Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hadassah's 2010 Ribalow Prize Winner

Sara Houghteling has been awarded for 2010 The Harold U. Ribalow Prize award by Hadassah, for her novel, Pictures at an Exhibition.

The award is given each year by the Jewish zionist women's organization each year. It is a annually award for Jewish fiction. It must be written in the english language, and either be written in short story or novel form.

You can read Hadassah magazine's, December/January issue with a excerpt of her novel. Read the article in the Forward about the the background of her novel.

Born to an art dealer and his pianist wife, Max Berenzon is forbidden from entering the family business for reasons he cannot understand. He reluctantly attends medical school, reserving his true passion for his father s beautiful and brilliant gallery assistant, Rose Clément. When Paris falls to the Nazis, the Berenzons survive in hiding. They return in 1944 to find that their priceless collection has vanished. Madly driven to recover his father s paintings, Max navigates a torn city of corrupt art dealers, black marketers, Résistants, and collaborators. His quest will reveal the tragic disappearance of his closest friend, the heroism of his lost love, and the truth behind a devastating family secret.

Sara Houghteling graduated from Harvard College in 1999 and received her master's in fine arts from the University of Michigan. She is the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to Paris, first prize in the Avery and Jules Hopwood Awards, and a John Steinbeck Fellowship. She currently lives in California, where she teaches high school English.

Mazel Tov !! Sara

This was taken from Hadassah's magazine's article:

Sara Houghteling lives in Berkeley, California, and grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts, she is in love with Paris. It is the setting of her first novel, Pictures at an Exhibition (Vintage), winner of this year’s Harold U. Ribalow Prize. She began her work on the novel while she was on a Fulbright Scholarship in the French capital in 2005. “It was an opportunity to focus on French art, French music, French

history,” Houghteling, 33, says. “It kept calling me back.”

Pictures is the story of Max Berenzon, the only son of a successful Jewish art dealer, in the years leading up to and following the fall of Paris during World War II. The family survives in hiding, but they return to the city to find their priceless art collection gone and Paris shrouded in duplicity and silence. Max chases his dual obsessions: his father’s paintings and former assistant, Rose Clément.

The Harvard College graduate didn’t know much about Nazi looted art when she began her research, inspired by Lynn H. Nicholas’s The Rape of Europa (Vintage). She found it “strange, distressing and complicated” how the systematic plunder unfolded. “It’s horrifying,” she adds, that the Nazis used the deportation of Jews to gather art for their personal benefit, aesthetic purposes and to finance the Final Solution.

Houghteling learned that after the war European art dealers went into what she calls “lockdown mode” to protect each other. “They all had benefited in some way from what was done to the Jewish art dealers and collectors,” she explains.

She also came across the out-of-print autobiography of Rose Valland, former curator of Jeu de Paume national gallery—on whom she based the character of Rose Clément. “The real Rose was incredibly heroic,” says Houghteling. “It is mind-boggling how one woman almost single-handedly orchestrated a complex plan to outwit the Nazis in their final plunder,” by notifying the Allies and resistance groups about the movement of trains containing artworks, saving thousands of France’s masterpieces from destruction.

In addition to her own love of Paris, her father lived in France after World War II, where her grandfather worked on the Marshall Plan. “Having their perspective on France after the war set the stage [for the book],” she says. Also thanks to them, Houghteling learned French, though she admits to having “a good accent, but comic grasp of grammar.”

The author’s love of music—she studied at the New England Conservatory as a youngster—is evident in the novel. In fact, the title is borrowed from the 1874 piano suite by Modest Mussorgsky. The exhibit that inspired the composer had been taken down, she explains, “and all that is left is the haunting remains of what was.”
Houghteling teaches high school English at a Berkeley private school. Her husband, Daniel Mason, is also a fiction writer; the couple spent four months in France recently, both on fellowships from the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, near Marseilles, where Houghteling worked on her second novel.

The designation of Jewish writer is one that Houghteling, who grew up belonging to a Reform temple, accepts with no misgivings. “Judaism is so much a part of my identity that my characters most easily tend to be Jewish,” she says. “Judaism is the melody in the back of my head.” Plus, she adds, “primarily when dealing with World War II era, the ’30s through the ’50s—the time period that preoccupies me the most—I can’t write without thinking what it was like to be Jewish at that time.”

