Creating community around books!

Aviva Rotstein

With the numerous online get-togethers and the increasing screen fatigue saturating our lives
these days, sometimes curling up with a good book is still the best way to relax and recharge.

But what book should you read? Well, that’s where the value of book clubs really kicks in. Book
clubs are a way to meet people and chat about the books you have in common. Book clubs also
encourage you to read regularly and to tackle a few books that fall outside of your normal
repertoire. That’s why I’m thrilled to announce that the Waldman Library at the J now has 2
book clubs!

Our original book club has been meeting for a few years now:
  * We get together on the 4 th Thursday of the month.
  * It is led by our retired librarian - now amazing volunteer - Helen Pinsky.
  * The most recent book we read was The Art of Leaving by Ayelet Tsabari.
  * Our May selection is The Betrayers by David Bezmozgis which I just finished reading, and
which has captivated my curiosity and interest from page 1 with its suspenseful and
sensitive prose!

The Library has also just started a *new* book club focusing on queer and trans Jewish
literature (fiction and memoirs):
  * This initiative has brought the library over a half-dozen new library members already
who are interested in meeting and discussing books with other queer and trans Jews
and allies.
  * Participants in our new book club cover a broad age range from 20s to 50s so far.
  * We meet on the last Monday of the month (currently via Zoom).
  * I will be leading the discussion - my first time taking on this role! - and I am so excited to
be part of this book club.
  * Our May selection is Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to
Transgender Woman
. To learn more about Becoming Eve, check out the CBC interview
with author Abby Stein here.
  * Our upcoming reads also include Little & Lion, The Diamond Setter, and Paper is White.
If you are intrigued by either of our book clubs, it’s now easier than ever to join the discussion
over Zoom and see what it’s all about. And here’s a little secret: not everyone likes the same
books, and that’s one of the ways we keep it interesting!

Last but not least, if you crave the comfort of a physical book as an essential part of your
reading experience, we are thrilled to be starting a book pick-up or home delivery service. It’s
just like food take-out and delivery, but for the mind and soul.

Email for book club details and zoom links, and use this form for book pick-
up and delivery inquiries. Happy reading!