Jewish Heritage Month
The month of May is Canadian Jewish Heritage Month, an opportunity to recognize, celebrate, and learn more about the countless contributions Jewish Canadians have made to Canada. Visit Jewishheritage.ca to learn more.
Richler, Mordecai, 1931-2001, author
Ebullient and perverse, thrice married, Barney Panofsky has always clung to two cherished beliefs: life is absurd and nobody truly ever understands anybody else. But when his sworn enemy publicly states that Barney is a wife abuser, an intellectual fraud and probably a murderer, he is driven to write his own memoirs.
By chance alone : a remarkable true story of courage and survival at Auschwitz
Eisen, Max, author
This autobiography of Canadian Max Eisen details the rural Hungarian deportations to Auschwitz-Birkenau, back-breaking slave labour in Auschwitz I, the infamous 'death march' of January 1945, the painful aftermath of liberation, and a journey of physical and psychological healing.
Dead mom walking : a memoir of miracle cures and other disasters
Matlow, Rachel, author
Long time producer of Q on CBC, Radio Rachel Matlow writes the story of her quirky, self-help junkie mother getting stage one cancer and her decision to forgo conventional treatment and heal herself naturally. This book is Maltow's quest to solve the puzzle of her mom's psyche, and, at last, find the peace to grieve. Matlow lives in Toronto, ON.
The gown : a novel of the royal wedding
Robson, Jennifer, 1970- author
London, 1947: Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin are embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth's wedding gown.
Immigrant city : stories
Bezmozgis, David, 1973- author
In these deeply-felt, slyly humorous stories, David Bezmozgis pleads no special causes but presents immigrant characters with all their contradictions and complexities, their earnest and divided hearts.
Kiss the red stairs : the Holocaust, once removed
Lederman, Marsha (Western arts correspondent), author
Marsha Lederman always knew her parents were different, and at five, she learned about the Holocaust. Decades later, her parents dead and a mother to her own young son, Marsha is reeling in the wake of her divorce. She wants her parents' help, but in their absence, she is gripped by a need to understand the trauma that shaped them, and she begins her own journey into the past, to tell her parents' stories of loss and survival. This is a compelling memoir of Holocaust survival and how trauma migrates through generations with empathy, humour, and resilience.
Masters of silence
Kacer, Kathy, 1954- author
Desperate to save her children from the Nazis, Henry and Helen's mother takes them to France to hide them in a convent disguised as orphans. During their stay at the convent, they experience visits from a local mime as the children's one source of joy, especially for Henry, whose traumatic experience has left him a selective mute. When an informer gives them up, the children are forced to flee yet again and the mime-a not yet famous Marcel Marceau-risks everything to save them.
Nothing the same, everything haunted : the ballad of Motl the cowboy
Barwin, Gary, author.
A middle-aged Jewish man who fantasizes about being a cowboy goes on an eccentric quest across Europe after the 1941 Nazi invasion of Lithuania.
Our darkest night : a novel of Italy and the Second World War
Robson, Jennifer, 1970- author
It is the autumn of 1943, and life is becoming increasingly perilous for Italian Jews. Antonina Mazin has but one hope to survive—to leave Venice and her beloved parents and hide in the countryside with a man she has only just met. Nico Gerardi was studying for the priesthood until circumstances forced him to leave the seminary to run his family's farm. Rather than risk a perilous escape across the mountains, Nina will pose as his new bride. And to keep her safe and protect secrets of his own, Nico and Nina must convince prying eyes they are happily married and in love. But farm life is not easy for a city girl who dreams of becoming a doctor, and Nico's provincial neighbors are wary of this soft and educated woman they do not know. Even worse, their distrust is shared by a local Nazi official with a vendetta against Nico.
Michaels, Sean, 1982- author
Theo Potiris is a grocer and a comedian who never repeats his jokes. After 15 years of open mikes, he's still waiting for his break--bicycling to the comedy club at night, stacking plums at his family's grand and ramshackle supermarket by day. His girlfriend is halfway around the world, searching for enlightenment with a patron who happens to be the richest man on Earth, and when two other loved-ones get struck by bolts from the blue, Theo decides he can't keep chasing his old dreams any longer. He resolves to trade his wishes in, pursuing a bigger score. Here Sean Michaels' novel takes a surprise left turn, away from the price of milk and into a shabby, beautiful, imaginary Montreal where peacocks strut on street corners and gamblers bet on sunny days. Theo uncovers a mysterious association of sports-obsessed mathematicians, The Rabbit's Foot, which is turning probability into riches, and the vigilante No Name Gang, who steal luck from those who have taken more than their fair share.
Who by fire : war, atonement, and the resurrection of Leonard Cohen
Friedman, Matti, author
In October, 1973, Leonard Cohen travelled to the Sinai desert and inserted himself into the chaos and bloodshed of the Yom Kippur War. Cohen dived headlong into the midst of a global crisis and met hundreds of fighting men and women at the worst moment of their lives. With access to never-before-seen material written by Cohen himself, along with dozens of interviews and rare photographs, journalist Matti Friedman revives this fraught and stunning time, presenting an intimate and unforgettable portrait of the artist, and of the young people who heard him sing in the midst of combat.
Yiddish for pirates : being an account of Moishe the Captain, his Meshugeneh life & astounding adventures, his Sarah, the horizon, books & treasure, as told by Aaron, his African grey : a novel
Barwin, Gary, author
Around 1492, Moishe, a Bar Mitzvah boy leaves home to join a ship's crew, where he meets Aaron, the polyglot parrot who becomes his near-constant companion. From a present-day Florida nursing home, this wisecracking yet poetic bird guides us through a world of pirate ships, Yiddish jokes and treasure maps. When all Jews are expelled from Spain, Moishe travels to the Caribbean with the ambitious Christopher Columbus, a self-made man who loves his creator. Moishe eventually becomes a pirate and seeks revenge on the Spanish while seeking the ultimate booty: the Fountain of Youth.
You are not what we expected
Ludwig, Sidura, author
"When Elaine Levine's eccentric older brother, Isaac, moves back from LA to the quiet suburb of Thornhill, Ontario, to help her care for her suddenly motherless grandchildren, he finds himself embroiled in even more neighbourhood drama than he would like. Meanwhile, a nanny, miles from her own family in the Philippines, cares for a young boy who doesn't fit in at school. In a house down the street, a young mother is given the news that her marriage is over by her mother-in-law while her husband sits silent. And a woman in mid-life contends with the task of cleaning out the house in which she grew up, while her teenage son struggles with why his dad moved out. This stunningly intimate collection of stories, which spans fifteen years in the lives of the Levine family and the other characters, is an exquisite portrait of a Jewish community, the secular and religious families who inhabit it, and the tensions that exist there, by a writer with a keen eye for detail, a gentle sense of humour, and an immense literary talent."-- Provided by publisher.