Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Legacy of Jewish Swimmers

Karen Propp with Manuscript Award Chair Aileen Grossberg

Karen Propp discusses her work in progress, Freestyle, a story of Jewish female swimming champs in Europe during WWII. The unpublished work won the 2013 Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries. 

Freestyle is based on the true story of champion swimmer Judith Deutsch and the Viennese Hakoah swim team of the 1930s, familiar to some from the documentary film Watermarks. Despite being selected by Austria to swim in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Deutsch and her teammates boycotted the Olympics to protest the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany.

The novel covers two years in the life of Elly Hirsch,  Propp’s fictional incarnation of Deutsch. The Award committee felt that Freestyle with its strong sense of history, sympathetic characters, and little known story, would appeal to a wide audience and epitomize the ideals of Sydney Taylor’s All of a Kind Family series. Freestyle looks at the years of the Holocaust with a unique light.

AUDIO: 

Press the play button to listen to the podcast now:

Or click MP3 File to open your computer's media player.

CREDITS:

Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel 
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries 
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band 
Facebook: facebook.com/bookoflifepodcast 
Twitter: @bookoflifepod 

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473.




Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Seminar on Jewish Story

Temple Emanu-El

On May 18, 2014, The Seminar on Jewish Story will take place at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan, New York. This day-long event will be a celebration of Jewish literature in its many forms, from fiction to memoir, poetry to children's books. I spoke to organizer Barbara Krasner, who told me some of the exciting highlights of the Seminar, which is a co-production of the Whole Megillah and the Association of Jewish Libraries.

Click here to learn more about the Seminar on Jewish Story, or email Barbara directly at barbarakrasner [at] att [dot] net. Act soon, because she's running a $99 special on registration! I'll be at the event, and I hope to see you there....

AUDIO:

Press the Play button to listen to the podcast now:

Or click on MP3 File to open your computer's media player. 

CREDITS:

Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel 
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries 
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band 
Facebook: facebook.com/bookoflifepodcast 
Twitter: @bookoflifepod 

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 


Friday, March 14, 2014

The Jewish Book Carnival


I am pleased to bring you the March 2014 edition of the Jewish Book Carnival, a monthly roundup of Jewish literary links from across the blogosphere! If you blog about Jewish books, you can play too! Visit the Jewish Book Carnival HQ for info about submitting your links to upcoming carnivals.
~~~~~ * ~~~~~

I'd like to draw your attention to an earlier post here on The Book of Life, when I interviewed editor Steven Bergson about The Jewish Comix Anthology. The Kickstarter campaign to fund this project was successful, with 289 backers raising CAD$52,777, so we can look forward to reading this amazing collection soon.

In March, Jill at Rhapsody in Books reviewed One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper, about a rabbi's son who is not convinced his life has any meaning. At once both tragic and funny, this story captures the essence of family and the various bonds among family members.

The Whole Megillah welcomed a guest post by Seminar on Jewish Story fiction panelist Erika Dreifus and featured an interview with memoir panelist Tahneer Oksman. The Seminar on Jewish Story will be held May 18 at Temple Emanu-El in New York City, hosted by The Whole Megillah LLC in partnership with the Association of Jewish Libraries. Click here for info about attending the event!

On My Machberet, Erika Dreifus shares a brief and meaningful excerpt on Jewish identity from The Amos Oz Reader.

As part of the 2014 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour, Ann Koffsky interviewed author/illustrator Patricia Polacco about her award-winning picture sequel to The Keeping Quilt, called  The Blessing Cup.

At The Jewish Book Council's Prosen People blog, Emily Stone, author of Did Jew Know? looks at who's Jewish in Hollywood in "Six Degrees of Kevin's Bacon" and includes a little quiz to test your knowledge. Plus, check out this interview with Leah Vincent, author of Cut Me Loose: Sin & Salvation After My Ultra Orthodox Girlhood. 

In Israel, Kathe Pinchuck at Life is Like a Library had the opportunity to visit the Bible Lands Museum and see the exhibit "Book of Books."

Anne Perry at Reading Rabbi reviews My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead, and the timely Passover Parodies: Short Plays for the Seder Table by Shoshana Hantman.

At the Me-Ander blog, Batya Medad reviews The Hope Merchant by Adam Berkowitz.

Tzivia Jennifer MacLeod at Write Kids' Books! offers an interview with Israeli author/illustrator Miri Leshem-Pelly, and and interview with British author/illustrator Jo Litchfield, whose books have been translated into Hebrew.

Thanks to all the bloggers who submitted links, and to YOU for reading them! Join us in April when the Jewish Book Carnival will be hosted by Barbara Krasner at The Whole Megillah!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Jewish Comix Anthology



The Jewish Comix Anthology is a project that brings together the work of 47 artists, featuring both previously published and brand-new bespoke comic creations. It's the brainchild of Steven M. Bergson, an expert on the representation of Jews in comics, and an old friend of mine from the Association of Jewish Libraries.

A Kickstarter campaign is running now through March 5, 2014 to fund the publication of The Jewish Comix Anthology. Contribute now to pre-order a copy of the book, and to get other exciting rewards like original art!

I spoke to Steven about the project and the Kickstarter by Skype, at his home in Toronto, Canada.

AUDIO:

Press the play button to listen to the podcast now:

Or click on MP3 File to open your computer's media player.  

CREDITS:

Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel 
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries 
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band 
Facebook: facebook.com/bookoflifepodcast 
Twitter: @bookoflifepod 

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 




Friday, February 21, 2014

Final Day of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour 2014

The 2014 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour draws to a close with one last gold-medal winner, and a virtual roundtable with the whole group. It's been great! Thanks to all who participated!

Patricia Polacco, author and illustrator of The Blessing Cup
Sydney Taylor Book Award winner in the Older Readers Category
At Ann Koffsky's Blog

Blog Tour Wrap-Up with All Authors and Illustrators
At The Whole Megillah

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Penultimate Day of the 2014 Sydney Taylor Blog Tour

Cosei Kawa, illustrator of Rifka Takes a Bow
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Younger Readers Category
At Jewish Books for Children

Elisabeth Leyson and Dr. Marilyn J. Harran, contributors to The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible...on Schindler’s List
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Older Readers Category
At The Interlace Place

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Day 3: Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour 2014

Neal Bascomb, author of The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World's Most Notorious Nazi
Sydney Taylor Book Award winner in the Teen Readers Category
At Randomly Reading

Carol Matas, author of Dear Canada: Pieces of the Past: The Holocaust Diary of Rose Rabinowitz
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Older Readers Category
At Pen and Prose