Michael Chabon was going to call his swashbucklers-in-the-Near-East historical adventure Jews With Swords. There won't be swords at this year's Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival, running from next Saturday (November 24) to November 29, but there will be comic novelist Howard Jacobson (Kalooki Nights) at an opening-night discussion with CBC broadcaster Eleanor Wachtel, and Nicole Krauss (The History of Love) closing the fest. Look for readings and performances by culinary writer Norene Gilletz, former Mossad agent Michael Ross (in conversation with Vicki Gabereau), and photojournalist David Rubinger. Mark November 26 for a panel on mental health featuring Lisa Appignanesi, Gabor Maté, and Robin Friedlander (hosted by Sheryl MacKay), and November 28 for Confronting Controversy, with South African Richard Poplak and Jonathan Garfinkel, who describes his first visit to Israel and the West Bank in his book Ambivalence, hosted by David Beers. For tickets and times, visit www.jccgv.com .