In fact, she says, the experience that “solidified [her] Jewish identity” was her job as editorial assistant to Holocaust survivor Emmanuel Tanay, which she did while earning her master’s of fine arts at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Tanay was working on a memoir of his childhood in Poland. “I had always been drawn to the Holocaust,” she adds, “but the sustained immersion in another person’s life from that era [was incomparable].”

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Guest Post Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp


I am honored today, with a guest post by co-authors, Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp. They have written a marvelous book called Table Of Contents Cook Book, From Breakfast with Anita Diamant to Dessert with James Patterson.

A few months ago I was looking for authors to donate books for our temple's auction. I already spoke to a few authors. One such author was Anita Diamant. I got the idea for our book club book basket to ask Judy and Vicki since Anita's donated her book. Their book, Table of Contents has Anita and her book featured. I thought what a great idea to have both books in a book basket. I took a gamble. They were sweet and they donated a copy. 

Judy and Vicki met over stacks of books, and endless cups of jo at a local sandwich shop. They decided to try their hand  atThe Book Club Cookbook, followed by Kids Book Club Book and Table of Contents.  They also have a marvelous website, Book Club Cook Book, with enormous resources for book clubs.  You would find food pairing with a favorite book. Information about the author. Loads of resource information for your book club.

Welcome Judy and Vicki,

Hi everybody,

We envisioned our new book, Table of Contents
as a compilation of intriguing recipes drawn from the works of 50 bestselling authors.  When we began our research, we were unsure what the combination of authors would be.  After all, there are hundreds of authors popular with book clubs.  And, some of their books lend themselves better to recipes than others.  How would we choose?
As it turns out, the process unfolded naturally.  We quickly identified our “wish list” of participating authors, based on ongoing correspondence with book clubs, thorough searches of bestseller lists, and daily  monitoring of book club and reading websites.   Many invited authors signed on immediately, while some declined because other projects took precedence, or even because they lacked interest in the topic:  food and literature.  The self-selection process meant we were left with authors as fascinated by the topic of food and books as we ourselves were, and 50 wonderful partnerships were born.
We felt fortunate to work with this eclectic, intriguing, ethnically diverse selection of authors.  Book club members have been telling us for years that they love being transported to exotic locales and distant times through their reading.  It was no surprise to find Abraham Verghese, Frances Mayes, and Esmeralda Santiago on our list, with books set in Ethiopia, Italy, and Puerto Rico.  Readers also seem to love stories set in the South, so Amy Greene, Joshilyn Jackson, and Hillary Jordan were natural choices.  Writers of historical fiction who transport readers to times gone by -- Tudor England (Phillipa Gregory) and wartime Hong Kong (Janice Y.K. Lee), for example -- also made the grade.
Of course, this selection of authors and titles translated into tantalizing, exotic recipes!  We love Lisa See’s Won Tons, that she makes with her family every year at Thanksgiving.  And Stephanie Saldana, who spent several years traveling and living in the Middle East, sent us a recipe for Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Dip with Walnuts and Pomegranate Syrup), the smell and taste of which carries the cook to the winding streets of Damascus, Syria.  And there are so many more examples!  Readers tell us they enjoy experiencing some of these ethnic foods for the first time, and preparing and eating these dishes helps them connect with the setting and time period of the book.  
As we embark on our new project, a revision of our first book, The Book Club Cookbook, we look forward to sharing more recipes and insights from bestselling authors.  We hope this will continue to enhance readers' understanding of these books, and of course to add another important element to book club meetings - fun!  

Bon Appetit!  
Judy Gelman and Vick i Levy Krupp 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Toda Raba Authors

 Our Temple, Temple Emanu-El is having a silent auction in January. I wrote to a few authors, Jewish and not to participate in our auction.  Most of the authors, has kindly accepted my invitation.  They have contacted me in the past to review books for them.  I was a loyal fan before, I am even more of a follower after.   I would like to thank the following authors.  As more authors contribute I will be adding you to our list for the silent auction.

Dara Horn, has written In Her Image, an award given by Hadassah. her next novels are, The World To Come( The Jewish artist, Chagall).   All Other Nights, is about Jewish experience in the south during the civil war.

