The Eighty Dollar Champion
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📒The Eighty Dollar Champion ✍ Elizabeth Letts
✏The Eighty Dollar Champion Book Summary : Harry de Leyer first saw the horse he would name Snowman on a truck bound for the slaughterhouse. The recent Dutch immigrant recognized the spark in the eye of the beaten-up nag and bought him for eighty dollars. On Harry's modest farm on Long Island, he ultimately taught Snowman how to fly. Here is the dramatic and inspiring rise to stardom of an unlikely duo. One show at a time, against extraordinary odds and some of the most expensive thoroughbreds alive, the pair climbed to the very top of the sport of show jumping. Their story captured the heart of Cold War-era America-a story of unstoppable hope, inconceivable dreams, and the chance to have it all. They were the longest of all longshots-and their win was the stuff of legend.
📒The Perfect Horse ✍ Elizabeth Letts
✏The Perfect Horse Book Summary : NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion, the remarkable story of the heroic rescue of priceless horses in the closing days of World War II In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find—his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine—an equine master race. But with the starving Russian army closing in, the animals are in imminent danger of being slaughtered for food. With only hours to spare, one of the U.S. Army’s last great cavalrymen, Colonel Hank Reed, makes a bold decision—with General George Patton’s blessing—to mount a covert rescue operation. Racing against time, Reed’s small but determined force of soldiers, aided by several turncoat Germans, steals across enemy lines in a last-ditch effort to save the horses. Pulling together this multistranded story, Elizabeth Letts introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters: Alois Podhajsky, director of the famed Spanish Riding School of Vienna, a former Olympic medalist who is forced to flee the bomb-ravaged Austrian capital with his entire stable in tow; Gustav Rau, Hitler’s imperious chief of horse breeding, a proponent of eugenics who dreams of genetically engineering the perfect warhorse for Germany; and Tom Stewart, a senator’s son who makes a daring moonlight ride on a white stallion to secure the farm’s surrender. A compelling account for animal lovers and World War II buffs alike, The Perfect Horse tells for the first time the full story of these events. Elizabeth Letts’s exhilarating tale of behind-enemy-lines adventure, courage, and sacrifice brings to life one of the most inspiring chapters in the annals of human valor. Praise for The Perfect Horse “Winningly readable . . . Letts captures both the personalities and the stakes of this daring mission with such a sharp ear for drama that the whole second half of the book reads like a WWII thriller dreamed up by Alan Furst or Len Deighton. . . . The right director could make a Hollywood classic out of this fairy tale.”—The Christian Science Monitor “Letts, a lifelong equestrienne, eloquently brings together the many facets of this unlikely, poignant story underscoring the love and respect of man for horses.”—Kirkus Reviews
📒Finding Dorothy ✍ Elizabeth Letts
✏Finding Dorothy Book Summary : This richly imagined novel tells the story behind The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the book that inspired the iconic film, through the eyes of author L. Frank Baum’s intrepid wife, Maud. “A breathtaking read that will transport you over the rainbow and into the heart of one of America’s most enduring fairy tales.”—Lisa Wingate, author of Before We Were Yours Hollywood, 1938: As soon as she learns that M-G-M is adapting her late husband’s masterpiece for the screen, seventy-seven-year-old Maud Gage Baum sets about trying to finagle her way onto the set. Nineteen years after Frank’s passing, Maud is the only person who can help the producers stay true to the spirit of the book—because she’s the only one left who knows its secrets. But the moment she hears Judy Garland rehearsing the first notes of “Over the Rainbow,” Maud recognizes the yearning that defined her own life story, from her youth as a suffragette’s daughter to her coming of age as one of the first women in the Ivy League, from her blossoming romance with Frank to the hardscrabble prairie years that inspired The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Judy reminds Maud of a young girl she cared for and tried to help in South Dakota, a dreamer who never got her happy ending. Now, with the young actress under pressure from the studio as well as her ambitious stage mother, Maud resolves to protect her—the way she tried so hard to protect the real Dorothy. The author of two New York Times bestselling nonfiction books, The Eighty-Dollar Champion and The Perfect Horse, Elizabeth Letts is a master at discovering and researching a rich historical story and transforming it into a page-turner. Finding Dorothy is the result of Letts’s journey into the amazing lives of Frank and Maud Baum. Written as fiction but based closely on the truth, Elizabeth Letts’s new book tells a story of love, loss, inspiration, and perseverance, set in America’s heartland. Advance praise for Finding Dorothy “In some ways reminiscent of Jerry Stahl’s excellent I, Fatty, Letts’ Finding Dorothy combines exhaustive research with expansive imagination, blending history and speculation into a seamless tapestry. . . . It’s a testament to Letts’ skill that she can capture on the page, without benefit of audio, that same emotion we have all felt sometime over the last 80 years while listening to ‘Over the Rainbow.’”