Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Bestsellers List’

I will confess with everything that I have going on this summer (see the intro. to my last blog post if you’re not with me) I have not completed one single book since my summer break from school began last Thursday. However, I am very close to being finished with The Town That Forgot How To Breath and I’m planning on reviewing that one sometime this week. I was thinking about how much I LOVE Summer Reading and I thought that for this Tuesday my TTT could be the top ten books I am most looking forward to reading this summer. I hope that I am actually able to find the time to read all ten books which is something I normally would never have trouble doing, but this summer is a little different for me with my mom being so sick and school starting back so early and I will be moving next month. I hope to at least read five of this if not more. Some of the titles are very new and some are pretty old and one I have read before but I need to revisit. Some are very popular and are still on the bestsellers list and some you might now have even heard of. Anyway, here are my personal top ten (hope to) reads for the summer of 2012:

10. 11/22/63 by Stephen King. Publication Date: 2011.
11-22-63.jpg
I am a huge King fan and I have read great reviews of this book. I bought a used copy a few weeks ago and it’s been sitting on my to-read shelf ever since begging me to open it up.

9. Canada by Richard Ford. Publication Date: 2012.

I knew nothing of this book. I hadn’t read about it in any of the book-themed magazines I read, I hadn’t seen it on the indie next list on indiebound, I hadn’t heard a buzz about it on any of the podcasts I listen to and I hadn’t read excitement posts about it on any of the blogs I follow. However, one morning I was browsing my friends GoodReads updates and one of my friends on there (who I trust 100% book-wise) gave it a glowing review and FIVE, yes FIVE stars (which is basically unheard of on GoodReads unless the book is spectacularly amazing great). It sounded interesting and after hearing an interview with Ford on NPR I knew I had to read it and it shot to the top of my to-read list. Now, if only the library’s waiting list for it wasn’t so high!

8. Between The Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer. Publication Date: 2012.

This book LITERALLY just came out. Today. I am a HUGE fan of Picoult’s and have collected each of her books (with the exception of Lone Wolf because it’s not out in paperback yet, so, no spoilers, please!). With Between The Lines, Picoult teams up with her teenaged daughter, Van Leer, and writes a work of young-adult fiction that is blowing up all of the blogs and podcasts and etc (see #9 for everything I turn to for book advice). The book is a book about books and characters and fairy tales and all of my favorite things. Now, I’m off to secure me a copy!

7. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. Publication Date: 2001.

Bel Canto is my need to re-read book for this summer. I read it in college for a class I was taking, but now I can’t remember ANYTHING about it. I don’t even remember if I enjoyed it or not. I last read State of Wonder by Patchett and didn’t much care for that one so I am hoping that this one will be better. People seem to love Patchett and this is probably her most famous work. This one won the PEN/Faulkner and the Orange Award so I guess it can’t be too bad, right?

6. Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones. Publication Date: 2011. Click here for review. Read 6/29/12

Silver Sparrow a book that I marked as to-read a while ago before it was published. It seems like I pretty much forgot about it and now suddenly I am seeing this book everywhere I look, especially since I follow Ms. Jones and childhood favorite author Judy Blume on Twitter and they have been really hyping a guest appearance they both made at a NYC Barnes & Noble. I guess I kinda missed the boat by not reading it last summer since NPR marked it as one of their books to read for the 2011 summer. So, now I am making up for lost summer reading and hoping to get to it this summer.

5. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Publication Date: 2011.
TheNightCircus.jpg
The Night Circus is one of those books that was so loved when it first came out and now it seems to have faded away. I never got a chance to read it when it first came out and so now I’m hopeful that I will get to it this summer and that it will still live up to the hype it had last year upon publication.

4. An Uncommon Education by Elizabeth Percer. Publication Date: 2012

This is one that I just recently added to my to-read list. I was fumbling around a Barnes & Noble one afternoon killing time and found this book, read the back, and almost bought it. Some of my friends on GoodReads didn’t much care for it, but I’m intrigued. One of the books I brought down to my parents house with me this time I’m here is The Dante Club and I’m excited to get on that one. I feel like I’m definitely in the mood for some secret society reads and these two should be two good ones, I hope.

3. Carry the One by Carol Anshaw. Publication Date: 2012.

I don’t remember how I discovered this one but the plot sounds like one of those where you HAVE to read the whole thing in one sitting. The story begins with a wedding and after the wedding a tragedy strikes and the book unravels like the lives of the people affected by the tragedy.

2. Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan. Publication Date: 2012.

This is my favorite type of summer read: ones that are set in the summer and at the beach, but still have some literary value to them. I love books like this. I find that they are not quite as good if the weather’s not hot enough though. I’ve been holding off on this one for a long time so that I can read it either while camping on the river or at the beach this summer. Several times I have placed it in my basket at bookstores and at Target but I always put it back because I know I will read it right away and I need to have patience. It is, afterall, a virtue.

1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Publication Date: 2012.

Everyone has been RAVING about this book lately and it was sold out at Target today which means it must be good (either that or the new-ness of it is still working on people, it was just published on June 5). The plot (two out of work yuppie types have to move back to one of their hometowns where the girl goes missing and eyes turn towards the husband) did not sound all that amazing to me so I may have to wait until I am in the mood for a mystery before starting this one. I am really looking forward to it though because I can’t get anyone to say anything negative about it!

What books are you looking forward to reading this summer? What books have you read so far this summer that you loved? What books do you think I should add to this list?

Happy Summer Reading!!

Read Full Post »

Our aspirations are wrapped up in books, our inclinations are hidden in looks –Belle and Sebastian

“That day Henry made a choice…that some men are just too interesting to die” –Seth Grahame-Smith

“So keeping the box closed just keeps you in the dark, not the universe.” –John Green

This weekend was a big reading weekend for me. I finished Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter  by Seth Grahame-Smith and I read Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. I wasn’t sure which of these books to review (they were both very good) so I figured that I would do a quick review of both of them.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Author: Seth Grahame-Smith. Publication year: 2010

The “quirk-book” trend of taking classic works of fiction and revamping them with zombies or sea monsters was a trend that I jumped head first into. The fact is that these books whether they be re-worked classics or re-worked histories of famous people, the history is still there. The entire plot of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters was still there and a few details were added to make the story have otherworldly elements. The entire history of Abraham Lincoln’s life is in AL:VH. That’s what makes these books so good and so appealing. You get the history and you get the classic literature, but it is more accessible to today’s generation because they do want to read about zombies and monsters and vampires.

I enjoyed AL:VH very very much. I love all things Abe Lincoln. I am so excited for the movie to come out in a few weeks. The book took a turn for me during the Civil War parts, but the ending was just so spectacular and so historically relevant and so, just, well…gnarly that I ended up giving Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 5 out of 5 stars! I highly recommend it!

Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Authors: John Greene & David Levithan. Publication Year: 2010.

What was great about this book is the fact that it was so obviously written by two different authors. The story is that of two high school aged youth boys in Illinois both named Will Grayson. The story is told in two points of view with each chapter being voiced by the two Will Grayson’s (eg. Chapter one is Will Grayson 1 and chapter 2 is Will Grayson 2 and chapter 3 is Will Grayson 1 again, etc. etc.). The voices are obviously different and the fact that each author wrote the POV of one Will Grayson worked PERFECTLY. I had no idea that this was the style that the two authors were doing so halfway through chapter 2 I realized that Will Grayson 1 wasn’t actually suffering from a bi-polar disorder, but rather it was the other Will Grayson narrating.

The trend of dystopian fiction and vampire fiction in YA literature as of late has been exhausted, in my humble opinion, so it was very refreshing to read a story about “normal” high school students dealing with “normal” high school problems. I also enjoyed this book because it really is a very good LGBT choice. One of the Will Grayson’s is gay and the other Will Grayson’s best friend is gay. A few of the supporting characters are also gay and several characters belong to a gay/straight alliance at school. A major event in the book revolves around a very gay character writing, directing, producing and staring in a musical designed to bring an understanding and a tolerance to gay students. The book is at the same time heartwarming and heart breaking. I loved it. It had humor, love, and honesty. The ending took a weird turn for me so I couldn’t give it the full 5 stars that it could have earned. However, I do recommend it for anyone who may be gay or questioning, especially high school students. This is not a YA book that I would recommend to my middle school students (the language and some of the situations were a little advanced). This is a book that could be beneficial to bullies who may be harassing gay students. This is even a good book for adult parents of gay teenagers and it’s just a good book for anyone looking for a good read. It was a quick read (I read it in a day). 4 out of 5 stars!

