There are so many great items in our collection and although it is hard for us to choose which ones we like best, here we list some of our favorites. The most recent review is featured below and you can also browse past reviews below. To read a past review, just click the cover of the book and enjoy.
Maybe it's because I have a little Englander in me (my grandmother's maiden name) but whatever the reason, I love Nathan Englander. Englander's new book, What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, is another compilation of well-written short stories that leave you wanting more.
Being a librarian, I feel it is sad to admit this, but my reading time is limited, therefore, I have come to truly appreciate a good short story. I love the way Englander uses short stories, and how his storytelling unfolds to make his characters robust and interesting. For example, the title story in his new book paints a picture of two couples reuniting after many years. The couples are on two opposite ends of the religious spectrum, but come together and indulge in the tragic game one of them has created called "Who will hide me." It is a game in which the couples evaluate their non-Jewish neighbors to see who would hide them if a second Holocaust were to arise. Although a tough subject matter to be dealt with in the span of a few pages, Englander's ability to entangle the reader in the drama of the story makes you ask yourself "what if...?"
In January, the library began running a short story book club, and our first selection was Englander's "Rebe Kringle" from his book For the Relief of Unbearable Urges. This is a story about an Orthodox rabbi who makes money to support his congregation by playing Santa Claus in the mall during Christmas holiday time. I won't get into it now, but trust me when I say it's thought provoking. Like I said before, I love Englander, and consider him to be one of my favorite Jewish writers. I would recommend this book if you like stories that make you think. It is a great way to enjoy a good book without feeling like you need to read 300 pages.
Nina Golboro, Library Director