Really Good Novels

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    writersoul: I think the “chick lit” aspect comes in from the fanbase more than the book itself. (Again, definitely not saying that it’s on the caliber of any of the other books mentioned here–just that I don’t think it deserves the hate in and of itself.)


    Okay- so I’m irrational- happy?!?!


    Nothing against you- that’s just my impression from reading it and absorbing other people’s responses (usually angry when they find out I didn’t like it).

    And as I’m definitely in the minority here, I should probably just throw in the towel.


    need seminary help: Dunno, can’t really explain it. I don’t like any of the main characters in HP (except Neville and Luna).


    the best jewish novel is definitely “Sun Inside Rain” by M. Bassara


    2good2btrue: I’ve heard that a lot. If I ever decide to read something like that I should probably look into it.

    It’s funny, because one of the first of the stereotypical Jewish books was, I believe, The Gordian Knot by Yair Weinstock (I know it was his first book- I don’t know who wrote them before him). It’s actually quite good (though I don’t love the translation) if you skip the third part (it comes in three parts). If he had written only the first two parts, it would have been an amazing book (IMHO). The third part added all the neo-Nazis and Muslim fundamentalists trying to blow up the kosel and bacteriological bombs and all that kind of stuff. It was way overdone. But the story in the first two parts is very, very good.


    2good2btrue: I agree with you!! It is for sure the best jewish novel out there!


    definitely! I cried when hannan died… But they kinda made that 2 abrupt, right?

    btw, what does everyone think of science fiction? I wish there’d be some good jewish scifis…


    i agrre with you gamanit!


    Dan Brown: The Da Vinci Code, Lost Symbol, Angels and Demons, Digital Fortress, Deception Point — UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!


    Jodi Picoult. All her books are really good.


    iluvbeingjewish: There’s good Jewish fantasy out there, check out Avram Davidson or (if you’re Hebrew’s any good) “Ha’Leviatan shel Bavel” by Hagar Yanai.


    iluvbeingjewish: And I also read recently a short scifi story about a Rav that goes to a planet where people said that some of the aliens practice Yiddishkeit. For the life of me I can’t remember what it was called, but it was the cover story for Asimovs some time in the 90s and it shows a yarmulka wearing alien standing in front of an old Rav.


    Yserbius – October 1992 edition of Isaac Asimov’s Science fiction magazine.


    WOW – Can’t believe its not butter


    Jumping the Road by Jack Dann. Thank you so much yichusdik! I spend 20 minutes googling and turning up nothing!


    OneofMany. I love neville and looney too. I also love dobby.


    dobby :'(


    WOW. Just read Jumping the Road- WEIRDEST thing I have read in a long time.

    It’s like taking the regular layout for a sci-fi alien story but making it Jewish. SO strange.

    And while the author obviously knew what he was talking about, it still had some weirdnesses (Elazar ben Azaryah Akiba?!?!).


    OneOfMany, in the movie i cried when he died. only time ive ever cried while watching a movie


    I cried when Dobby and Fred died.

    I NEVER EVER cry when I read books. EVER.

    She definitely knows how to write so that people will read.


    same. i also NEVER EVER cry! she writes one book using many genres eg: mystical, romance, comedy, emotional, etc. really talented!


    You cant go wrong with Robert Parker for private eye/cop genre books.


    jeffery archer is really good if you want murder.


    The Assistant by Bernard Malamud

    The Chosen by Chaim Potok

    The Yeshiva by Chaim Grade


    Well that explains your world view


    Discworld seems to be a little too far gone for me to appreciate. Also, the kfira is too explicit for me to laugh at. It twinges a little. If you add in the fact that Pratchett is a big advocate of allowing people to murder themselves and their loved ones in the name of mercy, it just bothers me. IDK. I think I only read like 5 of the books.

    OoM – I cant believe you didn’t mention Hitchhiker’s Guide, along with the non-debatable inclusion of the one volume LOTR as from the best books ever.

    Personally, if discussing comedy, the funniest books I’ve ever read were Ludlum’s Road to Omaha and Road to Gandolfo.

