9 Novels By Contemporary Jewish Writers for a Sweet New Year

September 27 2016
Share 9 Novels By Contemporary Jewish Writers for a Sweet New Year

Next week I will fly to California to spend the High Holidays with my family. It’s a time of reflection and often a time to set an intention for the year ahead. Whether or not you’re Jewish, if your intention is to read more books by contemporary Jewish writers, here are 9 novels that are smart, funny, imaginative, thoughtful, compelling, and heartbreaking for your reading list.

Days of Awe
by Lauren Fox

In one eventful year, Isabel Moore’s husband left, her 10-year-old daughter became a moody tween, and her best friend was killed in a car accident. Suddenly, the relationships that have always defined Isabel—wife, mother, best friend—are changing before her eyes. DAYS OF AWE is a smart, piercing story of transformation, not necessarily welcomed but necessary nonetheless.

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Days of Awe
Lauren Fox

In one eventful year, Isabel Moore’s husband left, her 10-year-old daughter became a moody tween, and her best friend was killed in a car accident. Suddenly, the relationships that have always defined Isabel—wife, mother, best friend—are changing before her eyes. DAYS OF AWE is a smart, piercing story of transformation, not necessarily welcomed but necessary nonetheless.

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MENTIONED IN:

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10 Evocative Thrillers with the Power to Break Your Heart

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10 Historical Novels Perfect for Crisp Autumn Nights

By Chris Gaudio | October 11, 2021

11 True Crime Tales of the Rich and Famous

By Kerry Fiallo | October 8, 2021

Close
Electric City
by Elizabeth Rosner

Sophie Levine is coming of age in Electric City, the birthplace of Edison Machine Works. But in 1965, the town, and America as a whole, is on the cusp of great instability. A poetic and multilayered love story, ELECTRIC CITY shows how we light our way, struggling to bridge the gap between the old world and the new.

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Electric City
Elizabeth Rosner

Sophie Levine is coming of age in Electric City, the birthplace of Edison Machine Works. But in 1965, the town, and America as a whole, is on the cusp of great instability. A poetic and multilayered love story, ELECTRIC CITY shows how we light our way, struggling to bridge the gap between the old world and the new.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Authors as Magicians: 8 Books That’ll Cast a Spell on You

By Sara Roncero-Menendez | October 15, 2021

Staff Picks: 10 Classic Novels We Truly Enjoyed Reading for School

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 14, 2021

10 Immersive Series to Hunker Down with This Fall

By Alice Martin | October 13, 2021

10 Evocative Thrillers with the Power to Break Your Heart

By Sara Roncero-Menendez | October 12, 2021

10 Historical Novels Perfect for Crisp Autumn Nights

By Chris Gaudio | October 11, 2021

11 True Crime Tales of the Rich and Famous

By Kerry Fiallo | October 8, 2021

Close
As Close to Us as Breathing
by Elizabeth Poliner

Sisters Ada, Vivie, and Bec gather each summer at their family cottage in Connecticut at “Bagel Beach,” with children in tow and weekend-only husbands who arrive each Friday in time for the Sabbath meal. But a tragic accident the summer of 1948 irreparably alters the long-established family equilibrium. This debut novel is a beautiful meditation on grief, guilt, and the boundaries of identity and love.

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As Close to Us as Breathing
Elizabeth Poliner

Sisters Ada, Vivie, and Bec gather each summer at their family cottage in Connecticut at “Bagel Beach,” with children in tow and weekend-only husbands who arrive each Friday in time for the Sabbath meal. But a tragic accident the summer of 1948 irreparably alters the long-established family equilibrium. This debut novel is a beautiful meditation on grief, guilt, and the boundaries of identity and love.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Authors as Magicians: 8 Books That’ll Cast a Spell on You

