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04/14/2021 01:29:33 PM

Apr14

Books & Beyond     Anyone Out There?

By Robin Jacobson

The bestselling new science memoir, Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth by Avi Loeb, probes a thrilling...Read more...

04/13/2021 02:54:30 PM

Apr13

Books & Beyond     Shtetl Stories of Danger and Suspense

By Robin Jacobson

Tevye the Dairyman would fit right in among the rabbis, matchmakers, candlemakers, tailors, and other shtetl types...Read more...

03/02/2021 10:51:29 AM

Mar2

Books & Beyond     Reading Geraldine Brooks in 2021

By Robin Jacobson

Like many, I’m a longtime fan of the historical novels of Geraldine Brooks – Year of Wonders, March, Caleb’s Crossing, People of...Read more...

01/27/2021 05:15:40 PM

Jan27

Books & Beyond     The House We Inherit

By Robin Jacobson

As a child, learning in school about the American Civil War, I felt relieved that my family bore no guilt for...Read more...

12/30/2020 12:49:49 PM

Dec30

Books & Beyond     Out of Egypt

By Robin Jacobson

To many Jewish families with memories of hard times, Meyerland in the 1970s was the Promised Land. This Jewish neighborhood in Houston, Texas, was home...Read more...

12/15/2020 10:32:51 AM

Dec15

Books & Beyond     Reading Leviticus With Henry VIII

By Robin Jacobson

Soon the Torah cycle will come around again to Leviticus (Vayikra). After the dramatic stories of Genesis and Exodus, the litany of...Read more...

12/03/2020 09:04:17 AM

Dec3

Books & Beyond       Israel in Translation

By Robin Jacobson

Here’s literary news to celebrate: new novels from two of Israel’s best-known authors – A.B. Yehoshua and Eshkol Nevo – have arrived in American bookstores and libraries in English translation.

    Read more...

11/11/2020 02:45:51 PM

Nov11

Books & Beyond     Discovering a Lost World: The Cairo Genizah

By Robin Jacobson

While traveling in the Middle East in 1896, two wealthy, erudite Scottish sisters bought some antique manuscripts....Read more...

11/03/2020 01:05:25 PM

Nov3

Books & Beyond     The Jewish Dynasties of Shanghai

By Robin Jacobson

The intertwined history of two Baghdadi Jewish families in China – the Sassoon and Kadoorie families – is the stuff of epic...Read more...

10/05/2020 03:05:32 PM

Oct5

Books & Beyond    

 

Mystery, Suspense, & Troublesome Texts

By Robin Jacobson

A fun suspense novel topped with a generous scoop of Jewish history is a winning combination, even if the history relates to the origins of dark anti-Jewish tropes. Here are two entertaining and informative reads: The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols by Nicholas Meyer...Read more...

09/04/2020 03:41:13 PM

Sep4

Books & Beyond    

 

Masada Backstories

By Robin Jacobson

Two thousand years ago, on a mountaintop overlooking the Dead Sea, 967 Jewish men, women, and children faced down the military might of the Roman empire. When defeat became certain, they chose to take their own lives rather than die at enemy hands or be enslaved. This is the defiant story of...Read more...

08/25/2020 10:40:56 AM

Aug25

Books & Beyond    

 

Building a Bridge

By Robin Jacobson

Goldie Goldbloom’s novel On Division is a rarity among books about the Hasidic world. Unlike many books on Hasidic life, it is not a bitter exposé by an ex-community member. Nor is it an admiring outsider’s romanticized view of an exotic culture. Instead Goldbloom, a Hasidic Jew writing from...Read more...

08/18/2020 11:20:09 AM

Aug18

Books & Beyond    

 

Finding Truth in Fiction: Recovering Lives Lost to History

By Robin Jacobson

The inspiration for Rachel Kadish’s captivating novel, The Weight of Ink, was a famous essay by Virginia Woolf. If William Shakespeare had an equally brilliant sister, Woolf claimed, she would have died without writing a word, a victim of severe social...Read more...

08/07/2020 01:13:21 PM

Aug7

Books & Beyond    

 

Novel Experiments

By Robin Jacobson

Every book browser knows that libraries and bookstores typically separate books broadly into fiction and non-fiction – fiction in these bookcases and non-fiction in the bookcases over there. But some adventurous authors, experimenting with new forms of narration and storytelling, write books that...Read more...

07/28/2020 01:40:18 PM

Jul28

Books & Beyond    

Traveling Through Time

By Robin Jacobson

A perennial source of fascination to physicists, philosophers, and...Read more...

07/21/2020 03:20:11 PM

Jul21

Books & Beyond    

Loving the Stranger

By Robin Jacobson

One day, anthropologist Maggie Paxson suddenly snapped. In the words of the classic American spiritual, she vowed to “study war no more.” Weary of...Read more...

07/15/2020 10:19:21 AM

Jul15

Books & Beyond    

 

A Salute to Adas Authors

By Robin Jacobson

At a time when stories of hope and fortitude feel essential, we are proud to present four inspiring new memoirs by Adas Israel members Judith Heumann, Esther Safran Foer, Sanford Greenberg, and Ron Hoffer (listed in order of publication). Read...Read more...

07/14/2020 05:15:23 PM

Jul14

Books & Beyond    

Songs of Comfort

By Robin Jacobson

What to read during a pandemic? Since the Book of Psalms (Sefer Tehilim) is a traditional...Read more...

07/07/2020 05:23:10 PM

Jul7

Books & Beyond    

 

Always an Immigrant

By Robin Jacobson

As Moses might have said, “You can take the Jews out of Egypt, but you can’t take Egypt out of the Jews.” It is hard to shed a past life and homeland, even one of misery and persecution. This is the theme of two outstanding books by Jewish émigrés from the former Soviet Union: Savage...Read more...

06/23/2020 01:26:47 PM

Jun23

Books & Beyond       Unlikely Allies: New Historical Fiction for Middle-Grade Readers

By Robin Jacobson

Historical fiction inhabits the sweet spot between history and fiction. It lets us imagine living in a past historical moment and then returns us to our own time with new insights. For young readers (and for adventurous parents who are game for a “family book...Read more...

Sat, April 17 2021 5 Iyyar 5781