The Good Books

Reading was a daily, integral part of my secular Jewish education, no matter what I read. The Earth for Sam, Misty of Chincoteague, Robin Hood, the beautiful advertisements in the New Yorker — all were part of my rite of passage. Our walls were lined with books, and that's the one thing I can confidently say I've handed down to my daughter, who can barely move around the house because of all the bookshelves.

That's why I find it poignant to visit the Leah Cohen Festival of Jewish Books and Authors each year. With its fabulous selection of Jewish-themed books and well-mixed barrage of signings, the literate fest represents that key element of my culture so well. Along with the hundreds of titles offered at the sale, which runs today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the main lobby of the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center, 350 South Dahlia Street, the program will feature author appearances to please everyone — from today's breakfast discussion with novelist Sue Miller to a festival-closing afternoon with journalist Jeffrey Goldberg.

The Leah Cohen Festival continues daily except Saturdays through December 17; tickets to author readings are $10 (or $36 for an all-event pass). For a complete schedule, call 303-316-6360 or visit www.mizelcenter.org/books.html.
Nov. 26-Dec. 17

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd