When she was interviewed for the Radio 3 programme, Private Passions - in which guests tell Michael Berkeley about their favourite pieces of music - Nicole Krauss worried why she had chosen such melancholy pieces. Berkeley reassured her: "They are the pieces that move us most."
Back in the day, a New York detective's station boss was known - in the jargon - as his rabbi. Well, when it comes to the movies, Philip French is mine. Okay, his reviews, which have appeared regularly in the Observer for longer than I can remember, are not holy writ, but they are surely talmudic.
David Bezmozgis's stunning short-story collection Natasha traced a Latvian-Jewish family's bumpy adjustment to life in 1980s Toronto. In this witty, assured first novel, which makes good on Natasha's promise, his characters never reach their destination.
Arthur Hopcraft's book, The Football Man came out in 1968, the year in which 33,785 spectators watched Aston Villa lose to Queen's Park Rangers on the last day of the season. Had it not been for my heartless parents, the total would have been 33,786. All right, so it was my barmitzvah that day, but I could have got home in time for the party.
Investment banker-turned-author William Cohan is becoming the master of the Wall Street biography. Having plundered the archives at his former employer Lazard and chronicled the rise and fall of Bear Stearns & Co in House of Cards, he has now aimed even higher with an examination of Goldman Sachs.