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Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots
3.63
I'm almost halfway through this book, but it's my last-resort book when I'm tired of the other books I'm reading at the same time. It's not that it is ...more
not set
Apr 15, 2012
 
Choosing a Jewish Life: A Handbook for People Converting to Judaism and for Their Family and Friends
4.02
This book really lays out the details of becoming a Jew-By-Choice, from why others have made the decision, to what to expect from your rabbi and your ...more
not set
Jun 30, 2011
 
Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism
3.70
I am of two minds about this book. It's a very Jewish work--it questions and struggles with Judaism, God, and everything related in order to find mean ...more
not set
Jun 30, 2011
 
The Essential Talmud
4.00
A surprisingly easy read, especially since it's in translation from the original Hebrew. This is a friendly yet detailed introduction to the Talmud, i ...more
Dec 28, 2011
Sep 18, 2011
 
One People, Two Worlds: A Reform Rabbi and an Orthodox Rabbi Explore the Issues That Divide Them
3.76
I went into this book expecting a balanced debate between the Reform rabbi and the Orthodox rabbi, with the Reform rabbi defending elements of my own ...more
May 26, 2012
May 03, 2012
 
Los Angeles
3.62
I can't believe it took me 20 years to read this book and the biggest takeaway I've got is, "You really are Susan Sontag's son, aren't you?" This *was ...more
Mar 31, 2013
Mar 31, 2013
 
Why the Jews?
3.98
The book convincingly and depressingly describes antisemitism as a natural response to Judaism, due both to the nature of Jewish thought and teaching ...more
Jan 13, 2012
Dec 28, 2011
 
[Mishkan Tefilah Le-Nosim] =: Mishkan T'Filah for Travelers: A Reform Siddur
4.80
This isn't really a book I've "read" as much as a book I use. It's the compact edition of the Reform Movement's full-size new siddur (prayerbook), Mis ...more
not set
Feb 21, 2012
 
Why Be Jewish?
3.82
The first book I read on my conversion journey, this very short discussion of Judaism told me things about it I never, ever knew and in a few short Ch ...more
not set
Jun 30, 2011
 
For Those Who Can't Believe: Overcoming the Obstacles to Faith
3.65
This book struck me as a kinder, gentler version of Kushkoff's "Nothing Sacred." Whereas Kushkoff calls for a completely humanistic Judaism (but refus ...more
not set
Jun 30, 2011
 
Everything Is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism
4.04
This is such a great and a "meh" book at the same time. The nondual religious perspective will be no surprise to anyone with a background in the pract ...more
Jun 16, 2012
May 26, 2012
 
Railtown: The Fight for the Los Angeles Metro Rail and the Future of the City
4.11
An incredible, detailed, yet easy-to-follow history of the current Metro rail system in Los Angeles. Including all the city, county, state, and federa ...more
Jan 2014
Aug 03, 2015
 
City of Angles: A Drive-By Portrait of Los Angeles
3.90
I was looking for a few good, edgy, interesting books to together give me a picture of urban life over time in Los Angeles and this was one of them. ( ...more
not set
Mar 31, 2013
 
In the Beginning: A Short History of the Hebrew Language
3.66
An incredibly well-researched book that lays out the history of the Hebrew language from antiquity to today, told through the lens of the invention, u ...more
Feb 13, 2012
Jan 13, 2012
 
Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism
3.93
This book really helped me place Judaism in context with other major religious and philosophical schools of thought, and unexpectedly brought me to th ...more
not set
Jun 30, 2011
 
Surprised by God: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Religion
3.97
Ruttenberg's story helped me let my guard down and become more at ease with PDRs--public displays of religiosity (my term.) As a Jew-by-Choice, my ear ...more
Sep 18, 2011
Aug 27, 2011
 
The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney's Dream
4.38
The best, most detailed account of the history of Disneyland Park that I've ever encountered. A bit think on contemporary park history, but a delightf ...more
Jan 2014
Aug 03, 2015
 
Questions and Answers: Intellectual Foundations of Judaism
3.00
Skimmed it for historical information (i.e. when and who wrote the Mishnah, the different Talmuds, etc.) But didn't read all the way through. Felt mor ...more
not set
Jul 04, 2011
 
Biblical Literacy: The Most Important People, Events, and Ideas of the Hebrew Bible
4.32
This is a terrific resource for learning about the entire Hebrew Bible. It goes way beyond the five books of the Torah and covers the Writings and Pro ...more
Jun 16, 2012
Jun 30, 2011
 
God Was Not in the Fire
4.05
Kind of answers the question of Why Judaism? The answer is pretty much Why Not? The book demonstrates the importance of ritual and Jewish action as co ...more
not set
Jun 30, 2011
 
Making Time: Essays on the Nature of Los Angeles
3.77
I was looking for a few good, edgy, interesting books to together give me a picture of urban life over time in Los Angeles and this was one of them. ( ...more
not set
Mar 31, 2013
 
The Jewish Home: A Guide to the Jewish Holidays and Life Cycles
4.00
The question-and-answer nature of this book seemed to cover all the bases (and intuit all of my questions) about Jewish holidays and the Jewish life c ...more
not set
Jun 30, 2011
 
The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man
4.34
Breathtaking. A love story about Shabbat, written in the most amazingly respectful and reverent language that easily communicates the hallowed feeling ...more
not set
Jun 30, 2011
 
A New Voice for Israel: Fighting for the Survival of the Jewish Nation
3.86
I've had the opportunity to hear Jeremy ben-Ami speak in person, and he writes just like he speaks--with a lot of repetition. You'll get the point of ...more
Aug 16, 2011
Jul 20, 2011
 
The Art of Torah Cantillation: A Step-By-Step Guide to Chanting Torah [With CD]
4.20
I'm going to file this into my "Read" category although it's really more of a workbook, anyhow. I'll continue to use it and return to it to learn and ...more
not set
Apr 15, 2012
 
The New Rabbi
3.71
Fascinating, depressing, shocking, overly important, and sometimes just boring. Fascinating to learn the machinations of how Jewish clergy compete for ...more
Sep 18, 2011
Aug 27, 2011
 
The Disneyland Encyclopedia: The Unofficial, Unauthorized, and Unprecedented History of Every Land, Attraction, Restaurant, Shop, and Major Event in the Original Magic Kingdom
4.27
I've never made it through from cover to cover, nor are you really intended to do so. But for a lifelong Disneyland aficionado (like me), starting on ...more
Jan 2014
Mar 31, 2013
 
On the Road: the Original Scroll
4.19
I would have loved to have read this book. I'll need to read it in print. The e-book version was almost completely incomprehensible to my B&N Nook ...more
Mar 31, 2013
Jan 04, 2013
 
The Hollywood Sign: Fantasy and Reality of an American Icon
3.24
Not simply focused on the history of the sign, itself. The author tells the sign's story in the historic context of urban development, economic develo ...more
Jan 2014
Mar 31, 2013
 
Reinventing Los Angeles: Nature and Community in the Global City
3.61
It rambled and read like a marketing piece for the author's own career. (Much like Edward Soja's "My Los Angeles," only not as narcissistic.) I couldn ...more
Jan 2014
Mar 31, 2013
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