100 books like Like Everyone Else but Different

By Morton Weinfeld,

Here are 100 books that Like Everyone Else but Different fans have personally recommended if you like Like Everyone Else but Different. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Ever-Dying People?: Canada's Jews in Comparative Perspective

David S. Koffman Author Of No Better Home?: Jews, Canada, and the Sense of Belonging

From my list on Canadian Jewish life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born and raised as both an anglophone Canadian and a diaspora Jew. After living in Montreal, Jerusalem, and New York for a total of about 15 years, I returned to my hometown of Toronto and took up the position of the J. Richard Shiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry at York University, where I work as a professor of history. I teach undergraduate students, graduate students, fellow academics, community leaders, and the wide public about all sorts of dimensions of this very religiously diverse, culturally diverse, socio-economically diverse, and politically diverse community of 400,000+ souls, with its 260+-year-old history. 

David's book list on Canadian Jewish life

David S. Koffman Why did David love this book?

I love books written by multiple authors. Some of the greatness of this multi-author work comes from the fact that 28 different scholars have contributed to it, many of them working in pairs to create new insights they might not have been able to achieve alone.

Some chapters compare an aspect of Canadian Jewish life with that of another religious or ethnic minority in Canada (for example, Chinese, Muslims, and Métis). Other chapters compare an aspect of Canadian Jewish life with that of Jewish communities in other countries (including Australia, France, and the Former Soviet Union).

So, I reaped the benefit of learning about Canadian Jews through various comparative perspectives. I found virtually all of the essays in it to be stimulating, approachable, and punchy-short, so I didn’t feel compelled to read the whole thing cover to cover, uninterrupted by another book. I just went back to it, bit…

By Robert Brym (editor), Randal F. Schnoor (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ever-Dying People? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Demise by assimilation or antisemitism is often held to be the inevitable future of Jews in Canada and other diaspora countries. The Ever-Dying People? shows that the Jewish diaspora, while often held to be in decline, is influenced by a range of identifiable sociological and historical forces, some of which breathe life into Jewish communities, including Canada's.

Bringing together leading Canadian and international scholars, The Ever-Dying People? provides a landmark report on Canadian Jewry based on recent surveys, censuses, and other contemporary data sources from Canada and around the world. This collection compares Canada's Jews with other Canadian ethnic and…


Book cover of Search Out the Land: The Jews and the Growth of Equality in British Colonial America, 1740-1867

David S. Koffman Author Of No Better Home?: Jews, Canada, and the Sense of Belonging

From my list on Canadian Jewish life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born and raised as both an anglophone Canadian and a diaspora Jew. After living in Montreal, Jerusalem, and New York for a total of about 15 years, I returned to my hometown of Toronto and took up the position of the J. Richard Shiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry at York University, where I work as a professor of history. I teach undergraduate students, graduate students, fellow academics, community leaders, and the wide public about all sorts of dimensions of this very religiously diverse, culturally diverse, socio-economically diverse, and politically diverse community of 400,000+ souls, with its 260+-year-old history. 

David's book list on Canadian Jewish life

David S. Koffman Why did David love this book?

I love this book’s choc-a-block presentation of actual archival fragments from Jewish life in the British colonies that would eventually become Canada.

I also like that the book’s husband-wife, antiquarian, author team aimed to fuse together two objectives in one book: on the one hand, to paint a relatable picture of what Jewish life looked like during this period when Upper Canada was still being formed, and on the other hand, to account for the step-by-step process of Jews gaining civil rights in the new world.

When I teach Canadian Jewish history, I not only read this book with my students but also bring them into the archives that contain Godfrey’s trove of archival fragments of early Jewish Canadiana, which they collected before and while writing the book.

By Sheldon J. Godfrey, Judith C. Godfrey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Search Out the Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mapping the history of Canadian Jews from the arrival of the first settlers before 1750 through to the 1860s, Search Out the Land introduces a new set of colourful players on Canada's stage. Ezekiel Solomons, John Franks, Jacob Franks, Chapman Abraham, Rachel Myers, Moses David, Samuel Hart, Elizabeth Lyons, and a host of others now take their appropriate place in Canadian history. Focusing on the significant role played by Jews in British North America in the fight for civil and political rights, the authors compare the development of Canadians' rights with that in other British jurisdictions of the time and…


Book cover of The New Spice Box: Contemporary Jewish Writing

David S. Koffman Author Of No Better Home?: Jews, Canada, and the Sense of Belonging

From my list on Canadian Jewish life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born and raised as both an anglophone Canadian and a diaspora Jew. After living in Montreal, Jerusalem, and New York for a total of about 15 years, I returned to my hometown of Toronto and took up the position of the J. Richard Shiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry at York University, where I work as a professor of history. I teach undergraduate students, graduate students, fellow academics, community leaders, and the wide public about all sorts of dimensions of this very religiously diverse, culturally diverse, socio-economically diverse, and politically diverse community of 400,000+ souls, with its 260+-year-old history. 

