2004-2005

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Conferences

The 2015 AJL annual conference will be held in Silver Spring, Maryland, June 21-24.

Proceedings and podcasts of the 2014 conference will be online shortly.

 
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Potok, Chaim. Old Men at Midnight. New York: Knopf, 2001. ISBN: 0345439988. $14.95
Potok introduces Ilana Davita Dinn, a "listener" who records the lives of three very different Jewish men in three novellas: "The Ark Builder," "The War Doctor," and "The Trope Teacher."

Pye, Michael. Pieces from Berlin. New York: Knopf, 2003. ISBN: 0375714162. $14.00
Lucia Muller-Rossi, a respected, ninety-year-old antiques dealer in Zurich, finds her reputation on the line when Sarah Freeman discovers a table in her shop that Sarah and her husband had owned before the war.

Richler, Nancy. Your Mouth Is Lovely. New York: Ecco, 2002. ISBN: 0060096780. $13.95
Miriam is a nineteen-year-old imprisoned in Siberia following the Russian Revolution of 1905. Reaching out to the young daughter whom she gave up at birth, Miriam weaves a haunting tale of life in a small Jewish village during the last days of imperial Russia and of a community caught between the rich yet rigid traditions of the past and the frightening, unfamiliar ways of a society desperately trying to reinvent itself.

Roth, Henry. Call It Sleep. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1991. ISBN: 0374522928. $16.00
The author presents a candid portrayal of Jewish life in the immigrant tenements of New York.

Roth, Philip. The Human Stain. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000. ISBN: 0375726349. $14.00
A college professor with a sexual indiscretion in his past is hounded from his job by academic enemies who label him a racist.

Yehoshua, A. B. A Journey to the End of the Millennium. Trans. Nicholas De Lange. New York: Doubleday, 1999. ISBN: 0156011166. $14.00
The author of the National Jewish Book Award-winning novels, Mr. Mani and Five Seasons, follows a tenth-century Jewish merchant on a far-flung moral quest to legitimize his decision to become a bigamist.

Harris, Lis. Holy Days: The World of a Hasidic Family. New York: Summit Books, 1985. ISBN: 0671462962. $16.95
An illuminating and superbly drawn portrait of another culture.

Kohn, Rebecca. The Gilded Chamber: A Novel of Queen Esther. New York: Rugged Land, 2004. ISBN: 159071024X. $23.95
A retelling of the life of the Jewish heroine follows the future queen from her youth as an orphan, her selection as the wife of a powerful Persian king, and the sacrifices she makes in order to save her people from annihilation.

Mirvis, Tova. The Outside World. New York: Knopf, 2004. ISBN: 1400041619. $24.00
Follows the courtship and marriage of Bryan and Tzippy, the former of whom astonishes his family by rejecting their way of life in favor of a strict Orthodox lifestyle, and the latter, who longs to escape the expectations of familial obligation.

Ravel, Edeet. Ten Thousand Lovers. New York: Perennial Press, 2003. ISBN: 0060565624. $12.95
A recent immigrant to Israel, Lily, a young student, finds her life turned upside down when she falls in love with Ami, a handsome former actor and Israeli army interrogator, as the horrors of his work affect their relationship.

Ross, James. Escape to Shanghai: A Jewish Community in China. New York: The Free Press, 1994. ISBN: 0029273757. $22.95
Documents the history of a group of Holocaust survivors living under Japanese occupation.

Suberman, Stella. The Jew Store. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books, 1998. ISBN: 1565121988. $19.95
The author describes her family's life in a small town in Tennessee before World War II, where, as the first Jews in town, they owned a dry goods store and struggled to prosper in a place where Jews were treated as outsiders.

Asch, Sholem. Salvation. New York: Schocken Books, 2000 (reprint). ISBN: 0805211349. $19.00
Set in the world of nineteenth-century Hasidism, the elegiac story of how a plain man becomes a saint is a romantic tribute to the strengths of simple piety and Jewish spirituality. (National Yiddish Book Center: "100 Greatest Works of Modern Jewish Literature")

Doctorow, E. L. The Book of Daniel. New York: Penguin USA, 1996 (reprint). ISBN: 0452275660. $14.00
In 1967, Daniel, the son of two convicted spies executed by their own country, ponders his life, his sister's radicalism, his appreciation for his wife and son, and the hypocrisy of the moralistic ideals upon which this country was based.

Haber, Leo. The Red Heifer. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2001. ISBN: 0815606923. $24.95
An allegorical account of a Jewish boy's childhood and adolescence in New York's Lower East Side during the 1930s and 40s.

