Some Must Have Additions for Your Bookshelf
By Anthony Frosh
I recently attended a panel session that was part of the Melbourne Jewish Book Festival. The session was on the topic of “What is a Jewish book?” After listening to the panel and participating in the audience discussion, I decided that a Jewish book is any book disproportionately read by Jews, irrespective of the author or content.
For example in the early 20th century, psychology and psychiatry were considered Jewish sciences. Not only were most of the major texts written by Jews, they were largely studied and read by Jews. This is particularly true for the Psychodynamic theorists and arguably even more so for the Gestalt theorists. A physics professor I know tells me the same thing also applied to his discipline.
The corollary is also valid. There’s a world’s bestseller written by Jews and whose content is all about Jews, and yet I wouldn’t call it a Jewish book. Can you guess the book I’m referring too? That’s right, The New Testament.
So on that note, I decided to review some upcoming or recently released books that certainly ought to be classified as Jewish books.
A Patient’s Guide to the Best Doctors in Melbourne (Sydney, Perth, and Gold Coast editions also available). This book is an indispensable resource that lists and ranks all the best doctors in your capital city. The book is arranged by medical speciality, and it not only ranks the doctors, but has estimated waiting times to see those doctors, both with and without a connection. For every single practitioner, it also provides a list of individuals who, if you happen to have their contact details, could hook you up in order to bypass the standard waiting lists.
Self Diagnosis of Rare Diseases and Illnesses. Sometimes, even when you have good connections, you don’t have time to wait to see a doctor. That’s where this book comes in. It doesn’t matter if you have the Epstein Barr Virus or Lou Gehrig’s disease, this self-help guide will put your mind at rest. As recommended by Leonard “Lenny” Goldberg of The Reluctant Infidel fame.
How to Write a Complaint Letter to Your Child’s Day School. For anyone with a child enrolled at any of the major Jewish Day Schools, this could be a handy edition to the bookshelf. It contains over 100 model examples of complaint letters. There’s quite literally a sample complaint letter for every occasion. Not enough tefilah? Too much tefilah? Not enough sport? Too much sport? Your kindergarten child missed out on an extra piece of apple at morning tea? You’re disappointed your six year old child cannot yet fluently read and comprehend a complex text in Aramaic? You name it, whatever your dilemma, this book’s got you covered.
Medicine, Law, or Something Else not as Good? How to Guide Your Child to Choosing the Right Career Path. No matter what your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses are, this book will prove invaluable in helping you decide for your child the most suitable career for the rest of their life. This book includes a comprehensive personality survey and aptitude test to be completed by the parent and the child respectively, as well as an easy to follow guide for interpreting the results. Most importantly, the book has a very open-minded approach and does not position either medicine or law as superior to one another.
And while you’re thinking about what books to buy, here’s a word on behalf of our sponsor.