families, writer, contracting, book

Retired Michigan State Police trooper dies of coronavirus, days after wife   -16%

Retired Sgt. JJ Smith died Friday night and his wife, Gloria, lost her life to the virus the previous week.


Meet the author whose book became Amazons top bestseller during the coronavirus pandemic   -10%

'The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids' has become a surprise success for families during confinement. Clémence Michallon speaks to author Carole P Roman about this surge in popularity – and how humour brings generations together

Why a wave of suicides washed over Germany after the Nazi defeat   -5%

Toward the end of World War II a suicide wave swept the areas of Germany occupied by the Red Army. Florian Huber’s new book blames the influence of Nazi anti-Bolshevik propaganda and the mass rapes by Russian soldiers

World Cup final shirt will have extra meaning now Jos Buttler   20%

Jos Buttler’s status as an England World Cup winner has already assured his place in the history books but the shirt he wore at the decisive moment last summer could soon secure a more immediate legacy: helping save lives threatened by coronavirus.

'Yoni Netanyahus mistake nearly led to disaster': U.K. historian sets the record straight on Operation Entebbe  

The PM's slain brother was not a central figure in the operation, Saul David, on whose book the film '7 Days in Entebbe' was based, tells Haaretz

Taking It on the Nose? A Fresh Look at Cartoon Jews and Anti-Semitism  

Two new books, "The Implacable Urge to Defame" and "Diaspora Boy," explore the portrayal of Jews in caricatures as repulsive grotesques

How Jewish immigrants adopted Argentine soccer and found a new home   17%

Raanan Rein’s 2015 book 'Fútbol, Jews, and the Making of Argentina' tells a special story about how Jews carved out a new life. It’s finally coming out in Hebrew

Pharma paints a troubling picture of an unchecked industry   -11%

Gerald Posner’s book covers the history of drugs and drugmakers, in particular the Sackler family, whose Purdue Pharma is implicated in the opioid crisis.

Wallace Roney, Jazz Trumpet Virtuoso, Is Dead at 59   11%

Initially dismissed by some as a Miles Davis imitator, Mr. Roney, who has died of coronavirus complications, emerged as a major musician in his own right.

The Jewish author who dared to talk about mental illness and its treatment  

‘Prozac Nation’ author Elizabeth Wurtzel dies at age 52. Her 1994 memoir initiated the public dialogue on the antidepressant that changed the face of her generation

Coronavirus: Hundreds dead in Iran from drinking methanol amid fake reports it cures disease   25%

As many as 480 people may have died from drinking the toxic substance following rumours that ingesting high-proof alcohol is a remedy for Covid-19

The Books Briefing: Books for Feeling Better   -12%

Reader, it’s rough out there. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, one of the most frightening and frustrating aspects of the disaster is the fact that no one knows how long it will be before the crisis is resolved. As humans, we’re used to stories that have a beginning, a middle, and an end; it’s hard to make sense of an experience without knowing where you are in that plotline.

But when life seems to lose its narrative structure, books can be a comfort. Jane Austen’s novels, for instance, are reassuring not only because of their happy endings but also because of the way they uphold social conventions, even while acknowledging their fallibility. Isaac Asimov’s work, from what’s known as the golden age of science fiction, presents optimistic visions of the future in which machines and the universe itself are governed by laws people can identify and understand.

The space-opera comic-book series Saga sends its characters on dangerous adventures of moral complexity, yet always stays grounded in the values of family, forgiveness, and compassion. Hanan al-Shaykh’s retelling of One Thousand and One Nights highlights the classic tales’ most hopeful themes—oppressed people winning their lives back and literature teaching empathy. And Barbara Cooney’s picture books give young readers and their parents a vision of history that’s based on caring and quiet confidence in what is right.

Every Friday in the Books Briefing, we thread together Atlantic stories on books that share similar ideas.

Know other book lovers who might like this guide? Forward them this email.

What We’re Reading

(Prachaya Roekdeethaweesab / Shutterstock)

A writer who is good for you
“No other author goes with such casual intimacy as [Austen] … into the vulnerable spot where society touches the root of self. And few authors are at the same time so quietly fearsome and so intensely consoling.”

📚 Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
📚 Emma, by Jane Austen
📚 Jane Austen: A Life, by Claire Tomalin
📚 Jane Austen: A Life, by David Nokes
📚 “The Janeites,” by Rudyard Kipling

The sprawling, empathetic adventure of Saga
Saga relies on a stable of heroes, antiheroes, and villains who span the spectra of age, class, gender, race, and sexual orientation … [The series] stands out as a profane, glorious ode to compassion and equality.”

📚 Saga, by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan

Isaac Asimov’s throwback vision of the future
“So many popular science-fiction or speculative-fiction stories that have been given new life today are dystopian … Asimov is perhaps most useful as a counterpoint, a writer whose work resonates because it is out of step with the kind of future that readers have become so used to imagining.”

📚 I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
📚 Foundation, by Isaac Asimov
📚 The End of Eternity, by Isaac Asimov

The humanist message amid the violence of One Thousand and One Nights
“The women in these stories in fact do find their own way—again and again, we watch as the powerless become powerful, and the strong become weak.”

📚 One Thousand and One Nights: A Retelling, by Hanan al-Shaykh

Barbara Cooney’s picture-book lessons in moral courage
“Her singular vision of young Americans and her unique ideas about how to write for them make her books more relevant to Americans today—and perhaps more necessary—than ever before.”

📚 Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney
📚 Island Boy, by Barbara Cooney
📚 Eleanor, by Barbara Cooney

About us: This week’s newsletter is written by Rosa Inocencio Smith. Her current comfort book is Persuasion, by Jane Austen.

Comments, questions, typos? Reply to this email to reach the Books Briefing team.

