A Year in Books

By D.G. Myers
Thursday, December 23, 2010

It was a good year for Jewish books in English. The two greatest living American Jewish novelists—Philip Roth and Cynthia Ozick—added beguiling volumes to their already impressive bodies of work, although perhaps the most interesting Jewish novels of the year belong to two somewhat younger writers. Several fascinating biographies of several fascinating Jews appeared, and the field of history was distinguished by two monumental studies of anti-Semitism. Joan Nathan even came out with a new cookbook! From the popular to the scholarly, here is a reader's and buyer's guide to 34 of the best, listed alphabetically by author's last name.



What are the year's best Jewish books? Many are the contenders. Three I would single out for special mention are, in fiction, Steve Stern's The Frozen Rabbi  and Howard Jacobson's prize-winning The Finkler Question, and, in nonfiction, Anthony Julius's Trials of the Diaspora. Easily the year's best, however, is Hillel Halkin's Yehuda Halevi, which packs enough learning into one small volume for three or four scholarly studies but does so with an unrivaled lightness of touch and an unembarrassed partisan love for Jews, Jewish books, and the Jewish state.

D. G. Myers writes on books regularly at A Commonplace Blog.

You can find this online at: http://www.jidaily.com/2010books

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