Books From My Closet

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Archive for the tag “The Help”

Courage

Hello Dear Followers,

Well, I finally finished “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.  I enjoyed it, I thought it dragged on a bit, but overall I enjoyed it. I loved the characters of Skeeter, Minny and Aibileen.

Tonight I saw the movie and I was told it was different than the book and it was,  major parts from the book were left out, but it was just perfect.  I didn’t feel it needed all that extra details the book included.  I felt each character played their part perfectly.

My heart hurt when I was visually seeing the inequality Minny, Aibileen, Yule May and black people went through during that time. To treat someone so horribly simply because of the color of their skin is just so horrible.

I found the book and the movie really stand on their own, one can’t be compared to the other or considered better than the other. If you read the book, that’s great, it’s a good read, if you just saw the movie, that is enough too.

Until next time….

P.S. I just love Octavia Spencer! She is by far the cutest thing!

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What I’m Reading This Summer

Hello Dear Followers,

I usually don’t announce books in advance like this and I am not done with “The Help” just yet, but I have to admit seeing the constant mention of “summer reading lists” in bookstores and on various social media sites, made me nostalgic for the days before Borders and Barnes & Noble were my escapes, when I’d be one of the first kids signing up at the library for the summer reading program.  I couldn’t wait!

So here are three books I will be reading this summer –

Book image courtesy of http://www.bestsellers.about.com

1. “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch. A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture” Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them.  And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want to as our legacy. Mr. Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it was his last, since he was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Why I picked this:  Because it has been my experience that books like these, however  as short as they are (this one is 206 pages), they are filled with excellent advice about life and this reminds me of my favorite book “The Five People You Meet In Heaven” by Mitch Albom. Mr. Albom’s book left such a deep impact on my life, it saved me from myself during some of the darkest moments of my life.  I imagine this book will do the same.

Book image courtesy of http://www.bookmomma.wordpress.com

2. “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  It is January 1946, London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject.  Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’d never met, a native of Guernsey, the British Island once occupied by the Nazis. He’d come across her name on the flyleaf of a secondhand volume by Charles Lamb.  Perhaps she could tell him where he might more books by this author. As Juliet and her new coorespondent exchange letters, she is drawn into the world of this man and his friends, all members of Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a unique book club formed in a unique, spur-of-the-moment way: as an alibi to protect its members from arrest by the Germans.

Why I picked this:  Letters, books and history. All of which I just love. I feel the art of letter writing is lost in the maze of social media and e-mail. There isn’t romance in correspondence anymore, letter writing was personal, romantic, and passionate.  I love books, if I could spend my time in a cafe  drinking fabulous coffee and reading all day escaping the world around me, I’d be happy.  History especially the time in which this book takes place has always fascinated me, I love learning about World War II and shortly after the war.

Book image courtesy of http://www.nicholassparks.com

3. “The Best of Me” by Nicholas Sparks.  In the spring of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for each other seems to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. A loner from a violent and infamous local family, Dawson believed his love for Amanda promised an escape from the darker destiny laid out for him. A golden girl from a well-to-do family with plans to attend Duke University, Amanda saw something in Dawson that spoke to her own rebellious and passionate heart. But as summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.

Why I picked this –  I just love Nicholas Sparks, he is a wonderful writer. He grabs you from the first page and never lets you go and when it is over.  Then you are left craving more. That is a good writer.

(Since I fell behind with “The Help” I will be making up my June book with one of these three books and “The Help” will be considered my May book.  )

Make sure you share with me what you are reading this summer on here or on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Okay! Until next time… Happy Summer Reading!

The Content of Your Character

Hello Dear Followers,

So I have been catching up on “The Help” still so behind, but I’ve given a bit of time to get closer to finishing it. But I wanted to write briefly tonight about how  I really enjoyed the author’s ability to weave actual historical events into a work of fiction.  I have noticed this through out the book.

I also enjoyed just continuously learning more about a very difficult time in our nation’s history. A time when protests were prominent, black people didn’t receive the rights they deserved simply because of the color of their skin.  How horribly segregated they were.

In my opinion, I kept thinking how ignorant we were then, I feel there was such a lack of education about race and equality during the 1960s.  As I continued to read I began to think what if it never changed? What if we were still so segregated? While there is still so much prejudice today, we have come so far in the last 50 or so years.

Black people lived in such fear everyday and the ones that took risks in their beliefs (i.e. Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King Jr. were assassinated). I feel they would be proud of how far we’ve come.

