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Martine’s Must-Reads for October 2022

1. The best Halloween ever by Barbara Robinson 

The Herdmans plus Halloween have always spelled disaster

Every Halloween, the six Herdman kids steal candy, spray-paint other kids, and take everything that isn’t nailed down. And this year promises to be the same, until the Mayor decides to up and cancel Halloween. True, that means there’d be no Herdman trouble to contend with, but that also means no candy, no costumes, and no trick-or-treating! Is it possible that the Herdmans themselves could make what looks like a horrible Halloween into the best one ever?

2. The January 6th Report by Celadon Books and The New Yorker, Analysis by David Remnick

The official report and findings of the bipartisan Congressional investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol, and Donald Trump’s related coup conspiracies to overthrow the election, with an originally reported foreword by attorney and MSNBC anchor Ari Melber.

This official edition of the House Report breaks ground with new evidence, analysis, and primary sources, including quotes from newly released interviews. Only the entire, authoritative report—now a historical document—can capture the full range of plots that have been exposed over time, from the violent attack on January 6 to related efforts revealed months after the insurrection. 

This is the only edition featuring an additional, independent, and newly reported foreword by a journalist and attorney with a front row seat to the committee’s work, MSNBC anchor Ari Melber. The Emmy-Award winning reporter has interviewed key players from members of the Committee to planners of the Jan. 6 rally (now cooperating witnesses) to Trump White House aide Peter Navarro (now indicted for defying the probe).

Melber’s contribution reveals that former President Trump’s plots comprised a continuous coup conspiracy, rather than planning for a “single day.” He exposes how that effort ranged from lawsuits to elector fraud to blatantly illegal efforts to overturn votes. In chilling detail, he shows how that process might have engineered a technical effort to “override” the election on the floor of Congress—an essential map, and warning, for those who wish to protect democracy. If the warnings are ignored, the failed coup may become a rehearsal. 

This report is not only a vital document in modern American history, it can also inform efforts to protect the future of American democracy. As a matter of justice, bipartisanship, and even patriotism, this report may very well become essential reading for people intent on facing the next potential coup with a commitment to facts, accountability, and democracy.

3. Nightmare at the Bookfair by Dan Gugman

Trip Dinkleman hates to read. Hates, hates, hates it. 
All he wants to do is play lacrosse. So when the president of the PTA asks Trip to help her out on his way to tryouts, he is not happy. He is even more not happy when a stack of books tumbles onto his head and knocks him out cold. And he is even more not happy when he wakes up and has absolutely no idea where he is. Now all he wants to do is get home. But after encountering a haunted house, aliens, talking animals, and much, much more, he realizes getting home might be just a little bit harder to do than he thought.

4. The Laws & Customs of Yom Kippur (Halacha Aids) By Rabbi Yaakov Goldstein

The study of Shulchan Aruch at times is very challenging in terms of clarifying the final stance of the learned subject. This especially applies in instances that many cases and opinions exist within a given topic. In addition, throughout the generations hundreds of practical questions on the laws in Shulchan Aruch arose. Getting a proper grasp on the laws of Yom KIppur especially faces this challenge due to the complexity of the cases and the range of opinions. Even amongst the currently available English literature, the opinion of the greatest of the Achronim, the Shulchan Aruch Harav, is many times omitted or not given its proper presence. Likewise, the Chabad custom related to Yom Kippur is not given their proper presence. This Sefer tackles all the above deficiencies. A clear summary of the rulings of the Shulchan Aruch Harav and Chabad custom, supplemented with the opinions of the Mishneh Berurah and Kaf Hachaim. This is accompanied with hundreds of practical Q&A that were compiled from classical Halachic sources. All this is compiled with informative footnotes that lend the reader background information and other opinions voiced on the subject matter.

5. White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

Marigold is running from ghosts. The phantoms of her old life keep haunting her, but a move with her newly blended family from their small California beach town to the embattled Midwestern city of Cedarville might be the fresh start she needs. Her mom has accepted a new job with the Sterling Foundation that comes with a free house, one that Mari now has to share with her bratty ten-year-old stepsister, Piper.

The renovated picture-perfect home on Maple Street, sitting between dilapidated houses, surrounded by wary neighbors has its . . . secrets. That’s only half the problem: household items vanish, doors open on their own, lights turn off, shadows walk past rooms, voices can be heard in the walls, and there’s a foul smell seeping through the vents only Mari seems to notice. Worse: Piper keeps talking about a friend who wants Mari gone.

But “running from ghosts” is just a metaphor, right?

As the house closes in, Mari learns that the danger isn’t limited to Maple Street. Cedarville has its secrets, too. And secrets always find their way through the cracks.