Friday Morning Bookclub

January 8, 2012

2011 Was A Record Breaking Year! 10,059 Views In One Day!

Filed under: The Help — susanbright @ 8:58 pm
Tags: ,

It is always fascinating, at the end of the year to look at our blog stats and learn more about our visitors. Although the majority of our visitors are from the United States, Canada and the The United Kingdom are not far behind. This year we had visitors from all over the world, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. Thank you for all of your visits and comments!

Our busiest day EVER was August 22, 2011 with 10,059 views. Can you imagine? In one day we had 10,059 views! It was impossible to keep up with all of the comments!  I had no idea that this particular post, which was actually posted six months prior would cause such a stir! I have been told that in the internet world this is the definition of GOING VIRAL!

What post was everyone checking out?

 The Help By Kathryn Stockett: More Controversy!

Who knew!


August 24, 2011

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt By Beth Hoffman

Filed under: Book Recomendations,Saving CeeCee Honeycutt,The Help — susanbright @ 2:30 pm
Tags: ,

 The other day I ran into the library to pick up an audio book. I was going to be doing a lot driving  so why not get a book in! I only had a few minutes so I headed directly to the new audio book section and looked for a familiar title. I thought that I had remembered reading something about  Saving CeeCee Honeycutt so without even reading the back, I grabbed it and proceeded to the self check out. I had no idea what it was about. I later realized that the book I was actually thinking of  was The Secret Life of Ceecee Wilkes, a very different book! At least I had the Ceecee part!  I am not sure if I would have picked this book had I known what it was about however it was a heart warming story. Laugh out loud funny at times and sad at others.

Twelve year old Cecilia Rose (CeeCee) is wise beyond her years.  Unfortunately her mother suffered from mental illness and it often fell upon CeeCee to take care of her. It was not unusual to spot CeeCee’s mothers parading around town in a prom dress and tiara which she had purchased at the local Good Will Store. Although the year was 1967 and she lived in Ohio, in her mother’s mind it was 1951 and she was still the Vidalia Onion Queen of Georgia.  She was an unhappy, troubled soul and although she loved CeeCee very much she was in no condition to be a mother. Poor CeeCee never knew what to expect from her mother and was constantly embarrassed by her mother’s actions. CeeCee’s father was rarely home and the only one she had to turn to was  Ms. O’Dell, a sweet elderly neighbor.

When CeeCee’s mother is hit and killed by an ice cream truck one day on the way back from the Goodwill Store, CeeCee is sent to live with her Great Aunt Tootie in Savannah. Tootie is a cheerful, loving southern lady  and according to the author is actually based on her Great Aunt Mildred.  Tootie’s African-American cook/housekeeper Oletta Jones who has worked for her for years is tough on the outside yet warm and kind on the inside. Together Tootie and Oletta strive to give CeeCee the love and security she so desperately needed and to help her cope with the loss of her mother. 

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt was a touching story about mothers and daughters, as well as friendship and love. It  also tackles the more serious topics of mental illness and racism. The story is told in the words of CeeCee although it is hard to imagine a twelve-year-old being quite  this insightful. I enjoyed listening to the southern accents, however after listening to all of the controversy over the dialect  in The Help and all of the concern as to the stereotypical characters in The Help,  I can’t ” help” but wonder if this is more of the same.

August 22, 2011

The Help Controversy… A Little Humor Never Hurts!

Filed under: Ed's Original Creations,The Help — susanbright @ 10:47 am

Check out this video by our friend Ed!

August 16, 2011

The Help Controversy: Judge Throws Out Suit Against Kathryn Stockett!

Filed under: Books Into Movies,The Help — susanbright @ 2:19 pm

It looks like it is over! This morning  Judge Tomie Green dismissed Ablene Cooper’s suit against Kathryn Stockett, author of the Help! Interestingly enough the reason it was thrown out had nothing to do with whether or not Stockett based the fictional character of Aibileen on Ablene Cooper. The case was dismissed because the one year statute of limitations elapsed between  the time Ablene Cooper was given a copy of the book and the time she filed the  $75,000 suit against Stockett.

I am always surprised when this kind of thing happens! How did Cooper’s attorney not know about this statute of limitations? According to Cooper, although she did receive a copy of the book prior to it being published, she did not read it right away, as she had been told by the author that it had nothing to do with her.  Apparently there is a difference in opinion as to when the statute of limitations should have begun. I guess now we will have to wait and see if there is an appeal.

The question still  remains…… Do you think that Ablene Cooper has a valid case against Kathryn Stockett? Please vote in our poll in the post below!

August 15, 2011

The Help Controversy! Please Vote!

Filed under: Books Into Movies,Polls,The Help — susanbright @ 5:33 pm

This poll is closed! Thank you for voting!

If you haven’t read it yet, get The Help now!

August 12, 2011

The Help……less???

Filed under: Ed's Original Creations,The Help — susanbright @ 9:54 am

Check out this original video by our friend Ed!

If you haven’t read it yet, get The Help now!

August 6, 2011

The Help Controversy: Kathryn Stockett Speaks Out!

Filed under: The Help — susanbright @ 6:48 pm

The movie The Help opens this month and is sure to be a huge success as was Kathryn Stockett’s book. The Help was voted The Friday Morning bookclub’s Favorite Book of 2009 and I am looking forward to seeing the movie. The opening of the movie has  brought new attention to the law suit facing Stockett. 60-year-old Ablene Cooper, who worked as a nanny for Stockett’s brother, filed a lawsuit against Kathryn Stockett, claiming that the character Aibileen Clark was based on her life. Yes, there are  similarities. Both have a gold tooth, both lost a son to cancer and both were called Aibee by the children they cared for.  According to many of the articles Kathryn Stockett’s brother Robert Stockett III is supporting Cooper, causing a huge family rift between sister and brother.

