Cel­e­brate Jew­ish Book Month with #30days30authors! JBC invit­ed an author to share thoughts on #Jew­Lit for each day of Jew­ish Book Month. Watch, read, enjoy, and dis­cov­er! 

Today, Matthue Roth, the author of The Gob­blings, My First Kaf­ka andLosers, shares some of the best Jew­ish books that aren’t get­ting published.

The best books are the ones you’ve nev­er heard of and the ones you’ll nev­er read. That’s con­ven­tion­al pub­lish­ing wis­dom, right? They’re too risky, too weird, too unproven. Every­one wants to pub­lish a book like Har­ry Pot­ter, but no one want­ed to be the first to pub­lish Har­ry Pot­ter.

I’m not say­ing this because it hap­pened to me. It did hap­pen to me, of course. My last nov­el got sold, then the pub­lish­er want­ed to change it from a sto­ry about a sto­ry about rape into a love sto­ry, and so I end­ed up pub­lish­ing it for free.

Go read it! But not now! Now I want to tell you about these oth­er books that you need to read. They’re books that I love, that you will prob­a­bly love, even if con­ven­tion­al pub­lish­ing wis­dom tells you that you won’t. Because they haven’t got­ten pub­lished yet. So, if you’re a pub­lish­er, or you just have a print­er at work that you can use for free, track down these authors! Ask them if you can see their books! I high­ly rec­om­mend it.

The Beard­ed Lady Falls in Love, Goldie Goldbloom

Goldie Gold­bloom has writ­ten one nov­el you can buy—The Paper­bark Shoe, about love and wood­land mag­ic weird­ness among coun­try hicks and Ital­ian pris­on­ers of war in World War II-era Aus­tralia — and anoth­er, Gwen, which is only out in Aus­tralia, and is an incred­i­bly erot­ic take on the painter Gwen­dolyn John and her uncon­ven­tion­al intern­ship with Auguste Rodin.

My favorite book of hers, though, is the mag­i­cal­ly-titled The Beard­ed Lady Falls in Love, which is about the decid­ed­ly less-con­ven­tion­al­ly-sexy sub­ject of octo­ge­nar­i­an Jew­ish anar­chists. They also live in rur­al Aus­tralia, and have a com­mune. There’s fam­i­ly dra­ma (but when is there not?), and two elder­ly les­bians with a ton of chil­dren. There is a giant beached whale. There are explo­sives, both metaphor­i­cal and lit­er­al. There are cau­tion­ary tales and crazy sto­ries of fam­i­ly dra­ma and grow­ing up in the Aus­tralian wilder­ness, and it’s dizzy­ing and scary and burst­ing with so much love.

Ariel Sam­son, Free­lance Rab­bi, MaN­ish­tana

The rea­son that the writer MaN­ish­tana belongs in the Cyn­thia Ozick/​Bernard Malamud/I.B. Singer/​Nicole Krauss canon of eter­nal Jew­ish writ­ers is not that he’s a sev­er­al-gen­er­a­tion African-Amer­i­can Ortho­dox Jew or that he’s a pro­lif­ic essay­ist and provo­ca­teur. It’s just that he writes these sto­ries that mix wild­ly knowl­edge­able and wild­ly inven­tive inter­pre­ta­tions of incred­i­bly nuanced tex­tu­al mate­r­i­al and are more informed, and more play­ful and delight­ful, than pret­ty much any­one else who’s ever writ­ten fic­tion informed by a Tal­mud pas­sage. His flu­en­cy with text and con­tem­po­rary life is more than remark­able, it’s freak­ing insightful.

The Book Room at the End of the Third Floor, Elie Lichtstein

The tra­di­tion of secret rooms and secret pas­sages in lit­er­ary works has a long and hal­lowed his­to­ry. My own first expe­ri­ence was prob­a­bly the Woods between the Walls in the Chron­i­cles of Nar­nia, although the more I think about it, the old­er the con­cept seems, dat­ing back to kevitzas haderech in the Torah and the unpack­ing of words into vers­es into many-page sto­ries in the Midrash.

In The Book Room, 12-year-old Igz Levine learns that he’s a Book Keep­er – not the tra­di­tion­al Jew­ish sort of accoun­tant, but part of an actu­al tra­di­tion that dates back thou­sands of years and crafts mezuzahs and Torah scrolls to keep mys­ti­cal crea­tures safe. It wears its ref­er­ences to Rick Rior­dan and Suzanne Collins on its sleeve, along with, yes, Har­ry Pot­ter, but Book Room is a whirling fiz­zgig of Jew­ish tra­di­tion and orig­i­nal mag­ic that is com­plete­ly its own.

Matthue Roth’s newest book is Rules of My Best Friend’s Body (which you can find here). It’s $6 on Ama­zon. By day, he’s a cre­ative writer at Google. 

Matthue Roth’s newest book is My First Kaf­ka: Rodents, Run­aways, and Giant Bugs, a pic­ture book, which will be released in June 2013. His young-adult nov­el Losers was just made a spe­cial selec­tion of the Amer­i­can Library Asso­ci­a­tion. He lives in Brookyn with his fam­i­ly and keeps a secret diary at www​.matthue​.com.