"People of the Books" Blog

Welcome to the first Jewish Book Carnival!

The Jewish Book Carnival is your chance to participate in People of the Books.

The Carnival was started by Heidi Estrin and me, to promote blogs that cover Jewish books. It's an effort to build community, so that blog writers and readers can share posts on Jewish books. We'll read each others' blogs, support each other and promote each other- and Jewish books-  throughout the blogosphere.

Every month on the 15th, someone will host the roundup; this month (and next month) it will be here on the AJL blog. After that, we'd love to know if you would be interested in hosting the carnival on your blog!

The Jewish Book Carnival has a GoodReads page; we'd love for you to join, to keep up with Carnival news, join in our discussions and share what you're reading and writing about.

We are also running a poll to choose a name for the Carnival; the voting is open until August 31.

In the mean time, let's go with the inaugural edition of the Jewish Book Carnival.

From Steve Bergson, From Cyberspace to the Printed Page, from his Jewish Comics blog.

From Barbara Bietz, a post from her blog on Laurel Snyder and her new book, Baxter The Pig Who Wanted to be Kosher.

From Erika Dreifus, on the Fiction Writers Review blog: a review of Sarah/Sara by Jacob Paul.

Erika also sent us From My Bookshelf: Prisoners: A Muslim and A Jew Across the Middle East Divide.

The Jewish Book Council blog contributed Writing a Book Like Coney Island, a guest post by author Joshua Cohen, author of Witz.

The Jewish Women's Archive blog Jewesses with Attitude contributed their Summer Reading List.

From the Jew Wishes book blog, a review of Mr. Rosenbaum Dreams in English, by Natasha Solomons.

From Ann D. Koffsky, Lifeguarding and Illustration.

From Barbara Krasner, a review of Lost, by Jacqueline Davies, and a review of Emma's Poem, by Linda Glaser. Both are from the excellent Whole Megillah blog on children's literature.

From Sylvia Rouss, Once Upon A Time There Was a Little Rescue Dog.

Please visit and bookmark all these great blogs. Thanks to those who participated, and if you're a blogger who'd like to participate next month, please feel free to email me at mcloutier at jewishlibraries.org. Happy reading!

Link Roundup

Here's this week's collection of links on Jewish books, reading, libraries and more.

Red, White and Kosher, from the Schocken Books blog.

In case you missed it at the convention, here's a link to the 2010 AJL Convention: AJL and Social Media presentation.

From the Jewish Book Council, PBS' Religion and Ethics Weekly featuring Debra Band and Pamela Greenberg.

From the Jerusalem Post, Taglit celebrates 10 years, a quarter million participants.

Anthony Julius and anti-Semitism in England, from the Jewish Literary Review.

Seattle Convention Summary: Tuesday

The following is a summary of the AJL's Facebook feed from yesterday's convention proceedings.


    • Feinstein lecture. One of our resident librarian-scholars, Yossi Galron, gave the lecture Monday night. Dressed in a tie! He led us through the history of Jewish bibliography. I would like to have seen of his own online bio-bibliography, but he modestly left it out. http://library.osu.edu/sites/users/galron.1/


    • April Wayland Halpern tells the group about writing New Year's on the Pier.



    • April Wayland Halpern reads us her story.

    • When they say "the STBA committee tells all" they mean "all" The committee gleefully recounted the arguements they had, especially when trying to decide if a book is "Jewish" sfs

    • Margarita Engle tells about writing Tropical Secrets.

    • On the left, Margarita Engle's parents still married 62 years later. On the right, Margarita visiting her Cuban family's farm on land purchased with gold from a pirate ancestor.

    • My eyes are starting to cross a bit at the RDA talk. I'm trying to remember what RDA stands for ... Really Detailed something? lots of small changes to our cataloging practices. Adam Schiff is doing a great job zipping through slides and explaining the changes from AACR2. His presentation is at http://faculty.washingt...on.edu/aschiff

    • New Sydney Taylor Award Committee members, Aimee Lurie and Debbie Feder, prepare to deliver their 2011 Sneak Peak presentations.

    • Heidi Estrin, Lisa Silverman, Ellen Cole and Kathe Pinchuck begin their discussion of Children's Book Reviewing.

    • The AJL's pre-Award Banquet reception.

    • Dr. Geoffrey Megargee, accepts the Judaica Reference Award.

    • April Wayland Halprin, author of New Year at the Pier, accepts the Sydney Taylor Book Award for Young Readers.

    • Robin Friedman accepts the Sydney Taylor Book Award for Older Readers.

