Monday, December 29, 2008

Geraldine Brooks Interview



Here is a interview with Geraldine Brooks talking about her book People of the Book.
You can read a article here and listen to her podcast on KCRW here. and below I found her at lecture at Northeastern University in Boston. There is alot of historical background. The Sarvejo Hagadah had a great journey in medieval Europe to present and how it survived is quite interesting. I am looking forward to Rabbi Debbie talking about this at our sisterhood meeting. If any of my readers are in the area you are welcome to come and join us.

I keep surfing the web and I found a article in the newspaper about the long surviving journey the Sarajevo Haggadah made

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Acquired Rights of People Of The Book






News;Catherine Zeta Jones has acquired film rights for People of the Book...
II do hope it becomes a movie soon.

Susie Does it Again




I was thrilled to receive a copy of Susie Fishbein's new cookbook. This is her seventh in Kosher By Design series. Kosher by Design, Passover by Design, Kosher by Design entertains, Kosher by Design;Short on Time, and Kosher by Design; Kids in the Kitchen. The cookbook ia written by Susie and Bonnie Taub-Dix a dietitian, a spokesperson for the American Dietician. The cookbook starts with a introduction in healthy eating habits. She tells you to rethink how you eat, and to rethink about the supermarket experience. I haven't seen this in other cookbooks But I don't go out looking for cookbooks either.

There is a listing of definitions of vitamins, minerals and chemicals that are good for you and tells you why it is healthy for you.

Her entertaining ideas are wonderful. I may use some of her helpful hints of entertaining.

She tells you about new foods that have been discovered to be very good for your health, such as Salmon, Beans, Blueberries, Dark Chocolate, etc.
It goes into flour, grains, oils, sugars, seeds and nuts. Susie tells you about the different oils and then you consider which one is better for you. For example to me it looks like sunflower seeds are overall are better for you it contains antioxidants and vit.C and E. Brown rice is better for you than white rice. They have been saying that for years. Out of the oils Olive oil is the best to use. olive oil contains monounsaturated fats which is thought to lower cholesterol. Extra virgin oils are the best virgin oils to use.

The recipe for Honey Oat Challah. For years we have been using all purpose flour her recipe calls for whole wheat flour. In the introduction of the recipe she gives you the reason for the switch to whole wheat flour. You are less likely to develop type 2-diabetes and becoming obese. But this not a cure all but it can help you eat better and have a healthier life.

There are some recipes I would try on my family there are other recipes that I would only use for entertaining and for Shabbat dinner. a few recipes call for different ingredients that are staples in the other countries. that were not as easily accessible years ago but with the internet recipes have changes with added flavors and tastes that add a unique flavor.

There is a summer roll it looks just beautiful. I would like to try this in the summer months. This recipe calls for foods that you may have to get at a specialty supermarket. Chummos Canapes, Marrakesh Carrot Salad, is one of my favorite recipes, I love it with extra garlic it gives a little more bite. The Cranberry Couscous Salad is very different. I used regular couscous rather than Israeli couscous with cranberries. My 18 yr. old son loved the White Portobello Pizzas, he is a picker eater. Don't forget all these recipes are good for you and the full of different tastes and flavors that compliment each other,

There is not a single recipe that is a traditional Jewish recipe they are a updated version of a traditional recipe. You don't need to be Kosher to enjoy these recipes.

There is a few paragraphs that talks about the kosher kitchen but the cookbook is not a extensive wealth of information. It is a best if you are deciding to become kosher to find a more concise one. I have How To Keep Kosher by Lisa Stern. But I do not recommend it for someone that is highly observant. I would consult your Rabbi first. He will direct you to the best kosher books to read.

The Photographs of the final products are just beautiful. She really knows how to make a nice presentation. They are mouthwatering recipes. Some of the the recipes called for ingredients that may be hard to find in certain areas of the country. But some ingredients you can substitute.

Overall I liked this cook book. I can see this cook book used for for preparing and entertaining healthy foods for large dinner parties, and Shabbat dinner. Even some recipes for the upcoming Superbowl. HAPPY COOKING, HAG SAMEACH, and Happy Chanakah!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tonight-First Night of Chanakah



Happy Chanakah everyone. Tonight at sundown started the first night of the holiday.
Interesting article, I am not endorsing it but it is a interesting thought if you are out and unable to light your candles at home. The concept is lighting your candles electronically on your cell phone
(Chanakah Hi Tech). And check out a Chanakah video here. I am getting ready to hear the sizzling of the oil, and cook up the latkes, My mouth is watering already. HAPPY CHANUKAH!!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

All Other Nights-Dara Horn



I just found this e-letter from Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. I am excited about a new book that Dara Horn wrote. It will be published in March. I am linking here with her interview and a few other Jewish authors.
Here is her website to read about her new book that will becoming out in March and her other two books. I can't wait for it to be published. Herfirst book, In Her Image, was about coming to America. In the early 20th century Jewish immigrants came to the new country. When the Jewish immigrants landed in NYC the men took their tefillin out of their satchels and threw it in the ocean. This was very significant because they were proclaiming they were tearing off their old customs and taking on the new American customs. T I still remember this in her book. I loved the symbolism.

This synopsis is from the Amazon website. This is the only information I could find on her new book. I will be waiting in great anticipation. A gripping epic about the great moral struggles of the Civil War. How is tonight different from all other nights? For Jacob Rappaport, a Jewish soldier in the Union army, it is a question his commanders have answered for him: on Passover in 1862 he is ordered to murder his own uncle, who is plotting to assassinate President Lincoln.

After that night, will Jacob ever speak for himself? The answer comes when his commanders send him on another mission—this time not to murder a spy but to marry one.

A page-turner rich with romance and the history of America (North and South), this is a book only Dara Horn could have written. Full of insight and surprise, layered with meaning, it is a brilliant parable of the moral divide that still haunts us: between those who value family first and those dedicated, at any cost, to social and racial justice for all.


All Other Nights is very different than her other books it includes a mystery. Usually her books are layered with yiddishkeit, and Jewish mysticism. It seems very different with American history. I knew there were issues if you were a northern Jew or a southern Jew where do you draw the line when you know the other soldier is Jewish. What side is your alligence fall on if you are Jewish. When you are a northerner and you are a fellow Jewish southerner needs help what do you do? My son was learning about this in hebrew school. I can't even imagine do you kill the other soldier knowing that he is Jewish? I have always wondered about that. But the symbolism is interesting. Each Passover all Jews say this line when we are at the Seder. All Other Nights, The significance is ironic. Passover is about the parasha of Exodus. Jews in Slavery in Egypt this is very significant because of the Civil War. I may just buy the book for the Jewish book Challenge that I am participating in. Since it has a underlining significance with Passover. So Look Out For This Book. All Other Nights by Dara Horn. This is one of those books you can't wait for.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Chanakah


I wanted to wish all of my Jewish readers a happy Chanakah. The holiday starts Sunday, December 21st at sun down. In the spirit of the holiday I am putting a video of Rock of Ages, by Pharoah's Daughter, on this post. Enjoy and HAPPY CHANUKAH!!!
If you would like to know more about the holiday I will be putting a couple links on my post. here are the links here, and here to find out more about Chanakah.

