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Topic: OTHER JEWISH THEMES

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Subject: OTHER JEWISH THEMES
Date Posted: 2/10/2008 5:29 AM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
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I read Chaim Potok's books many years ago.  Unfortunately he passed away in 2002.  I'm interested in Jewish themes that may not necessarily be romance, especially the lives of immigrants who came to America in the periods 1890-1910.   Any ideas?

Date Posted: 2/10/2008 11:05 AM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2007
Posts: 112
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There's 3 books by Stephen Birmingham, of which I've read 2, and they were both excellent!  Non-fiction, but very easy reading.

Our Crowd-Great Jewish families of New York

The Rest of Us- The Rise of America's Eastern European Jews

The Grandees-America's Sephardic Elite

Also non-fiction, but excellent is The World of Our Fathers by Irving Howe

I can't think of any fiction offhand, but I'd love to read some!

Date Posted: 2/10/2008 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2007
Posts: 112
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I found a great list of Jewish fiction, but haven't sifted through it yet:

http://www.librarything.com/tag/jewish+fiction

Date Posted: 2/10/2008 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
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Again I have to go with Maisie Mosco.  I'll check through some of my other books and see what I come up with.

Date Posted: 2/11/2008 5:30 AM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
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Great recommendations.  These will take me away from my TBR shelf for awhile.  LOL

Thanks

Date Posted: 2/12/2008 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
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I just checked my list of recently read books for Jewish/Holocaust themes and this is what I have:

Beer, Edith Hahn The Nazi Officer's Wife
(with Susan Dworkin)  

Blum, Jenna Those Who Save Us

Chabon, Michael The Final Solution
  The Yiddish Policemen's Union

Ginz, Petr The Diary of Petr Ginz, 1941-1942
Chava Pressburger (Ed.)  

Gruber, Ruth Raquela

Idliby, Ranya, Suzanne  The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew--
Oliver, & Priscilla Warner Three Women Search for Understanding

Klein, Gerda Weissman All But My Life

Lee, Carol Ann The Hidden Life of Otto Frank

Schlink, Bernhard The Reader

Sierakowiak, David The Diary of David Sierakowiak
Alan Adelson (Ed.)  

Singer, Isaac Bashevis The Magician of Lublin

Ziegler, Mel (Ed.) Amen: The Diary of Rabbi Martin Siegel

 

Also, Ayelet Waldman writes Mommy Track mysteries.  They are easy reading and quite funny, and the main character is Jewish.  In one of them (darned if I remember which), she investigates the death of a Hasidic teen.

Subject: "The Jew Store" by Stella Sugarman
Date Posted: 2/18/2008 7:27 AM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
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I just finished reading the above-mentioned book.  At first I was offended by the title, but once I got into the book, I understood why the author chose it.   It was a really good read about a Jewish family who moves to Tennessee in 1920 to open a dry goods store.  

Date Posted: 2/18/2008 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2007
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I enjoyed that book too Phyllis.  As a Jew who lives in Kentucky I could relate LOL!

Subject: swimming towards the ocean
Date Posted: 2/18/2008 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2007
Posts: 38
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Just read this book about a Russian Jewish immigrant set in the 1950's and it was a very good story.

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,974
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Kathy--my sister lives in KY and we thought she was the only Jew there!!!  I'll have to tell her there's at least on emore, LOL!!

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2007
Posts: 112
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Hah!  Good to know!  I'll look for her  :)

Date Posted: 2/29/2008 9:10 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,930
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Don't know if this has already been mentioned but Philip Roth's The Plot Against America is one of my all-time favorite books. 

Date Posted: 3/9/2008 6:13 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 11,985
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Has anyone else read the Orson Scott Card Women of Genesis series? I absoluletly LOVED them.   After finishing book 3 I emailed his site to find out if there would be another book in the series, and I was told yes (back in 2004) but it hasn't come out yet :(

In order

Sarah: Women of Genesis by Orson Scott Card

Rebekah (Women of Genesis) by Orson Scott Card

Rachel and Leah: Women of Genesis by Orson Scott Card

Subject: another Roth (NOT Philip)
Date Posted: 3/11/2008 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Why has no one mentioned Call It Sleep, by Henry Roth?  the story of a family of three who come to the U. S. A. from Europe, in "the old days".  The author uses an inventive way of showing, in the dialogue, when the characters are speaking a highly literate Yiddish, and when they are struggling with the difficult "new" language, English.

 

Date Posted: 3/12/2008 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
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"Call it Sleep" sounds good.  Just the era I'm interested in.   Thanks for the recommendation.

 I found a book at Goodwill that has no ISBN called "Rivington Street" by Meredith Tax.  It starts out in an impoverished Russian Jewish community during the pograms with a woman saving all her money to come to America. 

