Today is July 24, 2024 /

4 Great Winter Reads

By Arlene Ratzabi Librarian, Hendel Family Library

Our esteemed librarian, Arlene Ratzabi, offers a few of her favorite reads to help get us through the winter. All of the books below are available from the Hendel Library.

“Fleishman is in Trouble: A Novel” by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Toby Fleishman thought he knew what to expect when he and his wife of almost fifteen years separated: weekends and every other holiday with the kids, some residual bitterness, the occasional moment of tension in their co-parenting negotiations. He could not have predicted that one day, in the middle of his summer, Rachel would just drop their two children off at his place and simply not return.

“House on Endless Waters: A Novel” by Emuna Elon

Elon’s family mystery about a writer who discovers the truth about his mother’s wartime years in Amsterdam, unearthing a shocking secret that becomes the subject of his magnum opus. Author Yoel Blum reluctantly agrees to visit his birthplace of Amsterdam to promote his books, despite promising his late mother that he would never return to that city. While touring the Jewish Historical Museum, Yoel stumbles upon footage portraying prewar Dutch Jewry and sees the youthful face of his beloved mother staring back at him, posing with his father, his older sister… And an infant he doesn’t recognize. This unsettling discovery launches him into a fervent search for the truth.

“The Lost Shtetl: A Novel” by Max Gross

For decades, the tiny Jewish shtetl of Kreskol existed in happy isolation, virtually untouched and unchanged. Spared by the Holocaust and the Cold War, its residents enjoyed remarkable peace. It missed out on cars, electricity, the internet, and indoor plumbing. But when a marriage dispute spins out of control, the whole town comes crashing into the 21st century.

“Genius & Anxiety: How Jews Changed the World” by Norman Lebrecht, 1847-1947

From The New York Times: “The book features dozens of remarkable scientists, artists and politicians of Jewish descent. Lebrecht’s wide net captures the usual suspects—Marx, Freud, Kafka, Einstein—but also many lesser-known, and equally fascinating, individuals, like Karl Landsteiner, the father of blood types; Albert Ballin, the shipping industry magnate who changed trans-Atlantic journeys and migration patterns; and Eliza Davis, an acquaintance of Dickens who harassed him until he amended “Oliver Twist,” doing away with negative Jewish references in the book’s later editions.” Each chapter is organized around a specific year.

Borrow a Book: In order for our synagogue community to take advantage of our rich collection of literature in the Hendel Library without visiting in person at this time, please take advantage of our curbside delivery program. Questions should be sent to

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