Hertzberg, Arthur. A Jew in America. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2002. ISBN: 0062517120. $15.95
In this long-awaited memoir, Hertzberg, a world-renowned rabbi, activist, author, historian, public servant, and confidante to the powerful traces his own self-discovery, confronting the choices he has made and offering a history of American Jews and their struggle for identity.

Kafka, Franz. The Trial. Trans. Breon Mitchell. New York: Random House, 1999 (reprint). ISBN: 0805209999. $13.00
Narrates the experiences and reactions of a respectable bank functionary after his abrupt arrest on an undisclosed charge.

Liss, David. The Coffee Trader. New York: Random House, 2003. ISBN: 037576090. $14.95
In seventeenth-century Amsterdam, Miguel Lienzo, a Portuguese-Jewish trader desperate to recover his lost fortune, enters into a partnership with seductive Geertruid Damhuis to introduce coffee to the city, and confronts a ruthless adversary.

Rosen, Jonathan. The Talmud and the Internet. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000. ISBN: 031242017X. $10.00
The author explores the relationship between ancient religious tradition and modern technology as he reflects on the very different lives of his two grandmothers — one American, and one murdered by the Nazis.

Singer, Isaac Bashevis. The Spinoza of Market Street. New York: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, 1961.
"The Spinoza of Market Street," is the title story of a short-story collection. Dr. Nahum Fischelson lives a meager, isolated existence in an attic room overlooking teeming Market Street in Warsaw. An intellectual supported by an annuity, he devotes his energies to explicating the philosophical works of Spinoza. Due to the circumstances of war, he is forced out of his hermetic life and meets an unattractive, illiterate woman who takes care of him and with whom he falls in love. Fischelson discovers that he has the ardour and vigour of a young man and asks Spinoza to forgive him his happiness. (taken liberally from Amazon)

Von Drehle, David. Triangle: The Fire that Changed America. Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003. ISBN: 080214151X. $14.00 (September 2004)
Describes the devastating 1911 fire that destroyed the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York's Greenwich Village, the deaths of 146 workers in the fire, the Jewish and Italian immigrants, mostly women, who made up the majority of the victims, and the implications of the catastrophe on twentieth-century politics and labor relations.

Alexy, Trudi. The Marrano Legacy. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 2003. ISBN 082633055X. $22.95
Correspondence between the author and Simon, a descendant of fifteenth century Conversos. Both discover their Jewish roots in midlife and try to reconcile their Catholicism and their hidden Jewish roots in different ways. The book illuminates the lives of Crypto-Jews in northern Arizona and New Mexico, who continue keeping their past a secret to the present day.

Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America. New York: Henry Holt, 2002. ISBN 0805063897. $13.00
The author, an essayist and journalist, took jobs as a waitress in Florida, as a cleaning woman & nursing home assistant in Maine, as a clerk at Wallmart in Minnesota, working at minimum wage jobs find out how people manage — or not — on low wages in America.

Feiler, Bruce. Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths. New York: Morrow, 2002. ISBN: 0380977761. $12.95
This biography of Abraham, the ancestor of Jews, Christians and Muslims, who unites the three religions, shows this historially elusive man as seen through the prism of each religion. Special emphasis is placed on the story of the binding of his son and the different ways in which this story is portrayed by the three faiths.

Liss, David. The Coffee Trader. New York: Random House, 2003. ISBN: 037576090. $14.95
In seventeenth-century Amsterdam, Miguel Lienzo, a Portuguese-Jewish trader desperate to recover his lost fortune, enters into a partnership with seductive Geertruid Damhuis to introduce coffee to the city, and confronts a ruthless adversary.

Mason, Daniel. The Piano Tuner. New York: Vintage, 2003. ISBN: 1400030382. $14.00
This first novel relates the adventures of Edgar Drake, a London piano tuner, commissioned by the British War Office in 1886 to travel to hostile Burma to repair a rare Erard Grand Piano vital to the Crown's strategic interests.

Naim, Asher. Saving the Lost Tribe: The Rescue and Redemption of the Ethiopian Jews. New York: Ballantine, 2003. ISBN 0345450817. $25.95
A portrait of the Falashas, Ethiopia's black Jews, describes their practice of a unique form of ancient Judaism, the peril and threatened annihilation they faced in 1991 at the hands of a brutal dictator, and efforts to rescue some fifteen thousand Falashas who were then flown to safety in Jerusalem.

Roth, Philip. The Human Stain. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000. ISBN: 0375726349. $14.00
A college professor with a sexual indiscretion in his past is hounded from his job by academic enemies who label him a racist.

