Friday, January 18, 2008

Bells & Whistles: How to Call In, Live

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In this special "Bells & Whistles" edition of The Book of Life, host Heidi Estrin gives instructions for accessing the live Book of Life call-in show being held on Thursday, February 7, 2008, 3-4pm EST.

The theme of the February 7 program is "Funny, That Book Doesn't Look Jewish" and our guest will be Pamela Ehrenberg, author of the middle-grade novel Ethan, Suspended. We'll take calls about Ethan, Suspended, and about what makes a book Jewish in general.

What follows is a transcript of the podcast, for those of you who prefer written to auditory instructions:

On Thursday February 7, 2008 from 3 to 4 pm eastern standard time, The Book of Life will host a live call-in show using the Talkshoe service. The show is entitled "Funny, That Book Doesn't Look Jewish." Our special guest will be Pamela Ehrenberg, author of the middle grade novel Ethan, Suspended, and our discussion topic will be what makes a book Jewish. We'll do this Diane Rehm -style: first I'll chat with Pam about her book, and then we'll open the phones for questions about comments about Ethan, Suspended AND about defining Jewish literature.

If you simply want to listen to the discussion, go to our website, bookoflifepodcast.com, on February 7 at 3pm and click the PLAY button on the Talkshoe widget you'll see in the right-hand column. The show will play through your computer's speakers. If you're busy on February 7, don't worry... the show will be recorded and added to our regular podcast for later listening.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, you can call in on February 7 between 3 and 4pm eastern time using any phone or voice over IP. Please be aware that the phone number is NOT toll free.

To call in to the show, dial 724-444-7444. It will ask for a Call ID that identifies The Book of Life as the show you want to reach, and that number is 10816.

At that point it will ask you for a 10-digit PIN number, but if you don't have a PIN you can simply press 1 and the pound key to sign in as a guest. Here's the deal with PIN numbers: If you sign up for a free account and create a PIN, the system will tell me who you are when you call. My hosting control panel will show your name instead of just showing an anonymous caller from your area code. It just makes it easier for me to keep track of what's going on and who's participating.

I encourage you to go to Talkshoe.com ahead of time and sign up for a free account so that your name will show when you call in... but if you don't want to, that's okay, I still want you to call and participate in the discussion.

Talkshoe also provides a way to do chat via text during the show, but I plan to ignore that feature. I think just hosting the discussion will keep me busy enough without that.

So that's it! Please mark February 7th on your calendar and plan to call in! In the meantime, check out pamelaehrenberg.com to learn more about Ethan, Suspended. In a starred review in Booklist, reviewer Hazel Rochman said that "Ehrenberg focuses on themes of race and class without sounding preachy" as Ethan moves in with his grandparents in DC and finds himself suddenly in the minority as the only white, Jewish kid in his school. I really enjoyed Ethan, Suspended and I think you will too. I can't wait to discuss it with you on February 7th!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Empowerment for the New Year


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Or click MP3 File to start your computer's media player.

SHOW NOTES:

This January 2008 episode offers themes of empowerment with these interviews:

> Raz Godelnik, founder of Eco-Libris, planting a tree for each book you read

> Chana Rothman, whose debut album We Can Rise shows off her "female-fronted earthy groove"

> Linda Silver, creator of The Jewish Values Finder, a database and book identifying values in Jewish children's books

> Rachel Kamin, chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee, describing the 2008 winners of this award for Jewish lit for kids and teens

NEWS:

February 7, 2008, 3-4pm EST The Book of Life will host a live call-in show on the theme "Funny, That Book Doesn't Look Jewish!" Pam Ehrenberg, author of the middle-grade novel Ethan, Suspended, will be our guest, and we'll take calls for YOU, the audience! Please join us by calling in - instructions for particpating will appear on our web site: www.bookoflifepodcast.com

Background music is provided by The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band.

Books and CD's mentioned on the show may be borrowed from the Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel. Browse our online catalog to reserve books, post a review, or just to look around!

Monday, January 07, 2008

The 2008 Sydney Taylor Book Awards Video

The winners of the 2008 Sydney Taylor Book Awards for the best in Jewish literature for children and teens have just been announced! Rachel Kamin, award committee chair, will be our guest on the January episode of The Book of Life. While you are waiting for that interview, please enjoy this video announcement of the awards! More info at www.SydneyTaylorBookAward.org or www.SydneyTaylorBookAward.blogspot.com.