For a number of years, I have found it useful (and kind of fun) to look back on “my year in Jewish books.” Here’s my attempt to do something similar for 2019.
Reviewing my reading for the past year, I can see that, again, I do not and would not ever limit my reading to “Jewish books” exclusively. (By the way, in case you haven’t heard me say this before, I define “Jewish books” in the simplest terms as books with substantive Jewish content. In my view, non-Jewish authors can write “Jewish books.” And Jewish authors can write books that don’t strike me as overtly Jewish. Occasionally, something may pop up that doesn’t seem to fit this description. I can be flexible.)
But this year, as usual, I did read quite a few books that fall within the “Jewish book” category. And, as an advocate for Jewish literature, I’m proud of that.
What you won’t find here: My own book (Birthright: Poems), which you can be sure I read this year! Nor will you find all the works that I reread in preparation for the course on 21st-Century Jewish Literature that I taught at Baruch College this past fall.
With all of that in place, I’m happy to present the list, complete with annotations that I’ve updated slightly since first writing them as “brief book reviews” immediately after finishing each book: