Rabbinic Stories, translated and annotated by Jeffrey Rubenstein, takes some of the well-known and lesser known stories from the Talmud and presents them as standalone entities. Approached without explanation, these stories can be confusing, if not downright inexplicable.
Rubenstein places these tales in context, explains why they are so minimal, and gives the historical context of the world in which the stories were originally told. He also provides an excellent way to compare and contrast stories told and retold in both the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds.
The tales of the rabbis often get short shrift next to biblical stories. But for Jews and others looking to flesh out the picture of biblical exegesis, as well as understanding the emerging world of rabbinical Judaism, the stories Rubenstein translates and explains is key.