TBE Book Club

Join us for a lively discussion! All are welcome! 

2014-2015 Schedule 

(All meetings run from 7:30-9:00 pm) 

September 17, 201Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz
October 29The Nation by the River by Gabe Galambos
November 19The Family Moskat by Isaac Bashevis Singer
December 17Nemesis by Philip Roth
January 28, 2015

What Do Jews Believe? by David Ariel

February 25

Blue Mountain by Meir Shalev

March 25 
April 29 
May 27 
June 24 

 

 

December 17, 7:30 pm - Nemesis by Philip Roth

In the "stifling heat of equatorial Newark," a terrifying epidemic is raging, threatening the children of the New Jersey city with maiming, paralysis, lifelong disability, and even death. This is the startling theme of Philip Roth’s wrenching new book: a wartime polio epidemic in the summer of 1944 and the effect it has on a closely knit, family-oriented Newark community and its children.

At the center of Nemesis is a vigorous, dutiful twenty-three-year-old playground director, Bucky Cantor, a javelin thrower and weightlifter, who is devoted to his charges and disappointed with himself because his weak eyes have excluded him from serving in the war alongside his contemporaries. Focusing on Cantor’s dilemmas as polio begins to ravage his playground—and on the everyday realities he faces—Roth leads us through every inch of emotion such a pestilence can breed: the fear, the panic, the anger, the bewilderment, the suffering, and the pain.

Moving between the smoldering, malodorous streets of besieged Newark and Indian Hill, a pristine children’s summer camp high in the Poconos—whose "mountain air was purified of all contaminants"—Roth depicts a decent, energetic man with the best intentions struggling in his own private war against the epidemic. Roth is tenderly exact at every point about Cantor’s passage into personal disaster, and no less exact about the condition of childhood.

Through this story runs the dark questions that haunt all four of Roth’s late short novels, Everyman, Indignation, The Humbling, and now Nemesis: What kind of accidental choices fatally shape a life? How does the individual withstand the onslaught of circumstance?

January 28, 2015, 7:30 pm  - What Do Jews Believe? by David Ariel

In this fresh and lucid study, Ariel presents the fundamentals of Jewish thought on the profound issues of God, human destiny, good and evil, Torah, and messianism, guiding the reader toward a definition of the beliefs that shape Jewish identity. This lively exploration of Jewish ideas and beliefs provides a rationale and stimulus for anyone seeking to understand or reconnect to the rich and diverse spiritual tradition of Judaism.

 

 

 

February 25, 7:30 pm  - Blue Mountain by Meir Shalev

The absorbing first novel by one of Israel's most important and acclaimed contemporary writers focuses on four idealistic early settlers of the modern state of IsraelSet in a small rural village prior to the creation of the State of Israel, this funny and hugely imaginative book paints an extraordinary picture of a small community of Ukrainian immigrants as they pioneer a new life in a new land over three generations. Narrated by Baruch, a grandson of one of the founding fathers of the village, this lyrical novel transcends time and place by touching on issues of universal relevance, showcasing the skill of a master storyteller who never fails to entertain.


 
Helene Kress, helenewk@rcn.com
Trina Reinach, sreinach@rcn.com