Monthly Archives: October 2009
Hi everyone! I am currently in Honduras (even as I type) and will be back November 8th. I have lined up several wonderful bloggers to take care of my blog this week so please stop by often and see whats happening here. They are planning giveaways, fun posts and more I will check in as I can… internet is never a guarantee here, but if I have time I’ll pop in and say hello – I hope you will too!
Hi! I am Julie from My Own Little Corner Of The World! I am here while Sheila is away on her mission trip to Honduras. Just trying to keep the cobwebs away from all the precious books!
While I’m here, I thought I’d introduce myself as I don’t know many of you! I am a 30 something wife and
homeschooling mother of 4. I am also a registered nurse and currently, a high school health care teacher. (Insert your laughs here…yes my new friends, I’ve lost my mind!). In my spare time (HAHA) I enjoy reading, spending time with my wonderful family, blogging, singing, and did I mention reading?! I’ll read just about anything as long as it’s not full of graphic sex and language. Just not a fan of that!
Even though our beloved friend is not currently here to attend to her blog, she has graciously opened up the prize box for her wonderful readers. To enter, please visit my blog My Own Little Corner of the World and leave a comment under my “I’m Cleaning Sheila’s House” post telling me what book I have won from her blog recently. If you are chosen to be the winner (I will use random.org to determine) you will get to pick a prize from her PRIZE BOX and I’ll throw in a $10 Amazon gift certificate! The giveaway will end on November 7.
It is Saturday Morning and I am leaving Texas and on my way to Honduras. In a few hours Julie will be here from My Own Little Corner Of The World to take care of things while I am in flight. I will try to check in the mornings if I have internet access to give you morning updates – otherwise please enjoy the great bloggers who are stopping in this week to water my plants and chat with you!
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Here are the discussion question as well as comments made from different members of this group.
1. Who was your favorite character? Why?
Across the board, all participating members in this discussion agreed that the favorite was Aibileen. Lisa from Lit and Life also thought maybe Skeeter as well as Skeeter was willing to stand up for herself no matter what the cost.
2. What do you think motivated Hilly? On the one hand she is terribly cruel to Aibileen and her own help, as well as to Skeeter once she realizes that she can’t control her. Yet she’s a wonderful mother. Do you think that one can be a good mother but, at the same time, a deeply flawed person?
Laurel from Laurel Rain Snow Reflections says that while Hilly was a good mom, her prejudices color her judgment. As Lisa states, Hilly is a product of her own upbringing.
3. Like Hilly, Skeeter’s mother is a prime example of someone deeply flawed yet somewhat sympathetic. She seems to care for Skeeter–and she also seems to have very real feelings for Constantine. Yet the ultimatum she gives to Constantine is untenable; and most of her interaction with Skeeter is critical. Do you think Skeeter’s mother is a sympathetic or unsympathetic character? Why?
Esme from Chocolates and Croissants describes Skeeter’s mom as sympathetic or possibly pathetic. She wants what she feels is best for her daughter and in her eyes that is marriage and a good solid one at that.
4. How much of a person’s character would you say is shaped by the times in which they live?
Julie of My Own Little Corner Of The World says that the times in which a person lives has a lot to do with their character. Look at todays teeenagers, theyw ould not have survived these times. Kids were more respectful and obedient of their parents. Laurel adds that it takes an exceptional person to move out of the mold of the world.
5. Did it bother you that Skeeter is willing to overlook so many of Stuart’s faults so that she can get married, and that it’s not until he literally gets up and walks away that the engagement falls apart?
Sheila (me) says yes, I dislike it when a woman undersetimates her worth to any man. I was thankful that in the end Skeeter held true to who she was. I think even Skeeter’s mom in the end started to see that her daughter really could take care of herself.
6. Do you believe that Minny was justified in her distrust of white people?
All agreed that due to the experiences that Minny had with white people, she had no reason to trust them.
7. Do you think that had Aibileen stayed working for Miss Elizabeth, that Mae Mobley would have grown up to be racist like her mother? Do you think racism is inherent, or taught?
Taught! Sheila (me) thinks that Aibileen made a good effort to teach Mae Mobley about seeing people for who they are not for the color of their skin. Hopefully, we as the readers are left to believe that this will stick with Mae Mobley through the years.
