Jan. 17

This week, The Help by Kathryn Stockett occupied my reading time. Haven’t heard of it yet?  You will.  

As I mentioned last week, I bought this in hardback thinking it might be a life-changing book. I wasn’t wrong. 

I just have two words to say about this 450-page debut novel: read it.

The story, told in three voices (two black maids and a young white woman), is set in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962. They are joined by “taking an extraordinary step.” Don’t want to say more or this would need a spoiler alert.

One thing I can say —  I remember watching this part of our country’s history unfold as a young girl in Cheyenne, Wyoming; this book truly brings it to life. Even the minor characters are richly detailed.

The Help has been, deservedly, on the New York Times bestseller list for something like 40 weeks (it was released last February). In today’s issue, it’s “asterisked” which means that even though it’s listed as Number Two on the list, its numbers are “virtually identical” to the book higher in the list (Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol.)

At the moment, I’m trying to contact all the book-club members I know around here because Phyllis told me some Teton Valley group has chosen this for an upcoming meeting…… I want to get in on the discussion.  (If you know what club’s reading it, please let me know!)

The purpose of My Weekly Reader is not to write a review but rather to share just a bit of my own experience with the books I read. This one has just one adjective: that fits — powerful.  

Want to read a few reviews? Google this by title and author and more than 100,000 sites come up!

Didn’t get back to the Fitzgerald stories or the Murphy essays at all during the last seven days; that’s OK, they’ll keep.

As of this morning, I’m about six chapters into The Jump-Off Creek, another book by Molly Gloss (one of the panelists for the Writer-in-Residence and Literature Fellowship panel which will be held in April for the  Idaho Commission on the Arts.)  I thought about switching to non-fiction (Brian Doyle is another of the ICA panelists) but figured I’m on a roll; better to just go with it.

Happy reading!

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