ACDelco Radiators & Heating Components Shop Men's Watches Cloud Drive Photos nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Jana Kramer belkin All-New Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote Beauty Videos Introducing Handmade Create an Amazon Wedding Registry Amazon Gift Card Offer wdftv wdftv wdftv  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Fall Arrivals in Amazon Outdoor Clothing Learn more
Profile for Larry Mark MyJewishBooksDotCom > Reviews


Larry Mark MyJew...'s Profile

Customer Reviews: 330
Top Reviewer Ranking: 13,234
Helpful Votes: 5570

Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Larry Mark MyJewishBooksDotCom "editor of" RSS Feed (nyc)

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
The Eaves of Heaven: A Life in Three Wars
The Eaves of Heaven: A Life in Three Wars
by Andrew X. Pham
Edition: Hardcover
64 used & new from $0.03

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book of the Summer for story, language, emotion, and more, July 13, 2008
Sometimes a reader is privileged enough to read a book in which the words, sentences, and stories just wash over and envelop you, like a gentle beach wave. This is such a book. I enjoyed Pham's earlier "Catfish" so much that I awaited this latest book of family stories with great anticipation; and I was rewarded. Whether I read this on the subway, a bench, or at home, I was immediately transported to Vietnam, where Pham skillfully describes the villages and cities, the triumphs, pains, tastes, loves, corruptions, kindnesses, terrors and fears of his father's early life (or perhaps lives.) Along the way, I learned more about Vietnamese history and village life than I ever knew before. Pham orders the chapters so that the reader moves back and forth between the decades of his father's childhood and adulthood, all the while progressing to the point we all expect, the fall of Saigon to the VC.

As his grandmother taught, the eaves of heaven dealt good and bad in cycles. Devastating floods brought death but fertile harvests, childbirths brought the risks of a mother's death, and lovely days brought future storms. The lyrical sentences allow you to nearly taste the peach melba ice cream eaten during a courtship, but also let you live the terror of re-education and being pinned down by VC troops in a life or death firefight. The pure childhood enjoyment of eating treats and having cricket fights is a pleasure to read. But one will never again care for the fabled glory of the French Foreign Legion after finishing this book. I finished the final chapter just as NBC began to telecast the Miss Universe pageant from a colorful and cosmopolitan Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang, and all I could do is ponder the tribulations of this memoir and the amnesia of the telecast. Luckily this book captures a forgotten past with all the aspects that the eaves leave in shadows.

How the States Got Their Shapes
How the States Got Their Shapes
by Mark Stein
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.90
135 used & new from $0.01

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable tidbits, July 13, 2008
Driving though Northeastern PA, I often passed a historical marker describing that the area was CT in the mid-18th Century. So, when I saw this book, I purchased it initially so that I could learn more about this intriguing part of history. This book is enjoyable and informative and helps the reader make sense of aspects of American history. It is structured so that you can pick it up now and then and read various state histories when your time and inclination permit. Not only did I learn about PA and CT, Plymouth versus Massachusetts settlements, Jefferson's ideas, and various latitudes, but I was fascinated by the anti-Mormon and pro- silver and gold sentiments that created Nevada; why Alabama and Mississippi look like mirror images; the various notches in state borders, the importance of rivers, and so much more.

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food
The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food
by Jennifer 8. Lee
Edition: Hardcover
112 used & new from $0.01

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two hours after finishing the book, I was hungry for another chapter, May 18, 2008
Is Chinese food more American than apple pie? When's the last time you had an apple pie? When did you last eat Chinese? In Baghdad's green zone, do troops feel nostalgic for pie or beef with broccoli? Did a Western Massachusetts National Guard platoon get care packages of pies or chow mein sandwiches on wonder bread? Ms Lee, a reporter for The New York Times, spent over three years, and visited 33 countries and 43 North American states and provinces on her quest to understand Chinese food. And along the way, she realized that this was a personal journey to understand herself and aspects of the American Asian experience. Her book opens with a story on how some numbers printed in fortune cookies led to an unprecedented number of Powerball winners in March 2005. Lee embarks on a journey to interview these 110 winners and the owners of the Chinese restaurants that distributed these cookies. Along the way we learn how this Harvard educated daughter of Chinese immigrants grew up on Manhattan Chinese takeout and became obsessed with how American Chinese food evolved.

