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Dear God: I have a small complaint. Falling as it does at the whim of the Hebrew calendar, Hanukkah comes much too early this year. I'll have barely turned the Thanksgiving turkey into a pot of soup before the eve of December 4, and it's already time to spit-shine the house, polish the wax-caked menorah and shop and wrap behind my daughter's back — while the better-prepared goyim are just hitting their Christmas stride.

Lucky for me, the annual Leah Cohen Festival of Jewish Books and Authors opens today at the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center, 350 South Dahlia Street, with all its generous tables loaded with hundreds of fabulous tomes for everyone on my list. I wouldn't miss it for the world — and it would be hard to do that, since it lasts through Hanukkah and beyond, until December 16. And while I'm there, I'll also stick around for Nothing Is Hiding: Recent Paintings and Drawings by William Stockman, which opens tonight in the Singer Gallery with a reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Attend the book sale from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. most weekdays (2 p.m. closing on Fridays) or 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays; admission is free. Stockman's show, his first in nearly a decade, continues through January 18. For information on both, including special book events in conjunction with the sale, call 303-316-6360 or visit
Nov. 29-Jan. 18, 2007


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