Jamie Ford

Jamie Ford is the author of the bestselling Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, winner of the Asian-Pacific American Award for Literature. This month, his moving novel of Depression-era Seattle, entitled Songs of Willow Frost, has captured a wide and admiring audience, with its eloquent and touching story of an orphan pursuing the movie actress whom he believes to be his long-lost mother. In keeping with Frost's own moving narrative, Ford this week celebrates five books united by what he dubs "heartbreak for the whole family."


The Great Santini
By Pat Conroy

"Pat once said, 'The greatest gift a writer can ever be given is an unhappy childhood.' If you've ever read The Great Santini, My Losing Season, or The Prince of Tides, you'll know that Pat was indeed a gifted child."




Please Look After Mom
By Kyung-sook Shin

"Some books change the way we look at ourselves, the way we interact with those closest to our hearts -- the way we've loved those people, or the way we've missed them or taken them hopelessly for granted. This is one of those books."




By Craig Thompson

"This sweet, sorrowful memoir in graphic novel form is a love story, a family story, and one of my favorite books of all time."




The Hummingbird's Daughter
By Luis Alberto Urrea

"Epic in scale yet lyrical in voice, this historical masterpiece blurs the lines between legend, fairy tale, and family folklore -- with the soaring spirit of magical realism."





Up from the Blue
By Susan Henderson

"This debut novel portrays a family with contradictions we can all relate to -- beautiful and maddening, hopeful and condemning, simple yet like a knot that takes a lifetime to untangle. You will love it completely, even as it hurts you."


July 23: Jessica Mitford died on this day in 1996.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).

Watching Them Be

What makes a film actor into a larger-than-life movie star? James Harvey's passionate, freewheeling essays explain why there are some faces (from Greta Garbo's to Samuel L. Jackson's) from which we cannot look away.


What if you called up the spouse on the verge of leaving you -- and instead found yourself magically talking to his younger self, the one you first fell for?  Rainbow Rowell, author of the YA smash Eleanor & Park, delivers a sly, enchanting take on 21st-century love.