verify the biblical account Including photographs and personal stories while uncovering myth and reality.



Latest Books for May 2020

Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover
Image of cover x

From Miniskirt To Hijab

GENRE: MEMOIR

FROM MINISKIRT TO HIJAB by JACQUELINE SAPER. A memoir of Jacqueline who was born in Tehran to Iranian and British parents. She recalls her privileged, charmed Jewish childhood in Iran until everything changed in 1979 under the Ayatollah regime. Saper was discriminated against as a Jewish woman and her young daughter experienced radical Islamic indoctrination. They fled in secret when her husband attended a medical conference in Texas..

Image of cover x

Living The Luxe Life

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

LIVING THE LUXE LIFE by EFREM HARKHAM. A rag to riches memoir of renowned hotelier Efrem who left Israel at 12. Beginning his career in fashion, he moved to Los Angeles establishing a chain of hotels. He shares his experience about life and business and the way he used obstacles as leaning opportunities. He focuses on Talmudic teaching as his business strategy –“everyone is a world everyone a life”. A profound and insightful read.

Image of cover x

Finding Chika

GENRE: MEMOIR

FINDING CHIKA by MITCH ALBOM. When Mitch Albom and his wife met Chika at the orphanage they operated after the earthquake in Haiti, Chika stole their heart. When she was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour, they took her to America to seek treatment and travelled to other countries attempting to seek a cure. Albom narrates the story by imagining what Chika was thinking and feeling. A sad memoir showing that love has no boundaries.

Image of cover x

Family Papers

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

FAMILY PAPERS by SARAH ABREVAYA STEIN. A fascinating history of the Levy family, Sephardic Jews with roots in Salonika. They were leading publishers and editors and helped chronicle modernity as experienced by Sephardic Jews across the Ottoman Empire. Stein draws on their correspondence and photos to trace four generations across five continents. Through their letters, she tells their family history together with Sephardic Jews in the twentieth century.

Image of cover x

The Eternal Nazi

GENRE: NON_FICTION

THE ETERNAL NAZI by NICHOLAS KULISH & SOUAD MEKHENNET. The story of Nazi doctor Aribert Heim, a ruthless physician at Mauthausen in 1941. After the war, he escaped to Baden Baden until he heard he was being pursued. However, through vigilant research, German police investigator Alfred Aedtner worked together with legendary Simon Wiesenthal to hunt this man. Heim evaded capture hiding in Cairo for 30 years while the hunt for him continued.

Image of cover x

Why? Explaining The Holocaust

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

WHY? EXPLAINING THE HOLOCAUST by PETER HAYES. The author tackles fundamental questions: why were the Jews the target of the Nazi regime; why did the persecution of Jews turn over time into total annihilation; and why didn’t the Jews receive more help from outside? He explains how a mix of complicity, fear, greed and indifference paved the way. Hayes’s research provides a chilling compendium of the warning signs, past and present. .

Image of cover x

Intimate Conversations With Elie Wiesel

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

INTIMATE CONVERSATIONS WITH ELIE WIESEL by HOWARD REICH. Music critic Reich looks back on conversations with Wiesel ranging on many topics. Both Reich’s father and Wiesel were liberated from Buchenwald on the same day. Reich established a unique friendship with Wiesel when he interviewed him for his newspaper. Wiesel’s legacy and life enabled Reich to understand the fate of his parents whose story is interwoven throughout the book.

Image of cover x

Shedding Our Stars

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

SHEDDING OUR STARS by LAUREEN NUSSBAUM. The author owes her life to a courageous German lawyer Hans Calmeyer. When Jews had to register the origin of their grandparents in Nazi occupied Netherlands Calmeyer was able to remove names by declaring them to be Aryan. Nussbaum’s parents were able to shed their yellow stars and saved from deportation and death. The author interweaves the story of Calmeyer with that of her family in this memoir. .

