"People of the Books" Blog

Link Roundup

Here are some great links about Jewish books, libraries and more that have hit the web this week.

Two great posts from the Jewish Publication Society blog- a summer reading roundup and a post on Online Jewish Ethics Resources.

Safranim's blog has launched. It's in Hebrew and covers Jewish libraries and books.

Yesterday Tabletmag.com posted A Very Jewish Bloomsday: everything you need to know for today.

ResourceShelf posted a great article for ebook patrons on sending full text ebooks directly to a Kindle.

An article on Translated Poetry by Avron Sutkever in Hayden's Ferry Review was posted by Erika at the My Machberet book blog.

Great Authors on the Big Jewcy appears at the Jewish Book Council blog.

Q&A with Miryam Kabakov: Editor of Anthology on Orthodox Lesbians is at the Jewish Womens' Archive Jewesses with Attitude blog.

Inter-Religious Dialogue posted their review of the new online YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe.

Graphic Novel Alert

First Second, a comics imprint part of Macmillan, has two graphic novels out now that may be of interest to Judaic libraries that collect for children.City of Spies, by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan, with artwork by Pascal Dizin. ISBN 978-1-59643-262-8.

In the comics Evelyn draws in secret, the heroic Zirconium Man and his loyal sidekick Scooter always beat the bad guys and save the day. But quiet, lonely Evelyn never imagined she could be a hero, too.

So Evelyn can hardly believe it when she and her new friend Tony uncover a deadly plot being carried out by Nazi spies, right in their neighborhood. Together, the two pals set out to save the day- and help win the war!

Resistance Book 1, by Carla Jablonski and Leland Purvis. ISBN 978-1-59643-291-8.

World War II is raging across Europe, but life goes on in the small French village where Paul Tessier lives. With his father being held as a prisoner of war by the German army, it's up to Paul to be the man of the house. Paul has more to worry about than just his own family: his best friend, Henri Levy, is Jewish. When Henri's parents vanish, Paul and his sister Marie construct a plan to hide Henri from the Germans.

But soon their secret leaks out...to the Resistance! This organization of loyal French women and men fights against the German occupiers in any way they can. Now Paul, Marie, and Henri are about to become the Resistance's youngest recruits.

Stay tuned to the AJL blog for an interview with Carla Jablonski, coming soon!

Convention Countdown, Week 6: Wendy Marcus

Wendy Marcus, the music director at Temple Beth Am in Seattle, has been hard at work on arrangements for the AJL Convention!




Wendy, you will be wearing several hats at the AJL convention, as a presenter and as a musician. Can you tell us a little about your various AJL activities?

Full disclosure: I am a daughter of a librarian.

I’m connected to NW AJL Chapter president Toby Harris through Temple Beth Am, in Seattle’s Jewishly happening North End, where I am music director and editor of Drash: Northwest Mosaic. Toby and Ronnie’s daughters were Bat Mitzvah students of mine!

I’ve scheduled musicians and presenters for the open-to-the-public afternoon on Sunday, July 4, and will serve as emcee. As well, on Tuesday, July 6 at 10:30am, I will gab about community building with the creation of an annual Jewish/Northwest literary journal, Drash: Northwest Mosaic – we’re releasing Volume IV! -- and about Drash readings in farflung corners of the region (fair number of ferries involved).

Your book, Polyglot, was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. Please tell us a little about the book!

Since 2004, I’ve been writing short stories, especially when inspired by unforgettable characters. I gathered those characters up into Polyglot: Stories of the West’s Wet Edge and won the 2009 Serena McDonald Kennedy Award from Georgia’s Snake Nation Press. Polyglot chronicles lives between Vancouver, BC, and Vancouver, Washington. The stories are linked by the advice of a gay Gypsy columnist (I am a former newspaper reporter), and there are sprinklings from ten different languages (hence the book’s title) – including the language of my heart,Yiddish. The Jewish Book Council kindly named Polyglot one of three finalists in its annual contest this spring. A sequel is in the works.

Studies have shown that Seattle is the most literate city in the nation. What makes Seattle such a great place for reading and libraries?

