The upcoming year will feature virtual and in-person Jewish Book Council author events.
You will receive the Zoom link upon completion of your registration.
You may register for multiple authors at one time.
DECEMBER 21, 2021 4PM via ZOOM
J.S. Margot is a highly respected journalist and freelance writer based in Antwerp. Her mother language is Dutch. An award-winning contributor to leading national newspapers De Standaard and De Morgen, she has also written five novels and lectures regularly in both the Netherlands and Belgium. In 2017, she was awarded the E. du Perronprijs and the Prize for the best Religious book from the VUKPP for Mazel Tov, which was also highly acclaimed in the Dutch and Belgian press. Mazel Tov has been translated into German, French, Polish, Czech and Hungarian and won the Best Book Award in Poland; it is her first book to be translated into English.
Mazel Tov: The Story of My Extraordinary Friendship with an Orthodox Jewish Family
When 20-year-old student J. S. Margot took a tutoring job, little did she know it would open up an entire world.
In the family’s Orthodox Jewish household she would encounter endless rules – ‘never come on a Friday, never shake hands with a man’ – and quirks she had not seen before: tiny tubes on the doorposts, separate fridges for meat and dairy products. Her initial response was puzzlement and occasionally anger, but as she taught the children and fiercely debated with the family, she also began to learn from them.
Mazel Tov is a heartwarming, provocative, and disarmingly honest memoir of clashing cultures and unusual friendships, and of how, where adults build walls, sometimes only children can dissolve them.
JANUARY 9, 2022 4PM via ZOOM
Cambria Gordon is the co-author of The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming, winner of the National Green Earth Book Award. She has written for Los Angeles Times Magazine, Boys Life, Parent Guide News and The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. She lives with her husband and youngest son, while being as near as possible to her two adult children, without annoying them.
The Poetry of Secrets
The setting for Cambria Gordon’s new young adult novel is the world of fifteenth-century Spain prior to the expulsion of the kingdom’s Jews. Sixteen-year-old Isabel Pérez is caught in a daily struggle as a crypto-Jew. Her family seeks an impossible balance, outwardly conforming to the church as conversos while hoping to secretly preserve their Jewish practice. The outside environment threatens Isabel, and tensions at home — which mirror the multiple responses of the Jewish community — also impose their own painful reality. Gordon’s narrative emphasizes the interplay between external and internal pressures on a strong and gifted young woman as she tries to navigate the terrors of her time.
The dramatic tension grows as Isabel, with the support of her abuela, becomes interested in exploring Jewish texts. Gordon includes Isabel’s poems, written in the tradition of Spanish Jewish and Arabic verse, alongside selections of work by historical poets. The young woman’s attraction to language as a means to examine, codify, and express her own experience and that of her people is a central theme of the novel — as important as family bonds and romantic love. The complexities of the author’s goal make her novel as vibrant as a street in medieval Spain; readers will want to follow Isabel on her winding path towards freedom.
The Poetry of Secrets includes an author’s note with both personal insights and historical background material.
FEBRUARY 20, 2022 4PM via ZOOM
Jonathan Santlofer is the author of six bestselling novels, among them The Death Artist, and Nero award-winning Anatomy of Fear. His memoir, The Widower’s Notebook, received national acclaim and was featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He is the editor/creator of seven anthologies, the recipient of two NEA grants, Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome, and serves on the board of Yaddo. He is a noted speaker.
The Last Mona Lisa
A gripping novel exploring the secrets of the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa and the dark underbelly of today’s art world. A story of heart-stopping suspense as romantic and sexy as it is terrifying and thrilling, one that taps into our universal fascination with da Vinci, the authentic and the fake, and people so driven to acquire priceless works of art, they will stop at nothing to possess them‚ not even murder.
The Past, August 1911: The Mona Lisa is stolen by museum worker Vincent Peruggia. During its two-year absence from the Louvre, replicas of the painting are created and sold as the original by a notorious duo of con artists. Several of these forgeries remain at large, prompting more than one art historian to speculate that the museum might well be displaying a fake.
The Present: Artist and art professor Luke Perrone hunts for the truth behind his most infamous ancestor, Peruggia. His search attracts a reckless INTERPOL detective with something to prove, a beautiful woman who may want more than Luke’s affection, and a hornet’s nest of the most unscrupulous art collectors and thieves.
MARCH 13, 2022 4PM via ZOOM
Jori Epstein is a sports reporter for USA Today and author of The Upstander. At USA Today, she reports features, investigations, and news, primarily on the Dallas Cowboys and NFL. Jori graduated from the University of Texas in 2016 with degrees in journalism and Plan II Honors. She’s passionate about running, eating kosher chicken, and embracing obscure Jewish traditions.
The Upstander: How Surviving the Holocaust Sparked Max Glauben’s Mission to Dismantle Hate
Holocaust survivor Max Glauben is on a mission: to outlast hate, to preserve memory, and to compel the world to embrace tolerance.