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Missing the Theater? Trade Playbills for These Novels   50%

Two theater critics suggest some of their favorite books about the theater, giving us portals to a world that is now forbidden.

Op-Ed: If marijuana is essential during the coronavirus shutdown, why not books?   7%

As are bread and milk, gas and aspirin, alcohol and marijuana, books should be available, with safety precautions in place, at the usual places we buy them in our neighborhoods.

UFC champion Jon Jones arrested for aggravated DWI and negligent use of firearm   -10%

Records at Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center show that the 32-year-old was released after he had been booked

All across the United States, the coronavirus is killing more men than women, data show   12%

U.S. state data are starting to show a picture that matches one of the most mysterious global trends. Men are dying more than women.

Alaska's RavnAir bankruptcy while awaiting government aid shows regional airlines' challenges   10%

RavnAir Group, the largest regional carrier in Alaska, filed for bankruptcy on Sunday and grounded all of its 72 planes, saying it was clear that government aid would not arrive before it ran out of cash in the midst of an "astonishing" decline in bookings and revenue due to the coronavirus.

Man City coach Guardiola's mother dies after coronavirus infection  

Pep Guardiola's 82-year-old mother has died after contracting coronavirus, Manchester City announced on Monday.

Adam Schlesinger, Emmy and Grammy-winner from Fountains of Wayne, dead after contracting coronavirus  

Emmy and Grammy-winning musician and songwriter Adam Schlesinger, known for his work with his band Fountains of Wayne and on the TV show "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," died Wednesday after contracting the coronavirus.

Josef K. in Jerusalems Old City  

Benjamin Balint on his book ‘Kafka’s Last Trial,’ and why no streets in Israel are named after the Jewish writer

Coronavirus death toll in US tops 1,200 in 24 hours: John Hopkins   -25%

More than 1,200 people have died of coronavirus complications in the United States in the past day, John Hopkins University said Sunday evening at 8:30pm EST (Monday 0030 GMT).The Baltimore-based

Official Counts Understate the U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll   -7%

Inconsistent protocols, limited resources and a patchwork of decision making have led to an undercounting of people with the coronavirus who have died, health experts say.

In our time of isolated grief, Detroiters need to make plans for a coronavirus memorial   50%

Detroit, know for day-long funerals, is called on to fittingly recognize those who have died from COVID-19, says guest columnist Chastity Pratt.


Lela Menchari, Who Turned Store Windows Into Art, Dies at 93  

A longtime Hermès window dresser, she created fantastical worlds that held the gaze of passers-by. She died of the novel coronavirus.

Racism comes full circle: America as the harbinger of the Nazis race laws   13%

Nazi sentiment was very much influenced by the American experience including the Jim Crow legislation in the South, Yale’s James Q. Whitman says in new book

Family found dead in village died from injuries consistent with gunshot wounds   1%

Parents and two children found dead in a house in West Sussex last week died from injuries “consistent with gunshot wounds”, police have announced.

Excerpt: Ultimate Grandmother Hacks by Kavita Devgan   10%

Kavita Devgan’s book, that suggests 50 traditional habits to improve your fitness, provides much food for thought during Covid season. This excerpt features 10 inexpensive immunity boosting foods

Sayed Kashua: A 'dancing Arab,' caught between two worlds   60%

After making his mark in Haaretz, three books and a popular TV show, Sayed Kashua will see his work featured on the silver screen.

The miserable fates that befell the real Peter Pan and Christopher Robin   70%

The kids who were sacrificed for our beloved children's books

British Bond girl Honor Blackman dies aged 94   50%

British actress Honor Blackman, who was best known for playing Bond girl Pussy Galore, has died at the age of 94, her family said on Monday.

Van Morrison in lockdown: I am trying to get back into writing songs   40%

The great singer uses the time he was supposed to be playing in London for a chat with Martin Chilton about a new book of his lyrics, growing up in Belfast, his musical memories and what he sings while washing his hands

Saints legend Tom Dempsey dies at 73 from coronavirus, family says   -6%


Former NFL kicker Tom Dempsey, who made a record 63-yard field goal in 1970, died late Saturday while struggling with complications from the new coronavirus, his daughter said. He was 73 years old.

Eichmann and the bomb: How Israel's fledgling nuke program impacted the Nazi's trial  

New book explores the diplomatic balancing act faced by Ben-Gurion

Two members of Kennedy family missing, presumed dead after US canoe trip  

Two members of the Kennedy US political dynasty, including a grandniece of assassinated president John F Kennedy, are presumed to have died after they went canoeing.Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s daughter and eight-year-old grandson disappeared on Thursday after boating on the South River in Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan told reporters.An intensive search that has been under way since Thursday turned from “rescue to recovery” on Friday night, Kennedy Townsend said in a statement.“With profound…

Coronavirus: China stops for three minutes to remember the dead  

A day of remembrance is held to honour those who have died in the coronavirus outbreak.

New York City Plans To Temporarily Bury Dead   33%

New York City is struggling to handle the high number of people who have died from the coronavirus. So many people have died, officials are looking to temporarily bury those who died in a city park.

'Aliens,' 'The Dark Knight Rises' actor Jay Benedict dies at 68 from coronavirus  

Actor Jay Benedict has died at 68 due to the coronavirus, his management company, TCG Artist Management, announced on Twitter.


Coronavirus: Nuclear aircraft carrier will evacuate after desperate plea from captain  

'We are not at war,' wrote Captain Brett Crozier. 'Sailors do not need to die'

Covid-19: China is reopening its wet markets   25%

Many blame wet markets for starting the outbreak in the first place. Opening them again, at a moment when thousands are dying overseas, seems emblematic of Beijing’s increasingly chauvinistic approach to world affairs.