The ProsenPeople

Unraveling the Mystery of Jewish Food

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 | Permalink

June Hersh is the author of The Kosher Carnivore: The Ultimate Meat and Poultry Book, available this week. She will be blogging all week for the Jewish Book Council and MyJewishLearning‘s author blogging series.

As a food writer you need to be prepared to answer just about any question tossed at you during a Q&A. I like to feel I know my subject matter inside and out, and I admit to late night Googling (that sounds x-rated) to research something I am not 100% certain of. While I should be dreaming of food, I am instead trying to unravel its mysteries. My obsession with information is justified as I have been asked if a free-range chicken is happier than its caged neighbor, or whether America’s fascination with hummus is a fad or here to stay. Understanding food is my job, and the better my understanding the more clearly I can communicate the power of food through the recipes I write. No query has kept me awake more nights then a question I was asked during a radio interview: what is Jewish food? Truth is, it’s a great question with no easy answer.

In my first book, Recipes Remembered: A Celebration of Survival, I told the stories of Holocaust survivors and recreated their cherished recipes. No one would question that the kugel I tasted, the matzo ball soup I slurped and the brisket I devoured were Jewish foods. They have been eaten in every Jewish home, prepared in a myriad of ways and while ingredients and techniques vary, they definitely fall into the Jewish food arena.

My second book, The Kosher Carnivore: The Ultimate Meat and Poultry Book, was designed to be a departure from the typical Jewish cookbook, focusing on techniques and recipes that crossed borders and time-zones and appealed to both Jewish and non-Jewish cooks alike. Using a meaty cut of osso buco or a testosterone driven capon, I prepared what I consider to be eclectic but unexpected kosher food. Yet once the word kosher is involved in a book title, the perception is you are presenting Jewish food.

The real issue is how do we define Jewish food when we don’t have a specific country we can point to for culinary inspiration? It’s not as if Israeli food represents Jewish food, or that there is a country where Jewish food is the mainstay cuisine.

Consider this: we’ve been thrown out of all the best countries in the world, so we have incorporated in our cooking style the best of every culture’s culinary point of view. We have cleverly adapted or adopted cooking from regions we have found ourselves in and made those styles our own.

Additionally, we don’t have a cooking icon who defines our cuisine. Proud Americans can point to James Beard or Julia Child, Italian cooks marvel over Mario, or the British single out…OK bad example. There are many great chefs who happen to be Jewish but they are not celebrated for preparing what many consider Jewish food.

So what makes a food Jewish? Here’s my theory: I think that beef bourguignon is Jewish food when made by a woman who endured the Holocaust on the outskirts of Paris and learned to make this classic French dish for Rosh Hashanah dinner. I propose that the Sephardic meat cakes that I helped my grandmother make every Passover typify the ultimate Jewish food for my family. It is a dish I now make annually and one I hope will endure for years to come. I contend it’s watching your favorite aunt make her signature latkes and serving them every Chanukah. And isn’t that what makes a food truly Jewish? It is the process of learning to make that dish with someone you love, it is the hope that dish will find a legacy, it is the association of that food with a family gathering. It is an indefinable cuisine with tradition being the main ingredient.

Some scholars maintain that matzo is the only true Jewish food. And who with any culinary pride or pedigree would want to lay claim to that? As far as I know there are no restaurants called “Matzo and More” or “Mostly Matzo.” So, in our search for a Jewish restaurant, is our local deli the only fix for traditional Jewish fixings?

Absolutely not. You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to detect the ubiquitous Jewish dishes disguised in many of today’s trendiest restaurants. Visit the newest three-star eatery where the decibel level is only exceeded by the number of young things stacked at the bar. Order the toasted buckwheat with farfalle and smile, because you’re eating kasha varnishkes. Try the paper-thin dumplings stuffed with beef and onions and understand they are kreplach answering to another name. Care to cool off with chilled roasted beet soup? That’s borscht in my book. And when you order biscotti for dessert, remember, twice baked mandel bread is biscotti’s Jewish cousin with less effective PR.

