Friday, September 25, 2009
The Help was a fabulous book. It takes place in Mississippi during the Civil Rights movement and tells the story of a white Ole Miss graduate who wants to break into a writing career by revealing the untold stories of black house servants - who are more than a tad leery to tell of their experiences to a white woman. The story is funny, tragic and hopeful all in one. I highly recommend this one.
The sequel to Hunger Games came out recently, and I was convinced it could never measure up to the original, but I'm happy to report that Catching Fire was a great read! Katniss finds herself as the symbol of a rebellion forming against the Capital, so, of course, the Capital has to deal with her threat. I read the whole thing in less than two days - I just couldn't put it down.
Big Stone Gap was constantly interrupted by other reading. It was a fine enough book, but somehow never seemed to captivate me. Set in a small, southern, coal-mining town you follow a 30-something, never married, woman as she struggles to find family, love and success. This the first in a series.
One of my all-time favorite non-fiction books is Reviving Ophelia. It came out in 1994, but I just reread it for book club. I will warn you that this book can read a bit like a text book, it's a lot of sociology mixed together with personal stories - but I found the information utterly fascinating. Mary Pipher is a therapist who focuses on adolescent girls. She examines the impact our of "girl-poisoning" culture and the challenges that young girls face. I think it's helpful as a teacher or a mother, but it also forces a women to reflect on her own experiences.
My boys have been begging me to read Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It's the only book series that my boys have read over and over and over. The main character Greg behaves like a stupid middle-school boy and therein lies the humor that my boys can't get enough of. I'm not really recommending it to any adult, but there were parts that left me laughing out loud -and it's a really fun book for kids.
Next on my list is Life and Death in Shanghai.