THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Felice’s Worlds: From the Holocaust to the Halls of Modern Art, Henry Massie {$4.99 or Borrow FREE with Prime!}

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Description of Felice’s Worlds:

FIRST SHE ESCAPED THE HOLOCAUST AND THE POVERTY OF THE SHTETL. AFTER THAT, SHE MOVED IN MANY WORLDS. AND IN EVERY ONE SHE MADE HER MARK.

Fascinated by his brilliant and beautiful mother, Felice, Henry Massie explores the many worlds she inhabited–and conquered–in this powerful memoir.  Possessed with a remarkable gift for reinventing herself, Felice was sent to Paris to be educated, and later fled her Polish shetl for Palestine when the Nazis came to power before World War II. Having escaped the Holocaust, she immigrated finally to America. She arrived penniless, worked first as a nanny for the president of Yale, and eventually married and settled in St. Louis. Drawn to the art world, she began collecting works in the new field of Abstract Expressionism, becoming active in the New York City art world, lecturing on modern art at Washington University, and eventually amassing a collection that included works by Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning.

A portrait of an indomitable woman–on a remarkable journey!


Accolades:

Rob Swigart  -

“This is very much a book for the general reader and not merely for those interested in European Jewish life around the time of the Second World War. Anyone curious about modern art, or the Twentieth Century in general, not to mention those who like damn good writing, will find Felice’s Worlds a rare treat.”

Cheryl -

“restrained but honest and insightful, giving us a portrait of a woman who is both admirable and troubled, indomitable and damaged. And it shows a son who comes to understand more about both his mother and himself in the process of telling her story.”

Julie Smith -

“One of Felice’s friends called her “the quintessential perfect modern woman.” I call her a role model. We should all be so inventive, so quick, so brilliant and mesmerizing. When I got to the part of the narrative where she immigrates to America, I held my breath, afraid the exciting part was over. But I just didn’t know Felice. I ended up fascinated to the end, riveted by Felice’s ability to be herself, to make her mark no matter where she was.”


Review Ratings:

Felice’s Worlds currently has a review rating of 5 stars from 14 reviews. Read the reviews here.


Felice’s Worlds is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $4.99 or Borrow FREE with Prime!

 

An excerpt from Felice’s Worlds:

The train with four wooden carriages stuttered to a halt at the Lebanese crossing into Palestine near noon on a September day in 1935. Felice and her companion stepped into the sun, feeling the intense heat, tasting the sting of salt from the Mediterranean Sea to the east. For a moment a breeze from the mountains on the west brought a hint of freshness. The wild grass along the tracks was burnt golden. Everything was sear, scorched, except for the flowers in the border station’s window planter boxes. Dust hung in the air from a gravel road that paralleled the tracks.

Inside the stone building, a British officer examined passengers’ travel documents and passports. When Felice’s turn came, the crisply uniformed colonel looked at her bare shoulders and her short beige and cream linen dress. She was beautiful, petite, just five feet tall, her long black hair in a chignon, lipstick and eye liner carefully applied. Then he looked at the man by her side. A marriage certificate issued the day before by a rabbi in Beirut said they were husband and wife. The man looked malnourished. He had a red beard and long ear-locks, and large spectacles covered his face. His black suit was all dusty, and his head was covered with a large Hassidic black fedora. The couple did not speak to each other.

Felice presented her documents—a Polish passport with an exit stamp from Marseilles dated two weeks earlier, and an entry stamp into Lebanon dated the week before, plus her French university diploma. She was twenty-five and had just graduated from the University of Nancy, France, with a doctor’s degree in dental surgery from the medical school. The colonel knew the deception: more and more Jews were using fictive marriages to make their way into Palestine as Hitler’s Nazis spread anti-Semitism into Poland and closed off opportunities for Jews to make a living.

The colonel was under orders to do his part at the border to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into Palestine, which had been a British mandate since the end of World War I. There was a quota for Jews, intended to minimize conflicts with the Arab population. He asked Felice first in English, which she didn’t know, then in French, “Are the two of you married?”

