March 15, 2011
No roller coaster rides. No cotton candy. But as host of this month’s Jewish Book Carnival, I’m happy to bring you a wide range of posts about the Jewish literary world and Jewish writing in general. You’ll find whimsy, poignancy, deep thought about writing about faith, book reviews and even a bit of travelogue about the Jerusalem International Book Fair.
What is the Jewish Book Carnival? It was founded on behalf of the Association of Jewish Libraries. Heidi Estrin, a temple librarian who came up with the idea, wanted to build community among bloggers and blogs who feature Jewish books. Why am I involved? I occasionally write about Jewish books in my Jewish Muse blog and have done some books reviews for newspapers. Not to mention, I love the idea of connecting to the Jewish literary world. So check out the links below. Read the posts. Comment on them. Provoke thought. And consider submitting your own link to the April carnival, hosted by the Jewish Book Council blog, by emailing Naomi Firestone-Teeter at Naomi@jewishbooks.org.
Without further ado, below is a list of links from this month’s contributors:
- Author Anita Diamant, whose most recent book is the novel, Day After Night, offers a tongue-in-cheek look at Purim on her blog, Red Tent and more . Look for references to the ever-fickle publishing industry.
- Read about the Jewish Book Council’s recent adventures at the Jerusalem International Book Fair. Naomi Firestone-Teeter, the council’s director of publications, writes about two different experiences. Find her first recommended post here, and the second one here.
- Dani Shapiro, author of several books, including the recent memoir, Devotion, frequently writes poignant, thoughtful posts on her blog, Moments of Being. Check out this recent post about both the pleasure – and angst – of having the last word when you write about those you know. She refers to the rift between her non-religious mother and her father’s Orthodox family. Her mother, to announce she was no longer kosher, orders a bacon cheeseburger at a New York deli.
- Celebrated Czech Jewish author Arnost Lustig (1926-2011) passed away in February. Erika Dreifus, author of the short story collection, Quiet Americans, studied fiction-writing with Lustig at the Prague Summer Program in 2004, and is building a tribute page on her blog My Machberet.
- Check out this recommendation – and review – for the new Jewish children’s book “Sliding Into the New Year” by Dori Weinstein at the blog Book Frontiers. The reviewer, Lydia Schultz, blogs about books she discovers in her work as a librarian at a Jewish elementary school in St. Paul, Minn.
- Carnival creator Heidi offers a interview with Jaime Zollars, illustrator of the new edition of Cakes & Miracles by Barbara Diamond Goldin. The interview, found on Heidi’s Book of Life Podcast blog, was part of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour. The book won a silver medal in the Sydney Taylor book contest.
- Bruce Black, founder of the Jewish Writing Project, an online site dedicated to showcasing writings of Jewish writers, writes a beautiful piece on the site’s blog about how our relationship with faith plays a role in our writing. Black recently had his first book, Writing Yoga, A Guide to Keeping a Practice Journal, published by Rodmell Press.
- See a review of David Grossman’s To the End of the Land, on the blog, Boston Bibliophile.
- Midlife Mitzvah blogger Ilane DeBare offers an interesting list of suggested reading when she takes her own personal reading cruise into Jewish history by reading novels. She too gives her take on Grossman’s novel in another post.
- And realizing that I too should make a contribution to this month’s Jewish Book Carnival, here is a link to my recent interview with fellow blogger Erika Dreifus about her debut book, Quiet Americans, a fascinating array of short stories that uses the Holocaust and its survivors as the driving force.