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Congregation Beth Shalom

Jewish Community in Bozeman, Montana

Book Club

Informal, Friendly and Fun!
Love to read and spend time with new friends?  Please come join us!

Next date: March 18, 2017

Annette and Robert’s home (contact Marilyn for address)

We combine these get-togethers with a pot luck, so try to bring a dish that is somehow related to the book (no matter how crazy the stretch!).  We’ll start with informal book discussion and fun food, and see where the conversation takes us! We’ll also continue to develop a list of upcoming books, so please come with your ideas! Please RSVP to Marilyn and John King at 581-1548 (text) or email jmking@bigsky.net

Book: Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons
At the outset of World War II, Jack Rosenblum and his family escape Berlin for London. Jack embraces the welcome pamphlet instructing immigrants how to act like “the English.” He acquires Saville Row suits and a Jaguar. He never speaks German, apart from the occasional curse. But one key item–membership in a golf club–remains elusive. So Jack hatches a wild idea: he’ll build his own. Jack’s wife, Sadie, does not share this obsession. She wants to cook her mother’s recipes and remember the life they left behind. But when Jack relocates them to the country, Sadie watches their savings deplete as he pursues his quixotic dream. In this gently surprising first novel, Natasha Solomons tells the captivating love story of a couple making a new life–and their wildest dreams–come true.

Possibilities for the future:

A Replacement Life: A Novel  by Boris Fishman
A singularly talented writer makes his literary debut with this provocative, soulful, and sometimes hilarious story of a failed journalist asked to do the unthinkable: Forge Holocaust-restitution claims for old Russian Jews in Brooklyn, New York. Yevgeny Gelman, grandfather of Slava Gelman, “didn’t suffer in the exact way” he needs to have suffered to qualify for the restitution the German government has been paying out to Holocaust survivors. But suffer he has—as a Jew in the war; as a second-class citizen in the USSR; as an immigrant to America. So? Isn’t his grandson a “writer”? High-minded Slava wants to put all this immigrant scraping behind him. Only the American Dream is not panning out for him—Century, the legendary magazine where he works as a researcher, wants nothing greater from him. Slava wants to be a correct, blameless American—but he wants to be a lionized writer even more. Slava’s turn as the Forger of South Brooklyn teaches him that not every fact is the truth, and not every lie a falsehood. It takes more than law-abiding to become an American; it takes the same self-reinvention in which his people excel. Intoxicated and unmoored by his inventions, Slava risks exposure. Cornered, he commits an irrevocable act that finally grants him a sense of home in America, but not before collecting a price from his family. A Replacement Life is a dark, moving, and beautifully written novel about family, honor, and justice.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Boris Fishman
(note: This one has a golem!)

This brilliant epic novel set in New York and Prague introduces us to two misfit young men who make it big by creating comic-book superheroes. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdiniesque escape, has just smuggled himself out of Nazi-invaded Prague and landed in New York City. His Brooklyn cousin Sammy Clay is looking for a partner to create heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit America the comic book. Inspired by their own fears and dreams, Kavalier and Clay create the Escapists, The Monitor, and Luna Moth, inspired by the beautiful Rosa Saks, who will become linked by powerful ties to both men. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is the winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

More options

Previous Books:

Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, by Daniel James Brown

Guide for the Perplexed, by Dara Horn

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, by Erik Larson

The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah

A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines by Janna Levin

The Mezuzah in the Madonna’s Foot: Marranos and Other Secret Jews–A Woman Discovers Her Spiritual Heritage by Trudi Alexy

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir by Shulem Deen

The Last of the Just by Andre Schwarz-Bart

Dough by Mort Zachter