Tag Archives: World War II

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Join Jamie Ford, author of the World War II historical fiction novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (Ballantine Books, January 2009), as he virtually tours the blogosphere in May on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!
 
 
Career-wise, Jamie went to art school in Seattle to become an illustrator, and ended up an art director/copywriter. He’s won an embarrassingly large amount of meaningless awards including 400+ Addys, 7 Best-of-Shows, and his work has appeared in Adweek, Advertising Age, Graphis and Communication Arts. He also had a commercial appear on an episode of The U.K.’s Funniest Commercials inspired by an embarrassing incident with a bidet that he’d rather not go into right now.
 
On the writerly side, he won the 2006 Clarity of Night Short Fiction Contest, was First Runner-Up in the 2006 Midnight Road Reader’s Choice Awards and was a Top-25 finalist in Glimmer Train’s Fall 2006 Short Story Award For New Writers. He’s been published in The PicolataReview, and his fiction is online at Flashing in the Gutters and Fictional Musings. He’s also an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and a survivor of Orson Scott Card’s Literary Bootcamp.
 
Jamie’s debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet will be released by Ballantine–January 27, 2009.
On the personal side, he’s the proud father of two boys and two girls. Yep, it’s chaos, but the good kind of chaos.
For more information about the author or his work, please visit http://www.jamieford.com/

In the opening pages of Jamie Ford’s stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.
 
This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry’s world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While “scholarshipping” at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.
 
Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotel’s dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe family’s belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voice–words that might explain the actions of his nationalistic father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago.
 
Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Jamie Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us of the power of forgiveness and the human heart.
 
MY THOUGHTS:
 
It is rare that I pick up a book and know from the first page that this book is destined to be in my list of all time favorites – that is exactly what happened when I picked up “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford.
 
I was initially intrigued by this book because of the historical aspect.  I used to be a history snob, especially when it came to historical fiction, but have recently found that these are some of my all time favorite books.  While there is definitely a strong historical backdrop, this book is about so much more.  Trying to summarize it may not be easy, but I’m going to give it a shot…suffice it to say it is a book you really need to read to thoroughly enjoy, and I highly recommend you do!
 

The storytelling is superb, as the author is able to switch from 1986 to the 1940s and piece together the life that Henry Lee has led.  I admit, I never paid much attention in history, but even if I did you are not subjected to a “lesson” such as this.  If so, I probably would have enjoyed it more.  We all hear the details of war and it doesn’t really affect most of us unless we know someone who lost their life or a loved one that was affected.  A book such as this helps to bring life to the people during this time, and helps you understand what they had to go through to try and survive.  Being white, I think that many other caucasians should read books such as these to fully understand what our fellow human beings have had to go through.  We are not discriminated against as much as some of the other ethic groups, and this author makes you once again realize how unfair this is.

.Keiko traditions, about the confusion between the Chinese and Japanese during a time when all Asians were being scrutinized about the war.  But, more than anything they bring back memories of  ancestral were left in the basement by Japanese families in the 1940s.   Henry is there for a different reason.  These aren’t just pieces of history to him, they are memories.  Memories of his life during the World War II era :as the only Asian boy in an all white school, about trying to fit in while still holding fast to his thatThis book is centered around Henry Lee.  In the opening pages, Henry is standing in from of the Panama Hotel, on of the landmarks in Seattle that has gone to ruin over the years.  It is 1986, and they are about to unveil some belongings that were recently discovered belongings

 
This book is going to be added to my list of top 20 books of all time.  It has everything I look for in a novel and more.  This is Mr. Ford’s debut novel, and I for one am looking forward to anything else this author has to say.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
 
WIN PRIZES!!!
 
HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEETVIRTUAL BLOG TOUR ’09will officially begin on May 1 and end on May 29. You can visit Jamie’s blog stops at http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ in May to find out more about this great book and talented author!

As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors’ blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available.

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Win a copy of “Priceless Memories” by Bob Barker on Audio

 priceless-memories

Would you like to win a copy of “Priceless Memories” by Bob Barker on audio? Here is some info about the book:

In  his first audiobook, Bob’s trademark charm and charisma shine as he shares a lifetime of experiences. In front of the camera, he has been invited into the homes of millions of Americans as host of The Price Is Right, Truth or Consequences, Miss USA, Miss Universe, The Rose Parade, and many other programs and specials. He will share stories of favorite contestants, episodes, and behind-the-scenes happenings.

Beyond his public persona, he will open up about his personal life. From being raised on a Native American reservation by a single mother through the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, to training as a pilot in the Navy during World War II, through his romance with the love of his life and high school sweetheart, Dorothy Jo, and his success at retirement.

His support of animal rights has always been a central part of his life. Bob delves into stories of how he has taken on Hollywood and the government in his crusade, including his anti-fur stand-off with beauty pageants, his involvement in uncovering animal abuse in movies and television, and the legislation he helped to pass. He also shares personal stories of rescuing animals, from dogs to elephants.

For the innumerable fans who have welcomed Bob into their homes over the last fifty years, this will audiobook will be like catching up with a dear and familiar friend who continues to lead a full and endlessly interesting life.

I will be giving away 3 copies of this book on May 25. Unfortunately winners are limited to the US and Canada…sorry about that. Make sure to comment for your chance to win!

***Please remember to have a valid email address so I know where to contact you and thanks!

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Win A Copy Of Age Of The Unthinkable By Joshua Cooper Ramo on Audio

age-of-the-unthinkable 

Would you like to win a copy of Age of the Unthinkable by Joshua Cooper Ramo on audio?  Here is some info about the book:

For decades, American foreign policy has been based on the seductive belief that there exists a logical relationship between power of states and the physics of change. And yet today policies designed to make us safer instead make the world more perilous. History’s grandest war against terrorism creates more terrorists. Global capitalism, intended to boost the quality of life of people around the world, increases the gap between rich and poor. Decisions taken to stem a financial crisis guarantee its arrival. Environmental techniques engineered to protect species lead to their extinction. Middle East peace plans produce less peace. Our world is not becoming more stable or flatter or easier to comprehend. And what we face isn’t one single shift, like the end of World War Two or the collapse of the Soviet Union, so much as a revolutionary avalanche of ceaseless change.

Now, drawing upon history, economics, complexity theory, human immunology, psychology and his own extraordinary experiences, Joshua Ramo puts forth a radical new model for looking at the world, one that embraces its inherent unpredictability–and offers our best hope for dealing with problems and disasters as they emerge.

I  will be giving away 3 copies of this audiobook. Unfortunately winners are limited to the US and Canada…sorry about that. I will be drawing the winners on April 12 so make sure to leave a comment. Please remember to have a valid email address so I know where to contact you and thanks!
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