Last week, I came across a neat meme over at Pudgy Penguin Perusals called Show Me 5 Saturday. The meme is hosted by That’s A Novel Idea (and is where you can hook up your post if you decide to do the meme). The meme is pretty simple, and I thought it would be a great vehicle for knocking off some of the book reviews that I don’t have time to write “full-fledged” reviews for. With 19 reviews waiting to be written, I’m desperate to get out from under this pile! For the meme, you answer the following questions, with the number indicating the number of answers you will provide.
2 Words that describe the book: Father-son relationships
3 Settings where it took place or characters you met: 1. Setting: 1940s Brooklyn 2. Reuven Malter—a teenaged Jewish boy whose father is a well-known Jewish scholar but is a loving, ever-present and liberal presence in Reuven’s life 3. Danny Saunders—a teenaged Jewish boy whose father is a Hasidic Jewish leader who is raising Danny “in silence”
4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it: 1. I liked the author’s ability to describe and create a very specific time and place. 2. I disliked the long sections on Talmudic scholarship that went way, way over my head. 3. I liked how the friendship develops between Danny and Reuven and how the opinion you have of Danny’s father changes at the conclusion of the book. 4. I liked getting an insider’s look at a religion and community I know little about—Judaism and Hasidic Judaism.
5 Stars or less for your rating? I gave the book 3 stars. It is on many high school required reading lists, but I think it would be a hard read for anyone without some kind of background in Judaism as there is lot of “technical” stuff that was hard to follow at times. I did read this during the recent Read-A-Thon, and my opinion of it might be colored by reading it in this context as it wasn’t the most reader-friendly book for a long day of intense reading!
Why and Where I Got The Book
I read this book as part of my own Take A Chance Challenge. This was the book I read for my “Birth Year Book.” This part of the challenge asks you to:
Find a book that was published or copyrighted in the year of your birth. Read the book and write about it.
The Chosen was copyrighted in 1967, which was the year I was born. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have read this book if it wasn’t for this challenge! I got my copy from Paperback Swap.
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