For me, each chapter was more exciting than the preceding ones. Chapter 2, The Menu Wars, is a must read for every NYC apartment dweller; it tells the tale of the first NYC Chinese restaurant to offer delivery and distribute menus under apartment doors and in lobbies. Chapter 3 begins to tell the story of the origin of fortune cookies. Were they Chinese? Japanese? LA? San Francisco? Or.... ? And as in a good mystery, clues get dropped in later chapters. Chapter 4 explores the origin and proliferation of chop suey, but between the lines, is a history of the Chinese Exclusionary laws in America. Chapter 5 is a search of the source of General Tso's (Zuo Zongtang) chicken (aka Admiral Tso at Annapolis), which was harder than finding the source of the Nile. Lee visits the ancestral village of the dish's namesake and meets the descendants of this ruthless military leader. The chapter is garnished with stories on why woks won out over baking in Chinese cuisine, why American like brown over white and avoid rubbery jellyfish-like textures, and what the heck broccoli and baby corn have to do with Chinese dishes. In another chapter, Lee searches for the best Chinese restaurant in the world (NYC? Dubai? Paris? Rome? or...?), and another explores what Confucius really said. Of course, the chapter on why Chinese of the chosen food for the chosen people is a necessary read, but my favorite chapters were the one on the plight of the surviving passengers of the Golden Venture ship that ran aground in NYC, filled with undocumented alien restaurant workers, and the one in which Lee explains how Chinese restaurants are bought and sold in the USA (and where the best town to open a restaurant is) and her travels with one family that escapes NYC and ventures to rural Georgia to run a restaurant. In the non-words of Confucius, "May you read books in interesting times."

Alpha Dogs: The Americans Who Turned Political Spin into a Global Business
Alpha Dogs: The Americans Who Turned Political Spin into a Global Business
by James Harding
Edition: Hardcover
51 used & new from $0.01

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating and suspense filled, and a must read for an election year, May 18, 2008
In the early 1980's, I remember walking into the Manhattan offices of Sawyer Miller on East 60th Street, and wondering what went on beyond its reception desk's wall of television monitors. Were they part Madison Avenue, part CIA and NSC? Who were these green beret alpha dogs who parachuted into campaigns to save the day? How did a Mayflower descendant/son of a shoe company exec (Sawyer) team up with the son of a shoe salesperson (Miller)? How did Miller, the man credited with "Coke is it," "Have a Coke and a Smile," and "Great Taste, Less Filling" end up selling candidates to American and international voters? Now I know. James Harding explains the history of modern political consulting, and gives detailed accounts of the growth of the self confident Sawyer Miller Group, its tactics, clients, successes, speeches, ads, and failures, and its growth around the world and effects on international elections. It is a fascinating read. At times their negative ads turned off voters, but engaged others; some were informative, others were created to "relate" to the voter, and sometimes their clients political and corporate clients lost, proving that ads are not always magic potions. As for going negative: the author tells us that even Thomas Jefferson went negative against George Washington in 1796, and Cicero, in 63 BCE, wrote about how it is delicious to go negative against your opponent when running for political office.

