October Book Review Wrap Up

So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and love to share recommendations with fellow readers. My choice in books tend to vary by my mood but some of my favorites are mystery, suspense, thriller, and humor. Get my reviews direct to your inbox every Wednesday and check back here for monthly features.

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Nine Tenths of the Law

By: Claudia Hagadus Long

A trip to the Jewish Studies Museum, in New York, triggers a memory of a long lost family heirloom. Aurora, a survivor of the Shoah, recognizes an ornate menorah in an exhibit that bears a remarkable resemblance to family ring, worn by her daughter, Zara.

Fast forward a few decades and Zara finds herself revisiting the exhibit, while living in New York, during her husband’s sabbatical. When she and her sister, Lilly determine the menorah once belonged to their family, they decide to pursue recovering the looted keepsake. But neither could have imagined what would happen next.

Long does an expert job of building a captivating thriller while exploring the complex mother-daughter bond, sisterhood, and survivor’s guilt. The story is brilliantly crafted and fast-paced with a wide range of emotions. I appreciated Long’s use of humor. It was a nice way to occasionally break the tension in the story.

This one definitely belongs on your TBR list!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Takoradi to the Stars

By Jules Brown

Jules Brown is a veteran travel writer, working for Rough Guide. In Takoradi to the Stars, Brown blends his love of travel with a memoir, revisiting 35 destinations, including his home town in West Africa.

Brown is not only a great traveler, he’s a brilliant storyteller. Each destination is described with a unique and honest story of his experiences. I’m a live-like-a-local type traveler so I really enjoyed the “off the beaten path” destinations explored in this book. Brown does a wonderful job of blending humor and reverence, where appropriate. I’m an avid traveler, myself, and missing it greatly due to the pandemic. This was a welcome escape.

This is travel writing at its best.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Chutzpah, Wisdom, and Wine: The Journey of an Unstoppable Woman

By: Jodi Samuels

Originally from South Africa, Jodi Samuels is a speaker, activist, author, and super mom. In her book, Chutzpah, Wisdom, and Wine, Jodi shares her inspiring mission to change the world. Her story is one of resilience and living Judaism in every way possible.

Samuels’ memoir demonstrates the importance of living the Jewish faith out loud. When life takes unexpected turns, Samuels approaches each challenge with grace, and a little humor. Her ability to overcome her shyness to become an activist to find her own voice is inspiring. Her writing style feels like siting down with a friend over a glass of wine. It’s hard to walk away from this book and not find yourself motivated to pursue your own goals.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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The Kosher Butcher

By: Melvyn Westreich

When a rabbi goes missing from an Ultra-Orthodox community in lower Michigan, the Rebbi asks Simon Lincoln to take the case. A former police officer and private detective, Lincoln reluctantly accepts the assistance of his fiancé, computer wiz, Dafna Lachler. When the case takes a turn, creating fear of a serial killer, the two step up their efforts to find this maniac before their pending nuptials.

This is the second installment in the Lincoln/Lachler mysteries. I did not read the first but did not feel I needed to in order to enjoy this book. The references to the first story were easy to understand. Westreich presents a well-paced mystery with well-developed red herring, keeping the reader guessing as to the identity of the killer until the very end. The evolution of the relationship between Lincoln and his fiancé, Dafna, is well developed. I appreciated the uses of humor and the occasional moments where Lincoln speaks directly to the reader as he’s exploring his own thoughts.

By about the halfway point, I found myself wondering why the book was titled The Kosher Butcher. There is an explanation in the story but it might have been made clear a little sooner.

I really enjoyed this story and have already recommended it to friends. If you like a good murder mystery, add this one to your reading list.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and love to share recommendations with fellow readers. My choice in books tend to vary by my mood but some of my favorites are mystery, suspense, thriller, and humor. Get my reviews direct to your inbox every Wednesday and check back here for monthly […]



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