Monday, April 12, 2010

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Since this is the blog of a book addict I believe that I should tell you the latest and greatest reads I have come across. Henry Ford created a wonderful debut novel with his story Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. It tells the story of what happened to both the Japanese and the Chinese who lived Seattle durring WWII. I know that there are many many stories which are written in this time period and there are times when I need to take a break from them, but this offered a new and different perspective than what I have encountered.

As of yet I have not mastered the art of concise plot summary so here is one taken from

Henry Lee is still mourning the death of his wife when he learns that the belongings of Japanese Americans hidden in the basement of Seattle's Panama Hotel for decades have been discovered. Henry is drawn to the basement, and what he's searching for there opens a door he thought he had closed forever. The story switches back and forth between 1986 and the 1940s, when a 12-year-old Henry attending an American school (he's "scholarshipping" as his father likes to say) meets another international student working in the school kitchen. Keiko is Japanese American, the enemy according to Henry's father, but the two become best friends before her family is imprisoned in one of the relocation camps.

What I can tell you is why I loved it. As previously stated, I am very well read in regards to that era and hearing from an intelligent childs perspective can be quite thought provoking. Also this particular subject, the Japanese relocation camps, is one with which I was not too familiar. It makes me wonder what rights will people be willing to see taken away for the sake of freedom and safety? In my opinion, any book which makes you think and provokes questions is one that shouldn't be passed on.

Monday, April 5, 2010

An Adventure and a Half

Well, while spring break was fun (it was perfect weather in the 70's to low 80's. I come home and it's snowing. What is wrong with this state?) there were quite a few bumps in the road.

First: the drive down.
Our youngest sibling is adverse to the idea of seatbelts and screamed "my tummy hurts" for the majority of the ride. And really 12 hours is too long to keep 7 people in one vehicle.

Second: The Hotel
This place was run-down to put it mildly. While the pool was really nice, we were forced to switch rooms twice. The first time we had been put in a room which management knew had plumbing problems (no need for details) the second one had a beehive right outside with bees coming in through the ventalation. It's quite scary to come into a room and see dead bees all over the floor and more flying around.

Despite those it was so fun to come down and visit with the grandparents. We went to museams, baseball games, the Mesa Temple Pagent and the local flea-markent. We got to watch conference together as a family. Watching with the Grandparents was a new experience. We learned new card games to play together. Dirty Dora anyone?