Book discussions facilitated by Jim Van Buskirk. Pick up your copy of the book at the Library or at a Pushcart branch at the Palo Alto or San Francisco JCC. For more information, contact the Library at 415.567.3327 x 706. There is no fee to participate, and all are welcome. Discussions are held at the Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco. 


Diary of the Fall by Michel Laub

Sunday, April 8, 2 pm

Jim Van Buskirk leads a discussion of Diary of the Fall by Michel Laub.

This Brazilian novel about memory and identity covers three generations: a grandfather who survived Auschwitz and spent the rest of his life trying to forget it; a father in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease who is fighting to remember everything; and the forty-year-old narrator who remains haunted by his role decades earlier in a brutal prank on a fellow student.

A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman

Sunday, June 3, 2 pm

Jim Van Buskirk leads a discussion of A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman.

Winner of the 2017 Man Booker International Prize and National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, this caustic short novel explores the life of a stand-up comic, as revealed in the course of one evening’s performance. In the dance between comic and audience, with barbs flying back and forth, a deeper story begins to take shape.

Note: Translator Jessica Cohen will speak at the Library on Thursday, April 19. Click herefor more information.


Bee Season by Myla Goldberg

Sunday, July 1, 2 pm

Jim Van Buskirk leads a discussion of Bee Season by Myla Goldberg.

When Eliza Naumann, a seemingly unremarkable nine-year-old, wins her district spelling bee, she captures the attention of her father, Saul, absorbed in his study of Jewish mysticism, and displaces her brother, Aaron, who embarks upon a lone quest for spiritual fulfillment. Meanwhile, her brilliant but distant lawyer mother is having a crisis of her own.