Jewish Lit. Challenge List '09








The Jewish Literature challenge starts Sunday night the first night of Chanakah.
All the Jewish holidays start from sundown to sundown( this is considered a day),and concluded sundown on the last day of Passover. Read four books and post.
I would like to thank Calista for hosting the book challenge.
My four books are:


Who by Fire by Diana Spechler
Zookeeper's Wife by Dianne Ackerman
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg
The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit by Lucette Lagnado
My Father's Paradise by Ariel Sabar

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hurry Down Sunshine


Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg.

Hurry Down Sunshine, is a memoir about the author's journey with his daughter illness and recovery.
Sally is his 15 yr. old daughter. She becomes ill, with Manic Depression or the other name Bipolar Disorder. and he has to put her in a psychiatric hospital. It takes place in NYC. He doesn't have any insurance, he reassures the hospital he will pay. At the same time we see Sally's illness. He talk about the history of the family, his parents, and brothers. Mainly. his mother has a hard time bow to mother. She had a hard time dealing with parenting. There is he's brother Steve who is unstable. He lives in a studio apartment with 4 other people(homeless). It is dirty, and filthy. Michael is a good brother that meets his brother periodically at the supermarket to buy groceries. He's mother tries to ease Micheal's fears that Sally is ill because of him. His mother tells him she doesn't know why but she never wanted Steve. He talks about his bohemian relationship with his first wife. Which they still have a connection because of Sally. It seems Sally's brother is upset with their father they he was never told about Sally's illness. But seems he doesn't accept the illness. Michael talks about the other patients on the floor with mental illness. Sally's recover while on the floor, where she looks numb. Micheal's mother can only tolerate so much at the psychiatric ward. Michael talks about the great classic writers that had mental illness. The book is not a joy to read but does help us (the reader) understand Michael and what he is going through with his daughter and his family. does sprinkle some great minds with mental illness. There is a point where Michael takes Sally's medication most likely to see what she is going through. He understands her numbness.
Sally does recuperate, and comes out of it. But unfortunately she has remissions and then the cycle starts over again. We do find out that she did attempt to go to college. Did get married but unfortunately it did not last. She lives in Maine close to her mother doing menial work. This is the sad fact of mental illness. There is not a cure. There is medication to control it. But unfortunately there is times when a patient has bouts of mania with depression. They have Euphoria with depression, with psychosis, and paranoia. This is the sad fact of mental illness.
I was a Psychiatric Nurse in the VA Hospital. I still remember I had a patient in his 40's. He was Bipolar. He's family wanted him in a group home. He could not handle this as he was living independently. When he was put in the group home, he could not handle this and he committed suicide unfortunately. This is the sad part about mental illness and
Sally's journey. There isn't any happy ending. Sally just has to keep trying to survive and overcome. I would recommenced this book to anyone that is going through this with loved ones and friends and family to understand the illness. The other is find resources out in the community. Or do a search on the illness. If you suspect anyone going through this go get help. Or you think the person is going to hurt himself or someone else, get help. There are resources in the community.


Below is a article that Michael Greenberg wrote about his daughter.

How Is Sally Now?
By Michael Greenberg
Author of Hurry Down Sunshine

Many people ask me, after reading Hurry Down Sunshine, how Sally is doing now. The book tells the story of Sally's first manic attack at the age of fifteen, during the summer of 1996 in New York City. My aim was to recreate the experience of Sally's astonishing leap into psychosis from both inside and out, and to show its effect on those of us who are closest to her. Writing Hurry Down Sunshine, I sometimes felt as if I was describing a great storm: an unexpected wind had come upon us, tearing to bits the little boat upon which our family floated. When the wind finally lifted, we were each holding on to a different plank of the vessel, looking at each other from the across the water, which was suddenly calm again, surprised to have eyes.

The book ends when the summer ends, with Sally having recovered enough to return to school -- no small triumph. In a short postscript, I suggest that Sally's struggles did not end there. Manic-depression is a chronic condition. Although Sally has experienced rich and productive periods of remission and calm, the possibility of a new attack always looms. She is twenty-seven now, and out of necessity she and I both have become experts of her disease, ever vigilant of sudden mood swings and other ominous signs. Together -- along with her doctor, her mother, her friends -- we do our best to stave off a fresh breakdown.

This has proved to be an essential component of Sally's care. One of the most diabolical aspects of mania is its seductiveness in its earliest stages. It beckons you with feelings of omnipotence, fluidity, charisma -- who among us would be strong enough to turn away from such an electrified state? By the time florid psychosis has set in, it's usually too late. Sally has learned to dread her attacks and the months of distress and damage that follow them. The poet Robert Lowell, who also suffered from manic-depression, used to say that he could sense a seizure coming on by the mercurial, liquid feeling in his spine. He grew to fear it so much that he once overdosed on lithium to try to prevent it!

2008 has been a steady and rewarding year for Sally, after a difficult 2007 that included the breakup of her marriage and a delicate medication change. In January, she moved to Spring Lake Ranch, a therapeutic work community in the Green Mountains of Vermont. The Ranch is forty percent self-sufficient. They grow their own food, raise animals, and make one of the most delicious brands of maple syrup in Vermont. A tremendous espirit de corps exists between the residents and the staff. As I write this, Sally is preparing to move into her own apartment in a nearby city. She is a vibrant young woman, a caring friend, and a natural writer with an unusual gift for language.