Anita Diamant, Has written fiction and non-fiction she is best known for her novel, The Red Tent.  The book became a best seller because of book clubs, word of mouth Other books, The Days of Dogtown Good Harbor, Day and Night, and other non-fiction Jewish parenting book

Chris Bojhalian, has written 13 novels. He is best known for Midwives, he's most recent is Secrets of Eden.  He has written a novel about the holocaust, called Skeletons at the Feast.  This is one of the first author's I know that was very book club friendly.  He enjoyed speaking to our book club a few years ago.  He is a advocate on book clubs.

 Adriana Triagiani is a novelist from Virginia and has moved to NYC. Her first novel Big Stone Gap was written as a trilogy.  Adriana is another author that has gone out of her way to speak to book clubs.

Linda Hillenbrand, the author of Seabiscuit has published a new book. The book is called Unbroken. It was just published a few weeks ago. It has been publicized on all the tv networks. I am sure it will be another winner.
The book is about a American Olympian sent to war, during WW11. He and his fellow americans are in a plane. The plane goes down.  How they survive or don't survive. I don't want to spoil the rest.

I would like to thank Sara Marvin of Random House. for the copy for the silent auction.  Another copy to me for my blog to review. Can't wait to dive in.

Quiches, Kugels and Coucous by Joan Nathan.Known as the Jewish Cookbook Guru. On her website she tells the inspiration of the reasons she wrote the book on French cuisine.  The book will give history just like her other books of the recipes.   You can view her inspiration on her website. 
Thank you Sara Eagle for a copy for our Temple Silent Auction.  Thank you for  a copy for my blog to review.

Marcie Cohen Ferris, has written a Southern Jewish Cookbook, called Matzah Ball Gumbo. It is full of Southern Jewish History as well as the recipes. She is associate director of the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies and assistant professor of American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

I bought the cookbook a few years ago for a friend of mine. It has nice pictures and a good resource book about Southern Jewish cooking.

Our book club, The 38th Ave. Divas are going to make up a bookish baskets full of bookish items for the auction. I can't wait to see who wins the basket.

What a wonderful mitzvah !!!
Toda Raba to all of these wonderful authors, and publishers.  What a wonderful mitzvah. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

Carolina Book Stacks and Bagels Books and Schmooze.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jewish Carnival: Promise Me by Nancy Brinker

For November's, Jewish Book Carnival I picked Promise Me. I am not sure what you classify this book.
There is very little Jewish rituals in Promise Me. But it Nancy does speak about charity very briefly.
 The book is written by a Jewish author, Nancy Brinker.

Many Askenazi Jews, which I am one are predispossed to breast cancer.  There has been debate what constitiutes a Jewish book.    For the first time I am posting the same thing on both my blogs.

November, is hosting the Jewish Book Carnival. Each month there is a new host. The bloggers pick a book with Jewish content. What a great idea,  Marie from Boston Bibliophile.

Promise Me
By Nancy G. Brinker

Nancy Brinker is the late sister of Susan G. Koman

Susan Goodman known as Suzy. She was born in Peoria, Ill 1943 after came Nancy three years later.
They were raised by Jewish parents. Their parents, taught them the importance of Tzedakah", acts of kindness.

Suzy and Nancy's mother was a founding member of the Red Cross. She also was helping people in need.

She would make a meatloaf for their ill neighbor. She would bring a gift basket of diapers of a single woman without family. She would weed someone's garden if they were not able to. She had a strong sense of community. This led the way for the girls sense of community and what was yet to come for Nancy.

Nancy was the tomboy,trailblazer, outspoken and book smart. Nancy was like their mother. Where Susy was homecoming queen and interested in becoming a wife and mother. Suzy was like their father. They were as close as sisters could be. They shared everything together. They were a very close family. With good solid family values.

Once they both came into their 20's. Suzy became a wife and mother of two. Nancy moved on.

She moved to Texas to work for Neiman and Marcus. She moved up in the ranks to counter girl to marketing. She eventually met and married Norman Brinker, president of one of the bigger restaurant chain.

