Tag Archives: Jewaicious blog

Book List 2012


The list below compiles some of the books I have read in 2012. I am currently reading two books and expect to read a few more before the year comes to an end.

On the Eve: The Jews of Europe Before the Second World War, by Bernard Wasserstein

You, Fascinating You, by Germaine Shames

Prague: My Long Journey Home a Memoir of Survival, Denial and Redemption, by Charles Ota Heller

Rhyming Life and Death, by Amos Oz

An Uncommon Friendship: From Opposite Sides of the Holocaust, by Bernat Rosner

Who Shall Live: The Wilhelm Bachner Story, by Samuel P. Oliner

The Gates of November, by Chaim Potok

The Emperor of LIes, by Steve Sem-Sandberg

Italy’s Sorrow, by James Holland,

HIdden History of the Kovno Ghetto-United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Behind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany, by Marthe Cohn

Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl

The Iron Tracks, by Aharon Appelfeld

Wings: A Novel of World War II Flygirls, by Karl Friedrich

Jerusalem Maiden, by Talia Carner

I Shall Not Hate, by Izzeldin Abuelaish

Dinner With Lenny, by Jonathan Cott

Road to Valor: A True Story of WWII, Italy, the Nazis and a Cyclist Who Inspired a Nation by Ali McConnon

The Amber Room, by Steve Berry

Soul to Soul: writings From Dark Places, by Deborah Masel

To Heal a Fractured World, by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

The Zahir, by Paulo Coelho

The Jewish Husband, by Lia Levi

The Devil and Miss Prym, by Paulo Coelho

Simon’s Family, by Marianne Fredericksson

Away, by Amy Bloom

The Dogs and Wolves, by Irene Nemirovsky

The Dovekeepers, by Alice Hoffman

The Island Within, by Ludwig Lewisohn

The Gift of Rest, by Senator Joe Lieberman

A Mind of Winter, by Shira Nayman

22 Britannia Road, by Amanda Hodgkinson

97 Orchard, by Jane Ziegelman

The Jewish Body, by Melvin Konner

Two Lives, by Vikram Seth

This is America!, by Henye Meyer

Three Horses, by Erri De Luca

Jewish Roots in Southern Soil, by Marcie Ferris

Saving Monticello: The Levy Family’s Epic Quest to Rescue the House That Jefferson Built, by Marc Leepson

Being Polite to Hitler, by Forman Dew

The House at Tyneford, by Natashia Solomons

Under the North Light: The Life and Work of Maud and Miska Petersham, by Lawrence Webster

Jewish Stories from Heaven and Earth, by Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins

The Promised Land, by Mary Antin

Joseph Anton, by Salman Rushdie

The Marriage Artist, by Andrew Winer

Unorthodox, by Deborah Feldman

Blackmore Park in World War II, by Fran and Martin Collins

Prague Winter, by Madeleine Albright

Rashi’s Daughters: Book III: Rachel: A Novel of Love and Talmud in Medieval France, by Maggie Anton

Rashi’s Daughters: Book I: Joheved, by Maggie Anton

City of Women, by David R. Gillham

The Sandcastle Girls, by Chris Bohjalian

The Polish Boxer, by Eduardo Halfon

The Violinists Thumb, by Sam Kean

Winter Journal, Paul Auster

The Little Russian, by Susan Sherman

The Woman Who Heard Color, by Kelly Jones

December 18, 2012 – 5 Tevet, 5773

© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved – No permission is given or allowed to reuse my photography, book reviews, writings, or my poetry in any form/format without my express written consent/permission.



Filed under Autobiography, Historical Fiction, Memoirs, Non-Fiction, Novels, Photography

Sunday Scenes December 16, 2012

robin reflecting



The December Jewish Book Carnival is up. There are some great links, including books for adults, books for children and young adults. Why not pay a visit, here.

Visit Scenic Sunday for more photos from around the globe.

Visit Weekend Reflections for more photos from around the planet.

Visit the Jewish Journal to read a book review by Jonathan Kirsch on “Creamy & Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, The All-American Food”.

I have finished reading the novel Three Horses, by Erri De Luca. I will post a review soon.

I am almost finished reading the novel The Little Russian, by Susan Sherman.

I have The Woman Who Heard Color checked out from the library, ready to read. .

I also checked out Winter Journal, by Paul Auster.

Hungary’s Jews and what they are facing.

See what is new with the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.


Filed under Photography

Blue Heron, 7th Night of Chanukah, Shabbat


I love how this blue heron camouflaged itself near the tree, as I slowly moved closer to him/her.

Speaking of camouflage, I found this article, dated May 23, 2012, regarding Jewish soldiers receiving camouflage Torahs.

I like this poem about the blue heron, for its spiritual message I received from it.

To The Great Blue Heron

Teach me to stand alone in cold water, to wait
poised for nourishment to drift my way
Show me how to bend my legs
so I move deliberately, looking neither right nor left
Teach me how to swallow without chewing,
to hold a fish in my gullet until its scales become wings

Show me how to puff down into a secret
so only those who know me can find me
Teach me how to open my wings and fly,
unexpected and perfect, a crone in the sky.

Joyce Lott

Celebrating daughters on the 7th night of Chanukah, is a lovely concept and tradition, and you can read about it on Velveteen Rabbi’s blog.

Seventh Night—Dedicated to “Advertising the Miracle”: The Light in the Window

As you stand lighting at the window, raise your eyes to look outside,
And behold a face before you, some curious passerby
And then realize it is your reflection, in the window glass, your own eyes
What have you seen in the window’s mirror; what miracle do you advertise?

