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In this mesmerizing first novel by a gifted young writer, the drama of California’s rich immigrant history and the freshness and won­der of childhood combine with darker elements of legend, magic and mys­tery. Born while the Civil War is raging further east, young Asher Witherow seems marked for an extraordinary future. Anything but typical, he captures the attention of the eerily watchful apprentice minister and schoolteacher, Josiah Lyte, and of young Thomas Motion, a strange boy who can see into the deepest darkness. When Thomas mysteriously van­ishes, only Asher knows the truth of what has happened to him, and he must decide whether to keep his knowledge secret or reveal what he believes to be his own unforgivable mistake.

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Tzippy Goldman was born for marriage. She and her mother had always assumed she’d graduate high school, be set up with the right boy, and have a beautiful wedding. But at twenty-two, Tzippy’s fast approaching spinsterhood. She dreams of escape; instead, she leaves for a year in Jerusalem. There she meets—remeets—Baruch, the son of her mother’s college roommate. When Tzippy last saw him, his name was Bryan and he wore a Yankees-logo yarmulke. Now he has adopted the black hat of the ultra-Orthodox, the tradition in which Tzippy was raised. Twelve weeks later, they’re engaged . . . and discovering that achieving a balance between desire and tradition,

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In Aphrodite in Jeans, Katherine Shirek Doughtie explores what happens when a woman stalemated in the middle of life dares to answer a call to live more fully. Whether discussing motherhood, working through relationships or taking care of an aging parent, these essays are in turn funny, poignant and challenging. With wicked insight and unflinch­ing courage, Ms. Doughtie ruthlessly examines her experiences as she dares to tackle life head on.

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Jacob Green doesn’t mean to disappoint his father, but he can’t help thinking the most unthinkable (and very funny) thoughts about public-school humiliation, Hebrew-school disinclination, and in-home sex education (with the live-in nanny!). If only his mother hadn’t started col­lege at thirty-six (and fallen for her psychology professor). If only he were more like his rebellious older brother (suspended from Hebrew school for drawing the rabbi in a threesome with a lobster and a pig). If only Jacob could confront his overbearing father and tell him he doesn’t want to sing in synagogue, attend est classes, write the perfect thank-you note,

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Nominated for the an Anthony Award for Best Original Paper-pack and an international bestseller, The Halo Effect features sex therapist, Dr. Morgan Snow. She struggles with the conflict of preserving her patient’s privacy and the dangerous and sometimes criminal things she hears. When a killer starts murdering prostitutes, the first one being a patient of Morgan, and then Cleo Thane, a high-class call girl and patient, disappears; Morgan feels compelled to take action.

Dr. Snow sees everything from the abused to the depraved, from the couples grappling with sexual boredom to twisted sociopaths with dark,

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In 1980, a twenty-three-year-old graduate student named Aaron Lansky set out to rescue the world’s abandoned Yiddish books before it was too late. Twenty-five years and one and a half million books later, he’s still in the midst of a great adventure. Filled with poignant and often laugh-out-loud tales from Lansky’s travels across the country col­lecting books from older Jewish immigrants, Outwitting History also introduces us to a dazzling array of writers and shows us how an almost-lost culture is the bridge between the old world and the future.

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