“Yes, of course,” she answered him.

“What language do you have in common?” he continued, probing the ruse.

But Felice and her newly certificated husband had no language in common—he spoke Arabic and Hebrew, and she Polish, French, German, Yiddish, and some Russian. “The language of love,” she said in perfect melodious French, not missing a beat, flirting with the colonel.

His rejoinder: “Tomorrow is my day off. I will meet you for dinner at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.” She smiled at him. He stamped her entry visa!

The train steamed south. Sometimes it was within sight of the bright blue Mediterranean sand dunes bordering the tracks, sometimes inland among marshy wasteland, sometimes passing through orchards and citrus groves on land reclaimed from swamps by settlers from Russian and Poland. Occasionally there were Arab villages with stone houses and crops and fruit trees laid out in neat squares marked by low stone walls. Every once in a while cypress trees stood pencil thin, almost black like sentinels in rows along the edge of a field or road.

The carriage was humid and warm, windows pushed open to let in the salty air. A tall, skinny, coal black porter from the Sudan in a long white robe passed through the corridor with a tray of sweets, glasses, and a copper urn with mint tea. The train click-clacked and swayed from side to side. From her purse Felice took the letter her father Moses had sent her in France. Writing from their village in Poland, he had given her meticulous instructions, which she had read over and over and memorized in case she lost the letter. She was to go to Jerusalem with the man her father arranged for her to marry, and he would provide her with lodging and a job in return for the $200 her father had sent directly to him..


Felice’s Worlds is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $4.99 or Borrow FREE with Prime!


Connect with Henry Massie:

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KINDLE DAILY DEAL: Sipping from the Nile: My Exodus from Egypt from Jean Naggar is Just $1.99 Today Only!

Born into a prominent, sophisticated Jewish family who spend time in Europe and live in the Middle East, author Jean Naggar’s coming of age memoir tells the story of her protected youth in an exotic multicultural milieu. To Naggar her childhood seemed a magical time that would never come to an end. But in 1956, Egyptian President Nasser’s nationalizing of the Suez Canal set in motion events that would change her life forever.

An enchanted way of life suddenly ended by multinational hostilities, her close-knit extended family is soon scattered far and wide. Naggar’s own family moves to London where she finishes her schooling and is swept into adulthood and the challenge of new horizons in America. Speaking for a different wave of immigrants whose Sephardic origins highlight the American Jewish story through an unfamiliar lens, Naggar traces her personal journey through lost worlds and difficult transitions, exotic locales and strong family values. The story resonates for all in this poignant exploration of the innocence of childhood in a world breaking apart.

What readers are saying:

“Readers will rejoice in this memoir of a Jewish life and culture that, sadly, no longer exists. But even more, this exodus from Egypt is the great American success story, filled with fine vignettes and character studies. Sipping from the Nile is a moving and beautifully written account about how one smart, resilient outsider made her own way.” –Susan Isaacs, author of Past PerfectAny Place to Hang My Hat, and Compromising Positions

The average Amazon Reader Review rating is currently 4.5 Stars {46 Reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase Sipping from the Nile: My Exodus from Egypt for $1.99* from Amazon

*Price goes back up to $7.85 tomorrow!

KINDLE DAILY DEAL: Rena’s Promise: Two Sisters in Auschwitz from Rena Kornreich Gelissen & Heather Dune Macadam is $1.99 Today Only!

“I do not hate. To hate is to let Hitler win.” Rena Kornreich Gelissen

On March 26, 1942, the first transport of women arrived in Auschwitz. Among the 999 young Jewish women was Rena Kornreich, the 716th woman numbered in camp. A few days later, her sister Danka arrives and so begins a trial of love and courage that will last 3 years and 41 days, from the beginning Auschwitz death camp to the end of the war.

