TE Book Club
Temple Emanuel Book Club
2019-2020 Titles and Dates
Lake Success - Gary Shteyngart
Myopic, narcissistic, hilariously self-deluded and divorced from the real world as most of us know it, hedge fund manager Barry Cohen oversees $2.4 billion in assets. Deeply stressed by an SEC investigation and by his 3 year-old-son's diagnosis of autism, he flees New York on a Greyhound bus in search of a simpler, more romantic life with his old college sweetheart, whom he hasn't seen or spoken to in years. Meanwhile, reeling from the fight that caused Barry's departure, his super-smart wife Seema, a driven first-generation American who craved a picture-perfect life with all the accoutrements of a huge bank account, has her own demons to face. How these two imperfect characters navigate the Shteyngartian chaos of their own making is the heart of this biting, brilliant, emotionally resonant novel very much of our times.
Time Stands Still - Donald Margulies
It was nominated for two Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for Laura Linney. The play revolves around Sarah, a photojournalist who has returned from covering the Iraq war after being injured by a roadside bomb, and her reporter boyfriend James who is swamped by guilt after having left Sarah alone in Iraq. The two are trying to find happiness in a world that seems to have gone crazy. Theirs is a partnership based on telling the toughest stories, and together, making a difference. But when their own story takes a sudden turn, the adventurous couple confronts the prospect of a more conventional life. Can they stay together amidst unspoken betrayals and conflicting ideals? Playwright Margulies answers these questions, while leaving unanswered qualms regarding the way America deals with war and tragedy coverage.
Coyote Waits - Tony Hillerman
The car fire didn't kill Navajo Tribal Policeman Delbert Nez—a bullet did. And the old man in possession of the murder weapon is a whiskey-soaked shaman named Ashie Pinto. Officer Jim Chee is devastated by the slaying of his good friend Del, and confounded by the prime suspect's refusal to utter a single word of confession or denial.
The Mossad Messiah: a novel of Israel - Leigh Lerner
Israel's spy masters awaken their prime minister to a human rights nightmare: rapid population growth will give the ultra-Orthodox control of Israel's parliament in a generation. Mossad and Shin Bet covertly recruit the secret secular scion of a powerful and "childless" Hasidic rabbi's illicit affair. The spy agencies reveal hidden family history and offer a startling proposition: a daring gamble and a risky gambit to change that future. The novel's plot-driven story concludes with a stunning surprise.
The Notorious RBG - Irin Carmon
Created by the young lawyer who began the Internet sensation and an award-winning journalist, the book takes you behind the myth for an intimate, irreverent look at the justice's life and work. As America struggles with the unfinished business of gender equality and civil rights, Ginsburg stays fierce. And if you don't know, now you know.
The Rain Watcher - Tatiana de Rosnay
A powerful family drama set in Paris as the Malegarde family gathers to celebrate the father's 70th birthday. Their hidden fears and secrets are slowly unraveled as the City of Light undergoes a stunning natural disaster. Seen through the eyes of charismatic photographer Linden Malegarde, the youngest son, all members of the family will have to fight to keep their unity against tragic circumstances.
Waking Lions - Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
Dr. Eitan Green is a good man. He saves lives. Then, speeding along a deserted moonlit road in his SUV, he hits someone. Seeing that the man, an African migrant, is beyond help, he flees the scene. It is a decision that changes everything. Because the dead man’s wife knows what happened. When she knocks at Eitan’s door the next day, tall and beautiful, he discovers that her price is not money. It is something else entirely, something that will shatter Eitan’s safe existence and take him into a world of secrets and lies. Waking Lions is a gripping, suspenseful and morally devastating drama of guilt and survival, shame and desire.
Beneath A Scarlet Sky - Mark Sullivan
Based on the true story of a forgotten hero, Beneath a Scarlet Sky is the triumphant, epic tale of one young man’s incredible courage and resilience during one of history’s darkest hours. Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s a normal Italian teenager—obsessed with music, food, and girls—but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior.
Gateway to the Moon - Mary Morris
Entrada de la Luna is the sort of town that ambitious children try to leave behind them. Poor health, broken marriages, and poverty are the norm, and luck is unusual. So when Miguel Torres notices an advertisement for a position looking after two small boys a few towns over, he jumps at the opportunity. Rachel Rothstein is not the sort of parent Miguel expected to be working for, though. A frustrated artist, Rachel moved her family away from New York looking for a fresh start, but so far New Mexico has not solved any of the problems they brought with them.