Welcome One & All to December’s Jewish Book Carnival. Step Right This Way.

Welcome one and all to December 2013’s Jewish Book Carnival! This is a monthly event “where bloggers who blog about Jewish books can meet, read, and comment on each others’ posts.” The posts are presented on a participant’s site on the 15th of each month. I’m honored to serve as the host this month–a first for me. Bloggers sent me their entries; if there are mistakes, they’re all mine. Anyway, here are some fabulous reads:

On her blog, Ann Koffsky gives us a mini-glimpse into the Society of Illustrators  annual “Original Art” exhibit that celebrates  the fine art of childrenANN KOFFSKY’s book illustration.

Heidi Estrin at The Book of Life Podcast posted a podcast interview with Canadian author Sharon McKay about her award-winning title for teens, Enemy Territory, in which an Israeli boy and a Palestinian boy share a hospital room, a nighttime adventure, and a reluctant friendship.

Kathy Bloomfield continues exploring the Nisim B’Chol Yom/Blessings for Daily Miracles  at her blog, forwordsbooks.com. This month she focuses on the Power of Water.


Over at InterfaithFamily.com, Ms. Bloomfield provided books about the Jewish value of Nedivut/Generosity a blog that was also picked up by JewishBoston.com   and sent out on the Combined Jewish Philanthropies’ Family Connection Newsletter.

Right here at www.thebestchapter.com I am excited to feature interviews with three spectacular Jewish women writers in separate interviews: Molly Antopol, Dara Horn, and Amy Sue Nathan who discuss writing as a way to make sense of life’s frights, Judaism, women’s fiction and an unintentional medieval facebook.

At My Machberet, Erika Dreifus collects some of the coverage of Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel.

Esther's Hanukkah Disaster
Esther’s Hanukkah Disaster

At The Whole Megillah, The Writer’s Resource for Jewish Story, Barbara Krasner interviews Esther’s Hanukkah Disaster author Jane Sutton and illustrator Andy Rowland in a Two-in-One Notebook Special.


In December, Anne Perry reviewed Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing, by Anya von Bremzen, and found there a poignant and playful discussion of memory and nostalgia.

Earlier, in November, Anne Perry at  reviewed two books together, The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker and The Rise of Abraham Cahan by Seth Lipsky  and compared how the two authors portrayed turn-of-the-century Jewish life in the Lower East Side.

Howard Freedman writes a monthly column on new Jewish books in J Weekly, the San Francisco Bay Area’s Jewish newspaper. In December, he writes about three new fiction titles from Israel.

Sandor Schuman suggests that you check out Dan Ornstein’s piece on the frustrations of being a Jewish writer.

Jewish Book Council’s Tahneer Oksman interviews Nancy K. Miller about her memoir, Breathless, in which she recounts her romantic adventures in Paris as she struggled to break away from her “nice-Jewish-girl” past in search of an uncertain future.

As part of the Brandeis Series on Gender, Culture, Religion and Law and the HBI Series on Jewish Women, Marriage and Divorce in the Jewish State: Israel’s Civil War by Susan M. Weiss and Netty C. Gross-Horowitz, published University Press of New England , inspired strong dialogue from bloggers:

Layah Lipsker sees the issue as a new form of domestic violence.

Lila Kagedan describes learning activism from one of the authors, Susan M. Weiss.

Netty Gross-Horowitz writes about legislation in Israel and how it won’t “break the chains.”

Also, in October, Zoe Klein visited the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute for a “conversation” with readers about her book, Drawing in the Dust. Her visit was part of HBI Conversations a group that brings readers and authors together for a conversation.

And this month at Life Is Like a Library, Kathe Pinchuck compares some Hebrew translations to the original English books with some interesting word differences.

Leora Wenger of Sketching Out presents a book review of Rebels in the Holy Land: Mazkeret Batya – An Early Battleground for the Soul of Israel by Sam Finkel.rebels-in-the-holy-land-150px

Also on Sketching Out is a introduction to Mordecai Ben Isaac Ha-Levi & Other Tales      by the author herself, M.L. Holtzman.

That’s all, folks. Have a December to remember, keep reading and writing. Come back and visit!

Diana Bletter

About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is the author of several books, including The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker), shortlisted for a National Jewish Book Award. Her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins) was published in 2015. She is the First Prize Winner of Moment Magazine's 2019 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, Glamour, The Forward, The North American Review, Times of Israel, and is a reporter for Israel21C, and many other publications. She is author of Big Up Yourself: It's About Time You Like Being You and The Mom Who Took off On Her Motorcycle, a memoir of her 10,000-mile motorcycle trip to Alaska and back to New York. She lives in a small beach village in Western Galilee, Israel, with her husband and family. She is a member of the local hevra kadisha, the burial circle, and a Muslim-Jewish-Christian-Druze women's group in the nearby town of Akko. And, she likes snowboarding and climbing trees.
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5 Responses to Welcome One & All to December’s Jewish Book Carnival. Step Right This Way.

  1. Thanks for the list, Diana, and the easy connection to each of these books.

  2. Diana, what an inventive way to bring together Jewish authors by inferring it’s a “Carnival”. I hope the links will bring in spectators as they “Step right this way.” 🙂

  3. Nice job, Diana. Thanks so much!

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