Episode 63: An Interview with Beth Ricanati

(You can find a copy of Jennie’s book, the Writer’s Guide to Agony and Defeat, at the bottom of this page!)

In this episode:

Joining Jennie Nash and Abby Mathews today is Beth Ricanati, MD, author of the recently released Braided: A Journey of a Thousand Challahs. Beth's book is a memoir/self-help mashup centering around a path to wellness. We talk about Beth's experiences in being a mom, doctor, and advocate of women's wellness and fully realizing the role of challah in transforming her outlook. 

Beth is an internist specializing in women's health and wellness. About ten years ago she was completely stressed out, working long hours in the hospital all while having three young children. One year she was asked to make challah for the Jewish New Year. No way! she thought. But she did it anyway, and she realized something: she stopped. For twenty minutes, she just stopped in the rush of life and made bread. She did it the next weekend, and the next, and the next, and that was the beginning of the idea for her book. 

Today, Beth invites people into her home to make bread with her. It can be a profound, meaningful process that is often done in the honor of someone or some event. Her book is not only about the Jewish tradition of challah and breadmaking itself, but about her journey as a physician and mother, and understanding real wellness. 

One of the things that’s really great about this bread is that it’s about community. Making the bread helps to build community, and it helps to sustain community.
— Beth Ricanati

We also talk about Beth's plan for writing her book, the process of publication, and what happened when things didn't work out with her original agent. Beth ended up going another route - hybrid publishing! She tells us what hybrid publishing is and what effect it has had on Braided's eventual successful publication. 

How can you help Beth:

If you are interested in her book, buy it and review it! Reviewing it is key to helping Beth beat the Amazon algorithm and get her book in front of more potential readers.

You can also find her and connect on her Instagram page, House Calls for Wellness.

If you are interested in making bread with Beth, you can send her a message on Instagram. Or if you know someone who might be interested in hosting a Challah event with Beth, connect her!

Other Writers We Mentioned:

KJ Dell’Antonia

We also mentioned two other writers. One was KJ, who has been on the podcast before. KJ just released a fabulous, real, honest new parenting book (this is Mom Writes, after all). You can find KJ’s book all the places. You can follow her on Twitter @KJDellAntonia. And you can check out her website, where she does a lovely newsletter which is, quite frankly, one of the very few newsletters I (Abby) even open these days. Bonus idea: if you are a room mother, like me, you can share some of her tips in your classroom newsletter. Or pass them on to the teacher to share. Or share them on your PTO FB page. Share the love! Oh, and don’t forget KJ’s podcast #AmWriting with Jess and KJ!

Dan Blank

All these same things apply to Dan, who joined us via the chat function on FB Live! Dan has also been on our podcast. Twice! Here and also here. There are so many ways you can get to know Dan better. He runs a mastermind for creatives, which is where I connected with KJ in the first place! Dan would also be tickled if you wanted to review his book:

Jennie Nash

Yes, don’t forget, Jennie! In the spirit of practicing what she preaches, she realized that she is also hesitant when it comes to asking for reviews. So she would like to gift a PDF version of her book, The Writer’s Guide to Agony and Defeat, to anyone willing to read and review it. Just click the title which will take you to a DropBox link where you can find the book.