Earlier this year, I published an article listing five “Jewish books” scheduled for publication in 2014 that I was already especially eager to read. Molly Antopol‘s The UnAmericans was one of those titles. As I wrote at the time: “I’m not the only one with high expectations for this debut collection of short stories. Anointed by the National Book Foundation as one of its ’5 Under 35′ honorees, Antopol and her book (which W.W. Norton will release in February) have received plenty of pre-publication buzz. “My stories move from McCarthy-era Los Angeles to modern-day Jerusalem to communist Prague,” Antopol has said in an interview, adding that many of the stories were inspired by her family history.
Well, I purchased a copy for my Kindle and began reading. And I was just as impressed as I expected to be. Molly and I connected online, and I asked her if she’d be willing to answer a few questions for My Machberet. Continue reading ›
For the past two 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 2013, even if Hanukkah came so early this year that this 2013 iteration lacks the same usefulness a gift-inspiration guide.
Reviewing my reading for 2013 (thank you, Goodreads!), I can see that 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” 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 particularly 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. Please note that, where appropriate, I have included links to reviews, essays, and newsy items I have written; interviews I have conducted; and the odd blog post. I have also disclosed how I obtained each book: P (purchase), R (complimentary review copy/complimentary seminar copy), L (library). Continue reading ›
Every Friday morning My Machberet presents an assortment of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.
Advice on writing for Jewish publications (and getting paid for what you write!) from the talented and prolific Rebecca Klempner.
In The New York Times Book Review: “Each week in Bookends, two writers take on pressing and provocative questions about the world of books. This week, Adam Kirsch and Rivka Galchen on why Hannah Arendt’s ‘Eichmann in Jerusalem’ remains contentious fifty years after it was first published.”
This just added to my tbr list: From Kristallnacht to Watergate: Memoirs of a Newspaperman, by Harry Rosenfeld.
“J., the Jewish news weekly of Northern California, has a rare opening for a full-time staff reporter working from our office in San Francisco’s Financial District.”
The Winter 2014 issue of Jewish Review of Books is online. Much of the content is for subscribers only, but you’ll find a few pieces available to all.
Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen
Shabbat shalom and best wishes for a joyous Hanukkah!