By Melanie Crowder Philomel, 400 pages With an eye-catching title audacious in its simplicity, this beautifully written book succeeds in an equally audacious mission by pulling the reader into the world of Clara Lemlich. With each chapter of verse perfectly pieced together, the reader can truly feel the emotions Clara, a Russian Jewish immigrant who… Read More

Hitler’s First Victims: The Quest for Justice


Stranger than fiction: In 1933, a Bavarian prosecutor won indictments against SS members for the murders of four prisoners at Dachau. “Hitler’s First Victims” is a short, fascinating, disturbing story of an honest man’s courage and of the treatment of Nazi Germany’s first concentration camp victims ó political prisoners shot or beaten to death for… Read More

Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food


By Laura Silver Brandeis, 300 pages The history of the knish represents more than just the lineage of a fried, dumpling-like food. It demonstrates the often-central role of food in communities and cultural legacies. Laura Silver knows that all too well. She has consumed knishes on three different continents, and her exhaustive research on the… Read More

Israel: Is it Good for the Jews?


By Richard Cohen Simon and Schuster, 273 pages Is Israel good for the Jews? No, not if you prefer discrimination, exclusion, expulsion, persecution, pogroms and murder in the millions. Of course Israel is good for the Jews, as Richard Cohen makes more than abundantly clear in this book, recounting our woeful, disaster-filled history since exile… Read More

Heaven and Other Poems


by Israel Horovitz Three Rooms Press, 102 pages Acclaimed playwright, author and director Israel Horovitz has spent a lifetime crafting story arcs for the stage, screen and his readers’ imaginations. Now 75, he’s published his first book of poetry, offering a collection of compelling verse that, written throughout his lifetime, echoes the story of his… Read More

Teach Us That Peace


By Baron Wormer Piscataqua Press, 336 pages Though Baron Wormser has published 12 books of poetry and is Maine’s poet laureate, “Teach Us That Peace,” published in November 2013, is his first novel. Set in the Baltimore of Wormser’s adolescence (he was born here in 1948), “Teach Us That Peace” paints a vivid picture of… Read More

Here is the World: A Year of Jewish Holidays


By Lesléa Newman Abrams Books for Young Readers, 48 pages A holiday-specific children’s book is always a good bet for those looking to soothe a tired toddler in the days before Rosh Hashanah, but in writing “Here is the World,” author Lesléa Newman is taking a different approach to Jewish bedtime reading. By focusing on… Read More

Timeless: Love, Morgenthau and Me


By Lucinda Franks Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 390 pages If opposites attract, it’s little wonder that recovering radical Lucinda Franks and respected and feared district attorney Robert Morgenthau — poster children for May-December marriage — cling to each other as if welded. They met in 1973 during an interview. She was 26, a Christian Vassar… Read More

All I Know and Love


By Judith Frank William Morrow, 422 pages Released just one week after the latest war between Israel and Hamas broke out on July 8, Judith Frank’s new novel seems almost prescient. The second book from Frank, a professor of English at Amherst College and recipient of a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts,… Read More