book club: the help

June 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

I only have three words when describing this book. They are: GO. READ. NOW.

Ok, that’s a lie. I have many more words, but those are the first. The Help is overwhelmingly beautiful. It is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time and it was so hard for me to stop reading when it was time to go to sleep. Or go to work. Or eat dinner. Or whenever because I really didn’t ever want to stop.

Basically, the novel follows the lives of three women in Jackson, Mississippi, one a young woman wanting to be a writer and two who are the domestic help of her friends. Set in the ’60s, it exposes the cultural issues and racial discrimination of the day as these three protagonists come together to write their stories about what it’s like to be a black woman working for a white family (and conversely, what it was like for Skeeter to grow up in that dynamic.) I’m going to tell you, some things are not pretty and you will probably hate a few of the characters and everything they stood for. But just like in every situation, there is so much good if we can find it.

The message of the book seems to be that we are all the same inside: human. Human, with the same feelings and desire for love and family and community and respect. We have to work to understand each other and accept this fact. Easier said than done, I suppose.

This is a short review, mostly because I’m tried from staying up so late to finish! But also because I just honestly am having trouble finding the words so soon after I finished it. This one will probably be a re-reader in the near future, it was just that special and moving.

There’s also a movie coming out in August…pretty sure I’ll be seeing that!

Also pretty sure that I’ve read enough historical fiction for awhile. Time for something fluffy for enjoying poolside – any recommendations for me?


summer honey-do list

June 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Well, it’s after Memorial Day which means SUMMER! And, some projects to do around the house. Inspired by BFF Mandy, here’s what we want to accomplish this summer. Unlike her list, ours is tailored for the slackers that we are. Trust me, just getting even half of this list done will be incredible.

Front yard:
-reshape flower bed and add a few nice perennials
-new bench (ours is rotting)
-add a bed around the new mailbox

Back yard:
-clean out areas along the fence and force honeysuckle into submission
-cut down dead pine tree
-fix up shed with some paint and a new door handle/lock
-find some inexpensive furniture (this one’s iffy…)

Lower level:
-rewire electric and cable wiring for new set-up
-replace carpet
-plan and begin built-in shelves and cabinets around fireplace

The lower level really is a huge project so I expect that will run into the fall as well once we start painting and looking at furniture. I also see small projects popping up like framing and hanging the artwork for over the bed and replacing things here and there. Also, our “office” is a disaster. The path we had created to get to the closet no longer exists. Something must be done about that mess…

We also have some items on the list that aren’t house related…We both plan to ride a 100-mile “century” ride at the end of July and I’m seriously considering a duathlon in August. We also have a much-needed beach vacation with the whole family in August (what a way to celebrate my birthday, right?)

Other than that, you can find me at the pool. The best part of summer.

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