And what about buzz words like locavore and organic, which might seem new and flashy? Jewish cooks were organic locavores long before the terms became fashionable. They knew that if it grew in your backyard or was raised on the farm next door, it was dinner. These cooks can prepare cabbage a hundred different ways and manage to nuance sweet and sour so that your tongue delights like a choreographed dance. In writing and researching both books, it struck me that the more we move forward in our food trends the closer we get to the Jewish food our grandparents prepared. If we ate like 85-year-old Polish peasants, we could skip the occasional spin class, lighten up on the energy bars and enjoy a shot of schnapps a little more often.

Tonight when I am awake at a time I should be asleep and I am tempted to Google some obscure food, I should turn off the light, shut down the computer and be contented that I am satisfied with my answer to the question “what is Jewish food?” It is not limited by region, not constrained by ingredients, and never short on love and tradition. It might be difficult to define, hard to categorize or even digest. But, it is the food that has always nurtured and nourished us, and is happily enjoying a spirited revival in the hands of a new generation of Jewish cooks.

MEDITERRANEAN OSSO BUCO WITH ZESTY GREMOLATA

This dish, which has its roots in Milan, is braised in wine and aromatics and served over saffron scented rice. Osso Buco actually translates to mean, “ hole bone”, alluding to the rich melt inyour mouth marrow contained in the center. Be sure to provide small forks or little knives tocoax out the soft delicacy. This recipe calls for a dash of balsamic vinegar and the option ofadding olives and anchovies to give the dish a little extra intrigue. The gremolata topping isoptional, but lends a vibrant note when spooned over the veal.

Behind the Counter Have your butcher cut the shanks into 2 ½ – to – 3-inch pieces (about10 ounces each). Ask your butcher to tie kitchen twine around the outside of the meat, as ifcinching the shank with a belt at the waist, so that it does not fall off the bone when cooking.Alternate cuts There is no exact substitute that will produce the same dish, but you can use thesesame ingredients and method to prepare veal spare ribs (-$) or lamb shanks (-$).

About 4 servings
Start to Finish: Under 2 ½ hours

4 veal shanks cut osso buco style
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup flour for dredging, seasoned with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon freshly ground blackpepper and 1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 cup pitted and halved Kalamata olives, optional
2 to 3 small anchovy filets, finely minced or 1 tablespoon anchovy paste, optional
¾ cup white wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups chicken stock
1 bouquet garni- 1 bay leaf, 4 sprigs thyme, wrapped and tied in cheesecloth, pouch or with kitchen twine. (If you are not preparing the gremolata, then add 6 sprigs of parsley to the bouquet.)

Gremolata
½ cup freshly minced flat – leaf parsley
1 lemon peel, zested
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Heat the oil in a braising pot. Pat the veal dry, and dredge theveal in the seasoned flour. Brown the veal on both sides, over medium – high heat, until a nicebrown crust forms on each piece. Remove the veal to a plate. In the same pot, cook the carrotsand onions over medium heat, until lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Add the smashed garlic, andthe olives and anchovies if using, and cook 5 minutes longer. Pour the wine and vinegar intothe pot, scraping up any bits that collected on the bottom and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Place the veal back into the pot, along with any liquid that collected on the plate. Add the tomatoes and stock. The liquids shouldn’t drown the meat; the top portion ofeach shank should show. Nestle the bouquet garni in the sauce. Cover and cook at 325 degreesfor 1 ½ to 2 hours, until the meat is very tender.

Prepare the gremolata, by combining all the ingredients, reserve. When the meat is finished cooking, carefully remove the meat and vegetables from the pot with a slotted spoon. Removeand discard the bouquet garni and bring the sauce to a slow boil. To thicken the sauce, createa slurry by mixing 2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 4 teaspoons of water, stir back into the pot,heat and repeat if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the veal (remove the string) and top each serving with a generous pinch of gremolata.

Feedback
Osso Buco and rice Milanese have enjoyed a long marriage. Preparing rice Milanese is as easyas making boiled rice, with the addition of golden saffron threads, which add the mellow yellowcolor and a burst of flavor. This precious spice comes from the dried stigma of a saffron crocusand by weight is the most expensive spice in the world. You only need a pinch to impart itsdistinctive taste and distinguishing color. Prepare your white rice as directed on the package andadd a pinch of saffron to the cooking liquid. If you replace the water with chicken or vegetablestock, the flavor will be even more amplified.

