Through the years, when we presented our book talk, audience members would ask if we were working on a second book. We laughed. What could be a follow-up to our Dictionary of Jewish Words? A thesaurus? A phonebook?
If you know us and you read our blog, you know that that we can’t simply define a word. We have a lot to say about Jewish holidays, foods, family and the general state of current events. We’ve written about these topics and more for newspapers and various online sites.
We collected 34 of our stories about modern life as members of the tribe in a new book: The Whole Spiel: Funny essays about digital nudniks, seder selfies and chicken soup memories. It’s been a year-long project and the book – in paperback and Kindle editions – came out yesterday!
To go along with our words, we wanted funny pictures – of bubbes shvitzing on the beach, of chubby baby pulkes, and of women of a certain age who are all farblondjet – and we were happy to connect with Philadelphia artist Terry LaBan, who drew original cartoons for our book. “Edge City,” Terry’s syndicated cartoon strip about a Jewish family, ran in newspapers across the country for 15 years. Our collaboration was a fun and funny one. When we told him that we use Yiddish words in modern situations, he got our sense of humor right away. He said, “You mean when the ATM gives you bubkes?” His ATM illustration graces the cover of The Whole Spiel.
Much of the content was inspired by you – the audiences at our book talks, the readers of our blog and the people who comment on our Facebook page. You always give us inspiration. You’ve shared sweet reminiscences about growing up Jewish, told us how knishes don’t get the respect they deserve, and how sometimes you just need a good “oy.”
That’s why, when you read The Whole Spiel, you’ll recognize yourself, your Bubbe and the whole mishpuchah. You’ll read about the great shnecken vs. rugelach battle, the newly discovered Jewish summer holiday of Simchat Squash, the Jdate that turns out to be a nebbish, and why body parts sound cuter in Yiddish.
Did you notice that our blog page looks all spiffy and new? We recently redesigned our website and made it all fapitzed and mobile-friendly.
We hope you enjoy the new book. It’s available on Amazon.
Wishing you a sweet new year. L’shana tova.