Hanukkah Lights

From Dec ’05 Spotlight: Since we light our first candle on Dec. 25 this year, the number of Chanukah-specific programs is unusually small, but there’s at least one terrific option: National Public Radio diva Susan Stamberg will be at the Harold Washington Library Center on Wednesday Dec. 7 as part of Nextbook’s Writers Series. She’s promoting a new anthology called Hanukkah Lights: Stories of the Season, which is a collection culled from her 15 years of NPR holiday broadcasts.

The book itself, which contains 12 stories, is beautifully illustrated, printed on heavy paper, and clearly meant to last. There’s also a CD built into the front cover, with four additional stories. They’re all so good it’s hard to pick favorites, but I found myself going back to two again and again. Both Oil and Water by Dani Shapiro (in the book) and The Two Menorahs by Daniel Mark Epstein (on the CD), eloquent tales of misunderstandings and reconciliations, had me in tears. To make reservations, visit: www.nextbook.org/localprograms/chicago_writersseries.html

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