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Feb. 9th, 2017

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Book review: The Man Who Never Stopped Sleeping by Aharon Appelfeld

"With its universal themes of healing, recovery, creativity, and finding one’s vocation The Man Who Never Stopped Sleeping should engage the wide readership Appelfeld’s prose deserves. Readers may want to buy extra copies and donate them to VA hospitals." -- from my review in New York Journal of Books.

Jan. 25th, 2017

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Book review: Recitation by Bae Suah


"After two novellas translated into English (Nowhere to be Found, 2015 and A Greater Music, 2016, the latter reviewed in NYJB) South Korean post-modernist fiction writer Bae Suah and British translator Deborah Smith—who also translated A Greater Music and two novels by Han Kang (The Vegetarian and Human Acts)—return with an even more ambitious full length novel, Recitation, a novel of ideas with frequent philosophical digressions that further develops A Greater Music’s theme of living abroad while also addressing globalization, racial identity, and intolerance. It is a challenging yet cognitively engaging and rewarding read.

"... This is not a book for lazy readers; Bae expects us to show up ready to work. Her handsome prose, however, is never an obstacle.

"... Recitation will make Bae’s anglophone readers and other fans of post-modern fiction eagerly await the publication of more of her novels in English."
-- from my review in New York Journal of Books

Nov. 27th, 2016

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Book review: Judas by Amos Oz

“For Oz’s fans and liberal Zionist fiction readers Judas is a required text whose writing is its own reward.” -- from my review of in New York Journal of Books


Oct. 20th, 2016

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Book review: A Greater Music by Bae Suah

"Bae’s prose alternates between detailed descriptions of everyday life and ruminative passages on music, ideas, and her character’s mental state. The late American poet William Matthews once described his taste in literature as a preference for prosy poetry and poetic prose. A Greater Music exemplifies the latter category; it requires and amply rewards rereading." -- from my review in New York Journal of Books 


Sep. 21st, 2016

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Book review: Two She-Bears by Meir Shalev


“Is a proclivity to violence and vengeance a gender and/or regional trait? Are the minds of men more than women and/or rural folk more than city dwellers predisposed to violent acts of revenge? Or put another way, are violence and vengeance intrinsic components of the male psyche, and if so are men more likely to resort to them in rural settings? These are the central questions posed by Israeli novelist Meir Shalev in his seventh novel Two She-Bears (in the original Hebrew Shtayim Dubim, Am Oved, 2013).” — the opening paragraph of my review in New York Journal of Books

Sep. 7th, 2016

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Book review: Leaving Lucy Pear by Anna Solomon

" Leaving Lucy Pear is recommended to readers who enjoy historical fiction, a cast of well developed mainly female characters, and handsome prose." -- from my review in New York Journal of Books


Jul. 25th, 2016

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Book review: The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir by Susan Daitch

The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir by Susan Daitch
The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir
by Susan Daitch


“After reading The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir readers will want to start over again to see what details they may have missed the first time through, and yes, this richly crafted and handsomely written novel rewards rereading. It also demonstrates that an ironic post-modern novel of ideas can be suspenseful and include complex characters readers can care about while feeling powerless to alter their fates.” — from my review of The Lost Civilization of Soulucidir by Susan Daitch in New York Journal of Books

Read an excerpt of the novel here.
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Farewell examiner.com

From Feb 2009 to July 2016 I wrote an irregular column on examiner.com in which addenda to my NYJB book reviews appeared. examiner.com closed in July 2016, and examiner links on my lj are now dead. I have copied and pasted most of my examiner columns to my Wordpress blog on the same dates as the corresponding lj posts.

Jun. 8th, 2016

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Israeli books: A.B. Yehoshua's The Extra features a child-free heroine


"On the surface the new novel is about feminism and the right of women to choose not to bear children. But an underlying theme is whether liberal nationalism is an oxymoron, whether the rights of the individual (the essence of liberalism) can be reconciled with the needs of the nation." -- from my New York Journal of Books review of The Extra by Abraham B. Yehoshua. For an excerpt from the novel see my examiner article.

May. 30th, 2016

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Jewish books: in Max's Diamonds family secrets stalk its ambitious protagonist


"Max’s Diamonds, Jay Greenfield’s debut novel published last week by New York publisher Chickadee Prince Books, is a guilty pleasure, a book I enjoyed and could barely put down for its suspenseful serpentine plot despite its pedestrian and occasionally heavy-handed prose." -- From my examiner article. Also see my New York Journal of Books review, which concludes "with Max's Diamonds readers are rewarded with a fun and absorbing read whose fortuitous May publication date makes it a felicitous beach or airplane book."

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February 2017




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