So your commute’s been cut down considerably, your lunch hour can be a solitary affair, and you just can’t with Zoom anymore. Suddenly you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands. It’s the perfect moment to dive back into that classic novel you’ve always wanted to read! You know, the one you react to with enthusiastic nods whenever your cool cousin brings it up. We hear you. With that in mind, here’s a list from the JBC team of all those classics we’re finally finishing!
Naomi’s excited to read George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda, the author’s last work and one that tackles proto-Zionist ideas, along with searing social satire and questions of morality. Grab a cup of Earl Grey and jump in!
Carol’s checking out The Rise of David Levinsky by Abraham Cahan and The Afterlife of Stars by Joseph Kertes. The former is a fictionalized account of the author’s own story of immigration to the US, following him as he embarks on the American Dream. The latter is the story of the Beck family’s escape from Hungary as a revolution rolls through the country and Jews are no longer welcome; the Beck brothers witness all kinds of tragedy as they persevere onward.
Becca’s going to tackle The Garden of the Finzi-Continis by Giorgio Bassani, a fascinating look at the life of Jews in Northern Italy, which was popularized by the 1970 film adaptation.
Michal’s hopping off a plane in Israel and straight into mandatory quarantine, so she’s embarking on One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. This book captures the lives of the Buendía family as they establish a fictional town in Colombia.
Simona’s finally getting to Atonement by Ian MceEwan, the story of a lie Briony Tallis tells as a thirteen-year-old that unfolds into a lifetime of guilt, and meditations on what it means to be a writer. (Spoiler: she has seen the movie.)
Simona is the Jewish Book Council’s managing editor of digital content and marketing. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in English and History and studied abroad in India and England. Prior to the JBC she worked at Oxford University Press. Her writing has been featured in Lilith, The Normal School, Digging through the Fat, and other publications. She holds an MFA in fiction from The New School.