CBT’s book group meets on the first Saturday of every odd-numbered month (unless there’s a holiday to schedule around) to discuss the month’s book and enjoy a potluck dinner. The books on the reading list are chosen based on members’ recommendations and have a Jewish author, Jewish character and/or Jewish theme. Since 2000, the book group has read more than 100 books. Having read the book is recommended although not required.
2021-2022 Reading List:
September 18, 2021 – When the World was Ours, by Liz Kessler
A powerful and heart-breaking Young Adult novel about three childhood friends living during the Second World War whose fates are closely intertwined, even when their lives take very different courses. The book is partially based on the author’s family history during World War 2.
November 6, 2021 – The Girl from Berlin, by Ronald Balson
This is the fifth book in Balson’s Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart series. It includes a legal battle in 2017 regarding the ownership of a villa in Italy and a memoir written by Ada, a Jewish concert violinist.
January 8, 2022 – Dinner at the Center of the Earth, by Nathan Englander
This political thriller unfolds in the highly charged territory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and pivots on the complex relationship between a secret prisoner and his guard. Who is right, who is wrong–who is the guard, who is truly the prisoner?
March 5, 2022 – The Book of Lost Names, by Kristin Harmel
A young Jewish woman in France begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland and decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed.
May 7, 2022 – Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR, by Lisa Napoli
A group biography of four beloved women who fought sexism, covered decades of American news, and whose voices defined NPR.
July 9, 2022 – Apeirogon, by Colum McCann
This book is based on a true story about two fathers, one a Jewish Israeli and the other a Muslim Palestinian, who each lose a daughter. Despite their different nationalities and religions, they come together to share their story of death, grief, and healing. The cycle of violence that war brings is highlighted, leading the fathers to question whether their actions as teenagers have fueled this war to a point of no return.
Anne Frank Remembered by Alison Leslie Gold
Dirty Wars and Polished Silver by Linda Schuster
All Who Go Do Not Return by Shulem Deen
The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem by Sarit Yishai-Levy
Book Club recommendations:
The Ladies Auxilliary by Tova Mirvas
As a Driven Leaf by Milton Steinberg
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
The Israelis: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Land by Donna Rosenthal
Journey from the Land of No by Roya Hakakian
The Last Jew by Noah Gordon
The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon by Richard Zimmler
This is a Soul by Marilyn Berger