The seventh night is dedicated to the window to the world. This is where the strength and purpose that I have nurtured within are celebrated in the sight of others. This is the show of lights that sparkles forth from self. It is the commandment of Chanukah to do pirsum hanes—“to advertise the miracle,” the miracle that was wrought in history, that is wrought within me.

May my eyes behold the miracles shining forth from each passing soul.
And as I gaze into their windows may my own miracle be beheld as I behold.

Chaya Kaplan-Lester – From Eight Meditations for the Eight Nights of Chanukah

Visit Hannah’s Nook and browse her Weekly Review links.

Please take a moment to send your thoughts and prayers to all of the victims, and their families, involved in the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, this morning.

Shabbat Shalom! Happy 7th night of illuminating candles! Chag Sameach!

© Copyright 2010 – All Rights Reserved – No permission is given or allowed to reuse my photography, book reviews, writings, or my poetry in any form/format without my express written consent/permission.

December 14, 2012 – 1 Tevet, 5773


Filed under Judaism, Photography, poetry

View in Winter December 12, 2012

view in winter

Winter views with barren branches
pointing skyward in the chill

Earth tones once green and lush
fade to naked brown in winter

The mountain dotted with snow
white breaths shining against clouds

They all await the spring
when flora and fauna thrive once again

When showy blouses and greenness are reborn

Visit Nature Notes Wednesday and ABC Wednesday for more views from around the World

December 12, 2012 – 28 Kislev, 5773


Filed under Photography

Wednesday With Me 12/5/2012

The winners of the 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards have been announced. View them here.

Below is a list of some recent releases I am interested in:

Open Heart, by Elie Wiesel

Eight Girls Taking Pictures, by Whitney Otto

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, by Jon Meacham

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, by William Manchester, Paul Reid


about to bloom

Visit Nature Notes Wednesday for more photos from around the world.

© Copyright 2010 – All Rights Reserved – No permission is given or allowed to reuse my photography, book reviews, writings, or my poetry in any form/format without my express written consent/permission.


Filed under Photography

Book Review – The Marriage Artist

The Marriage Artist: A novel, by Andrew Winer, is an incredible literary feat, in my opinion.

The novel is a a brilliantly composed saga of two stories that alternate within the pages. It is a book with broad and deep expanses, beginning in current times, and sweeping back to Vienna, beginning in 1928.
The stories blend magically, with the magnificent word-imagery of Winer.

In the present, we have Daniel Lichtmann, a well-respected art critic. His positive, stunning and admiring critiques of the native American, Blackfoot sculptor, Benjamin Wind, has made him (Wind) famous.

The novel opens with the bodies of Wind and Lichtmann’s wife, Aleksandra, laying on the sidewalk in front of a New York City apartment building. By all accounts, it looks as if they plunged from the terrace. From there, the suspense begins, as the reader is taken on a trip through time, as Lichtmann tries to discover whether his wife was having an affair with Wind, whether they committed suicide together, or somehow fell off the terrace.

Daniel is committed to uncovering what actually led up to the tragic event. Through is efforts, he uncovers information regarding his wife, information he didn’t know. He also uncovers information regarding Wind, his background and his artwork, and how his own critique of Wind’s last exhibit may have been far-removed than the actual reasoning behind it.

The next chapter begins in 1928, a time of uproar and persecution towards the Jews, with ten-year old Josef Pick, as he visits his grandfather Pommeranz, in the less than desirable Jewish section of Vienna. The Pick family has converted to Catholicism in order to avoid the repercussions of being labeled Jewish. While there Josef becomes enthralled with his grandfather’s business of creating ketubot (prenuptial marriage contracts) for those who are looking to have a creative and ceremonial document of the groom’s rights and responsibilities concerning the bride.

Josef’s father is with him, and much to his dismay, watches as his son tries to create a ketubah of his own. The final result is one that brings awe to his grandfather Pommeranz, and causes him to use Josef’s talent to earn extra money for his own needs and debts. What transpires after that is nothing short of incredible, as the reader is taken on Josef’s journey of artistic development and creation with his amazing talent, one that brings him recognition in the world of art. Winer infuses the pages with the defining imagery, defining moments of the ravages of war. The journey continues through Josef’s adult life, through the days of the Holocaust and the antisemitism spewed at the Jews.

The story line had me thinking about the title, and alternate meanings. Aside from a ketubah, a marriage artist could be one who is creative in their own lives, one who tries to manipulate their marriage. A marriage artist can also be one whose exterior is superficial and contrary to their innermost feelings. After all, an artist is not just one who paints, draws, creates beautiful documents or etches on paper. An artist can be defined as so much more than that in the realm of daily life.

The Marriage Artist moves forward and moves backward in the time continuum, and in history’s darkest hours. I was engulfed in the book, and could not put it down. I read it straight through, except for small breaks to eat, etc. I was mesmerized and absorbed with Winer’s use of beautiful and sensitive language. It was so beautiful that I was in awe of his prose. There were moments that I was emotionally caught up in the folds of this page-turner of a story.

Andrew Winer is masterful at telling the tale of The Marriage Artist, and brilliant at blending families together. It is a lovely, sensitive and poignant story, one filled with the affects of assimilation, love and loss, and effects of lives caught in the maelstrom of evil, leading to an epiphany towards redemption.

The novel is one of educational and historical value. The drama and the intensity that is displayed is something that I feel should not be missed. It is a compelling read. I highly recommend The Marriage Artist to everyone.

November 26, 2012 – 12 Kislev, 5773

All writings, photographs, etc., are my own copyright (unless stated otherwise), and may not be used without my permission.

Forgive the update, I had to correct something that I missed.


Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Holocaust/Genocide, Judaism, Novels