Suzy, at the age of 33 was diagnosed with Breast cancer. She shares with us the diagnosis and evasive treatments that she had to watch while her sister was dying. In the last days of her life Suzy asked Nancy to make a promise that would affect her life. Suzy asked Nancy to make a promise that she would never let a woman die without dignity and help find the cure.

From that time on Nancy had not stopped. Nancy started with $200 in a shoebox and invited 20 ladies to a tea. From that time on it blossomed. But there has been lots of bumps and bangs along the way.

Unfortunately back in Suzy and Nancy's early years society did not talk about breasts. It was a hush-hush under the table. Sex, was not a word you talked about. Cancer was thought of as a contagious disease. If you saw someone walking on the street with cancer, you avoided them and crossed the street to avoid that person. There was not any support groups. There was not a 800 number you could call.  Not a computer. You were left alone with your own devices.

Norman Brinker her husband gave her lots of support and encouragement. He helped her understand how to make a non-profit organization. How to get solicitatotors and start the funding for the research. Nancy did a enourmous research before she jumped right in

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure® mission was to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.

In researching the need she found a statistics. During the Viet Nam War over 58,000 service men lost their lives .During that same 10 year period of time 339,000 women in the U.S. died from breast cancer. Yet no one was talking about this silent killer.

During the 80's came a change in politics and talking about breast cancer. The first lady, Nancy Ford was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was a spit fire and was very open about Breast Cancer. She became a advocate for breast cancer. This opened up the way for funding and grants. This changed society's view on breast cancer. Society became more opening talking about the disease.

Nancy discusses her marriage, her family and children and her divorce. After three years after her sister, Suzy died. She was given the dreaded news that she had the same tumor. But, this time Nancy beat it because of the knowledge she had about the disease. Networking with doctors and the people she already knew working with them.

While working in Texas, she became aquainted with Pres. Bush's, and the sons. She worked with Laura. Laura was the first lady as governer in Texas. She was later asked to become ambassador to Hungary. To become protocol in the White House. She has been awarded many honors in the last few years including by President Barack Obama with the Presidential Honor of Freedom. She is responsible for countries around the world becoming aware of breast cancer, and women's health. She is spreading her wings to help spread the word about breast cancer and world health

Through out the book you will read about brave remarkable women that survived breast cancer. Or some that did not make it. The families braveries that make them continue to tell their stories.

After SGK was founded after a few years affiliates started popping up in different towns across the nation raising millions of dollars a year.

My Review: I became educated while reading this book. Nancy believed in advocacy for breast cancer. Especially for the lay person. I think she has done that. This book is awe inspiring as well.

The book taught me alot about the history and helped me reflect how science and medicine has changed. I remember how bad the treatments were.

talking about health issues. I also believe that because of SGK there are more things that being talked about now a days. Less things are pushed under the rug. There is much more advocacy for women's health than before.

There is funding for research for breast cancer by the United States. But SKG is also responsible for the funding and grants for breast cancer. There use to only be 75% cure rate after 5 years. Now, it is 95%. That is totally amazing. Cure does not mean it is gone, just means there is a remission.

I do believe SGK has opened up doors to allow for women's health issues to be heard. To allow for allowing other issues to be heard by women.

One thing that does amaze me. I just can't believe it was denied. Nancy went to the lingerie manufacturers to ask them to put on their bras tags to show women how to do a monthly breast exam. They were denied. Because, Nancy was told women come into the shop to be giddy, not unhappy thoughts. I am not sure, to this day I have not seen any tags on lingerie and bras to instruct women to do a monthly breast exam. Tsk!! Tsk!!.
I was not very interested in the business end of SGK. But I found myself drawn to it. Nancy Brinker deserves our praises all across this nation, and across the world division. She writes that she believes, that g-d put her in this mission in life. There is always a reason for things to happen. I believe that too.

SGK, is in Israel this year. Hadassah is a women's Jewish organization is helping to support and host this event. Hadassah has been a women's organization that has advocacy for women's health for years. In Israel, Hadassah Hospital is the leading hospital for research in breast cancer.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Jewish Author Takes Home the Prize

The Booker Prize was announced yesterday for a author, that lives in England and the British Isles.  The Booker Prize website, has information about the winners of the short list and the long list and their books.

