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Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel | Jamie Ford
BONUS: This edition contains a Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet discussion guide and an excerpt from Jamie Ford's Songs of Willow Frost. "Sentimental, heartfelt.the exploration of Henrys changing relationship with his family and with Keiko will keep most readers turning pages...A timely debut that not only reminds readers of a shameful episode in American history, but cautions us to examine the present and take heed we dont repeat those injustices."-- Kirkus Reviews A tender and satisfying novel set in a time and a place lost forever, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet gives us a glimpse of the damage that is caused by war--not the sweeping damage of the battlefield, but the cold, cruel damage to the hearts and humanity of individual people. Especially relevant in today's world, this is a beautifully written book that will make you think. And, more importantly, it will make you feel." -- Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain Jamie Ford's first novel explores the age-old conflicts between father and son, the beauty and sadness of what happened to Japanese Americans in the Seattle area during World War II, and the depths and longing of deep-heart love. An impressive, bitter, and sweet debut. -- Lisa See, bestselling author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan In the opening pages of Jamie Fords stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattles Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol. This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henrys world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While scholarshipping at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendshipand innocent lovethat transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept. Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotels dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe familys belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voicewords that might explain the actions of his nationalistic father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago. Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Jamie Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us of the power of forgiveness and the human heart.
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Pickpick

A lovely meditation on interpersonal relationships, set during the Japanese internment during WWII. When a hotel discovers lost belongings of Japanese families, Henry sees a familiar parasol. It prompts him to search there for his rare record of Oscar Holden. In reality, the search leads to a better relationship with his son and a reunion with his childhood love Keiko.
#PopSugar: a book with title containing "sweet", "salty" "bitter" or "spicy"

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Mich_lynn
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Warming up this cold evening by starting a new book with a fall scented bath and IPA. 🍂🍁

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Joyfulmimi
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Day 5: #7covers7days

Intriguing

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Librarybelle
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Jamie Ford is at my library this evening!

BTW...love this book!

SheReadsAndWrites I love his books!!!! 2mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage Oh nice! We visited that hotel in real life a few years ago. Were able to see the basement, where all the Japanese left their stuff on the way to the camps. One of the most intense experiences of our lives. 2mo
CarolynM I loved this one too. 2mo
See All 7 Comments
MallenNC I love that book too! 2mo
Honeybeebooks Great book. He did a wonderful job when he visited our library. Enjoy! 2mo
Eggs Love Ford‘s writing ✍🏻 2mo
84 likes2 stack adds7 comments
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Anneluthien
Pickpick

This book wounded me, but in the best way possible. It was nice to learn about the part of WWII that always gets glossed over in US history classes.

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sammisho
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Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟
#pop19

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sprainedbrain
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Pickpick

I‘ve read a lot of historical fiction, but I‘ve honestly not read anything quite like this. Dual timelines during WWII and the 1980s, set mainly in Seattle (❤️), this is the story of first love, family, and identity. Henry is a Chinese-American boy who falls hard for Japanese-American Keiko just as America started interring people of Japanese decent after Pearl Harbor. Well-written, funny, sad and moving. Beautifully done on audio, too.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

LeeRHarry I really enjoyed this one too 😊 3mo
CarolynM I thought it was lovely💕 3mo
Latrelwhite Loved it!💕 3mo
118 likes7 stack adds3 comments
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TheSpineView
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squirrelbrain I was going to pick this one! 😁❤️👍 3mo
Eggs My choice too🤗🥰 3mo
OriginalCyn620 😊📚🏨 3mo
71 likes3 stack adds5 comments
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Eggs
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Pogue I loved this book 3mo
BeaG One of my favorites. 3mo
OriginalCyn620 👌🏻📚🏨 3mo
72 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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PolaroidPoet
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My first reading break.. 223 pages into the book and loving every word. I‘ve never read historical fiction about the Japanese Americans and their struggles during WWII. So many tear jerkers with these characters. #24in48 #readathon

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PolaroidPoet
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I‘m getting a late start, but can‘t wait to begin my stack! Book number 1 has been on my TBR for most of this year. #24in48 #readathon

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MallenNC
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Most of the books I‘ve read that are set in the #1940s have some connection to World War II. Here are just a few. #LetsTravelJuly

OriginalCyn620 I haven‘t read any of these but I‘ve heard great things about them all! 4mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks These are some great ones!!! 4mo
29 likes2 comments
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LiterRohde
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“He'd do what he always did, find the sweet among the bitter.”

