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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Passover 2011 Reading List

At least some of these books will end up on my bookshelf, unread and gathering dust, but the ones listed below are at the top of my list.  There’s nothing like sitting on a couch for a few hours engrossed in a well written, thought-provoking work.  You can see the complete list here http://amzn.to/g9MKaQ

Pesach Related:

1) JPS Haggadah ($24.00).  Written in English and so far quite enjoyable. http://amzn.to/fqdziu

2) Safrai: Haggadah Chazal.  ($40) In Hebrew: http://amzn.to/gok4qK.  Also available in English for $60 (http://amzn.to/f1EPQM).

Regular Reading

1) The Fires: How a Computer Formula, Big Ideas, and the Best of Intentions Burned Down New York City-and Determined the Future of Cities ($10.78).  Definitely at the top of my list.  http://amzn.to/dEOMia

2) The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. ($16.72).  This book had such great reviews I don’t want to wait for the softcover version. http://amzn.to/fmTDFs

3) The World Without Us ($10.15).  Tomorrow humans disappear.  Here’s what happens. http://amzn.to/h4tS3R

4) Complications: A Surgeon’s Note on an Imperfect Science. Looks good. ($8.91).  http://amzn.to/ih8Szh

5) The Four Steps to the Epiphany ($39.99).  Recommended as a must read by Matt Meeker, this deals with business plans and bringing a product to market.  Likely a slower read than the others. http://amzn.to/i4GZUL

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Via Hirhurim, a beautiful passage from famous translator Rabbi Yehudah ibn Tibon‘s ethical will to his son (translated by Rabbi Moshe Bamberger):

I have endowed you with an extensive library so that you need not borrow books from others. Most students scramble to find books, often without success. Thank God, you are in a position to lend them out and not to borrow. You even own two or three copies of many books. . . .

My son! Make your books your friends; let your bookcases and book-chests be your orchards and gardens. Stroll on their grounds; pluck their roses, gather their fruit, spices, and myrrh. If your soul becomes weary of one garden, move to another. Then your desire will be refreshed, and your soul will be lifted!

Examine your Hebrew books every Rosh Chodesh, the Arabic books once every two months. The bound volumes need to be checked once every three months.

Make sure to keep the library in order so that it is not an ordeal to find a certain book. Learn the exact case and chest where every book is located. It would be a good idea to place in each case a list of all the books inside that particular case. Then, when you are searching for a particular book, you can check the list to see if it is there instead of disarranging all the books in search of one. The same system should be used for the chests. Examine the loose leaves in the books and preserve them, because they contain matters of utmost importance, which I myself have collected and transcribed. Lose no writing or letter of all that I have left you. Review your catalogue so that you recall the books contained in the library.

Do not refuse to lend out your books to someone who cannot afford to purchase them, assuming he can be trusted to return them to you. You are familiar with the statement of our Sages in Kesubos (50a) on the verse (Psalms 112:3), “Wealth and riches are in his house, and his merit endures forever.” Do not hold back good from he who warrants it.

Take special care of your books. Cover your bookcases with fine curtains. Protect them from water dripping down from the roof, from rats, and from any other harm, for they are your greatest treasure. When you lend someone a book, record the loan in a ledger before it leaves your house and, when the book is returned, draw a line through the entry. Every Pesach and Succos, retrieve all the books you lent out. . . .

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