For immediate release
“THE BOOK OF LIFE” CELEBRATES ONE YEAR
The Book of Life, a monthly podcast about Jewish books and music, celebrates a year of successful podcasting this December. The first episode of the audio program was posted in December, 2005.
This “Internet radio show” features interviews with authors and illustrators of Judaic books, and musicians who have produced Judaic recordings. “As a librarian, my purpose is to promote books and CD’s that people can borrow from libraries,” says podcast producer and host Heidi Estrin, who directs the Feldman Library at Congregation B’nai Israel in Boca Raton, Florida. “I am especially excited about the wonderful Jewish books being published these days for children and teens, and that is a major focus of the show. I hope that hearing the ‘backstory’ will get readers involved!”
The Book of Life has received notice from other literary web pages, including PlanetEsme and Cynsations, two blogs by noted children’s authors and reading advocates Esme Raji Codell and Cynthia Leitich Smith, respectively. Jbooks.com, the Online Jewish Book Community, has even set up a permanent link to the podcast on their front page, under the heading “Books Amplified.” The podcast has many subscribers among librarians, publishers, and authors, and also draws educators, booksellers, and families of readers. Each episode of the program is downloaded an average of 742 times per month. Listeners come from around the globe, from places as far-flung as Australia, Finland, and even Singapore.
“Podcasting” was declared the 2005 Word of the Year by the editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary, highlighting the cutting edge nature of the technology. A Pew Internet study shows that the number of people listening to podcasts has been increasing over the past year, as has the number and variety of podcasts available. “The Book of Life offers a bissele Yiddishkeit through your computer, your iPod, or even your phone,” says Estrin. “What a fun way to connect with Jewish culture!”
The Book of Life is available at http://www.jewishbooks.blogspot.com/, and can also be heard by phone at 916-313-3820.
OPTIONAL SIDEBAR INFORMATION:
Some of the Personalities Heard on The Book of Life:
> Simms Taback, Caldecott winning author/illustrator of Joseph Had a Little Overcoat and Kibbitzers & Fools
> Nancy Pearl, author of Book Lust and model for the Librarian Action Figure
> Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief
> Nora Guthrie, Woody Guthrie’s daughter and initiator of the Klezmatics’ CD Woody Guthrie’s Happy Joyous Hanukkah
> Eric A. Kimmel, award-winning author of Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins and many other folktale retellings
> Alice Hoffman, bestselling author of many adult and teen books including the new YA novel Incantation
> Steve Brodsky of the group Mah Tovu, creators of the hit single Pharoah Pharoah
> Abigail Pogrebin, daughter of Letty Cottin Pogrebin and author of Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish
> Mordicai Gerstein, Caldecott-award winning author, and illustrator of Sholom’s Treasure: How Sholom Aleichem Became a Writer