Subject: Other Jewish Themes
Date Posted: 3/26/2008 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 344
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Tova Mirvis wrote:

The Ladies Auxiliary about the reaction of members of the orthodox Jewish community in Memphis, TN when a woman who is a converted widow moves to town.

The Outside World  about 2 families whose children meet and marry.  Interesting view of different philosophies concerning Jewish orthodoxy.

Marissa Piesman:  Not a Jewish theme, per se, but the story of Nina Fischman, a 40 something lawyer who grew up in the Bronx, and now lives in Manhattan (and her mother Ida).  She only wrote 6 books in the series and they are out of print, but are starting to be republished by Felony & Mayhem.  They are technically cozies, but offer a wonderful insight in to her world.  The series starts with Unorthodox Practices.  I loved this series.

Sharon Kahn:  Whe writes the cozy mysteries that start with Fax Me a Bagel about a rabbi's wife in Texas who becomes a widow and her continued involvement with the synagogue.  I found this series very annoying because the main character is bright and capable, but continually puts up with several horrible characters from the synagogue.  I could not read the 2nd and 3rd books.  She should kill them off and move on.

I have hardback copies of Chaim Potoks In the Beginning and  My Name Is Asher Lev.  Also World of Our Fathers by Irving Howe and O Jerusalem about the founding of Israel by Larry Collins and Dominique LaPierre.  I will post them.

 

Susan Gold  - Columbia, MD

 

 

 

 



Last Edited on: 3/26/08 1:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: THE LAST JEW by Noah Gordon
Date Posted: 5/25/2008 8:20 AM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
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For those of you interested in Historical Fiction, this book is engrossing.  It takes place during the Spanish Inquisition and details the life of the "last living Jew" in Spain during that time.

Date Posted: 5/25/2008 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2007
Posts: 112
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I can wholeheartedly second that recommendation-I just read it myself and just finished Shaman by the same author, which is a sequel to the Physician.  All have been really, really good-4 stars!

Date Posted: 5/26/2008 1:22 AM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2007
Posts: 997
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Up from Orchard St  is another very good book about Jewish immigrants. 

And I just finished reading The True Story of Hansel and Gretel  by Louise Murphy from our public library.  It is - and this sounds like an oxymoron, I know - an incredibly beautiful book about the Holocaust.  It's a novel, but of course there's nothing in there that didn't happen a thousand times over to real people.  It's just so beautifully written....

Date Posted: 5/26/2008 6:22 AM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2007
Posts: 112
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Oh good!  I have The True Story of Hansel and Gretel on my WL.  Adding Up From Orchard Street.

Date Posted: 5/26/2008 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,974
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I just added THe Last Jew to my WL.  Thanks for the rec!

Date Posted: 5/28/2008 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2007
Posts: 997
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Oh, sorry Kathy - I got it from the library!!  I still have it on my WL too, because I'd love to have a keeper.

The Last Jew is on my big ol TBR pile.....

Date Posted: 10/8/2013 11:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2008
Posts: 153
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not posting these books but recommending

I very much enjoy reading the books by two Jewish immigrants to the U.S. in the early 20th century.  Their stories give the feel of what life was like written by people living it rather than having done research about it which is why I enjoy reading them.  One is Anzia Yesierska - I've read Bread Givers and How I Found America (collected stories) - she wrote a few other things but I haven't read them yet. 

Another is Abraham Cahan (founder of the Jewish Daily Forward) Yekl and the Imported Bridegroom (sometimes hilarious) and The Rise of David Levinsky - he also contributed to a lot of collections.

Their books are on Project Gutenberg I believe, but that isn't as good as having an actual book in one's hands. Yes, that was very opinionated.

If I find any copies of their books at library sales, etc. I'll post them.

 

Denise

 

 


 



Last Edited on: 10/8/13 11:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Judy H. (Judyh) - ,
Subject: More recommendations...
Date Posted: 7/13/2015 4:21 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2005
Posts: 8
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These are all novels:

In 2012 I read "The Assistant" by Bernard Malamud, which is about the experience of Jewish immigrants in America.  I also can recommend Philip Roth's "American Pastoral", which is amazing and is partially about the immigrant experience as well as present day Jewish life.  

I have to concur about Philip Roth's books in general.  The Plot Against America is incredible.  

A great book about relatively present day Orthodox Jews is "Kaaterskill Falls" by Allegra Goodman.  

If you have not read "Austerlitz" by W.G. Sebald, I highly recommend it.  Not the easiest book to read, but it is beautifully written and a must-read for anyone interested in the Holocaust and survivors.

I can recommend one more about children of survivors: "The Speed of Light" by Elizabeth Rosner



Last Edited on: 7/13/15 4:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/23/2015 10:22 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,974
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Thanks for the recommendations Judy!

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