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Fiction Books by Jewish Authors to Read Right Now

Reading books by Jewish authors should be something we strive to do all year long.

Best Fiction Books by Jewish Authors to Read Right Now

Reading books by Jewish authors should be something we strive to do all year long.  May is Jewish American Heritage Month, and it is a great time to add some titles by Jewish authors to your bookshelves.

This list is only a jumping-off point to help broaden your perspective and reading list.  There is a lot of variety here, plus books are organized into categories, so hopefully, you will find and enjoy a new book!

If you’re interested in taking direct action to support the Jewish community, we recommend checking out American Jewish Committee.  Don’t forget to do your diligence and support groups local to you if possible.

ROMANCE

Romance Books by Jewish Authors

The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon 

Public radio co-hosts navigate mixed signals in Rachel Lynn Solomon’s sparkling romantic comedy debut.

Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein 

From the author of the Love at First Like and Playing with Matches, an electrifying rom-com set in the high stakes world of competitive gymnastics, full of Hannah Orenstein’s signature “charm, whimsy, and giddy romantic tension” (BuzzFeed).

The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer 

Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is a nice Jewish girl with a shameful secret: she loves Christmas. For a decade she’s hidden her career as a Christmas romance novelist from her family. Her talent has made her a bestseller even as her chronic illness has always kept the kind of love she writes about out of reach.

Everything After by Jill Santopolo

The Light We Lost mixes with a touch of Daisy Jones and the Six in this novel of first love, passion, and the power of choice–and how we cannot escape the people we are meant to be.

FAMILY AND FRIENDSHIP

Best Books by Jewish Authors

Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart

Eight friends, one country house,and six months in isolation—a novel about love, friendship, family, and betrayal hailed as a “virtuoso performance” (USA Today)and“an homage to Chekhov with four romances and a finale that will break your heart” (The Washington Post).

Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland 

Morningside Heights by Joshua Henkin

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Book – When Ohio-born Pru Steiner arrives in New York in 1976, she follows in a long tradition of young people determined to take the city by storm. But when she falls in love with and marries Spence Robin, her hotshot young Shakespeare professor, her life takes a turn she couldn’t have anticipated.

Something Wild by Hannah Halperin 

A searing novel about the love and contradictions of sisterhood, the intoxicating desires of adolescence, and the traumas that trap mothers and daughters in cycles of violence.

SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY

fantasy books by Jewish authors

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

A marvelous and absorbing debut novel about a chance meeting between two supernatural creatures in turn-of-the-century immigrant New York.

The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid 

In the vein of Naomi Novik’s New York Times bestseller Spinning Silver and Katherine Arden’s national bestseller The Bear and the Nightingale, this unforgettable debut– inspired by Hungarian history and Jewish mythology–follows a young pagan woman with hidden powers and a one-eyed captain of the Woodsmen as they form an unlikely alliance to thwart a tyrant.

The Light of the Midnight Stars by Rena Rossner 

Experience an evocative combination of fantasy, history, and Jewish folklore in this lush and lyrical fairytale-inspired novel from the author of The Sisters of the Winter Wood.

The City Beautiful by Aden Poly­doros 

Death lurks around every corner in this unforgettable Jewish historical fantasy about a city, a boy, and the shadows of the past that bind them both together.

HISTORICAL FICTION

historical fiction books by Jewish authors

The Slaughterman’s Daughter by Yaniv Iczkovits 

The townsfolk of Motal, an isolated, godforsaken town in the Pale of Settlement, are shocked when Fanny Keismann – devoted wife, mother of five, and celebrated cheese-makerleaves her home at two hours past midnight and vanishes into the night. 

Woman on Fire by Lisa Barr 

From the author of the award-winning Fugitive Colors and The Unbreakables, a gripping tale of a young, ambitious journalist embroiled in an international art scandal centered around a Nazi-looted masterpiece–forcing the ultimate showdown between passion and possession, lovers and liars, history and truth.

Those Who Are Saved by Alex­is Landau 

In the spirit of We Were the Lucky Ones and We Must Be Brave, a heartbreaking World War II novel of one mother’s impossible choice, and her search for her daughter against the odds.

The Lost Shtetl by Max Gross

A remarkable debut novel–written with the fearless imagination of Michael Chabon and the piercing humor of Gary Shteyngart–about a small Jewish village in the Polish forest that is so secluded no one knows it exists . . . until now.

LITERARY FICTION

Literary Fiction Books by Jewish Authors

Happy for You by Claire Stanford 

A whip-smart, funny, affecting novel about a young woman who takes a job at a tech company looking to break into the “happiness market”–even as her own happiness feels more unknowable than ever.

The Pages by Hugo Hamilton 

An entirely original novel in which a book–Joseph Roth’s masterpiece Rebellion–narrates its own astonishing life story, from 1930s Germany to the present day, at the heart of a gripping mystery.

Milk Fed by Melissa Border 

A scathingly funny, wildly erotic, and fiercely imaginative story about food, sex, and god from the acclaimed author of The Pisces and So Sad Today.

ANTHOLOGIES, ESSAYS, AND STORY COLLECTIONS

story collections by Jewish authors

Sarahland by Sam Cohen 

“Queer, dirty, insightful, and so funny” (Andrea Lawlor), this coyly revolutionary debut story collection imagines new origins and futures for its cast of unforgettable protagonists–almost all of whom are named Sarah.

The Man Who Sold Air in the Holy Land by Omer Friedlander 

A brilliant young author’s stunning fiction debut: gorgeously immersive and imaginative stories that transcend borders as they render the intimate lives of people striving for connection.

Fly Already by Etgar Keret

There’s no one like Etgar Keret. His stories take place at the crossroads of the fantastical, searing, and hilarious. His characters grapple with parenthood and family, war and games, marijuana and cake, memory and love. These stories never go to the expected place, but always surprise, entertain, and move. 

MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS

thrillers by Jewish authors

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo 

The mesmerizing adult debut from Leigh Bardugo, a tale of power, privilege, dark magic, and murder set among the Ivy League elite. 

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz 

Hailed as breathtakingly suspenseful, Jean Hanff Korelitz’s The Plot is a propulsive read about a story too good not to steal, and the writer who steals it.

Care­ful What You Wish For Hal­lie Ephron 

From the New York Times bestselling author of There Was an Old Woman comes a novel about a professional organizer with a deadly problem she may not be able to clean up.

What do you think about the books on this list?

HAVE YOU READ ANY BOOKS FROM THIS LIST?  WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS BY JEWISH AUTHORS?  WHAT BOOKS WOULD YOU ADD TO THE LIST?

Book List - Fiction Books by Jewish Authors to Read Right Now

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