Read Full Post »

It’s a lot like life and that’s what’s appealing, if you despise that throwaway feeling –Depeche Mode

“I am going to have coffee with Christian Grey. And I hate coffee.” -EL James

I HAD to read Fifty Shades of Grey. I had to. I mean, everyone else in America was swept up in the craze. I started off getting my copy by going to my local public library’s catalog. Surprise, surprise, even people in rural North Carolina just had to read this book. The waiting list for the two print copies was over 14 people long. Okay, plan B, get the e-reader version from Overdrive on my nook. NOT! Over 20 people on that waiting list. Okay, onto plan C now, buy the darn book. The nook version was almost the same price as the print version and when given a choice I will ALWAYS choose the print version. Cut to a Saturday shopping day at Target where there is a HUGE Fifty Shades display. I grab a copy, I thumb through it, and Oh. My. Gah. I sneak it into the bottom of my shopping basket. I will admit that when I first picked up my copy, I honestly did not know what the book was about. I knew that it was considered “erotica” but I had no idea about the storyline or characters or any of that.

Fifty Shades of Grey tells the story of Anastasia (love that name) Steele who is coming up on her graduation from a college in Washington State. Anastasia is very sheltered, smart and reserved, you know, and all around goody two shoes. Anastasia’s (or ‘Ana’ as she prefers) roommate, Katherine (Kate) Kavanaugh is the editor for the university’s newspaper. While fighting off the flu she sends Ana to interview the rich and powerful Christian Grey (CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings) who is the commencement speaker at their graduation in a few weeks. While interviewing Mr. Grey, Ms. Steele makes a connection and viola a relationship blossoms between the two. However, this is not your typical romantic romance, oh no, Mr. Grey has a few surprises (red room of pain, anyone?) in store for the young and impressionable Ms. Steele.

What I liked:
-I found myself actually caring about the characters in this book. It took me a long time to finish it (almost 4 weeks, but I’m very busy with work right now), and I kept wishing I was finished with it so I could move on to something else. I finished it night before last and all day yesterday, I kept wondering to myself what would happen to Ana and Christian? The book ended on a cliffhanger so now of course I HAVE to read the next two books as well.

What I didn’t like:
-So with all of the hype surrounding this book, I’ve read in many places that the book originally started off as Twilight fan fiction. Ok, I can definitely see Edward in Christian (he’s rich, he’s elusive, he’s withholding, he lives in Washington) and I can definitely see Bella in Ana (shortened nick name, brunette, lives in Washington State, mom lives in the sunny south, close to a protective and loving dad, sheltered, shy, virginal, bookish, etc. etc.) As much as I loved Twilight, and I did, and I’m not ashamed of it, I didn’t like that this was a rip-off of that work. I read an interview with Jodi Picoult where she talked about how it seemed unfair that this new author just swooped in and didn’t have to work to build a fan base, she already had millions that she took from Meyer.
-It was not written well. It just wasn’t. It seemed like the author constantly threw in big words just to cover up the fact that it was smutty and to try to fool the reader into thinking it was actually some great work of literature.
-Ana kept referring to her “inner goddess.” Constantly. It was fluffy overkill and I consequently hate her inner goddess.
-The subject matter. Several times Ana spoke about how she did not like being “beaten” by Christian. She was constantly at a loss over what to do about his lifestyle. She obviously didn’t like the lifestyle. On two occasions she openly wept after being “beaten” by Christian. She loved him, but she didn’t love his lifestyle, and you can’t have one without the other. I feel like Christian should have compromised a teensy bit more. I’m hoping that there will be more compromise in the next two books.

Overall I gave it 3 stars (it was okay) on GoodReads. I don’t think that I would recommend it, but I will read the next two in the series.

Read Full Post »

 Some things are melting now, well what’s it gonna take till my baby’s alright? -Tori Amos

On GoodReads I challenged myself to read sixty-one books this year. Tonight, December 20, 2011 at 8:45 PM I reached my goal. My (possible) last book of 2011 was The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian. (side note, I highly recommend you watch that interview with Bohjalian that can be found by following that link. It was great to hear how he came up with the idea for the book and how he himself had moved into a creepy house much like the Linton’s do in his novel.) I have given this book three stars on GoodReads which means I liked it. I did. I liked it. Right up until the epilogue. I sat for a moment thinking about what kind of post I wanted to do tonight. Perhaps one expressing my ire at poor epilogues. How can one futuristic look at the lives of beloved characters ruin an entire story? I’m not sure how, but I know that it sure can.

