Books

Can you believe that Israelis are this good?

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Review “State of the Heart: Stories of a Humanitarian Israel” by David Kramer. Jerusalem: Urim Publishers, 2020. 183 pages. $27.95. In 2016, fires raged across Israel,...

Rachel Biale revisits her kibbutz childhood

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“Growing Up Below Sea Level: A Kibbutz Childhood” by Rachel Biale. Simsbury, Conn.: Mandel Vilar Press, 2020. 217 pages. $19.95. It was dawn in one...

In a book on weirdness, author Olga Khazan lays out the costs of being...

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By Robert Nagler Miller Are American Jews weird? It’s a question that Jewish readers may ask themselves while immersed in Olga Khazan’s just published “Weird: The Power...

Houdini was never able to escape our fascination

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Review “Houdini: The Elusive American” by Adam Begley. New Haven: Yale University Books, 2020. 193 pages. $26. Is it possible to imagine greater validation of your...

In the year 2025

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Review “In Five Years” by Rebecca Serle. New York: Atria Books, 2020. 250 pages. $27. Sometimes a story can overcome the slightly absurd nature of the...

They fall in love. It doesn’t end well.

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Review “The Convert” by Stefan Hertsman. New York: Pantheon Books: 2020. 304 pages. $26.95. This wonderful book is based on a few ancient documents, which, combined...

Witness Jewish history unfold through Allen Feiglin’s innovative storytelling

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When Allen Feiglin, 66, talks about the deer, foxes, squirrels, and other creatures that frequent the open field behind his home, one gets the...

The fascinating Mr. Berlin

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Review “Irving Berlin: New York Genius” by James Kaplan. New Have, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2019. 335 pages. $26. When Irving Berlin’s three daughters were young,...

Misogyny was the rule, even in genocide, Holocaust author says

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There are echoes of the fiery Hebrew prophets in “999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz.” As the...

In search of Jews in their natural habitats

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Review “A Field Guide to the Jewish People” by Dave Barry, Adam Mansbach and Alan Zweibel. New York: Flatiron Books, 2019. 233 ages. $25.99. When I...