TSS ~ Meme Meme Meme Sunday

The Sunday Salon.com

I’ve been bookmarking and meaning to do several one-time memes, but I’ve been lazy and kept putting them off. Inspired by the Bloggiesta that I didn’t sign up for, but seem to be doing anyway… unofficially… I figured this Sunday Salon post would be a good time to do it :-)

First off, I grabbed this one from Page247‘s Sunday Salon over a month ago:

Diversity in Reading Meme

1. Name the last book by a female author that you’ve read.

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards, but I’m currently reading Water for Elephantsby Sara Gruen (and loving it ;-) )

2. Name the last book by an African or African-American author that you’ve read.

I can’t remember, actually… The last one I remember was Sacred Cows and Other Edibles by Nikki Giovanni, but I’m sure I’ve read something since then *hangs head in shame* Must remedy this….

3. Name one from a Latino/a author.

One that I read?  or just a title out of the blue?  This is harder than I thought… it looked so fun on Page247′s site.  Love in the Time of Choleraby Gabriel García Márquez.  It’s on Mt. TBR… somewhere….

4. How about one from an Asian country or Asian-American?

Finally!  an easy one!  The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, and an excellent book, I might add ;-)

5. What about a GLBT writer?

I don’t know the author’s sex life unless they say it in bold print at the beginning.  It doesn’t matter to me, as long as the writing’s good and the story pulls me in… the rest is their business.  Jordan, the main character in the modern part of The 19th Wife is gay, does that count?

6. Why not name an Israeli/Arab/Turk/Persian writer, if you’re feeling lucky?

Yeah, I got this easy…. lol.  A book I’d love to get to on Mt TBR:  The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be Godby Israeli author Etgar Keret.  One of the short stories in this book was made into the movie Wristcutters:  A Love Story

7. Any other “marginalized” authors you’ve read lately?

I guess I should be more politically minded or something.  Marginalized?  IDK…  Um, I’m reading The Last Lectureright now… it’s author, Randy Pausch died of cancer before it was published.  Is he marginalized now?  He can’t vote, and if he were to speak through Melinda Gordon or Allison DuBois, I don’t think anyone would listen.

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Okay, this looked like too much fun to pass up.  I’m ripping it off Sink or Swim, who did it as part of Ten on Tuesday meme.  Okay, so I’m a couple days late on it…

Ten Things You’d Bring on a Deserted Island

  1. The entire inventory of Mt. TBR… That’ll keep me busy for a good five years at least, and if I don’t like a book, it can be re-appropriated for other purposes:  Firewood, note paper (remember The Book Thief?), TP, etc.
  2. TWO lifetime supplies of Charmin 2-ply quilted with aloe and floral scent.  Hey, I might as well splurge on something!
  3. Charlie Hobbit of Driveshaft, wait… he died.  Mr Eko, then … crap, he’s dead, too… John Locke… he died, but came back… No, wait… he’s possessed by an evil spirit or some such…  Aw, heck… Gimme the Professor, then.  Is he dead, yet? 
  4. The Magic Conch Shell :-) 
  5. A volleyball and some red paint.. So I can make my own friend :-)
  6. A team of sexy masseurs :-D
  7. Ioan Gruffudd Ioan... *sigh**drool* And Hugh Jackman sexy man-candy…  and would it be greedy of me to want Gerard Butler I'm seeing a pattern here..., too…  *long, cleansing breaths…. I think I need to lay down*  Oh heck, since I’m being greedy… Gimme James Callis James Callis is hot!, too… he was who I pictured as Max in The Book Thief.
  8. Ty Pennington, he can build me an awesome island home :-)
  9. A laptop with solar charger so I can blog about it all.
  10. A helicopter so I can leave whenever I want.

The Magic Conch Shell Rap

Okay, after number 7 on what I’d bring to the island, I now have to go to confession…  I’ve got some thoughts of a sinful nature :-D  no, no smilies… that’s bad!

So what would you bring to the desert island?

TSS ~ I’m LOST in the VioletCrush of Springtime!

The Sunday Salon.com

Oh my! What a week… or two :-)  We’ve had the season finale of LOST, which seem to pull in every title and concept of every show for the last six seasons, and left us with quite a quandary (meh, I’m not in a quandary about it, but some people are I guess).  DON’T WORRY!  NO NEED TO CLICK AWAY!  I’m NOT going to post spoilers or anything.  I hate it when I watch a movie, or mention I’m planning on it, and that one pain-in-the-ass tells you, “Don’t bother watching it, John dies in the end.”  (Actual title of a book, John Dies in the End, which has been on my wishlist for about six months or so… NOT a LOST spoiler, so stop white-knuckling the mouse!)

