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February Jewish Book Carnival

Wednesday, February 12, 2014| Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

It's been almost a year since Jewish Book Council has hosted a Jewish Book Carnival, and we're happy to take the reins this month! We're huge fans of this series, which has been produced by various Jewish literary blogs across the web since 2010. In case you're new here, each month a different host offers a round-up of some of the #JLit offerings happening online, including reviews, interviews, essays, and podcasts. Check out past posts and participants over at Jewish Book Carnival HQ.


Before we share some of our wonderful colleagues' posts, we'd like to share some updates from JBCland. If you're an author, please note that registration for our JBC Network author tours is now open. Further, if you missed the announcement about the 2013 National Jewish Book Award winners (who will be feted in NYC next month), you can find the complete list of winners and finalists here.

The Plot

Last month, we were thrilled to present two emerging writers on the Visiting Scribe series. Joshua Max Feldman, whose debut novel The Book of Jonah was published by Henry Holt and Co., and Molly Antopol, whose debut collection of stories The UnAmericans was published by W. W. Norton & Company, both offered insight into their work and that which inspires them to write (both their debut books and beyond).

Leora Wenger introduces us to the story of Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, who survived the Holocaust as a child and grew up to become Chief Rabbi of Israel. Learn more in Book Review: Out of the Depths (story of Rabbi Lau).

This month, My Machberet's Erika Dreifus sends a link to her review of Elisabeth de Waal's The Exiles Return for The Washington Post.

Barbara Krasner at The Whole Megillah | The Writer's Resource for Jewish Story announced the 2014 The Whole Megillah Picture Book Manuscript Contest. Kar-Ben publisher, Joni Sussman, is judging. Read more here.

Kathy Bloomfield continues exploring the Nissim B’Chol Yom/Blessings for Daily Miracles at her website. This month she looks at Halbashat Arumim/Clothing the Naked. While at she writes about the value of Lo Ta’Amod Al Dam Re’echa/Not Standing by While Others are Threatened.

Two Jewish-Canadian children's book writers you need to get to know over at Write Kids' Books!: Cary Fagan and Sarah Mlynowski.

Over at Life Is Like a Library, a double treat:

  • Read about National Jewish Book Award Winner Like Dreamers and seeing the author in person here.
  • A survey of recent reading that follows the dictates of the Ethics of the Fathers and includes a National Jewish Book Award Finalist, Letters to President Clinton; a book about finding friends, and a new book from Koren Publishers.

The newest episode of The Book of Life podcast, hosted by librarian Heidi Estrin, features an interview with the 2013 Sydney Taylor Book Award winner in the Older Readers Category, Louise Borden, about her stunning biography for children, His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg.

From, a few reviews:

  • Read reviews of The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom and Undiluted Hocus-Pocus by Martin Gardner here.
  • Read a review of Marching to Zion by Mary Glickman here.
  • Read a review of Vatican Waltz by Roland Merullo here.

At the 2013 Association of Jewish Libraries conference in Houston, Texas, sessions were recorded for podcasting. Over twenty recordings can now be heard on the AJL website, sessions on everything from Jewish history to Texas Jewish culture to technology to award acceptance speeches.

Diana Bletter interviews writer Dora Levy Mossanen on her latest novel, The Scent Of Butterflies, her life in Iran, Israel and the United States, and tapping into our emotional reservoir. Also, Diana writes about the new-old anti-Semitism in France at The Huffington Post.


Find links to JBC's reviews of titles mentioned in this month's Jewish Book Carnival posts below:


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