October 19, 2018

Books

"On Tuesday, Stephen Hawking's final, posthumous book 'Brief Answers to the Big Questions' was released, detailing final thoughts the physicist had on the biggest questions humankind faces. In the book, Hawking wrote 'there is no God.'"

In “Zion’s Fiction,” Israeli authors grapple with God, country, and spacetime.

“Bookish, which sounds a bit like Jewish, is the word I use to describe lives that are dominated by books.”

“When female novelists write about female characters, or domesticity, or children, they face subtle charges of self-absorption.”

Norman Podhoretz of Commentary Magazine started his career with a controversial negative review of Saul Bellow’s “Augie March.”

A new book looks at what we do, why we do it, and how we feel about it.

“What is the task of the translator – to be a servant to the source or to create a new work of illuminated meaning?”

“Appropriation goes both ways, and increasingly it’s being seen as a creative freedom for writers who have been excluded from the literary canon.”

“In place of the traditional gatekeeping system is a supportive, welcoming environment, particularly for marginalized voices.”

“What a literature that embraces female anger can achieve.”

“What do readers lose from having no Nobel announcement this year? It’s easier, perhaps, to consider what they might have gained: Not very much.”

“Full Disclosure,” the new memoir from porn-star and #resistance hero Stormy Daniels, is about more than sex.

A new book from Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, “Everybody Lies,” examines Americans as we are when we’re alone with our computers.

During ‘Banned Book Week,’ bookstores around the country celebrate titles and authors which have been censored in the past. But we don’t need it anymore.

What’s the purpose of Talmud study? Is it merely legal? Or is it spiritual and intellectual as well? Chaim Saiman answers these questions in his new book, “Halakhah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law.”

A new book details the legal battle Israel waged for possession of Kafka’s manuscripts. The State of Israel may have won their case, but who really has the right to claim Kafka's legacy?

Wattpad offers users an undifferentiated mass of user-generated content ranging from erotica to sci-fi fanfiction. Here’s how it’s transforming the publishing world.

"It strikes me that we’re now suffering collectively from a “tyranny of the virtual,” since we find ourselves unable to look away from the screens that mediate not just print but, increasingly, reality itself."

Tolstoy, in addition to literary masterpieces, left behind a legacy as a political and spiritual thinker. His teachings inspired a Kibbutz-like cooperative farming movement. These Tolstoyan communities still exist.

“Teachers and students love A People’s History of the United States. But it’s as limited—and closed-minded—as the textbooks it replaces.”

Every great fantasy book starts with a map. David Mitchell explores the unique role cartography plays in the creation of his fictional worlds.

Karl Ove Knausgaard’s epic 7-book memoir, My Struggle, is an international literary hit and widely hailed as a masterpiece. Its seventh and final volume takes on Hitler and turns this epic work into an epic fail.

“The cultural and political assumptions and insights once confined to the Voice-defined margins have long since been absorbed into the mainstream... In many ways, The Village Voice folded simply because its work here was done.”

“The feel-good mantras and fuzzy exhortations to optimism that are rapidly becoming ubiquitous shift the burden of reform away from society…”

Is “safetyism” destroying America? In “The Coddling of the American Mind,” Greg Lukianoff & Jonathan Haidt call out the culture of intellectual infantilization plaguing American Universities.

Bob Woodward, a journalist who rose to prominence reporting on the Watergate scandal, is releasing a new book about the Trump White House. Here's what his interviewees had to say about Trump.

JJ Best Of The Web

In Jamal Khashoggi's final column for the Washington Post, the late columnist makes an impassioned plea for freedom of expression in the Arab world. "Arab governments have been given free rein to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate."

"The country—consciously or unconsciously—has gotten used to Donald Trump. Twenty-one months into his administration, Mr. Trump has been processed, or half-processed—even subtly domesticated—by the large, complicated American mind..."

The old Israel is represented in this case by the main casualty of the new train: the historic Jerusalem-Tel Aviv line, which has been running on and off since 1892 and isn’t likely to run much longer.

"The Conners is the Roseanne revival we should save had. Instead of making hay of culture war flashpoints, the spinoff stays focused on the family’s bleakly circumscribed reality."

The dizzying run-up in crypto prices in 2017 was followed, this year, by a long, lurching retreat that, as the summer gave way to fall, began to seem perilous.

"Recently my son visited a Holocaust Museum where a program called New Dimensions in Testimony provided a hologram of an Auschwitz survivor. The unreal man would answer any question the children asked about the horrors of history. "

"As a queer Black Clevelander, the podcast's new season investigating criminal justice in Cleveland clarifies a lifetime of racist interactions with police."

"On Tuesday, Stephen Hawking's final, posthumous book 'Brief Answers to the Big Questions' was released, detailing final thoughts the physicist had on the biggest questions humankind faces. In the book, Hawking wrote 'there is no God.'"

"Young people are among the loneliest of all Americans. Schools that teach kids how to deal with feelings of isolation could help put a dent in the epidemic."

"The framework of a “Cheat Day” and reification of these foods being “improper” is, frankly, rotten at its core. These foods are a “cheat” because the consequences of guiltlessly and regularly eating them—which is to say, the appearance of fatness."

"A mere half a degree could spell the difference between the Arctic being ice-free once a decade and once a century; between coral reefs being almost entirely wiped out and up to 30 percent hanging on..."

Some Jewish thinkers are eager to reconcile science and religion by reconciling the Torah with the scientific theories. But science and religion are different fields of knowledge and address different concerns.