Image of cover x

The Teacher

GENRE: FICTION

THE TEACHER by MICHAL BEN-NAFTALI. The author’s English-language debut is about the life of a lonely teacher Elsa who survived the Holocaust as imagined by one of her former students. The narrator tries to piece together Elsa’s history and the hidden trauma that led to her suicide. Blending history and fiction, she traces her path from Hungary in 1944 when she escapes with her husband on the Kastner train to Palestine. An insightful, tragic novel. .

Image of cover x

House Of Trelawney

GENRE: FICTION

HOUSE OF TRELAWNEY by HANNAH ROTHSCHILD. The author takes us into the satirical world of a family of English aristocrats. Their stately home is in ruin and their finances are dwindling. Kitto lives at Trelawney with Jane and their daughters. When they receive a letter, announcing that a new relation Anastacia is coming to stay Jane needs to bury the hatchet with Kitto’s sister to save the castle. A story of lost and found friendships between three women. .

Image of cover x

Ten Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World

GENRE: FICTION

TEN MINUTES 38 SECONDS IN THIS STRANGE WORLD by ELIE SHAFAK. This profound narrative dives into the mind of sex worker “Tequila Leila” who is dying. As her brain shuts down Leila assumes the role of her own biographer tracing the story of the little girl from the provinces who ends up as a crime scene statistic. The first part places us in her brain as we count down to her death while the next is about the five treasured friends who shaped her life.

Image of cover x

The Fifth Column

GENRE: FICTION

THE FIFTH COLUMN by ANDREW GROSS. Charles Mossman confronts a Nazi sympathizer with deadly consequences. After his release from prison, he tries to reunite with his wife and daughter. However, when he meets a seemingly amiable Swiss couple who have befriended his daughter Emma he begins to suspect they may be German spies. After the attack on Pearl Harbour Charles realises that only he may save his daughter from being an innocent pawn.

Image of cover x

Further Up The Path

GENRE: FICTION

FURTHER UP THE PATH by DANIEL OZ. Brief fables by Israeli author Daniel Oz, son of the acclaimed writer Amos oz. They are timeless, open-ended parables, which offer no answers, morals or conclusions and are filled with uncommon imagery. These include a patient who has to use a spoon with holes for medicine, a mayor who cuts celebratory ribbons finding more under each one, a village whose single tree bears a bitter fruit to sustain the townspeople.

Image of cover x

House Of Endless Waters

GENRE: JEWISH FICTION

HOUSE OF ENDLESS WATERS by EMUNA ALON. Yoel Blum reluctantly agrees to visit Amsterdam to promote his book. He had promised his late mother he would never visit his birthplace. While touring the Jewish Historical Museum he stumbles across footage of his beloved mother with a child he does not recognize. This begins his search into Amsterdam’s wartime history and the networks that hid Jewish children. He finds the reason behind his mother’s silence.

Image of cover x

The Second Mountain

GENRE: SELF-HELP

THE SECOND MOUNTAIN by DAVID BROOKS. The world tells us to pursue our self-interest: career wins, high status and acquisition of material things. Brooks uses the metaphor of this being our first mountain climb, which may let us down as we sense there must be a deeper journey awaiting us. He invites the reader to scale a second mountain not rejecting the first but changing your motivation to other-centred. This climb leads to a happier purposeful life.

Image of cover x

Here All Along

GENRE: SELF-HELP

HERE ALL ALONG by SARAH HURWITZ. An account by former speechwriter to Michelle Obama on how she reengaged with Judaism. At 36, after dealing with a bad breakup and work stress, she began to rediscover Judaism’s allure by diving into the Torah and exploring different traditional practices. This transformed her life. She portrays Judaism as open to questioning and recounts her own spiritual challenges. Part memoir, part meditation.


Latest Books for April 2020

Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover
Image of cover x

And The Bride Closed The Door

GENRE: NOVEL

AND THE BRIDE CLOSED THE DOOR by RONIT MATALON. This entertaining novel by award winning Matalon unfolds over a single day when the bride locks herself in her bedroom. Margalit ignores her family’s tactics to ensure the wedding will take place and despite their pleas and threats remains silent. She uses scribbled notes and a cryptic poem to communicate from behind the door. A sophisticated look at contemporary Israel and the difficulties of love.