Here is  Kathryn Stockett’s response which appeared in USA Today:

“The character ‘Aibileen Clark’ in The Help is a fictional character and is not intended to depict Mrs. Cooper. I’ve met Mrs. Cooper only briefly. I used the name ‘Aibileen’ because it resonated with ‘Constantine,’ the beloved woman who took care of the book’s main character in her youth. As readers of The Help know, my Aibileen is a true heroine: she is intelligent, an author, a devoted servant of the Lord and a good mother.”

Often I have heard authors recommend that you write about “what you know”, which is what Stockett was doing. I am sure that all authors “borrow” traits from real people and I wonder how often people see themselves in books. What do you think? As a writer, how much can you borrow from the people you know? If Ablene Cooper wins this case, how do you think it will affect future works of fiction?  

Here are a couple of articles on the subject

If you haven’t read it yet, get The Help now!

July 11, 2011

The Help: The Movie

Filed under: Movies,The Help — audpelta @ 9:32 am

The movie The Help opens nationwide August 12th. My friend Nancy saw an advanced screening last week. Since she knew that our book club had read and enjoyed the book she couldn’t wait to share her review. She loved the movie. The movie stays very close to the book and it has a phenomenal cast: Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Byrce Dallas Howard, Allison Jenney, Sissy Spacek and Cicely Tyson. I for one can’t wait to see it, maybe we can have another dinner and movie night.
Let me know if you want to join me!!

Check out the trailer!

If you haven’t read it yet, get The Help now!

February 18, 2011

The Help By Kathryn Stockett: More Controversy!

Filed under: Literary Tidbits,The Help — susanbright @ 6:14 pm

Although Kathryn Stockett’s book The Help was a New York Times Best Seller as well as a  book club favorite, it is not without controversy. First there were those who questioned Stockett’s attempt at capturing the black dialect of the south and now this. Thank you, Audrey for bringing this article to our attention Check it out !

Family maid sues author of best-seller ‘The Help’

Published: Today

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A black woman who once worked as a maid for a relative of novelist Kathryn Stockett is suing the author of the best-selling book “The Help,” claiming she was the basis for a black servant character who she thought depicted her in a poor light.

The novel is based on relationships between white families and their African-American maids in the segregated South of the 1960s, and a driving character in the book is a woman named Aibileen.

Now, a real-life woman named Ablene Cooper, who said she worked for Stockett’s brother, is claiming Stockett used her name and likeness without permission and with embarrassing results.

The lawsuit was filed Feb. 9 in Hinds County Circuit Court in Jackson, Miss., where Stockett grew up. It asks for $75,000 in damages, an amount chosen to keep the litigation from ending up in federal jurisdiction, where larger actions are often decided.

Cooper referred questions to her attorney when contacted Thursday. Her attorneys did not immediately respond to messages.

Penguin USA publisher Amy Einhorn said she doesn’t think there’s any basis to the lawsuit.

“This is a beautifully written work of fiction and we don’t think there is any basis to the legal claims,” Einhorn said Thursday in an e-mail.

The six-page lawsuit claims, among other things, that Stockett’s refusal to publicly admit that she based the character on Cooper’s likeness “is so outrageous in character, and so extreme as to go beyond all bounds of human decency, and is utterly intolerable in a civilized community.”

It quotes passages from the book, including one in which Aibileen’s character describes a cockroach: “He black. Blacker than me.”

The lawsuit said Cooper found it upsetting and highly offensive to be portrayed as someone “who uses this kind of language and compares her skin color to a cockroach.”

“The Help” tells the story of black maids Aibileen and Minny, who work with a white woman named Skeeter on a book about their experiences as domestic help. The black characters fear retribution for working with the white woman on such a book, but Aibileen decides to help in part because black maids are forced to use outside restrooms.

Cooper’s lawsuit claims it was offensive to be portrayed as someone who must use a segregated toilet.

Stockett told The Associated Press in 2009 that growing up her family had a maid named Demetrie, who used a restroom on the outside of the family’s house. Stockett said Demetrie died in the mid-1980s.

“The Help” debuted in 2009, and there are 2.5 million hardcover copies in print in the U.S., according to the publisher’s website. Scenes for a movie based on the book were shot in Mississippi.

What do you think?  Does Ablene Cooper have a valid case against Katherine Stockett?

If you haven’t read it yet, get The Help now!

June 12, 2010

Meet Kathryn Stockett, Author Of The Help!

Filed under: Literary Tidbits,The Help — susanbright @ 9:05 pm

The Caroline Center, a job training/education center for women in Baltimore City is hosting an evening with Kathryn Stockett, the author of  The Help on September 22nd at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. At 7:30 pm, Stockett will be discussing the influence and power of women as well as signing books. General admission tickets are $20.00.  For those interested in meeting Stockett up close and personal there will be a Meet The Author reception prior to the lecture. Tickets to attend the author reception, which includes wine and appetizers with Stockett as well as preferred seating for the lecture are $50. For more information and to purchase tickets go to:  The Help was the Friday Morning bookclub’s favorite book for 2009!

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If you haven’t read it yet, get The Help now!

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