I'd like to add a word or two about the immeasurable influence Sally has had on her family. Her stepmother Pat, inspired by her experience with Sally, has changed her career, taking a degree in infant development. She now works on early intervention with children who are at risk of developing long-lasting problems. Sally's older brother Aaron works for UNICEF, a division of the United Nations, as a Child Protection officer, a path that was also influenced by Sally. As for me, Sally has changed my fundamental view of the world. She has taught me about the fragility of even our closest relationships, and the endurance of our deepest bonds of love.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Boy In The Striped Pajamas




I went to see the movie the Boy In The Striped Pajamas the other day.
I have been evading about writing my thoughts about the movie. It has won award. It was written for children. Which I can not imagine the book written for children unless the book had a different ending.
I am just stunned by the conclusion. The story is about a German boy and his family. They move to the country side, in German on a "Farm". His father is a officer in the German army. The boy, name Bruno is very naive,as well as his mother. She doesn't realize until they move where they are moving to. The mother doesn't agree with the German cause. She is constantly having arguments with her husband. She did not realize she would be close to a concentration camp. And unaware what the Germans are doing to the Jews. Their Grandfather comes to visit.
The Grandfather agrees with the cause but not the Grandmother that doesn't visit the camp. The Jews are blamed for all the woes that happened leading up to the war. The family have prisoners of the camp working in the house. One of the men is peeling potatoes. Bruno realizes that the man was a doctor. Bruno says to him "You must not have been a very good doctor. Bruno seems very naive about many things. Especially dealing with Jews. When he disobeys his mother and goes in the garden and wanders out to a barbed wire fence that separates him from the Jewish prisoners. He doesn't realize what is happening. He meets on the other side of the barbed wire a boy called Shalomo. He believes it is a game he thinks all the children are locked up, and playing a game. Bruno and his sister are tutored at home. The sister is falling for a German Soldier. She is 12. The tutor is indoctrinating the Nazi beliefs on to the children. Which Bruno doesn't understand.
Later on in the story, Sholomo is brought into Bruno's house to clean the wine glasses. "Because his hands are very small." Bruno talks to him like he a friend. In walks in the German soldier, in the mean time he offers him food. The soldier asks Bruno do you know the boy. Bruno denies that he knows him and tells him he never gave him permission to take the food. Bruno feels terrible that he didn't stand up for his friend. Bruno lookd for his friend every day. He finally does come out to the fence. Bruno sees his friend with a black eye with dried blood on his face. He apologizes, and asks can you forgive me. Which Sholomo does forgive him. Spoiler****************************************Don't go any further unless you plan not to see the movie.
Sholomo is worried he can not find his father. In the meantime Bruno realizes if he digs under the fence he can get through. Bruno volunteers to help Sholomo find his father. Bruno reminds him for the next day to bring him a pair of striped Pajamas.
The next day Bruno switches his clothes to the striped Pajamas and goes under the barbed wire fence. He thinks of it as a game. His family starts panicking, where is Bruno they realize that he has gone into the garden and to the "farm". In the meantime the father told the children they have to move with their mother till after the war has ended. He tells them it is for the best. Bruno goes to the barbed wire to say goodbye. Which he then decides to go under the barbed wire to help his friend find his father. Bruno walks a little while in the camp. When he reaches the middle of the camp, he starts to think that this was not the best idea. He wants to back out, but changes his mind. He goes into the barracks, and then everyone is rounded up for a "Shower" Sholomo and Bruno are in the shower together.
And Die together. The mother and Father and sister are too late.

I am not sure how I feel about this movie. I would not recommend this for children.
It would give them nightmares. As a Jew this was very hard at the end because it is history. Jews are suppose to die. But a german naive innocent child. I am not sure how I feel. But I will say the acting was very good. What the atory had to say.
If you visit the website, there is a discussion for children and teachers to discuss the book and the movie. A very hard movie to watch to the final conclusion. There was not alot of horror of the treatment of the Jews, but the ending shook me up.
If you have seen the movie leave a comment what your thoughts are.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Happy Chanakah, Amy



I never win anything! I must enter so many book blog contests and never win anything.
I just entered on book club girls blog. On a whim, I thought to myself I won't win.
This one blew me away. The contest was, for the book, The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb. The contest asked what gifts are you buying or planning to buy for the holiday season. I had said Danielle Steel to my best friend who loves all her books. She has a new book out, to my best book club friend,Amy. She is the only one that I can talk books to. None of my other friends are as passionate about books as I. I think the last question was if you won who would you give the book to.
At the time I said I would give it to myself since I bought the book for my friend, Amy already. When I received the book I decided even better yet. My girlfriend Amy already has the book. But she would cherish it more than I, with his autograph. I thought it would be great gift for Chanakah. She loves Wally Lamb. The way she talks about his books you would think she was in love with him.
Amy, this is to you... Happy Chanakah. By the way, it will still be a surprise, to her. She is computer illiterate. She never goes on my blog, the secret is still hush, hush.
Thank You Jen, from Book Club Girl, this is going to put a smile on Amy's face. Can't wait for her reaction. I will let you know maybe even take a picture. What a great way to open the holiday. By the way, don't worry my girlfriend is computer illiterate!! This will not spill the beans. She never goes on my blog.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I've Been Tagged!!



I won a book worm award by my friend Marie at Boston Bibliophile. I also was asked to do my first meme. Sine this is a Jewish blog I am going to do only subjects that deal with Jewish books. The closest Jewish book to me is what I am reading now.
Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg. Turn to page 56,5th sentence:
When her turn comes she stands without difficulty, swallows her meds , chats with the nurse. Gently coaxingly the nurse suggests she try walking to her room on her own.
On hearing this, the woman's legs immediately turn to jelly and she slumps back into her wheelchair, her head in her hands in a gesture of sorrow so complete it seems to obey it's own natural law.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Who By Fire Interview




Diana Spechler is the author of the novel Who By Fire (Harper Perennial.) Her fiction has appeared in such publications as Glimmer Train, Greensboro Review, and Moment. She has taught at the University of Montana and the Interlochen Center for the Arts. She holds a BA from the University of Colorado and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana.


NO SPOILERS!!!
It catches you right from the start and grabs you and doesn't let go.
I don't call this a Jewish book. But it is written of course by a Jewish author.
The book deals with issues that could and probably has happened to many families that are Jewish or not.
Family problems, the mother, sister, and brother don't know how to communicate with one another and guilt, and guilt, and guilt, and there is plenty of that to go around.
That is what Jews are famous for. They all deal with the crisis differently. The book does deal with the Intifada, and the brother running off to Israel and becomes a B'al Teshuva( religious Jew), and cuts himself off from his family. I just loved the characters, How each family member deals with their sister's disapearance and their father leaving the family. It was a very good read.
I have been waiting for a novel by a author to touch and talk about the situation in Israel. I thought it was interesting how Diana made the narrative into alternate voices through out the book instead of a straight narrative. I think it was quite effective. I don't think the book would have had the impact it did on me if it was a straight narrative.

I would like to thank Diana for stopping by and chatting with me during her busy book tour. This happens to be Jewish Book Month, when we find out what Jewish Books are flying off the shelves.