For the most part, I’m not much of a TV viewer anymore.  I watch my TV shows on DVD from Netflix, on the Internetz, or OnDemand.  LOST, however, is the only show the world stops for (at least, at my house it does), and I hafta wait until February of NEXT YEAR before the NEXT new LOST episode… AND next season is the LAST season (okay fellow Losties, I’m sure we can organize a memorial for the loss of our life show).

But, with the end of this LOST season we are greeted by the return of Mr. Sun (Yay!) and the flowers and the green-green-grass and the song birds (even the ones that sing outside our windows at 2 in the morning) and the garden and….. books?  what are those?  and what is a blog?  Seriously, WHERE is my grill brush?  the charcoal and lighter?  Got a good fire going… now where did my book disappear to? 

Needless to say, Spring is a distraction :-D

Add to Spring’s already siren-like call, it’s the end of the school year, which means choir concerts, class parties, summer-school registrations (I’ve lost the paper for my oldest daughter’s enrollment, which is bad… without summer school, she don’t graduate!)  We’ve got eye doctors appointments, calls to the dentist for possible lost fillings (plastic ones, so The Island had nothing to do with it :-D ), and the question:  Is it scabies? or psoriasis?  Doesn’t matter, just put lotion on it!  (LOL…  Teulah’s dad in  My Big Fat Greek Wedding had Windex, I’m always telling them to put lotion on it…. I’ve got the slipperiest kids in town!)

Ah!  Thus is mi vida loca!  Not living La Vida Loca, mind you, just have a vida loca.  With 2 teenagers and a tweenager, all girls, a dog and three cats, could it be any other way?

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And now, to announce the winner for my copy of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.  All entries were randomly compiled and numbered, then the winning number was chosen using Research Randomizer.  Number 12 was drawn, and that number belonged to:

Violet of Violet Crush!  Email me your address so I can get that out in the mail for your reading pleasure :-)

I wanted to add that I enjoyed Violet’s answer to the giveaway question:

“What tangible thing (a toy, record, woobie, etc) from your childhood you wish you had back the most?  What does this item mean to you?”

I really really wish I had my book of Ramayan back. It was my grandfathers. I never read when I was young but I was attracted by the bright and colorful pictures in it. I spent hours drawing pictures from it. I remember my grandfather reading to me from it but I never really paid attention (come on, it’s a religious book). I wish he would read to me now :-(

After looking up Ramayan, I had to add it to my book wishlist, it looks like a beautiful book :-)

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And now, some music to read this blog by… crap!  Suppose this should’ve gone at the beginning instead!  Oh well, click play and read it again LOL… or, music to comment by.  Whatever tickles your fancy ;-)

OH! BTW! Those who didn’t win, despair NOT! Stephanie of The Written Word is hosting a giveaway for a copy, open until May 20th :-)

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Title:  Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Author:  Jamie Ford

Hardbound:  290 pages

Date Published:  January 27, 2009

Publisher:  Ballantine Books (div of Random House)

ISBN:  9780345505330

At the next mess hall, lunch had finished.  Mrs. Beatty had him wash and wipe down trays while she coordinated with the kitchen manager on needed supplies and menu planning.  “Just hang out if you get done early,” she said.  “Don’t go wandering off unless you want to stay here for the rest of the war,”  Henry suspected that she wasn’t joking and nodded politely, finishing his work.

By all accounts, the mess hall was off-limits to the Japanese when it wasn’t mealtime.  Most were restricted to their chicken shacks, although he did see people occasionally slogging through the mud to and from the latrine.

When he was done, Henry sat on the back step and watched smoke billowing from the stovepipes fitted into the roofs of the makeshift homes – the collective smoky mist filled the wet, gray sky above the camp.  The smell of burning wood lingered in the air.

She’s here.  Somewhere.  Among how many people?  A thousand?  Five thousand?  Henry didn’t know.  He wanted to shout her name, or run door to door, but the guards in the towers didn’t look like they took their jobs lightly.  They stood watch for the protection of the internees – so he’d been told.  But if that were so, why were their guns pointed inside the camp?

It didn’t matter.  Henry felt better knowing he’d made it this far.  There were still a chance he’d find her.  Among the sad, shocked faces, maybe he’d find her smile again.  But it was getting dark.  Maybe it was too late.

-Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, page 157

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford is a heart-touching tale of Henry Lee; the son of a prominent, traditional Chinese community leader who’s left his heart in the homeland; called “white devil” by his peers as he goes off to an all-white school on “scholarship” (translation – he does all the janitor work for the privilege of attending the school) where he’s bullied, heckled and harrassed on a constant basis as the only Asian student, that is, until Keiko, a Japanese-American girl, begins to “scholarship” with him; he is also father of Marty, with whom he struggles to communicate or even have much of a relationship after the death of Henry’s wife, Ethel, Marty’s mother.  As the story moves back and forth in time between 1986 to 1942, the reader is able to watch the unfolding of the young, innocent love Henry discovers he has for Keiko, a love that is forbidden, and could even get him disowned, by his traditionalist father, who sees Keiko as just a relative of those people invading and destroying his home.

Their love is undeterred by the war, even when all people of Japanese decent are rounded up and sent away to live in relocation centers (concentration camps) for the remainder of the war.  Henry promises he’ll wait for her, even until she’s an old woman… he promises to bring her  a cane if it takes that long.  However, being children, things are not always so easy or so lasting as young Henry finds out.

The discover of personal belongings left behind by residents of Nihonmachi (Japantown) in the basement of the Panama Hotel offers Henry the opportunity to open up and share with his son, and to heal the rift that had started between Henry and his own father, who made him the man and father he became, despite his desire to be different.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a quiet book, but deeply moving.  It explores racial issues of the 1940s, both those between Caucasians and Asians and blacks, but also between Chinese-Americans and Japanese-Americans, and between Issei (first generation Japanese immigrants) and Nissei (second generation Japanese-Americans).  The book addresses how traditional culture has had to give way to contemporary culture.  It also touches on the culture of jazz, and offers music as a unifying agent… something that all cultures can share and appreciate.

One of the things that I enjoyed about Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is that it inspires the reader to exploring history further, beyond the covers of the book.  It offers a vignette of American history and life, but it doesn’t preach or teach.  Ford could have very easily turned Hotel into a soap box and spoken out  against the unconstitutional suspension of the civil rights of American citizens by removing them from their homes, robbing them of their property and detaining them without just cause simply because of their genetic heritage.  This would have been a valid argument to have made, but Ford leaves the moral interpretation to the reader.  He could have turned it into a history lesson, but, instead, provides enough information for the reader to do his or her own homework.  Which I did.

And, I apparently found the same documentaries as Ford.  I recommend the following for better understanding of this book:

  • Time of Fear- a PBS documentary about the experiences of both the Japanese-Americans sent to relocation camps in Arkansas and their Caucasian and Black Arkansan neighbors.
  • Unfinished Business – The Japanese-American Internment Cases – while the civil rights movement didn’t really get going until the 60s, not every Japanese-American went along with the government’s unlawful treatment of it’s own citizens.  This documentary shows some of those attempts of civil disobedience.
  • Nanking- Performed by stars such as Woody Harrelson, Mariel Hemmingway, Jürgen Prochnow, Stephen Dorff, and Rosalind Chao, among others, this documentary dramatically tells the story of the Japanese Army’s invasion and occupation of Nanking, China.

All three of the videos will help you get a better understanding of the background of the book, but especially Nanking.  It will make all the difference in understanding where Henry’s dad is coming from and help you not to see him as a mean, bigoted, old man.

Well researched, but never feeling “studied,” Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford will allow you to step into the life and culture of another, and to see the world from a different angle, while still provide you with the entrancing escape for which most of us disappear between the covers of a book.  I give Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet 4 egg rolls and a fortune cookie(which, I guess, is 4 1/2 stars out of 5… lol)

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The following video is Jamie Ford talking about Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and what sparked his desire to tell the story.

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Don’t forget, I’m giving away my copy of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet! Leaving a comment here on the review post is your official entry, but check out The Giveaway Announcement for details on how to get bonus entries and when the contest ends!

Friday Fill-Ins ~ Giveaways, Gardening and Gorgeous Brothers :-)

 

And…here we go!

1. Apples are to oranges as a $1000 gift card to Amazon.com is to a $10 gift certificate to the bait and tackle shop.

2. Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) is the hot brother,  and that’s all I have to say about that.

3. I think I hear that train a ‘comin’, it’s comin’ round that bend…  should I get off this track or lay down and just give in?

4. Grab the checkered flag. (It’s Indy 500 season!  Yay!!!) 

5. Do what you want to do, but make sure you want to do what I say.

6. The hair-cutting demon was chasing me with ginormous scissors, and behind him was a Radio Flyer wagon; in the wagon was a bucket filled with ooey-gooey ABC chewing gum… then I woke up… and found gum in my hair?  AHHHHH!!!! 

