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Lev Raphael
Lev Raphael is the author of twenty-four books in nearly a dozen different genres. Raphael is best known as a pioneer in writing fiction and creative non-fiction about the children of Holocaust survivors, which he's been publishing since 1978. His books have been translated into a dozen languages and he's done hundreds of invited talks and readings on three continents. His work has appeared in dozens of anthologies in the U.S. and England.

Raphael's academic mystery series has earned raves from the NYTBR and many other newspapers and magazines and he has been the keynoter at international conferences. Raphael has written hundreds of reviews and essays for The Detroit Free Press, Jerusalem Report, Forward, The Washington Post, The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Boston Review and Lambda Book Report. A former radio talk show host, he currently reviews for WKAR 90.5 FM in East Lansing, MI and writes the Book Brunch column for Raphael's web site is Follow him on Twitter @LevRaphael.

Entries by Lev Raphael

'Downton Abbey' -- Wild Predictions for Season Six!

(0) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 1:39 PM

Now that Season Five has ended with so much Christmas cheer and possibility, it's time to predict what will happen in what's going to be the final season. I expect developments worthy of Dickens.

Princess Kuragin will die after eating bad Pavlova (oh, that Denker!) and the Prince and the...

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Spock Was My Hero

(4) Comments | Posted February 28, 2015 | 8:58 AM

I was wild about Star Trek as a kid but unlike my school buddies, I wasn't fond of Captain Kirk. He was way too fiery and combustible, just like my parents.

Spock was my hero: calm, rational, and funny in that understated way. He didn't bluster, he observed, and he...

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'Fifty Shades of Grey' Is a Laff Riot

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 4:07 PM

Waiting in a doctor's office soon after Fifty Shades of Grey was becoming a bestseller, I overheard two quite elderly women discussing it. One said, "We had it in our reading group." The other asked, "What did you think?" Without hesitation, the first woman replied, "I didn't learn anything new."

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Is Satire a Foreign Language?

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2015 | 10:06 PM

When you publish a blog post on The Huffington Post's Comedy section, you assume people will get the obvious: It's meant to be funny, just like a fire truck hurtling down the street is a sign that, well, there's a fire somewhere, right?


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Lady Gaga, The Oscars, and "Haters"

(5) Comments | Posted February 24, 2015 | 8:30 AM

See what happens online if you criticize any popular performer in any way. Watch the comments section if it's a blog, or see what people tweet or how they reply on Facebook. Almost immediately, somebody will accuse you of "sour grapes" or of being jealous.

Why is that? Why...

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Book Reviewing is a Giant Scam!

(2) Comments | Posted February 23, 2015 | 12:25 AM

I've positively reviewed Patricia Cornwell in the past, in The Detroit Free Press and elsewhere, but when I had negative things to say about one of her books, some of her fans accused me of being jealous.

OK, I have a confession. It's, like, 100 percent true, since...

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Jeb Bush's Secret Is Out

(349) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 7:11 PM

Jeb Bush has been making candidate noises for awhile now and if you wondered what he might be like as a candidate or wanted insight into his character, he gave plenty this week.

He's lazy. And maybe not all that bright.

As The Washington Post reports, he just...

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Warning: Killer Cops Are Armed and Dangerous

(10) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 9:58 AM

When I started my 25th book Assault With a Deadly Lie 4-5 years ago it was because of stories I read online that weren't getting national attention but were very alarming just the same. They were stories of SWAT teams raiding the wrong houses and doing massive property damage, terrifying...

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Does Valentine's Day Ever Break Your Heart?

(1) Comments | Posted February 15, 2015 | 12:02 AM

The day is all about sweetness, isn't it? Romantic dinners, champagne, balloons, flowers, candy, adorable Hallmark or emailed cards, teddy bears, mushy songs that make you grin.

But the day doesn't make everyone happy. It reminds some people they're alone. For others it calls up lost loves, disappointing affairs, marriages...

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Killer Covers Can Boost Book Sales

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2015 | 4:43 PM

Every day you'll find a handful of blogs, maybe more, telling you about the joys of going indie. You have more control over timing, editing, copy-editing, design, distribution, everything. You have the chance to make more money, and you also don't have to worry about giving up rights.

But that's...

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The Secrets of Publishing Success

(1) Comments | Posted February 8, 2015 | 12:27 AM

I just saw something that seems to worry Romance writers, especially indie authors:


Any kind of price drop in ebooks is troubling, and I've written a book that's close to Historical Romance, Rosedale in Love. It revisits Edith Wharton's classic novel The House...

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Does Forever Have a Fact Checker?

(0) Comments | Posted February 7, 2015 | 12:49 PM

I'm a big fan of crime shows because I write a mystery series and I used to be the crime fiction reviewer for The Detroit Free Press. I've also taught crime fiction at Michigan State University.

There's lots of repetition on TV so each new season I look...

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The Jewish Holiday You've Never Heard Of

(2) Comments | Posted February 4, 2015 | 9:49 AM

Today is Tu B'Shevat, Jewish Arbor Day, the "New Year for trees." This is a minor Jewish festival and of all the Jewish holidays, probably the one most people have never heard of. Its name translates as the 15th of the month of Shevat.

It's the day on the Hebrew...

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10 Reasons Why Anyone Can Be a Writer

(2) Comments | Posted February 4, 2015 | 9:18 AM

1--Because writing is just a craft like carpentry and if you can build a bookcase, you can write Infinite Jest, or at least Emma.

2--Because even your mother did NaNoWriMo. Twice.


3--Because there are apps for everything.

4--Because spell check does half the...

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My Secret Writer's Retreat

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2015 | 10:59 AM

People often ask me if I go to writers' retreats.

I never have and I've never wanted to. That's because I live in one.

The house I bought 30 years ago in a heavily-treed subdivision may be surrounded by roads with serious traffic (for our area), but it's dead center...

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The Secret to Writing Your Novel in a Weekend

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2015 | 5:58 PM

When I signed up with an elite secret group to write a novel in a weekend, I was feeling pretty cocky. I mean, how hard could it be? My dentist, my veterinarian, my cleaning lady, and even my 16-year-old cousin had all done NaNoWriMo (my cousin did it twice). So...

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Valentine's Day, Secret Love, and Edith Wharton

(0) Comments | Posted January 31, 2015 | 10:43 AM

Edith Wharton is not a writer you tend to think of on Valentine's day. Her marriage was unhappy and the affair she had in her forties was with a faithless cad (it was a secret until the 1970s).

No wonder that love in her novels is so often curdled, thwarted,...

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Why Did Scandal Dumb Down Olivia Pope?

(23) Comments | Posted January 30, 2015 | 8:46 AM

SPOILER ALERT: Don't read this post if you haven't watched last night's episode of Scandal.

We've seen lots of people get kidnapped over the years on Scandal, and the wheel of fortune has finally turned badly for Olivia.

But let's be clear about what happened. She was terrified, drugged,...

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Mark Twain's Ghost Won't Rest

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2015 | 1:34 PM

Mark Twain gave us some great books like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (and some forgettable ones like The American Claimant). He'll always be taught as an American classic, and he'll always be popular during Banned Books Week as well, thanks to Huckleberry Finn, which was controversial even...

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When You're an Author, What's Your Time Worth as a Speaker?

(1) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 11:53 AM

Years ago, a much more experienced writer gave me one of the best writing tips I ever got in my career. But it's not what you might expect: she helped me start thinking about what my time was worth when I was invited to speak somewhere.

It's not just the...

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