A Dozen Not to Miss Paperbacks for Summer Reading

If you're looking for a book or two to pack into the beach bag this summer, look no further! Here are a dozen exceptional books that have already published in hardcover and ebook that will release in paperback in July and August (which also means that the ebook price will likely be reduced too).

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Jewish Themed Young Adult Books, Not About The Holocaust

The Romance ReaderLooking for a book with Jewish content for the teenager in your life? Chances are most of the books you'll find are about the Holocaust. From The Diary of Anne Frank to Sarah's Key to The Book Thief there's endless titles for the teenage (and adult) to choose from. Holocaust stories, despite the horror, make gripping tales of survival. But isn't it all too much? All these Holocaust books can overwhelm a reader. Is there nothing else in Jewish history or culture worth reading about, other than the Holocaust? What about the other centuries of Jewish history, ripe for historical fiction? What about the myriad of stories about contemporary Jewish teens? Where are those books? Well, if you're like me and you've had it with Holocaust tales, here are my top ten Jewish books (in no particular order) for teens and young adults, and the young at heart.

-- Leanne Lieberman

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Books to Give This Mother's Day

May 12th is Mother's Day in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and upwards of 70 other countries. But not in the UK where Mother's Day happened almost two months ago in early March - catching me off guard, as it has in many previous years. I've lived in the USA for twenty years but grew up in England, where my parents still live and, despite my best intentions, more years than I'm willing to admit I'm wrong footed by Mother's Day  - not least because "Mothering Sunday", as it is traditionally known, is a movable feast, celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent, which can be anytime from early March to early April.

You'll find more about the history of Mother's Day in the USA and Mothering Sunday in Britain below, but first whether you're a mother, have a mother, or are just on the hunt for your next great read, here are a few book suggestions to inspire:   

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Books About Popes, Past & Present, Fact & Fiction

With so much focus on the Vatican at the moment, this seems a good time to take a spin through the world of Pope related books. But with so many to choose from, and of greatly varying quality, where to start? To help sift the wheat from the chaff, I turned to our Facebook friends (yes, I know technically they're fans but I prefer to think of them as friends), and posted the following question:

"I'm looking for books to recommend about the Papacy - both fiction and nonfiction. If you know of a "best in class" book about Popes past or present, or about the Vatican/Catholic Church in general, please do post. Thank you!"

Below are some of their recommendations:



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The Best Love Stories by First Time Authors

Valentine's Day is almost upon us, and what better time for a good old fashioned love story. But what to recommend?

I posed the question to our Facebook followers, specifying that we weren't interested in books starring gushing regency heroines or bare chested cowboys but instead wished to seek out quieter stories that explore love and relationships. Within a couple of hours we had over 100 recommendations - far too many to include here, so we've chosen to focus just on some of the debuts, and will return to this topic again in the future:

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Recommended Books about Modern-Day Slavery & Human Trafficking

In 2011, President Obama proclaimed January 2012 National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month:

"With the start of each year, we commemorate the anniversaries of the Emancipation Proclamation, which became effective on January 1, 1863, and the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery, which was signed by President Abraham Lincoln and submitted to the States for ratification on February 1, 1865.

These documents stand as testaments to the gains we have made in pursuit of freedom and justice for all, and they remind us of the work that remains to be done. This month, I urge all Americans to educate themselves about all forms of modern slavery and the signs and consequences of human trafficking. Together, and in cooperation with our partners around the world, we can work to end this terrible injustice and protect the rights to life and liberty entrusted to us by our forebears and owed to our children."

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Sleep in Peace Tonight
Offcomer by Jo Baker