Five reasons to check out this year’s Jewish Book Fest

November 23, 2017

By Shawn Conner, Vancouver Sun |

1. Strangers with the Same Dream: Toronto poet/novelist Alison Pick kicks off the festival with a discussion about her latest book. Strangers with the Same Dream is a historical novel set in the Middle East in the 1920s. Pick’s Far to Go was nominated for the Man Booker Prize, won the Canadian Jewish Award for Fiction and was named a Top Ten of 2010 book by The Toronto Star. (Opening night gala, Nov. 25.)

2. Jewish Graphic Expression: Miriam Libicki, this year’s writer-in-residence at the Vancouver Public Library, welcomes fellow graphic storytellers Orli Auslander (I Feel Bad. Every Day. About Everything) and Jonathan Rotsztain (Self-Loving Jew Comics) in a panel on Jewish Graphic Expression. (Nov. 29.)

3. Book Club: Each year, the festival presents a book club, in which readers are invited to discuss a book with its author over tea and crumpets (or, if they prefer, something a little stronger). This year’s author is Rachel Kadish. Her novel, The Weight of Ink, is set in London in the 1660s and the early 21st century. Participants are invited to register in advance, and can order the book at a 25-per-cent discount by calling 604-257‐5111. (Nov. 28.)

4. The Jewlish Cookbook: The Jewlish Cookbook evolved from a social-media-hit cooking video series that explores the diversity of Israeli cuisine. Book authors Dana and Jacob Attias will discuss the joys of Jewish cooking. (Nov. 29.)

5. The Old Testament: Character actor (Stu Beggs on White Famous, recently), raconteur and podcaster Stephen Tobolowsky closes the festival with excerpts from My Adventures with God. In the book, his latest, he explores the idea that most people’s lives fit into an Old Testament template. (Nov. 30.)

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