Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sweeping Book Clubs across the nation... this book called "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. Have you read it? This book was sitting idly around my house on loan from a friend who had recommended it, and it wasn't until it was assigned at my own book club that I picked it up and started reading. Now, my rebellious streak usually dictates that if something is very popular I give myself some distance from the hype just to survey the hubbub, and so I had been successfully ignoring "The Help" on my shelf until I was cornered by my fear of the book club gals and gave in. And I loved it. It was a bit sobering, and scary, and heartening, and disappointing, and amazing all at once. When I told Marcos the plot to try and sell him into reading the book, I choked up while describing a particularly poignant part, and my sensitive husband took one good look at me and said, "I think there are too many emotions in that book for me". I am not the sensitive one of us two, and if it did that to me, I think he's afraid of what the story might do to him.

To summarize, this book is about the incredibly complex relationships between white women and their black maids in 1960s Mississippi, and I don't know if it's because I live in the South now, but this story really meant something to me. When I see how things were just a generation or two ago in this corner of the country, it helps to explain what I see today.

And warning: you may end up thinking in Ebonics by the end of the book.

And then there is "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. Both Marcos and I just finished the second book in the series and are eagerly awaiting the release of book three in August. Suzanne Collins is a fabulous writer, and weaves a very smart storyline into a highly fictionalized, technologically advanced and twisted future of America. Another great read for summer months!

And then, there's the "Twilight" series... When my best friend Lindsay was here to help us after Giovanna's birth, we spent over an hour one afternoon listening to her tell us the entire storyline of the Twilight series, and frankly, after years of zero interest, I was sold. So when Rebecca loaned me her copies of all four books last week, I was anxious to delve into them and catch the Twilight fever. And then a huge problem emerged: I started reading. I won't say that I wasn't warned that the writing was terrible, because everybody warned me that it was terrible, but I didn't expect such an un-clever writing voice in such a popular series. I got to page 9 before I had to close the book out of utter disinterest. However, after taking a few deep breaths, I think that I will pick up the book again next week and force myself to read until I can get far enough into the book to ride the riveting storyline and not just trip on the disappointing verbage that is taking me there. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

What have you read lately that you would recommend?


Marie said...

Oh my gosh, Metta. Book, books, books! I love books and I wish we could talk books together in person. The Help is amazing. Wow! What a story. I loved it. And yes, I was trying to SPEAK Ebonics in my mind, but I could never make myself sound cool, but SUCH a good book. I haven't read the Hunger Games yet. I've heard it's awesome, which is why there's a forever long waiting list for it at the library, but I'm eagerly awaiting my turn to read it. And lastly, I say skip Twilight and go strait for The Book Thief. If you loved The Help, I know you will love Book Thief. It is an amazing book-fiction, but you will finish it believing that it was all the characters were real. Let me know if you read it. It's a really good one! Happy Reading

Kim said...

I'm glad you liked The Hunger Games. Good luck with Twilight!

Kim said...

It took until Chapter 10 (I think) before I was really "in" to the Twilight storyline. But I still loved the overall story by the end of the series! Good luck! Another great book is The Art of Racing in the Rain. I have recently been re-reading some of the classics too. Little Women, Treasure Island, and The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.