Monday, March 21, 2016

No blood, but plenty of sweat & tears: Author Jennifer K. Jordan's 14 Year Quest for "DADLY Wisdom"

Jennifer K. Jordan
Published in Broadway World Book News

Book Title: 
DADLY Wisdom: Untold Stories That Represent the True Faces of Fatherhood
Author: Jennifer Karin Jordan
Publisher: Motivational Press (March 10, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1628652691
Paperback: 232 pages
Genre: Family Relationships
Brand: Hogan Hilling's DADLY Series

Available at Amazon
Author Website: Jennifer Karin Jordan Website
Facebook: DADLY Wisdom Facebook Page 

Author Contact: 
(562) 208-4869 /
Interviewer: Marlan Warren (323) 347-6762 / 

Interview with Author Jennifer K. Jordan: “I wanted to give a snapshot of fathers’ wisdom from across the world.” 

What began as a simple tribute to honor the wisdom and love of her father became a life-altering journey for Jennifer K. Jordan, author of DADLY Wisdom. Recently Jordan sat down with journalist/blogger Marlan Warren to reveal her 14-year process to gather insights from fathers she believes (according to the book’s back cover) “represent humanity at its best.”

Q: Did any of the interviews surprise you?

A: All of the interviews did that. Every time I interviewed a father, I was so impressed and moved that I thought I could never meet another such fine human being. I was in awe of all the fathers and their love for their children, and their dedication to helping their families no matter what.

I was surprised when Cain Credicott spoke to me for two hours for his interview. He is extremely busy as the Editor-in-Chief of Paleo Magazine, so I didn’t think his interview would be so long.

When I listened to Bernard Sayone and Tomas Kovar talk about their experiences in the Holocaust, I was constantly amazed. I learned more about the Holocaust from interviewing them than I had in any school, book or film. Bernie and Tomas also inspired me because they now work to promote peace in the world instead of being victims of such a difficult past.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Interview with Judith Fein, Author of THE SPOON FROM MINKOWITZ: A Bittersweet Roots Journey to Ancestral Lands

How to crack the mystery of who we are, why we love, and where we came from can be the greatest mystery of all. Judith Fein embarks on a quest to call on ancestors and urges us to do the same..

Interview with Judith Fein, 
Author of  
The Spoon from Minkowitz: 
A Bittersweet Roots Journey to Ancestral Lands: 

            Finding roots is the solution for a rootless life.”

 I heard the Eastern European ancestors of many people like me
 calling out. “Remember us. Don’t forget us. Our story needs
 to be heard. Write our story. Write your story."
—Judith FeinThe Spoon from Minkowitz

Title:      The Spoon from Minkowitz:  A Bittersweet Roots Journey to Ancestral Lands
Author: Judith Fein with Photographs by Paul Ross
ISBN: 978-0-9884019-3-8
Paperback             Pages: 256       Price:     $18.95
Discussion Guide Included
Pub. Date: Jan. 5, 2014 (Available in all e-book formats.)
Author Website

Note: This interview was written by Marlan Warren and originally published as a press release in 2014 in, and picked up by the BBC Record.

     Judith Fein is a travel journalist’s travel journalist. Like a latter-day Marco Polo, she has globe-trotted without maps or preconceived notions from Mog Mog to Vanuatu. By her own account, she has swum with Beluga whales, consulted with a Zulu sangoma in South Africa, and eaten porcupine in Vietnam (“not with relish”). In 2011, when Fein and her photojournalist husband Paul Ross visited Tunisia during the Arab Spring, the French-speaking American Fein found herself on the radio, speaking to Tunisians about Democracy. Her popular travel memoir Life Is a Trip: The Transformative Magic of Travel conveys her need to find out where people of different cultures come from and what makes them act, think, and behave the way they do. After decades of travel, there was one frontier that still eluded the “I-live-to-leave” Fein: the mystery of her own ancestral roots.

     Fein’s book, The Spoon from Minkowitz: A Bittersweet Roots Journey to Ancestral Lands, takes us on the trip she finally made in 2012 to the shtetl her Jewish grandmother left behind in an obscure Russian (now Ukrainian) village.

     The Spoon from Minkowitz has garnered stellar reviews. Catharine Hamm, travel editor of the Los Angeles Times, found The Spoon from Minkowitz “as tense as a thriller and as tender as a love story.” Zelda Shluker, editor of Hadassah Magazine, noted the book is “unlike any other back-to-roots book…driven by the author's almost mystical quest to recover the past…Her curiosity, openness and passion take us along on a journey that turns out to be ours as well.”

     We had the opportunity to catch Judith Fein for a moment when she was not in perpetual motion to talk about the deeper meanings of genealogy as explored in this book:

For those who have not yet read your book, what is “the spoon from Minkowitz”?
My grandmother was from a village called Minkowitz in what was then Russia. That fact plus five others were all she would ever tell me about where she was from and why she left; she didn’t want to talk about the past. My mother told me virtually nothing.

When I met my husband Paul, we were immediately attracted. But here’s the kicker: when I asked Paul's parents about their ancestral roots, it turned out his father’s family came from…Minkowitz

Okay. So the “spoon.” When Paul told his parents we were getting married, his father offered us the only thing left from his parents’ shtetl of Minkowitz: a soup spoon they brought with them to America. I treasured that spoon because it made our ancient, ancestral connection so real and concrete. We made a place of honor for it under the chupa  (Jewish wedding canopy) on a satin pillow.

You followed your intuition and things miraculously started happening—as you did in Life Is a Trip. Would you call your process “right brain”?
I explored the context my ancestors, and the ancestors of so many others, came from by just showing up and going from town to town looking and learning.

Perhaps it is “right brain.” I prefer to call it “following the arrows.” It’s about keeping eyes and ears open, and following wherever the arrows point, even if you don't know where they are leading or what you will find there. If you trust you will end up in the right place, you will somehow get there. 

This book is like a Jewish Roots, the Alex Haley book that traces his African American family history. And in some ways, it’s like Safran Foer’s Everything Is IlluminatedHow would you pitch The Spoon from Minkowitz to a Hollywood producer?
Hmmm.. I’d say it’s a female Everything Is Illuminated meets Life Is a Trip.