Monday, April 24, 2017

Kasper Mützenmacher's Cursed Hat

Kasper Mützenmacher's Cursed Hat by Keith Fentonmiller is a weird and wonderful novel that starts during WWII and takes many a strange detour from there. It's kind of hard to explain, but just trust me and read it, and hold on for a wild ride.

Did you enjoy our last episode about Serendipity's Footsteps? Don't forget to become a patron of The Book of Life on Patreon to get a free autographed copy of your own!


CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST





PHOTO GALLERY

The character of Kasper was inspired by Keith's grandfather Dr. Meryl Fenton, whom he called Papa. Here's a picture of Papa, with Keith's father as a little boy.



And this is Keith Fentonmiller himself.



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 

Support The Book of Life by becoming a patron at Patreon.com/bookoflife

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

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

#ProjectReadathon


From April 17-23, 2017, browse and read free excerpts from great books on the Penguin Random House website to trigger book donations to Save the Children. It costs you nothing but a few minutes of your time, which will be spent enjoying kids' and adult titles from a variety of genres.

There are a few recognizably Jewish books in the mix: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon, Delicious by Ruth Reichl, Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar, Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit, and the classic Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. And of course, there are plenty of excellent non-Jewish titles to choose from too. No matter what you read, you will be doing a mitzvah by participating!

Click here to learn more about the project.
OR
Click here to start reading!


Monday, April 17, 2017

Serendipity's Footsteps


Serendipity's Footsteps by Suzanne Nelson tells the interwoven stories of three girls across time and geography, and how they are connected serendipitously by a special pair of shoes. Suzanne Nelson won a Sydney Taylor Honor Award for the teen novel, and I interviewed her live at the 2016 Association of Jewish Libraries conference in Charleston, SC.
SPECIAL OFFER: Become a patron of The Book of Life on Patreon.com for as little as $1/month and receive a free autographed copy of Serendipity's Footsteps, while supplies last! Click here to take advantage of this offer!

For more fun, check out Suzanne's Pinterest boards for the characters Dalya, Pinny and Ray here!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST



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 

Support The Book of Life by becoming a patron at Patreon.com/bookoflife

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



Sunday, April 09, 2017

Read Without Walls

Join the Read Without Walls challenge this April!




I found this exciting project over at The Booklist Reader:

Writer, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and MacArthur Genius Gene Luen Yang has thrown down an exciting challenge for April: diversify your reading list. As part of the national, month-long program Reading Without Walls, Yang has called upon readers of all ages to expand the kinds of literature they read. The rules are as follows:

If you're a regular at The Book of Life, you probably already read plenty of Jewish books, but even within that genre you can branch out. Read about Jews from another land or in another time, if you're a novel-lover try nonfiction, if you're a grownup read a children's book.

If you take up the challenge, please share the news on social media using the hashtag #ReadingWithoutWalls. I'd love to have you comment here at The Book of Life about your reading choices!



Monday, April 03, 2017

The (Unofficial) Hogwarts Haggadah


The (Unofficial) Hogwarts Haggadah is this year's #1 best-selling haggadah on Amazon. It was created with true fandom and great Jewish knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg, who also authored Morality for Muggles: Ethics in the Bible and the World of Harry Potter (as well as a number of Star Trek related articles at Tablet Magazine). I spoke to Rabbi Rosenberg by Skype, which seemed to have a basilisk in its walls - please consider the creepy hiss behind his voice to be part of the mystery and magic.

During the interview, we talked about #Trypod, the campaign to get more people to try more podcasts. Rabbi Rosenber's #Trypod recommendation was Nice Jewish Fangirls, a podcast by his own daughter!  And check out my #Trypod recommendations here


CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST


 
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 
 
Support The Book of Life by becoming a patron at Patreon.com/bookoflife!
 
Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com

Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Call Me Ishmael


Steph Kent, Call Me Ishmael Co-founder
At the American Library Association convention last summer, I met Steph Kent, co-founder of CallMeIshmael.com - a website where book lovers leave voicemails telling personal stories about their favorite books. I recorded an interview with Steph on the show floor, and then later got back in touch to create "How Is This Book Different?," a project sponsored jointly by Call Me Ishmael, the Association of Jewish Libraries, and the Jewish Book Council. YOU are invited to join in! Here's how:
  1. Call 774-325-0503 to leave a short voicemail
  2. Between March 27-April 4, 2017
  3. With a personal story about any Jewish book that matters in your life
  4. Then go to CallMeIshmael.com to hear everyone's stories!
HINT: Click here for tips on making your voicemail awesome.





CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST




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 

Support The Book of Life by becoming a patron at Patreon.com/bookoflife

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

Heidi calls Ishmael

Saturday, March 18, 2017

#Trypod

March 2017 is #trypod month - a time to try a new podcast, and to show your friends how to listen to podcasts if they don't yet know. The campaign was organized by NPR to encourage the one in five Americans who listen to podcasts to help their friends start a listening habit too. Use the hashtag #trypod as you share your story about why you listen and your suggestions of favorite shows.


I listen to podcasts to be informed, to get a mood boost, and for professional development. But the big reason I listen to podcasts is to feel connected. When I have someone's voice in my ear, it's an intimate feeling, like they are speaking directly to me. These podcasters share my interests and concerns, and they make me feel connected to them as individuals, and to the issues being discussed. #trypod

Here are a few of my favorites:

To be informed, I listen to CodeSwitch, a podcast about race, A Way With Words, a show about language and how we use it, and the TED Radio Hour, which is about ... everything.

For a mood boost, I listen to Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids, a Canadian live show where people read from old diaries and homework assignments, Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, a fandom version of Torah study, and Verity, an international podcast hosted by six smart women seriously discussing Doctor Who.

For professional development as a Judaica librarian, I listen to Unorthodox from Tablet Magazine (see my recent interview with the hosts), Can We Talk? from the Jewish Women's Archive, and I've just started listening to All the Wonders, a show about children's books.

How to Listen to Podcasts (a brush-up for you, a primer for your friends):

You can listen to a podcast by going to its website and clicking the PLAY button for any episode (that's called "streaming"). You can also subscribe to podcasts so the newest episodes will be waiting for you on your device (computer, mobile phone, tablet, etc). To do this, you need an app such as iTunes or Stitcher. Most of the apps are free, and most podcasts are also free. To learn more about podcast basics click here; to learn about podcast listening apps ("podcatchers") check out this Best Of list.

I hope you'll help your friends learn how to enjoy podcasts, and please do recommend that they try The Book of Life!