The author writes on how Sawyer Miller's clients ranged from the Dali Lama and Vaclav Havel to Lech Walesa, Shimon Peres, Puerto Rico's Colon, Chile's Valdes, Ecuador's Borja, Bolivia's "Goni,"and Corey Aquino, and from Chris Dodd, Jane Byrne, and Scoop Jackson to Bruce Babbitt, as well as saintly domestic clients and international rogues known for alleged torture tactics. They worked for Amex, Drexel, BAT, Goldman, Resorts Intnl and more. The consultant who penned Newt Gingrich's Contract With America, also penned documents for Tony Blair, Boris Yeltsin, and Silvio Berlusconi. The author explains how politics became tactics instead of ideologies, and candidates were packaged like consumer products. In Harding's hands, we learn about the machinations of Black, Manafort ,Stone; Squier, Napolitan, Garth, Schwartz, Wirthlin, McCleary, Grunwald, Carville, Sawyer, Miller, and more.

Chapter 1 tells the story of the birth and growth of consulting by framing it within an exciting fly on the wall account of consultant Ned Kennan's (aka Nadav Katznelson) meeting with Boston's multi term mayor, Kevin White. Kennan, who focused on the driver's of voter behavior, loved to give bad news to the powerful, which he did to White, who was 20 points behind in the latest polls. In Chapter 2, we watch as Sawyer learns the limits of consulting, polls, personalities when he heads to Venezuela and tries to turn a pussycat of a candidate into a tiger. Chapter 3 relates the story of New Coke, its political-like battle with Pepsi, and the lesson it has for understanding polling results. By far my most favorite chapters were Chapters 4 and 5, which tell the stories of American political consulting in Israel and the Philippines. The account of Mrs. Aquino, the downfall of Marcos, and the roles of Cardinal Sin, Reagan, the U.S. media, certain Senators, and "American" consultants were so enlightening and suspenseful that I read that chapter a second time.

Briefly, to K.I.S.S. and Keep on Message, I recommend this as a lively informative and necessary read in this Presidential election year.

The Hitler Salute: On the Meaning of a Gesture
The Hitler Salute: On the Meaning of a Gesture
by Tilman Allert
Edition: Hardcover
64 used & new from $0.01

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, April 1, 2008
This book teaches us that "Heil Hitler" was the official, expected, even demanded greeting of choice in Germany for over a decade. Even the washroom attendants greeted people with it and some churches replaced "Gruss Gott" with the new deity: Hitler. Gone were the Ei Ei Dufe Wie, Gruss Gott, Servus, Moin Moin, and Guten Tag. Heil Hitler was the replacement. It was a simple, daily-repeated gesture of communication, an offer-acceptance and response between people which book-ended interpersonal communications. Everyday, with each interaction, Hitler was explicitly reinforced and social conformity occurred. The author's simple insights tells the reader how this simple greeting included the nation, advertised one's social affiliation, bonded the people, and excluded all the recalcitrant, obstructionist, non-believers and set them up for terror and punishment. For 12 years, all communications became politicized. In this book, the author explores the history of the gesture and words and investigates its power as an unconditional pledge that united the nation. (He also includes a few Heil Hitler jokes that were told, believe it or not, in Germany). I found it to be a creative analysis on the power of a simple but frightening gesture. What I found enlightening is the Wehrmacht's early rejection of the salute, since it had its own military salutes, loyalties, and traditions. Not until the Summer of 1944, after some Wehrmacht officers tried to assassinate Hitler, did the Wehrmacht accept the Hitler salute.

Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure
Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure
by Larry Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.75
145 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't Think Up Six Word Title, March 18, 2008
There is a legend that Ernest Hemingway came up with a six word story: "For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never Worn."

WOW! Great, isn't it? You can add your own at

Every few pages, you will notice the name of a contribution from a famous writer, celebrity or celebutante. I wish I could say that the over 200 pages of 6 word memoirs in the book are as good as Hemingway's story. But I can't. But the book is still enjoyable to browse through. Most are average and forgetable, many are quite depressing, but some give you pause and you can imagine a story based on the sentence.

My fave: "Girlfriend is pregnant, my husband said."

