Gifts for literarily everyone: Holiday book guide

As Chanukah approaches, there is a plentitude of gift-worthy titles from recently published books. Some are elegant, some quirky, some comforting, but all of them are suitable for one or another of the readers on your list.  


Michael Feinstein, an American maestro in his own right, celebrates the Gershwin songbook in a sumptuous memoir, “The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs” (Simon & Schuster: $45).  (As I sing the praises of Feinstein’s beautiful book, I am listening to the recording of the author’s performance that accompanies it, a delightful companion piece.) Feinstein spent six years working with Ira Gershwin, and he writes not only with a unique personal knowledge of the Gershwin brothers but also with the ardor of someone who recognizes the enduring power and importance of their music. “I deeply care about doing what I can to help keep the Gershwin name alive,” Feinstein explains. “Why? Because my life would be poorer without their legacy, and it gives me immense pleasure to look at the face of someone discovering a Gershwin song for the first time.” At this self-appointed task, Feinstein succeeds magnificently.  

Jonathan Kirsch, author and publishing attorney, is the book editor of the Jewish Journal. He can be reached at