November Jewish Book Carnival

Chanukah candles
In anticipation of a certain upcoming holiday, candles from last year’s Chanukah celebration

Welcome to the November Jewish Book Carnival. You can learn more about the Jewish Book Carnival on the Association of Jewish Libraries website.


Just in time for Hanukkah, Barbara Bietz interviewed Lauren Wohl about her new book, The Eighth Menorah at Illustrated by Laura Hughs, The Eighth Menorah is the story of Sam and the menorah he makes at school. Sam’s not sure there is a room for his new menorah at home and he comes up with a plan to find the perfect spot for his menorah.


In October, Jill at Rhapsody in Books reviewed Proxy by Alex London. This entertaining story takes place in a dystopian future, and contains many references to the Judaism of the Old Testament. The idea of a “proxy” or “scapegoat” to take the blame will resonate with readers.

In November, Jill of Rhapsody in Books (and also Legal Legacy) reviewed Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan. This entertaining history of the struggle between early Christianity and the struggling Jewish community also traces the origin of the next 2000 years of antisemitism.

Between Friends

On My Machberet, Erika Dreifus shares her enjoyment of Amos Oz’s Between Friends (trans. Sondra Silverston). Also: Erika suggests “10 Ways to Celebrate Jewish Book Month” for The Forward’s Arty Semite blog.

Laurel Snyder

Heidi Estrin at The Book of Life presents a podcast interview with author Laurel Snyder, an outside-the-box thinker in the world of Jewish kidlit.

Kathy Bloomfield has three blog posts to share this month:

At she focuses on the verse of the Nisim B’chol Yom prayer thanking the One “…Who straightens the bent.” At Kathy prepares for Thanksgiving by examining the value of “Distributing Gleanings from Today’s Fields: Leket/Gleanings, Shikheḥah/Forgotten, & Pe’ah/Corners”. And at’s special Thanksgivukkah website, she looks at books for this special once–in-a-millennium time of year.

The Elephant in the Room

Batya reviewed The Elephant in the Room: Torah, Wisdom, and Inspiration for Life by Ron Yitzchok Eisenman.

Lorri M. reviewed the well-documented book, Brave Genius: A Scientist, a Philosopher and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize, by Sean B. Carroll.

Judy Petsonk

Keep an eye on The Book of Life podcast for a forthcoming interview with Judy Petsonk, author of Queen of the Jews. Queen Shalom-Zion was married to a descendent of the Maccabees, and this historical novel illuminates the backstory of Hanukkah itself!

In November, Diana Bletter at interviewed writer Molly Antopol on her upcoming book, The UnAmericans, a wonderful collection of short stories set around the world.

Last week, the Jewish Book Council announced the winners of the 2014 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. Also, check out their Eight Nights of Stories series, in which they recommended Chanukah reads for all ages.

The Paris Architect

Anne Perry reviewed A Town of Empty Rooms: “a Jewish family that relocates to a small town in the Bible Belt and their experiences with the small congregation and esoteric rabbi there.” Be sure to check out Anne Perry’s review of The Paris Architect.

Susan Curtis reviewed Snow in August by Pete Hamill.

At Life Is Like a Library, Kathe Pinchuck looks at several books about love, sex and sexuality, including a parody entitled Fifty Shades of Oy Vey!
Love and hope and sex and dreams are still survivin’ on the streets.

In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist

Leora Wenger (that’s me) reviewed Ruchama King Feuerman’s book, In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist, with notes on the talk she gave at the library in Highland Park, New Jersey in October.

Rebecca Klempner interviewed Ruchama King Feuerman – note the discussion on writing from the point-of-view of the other gender in fiction.

• • •

Thank you to everyone who participated.

17 thoughts on “November Jewish Book Carnival

Please write a comment! I love to hear from you.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

thirteen + four =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.