Book of the Month for December 2020


The Last Golden Smile

Al Karasa

Did you know that reading is good for your health? When you read for only 6 minutes, it helps reduce stress by 60%, relieves muscle tension, slows your heartbeat and alters your state of mind. Believe it or not, reading has proven to be 600% more beneficial in reducing stress than playing video games, 300% more useful than actually going for a walk, 100% more than drinking a cup of tea and 68% more than listening to music. There are millions of books available and several have been written by local Authors.

Since we started the podcast, Harford County Living with Rich Bennett, we’ve had plenty of different local Authors on. We want everyone to be able enjoy the great books written by them so we decided to feature a “Book of the Month” from a local Author.

This month we are proud to feature “The Last Golden Smile” by Al Karasa


Leaving home. Taking only what could be carried. Not knowing when we would return, if ever. It was the choice made by millions, a choice imposed by war. The alternative was death. Or worse. The unknown was better. So begins this story of survival at impossible odds. Part history and part memoir, this book takes us into the surreal world of war as seen through a child’s eyes, but reflected in adulthood in the very different light of retrospect many years later. It is the story of perseverance, in the face of overwhelming peril, that will touch the reader with its sincerity, poignancy, and warmth. Numerous books about the civilian World War Two experience deal with the Holocaust and Nazi crimes against humanity. Very few address the horrors implemented by Soviet Russia and the plight of thousands-hundreds of thousands-who fled to escape them. This book is one of those few. Al Karasa lived through the horrors of World War Two in Europe as a child and witnessed, first hand, man’s inhumanity to man on a cataclysmic scale. It is stuff of which nightmares are made. The author learned, used and forgot the rudiments of more languages by age seventeen than most of us engage in a lifetime. Changing countries more often than the stages of the moon became the norm during his family’s escape westward. This is the story of that escape. For more about the author and his work, visit

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