Image of cover x

The Face Tells The Secret

GENRE: NOVEL

THE FACE TELLS THE SECRET by JANE BERNSTEIN. In this piercing novel, a woman who had an unhappy childhood discovers that she has a severely disabled twin sister. Roxanne finds her twin sister Aviva who cannot verbally communicate. On visiting the home, she meets Baruch a scientist studying micro-expressions. Through his guidance she finds the courage to open up to her sister and surrender to the mystery of what it means to love another.

Image of cover x

Judgement

GENRE: NOVEL

JUDGEMENT by JOSEPH FINDER. Juliana Brody, a Superior Court Judge meets a man at a conference in Chicago and has an unforgettable night with the explicit understanding that this would never happen again. On her return to Boston, she finds that this man has an integral role in a sex-discrimination case she is presiding over. As her professional career and family are threatened, Juliana needs to be as ruthless as her adversaries are in order to turn the tables.

Image of cover x

Naamah

GENRE: NOVEL

NAAMAH by SARAH BLAKE. The story of Noah and the Ark from the perspective of Noah’s wife, Naamah. Blake describes the construction of the Ark and preparation for the journey and their day-to-day living with a boatload of creatures. The author examines the complex inner life of Naamah who had to leave her lover behind and the psychological implications of being the last eight people left on Earth. An insight into an ancient tale relevant to today.

Image of cover x

The Daughter’s Tale

GENRE: NOVEL

THE DAUGHTER’S TALE by ARMANDO LUCAS CORREA. In New York, elderly Elise Duval receives a call from a woman who had recently arrived from Cuba. She has letters written by Elise’s mother to her during the war. The story shifts to Berlin when Jewish widow Amanda flees Nazi Germany to unoccupied France. She arrives with only one of her daughters having secured a safe place for the other to Cuba. A beautiful family saga of love, survival and redemption.

Image of cover x

Strangers and Cousins

GENRE: NOVEL

STRANGERS AND COUSINS by LEAH HAGER COHEN. The Blumenthal’s eldest daughter is marrying her college girlfriend. As the story unfolds, it flashes back to a devastating fire in 1927, which affected many of the wedding guests and family members. Many of them are not only concerned about the wedding but the potential influx of Orthodox Jews settling in their small town. By the books end these unforgettable characters have rethought their notions of family and community. An enticing novel exploring the psychic depths of ordinary lives.

Image of cover x

Hunky Dory

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

HUNKY DORY by LAURENCE MYERS. An engaging story of a Jewish kid from Finsbury Park who trained as an accountant and found his niche as a manager and music entrepreneur during the 1960’s and 70’s. He worked with artists who became icons of pop such as the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Andy Warhol, Steve Wonder, Rod Stewart, Donna Summers and others. Filled with Myer’s hilarious self-deprecating stories and his by-line “who knew?”.

Image of cover x

Summertime

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

SUMMERTIME by RICHARD CRAWFORD. A biography of composer, pianist and songwriter George Gershwin who made jazz acceptable to all Americans. drawing on letters and personal accounts music historian Crawford traces Gershwin’s remarkable life weaving anecdotes with a discussion of his works. George wrote the music while his brother Ira wrote the remarkable lyrics. He died at the age of 38 but left behind the inventive vitality of his music.

Image of cover x

Genius & Anxiety

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

GENIUS & ANXIETY: HOW JEWS CHANGED THE WORLD 1847-19774 by NORMAN LEBRECHT. The author has selected individuals with varied relationships to Jewish identity, religion and culture. He restricts his book to the century before the creation of the State of Israel. His biographical sketches include Samson Raphael Hirsch, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, Marx, Disraeli, Freud, Proust and Einstein. While exploring “the Jewish genius” Lebrecht shows how these great minds changed how we see the world..

