Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hot Mamalah, by Lisa Alcalay Klug ~ Book Review

When I requested a chance to review Hot Mamalah, by Lisa Alcalay Klug, I had no idea what I was getting into!

I loved the name of the book, absolutely, Mamalah is one of my favorite words. Truth be told, we use it for my daughter more than for what Lisa uses it for, but that's okay - it was still perfect. 

Now, I must admit, I expected a light-hearted flowy story about Judaism. The subtitle of this book is "The Ultimate Guide for Every Woman of the Tribe" ... there is a starburst on the cover that says, "You don't have to be Jewish. But it wouldn't hurt." ... can you feel it yet? 

It WAS. It IS a light-hearted flowy story about Judaism. 

Sort of. 

It's not a story, so much as it is really a guide to Jewish life. 

I also admit that it took me longer to read than I expected because of the kind of book it is. With bursts of information that cover recipes, memories and loads of Jewish history and information, all folded into a lot of laughs, I had a bit of attention issues, and found myself wanting to skip ahead and not read it all in order, which is totally not my reading style.

But I love that about this book. You can use it as a resource!

Planning your next party? Check it out. Loads upon loads of cocktail/mocktail ideas.

Hosting the next seder (Passover dinner for anyone not in the tribe)? Chocolate Matzo Toffee, anyone? For real? Hiding beneath that is a hot and spicy cayenne pepper-chocolatey matzo treat. No doubt I'd be schvitzing up a storm if I dipped into it, but who knows, maybe your next door neighbor can use a little spice in her day-to-day? Bring her some of this to kickstart her holiday!

And did you think cabbage was just for cole slaw? Guess again! Lisa has a list of possible uses, that goes beyond the "stick in your bra to remove breast tenderness" - though that's included, too!

But the list of all lists? Is the list for Vodka. Seriously, my friends, Bloody Mary Pizza and Vanilla extract don't scratch the surface of this list.

There's a lot of Jewish history intertwined with humor, and Lisa has a way of making it all fun.

My last confession is that I was unable to read the "You know you're a Hot Mamalah" pages because the type and wording was a little too much for my eyes and head to handle. I don't think she expects us to be able to get through all of these, but hopes that we can skim and find a description or two that works for us. Let me know if you find one. I started one of these sections and found, You know you're a hot Mamalah because you just know you are. That was perfect and just enough for me.

I think I am a Hot Mamalah. I'm a mom, a woman, a mamalah ... and I'm hot. Enough. Sometimes. But Lisa's humor reminded me that it's okay to be whatever we want to be and find ourselves HAWT just the same.

To find out more about Lisa and her work, her history and more, check her out:

Thanks, Lisa, for letting me join you on your journey throughout Hot Mamalah-dom!! 


  1. I always *love* your book reviews and this one is great!!
    This book sounds like a hoot! I was sold at the starburst on the cover, but I love how you describe the rest!
    Definitely checking this one out!

  2. This is a terrific book review--Plenty of specifics and you were honest. It sounds like a great book :)


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