Books On My Reading List This Week – December 14, 2021

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I was so proud of myself for all the progress I’ve been making on my ‘Want to Read’ list on Goodreads recently. If you’re a regular reader, you know that I have become what some might describe as mildly obsessive about making progress on moving books from that list to the Read list lately. The number was steadily coming down. Even with adding a few missing titles, I was still moving more to the Read column than were being added. It was great!

And then People Love Dead Jews by Dara Horn landed on my list. It’s an incredibly insightful book. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it. But be prepared. Your reading list is going to get longer as you make your way through it. If you’re anything like me, that is. But more about the titles added to my list as they come up to be read.

Let’s move on to the titles that are on my list this week. First, I’m looking forward to a memoir by Kyra Robinov entitled History: Global Citizen, Remarkable Life. This is my third title by Kyra. I really enjoy her conversational approach to storytelling.

The rest of my reading list consists of audio books. I’m so deep into my Audible addiction, I’ve even started listening in the car, in addition to during my work day. First, I’m enjoying The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish. This is a two story-line book that moves between London in the 17th and 21st centuries. A cache of parchments from the 17th century are discovered hidden in a historic London home. What makes them especially unique is that the scribe who wrote them was a young Jewess. I’m looking forward to the interweaving of the plot-lines in this one.

Next, I’ll be enjoying The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey. This is an epic love story between a young British socialite and an impoverished painter as Europe is on the brink of World War II. Also on my list is The Winters by Lisa Gabriele. This was described as a modern take on the classic Rebecca. And finally, I’ll be enjoying The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer. This is also a romance set against the backdrop of World War II Europe. A young Russian woman is looking forward to approaching wedding to the young man she knew she would marry since childhood when he suddenly disappears.

What’s on your reading list this week?


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Books This Week

The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish
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Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history. 
 
When Helen is summoned by a former student to view a cache of newly discovered seventeenth-century Jewish documents, she enlists the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents’ scribe, the elusive “Aleph.”
  
Electrifying and ambitious, The Weight of Ink is about women separated by centuries—and the choices and sacrifices they must make in order to reconcile the life of the heart and mind.  

HiSTORY: Global Citizen, Remarkable Life by Kyra Kaptzan Robinov

In 1920, at the age of eight, Moisye Kaptzan spent months hiding in squalid pigsties and opium dens after Bolsheviks murdered his father and hunted the surviving family during the Russian Revolution’s aftermath. Three years later, when the Great Yokohama Earthquake flattened that Japanese city, eleven-year-old Moisye was buried under rubble as his house crashed down upon him. Trapped in Shanghai as a young man during WWII, he outwitted brutal Japanese occupiers while assisting Jewish refugees running from Hitler. Undaunted by disasters, Moisye Kaptzan relied on his keen understanding of human nature and fluency in multiple languages to thrive throughout these tumultuous times. A tale of grit, perseverance and survival…this is HiSTORY.

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The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey
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Selina Lennox is a Bright Young Thing. Her life is a whirl of parties and drinking, pursued by the press and staying on just the right side of scandal, all while running from the life her parents would choose for her.

Lawrence Weston is a penniless painter who stumbles into Selina’s orbit one night and can never let her go even while knowing someone of her stature could never end up with someone of his. Except Selina falls hard for Lawrence, envisioning a life of true happiness. But when tragedy strikes, Selina finds herself choosing what’s safe over what’s right.

Spanning two decades and a seismic shift in British history as World War II approaches, The Glittering Hour is an epic novel of passion, heartache and loss.

The Winters by Lisa Gabriele

After a whirlwind romance, a young woman returns to the opulent, secluded Long Island mansion of her new fiancé Max Winter—a wealthy politician and recent widower—and a life of luxury she’s never known. But all is not as it appears at the Asherley estate. The house is steeped in the memory of Max’s beautiful first wife Rebekah, who haunts the young woman’s imagination and feeds her uncertainties, while his very alive teenage daughter Dani makes her life a living hell. She soon realizes there is no clear place for her in this twisted little family: Max and Dani circle each other like cats, a dynamic that both repels and fascinates her, and he harbors political ambitions with which he will allow no woman—alive or dead—to interfere.

As the soon-to-be second Mrs. Winter grows more in love with Max, and more afraid of Dani, she is drawn deeper into the family’s dark secrets—the kind of secrets that could kill her, too. The Winters is a riveting story about what happens when a family’s ghosts resurface and threaten to upend everything.

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The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
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In 1942, Europe remains in the relentless grip of war. Just beyond the tents of the Russian refugee camp she calls home, a young woman speaks her wedding vows. It’s a decision that will alter her destiny…and it’s a lie that will remain buried until the next century.

Since she was nine years old, Alina Dziak knew she would marry her best friend, Tomasz. Now fifteen and engaged, Alina is unconcerned by reports of Nazi soldiers at the Polish border, believing her neighbors that they pose no real threat, and dreams instead of the day Tomasz returns from college in Warsaw so they can be married. But little by little, injustice by brutal injustice, the Nazi occupation takes hold, and Alina’s tiny rural village, its families, are divided by fear and hate.

Then, as the fabric of their lives is slowly picked apart, Tomasz disappears. Where Alina used to measure time between visits from her beloved, now she measures the spaces between hope and despair, waiting for word from Tomasz and avoiding the attentions of the soldiers who patrol her parents’ farm. But for now, even deafening silence is preferable to grief.

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