Booknik on November 19–25

Last week, Booknik suffered the pangs of love, joined the Goths, and walked among the graves in the Prague cemetery; he also tried to ram the open doors, built some communism, took a walk in New York, sang songs about his motherland (one of the two), and temped as a toilet cleaner. Meanwhile, unsupervised Booknik Jr., made friends with Jack the Ripper, and took up anatomy.

Why Don’t I Sing a Song?
Lazarus’s Women, by Marina Stepnova
This is the novel about the impossibility of love, and about the possibility of it. Love is the protagonist of the novel, a lost child, God’s gift, and the traded laughter because there are these rich pies, bigheaded puppies, and dark nights in it. There is all the unstoppable sentimentality, and intricate excesses. Our favorite literary critic Dina Suvorova suggests that we should be talking about the strangeness of love this time.

The Nightmares Factory
Fabryka muchołapek, by Andrzej Bart
In this phantasmagoria, the real intertwines with the unreal. They try Chaim Rumkowski AKA Chaim the Terrible AKA King Chaim in court. He headed the Lodz Judenrat ghetto in the WW2. The book is intricate and not easy to read, sometimes it seems too multilayered, as Booknik reviewer Anna Andreyeva believes. Nevertheless, as you read it, your intellect and emotions flame up; you start thinking about the unthinkable, and live in the place where all survival is impossible.

…and many other tales of wonder in the Books & Reviews section.


Around The Prague Cemetery"
One of these days, Umberto Eco’s The Prague Cemetery, his latest novel, will hit the stores, translated into Russian. Booknik has been in a frenzy of activity in conjunction with this event. First, he talked to Eco’s faithful Russian translator Yelena Kostyukovich. Second, he put together the special quiz that will help you to define what Eco’s character you look like. Third, Booknik suggests you read an excerpt of the novel itself.

…and many other intellectual entertainments in the Articles & Interviews section.


Open Houses and Closed Doors
The traditional architectural festival Houses from Within that took place in Jerusalem, in November, allows everyone, including our curious Israeli reporter Ariel Bulstein, to inspect the most interesting buildings in the capital in just forty-eight hours. Many of them are inaccessible to the public otherwise.

…and many other open locks in the Events & Reports section.


A Ragamuffin and His Family
This Is How We Built Communism, Part 1, by Esther Smekhova
This installment of our Private Histories tells about pogroms and the revolution. “When the power changed in Kharkov, we knew that if the Reds rush towards the horse market, we shall have some quiet time, for a half an hour approximately, and then either the Whites of bandits will come. If it were the bandits, Vas’ka and I would sit on our fence, and scream at the top of our voices, ‘Death to Yids, save Russia!’ It meant that we do not have any Jews in our household.”

The New Yorkers Try to Live Better
“There is a large crow of iron besides the subway entrance on the 42nd Street. The New Yorkers started to decorate it with various items left in the subway. You may see a brown glove with a bright button there, a dog leash with bright clasps, a bright earring, or a sparkly scarf.” Our travelling columnist Linor Goralik envied the iron crow’s luck.

On Public Toilets of the Holy City
The new mayor who does not seem to be at odds with the water element, so not only fountains work in the city but public toilets remain open on Saturday. Our Israeli reporter Natalia Belenkaya is happy about it for the human body does not function like the Sambation River. Why should it stop on Saturday?

…and many other glad news in the Columns & Columns section.


Perpetuum Schmobile 22: Gordon Gould and the Laser
The story of the laser invention is a completely entangled web with too many leads. Our science wizard Kirill Chichayev managed to unwrap the mystery .

Plagiarism in the Soviet Songs 7: Songs about Our Motherland
The real music does not recognize any copyright. In one country, a good melody may become a piece of some easy listening music, and another country may adopt it as a national anthem. Our musical expert Mark Freydkin has completed his new aural investigation.

Don’t Grudge the Brew Lite 95: Kiwi and Orange Salad
Our intrepid chef Roman Gershuni does not stop to teach Booknik readers how not to overeat. Light food now is the word. Throw your kielbasa to your cat, and go marching to the store, to buy some kiwis and oranges.

…and many other useful facts in the Video Blog section.


How Hershele Looked for Rebe Boruch’s Nose
They asked Hershele “Is it true that you do not believe in God?” “Who said that?” he asked. “People talk,” was the answer. “Idle talkers! You’d better ask Him about it.”

Moustache Found. Will Return to Owner. Ask Tintin
These days, many people enthusiastically solve the mystery of the unicorn that the film director Steven Spielberg put into his movie about Tintin. Could you help us solve the puzzle, too? Here are two almost identical pictures that portray film characters. Could you find ten differences between them?

Pangs of the Heart
Have you ever been to a dissecting room? No? No worries, then. Our own Jack the Ripper Daniil Yakovlev will show you a man from within, with some help from his magic pictures. Have a nice excursion!

…and many other things at Booknik Jr., also known as Family Booknik, our own web site for kids and their parents.


I'm in pain and I'm wet and I'm still hysterical! Booknik and Family Booknik are supported by the AVI CHAI Foundation.









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