Check back all week for more posts and recipes from June Hersh.

My Culinary Journey

Monday, September 12, 2011 | Permalink

June Hersh is the author of The Kosher Carnivore: The Ultimate Meat and Poultry Book, available this week. She will be blogging all week for the Jewish Book Council and MyJewishLearning‘s Visiting Scribe.

If you had told me on my 55th birthday that in the coming year I would have a cookbook published and a second one in the works I would have told you to promptly return your crystal ball to Amazon and ask for a full refund. Prior to that year I had many roles, foremost mother and wife, and secondarily as a teacher at the Solomon Schechter Day School, founder of Fancy Schmancy, a children’s clothing company, and resource coordinator for my family’s lighting business. But cookbook author was not on my resume.

After we sold our business, my sister stated what would become our mantra– we did well, now let’s do good. I took those as marching orders and proceeded to discover my newest incarnation, cookbook author. It seemed like a natural choice. I have always been a student of everything food, an adventurous eater and fearless cook. I find that there are not many endeavors that give you the instant gratification cooking does. Maybe it’s the Jewish mother in me, but the act of nurturing and nourishing is in my DNA. So many of my favorite memories are set around the kitchen table as a child, watching my mother lovingly prepare even the simplest dish. She could turn grilled cheese and tomato soup into a five star experience. So it seemed so natural that this would be the niche that I found to bring a new richness to my days.

My first project was Recipes Remembered: A Celebration of Survival, a book focused on the stories and recipes of Holocaust survivors. I would personally interview each and every survivor or their family member and write their remarkable story and recreate their cherished recipes. The good would be that I would donate all the proceeds to the Museum of Jewish Heritage, an institution that stands as a living memorial to the Holocaust. The experience was life-changing and resulted in a beautiful book that has raised both funds and awareness.

Once I was bit by the cookbook bug I didn’t want it to end. That incredible project was something that excited me every morning and kept me up at night. I dream in shades of medium rare, so it seemed to be an organic decision to write a book focused on meat and poultry. Happily, St. Martin’s Press agreed. The Kosher Carnivore was a revelation as it took my cooking to the next level. This time I wasn’t rebuilding other people’s recipes, I was creating my own. What could I do to meld succulent lamb shanks with pomegranates bursting with ripe seeds? How could I incorporate the summer’s sweetest peach into a gingery glaze for chicken? What new twist could I put on roast duck that would make the skin so crispy you could hear it crackle down the hall? My aim was to develop eclectic and innovative delicious food that happened to be kosher.

Shopping bags were replaced by grocery bags as I spent hours behind the counter of some of New York’s finest butchers. Donning an apron, I would carefully watch the butcher turn cuts of beef into works of art. I drooled over the fatty cap that rests atop the prime rib oozing with marbling. I marveled as the butcher ground brisket and chuck to create the juiciest hamburger blend. I questioned every stroke of the knife and every emphatic crash of the cleaver until I felt assured that I knew exactly how to expertly prepare the meat I was toting home. I returned from my visits with the same glow others get from an amazing facial.

I am now a veritable walking encyclopedia of bits of information about kosher cuts of meat. Invite me to a dinner party and I will regale you with cooking tips, wine suggestions and cookware advice. Want to hear how to best sear a duck breast or grill a juicy rib-eye? I’m your girl. And because I do love meat and potatoes, I can tell you how to turn Yukon golds into pareve mashed potatoes so creamy you want to take a nap in the bowl. My on-off switch is usually on, but a soft kick under the table or a gentle hand on my knee, tells me to change the conversation and save my riveting news about short ribs for another time.

Over the next few days I want to take you along on my culinary journey as I navigate the world of cookbook writing. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Moroccan Lamb Shanks with Pomegranate Sauce

Lamb shanks are rich, meaty, and succulent as the layer of fat that envelopes each shank bastes them while they cook.  This Moroccan version features aromatic spices, which blend to give the shanks a punchy taste, while never overpowering their natural flavor. The addition of pomegranate juice brings a subtle sweet tart flavor to the sauce.