I am happy to post about the winner. The author is Jewish, yes you heard right a Jewish author won the prize.

  He has also written, previously, in 2003 "Kalooki Nights".  
The new novel,  Finkler Question was just published on Tuesday in the U.S.

  Since winning, the Booker Prize there is a lot of buzz out there. I can't recommend it as yet. I have not read it. But one of my blogging pals,  Marie, from Boston Bibliophile is reading it. I can't wait for her
 post . The Boston Globe has a article here.

I am going to, not walk but run to get this book. It is nice to hear a Jewish author to get recognition occasionally.   And, yes this book is about the Jewish experience in England.  I also heard that it is funny too.

Below is the synopsis of the book I found on the Booker Prize website:

Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular former BBC radio producer, and
Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer and television personality, are
old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship and very different lives, they’ve
never quite lost touch with each other - or with their former teacher, Libor Sevick, a
Czech always more concerned with the wider world than with exam results.

Now, both Libor and Sam are recently widowed, and with Treslove, his chequered
and unsuccessful record with women rendering him an honorary third widower,
they dine at Libor’s grand, central London apartment.
It’s a sweetly painful evening of reminiscence in which all three remove
themselves to a time before they had loved and lost; a time before they had
fathered children, before the devastation of separations, before they had prized
anything greatly enough to fear the loss of it. Better, perhaps, to go through life
without knowing happiness at all because that way you have less to mourn?
Treslove finds he has tears enough for the unbearable sadness of both his friends’

And it’s that very evening, at exactly 11:30, as Treslove, walking home, hesitates
a moment outside the window of the oldest violin dealer in the country, that he
is attacked. And after this, his whole sense of who and what he is will slowly and
ineluctably change.

On another note, on this side of the Atlantic. American Jewish author, Nicole Krauss has been selected to be one of the finalists for the National Book Award for her novel The Great House.

Congratulations to both of these Jewish authors on both sides of the Atlantic.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Have A Little Faith: Pefect for High Holidays

Have a little Faith by Mitch Albom I reviewed for The Jewish Book Carnival for October. It is being hosted by  the Jewish Book Council.  Our book club, The 38th Ave. Diva Readers selected this novel for October also.

I have read Mitch Alboms, small little books, with a large message before.  This was a great choice.

The book was a easy read.  I was waiting for the book to intersect with the two characters. They never did meet up with each other. But there was a reason for it. The book did have a message to tell.  I am not going to let on with that.   I did like the message of the book.  The book was a perfect book for the high holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

The book, which is non fiction is about Mitch Albom's family rabbi. Mitch Albom when he was young studied judiasm. But as he got older he had neither the need or want or time for Judiasm.  His work, his family and his life has not given him a chance to think about it until now. Mitch goes home to NJ one year and that is where the story starts. 

The Rabbi, he is up in age wants Mitch to write his eulogy. Mitch wonders why, the Rabbi asks him to do it.
The Rabbi and Mitch make a journey together.   There is a 8 year journey of faith.  The Rabbi is ill and keeps his faith even as he's health waivers and his life is about to go on a new journey.

Back in Detroit, Mitch meets a minister in a run down church.  Mitch develops a friendship with the minister. He starts caring about all the congregants that make up the church by listening to their stories.
The minister was in a life of crime when he was growing up.    He was living in the streets.  Finally the last straw, the police come to his house looking for drugs.  He prays if I get out of this one I will never do it again.

 He is saved, and from that time on he becomes a preacher. He goes into the ministry. He starts he's church. He finds a building that is run down. He helps the penniless, the homeless, the abused and every one that has a story to tell.

 It is so bad in the winter with not any heat. They huddle in a tent in the church to keep warm most of the winter. At the same time the imminent death of the Rabbi is coming.  And financial collapse in our country is taking place. People are asking, Where is Hashem??

But Mitch finally understands the journey.   He tries to understand the message that the Rabbi and the Minister are sending.

The book was about three journey's. The Rabbi, The Minister and Mitch Albom's. Everyone needs something to believe in. It is not too late.  You never know what can be right around the corner that will change you.  Even Mitch, he never thought he never cared about his faith or religion. But look at him now.
It is never too late. 