Rena’s Promise stands out from other memoirs in mere length of time she spent in the camps. No other survivor from the first transport has ever written about her experience and what it meant to survive for so long as a peasant and a hard laborer who spent 10-12 hours a day making bricks, pushing lorries, sifting sand, performing cartwheels…. From her escape from Dr. Mengele’s experiment detail to her surreal meetings with SS woman Irma Grese, Rena tells a dynamic tale of courage and compassion that reminds us of the resiliency of the human spirit, and the power of people to help one another in unimaginable circumstances, be they Gentile or Jew, German or Pole, kapo or prisoner.

Used in secondary school Holocaust programs.

Recommended for Holocaust collections by the Library Journal.

What readers are saying:

“The most important book of the modern age!” Neal Lavon, Voice of America

“The most historically accurate book ever written of the first transport of women into Auschwitz–the only book ever written by a survivor of that transport, who survived 3 years and 41 days in the camps.” Irena Strezlecka, Director of the Museum of Women at Auschwitz

The average Amazon Reader Review rating is currently 5 Stars {117 Reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase Rena’s Promise: Two Sisters in Auschwitz for $1.99* from Amazon

*Price goes back up to $9.99 tomorrow!

KINDLE DAILY DEAL: A Genius for Deception : How Cunning Helped the British Win Two World Wars is Just $1.99 Today Only!

In February 1942, intelligence officer Victor Jones erected 150 tents behind British lines in North Africa. “Hiding tanks in Bedouin tents was an old British trick,” writes Nicholas Rankin; German general Erwin Rommel not only knew of the ploy, but had copied it himself. Jones knew that Rommel knew. In fact, he counted on it–for these tents were empty. With the deception that he was carrying out a deception, Jones made a weak point look like a trap.

In A Genius for Deception, Rankin offers a lively and comprehensive history of how Britain bluffed, tricked, and spied its way to victory in two world wars. As he shows, a coherent program of strategic deception emerged in World War I, resting on the pillars of camouflage, propaganda, secret intelligence, and special forces. All forms of deception found an avid sponsor in Winston Churchill, who carried his enthusiasm for deceiving the enemy into World War II. Rankin vividly recounts such little-known episodes as the invention of camouflage by two French artist-soldiers, the creation of dummy airfields for the Germans to bomb during the Blitz, and the fabrication of an army that would supposedly invade Greece. Strategic deception would be key to a number of WWII battles, culminating in the massive misdirection that proved critical to the success of the D-Day invasion in 1944.

Deeply researched and written with an eye for telling detail, A Genius for Deception shows how British used craft and cunning to help win the most devastating wars in human history.

What readers are saying;

“A delight-filled account…as much an entertainment as history.” –Wall Street Journal

“A fascinating new book about British intelligence s deception operations against the Axis powers. –Washington Post SpyTalk

“Rankin’s page-turner makes the most of the gifted amateurs, eccentrics, and professional illusionists responsible for the imaginative schemes of the British military and details the care and seriousness with which they were implemented.”  –Foreign Affairs

The average Amazon Reader Review rating is currently 4.5 Stars {17 Reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase A Genius for Deception for $1.99* from Amazon

*Price goes back up to $8.35 tomorrow!

Asylum Lake, R. A. Evans {$2.99}

Memories are like water. Some float on the surface bright and clear. Some lie deeper – blurred by time and distance. Others rest far from the light in the depths of the darkness. These memories are best forgotten. At the bottom of Asylum Lake the unremembered are growing restless.

After the sudden death of his wife, Brady Tanner moves to the small Michigan town where he spent summers as a youth. But he soon learns that small towns can be stained by memories…and secrets too. As Brady is drawn into unearthing the secrets of the town and of the abandoned psychiatric hospital on the shores of Asylum Lake, he discovers a new love in an old friend. But there is an evil presence lurking beneath the waters of the lake. What is the source of this evil–and what does it want with Brady Tanner?

“A taut tale liable to raise significant goosebumps.” ~Ray Walsh, The Lansing State Journal

“Frightening and unexplainable… could leave the reader wanting more.” –Jan Holst, On The Town Magazine

The average customer review is currently 5 stars (2 reviews).

