The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey...In the Wild West!

Steve Sheinkin's snappy and concise graphic novel is a unique and hilarious blending of Jewish wit and wisdom warmly set in the Wild West. Sheinkin was inspired by an equal childhood love of an old copy of 101 Jewish Stories and a book on the wild west - while this may seem an unusual pairing it works quite well. As Sheinkin puts it - Harvey is part old world rabbi, part western sheriff.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #35 (What I did this summer)

Nordic mysteries.

If you like Sun Storm and Borkmann’s Point, you might just like these…

Jar City is a thriller by Icelandic author Arnaldur Indriðason, the first to be translated by Bernard Scudder from Icelandic. Set in modern day Reykjavik, this police procedural is as twisted as its city streets and as chilling as the arctic wind. It also introduces Inspector Erlendur, a dogged loner of a policeman with a few secrets of his own. Jar City won the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel 2002. (Reviews).

"Shock"

Shock

On Friday 9-21-06 Diane Rehm hosted the co-authors of "Shock" Kitty Dukakis, Larry Tye, and Michael Dukakis, professor of political science at Northeastern University, former Massachusetts governor, and 1988 Democratic presidential nominee.

Depression affects countless numbers of people in varying degrees. The authors purport that Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) can offer immediate relief to some people suffering from severe depression. In the book, Kitty Dukakis describes her personal experience and co-author Larry Tye details its recent resurgence as a treatment option. Over the years Electroconvulsive Therapy has been depicted in several films, books, and songs, almost always in an extremely negative light. How many remember that Thomas Eagleton lost his Democratic vice-presidential nomination in 1972 when it was discovered he had undergone Electroconvulsive Therapy?

Book Discussion Groups Abound

A book discussion group called McSweeney’s Book Klatch will meet at 4 p.m. Sunday at Shaman Drum Bookshop, to talk about the book "Icelander," by Dustin Long. This group meets monthly to talk about a new title from McSweeney’s, the publishing house founded by Dave Eggers. Authors of the books being discussed weigh in by phone, and members of the klatch get free pizza and book discounts. Other Ann Arbor bookstores - plus schools, churches, and individual readers – organize and host a huge variety of reading groups around our city. Stay tuned. If you haven't read "Icelander," here's what Publishers Weekly had to say: "Nabokov meets Lemony Snicket in this manic Chinese box version of a mystery."

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (9/24/06)

Did you know Brad Meltzer was a graduate of the University of Michigan? He graduated in 1992 with a degree in history. His political thrillers have been selling well but this week he enters the List at #1.

At #1 is The Book of Fate by Brad Meltzer: "The apparent murder of a presidential aide reveals Masonic secrets in Washington and a 200-year-old code invented by Thomas Jefferson."

At #3 is Dark Celebration by Christine Feehan: "Carpathians from around the world join together to oppose their enemies' plot to kill all Carpathian women."

At #10 is The Guy Not Taken by Jennifer Weiner: "Stories about women and relationships from the author of ''In Her Shoes.''"

At #13 is All Aunt Hagar's Children by Edward P. Jones: "Short stories mostly set in Washington, by the author of "The Known World."

The Play Ground

The Performance Network is celebrating the beginning of its 25th Anniversary Season by featuring The Retreat from Moscow by William Nicholson. This 2004 Tony-award nominated
play deftly navigates comedy, drama and the complexities of a modern marriage. How well do we know the people we marry? Is it wrong to decide it’s time to be honest? This is a powerful story of a husband who decides to be truthful in his marriage, and of the wife and son whose lives will never be the same again. September 14 - October 29, 2006. Ticket info: 663-0681.

Retrieved in Translation

Plum Wine by Angela Davis-Gardner explores the human repercussions of the
bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II. Barbara Jefferson is a teacher of English in Japan in 1966. There she becomes close with fellow teacher, Michiko Nakamoto, a Hiroshima survivor. The book opens after Michi's death. She has bequeathed Barbara her treasured tansu chest, filled with bottles of plum wine, each wrapped in rice paper on which are written journal entries Barbara wants to have translated. She meets Seiji, a potter, who knew Michi-San and translates some of the text. Barbara learns of Michi-San's and Seiji's tragic past and engages in a complex love affair with Seiji. Set during the time of the Vietnam war, Davis-Gardner raises questions about the "justice" of war. Thought provoking and suspenseful, Plum Wine is to be savored.

STS-115 Lands!

STS-115

NASA’s shuttle Atlantis landed safely this morning at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The six-member crew, made up of five Americans and one Canadian, successfully completed three spacewalks during their twelve-day journey. This mission added a second set of solar arrays to the International Space Station, which will double the station’s ability to generate power from sunlight and added 17.5 tons to its mass. Space Shuttle Discovery is scheduled to launch in December of this year and will continue work on the ISS.

Biblical Stories Retold by David Maine

I just read the Fallen, have checked out The Preservationist, and have placed a hold on The Book of Samson.

The Fallen is the story of Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel. The book starts with the last chapter with Cain waiting to die and moves backward to the first chapter where God leaves Adam and Eve after expelling them from the Garden of Eden.

Cain is a rebellious, questioning, often sullen child, his shrugs riling both his parents but especially Adam. Abel is an earnest, often platitudinous and oblivious, child, trying to reconcile his brother and his father after Adam banishes Cain from the family home. Adam and Eve learn to fish, hunt, grow crops, tame animals, use fire, make bricks. Eve learns how to give birth. God expels Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, God delivers judgments on Cain and Abel’s offerings, Cain murders Abel, God brands Cain, Cain wanders. And there are the other children and the other people.

Detail and incident fill the story and reveal the personalities of Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel.

The Preservationist is the story of Noah, his family, the building and stocking of the Ark.

Due out in November is The Book of Samson.

Ramadan and Rosh Hashanah

Ramadan, Islam’s month of fasting, prayer and reflection and Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year will begin this weekend. Click the above links to see some great books on both of these religious celebrations or visit the links below to learn more.
http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday2.htm
http://www.holidays.net/ramadan

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