The ProsenPeople

Book Cover of the Week: Thresholds

Friday, March 13, 2015 | Permalink

Posted by Nat Bernstein

Jewish Book Council is delighted to be working once again with Rabbi Sherre Hirsch, the first female rabbi of Sinai Temple Los Angeles and a frequent contributor and speaker on spiritual life and musings. We thought you'd like a sneak peak at the book cover for her forthcoming book, Thresholds:

Focusing on the "hallways" of life rather than the rooms of our homes, Rabbi Hirsch seeks to mentor readers in facing the transitions they might not even be aware they have or are about to come across.

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Book Cover of the Week: Shekhina

Friday, February 27, 2015 | Permalink

Posted by Nat Bernstein

We're deeply saddened to learn of Leonard Nimoy's passing this morning. Beyond his iconic, beloved, and influential role as Star Trek's Mr. Spock, Nimoy was a conscious artist, poet, and writer.

He was also keenly invested in his Jewish identity, which his brought into all of his works.


Live long and prosper, Leonard.

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Book Cover of the Week: Nightbird

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 | Permalink

Posted by Nat Bernstein

Jewish novelist Alice Hoffman turns her deft mastery of magical realism to Middle Grade fantasy with Nightbird, a tale of enchantments, mysterious family curses, and (of course) young love:

Lois Lowry (two-time Newbery Medal recipient and author of The Giver in case you live under a rock) likens this book to "reentering a wonderful dream that you vaguely remember," celebrating how "Alice Hoffman creates the most ordinary people and then turns their lives magical." Looking for a book to share with a preteen? I think you just found it.

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Book Cover of the Week: Immigrants Against the State

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 | Permalink

Posted by Nat Bernstein

It's been a while since we featured a nonfiction title on The ProsenPeople's Book Cover of the Week series, so how's this for a break:

Kenyon Zimmer explores how the anarchist movement at the turn of the twentieth century enabled American immigrant communities—Italian and Jewish, in particular—to shed their nationalist loyalties without enforcing assimilation into "the Melting Pot"; instead embracing differences and diversity as they adapted to a new life in the United States.

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Book Cover of the Week: A literary birch tree forest

Wednesday, February 04, 2015 | Permalink

Posted by Nat Bernstein

Given that I hail from a city named for trees, it's no surprise that Tu B'shvat is one of my favorite holidays—and it's today!

              

I've noticed a particularly lovely trend of birch trees on book covers, and the Jewish New Year for the Trees seems like a good time to point it out—especially since it seems to be a reliable indicator of an excellent read: Olga Grjasnowa's debut was perhaps my favorite novel of 2014, and Ramona Ausubel's eerie Holocaust allegory struck me to the core when I first came to the Jewish Book Council in 2012—the same year Reagan Arthur Books released the bebirched paperback edition of Eowyn Ivey's desolately whimsical adaptation of a magical Russian fable, set in 1920s Alaska:

A birch tree on a book cover is always a good sign.

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Book Cover of the Week: A Replacement Life, in Paperback

Friday, January 23, 2015 | Permalink

Posted by Nat Bernstein

JBC Network author and National Jewish Book Award finalist Boris Fishman recently announced the release of a paperback edition of his acclaimed debut novel, A Replacement Life. HarperCollins decided to go with drastically different design for the new book cover:

If you find Boris's writing as intriguing as we do, you should definitely hear him speak about his process in crafting and publishing a book—and about his identity as a Jewish Russian author. And we have the perfect opportunity to do so: come here Boris in conversation with Yelena Akhtiorskaya, author of Panic in a Suitcase, and Gal Beckerman, winner of the 2012 Samir Rohr Prize for When They Come for Us We'll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry, on the literary Russian Jewish American experience as part of Unpacking the Book, a new Jewish Book Council author discussion series at the Jewish Museum, moderated by Wall Street Journal associate books editor Bari Weiss. Not to be missed!

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Book Cover of the Week: The Book of Jonah

Wednesday, January 07, 2015 | Permalink

Posted by Nat Bernstein

JBC Network author Joshua Max Feldman recently announced the release of a paperback edition of his debut novel, The Book of Jonah, later this month. The new cover echoes the eye-catching yet simple spine of the original hardcopy—an excellent example of how book covers are created out of design rather than illustration:

The novel follows an ambitious corporate lawyer as he becomes more and more disoriented by curious and terrifying visions he is unable to interpret, finding a brief moment of clarity only in a chance encounter with a tragedy-worn woman he will never find again.

Don't miss the Jewish Book Council's review of this "profoundly contemporary rumination on the binary of evil and truth," and grab the paperback as soon as it's out!

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Book Cover of the Week: Wuthering Heights

Friday, December 19, 2014 | Permalink

Posted by Nat Bernstein

Emily Brontë died today in 1848 at 30 years old, after falling ill from exposure to the elements during her brother’s funeral. (Some believed that the true cause of death was a broken heart over her sibling: Emily gave out not three months after Branwell’s death.) Deeply distrustful of doctors, she refused medical attention until her final hours.

Wuthering Heights, her only surviving novel, was first published just one year before her death.

In general, book designers assigned to Wuthering Heights don’t seem too enthused about the project: most covers for the novel feature strikingly similar variations on a bare tree—that or a lone woman looking very unhappy. Penguin’s 2009 edition—pictured above: cover on the left; back on the right—is a refreshing exception.

There are also a couple designers who took on Emily Brontë’s only novel as an artistic exercise. Although these book covers don’t appear to feature on any marketed edition of Wuthering Heights, it seems worth it to share a couple standouts:

 

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Book Cover of the Week: Ishmael's Oranges

Friday, December 05, 2014 | Permalink

Posted by Chava Lansky

Ishmael's Oranges by debut novelist Claire Hajaj tells the parallel stories of Salim and Jude. Salim is a young Palestinian boy living in Jaffa who's life is thrown upside-down in 1948. Jude is a Jewish girl living with her family, all of whom are Holocaust survivors, in the north of England. Their paths collide in 1960s London where they fall in love despite the many challenges their backgrounds provide. Hajaj follows the journey of those cast adrift by war and the individual and universal conflicts that ensue. The beautiful cover illustration depicts the detachment and anonymity of a life in exile.

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Book Cover of the Week: After Birth by Elisa Albert

Thursday, November 13, 2014 | Permalink

Posted by Nat Bernstein

As we await the release of Sami Rohr Prize finalist Elisa Albert's forthcoming novel, the newly unveiled book cover for the British edition of After Birth was sent to the Jewish Book Council in the last week, and it's a winner:

Elisa Albert is the author of The Book of Dahlia: A Novel and How Is This Night Different?, a collection of short stories circling around Jewish holidays and rites of passage. Through the narrative of a new mother striving to befriend and aid a transient, trendy neighbor in her sleepy college town, After Birth, due out in February from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, explores the challenges of first-time parenting and postpartum depression, interfaith marriage, and the second-hand trauma of the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors. And yes, breastfeeding features heavily.

If you're in the New York area, come out to hear Elisa Albert speak about After Birth at our new literary series Unpacking the Book: Jewish Writers in Conversation.

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