How did you come to write Who By Fire? Were there events in your life that led you to write it?

When I was a grad student, I wrote a short story about two of the protagonists, Bits and Ash, who are brother and sister. Bits lives in Boston and Ash lives in Jerusalem, learning at a yeshiva. At the beginning of the story, Bits learns of a suicide bombing in Jerusalem and wants to know if Ash is okay. She keeps calling him, but he never responds. The story, which I titled Close To Lebanon, ends without resolution. A few months after I finished Close To Lebanon, it was the tense plot and the fictional family, rather than my own family or events from my own life, that wound up haunting me enough to expand the story into a novel.

Do you consider yourself a Jewish writer?
I am Jewish and I am a writer, but not everything I write is about Judaism. At the moment, people refer to me as a Jewish writer because of the themes and the setting of Who By Fire. Truly, that’s an honor. There are so many amazing Jewish writers.



What makes a Jewish novel?

I think that classification is somewhat subjective. If I write a novel that has nothing to do with Judaism, it will still be a Jewish novel, because Judaism is transmitted through the mother, and I am, after all a woman. (Yes, I’m joking. Kind of.)



Did you always want to be a writer?

Yup. I was writing stories as soon as I could pick up a pen. My mother has a twenty-four page story I wrote when I was seven years old. It’s called Shana and The Magic Quilt. It is a masterpiece.



Is there a certain Jewish author you look up to?
I love a lot of Jewish authors. Two of my favorite Jewish novels are The Ladies’ Auxiliary by Tova Mirvis and The History of Love by Nicole Krauss.



Is there a secular author you look up to?

Only about a million of them. Jeffrey Eugenides is one of my favorites because of his novel Middlesex.


Was there an author, Jewish or not, who advised you along the way? Did you take his or her advice?

When I was a graduate student, I got a lot of great advice from my teachers, who were, of course, writers themselves. I remember the author Colum McCann visiting my MFA program and talking about pushing through writer’s block. He said that if you’re writing a story and it gets out of control, it’s up to you to wrestle it into submission. After all, you created it. That’s pretty empowering advice.


For my non-Jewish readers, can you talk about your experience with yeshivas?

When I was researching yeshiva life, I contacted a lot of men’s yeshivas in Jerusalem. I told them I was coming to do research for a novel and I was hoping to take a tour and ask some questions. Most declined or didn’t respond, which is understandable. For one thing, yeshivas are a place for men to learn about Judaism. They didn’t need a woman staring at them and writing about them in a notebook. For another thing, some were worried that I was writing about Orthodox Judaism to make fun of it. Of course, I wasn’t, but I had trouble convincing most people of that. A couple of yeshivas did let me in, which helped me to better imagine yeshiva life and make Ash’s chapters (which are set in a yeshiva in Jerusalem) more authentic.



Were you able to draw on your own knowledge of Judaism, or did you have to do research?

I did a lot of research. Of course, from growing up Jewish, I knew some things, but while I was working on Who By Fire, I did a lot of reading and I asked a lot of questions. I made frequent use of the website Askmoses.com.


Since your brother has become a B'al Teshuvah, has your relationship with him changed?



My relationship with my brother never changed. We’ve always been very close. He’s the best.


What is it like to be in Israel as an American?

I certainly can’t speak for all Americans, but I’ve had fabulous experiences in Israel. Once, in college, I spent a whole semester there, studying at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. (I use the word “studying” loosely.) Those months were some of the best of my life.



Are you surprised by how many non-Jewish readers are reading Who By Fire?

I’m not surprised. The novel is set partly in Israel and the characters are Jews, but the themes are universal. It’s a story about guilt and rescue. Those are not exclusively Jewish concepts.

What kind of responses, favorable or otherwise, are you getting to the book?



So far, the reviewers have been very kind. (Should I knock on wood now?)



Why the title, Who By Fire?



A lot of people ask me if the title comes from the Leonard Cohen song, but in fact, Leonard Cohen and I seem to have had the same inspiration: the Yom Kippur prayer that lists the ways one might die in the coming year if he hasn’t made it into the Book of Life.



Is there something you want readers to get out of this book?

Of all the reactions I get to the book, the two most gratifying are, “I couldn’t put it down,” and “I’ve never been to Israel, but after reading your book, I want to go.” I hope more readers will pay me those two compliments!



Are the events in the novel autobiographical or did you make them up?

I made them up. That’s the fun part of writing fiction. I write some non-fiction, too, but I always prefer imagining people who aren’t real doing things that I would never do.


Is there a message in the book?

I hope there are subliminal messages on every page, seeping into the reader’s unconscious, encouraging them to send me presents. Other than that, no, I don’t think there’s a message.


Are you observant or secular?

I’m pretty secular at this point in my life, but I’m open. I’m interested in every type of observance and every type of non-observance. Judaism fascinates me. Religion in general fascinates me. It’s all beautiful. Even Jews who ignore Judaism have beautiful stories to tell about their reasons for living how they live.



What kind of reaction have you had from observant Jews?
I was so worried that even after all my research, my depiction of yeshiva life would sound inauthentic. I haven’t heard that yet, though. The feedback has all been pretty positive, from observant Jews, secular Jews, and non-Jews.



Has your family read the book? What was their response?
They loved it! After all, it’s dedicated to them.

Are you writing now?
It’s hard to write while I’m on book tour, but the novel I have in the works is a story of transformation through loss set at a weight-loss camp for children in North Carolina. I’m not sure yet about a title for it; it’s still in its infancy.


I am reading the book and loving it. The family around which the book is centered happens to be Jewish, but it’s a story that could happen to any family. Do you agree or disagree?
I definitely agree. Family dysfunction does not discriminate based on race, color, creed, religion, etc.

Thank you for stopping by!! Good luck on your new book Who By Fire.
Can't wait to read the next one. If you would like to contact Diana and let her know what you thought of the book you can visit her website. Also visit book blog talk radio on November 20th where book club girl is hosting her monthly author radio program.
I would also like to thank Book Club Girl for all her help.
Thank You So Much You Are The BEST!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Book Giveaway

Hi I found this on the Jewish Challenge blog.
I decided to post here. You can read my post and then enter the contest.
But you must first post about the contest on your blog.
Here's mine. Book Give-Away
New Podcast

Author talks, lectures on Jewish literature, panel discussions, and workshops are among the offerings of the newly launched Association of Jewish Libraries Podcast. Available at www.jewishlibraries.org/podcast, the program provides audio that enhances and enriches the listener's appreciation of Jewish book culture.