8. From the perspective of a twenty-first century reader, the hairshellac system that Skeeter undergoes seems ludicrous. Yet women still alter their looks in rather peculiar ways as the definition of “beauty” changes with the times. Looking back on your past, what’s the most ridiculous beauty regimen you ever underwent?
Julie: If I had to pick one I would say the tube of toohtpaste used to get rid of pimples as a teenager
Esme: For me, it was just getting the routine down as a teen – from showering to make up, etc…
Laurel: Sleeping with my head in those giant rollers!
Lisa: Well, it used to be perms and now it is straightening my hair on a daily basis
Sheila: Had to be the spiral perms that were all teh rage. It would take 4 hours in the salon to wrap my hair in those long twisty rods.
9. The author manages to paint Aibileen with a quiet grace and an aura of wisdom about her. How do you think she does this?
Julie: Aibileen’s character shows this in how she treats Mae Mobley…. patiently teaching.
Sheila: Maybe because she has helped raise 17 children she has learned to see what these children are not gettingfor their parents by being torn down so she has trained herself to build them up.
10. Do you think there are still vestiges of racism in relationships where people of color work for people who are white? Have you heard stories of parents who put away their valuable jewelry before their nanny comes? Paradoxically, they trust the person to look after their child but not their diamond rings?
Esme: Racism does still exist today, whether it is directed at a person of color, religion, or sexual beliefs. My favorite is when you are in a group and someone says something about a group they find out you are part of and then says, “Oh but not you…” The nanny example is great – they are good enough to be trusted with the child, but not the diamonds.
11. What did you think about Minny’s pie for Miss Hilly? Would you have gone as far as Minny did for revenge?
Sheila: Oh! I had to read that twice to make sure I got that right…. LOL. I cant imagine myself going that far, but Minny’s character? Absolutely!
Laurel: Probably not but I did get a chuckle out of it.
Lisa: Yuck! I was more than grossed out by the pie thing! Nope, I would not do such a thing.
Julie: Loved it! I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to do such a thing. It was very creative and I loves the :gotcha” feel to it. It made the book so much more effective for me.
12. Would you recommend this book to a friend?
Julie: I would – yes! It is the best book I have read in 2009 so far. I couldn’t put it down!
Esme: Definitely-this is a beautiful story about love, relationships, trust and life in the South in the early 60′s. While I was not old enough during that time to remember the problems nor did I live in the South I think the book has given an accurate description of how life was for blacks and whites. It describes the frustration of blacks, due to segregation, their hope they must have had in MLK and Kennedy and their aspiration for their children. For the women of the novel, their roles were very defined. To be a good mother and wife. You have women in the book that supposedly had a higher education yet they were content not to graduate and keep a nice home. Their beliefs in segregation were those that were defined for them by their society. They were quick to adopt these beliefs and not question them.
Lisa: I have already recommended this book to a lot of people. I think it is a wonderful look at a time and place.
Laurel: Yes! It was a book that spotlighted a time that I remember well, I did not (nor do I now) live in the South, I was part of the civil rights movement in the 60′s.
Sheila: Oh yeah! I have never read anything like this before and I really enjoyed it. This book is a keeper for me and I highly recommend it!
You can see members of the Word Shakers On Line Book Clubs Personal reviews on this book here:
Watch for the next Word Shakers book choice to be posted soon! All are welcome to join! See how here!
Have you read The Help? We would love for you to join in this discussion. What are your thoughts on any of the questions above?
If you could only read one more book for the rest of the year – this is the book to read. ~ Sheila
Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.
I love a book that makes you feel, and that is exactly what I found in the pages of The Help by Kathryn Stockett. The book spoke out with the voices of the maids, “the help”, of Jackson Mississippi. It is 1962 and I quickly found myself enjoying those voices as Aibileen speaks in words such as “Law, that child’s legs so spindly she done look like she grow them last week.“
From the white folk who either were upper class, or liked to pretend they were, to the maids filled with opinions that some like Aibileen keep to themselves and others like Minny(who by description is anything but Minny) who cant help but speak their mind and wind up being fired time and again. Or Skeeter, a person who sees things that others do not… sees clearly right from wrong. These characters are colorful, delightful, and I could easily picture the white women playing bridge as Aibileen waits on them hearing their conversations.
And this book did make me feel. I felt anger over how some of the help was treated. I laughed out loud when once again, Minny’s hot head got the best of her – and yet wept for her when she went home with uncertainties that she may be beat again by her husband.
