Summer Reading

Summer Shorts

A roundup of new titles, from baseball to Central Park to the Garment Center.

Culture Editor
06/21/2016 (All day)

Baseball fans will enjoy “The Season of Pepsi Meyers,” a novel by Abie Rotenberg (Audley Street Books), about an 18-year-old Jewish baseball player who helps to revitalize the Yankees in the year 2040. The book is both a story of the game and a spiritual coming-of-age.

The season of Pepsi Meyers cover.

The Undertow At Bagel Beach

Summer light and loss in ‘As Close To Us As Breathing,’ set on the Connecticut shore.

Culture Editor
06/21/2016 (All day)

Some favor their summer reading light, as in breezy whodunits; others prefer books that actually convey the light of long afternoons, the sparkle that sun leaves on water and the experience of the season.

As close to as breathing cover.

An Evolutionary Novel

Adaptation is the order of the day for the characters in Allison Amend’s ‘Enchanted Islands.’

Special To The Jewish Week
06/21/2016 (All day)

Anyone planning an island excursion this summer will find good company in Allison Amend’s entertaining new novel, “Enchanted Islands” (Doubleday). Equal parts spy adventure, coming-of-age saga and meditation on love and friendship, the tale takes its inspiration from the lives of Frances and Ainslie Conway, a sophisticated American couple who for several years just before and after World War II traded in their comfortable life in San Francisco for a less than romantic hard-scrabble existence on a barely inhabited and mostly barren island in the Galapagos, off the coast of Ecuador.   

In Amend’s novel, the characters have to adapt to the necessities and rhythms of island life. Stephanie Pommez

Neighborhood Watch

A sense of place pervades many of this summer’s new volumes.

Culture Editor
06/23/2015 - 20:00

‘The Odd Woman and the City” by Vivian Gornick (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) is a memoir, a meditation on her urban, literary life. She unfolds her story with great candor, humor and a tough edge. “I prize my hardened heart,” she writes. A walker in the city, she finds herself preferring the West Side, where there’s “all that intelligence trapped inside all those smarts.”

Saint Mazie, The Old Woman and The City, Reunion.

There Go The Neighborhoods

The old Jewish quarter of Memphis and the rundown Bronx get new life, thanks to Steve Stern and Jerome Charyn.

Special To The Jewish Week
06/23/2015 - 20:00

Call him the Bard of Jewish Memphis. As in previous works, in his latest novel, “The Pinch: A History, A Novel,” author Steve Stern brings to life the formerly bustling, now blighted Memphis neighborhood called “The Pinch.” Also, once again, Stern’s fictional re-creation is characterized by a fanciful collage of kabbalistic magic, mystical longings, and Jewish folklore galore.

In “The Pinch,” Steve Stern, paints a fanciful tale of Memphis’ onetime Jewish ghetto.

The Bard Of The Boroughs

The evocative photographs of William Meyers.

06/22/2015 - 20:00

William Meyers has an eye for the poetic moment. His black-and-white photographs of New York City streetscapes are unfolding visual anecdotes.

A sign on the BQE chock full of boroughs.

Summer Reading 2015

Summer Reading: City Stories Neighborhood lit, from Memphis to the Bronx and beyond.

06/22/2015 - 20:00
Summer Reading 2015

A World Of Jewish Fiction

From the Lower East Side to Rome to Cairo, compelling characters in settings near and far.

06/24/2014 - 20:00

An Icy Ice Cream Queen: Rags to riches on the Lower East Side.

From the reeking slums of the Lower East Side to the rarefied air of Park Avenue and Palm Beach, Susan Jane Gilman’s “The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street” (Grand Central Publishing) is a journey across the 20th-century Jewish American experience. Not your typical beach treat, this page-turner of a book is a tart alternative to the usual sweet summer refreshment. 

Gilman’s Lillian Dunkle is a myth-debunking character.

Contemporary Israel, In The Literary Spotlight

From pre-intifada Jerusalem to ‘Srugim’ turf to Holon, getting a read on the modern Jewish state.

Special To The Jewish Week
06/24/2014 - 20:00

Archeology and Coexistence: A kabbalist and his motley crew of outcasts.

‘You are young. The needs are great. You can help.” If this reminds you of a saying from the sages, that is fitting since the speaker is indeed a sage, though a fictional one: Rebbe Yehudah, the holy man in whose courtyard author Ruchama King Feuerman sets her beguiling novel, “In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist.” (Originally published only as an e-book by New York Review Books last December, it is now also available in paperback.)

Aharon Appelfeld’s “Suddenly, Love” offer different perspectives on love in the Holy  Land.
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