Brief Book Reviews (2023)

For the most part, this page will reflect what I post about my reading on Goodreads. Frankly, what I’m posting are really brief notes, not book reviews.

In any case: Books that I receive as complimentary review copies will be noted as such. The most recent reading is listed first.

  • A Vote for Susanna: The First Woman Mayor by Karen M. Greenwald with illustrations by Sian James (Albert Whitman & Company, 2021). A charming story that may well also serve as a kind of “mentor text” for me as I try to convert history/biography into picture-book form.
  • Old New Land by Theodor Herzl, trans. Lotta Levensohn (Markus Wiener Publishers, 1997). As with Glikl, I read this one to fill a gap in my historical Jewish reading. A fascinating text.
  • Glikl Memoirs 1691-1719 presented by Chava Turniansky, trans. Sara Friedman (Brandeis University Press, 2019). This one had been on my mental tbr list since I was introduced to it in Adam Kirsch’s The People and the Books.
  • Spare by Prince Harry (Random House, 2023). Took me longer that I would have expected to finish reading this one.
  • The Discarded Life: Poems by Adam Kirsch (Red Hen Press, 2022). Check out my atypically lengthy comments about this book, which I highly recommend, on Goodreads.
  • Second Person Singular by Sayed Kashua, trans. Mitch Ginsburg (Grove Press, 2012). Have been meaning to read this novel for literally a decade—every time I checked it out from the library I had to return it before I’d read it. (Again, better late than never.) I’m giving this one five stars, even if my Jewish-Zionist self winced and cringed at times when reading. (My writer self wondered how Kashua managed the intricate plotting—an outline?)
  • The Truffle Eye by Vaan Nguyen, trans. Adriana X. Jacobs (Zephyr Press, 2020). Yes, it took me two years to actually read this book, but better late than never, right? Don’t miss the very helpful foreword by translator Adriana X. Jacobs.