Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my second time reading this book, this time for a book club. I never would have guessed how different the read was in light of the divisive politics of our time. The extreme hatred of the Japanese following Pearl Harbor, while understandable, was never tempered by the reality of the Japanese citizenship status. We put our own, American born, not even naturalized, citizens into prison. We stole their property and we subjugated them, ripping away their freedom with the stroke of a pen.
Some will say it was in the heat of battle but, in reality it was just plain racism. We didn't inter Germans or Italians. There were cases of German infiltration of American political groups but still we didn't treat German Americans as traitors.
I do not think there was any collaboration between Japanese Americans during the war but there were many accounts of bravery and heroism among Japanese American Soldiers in Europe.
This book sheds a light on this period of history with a gentle hand. It recounts a teenage, first love that remains warm and tender to the end.
A book worth reading and maybe a good read for youngsters in today's heated political climate. Most Americans are immigrants and we should welcome new ideas and cultures so that ours will be broadened and kept vital and fresh.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Prussian Blue (Bernie Gunther, #12)Prussian Blue by Philip Kerr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Philip Kerr leads Bernie Gunther in and out of history, meeting and spending time with real people. We get to see the Nazi's time in Germany from the ground level and I often marvel at how much they look like some of us. In fact for Americans today its a bit frightening and unnerving to see how blind obedience and unwavering belief in perverted ideas can lead to national disaster.
This is a story about that. How bad people can be if given the chance. Bernie has little chance to change anything or make any of the evil go away. He takes us along as observers of the rot and stink of history.

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Jockomo - The inlay people.

This is sooo much fun. I bought this guitar. Its an Ibanez Pat Metheny model. I bought it because its my kind of guitar, not because of Pat, a fine guitarist. There was a pearl inlay with his name at the 22nd fret. I replaced it with a new inlay from https://www.inlaystickers.com/. This is a Japanese company that sells all kinds of guitar inlays. They are like decals that transfer to the guitar and are completely removable. This one was custom made and came from Japan in about a week with free shipping.
I've put a few turtles on the back of guitar pegheads in honor of Sammy. He loved turtles and guitars too.
Here is the turtle on the back of the Ibanez. Its beautiful and looks and feels like a real inlay.

Friday, May 5, 2017

We Never Asked for WingsWe Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Timely and heart wrenching. This was a book club selection and the discussion was a bit off the topic of immigration reform and more on the personalities and motivations of the characters. I was struck by the matter of fact way that this underclass of illegals was woven into the society. Many of the haters profiting from the labor and hardship of the immigrants and their children. It is truly sad that we refuse to see children raised and educated in this country as our own.
Easier to understand why a demagogue would want to demonize and denounce those who work hard and seek the good life here in this country.
I read the whole book with these thoughts and this distracted me from the story and the characterizations. The book is highly non-political but rests on a a political issue.

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