Book ClubBy NVHC Social Action
Book selections are made by club participants. Discussion is open to all; there is no fee to participate. For more information about Book Club, contact Marjina Kaplan.
This is the current schedule of books:
September 8- Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel by Dan Ephron. History. 290 pp. The murder of Rabin shocked the world, shook Israel to its core and was stunningly successful in that it achieved precisely what the assassin, Yigal Amir, had in mind. By killing Rabin, Amir believed he would deal the peace process a mortal blow. This book traces the trajectory of the crime to the present day. By providng a picture of the political and religious forces that encouraged the demonization of Rabin for his perceived “treachery,” a climate that made it acceptable for Amir and his friends to speak openly about Talmudic justifications for assassination.
October 7- City of Secrets by Stewart O’Nan. Literary Fiction. 208 pp. Post-World War II Jerusalem is the provocative setting for this thriller that centers on a 1946 hotel bombing considered one of the most heinous terror attacks of its time. Blending historical accuracy with a richly-imagined story, the book is informed by the British mandate that limited to 75,000 the number of Jewish refugees who could immigrate to Palestine over a five-year period beginning in 1939. Jossi Brand, a Latvian Jew, is one of thousands of illegal refugees hiding in plain sight in Jerusalem in 1945. With help from a resistance group, he is working as a cab driver. A concentration camp survivor, Brand joins resistance fighters and conspires with them to carry out a series of attacks on British government property.
November 4- Groucho Marx: The Comedy of Existence by Lee Siegel. Biog. 162 pp. If you find the Marx Brothers unfailingly funny, Siegel is not your man. In fact, he argues that the brothers often seemed to aim at something other than laughs, serving up not wit or slapstick but repudiations of authority, convention and common sense. He links Groucho’s performing style with his upbringing in a lower-class neighborhood of new Americans speaking amalgams of English and their mother tongues, an invironment in which language-play came naturally. Julius was the third and least-favored son: less “Aryan”-looking than his brothers at a time when that mattered, and he was born with a “walleye.”
December 2- The Last Flight of Poxl West by Daniel Torday. Fiction. 291 pp. It’s 1986, and Poxl (ne Leopold Weisberg) has just published an acclaimed and best-selling memoir, Skylock, about his time as a Jewish bomber pilot in the British Royal Air Force. The story is rendered in unobtrusively lyrical prose, superb sentences that glide over the page as smoothly as a Spitfire across a cloudless sky. The novel flies through Poxl’s adventures at the speed of sound.
Jan, 6, Feb. 3, Mar. 3, Apr. 14, May 5, June 2- Books TBD