 

Click here to read more about and purchase Asylum Lake for $2.99 from Amazon

Price Update: Now $7.19 ~ Stupid History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions Throughout the Ages, Leland Gregory ~ Was Free!

Stupid History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions Throughout the AgesIf it would shock you to learn that Benjamin Franklin didn’t discover electricity, you’ll appreciate this take on hundreds of historical legends and debacles. Historians and humorists alike may be surprised to learn that:


Samuel Prescott made the famous horseback ride into Concord, not Paul Revere. As a member of Parliament, Isaac Newton spoke only once. He asked for an open window. On April 24, 1898, Spain declared war on the U.S., thus starting the Spanish-American War. The U.S. declared war the very next day, but not wanting to be outdone, had the date on the declaration changed from April 25 to April 21.With these and many other stories, leading humorist Leland Gregory once again highlights both the strange and the funny side of humankind.


Leland Gregory has authored more than a dozen humor titles including What’s The Number for 911?, Stupid History, and the New York Times best-sellers America’s Dumbest Criminals and Stupid American History. A tireless promoter, he has made hundreds of radio and television appearances, including multiple appearances on NBC’s Today show. Leland lives in Nashville, Tennessee.


The average customer review is currently 4 stars (16 reviews).


Click here to read customer reviews or to purchase Stupid History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions Throughout the Ages for $7.19 from Amazon

Seabiscuit, Laura Hillenbrand ~ $6.39

SeabiscuitBONUS: This edition contains a Seabiscuit discussion guide and an excerpt from Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken.

Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail. Three men changed Seabiscuit’s fortunes:

Charles Howard was a onetime bicycle repairman who introduced the automobile to the western United States and became an overnight millionaire. When he needed a trainer for his new racehorses, he hired Tom Smith, a mysterious mustang breaker from the Colorado plains. Smith urged Howard to buy Seabiscuit for a bargain-basement price, then hired as his jockey Red Pollard, a failed boxer who was blind in one eye, half-crippled, and prone to quoting passages from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Over four years, these unlikely partners survived a phenomenal run of bad fortune, conspiracy, and severe injury to transform Seabiscuit from a neurotic, pathologically indolent also-ran into an American sports icon. 

Author Laura Hillenbrand brilliantly re-creates a universal underdog story, one that proves life is a horse race.


“A captivating story . . . with the detail of good history, the blistering pace of Biscuit himself and the charm of grand legend.” ~The New York Times Book Review

“Remarkable . . . memorable . . . just as compelling today as it was in 1938.” ~
The Washington Post


“It’s a terrific story, but it’s more than just a horse’s tale, because the humans who owned, trained and rode Seabiscuit are equally fascinating. . . . Even if your interest in horses goes no further than hansom cabs, you’ll find this book engrossing.” ~Sports Illustrated

“Terrific . . . Illuminating a forgotten piece of American history, Seabiscuit brings alive the drama, the beauty, the louche charm and the brutality of horse racing.” ~USA Today


The average customer review is currently 5 stars (664 reviews).


Click here to read customer reviews or to purchase Seabiscuit for $6.39 from Amazon

The Devil in the White City: A Saga of Magic and Murder at the Fair that Changed America, Erik Larson ~ $8.69

The Devil in the White City: A Saga of Magic and Murder at the Fair that Changed AmericaTwo men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair’s brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country’s most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his “World’s Fair Hotel” just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium. Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake.

The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. In this book the smoke, romance, and mystery of the Gilded Age come alive as never before.

Erik Larson’s gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.


“Engrossing . . . exceedingly well documented . . . utterly fascinating.” ~Chicago Tribune


“A dynamic, enveloping book. . . . Relentlessly fuses history and entertainment to give this nonfiction book the dramtic effect of a novel. . . . It doesn’t hurt that this truth is stranger than fiction.” ~The New York Times


“As absorbing a piece of popular history as one will ever hope to find.” ~San Francisco Chronicle


The average customer review is currently 4.5 stars (926 reviews).


Purchase The Devil in the White City: A Sage of Magic and Murder at the Fair that Changed America here for $8.69

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