Passover by Design: Picture-perfect Kosher by Design recipes for the holiday (Kosher by Design)
Passover by Design: Picture-perfect Kosher by Design recipes for the holiday (Kosher by Design)
by Susie Fishbein
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $23.81
49 used & new from $1.24

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recipes that make centuries of slavery worthwhile, March 11, 2008
As this book was published, the author approached her first Passover since the death of her beloved mother-in-law, Myrna Fishbein, and so, the book is dedicated to her. Recipes are tagged if they are non-gebrokts. Not only are the Passover recipes splendid, but the presentation ideas are extremely helpful and creative. For example, each seder participant can pick a chore out of a bowl (serve the soup, clean the first course, pour the wine). It makes chores and helping out more organized and fun. Or consider serving the karpas and salt water in a Bento Box. Or check the wine labels at the seder. Tell a Jewish story about each of the countries that the wines are from (Israel, USA, Chile, New Zealand, etc.)

Recipes include APPETIZERS (14) - highlights are Salmon Tataki, Tri-color gefilte fish (3 layers, requires salmon for one layer, dill and cucumbers for another, and a springform pan), and Steamed Sea Bass and Savoy Cabbage. Idea: serve the horseradish in a scooped out zucchini slice.

SOUPS (over 18) include creamy peach, carrot coconut vichyssoise, chicken, broccoli and almond bisque, and a thick wild mushroom veloute. In terms of colorful matzo balls, there are tomato, tumeric, and spinach versions.

There are over 20 SALADS, including Seared Ahi Tuna Nicoise; Cucumber Dill; Grilled Beef and Radish; Fatoush; and Mango Tuna with Goat Cheese. The coolest is a Watermelon and Beet Salad served in a martini glass with mint and basil sprigs. There are 27 POULTRY recipes. Includes Chicken Lollipops, Greek Garlic Chicken, Fiesta Turkey Burgers, Pastrami Stuffed Turkey Roast with a Pineapple Glaze, and Ratatouille Chicken Stew. The nineteen MEAT recipes include Lamb Chop with Parsley Pesto, Brisket with Shallots and Potatoes, Braised Rib Roast with Melted Tomatoes, Veal Scaloppini with Kumquats, and a Fig Marsala Sauce.

Of the over 20 FISH/DAIRY recipes, my faves were Tower of Snapper and Eggplant, Halibut with Zucchini Confit, Tuna Croquettes, Parmesan Crusted Grouper (yes Parmesan can be kosher), Matzo Brei, and Blintz Souffle. The 24 SIDE DISHES include Cauliflower Popcorn, Cauliflower Francaise (she loves cauliflower), Matzo Primavera, Meichel (her mother in law's farfal mushroom pilaf), Hasselback Potatoes (never has a potato looked so lovely), a cranberry pineapple kugel, Thai Quinoa, and Quinoa Timbales with Grapefruit Vinaigrette. As for Afikomens, or DESSERTS, there are 28, including Ebony and Ivory (mouse), Chocolate Mousse Pie, Melon Granitas, Best Ever Sponge Cake (the trick is in the egg white beatings), a compote that serves a mere 25 people, and brownies, cookies, and sorbet. Btay Avon
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 18, 2008 8:32 AM PDT

Arthur Schwartz's Jewish Home Cooking: Yiddish Recipes Revisited
Arthur Schwartz's Jewish Home Cooking: Yiddish Recipes Revisited
by Arthur Schwartz
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.79
58 used & new from $8.52

49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great recipes, and tasty photos also. a must for mavens, March 11, 2008
The fact that the author is the comes across clearly, since he adds so much rich information on Jewish food history with each recipe. It is a pleasure to read. And then there are the photos. As he writes in the intro, food is a connection to the Jewish past and our faith. Sure, more Jews eat pizza than chopped liver, more eat sushi and salad nicoise than chopped herring and gefilte fish, but those classic foods are in our Jungian collective unconscious. And now for the recipes.

