“The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem” by Sarit Yishai-Levi (Thomas Dunn Books/St. Martin’s Press) Every now and then, a multi-generational novel such as “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem” by Sarit Yishai-Levi (Thomas Dunn Books/St. Martin’s Press) comes along, so rich with potent curses, outlandish customs, eccentric characters, and forbidden loves, readers might find the story somewhat…

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It is 1980, my first night of Seder in America. I am expecting 50 guests, not a large number by Persian standards. I am, nevertheless, nervous. Mrs. Seidleman, my soon-to-be American friend, is invited tonight, and it’s imperative that the image of us Iranians as a bunch of camel-riding, uncivilized nomads, who parade American hostages…

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They have a way of scaring you, of chasing sleep away, these psychological thrillers that send your heart thumping. Imagine, then, what you are in for when two masters of the genre decide to collaborate. The result is “The Golem of Hollywood,” (G.P. Putnam’s Sons) by bestselling authors Jonathan Kellerman (The Alex Delaware series) and…

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I devoured all 331 pages of Ayelet Waldman’s gripping and powerful novel Love and Treasure (Alfred A. Knopf) in one 14-hour marathon on my flight from Los Angeles to Israel. Before the El Al plane made its descent into Ben Gurion Airport, I began this review with Waldman’s interview with Carolyn Kellogg for the Los…

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Ah! The joys and tribulations of being surrounded by stacks of books at my bedside, my husband’s bedside, books tucked into every available nook and cranny, piled high on every tabletop and stacked double on every shelf, making it impossible to navigate around safely without worrying that one of my beloved five-pound books might tumble…

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