I came into the office and recorded my book on GoodReads as read. I was then greeted with a congratulatory box stating that I had reached my goal. I then decided to look at all of the books that I have read over this past year. Looking at the covers brings back a specific memory of exactly where I was at (physically) and where I was (emotionally) when I was reading that book. The first book I read in 2011 was To The Lighthouse by Virgina Woolf. This brings back memories of last Christmas at my parent’s house. It was a horrific holiday. I was snowed in and missed two trains that were to take me to see my boyfriend who I was in a very long-distance relationship with at the time. I spent too much time cooped up with my parents and as a result we fought. Big time. I retreated into my bedroom (slamming the door and screaming as if I were right back in high school again despite the fact that I am a 26 year old adult) with the Ramsay’s. I didn’t care for this book at all. In fact it is still sitting in a basket in my old bedroom at my parent’s house. I gave it two stars. As I look back at the reviews of it on GoodReads I have to wonder if it was truly the book that I didn’t care for, or was it the prisoner-like way I was being held against my will and being treated?

I read the entire Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larrson (read my post on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo here) this year. I remember reading all of them in my second-story bedroom in coastal, NC. The first I read as a borrowed copy from G’s mom. I started it on the road back from Raleigh where we spent New Year’s Eve. I remember reading it in G’s jeep as we crossed the entire state. I read the second two as borrowed copies from the library. The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest was read in late spring, mostly on the beach.

I read the last two books of the Hunger Games trilogy this year. Both on my Nook that I got for my birthday in March (read about that adventure here).

I read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in May. It took me five days to read it. I read it in the midst of an emotional crisis. I remember finishing it on the beach on a breezy, cool day by myself. I remember people walking by, but I don’t remember anything specific about those people because I was so engrossed in the book. I was alone as I read it. I went to the end of the island and turned off my phone and I faced my towel towards the horizon and I devoured the atrocity that was the medical field.

This year, I am selecting The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks as my book of the year. I am selecting it for many reasons and before I do an entire post on it I feel the need to collect and focus my thoughts on the book a little bit more. However soon, look for my 2011 book-of-the-year post. Until then, revisit last year’s post on The Help which I selected as my 2010 book of the year.

Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, Happy Christmas, Have a blessed new year. Until Next Time…

Read Full Post »

Why you waiting so long? After every single word is said I’m feeling dead and gone-The Black Keys
 
It’s been almost two months since I’ve posted. I am sad to say that I got lost in one of those “moods”. You might know the kind. The ones where nothing you read is appealing to you. The ones where you want to read something, but nothing is grabbing your attention and holding it. Since late-October I have picked up at least 7 books, started them, had full intentions of finishing them, and then sat them back down again. Finally two weeks ago, I decided I needed some “fluff” reading so I picked up book #9 in the Southern Vampires Mysteries Series by Charlaine Harris called Dead & Gone. If any of you out there are familiar with the very popular HBO TV show True Blood, these are the books that the show is based on. The books are great. I started reading them in Grad School one day after falling in love with the TV show. I searched all over Greensboro for a copy of the first book Dead Until Dark which follows the first season of the TV show. I finally found one last copy at the Borders(RIP) all the way across town, but it was so worth it!

There was a guy that I had been crushing over since freshman year of college. While at work one night he came up to the reference desk to talk to me and he casually mentioned that he too was currently reading Dead Until Dark. Since I was also currently in the midst of this book, I knew we were meant to be together. But, much like Sookie and Vampire Bill, it just didn’t work out. However, soon these books were everywhere! People were falling in love with the show and then they had to read the books. This is what I love about a movie or a TV show or a popular play even that is based on a book or on a book series. I love how people start reading again. Sure, they’re watching the movie or the TV show (or the play, or whatever),  but they’re also reviving the book (or series) and giving it new life. I just opened up my copy of Dead Until Dark and found that it was first published in 2001. Eleven years ago! It wasn’t until 2008 when True Blood first aired that this book even hit a best-sellers list.

They always say that the book is better than the movie, and I agree with that. People will watch a movie or a TV show (play, etc) and then read the book and they fall even more in love with the book that they did with the movie (or show) (or play, jeez!) and then they’ll want to read more. Where do they go to read more? Hopefully the library, but most likely to Barnes and Noble. But whatever, if people are reading, they’re READING even if it is “fluff” and that’s why I’m not so worried about my light reading this month. I finished off Dead and Gone and I’m on to another of Ms. Harris’s books- Three Bedrooms, One Corpse. This is part of the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries Series and is just as charming and delightful as the Southern Vampires series. Harris also has several other series out there such as the Shakespeare Series and the Grave Series. I’ve read the first two books in both of these sets and I just didn’t enjoy them as much as Sookie and Aurora. However, if you enjoy mystery and quirky characters and settings, definitely give all of Harris’s books a try!

