The upcoming year will feature virtual and in-person Jewish Book Council author events.

 

Federation will not be selling books, they can be purchased through bookshop.orgamazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

 

Register for all or any of the events.

 

You will receive the Zoom link upon completion of your registration.
You may register for multiple authors at one time.

 

DECEMBER 21, 2021   4PM via ZOOM

J.S. Mar­got is a high­ly respect­ed jour­nal­ist and free­lance writer based in Antwerp. Her moth­er lan­guage is Dutch. An award-win­ning con­trib­u­tor to lead­ing nation­al news­pa­pers De Stan­daard and De Mor­gen, she has also writ­ten five nov­els and lec­tures reg­u­lar­ly in both the Nether­lands and Bel­gium. In 2017, she was award­ed the E. du Per­ronpri­js and the Prize for the best Reli­gious book from the VUKPP for Mazel Tov, which was also high­ly acclaimed in the Dutch and Bel­gian press. Mazel Tov has been trans­lat­ed into Ger­man, French, Pol­ish, Czech and Hun­gar­i­an and won the Best Book Award in Poland; it is her first book to be trans­lat­ed into English.

Mazel Tov: The Sto­ry of My Extra­or­di­nary Friend­ship with an Ortho­dox Jew­ish Family

When 20-year-old stu­dent J. S. Mar­got took a tutor­ing job, lit­tle did she know it would open up an entire world.

In the fam­i­ly’s Ortho­dox Jew­ish house­hold she would encounter end­less rules – ​‘nev­er come on a Fri­day, nev­er shake hands with a man’ – and quirks she had not seen before: tiny tubes on the door­posts, sep­a­rate fridges for meat and dairy prod­ucts. Her ini­tial response was puz­zle­ment and occa­sion­al­ly anger, but as she taught the chil­dren and fierce­ly debat­ed with the fam­i­ly, she also began to learn from them.

Mazel Tov is a heart­warm­ing, provoca­tive, and dis­arm­ing­ly hon­est mem­oir of clash­ing cul­tures and unusu­al friend­ships, and of how, where adults build walls, some­times only chil­dren can dis­solve them.

JANUARY 9, 2022  4PM via ZOOM

Cam­bria Gor­don is the co-author of The Down-to-Earth Guide to Glob­al Warm­ing, win­ner of the Nation­al Green Earth Book Award. She has writ­ten for Los Ange­les Times Mag­a­zine, Boys Life, Par­ent Guide News and The Jew­ish Jour­nal of Los Ange­les. She lives with her hus­band and youngest son, while being as near as pos­si­ble to her two adult chil­dren, with­out annoy­ing them.

The Poet­ry of Secrets
The set­ting for Cam­bria Gordon’s new young adult nov­el is the world of fif­teenth-cen­tu­ry Spain pri­or to the expul­sion of the kingdom’s Jews. Six­teen-year-old Isabel Pérez is caught in a dai­ly strug­gle as a cryp­to-Jew. Her fam­i­ly seeks an impos­si­ble bal­ance, out­ward­ly con­form­ing to the church as con­ver­sos while hop­ing to secret­ly pre­serve their Jew­ish prac­tice. The out­side envi­ron­ment threat­ens Isabel, and ten­sions at home — which mir­ror the mul­ti­ple respons­es of the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty — also impose their own painful real­i­ty. Gordon’s nar­ra­tive empha­sizes the inter­play between exter­nal and inter­nal pres­sures on a strong and gift­ed young woman as she tries to nav­i­gate the ter­rors of her time.

The dra­mat­ic ten­sion grows as Isabel, with the sup­port of her abuela, becomes inter­est­ed in explor­ing Jew­ish texts. Gor­don includes Isabel’s poems, writ­ten in the tra­di­tion of Span­ish Jew­ish and Ara­bic verse, along­side selec­tions of work by his­tor­i­cal poets. The young woman’s attrac­tion to lan­guage as a means to exam­ine, cod­i­fy, and express her own expe­ri­ence and that of her peo­ple is a cen­tral theme of the nov­el — as impor­tant as fam­i­ly bonds and roman­tic love. The com­plex­i­ties of the author’s goal make her nov­el as vibrant as a street in medieval Spain; read­ers will want to fol­low Isabel on her wind­ing path towards freedom.

The Poet­ry of Secrets includes an author’s note with both per­son­al insights and his­tor­i­cal back­ground material.

