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Next date: May 20, 2017
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
(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.
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.
- Other books by Michael Chabon, including newly published Moonglow, or the Yiddish Policeman’s Union
- Amos Oz (Israeli leftist, still alive) – new book Judas, or A Tale of Love and Darkness, or older works such as A Perfect Peace (1985)
- Y. Agnon (Israeli Nobel laureate in literature)
- Jonathan Foer – latest book: Here I Am (2016)
- Chaim Potok – lots to choose from.
Mr. Roseenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons
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