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Daniel Deronda (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Now here’s a book that combines two of my very favorite things: classic British romance with – YES! – Jewish themes. Marian Evans a/k/a George Eliot e ...more
Dec 08, 2010
May 29, 2008
Outliers: The Story of Success
This has got to be Malcolm Gladwell’s best book yet, and coming from a fan like me, that’s saying something!

As the subtitle states, this is a book of
Feb 02, 2009
Dec 11, 2008
I admit that this is an absorbing story, but it's a slanderous portrayal of Ultra-Orthodox Jews. I'm a Hasidic Jew who's living the life, and I can te ...more
Apr 1994
Jun 03, 2008
As I've said before, my criterion for rating a psychology book a 5 is if it changes my life positively. This novel solidified for me my criterion for ...more
Dec 08, 2008
May 20, 2008
The Education of Hyman Kaplan
For Jews who love word play, this is an absolute hoot! Non-Jews who love word play might also like it, but as it takes place in an English class for a ...more
Sep 1993
Jul 14, 2008
Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian
Friends and readers of my book reviews all know my main interests in life apart from my family: Judaism and books. I don’t know if it comes across as ...more
Aug 03, 2011
Jun 21, 2011
Moses Montefiore: Jewish Liberator, Imperial Hero
Sir Moses Montefiore is probably remembered only amongst Jews today, but even those who do know of him probably don’t appreciate just how prominent a ...more
Feb 02, 2013
Jan 13, 2011
Turbulent Souls: A Catholic Son's Return To His Jewish Family
I’ve become a big Freakonomics fan in recent weeks. Not only have I read both books, I’ve watched the DVD, and listened to every podcast on Freakonomi ...more
Jun 13, 2011
Jun 10, 2011
Jewish Odyssey of George Eliot
As every Goodreads member knows, books are like relationships; some are short-term, while others are lifelong love affairs. And as anyone who reads my ...more
Feb 17, 2011
Dec 22, 2010
Three Generations: The Influence of Samson Raphael Hirsch on Jewish Life and Thought
As some of you may have noticed, I often have two books on my “currently reading” shelf: one Jewish and one secular. The Jewish books is my Shabbos re ...more
Aug 23, 2014
Jul 29, 2014
Seven Blessings
Ruchama King is my writing teacher, and her book achieves what I dream of. Kirkus Reviews called her “a Jewish Jane Austen,” and though she’s not quit ...more
Jan 2005
Mar 27, 2008
Hanns and Rudolf: The True Story of the German Jew Who Tracked Down and Caught the Kommandant of Auschwitz
When it comes to books on the Holocaust, I generally prefer memoirs by the victims who kept their faith and helped others survive, but this book, whic ...more
May 15, 2014
Apr 10, 2014
Anne Frank's Tales from the Secret Annex
More than just Anne's diary survived the war; her short stories did, too, and I only discovered them last year. What a treasure for an Anne Frank love ...more
Apr 2007
May 22, 2008
To Remain a Jew: The Life of Rav Yitzchak Zilber
What Rabbi Herman of All for the Boss was for the Lower East Side in the 30's, Rabbi Zilber was in the post-war Soviet Union, except not only was he f ...more
Apr 21, 2011
Feb 10, 2011
What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank
If you're like one of the characters in the title story of this collection and you are drawn to Holocaust stories that show the humanity rising within ...more
May 11, 2012
May 07, 2012
The Diary of a Young Girl
Anne Frank and her diary have meant so much to me over the years, I don't know where to begin. When I read her at age 12, she was my bosom friend, a J ...more
Jan 1980
May 22, 2008
Sharing Turf: Race Relations after the Crown Heights Riots
Crown Heights is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York populated mainly by African Americans and immigrants from West Indian countries like Jamaica and ...more
Feb 15, 2015
Feb 09, 2015
There Are No Basketball Court in Heaven
The author of this book is a high school teacher, and there’s nothing like being surrounded by questioning teenagers to force a person to come up with ...more
Mar 29, 2014
Mar 19, 2014
Glimpses of Jewish Frankfurt
Just as the title suggests, this is a history of the Jewish community of Frankfurt from the medieval era until its destruction by the Nazis. It basica ...more
May 24, 2014
May 12, 2014
Tales Out of Shul: The Unorthodox Journal of an Orthodox Rabbi
This is the memoir of an Orthodox pulpit rabbi in that great era of American Jewish assimilation, the 1950's. It's an interesting read, though downrig ...more
May 2000
May 10, 2011
Mourning in Halachah: The Laws and Customs of the Year of Mourning
Technically, this book could stay on my "Currently Reading" shelf all year long because unfortunately, I am in the year of mourning for my father, and ...more
Apr 2008
May 05, 2008
To Vanquish the Dragon
The best way I have of describing this book is by something I learned outside of it: Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel's summary of what we Jews (and perhaps n ...more
Feb 04, 2012
Jun 06, 2011
You Need a Schoolhouse: Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald, and the Building of Schools for the Segregated South
"Inspiring" is probably the most overused word in book reviews, but in this case, it's the best possible description. The book is the story of the col ...more
May 20, 2013
Apr 20, 2012
Coming Back to Earth: The Central Park Guru Becomes an Old City Jew
“Guru Gil” was rather a famous figure in baal teshuva circles when I was in sem some 20 years ago. So many of us had dabbled in Eastern spirituality, ...more
Aug 03, 2013
Jun 13, 2013
Carry Me in Your Heart: The Life and Legacy of Sarah Schenirer, Founder and Visionary of the Bais Yaakov Movement
This book is from the same author as To Vanquish the Dragon, one of the original students of Rebbetzin Sarah Schenirer. But while her first book was e ...more
Apr 13, 2012
Feb 26, 2012
A Tzaddik in Our Time: The Life of Rabbi Aryeh Levin
I chose this for my Elul/Tishrei reading because I felt that my usual fiction escapes weren't appropriate for the times, and I knew I'd give up in the ...more
Oct 2008
Aug 04, 2008
In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist
I didn't think Ruchama King Feuerman could possibly beat her first book, Seven Blessings, but if this book didn't do it, it definitely matched. Like S ...more
Apr 19, 2014
Jun 30, 2013
Between Two Worlds
The 19th century was a period of mass assimilation amongst the Jewish people, largely made possible by the Age of Enlightenment. Though that Age broug ...more
Jul 26, 2014
Jan 31, 2011
To Play With Fire: One Woman's Remarkable Odyssey
I can't help but compare this book with the last teshuva story I read, which was Leah Kotkes' The Map Seeker. Both authors are British women who becam ...more
Jun 29, 2009
Jun 15, 2009
The Map Seeker
2.5 stars

Leah Kotkes came across as a lovely person when I met her on on her book tour for this memoir of her teshuva process. I was especially intrig
Jun 2009
May 14, 2009
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