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The Schmooze

Baxter and Me

In his last post, Gregory Levey wrote about late-night Middle East radio commentary. His blog posts are being featured this week on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog series. For more information on the series, please visit:

For some reason I don’t really understand, if you go to the page for the book I’ve just published, “How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less Without Leaving Your Apartment,” Amazon often makes a strange recommendation. If you are interested in my book, Amazon believes, you might also be interested in a children’s book called “Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher.”

Now, I’ve never read “Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher,” which is written by Laurel Snyder. I guess it could theoretically be related to my own book, which is about my attempt to make Middle East peace from the comfort of my own apartment, mostly so that I wouldn’t have to hear about the fatiguing Arab-Israeli conflict anymore — but, judging by its title, it doesn’t sound likely.

In any case, I am honored to be in the company of Baxter and his strange, masochistic wish. Even so, it makes me wonder what rationale Amazon has for connecting these two books. Do a lot of people buy both of them? Do we have a similar demographic of readers? Or is there something fundamentally similar about Baxter’s quest and my own?

Gregory Levey’s second book, “How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less Without Leaving Your Apartment,” has just been released.

The Jewish Book Council is a not-for-profit devoted to the reading, writing, and publishing of Jewish literature. For more Jewish literary blog posts, reviews of Jewish books, book club resources, and to learn about awards and conferences, please visit is the leading transdenominational website of Jewish information and education. Visit MyJewishLearning for thousands of articles on Judaism, Jewish holidays, Jewish history, and more.

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