Kosher Non-Jewish Books

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  • #609568
    dabeen
    Member

    I have a very hard time reading (most)Jewish books and have even stopped in middle of one due to the poor quality. I read to relax and its a good outlet. Unfortunately, most non-jewish books now adays are full of immorality. Does anyone have any recomandations of clean good books?

    #1021993
    fkelly
    Member

    Define immorality… Everyone has a different definiton so no one can recommend unless we know what you want!

    #1021994
    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    I just keep away from really really bad ones, like twilight, so far i havent read it, mostly cuz ive heard the stuff in it is worse than the hunger games. Which is my opinion is the worst im ever gonna read, cuz its really not so bad…..

    #1021995
    TheGoq
    Participant

    Curious George.

    #1021996
    batseven
    Participant

    Dunno if you could find clean, contemporary books nowadays.

    You might wanna look at old classics that were written a while back, though I don’t know of any myself.

    #1021997
    rebdoniel
    Member

    What genre are you interested in?

    #1021998
    TheGoq
    Participant

    As long as the classic isn’t The Scarlet Letter.

    #1021999
    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    Try non-fiction.

    #1022000
    maldru
    Member

    O’Henry

    #1022001
    Luna Lovegood
    Participant

    Terry Prachet, Cornelia Funke (more children’s books but an amazing writer), Trenton Lee Stewart (also more for children but a great story line- really makes you think), Christopher Paolini, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ray Bradbury and John Green to name a few.

    A warning about John Green: Depending on what you’d consider immoral you might want to be careful with his stuff.

    #1022002
    🐵 ⌨ Gamanit
    Participant

    I don’t know how old you are, but when I was younger I enjoyed the Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix. They’re clean books.

    #1022003
    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    The glue used in the binding of many books is a mucalage derived from rendered horses. You can hardly call any of these books kosher.

    #1022004
    moishyk
    Member

    Well, do u want to read jewish books?

    #1022005
    writersoul
    Member

    Terry Pratchett is clean for a given definition of clean.

    I hate it when that Happens. I love Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman, but only about five curse words, etc. in the whole flipping book are enough to prevent me from recommending it to people as a clean book.

    I mean, really… what exactly did it contribute to the plot? Negative zilch.

    #1022006
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    You can always go with Neil Gaiman’s children’s books–Coraline, The Graveyard Book. Those are fantastic at any age. ^_^

    InterWorld is also good. Also, M is for Magic, but I haven’t read it yet. Apparently, it’s a child-friendly selection of short stories culled from his existing short story anthologies.

    #1022007
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Terry Pratchett is clean for a given definition of clean.

    A Feegle’s?

    I have to repeat fkelly. Define “clean”.

    How about “The rise and fall of the Third Reich” or “Bellum Judaicum” by Titus Flavius Josephus. Those will keep you busy for a while.

    #1022008
    writersoul
    Member

    forget it, mods 🙂

    have a good shabbos

    #1022009
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Grimms Fairy Tales except for the Anti-Semtic one

    #1022010
    be good
    Participant

    Great topic- I also have a hard time finding clean books to read that are written well.

    This was clean and a good read: Johnny Walker no links

    Also, try the books by Malcolm Gladwell (Blink, The Outliers and The Tipping Point). All reasonably clean and interesting.

    I don’t know what your preferences are but I have all the books I’ve read, saved on my library profile so I can send you some, if you tell me a bit about yourself (male/female??) and what type of books you like to read.

    #1022011
    be good
    Participant

    O, also The Prime Ministers- by Yehuda Avner- it’s a must read and will keep you busy for a loooong time 😉

    #1022012
    be good
    Participant

    O Sorry, didn’t realize I couldn’t paste links. If you want to find the Johnny Walker book- google ‘Johnny Walker Spy family book’ and look on amazon – they have it.

    #1022013
    akuperma
    Participant

    It depends on how you define “kosher”, and perhaps is ultimately a question for whomever you rely on for halachic decision making.

