Sunday, November 9, 2008

Jewish Book Month Reading Challenge

Jewish Book Month

This year it runs from 25 Cheshvan-25 Kislev 5769 (Nov. 22-Dec.22, 2008).

For years I made it a point to read Jewish literature all during this lunar month, although now I read it any time during the year when the mood strikes me too. I'd like to encourage others to try books of Jewish interest, or to increase what they already read in this category. Can you commit to reading one, two, maybe three books during this one month period? Perhaps the habit will stay with you and you'll find some great new reads in the future. It's time to start rounding up some good Jewish books and have them ready on your nightstand or by your comfortable chair in time to begin on Saturday November 22.

My projected tbr list for Jewish Book Month:

Who by Fire by Diana Spechler compliments of Book Club Girl for Authors On Air interview

The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer ARC from Harper Collins Canada

My Father's Paradise by Ariel Sabar ARC from Algonquin Books

The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Hunt (Booker shortlist 2008)

The Entropy of Aaron Rosclatt by James Sandham ARC from Clark-Nova Books/ LibraryThing

Your Sad Eyes and Unforgettable Mouth by Edeet Ravel
Dictation by Cynthia Ozick
Recently read and highly recommended:

The Attack***** by Yasmina Khadra (Algeria)

Let it Be Morning**** by Sayed Kashua (Israel)

The God-Fearer**** by Dan Jacobson(South Africa/UK)

Disobedience***** by Naomi Alderman (UK) Orange Prize New Writers Award
brief review:
People of the Book***** by Geraldine Brooks (Australia)
A Pigeon and a Boy***** by Meir Shalev (Israel)
Bearing the Body**** by Ehud Havazelet (Israel) NYTimes Notable book 2007
Memory***** by Philippe Grimbert (France) Prix Goncourt and the Prix Wizo
brief review:
The Revisionist**** by Helen Schulman (Australia)

The Dawning of the Day***** by Haim Sabato (Israel)
The Yiddish Policeman's Union**** by Michael Chabon (US)
brief review:
The Rabbi's Cat by Joann Sfor, graphic novel, (France)
brief review:
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Australia)

Have you read any of these? What did you think, do you recommend them? Will you be reading
something of Jewish interest in the near future? What can you recommend that's good? This is a personal challenge for me but if anyone cares to join me and tell us what you read I'd love it. If you post about Jewish Book Month, a list of which books you plan to read, or what you've really enjoyed in the past, or if you've written a review of something good in books of Jewish interest, consider leaving a link to it in the comments and I'll add it to this post. Comments and suggestions are also encouraged.

History of Jewish Book Month or more details:

And you might want to check out the new Jewish Literature Challenge that starts December 22.


  1. Hi, I have not read any in your list but a few are in my tbr. I would recommend The Reader by Bernard Schlink - the movie is hopefully out this December.

  2. ok Do u recommend anything to me - because I am so new to Jewish lit. I would LOVE to give it a try :)

  3. A lot of great reads on that list- both the ones you've read and the ones you're going to read. I hope you have a great time with it! :-)

  4. I loved The Book Thief. It's actually one of my favorite books ever!

    Diary of an Eccentric

  5. I was especially happy to read Anna's comment (above). My TriCon book group has selected *The Book Thief* for January.

  6. ty bkclubcare: I have read and can recommend The Reader by Bernard Schlink too. I listed only what I've read this year.
    The Book Thief was one of my favourites the year I read it too.
    Veens: I noticed from your library that you have already read The Triumph of Deborah and When I Was a Soldier. So anything by or about Jewish people, their history, religion, anything set in Israel. You should see what your local library has. Elie Wiesel has over 40 books of fiction, beside his memoir Night. Chaim Potok has several with Hassidic families, very interesting, such as The Chosen, The Promise, My Name is Asher Lev, Davita's Harp,etc. Isaac Bashevis Singer has many novels and short stories, translated from the Yiddish. He was a Nobel laureate. That's where I started as a girl.
    Those I listed in the post are really good. Marie, who commented before you is a synogogue librarian so she knows what's good and she agrees. I hope you find something that suits your tastes.

  7. The ones on your list that I read and loved are The Book Thief and The People of the Book.

    Sandra has a great list. I read Night by Elie Wiesel and it really moved me. I recently found a copy of his book Dawn and I am looking forward to reading it too.

  8. Hi Sandra,
    Hope everything is ok...haven't seen you post in awhile. Missed you.
    I tagged you...

    Books by TJBaff: Bookworm Award




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