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Animals Aboard

Fresh off the press!

Israel Bookshop Publications ( has just come out with a brand new book – of interest to all ages.

Check it out at the Israel book shop blog: Click on the link below — and read about this new release. I’m going to get it next week; that is for sure!

JUST RELEASED! – Exploring the Wild World of Animals

UnBottled Thoughts

I have some thoughts inside me that need to be released or “unbottled.” These are thoughts tangential to my usual topic of being a grandmother – a “bubby” in Yiddish.  Since I am a grandmother who writes, I find the theme of  “writing about writing” to be quite intriguing. Recently,  I read a brilliant post by one talented  writer/blogger of that topic on her  site.  I agree with her premise, and I’d like to express  my own bottled thoughts (soon to be unbottled) regarding her post.

In her essay, Ms. Bottledworder  posits that writers are different in their sensitivities and insecurities from other professionals or tradesmen. For example, when a writer writes an essay, he throws his whole self into the process. Whether or not he writes about himself, he is allowing himself – his voice if you will – to be out there, to be vulnerable to others. Continue reading

Time Fillers

How do you spend your time? A lot has been written about that as experts in time management advise us to ask ourselves that question, in order that we may use our time efficiently.

Are we using our time in specific ways that are geared to advancing our goals? Or are we just filling time with “stuff” that has nothing to do with what we are trying to achieve?

I know I tend to do a little bit of both. My goals in life revolve around taking care of my family, myself, my work, hobbies, and community involvements. Then there are the things I do “for fun,” or “for leisure.” Those are important (like maintaining a blog – how much of a time filler is that? I wonder….hmmm), because we do need some “down time.” But a really organized and time-efficient person would allot time for that “down time” in the schedule of the day, alongside the “up time,” wouldn’t they? Continue reading

On Knitting Needles and Reading Glasses


Please check out the Israel Bookshop Publication’s  blog today – September 24, 2012!

New post on


by anamericanjew

So…you’ve just become a bubby, eh? What’s that you’re saying—that I should speak louder? Oh, you’re asking for your reading glasses. Sure, no problem, just tell me where they are… Where? Oh, I should have guessed—right next to the knitting needles…

(Pause to allow eye-rolling and ha-ha-very-funny glares…)

All kidding aside, it’s a big milestone that you’ve reached…and definitely cause for some pampering of yourself, to celebrate your new status! So why not pick up our latest book, a first of its kind—Mazel Tov! It’s a Bubby!—which focuses precisely on your new stage of life, that of becoming a young mother-in-law and bubby!

….. the book is all about the author’s experiences as a mother-in-law and grandmother. It’s written with humor and candor, light enough to enjoy while sitting and relaxing (it’s not easy chasing after two-year-old  grandsons, now, is it?), yet thought-provoking enough to initiate lots of good discussions, especially with fellow m-i-l’s  and bubbies! Perfect as a gift for those fellow m-i-l’s and bubbies, too, by the way!

So, congratulations on your new status…Mazel Tov! It’s a Bubby!

anamericanjew | September 24, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Categories: General, New Books | URL:

Pass or Fail

I decided to add a new category to my Bubby Blog. Book Reviews. For the first review, I have chosen the novel, “Pass or Fail.” This story resonated with me, when I read it in a magazine last year, week after week over a period of about six months. The concept of “life as a test,” in which every situation we encounter is some sort of checkup of whether we will do the “right” or “wrong” thing (or somewhere in between) resonates with me.

“Pass or Fail” is the title of a newly released book by Israel Bookshop Publications. I am a fan of the author, S. Wiederblank, who has a knack for writing fiction with compelling characters, important themes, and well-paced plots.

The story takes place mostly in a fictional school in a fictional town of White Falls. The protagonist, Bracha Halperin, is an accountant-turned-teacher who takes a job at a girls’ school, and finds constant challenges there with her students, colleagues, and administration. Bracha, a mature young lady who is also dating for marriage, seems to have load after load on her plate, and faces constant crises in her work place and home life. Most of the time, she passes with flying colors. Other times, she doesn’t, but grows from each experience nevertheless. Readers follow the inner conflicts that Bracha faces, as she learns to deal with a varied student body, difficult personalities, and school politics.

The theme of “pass or fail” rang true for me, as I found each day of Bracha’s life another “test” that she aimed to do the right thing, whatever that seemed to be. Her character was one with a strong ethic, (past accountant – definitely in character!), if not perfection-striving. It seemed to me, the reader, that Bracha was harder on herself than those around her, albeit with the challenges they posed for her.

This is something I found to be realistic, as I observe that young woman of that age tend to be high achievers, and overly self critical. Readers of all ages -from school age to adult – will enjoy this page turner, because it has strong characters in various age groups – middle aged, and young adult teachers, as well as high school students.

For example, Bracha, the high achieving, hard working, conscientious teacher and employee acted as a foil for another older, more “burned out” possibly tenured teacher who seemed to coast along, breaking every rule, and frustrating the staff. Another challenge occurs when Bracha is set up with a young man who is the son of another teacher, adding to Bracha’s conflicted feelings of wanting to stay on good terms with the teacher. Additionally, Bracha’s methods often counteract the philosophy of the school, and Bracha finds herself wondering whether to remain true to herself or follow the pack. Compound all that with spats with students, counseling needy students and planning her lessons, and the reader is bound to realize how the “sub-culture” of a school environment is often a world unto itself, where there are winners and losers. But everyone feels lost in the maze of wanting desperately to stay above water, if not pass the test.

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