The Great Partnership: God, Science and the Search for Meaning

By Stephen Frosh, July 4, 2011

By Jonathan Sacks.
Hodder and Stoughton, £17.99

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks is an unusual type of public intellectual. He is an outstanding teacher, with enormous personal authority; a more than prolific author; a source of advice for leading politicians; a moralist, a biblical and talmudic scholar and a philosopher.


Review: The French Father

By Jennifer Lipman, July 4, 2011

Alain Elkann (trans:Alastair McEwen)
Pushkin Press, £8.99


Interview: Mark Thomas

By Brigit Grant, June 27, 2011

Sitting on the train reading comedian Mark Thomas's book, Extreme Rambling: Walking Israel's Barrier, I'm approached by a young woman who wants to know where to get it. "I'm a fan," she says, "and so is my brother, who lives in Israel. I think it will be interesting, not that there'll be any surprises. He is so pro-Palestinian."


An ancient question: how ripe is a ripe old age?

By Stephen Frosh, June 27, 2011

You're Looking Very Well
by Lewis Wolpert; Faber and Faber, £14.99

Is That All There Is?
by Julia Neuberger; Rider, £12.99

by Catherine Mayer; Vermilion, £12.99


How to be forever young

By John Belknap, June 20, 2011

The Ballad of Bob Dylan
Daniel Mark Epstein
Souvenir Press, £20

The Mammoth Book of Bob Dylan
Edited by Sean Egan
Robinson, £7.99


Review: The Novel in the Viola

By David Herman, June 20, 2011

By Natasha Solomons
Sceptre, £12.99

Natasha Solomons published her first novel last year. Mr Rosenblum's List was the charming, bitter-sweet story of a Jewish refugee couple who come to Britain in the 1930s.


Interview: Nicole Krauss

By David Herman, June 6, 2011

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."


Review: I Found It At The Movies

By Clive Sinclair, June 6, 2011

By Philip French
Carcanet, £19.95

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.


Review: Endgame

By David Edmonds, May 31, 2011

By Frank Brady
Constable, £20

'You are a good man, a good person, so you are not a Jew."

In his well-researched and enjoyable new biography of Bobby Fischer, Frank Brady quotes this Fischer remark to the Hungarian grandmaster Andrei Lilenthal.


Review: The Free World

By Fran Bigman, May 31, 2011

By David Bezmozgis

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.