Read Full Post »

“I really can’t think about kissing when I’ve got a rebellion to incite. ” -Katniss Everdeen from Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

“We can fight our desires, but when we start making fires
We get ever so hot whether we like it or not” -La Roux

In the spring of 2009 I arrived early to a class on The History of the Book. I always arrive early. To class. To work. To anything, really. I got there to pull out my Harry Potter that I was currently reading and found that for the first time in a long time there was someone who had arrived before me to class. She was a girl that I had had a few classes with and I knew her well enough to strike up a conversation. The Library Science program is small enough at UNCG that everyone knows everyone else and what they are doing at any given time. So, I asked her what she was obviously so engrossed in reading. This girl worked at the on campus Teaching and Resource Center that provided materials to those who may be seeking a degree in K-12 education. They got in tons of YA and children’s books and those that worked there got to read them before anyone else did (jealous).

The book that she was so into, she told me, was called The Hunger Games. She proceeded to give me the gist of what was going on in the plot up to where she was reading. It sounded just plain awesome. Cut to Fall 2010 when I am working in my first real, full-time, library job. I get some cash to order some books for the library and one of the books I pick is The Hunger Games. I will admit that one of the main reasons that I purchased this specific book was because I had been wanting to read it for so long. So, when the order arrived in November I took the book home with me for the weekend where I proceeded to do nothing but lay on my parents couch and read the whole book. It was just that good!

What I adored about this YA novel was how strong the main character was. Katniss Everdeen lives in a futuristic world in which the districts are ruled by an evil Capitol who forces two children “tributes” to play in an annual Hunger Games. During the games the children (one boy, one girl) are thrust into a thematic environment and forced to kill each other off until only one survives. When Katniss’s younger sister, Prim, is called forth to be District 12’s tribute Katniss immediately jumps to take her place. Katniss is a powerful female protagonist which I think that YA literature has been missing lately. The first comparison that comes to mind is Isabella (Bella) Swan in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. Now, I want to say that I adore Twilight, like it or not, I do. I am in line at midnight for the opening of each movie and I’ve devoured the books and I loved them before they became pop culture phenoms. However, my one major complaint with that series was how weak and Edward-obsessed Bella was. As soon as she met the vamp, she lost all ability to think for herself and to consider her own dreams for the future. Everything became about a man (undead, but still) and she was willing to die for him. Katniss Everdeen is the anti-Bella Swan and that is exactly why I love her. Like in the quote I chose, she does NOT have time for kissing, this girls got more important things to think of, like leading rebellions, fighting wars, surviving, providing for her family, and taking care of everyone around her.

I know, I know I know. You can’t really have a YA novel without a little romance now can you? Enter Gale and Peeta- the two young lads who are vying for Miss Everdeens affections. Gale is the friend that Katniss has hunted with since Katniss’s father died in a mining accident. Gale is that first love, childhood friend character that the reader just roots for to win. Peeta is the artistic and articulate son of a local D12 baker. Peeta is the male tribute opposite Katniss. You see where that leads, right? Katniss must either kill Peeta or be killed by him. I won’t ruin the books for those of you who may have never read them, but Peeta AND Katniss are both in all three books. As is Gale. Triangle much?!

The love story is not the  main theme of the book though. It’s not just juvenile sappy romance. It’s about survival in the most chaotic, frightening, and evil of times. Children are killing children in gruesome ways here. The death scenes are amazing and creative. Katniss is a hunter, as I mentioned earlier. She has an acute ability to hit any target be it moving or still, human or not. The fact that this young teen girl has to provide for her poor mother and sister and does so without hesitation is what young girls should be reading about. They should be reading how a girl can beat the boys in something as fierce as a hunger game (spoiler: not once, but TWICE!). They need to be reading that boys are not the be all and end all of life. They need to know that they can all be a kind of Katniss and beat the boys and be in control of their own lives and survival. Are you reading this, Bella and Stephenie? I sure hope so!