By Sara Roncero-Menendez | October 15, 2021

Staff Picks: 10 Classic Novels We Truly Enjoyed Reading for School

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 14, 2021

10 Immersive Series to Hunker Down with This Fall

By Alice Martin | October 13, 2021

10 Evocative Thrillers with the Power to Break Your Heart

By Sara Roncero-Menendez | October 12, 2021

10 Historical Novels Perfect for Crisp Autumn Nights

By Chris Gaudio | October 11, 2021

11 True Crime Tales of the Rich and Famous

By Kerry Fiallo | October 8, 2021

Close
The World Without You
by Joshua Henkin

It’s July 4, 2005, and the Frankels have gathered to memorialize Leo, the youngest of the four siblings and an intrepid journalist killed a year ago, while on assignment in Iraq. But the family is adrift, overwhelmed by navigating their lives and their grief at the same time. THE WORLD WITHOUT YOU asks, How do we move on after losing someone we love? How do we allow ourselves to love again?

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The World Without You
Joshua Henkin

It’s July 4, 2005, and the Frankels have gathered to memorialize Leo, the youngest of the four siblings and an intrepid journalist killed a year ago, while on assignment in Iraq. But the family is adrift, overwhelmed by navigating their lives and their grief at the same time. THE WORLD WITHOUT YOU asks, How do we move on after losing someone we love? How do we allow ourselves to love again?

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Authors as Magicians: 8 Books That’ll Cast a Spell on You

By Sara Roncero-Menendez | October 15, 2021

Staff Picks: 10 Classic Novels We Truly Enjoyed Reading for School

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 14, 2021

10 Immersive Series to Hunker Down with This Fall

By Alice Martin | October 13, 2021

10 Evocative Thrillers with the Power to Break Your Heart

By Sara Roncero-Menendez | October 12, 2021

10 Historical Novels Perfect for Crisp Autumn Nights

By Chris Gaudio | October 11, 2021

11 True Crime Tales of the Rich and Famous

By Kerry Fiallo | October 8, 2021

Close
They May Not Mean To, But They Do
by Cathleen Schine

When Joy Bergman’s beloved husband dies, her children have no shortage of solutions for their elderly mother’s loneliness and despair, but there is one challenge they did not count on: the reappearance of an ardent suitor from Joy’s college days. THEY MAY NOT MEAN TO, BUT THEY DO is a wryly observed, heartfelt novel about aging, family, loneliness, and love.

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They May Not Mean To, But They Do
Cathleen Schine

When Joy Bergman’s beloved husband dies, her children have no shortage of solutions for their elderly mother’s loneliness and despair, but there is one challenge they did not count on: the reappearance of an ardent suitor from Joy’s college days. THEY MAY NOT MEAN TO, BUT THEY DO is a wryly observed, heartfelt novel about aging, family, loneliness, and love.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Authors as Magicians: 8 Books That’ll Cast a Spell on You

By Sara Roncero-Menendez | October 15, 2021

Staff Picks: 10 Classic Novels We Truly Enjoyed Reading for School

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 14, 2021

10 Immersive Series to Hunker Down with This Fall

By Alice Martin | October 13, 2021

10 Evocative Thrillers with the Power to Break Your Heart

By Sara Roncero-Menendez | October 12, 2021

10 Historical Novels Perfect for Crisp Autumn Nights

By Chris Gaudio | October 11, 2021

11 True Crime Tales of the Rich and Famous

By Kerry Fiallo | October 8, 2021

Close
The Marriage of Opposites
by Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman’s THE MARRIAGE OF OPPOSITES is an epic love story grounded in history. It has a fierce and passionate heroine, a lush and sensual setting, and a taboo love worth fighting for. Really, what more could you want?

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The Marriage of Opposites
Alice Hoffman

Wendy’s Fictional Dinner Party Guest: Rachel Pomié Petit Pizzarro

Rachel Pomié Petit Pizzarro is a woman full of fire and life. A businesswoman, a romantic, a renegade, she’s quite the nineteenth-century badass, not taking anyone else’s advice on how to live her life. I respect and admire her passion, vulnerability, and fearlessness in the face of the judgment of her insular St. Thomas community. She followed her heart, suffered for it, and lived the life she wanted—with a great love and many children, one of whom was the artist Camille Pissarro, father of Impressionism. No doubt, she would command the room.

