Leonard Senkfor Library

Contact our Librarian Julie Moss: (216) 371-2244, ext. 223 I Email

Visit the Leonard Senkfor Library for a multitude of books, magazines, newspapers, CDs and DVDs and Park treasures. We carry an extensive collection for children and adults at all degrees of reading comprehension. You can read about star-crossed lovers during world war II to Sammy the Spider's first Chanukah. 

Our Religious School and Preschool often use the Leonard Senkfor Library to enhance their Jewish Education by using the Resources we have to offer. There are many student-friendly books to help enhance what our Religious School and Preschool already offer. 

Not sure where to start? Our Librarian Julie is ready to help find the right book for you! 

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Outdoor Reading

Summer
Reading

Email our Librarian, Julie Moss, at JMoss@parksyn.org for your book requests, curbside pickups and returns on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am-3:00 pm. Thanks to Rachel Kamin, (Director of Lifetime Learning at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL) for her contribution to this list.

HISTORICAL FICTION

 

Atomic Anna

by Rachel Barenbaum

(Grand Central Publishing, 2022)

During the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986, a renowned nuclear scientist is thrust through time to 1992 where her estranged daughter uses her dying breath to ask her to go back in time to prevent the disaster.

 

A Play for the End of the World

by Jai Chakrabarti (Knopf, 2021)

A Warsaw Ghetto survivor in 1970s New York leaves a blossoming romance to travel to India and collect the ashes of his oldest friend who died there in a small Eastern village under mysterious circumstances.

2022 ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH LIBRARIES FICTION HONOR AWARD; 2021 NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD WINNER: DEBUT FICTION AWARD

 

The Thread Collectors

by Shaunna J. Edwards & Alyson Richman (Graydon House, 8/2022) Set during the Civil War, this is the story of a Black woman in New Orleans and a Jewish woman in New York, both of whom are fighting for the cause of freedom and Union victory through their needlework.

 

The Forest of Vanishing Stars

by Kristen Harmel (Gallery Books, 2021)

A coming of age story about a young woman who uses her knowledge of the wilderness to help Jewish refugees escape the Nazis--until a secret from her past threatens everything.

 

Last Summer at the Golden Hotel

by Elyssa Friedland (Berkley, 2021)

Perfect for fans of Dirty Dancing and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, this funny, nostalgia-filled story follows two families as they try to save the Golden Hotel – their beloved getaway in the Catskills.

How to Find Your Way in the Dark

by Derek B. Miller (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Mariner Books, 2021)

After losing both his parents in a short period of time in 1938, young Sheldon Horowitz moves in with his Uncle Nate’s family where he contends with his cousins, World War II, mafia hitmen and Catskills comedians. Prequel to Norwegian by Night.

2022 ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH LIBRARIES FICTION AWARD WINNER; 2021 NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD: BOOK CLUB & FICTION FINALIST

 

The Last Rose of Shanghai

by Weina Dai Randal (Lake Union, 2021)

For fans of The Song of the Jade Lily, this is a sweeping love story of a Chinese heiress and a Jewish refugee set in the Shanghai Ghetto during WWII.

 

Burning Girls and Other Stories

by Veronica Schanoes (Tom Doherty Associates, 2021)

In this debut collection, history and fairy tales are reimagined, repurposed, and remixed, drawing deeply from leftist, labor, women's, and Jewish history as well as folklore, fairy tales, and pop culture.

 

Three Sisters

by Heather Morris (St. Martin’s Press, 2021)

The popular author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz brings us another heart-wrenching story. This one is based on a true story of survival and determination, renewal and hope.

 

CONTEMPORARY FICTION

 

Something Wild

by Hanna Halperin (Viking, 2021)

Told from alternating perspectives, this is an unflinching portrait of the bond between sisters as well as a psychologically acute exploration of the legacy of divorce, the ways trauma reverberates over generations, and how it might be possible to overcome the past.

2022 EDWARD LEWIS WALLANT AWARD WINNER; 2021 NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD WINNER: DEBUT FICTION FINALIST

 

The Matzah Ball

by Jean Meltzer (Mira Books, 2021)

Hiding her career as a best-selling author of Christmas romance novels from her family, chronically ill Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt, a “nice Jewish girl,” must attend a fancy Jewish music celebration for inspiration to write a Chanukah romance. Will her summer camp arch enemy stand in the way?

The Bloom Girls

by Amy Pine (Forever, 2021)

When Alissa Adler’s plan of making 40 “her year” is derailed by an unexpected pregnancy, she must figure out her relationship status with the baby’s father. At the same time, she is trying to turn her new bakery into a success and planning her daughter’s wedding.

An Observant Wife

by Naomi Ragen (St. Martin’s Press, 2021)

Sequel to An Unorthodox Match, the story continues for newly-observant Leah and her ultra-Orthodox husband Yaakov. Their attempts to balance human needs with community and spiritual obligations are challenging.

 

Our Country Friends

by Gary Shteyngart (Random House, 2021)

Eight friends, one country house, and six months in COVID-19 isolation – a novel about love, friendship, family, and betrayal. Called “an homage to Chekhov with four romances and a finale that will break your heart” by The Washington Post.

 

Woman on Fire

by Lisa Barr (Harper, 2022)

The gripping tale of a young, ambitious journalist embroiled in an international art scandal centered around a Nazi-looted masterpiece—forcing the ultimate showdown between passion and possession, lovers and liars, history and truth.

 

The Convention of Wives

by Debra Green (She Writes Press, 9/22)

Complicated secret legacies are exposed as two families reel from a betrayal, creating a ripple effect no one could have imagined at the core of this multigenerational saga.

 


NONFICTION AND MEMOIR

American Baby: A Mother, a Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption

by Gabrielle Glaser (Viking, 2021)

A history of adoption in postwar America explores the impact of “Baby Boom” values and limited birth control on the life of a pregnant teen who was forced by the institutions of the 1960s to give up her rights. 2022 SOPHIE BRODY HONORABLE MENTION

 

Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy

by Anne Sebba (St. Martin’s Press, 2021)

This biography of the wife and mother executed for espionage-related crimes tells how - despite the flimsy evidence against her - she refused to incriminate her husband and faced the death penalty for a crime she didn’t commit. 2022 WINGATE PRIZE SHORT LIST

 

Spilt Milk: Memoirs

by Courtney Zoffness (McSweeney’s, 2021)

In her literary debut, Zoffness considers what we inherit from generations past—biologically, culturally, spiritually—and what we pass on to our children.

 

Lilyville: Mother, Daughter, and Other Roles I’ve Played

by Tovah Feldshuh (Hachette Books, 2021)

This heartwarming and funny memoir follows the ups and downs of the actress’s career. She shares lessons learned about living in the spotlight and how to get along with our mothers.