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Chizuk Amuno Congregation

Books from 2018

“Dear Zealots” by Amos Oz happens to be waiting on my night table for Shabbat reading. I read this morning of Oz’s passing and I sadly look forward to spending the few winter Shabbat hours with him tomorrow. Hours spent in the company of a good book are among life’s most delicious pleasures.

For several years I’ve kept track of what I read each year. This helps me to see trends in what I’m reading, or when a friend asks for a book recommendation, or when my memory fails me as to whether I’ve read something before, and when my competitive streak emerges and I try to increase the number of books I read from year to year.

Books become favorites for different reasons. If a book makes me laugh out loud enough times that it annoys my children – that’s a good indicator. If a book stays with me so that a year and 130 books later I’m haunted by the narrative – that’s another good indicator. And if a book is just so beautiful that I’m loathe to finish it and start reading it again immediately – it’s a keeper.

In the past week, two different shul friends asked what I was reading so here are some of the favorite things I’ve read in 2018:


The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Everybody’s Son by Thrity Umrigar

The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor



Three Floors Up by Eshkol Nevo

All the Rivers by Dorit Rabinyan


Non Fiction:

Women and Power by Mary Beard

Untangled by Lisa D’Amour

Grief Works by Julia Samuel

Everything is Horrible and Wonderful by Stephanie Wittels Wachs


It feels disloyal to not list some perennial favorites like Daniel Silva, the Kellermans, Lee Child and the thrillers that are the “fast food” of my reading life. It wouldn’t be summer with Gabriel Allon, though the stories all blend together by now.


Here’s to a Happy 2019 full of good books!