Until next time…

Skeeter

Hello Dear Followers,

It has been a long time since I wrote a post, I am terribly sorry. Life definitely gets in the way sometimes.  I am still reading “The Help” I didn’t expect to be going into another month with it, but it is what it is.

I wanted to talk a little about Skeeter, I can definitely relate to this character in many ways even if we are from two different decades. Her family, friends are pressuring her in their own way to marry, but it looks like to me she wants to live according her own standards and not the standards of others. And she is a writer! I really feel a connection to this character and her daily frustrations from never feeling quite right and on the same level as her friends and never fully meeting the expectations of her family.

What people in her life should understand is that they need to allow her to live and run at her own pace instead of trying to mold her into what they think she should be. She is awkward, not graceful and has a name like Skeeter.. really?

But I think she sees people for who they are and not the color of their skin. She doesn’t view the help as the help, but as people who have feelings, lives of their own and wants to tell their story. I think that is a rarity in the 1960s for a white woman to have compassion for a black person.

I really like this character and I like the connections she is making with Aibileen. I look forward to reading more about her.

Until next time…

Our Role Models

Hello Dear Followers,

As promised, I am posting my first thoughts about “The Help.” I think so far the book is hilarious, I think it points out the obvious about everyday people in a way we wouldn’t normally say out loud.

It reminds me of other books I have read including “To Kill a Mockingbird,”  “The Secret Life of Bees” and “The Color of Water” just to name a few. I couldn’t help but feel the similarities from all of these books.  It’s in their tone, the circumstance and while some are heavier than others, they all have some sort of hilarity to them when stating the true facts about life.

I have to admit I haven’t read enough yet to form a complete a opinion for what I have read so far, but I can definitely already see why the popularity was so strong and I look forward to seeing the movie.

While I don’t see anything wrong with having a maid/nanny when you have children, I do feel these women in the 1960s and even today for that matter don’t take their roles as parents seriously. It’s like life is one big social hour.  Mae Mobley is just looking for a little attention from the woman that gave birth to her, is she really asking too much?

While I don’t know how far into the future this book goes, I definitely see this poor little girl resenting her mother one day and having a strong attachment to  Aibileen. How can she not? I mean this will be her female role model, the woman she will remember being there.

It’s funny how family members and non-family members  in our childhoods can have such an impact on who we become as adults, who we gravitate to in our adult lives and who we don’t because of their lack of attention or affection or whatever.

Sharing a personal part of my own life, I always had two parents, my mother was more attentive to my brother and I than my father. My father, while he was there to put food on the table and he worked hard, I find now I hardly know him, just today I found out he was a photographer in his younger years. I find this out now simply because we never had a full father-daughter relationship. My “father-daughter” relationship occurs on a regular basis with my maternal grandfather, many often mistaken him for my father because he is always there. Many don’t know my father at all.

This relationship, or lack there of has impacted the person I’ve become as an adult, never trusting anyone entirely because no one can be counted upon even if my grandfather and mother were there for my brother and I .

I feel a similar situation could happen for Mae Mobley’s character, poor little girl. She will never fully develop a relationship with her mother, because her mother is too preoccupied with her social life to really take responsibility for her daughter’s needs and wants in life even if she is so young.

I will post soon, so until then..

“The Help”

Book image is from ushistoryscene.com

Hello Dear Followers,

I am not joining the masses of women and possibly some men in reading “Fifty Shades of Grey” series by E.L. James just yet, I figured I’d let the hype from the series die down a bit before I join the bandwagon, until then I have decided to read for the month of May “The Help”  by Kathryn Stockett.

For many months through out 2011 I heard a lot about this book and then the movie, but wasn’t quite ready to read it yet. I can tell already this will be a good book, I read a few pages and it was already hilarious.

The synopsis of the book is about Aibileen Clark, a black maid in 1962 Jackson Mississippi, raising her seventeenth white child, according to the book jacket. She always takes orders quietly, but lately it leaves her with a bitterness she can no longer bite back.  Her friend Minny Jackson has certainly never held her tongue, or held on to a job for very long, but now she is working for a newcomer with secrets that leave her speechless. And white socialite Skeeter Phelan has just returned from college with ambition and a degree but, to her mother’s lament, no husband.  Normally Skeeter would find solace in Constantin, the beloved maid who raised her, but Constantine has inexplicably disappeared.

Together, these seemingly different join to work on a project that would forever alter their destinies and a the life of a small town – to write, in secret, a tell-all book about what is really like to work as a black maid in the white homes of the South.

I hope you all join me in reading the book!

Until next time..

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