Book Review: Gated Grief by Leila Levinson
5 Stars , Latest Posts , Non-Fiction / April 18, 2011

I got this book for free as a winner in a giveaway from Knitting and Sundries My rating for Gated Grief – 5 “I never dreamed that such cruelty, bestiality, and savagery could really exist in this world.” General Eisenhowser About: “Gated Grief: The Daughter of a GI Concentration Camp Liberator Discovers a Legacy of Trauma” by Leila Levinson who started the charity Veteran’s Children (website | Facebook | Twitter)  is a non-fiction book about the author’s five year research to understand her father’s trauma from liberating a concentration camp in World War II. The book is filled with graphic pictures which will stay with you for a long time. 272 pages Pub­lisher: Cable Publishing ISBN: 1934980544 Pur­chase “Gated Grief” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on: Ama­zon |Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK Thoughts: “Gated Grief” by Leila Levinson is a powerful book which follows the author’s search  to find the truth about her father’s World War II experience, particularly the trauma he has suffered from witnessing the human cruelty while helping liberate Nordhausen concentration camp. Mrs. Levinson travels all over the world and the US in order to get firsthand accounts from other surviving liberators of Nazi camps. Throughout…

Book Review: Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel
2 Stars , Fiction / February 28, 2011

I got this book for free as part of the TLC Book Tour promotion. My rating for Beatrice and Virgil – 2 About: “Beatrice and Virgil” (book website) by Yann Martel is a fictional book, a follow up to the author’s wildly successful “Like of Pi”. A strange story which is suppose to be an allegory for the Holocaust. Purchase “Beatrice and Virgil” through the ManOfLaBook affiliate account on: Amazon |Book Depository US | Book Depository UK Thoughts: I really didn’t know what to think about “Beatrice and Virgil” by Yann Martel. I didn’t like it yet didn’t hate it either. I was impartial to the book, I wasn’t offended, I wasn’t touched and I didn’t learn anything from it. Maybe it was because I looked forward to reading it. The narrator of the book is Henry, a famous author, who is taken by a play sent to him by one of this fans. The play is about a donkey named Beatrice and a monkey named Virgil. The author turns out to be a taxidermist who might have been a Nazi collaborator and the play is suppose to be an allegory for the suffering in the Holocaust. The taxidermist even…

Book Review: The Fifth Servant by Kenneth Wishnia
5 Stars , Historical Fiction / February 17, 2011

I got this book for free as part of the TLC Book Tour promotion. The publisher has made available one (1) copy of “The Fifth Servant” to be given out- enter at the end of the post. My rating for “The Fifth Servant” – 5 About: “The Fifth Servant” by Kenneth Wishnia (Website) is a fictional mystery set in 1592 at Jewish Ghetto in the city of Prague. The book is rich with Jewish culture and the tensions between Jews and Christians. Get a discount on “The Fifth Servant” through the ManOfLaBook affiliate account on: Amazon |Book Depository US | Book Depository UK Thoughts: “The Fifth Servant” by Kenneth Wishnia is told through the eyes of Benyamin Ben Akivah, a Talmudic scholar who follows his disgruntled wife from Poland to Prague. The book takes place over three days and two nights when Benyamin tries to solve a blood libel incident which weighed down the Jewish communities up until the 20th Century. This is a clever book, filled with excellent research, vivid imagery, and good writing sprinkled with humor. The medieval ghetto life is convincing and rich in detail, city of Prague comes to life even though it wouldn’t be a…

Book Review: The Purples by W.K. Berger
4 Stars , Fiction / January 27, 2011

Afraid of the worker’s unions in 1920’s Detroit Henry Ford’s agents, under the guise of fighting communism, arrest a multitude of people.  Rachel is one of those people only that Rachel’s boyfriend is Jewish mobster Joe Bernstein.

Book Review: The Gilded Chamber: A Novel of Queen Esther by Rebecca Kohn
4 Stars , Biblical Fiction , Fiction / October 8, 2010

I borrowed this book from the local library. My rating for The Gilded Chamber– 4 About: “The Gilded Chamber: A Novel of Queen Esther” by Rebecca Kohn is a familiar story, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan, is being brought to the court of King Xerxes as a possible queen. Hiding her Jewish origins she changes her name to Esther, becomes queen and saves the Jews from certain death (now…let’s eat). Buy “The Gilded Chamber” and get a royal treat Thoughts: The book itself is very inventive biblical fiction, I must give the author credit and I really enjoyed the first part of the book. However, for me the book took a wrong turn by not sticking with the biblical timeline and taking too many liberties with the “fiction” part of biblical fiction. Part of my enjoyment reading fiction is that I learn something along the way, if I have to pick apart what’s accurate and what’s not it takes away from the experience. The female characters are drawn very nicely, but the males seemed to be a bit flat and uninteresting. That’s too bad because Xerxes, Mordechai and Haman are fascinating cultural, historical and biblical characters by their own right. This…

Book Review: Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean by Edward Kritzler
4 Stars , Non-Fiction / September 17, 2010

“Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean” by Ed Kritzler is about a small part in the vast history of the Jewish people. This is an incredible book with many fascinating characters their intrigue, exploration and adventure. The author focuses on the Jewish pirates as well as the legitimate Jewish seamen (such as pilots, navigators, etc.) since, let’s face it, there is a reason you never heard of Jewish pirates – there weren’t that many.

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