This a interesting concept. Our Rabbi wrote this message in the bulletin.  He was talking about Kirk Douglas. He was saying that he had something missing. Later on in his life he found what he was missing.  His faith.  That is interesting that our Rabbi, wrote the same message that our book club was reading.

I don't want to spoil the rest of the story. You will have to read it yourself.   I did like the message of the book. You will understand the title of the book once you read the book and get to the end of Mitch Albom's book.  But  basically the message is, Everyone can do something to change your life and make a difference.

I may not exactly loved the book but I did like the message. No matter when, it is never too late to fix something as long " AS YOU HAVE A LITTLE FAITH!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

La Shana Tova Tikvatenu

This is the Jewish new year,the birth of the world.  it started tonight at sundown.  The Jewish New Year is 5771.  I would like to wish my friends and family and  my cyberfriends,  a year with peace, good health, and sweet new year.
 Let's pray that 5771will be a year for good things. 
Let's pray that there will be peace in Israel this coming year. Amen....Let the shofar blast and resonate for all good things to happen.
    La Shana Tova Tikvatenu!!! The book of life we will be inscribed.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The New Yiddish Book Peddler

I just love this concept of selling to the public by push cart. Mr. Papernick has chosen to sell books without a middle man.  I would love to see this in person. But unfortunately I live down south.  This is so unique old yiddish world meets new Jewish world. What a great concept. What a great  way to sell books. Maybe he's idea will catch on. What do you think??

You can read the article here at Jewish Literary Review

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sima's Undergarments for Women-Book Review

The post is dedicated to the August Jewish Book Carnival hosted by Marie, Boston Bibliophile and American Jewish Libraries.

Sima's Under Garments for Women
By Ilana Stange-Ross

Sima's Undergarments for Women takes place in the orthodox community of Boro Park, NY. Sima is a middle age women married to a retired school teacher, Lev. Sima and Lev were unable to have children.. They don't communicate very well with each other, Sima bickers most of the time or complains to Lev.  For years they have drifted apart in a loveless marriage.

  Sima owns a bra shop in a basement. Most businesses in NY are run in the basement.

   Timna,  a young Israeli woman is looking for work. Fortunately for Sima, she is in the need for a seamstress. Sima is living in a upstairs apartment with her husband.  Sima  complain to her husband, most of the time.  Basically, a "Fish Wife".Sima's whole life was the bra shop. The bra shop is the hub of the community. Everyone goes there.

When Timma comes to work for Sima. Sima starts re-living her past. She re-lives her history of her marriage, in-laws, her parents, and fertility questions etc.

Sima is living her life through Timma. She wants to be young again.  She doesn't want Timma to make the same mistakes she did.  Sima  is watching over her like she is her mother. She gives her motherly advise. Which Timma did not ask for any.  Sima gets in too deep at times and goes too far. She follows her home.  Sima calls Timma's boyfriend to tell him what she fears happened but stops herself short by inches.  Sima is a mother hen.  How far is too far??  Timna decides it is time to leave after passover.  How does Sima react with Timna leaving.   The rest you will have to find out for yourself by reading the novel.

My Thoughts:  The novel I felt was about regrets. I thought the author did a great job describing Sima's feeling. I am not exactly yet her age. But I am close. She did a great job re-capping how a middle age woman would feel recapturing youth.  She did a great job getting into Sima's head.    The book was a great catharsis for me. Since I am at the age realizing at times that how did life go so fast. I wish I could have talked to someone about this.  I did not even have to pay for a therapist. Ms. Stange saved me thousands of dollars of therapy sessions, LOL!!!  

I personally did not like Sima's character. She reminded me of all those Jewish women you would see in the movies.  A meddler, complainer, butting into other people's business, and a nag. I wish there was more story line with Lev. That would have made the story more interesting.  
Other than that I enjoyed reading the novel.  Hope to read more of her work soon.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Monthly Jewish Book Carnival

I am so excited, Marie, at Boston Bibliophile, and American Jewish Libraries will be hosting a monthly Jewish Book Carnival. To promote Jewish books and readership on the biosphere. I am so excited because I have always thought there  has been  a few of us bloggers out there. Apparently not there are a few of us.  Maybe with the promotion of this carnival more of us Jewish Book Bloggers will turn up.
 My blog, Bagels, Books and Schmooze has been laying idle for about six months. I have not had a big readership.   I was starting to think to combine my two blogs. But then reading about the carnival I decided to give it a try.