—BookPage (starred review)
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📒Braille Books ✍ Library of Congress. National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
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📒Out Of The Clouds ✍ Linda Carroll
✏Out of the Clouds Book Summary : In the bestselling tradition of the The Eighty-Dollar Champion, the propulsive, inspiring Cinderella story of Stymie, an unwanted Thoroughbred, and Hirsch Jacobs, the once dirt-poor trainer who bought the colt on the cheap and molded him into the most popular horse of his time and the richest racehorse the world had ever seen. In the wake of World War II, as turmoil and chaos were giving way to a spirit of optimism, Americans were looking for inspiration and role models showing that it was possible to start from the bottom and work your way up to the top-and they found it in Stymie, the failed racehorse plucked from the discard heap by trainer Hirsch Jacobs. Like Stymie, Jacobs was a commoner in "The Sport of Kings," a dirt-poor Brooklyn city slicker who forged an unlikely career as racing's winningest trainer by buying cheap, unsound nags and magically transforming them into winners. The $1,500 pittance Jacobs paid to claim Stymie became history's biggest bargain as the ultimate iron horse went on to run a whopping 131 races and win 25 stakes, becoming the first Thoroughbred ever to earn more than $900,000. The Cinderella champion nicknamed "The People's Horse" captivated the masses with his rousing charge-from-behind stretch runs, his gritty blue-collar work ethic, and his rags-to-riches success story. In a golden age when horse racing rivaled baseball and boxing as America's most popular pastime, he was every bit as inspiring a sports hero as Joe DiMaggio and Joe Louis. Taking readers on a crowd-pleasing ride with Stymie and Jacobs, Out of the Clouds unwinds a real-life Horatio Alger tale of a dauntless team and its working-class fans who lived vicariously through the stouthearted little colt they embraced as their own.
📒War Animals ✍ Robin Hutton
✏War Animals Book Summary : "This book will delight both animal lovers and military buffs!" — Elizabeth Letts, bestselling author of The Eighty Dollar Champion Meet the forgotten members of the Greatest Generation: the war animals who guarded American coasts against submarine attack, dug out Londoners trapped in bomb wreckage, and carried vital messages under heavy fire on Pacific islands during World War II. They kept up morale, rushed machine gun nests, and even sacrificed themselves picking up live grenades. Now Robin Hutton, the bestselling author of Sgt. Reckless: America's War Horse, tells the heartwarming stories of the dogs, horses, mules, pigeons—and even one cat—who did their bit for the war effort. American and British families volunteered beloved family pets and farm dogs to aid in the war effort; President Roosevelt was among many who bought honorary "commissions" in the reserves for their pets to raise money to defeat Hitler and Tojo. Many of these gallant animals are recipients of the prestigious Dickin Medal, the "Animals' Victoria Cross." In War Animals: The Unsung Heroes of World War II you'll meet: - Judy, the POW dog who helped her beloved human survive brutal Japanese prison camps - Cher Ami, the pigeon who nearly died delivering a message that saved American troops from death by friendly fire - Beauty, the "digging dog" who sniffed out Londoners buried in the wreckage of the Blitz—along with pets, including one goldfish still in its bowl! - Olga, the horse who braved shattering glass to do her duty in London bombings - Smoky, the Yorkshire terrier who did parachute jumps, laid communications wire through a pipe so small only she could navigate it, became the first therapy dog—and starred on a weekly TV show after the War - Simon, the war cat whose campaign against the "Mao Tse Tung" of the rat world saved food supplies and his ship's crew - Chips, who guarded Roosevelt and Churchill during the Casablanca Conference, and was the only dog to earn a Silver Star for his heroics The shining loyalty and courage of these heroes is a testimony to the enduring bond between us and the animals we love.
