Books On My Reading List This Week

Read Along with Me

I am really looking forward to this week’s reading list. There are some great books on it. First up, is a new release by Pamela Braun Cohen, Hidden Heroes, explores the Soviet Jews’ exodus from the Soviet Union. I am really looking forward to exploring more about this important period in Jewish history.

Next up, I am continuing my mission to make progress on my Want to Read list on Goodreads. So I’m picking up a book I started long ago but never quite finished, Rashi’s Daughters – Book I: Joheved, by Maggie Anton. This is the first book in a three book series I’ve been meaning to read for ages. Looking forward to finally finishing it and progressing in the series.


Finally, I’ve been on an audio book kick lately. I enjoy listening to a well-narrated book instead of music. And, let’s be honest, we’ve all streamed everything on every streaming service available over the past eighteen months. So I’ve moved on to audio books. I am a big fan of Kristin Hannah so I have a couple of titles from her on my listen list along with a suspense by Ruth Ware.

What is on your reading list this week?

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Books This Week

Rashi’s Daughters – Book I: Joheved by Maggie Anton
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In 1068, the scholar Salomon ben Isaac returns home to Troyes, France, to take over the family winemaking business and embark on a path that will indelibly influence the Jewish world, writing the first Talmud commentary, and secretly teaching Talmud to his daughters.

Joheved, the eldest of his three girls, finds her mind and spirit awakened by religious study, but, knowing the risk, she must keep her passion for learning and prayer hidden. When she becomes betrothed to Meir ben Samuel, she is forced to choose between marital happiness and being true to her love of the Talmud.

Rich in period detail and drama, Joheved is a must read for fans of Tracy Chevalier’s Girl With a Pearl Earring.

Hidden Heroes: One Woman’s Story of Resistance and Rescue in The Soviet Union by Pamela Braun Cohen
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Spanning nearly three decades, Hidden Heroes gives an insider’s view of the modern-day exodus of Soviet Jews from the Soviet Union, a period of Jewish history that has rarely been told and is in danger of being forgotten. This deeply personal narrative explores the grassroots Soviet Jewish emigration movement through the eyes of one of its indefatigable leaders, focusing on the actions of heroic refuseniks in the Soviet Union as well as courageous individuals in the West – described by Natan Sharansky as the “army of students and housewives” who waged the battle to free Soviet Jews.

From Russia, Ukraine, and Lithuania to the distant republics of Central Asia, refuseniks come to life, discovering their identity, protesting on the streets, defending themselves in courtrooms, defying jailers in their prison cells, and struggling to survive in Siberian labor camps. This engrossing memoir tells the story of the resistance and moral courage of men and women inside the Soviet Union and of those in the West who relentlessly crusaded on their behalf.

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Audio Books This Week

Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah

In the rugged Pacific Northwest lies the Olympic National Forest – nearly a million acres of impenetrable darkness and impossible beauty. From deep within this old growth forest, a six-year-old girl appears. Speechless and alone, she offers no clue as to her identity, no hint of her past.

Having retreated to her western Washington hometown after a scandal left her career in ruins, child psychiatrist Dr. Julia Cates is determined to free the extraordinary little girl she calls Alice from a prison of unimaginable fear and isolation. To reach her, Julia must discover the truth about Alice’s past – although doing so requires help from Julia’s estranged sister, a local police officer. The shocking facts of Alice’s life test the limits of Julia’s faith and strength, even as she struggles to make a home for Alice – and for herself.

Click the image to find it on Amazon
Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
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Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family business; the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father falls ill, these two estranged sisters will find themselves together again, standing alongside their disapproving mother, Anya, who even now offers no comfort to her daughters. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise: Anya will tell her daughters a story; it is one she began years ago and never finished. This time she will tell it all the way to the end.

The tale their mother tells them is unlike anything they’ve heard before—a captivating, mysterious love story that spans more than sixty years and moves from frozen, war-torn Leningrad to modern-day Alaska. Nina’s obsession to uncover the truth will send them all on an unexpected journey into their mother’s past, where they will discover a secret so shocking, it shakes the foundation of their family and changes who they believe they are.

Mesmerizing from beginning to end, Winter Garden is that rarest of novels — at once an epic love story and an intimate portrait of women poised at the crossroads of their lives. Evocative, lyrically written, and ultimately uplifting, it will haunt the listener long after the last word is spoken.

Fly Away by Kristin Hannah

The number one New York Times best-selling author returns to the characters in Firefly Lane in her next blockbuster novel, Fly Away. Once, a long time ago, I walked down a night-darkened road called Firefly Lane, all alone, on the worst night of my life, and I found a kindred spirit. That was our beginning. More than 30 years ago. TullyandKate. You and me against the world. Best friends forever. 

But stories end, don’t they? You lose the people you love and you have to find a way to go on…Tully Hart has always been larger than life, a woman fueled by big dreams and driven by memories of a painful past. She thinks she can overcome anything until her best friend, Kate Ryan, dies. Tully tries to fulfill her deathbed promise to Kate – to be there for Kate’s children – but Tully knows nothing about family or motherhood or taking care of people. Sixteen-year-old Marah Ryan is devastated by her mother’s death. Her father, Johnny, strives to hold the family together, but even with his best efforts, Marah becomes unreachable in her grief. Nothing and no one seems to matter to her…until she falls in love with a young man who makes her smile again and leads her into his dangerous, shadowy world. 

Dorothy Hart – the woman who once called herself Cloud – is at the center of Tully’s tragic past. She repeatedly abandoned her daughter, Tully, as a child, but now she comes back, drawn to her daughter’s side at a time when Tully is most alone. At long last, Dorothy must face her darkest fear: Only by revealing the ugly secrets of her past can she hope to become the mother her daughter needs. 

A single, tragic choice and a middle-of-the-night phone call will bring these women together and set them on a poignant, powerful journey of redemption. Each has lost her way, and they will need each one another – and maybe a miracle – to transform their lives. 

An emotionally complex, heart-wrenching novel about love, motherhood, loss, and new beginnings, Fly Away reminds us that where there is life, there is hope, and where there is love, there is forgiveness. 

Told with her trademark powerful storytelling and illuminating prose, Kristin Hannah reveals why she is one of the most beloved writers of our day. Includes a Reading Group Guide Read by Kristin Hannah 

Click the image to find it on Amazon
Click the image to find book 1 on Amazon
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
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2016 Scout Press trade paperback, Ruth Ware (Death of Mrs. Westaway). In this tightly wound, enthralling story reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s works, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare. – Amazon

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