Friday, October 23, 2009

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

This book was so good that I forgot to write about it. (Does that make any sense???) Anyway, if you want to read a book that makes you a) laugh, b) sad, c) stew over social injustices, d) appreciate friendship and e) fall in love with characters...I've got just the read for you -- THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett. I read it shortly after reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (with expectations of a let-down) and felt like maybe I was just becoming the most easily entertained reader in the world. (There's a bit of truth in this, but another book I read recently proved this theory wrong...) Anyway, a short synposis:

A writer, who happens to be the daughter of a rich cotton-grower in JACKSON, MI decides to write a book from the black maids' perspectives, circa 1960's....thus, the plot. Ms. Stockett easily captured tenderness, narrow-mindedness, forgiveness, acceptance, friendship and love.

On the star rating system, I'd give it a 5 out of 5 (only one less star than Guernsey). While I didn't live during this time, nor have I ever visited much of the South (except being born in Louisiana), the novel placed me in a time warp, making me feel l was there -- a telltale sign of a great writer. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Stockett.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

I suspected the book, as selected by my book club, would scare me a bit. And it did, but it also surprised me.

At a young age, I remember watching a television movie about a lady with a relatively unheard of disease called Alzheimer's. The show made me feel very sad. Then Nicholas Sparks came along with The Notebook, and those sad feelings about the awful disease resurfaced.

So I prepared myself for tears and worry before I delved into the novel. But the novel was compelling to me - and not so much in a scary or sad way.

At first, as I watched a brilliant professor lose her faculties, I became acutely aware of my own memory lapses. Once I miraculously remembered that my forgetfulness has plagued me since the first grade, I was able to engage in the story and its message.

As the professor lost her ability to remember and to reason, an amazing transformation occurred. She was finally able to put her busy schedule aside to grow closer to her children. If she could save nothing else about herself, she saved what was most important.

Anyway, for all of you who find yourself beyond busy on your quest for achievement, read this book. It just might change your perspective.