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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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Pre-Shabbat Jewish Lit 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.

  • A hearty Mazal Tov to the winner and finalists for the latest Wallant Award: David Bezmozgis, Molly Antopol, Boris Fishman, and David Strayer-Petrov.
  • The Washington Jewish Film Festival is looking for a Production Coordinator
  • And the Boston Jewish Film Festival seeks an Artistic Director.
  • Fig Tree Books presents another array of online offerings from the world of American Jewish Experience.
  • For The Jewish Week, Sandee Brawarsky reviews Patrick Modiano’s newly translated novellas.
  • 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.

  • For your viewing pleasure: a video of Adam Kirsch speaking on the topic, “Is There Such a Thing as Jewish Literature?”
  • One of the most interesting articles I’ve read thus far on Patrick Modiano in the wake of his Nobel-prize win, by Michael Weingrad for Mosaic Magazine.
  • A trove of Hanukkah fiction from JewishFiction.Net.
  • My thanks to Christi Craig for inviting me to expound on “Jewish storytelling.”
  • And last, but by no means least: the latest newsletter from Fig Tree Books!
  • Shabbat shalom and Chag Sameach!

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Lit 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.

  • You’re probably seeing lots of “best-of-year” book lists around. Here’s one that focuses on 2014’s Jewish books.
  • Rebecca Klempner remembers Gil Marks “and his contribution to Jewish books and cooking.”
  • Weekend reading: the new (December) issue of The Tower magazine.
  • A thoughtful piece by Phil Getz on “Eric Garner and Moshe Twersky Bound by History.”
  • And on the Lilith blog–a new poem of mine.
  • 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.

  • Upon the passing of Coffee House Press founder Allan Kornblum, Allan Appel reflects on Kornblum “and the Jewish Question.”
  • Another worthy essay from Nina Badzin, this time on “an unexpected improvement” to her marriage.
  • I’ve just finished reading Assaf Gavron’s The Hilltop (trans. Steven Cohen). Dan Friedman’s review sums up the novel nicely.
  • And I’ve just purchased this book, which, as you’ll see will be the focus of a forthcoming event at Hebrew Union College in NYC.
  • Tablet magazine is hiring two paid, part-time editorial interns.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Lit 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 Jewish Week serves up its fall literary special section, with an emphasis on “the next wave of Russian-Jewish literature.”
  • “In the Schwarzwald,” a new poem by Lawrence Schimel.
  • From Tablet magazine: “Miriam Michelson, American Jewish Feminist Literary Star of the Western Frontier.”
  • “One author, raised in liberal Judaism’s bosom, has been quietly redefining what it means to be a Jew in the 21st century.” Batya Ungar-Sargon profiles Adam Kirsch for The Forward.
  • And the Fig Tree Books blog presents another roundup of links relating to American Jewish Experience in “AJE Around the Web.”
  • Shabbat shalom!

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