Some of you may remember that the library used to subscribe to Nextbook Reader, a large format magazine. (We still have all the issues out, on the second white shelf.) The paper magazine ceased to exists, but the people who were behind it created an online version called Tablet Magazine. It launched June 2009 and has been adding content daily. Even if you don’t agree with all of their choices for topics, their writing style or opinion, it is still very much worth to follow them, as they produce quality and quantity of interesting Jewish content.
The magazine’s “arts & Culture” section has a subsection dedicated to books. I could say that I read it “cover to cover”, but there are no covers in online magazines and being on ongoing publications there aren’t even single “issues or volumes”. Here is a selection just from their April articles. I omitted the names of the authors from these taglines on purpose, because I think they are interesting enough in themselves without having to resort to namedropping.
- In stories written in Poland and the U.S., the modernist master Isaac Bashevis Singer mined folk tales to convey the 20th century’s essential cruelty
- Thane Rosenbaum’s young-adult novel The Stranger Within Sarah Stein, takes on the Holocaust and Sept. 11 but can’t reconcile Jewish past and future.
- Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind remains as important as ever, and as misunderstood, 25 years after the 1980s culture wars. (See corresponding picture right.)
- In a new English translation of Second Person Singular, Israeli novelist Sayed Kashua gives voice to the Arab minority in the Jewish state.