Sunday, September 16, 2012

This is the first time I am hosting the Jewish Book Carnival,  I am excited hosting for the first time.
Especially, since this is the eve of Rosh Hashanah. I would like to welcome y'all for visiting me at Bagels, Books, and Schmooze. 

The Jewish Holiday season starts tonight at sundown. This is the holiest season of the year for Jewish people. The holiday season starts during the month of Tishrei  

 During the holydays,  Teshuvah, literally means "return" and is the word used to describe the concept of repentance in Judaism. Only by atoning for our sins can we restore balance to our relationship with God and with our fellow human beings.  Jews are encouraged to make amends with anyone they have wronged and to make plans for improving during the coming year

. Even though the theme of Rosh Hashanah,  is life and death, it is a holiday filled with hope for the New Year. Jews believe that God is compassionate and just, and that God will accept their prayers for forgiveness.

During this time, we greet each other with saying, La Shana Tova~ Good New Year, or La Shana Tova Tikvatevu~ May you be inscribed  and sealed for a good year.

These are some of the food traditions for the holiday of Rosh Hashanah. Eating pomegranates, apples dipped in honey, making a round challah with raisins, instead of the traditional challah.

I have a couple nice treats to share with you before I share the other posts.
I reviewed this month Rav Hisda's Daughter by Maggie Anton, and Bookie's Son by Andrew Goldstein.

Rav Hisda's Daughter by Maggie Anton:

Before I share with you the links of fellow book bloggers. Here is some exciting news. To commemorate the Jewish holiday season, Maggie and her publisher are allowing me to give away two copies of Rav Hisda's Daughter book Giveaway. Thank you, Javier for supplying a couple copies.
To Enter, You must comment on the end of the post or contribute to the Jewish Book Carnival.   

Bookie's Son by Andrew Goldstein:

I received Bookie's Son from TLC Book Tours. This is the first time I am participating.

Bookie's Son, I am afraid I won't give it the justice it deserves.  This is a great story. While reading it I felt like it ran like a movie in my head. I liked that the chapters were short, and sweet. Each chapter had cute illustrations of the characters.

The story captivated me from the first. I loved the characters, even though they were a bit over the top. But, that is what made it fascinating, a dysfunctional family. I loved the setting, of the Bronx.  I have never lived in the Bronx, although I could picture it in my head.

When I was young, my parents would take me to my bubby( my great grandmother) house, in Boston, Mass.  The book reminded me of that place. I still remember the trolley passing and going through the streets. The antique furniture, the smells that resonated through the house during shabbat. People outside rather than inside.   I love the story when place is character.

Before Gameboy, and Atari, Play Station, etc. Kids did play outside, and congregated. Where they played stick ball, and sat out on the stoop to be outside. Where women kibitz, and gossip and talk about their families.

The story is  a coming of age story, and forgiveness, redemption, and the importance of family no matter how crazy they are. There is some sprinkling of Yiddish, and a lot of Yiddish humor.  I don't want to give it away. But, the book is timeless, and makes you think about the Jewish holydays coming.

Ricky grows up quickly, and literally. He sees what is going on around him with the family troubles, and what happens to his father. The timing is perfect with the bar mitzvah approaching, and the decisions Ricky has to make.

Bookie's Son  takes place in the 1960's in the Bronx.  Ricky about to become a bar mitzvah.  He's mother, Pearl works as a secretary to a talent agent.  He's father is a "cutter, and a gambler, and owes money to the loan shark.  He's grandmother who can hardly hear well takes care of Ricky.

Ricky's father owes money to Nathan, lots of money. Where is he going to come up with that kind of " dough"? Nathan and Pearl used to be a item many years ago. Nathan uses that against him. He tells him if you let me have one fling with your wife, I will forget about the money. What is he going to do?

Ricky has he's own problems he has a problem with a kid on the street, named Tony. He is always threating and harassing Ricky, until something terrible happens.  Ricky, meanwhile has a thing with his neighbor downstairs. One day something terrible happens, and their friendship will never be the same, for not standing up to Tony. Through all this, will Ricky learns his Haftorah in time for his bar mitzvah?

Pearl and her husband don't care if they still owe money to Nathan. They are going to have a party of a life time.  As Jews, you don't care how bad in hock you get. You party first, and think about it later. Pearl, and the family get in deeper and deeper over their heads.

Pearl embezzles money out of Elizabeth Taylor's account. She will think about later how she will give it back.  Meanwhile, Ricky and he's grandmother are in the grocery store. She staged a accident in the grocery store. She breaks her hip.

If you want to read a something nostalgic, fun, and zany for a good laugh pick up Bookie's son.