Between October and April, when skies are gray and sodden here, a good book and a hot cup of coffee keep serious depression at bay! While Seattleites love a good chat and at the slightest sun break leave work early to kayak, hike, bike, run, ski, or garden, we seek individual space, humbled by our dramatic natural elements. There’s a loner streak in us – we like to think, write, read, observe – alone; our external landscape mirrors our internal one.

Can you give us a recommendation for any recent Jewish books you enjoyed?

If you can overlook the typos, Borgo Press has come out with an edited version of short stories by Montague Glass (1877-1934), Potash and Perlmutter, about fictitious partners Abe Potash and Morris Perlmutter, and immigrant foibles in New York’s garment industry. While the dialog is dated and laced with wacky Yidddishisms and German-Jewishisms, the book is a valuable curio. It provides a lowbrow glimpse into the way people in the shmatte business really spoke and lived in the 1910s and 1920s. My grandfather, Louis Marcus, was in the ribbon business in NYC and the book allows me to imagine the kind of schmoozing that went on between him, competitors, buyers, salesmen, and social climbers.

The Seattle area is the home of both Amazon and Apple. What’s your preference, Kindle or iPad? What are your feelings on digital books?

Feh. I don’t even have a cell phone.

What Seattle experience should visitors be sure not to miss?

Take a round-trip ferry ride between downtown Seattle and Bainbridge Island (about 40 minutes one way). Horizon to horizon mountains, glorious fresh air and all these guys baring their chests in 50-degree sunshine!

MENTION CONVENTION

 

Enter the Mention Convention weekly drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card by linking back to this interview on your blog, on Facebook, or on Twitter (hashtag #AJL10) — just email [email protected] to tell us what you did!

Link Roundup

Here are some great articles, book reviews and news on Jewish books, publishing and libraries this week.

Book review: The Making of a Reform Jewish Cantor at the Indiana University Press blog.

Lemon Cake Rising at EarlyWord.com.

Library Blog Awards Announced at Points of Reference. Maybe AJL next year?

Not Your Father's Fiction Guide, a review of American Jewish Fiction, by Sanford Pinsker at JBooks.com.

Happy 122nd Birthday, JPS! at JPS.com.

Israeli author scoops German literary peace prize, at Yahoo.com.

The Skala Yizkor Book at Shtetlinks.jewishgen.org.

Judaica Librarians' Group (Israel)

This news item came to our attention thanks to Ya'akov Aronson.

JUDAICA LIBRARIANS' GROUP (ISRAEL)
Spring Study Day

Forty librarians from all over the country gathered at the National Library of Israel on 28 April to participate in the Spring Study Day of the Judaica Librarians' Group.  The event took place in the newly renovated lecture hall of the National Library's Music and Sound Archives Collection.

At a brief business meeting held before the lectures Haim Levi of the Hebrew Cataloging Department of the National Library of Israel (NLI) was chosen to serve as Chairman of the group.  The existing Steering
Committee of six members from five institutions will continue to assist the new Chairman.  It was also decided to hold the study days semiannually.

Opening the program was Gil Weissblei, Director of the Chaim Hazaz archive at NLI.  He talked about the ethical dilemma confronting an archivist when having to deal with an archive whose owner requested that all his papers be destroyed but his executor decided that the material was of such importance that it should be preserved.  Examples were drawn from the conflicts that arose concerning the archives of Chaim Hazaz and Franz Kafka.

Arnon Hershkovitz, Founder of the Internet Forum Family Roots, discussed resources for genealogical research available on the Internet as well in printed format.

Project Europeana Judaica, a part of the larger Europeana project to create a multi-lingual online collection of millions of digitized items from European museums, libraries, and archives, was described
by the Director of the Israeli section of the project, Dov Weiner. The Israel National Library has recently joined the project and will provide important items for the collection.

Closing the day Dr. Gila Flam, Director of the National Library's Music and Sound Archives Collection, discussed the unique challenges encountered in digitizing a music collection of over 30,000 hours recorded in many different formats over more than half a century.