Book Reviews & Literary Events

Barbara Lane Arts & Ideas, Books — By on August 18, 2011 8:00 am
If you read just one book in the next month, make it The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal, my favorite book of the past year. When de Waal, a well-known British ceramicist who will be here September 27 (7:00 pm, Kanbar Hall), inherited a collection of 264 tiny Japanese wood and ivory carvings, called netsuke, he wanted to know who had touched and held them and how the collection had managed to survive. So began an extraordinarily journey of discovery of the netsuke, de Waal’s family, the Ephrussis, a 19th-century Jewish banking dynasty in Paris and Vienna and the effect of war on families and fortune. It’s an extraordinary story told from an intimate point of view and it will engage and move you long after you finish reading it.
If you have more time for reading, you can fill your bookshelves with other authors will appear at the JCCSF this fall. Here’s a list for September alone:
Cleopatra by Stacey Schiff (September 12), the real story of the femme fatale who was, in actuality, a shrewd power broker.
Inside Scientology by Janet Reitman (September 13), the inside story of the path of the Church of Scientology from a pseudoscientific self-help group to a worldwide spiritual corporation with profound control over its followers, ex-followers and the media.
Top Secret America by William Arkin and Dana Priest (September 15), a shocking examination of the out-of-control national security apparatus built in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11.
The Anatomy of Israel’s Survival by Hirsch Goodman (September 19), who argues that Israel’s survival is jeopardized more from within than by any outside threat—even the apocalyptic-sounding ones from Iran.
Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin by Calvin Trillin (September 21), who is known for his snapshots of ordinary American life, his political poetry and his endless quest for the ideal meal.
Wendy and The Lost Boys by Julie Salamon (September 21), which explores the life of playwright Wendy Wasserstein’s most expertly crafted character: herself.
Musically Speaking, Sex for Dummies, Sex After 50, all by Dr. Ruth Westheimer (September 26), the psychosexual therapist who pioneered the field of Media Psychology with her radio program Sexually Speaking and helped spread sexual literacy.


Happy reading!  Follow Barbara’s literary escapades on Twitter.

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