Sunday, November 4, 2007

Jewish Literature Challenge

Host: Callista from SMS Book Reviews
Challenge Blog: Jewish Literature Challenge
Time frame: December 4, 2007 (first night of Chanukah--Kislev 25 on the Hebrew Calendar) through April 26, 2008 (last day of Passover--Nisan 21)

Yes, another challenge. I know, I'm crazy. But this one happens to coincide perfectly with what's going on with my life, so I had to join.

My list will probably be a little bit different from other people's. Although it is called a Literature challenge, Callista says that you can also include non-fiction, memoirs, children's books, and books about Jewish customs and traditions.

As some of you may know, I am not Jewish. But my husband is, and we decided a long time ago that we would raise our children Jewish, without me actually converting (I prefer to embrace my own spirituality that is not easily classified into one particular religion). Recently, I joined an 8-month long discussion group called the Mother's Circle. The Mother's Circle was devised to help women of different religious backgrounds who are raising Jewish children. It's also a great place to meet other moms. Some of the books on my challenge list I will be reading for this group, or are children's books I plan on reading to our daughter--whenever she chooses to be born! So this challenge fits in very well with my family's journey of exploration into what aspects of Judaism we will be incorporating into our home. It's a very exciting time, as we start our own family traditions, such as holding a Friday night Shabbat dinner as much as possible, and doing mitzvah (good deeds, ie volunteering) during the holiday season.

The list of possibilities (with links to my review):
1. Living a Jewish Life: Jewish traditions, customs, and values for today's family - Anita Diamant (non-fiction) (finished 22 January 2008)
2. How to be Jewish parent: A practical handbook for family life - Anita Diamant (non-fiction)
3. Moishe's Miracle: A Hanukkah Story - Laura Krauss Melmud (children's)
4. Hanukkah at Valley Forge - Stephen Krensky (children's)
5. The Keeping Quilt - Patricia Polacco (children's)
6. The Way to the Cats - Yehoshua Kenaz (fiction)
7. The Testament - Elie Wiesel (fiction)
8. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak (fiction) (finished 25 February 2008)
9. The Castle on Hester Street - Linda Heller (children's) (finished 7 February 2008)


Anonymous said...

How great that your challenge goes hand in hand with your journey. The only book I've read from your list is The Book Thief. Goodness it was so amazing. One of my favorite books I've read this year.

Nyssaneala said...

iliana - It is neat. I have heard so many wonderful things about The Book Thief, I definitely plan on reading it sometime next year.

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