Von Drehle, David. Triangle: The Fire that Changed America. Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003. ISBN: 080214151X. $14.00 (September 2004)
Describes the devastating 1911 fire that destroyed the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York's Greenwich Village, the deaths of 146 workers in the fire, the Jewish and Italian immigrants, mostly women, who made up the majority of the victims, and the implications of the catastrophe on twentieth-century politics and labor relations.

Beer, Edith Hahn. The Nazi Officer's Wife. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1999. ISBN: 068817776X. $14.00
Edith Hahn was an outspoken young woman in Vienna when the Gestapo forced her into a ghetto and then into a labor camp. When she returned home months later, she knew she would become a hunted woman and went underground. With the help of a Christian friend, she emerged in Munich as Grete Denner. There she met Werner Vetter, a Nazi Party member who fell in love with her. Despite Edith's protests and even her eventual confession that she was Jewish, he married her and kept her identity a secret. In wrenching detail, Edith recalls a life of constant, almost paralyzing fear. Note: A & E released a movie (VHS and DVD) based on this book in July 2003.

Horn, Dara. In the Image. New York: Norton, 2002. ISBN: 0393325261. $13.95
Follows Leora through the death of a friend in high school and on to college, career, and falling in love, while simultaneously tracing the story of Bill Landsmann, her lost friend's grandfather, back to Amsterdam, Austria, and New York's Lower East Side.

Leegant, Joan. An Hour in Paradise: Stories. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2003. ISBN: 0393325849. $13.95
A debut collection of stories focuses on "seekers" in search of spiritual bliss, from an American on the trail of Kabbalistic mysticism to an aging resident of Jerusalem chronicling the disasters that have befallen his city.

Mirvis, Tova. The Outside World. New York: Knopf, 2004. ISBN: 1400041619. $24.00
Follows the courtship and marriage of Bryan and Tzippy, the former of whom astonishes his family by rejecting their way of life in favor of a strict Orthodox lifestyle, and the latter, who longs to escape the expectations of familial obligation.

Potok, Chaim. Old Men at Midnight. New York: Knopf, 2001. ISBN: 0345439988. $14.95
Potok introduces Ilana Davita Dinn, a "listener" who records the lives of three very different Jewish men in three novellas: "The Ark Builder," "The War Doctor," and "The Trope Teacher."

Ravel, Edeet. Ten Thousand Lovers. New York: Perennial Press, 2003. ISBN: 0060565624. $12.95
A recent immigrant to Israel, Lily, a young student, finds her life turned upside down when she falls in love with Ami, a handsome former actor and Israeli army interrogator, as the horrors of his work affect their relationship.

Bezmozgis, David. Natasha and Other Stories. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2004. ISBN: 0374281416. $18.00
A debut collection of short stories renders the life of a Russian-Jewish family living in Toronto in vivid detail, covering twenty-three years in the life of Mark, from arguments with neighbors and humiliating social encounters, to his first sexual encounter with a cousin and the death of his grandfather.

Katchor, Ben. The Jew of New York. New York: Pantheon Books, 1998. ISBN: 0375700978. $15.00
A historical romance written in comic strips.

Roth, Henry. Call It Sleep. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1991. ISBN: 0374522928. $16.00
The author presents a candid portrayal of Jewish life in the immigrant tenements of New York.

Roth, Philip. The Ghost Writer. New York: Random House, 1995 (reprint). ISBN: 0679748989. $12.00
Introduces Nathan Zuckerman in the 1950s, a budding writer infatuated with the Great Books, discovering the contradictory claims of literature and experience while an overnight guest in the secluded New England farmhouse of his idol, E. I. Lonoff.

Zakrzewski, Paul. Lost Tribe: Jewish Fiction from the Edge. New York: Perennial, 2003. ISBN: 0060533463. $14.95
A collection of short fiction from twenty-five contemporary Jewish writers of the "post-Roth" generation offers provocative and compelling stories by Jonathan Safran Foer, Myla Goldberg, Nathan Englander, Tova Mirvis, Gary Shteyngart, and Ellen Miller, among others.

Abraham, Pearl. The Romance Reader. New York: Riverhead, 1995. ISBN: 1573225487. $13.00
The eldest daughter of a Hasidic family yearns to be part of the secular world in this debut novel that probes the inner world of an ultra-orthodox family.

Apple, Max. Roommates. New York: Warner, 1994. ISBN: 0446602000. $5.99
In a sad and joyful intergenerational biography, the author's feisty 93 year old grandfather is his unlikely graduate school roommate and ten years later plays a pivotal role in taking care of a family crisis.