But not only that maybe we will get Jewish book news in one place. Hopefully if there are other Jewish book bloggers they will join us. Thank You, Marie for inviting me and telling me about this.
Happy Blogging, Looking for August Jewish Book Carnival.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Finally, A Jewish Literary Magazine

Sorry I have not been around lately. I finally broke down and bought a new computer. This one is a touch screen. I was going to get a lap top but when I saw he computer. One touch, wireless, and the price was decent. I broke down and bought it.

a article I saw on the Forward. I had to share with my jewish readers. I can't believe it a literary Jewish magaizine. Can't wait to read it. It will be ready today actually. Scroll below to read the whole story excerpt from The Forward...

Barring snowstorm-induced printing delays, during the week of February 15, mailboxes across the country will receive the launch issue of The Jewish Review of Books, a new print journal.

Reading Material: The first issue of the Jewish Review of Books will feature some heavyweights in the world of ideas.A quarterly magazine devoted to Jewish literary and political affairs, the JRB boasts heavy hitters on its editorial board, such as Michael Walzer, Leon Wieseltier and Ruth Wisse. An oversized, stapled newsprint magazine like the New York Review of Books and The Times Literary Supplement, the JRB will open with an issue that features contributions from Ron Rosenbaum, Adam Kirsch and Harvey Pekar.

At a time when newspapers, magazines and journals are experiencing a crisis unprecedented in the history of print, launching a new publication devoted to Jewish issues is either a fool’s errand or a bold attempt to inject American Judaism with some old-fashioned middlebrow intellectualism.

Abraham Socher, the editor, is betting it’s the latter. He took a leave from his spot as chair of the Jewish studies program at Oberlin College’s department of religion to launch the JRB. He’s both optimistic about the future of journals of ideas and opinions and well aware of the pitfalls that await any print publication in the 21st century.

“Magazines of ideas, which are willing to address a subject at as much length as is called for, which are willing to let writers be writerly, can remain print publications,” Socher said. Those readers attracted to long-form writing prefer to read their lengthier articles in print and are willing to pay for the privilege, Socher believes. “The great threat to print may be a far greater threat to newspapers and news magazines than it is to literary journals, journals of opinions and policy journals,” he said. The print JRB will be complemented by a Web presence before the end of February.

The funding is coming from the Tikvah Fund, an endowment established by the late Zalman Bernstein, a well-known conservative philanthropist. The fund’s board is dominated by such neoconservative figures as William Kristol, Roger Hertog and Jay Lefkowitz. Given the source of the funding, one might expect the JRB to be slanted rightward, but Socher maintains that it “will range broadly from the center left to the center right.” The virgin issue features essays by Hebrew University of Jerusalem political scientist and Zionist political philosopher Shlomo Avineri, who served in Yitzhak Rabin’s government, and Hillel Halkin, a prominent Israel-based literary Hebrew translator and right-leaning Forward contributor. “I don’t believe in pigeonholing people, but I would say that in our first issue, you get an idea of the kind of range we have,” Socher said
■Hold the Presses: Newspapers Are Competing for Orthodox Readers
With Tablet, Commentary, Zeek, The New York Review of Books and the Forward filling newsstand and virtual racks, the JRB is joining a crowded field. But Socher makes it clear that his magazine intends to fill a niche. “The Jewish Review of Books is really Jewish,” he said. “It’s unabashedly interested in Jewish things. Unlike The New York Review of Books, we don’t take on the whole intellectual universe.” And yet, unlike, say, Tablet, the JRB will be long form and highbrow. As if the name didn’t give away anything, there will be nothing sexy about The Jewish Review of Books. “We’re the magazine for those that when they turn to the NYRB or perhaps the back pages of TNR, [The New Republic] those wonderful pages edited by Leon Wieseltier, they’re especially excited when a Jewish book or issue is reviewed or discussed, and turn first to that. We’re the magazine for that reader,” Socher said.
Imagination Designs
Images from the Glamor Amour by Irene Alexeeva