    In the case of literature there are both issues of decency (what we don’t talk about on YWN) and also of apikorses. Many stories such as Moby Dick, Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, etc., all are considered to have “Christian” themes. For non-fiction what is “kosher” is much more complicated since you read non-fiction not for entertainment but to gather facts to make judgments pertaining to the real world.

    Perhaps it would be useful if there was a site that review non-Jewish literature from a Torah perspective (and written by someone who if familiar enough with the goyim’s culture to realize a religious perspective).

    #1022014
    dabeen
    Member

    Thanks for all the responses. I am more bothered by decency issues as opposed to “christian themes”. Im looking for young adult books, and I found most Jewish books to expensive and mostly poorly written. I have read all Christopher Paolonis books and have really enjoyed them. Anything else like those would be great.

    #1022015
    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    Peter and the starcatchers

    #1022016
    writersoul
    Member

    You read Lord of the Rings?

    Forget about inappropriate- there are exactly six female characters in the whole series if I count correctly (Arwen, Eowyn, Galadriel, Goldberry, Rosie, and Lobelia) and three of them are in it for about a chapter combined. In The Hobbit, in fact, there is a grand total of ZERO X-chromosome-only characters to the extent that they had to shove Galadriel into the movie in order to prevent people from complaining about discrimination or something.

    #1022017
    DRB
    Participant

    anything by jodi picoult. shes the best!

    #1022018
    WIY
    Member

    dabeen

    “I am more bothered by decency issues as opposed to “christian themes”.

    Christian themes should bother you very much. If you read kefira it becomes a part of your thought process whether you want it to or not so be careful what you read. Additionally Im pretty sure its assur to read such things.

    “Im looking for young adult books, and I found most Jewish books to expensive and mostly poorly written.”

    Get a library card. Theres also a Jewish library in Brooklyn, and Im sure Lakewood has one as well. If you don’t live in any of those places, most Jewish books are in the library system and you can request books and they will send them to your local library.

    Poorly written is no excuse to read things that are assur. Try to find the Jewish books that are well written.

    #1022019
    dabeen
    Member

    To WIY. Akuperma wrote that HP has a christian theme. I have the books an i didnt find anything thats kfira in them. I dont believe that its assur to read HP because of this christian theme, or any other books like them.

    #1022020
    Chortkov
    Participant

    Akuperma – what “christian themes” are there in Harry Potter?

    #1022021
    farrockgrandma
    Participant

    Rochelle Krich, Alan Furst

    #1022022
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    to the extent that they had to shove Galadriel into the movie in order to prevent people from complaining about discrimination or something.

    and sometimes you just wish they didn’t…(looking at you, Star Trek Into Darkness)

    #1022023
    writersoul
    Member

    OOM: Yes, that’s what my friend said too… I get the feeling that didn’t go very well.

    It’s like the whole nonsense with the Bechdel Test. Most of my favorite movies wouldn’t pass, but SO WHAT?

    #1022024
    Toi
    Participant

    juny b jones. best book ever.

    #1022025
    fkelly
    Member

    I love John Green, but as Luna said- you gotta be careful.

    Cassandra Clare is a really good author!

    Divergent by Veronica Roth, one of my favorites!!

    #1022026
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    I wouldn’t use the Bechdel test to rate movies. It’s really more of a gimmick used to raise awareness.

    And the Bechdel test is almost irrelevant when it comes to STID–the problem really come from their outstandingly bad character development (I have heard the word “caricatures” used) across the board.

    #1022027
    writersoul
    Member

    OOM: Sorry, I was bringing up two different issues here.

    1) STID was BAD. Part of it was because they shoved in superfluous characters to make feminists happy. (Not all of it, but some, apparently. All I know about this is from my friend who hated this movie’s guts.)

    2) The Bechdel test is stupid and the whole awareness raising thing doesn’t make sense. I don’t think anyone’s going to seriously rate movies based on this, but even the concept is weird.

    I think part of the thing that gets me annoyed is that if you look in the wrong places, you find all kinds of people expecting that if your favorite movie doesn’t pass the test, just dump your Blu-rays in the bin! It’s kind of pathetic. But maybe it’s just me- as long as the movie is good, I really don’t care what types of chromosomes the main characters have.

