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Tag: Book Review

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  • Secret Schalit negotiations unveiled

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    3 days ago

    Back in 2006, a 19-year-old Israeli soldier named Gilad Schalit was the victim of a weapon of disequilibrium.

    Since Hamas could not defeat the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in open battle, their operatives entered Israel through an underground tunnel from Gaza, snatched the young...

  • UnRetire: Finding Your Way to Home Sweet Anywhere!

    By Lisa Niver Rajna

    2 weeks ago

    home sweetHome Sweet Anywhere tells the story of Lynne and Tim Martin who decided that their American dream did not involve a white picket fence and a retirement of babysitting grandchildren, watching television and staying in one place.

    They sold their home and started a Home Free...

  • Butterflies are free

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    March 19, 2014 | 2:24 pm

    The exotic byways of history have provided the settings for Dora Levy Mossanen’s previous fiction, including the sizzling “Harem” and “Courtesan” and the magical “The Last Romanov.” Her new novel, “Scent of Butterflies” (Sourcebooks, $14.99), is still a work of exotica, but in a...

  • Why is Susan Taubes important?

    March 17, 2014 | 10:57 am

    In her famous work “A Room of One’s Own” (1929), Virginia Woolf imagines a sister of Shakespeare, whom she names Judith. Woolf explores the reasons why so few women have made their mark in literature and other media. The imagined sister of Shakespeare, Woolf hypothesizes, was as...

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  • The Arab Spring’s missed opportunity

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    March 6, 2014 | 9:41 am

    Walid Phares, born and educated in Lebanon, is an experienced observer of events in what he calls “the Greater Middle East.” But perhaps his most telling credentials are found in the fact that he served as a foreign affairs advisor to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney...

  • The twisted tale of John Demjanjuk

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    February 6, 2014 | 10:33 am

    Among Nazi war criminals who have faced justice, ranging from Hermann Goering to Adolf Eichmann, we find John Demjanjuk, who was charged with participating in the murder of 29,060 Jews as a guard at the Sobibor concentration camp. Unlike the more notorious Nazis, Demjanjuk actually...

  • Born loving Stalin, raised to revere Roth

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    January 29, 2014 | 3:46 pm

    The key to Gary Shteyngart’s best-selling novels can be found in the title of his second book: “Absurdistan.” His genius manifests in the making of imaginary people and places that are slightly cracked versions of the real world, and he brings a wry and ironic sense of humor to the...

  • Jews and Muslims, their common threads

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    December 19, 2013 | 5:07 pm

    The encounter between Jews and Muslims, which began during the lifetime of Mohammed, has never been without tensions and conflicts, perhaps never more so than today.  “A History of Jewish-Muslim Relations: From the Origins to the Present Day” (Princeton University Press, $75),...

  • ‘Serenade’: Love and liberation

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    August 21, 2013 | 1:12 pm

    One of the bitter ironies of history is that Hitler and the Nazis loved music but it did nothing to soothe the savage breast of Nazi Germany. A second irony is that the high culture of Western Europe, including its heritage of classical music, featured the compositions and...

  • “The Dead Sea Scrolls – A Biography” – Book Review and Recommendation

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    July 9, 2013 | 7:13 pm

    If you have ever wondered what is so significant about the Dead Sea Scrolls, arguably the most significant archeological discovery of the 20th century, and would like a handbook to explain it all, this book by Dr. John J Collins, Professor of Old Testament Criticism and...

  • The Challenge of Defining Who is a Jew and What is an Israeli Today – A Book Review

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    June 30, 2013 | 6:37 am

    "The 188th Crybaby Brigade – A Skinny Jewish Kid from Chicago Fights Hezbollah," by Joel Chasnoff (publ. 2010) is a well-written, insightful, at times hysterically funny memoir of a young American Yeshiva bucher who sought to live the complete modern Jewish experience while...

  • “Born on a Blue Day” – by Daniel Tammet – Book Recommendation

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    June 20, 2013 | 10:06 pm

    “Born on a Blue Day” (publ. 2007) is an extraordinary memoir written by a young British autistic savant, Daniel Tammet. His mental capacities are so remarkable that he was able to recite Pi to the 22,514th digit and holds the British and European record.

    The author writes about...

  • Will you Love me Anyway?

    By Lisa Niver Rajna

    June 6, 2013 | 8:54 pm

    Author, Tiffany Hawk, will be signing her book, Love Me Anyway, June 7 at 7pm at Book Soup.

    In Tiffany Hawk’s novel, Love Me Anyway: A Novel, Emily and KC seek new lives flying towards their unrealized dreams. Approaching their new job as United Airlines flight attendants...

  • The First Rule of Swimming by Courtney Angela Brkic

    By Lisa Niver Rajna

    May 31, 2013 | 2:11 am

    In The First Rule of Swimming by Courtney Angela Brkic, Luka taught his granddaughter: “The first rule of swimming was to stay afloat.” Madgalena and Jadranka, two sisters who grew up on Rosmarina Island, Croatia, must find a path to balance in this novel. Through the details of...

  • “Sacred Housekeeping - a spiritual memoir” by Harriet Rossetto – Book Recommendation

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    April 3, 2013 | 10:45 am

    Harriet Rossetto was a bright Jewish kid with success written all over her. Like other young women growing up in the early 1960s, she went to college, got married, had a child, and hoped to live happily ever after. It didn’t turn out quite that way, but today she is more fulfilled...

