Being a Rockefeller, Becoming Myself

011014_mishmash_book-sm

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

122713_mishmash_book_sm

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

122013_mishmash_book_sm

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

121313_mishmash_book_sm

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

120613_mishmash_book_sm

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

112913_mishmash_book-sm

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

The Boxer’s Story: Fighting for My Life in the Nazi Camps

112213_mishmash_book_sm

By Nathan Shapow and Bob Harris The Robson Press 2013, 256 pages “The Boxer’s Story,” an autobiography by Nathan Shapow with sports writer Bob Harris, is really three stories. The first, Shapow’s unbelievable story of survival during the Holocaust, is important both as a story of survival and as a testament to the atrocities of… Read More

Data, A Love Story

111513_mishmash_book_sm

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

My Mother’s Secret

110813_mishmash_book_sm

By J.L. Witterick G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2013; 195 pages This book by J.L. Witterick is a quick but very meaningful read. The story is really about a family of righteous gentiles — a mother, daughter and sons. The family lives in a little house in Poland during the Holocaust and manages to hide two Jewish… Read More

Wedding Wipeout

110113_mishmash_book_sm

By Jacob M. Appel Cozy Cat Press 2013, 249 pages “Wedding Wipeout,” a Rabbi Kappelmacher mystery, was nothing short of hilarious. And interesting. And edge-of-your-seat. Yet, it was never intense. When I started the novel, I sighed, assuming it would be some corny Jewish trash novel with little plot. But it was not long before… Read More