FEBRUARY 20, 2022  4PM via ZOOM

Jonathan Santlofer is the author of six best­selling nov­els, among them The Death Artist, and Nero award-win­ning Anato­my of Fear. His mem­oir, The Wid­ow­er’s Note­book, received nation­al acclaim and was fea­tured on NPR​’s Fresh Air with Ter­ry Gross. He is the editor/​creator of sev­en antholo­gies, the recip­i­ent of two NEA grants, Vis­it­ing Artist at the Amer­i­can Acad­e­my in Rome, and serves on the board of Yad­do. He is a not­ed speaker.

The Last Mona Lisa

A grip­ping nov­el explor­ing the secrets of the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa and the dark under­bel­ly of today’s art world. A sto­ry of heart-stop­ping sus­pense as roman­tic and sexy as it is ter­ri­fy­ing and thrilling, one that taps into our uni­ver­sal fas­ci­na­tion with da Vin­ci, the authen­tic and the fake, and peo­ple so dri­ven to acquire price­less works of art, they will stop at noth­ing to pos­sess them‚ not even murder.

The Past, August 1911: The Mona Lisa is stolen by muse­um work­er Vin­cent Perug­gia. Dur­ing its two-year absence from the Lou­vre, repli­cas of the paint­ing are cre­at­ed and sold as the orig­i­nal by a noto­ri­ous duo of con artists. Sev­er­al of these forg­eries remain at large, prompt­ing more than one art his­to­ri­an to spec­u­late that the muse­um might well be dis­play­ing a fake.

The Present: Artist and art pro­fes­sor Luke Per­rone hunts for the truth behind his most infa­mous ances­tor, Perug­gia. His search attracts a reck­less INTER­POL detec­tive with some­thing to prove, a beau­ti­ful woman who may want more than Luke’s affec­tion, and a hor­net’s nest of the most unscrupu­lous art col­lec­tors and thieves.

MARCH 13, 2022  4PM via ZOOM

Jori Epstein is a sports reporter for USA Today and author of The Upstander. At USA Today, she reports fea­tures, inves­ti­ga­tions, and news, pri­mar­i­ly on the Dal­las Cow­boys and NFL. Jori grad­u­at­ed from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas in 2016 with degrees in jour­nal­ism and Plan II Hon­ors. She’s pas­sion­ate about run­ning, eat­ing kosher chick­en, and embrac­ing obscure Jew­ish traditions.

The Upstander: How Sur­viv­ing the Holo­caust Sparked Max Glauben’s Mis­sion to Dis­man­tle Hate

Holo­caust sur­vivor Max Glauben is on a mis­sion: to out­last hate, to pre­serve mem­o­ry, and to com­pel the world to embrace tolerance.

The stench of decay pierced the air aboard the box­car of trapped Jews. ​“Why me?” fif­teen-year-old Max asked him­self, as a con­voy rum­bled from the War­saw Ghet­to to Maj­danek death camp in May 1943.

The del­uge of ques­tions inten­si­fied as the Nazis mur­dered Max’s moth­er, father, and broth­er. Max chan­neled grit, deter­mi­na­tion, and a for­tu­itous knack for car­pen­try to survive.

This mem­oir explores Max’s mis­chie­vous child­hood and teen years as a go-to ghet­to smug­gler. Max jour­neys from dis­placed per­son to Amer­i­can immi­grant. He reveals how he ached as he dared to court love and rear chil­dren. For decades, he bot­tled up his trau­ma. Then he real­ized: He could trans­form his pain into purpose.

Infused with raw emo­tion and vivid detail, his­tor­i­cal records and Max’s poignant voice, The Upstander relays Max’s pow­er­ful life­time com­mit­ment to thwart­ing hate and gal­va­niz­ing resilience. Max no longer asks, ​“Why me?” Instead, he asks: ​“What can we do next?”

APRIL 3, 2022  1PM in-person, location to be announced

Julie Metz is the New York Times best­selling author of Per­fec­tion. She has writ­ten on a range of wom­en’s issues for the New York Times, Salon, Dame, Red­book, Glam­our, and Slice. Her per­son­al essays have appeared in the antholo­gies The Moment and The House That Made Me. She has been a Fel­low at Yad­do, Mac­Dow­ell, VCCA, and the Ver­mont Stu­dio Cen­ter. She lives with her fam­i­ly and two cats in New York State’s Hud­son Val­ley. She posts love­ly pho­tos on Insta­gram @juliemetzwriter.

