Tag Archives: The Help

Friday Reads: The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank

Book I finished this week:

For some reason on Monday I decided I HAD to go to the Tustin Library. So I did. I perused the fiction section. I saw this book. I recognized the title. I decided to read it. I needed a change from fantasy and dystopic fiction (I’m currently reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Howl’s Moving Castle, and 1984).

Well, it was a brief change. I read it in about 6 hours. But man, this book irked me. It had no plot (to Bank’s credit, I think it was meant to be a coming-of-age novel, so no big problem to solve). The main character, Jane, came off as whiny and self-centered (except when she was talking about or with her dad). It was all about relationships and had nothing to do with the other cool things she could have been doing with her life during her 20’s. Most of the other characters seemed so unrealistic (always saying the right things, being larger-than-life). Also, there is a chapter in there told from the point of view of an older woman named Nina, Jane’s great aunt’s neighbor, that has pretty much nothing to do with Jane’s story. I keep thinking about the purpose of that chapter. I can’t think of anything reasonable. Thoughts?

In any case, it was an OK change from Big Brother and Voldemort and Howl.

Memorable links and articles from this week:

Everyone and their mother has shared this link on Facebook and Twitter: Stop Coddling the Super Rich by Warren Buffet – New York Times

One of the best analyses of The Help I’ve read so far: This is why I worry about The Help – Adios Barbie

What Would Hillary Clinton Have Done? by Rebecca Traister – New York Times

Awesome:

Friday Reads: The Help and Think

#fridayreads is a Twitter meme in which people tweet what they’re reading each Friday. I thought it would be fun to dedicate Friday posts to the books and blogs I’m reading. (I know it’s Saturday afternoon. I apologize – I had a long day of babysitting yesterday. I should have checked to see if Chuck E. Cheese had wifi!)

Books I finished this week:

1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. If you’ve been reading this blog since…a couple weeks ago…you might recall that I said I was going to read all of the Harry Potter books and then finish the Hunger Games trilogy. Well, there’s been a slight change of plans. You see, I saw the trailer for The Help (the movie). I noticed that two of my favorite actresses of today, Viola Davis and Emma Stone, are the leads. I must see this movie. But before I see this movie, I wanted to have read the book.

Here’s a synopsis.

I didn’t expect to like this book so much. I expected the characters to be caricatures whose actions were based upon stereotypes. That wasn’t the case. I was pleasantly surprised whenever the characters discussed the dire consequences they could face as a result of Skeeter’s savior behavior. The relationships between the characters were really complex (naturally), and I loved how Stockett wove their back stories into their narratives. I found myself on the verge of tears as I read the last page. Not many books have that effect on me!

2. Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World by Lisa Bloom. I put this on hold at the library after I read Bloom’s article for Huffington Post on changing the way we speak to little girls. I thought she made a really compelling argument, so I wanted to read her book (the article is basically a plug for the recently-published book). This book didn’t feel like a slap in the face to me because I already read books often and try to read a little of the newspaper every day (I just really like to read, not out of contempt or for competition). Nevertheless, I am in my twenties, so it is practically given that I could be making better use of my time and mind. This book inspired me to do just that. And it was fun to read – I finished it in about 6 hours!

Memorable articles and links from this week:

The Case for Raunchy Teen Lit – Salon.com

Matt Damon schools some reporter and her sh*tty cameraman on teaching and fulfillment (is what the article should have been called) – Boing Boing

101 Ways to Find Inspiration, Stay Motivated, & Achieve your Goals – Silly Grrl

Some jerk decided he would impose his morals on everyone and ban a couple books (including Vonnegut’s classic Slaughterhouse-Five) from a school in Missouri (is what the article should have been called) – The Guardian. Some people in the non-library-realm don’t know that this kind of behavior still exists, bless their hearts. But it does. And it pisses us off.

We Can’t Teach Students to Love Reading – The Chronicle of Higher Education (this was written by Alan Jacobs, whose book I discussed a few weeks ago.)