Book Review: Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel
2 Stars , Fiction / February 28, 2011

I got this book for free as part of the TLC Book Tour promotion. My rating for Beatrice and Virgil – 2 About: “Beatrice and Virgil” (book website) by Yann Martel is a fictional book, a follow up to the author’s wildly successful “Like of Pi”. A strange story which is suppose to be an allegory for the Holocaust. Purchase “Beatrice and Virgil” through the ManOfLaBook affiliate account on: Amazon |Book Depository US | Book Depository UK Thoughts: I really didn’t know what to think about “Beatrice and Virgil” by Yann Martel. I didn’t like it yet didn’t hate it either. I was impartial to the book, I wasn’t offended, I wasn’t touched and I didn’t learn anything from it. Maybe it was because I looked forward to reading it. The narrator of the book is Henry, a famous author, who is taken by a play sent to him by one of this fans. The play is about a donkey named Beatrice and a monkey named Virgil. The author turns out to be a taxidermist who might have been a Nazi collaborator and the play is suppose to be an allegory for the suffering in the Holocaust. The taxidermist even…

Book Review: The Fifth Servant by Kenneth Wishnia
5 Stars , Historical Fiction / February 17, 2011

I got this book for free as part of the TLC Book Tour promotion. The publisher has made available one (1) copy of “The Fifth Servant” to be given out- enter at the end of the post. My rating for “The Fifth Servant” – 5 About: “The Fifth Servant” by Kenneth Wishnia (Website) is a fictional mystery set in 1592 at Jewish Ghetto in the city of Prague. The book is rich with Jewish culture and the tensions between Jews and Christians. Get a discount on “The Fifth Servant” through the ManOfLaBook affiliate account on: Amazon |Book Depository US | Book Depository UK Thoughts: “The Fifth Servant” by Kenneth Wishnia is told through the eyes of Benyamin Ben Akivah, a Talmudic scholar who follows his disgruntled wife from Poland to Prague. The book takes place over three days and two nights when Benyamin tries to solve a blood libel incident which weighed down the Jewish communities up until the 20th Century. This is a clever book, filled with excellent research, vivid imagery, and good writing sprinkled with humor. The medieval ghetto life is convincing and rich in detail, city of Prague comes to life even though it wouldn’t be a…

Book Review: The Purples by W.K. Berger
4 Stars , Fiction / January 27, 2011

Afraid of the worker’s unions in 1920’s Detroit Henry Ford’s agents, under the guise of fighting communism, arrest a multitude of people.  Rachel is one of those people only that Rachel’s boyfriend is Jewish mobster Joe Bernstein.

Book Review: The Gilded Chamber: A Novel of Queen Esther by Rebecca Kohn
4 Stars , Biblical Fiction , Fiction / October 8, 2010

I borrowed this book from the local library. My rating for The Gilded Chamber– 4 About: “The Gilded Chamber: A Novel of Queen Esther” by Rebecca Kohn is a familiar story, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan, is being brought to the court of King Xerxes as a possible queen. Hiding her Jewish origins she changes her name to Esther, becomes queen and saves the Jews from certain death (now…let’s eat). Buy “The Gilded Chamber” and get a royal treat Thoughts: The book itself is very inventive biblical fiction, I must give the author credit and I really enjoyed the first part of the book. However, for me the book took a wrong turn by not sticking with the biblical timeline and taking too many liberties with the “fiction” part of biblical fiction. Part of my enjoyment reading fiction is that I learn something along the way, if I have to pick apart what’s accurate and what’s not it takes away from the experience. The female characters are drawn very nicely, but the males seemed to be a bit flat and uninteresting. That’s too bad because Xerxes, Mordechai and Haman are fascinating cultural, historical and biblical characters by their own right. This…

Book Review: Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean by Edward Kritzler
4 Stars , Non-Fiction / September 17, 2010

“Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean” by Ed Kritzler is about a small part in the vast history of the Jewish people. This is an incredible book with many fascinating characters their intrigue, exploration and adventure. The author focuses on the Jewish pirates as well as the legitimate Jewish seamen (such as pilots, navigators, etc.) since, let’s face it, there is a reason you never heard of Jewish pirates – there weren’t that many.

Book Review: Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar
4 Stars , Biblical Fiction / September 13, 2010

“Pearl in the Sand” by Tessa Afshar, a biblical fiction novel, is the story of Rahab, one of the most thought provoking women of the Jewish bible (the Old Testament), in the book of Joshua. Rahab is a woman of the city of Jericho and works in the world’s oldest profession, a prostitute as well as an inn keeper. Rahab earned praise in the bible because of her unique faith, as well as being of the lineage of Jesus.

Book Review: The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva
4 Stars , Fiction / August 6, 2010

The Kill Artist   is a well written spy novel, filled with details in all the right places as well as several characters from Silva’s previous novels and wonderful political popcorn for those of us that care. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

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