• Nadia

Books by Jewish Authors You Should Read

Happy Hanukkah! Today is the first day of this eight-day Jewish celebration and we want to celebrate with you! We're sharing some amazing books written by Jewish authors for you to read during this holiday!

Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon

Wonder Boys firmly established Michael Chabon as a force to be reckoned with in American fiction. At once a deft parody of the American fame factory and a piercing portrait of young and old desire, this novel introduces two unforgettable characters: Grady Tripp, a former publishing prodigy now lost in a fog of pot and passion and stalled in the midst of his endless second book, and Grady's student, James Leer, a budding writer obsessed with Hollywood self-destruction and struggling with his own searching heart.

We recommend this to anyone who loves modern classics. It is a wildly funny story that will have you enjoying every page you read.

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Small Island by Andrea Levy

Hortense Joseph arrives in London from Jamaica in 1948 with her life in her suitcase, her heart broken, her resolve intact. Her husband, Gilbert Joseph, returns from the war expecting to be received as a hero, but finds his status as a black man in Britain to be second class. His white landlady, Queenie, raised as a farmer's daughter, befriends Gilbert, and later Hortense, with innocence and courage, until the unexpected arrival of her husband, Bernard, who returns from combat with issues of his own to resolve.

This is a story told through four voices. It is a courageous and tender novel. Perfect for those who love historical fiction with an emotional storyline.

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Color Me In by Natasha Díaz

Natasha Díaz’s debut YA novel, Color Me In, fictionalizes her childhood and tells the coming-of-age story of Navaeh Levitz. Navaeh is a Black Jewish teenager whose father forces her to have a belated bat mitzvah at age 16. Navaeh’s parents are in the midst of a divorce, and the bat mitzvah is her father’s way of having her stay connected to his Jewish family. Meanwhile, Navaeh is struggling to figure out her identity, her relationship to her blackness, her privilege, a blossoming relationship, and both sides of her family.

We recommend this book to all YA readers. It is a compelling coming-of-age story that will make you smile the more you read.

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The Color of Love by Marra B. Gad

In 1970, three-day-old Marra B. Gad was adopted by a white Jewish family in Chicago. For her parents, it was love at first sight--but they quickly realized the world wasn't ready for a family like theirs. Marra's biological mother was unwed, white, and Jewish, and her biological father was black. While still a child, Marra came to realize that she was "a mixed-race, Jewish unicorn."

We recommend this to those who love memoirs. It is beautifully written. Marra B. Gad's story is very straightforward but still heartwarming.

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Yarmulkes & Fitted Caps by Aaron Levy Samuels

Aaron Samuels, raised in Providence, Rhode Island by a Jewish mother and a Black father, is a Cave Canem Fellow and a nationally acclaimed performer. In this ground-breaking collection of poems, Samuels examines the beauty and contradictions of his own mixed identity with gut-wrenching narratives, humor, and passionate verve.

For everyone who loved poetry, this book is for you. This collection of poems is striking and very personal.

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If any of these books caught your attention and you're looking for more book recs, visit our bookshop!