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. New York: W.W. Norton, 2001. 0393976041. $10.30
Cohen, Paula Marantz. Jane Austen in Boca. New York: St. Martin's, 2002. ISBN: 0312319754. $12.95

A double selection, integrating Jane Austen's 18th century story of the Bennet family and Paula Marantz Cohen's tale of life and love among seniors 300 years later. Both clever and warm satires on the social mores of their times.

Gluckel of Hameln. The Memoirs of Gluckel of Hameln. New York: Schocken, 1977. ISBN: 0805205721. $15.00
The diary of a German Jewish woman who was both the mother of a large family and a businesswoman during the 17th century. Through many adversities her faith helped her to hold her family together.

Goodman, Allegra. Kaaterskill Falls. New York: Delta, 1998. ISBN: 0385323905. $12.95
In the 1970s, a Washington Heights, NY orthodox community, disciples of Rav Kirshner, spends the summers in Kaaterskill Falls. Here Elizabeth Shulman and many of the faithful, including the Rav, come to grips with their orthodoxy and the secular world.

Gordon, Noah. The Last Jew. New York: St. Martin's, 2000. ISBN: 0312300530. $13.95
Yonah Ben Helkias becomes a fugitive in Spain during the Inquisition as he seeks to unravel the mystery behind his brother's murder and also to maintain his true identity.

Lebrecht, Norman. The Song of Names. New York: Anchor, 2004. ISBN: 1400034892. $14.00
A British music critic's debut novel about the relationship between two boys, one a young Polish-born violinist who disappears, and what happens 40 years later when they meet again.

Pogrebin, Letty Cottin. Three Daughters. New York: Penguin, 2002. ISBN: 0142003484. $14.00
Three sisters come to grips with themselves, each other, and their relationship to their father in this debut novel which contains discussions of Jewish law and practices.

Suberman, Stella. The Jew Store. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin, 1998. ISBN: 1565123301. $13.95
In a memoir of her family who owned a dry goods store, the author relates their experiences as the first Jews to live in a small town in Tennessee in the 1920s.

Zimmler, Richard. Hunting Midnight. New York: Delta, 2003. ISBN: 0385336470. $15.00
A young marrano's life filled with violence in 19th century Portugal includes advice from Midnight, a freed slave, and an eventual voyage to the United States and antebellum South Carolina.

Blumenfeld, Laura. Revenge. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002. ISBN: 0743463390. $14.00
The "Washington Post" reporter who went undercover to seek out the Palestinian terrorist who had shot her father travels the globe collecting tales of personal vengeance while probing the psychology of this primal emotion.

Calof, Rachel. Rachel Calof's Story: Jewish Homesteader on the Northern Plains. Ed. J. Sanford Rikoon. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996. ISBN: 0253209862. $11.58
The memoirs of an 18-year-old girl who left her Russian shtetl in 1894 to begin a new life homesteading in North Dakota.

Dressler, Mylene. Deadwood Beetle. New York: Blue Hen, 2001. ISBN: 0742989143. $23.95.
Martens, a professor of entomology explores a struggle for love and redemption as he is forced to confront his dark days in Holland during World War II.

Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America. New York: Henry Holt, 2001. ISBN: 0805063897. $13.00
In an attempt to understand the lives of Americans earning near-minimum wages, Ehrenreich works as a waitress in Florida, a cleaning woman in Maine, and a sales clerk in Minnesota.

Haddon. Mark. Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. New York: Random House, 2003. ISBN: 1400032717. $12.00
Despite his overwhelming fear of interacting with people, Christopher, a mathematically-gifted, autistic boy, decides to investigate the murder of a neighbor's dog and uncovers secret information about his mother.

Kirshenbaum, Binnie. Hester Among the Ruins. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2002. ISBN: 015602750X. $14.00
A darkly comic novel about love in the shadows of history. Born in New York in 1963, historian Hester Rosenfeld, very American and marginally Jewish, goes to Munich to research the life of Heinrich Falk and becomes his mistress.

Lahiri, Jhumpa. The Namesake. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2003. ISBN: 0618485228. $14.00 (September 2004)
An incisive portrait of the immigrant experience follows the Ganguli family from their traditional life in India through their arrival in Massachusetts in the late 1960s and their difficult melding into an American way of life, in a debut novel that spans three decades, two continents, and two generations.

Nafisi, Azar. Reading Lolita in Teheran. New York: Random House, 2003. ISBN: 0375504907. $13.95
The author describes growing up in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the group of young women who came together at her home in secret every Thursday to read and discuss great books of Western literature.

