Author, author: new books by Bay Area writers

She’s at it again. J. “Boomer in the City” columnist Barbara Rose Brooker has another new book: “The Rise and Fall of a Jewish American Princess.” Coming on the heels of last December’s “Should I Sleep in His Dead Wife’s Bed?” Brooker’s latest captures her snappy, humorous style overlying some serious issues — such as ageism and stereotyping.

“Jewish American Princess” follows Dianne Roseman, who struggles through marriage, divorce and single parenting (but it’s not all bad; she also enjoys a passionate love affair) before accepting herself on her own terms and blossoming as a successful artist.

Brooker, a native San Franciscan who still lives in the city, teaches writing at San Francisco State’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and in private seminars. She will give a book talk at 1 p.m. Nov. 15 at Book Passage Marin, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. For future talks, see

“The Rise and Fall of a Jewish American Princess” by Barbara Rose Brooker (376 pages, Llumina Press, $16)


In her debut novel “Beyond the Silk Mills,” Walnut Creek resident Leslie Rupley writes about Paterson, N.J., the early 20th-century “capital” of the silk textile industry. Rupley’s grandfathers (whom she never knew) were immigrants who worked in the mills, and Rupley draws on her childhood experiences in Paterson in writing this historical fiction. Her book follows the Epstein family in New York City. Jewish immigrants Emma and Meyer Epstein work in the mills and their lives change dramatically after he unionizes workers for the 1913 Paterson Silk Strike.

“Beyond the Silk Mills” by Leslie Rupley (326 pages, Damelian, $16)


Levi Ben-Shmuel of Mill Valley, a teacher of Kabbalah and tai chi, takes wisdom from those disciplines and others to offer advice in his book “Living Wisely.” Ben-Shmuel, also a singer-songwriter, begins each chapter (titles include “Intention,” “Understanding” and “Dignity”) with a “wisdom statement” like “Trust life” or “Face forward” and closes with a question or exercise designed to deepen one’s exploration of each statement.

 “Living Wisely” by Levi Ben-Shmuel (105 pages, Gaon, $16.95)