David's book list on Canadian Jewish life

David S. Koffman Why did David love this book?

This collection of Canadian Jewish fiction gave me 33 different short fiction, personal essays, and poetry windows into the hearts and minds, longings, fears, and dreams of Canadian Jews.

I can’t think of another volume that captures so much life at the intersection of Jewish literary vitality and Canadian content–understood liberally. I think I was most moved by David Bezmozgis’ and Isa Milman’s contributions.

By Ruth Panofsky (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The New Spice Box as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New Spice Box includes short fiction, personal essays, and poetry by Jewish writers from a broad range of cultural backgrounds. Fresh and relevant, profound and lasting, this anthology features works by acclaimed short story writers David Bezmozgis, Mireille Silcoff, and Ayelet Tsabari; groundbreaking memoirists Bernice Eisenstein and Alison Pick; and award-winning poets Isa Milman, Jacob Scheier, and Adam Sol.

The driving force behind The New Spice Box is the desire to uncover the twin touchstones of original expression and writerly craft, and to balance the representation of genres, styles, and authorial perspectives. Here, authors summon the past as they…


Book cover of Who Gets In: An Immigration Story

David S. Koffman Author Of No Better Home?: Jews, Canada, and the Sense of Belonging

From my list on Canadian Jewish life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born and raised as both an anglophone Canadian and a diaspora Jew. After living in Montreal, Jerusalem, and New York for a total of about 15 years, I returned to my hometown of Toronto and took up the position of the J. Richard Shiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry at York University, where I work as a professor of history. I teach undergraduate students, graduate students, fellow academics, community leaders, and the wide public about all sorts of dimensions of this very religiously diverse, culturally diverse, socio-economically diverse, and politically diverse community of 400,000+ souls, with its 260+-year-old history. 

David's book list on Canadian Jewish life

David S. Koffman Why did David love this book?

Ravvin has written excellent works of fiction and literary scholarship. His book is a masterful blend of two genres: family biography and social history.

I found this book to be so engrossing I could barely put it down. It traces the author’s grandfather’s dogged saga to emigrate from Poland to Canada, to find some mooring amidst the precarity of being a new immigrant, a foreigner, and a Jew, and to try desperately to bring over his wife during a time when Canada’s immigration gates were closing.

I love this book’s ability to seamlessly alternate between deep archives-based history (how did the immigration labyrinth actually work and why was it designed that way?) and personal/ancestral memoir (what was it like for one human–of existential consequence for the author–to navigate that labyrinth?).

It's a remarkable story of one immigrant crisscrossing the country in the era that immediately preceded the much more frequently…

By Norman Ravvin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Who Gets In as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One man's immigration to the Canadian Prairies in the early 1930s reveals the character of Canada today as sharply as it did long ago. In 1930, a young Jewish man, Yehuda Eisenstein, arrived in Canada from Poland to escape persecution and in the hopes of starting a new life for himself and his young family. Like countless other young European men who came to Canada from "non-preferred" countries, Yehuda was only granted entry because he claimed to be single, starting his Canadian life with a lie. He trusted that his wife and children would be able to follow after he…


Book cover of The Art of Leaving: A Memoir

Zilka Joseph Author Of Sweet Malida: Memories of a Bene Israel Woman

From my list on the Jewish immigrant experience and Bene Israel culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Mumbai, lived in Kolkata for most of my life, and am an educator and poet who lives in the US. I am a Bene Israel Jew from India. As a child, I was fascinated by all kinds of literature, mythology, folktales, and stories. I have been influenced by everything around me. My passion for literature probably inspired me to become a teacher and later a writer who is constantly exploring, creating, re-imagining, and evolving. My books are about the immigrant experience, displacement, racism, women’s issues, nature, the animal kingdom, to name a few. But within these themes, I also explore identity and belonging, death, loss and recovery. 

Zilka's book list on the Jewish immigrant experience and Bene Israel culture

Zilka Joseph Why did Zilka love this book?

Ayelet Tsabari’s stunning memoir is all about departure, wandering, displacement, identity, and belonging. As a Mizrahi, or non-European Jew, and a minority in Israeli society and culture, she establishes herself as a powerful voice for emigrants and minorities and speaks truth to power.