Image of cover x

Einstein On The Run

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

EINSTEIN ON THE RUN by ANDREW ROBINSON. The author brings to life Einstein’s initial celebrity throughout Europe. With the rise of Nazi power in Germany, fears grew for his safety in Berlin. In 1933, British MP Locker-Lampson brought him to live in an isolated hut in rural England where he found a safe haven. Even though he left for America shortly after this time, Einstein’s stay in Britain affected his life and thinking and made him a lifelong Anglophile.

Image of cover x

Canopy Of Stars

GENRE: NON-FICTION

CANOPY OF STARS by C.B. WEINFELD. In these engaging true stories, Weinfeld discovers heroes in the most unlikely places such as the shuls “Kiddush club”, an oncology ward, and a child’s birthday party where a pizza almost leads to tragedy. Some of these stories were originally published in Yated Ne’eman and Ami magazine. These touching stories should certainly leave the reader amazed at the greatness that exists in our people..

Image of cover x

The Exodus You Almost Passed Over

GENRE: JEWISH INTEREST

THE EXODUS YOU ALMOST PASSED OVER by DAVID FOHRMAN. The author offers new insight into the timeless story of Passover. As an Orthodox scholar, he takes the reader on a journey filled with twists including interpretations of biblical texts and commentaries. He explores the passages from the Torah on which the Haggadah is based. Fohrman provides an understanding of the Exodus narrative including intriguing questions over which to ponder..



Latest Books for March 2020

Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover
Image of cover x

The Life And Afterlife Of Harry Houdini

GENRE: CELEBRITY

THE LIFE AND AFTERLIFE OF HARRY HOUDINI by JOE POSNANSKI. The author takes the reader on a tour of this escape artist's life as well as other present day magicians who were inspired by him. Posnanski tells us that Houdini’s genius was for publicity and romantic grandstanding. Close to a century after his death, his magic endures through his charismatic personality and ability to conjure captivating illusions. He remains an iconic figure in cultural history.

Image of cover x

Life And Love In Nazi Prague

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

LIFE AND LOVE IN NAZI PRAGUE by MARIE BADER. An account of Jewish life in occupied Prague, told through moving letters. It is the tragic story of a late-life love affair between Marie Bader and her cousin Ernst Loewy. The letters paint a vivid picture of her life under Nazi occupation revealing the heightening anguish she suffered until her deportation to Theresienstadt in 1942. Marie’s great-grandson found these letters hidden in a suitcase in his parent’s attic.

Image of cover x

THE LOST KITCHEN

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

THE LOST KITCHEN by MIRIAM GREEN. The heartfelt story of a daughter painfully losing her mother to Alzheimer’s. Miriam’s love for her family is immense and she advises the reader on how to weather these painful times, savouring the days for what they are. Miriam weaves poetry, recipes and anecdotes into the details of her family’s struggle to maintain balance and laughter as Naomi deteriorates knowing they need to keep her memories alive.

Image of cover x

My Beautiful Detour

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

MY BEAUTIFUL DETOUR by AMY OESTREICHER. Before her prom, Amy planned to attend college followed by a career on Broadway. However, she woke up months later from a coma learning that she may never eat and drink again. She slowly recovered but with life’s everyday miracles came memories of sexual abuse by a trusted mentor. Amy discovered the resilience to survive and find her inner strength. She offers strategies to empower individuals after trauma.

Image of cover x

Pain

GENRE: NEW ISRAELI FICTION

PAIN by ZERUYA SHALEV. Iris, an Israeli woman survived a suicide attack ten years previously and had to come to terms with the aftermath of physical pain as well as the loss of the love of her youth. Now after years of living without joy despite being married and having a family she reunites with him. However, her son is soon to be drafted and her daughter has fallen under the influence of a cult like leader. Iris has to make a choice-passion against commitments.

Image of cover x

RANGE

GENRE: PSYCHOLOGY

RANGE by DAVID EPSTEIN. The author provides a wealth of thought-provoking material suggesting that one should strive for broadness throughout one’s career. Nobel laureates in science are more likely to have artistic pursuits outside their field. On examining successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors and scientists, Epstein discovered that generalists tend to be more creative than those who only heighten their knowledge in one specific area.

