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Hanukkah is coming up soon so the prompt today is: What are some books by Jewish authors that you have enjoyed?
Hanukkah starts on Sunday, and I’m looking forward to it! The family is coming over to spend some time, light the menorah, enjoy traditional foods like latkes and donuts, play dreidel, and exchange gifts. It’s super early this year, but I’m prepared. It’s actually a minor holiday, but lighting the menorah always makes me feel connected to other Jewish people around the world, knowing that we all participate in that same ritual and say the same prayer, no matter how different we are.
This year was a great one for Jewish authors, and I’ve read quite a few recently. There’s been a hashtag going around on Instagram in response to rising levels of antisemitism, and the #JewishBookstagramTour has not only introduced me to some incredible new books, but also some really cool people I might not have met otherwise. Here’s some of my favorite books by Jewish authors from this year:
- The City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros — this historical fantasy was dark, atmospheric, and absolutely steeped in both Jewish culture and folklore.
- Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman — I wasn’t expecting to see a Jewish character featured so prominently in this historical fantasy story, but I loved it! I’ve got The Dovekeepers by her on my TBR list for a Hanukkah readathon, and it’s a historical fiction about Masada, the site of an ancient battle in Israel.
- The Matzah Ball by Jean Melzer — this romance was absolutely brimming with Jewishness, and it made my heart absolutely sing to see it. Between that and the chronic illness rep, I’ve never felt so seen in a book. Plus, it was hilarious!
- The Witches of Escazú by Roots Metals — I’ve been following Roots on her Instagram for a while, and this is the book of fairytales I didn’t even know I needed. Although the majority of the fairytales I heard as a child were covertly antisemitic, this book just shines with Jewish stories.
- Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli — this was the cutest YA romance that I enjoyed every single second of. And the Jewish rep was just perfect!
- People Love Dead Jews by Dara Horn — this nonfiction book takes a hard and painful look at why there are so many monuments and museums that have exhibits to dead Jews, but why no one pays attention to the living ones, and why antisemitism is swept under the rug so easily. This is a book that is definitely underhyped and that more people should read (in my opinion).
- Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth by Noa Tishby — this nonfiction book absolutely blew my mind. The audiobook is narrated by the author, and she did an incredible job. It clearly talks about the history of the country, the politics, the conflicts, and she doesn’t hold back on what it’s doing right and wrong. It’s a clear explanation of the country and what is happening in the area. Another book everyone should check out.
- Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik — this one had been on my TBR forever, and I loved the way Rumplestiltskin was retold with a distinctly Jewish spin.
- Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon — another YA romance that I absolutely adored. It features a Jewish MC that I couldn’t help but love. The way that her Judaism was portrayed was immediately familiar and easy to reconcile with how I grew up.
I could probably keep going all day, but I’m going to cut it short here. But if you want to learn more about Jewish authors, hit me up! I’ve got a bunch of recommendations, and plenty coming up on my TBR, so stay tuned! What other books by Jewish authors did you love?
Categories: Fae Friday