In the West, Ashkenazi Jewish culture dominates, and most people are ignorant of, and/or quite indifferent to, the myriad Jewish communities of the world and their complex and rich cultures. Her experiences in the Israeli army, her travels, her difficult relationships, her escape from trauma and pain as she enters into different worlds, and how she makes peace with herself. She focuses on those like herself on the margins of Israeli society and exposes the misogyny and discrimination she and other immigrants like herself experience on a daily basis.

Many of the aspects she writes about resonate deeply with me as an Indian immigrant in the US,…

By Ayelet Tsabari,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of Leaving as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An intimate memoir in essays by an award-winning Israeli writer who travels the world, from New York to India, searching for love, belonging, and an escape from grief following the death of her father when she was a young girl

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS

This searching collection opens with the death of Ayelet Tsabari’s father when she was just nine years old. His passing left her feeling rootless, devastated, and driven to question her complex identity as an Israeli of Yemeni descent in a country that suppressed and devalued her ancestors’ traditions.…


Book cover of The Robber Bride

Zosia Wand Author Of Once Upon A Place

From my list on wonderful women behaving badly.

Why am I passionate about this?

Women who behave badly delight me. My mother is Polish and I was raised by a formidable group of great aunts who gathered in flannelette nighties and curlers, in a cloud of cigarette smoke, to play cards into the early hours, fuelled by vodka shots and ginger cake. Survivors of Nazi invasion and atrocities, they were loud, effusive, argumentative, unapologetic, loving, and fiercely loyal. I explore difficult territory through my stories, but I have great faith in humanity. My characters are strong women, bold in the face of challenges. Love and loyalty are the keys to their survival.

Zosia's book list on wonderful women behaving badly

Zosia Wand Why did Zosia love this book?

Another book with a delicious cover. I have long since lent my copy out and it never made its way back to me, but I remember the distinctive image of a woman in a black mask. Fairy tales offer dark female characters with a complexity that lends itself to further exploration. Zenia is the Robber Bride of the title and you don’t have to know the fairy tale to guess the story. Three friends share their accounts of how Zenia betrayed them in different ways. The reader forms a vivid picture of Zenia, but also the individual narrators. And there is a thrilling contemporary element to the narrative that propels the story. 

By Margaret Atwood,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Robber Bride as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Zenia is beautiful, smart and greedy, by turns manipulative and vulnerable, needy and ruthless; a man's dream and a woman"s nightmare. She is also dead. Just to make sure Tony, Roz andd Charis are there for the funeral. But five years on, as the three women share an indulgent, sisterly lunch, the unthinkable happens; 'with waves of ill will flowing out of her like cosmic radiation', Zenia is back...


Book cover of Murders and Mysteries: A Canadian Series

Dean Jobb Author Of The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer

From my list on Canadian historical true crime.

Why am I passionate about this?

True crime stories offer a window into the past, transporting readers to another time and place. They reveal human behaviour at its worst and people striving to do the right thing. And the narrative is always dramatic and compelling, with mysteries to be solved, suspects to be captured, justice to be done. My books profile a Jazz Age con artist, a Victorian Era serial killer, and a gentleman jewel thief of the 1920s. I write a column of true crime stories and book reviews for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and I teach in the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Dean's book list on Canadian historical true crime

Dean Jobb Why did Dean love this book?

Wallace—a history professor, librarian, and bookseller—was one of Canada’s first true crime writers. This collection of sixteen stories of murder and mayhem, first published in 1931, is a trove of long-forgotten tales. Some of the crimes he chronicles made international headlines. Harry and Dallas Hyams, identical twin brothers from New Orleans, were accused of killing an employee in Toronto in 1893 to collect on insurance policies. Adelard Delorme, a Catholic priest in Montreal, stood trial four times for the 1922 murder of his brother and was ultimately set free. Wallace apologized for straying from mainstream history into the realm of the gruesome and sensational to record, as he put it, “what God in His wisdom saw fit to permit to happen.”

Book cover of Omar Khadr, Oh Canada

Valentina Capurri Author Of Not Good Enough for Canada: Canadian Public Discourse Around Issues of Inadmissibility for Potential Immigrants with Diseases And/Or Disabilities

From my list on belonging and exclusion in Canada.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian and a social geographer whose main interest is in examining why some of us are embraced (legally, politically, economically, culturally) by the society we live in while some others are excluded. Probably due to my status as someone who is an immigrant to Canada and also a person with a disability, the topic of belonging and exclusion fascinates me. 

