Cranky Complaints-Lady Buys BOOKS! (or tries to)

Jewish Book Carnival, May / Iyyar 2016 Edition!


Welcome to this month’s Jewish Book Carnival, brought to you by the concept, from Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, that “Whoever is able to write a book and does not, it is as if he has lost a child.”

As a writer, I know how much creating a book, creating any text, is like giving birth.  And as a reader, how marvellous it is to be handed someone else’s precious and fragile thoughts and words.  May we as a people never lose our fascination with books or our drive to keep creating them.

This carnival has been going on continuously since August of 2010.  The Jewish Book Carnival is headquartered at the Association of Jewish Libraries’ site here.  Stop by for information on past editions or to sign up to host a future issue.

  • Last month’s carnival (April 2016) was hosted by The Book of Life.
  • Next month’s carnival (June 2016) will be hosted by Barbara Krasner at The Whole Megillah
  • And for now, you’re right here… at Adventures in Mamaland!

Read on for the roundup… and if you’re featured in this month’s roundup, be sociable:  click through and visit others’ posts… and tell ‘em I sent you!

Heidi Estrin’s guest post on the Cybils blog is “Cybils Books of Jewish Interest,” at The Cybils are the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards. They recognize books for literary merit and popular appeal, and Heidi says, “it’s wonderful that there are a number of Jewish books among their ranks.”

Deborah Kalb interviews a wide variety of authors on her blog, Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb. She recently interviewed Linda Kass about her new novel, Tasa's Song (link to book), which is about a Jewish musician in World War II-era Europe.

At the Times of Israel blogs, Ben Rothke offers a thorough and nuanced review of a new book with a mouthful of a title:  Motti Inbari’s Jewish Radical Ultra-Orthodoxy Confronts Modernity, Zionism and Women’s Equality (link to book).  Of the late Satmar Rebbe, for instance, Rothke writes, “While it’s quite easy, yet incorrect, to label Teitelbaum as a narrow-minded extremist, Inbari writes that he was a complex character and underwent many changes over the course of his life.”  .

On The Book of Life, Heidi Rabinowitz Estrin interviews Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award winner Susan Krawitz about her middle grade novel Viva, Rose (forthcoming from Holiday House), based on her own family’s history with Pancho Villa.  You can hear the podcast online at:

On My Machberet, Erika Dreifus gives you a virtual front-row seat to a recent New York production of Arthur Miller's play Incident at Vichy (link to book).

If you'd like some inspiration on how to really make counting the Omer count this year (“How's that for a tongue-twister?” she asks), Rivka Levy introduces her own new book, 49 Days: An Interactive Journal of Self-Development (link to book), over on the Jewish Book Review blog.

At Jewish Books for Kids, Barbara Bietz shares a visit with April Halprin Wayland about her Pesach book, More than Enough (link to book) over at

On the Fig Tree Books blog, there's news about what Erika Dreifus describes as “a new way to honor American Jewish author Edward Lewis Wallant (1926-1962).”

And lastly, with a new blog to me, at The Frum Jewish Books blog, Myriam Miller takes a look at some of the latest publications for religious adults and teens, including a review of a new novel about the Shoah called Searching for Rochel Istrin (link to book).  Miller writes, “Many Holocaust novels strive for some hope through contrived happy endings that are oh, so predictable. This isn’t one them.” 

All these awesome reviews and book thingies make me want to get out there and READ… and WRITE… and just, I don’t know, touch some books.  Hope I’ve managed to inspire you as well.  If you’ve come across a great newish Jewish book, blog or book site this month, please let me know about it in the Comments section below!

Tzivia / צִיבְיָה