The podcast will include material recorded at the Association of Jewish Libraries annual convention, as well as recordings of Jewish literary events across North America. A wide range of topics will be covered, from the academic to the hands-on, from children's literature to technology.

"Jews are book lovers, and Jewish librarians even more so," says Susan Dubin, President of the Association of Jewish Libraries. "The AJL Podcast gives us a way to share our enthusiasm with others, without geographical or scheduling restrictions. Now everyone can learn and enjoy!"

How to Listen
New podcast episodes will be posted every few weeks. Listeners can hear the show online at www.jewishlibraries.org/podcast, subscribe via iTunes or other feed readers (using the feed http://feeds.feedburner.com/ajlpodcast), receive episodes by email via FeedBlitz, or listen by phone at (651) 925-2538.

Book Give-Away
To celebrate the launch of the podcast, AJL is offering a Jewish book give-away. Forward this press release or post its contents on a blog or web page to be entered into a drawing for five Jewish interest books from Hachette Book Group. Be sure to CC jewishlibraries@gmail.com on any forwarded messages or to email us about any posts. Complete contest rules and information about the give-away titles can be seen at jewishlibraries.org/podcast - click on the Contest page in the sidebar. Deadline for entry is December 12, 2008.

For more information, contact AJL Public Relations Chair Heidi Estrin at jewishlibraries@gmail.com

About the Association of Jewish Libraries
The Association of Jewish Libraries promotes Jewish literacy through enhancement of libraries and library resources and through leadership for the profession and practitioners of Judaica librarianship. AJL fosters access to information, learning, teaching and research relating to Jews, Judaism, the Jewish experience and Israel.

People of the Book

In January at the sisterhood meeting in Temple Emanu-El.
Rabbi Debbie will be talking about People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks.
There is maps, book discussion questions and lots more info. on the background of the book.
The book synopsis is from Geraldine Brooks website.

Available now, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March, an intricate, ambitious novel that traces the journey of a rare illuminated Hebrew manuscript from convivencia Spain to the ruins of Sarajevo, from the Silver Age of Venice to the sunburned rock faces of northern Australia.

Inspired by the true story of a mysterious codex known as the Sarajevo Haggadah, People of the Book is a sweeping adventure through five centuries of history. From its creation in Muslim-ruled, medieval Spain, the illuminated manuscript makes a series of perilous journeys: through Inquisition-era Venice, fin-de-siecle Vienna, and the Nazi sacking of Sarajevo.

In 1996, Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed manuscript, which has been rescued once again from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with figurative paintings. When Hanna, a caustic loner with a passion for her work, discovers a series of tiny artifacts in its ancient binding—an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair—she becomes determined to unlock the book’s mysteries. As she seeks the counsel of scientists and specialists, the reader is ushered into an exquisitely detailed and atmospheric past, tracing the book’s journey from its creation to its salvation.

In Bosnia during World War II, a Muslim risks his life to protect it from the Nazis. In the hedonistic salons of Vienna in 1894, the book becomes a pawn in an emerging contest between the city’s cultured cosmopolitanism and its rising anti-Semitism. In Venice in 1609, a Catholic priest saves it from Inquisition book burnings. In Tarragona in 1492, the scribe who wrote the text has his family destroyed amid the agonies of enforced exile. And in Seville in 1480, the reason for the Haggadah’s extraordinary illuminations is finally disclosed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I wanted to let my readers of Jewish Rantings know that Diana agreed (enthusiastically) to give us a visit soon on Jewish Rantings. You will have to stop by frequently. As she is so busy right now on her book tour. This month is also Jewish Book Month when all the Synagogues, and Jewish Community Centers have Jewish Book Festivals. I am sure that will keep her very busy.
Remember to visit Blog Talk Radio on November 20th to listen to the radio broadcast.
You can also send in your questions to Jennifer Hart before the broadcast.
The article below is from the Jewish Week. It was written Oct 30th.


Spechler’s novel is set during the second intifada. “I wanted to explore the feelings we get as Jews, upon hearing about a suicide bombing,” she says.

