Book Review / The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (Jamie Ford)

WHotelhile I found the book to be a slow read at first, it did finally win me over. It wasn’t the “Romeo / Juliet” storyline of Henry (Chinese) and Keiko (Japanese) during the high of the internment of Japanese Americans in the United States during World War II (although I found myself routing for them). It was the story of the three different cultures, the fears and friendships that I found myself drawn into and the reason I kept reading. The story as told through the eyes of Henry, a young Chinese American boy, and through his eyes we see the disparaging effects of prejudice and bigotry. It gave a good perspective into the difference beliefs and traditions and how they grow and evolve from parents to children.

Jamie Ford’s secondary characters were just as strong as the prominent ones and added so much to this book. I would have loved to have read more about the characters of Sheldon and Mrs. Beatty the “lunch lady”– but I was glad to hear that Ford had developed short stories from each of those characters. I shall seek them out!

The authors note at the end of the book actually made me appreciate the book even more! Knowing that the “I Am Chinese” pin was worn by the authors father as a child, that Panama Hotel is real and still exists today holding many artifacts from Japanese American families, that Oscar Holden was truly a forefather of Northwest jazz and that Bud Jazz Records still sits in the Seattle’s Pioneer Square – brought me closer to the characters and pulled me further into the story even thought I had already completed reading it. It makes me want to walk those streets and enjoy tea at the Panama Hotel one day!

Overall I found this to be an engaging and interesting read! 4 Stars!

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Book Review ~ Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir

By Jenny Lawson

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

lawsonOh Jenny, you had me at “Stanley, The Magical Talking Squirrel”!

How can you NOT love  a book with Chapters such as “Jenkins You Mother F*#ker”, “If You Need An Arm Condom, It Might Be Time to Evaluate Your Life Choices”, “That’s Why Neil Patrick Harris Would Be The Most Successful Mass Murderer Ever”, “My Vagina is Fine, Thanks For Asking”, “Thanks For The Zombies, Jesus” and many more!

Jenny Lawson wicked humor is addictive!  I loved this book because it read like a Monday morning email from a one of my crazy friends … “you’ll never believe what happened to me this weekend!” It was hilarious, actually had me laughing out loud.  A great break from the stresses of the day!

What doesn’t kill us – like those things we’d like to pretend never happened – are in fact the things that truly define us.  We may not all deal with talking squirrels, big metal chickens or wild dogs, but we all have our own life battles that we deal with but what makes us strong is our ability to laugh at them.

Easy read, very conversational, with a dose large of crazy. (kind of like my life LOL)! A perfect combination!

P.S. Victor is a Saint – I think I love him!!