Interesting commentary, but there were times I found myself using the "Playboy Technique": reading it just for the jokes. There are definite characteristics of Jewish humor that the author explores, both scholastically and, of course, with humor and examples. Though not all of the jokes stem from the Ashkenazi and immigrant experience, many do, so it was a bit like revisiting my mother's Uncle Izzy at his candy store on the corner, or sitting in Tante Sophie's kitchen hearing the women of the family chatter and sip tea through sugar cubes held in their mouths. Many of the jokes and stories only confirmed my wish that I knew/remembered more Yiddish. Such a wonderful language that risks disappearing, even though many of its colorful words and expressions have become part of our everyday lexicon. It is one of the biggest regrets of my life that I haven't retained the language I heard my mother and her siblings speak during my childhood.
And, for the record, I actually got to use one of the jokes, appropriately, the very day I read it.
Thank you to librarything early reviewers for sending this my way.
tags: 2016-read, early-review-librarything, funny, made-me-laugh-out-loud-for-real, made-me-look-something-up, made-me-think, nonfiction, places-i-have-been, read, taught-me-something, advanced reader copy