by Sandee Brawarsky
Jewish Week Book Critic
Diane Spechler had the title of her first novel long before she knew how the story would turn out. She was delving into themes of guilt, atonement, faith and redemption, and knew that the lines from the Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur liturgy, “who by fire,” would be fitting. Some have asked the 29-year-old author if the title was inspired by Leonard Cohen’s song of the same name, but it’s more likely that he drew from the same source she did.
“Who By Fire” (Harper Perennial) is a compelling and original novel, told in three alternating voices: a sister, brother and their mother, whose storylines are entangled. It’s a tale of the complex pull of family, with a chain of incidents set off in
JTS
Israel and America when the characters assume they know what’s best for one another.
The disappearance of the youngest child, Alena, 13 years earlier haunts the characters’ lives. The father has left them, the mother grieves as she fosters guilt and blame, the older sister uses sex to numb her pain and confusion, and the son goes through a series of obsessions, ultimately finding solace and meaning in Orthodox Judaism. To the horror of his mother and dismay of his sister, he drops out of college and moves to Jerusalem to enroll in an Orthodox yeshiva.
Set in 2002, during the second intifada, the novel opens as Bits is on a flight to Israel to rescue her brother. Ellie, the mother, is drawn to a charismatic man who convinces her that her son has been brainwashed and, as she gets more involved with him, “her heart is constricting like a question mark.” And Ash, now known as Asher, is at peace, happier than he’s ever been, as he’s learning in a yeshiva for young men who’ve grown up religious along with ba’alei teshuvah, newly religious young men like himself.
Spechler, in well-crafted prose, manages to make all three quite likeable. She captures the daily drama of their lives, the humor too, as they take actions unknown to one another. Each one, and particularly Ash in his yeshiva, has deeply-felt conversations about faith, God and observance.
Toward the end, all three reflect on what happens “when you try to rescue someone.” As Bits realizes, “you find out you’re the one who needs rescuing.” Her mother notes, “You can forget your priorities; you can even forget your children. You forget all about the person you’re rescuing.” And Ash thinks, “This is what happens when you try to rescue someone. There is embarrassing, ineffectual melodrama, like a fire truck blaring sirens, speeding toward a cat in a tree.”
Ultimately, the novel takes a hopeful turn and, as Spechler points out in an interview in a Manhattan cafe, ends with the word “light.” While Alena’s disappearance is always present, this is not a dark tale. The author says she is grateful that she has no such tragedy in her own family’s story, but says the themes and emotions of the novel are indeed autobiographical.
Spechler, who grew up in Newton, Mass., graduated from the University of Colorado and spent a semester at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After completing a graduate writing program in Montana, she lived in Texas, Wyoming, California, Rhode Island and Michigan, before moving to New York City, where she now lives in the East Village. She has attended writers’ workshops, taught writing to yeshiva girls and fashion students, and tended bar, all while writing.
“In everything I do,” she says, “I make writing the centerpiece.”
The novel has its origins in a story Spechler wrote while in graduate school, as part of her thesis. That story was about a sister in America and brother in Israel, written from the sister’s perspective.
“I wanted to explore the feelings we get as Jews, upon hearing about a suicide bombing. You can’t explain how bad it feels, and, at the same time, there’s a disconnect.”
She kept thinking about the story, as it was so unresolved and disturbing, and wondered about the brother’s side of the story and about the family she had created. At a writer’s colony in Minnesota, she began writing from his perspective, and realized that this was a long piece rather than a short story. Later on, she added the mother’s perspective too.
Spechler grew up with weekly Shabbat dinners, Jewish summer camps, attendance at a Reform synagogue and a high school summer in Israel — “one of those trips where a bunch of American teenagers in the same T-shirts ride around on a bus.” She says that the Orthodox yeshiva world was one she didn’t know existed.
While at Hebrew University, she first learned about Orthodox Judaism and “flirted big time with becoming more Orthodox.”
“When I was there, I was swept up in that,” she recalls, explaining that she studied with a learning partner a couple of times per week, began keeping kosher and said morning prayers.
She says that some of the appeal was that the world of Orthodox Judaism seemed a tight community, and that you couldn’t possibly understand it unless you were in it — just as one can’t really understand the inner workings of any family unless one is part of it.
“When I got home, a lot of it faded. I thought — and I still think — that if you really believe in it, then how could you not to do everything according to letter of the law? My struggle is that I have too many questions to live a life that screams, ‘I have answers.’ I have many more questions than answers.”
Some passages read like overheard conversations between religious and secular Jews, and Spechler admits that those are drawn from conversations with herself. As she explains, “I was at war with myself. I was on both sides of the fence for a very long time.”
When asked if she still struggles, she answers, “Yes and no. I think I was really searching for a long time. The novel gave me a context to be acceptably obsessive with the questions, to explore them to the core. I take on obsessions all the time when I’m writing and when I finish the project, I unburden myself of the obsession. Now, I’m more at peace with having questions that don’t have answers.”
She did a lot of research in her quest to get the details just right. In 2004, she returned to Israel and spent time in the few yeshivas that welcomed her presence. One yeshiva student became her correspondent and supplied answers to her many questions, and she also learned a lot from the Web site AskMoses.com.
“I’m writing about issues that really concern me, about the conflict between secular and religious Jews,” she says. “I feel like an observer of the way people practice Judaism. I don’t have a judgment. I’m not trying to make point.”
In what might be a coincidence, after she had been working on the novel for a year, she learned that her own brother had decided, while in Israel for a summer before law school, to become an Orthodox Jew. She points out that her brother, who only knew vaguely what she was working on, is nothing like Ash. He is now back in Austin, Texas, where he continues to lead an observant life.
“The happiest feedback I’ve gotten,” she says, “is from people who are not Jewish or don’t know anything about Israel or Judaism, who tell me that this book makes them want to go to Israel. That feels like a great accomplishment.” n *

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jewish Challenge


I found a a challenge that I am excited about. That I am going to join in.
It is not that difficult. You have to read four books from December to April.
If you are interested I will post a link as soon as I can.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Who By Fire

I am hosting a giveaway in conjunction with Book Club Girl's blog talk radio. The guest will be Diana Spechler, the author of Who By Fire. I will be giving away 10 copies of the book. The contest begins today and will end November 5th. That gives you enough time to read the book in preparation for blog talk radio.
you need to leave a comment on Jewish Rantings, by November 5th. And if you blog about it on your blog you will get three entries.
But you must also leave a comment on this blog to get two entries. my blog friend Jennifer, book club girl here for information of the book Who By Fire, and information on the blog talk radio show with Diana Spechler.
The Synopsis of the book is taken from Harper Collins Website.
Bits and Ash were children when the kidnapping of their younger sister, Alena—an incident for which Ash blames himself—caused an irreparable family rift. Thirteen years later, Ash is living as an Orthodox Jew in Israel, cutting himself off from his mother, Ellie, and his wild-child sister, Bits. But soon he may have to face them again; Alena's remains have finally been uncovered. Now Bits is traveling across the world in a bold and desperate attempt to bring her brother home and salvage what's left of their family.

Friday, September 19, 2008

HELP TO ALL OUR Brethens

Our Rabbi from Temple Emanu-El sent this to all our members of Temple Emanu-El.
It is a good idea to spread the word throughout the entire Jewish community. This is not only for the Jewish community, but the entire area that was affected by Hurrcane IKE.
If you would like to get involved read below:

I am asking you to support The United Jewish Communities (UJC) and their Disaster Relief Fund which supports all victims of Hurricane Ike. You can go online to this address UJC.org and follow the links to the Hurricane Relief Fund. To donate by check, please make the check out to UJC Hurricane Relief Fund and clearly mark UJC Hurricane Relief Fund on the bottom of the check. The check should be sent to:

United Jewish Communities
P.O. Box 30
Old Chelsea Station
New York, NY 10113
Attention: UJC Hurricane Relief Fund
Leshanah Tovah Tikatevu

Monday, September 15, 2008

I am added this post on my blog about the book Matrimony by Joshua Henkin.
He is a Jewish author. The question always arises what makes a Jewish book.
The author? The time period??( The old country), the Jewish customs( Friday Shabbat candles)?
Does just being Jewish make you a Jewish author. I have pondered this question every time a Jewish author publishes a book. Let me know your thoughts. Any one know of any Jewish Book Blogs out there that have answered the question. Let me know by leaving a comment.
There is a contest at B&B. The contest ends soon. Visit and leave a comment.

Here is a contest that can't be beat. Bethany at B&B exlibres is having a drawing for the book Matrimony. The drawing will be on September 22nd. This a great time for this drawing.

Because of the Book Appreciation Week. He has nice things to say.
You can read what he has to say about book clubs over at Books on the Brain.
You want to talk about dedicated you must read what his daughter and him were talking about
when it deals with book clubs. Also when I visited books on the brain, Lisa is having a contest there and lots of background info. I would check it out. Then Bethany added more comments on
Matrimony. I would check that out again here. This post was written in June. This also has a nice video and lots of links to other bloggers reviews.

http://www.randomhouse.com/images/dyn/cover/?source=9780307277169&height=300&maxwidth=170 The image “http://www.pub.umich.edu/daily/1997/apr/04-14-97/photos/fileartsbooksbitch.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


Joshua Henkin is giving one signed copy of his new book Matrimony, in paperback away to one super-special commenter!!! Seriously this book has been all over the web, and back and I am guessing you just HAVE to read it. This week is Book Blogger Appreciation Week as well, and this giveaway will add to the love being posted around this bloggie-blog world.

