I am thrilled to share with you that my first book, This Jewish Life: Stories of Discovery, Connection and Joy, has just been rereleased by a new house — Read the Spirit Books, the publishing arm of ReadtheSpirit.com. As with weddings, there is something old (original favorites), something new (wonderful additions), something borrowed (joyful images dancing across a cover beautifully designed by illustrator Rick Nease) and something blue (my name at the bottom, although that leans a bit toward teal.)
David Crumm, former Religion Editor of the Detroit Free Press and the brainchild behind ReadtheSpirit.com, has been a devoted friend and supporter of the book since he reviewed the first edition. I am grateful that his long-intentioned goal to breathe new life into This Jewish Life, sharing it with non-Jewish readers nationwide, has now come to fruition.
For those of you unfamiliar with the book, I interviewed Jews from across the country about their most transforming Jewish experiences, casting wide the net to include stories from all ages, both sexes, as well as a broad range of Jewish practice and non-practice. At the time the book-fairy tapped me on the shoulder and planted the idea in my head, I was raising my kids, creating a Jewish home into which I was constantly bring new traditions, customs and experiences. I thought it would be cool to read about other Jews’ positive Jewish encounters and found there was no such book around. Enter that book fairy mentioned above. At the time I had never written anything more than a 1700-word article, and quaked at the thought of what could be involved. Book fairies, I learned, are an insistent bunch, for which I am ultimately grateful. The writing of This Jewish Life, and now its republication, continues to bring wonderful people my way, Jews and non-Jews alike eager to learn about Jewish life and customs.
This Jewish Life now contains fifty-four stories organized around what I call the twin timelines of the Jewish calendar — life cycle events and holidays. Each section begins with an explanation of the holiday or life cycle event so that readers have some context for the stories that follow. You can read excerpts on my author’s page at ReadtheSpirit.com as well as learn more about many aspects of Jewish life and culture. The book is available in e-versions on Amazon; paperback available any day now. Send me a message via my FB Reading Room if you’d like to have, or give, an autographed copy.
Many thanks to Joe Lewis for reviewing the book so swiftly, candidly and praisefully.