BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS FROM RNB

JANUARY 2021

 

 

A coming-of-age classic about two Jewish boys growing up in Brooklyn in the 1940s, this “profound and universal” story of what we share across cultures remains deeply pertinent today (The Wall Street Journal).

 

It’s the spring of 1944 and fifteen-year-olds Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders have lived five blocks apart all their lives. But they’ve never met, not until the day an accident during a softball game sparks an unlikely friendship. Soon these two boys—one expected to become a Hasidic rebbe, the other at ease with secular America—are drawn into one another’s worlds despite one father’s strong opposition.

 

Set against the backdrop of WWII and the creation of the state of Israel, The Chosen is a poignant novel about transformation and tradition, growing up and growing wise, and finding yourself—even if that might mean leaving your community.

 

 

Someone is trying to kill celebrated author Dylan St James. But who would want him dead? And why? And who the hell shoots someone with a harpoon, anyway?

 

Disgruntled, failed crime writer, Freddie Winters, spends his days conning old ladies, setting up fake book signings, sneaking into literary festivals uninvited and lamenting his lack of success. When his old Friend, Dylan, turns to him for help, Freddie agrees to use his own limited detective skills to find out who’s behind the murder attempt.

 

With a group of suspicious ex-wives, a jealous rival, a crazed stalker fan and an exploding postman to deal with, Freddie soon stumbles upon a catalogue of crazy behaviour and a truly bizarre motive for murder. But can he stop the killer before it’s too late?

 

Nicholas Roerich – prolific artist and writer, renowned philosopher, educator, and explorer – relates the remarkable encounters and events of his travels through central Asia and Tibet at the turn of the century.

 

Through his detailed diary notes and the chronicling of legends and parables, he reveals the many facets of the tale of Shambhala, the long-awaited realization of paradise on earth.

 

In Western mythology, Shambhala appears as the mythic land of Shangri-la. In the prophecies of the East, it is seen as both a physical place and the dawning of a New Era of enlightened consciousness. Roerich found signs of the imminent arrival of Shambhala at every juncture of his journey – in the legends of local villagers and within their rock paintings and engravings.

In keeping with the ancient traditions, Roerich felt that Shambhala would be attained not inevitably or without effort, but only as a result of “the Noblest and most intensive activity.” A living example of this philosophy, he worked unceasingly for peace through culture, believing that “obstacles are only new possibilities to create beneficent energy.”

Chapters on Tibetan art, the desert cities, subterranean dwellers, and the Great Mother give the reader crystalline glimpses of Roerich’s manifold vision and the vast panorama of his life journey toward a new age of human achievement.