Image of cover x

Recover From Burnout

GENRE:PSYCHOLOGY

RECOVER FROM BURNOUT by JUDY KILPIN. Life coach Kilpin discusses that burn out is a condition that affects men and women from all walks of life. Her book suggests practical steps to address this legitimate syndrome, which affects our body, mind, emotions and relationships. If you find yourself pleasing others at your expense, giving more than you have then you need to read this book. Kilpin suggests ways to set your pace to survive and flourish.

Image of cover x

The Last Collection

GENRE: FICTION

THE LAST COLLECTION by JEANNE MACKIN. Told from the alternative perspective of fashion designers Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel and the American artist who befriends them both. The novel set in 1930’s France under the threat of a Nazi invasion highlights the rivalry between the two whose ideas about women’s fashions and politics differed. Mackin skilfully sets the story of these creative women against the backdrop of their exotic lives.

Image of cover x

The World That We Knew

GENRE: FICTION

THE WORLD THAT WE KNEW by FIONA McKINTOSH. ALICE HOFFMAN. During the Nazi purge of Germany, a mother desperately seeks a way to save her 12-year-old daughter Lea.Turning to her faith she finds help from a rabbi’s daughter Ettie who creates a mystical Golem from magic and clay in exchange for train tickets to escape herself. The Golem, Ava, is compelled to keep Lea safe from harm. Hoffman expresses the agony of the Holocaust and humankind’s capacity for love.

Image of cover x

The Age Of Light

GENRE: FICTION

THE AGE OF LIGHT by WHITNEY SCHARER. A brilliant portrayal of the tumultuous working and romantic relationship between photographer Man Ray and model Lee Miller in Paris. As an older woman, Lee is asked to write about her relationship with Man. Scharer intersperses Lee’s memories of the 1930’s with her later years when she fulfilled her own dream to be a photographer. A page-turning story depicting the wild spirit of an artist’s soul.

Image of cover x

At Wolf’s Table

GENRE: FICTION

AT WOLF’S TABLE by ROSELLA POSTORINO. A novel based on the true story of the women conscripted to be Hitler’s food tasters. Rosa Sauer whose husband is at the front has been conscripted to be a taster at Hitler’s secret headquarters. Living under such stressful caused them to divide into those loyal to Hitler and others who were not. Secrets and resentments grow as it becomes clear to them that the Germans may be on the wrong side of history.

Image of cover x

Bitter Reckonings

GENRE: HOLOCAUST

BITTER RECKONINGS by DAN PORAT. The author sheds light on eight landmark cases where kapos were on trial with the best-known case that of Rudolf Kastner.He provides insight into the young state of Israel in the aftermath of the Holocaust when some survivors were alleged to be collaborators and denounced to the authorities. Porat invites us to put aside moral judgement and consider what it means to be a victim in extraordinary circumstances.

Image of cover x

The Bookish Life Of Nina Hill

GENRE: FICTION

THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL by ABBI WAXMAN. In this witty novel Waxman introduces us to Nina Hill. She works in a bookshop, spends her time reading, and talking to her cat Phil. All this changes when she is notified that her father, who she never knew, has included her in his will. She suddenly has a large family who wish to welcome her into their fold. Another intrusion into her “bookish” life is a handsome man who is equally passionate about quizzes..

Image of cover x

Drama Of Celebrity

GENRE: CELEBRITY

DRAMA OF CELEBRITY by SHARON MARCUS. In this compelling book, Marcus will change the way you think of celebrities. Drawing on scrapbooks, personal diaries and vintage fan mail, she traces celebrity culture to its nineteenth century roots. Her theory is that celebrities are elevated by a combination of the press and the public. She focuses on legendary actress Sarah Bernhardt who became a superstar through her lifelong engagement with the media.

