Tag Archives: book diva reviews

Four In One Post

Every Picture Tells a Story, Volume One: Bereishis, and Volume Two: Shmos are vividly presented books.

The stories of Torah individuals are illuminated through creative and colorful pictures. Commentary on the Parshah (weekly Torah portion) is highly illuminated, not only through concise prose, but through the interpretation through the use of descriptive pictures.

The books are defining, and valuable resources for readers of any age. Children will be enthralled with the pictures, and glean a greater understanding of Torah. Adults will be pleased, as well.
Soul Surfing, by Zlata Ehrenstein, is a very thought-provoking book regarding mysticism in Judaism.

Through self-examination of the soul, one can gain insight into our emotions, thoughts on life, and insights into religiosity, especially through meditative aspects. Meditation can clear the soul of negative connotations, and bring rejuvenation and illumination to one’s life.

From Aloneness to Loneliness (and there is a major difference), to teachings on Jewish marriage, along with the powers of intellect, one can garner a more heightened sense of Being and how they fit into the scheme of Jewish life.

The book clearly depicts the mindset necessary for a productive religious life, a Jewish life filled with love, caring, overcoming negativity and accepting the realities within our individual realm. The foundation for a harmonious Jewish life are told with vivid prose, prose for anyone searching for the meaning of life and the meaning of Judaism within their lives.

I highly recommend Soul Surfing, and personally gained much from reading the book, sometimes reading pages more than once or twice.
What is there not to enjoy while reading and gaining new insight from Saturday Night, Full Moon: Intriguing Stories of Kabbala Sages, Chasidic Masters and Other Jewish Heroes!

I read each story with an open mind, and learned much from them. The Masters and Sages have a lot to tell us, and educate us in regards to Jewish life, mysticism, and Jewish study. The varied stories bring the reader a foundation from which to build upon in their own life. The stories also give us much to ponder and much to question, regarding our own theories and thoughts.

We can learn from the Masters and Sages of old, and learn from the more modern outlook regarding Judaism and religious practice. The book is filled with richness and depth. Within the pages one can read specific topics, read about specific individuals, and read specific verses. It is all there, concise and illuminating within the pages.

Safed, Israel, has long been known as a mystical outpost, with mystical outpourings, daily. Yerachmiel Michael Tillis brings life to the reader through his writing. He writes of mysticism in a way that those who have not read about it can learn the basic philosophies in a clear manner.

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Filed under Book Diva's Book Reviews, Jewish History

Varied Book Reviews

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After sunset, I love to sit in my favorite chair with a cup of decaffeinated green tea with honey and lemon in it, and read. I do this each evening. I read during the day, also, don’t get me wrong, but there is something about relaxing in the evening and perusing the pages of a book.

Many of the books I read come from new releases based on an author I like, or on a review of a book I am interested in.

Each of the links below give the curious reader a variety of books that have been reviewed. There might be a review of a book you are interested in reading, so browse through their listings.

The New York Times Sunday Book Review offers book reviews that blend cultures, societal issues, and so much more. Take a look.

Visit the Los Angeles Review of Books to see their collection for this week.

London Review of Books also has interesting material.

The Wall Street Journal offers their take on books.

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Filed under Blogrolls, Book Diva News

July 2013 Book Diva Reviews

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I reviewed the following books during July 2013:

The First Lady of Fleet Street

The Lives They Left Behind


Identical Strangers

The Periodic Table

The Retrospective

Soul to Soul

A Mind of Winter

Chains Around the Grass

I have read more books than I reviewed. It is always the way with me. I average a minimum of two books a week, usually three. I don’t review each book I read, due to time constraints.

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Filed under Blogrolls, Book Diva News, Book Diva's Book Reviews, Literature/Fiction, Non-Fiction

Book Diva Review: The Earth and Sky of Jacques Dorme

the earth and sky of The Earth and Sky of Jacques Dorme, by Andrei Makine, translated from the French by Geoffrey Strachan, is a vividly depicted story.

Makine’s novel is the third in a trilogy of books, that are more or less biographical. Time and place are innate and important qualities in his romantic and almost surreal writing.

The SPAN OF THEIR LIFE TOGETHER is to be so short that everything will happen to them for both the first and the last time.”

Those words encompass the very essence of the story line. Makine is brilliant with his visuals that flow through the pages with the utmost of illumination, grace, insight and intensity. He is a master story teller of romance, longing and loss, and this book is no exception.

A French fighter pilot named Jacques Dorme, and a French nurse, named Alexandra meet in Stalingrad, in May 1942, and begin a short-lived physical affair, but one that lasts indefinitely in their hearts. Through the destruction and devastation of Stalingrad, and within its ruins, their love story begins. They have little time together, but those moments and memories bind their hearts eternally. Jacques Dorme leaves for Siberia, where he eventually pilots a plane.

Before their meeting, Dorme was a prisoner of war in the east. The narrator of the book, was somewhat imprisoned, also, both emotionally and physically.

The narrator is a Russian war orphan, who has received comfort from a woman named Alexandra, and what he feels is similar to parental love, through the interactions of a weekly Sunday visit to her ruined home. The visit is his weekly outlet from the confines of the orphanage. He has been told that she knew his parents. There he manages to break through a wall, into a vacant apartment filled with books, and manages to teach himself French, the native language of both Jacques and Alexandra.

The narrator is eventually exiled to France, and from there, decades later, tries to find his roots by returning to his motherland in Russia. The narrator’s story and life is supposedly taken largely from Makine’s own life experiences.

Andrei Makine’s brilliant and beautiful prose is set against a harsh background, both in its indigenous, environmental elements and the elements of love and war. His metaphors for yearning and loss are vivid images that tear at the emotions of the reader . His work is masterful. I recommend The Earth and Sky of Jacques Dorme to every one.


Filed under Blogrolls, Book Diva's Book Reviews, Family Dynamics, Fiction, General, Literature/Fiction

Finished Reading

I have finished reading two very fascinating books:

Saving Monticello: The Levy Family’s Epic Quest to Rescue the House Jefferson Built, by Marc Leepson

Jewish Roots in Southern Soil: A New History, by Marcie Ferris

My reviews will follow some time this week.

Happy Sunday!

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Filed under Non-Fiction