#LilithJuly | 7: #ACaseOfYou

📷: Made with Tyoprama

Cinfhen 🧡💜🧡💜 5mo
45 likes1 comment
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IndoorDame
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My own little #umbrella collection. #lilithjuly @Cinfhen @KarenUK

Cinfhen Completely forgot about 🖤🙌🏻 5mo
KarenUK Nice picks! 👍💕 5mo
37 likes3 comments
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La_Cori
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All Jamie Ford's novels (the italian editions) have at least an #umbrella on the cover.. I love them!!! 💖
#LilithJuly @Cinfhen @KarenUK

KarenUK Oh I love how they tie in together... lovely! ☂️💕 5mo
La_Cori @KarenUK i never noticed how they look pretty together (i've read it on my ereader).. now I want to buy them and put them on my bookshelf 😊😍 5mo
Cinfhen Oh, that is BEAUTIFUL 😍 (edited) 5mo
39 likes3 comments
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julesG
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Cinfhen 🥰 5mo
72 likes1 comment
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jen_hayes7
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Pickpick

“Choosing to lovingly care for her was like steering a plane into a mountain as gently as possible. The crash is imminent;it‘s how you spend your time on the way down that counts.” I really enjoyed the writing style, fell in love with the characters and cruised through this. I feel the Japanese Internment is a piece of American history that doesn‘t get the attention it deserves (I‘d learned more from George Takei than any history class I took). 😕

Moony 😍 6mo
18 likes1 comment
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DarthDorkus
Mehso-so

I did not even know of the Japanese internment. As a story, however, I simply didn't think it worked. The romance took center-stage, rather than the difficulties of the Japanese caught up in that dreadful situation. Most of it was too emotional. And in spite of the changes in the environments, the failure to add more characters and more perspectives to the story left it feeling a little lacking in depth.

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LoverofLit
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this sweet, historical fiction that told a tale of a Chinese boy and a Japanese girl who fell in love during WWII when Japanese were put into internment camps after Pearl Harbor in America. This is a part of history and WWII that you rarely see stories about and while it ended happily, it was true of the sadness of real life in many ways. Sweet, a little drag in the middle, but overall a good read.

LoverofLit #pop19 #popsugar2019 #popsugarreadingchallenge A book with a title that contains "Salty" "Sweet" "Bitter" or "Spicy" 9mo
38 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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LoverofLit
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"I'll just sit here peacefully and eat my homemade lunchable whIle reading and no tiny hands will steal my strawberries." said no mother ever. ?

tpixie 😂😂😂 9mo
gradcat Cute! 😂 9mo
Ericalambbrown Homemade lunchables are the best lunchables 🤓 9mo
41 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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BekaReid
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Me: I'm going to tackle that pile of books I own and really want to read!
Library: the book you had on hold was borrowed for you (in this case books)... 👀
Me: ok, fine library, dictate my reading schedule! It's a vicious cycle.. 🤔

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squirrelbrain
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Pickpick

So this was book number 6 for #readingUSA2019 (Washington state) and I loved it! I really wasn‘t sure what to expect, maybe that it would be a light fluffy read. However it features a part of World War 2 history that I‘m ashamed to say I knew nothing about - Japanese internment camps. It isn‘t actually particularly hard-hitting but it‘s certainly not fluffy and I found it fascinating as well as a well-written story.

Eggs ❤️❤️ Jamie Ford 10mo
Kaye I like your map ! Lookin good. 10mo
Paula3 😍 10mo
Librarybelle Such a good book! Great choice! 10mo
90 likes4 comments
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VictoriaB
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Pickpick

Not bad, but not amazing. The romance was sweet, but a bit contrived. I found the details about the “evacuation” of the Japanese from Seattle to the internment camps the most interesting part, as I didn‘t know anything more specific than the fact that it happened. I wish that we had the chance to visit my SIL during the time that she worked at the Heart Mtn. Interpretive Center.

#popsugar A book with salty, sweet, bitter, or spicy in the title

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BookBabe
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Pickpick

Hard to rate this book.🤷🏻‍♀️I liked it. The childhood romance aspect was sweet, while presenting a side of WWII's impact that I hadn't had a close look at before. The look into cultural differences was also fun. The book kept my interest. But I don't feel like shouting from the rooftops that I loved it. Not sure exactly what was lacking. The writing wasn't exquisite. It got the job done, but it wasn't poetic or lyrical. The book was pretty good.

Bklover ❤️😻 11mo
Blaire I felt similarly. Lacked some level of depth for me I think. 11mo
SilversReviews I always enjoy his books. (edited) 11mo
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CarolynM I really enjoyed this one. I knew nothing of the Japanese community in the US before WWII so I found that aspect very interesting. 11mo
Tanzy13 🐱 11mo
MrBook 😻😻😻 11mo
125 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Blaire
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Pickpick

When Japanese residents of Seattle were sent to the intern camps, many stores their belongs in the basement of the panama hotel. When these things are found in the 1980s, Henry Lee is transported back in time and finally shares the story of his friendship with Keiko and what he witnessed in Seattle during the 40s. Reminder of what a country can do to its own citizens. A good read but somehow felt a little thin.