    #1022028
    Menachem Melamed
    Participant

    Some of the older classics are OK. I beleive that Jules Verne is pretty good.

    #1022029
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    Part of it was because they shoved in superfluous characters to make feminists happy.

    No, that wasn’t it. They were trying to incorporate as many “The Wrath of Khan” elements as they could, and the extra characters came with that. But it just came off as a bunch of hodgepodge elements thrown together, with none of them very fleshed out. Or even making any sense (the magical tribble?). Not to mention, The Wrath of Khan’s already been done.

    I don’t think anyone’s going to seriously rate movies based on this, but even the concept is weird.[…]…you find all kinds of people expecting that if your favorite movie doesn’t pass the test, just dump your Blu-rays in the bin!

    The concept being female characters universally not being developed beyond their association with other characters? Definitely weird. And like I said, the point is not to rate the media in question, or label it as “no good” and throw it out. I’ve seen it pointed out that almost all of Pixar’s movies don’t pass the Bechdel test, and I don’t think anyone would say they are no good because of that. I certainly don’t. Because that isn’t the point.

    #1022030
    writersoul
    Member

    OOM: Like I said, I’m not a Star Trek person. This is based on what my friends said. She is a definite (rabid) Trekkie, so I figured she was quotable. That was her impression.

    I don’t mean throwing it out because it’s not good- I meant throwing it out as a statement. I was honestly beyond shocked to see someone suggest that. It’s ludicrous. (Maybe I just read the wrong stuff. The problem is that I hold so many different types of opinions that I can’t just stick with one kind of thing that agrees with me.)

    And if anyone had said that Pixar’s movies aren’t good, FOR ANY REASON, I would’ve known about it by now and the holder of that opinion would by now have had his/her head through the trash masher, so yeah :).

    #1022031
    anon1m0us
    Participant

    Frankenstein by Marry Shelly is a great classic.

    There are tons of great books, but the definition of clean is subjective.

    #1022032
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    writersoul: Have you seen the new Hobbit trailer? How about that, eh? ^_^

    #1022033
    writersoul
    Member

    The new, new Hobbit trailer? Like for the second movie? No, I haven’t.

    (BTW, I can’t believe there are going to be 3 movies anyway. I mean, seriously.)

    I didn’t see the first movie, either. I don’t know why, but I like the books better than the movies. Maybe it’s because I watched them when I was younger. My friend (the trekkie) says I’m insane.

    I’ll get back to you after I watch it, but how about what in particular?

    #1022034
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    I try to be objective in my comparison of books and movies made from books, so as not to end up prejudiced against a movie merely because its source book was so good. That being said, I liked the original trilogy of movies enough, but still felt that they didn’t really translate very well from the books–which was inevitable with a series like The Lord of the Rings, but still. I think The Hobbit movie series is doing much better in this regard, if only because the source material is more manageable.

    I was also a little skeptical when I heard about the decision to make three Hobbit movies, but once I saw how well they did the first, I was okay with it. You should definitely see it, by the way. It is great. ^_^

    Oh and as for the trailer, I mention it agav your first comment about The Hobbit on this thread. Go watch it to find out. ^_^

    #1022035
    notasheep
    Member

    there’s a fantastic series of books called The Tapestry – The Hound of Rowan, The Second Siege, The Fiend and the Forge, The Maelstrom (the last book is coming out in October).

    To clarify the issue, if the author is deliberately putting his kfira beliefs into his stories, they should not be read (think Phillip Pullman). However, reading stories that reference other religions, pagan or monotheistic is fine, as long as the reader is aware it’s just a story (although you should be careful with pagan religions that are made up). For instance, the Roman Mysteries series is set in Rome, which was a pagan culture – but that has nothing to do with the plotline.

    #1022036
    TheGoq
    Participant

    If your into private eye/police genre i suggest the Monk series by Lee Goldberg I’ve been reading them and they are squeaky clean.