Image of cover x

Fly Already: Short Stories By Etgar Keret

GENRE: FICTION

FLY ALREADY: SHORT STORIES by ETGAR KERET. A short story collection by Israeli award winning author Keret displaying his love for humanity, brilliant revelations and wit. His characters grapple with parenthood and family, war and games, memory and love. These stories surprise, entertain and move – never going to the expected place. The thread that weaves these pieces together is our inability to communicate and see the world around us.



Latest Books for February 2020

Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover Image of cover
Image of cover x

The Last Train To London

GENRE: HISTORICAL NOVEL

THE LAST TRAIN TO LONDON by MEG WAITE CLAYTON. A historical novel based on the actual life of Dutch resistance rescuer, Truus Wijsmuller. She smuggled children out of the Reich to nations that would take them. Clayton highlights two children in particular- Stephan Neuman, an 18 year old Jewish boy who cannot escape in the Kindertransports to England and his Christian friend Sofie-Helene Perger whose mother is a journalist and critical of Hitler.

Image of cover x

Legacy

GENRE: HISTORY

LEGACY by THOMAS HARDING. This author recounts the rags to riches saga of Lehmann Gluckstein and his family. In the 1800s, they escaped the pogroms of Eastern Europe and settled in the East End of London. Through hard work, perseverance, obstacles, poverty and anti-Semitism, they created a tobacco factory, which grew to become catering company: J. Lyons. For over a century its corner houses were on every high street and its products in every home.

Image of cover x

The Lives Of Lucien Freud

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

THE LIVES OF LUCIEN FREUD by WILLIAM FEAVER. During the Nazi occupation, Lucien went to England where he attended boarding schools and served in the Navy. After travelling through Europe, he began his career as a portrait painter rising to the top of the British art scene. A womanizer, eccentric, gambler whose acquaintances varied from nobility to famed artists and petty criminals. Feaver quotes from his interviews with Freud in this beguiling biography.

Image of cover x

Nobody’s Victim

GENRE: PSYCHOLOGY

NOBODY’s VICTIM by CARRIE GOLDBERG. The author, a victim’s rights attorney, shares insight gleaned from personal experience. She uses past and ongoing cases involving extreme stalking, vengeance driven retaliation and abuse in which families, reputations and livelihoods are dismantled. A much-needed analysis of victim protection in this Internet age showing how those suffering from these abuses may take control to protect themselves both online and off.

Image of cover x

Pat Conroy

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

PAT CONROY by BERNIE SCHEIN. A candid memoir about the cherished friendship of Schein and Conroy. Both grew up in South Carolina with Schein being a Jew in a majority Christian South. They bonded and were both activists in the civil rights struggle against institutional racism and bigotry. Bernie knew the Conroy family intimately and he shares Pat’s difficult relationship with his military father, which Conroy would draw on repeatedly in his fiction.

Image of cover x

A State At Any Cost

GENRE: ISRAELI INTEREST

A STATE AT ANY COST by TOM SEGEV. Drawing on Ben-Gurion’s prolific writings Segev reveals the man behind the myth -the pragmatic politician who became the first Prime Minister in 1948. Segev states that Ben-Gurion opposed the pre-emptive strike that launched the Six-Day War because more territory would increase the number of Arabs under Israeli control. A visionary leader whose efforts led to Israel being the independent sovereign state it is today.

Image of cover x

Talking To Strangers

GENRE: PSYCHOLOGY

TALKING TO STRANGERS by MALCOLM GLADWELL. An intellectually stimulating book showing that most of us are incompetent at judging strangers. Gladwell includes the spy who spent years undetected at the Pentagon; the man who saw through Bernie Madoff; the suicide of Sylvia Plath and the false conviction of Amanda Knox. He explores why we act the way we do and emphasises that society could not function if we did not give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

Image of cover x

The Convert

GENRE: FICTION

THE CONVERT by STEFAN HERTMANS. When Stefan learns that, the village of Provence in which he lives, was the scene of an ancient pogrom and hidden treasure he begins to look for clues. He discovers a letter among extraordinary documents found in Cairo in the nineteenth century. The writer is a Christian noblewoman who fled from her family, converted and married the son of the chief rabbi of France. Hertman’s traces her courageous journey to Jerusalem.

