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Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde: A True…
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Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde: A True Story (edition 2013)

by Rebecca Dana

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6424186,178 (3.24)1
Member:barb302
Title:Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde: A True Story
Authors:Rebecca Dana
Info:Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam (2013), Hardcover, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
This is easy to read fluff, and I don't think the author would disagree with this assessment. A young woman who grew up on "Sex and the City," a television show after which she modeled her life, Rebecca Dana writes an enjoyable memoir about enduring a life-altering breakup and her time afterwards rooming with a rabbi in a Jewish community in Brooklyn. Read it in a day, read it in a week: this book is a fun distraction, and you will learn a bit about Judaism along the way.

The reason I gave the book two stars instead of three is actually a reflection on the editing. There were some continuity errors and such that were confusing and took away from the flow of the writing. ( )
  dysmonia | Apr 15, 2014 |
This is easy to read fluff, and I don't think the author would disagree with this assessment. A young woman who grew up on "Sex and the City," a television show after which she modeled her life, Rebecca Dana writes an enjoyable memoir about enduring a life-altering breakup and her time afterwards rooming with a rabbi in a Jewish community in Brooklyn. Read it in a day, read it in a week: this book is a fun distraction, and you will learn a bit about Judaism along the way.

The reason I gave the book two stars instead of three is actually a reflection on the editing. There were some continuity errors and such that were confusing and took away from the flow of the writing. ( )
  dysmonia | Apr 15, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I find many memoirs to be a bit pretentious as they meander through time and space attempting to give an individual's life greater meaning by connecting it to a larger societal context. Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde certainly falls into this category, especially as the author admits to the shallowness of her life's ambitions. Rebecca Dana's dream from childhood is to move to New York, living the life depicted in Sex and the City. She achieves this dream with a job as a reporter giving her access to high profile parties and the perfect relationship. When the relationship falls apart her life is turned upside down and she begins to question if getting the life she wanted is really all it is cracked up to be. Moving into a Jewish neighborhood with a rabbi who is not a rabbi, she begins exploring another aspect of New York culture.

While some of the descriptions and interactions were interesting enough I found little of substance to hold my attention. Dana seems to end with the conclusion that she is who she is but that she is also more based on her belonging to various micro-communities. I think that this is an essential truth that we all have and it doesn't take a year in Crown Heights or writing a book to discover it. ( )
  DonnerLibrary | Jun 30, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Brilliant! A wonderful true story about finding yourself. Rebecca Dana's tale of moving to an Orthodox neighborhood and finding a friend who is beginning to think he doesn't want to be a Rabbi anymore is almost too comical to be true. Rebecca, Cosmo, and the people in their lives sound like fictitious characters and it's sometimes hard to believe they exist. This is one of those autobiographies that inspire while also serving as a reminder that even having a seemingly fabulous doesn't guarantee happiness. ( )
  bleached | Jun 10, 2013 |
In her first book, Dana, a senior correspondent for Newsweek and the Daily Beast whose weekly column is titled Social Diaries, admits that Carrie Bradshaw of Sex in the City was her role model. Although she was also enthralled by the literary critic Harold Bloom while at Yale. So the countervailing winds blow in this canny, buzz-inducing memoir. Fleeing the scene of her discombobulating breakup with her seemingly central-casting-perfect boyfriend, this secular Jew from Pittsburgh turned Manhattan fashion maven ends up living like a shipwrecked anthropologist deep in Lubavitcher territory in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood. Her roommate, Cosmo, is a Russian rabbi without a green card who works in a copy shop and studies jujitsu. Suddenly unsure that her making-the-scene life is all that fabulous, and irrepressibly curious and intrepid, Dana accompanies Cosmo to Shabbas dinners and even attends yeshivacation to learn more about the Hasidic tradition. Funny, wily, audacious, and captivating, Dana asserts her passion for glitz and high heels; vividly recounts her crazy adventures, profane and sacred; and saucily ponders life's big questions ( )
  tserra | Apr 10, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Ms. Dana's book is full of quips and capers, taking readers through her post-break-up year. It sounds like the recipe for a successful memoir, and it might have been were it not so hard to discern where Ms. Dana's influences end and her true voice begins. . . . [T]he limitations an author or character faces shouldn't be the shortcomings of a book. . . . Perhaps Jujitsu Rabbi . . . was never really meant to be a seriously insightful journalistic enterprise so much as a fun movie based on a book, starring Anne Hathaway with a spinoff series produced by Darren Starr. Indeed, with its zany premise, odd-couple shenanigans and quotable Cosmo-isms, Jujitsu Rabii could make for a perfect summer date-night flick.
added by sgump | editWall Street Journal, Gena Feith (Jan 31, 2013)
 
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Epigraph
We tell ourselves stories in order to live. --------- Joan Didion, The White Album
Dedication
To my Family
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It's ten o'clock on a Tuesday night, a light rai is falling on the wide streets of Brooklyn and I'm in y living room, strangling a rabbi.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0399158774, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, January 2013: “You meet a new person and tell yourself a story about him, except it turns out the stories are never about anyone else. They are always about you.” That’s just one of the pithy observations--not to mention self-aware mea culpas--in journalist Rebecca Dana’s winning memoir about coming to live and work in Manhattan. Like Sex and the City with less sex and more city, Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde hilariously details how a not very observant Jewish girl from Pittsburgh ended up with an ultraconservative rabbi (and martial arts student) for a roommate, and how they each navigate this particular city of dreams. Dana comes off as a from-the-suburbs Holden Caulfield, a brainy Mary Tyler Moore, or a very dressed-down Carrie Bradshaw. She’s that irresistible. --Sara Nelson

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:55:26 -0400)

A weekly columnist for "The Daily Beast" recounts the story of the launch of her career, a period marked by her graduation from Yale, unanticipated setbacks that culminated in brief homelessness in New York, and a Russian rabbi roommate.

(summary from another edition)

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