#BookTour “Paths in the Storm” by Illana Maor

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Paths coverJewish historical novel based on a true story
Historical novel
Date Published: September 10, 2018
Publisher: Alonim
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The turbulent events in Europe of the first half of the 20th century find Marek fighting successive obstacles fate places in his way. A descendant of a family of physicians, Marek demonstrates extraordinary resourcefulness and imagination persistently creating his own path towards completing his studies and building his life.
Max is a well-known filmmaker whose life story parallels that of the development of the cinema worldwide, starting from its earliest stages. The heroines are ambitious, each one in her way, their love stories undergoing huge upheavals both due to personal reasons as well as a result of the stormy times. The characters, based in part on real persons, find unconventional paths leading them, against all odds, to lives of fulfillment.
Paths in the Storm is a fascinating historical novel depicting the personal stories and great loves of four generations of two families which are entwined with the major historical developments of the century, often regarded from less known perspectives. The rapid sequence of events unfolds across Europe from Switzerland through Poland, France and the Soviet Union. Connections from different worlds bring together people of science and medicine, finance, diplomacy as well as art and bohemia and, on the other side, descendants of a well-known rabbinic dynasty.

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About the Author
Dr. Ilana Maor’s Paths in the Storm, now available in English, received enthusiastic reviews for its original Hebrew edition. The book has been recommended by Haaretz (premier Israeli newspaper), Haifa News and many other local papers in Israel. Some of the additional readers’ praises: “One of the best books I have read about this period…”. “Captivating. Wholeheartedly recommend it.” “Amazing story, full of events…touches every one of us…”. “The writer’s epic ability makes the story delightful and fascinating… Very recommended”. (Nuritha – Israel’s largest website for literary critics).
Maor was born in Germany and has lived most of her life in Israel. The novel was inspired by extraordinary lives of some real people on the background of the historical events that deeply affected them. She holds a master’s degree from the Weizmann Institute of Science and a PhD from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Chemistry. She managed the Departments of Scientific Relations and Intellectual Property at the Technion and in recent years is the proprietor of a private consultancy firm for international scientific ventures as well as evaluating new projects for the European Union and for the Israel Innovation Authority.
Since she was a child, Maor has been attracted to literature, music and the arts and has studied poetry and fiction. In 2012, Maor published a book of poems Trifles of Love, which earned outstanding reviews. Paths in the Storm is her second book.
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Song Lyric Sunday | “Little Old Lady from Pasadena” – Jan and Dean

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is  Home Town or City where you were born, or where lived in, or some place that you relate to.


Pasadena, California will always be a special place to me because it’s where my late husband and I married and lived for almost twenty years. All three of our children were born in Huntington Memorial Hospital and attended schools in the Pasadena Unified School District.

The city is home to the world famous Rose Bowl Stadium and hosts the Tournament of Roses Parade every January 1st. My father-in-law had a camper and would rent a spot along the parade route. He, my husband and the kids would spend the night–along with hundreds of thousands of other people–on Colorado Blvd and wake to a front row parade seat. My mother-in-law would join them in the morning. I watched the parade on television because cramming 1.5 million people into a narrow five and a half miles was not–and still isn’t–my idea of a good time. I could hear the marching bands from my living room. That was festive enough for me! 😀

As much as I loved southern California, I hated driving there… but you cannot live there without driving! I worked in the next city over – Glendale – and family, friends, and favorite spots of recreation were scattered from Canyon Country to Venice Beach, so I was well acquainted with the freeways, or as I used to call them… parking lots! 😀

You don’t have to drive far on so-Cal freeways to encounter just about every type of driver–rude, selfish, distracted, slow, and just plain dumb.

And then there are the speeders, who are not always what you expect.

Driving in the northeast Los Angeles County area, particularly in aging communities like Glendale, Altadena, and Pasadena, odds were good that you’d be rear-ended at least once, only to turn around and see this Buick Roadmaster smashed into your back end and a wrinkled little dear in a color-coordinated skirt-suit gingerly disembarking and muttering, “This is my husband’s car, see. My foot could barely reach the brake pedal.” Oh, and every year a float in the Tournament of Roses Parade gets held up by a granny who couldn’t read the detour signs and just blunders right into a marching band. Fun times.

That’s the moment which Jan and Dean chose to parody with The Little Old Lady from Pasadena in 1964, right at the tail end of the time when doo-wop surf music was on its way out. It’s just as well; Jan and Dean and the Beach Boys tended to be blended together so much that nobody could tell one from the other. Today, all surf-era music is made by the Beach Boys as far as the public mind is concerned, and bands like The Sunrays, The Rivieras, and Jan and Dean are forever consigned to their shadow, even though Jan and Dean predate the Beach Boys and the same guy (Roger Christian) wrote many songs for both.

The song reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1964 and number one on Canada’s RPM chart.



  • One parade I never missed was the popular Doo Dah Parade, an annual event satirizing the Rose Parade which originated in Old Pasadena in 1978. It was held a month before Christmas and attracted local residents for a day of fun with lots of local vendors setup for business. Most years, we sat right on the curb just to get hit with shaving cream and tortillas. (You had to be there!) However the event gained national notoriety (think Synchronized Briefcase Drill Team) and has been held in January and May, and in other nearby cities.
  • Pasadena is also home to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) (managed for NASA by Caltech) has a  Pasadena mailing address but is actually located in nearby LaCanada-Flintridge.
  • In addition to the annual New Year’s Day Rose Bowl game and a College Football Playoff semi-final game every three years, the Rose Bowl, a national historic landmark, is the home field for the UCLA Bruins football team, has hosted five Super Bowls and many BCS National Championship games including soccer games during the 1984 Summer Olympics.


See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for FeliciaDenise.com.


Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.


Little Old Lady from Pasadena

It’s the little old lady from Pasadena
The little old lady from Pasadena
(Go, Granny, go, Granny, go Granny go)
Has a pretty little flower bed of white gardenias
(Go, Granny, go, Granny, go Granny go)
But parked in a rickety old garage
Is a brand new, shiny red Super Stock Dodge
And everybody’s sayin’ that there’s nobody meaner
Than the little old lady from Pasadena
(She drives real fast and she drives real hard)
She’s the terror of Colorado Boulevard
It’s the little old lady from Pasadena
If you see her on the street don’t try to choose her
(Go, Granny, go, Granny, go Granny go)
You might drive a goer but you’ll never lose her
(Go, Granny, go, Granny, go Granny go)
Well, she’s gonna get a ticket now sooner or later
‘Cause she can’t keep her foot off the accelerator
And everybody’s sayin’ that there’s nobody meaner
Than the little old lady from Pasadena
(She drives real fast and she drives real hard)
She’s the terror of Colorado Boulevard
The guys come to race her for miles around
But she’ll give ’em a length and then she’ll shut ’em down
And everybody’s sayin’ that there’s nobody meaner
Than the little old lady from Pasadena
(She drives real fast and she drives real hard)
She’s the terror of Colorado Boulevard
Go, Granny, go, Granny, go Granny go *REPEAT 6 TIMES
Compiled from Genius Lyrics, Google, Wikipedia, Songfacts.com, Lyric Find, and YouTube.
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