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to finishing up Hauntedby Chuck Palahniuk, tomorrow my plans include visiting the Presbyterian Church’s annual perennial plant sale, maybe do some garage-saling, grab some breakfast with Mags at the White House, go through all of everyone’s clothes and pack up stuff for Goodwill, and sometime, in all that, finish up Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford and Sunday, I want to go to church in the morning, enjoy a nice, as yet unplanned, Mother’s Day dinner, call my momma to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day, and write the review for Hotel!

Don’t forget!  I’m giving away my copy of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford!  Click here for all the details and make sure to check out my review of Hotel, it’ll be posted on May 11th.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Giveaway

I’m currently about halfway through Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, and it’s both sad and grieving, but also full of hope, acceptance and personal growth.  I will be posting the review of this book on May 11th, as part of the Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tour.

The author’s name, Jamie Ford, is deceptive.  “Ford is the great-grandson of Nevada mining pioneer Min Chung, who emigrated in 1865 from Kaiping, China, to San Francisco, where he adopted the Western name “Ford,” thus confusing countless generations” :-)  He is also of Southern gentility, giving him a multicultural worldview.  AND… he’s quite a cutie, I might add ;-)

More about Jamie (Ja Mei to his Yin-Yin):

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.

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/
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Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a heartwarming story about fathers and sons, first loves, fate, and the resilient human heart. Set in the ethnic neighborhoods of Seattle during World War II and Japanese American internment camps of the era, the times and places are brought to life.  In the following video, Jamie Ford gives you the “behind-the-scenes” story of his debut novel.
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I’m really loving this book, and I want to share it and pass it on to someone who is going to enjoy it, too. Instead of posting it on BookMooch or PaperBackSwap,  I’m going to give away my copy here on my blog :-) 
So here’s the way this giveaway is going to work:
For your official entry you’ll need to leave a comment on my book review  to let me know you would like to be entered for a chance to win.
BUT….
You can also earn extra entries by:
  1. Post this giveaway on your blog and leave me a comment here with the link for 5 bonus entries.
  2. If you don’t have a blog, email at least 5 people about the giveaway with the link to this post, and include my email address, ibetnoonehasthisdamnid@yahoo.com in the BCC (blind copy) bar for 3 bonus entries.
  3. Follow me on Twitter, and tweet about this giveaway for 2 bonus entries. (be sure to include @thekoolaidmom in your tweet, that way I’ll catch your tweet and give you credit)
  4. Leave a comment here for 1 bonus entry, and 10 bonus entries for answering this question,

 “What tangible thing (a toy, record, woobie, etc) from your childhood you wish you had back the most?  What does this item mean to you?”

If you do all the above, you’ll earn 21 bonus entries!  Don’t forget, though, you have to leave a comment on the review, otherwise… ya get nada!

And now, for the boring details:

  1. Contest is open to anyone, anywhere, so long as you have a place to receive mail.  I can’t ship the book to “The VAN down by the river,” you need an actual, deliverable address… Which means, this is open to international readers, as well :-D
  2. Contest ends at 11:59 pm, Saturday May 16th, 2009.
  3. All entries will be listed randomly and numbered, then the winning number will be chosen using Research Randomizer.  If you’d like a copy of the list of entries, email me and I’ll be happy to send it :-)
  4. The Winner will be announced in my May 17th Sunday Salon post, and will have 48 hours to email me their address or be disqualified and a replacement winner will be chosen.

Okay, so get busy posting and tweeting and emailing, and whatnot!

Friday Fill-Ins ~ I’m Too Broke to Come Up With a Great FFI

ffi

And…here we go!

1. Apparently there’s some sort of glitch in the system.

2. It’s harder to hide the graves in the backyard on a  sunny day.

3. 2009 seriously has sucked dog’s dookey so far.

4. You’ll recognize your opportuninty to get rich when it comes.   Ooops!  Too late… that was it.

5. For too long I’ve been broke beyond recognition.

6. I am not obsessed with butter toast; I am not!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to finishing up Dune, tomorrow my plans include pissing and moaning about being broke and wishing I could get some books at the library sale… they always have them when I’m broke, dang it! and Sunday, I want to get a serious jump on The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, which is for a blog tour and my day is May 11th!
Posted by Janet at 12:26 PM

For those of you who didn’t get the “butter toast” reference:

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