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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.

  • It’s always interesting to see which Jewish books others recommend and write about. On the Bustle site, Anna Linton has listed 10 great books that she thinks every Jewish girl should read.
  • One book that this Jewish girl is planning to read asap is Helen Maryles Shankman’s In the Land of Armadillos, which was published this week. (Certain that it’s great from this Jewish Book Council review. Plus, it’s not news that Helen is a gifted writer.)
  • February’s topic of interest over on the Mosaic site is “Identity and the Jewish Museum,” and the offerings kicked off this week with Edward Rothstein’s thought-provoking analysis of “The Problem with Jewish Museums.”
  • Over on the Fig Tree Books website, Merridawn Duckler writes about Grace Paley’s Later the Same Day.
  • And speaking of the Fig Tree Books website–it has received a major makeover! Take a look, and note especially an exciting new direct-sale feature (with discounts!).
  • Shabbat Shalom!

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    My Year in Jewish Books

    StarFor the past four 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 2015.

    Reviewing my reading for 2015 (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), or 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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    Words of the Week

    “In the decades since the end of World War II and the Holocaust, many non-Jewish Germans worked to erase the stain on their nation’s honor that the wartime Nazi regime had created. They repaired crumbling Jewish cemeteries, gave tours of their towns’ Jewish past, and investigated local Jewish history, often doing their work without pay or recognition.

    Arthur Obermayer decided that these noble Germans deserved to be recognized.”

    Read more at The Jewish Week.

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    From My Bookshelf: Leah Kaminsky’s THE WAITING ROOM

    WaitingRoomCoverI was all set to wait patiently for the U.S. release of Leah Kaminsky‘s debut novel The Waiting Room (which will happen next fall). But then, the author—an Australian whom I’ve yet to meet in person but with whom I’ve developed another of those wonderful “online friendships” I’m so grateful for—sent me a gift copy of the original Australian edition, which was published this past September. And how pleased I am that she did.

    There’s so much that’s noteworthy about this book, beginning with the subject matter. What I realized only a few pages in is that The Waiting Room brings together two topics that are often categorized separately among Diaspora readers. First, there’s its Holocaust thread. Protagonist Dina Ronen, Australian-born, is the daughter of two Holocaust survivors. Her father died during Dina’s childhood; her mother has passed away by the time the novel opens, with Dina a married mother of one young son and another baby about a month away from delivery. But her mother’s ghost speaks throughout the book, and we return often to her parents’ histories in flashbacks. Continue reading ›

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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.

  • Author David Grossman is giving his personal archive to the National Library of Israel.
  • Tikkun magazine is looking for a Managing Editor.
  • Author Yona Zeldis McDonough reflects on “writing Jewishly.”
  • “For me, the Holocaust is a constant subtext of the poems.” This and other insights from poet Adam Kirsch in a Q&A focused on his new collection.
  • And in case you missed it: presenting the latest newsletter from Fig Tree Books.
  • 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.

    • On the Forward site: Katherine Locke recommends “7 YA and Romance Novels for Jewish Book Month.” (The headline is a little misleading–for instance, the list includes Molly Antopol‘s The UnAmericans. And picture books. But. Still.)
    • Big week at the day job: Fig Tree Books officially published a new edition of Edward Lewis Wallant’s classic novel The Pawnbroker. And Literary Hub published the accompanying new foreword by Dara Horn.
    • If you follow me on Twitter you’ve probably already realized that I’m a devotee of Tablet‘s Unorthodox podcast. This week’s episode includes a “sneak preview” of Tablet‘s “about-to-drop” print magazine (which, of course, I’ve already subscribed to).
    • Quick notes for those of you interested in reading new Jewish poetry on a regular basis. I think I’ve already pointed you to the Haaretz Poem of the Week feature. Also worth checking out: poetry published in Jewish Journal.
    • And though I don’t plan to order a print for my own apartment’s walls, I did chuckle when I saw this cartoon in this week’s New Yorker.

    Shabbat Shalom.

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