Sight Reading


By Daphne-Kalotay Harper Luxe, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers 2013, 352 pages Nicholas Elko is a world-renowned composer who moves to Boston with his wife, Hazel, and his daughter, Jessie. While his wife is away visiting family, Nicholas has an affair with Remy, a violin student, and the two discover that they are soul mates…. Read More



By Mark Carp Xlibris 2013, 176 pages Minimalist. Concise. Pulls no punches. These could be three equally useful descriptions of Mark Carp’s novel “Segalvitz.” This is the story of a downtrodden young Jewish man in a city run by a powerful political machine who makes good through his moxie and his willingness to take risks…. Read More

Being a Rockefeller, Becoming Myself


by Eileen Rockefeller Blue Rider Press 2013, 336 pages Eileen Rockefeller comes from a large, influential family. As part of American royalty, you would expect Eileen to be spoiled. Surprisingly however, Eileen was grounded. Nevertheless, her family’s inability to express emotions and her mother’s dark moods, as well as rivalry and competition as the youngest… Read More

State of Failure


By Jonathan Schanzer Palgrave Macmillan 2013, 356 pages This book lays out the history of the Palestinians from 1947, when the British withdrew from Palestine, to today and their status as a U.N. nonmember observer state.  The author notes the main reason for the failure of a Palestinian state is the lack of strategic direction… Read More

Between Friends


By Amos Oz Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 192 pages Growing up Jewish in the United States, I often had the opportunity to learn about Israel and kibbutzim in Hebrew school. As I got older, I had friends who had spent time living on a kibbutz and was able to visit different kibbutzim on trips abroad. My… Read More

The Why Of Things


By Peter Rabbins Cloth 2013, 304 pages What caused this book review to be written? Is it because the book was written? Or, perhaps, because the reviewer was born. The printing press, the personal computer, Aristotle and myriad other factors can all be taken into consideration when asking the question, “What caused this book review… Read More

At The Bottom Of Everything


By Ben Dolnick Pantheon 2013, 256 pages Seldom do works of fiction come along that allow the reader not only to enjoy the story, but also to actually experience the story. “At the Bottom of Everything” by Ben Dolnick does just this. The backbone of the novel is simple and relatable. It is a tale… Read More

The Sisters Weiss


St. Martin’s Press 2013, 336 pages In 1950s Brooklyn, sisters Rose and Pearl Weiss grow up in a loving but strict Ultra-Orthodox family, never imagining to defy their parents or their community. Rose dreams of a world outside of her sheltered life and leaves behind her younger sister, Pearl, her family and her way of… Read More

Data, A Love Story


By Amy Webb Dulton Adult 2013, 304 pages According to an article in the New York Daily News, more than one-third of American marriages today begin with writing a profile for an online dating site. Jewish singles are as likely to use such methods as JDate, eHarmony and others to find love (and frequently heartbreak)… Read More