Book Festival Plans Intriguing Topics, Authors

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Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND

Survival, friendship and humor are among the subjects featured at the 14th annual Jewish Community Alliance Jewish Book Festival in November.

The goal is to educate the community about Jewish literature, to stimulate discussion regarding current Jewish issues, history, philosophy and literature and to provide access to Jewish books, a news release said.

All programs start at 7:30 p.m. at 8505 San Jose Blvd. and are followed by dessert, a book sale and signing. Except for the patrons' event, they are free to the public.

The following Jewish authors will participate:

- Nov. 2: Joel Chasnoff, author of "The 188th Crybaby Brigade: A Skinny Jewish Kid from Chicago Fights Hezbollah." Disillusioned with Ivy League post-graduate life, Chasnoff, 24, makes real his dream of giving back to Israel and enlists in the Israeli Army. This event is for patrons only and will include a dessert reception.

- Thursday: Lucy Rose Fischer, author of "I'm New at Being Old." Offering wit, whimsy and vibrantly fanciful art, her picture book captures the essence of what it feels like to be "new at being old," the release said. River Garden is co-sponsoring.

- Monday, Nov. 8: Jan Goldstein, author of "The Bride Will Keep Her Name," which opens with the familiar warning to be careful what you wish for.

- Tuesday, Nov. 9: Howard Herskowitz, author of "Aaron's Journey - From Slave to Master." This is a true story of Herskowitz's father and his survival during World War II. Nov. 9 is the anniversary of Kristalnacht.

- Thursday, Nov. 11: Jeffrey Zaslow, author of "The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and a Forty-Year Friendship." From the co-author of "The Last Lecture" comes a moving tribute to female friendships, the release said. The book was named one of the top 10 books of 2009 by People magazine and spent 16 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. …