Book Club: The Library Book by Susan Orlean

library bookShomrei Book Club
Next Meeting: Monday, July 1, 7:30pm

Our next selection is “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean. It’s a non-fiction account of the huge fire that destroyed the main library in Los Angeles in 1986. Nearly 400,000 books were lost in the 7-hour blaze. How did it start? It’s a mystery.

Because we are “the People of the Book” Merrill thinks it will be an interesting change of pace for us. There are many copies available in the inter-library system. Continue reading

Book Club: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

The ImmortalistsShomrei Book Club

We all agreed that our February  choice, “Panther in the Basement” was a top notch book, rich in language and the history of pre-State Israel under the British Mandate.

Our next meeting will be on Monday, March 18 at 7:30 pm to discuss “The Immortalists ” by Chloe Benjamin. The story begins on  the Lower East Side in 1969 when a mysterious woman promises she can predict the day of death for her clients.  Four adolescents in the Gold family sneak away to have their futures predicted. The novel probes the link between reality and illusion, destiny and choice, this world and the next, according to the critics.This book was a best seller and Book of the Year on NPR.

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Book Club: The Panther in the Basement by Amos Oz

OZ Panther in BasementShomrei Book Club

We had a good discussion about “Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English” at our meeting Jan. 28. The group included two Floridians by phone:  Deanna London and Jo Gorodetzer.  We thought the book was much more than just a “sweet” story as there were some serious aspects to the story.

Our next selection is “The Panther in the Basement” by Amos Oz— the meeting is on Monday, Feb. 18 at the synagogue. It’s a slim volume that tells of the Israeli writer’s years as a young fellow in pre-state Israel under the British occupation.

I hope to see many of you at the meeting, or for out-of-towners, you can call into a conference call. Details will be sent out closer to the meeting date. Continue reading

Book Club: Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons

bookclubShomrei Book Club

We had a lively discussion of the December selection: “The Lost Family” by Jenna Blum.  Although some members thought the characters were not compelling, there were some very realistic themes about life in the decades covered in the novel.  Some who read her previous best-seller “Those Who Saved Us” said that book was better.

In January, we will read “Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English” by  Natasha Solomons.  The author is the granddaughter of the principal characters, a Jewish family from Germany who fled to England in 1937.  Jack (Jacob) and his wife Sadie try to fit into this new culture with some unexpected results.  When Jack is denied a membership to a fancy golf club, he decides to move to Dorset to try to start his own club. There are many copies at reasonable prices on Amazon. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m.

I hope to see many of you there!

Contact Josie Zeman at email hidden; JavaScript is required for more information if you are interested.

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The book is also available at the public library or from other booksellers.

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Book Club: We Were Strangers Once by Betsy Carter

We were strangers OnceShomrei Book Club

We often hear that America is a nation of immigrants. The novel “We Were Strangers Once” by Betsy Carter is the story of a determined Jewish family who cope with an unfamiliar society and loss of previous status as they re-establish their lives in the U.S. after escaping from Hitler’s net. At a time when immigrants are a national issue, it would be good to revisit the difficulties our own people encountered as strangers in a strange land. Continue reading

Book Club: If All The Seas Were Ink by Ilana Kurshan

9781250121264Shomrei Book Club

For May, the book is “If All the Seas Were Ink” by Ilana Kurshan, a 2017 finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in Women’s Studies. We will meet on Monday, May 21 at 7:30 at the synagogue.

“In this deeply personal and often hilarious story, Kurshan shows us how the Talmud’s thousands of strange and demanding pages become a conversation about how best to live one’s life in an imperfect world. Kurshan awakens us to our imperfect world’s hidden magnificence―and to the power of literature to inspire human resilience. A stunning, gorgeous memoir.” ―Dara Horn, author ofThe World to Come
“With this memoir, Ilana Kurshan enters the exclusive club of daf yomi learners, a club that was, for generations, restricted to men. Hers is a stunningly original voice in the world of Torah and the world of literature. Go run and read this book.” ―Ruth Calderon, author of A Bride for One Night

All are welcome to join us. Contact Josie Zeman at email hidden; JavaScript is required for more information if you are interested.

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Book Club: Three Floors Up by Eshkol Nevo

three floors upShomrei Book Club

The Shomrei Book Club will meet on Monday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. to discuss “Three Floors Up” by Eshkol Nevo, a best -seller in Israel.  Set in an upper-middle-class apartment building in Tel Aviv, the story entwines the diverse lives of several residents.  Please join us, bring a friend or partner, and help us explore the dimensions of this novel.


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Book Club: Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen

waking-lionsShomrei Book Club

We had a lively discussion of “Leaving Lucy Pear” before choosing ” Waking Lions”  by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, an unusual mystery set in Israel, for our December book.  We are changing the date for our next meeting to Tuesday December 26 just for this month to accommodate one of the regular attendees.

I hope to see many of you that evening.  Do bring along a partner, a friend, a spouse as we welcome everyone to contribute to the meeting. Continue reading

Book Club: Leaving Lucy Pear by Anna Solomon

Lucy PearShomrei Book Club

We had a lively discussion of “All the Rivers” by Dorit Rabinyan on Monday night (Oct 16),  plus a good turnout!

There was a suggestion that we try a meeting after Kiddush Lunch on Shabbat to attract new members.  We will pick a date  in the Spring, to explore this option!

Our next selection is “Leaving Lucy Pear” by Anna Solomon.  We will meet on Monday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 at Congregation Shomrei Emunah.  The book is available in the distribution  system of the libraries.

Bring a friend, a partner, but do join us!

Look forward to seeing you then.


All are welcome to join us. Contact Josie Zeman at email hidden; JavaScript is required for more information if you are interested.

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