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I read widely and in most genres but romance and westerns. Here you'll find my reviews since 2007, with a few reviews of previously read books as well.


In 2012, I completed an "authors of the world" challenge, reading a book for every country (and a few other entities) by someone who'd lived there for at least two years. I expect to tag these books by challenge and country in the near future. I'm still refining my list by adding books that better meet my challenge criteria.

The Tevye Stories and Others - Sholem Aleichem Ukraine.This collection organizes Tevye the Milkman stories from Aleichem's oeuvre in more-or-less chronological order. They are interspersed with non-Tevye stories to effectively create the sense of the passage of time. Readers who know Tevye only from Fiddler on the Roof will recognize some anecdotes, and Tevye's essential character, while also seeing how Aleichem's material was adapted for stage and what was omitted.While there is an enduring humor to Tevye's absurdity, and some family and community dysfunction is universal, I'm not sure how funny some of this material is for people who grew up with no Yiddishkeit. So much of what is entertaining about Tevye is his approach to the world, a heavily syncretic blend of Eastern European Jewish culture, Tanakhic and Talmudic misquotes, and self-serving rhetoric. Without some experience sorting out one's Uncle Morty's use and abuse of received wisdom, I don't know how well this would translate culturally. Perhaps first reading Leonard Ross/Leonard Rosten's classic The Education of Hyman Kaplan and either Wex's Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All of Its Moods or Rosten's The Joys of Yiddish.