I don’t often recommend books, and I must admit, I am an avid reader, so I should do it more often. The type of book I look for, however, is not your novel or anything that is fictional. I feel as if there is plenty of time during the day to take my mind off my daily struggles with my son. There is TV, there are movies, there is Facebook, there are trashy magazines, there are hugs and kisses and so much more. But because I have such little time to read, and because I feel as if I have an hour to myself I want to read something that helps me in my life, I go for biographies. I want to know how people survive incredible odds. I want to know how anyone survives when life hands them lemons. It could be how they handled a particularly tough childhood, divorce, death of their child, disability of any kind… but when I came across this book called “I Shall Live” by a holocaust survivor I felt, YES, I hit the proverbial motherlode.
To be perfectly honest, I never read anything so riveting. Here’s a very intelligent young Polish guy, living his life with his family when WWII hits. I don’t know why this book was never made into a movie. This guy did it all. He survived everything and in the book he tells us how, what he thought, the fears and the atrocities he witnessed. He should have been killed so many times and somehow he made it through by ingenuity, by luck, by how fast he ran… the stories in this book make my life feel like child play. It’s always nice to have prospective, and this book gave me a ton.
I did some research on Henry Orenstein… not only he survived the holocaust by running, hiding and the lack of food in concentration camps, but after having been rescued by Soviet troops, he emigrated to the United States and became the toymaker who convinced Hasbro to start producing the Transformers. After his retirement he discovered the world of poker and invented the hole card camera, a table level camera which allows television audiences and announcers to view players’ hands and hidden cards. This innovation led to a boom in poker tournaments and television shows, some of which were launched by Orenstein himself.
Why isn’t there a movie on the life of this incredible man? Common Hollywood. In the meantime, if you want some prospective in your life, read this book. I promise, you will never forget it.
Hugs and Blessings…