Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I'm attempting to write more.  I guess I'm thinking that hopefully blogging is like exercising.  The more I do it, the easier it gets, and the better I become at it.  In fact, one of the things that has kept me from starting a blog for years now is that I thought I didn't have anything to write about.  I don't have any children (yet) like the thousands of blogs out there that I will admit captivate me with their pictures of happy cute babies and toddlers and the creative mamas who have time to do four kabillion wholesome activities with them all before getting them home for their snack of homemade organic fruit sauce and down for their mid-day nap.  I don't have a fancy-schmancy camera (despite having worked for a wedding photographer for a few years in college and taken photography courses in high school, I just haven't got a camera now and I haven't taken a non-cell-phone camera in ages), so I can't woo you with gorgeous colorful pictures of my day-to-day life.  And while I love to cook, I mostly just fly by the seat of my pants with that one, so this really won't become a foodie blog.  I don't have a job I can write about (for my favorite hilarious and insightful job-blog, see SixYearMed--just don't if you plan to do anything else for the rest of the day--that girl really can write).

In fact, my job (and the how I got here) is part of why I want to blog.  My job is a great one.  I'm really lucky to have it, especially after spending the last three years in law school during the worst economic crisis that anyone my age has ever lived through.  It's interesting.  And my small office is made up of four of the nicest co-workers I could ask for.  But it's quiet.  I research and write all day long.  And while I personally find the law to be very interesting, it is, uhm, well, occasionally dry.  I don't get to put in my drafts, "uhm."  I don't get to use contractions.  Or slang.  Or made up words.  I don't get to ramble or have fifteen different side comments put in parenthesis.  I don't get to be sarcastic--even if I think that a plaintiff or defendant deserves it.  And so... the blog.  The blog and a goal to do some non-legal musing and to share a bit of my life and those things that make me smile.

And so, now to blog about the other part of my life.  The non-legal side.  The what-I-do-when-I'm-not-at-the-office-for-45-hours-a-week-side.  (Yes, I know, I am a lucky duck.  Most lawyers work way way longer hours but that is the benefit of working for the government.)

And one thing I love to do during that non-working time is read.  (If you haven't picked up on this already, I'm fully comfortable embracing my inner nerdom).  One of the things that I would moan about throughout law school was how much I missed reading for fun

And so, since I finished studying for the bar this summer, I've dived right in.  I'm generally "reading" three books at any one time.  An audio book on cd in my car, an audio book on my ipod which I listen to when I walk my Mr. Mason every night, and a good ol' fashioned book written on paper, which sits by my bed.  In this way, since August, I've gotten through about 3 or 4 books a month.  Heaven. 

Now, I'm making no promises to review all of the books I read.  In fact, I generally drop myself a few notes on my goodreads account and give a book a star rating--mostly just so I can remember later whether it was a good one or not.  (I love goodreads.  Such a big improvement over the spiral bound notebook of books I've attempted to keep off and on in the past.)

But Kathryn Stockett's The Help certainly bears mentioning.  It was frankly, a-mah-zing.  Wonderfully written, thought-provoking, entertaining, suspenseful (without being a traditional "mystery"), and I didn't want it to end.  Literally, it was everything that I could ever want in a novel.

Kathryn Stockett's characters were so "real."  They were imperfect and human and lovable (well, except for Hilly who the reader will frankly delight in hating).  I found myself holding my breath for them, reading late into the night because I wanted to find out what happened.

The book has three main characters who alternate telling the story from their point of view by chapter.  Abileen and Minnie, who are two black maids working in white homes, and Skeeter, a young, white, idealistic aspiring writer who is making her way in the world. 

p.s. I'm brand new at this, so help me out here bloggyland.  I see all sorts of disclosures all the time on all of yall's blogs.  I assume I don't have to tell you that no one bought this book for me or paid me for this review--or do I?  Well, just in case, they didn't.  I checked it out from my local library.  After ordering it online and then waiting for only six weeks for it to become available.  (Pretty quick for such a new release if you ask me)  And what about posting the picture of the cover?  I want to because I want you to recognize it in the bookstore.  Is this allowed?  I am assuming it is because I see others doing it all the time and perhaps it will be doubly okay if I just tell you that I (obviously) didn't take the picture of the cover.  But, bloggyland, can you guide me?  

p.s.2. I just had to go research Kathryn Stockett to see if she had anything else out there and if so get my hands on it immediately.  I learned that The Help was her first novel.  I'm now doubly impressed.

1 comment:

  1. The Help was the first book I picked up about a year ago when I was "between jobs" and finally had some time to get back to reading. I could not put it down, I laughed and cried the whole way through it. For me, it's really one of the best books I've ever read.


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