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New Reviews May 19, 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017 | Permalink

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Jewish Day School: Yes Or No?
While April Peveteaux is happy with her decision to send her children to a Jewish day school, she has concerns about depriving her kids of a more diverse experience.

Interview with Marjorie Ingall
"We are starting to see American Jewish women as executive producers of comedy shows once again. As more and more Jewish women are in charge of their own storytelling, the Jewish Mother figure will become more nuanced." Marjorie Ingall chats with the Jewish Book Council about Jewish parenting in the modern age and her new book, Mamaleh Knows Best.

Breaking Kosher: When Your Kids Make the Rules
How gluten-free cookbook author April Peveteaux adapted to her kids' kosher demands—without compromising her own dietary needs.

New Books for Young Readers

New Reviews May 12, 2017

Friday, May 12, 2017 | Permalink

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Behind the Lies of Holocaust Denial
“There are facts, there are opinions, and there are lies.” Watch Deborah E. Lipstadt deliver her TED Talk on Holocaust denial in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Amsterdam’s Jaw-Dropping 17th-Century Jewish Library
A fascinating literary discovery from Jewniverse!

Interview with Miriam Libicki
"We read Marvel comics when I was young, and I was aware pretty early on that comics were a Jewish medium,” graphic essayist and Toward a Hot Jew author Miriam Libicki shares. “Comic art managed to feel Jewish and have some Jewish sensibility to it."

New Books for Young Readers


New Reviews May 5, 2017

Friday, May 05, 2017 | Permalink

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Idra Novey Wins the $100,000 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature
Jewish Book Council announces the winners and finalists of the largest award of its kind. Read an interview with Idra Novey, author of Ways to Disappear and recipient of the 2017 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature.

Meet 2017 Sami Rohr Prize Choice Award Winner Daniel Torday
"The dream is for readers to see the world a little more clearly, in a little more detail, and a little more generously, after closing every novel they read. So if they read me, I’m just happy to know that’s what they’re doing when they do it."

Meet Sami Rohr Prize Fellow Paul Goldberg
"I learned as a kid in Moscow in the 1960s that books have power, and writers who are willing to tell the truth run the risk of getting arrested."

Meet Sami Rohr Prize Fellow Adam Ehrlich Sachs
"I want readers of my book to feel that something simple has been made needlessly complex, and to find this, for some reason, amusing."

Meet Sami Rohr Prize Finalist Rebecca Schiff
"I was in third grade when I first decided to be a writer. Our teacher had us hand in a new short story every two weeks. I also remember revising one of my stories after school in my parents' bedroom. It was the first time I noticed that I cared about sentences."

Interview with Yaakov Katz, Author of The Weapon Wizards
The Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief discusses his new book, The Weapon Wizards: How Israel Became a High-Tech Military Superpower.

New Reviews April 28, 2017

Friday, April 28, 2017 | Permalink

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Interview with David Bezmozgis
The National Jewish Book Award-winning author discusses adapting his short story "Natasha" to film, observing the differences within immigrant communities, and fearing for the future of literature and cinema.

Good Girls, Nasty Women: Gender and Jewish American History
Great news for those who couldn't make it Jewish Book Council’s Unpacking the Book: Jewish Writers in Conversation last month: a recording of the full discussion with Lynn Povich, Bonnie S. Anderson, and Rebecca Traister is now available for viewing online!

How Wives Pay for Their Husbands' Crimes
“She must have known,” is the first response Randy Susan Meyers hears from readers about her new novel, 'The Widow of Wall Street'—and she wants to know why.

Stories We Haven't Told: Six Neglected Holocaust Narratives to Preorder for Fall 2017
In commemoration of Yom HaShoah, the Jewish Day of Holocaust Remembrance, Jewish Book Council compiled a preview of six new works of nonfiction unearthing the neglected narratives of the Shoah.

New Reviews April 7, 2017

Friday, April 07, 2017 | Permalink

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JBC Bookshelf: 8 New Books for Passover 5777

Reading List: New Passover Books for Young Readers

How Joan Nathan Finds Jewish Recipes from Around the World
"In the world of the Internet," Joan Nathan supposes, "I could ask for likely stories from the Jewish group on Facebook that I started or send out a tweet searching for interesting recipes. But I do not."

What Is "Jewish Food"?
Joan Nathan shares three discoveries she made in compiling the recipes and stories of her new cookbook, King Solomon’s Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking around the World.

You'll Want to See The Zookeeper's Wife Before Passover. Trust Us.
Niki Caro's adaption of Diane Ackerman's 2007 bestseller just in time for Passover—and the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

New Reviews March 31, 2017

Friday, March 31, 2017 | Permalink

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Discovering the Power of Jewish Books in Ottumwa, Iowa
"I’d like to tell you that the woman I left behind at synagogue on Yom Kippur in 1996 was reading Midrash or Talmud,” Debbie Bronstein Holinstat recalls. “I think it might have been a Danielle Steele novel."