The stench of decay pierced the air aboard the boxcar of trapped Jews. “Why me?” fifteen-year-old Max asked himself, as a convoy rumbled from the Warsaw Ghetto to Majdanek death camp in May 1943.
The deluge of questions intensified as the Nazis murdered Max’s mother, father, and brother. Max channeled grit, determination, and a fortuitous knack for carpentry to survive.
This memoir explores Max’s mischievous childhood and teen years as a go-to ghetto smuggler. Max journeys from displaced person to American immigrant. He reveals how he ached as he dared to court love and rear children. For decades, he bottled up his trauma. Then he realized: He could transform his pain into purpose.
Infused with raw emotion and vivid detail, historical records and Max’s poignant voice, The Upstander relays Max’s powerful lifetime commitment to thwarting hate and galvanizing resilience. Max no longer asks, “Why me?” Instead, he asks: “What can we do next?”
APRIL 3, 2022 1PM in-person, location to be announced
Julie Metz is the New York Times bestselling author of Perfection. She has written on a range of women’s issues for the New York Times, Salon, Dame, Redbook, Glamour, and Slice. Her personal essays have appeared in the anthologies The Moment and The House That Made Me. She has been a Fellow at Yaddo, MacDowell, VCCA, and the Vermont Studio Center. She lives with her family and two cats in New York State’s Hudson Valley. She posts lovely photos on Instagram @juliemetzwriter.
Eva and Eve: A Search for My Mother’s Lost Childhood and What a War Left Behind
In March 1938, when Hitler’s armies annexed Austria, forcibly stripping the country of its sovereignty and officially making it part of Germany, there were 185,000 Jews living in Vienna. Out of a population of two million people residing in the former imperial city, this community of Jews, many generations old, constituted ten percent. Vienna held the largest population of German-speaking Jews in all of Europe at the time. Julie Metz’s mother, Eva Singer, was one of them.
In March 1940, when Eva was twelve years old, she and her parents were finally able to rip themselves out of the escalating danger to escape to the U.S. How did they do it, when 65,000 of the Viennese Jews were ultimately caught in the Nazi trap and murdered? How did they survive in Vienna for the two years after the Anschluss, when Jews were hunted and no place was safe?
The answers to these questions, and many others like it, are the subject of Metz’s insightful memoir.
Alongside the account of the stories and facts that enabled Metz to piece together her family heritage is a layer of interwoven commentary on today’s culture and politics in the U.S. as they relate to immigration policy and practice.
We experience the power that the little album exerted on Metz’s curiosity in the flow of the story she tells. In a way, her mother’s death gave her new life. The research journey it propelled her on was long, arduous, and intermittent, alternating among search, serendipity, and success. We follow the narrative with a good deal of hope that she will find out not only the answers to her questions but the peace that comes with fully knowing and accepting the past. Clearly, the Holocaust has left a significant stamp on Metz and her worldview, and in the end the fact that she now recognizes its force is the crowning achievement of the book.
MAY 1, 2022 11AM in-person, location to be announced
Janice Kaplan has enjoyed wide success as a magazine editor, television producer, writer, and journalist. The former editor-in-chief of Parade magazine, she is the author or co-author of fourteen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Gratitude Diaries and I’ll See You Again. She lives in New York City and Kent, Connecticut.
The Genius of Women: From Overlooked to Changing The World
We tell girls that they can be anything, so why do 90 percent of Americans believe that geniuses are almost always men? New York Times bestselling journalist and creator and host of the podcast The Gratitude Diaries Janice Kaplan explores the powerful forces that have rigged the system‚ and celebrates the women geniuses, past and present, who have triumphed anyway.
Even in this time of rethinking women’s roles, we define genius almost exclusively through male achievement. When asked to name a genius, people mention Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Steve Jobs. As for great women? In one survey, the only female genius anyone listed was Marie Curie.
Janice Kaplan, the New York Times bestselling author of The Gratitude Diaries, set out to determine why the extraordinary work of so many women has been brushed aside. Using her unique mix of memoir, narrative, and inspiration, she makes surprising discoveries about women geniuses now and throughout history, in fields from music to robotics. Through interviews with neuroscientists, psychologists, and dozens of women geniuses at work in the world today‚ – including Nobel Prize winner Frances Arnold and AI expert Fei-Fei Li – she proves that genius isn’t just about talent. It’s about having that talent recognized, nurtured, and celebrated.
Across the generations, even when they face less-than-perfect circumstances, women geniuses have created brilliant and original work. In The Genius of Women, you’ll learn how they ignored obstacles and broke down seemingly unshakable barriers. The geniuses in this moving, powerful, and very entertaining book provide more than inspiration‚ they offer a clear blueprint to everyone who wants to find her own path and move forward with passion.