Monday, November 25, 2013

The Guide to the Perplexed

Josie, a successful high tech programming wizard has created a new application called Genizah. The definition of a Genizah is a storage area in a Jewish synagogue or cemetery designated for the temporary storage of worn-out Hebrew-language books and papers on religious topics prior to proper cemetery burial. Josie's version helps people track and record all their life events to see patterns, make predictions and hold on to precious memories. Married to a fellow programmer named Ishtamar, their lives revolve around their 6 year old daughter Tali, their rapidly growing company and Josie's envious, resentful sister Judith, who also is their employee. Judith convinces Josie to accept an opportunity to publicize the company by assisting in the digital creation of storage for the old/new again prestigious library in Alexandria, Egypt. What was supposed to be a 3 week journey turns into a nightmare where Josie's future is dangerously uncertain and Judith happily steps into her shoes to console her bereaved family. Intertwined in this modern day novel are the parallel stories of Maimonides, one of the most prolific and influential torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages who published the original Guide to the Perplexed and the story of Solomon Schecter, rabbi, scholar and educator during the late 1800's whose discovery of the Cairo Genizah collection brought him world wide recognition and success. This novel is most unique in every way and beautifully written. The weaving of these different threads are not always smooth and sometimes a piece is left dangling but it is nevertheless always enjoyable. The characters and entire theme had me instantly searching for more information. Will be thinking about this one long after the book is finished. Highly recommend this fantastic new novel. BUY TODAY!! A Guide for the Perplexed: A Novel

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Seven Deadlies

Unique, humorous collection of tales written as a college
submission for Perry Gonzalez, 14 year old Latina student living in Los Angeles. Perry and her single mom Yelena live in a small apartment complex struggling to pay the bills and make ends meet. Perry, on scholarship for her strong academic achievements finds that she can tutor (or "babysit") the other private school students to make some extra money. As her schedule fills, for the majority of students need her services, Perry experiences the strangest, most bizarre situations one could possibly imagine. She illustrates the seven deadly sins in comparison to the lifestyle and behavior of these outrageous spoiled rich teens she is trying to help. This collection felt like a young adult book, although I cannot be too sure if teens would find this as funny as I did. Gigi is hysterical as always, making fun of a spoiled society that has become widely accepted and envied. Seven Deadlies is a fun read, not a novel to sink into but enjoyable nonetheless. If you want quick laugh ...  Seven Deadlies

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Secrets of the Notebook

Eve Haas, the author of this outstanding memoir was raised
in Berlin, Germany. As a young Jewish German girl Eve had little understanding of how Hitler was affecting her beloved country. But her father knew. Her family were the lucky ones, the Jews that saw things were not getting better, but quickly getting worse, much worse. As difficult as it was to leave the comforts of their home, friends and successful business behind, they moved to London in 1934. A few years later, Eve was presented with a family heirloom. One of the few items her paternal grandmother, Anna, had left the family. The heirloom was a beautiful diary from her mother, Eve's great grandmother, Charlotte. This diary was filled with either a young girls outrageous imagination or a past filled with a life of royalty in Prussia. It was not until many years later that Eve could no longer put aside this deep curiosity and longing to learn more of her family's history and she began a 30 year adventure to find out the truth. This mesmerizing deeply personal memoir is filled with Eve's journey and her passion for history, family and identity. With her supportive husband Ken at her side, they travel back to Germany many times, meet with archivists and historians and slowly peel away the many layers to expose the past as it has never been seen before. Highly recommend this incredible unique true story of Eve's perseverance and dedication to her family - past and present. READ TODAY!! The Secrets of the Notebook: A Woman's Quest to Uncover Her Royal Family Secret

Friday, November 15, 2013

Bridget Jones Mad About the Boy

Bridget Jones is back: funny, clever and off the wall as ever.
Years have passed since we last watched Bridget, she was the dating, crazy, single girl searching for love, meaning to life and that sort of thing. With the familiar wit and humor we all loved with Bridget in the past, Helen Fielding has done it again. Okay, there is this tiny sad element that Mark Darcy is dead but remember Colin Firth is still with us, this is not real (!) Its a bit of a bizarre twist but you know from the start and mourn quickly as Bridget and her small group of wacky friends guide her down the path of single mom, 51 with two children back in the dating world. Only the dating world has drastically changed and this texting, sexting, tweeting, life consumes Bridget daily and with it Ms. Fielding delivers more of this comical, loving, sweet girl that we all adore. This is a quick easy fun laugh out loud read, I highly recommend. It is written as a diary, ongoing tweeting fest that you can read in little pieces or just as well in one sitting, as I did! Do not be put off by negative reviews/comments, its a fun fun book that I thoroughly enjoyed! If you need a good laugh BUY TODAY!!  Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy

Monday, November 11, 2013


What if Margot Frank, Anne's older sister had survived?
What if she had managed to escape and was miraculously rescued and finds herself still in hiding a decade later as her American dream persona, Margie Franklin, gentile, secretary, normal. It is 1959 and Margie Franklin covers her tattooed arm with a sweater everyday. As the book, then the play, and finally the movie of Anne Frank's life is released, Margie's facade comes crumbling down. The warmth, sensitivity, and detailed emotions of each character are exquisite throughout Margot. Although completely fictional the what if and the hope that every young girl who ever read The Diary of Anne Frank has longed for, has come to life through this novel. If evil sinister Nazis survived and created new identities, why not the remote possibility that one of our hero's did as well. As Ms. Cantor writes in the story; when Joshua, the all American Jewish lawyer in Philadelphia finally sees the film and Margie asks him if he likes it, he replies: "It's not really a movie you can like, is it?" "It's more like school. Where you know you have to go and learn. Or the doctor. You know it's good for you. That you should do it. But you don't exactly enjoy it."  "Margot" has left me breathless. Please DO NOT MISS this read, there is no question it is a MUST!!! Margot: A Novel

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Signature of All Things

This captivating fictional saga focusing on the Whittaker family
begins when Henry, a poor young boy is banished from England to sail with Captain Cook in the late 1700's. His job is to collect botanical specimens for Kew Gardens in London. This journey changes his life and the destiny of his family. Henry finds the adventure and riches he desperately seeks and begins his future in the new world of Philadelphia where the Whittaker name becomes everything he'd ever dreamed. He settles on a magnificent estate called White Acre and summons the world and all its riches as he pleases. Alma, his daughter has the intelligence and wit of her mother Beatrix and just a touch of Henry's drive. Suddenly when Alma had believed with all her heart that the study of botany is everything she'd ever need, she finds she wants more, she wants love. This novel takes the reader through decades of change, some the most interesting history of the modern world. Scientific discovery at its very best. The authors research was extensive, years and true love of botany must have accompanied Ms. Gilbert on her SOAT (as its been nicknamed) journey, the characters are phenomenal and captivating. Descriptions are meticulous. But, my fellow readers, I must tell you, it is LONG. It requires time and patience to complete. 500 pages. The writing is excellent, it is the polar opposite of Eat Pray Love of which the author is most famous for. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Well done Elizabeth Gilbert, WOW!  BUY TODAY!! The Signature of All Things: A Novel