Eva and Eve: A Search for My Moth­er’s Lost Child­hood and What a War Left Behind

In March 1938, when Hitler’s armies annexed Aus­tria, forcibly strip­ping the coun­try of its sov­er­eign­ty and offi­cial­ly mak­ing it part of Ger­many, there were 185,000 Jews liv­ing in Vien­na. Out of a pop­u­la­tion of two mil­lion peo­ple resid­ing in the for­mer impe­r­i­al city, this com­mu­ni­ty of Jews, many gen­er­a­tions old, con­sti­tut­ed ten per­cent. Vien­na held the largest pop­u­la­tion of Ger­man-speak­ing Jews in all of Europe at the time. Julie Metz’s moth­er, Eva Singer, was one of them.

In March 1940, when Eva was twelve years old, she and her par­ents were final­ly able to rip them­selves out of the esca­lat­ing dan­ger to escape to the U.S. How did they do it, when 65,000 of the Vien­nese Jews were ulti­mate­ly caught in the Nazi trap and mur­dered? How did they sur­vive in Vien­na for the two years after the Anschluss, when Jews were hunt­ed and no place was safe?

The answers to these ques­tions, and many oth­ers like it, are the sub­ject of Metz’s insight­ful memoir.

Along­side the account of the sto­ries and facts that enabled Metz to piece togeth­er her fam­i­ly her­itage is a lay­er of inter­wo­ven com­men­tary on today’s cul­ture and pol­i­tics in the U.S. as they relate to immi­gra­tion pol­i­cy and practice.

We expe­ri­ence the pow­er that the lit­tle album exert­ed on Metz’s curios­i­ty in the flow of the sto­ry she tells. In a way, her mother’s death gave her new life. The research jour­ney it pro­pelled her on was long, ardu­ous, and inter­mit­tent, alter­nat­ing among search, serendip­i­ty, and suc­cess. We fol­low the nar­ra­tive with a good deal of hope that she will find out not only the answers to her ques­tions but the peace that comes with ful­ly know­ing and accept­ing the past. Clear­ly, the Holo­caust has left a sig­nif­i­cant stamp on Metz and her world­view, and in the end the fact that she now rec­og­nizes its force is the crown­ing achieve­ment of the book.

MAY 1, 2022  11AM in-person, location to be announced

Jan­ice Kaplan has enjoyed wide suc­cess as a mag­a­zine edi­tor, tele­vi­sion pro­duc­er, writer, and jour­nal­ist. The for­mer edi­tor-in-chief of Parade mag­a­zine, she is the author or co-author of four­teen books, includ­ing the New York Times best­sellers The Grat­i­tude Diaries and I’ll See You Again. She lives in New York City and Kent, Connecticut.

The Genius of Women: From Over­looked to Chang­ing The World

We tell girls that they can be any­thing, so why do 90 per­cent of Amer­i­cans believe that genius­es are almost always men? New York Times best­selling jour­nal­ist and cre­ator and host of the pod­cast The Grat­i­tude Diaries Jan­ice Kaplan explores the pow­er­ful forces that have rigged the sys­tem‚ and cel­e­brates the women genius­es, past and present, who have tri­umphed anyway.

Even in this time of rethink­ing wom­en’s roles, we define genius almost exclu­sive­ly through male achieve­ment. When asked to name a genius, peo­ple men­tion Albert Ein­stein, Leonar­do da Vin­ci, and Steve Jobs. As for great women? In one sur­vey, the only female genius any­one list­ed was Marie Curie.

Jan­ice Kaplan, the New York Times best­selling author of The Grat­i­tude Diaries, set out to deter­mine why the extra­or­di­nary work of so many women has been brushed aside. Using her unique mix of mem­oir, nar­ra­tive, and inspi­ra­tion, she makes sur­pris­ing dis­cov­er­ies about women genius­es now and through­out his­to­ry, in fields from music to robot­ics. Through inter­views with neu­ro­sci­en­tists, psy­chol­o­gists, and dozens of women genius­es at work in the world today‚ – includ­ing Nobel Prize win­ner Frances Arnold and AI expert Fei-Fei Li – she proves that genius isn’t just about tal­ent. It’s about hav­ing that tal­ent rec­og­nized, nur­tured, and celebrated.

Across the gen­er­a­tions, even when they face less-than-per­fect cir­cum­stances, women genius­es have cre­at­ed bril­liant and orig­i­nal work. In The Genius of Women, you’ll learn how they ignored obsta­cles and broke down seem­ing­ly unshak­able bar­ri­ers. The genius­es in this mov­ing, pow­er­ful, and very enter­tain­ing book pro­vide more than inspi­ra­tion‚ they offer a clear blue­print to every­one who wants to find her own path and move for­ward with passion.