Archive | Books & Poetry

‘Karolina’s Twins’ is three stories in one

Karolina’s Twins by Ronald H. Balson; St. Martin’s Press; © 2016; ISBN 9781250-098375; 308 pages; $25.99 By Donald H. Harrison SAN DIEGO – This novel intertwines a Holocaust survival tale with the combination of a detective mystery and a court room drama.  Three stories in one. Lena Woodward, 89, engages attorney Catherine Lockhart and her […]

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Debut illustrator thrills as book sells at Comic-Con

Story by Donald H. Harrison; Photo by Shor M. Masori SAN DIEGO – In the guise of an anonymous sales lady tending a display of books at Comic-Con, Sara Ann Varon watched as people laughed while they thumbed through copies of Bacon and Sausage. Varon was the illustrator of the children’s book written by Gabriel Smith.  […]

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Deaf author at Comic-Con tells of break- through book

El Deafo by Cece Bell, color by David Lasky; Amulet Books; © 2014; ISBN 978141-9712173; 233 pages plus a note from the author;  price not listed. Story by Donald H. Harrison; Photos by Shor M. Masori SAN DIEGO — Written for elementary and middle school audiences, El Deafo tells the story of author Cece Bell […]

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Comic-Con speaker shares memories of her mammaries

The Story of My Tits by Jennifer Hayden; © 2015; Top Shelf Productions; ISBN 978160-3090544;  340 pages; $29.99 Story by Donald H. Harrison; Photo by Shor M. Masori SAN DIEGO –When she was a young teenager, Jennifer Hayden was frustrated that she had remained flat chested while many of her classmates had already bloomed.  But […]

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Raising children? This book might help

Parenting in Perspective: Timeless Wisdom, Modern Applications by Rabbi Barry Kislowicz, Maggid Books, New Milford, CT, ©20156, ISBN 978-159-264-456-8, p. 171, plus appendices, $22.95 By Fred Reiss, Ed.D. WINCHESTER, California –  How do we learn to be parents? It’s not taught in high school or college; so do we learn by mimicry? Trial by fire? […]

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Alternative Jewish histories: Fun, instructive

What Ifs of Jewish History: From Abraham to Zionism edited by Gavriel D. Rosenfeld; (c) 2016 Cambridge University Press; ISBN 978110-7037625; 406 pages including notes and index; $34.99 hardback. By Mitchell J. Freedman POWAY, California –Counterfactuals or alternative histories remain controversial among historians mostly because it is an area where Literature with a capital L […]

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Artist Charlotte Salomon’s life told in free verse

By Dorothea Shefer-Vanson   MEVASSERET ZION, Israel — Life is full of strange coincidences. I first encountered the story of Charlotte Salomon about twenty years ago, when an exhibition of her work, a series of paintings with captions describing her life and entitled Life? Or Theatre? was held at the Royal Academy in London. It made […]

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Detective, romance story based on Salem Witch Trials

How to Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather; Alfred A. Knopf; © 2016; ISBN 978055-3539479; 358 pages including author’s notes; $17.99 By Donald H. Harrison SAN DIEGO – Adriana Mather is the author and Samantha Mather is the fictional protagonist of this mystery-romance-supernatural novel for young adults that draws upon the Salem Witch Trials for […]

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‘Days of Awe’ tells of recovery from a close friend’s death

Days of Awe by Lauren Fox; Penguin Random House Vantage Books: © 2015; ISBN 978030-7388278; 256 pages; $16 By Donald H. Harrison SAN DIEGO –Isabelle’s life is ruined after her best friend and fellow school teacher, Josie, died when her car plunged off an icy road.  She was so devastated by the loss that her marriage […]

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From the Jewish library: ‘Tears of the Desert’

Tears of the Desert: Survival in Darfur by Halima Bashir with Damien Lewis, Random House, 2008 By Sheila Orysiek SAN DIEGO — There are a few major determinants which influence our lives upon which we have no control such as where, when and to whom we are born.  Coming into the world as a member of […]

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Understanding the 30th President: Coolidge by Amity Schlaes

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., June 29, 2016 – In the midst of this crazy election year, it’s worth considering the events of almost 100 years ago at the dawn of the Progressive Era and the 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge. The time bears a sometimes uncanny resemblance to our own; his challenges are […]

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Art and words express cancer survivors’ emotions

By Chana Miller PETACH TIKVAH, Israel – “Good morning” Simple words. We say them every day. Most people are hardly aware of the greeting by neighbors or fellow workers. But for a small group of women at Ezer Mizion, the words mean everything. They represent the Good Morning program, a visual art workshop for cancer […]

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‘Mein Kampf’ profits to aid Holocaust survivors

A US publisher of Adolf Hitler”s Nazi manifesto announced its decision to donate all proceeds to a local organization that works directly with aging Holocaust survivors, according to a Boston Globe report. The move comes after Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a Boston-based publisher of one of the English translations of “Mein Kampf”, recently received criticism for […]

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Biography of Nehemiah prompts mixed emotions

Nehemiah: Statesman and Sage by Dov S. Zakheim; Maggid Books © 2016; ISBN 9781592-643691; 246 pages including appendices; $27.95 By Donald H. Harrison SAN DIEGO – From the standpoint of one in whose family there have been several intermarriages in which the children have been raised as Reform Jews, I read this biography of the […]

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