It Couldn't Have Been the Pay

IrvingIf you've come to more than a few Kabbalat Shabbat services at CBS, odds are you've met Irving Rothstein. And if you've met Irving, you've almost certainly heard at least one or two stories about his youth in Chelsea, Massachusetts, or his experiences working as a teacher in San Francisco's public schools. Fortunately, Irving is an accomplished storyteller, so listening to him is a pleasure.

Many members of the CBS community were understandably proud and excited when, earlier this year, Irving announced the appearance of his memoir, It Couldn't Have Been the Pay. The first book published by Rocín Publishing, It Couldn't Have Been the Pay is billed as "essential reading for teachers and anyone who enjoys a good story." Alex Russell, the founder and publisher at Rocín, describes Irving as someone for whom "stories and how we exchange them are fundamental."

pasted image 0But the publisher of a book is always going to put a positive spin on their product, so the real testament to the quality of Irving's memoir must come from readers, especially those who have no personal connection to him. And so it has! A glowing review of It Couldn't Have Been the Pay appeared in the August 2015 edition of Independent Publisher, a monthly digital journal for independent publishers, booksellers, and authors. Reviewer Craig Manning observes:

"Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book is that neither the promotional materials, nor most of the stories seem to bother identifying Rothstein as a specific type of teacher. The memoir is billed as 'essential reading for teachers' — meaning all teachers, not just math teachers, or science teachers, or English teachers, or what have you. How come? Because in these stories, Rothstein may have been employed by a specific school district to teach a specific subject, but he was really teaching his kids about life and how to navigate it. [...] Throughout his memoir, Rothstein describes teaching in a number of different ways: as an Oscar-worthy film production, as con artistry, or even as magic."

Independent Publisher selected the memoir as it's "Indie Groundbreaking Book" of the August 2015. Read the full review here, and order your copy of It Couldn't Have Been the Pay here.