    Best Fantasy Series I’ve read IMHO:LOTR, Wheel of Time, Sword of Truth, Song of Ice and Fire.

    Shannara- the ones I’ve read were decent. No time to read books anymore… No guarantees of clean content in these books.

    Ender and HP are strangely riveting children’s books, which distinguishes them from nearly all jewish novels in the fact that they’re strangely riveting.


    The Guide is great but it doesn’t rank above Discworld and LOTR in my favorites. Also, I don’t understand how you are bothered by kefira in Discworld but not in the Guide (if you want to talk about author’s ideology…) Anyway, what Pratchett writes never bothers me because of what I wrote HERE. The Guide I feel is a little more questionable in that respect.


    1. I’m not sure if I ever said one is worse than the other.

    2. I’m not sure if I believe one is worse than the other.

    3. Adams seems to me to write more rationally and intellectually and Pratchett seems far better at painting pictures and emotions.

    4. Perhaps emotional kfira scares me more. Fear, after all, is an emotion.

    5. My reference to YOUR lack of mentioning HGTTG was because of its physical size, and because I’ve seen you quote it a few times.

    6. IDK if I’d have read more than five of DA’s books either.


    (a) I thought you were referencing HGTTG out of personal appreciation. No need to get all numerical about it.

    (b) …what on Earth is emotional k’fira?


    Sometimes a funny joke also happens to be kfirah. This is not so great. Even worse, however, is a joke that’s funny because it’s kfira. The author is so viewpointedly skilled that you can occasionally temporarily lose your own perspective.

    To me Pratchett seemed to fall in the latter category more than DA, although DA seemed to be a more pure intellectual.

    As far as numbers go, six points are six times more infinite than one. Sorry if I came/come across a little “Freudian”-retentive. Obviously, it reflects far more about me and/or my mood (or, indeed, my early childhood) than it does on anything you said.


    frumnotyeshivish: You have issues with Pratchett’s kfira, yet you have none with Martins blatant pritzuskeit? I got one chapter into A Game of Thrones (after a good decade and a half of hearing recommendations from my fantasy loving friends) and put it down. Especially when I heard that there are scenes like that nearly every chapter!


    my sisters keeper!!! (jodi picoult) as i said earlier all her books are really good


    Yserbius – two different issues, and I quote myself: “No guarantees of clean content in these books.”


    Ditto Yserbius. To quote myself:

    […]with your beliefs as your guide, taking stock of ideas that do not shtim (with the exception of content that may affect you on a visceral level) can only cement your foundation.



    “Who by Fire, Who by Sword”, written by Toby Orlander. Bought it, couldn’t put it down. This is a must read for women of all ages 14-120(if you’re still reading)


    The Betrayal and The Outcast will BLOW your minds!!


    rebdoniel, squeak: never read the others, but happens to be that I loved The Chosen. My friend recommended it and I was hemming and hawing because Potok has a bad reputation as far as his portrayal of frum people, etc., but then I read it because she said that it really wasn’t like that and she was right. Sure, so Danny becomes a psychologist instead of a rebbe, but he stays frum and Reuven ends up a rabbi in the end when he was originally the much more laid-back, less frum one (I just spoiled the plot in three lines, so yeah, sorry). The book did not seem critical of frumkeit at all unless portraying a rebbe as less than perfect is kefirah (while I’d think it would be the other way around, that portraying a rebbe as perfect would be kefirah) so honestly, personally, I thought it was fine. (The rebbe also gets explained, if not completely redeemed, at the end.)

    Just wanted to also recommend anything by Haim Sabato (starting with The Dawning of the Day).

    And Maus. GREAT book. It’s NOT frum (so just don’t expect it to be) but it’s an amazing approach to the Holocaust, especially bearing in mind that it’s for the general public. It could be that I liked it so much because it syncs with personal experiences of mine, but I think that even without that element, it’s extremely well done and a wonderful read.

    Also, not fiction (though Maus isn’t really fiction either) but The Prime Ministers was a great book- HIGHLY recommended.


    Loved maus!! It’ has really cool symbolism and its very different from the average holocaust book.

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