Teubal, Savina J. Sarah the Priestess: The First Matriarch of Genesis. Athens, OH: Swallow Press, 1984. 0804008442. $14.95
This is a challenging and important work which pushes us to read our sacred texts with a new openness to questions never before asked — a groundbreaking work of feminist biblical historiography.

Von Drehle, David. Triangle: The Fire that Changed America. Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003. ISBN: 080214151X. $14.00 (September 2004)
Describes the devastating 1911 fire that destroyed the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York's Greenwich Village, the deaths of 146 workers in the fire, the Jewish and Italian immigrants, mostly women, who made up the majority of the victims, and the implications of the catastrophe on twentieth-century politics and labor relations.

Weller, Sheila. Dancing at Ciro's: A Family's Love, Loss, and Scandal on the Sunset Strip. New York: St. Martin's, 2003. ISBN: 0312283016. $14.95
The author recounts her idyllic mid-twentieth-century Beverly Hills childhood as the daughter of a brain surgeon and Hollywood magazine writer before the attempted murder of her father by her uncle.

Wieseltier, Leon. Kaddish. New York: Knopf, 1998. ISBN: 0375703624. $16.00
A work of history, philosophy, and interior autobiography; Wieseltier writes about his year observing the traditional rituals of mourning after his father's death.

Wilson, Jonathan. Palestine Affair. New York: Random House, 2003. ISBN: 1400031222. $13.00
A disillusioned London painter, Mark Bloomberg takes on a commission in British-ruled Palestine of the 1920s, where he and his wife become witnesses to the murder of a prominent Orthodox Jew near their home, a crime that tests their ideals and marriage.

Dubner, Stephen. Turbulent Souls: A Catholic Son's Return to His Jewish Family. New York: William Morrow & Company, 1998. ISBN: 038072930X. $14.00
Autobiography of a man who sets out to explore his Jewish heritage when he discovers his parents had converted to Christianity before his birth.

Goldin, Farideh. Wedding Song: Memoirs of an Iranian Jewish Woman. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2003. ISBN: 1584653442. $24.95
Memoir of a Jewish girl born and raised in pre-revolutionary Iran.

Pears, Iain. The Dream of Scipio. New York: Riverhead Books, 2002. ISBN: 1573229865. $14.00
Follows the lives of three men, one who lives during the final days of the Roman Empire, one during the Black Plague and one during World War II.

Rosner, Elizabeth. Speed of Light. New York: Ballantine Books, 2003. ISBN: 0345442253. $12.95
Adult children of Holocaust survivors learn about grief and forgiveness from a Latina housekeeper, who was victimized by government sponsored genocide.

Roth, Philip. American Pastoral. New York: Vintage Books, 1997. ISBN: 0375701427. $14.00
Novel set in the 1960's of the rise and fall of Seymour Levov, a legendary high school athlete, devoted family man and inheritor of his father's glove factory.

Singer, Isaac Bashevis. The Slave. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1988 (reprint). ISBN: 0374506809. $14.00
Novel set in 17th Century Poland about the love between a wealthy, pious boy who has been sold as a slave and his master's daughter.

Wenner, Kate. Dancing With Einstein. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004. ISBN: 0743251644. $24.00
An introverted, unattached and unhinged 30-year-old Jewish woman begins the maudlin process of finding herself.

Yehoshua, Abraham B. Mr. Mani. Trans. Hillel Halkin. New York: Doubleday, 1992. ISBN: 0156627698. $14.00
Epic chronicles six generations of the Mani family from the mid-19th century to the 1980's through conversations of the past and present.

Bloom, Stephen G. Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America. New York: Harcourt, 2000. ISBN: 0156013363. $14.00
The history of a small town in Iowa where in 1987 a group of Lubavitcher Jews opened a kosher slaughterhouse.

Brooks, Geraldine. Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women. New York: Random House, 1996. ISBN: 0385475772. $14.00
An intimate portrait of the lives of modern Muslim women reveals how male pride and power have distorted the message of Islam to justify the subjugation of women and how a feminism of sorts has flowered in spite of repression.

Brown, Rosellen. Half a Heart. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000. ISBN: 0312278306. $14.00
When her biracial daughter appears suddenly after eighteen years searching for the mother who left her, former civil rights activist Miriam Vener begins a painful confrontation with her past.

Kirshenbaum, Binnie. Hester Among the Ruins. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2002. ISBN: 015602750X. $14.00
A darkly comic novel about love in the shadows of history. Born in New York in 1963, historian Hester Rosenfeld, very American and marginally Jewish, goes to Munich to research the life of Heinrich Falk and becomes his mistress.