📒Sgt Reckless ✍ Robin Hutton
✏Sgt Reckless Book Summary : A New York Times Bestseller! From the racetrack to the battlefield—dauntless, fearless, and exemplar of Semper Fi—she was Reckless, "pride of the Marines." A Mongolian mare who was bred to be a racehorse, Ah-Chim-Hai, or Flame-of-the-Morning, belonged to a young boy named Kim-Huk-Moon. In order to pay for a prosthetic leg for his sister, Kim made the difficult decision to sell his beloved companion. Lieutenant Eric Pedersen purchased the bodacious mare and renamed her Reckless, for the Recoilless Rifles Platoon, Anti-Tank Division, of the 5th Marines she’d be joining. The four-legged equine braved minefields and hailing shrapnel to deliver ammunition to her division on the frontlines. In one day alone, performing fifty-one trips up and down treacherous terrain, covering a distance of over thirty-five miles, and rescuing wounded comrades-in-arms, Reckless demonstrated her steadfast devotion to the Marines who had become her herd. Despite only measuring about thirteen hands high, this pint-sized equine became an American hero. Reckless was awarded two Purple Hearts for her valor and was officially promoted to staff sergeant twice, a distinction never bestowed upon an animal before or since. Author Robin Hutton has reignited excitement about this nearly forgotten legend, realizing the Sgt. Reckless Memorial Monument at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, completed in July 2013, and now spurring the creation of a second memorial at Camp Pendleton, California, where Reckless lived out the rest of her days. The paperback edition includes a new foreword by General James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. It will appeal to fans of Laura Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit, Elizabeth Letts' The Eighty Dollar Champion, and the feature film War Horse.
📒The Mill River Redemption ✍ Darcie Chan
✏The Mill River Redemption Book Summary : New York Times bestselling author Darcie Chan returns to the enchanting town of Mill River in a heartwarming novel of family, self-discovery, and forgiveness. Perfect for fans of Maeve Binchy. Josie DiSanti is starting over. Recently widowed, she has fled her New York City home with her two young daughters—spirited Rose and shy Emily—in tow. She takes refuge in Mill River, Vermont, to live with her only remaining relative, Ivy Collard, the local bookstore owner and a woman Josie barely knows. There, the young mother and her girls build a new life for themselves—until a shocking tragedy tears the sisters apart. Years later, Josie’s still-estranged daughters return to the quiet town for the reading of their mother’s will, which stipulates that they must work together to locate a hidden key to a safe-deposit box containing their inheritance. Even from the great beyond, it seems Josie will do anything to bring about her daughters’ reconciliation. Having no choice but to go along with their mother’s final wishes, Rose and Emily move back to Mill River for the summer to begin the search—discovering that, in the close-knit community known for magic and miracles, an even greater treasure awaits them. Praise for The Mill River Redemption “Delving into the complicated roles of siblings, parents, and neighbors, [Darcie] Chan gives each Mill River character a powerful role in refining and influencing these dynamics.”—New York Journal of Books “Darcie Chan paints a vivid and loving portrait of the kind of small town we all wished we lived in. This layered tale of two estranged sisters brought together by a mother’s love will make you laugh, cry, cheer, hug your loved ones a little tighter. An enchanting storyteller, Chan is one of those rare authors who make you feel more fully alive.”—Elizabeth Letts, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion “Readers looking for a feel-good book about small towns and family bonds won’t be disappointed by Chan’s latest.”—Kirkus Reviews “An engrossing page-turner, reeling readers in further with each layer that’s revealed . . . a satisfying read with sympathetic and relatable characters that will be good for book group discussions and vacation reading.”—Library Journal “Charming . . . compelling . . . Slow reveals and dramatic twists proliferate.”—Booklist Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more. From the Trade Paperback edition.