Rhapsody of reading

By Gerald Jacobs, March 5, 2015

Saturday night and The Genius of Gershwin. It was an audacious and imaginative decision to launch this year's Jewish Book Week with the sound of the composer of Rhapsody in Blue.

Yet, by the festival's close last Sunday, it was another colour that had registered vividly in my mind.


Review: The Faithful Couple

By Hephzibah Anderson, March 5, 2015

By AD Miller
Little, Brown, £16.99

AD Miller's first book, The Earl of Petticoat Lane, was a shmatte-to-riches family memoir, charting his grandfather's rise via the knickers business from barrow-boy to society ball-goer.


Review: Leaving Berlin

By David Herman, March 5, 2015

By Joseph Kanon
Simon & Schuster, £12.99

Joseph Kanon has written six novels, all set in the dark years following 1945, and taking a real event - the Potsdam Conference, the Manhattan Project - as the background for a murder case.

Leaving Berlin, Kanon's latest, is set in Berlin in 1948, at the time of the Berlin Airlift and the escalation of the Cold War.


Dilemma of a tough attorney

March 5, 2015

In Hesh Kestin's new thriller, The Lie (Scribe, £8.99), Dahlia Barr, a feisty Israeli lawyer, specialises in defending Palestinians accused of terrorism. She is shrewd, brash, tough and doesn't suffer fools.


The drama of real life

By John Nathan, February 27, 2015

I admit to having developed a cynicism about actors’ memoirs. Not content with the drama of the lives they inhabit on stage or screen, they then have to serve up their own lives as drama, too, the vainglorious bastards.


Untold story of our double-cross spy

By Nigel West, February 26, 2015

This is the remarkable story of Renato Levi, an Italian Jew born in 1902 in Genoa, where his mother, the actress Dolores Domenici, owned the Hotel Select. She also owned the Hotel Miramare in Rapallo. He held a British passport, was educated in Switzerland during the First World War, later travelled to Sydney, and his family owned a boat-building business in Bombay.


A political triumph? Don't make me laugh!

By Sam Delaney, February 26, 2015

Humour in political advertising can come in many forms. Look up the crackly old black-and-white broadcast from 1950s British election campaigns and you will get a lot of laughs out of Harold McMillan's stilted, confused performances.


Return of Mein Kampf

By Stephen Applebaum, February 26, 2015

Many wish that Adolf Hitler's hate-filled manifesto, Mein Kampf, would simply disappear.


Review: One Night, Markovitch

By David Herman, February 26, 2015

By Ayelet Gundar-Goshen(Trans: Sondra Silverstein)

Pushkin Press, £10

When we first meet Yaakov Markovitch, he is serving in the Irgun in 1940s Palestine. Early on, he strikes up a friendship with Zeev Feinberg. The two could not be more different. Markovitch is quiet, ordinary, "gloriously average". Feinberg is larger-than-life, a creature of appetites, whether food or sex.


Review: Five Selves

By Madeleine Kingsley, February 26, 2015

By Emanuela Barasch-Rubinstein
Holland House, £14.99

Some writers dwell on flesh and furnishings, others, like Emanuela Barasch-Rubinstein, look deep into interior lives. Her Five Selves is a mindscape masterpiece - a handful of novellas in which the dramatis personae struggle to understand themselves in dark times.