Skibell, Joseph. A Blessing on the Moon. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books, 1997. ISBN: 1565121791. $21.95
An unusual and original first novel chronicles the after-death odyssey of Chaim Skibelski, a successful Jewish businessman who, along with others from his Polish town, is slaughtered by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

Goldin, Farideh. Wedding Song: Memoirs of an Iranian Jewish Woman. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2003. ISBN: 1584653442. $24.95
An unsparing memoir of Jewish life in Iran before the Revolution introduces readers to a world that is now mostly gone, with the author recalling trips to the market, visiting relatives, and the increasingly hostile behavior of her Islamic neighbors leading up to the overthrow of the Shah.

Goldman, Ari L. Living a Year of Kaddish. New York: Schocken Books, 2003. ISBN: 0805241841. $22.00
Traces the author's experience during the Jewish ritual year of mourning after the loss of his father, relating his participation in prayer traditions, prohibitions, and self-examination, which led to changes in his roles as a husband, father, and community member.

Hertzberg, Arthur. The Fate of Zionism. San Francisco: Harper SanFrancisco, 2003. ISBN: 0060557869. $19.95
A secular treatment of the state of Israel both supports its legitimacy and challenges some of its policies, examining the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while presenting a framework for a solution.

Oates, Joyce Carol. The Tattooed Girl. New York: Ecco, 2003. ISBN: 006053107X. $13.95
When a reclusive, 38-year-old writer hires a near-illiterate young woman as an assistant at his suburban home in Carmel Heights, near Rochester, NY, he's unaware that a vehement anti-Semitism seethes beneath her tattoo-branded exterior.

Terrorist Hunter. New York: Ecco, 2003. ISBN: 0060528192. $25.95
Presents the story of an anonymous Iraqi-born Israeli woman who currently works as an American spy and who has infiltrated such terrorist groups as al-Qaeda and Hamas, tracing her escape from Iraq and her work gathering intelligence for the U.S.

Begley, Louis. Wartime Lies. New York: Ballentine Books, 1992. ISBN: 0449001172. $12.00
An orphaned nine-year-old and his aunt pose as Catholic Poles to hide their Jewish identity from the Nazis.

Cahan, Abraham. The Rise of David Levinsky. New York: Penguin Books, 1993 (reprint). ISBN: 0140186875. $13.95
A young Hasidic Jew struggles to master the Talmud and seek his fortune on New York's Lower East Side. He strays from study to success in business, only to discover there is a price to be paid for assimilation.

Eugenides, Jeffrey. Middlesex. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2003. ISBN: 0312422156. $15.00
Calliope Stephanides is not like other girls. To understand why, she uncovers a family secret and finds the surprising genetic history that allows her to change from Calliope into Cal.

Horn, Dara. In the Image. New York: Norton, 2002. ISBN: 0393325261. $13.95
Travelling back and forth in time and space, this is the story of the intertwining lives of Vienna native William Landsmann and his late granddaughter's best friend, Leora. The themes of love, commitment and fulfillment, along with the Jewish immigrant experience, are examined.

Martel, Yann. Life of Pi. Harvest Books, 2003. ISBN: 0156027321. $8.99
A story of adventure, survival and faith, told by sixteen-year-old Pi Patel of Pondicherry, India. When Pi's zookeeper father decides to move his family and zoo to Canada, disaster strikes when their boat is shipwrecked. Pi must survive in a lifeboat with a 450-pound Bengal tiger for company.

Through Our Enemies' Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam and the Future of America. Brassey's, Inc., 2002. ISBN: 1574885529. $19.95
The anonymous author, a senior U.S. civil servant with intelligence experience in Afghanistan and South Asia, examines bin Laden's words and leadership qualities, and shows why Americans must stop dismissing militant Muslims and begin to see them as they perceive themselves.

(Go to www.temple-israel.org and click on "Programs & Services," then "Media Center & Libraries," and then "Recommended Reading" to view a list of all book club selections from 1997)

Epstein, Joseph. Fabulous Small Jews. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2003. ISBN: 0618446583. $13.00
Beautifully written, Epstein's graceful vignettes capture a variety of people at crucial moments of understanding, coping with the indignities of aging, unexpected news, family heartbreak, or making sense of life's messy truths.

Kirshenbaum, Binnie. Hester Among the Ruins. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2002. ISBN: 015602750X. $14.00
A darkly comic novel about love in the shadows of history. Born in New York in 1963, historian Hester Rosenfeld, very American and marginally Jewish, goes to Munich to research the life of Heinrich Falk and becomes his mistress.

