Thursday, December 28, 2006

Shipping to Israel

Shipping of copies of Harry Potter and Torah to Israel is getting faster, presumably because of their new printer in Europe, and because of the holiday season's ending. I bought a few copies for myself on Dec 17, and they arrived on the 27th. It's not as fast as buying books at Amazon, but it's pretty good given that each copy of the book is printed when it's ordered.

I'll put a message here when the book is available at Amazon, which will be faster, but that won't be for another few months. For now all orders go through the publisher.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Book cover of Harry Potter and Torah

A reader asked me how I came up with the idea for the Harry Potter Torah lettering on the book cover:

The seed of the idea came from one of my kids, who always liked the lettering on the cover of a book called Sudden Mischief, where three letters from the title are in a different color and spell out another word. Besides that one cover, I tend to make a lot of wordplay jokes with my kids, so the thinking came naturally. Once we started thinking in that direction, I realized that the letters for Torah were included in the letters of Harry Potter, and then realized that they were in reverse order. From there it took some experimentation to make it look right.

Someone else asked me if I meant the reversing of Harry Potter to be an allusion to Hebrew going right to left, and to be honest, no, I hadn't thought of that. But I do like the implication of the image that the book finds Torah within Harry Potter, which it does.

Buying the book in Israel

Several readers have asked me about the book's availability in Israel. For now the answer is that the book is only available through the publisher's web site. Their shipment to Israel seems to take about 2 weeks. They've just added a new printer in Spain to better handle non-US orders, so they're committed to keeping them running well.

I would like very much to have this book available for direct purchase in Israel, and will put a message here and on the book's Web site if this happens. But for now it's only on-line.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

List of sources added to Harry Potter and Torah web site

For anyone interested in Jewish scholarship, I've added to the book's website a list of the sources cited in Harry Potter and Torah. The list gives the name of the book or scholar, a quick biography, and the book chapters in which the source is cited.

Note that there are hundreds of Biblical and Talmudic citations that I don't list in the list of sources, because in the book there are seperate indexes for them. This list contains everything else.

Curious how all these books and scholars could possibly relate to Harry Potter? To find out you need to buy the book! Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Book IS available on Lulu

A few people wrote me that they had trouble buying the book on the Lulu site around 3-4pm Eastern. Apparently someone at Lulu was concerned about copyright issues, and the book was unavailable for a very short time. It is now back available for purchase.

In case anyone's wondering, the copyright law allows for what's called "fair use" or "fair dealing," whereby a book can quote small parts of another book as long as they're short and as long as the quoted parts are a small part of the new book. This is clearly true of Harry Potter and Torah. I also did not use the Harry Potter distinctive lettering on my cover, to avoid infringement issues.

Anyone can add a comment to this blog message if there are any more problems. But from my checking, the book is back available on the Lulu site for purchase and preview.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Still looking for a Hanukah gift?

If you're still looking for a gift for Hanukah, if you order Harry Potter and Torah today, it can be delivered in the USA in time for the holiday.

The book can be bought directly from the publisher. It will be available in other on-line bookstores in a month or so.

Harry Potter and Torah book is for adults or teenagers

Several people have asked me whether the book Harry Potter and Torah is for children. The answer is no, it's written for adults or teenagers.

As you can see from the sample chapter on the web site, the book is a collection of fairly sophisticated Jewish insights. Yes, they're based on themes from the Harry Potter series. Yes, the ideas in the book can be made interesting for children. But this book was written with young adults in mind.

Also, while the book was written to be interesting for people with little or no Jewish background, my experience is that it's also very interesting for those with a background in Jewish scholarship. People with less background can ignore the sources and footnotes, and people who want to can look at the sources and footnotes.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

New blog for Harry Potter and Torah

After years of work, Harry Potter and Torah is now published and for sale through the publisher, Lulu. In a month or so it will be available at other on-line bookstores.

Harry Potter and Torah is a collection of Jewish Torah insights related to themes from the Harry Potter series. All are based fully on traditional Jewish scholarship, but are written to relate to the Harry Potter series. You can take a look at the sample chapter, on the book's home page, to see what I mean.

I'll be using this blog to answer questions and give additional information about the book. Feel free to repond to messages on this blog with any questions or comments.