    #1022037
    iBump 2.0
    Participant

    I am more bothered by decency issues

    I have read all Christopher Paolonis books and have really enjoyed them.

    if you are talking about the inheritance cycle (and i assume you mean Christopher Paolini), you can hardly say that in the last couple of books there are NO decency issues. so are you saying that that level is mutter?

    im not saying that those issues bother me, but there are some people that it would. i know someone who bought the last 2 books and went through them with a permanent marker before giving them to thier teenage son. im just pointing out that there are different levels for everyone.

    so again, is that a level that you are willing to accept? and do you want people do give you suggestions based on that?

    🙂 Bump 🙂

    #1022038
    iBump 2.0
    Participant

    and on the topic of the lord of the rings and the hobbit: i very very rarely put down a book before finishing it, but these i just couldnt finish! i mean, come on! 150 pages talking about the grass??? seriously!?!?

    🙂 Bump 🙂

    #1022039
    writersoul
    Member

    OOM: Hmmm… so they’ve got another throwaway token female character. Zippitydoodah.

    You notice, also, that they have Legolas in it.

    Movie fan pandering.

    I do try not to judge movies solely on whether they’re AS GOOD as the books they are based on, but that’s not really the issue I had with them- I just hated all those disgusting monsters and battle scenes… I’m more of a light comedy type.

    *ducks for cover*

    I was also twelve years old…

    But from what I understand, this is a bit lighter (which makes sense, as The Hobbit is about ten times lighter than LotR, both literally and figuratively), so I’ll probably check it out over the summer.

    iBump: I just finished (for the third time) Les Miserables, which has 19 chapters entirely describing the full, embellished history of Napoleon’s fall at Waterloo. It also has an entire book’s worth (the whole work is divided into five volumes, each of which is divided into books, each of which is divided into chapters- yeah) of background on a character whose only contribution to the book is to give a pair of candlesticks to the main character. It’s also one of my favorite books of all time, so yeah, I can deal with 150 pages of grass.

    #1022040

    Tom Sawyer

    #1022041
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    Hmmm… so they’ve got another throwaway token female character. Zippitydoodah.

    You notice, also, that they have Legolas in it.

    Movie fan pandering.

    Come on. You can’t make those judgments until you’ve seen the two movies. You have no idea what their roles will be.

    Another thing: yes, you can look at it from the perspective of yeah they just put her in because otherwise people would grumble that there aren’t any female characters–and maybe you’re right that that was the primary reason for the inclusion of her role. And yes, you can look at Legolas’ inclusion as “movie fan pandering.” In my opinion, you are missing out by looking at things through this perspective. If you want to make a critical analysis of a book-to-film adaptation, you have to look at things from a storytelling perspective–and I think that from a storytelling perspective, the devices you are criticizing make more sense than you credit them with.

    First off: they are trying to adapt a good book into a good movie. To adapt a story successfully from one medium to another, you really have to reinvent a lot of the storytelling mechanics. Obviously, you have to be careful to capture the essence of the original narrative–but if you try a straight text-to-screen adaptation, you surely will not capture it. The directors and writers of The Hobbit movies decided to do this by expanding the narrative and adding some more non-action sequences (in the first movie, the scene with Galadriel and Saruman). In my opinion, this balances the yay swashbuckling adventures with their more serious context (which may have been Tolkien’s intent–see my next point).

    Also, another thing to keep in mind is that he’s not trying to just adapt The Hobbit, which is really just about Bilbo’s adventures, he’s trying to incorporate the larger context that is hinted at in the piece “The Quest of Erebor”–the implications the quest held for the rest of Middle Earth. As far as the first movie goes, any the non-book content was exclusively dedicated to developing this. Dunno how the next one will turn out, but I am quite willing to accept the extra characters and seemingly un-Bilbo related action in light of the good job they did with the first one.

    Also, stam, as far as book adaptations go, this is the closest I’ve ever seen to a close-to-the-book adaptation that was still a good (fantastic, really) film.

    So basically, what I’m saying is while your complaints may have validity,

    (a) They are irrelevant if the extra elements make it a better movie, and

    (b) This may be more in line with Tolkien’s ideas regarding The Hobbit than a sticking-to-the-book adaptation would be.

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