Welcome to the August Jewish Book Blog Carnival! Visit the headquarters of the Jewish Book Carnival, a monthly event where bloggers who blog about Jewish books can meet, read and comment on each others’ posts.
Following, in more or less alphabetical order, are this month’s blog links. (Note that cover images link to the relevant book page on Amazon).
Britbear’s Book Reviews has posted an interview with Libi Astaire, author of The Moon Taker, a Jewish detective story of the Regency period in London. In The Moon Taker, General Well’ngone and the Earl of Gravel Lane set out to discover who murdered one of their colleagues, and find themselves embroiled in a scandal of astronomical proportions.
The newest episode of The Book of Life podcast, hosted by librarian Heidi Estrin, features an interview with author and poet Leslea Newman, about her Jewish and LGBT books for children including her newest round-the-year Jewish holiday book Here is the World. You can hear the podcast online at:http://www.jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2015/08/here-is-world-of-leslea-newman.html
Read the entire first chapter of Alice Hoffman’s newest novel, The Marriage of Opposites, on Jewish Book Council’s website! This month you can also find an excerpt from Yitzhak Gormezano Goren’s stunning Alexandrian Summer, finally available in English translation—and more to come!
And mark your calendars for Jewish Book Council’s annual Raid the Shelves event in New York City: On Wednesday, October 28th, JBC will open its doors and offer all of its leftover books to those quick enough to grab them! All attendees must register in advance, so make sure to sign up early.
The Fig Tree Books blog celebrates “Malamud-apalooza” with fresh considerations of three novels by Bernard Malamud: Amy Lerner on The Natural; Natalia Holtzman on The Fixer; and Carl Rollyson on Dubin’s Lives.
Freelance writer and editor Deborah Kalb interviews a wide range of authors on her blog, deborahkalbbooks.blogspot.com.
Life Is Like a Library discusses several books about prayer, and the new Koren Magerman Series of age-appropriate siddurim is featured.
On My Machberet, Erika Dreifus shares reflections on World Literature Today‘s recent “New Hebrew Writing” feature.
Rabbi Johnny Solomon reviews a number of Jewish books on his blog. The review that most peaked my interest was of Marc Shapiro’s book Changing the Immutable: How Orthodox Judaism Rewrites Its History. Shapiro offers hundreds of examples where students, family members or printers have chosen to rewrite the past “by covering up and literally cutting out that which does not fit their own world-view.”
And last, but not least, my own contribution is a review of a disturbing, but enriching book called The Disappearance of God, by Richard Elliot Friedman. Friedman traces the idea of Hester Panim (the Hiding of the Face) through the Bible and into modern philosophy and literature. He sees much of human history, with all its triumphs and tragedies, as a reaction to a diminishing perception of Divine Presence. Could this perception have its origin in the very act of Creation?