MayJasper What beautiful weather 😊 12mo
Blaire @MayJasper it was a nice weekend getaway. 12mo
66 likes2 comments
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Blaire
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A beautiful start to this Sunday morning and a good friend‘s wedding day. Our room has a gorgeous view. Starting off the day with coffee and a book.

Sace Beautiful! 12mo
Reviewsbylola Lovely view to wake up to! 12mo
UwannaPublishme 😍😍😍 12mo
61 likes3 comments
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Heatherfeather
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Panpan

Eek so this is an #UnpopularOpinion, but I thought this was really cheesy. It might go down as my most disappointing book of 2018. I've been looking forward to reading this ever since I heard of it years ago, but the execution did not do the powerful subject matter justice.

RaimeyGallant Interesting. I don't know a lot about this book, but google how it got it's name. I can't remember the link, but it was an interesting tidbit. 1y
14 likes1 comment
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Heatherfeather

Listening to this on audiobook, and at one point the boy says he's going to the "ten-cent whore cinema." Minutes later I realized the narrator meant "ten-cent horror cinema.". Enunciation, people. Enunciation. ??

Bookzombie 😂 1y
jouleian 😂😂😂 1y
12 likes2 comments
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Heatherfeather

About an hour into the audiobook and I'm finding the writing banal and...cheesy? Something else was bugging me about it too, and then I read another review discussing the errors (which apparently were never fixed in the audiobook?) and I was like THAT'S what bugging me. Still, I shall soldier on.

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TheHeartlandBookFairy
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Pickpick

Part historical fiction, part mystery, part romance. I really enjoyed this book that at the beginning reminded me a bit of The Red Leather Diary 😊 This sweet, touching story moves back and forth between 1940s wartime and the 1980s exploring the father-son relationship, love, sacrifice, and loss. And, sometimes, you can go back again ♥️ #13Books13Weeks #mountTBRchallenge

25 likes2 stack adds
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Deborah42
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Pickpick

The story of a love affair between a Chinese American boy and a Japanese American girl that jumps back and forth between 1942 and 1986.

50 year old Henry happens to be walking past the Panama Hotel one day as the forgotten belongings of Japanese families sent to internment camps during WWII are discovered during a remodeling project. He sees a parasol that reminds him of his first love, Kioko.

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KellieRusselburg
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It didn‘t matter. He‘d learned long ago: perfection isn‘t what families are all about.

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KellieRusselburg
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I have a lot of “helpers” when I‘m reading.

3 likes1 comment
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eggreenfield09
Pickpick

Very sad story. Well written.

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C.Perone
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Bailedbailed

When a book feels like a chore and makes me dread reading it's time to give up.

CarolynM I liked this one quite a lot. I'm sorry it didn't do it for you. 1y
C.Perone @CarolynM I am too; I had heard good things🤷‍♀️ 1y
AlaMich I bailed on it too. I started in anticipation of a Seattle trip, but it was so bland! I wanted to like it a lot, but it was a snooze for me. 1y
C.Perone @AlaMich Bland is THE perfect description! 1y
44 likes4 comments
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C.Perone
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170 pages in and I just don't care😕
Second book in a row this has happened.

I don't know; 2018 is like the year of the reading slump😐

Schnoebs Maybe try a different genre or format? Like an audiobook or a graphic novel? Something to really change it up 🤷‍♀️ 1y
C.Perone @Schnoebs Idk, maybe🙇‍♀️ 1y
tjwill 😔 Good luck on finding the right book for you! 1y
See All 8 Comments
Bostonmomx2 I find when I‘m in a slump, I just stop trying and wait it out. Catch up on tv, do some other hobbies, etc. The need to read will return. ❤️ 1y
C.Perone @tjwill I will prevail; the reader in me is strong! 😁 1y
C.Perone @Bostonmomx2 The problem is I *want* to read though. Uggg so frustrating 😖 1y
Hollie Dang, I hate it when that happens! 1y
C.Perone @Hollie It's the worst! So frustrating 1y
35 likes8 comments
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C.Perone
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CarolynM I really liked this one 1y
C.Perone @CarolynM A little slow going at the moment, but holding my interest 1y
50 likes2 comments
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Momob121
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"It reminded him that time was short, but that beautiful endings could still be found at the end of cold, dreary days."