Komie, Lowell. The Last Jewish Shortstop in America. Chicago: Swordfish, 1997. ISBN: 0964195712. $12.95
David Epstein has issues: he's divorced, unemployed, behind on child support and alimony, and creditors are crawling up his tuches. But he has an idea that might make everything right - a Hall of Fame for Jewish sports heroes, housed in a nine-story tall, glass Star of David, glowing in a blue Chagall-like light on the side of a suburban Chicago highway.

Oates, Joyce Carol. The Tattooed Girl. New York: Ecco, 2003. ISBN: 006053107X. $13.95
When a reclusive, 38-year-old writer hires a near-illiterate young woman as an assistant at his suburban home in Carmel Heights, near Rochester, NY, he's unaware that a vehement anti-Semitism seethes beneath her tattoo-branded exterior.

Ravel, Edeet. Ten Thousand Lovers. New York: Perennial Press, 2003. ISBN: 0060565624. $12.95
A recent immigrant to Israel, Lily, a young student, finds her life turned upside down when she falls in love with Ami, a handsome former actor and Israeli army interrogator, as the horrors of his work affect their relationship.

Von Drehle, David. Triangle: The Fire that Changed America. Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003. ISBN: 080214151X. $14.00 (September 2004)
Describes the devastating 1911 fire that destroyed the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York's Greenwich Village, the deaths of 146 workers in the fire, the Jewish and Italian immigrants, mostly women, who made up the majority of the victims, and the implications of the catastrophe on twentieth-century politics and labor relations.

Wolff, Tobias. Old School. New York: Random House, 2003. ISBN: 0375701494. $12.00 (September 2004)
During his senior year at an elite New England prep school, a young man who had struggled to find it with his contemporaries finds his life unraveling thanks to the school's obsession with literary figures and their work during a visit from an author for whose blessing a young writer would do almost anything.

Wolitzer, Meg. Wife: A Novel. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003. ISBN: 0743456661. $12.00
On the eve of her husband's receipt of a prestigious literary award, Joan Castleman, who has put her own writing ambitions on hold to support her husband, evaluates her choices and decides to end the marriage.

Epstein, Joseph. Fabulous Small Jews. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2003. ISBN: 0618446583. $13.00
Beautifully written, Epstein's graceful vignettes capture a variety of people at crucial moments of understanding, coping with the indignities of aging, unexpected news, family heartbreak, or making sense of life's messy truths.

Fishkoff, Sue. The Rebbe's Army. New York: Schocken Books, 2003. ISBN: 0805241892. $26.00; $14.00 (January 2005)
This remarkable ethnographic profile goes behind the scenes of Lubavitcher Judaism to explain the group's Chabad Outreach programs. Fishkoff explores how the groups' enthusiastic young emissaries, or schlihim, set up shop in unlikely spots of the world, to carry out their Rebbe's goal of trying to make all Jews more observant and bring them back to their roots. A sympathetic picture by an excellent writer, this will provoke much discussion.

Mirvis, Tova. The Outside World. New York: Knopf, 2004. ISBN: 1400041619. $24.00
This story portrays two very different Orthodox families who are brought together by the marriage of their children. Mirvis, author of The Ladies' Auxiliary, uses humor and insight in this enjoyable new novel.

Silver, Daniel B. Refuge in Hell: How Berlin's Jewish Hospital Outlasted the Nazis. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2003. ISBN: 0618485406. $14.00 (September 2004)
How was it possible for Berlin's Jewish Hospital, in the middle of the Nazi capital, to survive as an institution where Jewish doctors and nurses cared for Jewish patients during World War II? This is a "haunting story of the costs and mysteries of individual survival in the midst of a human-created hell."

Suberman, Stella. When It Was Our War: A Soldier's Wife on the Home Front. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin, 2003. ISBN: 1565124030. $23.95
Suberman, author of The Jew Store, relates her life with her husband and the anti-Semitism she encountered as an air force wife during World War II. She has managed to combine "a love story, a historical account of World War II, and a view of bigotry in America into a wonderful book."

Von Drehle, David. Triangle: The Fire that Changed America. Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003. ISBN: 080214151X. $14.00 (September 2004)
Describes the devastating 1911 fire that destroyed the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York's Greenwich Village, the deaths of 146 workers in the fire, the Jewish and Italian immigrants, mostly women, who made up the majority of the victims, and the implications of the catastrophe on twentieth-century politics and labor relations.

