My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew

By: Abigail Pogrebin

"To understand the Jewish calendar, Abigail Pogrebin immersed herself in its rhythms and rituals for a full twelve months. Her riveting account of this experience serves as a lively introduction to Judaism's holidays and fast days and opens a window on how Judaism is actually lived in 21st-century America."
—Jonathan D. Sarna, University Professor and Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, Brandeis University; author of American Judaism: A History 

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The Pawnbroker

By: Edward Lewis Wallant

"We don’t need to imagine how shocking The Pawnbroker must have been to readers in the early 1960s because it is still that shocking to us. Without a trace of sentimentality, Edward Lewis Wallant wrote the Great American Novel of Redemption. Before anyone else, he showed us that only by recognizing in others the face of human suffering could the individual survivor—whether male or female, Jewish, black, or Puerto Rican—transcend his or her inheritance of trauma and pain." —Eileen Pollack, author of In the Mouth and Breaking and Entering

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The Sea Beach Line

By: Ben Nadler

“New York City pulsates with the accidental lives of seers and thugs, mystics and con artists, false prophets, lovers, and sidewalk heroes in The Sea Beach Line, a one-way ticket into the subterranean life of the city and what lies beyond it.”—Salar Abdoh, author of Tehran at Twilight and editor of Tehran Noir

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Safekeeping

By: Jessamyn Hope

"A summer on a kibbutz; a disparate cast of characters torn by their own past lives and the inescapable burdens of history; a plot driven by a valuable gold brooch crafted by a master goldsmith in the Middle Ages: from these seemingly ordinary materials Jessamyn Hope has wrought something wonderful. I don’t mean simply that her plot is compelling, utterly lucid, and deeply resonant, which it is; or that her troubled characters are created with both deep compassion and clear-eyed skepticism, which they are; or even that she writes brilliantly, which she does. What’s most wonderful about Safekeeping is the author’s uncanny sense of how much of the world can be understood by keen attention to its smallest particulars, and how meaningfulness will multiply when you refuse to force upon the reader your own personal meanings. Like the exquisite gold brooch that shimmers emblematically at its center, Safekeeping seems to glow with a rich patina of timelessness, the sign of true art. Listen, do yourself a huge favor, read this book."—Mark Dintenfass, author of Old World, New World and A Loving Place

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The Book of Stone

By: Jonathan Papernick

“Devastating, gripping and beautiful. The Book of Stone is about fathers and sons, how the past haunts the present, how trauma transcends generations and how wrong we can be about those who made us who we are. What will haunt you forever is how Papernick brings you right up to the border of justice and terror, and then makes that border disappear. Open this book carefully. You will close it changed.”—Dara Horn, award-winning author of The World to Come and A Guide for the Perplexed

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Compulsion

By: Meyer Levin

Compulsion is a lost star in the pantheon of America’s golden age of Jewish fiction; its re-release should be welcomed by all. Despite prejudices and misconceptions about homosexuality that are inseparable from the time in which the story is set (and in which it was written), Levin brilliantly dissects the human heart in this classic of psychological realism – a remarkably sympathetic portrait years ahead of its time. Its call for mercy instead of punishment, compassion instead of retribution, is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever read.”—Michael Lavigne, author of Not Me

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Prayers for the Living

By: Alan Cheuse

“‘I want the world,’ shouts William Dubin, the biographer-protagonist of Bernard Malamud’s Dubin’s Lives, raging at a life that thinks he should survive without passions. Meet Dubin’s kinsman Manny Bloch, the tormented, cursed hero of this fine novel by Alan Cheuse. At once tender and brutal, unsparing and wise, Prayers for the Living masterfully ventriloquizes not only the voices of Manny and the people he cherishes and destroys, but those of an entire America staring at itself in a cracked mirror.”—Boris Fishman, author of A Replacement Life

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