Colonial Metropolis by Jennifer Anne Boittin was called “… an example of the value of bringing together histories imperial and metropolitan, political and cultural” by the Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History.
Rebecca Berens Matzke’s Deterrence through Strength was reviewed on strategypage.com.
Dad of Divas reviewed From Gods to God by Avigdor Shinan.
In the New York Times, Cheryl Strayed said she hopes to receive Almost Somewhere by Suzanne Roberts in her stocking this Christmas.
And Hoosh by Jason C. Anthony was shortlisted for the André Simon Food and Drink book awards.
I love words. Always have. As a kid, I loved to do the Jumble in the newspaper every morning, and my mother, sister, and I would play Scrabble whenever we had a chance. (Those were the days you played on an actual printed game board!) Even today, I have three or four Scrabble or Words with Friends games going at once and I do crossword puzzles incessantly. I just generally love word games. (Word Warp is my latest obsession, but it’s really not that challenging and is aggravating my carpal tunnel syndrome.)
I like words on their own—before they are lined up and carefully crafted into beautiful poetry or captivating fiction or thoughtful memoir. I confess, though: I play favorites. My favorites these days are "erstwhile," "penultimate," and "extra-canonical." Erstwhile makes the current list because, although it means “of things past” or “former,” I’ve always imagined that it has a bit of earnestness to it—former, yes, but with some eagerness, some desire to please. Ridiculous, I admit, but it gives me a bit of pleasure whenever I have the occasion to use it.
Penultimate is another word I can picture in action. “Next to last.” I see penultimate lined up, second to the end, leaning forward, trying not to be last. Penultimate is a wonderful word to have at my disposal. As a university press publisher, I’ve been able to see many multivolume series come to fruition, and there can be a certain sadness when the penultimate volume is released, for we know the next one will be the last. Or, alternatively, much joy knowing we are that much closer to completion!
Extra-canonical: "not included in the canon of Scripture. " I love this word! And I’ve had many occasions to use it since our announcement of the new JPS three-volume set, Outside the Bible, a collection of the works not included in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), publishing in fall 2013. This set is an incredible, once-in-a-century compilation of translations and commentary about works that did not make the cut: what they are, what they mean, and why they weren’t included in the Bible. As I write this, it is the third day of Hanukkah—and I'm wondering why weren’t the books of the Maccabees included in the Bible? Or Jubilees, or the Psalms of Solomon? Or Susanna? Alas, this is fodder for a future blog . . .