To enter the drawing:
1.) Comment on this post for one entry
2.) Post about it on your blog for an additional two entries.

The super-lucky-ducky winner will be chosen on the 22nd!!!

For more information on the book you can head over to Joshua Henkin's website, or you can go to amazon of indie bound for ratings and to purchase the book.

Here is what your fellow book bloggers had to say about Matrimony:

Rebecca of The Book Lady's Blog
Chartroose of Bloody Hell, It's a Book Barrage!
Jennifer of The Literate Housewife
Trish of Hey lady! Whatcha readin'?
Gautami of My Own Little Reading Room
Bookfool of Bookfoolery and Babble
Mrs. S of 50 Book Challenge
Lisa of Books on the Brain
Heather J. of Age 30 - A Year of Books
Gayle of Everyday I Write the Book Blog
Becca of The Inside Cover
Dewey of Hidden Side of a Leaf
Tanabata of In Spring it is the Dawn
Trish of Trish's Reading Nook
Amy of My Friend Amy
Julie of Booking Mama
Bethany of B&b Ex Lib

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My First Giveaway









Bookclubgirl.com has agreed to help promote my Jewish book blog.
Jen has agreed to allow me a few copies of a Diana Spechler, Who By Fire. The giveaway contest will take place in conjuction with book club girl's talk radio.
Further details will follow.

You can visit her website here and visit Harpercollins here
Bits and Ash were children when the kidnapping of their younger sister Alena, an incident for which Ash blames himself, caused an irreparable family rift. Thirteen years later, Ash is living as an Orthodox Jew in Israel, cutting himself off from his mother, Ellie, and his wild child sister, Bits. But soon he may have to face them again: Alena’s remains have finally been uncovered. Now Bits is traveling across the world in a bold and desperate attempt to bring her brother home and salvage what’s left of their family. Told from the alternating points of view of the three family members, Who By Fire is a searing commentary on guilt, grief, and the inescapable bonds of family from a fresh and extremely talented new voice in American fiction





Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Book Club Today


We had our book club meeting for the first time at Barnes and Noble.
It was convenient and everyone seemed to like it there.
All of us agreed to meet here again on October 22nd at 1P.M.
We had some business, and then some more business and then it was back to
The BOOK CLUB
We decided on a few things, do you remember, how crazy last year was with us. Participating in gift wrapping?? If you do, then you would agree that it is best to skip December's meeting. We decided to read something totally different, we will be reading Exile by James North Patterson. Since the book is 600+, We will wait to discuss it in January. In February, we will be discussing, People of the Book by Geraldine March. It is similar to" Davinci Code/Jewish Slant". We are hoping that Rabbi Debbie will be available to host the book club in February. That should be very interesting.
Our next book in October is Keeping The House by Ellen Baker. The author will be joining us, with her treats that she will be sending us.
I love the book cover it drew my interest. I hope the book is as good as the cover, or I am in great trouble. Anyway, here is what everyone thought of the book, AWAY by Amy Bloom.
We felt it was very unrealistic.
The book Away, was a short book less than 300 pages. It was about a young Jewish immigrant.
She looses her husband and daughter in Europe during the pogroms in the early 1920's. She decides to leave Europe to the better life in the United States. But she finds, life is not any better here than in Europe. She is struggling to survive poverty, and the desperation she must endure. She learns that her daughter is alive from a friend. He helps her financially to help her on her way.
She leaves NYC to search for her daughter in Alaska. We learn about her hardships to get there and all the strange people she meets along the way. It would have done better with short stories. She did not know how to make the story flow. She did not know how to change the scenes subtlety. The novel would have done better with short stories.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

What Others Are Reading

I posted on the previous post about a book club in Marblehead Mass.
I posted it because I wanted y'all to see what other Hadassah Book Clubs were reading,this is the 60th anniversary of Israel.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Free Giveaway


I wanted to let my blog readers know about free book giveaway by one of the publishers. I always get excited about free books, but Jewish that is even better.
I have recieved news before from readingbookchoices.com.
They send me new books or I find out info. on new books.
They also let me know about publishers that are giving away books.
There are two publishers that are always doing this. One is WW.Norton.com, and the other is Harpercollins.com. What I recieved in the package is to recieve free book from Norton, is a copy of Zookeeper's Daughter. I bought the hard cover about a year ago when it first came out. This is a book club selection for our Hadassah Book Club in the fall. This is based on a true story during the holocaust.
When Germany invaded Poland. Stuka bombers devasted Warsaw-and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into empty cages. Another dozen guests hid inside the Zabinski's villa, emerging after dark for dinner and socializing.
With her unique prose and exquisite sensitivity to the natural world. Diane Ackerman engages us viscerally in the lives of the zoo animals, their keepers, and their hidden visitors. She shows us how Antonia refused to give in to the penetrating fear of discovery, keeping alive an atmosphere of play and innocence even as Europe crumbled around her.

You can visit http://wwnorton.comrgguides/zookeeperswife.htm for:
Audio and print interviews with the author, discussion questions, and you can visit the author's website at dianeackerman.com. Supplies are limited and it is first come first served basis.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

History of Yiddish

I found this interesting article on jbooks.com about the history of "The Jewish Language". YIDDISH of course. and what will become of Yiddish.


We're Talking Jewish
By DAVID MARGOLIS
Words on Fire: The Unfinished Story of Yiddish
By Dovid Katz
464 pages. Basic Books. $26.95.Dovid Katz’s fascinating linguistic and narrative history of Yiddish posits the mameloshn as a surviving link in an uninterrupted “Jewish language chain” stretching from ancient Hebrew and Aramaic to the present. Moreover, though Yiddish is on the UN’s list of endangered languages expected to flicker out of existence over the next century, Katz sees a vibrant future for it.

Yiddish, which developed in central Europe about 1,000 years ago, fuses elements of German, Hebrew, Aramaic, and (as it moved east) Slavic, while drawing vocabulary from every language among which Yiddish speakers lived. Deeply imbued with Jewish experience and sensibility—Yiddish means Jewish, after all—the language encapsulates the meeting of a “language and people from the Near East with language and people in Europe.” That confrontation gave rise to a wholly new Jewish culture.

