Aftermath, by Scott Nadelson, Hawthorne Books, $15.95
The characters in Aftermath are living in the wake of momentous events – the rupture of relationships, the loss of loved ones, the dissolution of dreams – and yet they find new ways of forging on with their lives, making accommodations that are sometimes delusional, sometimes destructive, sometimes even healthy.
Nadelson has won the Oregon Book Award for short fiction, the Reform Judaism Fiction Prize, the Samuel Goldberg & Sons Fiction Prize for Emerging Jewish Writers and the Great Lakes Colleges New Writers Award. He teaches creative writing at Willamette University and Pacific Lutheran University. He lives in Salem.
The Rescuer’s Path, by Paula Friedman, Plain View Press, $15.95
The Rescuer’s Path tells of Malca, a Holocaust survivor’s daughter who, in 1971 at the age of 16, finds the wounded fugitive Gavin Hareen, a peace activist and Arab-American who is the prime suspect in a lethal bombing. Raised on her family’s stories of Holocaust rescue, Malca aids the stranger, and, bit by bit, the two come to trust, befriend and eventually love each other.
Friedman is a freelance book editor and author in Mount Hood Parkdale. She was formerly public relations director for the Judah L. Magnes Museum and for 15 years directed the international Rosenberg Award for Poems on the Jewish Experience.
1,000 Mitzvahs: How Small Acts of Kindness Can Heal, Inspire and Change Your Life, by Linda Cohen, Seal Press, $16
1,000 Mitzvahs shares Cohen’s journey from sorrow to healing after the death of her father, a journey beautified by daily acts of kindness. Each mitzvah shares a short vignette and the myriad forms these actions take. This small book conveys a big message about how to live a meaningful life.
Cohen speaks and consults around the country and on television about volunteerism, parenting and mitzvot. She is a member of Congregation Neveh Shalom. www.1000mitzvahs.com
Stories from Jewish Portland, by Polina Olsen, The History Press, $19.99
These are the stories of Jewish Portland, whose roots stretch back to the gold rush, whose heart is “the old neighborhood” of South Portland and whose identity is alive and well. Olsen recounts the history of this richly layered community through letters, interviews and stories .
Olsen is a freelance writer for Oregon Jewish Life and other local and national publications. She has written three previous books. Her upcoming book on Portland’s 1960s counterculture will be published by the History Press in Fall 2012.
The Book of All Things (Sacred Books, Vol. IV), by David Michael Slater, CBAY books, $16.95
The latest installment in a six-part teen series looks at the original vampire. After a miraculous escape from the beast, Dex and Daphna find a deadly disease spreading across the country. The Sacred Books series is being developed for film.
Slater is also the author of 16 picture books, one adult novel and one short story collection for adults. A member of Congregation Beth Israel, he lives in Hillsdale with his wife and son. www.davidmichaelslater.com
Kvetch: One Bitch of a Life, by Greta Beigel, e-book, $8.99
In Kvetch, journalist Greta Beigel looks back at (dysfunctional) Jewish family life lived under the umbrella of apartheid in South Africa. As a child piano prodigy and teen concert performer, she lives at the mercy of a super-ambitious matriarch, desperate for entrée into Jewish society.
Beigel worked as staff writer and arts editor at the Los Angeles Times. Now a Portland resident, she has authored three e-books.