Surviving by Akira and Ellie Ohiso

I think one of the hardest things about going blog to book must be making the content fresh. We’re in a constant state of writing autobiographies and making them available for free, so why would we move from pixel to paper and sell the bound copy.

Surviving is an example of why we should be willing to pay for books by bloggers, even if you think you know the story already. Written by Akira Ohiso and designed by his wife Ellie Ohiso, Surviving weaves together Akira’s path of conversion to Judaism and the stories of the Holocaust survivors he worked with in New York as a social worker. Ellie did an amazing job of making the book a triumph of design as well. Photographs and handwritten letters are mixed with the story that Akira unravels.

I met Akira and Ellie on my way home from my first trip to Israel. Akira was one of the first Jew By Choice bloggers on my radar in 2005-06 with his amazing blog Sushi Kiddush. You can now find he and Ellie blogging on the Zinc Plate Press blog. In fact, I won my copy of the book from a giveaway on that very blog.

I do recommend picking up a copy of Surviving. You’ll understand what the Ohiso’s mean when they use the term, but you’ll be forced to think about how you use and relate to the word.

Are you concerned with Israel’s survival? Survival of Judaism? Surviving the recession? How is it to look at the world through the lenses of surviving versus thriving…. or that is what it makes me think.

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