Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rebels in the Holy Land, a Historical Overview of the Development of Modern Israel

Did you ever wonder what the big deal is about being a Zionist or where Religious Zionists fit in?
Rebels in the Holy Land is an extremely well researched collaboration explaining the history of the Mazkeret Batya yishuv. It goes through details of what these people went through so that they could live in the Holy Land.

Judging the Book by its Cover -  a first glance review:

Rebels in the Holy Land
The cover is well-designed with clear photos, as is the rest of the book. 

It is amazing how the author was able to collect so many relevant pictures and documents.

I felt like I was in a museum focused on that period in history.

Some Details I Liked:
The book describes the historic events so that the reader gets a clear picture of what really happened.

It is very nice how the author zooms into individual's stories as well the general situation.

The facts are laid out in a clear manner, making it pleasant to read.

What I Didn’t Like/Would Have Made it Better: 

The book seems much longer than it is because of all the appendixes and end-notes.

Who This Book is For: 

Anyone who has an appreciation for history and the land of the Jewish people.

Who This Book Isn’t For: 
Someone looking for a quick read or an exciting adventure.

In Conclusion: 
This is a piece of art. It is obvious that a lot of work was put into this publication ensuring its accuracy and proper layout.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Let My RV Go!, a Special Passover Journey

Just in time for the Pesach season 2013, Mosaica Press released Let My RV Go!, by Nicole Nathan. In their words, "Let My RV Go is an honest, humorous and refreshing account of one woman’s search for meaning—even if it requires turning her life upside down and tearing out the kitchen sink."

Judging the Book by its Cover - a First Glance:
Truth be told, I wasn't sure what to make of this book when I first saw it, because I read it as a pdf and only saw the cover after. The cover shows the RV sitting on a map with fields in the background and a man dressed to swim, but wrapped in a tallis, prayer shawl and that is pretty much what the book is about. The RV travels the map, while the people that go along with it experience their own spiritual journey.
It is marked as a novel, but can easily be mistaken for a memoir of sorts. The book starts with a bit of a ramble, but then moves on to give a proper background and flows into a great, fun tale.

Some Details I Liked:
Like the other Mosaica books, Let My RV Go, is a smooth read. The cover, title and story line comes together well. The layout and fonts are clear and pleasing to the eye.
I liked that it was a novel with a clear lesson, but it wasn't heavy at all. It kept my attention and interest until the end.
Who This Book is For:
I would say that the book is perfect for younger women who are either on their way Baalei Teshuva, already BT or are involved in the BT world.
LMRG has a glossary and also explains most of the "Jewish" words as they appear. That allows for a greater secular audience. It also references various parts of the Jewish American culture, ie the Bubby and her cooking, which is easy to relate to.
Who This Book Isn’t For:
I felt that the reference to movie characters and characters watching movies gave the book a non-yeshivish tone that Baalei Teshuva or more Modern Orthodox person might specifically enjoy and very much appreciate that comfort level.
What I Didn’t Like/Would Have Made it Better: 
I have this problem with many books - I wish they had another chapter or two. This story ended nicely and has a very well constructed conclusion. It is just that the story's destination is Pesach in the RV and it kind of makes the reader want to learn about the actual Passover experience, not just the journey. That, of course, gives way for the author to write a sequel. :)
In Conclusion:
I enjoyed reading the book with its variety and light style.
Let My RV Go! is a novel that is an easy, upbeat read. I would definitely be interested in reading more from Nicole Nathan, the author.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Preview - Books I'm Reading...

I'm hoping to be finished reading & reviewing these before Pesach. 

Any suggestions for after that?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Preface - Welcome!

I still have my first library card. I got it when I was able to write my name. Since then, I have borrowed piles and piles of books from libraries across the US. 
Throughout my growing years, books have been my bestest friends. On the first day of 2nd grade, my teacher even let me and another girl sit in the corner and read together, so that we would become each other's friends. 
I am also a super fast reader. In 4th grade, my classmate didn't believe that I had read so much of the class book, he tested me on specific details and was shocked when I was able to recall all of them. It was around then that my need to read was hard to satiate. 
By the time I reached junior high, I realized that I had to be more selective of my readings. Even though the author may have written one recommended book, the rest of his/her works might not be appropriate. So, at that point, I decided to stick to Jewish publishers. 
Now that I am married and living in Israel, books are more of a treat than ever. And I only want to spend my precious read time on quality books that will give me joy. Which brings me to this blog. I'll review the book and then you will know if it is worth your time to read it too.

Happy Reading!