Each year the Ledger asks people from around the community what they are reading during these long, hot summer days. Here are a few selections from people around Western Massachusetts.
“Three books come to mind for summer 2011. Currently, I’m reading Deborah Lipstadt’s reassessment of the Eichmann Trial that took place in Jerusalem 50 years ago this spring. Lipstadt is the Emory University professor who went to court in England several years ago to “prove” that the Holocaust had happened. She now writes fluently and comfortably about the trial of Adolf Eichmann that played a pivotal role in awareness of the Holocaust. The book is called “The Eichmann Trial.”
For inspiration and history and biography, I loved Ted Kennedy’s autobiography, “True Compass.”
For fun, I continue to enjoy the series of books by Daniel Silva starring his fictional Israeli spy, Gabriel Allon. (You get a spy novel along with a taste of Israel in each book.)
Rabbi Mark Dov Shapiro, Sinai Temple, Springfield
“I am reading “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova and “The Memory Palace” by Mira Bartok.”
Founder of Links to Libraries, Springfield
“I’ve just started “Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer,” a collection of essays by MacArthur Foundation Genius Fellowship recipient, Liz Lerman. I also plan to read “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” by Michael Chabon and am especially looking forward to reading “The Last Brother” by novelist Nathacha Appanah.”
Director, Community Development, The PJ Library ®
Director, Jewish Arts & Culture Initiative for Western Massachusetts, Harold Grinspoon Foundation, West Springfield
“I just finished ‘To the End of the Land’ by David Grossman—a powerful indictment of the war mindset, even without the story of Grossman’s personal loss. But it is even more difficult to read knowing he lost his own son ( after finishing the book, but before its publication) in circumstances not much different than those of the novel’s protagonists.
David Mitchell’s ‘The Thousand Autumns’ of Jacob De Zoet is another great book by this most inventive writer, and while Nicole Krauss’ ‘Great House’ doesn’t quite reach the heights of ‘The History of Love’ (not much does) I just finished and still enjoyed her latest effort.
I am one chapter into ‘Caleb’s Crossing’ by Geraldine Brooks (author of the amazing ‘People of the Book’) and I can already tell this will be one of the year’s best novels. The voice is perfectly convincing and I always learn a great deal of history –while being entertained–from all of Geraldine’s books.
As for Poetry–’The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry’ edited by Ilan Stavans—there is always a new book by Ilan on every season’s reading list. Martin Espada’s ‘The Trouble Ball’ and as usual I’ll reread Yehuda Amichai’s classic ‘Open, Closed, Open’ again this summer.”
Richard Michelson, Owner, R. Michelson Galleries, Northampton
“Sacred Treasure of the Cairo Genizah” by Mark Glickman
“Prophet’s Wife” by Milton Steinberg
“Radiance: Ten Stories” by John J Clayton
“America’s Prophet: Moses and the American Story” by Bruce Feiler
“The Women Who Reconstructed American Jewish Education” (Editor Carol Ingall)
“Composing A Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom” by Mary Catherine Bateson
Rabbi Amy Wallk Katz, Temple Beth El, Springfield