Now on with the Jewish Book Carnival:

 Over on My Machberet, Erika Dreifus dips into the children's-book market and tells us about Zayde Comes to Live, by Sheri Sinykin.

Kathe, at  Life is like a  Library, wrote a review thinking this was not Jewish content, but dig a bit deeper and you will find Jewish thought.

A  audio interview at Book of Life with author Betsy Rosenthal about her novel Looking For Me in this Great Big Family.

 The Whole Megillah | has a nice interview with Northampton, Mass. Poet Laureate and award-winning children's book author, Rich Michelson.

Lori, from Jewicious authored, The Way into Judiasm Into The Envoirment.

My favorite Jewish book source, the Prosen People. Submitted their post for the high holidays at Jewish Book Council.

Jonathan, sent his story, it is in the Jewish Journal, Danny Danon's Israel: The Will To Survive.

Barbara, shared her interview  Lesley Simpson, she authored a children's story book about the Simcha Bat( The baby naming ritual), called Song For My Sister.

To add to this marvelous collection of book bloggers, Needle in the Haystack contributed her post for the blog.  Her post is about antique Judaica collection of books, she submitted a bit late, but I thought it was a great post to add to the Jewish Book Carnival.

The author, Andrew Goldstein doesn't have a book blog, instead he asked me to post this for him.

Losing It

At a dinner party, not long ago, my friend posed the question to the five of us, all of us 60+ years, Do you think you’re losing it? Everyone except for me answered yes.  After all I had recently published my first novel, The Bookie’s Son. I wasn’t losing it.  Undermining my perception were three incidents over the past ten years that tell a different story.

  1. Ten years ago my wife was in Paris on business. I had never been there so we decided that I would join her for a long romantic weekend together. At our age, having been together for decades, anything even hinting of romance sounds appealing. I even packed the night before my flight, which I knew would impress her. As I pulled into the airport parking garage I said to myself, that’s funny, I don’t remember putting my suitcase in the trunk. Too late to drive back home, no longer allowed for a suitcase to travel by itself on a later plane, too expensive to ship, I flew to Paris without any clothes...except for what I was wearing. I tend to look on the bright side and told myself, it’s nice to travel light.

  1. Eight years ago I was sitting at my messy desk at work when the phone rang. I reached my hand to answer it but instead of lifting up the receiver I picked up my glasses. With one of the plastic covered metal arm tips by my ear and the other by my mouth, I said, “Hello” and the phone rang again. “Hello, hello.” Another ring. Now I’m getting annoyed, at the imbecile on the other end. It was around the fourth or fifth ring that I realized the identity of that imbecile and quietly slinked away from my desk.

  1. The phone incident happened only once so it didn’t scare me. As the years passed an  occasional age related memory lapse, like I’ll leave my glasses at work because I have something else in my pocket and my brain is tricked. No big deal (I’m not losing it.) In December, I was taking care of my nine month old grandson. My daughter likes to keep the heat low to save money and the environment. Fine, I bring extra clothes. She doesn’t want me to track germs into the house. Fine, I take off my shoes. The week before I left a pair of sneakers there. So this time when I was leaving I make sure I have everything. Extra clothes, sneakers, cell phone, keys, glasses, wallet. Proud of myself, I strut down the ten steps to the front door, turn around, wave my free hand at my grandson and shout in a baby voice, “Bye bye, bye bye”. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice my sneakers still on the floor upstairs. How could this be? What could I be carrying in my other hand that tricked my brain. Hint: There are two of them, approximately 3 inches long––my grandson’s sneakers.

   Of the five of us, I think I won the losing it the most contest. The closest contender was a woman who drove to her mailbox to pick up the mail but instead of opening her mailbox she walked around her car and popped the trunk.

Everyone have a happy, healthy and sweet new year for 5773.
La Shana Tova,


sara g said...

This is the first Jewish book carnival I have seen - and I hope to come back for many more! I am interested in Jewish fantasy-type books, and would love to get a copy of Rav Hisda's Daughter. Does writing the first comment give me any extra points? ;)

Heidi Rabinowitz said...

Thanks for hosting the Jewish Book Carnival - as always, it's a great roundup of links!

Barbara Krasner said...

Thanks for hosting the carnival! It's always great to see what other Jewish book bloggers are up to and to find more books for the TBR pile.
Barbara Krasner
The Whole Megillah | The Writers Resource for Jewish Story

Sheryl said...

was I too late to get my link in?

Anonymous said...

5Thank you for hosting this. I appreciate your efforts.

Barbara Bietz said...

Terrific carnival - thanks for hosting!

All best-

petite said...

Thanks for hosting the Jewish Book Carnival. It looks wonderful.

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