Behind the Counter  The singular taste of lamb shanks really has no equal. Alternate cuts  short ribs (+$) or osso buco (+$) or even turkey drumsticks cut osso buco style (-$)

About 4 servings

Start to Finish  Under 3 hours

 4 (12 – to- 16-ounce) lamb shanks

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, sliced

6 cloves garlic, smashed

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 dozen juniper berries

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup sweet red wine

2 cups beef stock

1 cup pomegranate juice (derived from the seeds of 1 large or 2 medium pomegranates), or 1 cup bottled juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Season the shanks with kosher salt and pepper.  Heat the olive oil in a braising pot and brown the shanks, over medium to high heat, on all sides, about 10 minutes.  Be sure to stand the shanks on the edges to brown all sides.  Remove the shanks and cook and stir the onion and garlic, over medium heat, until lightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the spices, tomato paste, wine and stock.  Stir over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add the shanks to the pot cover and roast at 350 degrees for 2 hours. Check the shanks every 30 minutes, turning them over in the sauce each time you check and admire them.  While the lamb cooks, Process the pomegranate seeds if starting from scratch (see feedback), otherwise take a well deserved break.

When the lamb is nearly cooked, after 1½ hours, add the pomegranate juice.  Continue cooking 30 minutes longer or until the meat on the shank is buttery soft and nearly falling off the bone. When finished, the sauce will be thick and concentrated (you can thin it with a little water or stock if needed). Spoon the sauce over the shanks and serve alongside rice, noodles or couscous.

Feedback

While pomegranates are loaded with antioxidants, their real power is to stain anything porous they come in contact with.  If you are working with fresh pomegranates, I applaud your initiative.  Late fall, October and November is the best time to buy fresh pomegranates, when they burst off the shelves with ripe seeds.  Here are some tips for handling this persnickety fruit.

1. Wear something that can take a joke, you could end up looking like a victim from Law and Order, stained with red splatters

2. Cut, then squeeze the pomegranates over a bowl so you don’t lose any of the precious juice.  There is additional juice in the tiny seeds.  To juice those, fill a bowl with water, with your fingers gently loosen the seeds, over the bowl, and separate them from the papery membrane.  The seeds will fall to the bottom of the bowl, while the thin fiber will float. Strain the water, reserving the seeds.

3. Pulverize most of the seeds in a blender (reserve a few for garnish). Strain the liquid pressing on the solids to extract all the juice. Discard the solids.  Between the squeezed juice and the pureed seeds, you should have about ¾ – to- 1- cup of fresh juice from 1 large or 2 medium pomegranates.

Alternatively, you can buy pomegranate juice.  It’s cleaner, easier but not nearly as much fun!

Check back all week for more posts and recipes from June Hersh.

The Grandparent Grandson Relationship

Friday, September 09, 2011 | Permalink

Earlier this week, Avrom Honig shared a behind-the-scenes look at the photoshoot for Feed Me Bubbetalked about coming to the Big City, and introduced us to his production assistant, Zadie. He has been blogging all week for the Jewish Book Council and MyJewishLearning‘s Visiting Scribe.

Well, if you’re watching this blog closely you have seen already part 12, and 3.  Now I am thrilled to present to you part number 4, featuring the star of the show herself.  Bubbe is here to talk a bit about the importance of having a grandparent and grandchild relationship.

We want to thank all of you for joining me over these past few posts.  If you want more entries from me, leave comments below, and who knows, maybe we might do some future updates from the Book Tour with more behind the scenes action if you are interested.

For now, thank you to all that have purchased our book Feed Me Bubbe.  Due to your support we can proudly state that we are an Amazon Best Seller in the Kosher Category.  We know this is just the beginning and we look forward to having you join us on our facebook page and over at http://www.feedmebubbe.com.

Avrom Honig and Bubbe’s new book, Feed Me Bubbe!, is now available.

JLit Links

Friday, September 09, 2011 | Permalink


Ezra Jack Keats, “Crunch, crunch, crunch, his feet sank into the snow.” Final illustration for The Snowy Day, 1962. Collage and paint on board. Ezra Jack Keats papers, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi. Copyright Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.


