Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle

As a journalist, I've been used to being on the other side of the media equation for years. Now that the book is making its way into the world, it's been so exciting to see all the press Cool Jew has been getting. It's also super fun to learn what your editor was thinking when she bought your book. That's what happened last night when I discovered this article online...

KC company publishes ‘Cool Jew’ guidebook
By Beth Lipoff, Staff Writer

"Cool Jew," published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, hit bookshelves at the beginning of September.

Do you use the dreidel stamp on letters year-round or dance to the tunes of Matisyahu? If so, you may be a Heebster, says author Lisa Alcalay Klug.

Klug’s new book, “Cool Jew: The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe,” proclaims itself to be a “bible of all that is cool and Jewish” on the first page.

“I wrote the book because I love being Jewish, and I feel passionate about the way we connect with ourselves, each other and our tradition,” she said.

The book, available for $12.99 in paperback, tells of Jewish culture, from famous Jews to the art of shnorring, with an irreverent twist of humor. Klug sprinkles lists of animals, foods and behaviors that she deems Jewish or goyish throughout the book.

“A Heebster is interchangeable with the term ‘cool Jew,’ and you know you’re a cool Jew if you speak with great emotion, conviction, irreverence and gesticulation. If you do all that, you’re already well on your way,” Klug said.

The book functions as a guide to many aspects of Jewish life and culture. In that way, it’s a sort of post-modern “Jewish Catalog.”

“There really is a lot of basic information in the book, not only about religious practice but about lifestyle, history and heritage that a lot of people are not necessarily aware of,” said Christine Schillig, vice president and editorial director at Andrews McMeel Publishing in Kansas City, Mo.
“(The tone is) what makes any book different from its peers on the bookshelf. The writer, Lisa, has a really unique and accessible style. Her work is really readable; at the same time, it’s intelligent.

“It’s not that you’re reading about how to be a cool Jew or what a cool Jew is, but you’re reading Lisa Klug, and she has a real voice as a contemporary Jewish writer.” (more)

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