Monday, March 30, 2009


Headlines have been dire. In the bay area alone there were four police officers killed last week, followed by another family murder-suicide this week. (Not to mention the surge in violence across the country or the ever-present economic woes.) Today I experienced my third minor quake! Imagine a giant stomping on the floor above you whilst moving giant-sized furniture, because that's how it felt.

Amongst all the bad news lately, I've found solace in a book. Where else? I just finished reading Jamie Ford's Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

I adored it!

It was a beautiful, heartfelt story of family and first love. As the title suggests, the story is bittersweet, but although it's heartbreaking, it's ultimately redemptive. Ford paints a picture of life in WWII-era Seattle and touches on the tragedy of the Japanese internment camps as well as the rampant prejudice and discrimination during that time. He handles these difficult topics delicately and captures a pivotal moment in American history. The underlying story of Seattle's jazz movement adds depth and breathes life into a little-known world.

Jamie Ford is a writer to watch. Grab a copy of the book; you won't regret it!

Finally, I have two people signed up for the Pay It Forward gesture. There's an opening for one more. Go on, you know you want to join...


JJ Beattie said...

Oh dear. I don't like to hear all that misery. I am sorry. But yes, reading is lovely. I'm currently reading a horrible book (for book club) that's gruesomely fascinating and is making me feel a bit dirty for reading it. It'll be over soon as it's kind of tabloidy and then I can read something nice. Take care, Angie.

Kristen said...

I'll have to borrow that book from you once I have the chance to read for pleasure again. :-p Thanks for the great review--you could be a publicist!

Angie said...

JJ, sorry to mention the feels like that's all people talk about, but I wanted to point out that I still find joy in the same little things.

I'm curious: what book?

Kristen, I planned on recommending it to you, but I see you're already intrigued. Ah, thanks. :)

Hullaballoo said...

It's hard to remain untouched when horrible things happen close by. Being affected is a sign of humanity not of weakness.

I am glad you have found such an excellent refuge in your reading. I have never experienced a quake, sounds really unnerving.

Sending hugs


Anonymous said...

Gosh lots of bad things happening. The news is very depressing at the moment.

Glad that you could escape into a book. I've heard many good things about that one.

Angie said...

Hulla, you're right that it's a human response. I find I get overwhelmed by the plethora of bad news in times like this though.
Books are great at transporting. :)
I don't recommend the experience, although it's almost a guarantee in this area!

m&t, I'm sure you get bombarded with coverage in DC!
I definitely recommend it. It's a sweet story, but it's also a reminder that things could be a lot worse.


Lane said...

There's a ridiculous amount of bad news at the moment. Reading is the best escape:-)

Hape you haven't had any more quakes and .........
hope you had a LOVELY birthday!!

KatW said...

Reading is so wonderful - it can be a reassuring haven and a chance to escape. Look after you. Kat :-)

Angie said...

Lane, 'tis the best escape!
The shaking has stopped, thankfully.
Thank you, it was lovely.

I'm making regular time to bury in books. It rejuvenates my own writing as well as my spirit. Cheers.

Alisia Leavitt said...

Hi Angie,

Sorry to hear about the bad news. Maine is relatively quiet, but when we have crime it's pretty bad. I've seen a steady rise in the past few years.

I've tagged you in my blog to continue a meme...come on over and check it out!

Angie said...

Alisia, I'm sure the economy has an effect on crime.

Thanks for the meme tag. I'll start thinking of some answers.