Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Summer Reading List

(also will be printed in the July KOL)
Last summer, I put together a summer reading list. While I’ve been a little busy this year (baby and all), I’ve still managed to find some interesting reading. By special request, here are some suggestions for your summer (or is that Sommer?) reading list:

Seven Days to the Sea: An Epic Novel of the Exodus by Rebecca Kohn – last year I suggested a number of books in the genre of biblical fiction. This is a new one, just out in March (but available in paperback), and a marvelous entry into the category. I couldn’t put down this retelling of the story from the perspective of both Miriam and Tzipporah (Moses’ wife) – and I already knew how the whole story ends! I found it to be a creative and fresh take on this ancient story.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz – a lovely little volume that my husband discovered this year. The four agreements themselves are simple (my favorite is “don’t take anything personally”) but it’s the explanation of how and why these are the four most important concepts that make the book a quick but potentially life-changing read.

My Monastery is a Minivan by Denise Roy – While this is not a Jewish book, I really enjoyed the parenting lessons and tales told by Denise Roy, a minister and psychotherapist (and mom of four). I found her stories to be heartwarming and also inspiring, as well as real-life. I never felt that the book was preachy although I definitely yearn to be the kind of mom who, like Roy, can actually find holiness in even the dirty kitchen floor. (I’m working on it!) (Her other book, Momfulness, was also a great little volume.)

Gonzo Judaism by Rabbi Niles Goldstein – an easy to read argument for the survival of Judaism in the 21st century. "Judaism, when presented in its best and most authentic light, doesn't coddle—it confronts,” says Goldstein. I really enjoyed reading this book which also seemed like a laundry list of some of the coolest and most creative things going on in the Jewish community in America today. Some of the ideas are worth integrating into your own practice or considering as ideas for our own synagogue.

There are so many great books out there – I look forward to hearing some of your favorites! Please share – email me at phylliss@amshalom.com (I definitely plan to curl up with the new Harry Potter book this summer but I’m sure I’ll find time to read something else too.)

Happy reading!!!

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