    • Margarita Engle accepts the Sydney Taylor Book Award for Teen Readers.

    • Joan Schoettler accepts the Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award.

    • The Seattle Committee says thank you and goodbye...

Stay up to date even faster by friending AJL on its Facebook page.

Seattle Convention Summary: Monday

The following is taken from AJL's Facebook feed. Friend us on Facebook to stay up to the minute.



    • I'm sitting at the awesome Seattle Public Library listening to a Reader's advisory talk by David Wright. The speaker got a big round of applause when our moderator, Diann Romm mentioned that he reads and speaks on NPR's All Things Considered. sfs.


    • David spoke about the difference between Readers Advisory and reference work. In reference, the patron know what subject she/he is looking for. For fiction, they're looking for other "appeal characteristics" such as the genre, the type of ending (happy, sad, open-ended), the tone, the age of the characters, setting, a......nd many others. He showed several libraries services and blogs that help people find new authors or title. Check out shelftalk.spl.org or novelist.org


    • Kathy Bloomfield is starting off her library management workshop with relevant comparisons to classic Jewish children's books. She's using And Shira Imagined to talk about planning.


    • David Gilner introduces Laurel Wolfson for the AJL Life Membership Award.


    • Laurel Wolfson accepts the AJL Life Membership Award.


    • Enid Sperber lights up the room as she promotes chapters around the country.


    • Yelena Luckert welcomed AJL first time attendees. What brave souls!


    • Hazzan Isaac Azose led us in a beautiful Sephardic version of the Birkat ha-mazon


    • Sarah Barnard and Shuli Berger presented the library school scholarship to Haim Gottschalk (former conference chair in Phoenix) The other recipient Rachel Isaac-Menard couldn't make it to the convention. sfs


    • Heidi Rabinowitz explores Facebook and other Social Media with Jewish librarians in Seattle.


    • Tina Weiss gave a talk on the use of mobile devices in the library. I'm taking notes on how to enhance, or rather simplify our library homepage and catalog. She advised taking out the graphics and any java scripts.I'm adding this to my "to-do" list once I get home. Oh the joy (sincere) and joy (light sarcasm) of learning... from my colleagues. sfs


    • After Tina spoke, Daniel Horowitz spoke about the genealogy program Myheritage.com People can use their free download to create their family trees and then upload them to Bet Ha-tefutsot.



In the Mailbox

From time to time we here at AJL are contacted for review and interview opportunities for new or soon-to-be-released books. Whenever a new stack of books comes across my desk, I'd like to share them with you.

First up is Remedies, Kate Ledger's novel published in hardcover by Amy Einhorn Books:Simon and Emily Bear look like a couple who have it all. Simon is a respected doctor, while Emily shines professionally as a partner in a premier public relations firm. They have a beautiful house in Baltimore and a healthy daughter. But their marriage is scarred by old, hidden wounds. Even as Simon tends his patients' ills, and Emily spins away her clients' mistakes, they can't seem to do the same for themselves or their relationship....In a debut novel on apar with today's top women writers, Remedies explores the extradorinarily compliecated facets of pain, in the nerves of the body and the longings of the heart.

Based upon Availability is Alix Strauss's new book, out now in paperback from HarperCollins:From the very first page of this stunning novel, readers are drawn into the lives of eight seemingly ordinary women who pass through Manhattan's swanky Four Seasons Hotel. While offering sanctuary to some, solace to others, the hotel captures their darkest moments as they grapple with family, sex, power, love, and death. 

Stay tuned for an interview with Strauss, coming soon to the AJL blog.

M.L. Malcolm's new novel, Heart of Lies, is also out now in paperback from HarperCollins: Leo Hoffman was born with a gift for languages. When his dreams for the future are destroyed by World War I, the dashing young Hungarian attempts to use his rare talent to reubild his life, only to find himself inadvertently embroiled in an international counterfeiting scheme. Suddenly Leo is wanted across the European continent for a host of crimes, including murder...An epic tale of intrigue, passion, an adventure.

Finally, coming October 26 from Random House is Avi Steinberg's memoir Running the Books: Avi Steinberg is stumped. After defecting from his yeshiva to Harvard, he has only a senior thesis essay on Bugs Bunny to show for his effort. While his friends and classmates advance in the world, he remains stuck at a crossroads, unable to meet the lofty expectations of his Orthodox Jewish upbringing. And his romantic existence as a freelance obituary writer just isn't cutting it. Seeking direction- and dental insurance- Steinberg takes a job as a librarian in a tough Boston prison.