Libraries During the Holocaust

January 21, 2018 by

Recently I took a trip to Israel. One of my goals on the trip was to go to a public Library, preferably in Jerusalem. However, it was a guided tour so my dream was not realized (**sigh**).

While in the Holocaust museum Yad Vashem, however, my tour guide instantly peaked my interest when she began discussing the informal, black market “libraries” that sprang up in various Jewish ghettos. Life was extremely hard in these ghettos and resources were limited making survival almost impossible. One would think that having a Library available for the people would not have been a priority.

What I found most interesting was that the books that were most checked-out were cookbooks and agriculture books. She explained that the cookbooks were a form of escapism for these people who had extremely limited amounts of food (they were only rationed about 150 calories a day). They would read these cookbooks and dream of a day when they could return to a normal life and cook their beloved cultural recipes. She also explained that the agriculture books were often taken out so that Jews could learn about how to farm food. Many of them had hope of escaping the ghettos and moving to the “promised land” (what is now Israel) where Jewish farming settlements had already been forming. Obviously, for most people these dreams were sadly never realized. It was fascinating to learn that even during troubled times the Library was still a place of learning, escape, and help for those who needed it.

The more you know!

Picture book biographies

January 18, 2018 by

Product Details  Product DetailsProduct Details     A strong trend in children’s publishing is picture book biographies. Beautifully illustrated and around 32 pages, these introductions to famous and some not-so-famous people are a fun way to incorporate non-fiction into your child’s reading selection. New biographies out now are several about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 2 about Jane Austen, Temple Grandin, Mae Jemison, architect Zaha Hadid,and Bobbi Gibb, the first female to run in the Boston marathon. I enjoy reading these with my children and I also get to learn about interesting people. Check them out!


l’appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home

January 17, 2018 by

index (1)After working thirteen years as a pastry chef for Chez Panisse, a French restaurant in Berkeley, California, David Lebovitz decides it’s time to pack it in and move to Paris. As he soon found out, this was no easy task. In order to rent an Parisian apartment or l’appart, one must first have a bank account. No problem, one might think. But in order to open up a bank account in Paris, one must have a copy of an electric bill. However, if you’ve never rented in Paris, how do you obtain an electric bill? It’s like trying to find a job having no prior experience. And this is just the first of many problems Lebovitz encounters en route to becoming a true Parisian. However, on the plus side, he does find a partner while apartment hunting, who is a great help to him since Romain is a native of Paris and does not hesitate to show his displeasure when necessary, in flawless French,

of course. L’appart is a hilarious read, and you can’t help but root for Daveed to triumph over the unscrupulous contractor he hires to renovate said apartment, and commiserate when it looks like Claude has cost Lebovitz an absolute fortune with his outrageous shenanigans. It’s a glaring case of buyer beware…

Books and the 92nd Street Y

January 11, 2018 by

Book lovers of all types may be interested in the 92nd Street Y venue which hosts talks and lectures of current and past authors. Here are some upcoming events for 2018:

Author Camille Aubrey talks about her research for her book Cooking for Picasso which took her to the French Riviera; Dan Harris talks with Anderson Cooper about his book Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics;  Rose McGowan talks with Ronan Farrow about her new book Brave and surviving Hollywood abuse; conversation with author Martin Amis; novelist Marilynne Robinson; Elizabeth Strout; poetry readings; Curtis Sittenfeld; Meg Wolitzer; and even cookbook talks.  Along with a wide variety of classes on offer, the 92nd Street Y has family events and themed tours of NYC to explore. Check it out!

A Paris all your own : bestselling women writers on the City of Light

January 9, 2018 by

indexEdited by Eleanor Brown, this delightful book is a collection of essays on Parisian life written by eighteen of the best women writers in fiction. The list includes Michelle Gable, Paula McLain, Cara Black, J. Courtney Sullivan, and Eleanor Brown, just to name a few. Definitely recommended for readers enamored of reading about the famous “City of Light”. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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