by marjorieingall on August 23, 2016

Mamaleh Knows Best got a fab review in the New York Times. (It’s online now, will be in print in the August 28th issue of the Book Review.) Jennifer Bleyer, founding editor of Heeb, wrote such a sparky, snappy assessment. LET ME BUY YOU ALL THE COCKTAILS, JENNIFER BLEYER.

In non-me-related news, check out this superb public service project for Teens, PopUp for Change.


Someone emailed me that Mamaleh Knows Best is #1 on Amazon in “New Releases” in the category of “Judaism.” A wise bestselling author friend, one Ms. Gayle Forman, informed me that “checking one’s Amazon rank” is to “author” as “reading the comments” is to “journalist.” Gayle is right about everything except raisins in cookies, so nobody else tell me anything else about my Amazon ranking. (Feel free to tell me I am #1 in “Women Who Have Slavishly Copied Susan Sontag’s Hairstyle,” which I already knew.)

Also, before Gayle made me stop looking a few days ago, I noticed that Mamaleh was #225 in “Judaism.” I sent my mom a note saying SUCK IT VIKTOR FRANKL, COMING FOR YOU and she wrote back “Yeah but you haven’t got concentration camp on your CV” which I frankly found very hurtful. Then the book dropped to #585 the next day, and have I mentioned I’m not looking anymore?

ANYHOO. What have I been up to? Here is a piece I did a ton of work on about how Jewish camps are welcoming LGBTQ kids, and how they’re not. I contacted maybe 60 camps; 12 were willing to speak on the record. (FWIW, I wrote like a serious person for that, not the way I write on this blog.) Also I did a quick story on the Jewish history of cupping (there’s a Yiddish saying, “Es vet helfn vi a toytn bankes” — “that’s as helpful as cupping a corpse”), informed by my own history as the spa columnist (shut up, it was too a job) at Fit Magazine back in the day. I did it all: Tui na, shirodhara, sawdust bath, blasted with a hose like a refugee from a  ladies’ prison porno, color/light/aura therapy, manuka tapping, Reiki, lomi lomi, watsu, lymphatic drainage, salt cave, Endermologie, iridology, jamu, qigong, Tibetan singing bowls. And I really liked cupping, for what it’s worth. Dunno whether it works, or why. But as I said in the Tablet piece, do not dismiss the efficacy of the placebo effect.

The preceding paragraph really gave spellcheck a workout, btw.

I have been SorryWatching like a fiend: From most recent to most vintage, we’ve got a superlative apology for taco-related shenanigans from Autostraddle; a very good apology from Riley who chased Ciara with a booger; a crappy apology from The Daily Beast after it ran a homophobic, dangerous story; a too-right, bonza, grouse apology (I googled “Australian slang for excellent”) from an Australian Today Show presenter who’d said something transphobic on air; and an evolving apology story over at the DNC, post-hack.

FINALLY: I was interviewed for Kveller about Mamaleh Knows Best by the delightful Carla Naumberg, Ph.D., and if you click that link be forewarned that you will be greeted by a GIANT HONKING CLOSEUP OF MY FACE, which is NOT AT ALL JARRING IN ANY WAY. #blessed


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bella by alice neel!

I do get to write about a lot of random stuff. Thank you, Tablet. Of late:  [click to continue…]


the 50th anniversary of Valley of the Dolls

by marjorieingall on July 15, 2016


I loved researching this piece on Jacqueline Susann’s life and work. [click to continue…]


narcissist news update

by marjorieingall on July 5, 2016

  1. My forthcoming Jewy social history/parenting book got a starred review in Publishers Weekly! “Insightful and humorous…highly readable…a comedy routine that is full of chutzpah and pizzazz”! (Sorry I went the full Zagat there.) Mamaleh Knows Best also got a positive review from Kirkus; the pull-quote would be “useful, reader-friendly…the flavor is echt Jewish and plenty tasty at that.”
  2. In Tablet Magazine recently: A review of a gallery show about the history of hats in New York City; an essay comparing stereotypes about Jews and pit bulls (imagine the hate mail!); a Father’s Day reminiscence about my father singing at my brother’s big gay wedding; a reported piece about how to be a better ally to the LGBTQ community; a roundup of recent LGBTQ-friendly children’s books; and a small show at the Rare Book Room at the Center for Jewish History about vintage Jewish cookbooks and identity.
  3. At SorryWatch, I edited a lovely piece by a Utahn, Bari Nan Cohen, about her lieutenant governor’s recent apology. The kicker: Bari Nan apologizes right back to him. Yay! We are always happy to shine a light on excellent apologies at SorryWatch! Too bad we so seldom get the opportunity.
  4. My kids are now at camp. TIME FOR GIN!

yes i own this

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by marjorieingall on June 22, 2016

This pamphlet, which we keep in our bathroom, was pretty funny a few months ago.


Here is my daughter Josie, shortly after my husband procured the pamphlet, explaining gun safety to Bookie, who very much looks like the pamphlet’s cover model. Oh ho ho ho.


But like jokes about Donald Trump, somehow jokes about gun safety are less funny now.

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busy busy busy

by marjorieingall on June 6, 2016


  1. Look! My bright shiny web site, by chill genius Jack Taylor, for my forthcoming book, Mamaleh Knows Best.
  2. I wrote a big fat roundup of summer young adult novels for the New York Times Book review, and appeared on the Book Review’s podcast.
  3. I got to sit next to The Phantom Tollbooth‘s Norton Juster at the Author’s Guild Gala, and that ear-splitting sound you hear is me, still shrieking.
  4. I looked at three very good new parenting books, for three different kinds of reader.
  5. I ranted on SorryWatch about a crappy apology for perhaps the most racist ad ever; a good apology from a director who weirdly went off on an actress; and a horrid non-apology apology from the dad of Brock Turner, aka Stanford’s own Rapey McRaperson.
  6. I have STILL not submitted all of the farshtunkiner summer camp forms.


all-of-a-kind family walking tour!

by marjorieingall on May 21, 2016


I went. It was delightful. Despite A MONSOON.

I snarled about a horrid NYC landlord and his despicable entitled frat-boy son.

I wrote about Michelle Obama (love) and my ambivalent feelings about Mother’s Day as a member of the sandwich generation (do not love).


today in unsound pedagogy

by marjorieingall on May 9, 2016

Why a Holocaust app for kids is not a great idea:

The father says goodbye, smiling and waving, and promises that tomorrow they will be together again. (Poke the screen, and make barbed wire appear, blocking the father from his kids!) The children are herded into a changing barracks and then toward showers. (Poke the screen to make flames shoot up from the crematoria chimneys!) In the barracks, the little girl narrator remembers “the roundup,” when she and her fellow Jews were herded from their town. (Poke the windows, already helpfully graffiti’d with “JUIFS,” and watch them shatter! Touch the people on the street wearing yellow stars, and watch them fade away!) We see the children’s naked backs—the rest of their nude bodies hidden by angry gray brushstrokes and swirls of paint—as they’re sent into a gray smear full of “flakes of soap.” (Poke the flakes! They fly up into the sky, creating a hole in all the gray, a view to heaven with fluffy clouds!) 

More here.  [click to continue…]


reminding myself for next Passover

by marjorieingall on April 27, 2016

This is an awesome Tumblr post on ancient haroset recipes of many lands!