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JewliciousReads: Who Knew Ink Weighed So Much? 4 Books for Mid-June

It’s Tuesday in America, the day of the week that new books are published. Among the newest are 4 recommended reads. They are


[book]
SWELL
A Novel
by Jill Eisenstadt

Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date: June 6, 2017

A darkly funny novel set in the New York City beach community of Rockaway, Queens, NY, after 9/11.

Sue Glassman’s family is in a bind. They need to leave TriBeCa in downtown Manhattan and fine a new place to live. Her father-in-law, Sy Glassman, has a swell deal to offer. If Sue will convert to Judaism, Sy will buy them a house in Far Rockaway. Sue, her husband Dan, and their two daughters can move in… along with Sy. Sue agrees, she converts, the family moves to this mixed ethnicity village that is filled with current and retired firefighters, cops, and others. And who shows up? The former owner of the house, Rose, aged 90, who actually killed her son at the house before it was sold (but she blamed the illegal Chinese boatperson who had come ashore and lived with her before suddenly passing away.) And then even more surprises come in with the swelling tide…


[book]
THE WEIGHT OF INK
A Novel
by Rachel Kadish

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: June 6, 2017

How is this historical novel? About 570 pages.

No, but seriously, it is a worthwhile, entertaining Summer opus of a read (for those in the Northern Hemisphere)

The Weight of Ink is set in London during the 1660s, and in the past two decades. Meet Ester Velasquez, an new immigrant to London from Amsterdam. She is employed as the scribe to a blind rabbi. As she writes, we observe the happenings at the rabbi’s place in 17th Century England. And there is Helen Watt, an ailing historian of British History, with a love of Jewish history. She is weeks from retirement and not too well. Did I mention she was a volunteer on a kibbutz in Israel in 1948? As the novel opens, Helen has been invited to the home of a former student to view a cache of newly discovered Jewish documents (from the 1660s). Enlisting the help of a grad student, Aaron Levy, Helen embarks on a project that can be her apex, namely to identify the documents’ scribe, the person they call “Aleph.” Maybe it will be a woman. Maybe it is Ester. Maybe it will be a story of two women and their choices, their interfaith possibilities, their sacrifices (or martyrdoms) over the span of over three centuries of Jewish life.

Let me add one more thing… Rachel Kadish is hear becuase of the bravery of a Japanese man. In 1940, Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese vice-consul in Kovno, Lithuania, issue travel documents that saved Jewish refugees from Nazi murderers. Kadish’s ancestors had fled Krakow, and were captured attempting to cross the Lithuanian border. They’d endured interrogation in a Russian prison and then escaped, only to find themselves moored in Kovno, with war closing in and no way out. Sugihara saved them.


[book]
STAY INTERESTING
I Don’t Always Tell Stories About My Life,
but When I Do They’re True and Amazing
A Memoir
by Jonathan Goldsmith

Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: June 13, 2017

“At museums, he’s allowed to touch the art.”
“Sharks have a week dedicated to him.”
“His personality is so magnetic, he is unable to carry credit cards.”

Jonathan Goldsmith gained fame as the face of Dos Equis beer. He was the Mister Whipple and the AFLAC Duck of Mexican beer. For years he was a struggling Bronx-born actor in New York and Los Angeles. He auditioned against Dustin Hoffman, he sailed with Fernando Lamas, and he was shot in a scene by John Wayne. But he never became a star who could support his life with acting. So he ventured into business. And then he found celebrated success as “The Most Interesting Man in the World.”

A memoir told through a series of about fifty adventures (escape from boarding school; buddies with Elia Kazan and Shelley (I can swim) Winters); farmed in Vermont; saved someone on a frozen mountain; was shipwrecked on an island that wasn’t Gilligan’s; in 2011, was President Obama’s 50th birthday president at Camp David; told off Dustin Hoffman, saying he would succeed and Dustin would not; had a date with Judy Garland), and the lessons he has learned and wants to pass on. Namely, don’t boast and be open to everyone.


[book]
KITCHEN MATTERS
More than 100 Recipes and Tips
to Transform the Way You Cook and Eat–
Wholesome, Nourishing, Unforgettable
by Pamela Salzman

Publisher: Da Capo
Publication Date: June 13, 2017

Pamela, her husband and family attend Congregation Tikvat Jacob Beth Torah in Manhattan Beach, CA. A graduate of Penn, with an MBA from UCLA, Salzman pursued a love and skill for cooking. In this new cookbook, Salzman shares a simple but powerful mantra with the students who attend her cooking classes: Eat well, live well, be well.

In “Kitchen Matters,” she shares the veggie-forward, anti-inflammatory and nutrient-dense recipes that have won the praise of her fans, both celebrities and regular folk. See her salad recipe below.

Saturday Chopped Salad
By:Pamela Salzman of Kitchen Matters

Servings: Serves 6

Ingredients
For the Salad:
1 head romaine lettuce finely chopped (about 6 cups)
3 cups diced red cabbage
3 radishes
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes quartered (optional)
1/3 cup pickled shallots diced (or 5 pepperoncini seeded and finely chopped)
1/2 bunch chives finely chopped
2 persian cucumbers finely diced
2 carrots finely diced or julienned and finely chopped
1 avocado peeted, pitted, and diced
3 ounces feta (preferably goat’s milk feta, crumbled) (omit for vegan or DairyFree)
optional: quinoa, diced cooked chicken, tuna in olive oil, canned salmon, chopped hard-boiled egg, chickpeas

For the Dressing:
1 small shallot minced (about 2 teaspoons)
3/4 to 1 teaspoon sea salt
1 pinch black pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons raw honey (omit for vegan) or pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons unpasteurized cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
3/4 cup unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil or 1/2 cup olive oil + 1/2 cup flax oil

Instructions

For the Salad:
Combine the lettuce and cabbage in a large bowl. Add the radishes, cherry tomatoes, pickled onions, chives, cucumber, and carrots. Toss with enough dressing to coat lightly. Add the avocado and feta and drizzle with a small amount of dressing. Toss very gently with your hands to incorporate into the salad without smearing avocado and feta everywhere.

For the Dressing:
Either whisk together all the ingredients, including black pepper to taste, in a small bowl or place them in a glass jar with a lid and shake until emulsified.
The dressing can be made ahead and kept in a glass jar in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. Because olive oil solidifies when chilled, you will need to remove it from the refrigerator well before you want to use it, for it to become pourable. Or you can leave the dressing at room temperature in a cool, dark place for a few days. If you use flax oil in the dressing, it must stay refrigerated.

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