2020-2021 Picks

Find your local library to check out any of our picks! Join our Book Club conversation on Goodreads and sign up to receive emails about author features throughout the year.


By Esther Amini

The author tells her story of being caught between two worlds as the American-born dutiful daughter of Persian-Jewish immigrants who hungers for more self-determination than tradition allows.

Little & Lion

By Brandy Colbert

Sixteen-year-old Suzette returns home to Los Angeles after a year away at boarding school to find a lot has changed—she feels the repercussions of a year away at a school where she was the only Black, Jewish student, discovering her sexuality.

Red Rosa

By Kate Evans

In 2020, this graphic novel documenting the dramatic life and death of German revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg celebrates its fifth anniversary of publication.

The Color of Love

By Marra B. Gad

An unforgettable memoir about a mixed-race Jewish woman who, after fifteen years of estrangement from her racist great-aunt, helps bring her home when Alzheimer's strikes.

Songs in Dark Times: Yiddish Poetry of Struggle from Scottsboro to Palestine

By Amelia Glaser

This nonfiction book explores the sometimes fraught genre of leftist Yiddish poetry that depicts the suffering of people all over the world—Palestinian Arabs, Black Americans, Spanish Republicans—to speak to collective struggle in the 1930s.

Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist

By Judith Heumann, Kristen Joiner

In her memoir, Heumann explores her work as a disability rights activist, recounting the largely erased history of the Disability Rights Movement in the United States.

The Wolf of Baghdad

By Carol Isaacs

In this nearly wordless graphic novel, the author explores her ancestral home of Baghdad, which, in the 1940s, was a hub of Jewish life.

Nobody Will Tell You This But Me

By Bess Kalb

Through archived voicemail messages, emails, and an impressive feat of ventriloquism, Kalb shares her grandmother's life story in the voice of her late grandmother herself.

The Genius of Women: From Overlooked to Changing the World

By Janice Kaplan

Journalist Janice Kaplan sets out to determine why the extraordinary work of so many women has been brushed aside, and celebrates the women geniuses, past and present, who have triumphed anyway.

High Risk: Stories of Pregnancy, Birth, and the Unexpected

By Dr. Chavi Eve Karkowsky

A high-risk pregancy doctor's account of her work and the complexity of reproductive life—and everything that's lost when we don’t speak honestly about women’s health.

The Art of the Jewish Family: A History of Women in Early New York in Five Objects

By Laura Leibman

This book rethinks early Jewish American women's lives by examining five objects owned by five different Jewish women who lived in New York between 1750 and 1850.

What We Will Become: A Mother, a Son, and a Journey of Transformation

By Mimi Lemay

What We Will Become is a mother’s memoir of her transgender child’s journey, and her own exploration of the world outside the boundaries of the Ultra-Orthodox faith and culture that shaped her.

A Ceiling Made of Eggshells

By Gail Carson Levine

In the newest book by the beloved author of Ella Enchanted, a young Jewish girl survives the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492 and crafts her own destiny.

My Life as a Villainess

By Laura Lippman

This collection of essays explores Lippman's experience as an older mom and her relationships with her parents, friends, and writing.

All My Mother's Lovers

By Ilana Masad

In this anticipated debut novel, Masad powerfully explores the complexity of familial relationships, sexuality, and grief, as main character Maggie processes her mother's death and embarks on a journey to hand-deliver letters to five mysterious men.

And the Bride Closed the Door

By Ronit Matalon

A young bride shuts herself up in a bedroom on her wedding day, refusing to get married.

The Yellow Bird Sings

By Jennifer Rosner

A story inspired by the lived experiences of Jewish children hidden during World War II, Rosner's debut novel captures the unbreakable bond between a mother and a daughter.

Pretty Bitches: On Being Called Crazy, Angry, Bossy, Frumpy, Feisty, and All the Other Words That Are Used to Undermine Women

Edited by Lizzie Skurnick

These empowering essays from leading women writers examine the power of the gendered language that is used to diminish women—and imagine a more liberated world.

Recollections of My Nonexistence: A Memoir

By Rebecca Solnit

Solnit reflects on her formation as a writer and as a feminist in San Francisco during the 1980s, exploring how she found her voice in a society that prefers women to be silent.

The Book of V.

By Anna Solomon

Solomon weaves a retelling of the biblical story of Esther with the overlapping and colliding stories of a senator's wife and a Brooklyn mom, illuminating how women’s lives have and have not changed over thousands of years.

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas

By Gertrude Stein, Illustrated by Maira Kalman

This gorgeous new edition of Gertrude Stein's most well-known work bursts with the bright, sophisticated, and fanciful images of artist Maira Kalman.

Sharing the Work: What My Family and Career Taught Me about Breaking Through (and Holding the Door Open for Others)

By Myra Strober

In her memoir, economist Myra Strober shares her life's work: the study of and fight against gender bias in the workplace, in academia, and at home.

Cosella Wayne: Or, Will and Destiny

By Cora Wilburn

The first novel written and published in English by an American Jewish woman and the first coming-of-age novel to depict Jews in the US, this book was published serially in 1860 and then forgotten until the 21st century.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "2020-2021 Picks." (Viewed on August 3, 2021) <https://jwa.org/programs/bookclub/bookshelf>.


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