Valentina's book list on belonging and exclusion in Canada

Valentina Capurri Why did Valentina love this book?

Omar Khadr is a personal friend of mine, the gentlest soul I have met since setting foot on Canadian soil. This collection has been essential to my understanding of Canada’s unwillingness to stand up for one of its own citizens. It highlights how belonging in the nation is not necessarily a right all citizens enjoy, and invites a serious reflection on what citizenship means in this country.  

By Janice Williamson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Omar Khadr, Oh Canada as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 2002 a fifteen-year-old Canadian citizen was captured in Afghanistan for allegedly killing an American soldier. A badly wounded Omar Khadr was transferred to the US Bagram Air Force base and then Guantanamo Bay detention camp. He would remain there without trial until October 2010, when a military commission admitted evidence considered tainted by Canadian courts. A plea bargain and guilty plea initiated his promised return to Canada a year later. Some Canadians see Khadr as a symbol of terrorism in action. For others he is the victim of a jihadist father and Canadian complicity in the unjust excesses, including…


Book cover of Canadian Whisky: The New Portable Expert

Kevin R. Kosar Author Of Whiskey: A Global History

From my list on whiskey and whisky.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of two books on distilled spirits and have been blogging at AlcoholReviews.com since 1998. I have written about drinks, drinks history, and drinks politics for the New York Times and the American Spectator magazine. Whiskey is my favorite distilled spirit—there are so many fantastic types and brands of it. For consumers, it can be really bewildering to navigate. So, I take it as my duty to help people navigate the wide and wild world of whiskey!

Kevin's book list on whiskey and whisky

Kevin R. Kosar Why did Kevin love this book?

Canadians have been making whisky for a few centuries, but drinks experts long have given the nation’s hooch scant attention. This is understandable, as Canadian distillers spent much of the 20th century churning out an ocean of low-priced and bland-tasting blends like Seagrams 7 and Canadian Club. Times have changed, though, and Canada is producing single malts and various high-end, sophisticated whiskies that have garnered international acclaim. David de Kergommeaux is the preeminent expert on whisky in the Great North, and his book is an indispensable guide to anyone who wants to learn the what-and-how of Canadian whisky-making and its history through the current day. He also directs readers’ attention to the brands of Canadian whisky worth buying, and his recommendations are spot on.

By Davin de Kergommeaux,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Canadian Whisky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Savour the bold notes and rich varieties of Canadian whisky with this fully revised, updated,  and indispensable guide.

This fully updated and revised edition of the award-winning Canadian Whisky invites you on a journey across Canada and back through time to discover the story of this unique spirit. Independent whisky expert Davin de Kergommeaux weaves a compelling narrative, beginning with the substance of Canadian whisky—grains, water, and wood—and details the process of how it’s made and how to taste it. He traces the fascinating history of the country’s major distilleries and key visionaries, and introduces the present-day players—big and small—who…


Book cover of The Feeling of Greatness: The Moe Norman Story

Andrew Stelmack Author Of Send in the Clown

From my list on what sets the greatest golfers apart.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a very successful professional stage actor and visual artist I have learned that perfection is boring. A person or thing without flaws loses my interest very quickly. There's nothing more boring for an actor to play than someone who does no wrong. Since I have so much experience in putting myself in another person’s shoes with my acting and finding different ways to express emotion in my art, I find great pleasure in finding the flawed people in the world and telling their emotional stories. Their challenges, their obstacles and their success and failures – both self-imposed and that which is thrust upon them by society.

Andrew's book list on what sets the greatest golfers apart

Andrew Stelmack Why did Andrew love this book?

The other factual book out there on Moe that provides insight into the man and his world. In addition to the stories of Moe, you also get clippings and photos that add to its delight. A wonderful look at his life and career and most importantly you hopefully walk away having learned something not only about him specifically, but about the complexities of his world.

By Tim O'Connor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Feeling of Greatness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the award-winning journalist and coach: a biography of “the ‘Rain Man’ of golf. It’s a character drama. It’s an underdog story” (Barry Morrow, Academy Award–winning screenwriter).

Documentary now in production!

In The Feeling of Greatness, second edition, golf coach Tim O’Connor updates his previous biography of the late great, Canadian golfer Moe Norman, who was famous for introducing the single plane golf swing. This edition includes new anecdotes about Moe both on and off the course by golfers, journalists, friends, and family, and offers a more in-depth portrait of the man and golfer, especially in the last years of…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Canada, Jewish history, and Judaism?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Canada, Jewish history, and Judaism.

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