Appetizers (Forshpeiz) include recipes for arbes, chopped eggs and onions, chopped herring salad, schmaltz, black radish (ritach, as in ritach mit tzibeleh), vegetarian chopped liver (2 recipes), romanian eggplant salad, 2nd Avenue Deli's health salad/slaw, pitcha, chrain, and gefilte fish (mit carrots).

Some SOUPS are Chicken w/ knaidlach, kreplach, mushroom barley (did u know that mushrooms were free and plentiful in the woods of Lithuania), borscht (3 kinds), and Schav. Some SIDES include three, count 'em, 3 kugels, latkes, shlishkas, kishkas, dermas, tzimmes, and cabbage and noodles (u know.. that mouse in rataouille should have made cabbage and noodles for the critic) (hint... salt the cabbage first)

Some MEATS are cholent, flanken, brisket, stuffed cabbage, potted meatballs, (a history of romanian steakhouses; an essay on why Jews like chinese), karnatzlach (little sausage), salami and eggs, chow mein, and pepper steak. Not to mix meat and milk in the same paragraph, but some DAIRY recipes included are: Ratner's brown gravy, blintzes, lox fliegles, pickled lox; lox,eggs & onions; and whitefish salad.

There is a whole chapter for passover dishes, including an apple cake and matzo buttercrunch and ingberlach (matzo farfal ginger candy).
Speaking of Passover, some BREAD recipes include one for tzibeleh kuchen. Did you know that Jewish corn bread is actually a sourdough ryte? DESSERT recipes include rugelach (kipfel), babka, and hamantaschen.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 5, 2015 5:50 PM PDT

Zen Ties
Zen Ties
by Jon J. Muth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.92
130 used & new from $1.47

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spelling Bee Stress Grows / Mean Old Neighbor Offers Help / Stillwater Runs Deeper, March 11, 2008
This review is from: Zen Ties (Hardcover)
Stillwater, a giant environmentalist panda, waits for his nephew Koo at the train station. "Hi Koo," he welcomes his haiku speaking nephew. 3 children and Koo help Stillwater prepare a healthy soup for an elderly neighbor, Miss Whitaker, who the children assume is a meanie who usually yells at them from her porch. Stillwater understands that individually, we are waves, but we are also the ocean. We are interconnected. Miss Whitaker, a former English teacher, can help one of the children prepare for an upcoming bee by realizing that all words (and people) have roots. A nice light story with nice watercolors, although I had greater hopes for Koo's haikus

Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?: "The Four Questions" Around the World
Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?: "The Four Questions" Around the World
by Ilana Kurshan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.43
44 used & new from $0.01

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WEI SHEN MO JIN WEN BU TONG YU QI TA YIE WEN?, March 6, 2008
I LOVE THIS PASSOVER BOOK (but not in a romantic way, I just mean I find it to be a small treasure)... Ilana Kurshan provides insights into the Jewish dispersion around the Earth (she did not include Vulcan or Klingon or other non human languages). Included in this book are the four questions in a variety of languages with a brief note on the Jewish communities in these countries or language regions. Languages that do not use the English alphabet are also transliterated. Languages include Afrikaans, Amharic, Chinese (Mandarin transliteration), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Ladino, Latin, Marathi, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and even that obscure language, YIDDISH.

Rabbi Telushkin, has a hilarious introduction in which he throws in a few Ma Nishtana jokes (you know the famous one about the Queen of England), and the fact that although most American Jews do not know Hebrew, they all know what "Ma Nishtana" means without a need for a translation.

Seder attendees... I recommend that you purchase this book and bring it to your seders. First do the questions in Ivrit, and then, if a child at the table knows French, let them do the four questions in French. If grandma knows Ladino, let her do it in Ladino, and then tell a story of Ladino speaking Jews or a memory of seders of the past. Did you invite a friend from Taiwan or mainland China? Let them read a question in Mandarin (or Cantonese if from HK). Is there a doctor in the seder? Have them do a question in Latin. This can become an annual ritual in which a question is done in a language and the child or adult must tell a story of the Jews of that linguistic community.

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20