[52 in 52]

I'm late. Again.  Mostly because I changed books. Again. This time though I changed at the end of the week. It wasn't that I disliked the book I had started, it's just that I had forgotten Mom had lent me this book. Once I found it, I knew I had to read it. It was never lost, just hidden in the midst of the piles of books on my night stand. In case you were wondering, there are two piles. 

Yesterday morning I changed my sheets and decided to reduce the size of the book piles cluttering my nightstand, which were starting to topple over. In the middle of one of the piles, sandwiched in between an old devotional and a book I had finished before the holidays, was Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. Mom had let me bring it back after Thanksgiving and I had carried it up into the loft, intending to read it before Christmas. That didn't end up happening. 

For some reason, when I found the book Friday morning I didn't want to wait to read it. So I sat down and started reading. And reading. And reading. I knew I should finish the book I had chosen for the week but instead I couldn't stop reading Hotel

I can't say too much about this book without giving away the whole story. But long story short, the book tells the story of Henry, a Chinese American and Seattle resident. When restoration begins on a hotel that had once served as the gateway between the Chinese and Japanese sections of Seattle, the hotel owner discovers the belongings of countless Japanese families who had been whisked away to internment camps during World War II. As Henry goes through the belongings in the basement, looking for something that may not even be there, he begins to relive what he calls "the war years."


Read this book. 


This is potentially one of the best books I've read in a while. It's moving, at times both bitter and sweet as the name suggests. It's a beautifully written story that looks at the choices war forces people to make and the personalities it reveals. Hotel captures the effects of war on those back home.

Books like Hotel remind me of the joy to be found in reading, in being swept up in a story that's somehow bigger than you are, even if the characters aren't. Books like Hotel remind me of the joy to be found in writing, in telling stories. Books like Hotel are exactly what I need in my life right now. And I couldn't be more grateful to Mom for insisting that I would love this book and to my fellow worms for coming up with this challenge that would force me to actually sit down and read. 

Photo from here


  1. So glad you liked it! I loved it as well

  2. I loved it too. Fascinating to me, and educating as well.
    ~Aunt Gay