  • If I Lean In, Will I Still Get Checked Out?

    By Tamara Shayne Kagel

    April 2, 2013 | 11:33 am

    Much of the discussion surrounding Sheryl Sandberg's dictum in her recent book Lean In that women self-sabotage their careers by not speaking up and failing to be assertive has revolved around a woman's struggle to fulfill a desire for motherhood and a career. Having not yet...

  • “How To Be A Friend To A Friend Who’s Sick” – Book Recommendation

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    March 27, 2013 | 10:06 am

    Letty Cottin Pogrebin has written an indispensable guide when a member of one’s family or a dear friend becomes ill or suffers a tragic death, what to do, say and not say, how to respond and be the friend the stricken most needs.

    Letty is a founding editor of Ms Magazine, an...

  • Q&A: Many Suicide Terrorists are Suicidal in the Clinical Sense

    By Shmuel Rosner

    March 27, 2013 | 7:12 am

    Adam Lankford Is a criminal Justice professor at the University of Alabama. Dr. Lankford has written for The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Wired, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and numerous peer-reviewed journals. His research has been featured by CNN, MSNBC, Fox News,...

  • Involuntary Participant Observation in the ultra-Orthodox World

    By Pini Herman

    February 25, 2013 | 10:05 am

    The recently published The Rebel and the Rabbi’s Son is a fascinating read, even for someone such as this reader who grew up among the ultra-Orthodox without the heavy burdens of a dynastic lineage on his shoulders as did the author, Izzy Eichenstein. The situation is rare and the...

  • The power of maps, in history and politics

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    January 30, 2013 | 3:58 pm

    On display in my office is a globe that captures a perilous moment in time — the world as it existed on very eve of World War II.  The Japanese puppet-state of Manchukuo can be seen in what is today northeast China, but both Austria and Czechoslovakia have disappeared into the...

  • Revolution 2020: Does Life Imitate Art?

    By Lisa Niver Rajna

    January 30, 2013 | 6:51 am

    Reading Chetan Bhagat's Revolution 2020 in December 2012 while traveling by bus throughout India, it has seemed that art imitates life. The newspaper has been alive with the protests in the street with the "pink revolution." The people of India are angry about the mistreatment of...

  • Shining a new light on the Jewish response to Christmas

    November 30, 2012 | 1:43 pm

    From Kung Pao kosher comedy to a swinging Mardi Gras version of the “Dreidel” song, two new Chanukah season releases explore the intriguing, delightful and sometimes perplexing ways in which American Jews have responded to Christmas.

    In a book and an audio CD compilation, the...

  • The illusion of a solution

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    September 5, 2012 | 10:50 am

    Of all the incendiary books that have been written about Israel over the last year or so, none is quite as fiery as "Israel: The Will to Prevail" by Danny Danon (Palgrave Macmillan: $26).

    Danon is a young activist in the Likud Party and serves as deputy speaker of the Knesset. He...

  • Re-examining Twain’s work, Clemens’ life

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    July 25, 2012 | 11:07 am

    Ira Fistell is a familiar and even beloved figure in the Los Angeles radio market, where he long served as an exceptionally amiable, thoughtful and well-informed talk-show host on subjects ranging from politics and religion to vintage trains and Mississippi steamboats. Along with...

  • Dennis Prager: Man of hard truths

    By David Suissa

    June 20, 2012 | 11:48 am

    As I was reading Dennis Prager’s new book, “Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph,” I found myself increasingly frustrated. The words themselves didn’t bother me; rather, it was that silly contraption I was holding in my hands, what’s known as...

  • Bookmark These for Summer Reading

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    June 13, 2012 | 12:10 pm

    Summer is here, and the time is right for touring authors. Here are the highlights of the season for poolside and airplane reading, including some local appearances by the authors themselves.


    The premise of Joel Stein’s “Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity” (Grand...

  • Himmler’s Brain

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    June 6, 2012 | 11:38 am

    Not long ago, I reviewed Peter Longerich’s benchmark biography of Heinrich Himmler in these pages—a work of meticulous and compelling scholarship about the master architect of the Final Solution, a mostly ordinary human being whose claim on history is that he succeeded in putting...

  • Sari Nusseibeh – Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life – A Must Read

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    March 1, 2012 | 10:58 am

    It has taken me five years to read Sari Nusseibeh’s autobiography since it was first published in 2007. I now recommend it to anyone interested in understanding the Palestinian experience during the past 45 years. That experience is brought to light by this brilliant and sensitive...

  • Leaving the an insular, Hasidic world

    February 10, 2012 | 12:22 pm

    “Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots” by 25-year-old Deborah Feldman (Simon & Schuster: $23.00) is painfully good. Through a narrative voice that is almost hypnotic, she puts you immediately in the center of her chaotic world.  Flashes of adult wisdom seem...

  • A Jesus even Jews can love?

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    February 9, 2012 | 3:40 pm

    Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has been accused of nothing less than apostasy by at least one of his fellow rabbis, all thanks to his newly published book, “Kosher Jesus” (Gefen Publishing House: $26). And I am confident some Evangelical Christians will reach the same conclusion if only...

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