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Literature at Lunch

"Can't we talk about something more PLEASANT?"

 A book of cartoons about aging and death? If the medium and the message seem incompatible, Roz Chast's "Can't we talk about something more PLEASANT?" graphic memoir proves just the opposite. The New Yorker cartoonist's book, winner of multiple awards, takes a refreshing approach as she chronicles her own family's journey, reflecting the experiences many of us are facing, have faced, or will: becoming caregivers for our aging parents, avoiding or trying to bring up the difficult subjects of end-of-life wishes and plans, seeing their health deteriorate, and living through their deaths. Combining her wry drawings with narrative, family photos and documents, blending humor with honest realism and poignant emotions, Chast gives us insight into how to prepare for and navigate these complicated, yet ultimately unavoidable passages in life.

 Join Rabbi Geoff and Gail Lipsitz March 18 at 12:30 p.m., in a meaningful discussion of Chast's book (Bloomsbury, 2014, available in paperback). Also selections from "Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End" by Atul Gawande, M.D. (Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, 2014) will be added to the discussion. Copies of this are available on the table outside Rabbi Geoff's office or click on the title to view and print off. Dr. Gawande is a gifted physician whose prose always exhibits intellect and empathy. His "Checklist Manifesto" is credited with saving many lives and bringing needed equity to operating room staff. 

And for those who would like to get a jump on the May gathering...

Saturday, May 20, 2017

"My Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum Cleaner: A Family Memoir" by Meir Shalev

Who could resist a title like this?  Meir Shalev is a highly respected Israeli author of numerous novels (including "A Pigeon and a Boy"), non-fiction works, and children's literature.  He was born in 1948 on Nahalal, Israel's first moshav (agricultural settlement).  Translated from the Hebrew, Shalev's memoir is delightful reading, both humorous and touching.  His grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts, and other family members are unforgettable characters whom he brings to life with their eccentricities and endearing qualities.  Through them, Shalev tells the story of the early days of settling the land of Israel in the generation before the founding of the state. (New York: Schocken Books, 2009 and 2011 - hardcover)

Sun, August 20 2017 28 Av 5777