The Book of Life's New Sister Podcast: Nice Jewish Books

The Association of Jewish Libraries Launches Nice Jewish Books Podcast

The Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) is pleased to announce the launch of Nice Jewish Books, a monthly podcast focusing on adult Jewish fiction. Nice Jewish Books will bring attention to works of literary fiction, genre fiction, and literature in translation, as well as books and authors that have been considered for AJL’s annual Jewish Fiction Award. Nice Jewish Books can be found at

The first episode, available now, features Mary Marks, author of the Quilting Mysteries series, in which Jewish protagonist Martha Rose and her circle of quilting friends seem to bump into dead bodies with alarming frequency. Luckily, they are able use their observational skills, intuition, and persistence to "help" the police catch the killers. In this wide-ranging conversation, host Sheryl Stahl and Mary Marks discuss Jewish practice, the representation of female characters, social action, and finding love in your 70s.

In episode two, available in November, Nice Jewish Books will be joined by Talia Carner, whose novels tackle subjects as varied as human trafficking, Russia after the fall of Communism, Jerusalem at the end of the Ottoman Empire, and more.

Host Sheryl Stahl, library director at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, is an active member of AJL, where she has held the positions of treasurer, membership vice president, and webmaster and served on AJL’s Jewish Fiction Award committee.

Discussing the inspiration for the podcast, Ms. Stahl said, “For many years I've enjoyed listening to Heidi Rabinowitz interview authors and others about Jewish children's literature on The Book of Life podcast, cosponsored by AJL and Congregation B'nai Israel of Boca Raton, Florida. While I was listening, I kept thinking, ‘I wish someone would do something similar for adult literature.’ It finally dawned on me that I could and should be that someone. I'm really excited about speaking with my favorite authors and look forward to sharing those conversations.”

“AJL is excited to now have a public venue to discuss new adult Jewish fiction with their authors,” enthused Kathleen Bloomfield, president of AJL. “This podcast is a perfect complement to The Book of Life with its focus on kidlit.”

Listen at