Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Reading UPDATE / REVIEW

It's so fun to be reading again. I hope you are too!


Remember, a few weeks ago, I made a Summer Reading List? Well. Things are going swimmingly (summer pun; you're welcome). I finished my first book on the list SO quick, I had to wait a week or so to start the next one / tell you about it - just so I could pace myself. Boy, if only all things in my life could go this well.

Let's review, shall we?

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
A Seperate Country, by Robert Hicks
The Carrie Diaries, by Candace Bushnell
The Shack, by William P. Young
Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen
If You Want to Write... by Brenda Ueland
Bossypants, by Tina Fey
Half Broke Horses, by Jeanette Walls
Mornings on Horseback, by David McCullough
Heaven is For Real, by Todd and Colton Burpo

First up on my list this summer was Kathryn Stockett's, "The Help." I heard about this book a while back on NPR's "
All Things Considered" radio segment. (Side note. I LOVE NPR. If it's reccomended on NPR, it must be good. I am an NPR-aholic. There I said it. Let's move on.)

I jotted down the title on a scrap of paper in the car, and knew it had to be at the top of my reading list.

This is an amazing story of the deep south in the 60's, in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement... and really, far beyond that... it's a story of generations of southern women raising generations of southern women. Isnt that powerful? I had never considered this before.

For me, as a good southern girl, raised in the Bible Belt... the perspective the book provides is heartbreaking and wonderful, both at the same time. (The NY Times review can be found here.) A review from Entertainment Weekly described the book as "graceful and real." I couldn't find a better way to say it if I tried.

(In her notes, the author notes the name of another book, "Telling Memories Among Southern Women," which is a collection of oral histories dating Civil War to 1900, of black women serving as "domestics" in white households. It's saying something ya'll, when I dig through the "Notes" section of a book. I already ordered it, in case you might be wondering.)

**oh. AND. Special thank-yous to the people in my life that taught me READING was super-cool.... a couple of fabulous English teachers (Mrs. Lee and Ms. Shuster) and READING! ABOUT HISTORY! yes, that would be one super-amazing-whistler, Mrs. Julianne Earwood.

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