  • The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats, the first major United States exhibition to pay tribute to award-winning author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats (1916-1983), whose beloved children’s books include Whistle for Willie (1964), Peter’s Chair (1967), and The Snowy Day (1962), opens at The Jewish Museum on September 9, 2011 and remains on view through January 29, 2012.
  • The Jewish “boom” in American writing in the 60′s was ignited by Bellow, Roth, and Malamud—reeled off in that order as if they were a firm of Jewish accountants.  The roots of American Jewish literature go much further back, though.  Read more at Jewish Ideas Daily.
  • Michael Chabon’s new superhero (and his dog Moskowitz) can be found in his newest book The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man (out this week!). Read more here.
  • Check out Israeli authors Ron Leshem and Shimon Adaf at the Brooklyn Book Festival on September 18th. Read more here.

Book Cover of the Week: When They Come for Us We’ll Be Gone

Friday, September 09, 2011 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

The paperback edition of Gal Beckerman‘s When They Come for Us, We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry will be available on September 13th. When They Come For Us, We’ll Be Gone was awarded the Everett Family Foundation Book of Year Award for the 2010 National Jewish Book Awards.


Meet Our Production Assistant, Zadie

Thursday, September 08, 2011 | Permalink
Earlier this week, Avrom Honig shared a behind-the-scenes look at the photoshoot for Feed Me Bubbe, and talked about coming to the Big City. He will be blogging all week for the Jewish Book Council and MyJewishLearning‘s Visiting Scribe.


Hope you’ve enjoyed parts one and two, and now, this time, I have a special guest for all of you. We got one of the big unknown stars of our show, Zadie.  ”Zadie” is the Yiddish word for “grandfather.” Zadie plays a huge roll on the show making sure to keep everyone in line.

Any good production is all about having a behind-the-scenes team that really makes sure that everything is perfect. There are times that we are shooting videos where Zadie stops us before we even record because a phone may need to be taken off the hook, or perhaps an item is in the kitchen needs to be adjusted because it just doesn’t look right.

There are many times when during the process of making the book where Zadie looked over everything multiple times to make sure the pages were in the right order and that nothing was missing. In fact there were sections of the book that we knew we wanted to be in the book but if it was not for Zadie reminding us we probably would have never had it in the book. This includes menus, cooking terms, and even Bubbe’s favorite Yiddish songs which can all be found in the back of the book.

We have one more post coming up, and of course another special guest.

Just wait and see, this is a special one!

Avrom Honig and Bubbe’s new book, Feed Me Bubbe!, is now available. Come back all week to read his posts for MyJewishLearning and the Jewish Book Council.

Feed Me Bubbe’s Journey to New York City

Wednesday, September 07, 2011 | Permalink
Yesterday, Avrom Honig shared a behind the scenes look at the photoshoot for Feed Me Bubbe. He will be blogging all week for the Jewish Book Council and MyJewishLearning‘s Author Blog.

If you want to know more about Feed Me Bubbe and an introduction to how we got started then be sure to check out Part 1.  For those just joining us, we created a book based upon our hit online and televised cooking show because our audience really wanted it.  Of course before I knew it we had an agent, a publisher, and found myself heading to New York City to represent our new book.

The name of the organization was the Jewish Book Council and I would be presenting a two minute speech to representatives from the Jewish Book Network.  To someone that was not used to speaking in front of a crowd this could be a huge undertaking.  In fact they even told us that the on deck chair was nicknamed the sigh chair, or the deep breath chair.  The reason for this is because everyone gives a big breath before they go up on stage, perhaps a sign of nervousness.

In my case I had nothing to be nervous over and just pretended that I was standing in front of the camera or friends just talking normally.  It really was a change of pace for me looking at such a large crowd but, I didn’t mind and adjusted my microphone and just went for it.

Of course I had a good meal before the presentation over at a restaurant in New York City called Noi Due which I was told is pronounced as NOY – DUE – E.  What impressed me about the place is everything was so light and yet filling.  For a kosher establishment it was incredible.  You would never believe walking in that it was actually a kosher restaurant from the menu, the decor, and even the customers.  It just looked like any other amazing restaurant located in New York.

