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Today's Takeaway with Florine Mark

Jan 11, 2021

With New York Times bestselling author, Jennifer Cody Epstein.  

The last year has been unbelievably challenging for everyone. Rather than focus on what’s missing from my life, I make it a point to be grateful every single day for what I have, the people around me, and the things that fill my life with joy. For example, one of those things is my love of books. On days when I’m feeling stressed or anxious, I can pick up a book and actually escape to another time and place. I love losing myself in the thrill of seeing life through someone else’s eyes and learning about faraway places I can only dream of visiting.


In January 2020, I interviewed New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Cody Epstein.  Her latest novel, Wunderland, is a historical novel set in both Nazi Germany and New York City in the 1980s.  It’s not only a carefully researched snapshot of history, it’s an incredibly compelling story, as well.  Join me today as we revisit this wonderful interview from one year ago.


What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • A little bit on Jennifer’s background, including her adoption story.
  • Jennifer was raised Catholic but was drawn to Judaism.


  • Jennifer describing her college curriculum, particularly her interest in  Asian Studies.
  • How Jennifer’s studies led to living and working in Japan for five years.
  • How Jennifer made the leap from journalism to writing fiction.
  • All about Jennifer’s first book, The Painter from Shanghai.
  • Why Jennifer chose the Holocaust as a subject for her latest book Wunderland and what she uncovered.
  • How Jennifer came to the fictional storyline in Wunderland.



Today’s Takeaway: The events of the past year have impacted all of us and the added stress has certainly taken its toll. One of the best ways I have found to give myself a much-needed break is to curl up with a really good book.  Reading calms my nerves, relieves stress, and allows me to escape. Through my monthly virtual book club, I have an outlet to socialize safely during the pandemic. We not only have thought-provoking discussions about the book, but we also exchange healthy recipes. Books are not only great entertainment, but they give you a gateway to a whole community. One of the best gifts that you can give someone, is to share a book that really touched your heart or opened your eyes to a new way of thinking. I’m always giving my books away (sometimes I get them back and sometimes I don’t!), and I hope they bring as much joy to someone else as they give to me. I’m Florine Mark and that’s “Today’s Takeaway.”

Brought to You By:

Florine Mark


Mentioned in This Episode:

Jennifer Cody Epstein

Wunderland: A Novel, by Jennifer Cody Epstein on Amazon

The Painter from Shanghai: A Novel, by Jennifer Cody Epstein on Amazon