How Does the "Justice System" Work for You?
Julia Dahl built her career in writing about crime as a journalist and novelist—but it took her twenty years to meet anyone who had been arrested.

The Father I Always Knew, the Survivor I Finally Know Better
Is there a survivor in your family? "I don't want to talk about it" isn't always a final answer.

Time. Space. Create.
Mourning the Martha’s Vineyard Writer’s Residency, Julia Dahl bids farewell to Room 6 at the Point Way Inn.

The True Meaning of Nostalgia
Michael Chabon shares his Modern Jewish Literary Achievement remarks from the 2016 National Jewish Book Awards in The New Yorker.

New Reviews March 26, 2017

Sunday, March 26, 2017 | Permalink

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When Gershom Scholem Discovered Zionism
By the time he was 20 years old, Gerhard Scholem had decided that Jewish history in Europe was finished. Biographer George Prochnik explores the “lofty, blurry agenda” of Scholem’s youthful Zionism.

Why I Wrote You Say to Brick
In writing a biography of Louis Kahn, Wendy Lesser seeks “to explain things in non-technical terms to other people like me, people who don't have a degree in architecture but still find its works and processes entrancing.”

When Gershom Scholem Discovered Kabballah
“There is such a thing as a treasure hunt within tradition, which creates a living relationship to which much of what is best in current Jewish self-awareness is indebted.”

How Jewish Was Louis Kahn?
No one in Louis Kahn's immigrant family knew whether his first name was supposed to be pronounced "Lewis" or "Louie". So everyone just called him Lou.

The Continuous Transformations of Judaism
Almost as soon as Gershom Scholem arrived in Palestine in 1923, his initial, largely utopian vision of what Zionism might accomplish began to darken.

Could Zionism Be Our Jewish Practice in the Modern Age?
“The problem of how to live a resonant, secular Jewish life, we thought, might be solved just by creating the life of our choice in the place where Judaism began. In retrospect, I’m stunned by the political ignorance with which we embarked on our new life in Jerusalem.”

The Biographer and the Architect
Why did he turn out to be Louis Kahn and the rest of us didn't?

For the Love of the Land
What if the deep mystical notion of Tikkun Olam today were taken as an injunction to literally “repair” or heal the earth—for the sake of the survival of the physical place?

New Reviews March 17, 2017

Friday, March 17, 2017 | Permalink

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Writing What You Know—And What You Don’t
Joseph Helmreich's debut novel explores quantum mechanics (he was a C+ physics student), Catholicism (he's an observant Jew), and coastal Spain—though his European excursions are largely limited to concentration camps in Poland.

How to Tell Good Christian Ladies the Bible Is Weird
In rereading stories from Tanakh, novelist Jacob Bacharach was struck by how much these tales have been flattened to satisfy modern storytelling—and by the "extraordinary strangeness" of the original texts.

The Poet of Thompson Street
Science fiction novelist Joseph Helmreich recalls running into Samuel Menashe, the first-ever recipient of the Poetry Foundation's "Neglected Masters Award," while working as a film intern in New York City.

Lessons from Bereshit for Contemporary Novelists
"It is not at all the neat narrative we remember from Hebrew School,” Jacob Bacharach observes, but for a writer of contemporary fiction, it’s a fascinating template on which to overlay a more modern story."

New Reviews February 3, 2017

Friday, February 03, 2017 | Permalink

Featured Content:

A Traveler Without a Ticket
Growing up in a village outside London in the years following World War II, Alan Judd was largely unaware of Jewish history or the Holocaust. Much has changed since then.

Book Cover of the Week: The Story of Hebrew
Lewis Glinert’s linguistic history boasts one of the loveliest covers of 2017 yet, beckoning with blue watercolor calligraphy scrawled across a blank canvas of textured white.

Lion Feuchtwanger: An Author Never Out of Print But No Longer Known
Alan Judd picked up a signed first edition of Jew Süss, rough-cut, number 26 of 275 numbered copies, for all of £2.00. You can still do that with Lion Feuchtwanger because, despite the fact that he has rarely if ever been completely out of print, he is no longer widely known.

Kicking Off a New Year of Reading
Did you catch Jewish Book Council's staff picks for January 2017? Check out our first monthly list of staff selections of 2017!

Reading List: Emma Lazarus
Did you know the inscription on the Statue of Liberty was written by a Jewish American poet and immigrant rights activist? Learn more about Emma Lazarus in books for readers of all ages.

New Reviews January 13, 2017

Friday, January 13, 2017 | Permalink

This week's new reviews at Jewish Book Council:

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