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Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • So much excellent work on Hevria this week, including “How the Rebbe Inspired Me to Be a Writer”; “Orthodox Writers, Meet Your Role Model”; and “Mermaid Esther: An Astonishing Fire.”
  • Montreal has a new mural–honoring Mordecai Richler.
  • A follow-up to Moment magazine’s recent list of Jewish podcasts—this time featuring readers’ recommendations.
  • If video is more your thing, check out the Forward‘s list of 10 Jewish movies you can stream for free (the Forward is calling them “overlooked,” but I’m not sure that’s always the case).
  • From the revelation that it took him about two years to really inhabit the protagonist of To the End of the Land to a reflection on how each of his books has been necessary to the writing of those that have followed, David Grossman shared a multiplicity of quiet insights—personal, professional, and political—during his recent appearance at the JCC Manhattan.
  • Shabbat Shalom.

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • This week brought the August edition of the Jewish Book Carnival, “a monthly event where bloggers who blog about Jewish books can meet, read and comment on each others’ posts.”
  • On my tbr list: Lara Vapnyar’s latest novel, Still Here. (See Adam Kirsch in Tablet for an preview.)
  • On Hevria: “Exile and Redemption,” a beautiful poem by Rachel Kann.
  • Someday, I am truly going to learn Hebrew. Annette Gendler’s experience is an inspiration.
  • Also inspiring: a Canadian Jewish News article about a book-publishing program for young campers with special needs.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen


    Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • Some Israeli publishing data for 2015, courtesy of the country’s National Library.
  • “The Koffler Centre of the Arts is proud to announce a significant new literary award in Canada – the Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature.” (Unfortunately, I’ve found out about this too late to help anyone for the current round–submissions closed in early June.)
  • If I can manage to sit through a three-hour play, it may well be this one. And I’m sorry to have to miss this one–which I’ve just learned about but won’t be able to catch during its brief engagement.
  • In this talk, novelist and literary scholar Dara Horn explores the role Hebrew can play in a living contemporary American Jewish culture, as she has experienced it as a reader and as an American writer. This lecture was part of the 2016 Stroum Lectures, ‘Hebrew and the Creative Imagination,’ hosted by the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies of the University of Washington.”
  • And ICYMI: a note about a new essay of mine, on being a “3G” writer.
  • May it be a good and peaceful Shabbat for all. Shabbat shalom.

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • How I wish that I could attend the Tenth Memorial International Creative Writing Conference of the Shaindy Rudoff Creative Writing Graduate Program at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. It’s happening May 29-31.
  • This week brought new issues from both Lilith magazine and JewishFiction.net. So much good stuff tbr!
  • The week also brought publication of a poem of mine, “Black Sheep in the World to Come,” on Hevria.
  • And also freshly published: the latest newsletter from Fig Tree Books, edited by yours truly.
  • Finally, as we approach both Passover and, in a little while, Yom HaShoah, I’m grateful to my friend Suzanne Reisman for sharing this piece of hers.
  • Shabbat shalom, and have a meaningful Pesach.

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen


    Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • The latest newsletter from Fig Tree Books features the final pre-publication giveaway for Jessamyn Hope’s debut novel Safekeeping, and lots more JLit info.
  • Wonderful profile in The Jewish Week of Ayelet Tsabari and her mission to tell Mizrahi stories.
  • In the new Brevity magazine: “Heathen, Slave, Woman”—a powerful short excerpt from Judy Bolton-Fasman’s recently completed memoir.
  • “Kveller.com is seeking a full-time editorial assistant to join our New York-based team.”
  • And to conclude: Torah limericks.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    My Year in Jewish Books

    StarFor the past three 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 2014.

    Reviewing my reading for 2014 (thank you, Goodreads!), I can see that I do not and would not ever limit my reading to “Jewish books” exclusively; it seems that this list comprises about half of the titles I read this year in toto. (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, this year). Please note that, where appropriate, I have included links to reviews, essays, and newsy items I have written; interviews I have conducted; “Sunday Sentence” citations; and the odd blog post. I have also disclosed how I obtained each book: P (purchase), R (complimentary review copy), L (library). This year, I’m adding a category: FTB, for books I’ve read in manuscript prior to their release from Fig Tree Books in my job as FTB media editor. Continue reading ›

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