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.

Relat­ed content:

Nat Bern­stein is the for­mer Man­ag­er of Dig­i­tal Con­tent & Media, JBC Net­work Coor­di­na­tor, and Con­tribut­ing Edi­tor at the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and a grad­u­ate of Hamp­shire College.