Enjoy your literary journey with the Gitlin’s latest books

VICTORIOUS by Yishai Sarid. Abigail, the narrator of this Israeli novel, is a military psychologist and single mother who spent her career in the Israeli Army as an expert in the psychology of combat. As her son approaches the age of military service, she becomes increasingly involved in the lives of the army’s Chief of Staff and those of her patients. Her father, a psychologist himself, condemns the morality of her choice to aid Israel’s military machine. What price are we willing to pay for victory?

THE THREAD COLLECTORS by Shaunna Edwards & Alyson Richman. Set during the time of the Civil War, this book follows two soldiers who connected on the battlefield — one an escaped Black slave and the other a Jewish man. They form a friendship which brings their beloveds into the story — a Black enslaved woman who embroiders intricate secret maps for escape, and a Jewish woman doing all she can to support the troops. Their paths converge in New Orleans. 

MY THIRTY-MINUTE BAR MITZVAH by Denis Hirson. The author describes his ‘Bar Mitzvah’ in Johannesburg in the 1960s, which lasted no more than thirty minutes and had few people in attendance. The ‘Bar Mitzvah’ was his excuse to visit his father who was an activist and serving time in prison. Denis Hirson has lived in France since 1975 yet remained concerned with the memory of his apartheid years in South Africa. 

AN ENGLISH GARDEN MURDER by Katie Gayle. Julia Bird left London to settle in a Cotswold village soon after her divorce. Unexpectedly she discovers a body apparently buried for decades under an old shed. Julia cannot continue with her project to have a perfect garden until this case has been solved. As the police are taking too much time, she decides to assist them. When a second body is found Julia fears that the killer may murder again to keep their secret safe. 

ABOVE US ONLY SKY by Merav Halperin. The uplifting story of the Ramon family — Ilan, the first Israeli astronaut and his son Asaf who followed his father’s example and became an F-16 pilot. Both men fulfilled their dreams in the sky but sadly lost their lives. The father in the 2003 space shuttle Columbia disaster, and the son in a devastating training accident in 2009. After their tragic deaths Rona Ramon decided to share their collection of diaries and letters with others. 

I BELIEVE by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. This is the final cycle of Covenant & Conversation. There are fifty-four essays written before his untimely passing. Rabbi Sacks’ intricate commentaries on the weekly portion show us how his own beliefs were formed from an ongoing conversation between the Torah and his own life. There is a diversity of topics and his conversations allow us to hear his beloved voice once again as he prompts the reader to seek out their own truths. 

THREE MUSES by Martha Anne Toll. John Curtis suffered lasting damage after having been forced to sing for the kommandant who murdered his family in the Holocaust. He trains to be a psychiatrist in New York. He crosses paths with captivating prima ballerina Katya who has been in an abusive relationship with her choreographer. Once they find each other, these two flawed characters must find a future together to heal. 

NORA EPHRON by Kristin Marguerite Doidge. A biography of the life and career of Nora Ephron from her time at Wellesley College to her rise in journalism. Her comedic genius shone forth when she ventured into filmmaking. Doidge examines her private life, which she was able to balance with her insatiable ambition. The author delves into the lingering sadness experienced by Ephron who despite all her achievements believed in her mother’s saying that “everything is copy”.

Jacob Gitlin Library www.gitlinlibrary.co.za
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• Published in the April 2023 Edition – Click here to start reading.

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