8 likes2 stack adds
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AlaMich
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Just started this as my book for our trip to Seattle and Bellingham next week...I‘m so excited! I‘ve never been to Washington state and you know a trip to the Elliott Bay Book Co. and the Seattle public library are top of the list. 😊 #Seattle #vacationbooks

Eggs Loved this book 1y
36 likes1 comment
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keys_on_fire
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Found another thrift store on my way home from work. Not as great of a selection, but I still managed to find a few good books. I also seem to need to organize my books from tallest to shortest 😂😂😂

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Silvia_Ficco
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Godmotherx5
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My mom with Jamie Ford. After I dragged her to a Booktopia event in 2013, she went to his next signing...without me. No complaints because my wise & wonderful mom has modeled respect, hard work & a love of reading.
@Syndelle777 #shelfiesunday

Eggs 💓💓💓Jamie Ford 2y
CareBear 💜💜💜 2y
TheReadingMermaid 🌺😍 2y
SilversReviews Beautiful photo....Happy Mother‘s Day to your mother. I love your “typewriter” shirt. (edited) 2y
70 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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sudi
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TK-421 ❤️ 2y
Eggs ❤️ Jamie Ford 2y
31 likes2 comments
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Booksnob
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Reading in the car waiting for my son to get done with work.

rachaich That's one of my favourite times to read a few pages :) 2y
20 likes1 stack add1 comment
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MrBook
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After reading and discussing a book that had some Asian cuisine in it, we decided to go to one of our favorite Asian cuisine restaurants in #NYC: Saigon Market! Added bonus: it's only 1 block from #TheStrand 😁! Accompaniment: Vietnamese spring rolls (already enjoyed); beef pad thai/bun xao; and Thai iced tea. MMMmmm 😋! 😎👌🏻👌🏻

#SaigonMarket

Lcsmcat 😋 Spring rolls! 2y
Sassy_Steph Looks yummy!! 2y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled I‘ll check this out when we come for BookCon! 👍 2y
Crewgurl ❤️ Thai iced tea!! 2y
MrBook @ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled 😎👌🏻👌🏻 2y
135 likes5 comments
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BookBabe
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What an excellent meeting of the #2030SomethingBookClub! The consensus was most people liked the book, but didn‘t love it, and it‘s hard to say why. But a fine discussion nonetheless! You know it‘s a great group when everyone stays for an extra hour just chatting about whatever. Love this book club! ❤️ #NYC #BookClub

peacegypsy One of my favorites! 😊 2y
Crewgurl Awesome! Sorry I missed this one! 2y
ApoptyGina69 I really loved that book! 2y
126 likes1 stack add3 comments
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MrBook
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We just wrapped up the latest meeting of #The2030SomethingBookClub 😁👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻! It was a fantastic meeting. @BookBabe & I usually have to rush to the next thing, like family dinner or something. Not today though. What to do, what to do now? 🤔 #NYC

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Read and relax!!! I can‘t find you on LibraryThing... Will you find me? Loverofbooks22 🙏🏻☺️ Still can‘t figure out everything... I think I‘m just going to use it to catalog my books 🤷🏼‍♀️ 2y
Jennifer3 I just loved that book! Hope you and the book club too! 2y
Apinlibraryland I‘ll definitely be at the next meeting! Can‘t wait! 2y
See All 7 Comments
MrBook @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Whom are you asking, Loverofbooks22? 😆 2y
MrBook @Jennifer3 The book club liked it 😁👍🏻! 2y
MrBook @Apinlibraryland You'd better come to at least the next 3 ??: "Little Fires Everywhere"; your pick of "The Interestings" for our Centennial meeting; and #BookCon! 2y
Apinlibraryland @MrBook I‘m there x3! 2y
121 likes7 comments
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BookBabe
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#BookNLunch! But also an early dinner! Lol. Listened to the last of this on audio before book club tomorrow...in a cool vintage 50s diner in the middle of nowhere! I got a Greek Burger with tzatiki sauce and feta...mmmmm! We shared a plate of loaded fries. And it came with a half sour pickle, my favorite! 😋 Happy reads & happy eats!

corycatelyn Those fries look amazing! 😋 2y
Bookzombie That burger sounds delicious! 2y
Eggs Loved this book 2y
125 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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MrBook
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#BookNLunch! (Book is on audio.) Accompaniment this crisp and sunny afternoon: a third-pound burger with pesto and mozzarella; loaded fries with crumbled bacon and melted cheddar; a pickle, and a root beer float. MMMmmm 😋! (I got the float because I just got my annual haircut ☺️.) Happy reads & happy eats! 😎👌🏻

Jensol77 I LOVED this book! 2y
CSeydel 🤤 2y
Jennifer3 This book is one of my all time faves @MrBook and @Jensol77. 2y
Violetsunrise84 That food looks awesome! 2y
111 likes1 stack add4 comments