European Jewish culture was “trilingual,” using Hebrew for Bible, commentaries, and community documents; Aramaic for Talmud and Kabbalah; and Yiddish as the spoken, and later written, vernacular of ordinary Jews. Books were written in Yiddish for women, empowering them, and later for men, and still later by women. As the fortunes of Yiddish improved, even kabbalistic works appeared, including the core work of Jewish mysticism, the Zohar, in 1711. In the end, Jews were dispersed throughout eastern Europe, too, and Yiddish was the native language of almost all of them.

How did the “modern” Jew arise? Katz blames the German Jews. Western Askenaz culture declined, partly in confrontation with German anti-Semitism, to which the Jews’ “secret language” was an “ugly, barbaric ‘jargon’ emblematic of Jews’ lack of civilization.” By the mid-18th century, German Jews internalized anti-Semitic critiques, and many thought that if they adopted the German language and became like everyone else, German society would accept them. The task of molding a form of Judaism palatable to the gentiles was undertaken by the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, who was hostile to Yiddish (“this jargon has contributed much to the immorality of common Jews”) and tried to eradicate it in order to replace it with German.

“Few kinds of hate are as potent as self-hate,” Katz notes correctly, describing how Mendelssohn and his successors tried to exterminate Yiddish. Reform Judaism and even German neo-Orthodoxy “focused on the premise of linguistic assimilation and a German-speaking Jewry,” Katz recounts. But, he adds, Jews behaving like Germans only infuriated the local anti-Semites even more.

Politics and wars brought some eastern European Jews under the control of German-speaking anti-Yiddish governments, while others fell under Russian rule. From both sides, they faced pressures for acculturation, with many programs against traditional religion and Yiddish supported by Jewish “enlighteners.”

However, in Eastern Europe Yiddish was stronger than the assimilationists. Indeed, the leaders of the Haskalah—who were forced, like Zionists later, to use Yiddish because that was the people’s language while it tried to influence them away from Yiddish—contributed to the “secular outburst” of a major literature in Yiddish whose rise Katz traces through the 19th and 20th centuries.

The masters of that secular outburst, like the Zionists who founded the state of Israel, had been brought up in or close to the Yiddish-speaking traditionalist environment. The “traditionally religious Askenazi Jewish society with its internal Jewish trilingualism,” Katz instructs us, remains the only milieu that can support Yiddish.

Today’s ultra-Orthodox are not proponents of secular Yiddish literature or, for that matter, of Zionism. Nonetheless, according to Katz, the Yiddish future belongs to them, not to the university programs and klezmer festivals that have sparked rumors of a Yiddish revival. Demographic projections indicate that by the end of the current century, ultra-Orthodox Jews will form the Jewish majority in the Diaspora, and their insistence on maintaining Yiddish as a native language, makes its long-term survival “a simple and foregone conclusion.”

The tragedy of Jewish success in the New World has been that American Jews, among the fastest of groups to cast off their native tongue, generally deprived their children of the opportunity to learn it. In America, the purpose of the Yiddish press became to Americanize the immigrants, while the Hebrew day school system “excluded” Yiddish and its achievements from its curriculum, Katz laments.

American Jewry has largely retained the humanistic and liberal views it inherited from Yiddish but has held on less successfully to the language’s deeply Jewish outlook. Katz does not belabor the point, but for a contemporary reader, the subtext of his history will be American Jewish ignorance of any Jewish language, growing distance from Jewish culture and traditions, and separation from a coherent and integrated Jewish community, all of which Yiddish provided.

A professor of Yiddish language, literature, and culture at Vilnius University and the author of many books and papers in his field (including three collections of Yiddish fiction), Katz provides lively accounts of the migrations of European Jews and the fate of Yiddish in the USSR and in pre-State Palestine, and he profiles many lesser-known but important literary and political figures in Yiddish-speaking Europe.

Surprisingly, however, he omits any comparison of Yiddish to other Jewish languages, such as Ladino or Persian-Jewish. It would have been interesting to know his opinion as a linguist of whether they are, like Yiddish, complete languages or only partial dialects, and to have some evaluation or comparison of their accomplishments.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

September of Shivaz


Septembers of Shivaz was a hard book to read because of the story.
Each character told the story.
Issac,is a gem dealer he was accused of being a Zionist spy and jailed. the mother Farnaz scared for her family, who can she trust. Shiran the young daughter ignored. The son Parviz, from far away searching for spiritualism and he's religious beliefs
The housekeeper's son, and other employees steal from Issac's business. The employees tell Farnaz they are keeping it for safe keeping. Of course, she knows this is not true. Then they search the house.
Farnaz, doesn't know who to trust not till the end of the book does she realize that the person she was suspicious about could be trusted.
The 10 yr.old daughter, named Shiran takes the files of her Uncle and buries it in her garden.
Parviz,the son has moved to the US, in Brooklyn NY. It is never discussed why. If it is for safety or to go to school in the US. He is there before he's father is jailed.
The son meets a observant Jewish woman, which he is not observant. Most of us know this will probably be the conflict, he realizes that they both live in different worlds.
There are a few points, this did not feel like I was reading a Jewish novel.
But what make a story Jewish anyway??
At times the story reminded me of the Holocaust, The family scared that they would be detected because they were Jews. And when they were trying to leave the country.
The book is the author's experience when she lived in Iran. I liked the writing style, kept your interest. I like the idea that the story was not neatly wrapped in a pretty bow.
At the end the family leaves Iran and the husband ponders" Why the constant indignation of a man who dares to live well? Does living well imply selfishness? Was-he=Issac Amin- a selfish man? I liked the book I give it a THUMBS UP with 4 stars.
You can read where other bloggers and reader left comments here

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

German Bride


I Received my copy of the German Bride from Joanna Hershon to review and post on my blog. You may read the article by Ha'aretz here.
My books on my night stand is building up. I have 4 books to review and 1 for my book club, and 2 for my pleasure. You can visit Joanna Hershon's website here. You can also read a review here.

Start Jewish Book Blogging

Hi Y'all this is where I am posting about everything, and anything about Jewish books.
I will also post about my book club when it is relevant to Jewish topics and books.
Fiction, memoir, historical fiction, currents events. Sometimes I will post my thoughts on currents events as they happen in Israel and here in the Jewish community of Myrtle Beach.
I did review a book called Septembers of Shivaz on another blog. It is lost. I decided that it was easier to post on the same blog address. Too many passwords and usernames to remember.
I will post again my thoughts on Septembers of Shivaz later on in the next couple days.
 
Imagination Designs
Images from the Glamor Amour by Irene Alexeeva