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MAY 3, 2019

3 Great Reads for Your Golden Week: Personal Growth Edition

By Melissa McIvor, With GLOBIS Insights Staff
iStock photo/nortonrsx

How’s Golden Week 2019 treating you? Had enough of hiking yet? Slept so much you can’t stand another wink? Finished all that spring cleaning and made Marie Kondo proud? Or perhaps you’re in the throes of procrastination and looking for something to stand between you and that sink full of dishes? (We get that. Your secret’s safe with us.)

If you’re looking for something to carry your mind off to distant lands and adventures, look no further! The GLOBIS Insights staff has a few more excellent reads to share!

What Is the What

Review by Adam Gordon, Lead Instructional Designer, GLOBIS Digital Platform

What Is the What, by Dave Eggers, is essentially the autobiography of Valentio Achak Dang, one of the infamous “lost boys” who trekked through the Sudan during the Second Sudanese Civil War to find refuge in Ethiopia and eventually the United States of America.

Following Achak through his journey is truly inspiring, horrific at times, and even ironic as he goes from one ordeal to another. It wakens your senses and makes you wonder if you yourself would have had the courage or strength to follow the same path as an adult, let alone a child. It leaves you questioning your valuesーthose you hold personally, and those held by the whole of humanity.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet

Review by Brian Cathcart, Faculty, GLOBIS University

This book has little to do with business, but it is the kind of book that all professionals (business and otherwise) should read. There is always value in knowing a bit of relatively untold history, in learning about how minorities can be treated in times of war, and in simply expanding our capacity to understand the human experience.

For people who live in Japan, and especially Americans from the West Coast, Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a significant work. It relays the history of Japanese Americans during the early years of World War II, as told through the eyes of a Chinese American boy and his love for a Japanese American girl. The story revolves around the Panama Hotel in Seattle, gateway to Japantown and secret hiding place of where many Japanese Americans bound for internment camps stowed their belongings. People can still visit the Panama Hotel in Seattle and see some of the belongings which were never reclaimed.

Well written, Ford’s book brings a personal light to a dark moment in US history, unraveling the emotions tied up with this experience.

The Geography of Bliss

Review by Mel McIvor, Editor-in-Chief, GLOBIS Insights

What makes us happy? As people, or as a people? Why do some nations have reputations for stress-free, smiling citizens, while others are known for a rigid, humorless adherence to responsibility? Are happier people found in milder climates? Do they have more money? Stronger social networks? Different relationships with God? With death?

Eric Weiner’s The Geography of Bliss aims to get to the bottom of happiness with a hands-on analysis of culture. This fascinating, funny book follows Weiner as he travels all across the world to the countries with the highest statistical rate of happiness, from Thailand to Iceland, Bhutan to Qatar. You’ll never realize how much there is to happiness until you flip through these pagesーwhat can be quantified by statistics, and what you just have to see, hear, touch, taste, or smell for yourself.