My one complaint was completely about the last book. It didn’t read like the first two did. And perhaps this is because this is the only book in the trilogy that does not have a Hunger Games in it. This book felt rushed somehow to me, as if Collins was under an intense deadline to get this book written. It didn’t have the same feeling as the first two. I wasn’t as compelled to read this one. This one was more somber in tone. This one was about nothing but straight up war and revenge. There is an epilogue at the end of this novel that I could have so done without. We find out which suitor Katniss ends up with and what becomes of them. I don’t want to spoil anything, again for those of you who may not have read it all yet, but the future that Katniss has is not one that I envisioned for her. Reading the epilogue and how Katniss talks about her future, I also get the feeling that this is not a future that she envisioned for herself. I wanted Katniss to be out of the games and out of the control of the district and happy. I didn’t get the feeling that she was very happy. I would have rather had the book end open-ended so that readers could envision their own futures of happiness and hunting for Katniss.

Read Full Post »

“I listened wide-eyed, stupid. Glowing by her voice in the dim light. If chocolate was a sound, it would’ve been Constantine’s voice singing. If singing was a color, it would’ve been the color of that chocolate.”

We had a “huge snowstorm” yesterday (barely 3 inches, but here in the costal south that’s a LOT) which led me to be out of school all day so needless to say, I had a lot of spare time on my hands. I was clicking around on NPR and saw an article that they had where the people affiliated with NPR had selected their choices of the best books for 2010. Since January 2011 just started I thought that I might blog and throw in my pick for the best book of 2010.

I have selected The Help Kathryn Stockett as the best book of 2010. Okay okay okay, I know that the book came out in 2009 but I did not read it until 2010 and it seemed to be such a very popular book last year. As I am writing this I just checked the NYT Bestsellers List and The Help is still standing strong on that list at #11 (January 11, 2011 6:40 PM EST). I am also excited to report that the theatrical version is set to be released on August 12 of this year. I read this book over the summer as I was moving from Greensboro, NC to the coast (about a 4.5 hour move). I was in the passenger seat heading back to Greensboro after a few days at the coast and my boyfriend was driving as I was reading this book. For several minutes we had been silently going down the highway when a minivan came up next to us and the wife was also reading The Help. She pointed this out to us and we both gave it a thumbs up. That’s when I knew it was a popular book! The book brought us two strangers traveling down I-40 together just for a split second. The book brought the characters and the different segregated races together for a lifetime.

The quote that I selected to start this post off is the narrarator, Skeeter Phelan reminiscing about her families former maid Constantine who rasised Skeeter. Constaintine was Skeeter’s friend, mother, confidant. Skeeter is a character who is so precocious and driven in her beliefs that you know from the start that that despite any hardships that may befall her, and believe me there are plenty, through the book her ending will be a triumphant one.

Skeeter is 22 years old and has just returned to her small southern town after graduating from Ole Miss. Skeeter has returned to a very unwelcoming situation. Her mother is a pain (as mothers almost always are) who wants the brilliantly talented Skeeter to get married despite the fact that a talent for words and writing ooze from Sketer. To make matters worse, Constaintine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone or the circumstances behind her sudden and (to Skeeter) unexpected disapperance. Despite the fact that Skeeter is our narrarator and the character in the story that I could most relate to, my favorite character undoubtedly is the sage-like Aibileen. Aibileen has lost her own son to an unfortunate and preventable accident. Raising her seventeenth white child Aibileen becomes the mother to this child that she can no longer be for her own son. Aibileen is such a rounded character. At times Aibileen is funny, wise, careless, thoughtful, and above all heartbreaking. Aibileen works for Skeeter’s best friend Miss Hilly. Miss Hilly is one of those characters that you wish was real, just so you could kick their teeth out.

The book centers on Skeeter’s need to connect to the silent Constantine again by telling the stories of all of the maids in the town. Though this just about the most dangerous thing that she and the maids can do, they all realize that it is something that they must do. While composing the histories of the towns help Skeeter grows up and becomes her own person, WITHOUT a wedding ring, I might add! She experiences heartbreak, loss, fear, ostracism, shame and disappointment. In one fashion or another, each of the maids as well as the other society women that make up Skeeter’s group of friends do as well.

The book is well written and it takes into account the views of each character. The book got under my skin and it made me want to be a part of the history much in the same way that Skeeter was. I would recommend this book to anyone. This book is a great one for book clubs. The discussion that can come from the action and the issues in the book is plentiful. Above all, this book is about connections made and friendships savored. I hope that you love it as much as I did!

Read Full Post »