For the past five years, I’ve found it useful (and kind of fun) to look back on “my year in Jewish books.” So, borrowing some of the same introductory wording, I’m going to attempt to do something similar for 2016.
Reviewing my reading for 2016 (thank you, Goodreads!), I can see that, again, I do not and would not ever limit my reading to “Jewish books” exclusively. (By the way, in case you haven’t heard me say this before, I define “Jewish books” in the simplest terms as books with substantive Jewish content. In my view, non-Jewish authors can write “Jewish books.” And Jewish authors can write books that don’t strike me as overtly Jewish.)
But this year, as usual, I did read quite a few books that fall within the “Jewish book” category. And, as an advocate for Jewish literature, I’m proud of that.
Below, you will find these books presented in the order in which I read them (most recent first). I have also disclosed how I obtained each book: P (purchase), R (complimentary review copy), L (library), G (gift), or FTB (for books I’ve read in manuscript prior to their release from Fig Tree Books in my job as FTB media editor OR as part of the ongoing series of spotlights posts on past winners of the Edward Lewis Wallant Award). Continue reading ›
“Every day we are learning how to speak up and face down hatred. Last year, my son’s middle school learned what happened on April 20—Hitler’s birthday. The seventh grade boys sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Hitler during lunchtime. After this happened we learned from my son that the song leaders had been making anti-Semitic comments and telling ‘Holocaust jokes’ in my son’s presence. My son is one of four Jewish-identified kids in his school. While the principal immediately disciplined the students who sang, I met with the principal to make it clear how we interpreted these incidents. This was not merely bullying. When a group of students tells another that his community should have been wiped out in the Holocaust, that is terrorizing.”
Source: an important, timely essay by Francine Green Roston, “What It’s Like Being a Jewish Family Who Lives in Montana,” on Kveller.
Well—it’s something. There is that.
Source: Editorial comment added to an essay that appeared on the Electric Literature website.
“I recognize high-quality, handcrafted Jew-hatred when I see it, and the far-right, which has lately been gaining attention for supporting Donald Trump’s candidacy for president (and for trolling Jews such as yours truly), is so over-the-top obvious in its deployment of anti-Semitic memes; so uncreative in the manufacturing of Judeophobic tropes (call this the banality of oven jokes); so bad at Photoshop; and so awful at spelling, that I find them as pathetic as I find them offensive.”
Source: Jeffrey Goldberg, “A Brief Introduction to Pro-Holocaust Twitter” (TheAtlantic.om)