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One Book | One Community: The Middlesteins

One Book | One Community: The Middlesteins

Thursday, October 17, 2013 to Monday, November 11, 2013

Spertus is again pleased to spearhead One Book | One Community, the Chicago Jewish Community's Jewish Book Month community initiative. This year's pick, Jami Attenberg's aclaimed The Middlesteinsis a  story of marriage, family,
and obsessions, set in suburban Chicago, right in our
own backyard! 

"A sharp-tongued, sweet-natured
masterpiece of Jewish family life."
—Starred Kirkus Review

"A smart novel that tackles big issues."
—Chicago Tribune 

"So readable, it's practically edible."
—NPR's All Things Considered 

The Middlesteins (which is on sale at the Spertus Shop and will be for sale at all One Book | One Community events) is currently available in hardcover, softcover, and e-book versions.

Jami Attenberg has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Salon, and more. Her debut collection of stories, Instant Love, was published in 2006. She is also the author of the novels The Kept Man and The Melting Season. Her third novel, The Middlesteins, was published in October 2012 by Grand Central Publishing. It appeared on the New York Times bestseller list and will be published in England, Taiwan, Russia, Italy, France, Turkey, and the Netherlands this year. She grew up in Buffalo Grove and lives in Brooklyn.

For the finale of this year's One Book | One Community program series, award-winning Chicago Tribune reporter Bonnie Miller Rubin interviewed author Jami Attenberg about the book the Chicago Tribune called "a smart novel that tackles big issues."

About Jewish Book Month

Jewish Book Month is an American-Jewish celebration of Jewish books. It is observed each year during the month preceding Hanukkah. It began in 1925 as Jewish Book Week when Fanny Goldstein, a librarian at the West End Branch of the Boston Public Library, set up a display of Jewish-themed books. In 1927, with the encouragement of Rabbi S. Felix Mendelsohn of Chicago, Jewish Book Week was adopted by communities across the country. At that time, it was scheduled to coincide with Lag B’Omer, a festival that traditionally honors scholars. In 1940, the timing was changed to precede Hanukkah to encourage the giving of Jewish-themed books as Hanukkah gifts. In 1943, Jewish Book Week was extended to the month-long celebration we mark today. To learn more, visit

Readers' Guide

Download your READERS' GUIDE

It's perfect for book groups
and those reading on their own.


Kick-Off Event
Jews and Chinese Food 

Thursday, October 17
6:30 pm at Spertus | Ticketed event >

Spertus Book Discussion
Wednesday, October 30
6:30 pm at Spertus | Free >

Suburban Book Discussion
Tuesday, November 5
7 pm at Skokie Public Library | Free >

Meet author Jami Attenberg at one of three events at three locations!

Suburban Author Event #1
Sunday, November 10
2 pm at Congregation Etz Chaim
in Lombard | Free >

Suburban Author Event #2
Sunday, November 10
7 pm at Congregation Beth Judea
in Long Grove | Free >

Spertus Author Event | One Book Finale
A Literary Conversation
Monday, November 11
7 pm at Spertus | Ticketed event >

Supporters & Partners

Spertus thanks the Robert & Toni Bader Charitable Foundation for its generous support of the One Book | One Community author events.

We are pleased to be working with synagogue partners Congregation Etz Chaim and Congregation Beth Judea as well as our colleagues at the Skokie Public Library.

JUF News is the media sponsor
of One Book | One Community.

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The Spertus staff thanks our colleagues at the Jewish Book Council for helping to spread the word about One Book | One Community.

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