Free Spirit: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid

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By Joshua Safran Hyperion, 288 pages “Free Spirit” is an autobiography of a boy raised by a mother whose main quest is to change modern society 10 years after the hippie movement of the 1960s. She believed that government and corporations were corrupt and needed to be stopped and was always in search of a… Read More

Life With a Superhero: Raising Michael Who Has Down Syndrome

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By Kathryn U. Hulings University of North Texas Press, 288 pages Get ready for some humor and sensitivity training in biographical form. This is the life story of a Down syndrome boy and his very special family, told by his remarkable and loving mother, Kathryn Hulings. It isn’t just Michael who is a superhero; his… Read More

A Fine September Morning

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By Alan Fleishman CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 382 pages Just as the Israelites fled Egypt for Sinai while chased by Pharoah’s chariots, so did Eastern European Jewry flee for the promised land of America, in many cases chased by pogroms. Alan Fleishman’s novel follows Avi Schneider from 1905 Russia to the immigrant’s dream — and… Read More

Sight Reading

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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

Segalvitz

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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