Jewish Book Carnival: October 2014 Edition

Hear ye, hear ye. Step right up to the October 2014 Jewish Book Carnival, where is happy to host. This is a monthly event for those who cover Jewish books online to “meet, read, and comment on one another’s posts.” The posts are hosted on a participant’s site on the 15th of each month.

Ladies and gentlemen, here are links to wonderful sites, in the chronological order in which I received the notices.

Batya Medad covers a magical adventure book based on the Bible.

Over at Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod’s blog, she explores how she “ended up writing a Bible story for kids (and why you might, too).”

The newest episode of The Book of Life podcast, hosted by librarian Heidi Estrin, features three live interviews from Book Expo America with representatives from Charlesbridge (Rabbi Benjamin’s Buttons by Alice McGinty), Image Comics (Noah by Darren Aronofsky), and Dundurn (Fields of Exile by Dr. Nora Gold, and Stealing Time by Anne Dublin) about their forthcoming Jewish titles for kids and adults. You can hear the podcast online here.

Anna Levine has recently begun a new website here. The website links reviews and recommendations of Jewish picture books for children with activities for educators of young children. These last few months, Ms. Levine has been looking at children’s books for the High Holidays. The site is not restricted to the newest books but also to old favorites–with “hopes that we can make the old seem new again.”

Children’s book author, Barbara Bietz, shares her link about Jewish books for kids.

In October, Jill Broderick at Rhapsody in Books reviewed The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff.  This is a story about an 18-year-old Polish girl in 1940 who falls in love with an injured American Jewish intelligence officer.  Broderick writes, “The author nicely weaves a bit of background into the story about what happened in World War II to both Jews and non-Jews in Poland, as well as providing some insights into Polish anti-Semitism.”

Sandra Bornstein has written about several Jewish authors and their books on her website, as well as favoriting picture books for Sukkot.

On My Machberet, Erika Dreifus spotlights Ronna Wineberg’s new novel On Bittersweet Place. Erika writes: “In the pages of Ronna Wineberg’sOn Bittersweet Place, one finds echoes of Anzia Yezierska and Betty Smith; in the fictional story of Lena Czernitski’s immigrant family in the first quarter of the 20th century the reader recovers a piece of our larger American history.”

And, The Fig Tree Books blog joins the Carnival with an exciting announcement about a project FTB has launched. They’re looking for smart, enthusiastic readers to write about specific fiction titles that evoke and engage with American Jewish experience. (And they pay their reviewers.) Please be sure to read the detailed overview and query guidelines.

Over at the Behrman House Blog, there’s an post on “ My Kids are My Best Testers.” And, on “Reinforcing Your Expectations for a Respectful Learning Environment Today.

AtKathe Pinchuck’s blog, Life Is Like a Library, Pinchuck looks at From Foe to Friend, a graphic novel by Shay Charka using three of S.Y. Agnon’s stories.

Thank you to all of the participants! Please visit the linked posts and share your comments and responses.

Finally, here at, I’m taking votes on the following question:

What is your favorite Jewish book? And ten extra points if you can answer: What makes a book Jewish? Is Daniel Deronda a Jewish book because it has a Jewish character? Is The Sun Also Rises an anti-Jewish book because of its portrayal of Robert Cohn, called “the morose Jew”? Does the same answer apply to Huckleberry Finn? Feel free to comment!

Thank you,

Diana Bletter, Author of the forthcoming novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins, August 2015)

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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6 Responses to Jewish Book Carnival: October 2014 Edition

  1. Kathe says:

    Thank you for hosting.

  2. Thank you for hosting this. I had forgotten all about it; glad I submitted my post early. Lots to explore here after Sukkot!

  3. Susan Curtis says:

    Thank you for hosting, love your post. You have alot of wonderful links. Couldn’t participate this time. But, hope to next one. I have a wonderful read I can’t wait to share.

    The answer to your question of favorite Jewish read has been always on the top. There has not been a book that can compare. It is nostagia, turn of the century, and with wonderful Jewish characters, and features a Golem! What can beat that. You are wondering in suspense what I am talking about, drum roll please!! By Helene Wecker, THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI. Nothing can compare.

  4. shilohmuse says:

    Thanks for including my review.
    And.. This post is included in  the Shiloh Musings: After the Chaggim (Holidays) Havel Havelim, 5775.
    Please read the other posts, too and share all, thanks.
    More information on our facebook page.

  5. Thanks for the excellent promos and book/story links, Diana. You’re a wonderful resource.

    Honestly, I think my favorite Jewish book will be yours when it is released. I love the concept…and your writing!

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