You have homework, make that recommended reading!

With school back in session it's time for your first reading assignment.  While that might make you shudder, no horrible writing assignment about the symbolism of The Scarlett Letter or the meaning of the end of the Grapes of Wrath will be required here.

Obviously I jest, but if you have not read On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, you should must.   It's sweet, sad, romantic and beautifully written.  I read almost the entire thing in one sitting, albeit a long sitting while flying to CA.  In the wake of his wife's passing in 1986, Henry Lee, a Chinese man living in Seattle hears that the reopened Panama Hotel has unearthed belongings of Japanese immigrants from WWII.  Henry immediately thinks of Keiko, his Japanese best friend from childhood, and wonders if any of her family's things are still there. Through a series of flashbacks to the 1940's, Henry's wartime childhood unfolds. The reader learns of Henry's required "I am Chinese" button, his love of Jazz and his secret friendship with Keiko.  When Japanese residents begin disappearing, Henry knows his relationship with Keiko is in danger.  As her family is forced to leave Seattle for an internment camp in Idaho, Henry makes a series of hard choices to keep in touch with his friend and love, Keiko.  The book moves easily back and forth from the 40's to the 80's when Henry struggles with his son, visiting the Panama Hotel and finding peace with the past.  I really loved this story, it is such an easy, delightful read.  The relationship between Henry and Keiko is so sweet and will make you soft for memories of your first love.  Highly recommended!

And now for something totally different, Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson is in one word: thrilling. Not since The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series have I walked home from the subway with my nose stuck in a book...until this one.  Every morning Christine wakes up and doesn't know where she is, or who Ben, the man sleeping next to her is.  Twenty years ago Christine suffered a horrific accident and lost both her long term and short term memory.  Each day she lives her life knowing that when she goes to sleep she will forget everything by morning.  Christine begins keeping a daily journal of everything she learns about her life and quickly realizes her life with Ben does not match her journal or the snippets of memory that occasionally come back to her.  With the help of a curious doctor and a long lost friend, Christine uncovers the truth behind her accident, her memory loss and why she can't trust Ben.  I had a very hard time putting this book down; I thought I had it all figured out, but like a good thriller it twisted and turned at the end and got me good.

With that, I have Chinese food to eat, and some dresses to snarkily judge.  Emmy Fashion Police post tomorrow!  


audrey marie said...

oh i need new reading recs!! thanks for these!

Fabrizia said...

Hi! I found your blog and I like it so much! Wanna red some new and interesting book too!
Come and visit my blog, and if you like it, follow me, I'll be waiting for you!

Cosa mi metto???

Karen said...

I added the first one but I'm going to have to hide the cover when I'm reading it in public because that title is TERRIBLE. The second one sounds like 50 First Dates.

Anonymous said...

Yea! I like hearing what other people are reading. I think I'll try "Before I Go To Sleep." I love a good twist ending, especially if I can't guess it ahead of time. :)

I'm starting a new book this week (see my blog), but I was wondering if anyone else had read it yet. Did you read "Bitter in the Mouth"?

Bonnie said...

I can always use more reading! These sound like great choices. I can't wait to try them!

Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Gloria said...

Ooh I just got "Before I Go to Sleep" from the library - can't wait to read it!

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