I never like to give away too much of a book in the review yet I have to share this part with you. Towards the end of the read there is a moment when Aibileen and Minny are discussing lines. Those invisible lines that we draw in our minds. That line that we dont cross when we think someone is better than us or if we feel they are beneath us. I loved that.
I hope I can be a person who always lives without lines. I can’t encourage you enough to pick this book up and read it. I am forever changed by doing so.
This book was purchased by me from Amazon
I would rate this book PG
Stay tuned to read what the Word Shakers On LIne Book Club are saying about this book
5 hours to go and I am sitting almost like my skin in buzzing with the things I am completing. Its all going well and currently Coffee Cup and I have just sat down to do a few blog visits while the laundry is going, the chicken is baking for one of the suppers I am leaving Al for the week, and the coffee cup is brewing a pot of Chocolate Covered Cherry blend as I ran out of my standard Folgers.
I feel good.
I stayed in bed a little later today to finish the last few pages of The Help. In a word? Delicious.
Well… I have much to do. I will be in Texas tonight (late night) we should get to or hotel anout 11 pm. If not totally wiped I will pop in (I am attempting to bring lap top with me but not sure I will be able to use it in Honduras where we are staying or not. They have a computer there but internet connection can be iffy. We will see…
Couple more posts yet today and of course the sticky post to tell you all the exciting things that are going to go on for the next 8 days!
Baderdash fans… this fun meme is for you! I love word games (not as much as commenting). To entertain myself and maybe some of you… I decided to share with you a little thing I do while I type in the word verification. I play Balderdash in my head. Yup. As I am typing in the word, I think if it was a real word… what would it mean. Some come easy. Others…. I really have to stretch the imagination.
The definition of Balderdash: An oft used strategy to elect your own fake definition in an attempt to give it credibility in the minds of your fellow players. …
So what do I have to offer this week?
Deminem: The new “it” jeans designed by Demi Moore. These jeans are all the rage and seem to make your body look years younger and firmer than you are! Only $150 a pair but truly a miracle material! Just ask Ashton….
Etradr: A new movement common in big hospitals now where patients can request a second opinion and the Etradr can pop in and reevaluate. This is believed to have been triggered by such companies as Geico and Progressive Car Insurance.
Wambaa: The ancient dance of the lost Wam tribe. Last sighted in the 1880′s, the tribe was known for its “up and happening” moves that seemed before their time. Dance moves involved sliding feet backwards to the beat of a drum and wagging their heads and arms. Later, this period became known as the 80′s.
Pather: A person who is great at breaking trails. Any good hunting group or camping pals should always include a Pather. Perhaps if a Pather would have been present, the whole Friday The 13th thing at Camp Crystal Lake could have ended differently.
Feel free to join in! Grab the Balderdash box here and use on your own post. be sure to let me know in the comments that you have done this meme and I will link you this post so others may stop and see your words as well.
See other WVB players here:
So todays game plan (which I think should have background music to it)…
(Be sure to hit the play button above before reading on)
Work in office until 2 pm (new software, making sure all is reading for me to be gone)
Prep new data instructions for the girls next week while I am gone
Go to post office mail books to winners
Cash checks for the trip
Go to Cell One and get a new charger for my cell phone
Mail doccuments for our team
pick up prescriptions at Wal-Greens and Wal-Mart
Shop at Wal-Mart for some snacks and a few things needed around the house
work out (hopefully) with my friend Heidi at 3:30
Clean out the frig
Plan some things for AL to eat quickly while I am away
Create things to discuss each day of the trip for evening discussions with team
Pre next weeks blog posts
Have e tickets ready as well as hotel reservations for tomorrow evening in Teas
Chech weight on luggage
Hopefully finish The Help book so I can prep the Word Shakers reviews becasue I reallyw ant that up before I leave
Ok… so maybe not chicken dinner…. but books! And books are really better than chicken because they keep you full and satisfied longer.
Lets get a drum roll going…
I have 5 copies of The Historian to giveaway!
The winners are…
I have three copies of Bo’s Cafe to giveaway… winners are:
5 Copies of The Bible Salesman for giveaway and winners are:
Laura At Im Booking It
Two winners for Beat The Reaper are…
Congratulations to all the winners! You have been notified by email. Please respond within the next 30 hours for me to pass the information on the publishers before I leave on Friday.