(Go to www.vbs.org/bookclub to view all book club selections from 1993)

Kertzer, David I. The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997. ISBN: 0679768173. $15.00
The extraordinary story of how the Vatican's imprisonment of a six-year-old Jewish boy in 1858 helped bring about the collapse of the Pope's worldly power in Italy.

Liss, David. The Coffee Trader. New York: Random House, 2003. ISBN: 037576090. $14.95
In seventeenth-century Amsterdam, Miguel Lienzo, a Portuguese-Jewish trader desperate to recover his lost fortune, enters into a partnership with seductive Geertruid Damhuis to introduce coffee to the city, and confronts a ruthless adversary.

Malamud, Bernard. The Fixer. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2004 (reprint). ISBN: 0374529388. $14.00
Set in Kiev in 1911, the novel tells the story of Yakov Bok, a Jewish handyman blamed for the brutal murder of a young Russian boy. Bok leaves his village to try his luck in Kiev, and after denying his Jewish identity, finds himself working for a member of the anti-Semitic Black Hundreds Society. When the boy is found nearly drained of blood in a cave, the Black Hundreds accuse the Jews of ritual murder. Arrested and imprisoned, Bok refuses to confess to a crime that he did not commit.

Oates, Joyce Carol. The Tattooed Girl. New York: Ecco, 2003. ISBN: 006053107X. $13.95
When a reclusive, 38-year-old writer hires a near-illiterate young woman as an assistant at his suburban home in Carmel Heights, near Rochester, NY, he's unaware that a vehement anti-Semitism seethes beneath her tattoo-branded exterior

Oz, Amos. Panther in the Basement. Trans. Nicholas de Lange. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1997. ISBN: 0156006308. $12.00
A twelve-year-old boy is prepared to give his life for the creation of a Jewish state and vows to his father that he will take a stand against the British, but when he is befriended by a British soldier, his feelings are altered, and he is seen as a traitor.

Pogrebin, Letty Cottin. Three Daughters. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002. ISBN: 0142003484. $14.00
Driven by a legacy of lies, the shame of their own imperfections, and impending chaos in each of their well-ordered married lives, the three Wasserman daughters struggle with themselves and one another to break their parents' silence and understand their past.

Raphael, Lev. The German Money. St. Paul, MN: Consortium Book Sales, 2003. ISBN: 096795200X. $14.95
Part mystery, part family saga, this is a novel of emotional suspense in which a matriarch's death unearths unthinkable secrets of the Holocaust.

Rosenbaum, Thane. The Golems of Gotham. New York: Harpercollins, 2002. ISBN: 0060959452. $13.95
A contemporary ghost story set in Manhattan, drawn from Jewish mysticism and folklore, follows Oliver Levin, a best-selling gothic mystery writer, and his teenage daughter Ariel, a gifted klezmer violinist and novice kabbalist who summons the spirit of his late parents, both Holocaust survivors and suicide victims, to help her father overcome writer's block.

Shteyngart, Gary. The Russian Debutante's Handbook. New York : Riverhead Books, 2002. ISBN: 1573229881. $14.00
In a novel about being an outsider in America and what it means to be an American, Vladimir, a young Russian-American immigrant, pursues his dreams of success, wealth, and a girlfriend, as his quest takes him deep into uncharted territory.

Stollman, Aryeh Lev. The Illuminated Soul. New York: Riverhead Books, 2002. ISBN: 157322975X. $14.00
Fleeing Prague in the wake of the outbreak of World War II, scientist Eva Laquedem wanders the world aimlessly, drifting rootlessly from place to place until she arrives in Windsor, Canada, at the home of a devout widow with two sons, carrying the Augsburg Miscellany, a beautiful fifteenth-century illuminated Hebrew manuscript.

Mirvis, Tova. The Outside World. New York: Knopf, 2004. ISBN: 1400041619. $24.00
Follows the courtship and marriage of Bryan and Tzippy, the former of whom astonishes his family by rejecting their way of life in favor of a strict Orthodox lifestyle, and the latter, who longs to escape the expectations of familial obligation.

Suberman, Stella. The Jew Store. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books, 1998. ISBN: 1565121988. $19.95
The author describes her family's life in a small town in Tennessee before World War II, where, as the first Jews in town, they owned a dry goods store and struggled to prosper in a place where Jews were treated as outsiders.

Telushkin, Joseph and Allen Estrin. Heaven's Witness. New Milford, CT: Toby Press, 2004. ISBN: 1592640915. $19.95

In a dilemma that would have stumped Freud, budding psychoanalyst Dr. Jordan Geller is forced to confront the question: Can the same person be murdered twice?