Image of cover x

The Escape Room

GENRE: FICTION

THE ESCAPE ROOM byMEGAN GOLDIN. Four highly successful Wall Street investment bankers participate in an escape room team building exercise. As they ride the elevator to their final destination, they realise that they are trapped and have to solve riddles while fighting for their lives. As hours turn to days, the stakes intensify leaving them to face the dark choices they made to get ahead. Goldin skilfully sets alternative chapters in the past and present.

Image of cover x

The Third Daughter

GENRE: FICTION

THE THIRD DAUGHTER by TALIA CARNER. An unforgettable story of a young Jewish girl who married a wealthy stranger at fourteen to better her life away from the Russian pogroms. On her arrival in Buenos Aires, her husband sells her to a brothel. Despite this, she never lost her dream of bringing her family to America. With time, she gained fame as a tango dancer and was able to help bring down the criminal network that turned young women into slaves..

Image of cover x

We Stand Divided

GENRE: ISRAELI INTEREST

WE STAND DIVIDED by DANIEL GORDIS. This award-winning author urges a reconciliation between Israelis and American Jews. Though born in America, Gordis has lived and worked in Israel and is able to share the views of Judaism as envisioned by Americans and Israelis. He suggests that the relationship had enmity from the outset. Gordis does not focus on Israel’s handling of the Palestinian conflict or its attitude towards non-Orthodox Judaism..

Image of cover x

The Woman Who Heard Colour

GENRE: FICTION

THE WOMAN WHO HEARD COLOUR by KELLY JONES. Lauren o’ Farrell, a Jewish American art detective confronts elderly Isabella Fletcher about the possibility that her mother Hanna may have collaborated with the Nazis. As Isabella reveals the events of Hanna’s life Lauren finds herself immersed in a story of courage and the truth about a painting by Wassily Kandinsky last seen before WW11. The title comes from Hanna’s ability to “hear” sounds as colours..

Image of cover x

Passionate Spirit: The Life Of Alma Mahler

GENRE: BIOGRAPHY

PASSIONATE SPIRIT: THE LIFE OF ALMA MAHLER by CATE HASTE. Using Alma’s sensual diaries and interviews with her granddaughter, biographer Haste recounts the story of this Viennese socialite. Mahler dreamed of being the first woman to compose an opera but was stifled by traditional social values. She married composer Gustav Mahler, architect Walter Gropius and novelist Franz Werfel. She facilitated the creative pursuits of her husbands.

Image of cover x

An Unorthodox Match

GENRE: FICTION

AN UNORTHODOX MATCH by NAOMI RAGEN. In her latest novel Ragen depicts the struggles of a secular Jewish woman who tries to be part of the religious community of Boro Park. However, it is not so easy to join this frum world despite being welcomed by the rabbi. When she meets Yaakov, a scholarly widower raising three young children she is further rejected by this closed group. Ragen shows both sides as she shares Leah’s moral quandaries.

Image of cover x

Chutzpah

GENRE: ISRAELI INTEREST

CHUTZPAH by INBAL ARIELI. Having worked extensively with Israeli entrepreneurs, Arieli traces the success of their innovations and start-up companies. As children, they were raised to accept mistakes as part of the learning process, which resulted in them becoming resilient and independent thinkers. The unique Israeli culture encourages chutzpah, the pursuit of the unorthodox and awareness of the unpredictability of life and business.

Image of cover x

The Jews Should Have Kept Quiet

GENRE: HISTORY

THE JEWS SHOULD HAVE KEPT QUIET by RAFAEL MEDOFF. Based on recently discovered documents, Medoff shows Roosevelt’s private sentiments towards Jews. His administration deliberately suppressed European immigration below the limits set by U.S. law. He rejected pleas to drop bombs on the railways leading to Auschwitz. Medoff explores how Rabbi Stephen Wise, American Jewry’s foremost leader, was pressurized to stifle criticism of FDR’s policiesl.