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My Year in Jewish Books

StarFor the past six 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 2017.

Reviewing my reading for 2017 (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 otherwise borrowed]), G (gift). Continue reading ›

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Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers

Monday brings the weekly batch of no-fee, paying competitions, contests, and calls for submissions—plus jobs for those of us who write (especially those of us who write fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction).

I know that today is Christmas—it’s also the last day I’ll be posting for awhile. So let me again wish a merry holiday to those who are celebrating. And I’ll see you all back here a few days into the new year.
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Sunday Sentence

In which I participate in David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.”

I do not know the words to describe such agony, and I do not wish to learn them.

Source: Khizr Khan, An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice

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Friday Finds for Writers


Writing-related resources, news, and reflections to enjoy over the weekend. 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.

  • A marvelous essay by Emily Meg Weinstein about her grandparents/family history.
  • A fascinating account of an epic Yiddish poem—about Kentucky—by Dara Horn.
  • On my viewing agenda: video from an event featuring Ruby Namdar and Liel Leibovitz in conversation about The Ruined House, Namdar’s Sapir Prize-winning novel (which is now available in an English translation by Hillel Halkin).
  • And on my listening agenda: the “grand finale” (for now, anyway) of the Book of Life podcast.
  • ICYMI: Jewish Book Carnival call for submissions.
  • Shabbat shalom!

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    Call for Submissions: Jewish Book Carnival

    Do you blog about books? Run a podcast that features them? Edit a publication that includes book coverage? The Jewish Book Carnival is an online happening that connects those who feature news, reviews, and interviews about Jewish books. Participants share recent items and comment on each other’s contributions.

    Organized by the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL), the Carnival moves from site to site each month. In January, this very My Machberet blog will be the host. If you have something to share, please send it to me with “Jewish Book Carnival” in the subject line. Please note that participants are asked to send in just ONE link. Also key to know: This is NOT a forum for advertising one’s own book. Self-promotional posts will not be included. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, January 11, 2018; the Carnival will post, as per usual, mid-month.

    For more background and links to past carnivals, please visit the Carnival HQ on the AJL website.

    I look forward to receiving and sharing your submissions!

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