San Francisco writer David Perlstein gives us a dog’s-eye view of the world in his novel “The Boy Walker.” Narrated by an aging (12-year-old) English bulldog, the book establishes its Jewish credentials early on — starting with the dog’s name, Brute Greenbaum.
Brute tells us all about his canine friends, but he primarily observes his “co-masters”: 25-year-old Abbie Greenbaum, who ekes out some income as a dogwalker in San Francisco and lives with his dad, Morty, an American studies professor who still mourns the deaths of his wife and daughter years ago.
Jewish ritual, culture and food are prominent throughout the book. Chapter 1 opens with a reference to the Malach HaMavet, the Angel of Death, while the scene is set in chapter 2 with Morty making a turkey sandwich with fresh corn rye from the House of Bagels.
Perlstein describes his book as “presenting two survivors of a San Francisco Jewish family foundering at the intersection of tragedy and standup comedy.”
A member of Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco, Perlstein is the author of the geopolitical satiric novel “Slick!” and the nonfiction book “God’s Others: Non-Israelites’ En-counters with God in the Hebrew Bible.”
“The Boy Walker” by David Perlstein (247 pages, iUniverse, $16.98)
Meet Katy Roseman, a 63-year-old psychologist specializing in “boomer love.” Her trials and tribulations in the dating world are detailed — all in good fun but with an underlying jab at ageism — in Barbara Rose Brooker’s new novel, “Should I Sleep in his Dead Wife’s Bed?”
If you’re a regular reader of J., you undoubtedly are familiar with Brooker’s humorous “Boomer in the City” columns that run in J.’s Senior Life sections. Her novel is in the same vein, as Katy and her friend Sandy Bernstein share secrets, gripes and jokes about their dates and bedroom romps.
Brooker, who lives in San Francisco, is the author of “The Viagra Diaries” — which she still hopes will be the basis for a TV series (it was optioned by HBO but later put on hold). She is working on a sequel to “Viagra Diaries” called “Love, Sometimes,” to be released later this year.
“Should I Sleep in His Dead Wife’s Bed?” by Barbara Rose Brooker (218 pages, Llumina Press, $12.95)