Book Review for “Mistress of the Ritz” by Melanie Benjamin. Benjamin’s latest novel is about Blanche Auzello, the American woman who in 1924 married Claude, the manager of the Ritz in Paris. In the years of recovery after the Great War, Paris was host to some of the richest and most famous people from across … Continue reading Puttin’ on the Resistance.
Book Review of “Goodbye Columbus” a novella and five short stories by Philip Roth. When I heard of Roth’s passing, I realized that while I knew the name well, and I’d seen some films based on his writings, I never read any of his books. In an attempt to correct that situation, I immediately … Continue reading My “Hello” to Philip Roth!
Book Review of "Chutzpah & High Heels: The Search for Love and Identity in the Holy Land" by Jessica Fishman. In this memoir, Jessica Fishman details the trials and tribulations of making what we call "Aliyah" - literally meaning to "go up" to Israel. This reminds me of an old, old joke, which goes something … Continue reading Now You’re an Immigrant!
Book Review of "An Undisturbed Peace" by Mary Glickman. In 19th century America, as the government worked to disenfranchise the country's native tribes and push them off their lands, waves of immigrants came in their wake, hoping to make their dreams of freedom and prosperity into a reality. Mary Glickman's latest novel follows one such … Continue reading Paths of love and sorrow
Book Review of "A Contract with God and other Tenement Stories" by Will Eisner. After I made a seemingly disparaging comment about comic books on another website, one of the commentators challenged me to write a review of a graphic novel. What better graphic novel to review than the one that most sites have dubbed … Continue reading The First Modern Graphic Novel
Book Review of "Jacob's Folly" by Rebecca Miller. Jacob Cerf was an impoverished, religious Jewish peddler in 18th Century Paris. Circumstance led him away from his family and faith and into a world of impious debauchery. 300 years later, he's back, but now he's a fly in 21st Century New York and involved in the … Continue reading A Literal Fly on the Wall
Book Review of "The Death's Head Chess Club" by John Donoghue. SS Obersturmführer (1st Lieutenant) Paul Meissner's battle injury has taken him off the front lines, and put him in Auschwitz, assigned to bolster flagging morale in the camps. His superiors are skeptical about his chess club idea, especially if he's allowing officers and enlisted … Continue reading Gambits and Pawns
Book Review of "Unleavened Dead" (Rabbi Akiva Cohen Mystery #2) by Rabbi Ilene Schneider. Those of you who have read Ilene Schneider’s first book – Chanukah Guilt – will remember our beloved Rabbi Aviva Cohen. She’s the unruly-haired, rotund rabbi of the small, Walford New Jersey synagogue 'Mishkan Or,' who has been divorced twice, and … Continue reading Rabbi Aviva Cohen is Solving Murders Again!
Book Review of "Neither Here Nor There" by Miriam Drori. Esty is 19 and unmarried, and that's practically an "old maid" in Jerusalem's Haredi (ultra-orthodox) community. However, the reason she hasn't agreed to marry anyone is that she knows the Haredi life is not for her. Once she's married, she might be trapped forever. Gathering … Continue reading Abandonment and Devotion
Book Review of "The History of Love" by Nicole Krauss. Alma Singer is almost 15 years old. She was named after every girl in a book called "The History of Love." Alma believes that she can find the real Alma from the book. She doesn't know is who Leo Gursky is, that he was the … Continue reading When Souls Collide