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MENTIONED IN:

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Close
Love and Shame and Love
by Peter Orner

This multigenerational family saga illuminates the countless ways that love both makes us whole and completely unravels us. LOVE AND SHAME AND LOVE is a comic and sorrowful tapestry of memory and of connection and disconnection.

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Love and Shame and Love
Peter Orner

This multigenerational family saga illuminates the countless ways that love both makes us whole and completely unravels us. LOVE AND SHAME AND LOVE is a comic and sorrowful tapestry of memory and of connection and disconnection.

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Authors as Magicians: 8 Books That’ll Cast a Spell on You

By Sara Roncero-Menendez | October 15, 2021

Staff Picks: 10 Classic Novels We Truly Enjoyed Reading for School

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 14, 2021

10 Immersive Series to Hunker Down with This Fall

By Alice Martin | October 13, 2021

10 Evocative Thrillers with the Power to Break Your Heart

By Sara Roncero-Menendez | October 12, 2021

10 Historical Novels Perfect for Crisp Autumn Nights

By Chris Gaudio | October 11, 2021

11 True Crime Tales of the Rich and Famous

By Kerry Fiallo | October 8, 2021

Close
The View from Penthouse B
by Elinor Lipman

Elinor Lipman is one of my favorite writers because she’s so unassuming and funny. Her novels are so well-observed and uncomfortably true with both a light touch and a shadow of sadness. Her latest, THE VIEW FROM PENTHOUSE B, is a sister story of unexpected midlife changes and love in unexpected places.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The View from Penthouse B
Elinor Lipman

Elinor Lipman is one of my favorite writers because she’s so unassuming and funny. Her novels are so well-observed and uncomfortably true with both a light touch and a shadow of sadness. Her latest, THE VIEW FROM PENTHOUSE B, is a sister story of unexpected midlife changes and love in unexpected places.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Authors as Magicians: 8 Books That’ll Cast a Spell on You

By Sara Roncero-Menendez | October 15, 2021

Staff Picks: 10 Classic Novels We Truly Enjoyed Reading for School

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 14, 2021

10 Immersive Series to Hunker Down with This Fall

By Alice Martin | October 13, 2021

10 Evocative Thrillers with the Power to Break Your Heart

By Sara Roncero-Menendez | October 12, 2021

10 Historical Novels Perfect for Crisp Autumn Nights

By Chris Gaudio | October 11, 2021

11 True Crime Tales of the Rich and Famous

By Kerry Fiallo | October 8, 2021

Close
The Paris Architect
by Charles Belfoure

I gave this book to my boyfriend’s mother and she loved it—so much so that she keeps asking if I’ve read it yet. So it’s on my list for this year! In 1942 Paris, gifted architect Lucien Bernard accepts a commission that will bring him a great deal of money—and maybe get him killed. All he has to do is design a secret hiding place for a wealthy Jewish man, a space so invisible that even the most determined German officer won’t find it.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Paris Architect
Charles Belfoure

I gave this book to my boyfriend’s mother and she loved it—so much so that she keeps asking if I’ve read it yet. So it’s on my list for this year! In 1942 Paris, gifted architect Lucien Bernard accepts a commission that will bring him a great deal of money—and maybe get him killed. All he has to do is design a secret hiding place for a wealthy Jewish man, a space so invisible that even the most determined German officer won’t find it.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Authors as Magicians: 8 Books That’ll Cast a Spell on You

By Sara Roncero-Menendez | October 15, 2021

Staff Picks: 10 Classic Novels We Truly Enjoyed Reading for School

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 14, 2021

10 Immersive Series to Hunker Down with This Fall

By Alice Martin | October 13, 2021

10 Evocative Thrillers with the Power to Break Your Heart

By Sara Roncero-Menendez | October 12, 2021

10 Historical Novels Perfect for Crisp Autumn Nights

By Chris Gaudio | October 11, 2021

11 True Crime Tales of the Rich and Famous

By Kerry Fiallo | October 8, 2021

Close

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