What made this place even more amazing is that it was a dairy restaurant.  Usually in New York I go to meat restaurants making sure I have food that is filling and satisfying but I have to say Noi Due is the exception to the rule.  The waiter recommended a delicious cake which looked so heavy and yet was light and went down very easily.  In fact it looked so incredible here is a picture:


Next time, I have a special guest for you that you are sure to love.

Check back all week for more posts from Avrom Honig, co-author (with his bubbe) of Feed Me Bubbe.

The “Feed Me Bubbe” Book: Behind the Scenes at the Photoshoot

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 | Permalink
Avrom Honig is the co-author, with his bubbe, of Feed Me Bubbe!originally a hit YouTube series, and now a book. He will be blogging all week for MyJewishLearning and the Jewish Book Council‘s Visiting Scribe.

Greetings, everyone! Let me first introduce myself:  My name is Avrom, and I am co-author on an exciting new book based on a hit online and televised cooking show entitled Feed Me Bubbe.  On the show, my bubbe works on making her family favorite dishes.  (By the way, if you don’t know, Bubbe is the Yiddish word for “Grandmother.”)

When we first started out, I was just trying to make my mark on the Hollywood industry, trying to find a job.  As any good applicant knows having a demo reel is the key to success.  After having a family discussion, we finally decided that what would make the most sense is for me to take a camera and film Bubbe making her favorite food at home.

Well the response was incredible and before you know it we are finding ourselves working on a book.  To make everything even more exciting we had been told that Essdras M. Suarez would be our photographer.  Essdras is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer (go to http://www.essdrasmsuarez.com where you can see some of his incredible other projects).

It was quite an unusual experience to see my bubbe being treated as a model during the entire photoshoot.  If you could only have seen it for yourself!  Well, actually, you can.  Being a video technology enthusiast, I decided that over these next few blog posts we will include some special videos made just for you.  You may even see some special guests along the way — so stay tuned for blogs and videos!


Avrom Honig and Bubbe’s new book, Feed Me Bubbe!, is now available. Come back all week to read his posts for MyJewishLearning and the Jewish Book Council‘s author blogging series.

JLit Links

Friday, September 02, 2011 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Take a break from dreaming about all of the books you are going to (finally!) dive into over the long weekend and check out these great articles + JLit news:

Reading with Soundtracks

Friday, September 02, 2011 | Permalink

Posted by Alyssa Berlin

Obviously, since I work at the Jewish Book Council, you can figure out that I am a huge bibliophile. But what you might not know is that my love for music rivals my love for literature. They both have this magical ability to take me out of my own mind and transport me to a place without stress, schoolwork and my everyday nuisances. My music can often be heard floating, maybe too loudly, through the halls at the office while I do my work. (I am currently listening to Like Ships in the Night by Mat Kearney). Music and books are usually non-synonymous with one another, because, well,  one produces sound and the other is a silent activity. However recently there has been a revolution called Reading with Soundtracks that takes the emotional interaction one gets from listening to the music that plays in the background of movies, and adds it to books.

Companies, such as Booktrack,  have been popping up and building playlists around books. They set music to the words that are already coming alive on the paper, and try to add another dimension to reading. As the founders of Booktrack put it, ”It’s almost like having your own personal conductor directing you as you’re reading.”

Blogs such as the Largehearted Boy have also begun to appear, which allow authors to post their own soundtracks to their books. Some of our own JBC authors have even shown up on this website such as Myla GoldbergJoseph SkibellEvelyn Toynton, and David Bezmozgis, just to name a few. I even decided to take a stab at this myself by thinking of a great song that would go with our Twitter book club book for this month, Home in the Morning. It’s called Back Down South by Kings of Leon and it’s one of my favorite songs in general. So anyone reading the book take a look!

As much as I love both reading and listening to music, I personally think I will continue to keep them separate. I have a hard time focusing on what I am reading when I listen to music at the same time, and find myself rereading the same paragraph 10 times to understand it. While Books with Soundtracks is a great idea I still believe that there is an emotional reaction to the words and story inside the book that is just impossible to recreate with music. But who knows, maybe in a few weeks I’ll be back here posting my own book playlists!