2021-2022 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.

Vera Rubin: A Life

By Jacqueline Mitton, Simon Mitton

The first biography of a pioneering scientist who made significant contributions to our understanding of dark matter and championed the advancement of women in science.

Whistle: A New Gotham Hero

By E. Lockhart

When Willow discovers she must choose between using her new-found superpowers to help her run-down neighborhood community or remain loyal to the man who saved her mother’s life, she struggles with how to be a good person in a complicated world.

Florence Adler Swims Forever

By Rachel Beanland

When tragedy strikes, Esther makes the shocking decision to hide the truth and pulls the family into an elaborate web of secret-keeping and lies, bringing long-buried tensions to the surface that reveal how quickly the act of protecting those we love can turn into betrayal after tragedy.

Hope Valley

By Haviva Ner-David

The story of two women, one Jewish-Israeli and one Palestinian-Israeli, who come together to form the unlikeliest of friendships.

The Rabbi Who Prayed With Fire

By Rachel Sharona Lewis

Taking on the city's old boys' club is already proving difficult...but then Beth Abraham bursts into flames. Fingers get pointed, and everyone's biases rise to the surface.


By Sam Cohen

In Sarahland, Sam Cohen brilliantly and often hilariously explores the ways in which traditional stories have failed us, both demanding and providing new origin stories for its cast of Sarahs, new ways to love the planet and those inhabiting it, and new possibilities for life itself.

They'll Never Catch Us

By Jessica Goodman

A thriller about two sisters vying for the top spot on their cross-country team—until a teammate’s disappearance throws their lives off course.

Cheeky: A Head-to-Toe Memoir

By Ariella Elovic

A gorgeous graphic memoir that asks: how can the author learn not to see herself as a never-finished DIY project, but to accept and even love the physical attributes society taught her to hide?

Rebel Daughter

By Lori Kaufman

Rebel Daughter transports the reader to one of the most dramatic and momentous events in human history – the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century.

The Hidden Palace: A Novel of the Golem and the Jinni

By Helene Wecker

In this enthralling historical epic, set in New York City and the Middle East in the years leading to World War I— the long-awaited sequel to the The Golem and the Jinni—Helene Wecker revisits Chava, a golem, and Ahmad, a jinni, as they confront unexpected new challenges in a rapidly changing human world.

Asylum: A Memoir of Family Secrets

By Judy Bolton-Fasman

Judy Bolton-Fasman’s fascinating saga, Asylum: A Memoir of Family Secrets, recounts the search for answers to the mysteries embedded in the lives of her Cuban-born mother, Matilde Alboukrek Bolton and her elusive, Yale-educated father, K. Harold Bolton.

Everybody (Else) Is Perfect: How I Survived Hypocrisy, Beauty, Clicks, and Likes

By Gabrielle Korn

A provocative and intimate collection of personal and cultural essays featuring eye-opening explorations of hot button topics for modern women, including internet feminism, impossible beauty standards in social media, shifting ideals about sexuality, and much more.

Golem Girl: A Memoir

By Riva Lehrer

The vividly told, gloriously illustrated memoir of an artist born with disabilities who searches for freedom and connection in a society afraid of strange bodies.


By Tovah Feldshuh

This heartwarming and funny memoir from a beloved actress tells the story of a mother and daughter whose narrative reflects American cultural changes and the world's shifting expectations of women.

Black Widow

By Leslie Gray Streeter

He was Jewish and white; she was Christian and black, but that didn't give them a moment's hesitation. But then Leslie Gray Streeter suddenly lost her beloved husband. Looking at widowhood through the prism of race, mixed marriage, and aging, Black Widow redefines the stages of grief.

Praying with Jane Eyre: Reflections on Reading as Sacred Practice

By Vanessa Zoltan

Vanessa Zoltan blends memoir and personal growth as she grapples with the notions of family legacy and identity through the lens of her favorite novel.

Not Your All-American Girl

By Wendy Wan-Long Shang and Madelyn Rosenberg

A multicultural story full of heart and hilarity about what it means to be all-American.

Recipe for Disaster

By Aimee Lucido

This middle grade novel is a hybrid of prose, verse, and recipes about a 12-year-old girl whose best friend's Bat Mitzvah inspires her to plan one for herself.

From Sarah to Sydney: The Woman Behind All-of-a-Kind Family

By June Cummins with Alix Dunietz

The first and only biography of Sydney Taylor (1904–1978), author of the award-winning All-of-a-Kind Family series of books, the first juvenile novels published by a mainstream publisher to feature Jewish children.

Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Culture

By Annelise Heinz

Drawing on photographs, advertising, popular media, and dozens of oral histories, this rich and colorful account offers the first history of the wildly popular game of mahjong.

The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams

By Jonathan Ned Katz

Historian Jonathan Ned Katz uncovers the forgotten story of lesbian and political radical Eve Adams (aka Eva Kotchever, born Chawa Zloczewer in Poland in 1891) and her long-lost 1925 book Lesbian Love.

The Disordered Cosmos

By Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein shares her love for physics, from the Standard Model of Particle Physics and what lies beyond it, to the physics of melanin in skin, to the latest theories of dark matter.

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

By Gabrielle Glaser

The truth about postwar adoption in America, told through the bittersweet story of one teenager, the son she was forced to relinquish, and their twin searches to find each other.

The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos

By Judy Batalion

A spectacular, searing history that brings to light the extraordinary accomplishments of brave Jewish women who became resistance fighters.

Ashkenazi Herbalism: Rediscovering the Herbal Traditions of Eastern European Jews

By Deatra Cohen and Adam Siegel

The definitive guide to medicinal plant knowledge of Ashkenazi herbal healers, from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century.

Spilt Milk: Memoirs

By Courtney Zoffness

Courtney Zoffness considers what we inherit from generations past―biologically, culturally, spiritually―and what we pass on to our children.

People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present

By Dara Horn

Horn challenges us to confront the reasons why there might be so much fascination with Jewish deaths, and so little respect for Jewish lives unfolding in the present.

The Papercutter (The Split, #1)

By Cindy Rizzo

A blend of fantasy, romance, and Jewish imagination that imagines a world where a deeply polarized and ungovernable United States of America has separated into two nations—the God Fearing States (GFS) and the United Progressive Regions (UPR).


By Emily Barth Isler

After her brother's death from a congenital heart defect, twelve-year-old Lucy is not prepared to be the new kid at school, especially in a grade full of survivors of a shooting that happened four years ago.

The Almost Legendary Morris Sisters

By Julie Klam

Part memoir and part confessional, this is the fascinating and funny true story of one writer's journey into her family's past, the truths she brings to light, and what she learns about herself along the way.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "2021-2022 Picks." (Viewed on August 15, 2022) <https://jwa.org/programs/bookclub/bookshelf>.


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