Fig Tree Books Blog

Our blog features essays from the publisher and editors, book reviews and appreciations, coverage of FTB titles, and noteworthy news of American Jewish experience.

New Review of Another Classic: Chaim Potok’s THE CHOSEN

By Erika Dreifus

December 2, 2014

Like Rabbi Rebecca Einstein Schorr, I remember reading The Chosen for the first time as an adolescent. But I had forgotten so much about Chaim Potok’s 1967 novel before I read Rabbi Schorr’s new review, the latest addition to our ongoing freelance review project. I’m so grateful to have read her eloquent reflections on this […]

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AJE

AJE Around the Web

By Erika Dreifus

November 25, 2014

Presenting the latest installment of a our blog feature: AJE Around the Web. In these posts, we curate for you some of the best items we’ve discovered lately that address American Jewish Experience.

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All About Bellow

By Erika Dreifus

November 18, 2014

With the centenary of Saul Bellow’s birth and the tenth anniversary of his death approaching in 2015, the time is especially ripe to revisit some of Bellow’s fiction. We’re delighted to do so with the newest installment in our freelance review project.

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Jewish Book Carnival

Step Right Up to the Jewish Book Carnival

By Erika Dreifus

November 16, 2014

Welcome to the November 2014 stop for the Jewish Book Carnival! The Carnival is a project of one of our favorite organizations: the Association of Jewish Libraries. In its simplest terms, the Carnival is “a monthly event where bloggers who blog about Jewish books can meet, read and comment on each others’ posts.”

But “bloggers” can be defined broadly. If you run a podcast series, or you edit a publication that regularly posts book reviews/interviews online, you are warmly invited to participate, too. And you’ll notice all kinds of content in our contributors’ offerings this month.

The Fig Tree Books blog is especially pleased to be hosting the Carnival at the start of Jewish Book Month, which is always the month preceding Hanukkah. So without further ado, we present the November Carnival!

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AJE

AJE Around the Web

By Erika Dreifus

November 10, 2014

With this post we debut a new blog feature: AJE Around the Web. In these posts, we’ll curate for you some of the best items we’ve discovered lately that address American Jewish Experience.

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Carl Rollyson Reviews Susan Sontag’s DEATH KIT

By Erika Dreifus

November 4, 2014

We are proud and delighted to inaugurate our series of new reviews of older books with a superb piece by Carl Rollyson on Susan Sontag’s Death Kit.

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"Mr. Levin Succeeds Brilliantly…."

By Erika Dreifus

October 28, 2014

Among our inaugural list titles is a classic literary thriller that we’re proud to be re-issuing: Meyer Levin’s Compulsion, a documentary novel inspired by the (in)famous Leopold and Loeb case of 1924. Levin’s novel was first published–to great acclaim (and sales)–in 1956. And so we’ve been digging back through archives to discover a bit more about its own history.

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Jewish Book Carnival

Let's Talk About (Jewish) Books: Call for Contributions

By Erika Dreifus

October 23, 2014

All about an exciting endeavor from the Association of Jewish Libraries, how FTB is taking part, and how you can, too.

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Looking for a Few Good Book Reviewers

By Erika Dreifus

October 7, 2014

You read that right. We’re looking for people to write book reviews for our site. (And yes, we will be paying those writers whose reviews we publish.) Interested? Keep reading.

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Dramatic Change in the Book Publishing Industry

By Fredric Price

September 8, 2014

The book industry is in a period of significant change, brought about in great part by the following set of occurrences in recent years:

  • the rise of Amazon.com as a disruptive influence on book distribution, promotion, and pricing;
  • the introduction of e-readers that have altered the way that books are purchased, promoted and read;
  • the consolidation of traditional publishers through mergers that has set a premium on big brands (i.e., authors) that can generate large and repetitive market shares;
  • the advent of new social media tools (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Google +, Pinterest, Digg, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Reddit, etc. and especially those tools aimed expressly at the book industry, including Goodreads, Shelfari and LibraryThing) that are not part of the lexicon for many readers and marketers;
  • the use of electronic tools that enable self-publishing;
  • and the general decline in reading over the last few decades due to a myriad of other entertainment activities now available through multiple portable platforms.

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