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Books & Bagels

Sunday, September 15, 2019 15 Elul 5779

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Book #1 - The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish  SIGN UP AT BOTTOM OF PAGE

This story evolves around a set of manuscripts. There is the story of aging Professor Helen Watt, suffering from Parkinson's and facing mandatory retirement who discovers a cache of 400-year-old writings from the early Jewish community to be established in London. Interspersed with Helen's story is that of Esther, the young female scribe who wrote the documents, both for the rabbi she served and also, secretly on her own behalf. 

It's a wonderful story from both perspectives, with a wonderful blend of parallels in differences between them. 

Book #2 - The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of PEOPLE OF THE BOOK, YEAR OF WONDERS and MARCH comes a unique and vivid novel that retells the story of King David's extraordinary rise to power and fall from grace. 1000 BC. The Second Iron Age. The time of King David. Anointed as the chosen one when just a young shepherd boy, David will rise to be king, grasping the throne and establishing his empire. But his journey is a tumultuous one and the consequences of his choices will resound for generations. In a life that arcs from obscurity to fame, he is by turns hero and traitor, glamorous young tyrant and beloved king, murderous despot and remorseful, diminished patriarch. His wives love and fear him, his sons will betray him. It falls to Natan, the courtier and prophet who both counsels and castigates David, to tell the truth about the path he must take. With stunning originality, acclaimed author Geraldine Brooks offers us a compelling portrait of a morally complex hero from this strange age - part legend, part history. Full of drama and richly drawn detail, THE SECRET CHORD is a vivid story of faith, family, desire and pow er that brings David magnificently alive.

Book #3 - After the Fire by Lauren Belfer

"The New York Times-bestselling author of A Fierce Radiance and City of Light returns with a new powerful and passionate novel--inspired by historical events--about two women, one European and one American, and the mysterious choral masterpiece by Johann Sebastian Bach that changes both their lives. In the ruins of Germany in 1945, at the end of World War II, American soldier Henry Sachs takes a souvenir, an old music manuscript, from a seemingly deserted mansion and mistakenly kills the girl who tries to stop him. In America in 2010, Henry's niece, Susanna Kessler, struggles to rebuild her life after she experiences a devastating act of violence on the streets of New York City. When Henry dies soon after, she uncovers the long-hidden music manuscript. She becomes determined to discover what it is and to return it to its rightful owner, a journey that will challenge her preconceptions about herself and her family's history--and also offer her an opportunity to finally make peace with the past. In Berlin, Germany, in 1796, amid the city's glittering salons where aristocrats and commoners, Christians and Jews, mingle freely despite simmering anti-Semitism, Sara Itzig Levy, a renowned musician, conceals the manuscript of an anti-Jewish cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach, an unsettling gift to her from Bach's son, her teacher. This work and its disturbing message will haunt Sara and her family for generations to come. Interweaving the stories of Susanna and Sara, and their families, And After the Fire traverses over two hundred years of history, from the eighteenth century through the Holocaust and into today, seamlessly melding past and present, real and imagined. Lauren Belfer's deeply researched, evocative, and compelling narrative resonates with emotion and immediacy"-- "Fans of Possession and Sarah's Key will love this masterful new novel from Lauren Belfer, the New York Times bestselling, critically acclaimed author of City of Light and A Fierce Radiance. Tracing the journey of a long-lost Bach cantata, the story interweaves an atmospheric and authentic historical narrative with a gripping contemporary plot"--

Book #4 - Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love by Dani Shapiro

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "A gripping genetic detective story, and a meditation on the meaning of parenthood and family." ?Jennifer Egan, author of Manhattan Beach From the acclaimed, best-selling memoirist and novelist?"a writer of rare talent" (Cheryl Strayed)?a memoir about the staggering family secret uncovered by a genealogy test: an exploration of the urgent ethical questions surrounding fertility treatments and DNA testing, and a profound inquiry of paternity, identity, and love. What makes us who we are? What combination of memory, history, biology, experience, and that ineffable thing called the soul defines us? In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history?the life she had lived?crumbled beneath her. Inheritance is a book about secrets?secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman's urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in?a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.

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Wed, September 18 2019 18 Elul 5779